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69. "And of all this you are yourselves the authors, in that you suffered them upon the end of the Persian war to fortify their city and again afterwards to raise their long walls, whereby you have hitherto deprived of their liberty not only the states by them already subdued but also your own confederates. For not he that bringeth into slavery, but he that being able to hinder it neglects the same is most truly said to do it, especially if they assume the honour to be esteemed the deliverers of Greece [as you do]. [2] And for all that, we are hardly yet come together, and indeed not yet with any certain resolution what to do. For the question should not have been put whether or not we have received injury, but rather in what manner we are to repair it. For they that do the wrong, having consulted upon it beforehand, use no delay at all but come upon them whom they mean to oppress whilst they be yet irresolute. [3] And we know not only that the Athenians have incroached upon their neighbours but also by what ways they have done it. And as long as they think they carry it closely through your blindness, they are the less bold; [4] but when they shall perceive that you see, and will not see, they will then press us strongly indeed. For, Lacedaemonians, you are the only men of all Greece that sitting still defend others, not with your forces but with promises; [5] and you are also the only men that love to pull down the power of the enemy, not when it beginneth but when it is doubled. You have indeed a report to be sure, but yet it is more in fame that than in fact. For we ourselves know that the Persian came against Peloponnesus from the utmost parts of the earth before you encountered him as became your state. And also now you connive at the Athenians who are not as the Medes, far off, but hard at hand, choosing rather to defend yourselves from their invasion than to invade them, and by having to do with them when their strength is greater, to put yourselves upon the chance of fortune. And yet we know that the barbarian's own error, and in our war against the Athenians their own oversights more than your assistance, was the thing that gave us victory. For the hope of your aid hath been the destruction of some that, relying on you, made no preparation for themselves by other means. [6] Yet let not any man think that we speak this out of malice but only by way of expostulation: for expostulation is with friends that err, but accusation against enemies that have done an injury.

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load focus Notes (Charles D. Morris)
load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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