84."As for the slackness and procrastination wherewith we are reproached by the confederates, be never ashamed of it;for the more haste you make to the war, you will be the longer before you end it for that you go to it unprovided.
Besides, our city hath been ever free and well thought of, and this which they object is rather to be called a modesty proceeding upon judgment.For by that it is that we alone are neither arrogant upon good success nor shrink so much as others in adversity.Nor are we, when men provoke us to it with praise, through the delight thereof moved to undergo danger more than we think fit ourselves;nor when they sharpen us with reprehension doth the smart thereof a jot the more prevail upon us.
And this modesty of ours maketh us both good soldiers and good counsellors: good soldiers, because shame begetteth modesty, and valour is most sensible of shame;good counsellors in this, that we are brought up more simply than to disesteem the laws and by severity more modestly than to disobey them, and also in that we do not, like men exceeding wise in things needless, find fault bravely with the preparation of the enemy and in effect not assault him accordingly, but do think our neighbour's cogitations like our own, and that the events of fortune cannot be discerned by a speech;
and do therefore always so furnish ourselves really against the enemy as against men well advised.For we are not to build our hopes upon the oversights of them but upon the safe foresight of ourselves.Nor must we think that there is much difference between man and man, but him only to be the best, that hath been brought up amongst the most difficulties.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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