53."Men of Lacedaemon, relying upon you we yielded up our city, not expecting to undergo this but some more legal manner of proceeding;and we agreed not to stand to the judgment of others (as now we do) but of yourselves only, conceiving we should so obtain the better justice.But now we fear we have been deceived in both.
For we have reason to suspect both that the trial is capital, and you, the judges, partial, gathering so much both from that, that there hath not been presented any accusation to which we might answer, and also from this, that the interrogatory is short and such, as if we answer to it with truth, we shall speak against ourselves and be easily convinced if we lie.
But since we are on all hands in a strait, we are forced (and it seems our safest way) to try what we can obtain by pleading.For, for men in our case the speech not spoken may give occasion to some to think, that spoken it had preserved us.But besides other inconveniences, the means also of persuasion go ill on our side.
For if we had not known one another, we might have helped ourselves by producing testimony in things you knew not.Whereas now, all that we shall say will be before men that know already what it is.And we fear not that you mean, because you know us inferior in virtue to yourselves, to make that a crime, but lest you bring us to a judgment already judged to gratify somebody else.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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