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37. 'Since these Corcyraeans have chosen to speak, not only of their reception into your alliance,1 but of our misdoings and of the unjust war which has been forced upon them by us, we too must touch on these two points before we proceed to our main argument, that you may be better prepared to appreciate our claim upon you, and may have a good reason for rejecting their petition. [2] They pretend that they have hitherto refused to make alliances from a wise moderation, but they really adopted this policy from a mean and not from a high motive. They did not want to have an ally who might go and tell of their crimes, and who would put them to the blush whenever they called him in. [3] Their insular position makes them judges of their own offences against others, and they can therefore afford to dispense with judges appointed under treaties; for they hardly ever visit their neighbours, but foreign ships are constantly driven to their shores by stress of weather. [4] And all the time they screen themselves under the specious name of neutrality, making believe that they are unwilling to be the accomplices of other men's crimes. But the truth is that they wish to keep their own criminal courses to themselves: where they are strong, to oppress; where they cannot be found out, to defraud; and whatever they may contrive to appropriate, never to be ashamed. [5] If they were really upright men, as they profess to be, the greater their immunity from attack the more clearly they might have made their honesty appear by a willingness to submit differences to arbitration.

1 The neutrality of he Corcyraeans a pretence by which they conceal their comes.

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load focus Notes (Charles D. Morris)
load focus Notes (E.C. Marchant)
load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
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