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37. "The Corcyraeans in their oration having made mention not only of your taking them into league, but also that they are wronged and unjustly warred on, it is also necessary for us first to answer concerning both those points, and then afterwards to proceed to the rest of what we have to say: to the end you may foreknow that ours are the safest demands for you to embrace, and that you may upon reason reject the needy estate of those others. [2] Whereas they allege in defence of their refusing to enter league with other cities that the same hath proceeded from modesty, the truth is that they took up that custom not from any virtue but mere wickedness, as being unwilling to have any confederate for a witness of their evil actions, and to be put to blush by calling them. [3] Besides, their city being by the situation sufficient within itself, giveth them this point, that when they do any man a wrong, they themselves are the judges of the same, and not men appointed by consent. For going seldom forth against other nations, they intercept such as by necessity are driven into their harbour. [4] And in this consisteth their goodly pretext for not admitting confederates, not because they would not be content to accompany others in doing evil, but because they had rather do it alone; that where they were too strong, they might oppress; and when there should be none to observe them, the less of the profit might be shared from them; and that they might escape the shame when they took anything. [5] But if they had been honest men (as they themselves say they are), by how much the less they are obnoxious to accusation, so much the more means they have, by giving and taking what is due, to make their honesty appear.

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load focus Notes (Charles D. Morris)
load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant)
load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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