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87. But besides the oath which they have sworn already, the greatest further assurance you can have is this: that our actions weighed with our words, you must needs believe that it is to our profit to do as I have told you. [2] But if after these promises of mine you shall say you cannot, and yet, forasmuch as your affection is with us, will claim impunity for rejecting us, or shall say that this liberty I offer you seems to be accompanied with danger, and that it were well done to offer it to such as can receive it, but not to force it upon any, then will I call to witness the gods and heroes of this place that my counsel which you refuse was for your good, and will endeavour, by wasting of your territory, to compel you to it. [3] Nor shall I think I do you therein any wrong, but have reason for it for two necessities: one, of the Lacedaemonians, lest whilst they have your affections and not your society, they should receive hurt from your contributions of money to the Athenians; another, of the Grecians, lest they should be hindered of their liberty by your example. [4] For otherwise indeed we could not justly do it; nor ought we Lacedaemonians to set any at liberty against their wills if it were not for some common good. We covet not dominion [over you]; [5] but seeing we haste to make others lay down the same, we should do injury to the greater part, if bringing liberty to the other states in general we should tolerate you to cross us. [6] Deliberate well of these things; strive to be the beginners of liberty in Greece, to get yourselves eternal glory, to preserve every man his private estate from damage, and to invest the whole city with a most honourable title.

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load focus Notes (C.E. Graves, 1884)
load focus Greek (1942)
load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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