With this Nicias concluded, thinking that he
should either disgust the Athenians by the magnitude of the undertaking, or,
if obliged to sail on the expedition, would thus do so in the safest way
The Athenians, however, far from having their taste for the voyage taken
away by the burdensomeness of the preparations, became more eager for it
than ever; and just the contrary took place of what Nicias had thought, as it was held
that he had given good advice, and that the expedition would be the safest
in the world.
All alike fell in love with the enterprise.The older men thought that they would either subdue the places against
which they were to sail, or at all events, with so large a force, meet with
no disaster; those in the prime of life felt a longing for foreign sights and
spectacles, and had no doubt that they should come safe home again; while the idea of the common people and the soldiery was to earn wages at
the moment, and make conquests that would supply a never-ending fund of pay
for the future.
With this enthusiasm of the majority, the few that liked it not, feared to
appear unpatriotic by holding up their hands against it, and so kept quiet.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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