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Conclusion of the Rhodians' Speech

"It was therefore in the power of the Romans to strengthen their friends very materially without destroying the glory of their own policy. For the end which they proposed to themselves in their war was not the same as that of other nations, but widely different. The rest of the world all entered upon war with the view of conquering and seizing cities, wealth, or ships: but heaven had ordained that they should want none of these things, by having put everything in the whole world under their rule. What was it, then, that they had still occasion to wish for, and to take the securest means to obtain? Plainly praise and glory among mankind; which it was difficult indeed to gain, but most difficult of all to preserve when gained. Their war with Philip might show them their meaning. That war they had, as they professed, undertaken with the sole object of liberating Greece; and that was in fact the only prize they gained in it, and no other whatever: yet the glory they got by it was greater than that which the tribute of the Carthaginians had brought them. And justly so: for money is a possession common to all mankind, but honour and praise and glory are attributes of the gods and of those men who approach nearest to them. Therefore, the most glorious of all their achievements was the liberation of Greece; and if they now completed that work their fame would receive its consummation: but if they neglected to do so, even what they had already accomplished would lose its lustre." They finally wound up by saying, "As for us, gentlemen, having once deliberately adopted this policy and joined with you in the severest battles and in genuine dangers, we do not now propose to abandon the part of friends; but have not hesitated to say openly what we believe to be for your honour and your interests alike, with no ulterior design whatever, and with a single eye to our duty as the highest earthly object."

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