Thucydides’ History, Book 6

Chapter 12

“And we must remember that we have only just now been given a short respite from a great plague and a war, such that we have grown in our wealth and bodies ; and from this, that it is right to use these on our own behalf, and not on behalf of these fugitive men, requesting auxiliary, for whom it is useful both prettily to deceive and also, by risk to someone else, themselves furnishing only words, either to know no worthy gratitude should they succeed, or, should they make some mis-step, to take their friends down with them. And if someone1, happy to have been chosen to rule, especially one still too young for a command, if he advises you to sail, he is looking out for himself alone, so that he would be admired, whether for the stabling of horses, or through his extravagance, and so he would gain some benefit from the command. Do not empower him to gain distinction in this way, by endangering the city for himself. Believe that such men as this wrong the public treasury, just as they squander private wealth, and that this is a great matter and not of the sort to be counselled nor hastily managed by one so young.”

1. By”someone” he clearly means Alcibiades.

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