To apply these rules to ourselves, if we are
now kindling war it is under the pressure of injury, and with adequate
grounds of complaint; and after we have chastised the Athenians we will in season desist.
We have many reasons to expect success,—first, superiority in
numbers and in military experience, and secondly our general and unvarying
obedience in the execution of orders.The naval strength
which they possess shall be raised by us from our respective antecedent
resources, and from the monies at Olympia and Delphi.A loan from these enables us to seduce their foreign sailors by the offer
of higher pay.For the power of Athens is more mercenary than national; while ours will not be exposed to the same risk, as its strength lies more
in men than in money.
A single defeat at sea is in all likelihood their ruin: should they hold
out, in that case there will be the more time for us to exercise ourselves
in naval matters; and as soon as we have arrived at an equality in science, we need scarcely
ask whether we shall be their superiors in courage.For the advantages that we have by nature they cannot acquire by education; while their superiority in science must be removed by our practice.
The money required for these objects shall be provided by our
contributions: nothing indeed could be more monstrous than the suggestion
that, while their allies never tire of contributing for their own servitude,
we should refuse to spend for vengeance and self-preservation the treasure
which by such refusal we shall forfeit to Athenian rapacity, and see
employed for our own ruin.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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