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Philip In Aetolia Again

"For I presume no one can fail to see that, if once the Romans get rid of the war in Italy,—and this is all but done, now that Hannibal has been confined to a narrow district in Bruttii,—they will direct their whole power upon Greece: professedly, indeed, in aid of the Boeotians against Philip, but really with the view of reducing it entirely under their own power. And if they design to treat it well when they have conquered it, theirs will be the honour and glory; and if badly, theirs too will be the plunder from the states they destroy, and the power over those which they allow to survive: while you will be calling upon the gods to witness your wrongs, when no god will be any longer willing, nor any man be able to help you. Now, perhaps, you ought to have foreseen all this from the first, for that would have been your best course. But since the future often escapes human foresight, now, at any rate, that you have seen by actual experience what has happened, it must be your duty to take better measures for the future. In any case we have omitted nothing which it becomes sincere friends to say or do. We have spoken our opinion about the future with absolute frankness; and you we urge and entreat not to stand in the way of the freedom and safety of yourselves or of the rest of Greece."

This speaker having, as it seemed, made a considerable impression, he was followed by the ambassadors of Philip, who, without making a long speech, merely said that they were commissioned to do one of two things,—if the Aetolians chose peace, to accept it readily: if not, to call the gods and the ambassadors from Greece to witness that the Aetolians, and not Philip, ought to be held responsible for what happened thereafter, and so to depart. . . .

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