38.In the meantime the governors of Boeotia thought fit that an oath should first be taken by themselves and by the ambassadors from Corinth, Megara, and the confederates upon Thrace to give mutual assistance upon any occasion to them that should require it and neither to make war nor peace without the common consent;and next that the Boeotians and Megareans (for these two ran the same course) should make a league with the Argives.
But before this oath was [to be] taken, the governors of Boeotia communicated the business to the four Boeotian councils, in the which the whole authority of the state consisteth, and withal presented their advice that any city that would might join with them in the like oath for mutual assistance.
But they that were of these councils approved not the proposition, because they feared to offend the Lacedaemonians in being sworn to the Corinthians that had revolted from their confederacy.For the governors of Boeotia had not reported unto them what had passed at Lacedaemon, how Cleobulus and Xenares, the ephores, and their friends there had advised them to enter first into league with the Argives and Corinthians and then afterwards to make the same league with the Lacedaemonians;for they thought that the councils, though this had never been told them, would have decreed it no otherwise than they upon premeditation should advise.
So the business was checked and the ambassadors from Corinth and from the cities upon Thrace departed without effect.And the governors of Boeotia, that were before minded, if they had gotten this done, to have league themselves also with the Argives, made no mention of the Argives in the councils at all nor sent the ambassadors to Argos, as they had before promised;but a kind of carelessness and delay possessed the whole business.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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