17."Men of Athens, the Lacedaemonians have sent us hither concerning our men in the island, to see if we can persuade you to such a course, as being most profitable for you, may, in this misfortune, be the most honourable for us that our present condition is capable of.
We will not be longer in discourse than standeth with our custom, being the fashion with us, where few words suffice there indeed not to use many;but yet to use more when the occasion requireth that by words we should make plain that which is to be done in actions of importance.
But the words we shall use we pray you to receive not with the mind of an enemy nor as if we went about to instruct you as men ignorant, but for a remembrance to you of what you know that you may deliberate wisely therein.
It is now in your power to assure your present good fortune with reputation, holding what you have, with the addition of honour and glory besides, and to avoid that which befalleth men upon extraordinary success, who through hope aspire to greater fortune because the fortune they have already came unhoped for.
Whereas they that have felt many changes of both fortunes ought indeed to be most suspicious of the good.So ought your city, and ours especially, upon experience in all reason to be.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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