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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.


  • [An Athenian author and statesman; entered public life, 470 B.C., as a leader of the democratic party; directed the government after 444; commanded in the Samian war, 440; patronized the arts, and discouraged foreign conquest; involved in the Peloponnesian war, during which he was deprived of his command; died 429 B.C.]
  • The whole earth is the monument of great characters.

  • In the oration pronounced over the Athenians killed in the first year of the Peloponnesian war, 431–30 B.C. He was accustomed to say, when putting on his war-cloak, “Remember, Pericles, that you govern freemen, Grecians, Athenians.”—PLUTARCH: Apothegms.
  • To a friend who wished him to bear false witness in a lawsuit, and to bind himself with an oath, he replied, “I am a friend only as far as the altar.”—Ibid.
  • He consoled himself on his death-bed with the thought, “No Athenian ever went into mourning on my account.”—Ibid. So when Chares, the orator, observed, to the merriment of the Athenians, what terrible brows Phocion had, the latter rejoined, “This brow of mine never gave one of you an hour of sorrow, but the laughter of those sneerers has cost the country many a tear.”—Life.