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76. "For you also, men of Lacedaemon, have command over the cities of Peloponnesus and order them to your best advantage. And had you, when the time was, by staying it out, been envied in your command, as we know well, you would have been no less heavy to the confederates than we, you must have been constrained to rule imperiously or to have fallen into danger. [2] So that, though overcome by three of the greatest things, honour, fear, and profit, we have both accepted the dominion delivered us and refuse again to surrender it, we have therein done nothing to be wondered at nor beside the manner of men. Nor have we been the first in this kind, but it hath been ever a thing fixed for the weaker to be kept under by the stronger. Besides, we took the government upon us as esteeming ourselves worthy of the same; and of you also so esteemed till having computed the commodity, you now fall to allegation of equity, a thing which no man that had the occasion to achieve anything by strength ever so far preferred as to divert him from his profit. [3] Those men are worthy of commendation who following the natural inclination of man in desiring rule over others are juster than for their own power they need. [4] And therefore if another had our power, we think it would best make appear our own moderation; and yet our moderation hath undeservedly incurred contempt rather than commendation.

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load focus Notes (Charles D. Morris)
load focus Greek (1942)
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