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Then again I think that you must bear this in mind, that if you reject the Megalopolitans and they are overthrown and decentralized,1 the Lacedaemonians can at once be a great power, or if they do escape destruction—for such miracles have happened before now—they are bound to be the staunch friends of Thebes; but if you accept them as allies, Megalopolis will indeed owe its immediate deliverance to you, but we must put on one side all calculation of risk, and consider what will be the effect upon our relations with Thebes and Sparta.

1 By destroying their metropolis and compelling them to live in scattered and unwalled villages.

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