Today, however, circumstances are so completely reversed that the Hellenes regard Athens with hatred and the barbarians hold us in contempt. As to the hatred of us among the Hellenes, you have heard the report of our generals[*](He speaks as though addressing an actual assembly which had received reports from the generals and dispatches from the King of Persia. See Introduction, close.) themselves, and what the King thinks of us, he has made plain in the letters which have been dispatched by him.[*](Threatening dispatches sent to the Athenians because Chares had supported the cause of the rebel satrap Artabazus. See 8, note.)
Furthermore, under the discipline of the old days the citizens were so schooled in virtue as not to injure each other, but to fight and conquer all who attempted to invade their territory.[*](Cf. Isoc. 8.76.) We, however, do the very opposite; for we never let a day go by without bringing trouble on each other, and we have so far neglected the business of war that we do not even deign to attend reviews unless we are paid money for doing so.
But the greatest difference lies in the fact that in that day no one of the citizens lacked the necessaries of life nor shamed the city by begging from passers-by, whereas today those who are destitute of means outnumber those who possess them.[*](An exaggeration, but Isocrates dwells upon the poverty of Athens in the Isoc. 8.also.) And we may well be patient with people in such circumstances if they care nothing for the public welfare, but consider only how they may live from day to day.
Now I have come before you and spoken this discourse, believing that if we will only imitate our ancestors we shall both deliver ourselves from our present ills and become the saviors, not of Athens alone, but of all the Hellenes;[*](See General Introduction p. xxxii.) but it is for you to weigh all that I have said and cast your votes according to your judgement of what is best for Athens.