111.Ath. ‘Let them take which course of these they will that you also may find by experience and not be ignorant that the Athenians never yet gave over siege for fear of any diversion upon others.
But we observe that, whereas you said you would consult of your safety, you have not yet in all this discourse said anything which a man relying on could hope to be preserved by;the strongest arguments you use are but future hopes;and your present power is too short to defend you against the forces already arranged against you.You shall therefore take very absurd counsel, unless, excluding us, you make amongst yourselves some more discreet conclusion;
for [when you are by yourselves], you will no more set your thoughts upon shame, which, when dishonour and danger stand before men's eyes, for the most part undoeth them.For many, when they have foreseen into what dangers they were entering, have nevertheless been so overcome by that forcible word dishonour that that which is but called dishonour hath caused them to fall willingly into immedicable calamities, and so to draw upon themselves really, by their own madness, a greater dishonour than could have befallen them by fortune.
Which you, if you deliberate wisely, will take heed of, and not think shame to submit to a most potent city, and that upon so reasonable conditions as of league and of enjoying your own under tribute;and seeing choice is given you of war or safety, do not out of peevishness take the worse.For such do take the best course who, though they give no way to their equals, yet do fairly accommodate to their superiors, and towards their inferiors use moderation.
Consider of it, therefore, whilst we stand off;and have often in your mind that you deliberate of your country, which is to be happy or miserable in and by this one consultation.’
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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