46."We must not, therefore, relying on the security of capital punishment, decree the worst against them nor make them desperate, as if there were no place to repent and, as soon as they can, to cancel their offence.For observe:
if a city revolted should know it could not hold out, it would now compound whilst it were able both to pay us our charges for the present and our tribute for the time to come.But the way that Cleon prescribeth, what city, think you, would not provide itself better than this did and endure the siege to the very last if to compound late and soon be all one?
And how can it be but detriment to us to be at charge of long sieges through their obstinacy and, when we have taken a city to find it exhausted and to lose the revenue of it for the future?And this revenue is the only strength we have against our enemies.
We are not then to be exact judges in the punition of offenders but to look rather how by their moderate punishment we may have our confederate cities, such as they may be able to pay us tribute;and not think to keep them in awe by the rigour of laws but by the providence of our own actions.
But we to the contrary, when we recover a city which, having been free and held under our obedience by force hath revolted justly, think now that we ought to inflict some cruel punishment upon them.
Whereas we ought rather not mightily to punish a free city revolted but mightily to look to it before it revolt and to prevent the intention of it, but when we have overcome them, to lay the fault upon as few as we can.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
This text was converted to electronic form by optical character recognition and has been proofread to a high level of accuracy.
An XML version of this text is available for download,
with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted
changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.