In the meantime the Boeotarchs and the envoys from Corinth, Megara, and Chalcidicè determined1
that they would take an oath to one another, pledging themselves to assist whichever of them was at any time in need, and not go to war or make peace without the consent of all. When they had got thus far, the Megarians and Boeotians, who acted together in the matter2
, were to enter into an agreement with the Argives.
But before the oath was sworn, the Boeotarchs communicated their intentions to the Four Councils of the Boeotians, whose sanction is always necessary, and urged that oaths of alliance should be offered to any cities which were willing to join with them for mutual protection.
But the Boeotian Councils, fearing that they might offend the Lacedaemonians if they swore alliance to the Corinthians who had seceded from them, rejected their proposals. For the Boeotarchs did not tell them what had passed at Lacedaemon, and how two of the Ephors, Cleobulus and Xenares, and their friends had advised them first to become allies of Argos and Corinth, and then to make a further alliance with the Lacedaemonians. They thought that the Councils, whether informed of this or not, would be sure to ratify their foregone decision when it was communicated to them.
So the plan broke down, and the Corinthian and the Chalcidian envoys went away without effecting their purpose. The Boeotarchs, who had originally intended, if they succeeded, to do their best to effect an alliance with the Argives, gave up the idea of bringing this latter measure before the Councils, and did not fulfil their promise of sending envoys to Argos; but the whole business was neglected and deferred.