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For The Megapolitans   


Arcadians, and are anxious that the Peace, which you fought for and risked your
lives to win, may be secure. But if you wait, all the world will see plainly
that it is not in the name of right that you desire the existence of Messene,
but because you are afraid of Sparta. And while we should always seek and do the
right, we should at the same time take good care that what is right shall also
be advantageous.

{11} Now an argument is used by speakers on the other side to the effect that we
ought to attempt to recover Oropus,[n] and that if we make enemies of those who
might come to our assistance against it we shall have no allies. I too say that
we should try to recover Oropus. But the argument that the Spartans will be our
enemies now, if we make alliance with those Arcadians who desire our friendship,
is an argument which no one has less right even to mention, than those who
induced you to help the Spartans when they were in danger.

{12} Such was not
their argument, when all the Peloponnesians came to you,[n] entreating you to
support them in their campaign against Sparta, and they persuaded you to reject
the entreaty, with the result that the Peloponnesians took the only remaining
course and applied to Thebes--when they bade you contribute funds and imperil
your lives for the deliverance of the Spartans. Nor, I presume, would you have
been willing to protect them, had they warned you that you must expect no
gratitude for their deliverance, unless, after saving them, you allowed them
once more to do as they pleased and commit fresh aggressions.

{13} And further,
however antagonistic it may be to the designs of the Spartans, that we should
make the Arcadians our allies, they are surely bound to feel a gratitude towards
us for saving them when they were in the utmost extremity, which will outweigh
their vexation at our preventing their present wrongdoing. Must they not then
either assist us to recover Oropus, or else be regarded as the basest of
mankind? For, by Heaven, I can see no other alternative.

{14} I am astonished, also, to hear it argued that if we make the Arcadians our
allies, and carry out my advice, it will seem as though Athens were changing her
policy, and were utterly unreliable. I believe that the exact reverse of this is
the case, men of Athens, and I will tell you why. I suppose that no one in the
world can deny that when this city saved the Spartans,[n] and before them the
Thebans,[n] and finally the Euboeans,[n] and subsequently made them her allies,
she had one and the same end always in view.

{15} And what was this? It was to
deliver the victims of aggression. And if this is so, it is not we that should
be changing, but those who refuse to adhere to the right; and it will be
manifest that, although circumstances change from time to time with the
ambitious designs of others, Athens does not change.

{16} I believe that the Spartans are playing a very unscrupulous part. At
present they tell us that the Eleans are to recover part of Triphylia,[n] and
the Phliasians, Tricaranum;[n] other Arcadians are to recover their own
possessions, and we ourselves are to recover Oropus--not that they have any
desire to see every state enjoying its own--far from it!-- such generosity on
their part would be late indeed in showing itself.

{17} They wish rather to
present the appearance of co-operating with each separate state in the recovery
of the territory that it claims, in order that when they themselves march
against Messene, all may take the field with them, and give them their hearty
assistance, on pain of seeming to act unfairly, in refusing to return an
equivalent for the support which each of them received from Sparta in regard to
their own several claims.

{18} My own view is that, even without the tacit
surrender of some of the Arcadians to Sparta, we can recover Oropus, aided not

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