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122. These are some of the means by which the war may be carried on; but there are others. We1 may induce their allies to revolt,—a sure mode of cutting off the revenues in which the strength of Athens consists; or we may plant a fort in their country; and there are many expedients which will hereafter suggest themselves. For war, least of all things, conforms to prescribed rules; it strikes out a path for itself when the moment comes. And therefore he who has his temper under control in warfare is safer far, but he who gets into a passion is, through his own fault, liable to the greater fall.

[2] 'If this were merely a quarrel between one of us and our neighbours about a boundary line2 it would not matter; but reflect: the truth is that the Athenians are a match for us all, and much more than a match for any single city. And if we allow ourselves to be divided or are not united against them heart and soul—the whole confederacy and every nation and city in it—they will easily overpower us. It may seem a hard saying, but you may be sure that defeat means nothing but downright slavery, [3] and the bare mention of such a possibility is a disgrace to the Peloponnese:—shall so many states suffer at the hands of one? Men will say, some that we deserve our fate, others that we are too cowardly to resist: and we shall seem a degenerate race. For our fathers were the liberators of Hellas, but we cannot secure even our own liberty; and while we make a point of overthrowing the rule of a single man in this or that city, we allow a city which is a tyrant to be set up in the midst of us. [4] Are we not open to one of three most serious charges—folly, cowardice, or carelessness?3 For you certainly do not escape such imputations by wrapping yourselves in that contemptuous wisdom which has so often4 brought men to ruin, as in the end to be pronounced contemptible folly.

1 By gaining over their allies, we may cut off their resources.

2 If we quietly submit we shall deserve to be slaves.

3 Or, 'For we cannot suppose that, having avoided these errors, you have wrapped yourselves in that contemptuous wisdom, which has so often' etc.

4 Or, 'For we cannot suppose that, having avoided these errors, you have wrapped yourselves in that contemptuous wisdom, which has so often' etc.

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