32."Men of Athens, it is but justice that such as come to implore the aid of their neighbours (as now do we), and cannot pretend by any great benefit or league some precedent merit, should, before they go any farther, make it appear, principally, that what they seek conferreth profit, or if not so, yet is not prejudicial at least to those that are to grant it;and next, that they will be constantly thankful for the same;and if they cannot do this, then not to take it ill though their suit be rejected.
And the Corcyraeans, being fully persuaded that they can make all this appear on their own parts, have therefore sent us hither, desiring you to ascribe them to the number of your confederates.
Now so it is that we have had a custom, both unreasonable in respect of our suit to you and also for the present unprofitable to our own estate.
For having ever till now been unwilling to admit others into league with us, we are now not only suitors for league to others but also left destitute by that means of friends in this our war with the Corinthians.And that which before we thought wisdom, namely, not to enter with others into league because we would not at the discretion of others enter into danger, we now find to have been our weakness and imprudence.
Wherefore, though alone we repulsed the Corinthians in the late battle by sea, yet since they are set to invade us with greater preparation out of Peloponnesus and the rest of Greece, and seeing with our own single power we are not able to go through, and since also the danger, in case they subdue us, would be very great to all Greece, it is necessary that we seek the succours both of you and of whomsoever else we can;and we are also to be pardoned, though we make bold to cross our former custom of not having to do with other men, proceeding not from malice but error of judgment.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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