67.‘We have herein, men of Lacedaemon, been thus large both for your sakes and ours: for yours, to let you see that if you condemn them, it will be no injustice;for ours, that the equity of our revenge may the better appear.
Be not moved with the recital of their virtues of old, if any they had, which, though they ought to help the wronged, should double the punishment of such as commit wickedness because their offence doth not become them.Nor let them fare ever the better for their lamentation or your compassion when they cry out upon your fathers' sepulchres and their own want of friends.
For we on the other side affirm that the youth of our city suffered harder measure from them;and their fathers, partly slain at Coroneia in bringing Boeotia to your confederation and partly alive and now old and deprived of their children, make far juster supplication to you for revenge.And pity belongeth to such as suffer undeservedly;
but, on the contrary, when men are worthily punished, as these are, it is to be rejoiced at.And for their present want of friends they may thank themselves.For of their own accord they rejected the better confederates.
And the law hath been broken by them, without precedent wrong from us, in that they condemned our men spitefully rather than judicially, in which point we shall now come short of requiting them;for they shall suffer legally and not, as they say they do, with hands upheld from battle but as men that have put themselves upon trial by consent.
Maintain therefore, ye Lacedaemonians, the law of the Grecians against these men that have transgressed it, and give unto us that have suffered contrary to the law the just recompense of our alacrity in your service.And let not the words of these give us a repulse from you;but set up an example to the Grecians by presenting [unto these men] a trial not of words but of facts, which, if they be good, a short narration of them will serve the turn;if ill, compt orations do but veil them.
But if such as have the authority, as you have now, would collect the matter to a head and, according as any man should make answer thereunto, so proceed to sentence, men would be less in the search of fair speeches wherewith to excuse the foulness of their actions.’
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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