But if I go on attacking the things which admit of criticism and of censure in our present order, I fear that I shall wander too far afield from my subject. In any case I have spoken about these things before,[*](See Isoc. 8.49 ff.) and I shall do so again if I do not succeed in persuading you to cease from such mistakes of policy. For the present, I shall speak but a few words on the theme which I proposed to discuss in the beginning and then yield the platform to any who desire to address you upon this question.
If we continue to govern Athens as we are now doing, then we are doomed to go on deliberating and waging war and living and faring and acting in almost every respect just as we do at the present moment and have done in the past; but if we effect a change of polity, it is evident by the same reasoning that such conditions of life as our ancestors enjoyed will come about for us also; for from the same political institutions there must always spring like or similar ways of life.
But we must take the most significant of these ways and, comparing one with the other, decide which is preferable for us. And first let us consider how the Hellenes and the barbarians felt towards the earlier polity as compared with how they are now disposed towards us; for other peoples contribute not the least part of our well-being when they are properly disposed towards us.
Well then, the Hellenes felt such confidence in those who governed the city in those times that most of them of their own accord placed themselves under the power of Athens,[*](Cf. Isoc. 8.76.) while the barbarians were so far from meddling in the affairs of the Hellenes that they neither sailed their ships-of-war this side of the Phaselis nor marched their armies beyond the Halys River, refraining, on the contrary, from all aggression.[*](See Isoc. 4.118 and note; Isoc. 12.59.)