143."But say they should take the money at Olympia and Delphi and therewith, at greater wages, go about to draw from us the strangers employed in our fleet, this indeed, if, going aboard both ourselves and those that dwell among us, we could not match them, were a dangerous matter.But now we can both do this and (which is the principal thing) we have steersmen and other necessary men for the service of a ship both more and better of our own citizens than are in all the rest of Greece.
Besides that, not any of these strangers upon trial would be found content to fly his own country and, withal upon less hope of victory, for a few days' increase of wages take part with the other side.
"In this manner, or like to this, seems to me to stand the case of the Peloponnesians;whereas ours is both free from what in theirs I have reprehended, and has many great advantages besides.
If they invade our territory by land, we shall invade theirs by sea.And when we have wasted part of Peloponnesus and they all Attica, yet shall theirs be the greater loss.For they, unless by the sword, can get no other territory instead of that we shall destroy;whereas for us there is other land both in the islands and continent.
For the dominion of the sea is a great matter.Consider but this.If we dwelt in the islands, whether of us then were more inexpugnable?We must therefore now, drawing as near as can be to that imagination, lay aside the care of fields and villages, and not for the loss of them, out of passion, give battle to the Peloponnesians, far more in number than ourselves.For though we give them an overthrow, we must fight again with as many more;and if we be overthrown, we shall lose the help of our confederates, which are our strength;for when we cannot war upon them, they will revolt.Nor bewail ye the loss of fields or houses but of men's bodies;for men may acquire these, but these cannot acquire men.And if I thought I should prevail, I would advise you to go out and destroy them yourselves and show the Peloponnesians that you will never the sooner obey them for such things as these.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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