140."Men of Athens, I am still not only of the same opinion not to give way to the Peloponnesians (notwithstanding I know that men have not the same passions in the war itself which they have when they are incited to it but change their opinions with the events), but also I see that I must now advise the same things or very near to what I have before delivered.And I require of you with whom my counsel shall take place that if we miscarry in aught, you will either make the best of it, as decreed by common consent, or if we prosper, not to attribute it to your own wisdom only.For it falleth out with the events of actions, no less than with the purposes of man, to proceed with uncertainty, which is also the cause that when anything happeneth contrary to our expectation, we use to lay the fault on fortune.
That the Lacedaemonians, both formerly and especially now, take counsel how to do us mischief is a thing manifest.For whereas it is said [in the articles] that in our mutual controversies we shall give and receive trials of judgment, and in the meantime either side hold what they possess, they never yet sought any such trial themselves nor will accept of the same offered by us.They will clear themselves of their accusations by war rather than by words, and come hither no more now to expostulate but to command.
For they command us to arise from before Potidaea and to restore the Aeginetae to the liberty of their own laws and to abrogate the act concerning the Megareans.
And they that come last command us to restore all the Grecians to their liberty.Now let none of you conceive that we shall go to war for a trifle by not abrogating the act concerning Megara (yet this by them is pretended most, and that for the abrogation of it war shall stay), nor retain a scruple in your minds as if a small matter moved you to the war.
For even this small matter containeth the trial and constancy of your resolution.Wherein if you give them way, you shall hereafter be commanded a greater matter as men that for fear will obey them likewise in that.But by a stiff denial you shall teach them plainly to come to you hereafter on terms of more equality.
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.