46.In the next day's meeting, Nicias, though the Lacedaemonians had been abused, and he himself also deceived touching their coming with full power to conclude, yet he persisted to affirm that it was their best course to be friends with the Lacedaemonians and to defer the Argives' business till they had sent to the Lacedaemonians again to be assured of their intention, saying that it was honour unto themselves and dishonour to the Lacedaemonians to have the war put off.For, for themselves, being in estate of prosperity, it was best to preserve their good fortune as long as they might;whereas to the other side, who were in evil estate, it should be in place of gain to put things as soon as they could to the hazard.
So he persuaded them to send ambassadors, whereof himself was one, to require the Lacedaemonians, if they meant sincerely, to render Panactum standing, and also Amphipolis;and if the Boeotians would not accept of the peace, then to undo their league with them, according to the article that the one should not make league with any without the consent of the other.
They willed him to say further that they themselves also, if they had had the will to do wrong, had ere this made a league with the Argives, who were present then at Athens for the same purpose.
And whatsoever they had to accuse the Lacedaemonians of besides, they instructed Nicias in it and sent him and the other his fellow-ambassadors away.When they were arrived and had delivered what they had in charge, and this last of all, that the Athenians would make league with the Argives unless the Lacedaemonians would renounce their league with the Boeotians if the Boeotians accepted not the peace, the Lacedaemonians denied to renounce their league with the Boeotians;for Xenares, the ephore, and the rest of that faction carried it;but at the request of Nicias they renewed their former oath.For Nicias was afraid he should return with nothing done and be carped at (as after also it fell out) as author of the Lacedaemonian peace.
At his return, when the Athenians understood that nothing was effected at Lacedaemon, they grew presently into choler;and apprehending injury (the Argives and their confederates being there present, brought in by Alcibiades), they made a peace and a league with them in these words:
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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