144.‘There be many other things that give hope of victory in case you do not, whilst you are in this war, strive to enlarge your dominion and undergo other voluntary dangers (for I am afraid of our own errors more than of their designs);
but they shall be spoken of at another time in prosecution of the war itself.For the present, let us send away these men with this answer: 'that the Megareans shall have the liberty of our fairs and ports if the Lacedaemonians will also make no banishment of us nor of our confederates as of strangers,' for neither our act concerning Megara nor their banishment of strangers is forbidden in the articles, 'also, that we will let the Grecian cities be free if they were so when the peace was made;and if the Lacedaemonians will also give leave unto their confederates to use their freedom not as shall serve the turn of the Lacedaemonians, but as they themselves shall every one think good;also that we will stand to judgment according to the articles and will not begin the war but be revenged on those that shall.'For this is both just and for the dignity of the city to answer.
Nevertheless you must know that of necessity war there will be;and the more willingly we embrace it, the less pressing we shall have our enemies, and that out of the greatest dangers, whether to cities or private men, arise the greatest honours.
For our fathers, when they undertook the Medes, did from less beginnings, nay abandoning the little they had, by wisdom rather than fortune, by courage rather than strength, both repel the barbarian and advance this state to the height it now is at.Of whom we ought not now to come short but rather to revenge us by all means upon our enemies, and do our best to deliver the state unimpaired by us to posterity.’
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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