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32. 'Men of Athens, those who, like ourselves, come to others who are not their allies and to1 whom they have never rendered any considerable service and ask help of them, are bound to show, in the first place, that the granting of their request is expedient, or at any rate not inexpedient, and, secondly, that their gratitude will be lasting. If they fulfil neither requirement they have no right to complain of a refusal. [2] Now the Corcyraeans, when they sent us hither to ask for an alliance, were confident that they could establish to your satisfaction both these points. [3] But, unfortunately, we have had a practice alike inconsistent with the request which we are about to make and contrary to our own interest at the present moment:—Inconsistent; for hitherto we have never, if we could avoid it, been the allies of others, and now we come and ask you to enter into an alliance with us:—Contrary to our interest; [4] for through this practice we find ourselves isolated in our war with the Corinthians. The policy of not making alliances lest they should endanger us at another's bidding, instead of being wisdom, as we once fancied, has now unmistakably proved to be weakness and folly. [5] True, in the2 last naval engagement we repelled the Corinthians single-handed. But now they are on the point of attacking us with a much greater force which they have drawn together from the Peloponnesus and from all Hellas. We know that we are too weak to resist them unaided, and may expect the worst if we fall into their hands. We are therefore compelled to ask assistance of you and of all the world; and you must not be hard upon us if now, renouncing our indolent neutrality which was an error but not a crime, we dare to be inconsistent.

1 Speech of the Corcyraeans.

2 Our neutrality was a mistake, and has left us isolated at the mercy of the Corinthians and their allies.

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