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39. 'They pretend that they first offered to have the matter decided by arbitration. The appeal to justice might have some meaning in the mouth of one1 who before he had recourse to arms acted honourably, as he now talks fairly2, but not when it is made from a position3 of security and advantage. [2] Whereas these men began by laying siege to Epidamnus, and not until they feared our vengeance did they put forward their specious offer of arbitration. And as if the wrong which they have themselves done at Epidamnus were not enough, they now come hither and ask you to be, not their allies, but their accomplices in crime, and would have you receive them when they are at enmity with us. [3] But they ought to have come when they were out of all danger, not at a time when we are smarting under an injury and they have good reason to be afraid. You have never derived any benefit from their power, but they will now be benefited by yours, and, although innocent of their crimes, you will equally be held responsible by us. f you were to have shared the consequences with them, they ought long ago to have shared the power with you4.

1 Or, 'whose actions corresponded to his professions, before he entered on the struggle.'


3 The Corcyraeans propose arbitration and request your help only when they are in danger.

4 The last words of the chapter are omitted by Poppo on the authority of several of the best MSS.; they may perhaps be a gloss. If they are retained they may be translated: 'But you ought not to share all the consequences of their crimes, while in the crimes, and in them alone, you have no part.'

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