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139. And this is that which the Lacedaemonians did command, and were commanded, in their first embassage touching the banishment of such as were under the curse.

After this they sent ambassadors again to Athens commanding them to levy the siege from before Potidaea and to suffer Aegina to be free, but principally and most plainly telling them that the war should not be made in case they would abrogate the act concerning the Megareans, by which act they were forbidden both the fairs of Attica and all ports within the Athenian dominion. [2] But the Athenians would not obey them, neither in the rest of their commands nor in the abrogation of that act, but recriminated the Megareans for having tilled holy ground and unset out with bounds and for receiving of their slaves that revolted. [3] But at length, when the last ambassadors from Lacedaemon were arrived, namely, Ramphias, Melesippus, and Agesander, and spake nothing of that which formerly they were wont but only this, that ‘the Lacedaemonians desire that there should be peace, which may be had if you will suffer the Grecians to be governed by their own laws,’ the Athenians called an assembly and, propounding their opinions amongst themselves, thought good, after they had debated the matter, to give them an answer once for all. [4] And many stood forth and delivered their minds on either side, some for the war and some that this act concerning the Megareans ought not to stand in their way to peace but to be abrogated. And Pericles the son of Xantippus, the principal man at that time of all Athens and most sufficient both for speech and action, gave his advice in such manner as followeth:

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