11."It is true that if we were now in liberty all, we might be the better assured that they would forbear to innovate;but since they have under them the greatest part already, in all likelihood they will take it ill to deal on equal terms with us alone and, the rest yielding, to let us only stand up as their equals.Especially when by how much they are become stronger by the subjection of their confederates, by so much the more are we become desolate.
But the equality of mutual fear is the only band of faith in leagues.
For he that hath the will to transgress, yet when he hath not the odds of strength, will abstain from coming on.Now the reason why they have left us yet free is no other but that they may have a fair colour to lay upon their domination over the rest and because it hath seemed unto them more expedient to take us in by policy than by force.
For therein they made use of us for an argument that having equal vote with them we would never have followed them to the wars if those against whom they led us had not done the injury:
and thereby also they brought the stronger against the weaker and, reserving the strongest to the last, made them the weaker by removing the rest.Whereas if they had begun with us, when the confederates had had both their own strength and a side to adhere to, they had never subdued them so easily.
Likewise our navy kept them in some fear, lest united and added to yours or to any other, it might have created them some danger.
Partly also we escaped by our observance toward their commons and most eminent men from time to time.
But yet we still thought we could not do so long, considering the examples they have showed us in the rest, if this war should not have fallen out.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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