[Quick set-up: Aristides is acting as public treasurer in Athens, and he discovers a lot of prominent citizens are stealing public funds. When he tries to call them out, Themistocles and many other important citizens start a public smear campaign against Aristides and get him ousted from office. By the time reelection comes around, Aristides has been sidling up to many of the corrupt officials that had had him removed from office, and makes them think that he’s now “on board.” They start to like him, and start another public campaign to get him reelected, stating he had reformed his ways (they make it look like he, himself, was corrupt when publicly scorning him. It was then that his plan came to frutition.]

Pretending now to repent him of his former practice, and carrying himself with more remissness, he became acceptable to such as pillaged the treasury by not detecting or calling them to an exact account. So that those who had their fill of the public money began highly to applaud Aristides, and sued to the people making interest to have him once more chosen treasurer.

But when they were upon the point of election, he reproved the Athenians. “When I discharged my office well and faithfully,” said he, “I was insulted and abused; but now that I have allowed the public thieves in a variety of malpractices, I am considered an admirable patriot. I am more ashamed, therefore, of this present honour than of the former sentence; and I commiserate your condition, with whom it is more praiseworthy to oblige ill men to conserve the revenue of the public.”

Saying thus, and proceeding to expose the thefts that had been committed, he stopped the mouths of those who cried him up and vouched for him, but gained real and true commendations from the best men.


tl;dr:

When the time for the elections came about, Aristides stood up in the public limelight and came clean about everything: that he was punished for trying to do the right thing, and rewarded for being corrupt. He said that he was more ashamed of all the support and commendations he had received since he started to walk on the other side of the fence, so to speak, than he was of losing office the first time around for actually doing honest work for the people of Athens. Then he provided evidence of everything he knew about the active corruption, and named names. A lot of the important people he had ratted out were out for him now, but he gained the respect of an otherwise moral populace and was famous for this act from then on!


Source:

Plutarch, John Dryden, and Arthur Hugh Clough. "Aristides." Plutarch's Lives. New York: Modern Library, 2001. 437-38. Print.


Further Reading:

Ἀριστείδης (Aristides) / “Aristides the Just”

[**Quick set-up: Aristides is acting as public treasurer in Athens, and he discovers a lot of prominent citizens are stealing public funds. When he tries to call them out, Themistocles and many other important citizens start a public smear campaign against Aristides and get him ousted from office. By the time reelection comes around, Aristides has been sidling up to many of the corrupt officials that had had him removed from office, and makes them think that he’s now “on board.” They start to like him, and start another public campaign to get him reelected, stating he had reformed his ways (they make it look like he, himself, was corrupt when publicly scorning him. It was then that his plan came to frutition.**] >Pretending now to repent him of his former practice, and carrying himself with more remissness, he became acceptable to such as pillaged the treasury by not detecting or calling them to an exact account. So that those who had their fill of the public money began highly to applaud Aristides, and sued to the people making interest to have him once more chosen treasurer. >But when they were upon the point of election, he reproved the Athenians. “When I discharged my office well and faithfully,” said he, “I was insulted and abused; but now that I have allowed the public thieves in a variety of malpractices, I am considered an admirable patriot. I am more ashamed, therefore, of this present honour than of the former sentence; and I commiserate your condition, with whom it is more praiseworthy to oblige ill men to conserve the revenue of the public.” >Saying thus, and proceeding to expose the thefts that had been committed, he stopped the mouths of those who cried him up and vouched for him, but gained real and true commendations from the best men. _________________________________ **tl;dr:** When the time for the elections came about, Aristides stood up in the public limelight and came clean about everything: that he was punished for trying to do the right thing, and rewarded for being corrupt. He said that he was more ashamed of all the support and commendations he had received since he started to walk on the other side of the fence, so to speak, than he was of losing office the first time around for actually doing honest work for the people of Athens. Then he provided evidence of everything he knew about the active corruption, and named names. A lot of the important people he had ratted out were out for him now, but he gained the respect of an otherwise moral populace and was famous for this act from then on! _________________________________ **Source:** Plutarch, John Dryden, and Arthur Hugh Clough. "Aristides." *Plutarch's Lives*. New York: Modern Library, 2001. 437-38. Print. _________________________________ **Further Reading:** [Ἀριστείδης (Aristides) / “Aristides the Just”](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristides)

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