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120. Fellow allies, we can no longer find fault with the Lacedaemonians; they have themselves1 resolved upon war and have brought us hither to confirm their decision. And they have done well; for the leaders of a confederacy, while they do not neglect the interests of their own state, should look to the general weal: as they are first in honour, they should be first in the fulfilment of their duties. [2] Now those among us who have ever had dealings with the Athenians, do not require to be warned against them; but such as live inland and not on any maritime highway should clearly understand that, if they do not protect the sea-board, they will find it more difficult to carry their produce to the sea, or to receive in return the goods which the sea gives to the land. They should not lend a careless ear to our words, for they nearly concern them; they should remember that, if they desert the cities on the sea-shore, the danger may some day reach them, and that they are consulting for their own interests quite as much as for ours. [3] And therefore let no one hesitate to accept war in exchange for peace. Wise men refuse to move until they are wronged, but brave men as soon as they are wronged go to war, and when there is a good opportunity make peace again. They are not intoxicated by military success; but neither will they tolerate injustice from a love of peace and ease. [4] For he whom pleasure makes a coward will quickly lose, if he continues inactive, the delights of ease which he is so unwilling to renounce; and he whose arrogance is stimulated by victory does not see how hollow is the confidence which elates him. [5] Many schemes which were ill-advised have succeeded through the still greater folly which possessed the enemy, and yet more, which seemed to be wisely contrived, have ended in foul disaster. The execution of an enterprise is never equal2 to the conception of it in the confident mind of its promoter; for men are safe while they are forming plans, but, when the time of action comes, then they lose their presence of mind and fail.

1 No more fault to be found with the Lacedaemonians. The Athenians are dangerous to all alike. Men should be willing to fight, though they should be equally ready to cease from fighting.

2 Reading ὅμοια.

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