72.The Plataeans having thus said, Archidamus replied and said thus: ‘Men of Plataea, if you would do as ye say, you say what is just.For as Pausanias hath granted to you, so also be you free and help to set free the rest, who, having been partakers of the same dangers then and being comprised in the same oath with yourselves, are now brought into subjection by the Athenians.And this so great preparation and war is only for the deliverance of them and others, of which if you will especially participate, keep your oaths;at least (as we have also advised you formerly) be quiet and enjoy your own in neutrality, receiving both sides in the way of friendship, neither side in the way of faction.’ Thus said Archidamus.
And the ambassadors of Plataea, when they had heard him, returned to the city, and having communicated his answer to the people, brought word again to Archidamus: ‘that what he had advised was impossible for them to perform without leave of the Athenians in whose keeping were their wives and children;and that they feared also for the whole city lest when the Lacedaemonians were gone, the Athenians should come and take the custody of it out of their hands;or that the Thebans, comprehended in the oath of receiving both sides, should again attempt to surprise it.’ But Archidamus, to encourage them, made this answer:
‘Deliver you unto us Lacedaemonians your city and your houses, show us the bounds of your territory, give us your trees by tale, and whatsoever else can be numbered;and depart yourselves whither you shall think good as long as the war lasteth: and when it shall be ended, we will deliver it all unto you again.In the meantime we will keep them as deposited and will cultivate your ground and pay you rent for it, as much as shall suffice for your maintenance.’
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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