'I know that we are assembled here to discuss the preparations which are required for1
our expedition to Sicily, but in my judgment it is still a question whether we ought to go thither at all; we should not be hasty in determining a matter of so much importance, or allow ourselves to enter into an impolitic war at the instigation of foreigners.
Yet to me personally war brings honour; and I am as careless as any man about my own life: not that I think the worse of a citizen who takes a little thought about his life or his property, for I believe that the sense of a man's own interest will quicken his interest in the prosperity of the state. But I have never in my life been induced by the love of reputation to say a single word contrary to what I thought; neither will I now: I will say simply what I believe to be best.
If I told you to take care of what you have and not to throw away present advantages in order to gain an uncertain and distant good, my words would be powerless against a temper like yours. I would rather argue that this is not the time for vigorous action, and that your great aims will not be easily realized.