80.‘There is no reason therefore we should be afraid when we are all together, but that we should have the better will to unite ourselves in a league;and the rather because we are to have aid from Peloponnesus, who every way excel these men in military sufficiency.Nor should you think that your purpose to aid neither, as being in league with both, is either just in respect of us or safe for yourselves;
for it is not so just in substance as it is in the pretence.For if through want of your aid the assailed perish and the assailant become victor, what do you by your neutrality but leave the safety of the one undefended and suffer the other to do evil?Whereas it were more noble in you, by joining with the wronged and with your kindred, both to defend the common good of Sicily and keep the Athenians, as your friends, from an act of injustice.
To be short, we Syracusians say that to demonstrate plainly to you or to any other the thing you already know is no hard matter;but we pray you, and withal if you reject our words we protest, that whereas the Ionians, who have ever been our enemies, do take counsel against us, you, that are Dorians as well as we, betray us.
And if they subdue us, though it be by your counsels that they do it, yet they only shall have the honour of it;and for the prize of their victory, they will have none other but even the authors of their victory;but if the victory fall unto us, even you also, the cause of this our danger, shall undergo the penalty.
Consider therefore now and take your choice whether you will have the servitude without the present danger, or saving yourselves with us, both avoid the dishonour of having a master and escape our enmity, which is likely otherwise to be lasting.’
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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