82."And yet I do not advise that we should stupidly suffer our confederates to be wronged and not apprehend the Athenians in their plots against them, but only not yet to take up arms but to send and expostulate with them, making no great show neither of war nor of sufferance;and in the meantime to make our provision and make friends both of Greeks and barbarians, such as in any place we can get of power either in shipping or money (nor are they to be blamed that being laid in wait for, as we are by the Athenians, take unto them not Grecians only but also barbarians for their safety), and withal to set forth our own.
If they listen to our ambassadors, best of all;if not, then two or three years passing over our heads, being better appointed, we may war upon them if we will.
And when they see our preparation and hear words that import no less, they will perhaps relent the sooner, especially having their grounds unhurt and consulting upon commodities extant and not yet spoiled.
For we must think their territory to be nothing but an hostage, and so much the more by how much the better husbanded.The which we ought therefore to spare as long as we may, lest making them desperate, we make them also the harder to expugn.
For if, unfurnished as we be, at the instigation of the confederates we waste their territory, consider if in so doing we do not make the war both more dishonourable to the Peloponnesians and also more difficult.
For though accusations, as well against cities as private men, may be cleared again, a war for the pleasure of some taken up by all, the success whereof cannot be foreseen, can hardly with honour be letten fall again.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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