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65. 'The last offence which you lay to our charge is that we unlawfully assailed your city in1 time of peace, and at a holy season; even in that affair we do not think ourselves more in fault than you. [2] We do not deny that we were wrong if of our own mere motion we went to your city, fought with you, and ravaged your land. But when certain of the noblest and richest of your citizens, who wished to withdraw you from a foreign alliance and to bring you back to the national institutions of Boeotia, came and invited us, wherein are we to blame? As you say yourselves, the leaders rather than the followers are the transgressors2.But in our opinion, neither we nor they were really guilty. [3] Like yourselves they were citizens, and they had a greater stake in the country than you have; they opened their own gates and received us into their native city, not as her enemies but as her friends. They desired that the bad among you should not grow worse, and that the good should have their reward. They wanted to reform the principles of your citizens, and not to banish their persons; they would have brought them back into a natural union with their kindred, that Plataea might be at peace with all and the enemy of none.

1 They say that we broke into their city. True because we were invited by the most influential and patriotic of their citizens.

2 Cp. 3.55 fin.

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load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith, 1894)
load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant, 1909)
load focus Greek (1942)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
load focus English (1910)
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