Κάλλος μὲν γὰρ ἢ χρόνος ἀνήλωσεν ἢ νόσος ἐμάρανε· πλοῦτος δὲ κακίας μᾶλλον ἢ καλοκαγαθίας ὑπηρέτης ἐστίν, ἐξουσίαν μὲν τῇ ῥᾳθυμίᾳ παρασκευάζων, ἐπὶ δὲ τὰς ἡδονὰς τοὺς νέους παρακαλῶν· ῥώμη δὲ μετὰ μὲν φρονήσεως ὠφέλησεν, ἄνευ δὲ ταύτης πλείω τοὺς ἔχοντας ἔβλαψε, καὶ τὰ μὲν σώματα τῶν ἀσκούντων ἐκόσμησε, ταῖς δὲ τῆς ψυχῆς ἐπιμελείαις ἐπεσκότησεν. ἡ δὲ τῆς ἀρετῆς κτῆσις, οἷς ἂν ἀκιβδήλως ταῖς διανοίαις συναυξηθῇ, μόνη μὲν συγγηράσκει, πλούτου δὲ κρείττων, χρησιμωτέρα δὲ εὐγενείας ἐστί, τὰ μὲν τοῖς ἄλλοις ἀδύνατα δυνατὰ καθιστᾶσα, τὰ δὲ τῷ πλήθει φοβερὰ θαρσαλέως ὑπομένουσα, καὶ τὸν μὲν ὄκνον ψόγον, τὸν δὲ πόνον ἔπαινον ἡγουμένη.
For beauty is spent by time or withered by disease; wealth ministers to vice rather than to nobility of soul, affording means for indolent living and luring the young to pleasure; strength, in company with wisdom, is, indeed, an advantage, but without wisdom it harms more than it helps its possessors, and while it sets off the bodies of those who cultivate it, yet it obscures the care of the soul. But virtue, when it grows up with us in our hearts without alloy, is the one possession which abides with us in old age; it is better than riches and more serviceable than high birth; it makes possible what is for others impossible; it supports with fortitude that which is fearful to the multitude; and it considers sloth a disgrace and toil an honor. (tr. George Norlin)
Μηδέποτε μηδὲν αἰσχρὸν ποιήσας ἔλπιζε λήσειν· καὶ γὰρ ἂν τοὺς ἄλλους λάθῃς, σεαυτῷ συνειδήσεις.
τοὺς μὲν θεοὺς φοβοῦ, τοὺς δὲ γονεῖς τίμα, τοὺς δὲ φίλους αἰσχύνου, τοῖς δὲ νόμοις πείθου.
τὰς ἡδονὰς θήρευε τὰς μετὰ δόξης· τέρψις γὰρ σὺν τῷ καλῷ μὲν ἄριστον, ἄνευ δὲ τούτου κάκιστον.
εὐλαβοῦ τὰς διαβολάς, κἂν ψευδεῖς ὦσιν· οἱ γὰρ πολλοὶ τὴν μὲν ἀλήθειαν ἀγνοοῦσι, πρὸς δὲ τὴν δόξαν ἀποβλέπουσιν. ἅπαντα δόκει ποιεῖν ὡς μηδένα λήσων· καὶ γὰρ ἂν παραυτίκα κρύψῃς, ὕστερον ὀφθήσει. μάλιστα δ᾽ ἂν εὐδοκιμοίης, εἰ φαίνοιο ταῦτα μὴ πράττων, ἃ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἂν πράττουσιν ἐπιτιμῴης.
(Isocrates, Or. 1.16-17)
Never hope to conceal any shameful thing which you have done; for even if you do conceal it from others, your own heart will know.
Fear the gods, honor your parents, respect your friends, obey the laws.
Pursue the enjoyments which are of good repute; for pleasure attended by honor is the best thing in the world, but pleasure without honor is the worst.
Guard yourself against accusations, even if they are false; for the multitude are ignorant of the truth and look only to reputation. In all things resolve to act as though the whole world would see what you do; for even if you conceal your deeds for the moment, later you will be found out. But most of all will you have the respect of men, if you are seen to avoid doing things which you would blame others for doing. (tr. George Norlin)
Ἆρ’ οὖν ἂν ἐξαρκέσειεν ἡμῖν, εἰ τήν τε πόλιν ἀσφαλῶς οἰκοῖμεν καὶ τὰ περὶ τὸν βίον εὐπορώτεροι γιγνοίμεθα καὶ τὰ τε πρὸς ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς ὁμονοοῖμεν καὶ παρὰ τοῖς Ἕλλησιν εὐδοκιμοῖμεν; ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ ἡγοῦμαι τούτων ὑπαρξάντων τελέως τὴν πόλιν εὐδαιμονήσειν. ὁ μὲν τοίνυν πόλεμος ἁπάντων ἡμᾶς τῶν εἰρημένων ἀπεστέρηκεν· καὶ γὰρ πενεστέρους πεποίηκε, καὶ πολλοὺς κινδύνους ὑπομένειν ἠνάγκασε, καὶ πρὸς τοὺς Ἕλληνας διαβέβληκε, καὶ πάντας τρόπους τεταλαιπώρηκεν ἡμᾶς. ἢν δὲ τὴν εἰρήνην ποιησώμεθα, καὶ τοιούτους ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς παράσχωμεν οἵους αἱ κοιναὶ συνθῆκαι προστάττουσι, μετὰ πολλῆς μὲν ἀσφαλείας τὴν πόλιν οἰκήσομεν, ἀπαλλαγέντες πολέμων καὶ κινδύνων καὶ ταραχῆς, εἰς ἣν νῦν πρὸς ἀλλήλους καθέσταμεν, καθ’ ἑκάστην δὲ τὴν ἡμέραν πρὸς εὐπορίαν ἐπιδώσομεν, ἀναπεπαυμένοι μὲν τῶν εἰσφορῶν καὶ τῶν τριηραρχιῶν καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν περὶ τὸν πόλεμον λειτουργιῶν, ἀδεῶς δὲ γεωργοῦντες καὶ τὴν θάλατταν πλέοντες καὶ ταῖς ἄλλαις ἐργασίαις ἐπιχειροῦντες, αἳ νῦν διὰ τὸν πόλεμον ἐκλελοίπασιν.
(Isocrates, Or. 8.19-20)
Now, would we be satisfied if we could live in our city securely and have our daily needs well provided, if we are united in spirit within our city and have a good reputation among the other Greeks? In my opinion, if we have all this, I think our city will be completely prosperous. Now, the war has deprived us of all those things I just mentioned. It has made us poorer, has forced us to endure many dangers, has ruined our reputation among the Greeks, and has burdened us with every possible hardship. If we make peace, on the other hand, and behave as the common peace requires us to, we will govern our city with great security, we will be freed from the war, dangers, and confusion that now govern our relations with one another, we will make progress toward prosperity every day since we will be relieved of paying war taxes, fitting out triremes, or the other duties connected with war, and we will be able without fear to farm, to sail the sea, and to undertake all those other tasks that are suspended now because of the war. (tr. Terry L. Papillon)