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74. When the answer came, the Plataeans resolved not to desert the Athenians, but patiently to1 look on, if they must, while the Lacedaemonians wasted their country, and to endure the worst. No one was henceforward to leave the town, but answer was to be made from the walls that they could not possibly consent to the Lacedaemonian proposal. [2] King Archidamus, as soon as he received the reply, before proceeding to action, fell to calling upon the Gods and heroes of the country in the following words:—

'O ye Gods and heroes who possess the land of Plataea, be our witnesses that our invasion of2 this land in which our fathers prayed to you when they conquered the Persians, and which you made a propitious battle-field to the Hellenes, has thus far been justified, for the Platacans first deserted the alliance; and that if we go further we shall be guilty of no crime, for we have again and again made them fair proposals and they have not listened to us. Be gracious to us and grant that the real authors of the iniquity may be punished, and that they may obtain revenge who lawfully seek it.'

1 They reply that they cannot accept the Lacedaemonian proposals.

2 Archidamus appeals to the Gods.

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