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15. Thus spake Nicias. But the most of the Athenians that spake after him were of opinion that the voyage ought to proceed, the decree already made not to be reversed; yet some there were that said to the contrary. [2] But the expedition was most of all pressed by Alcibiades, the son of Cleinias, both out of desire he had to cross Nicias, with whom he was likewise at odds in other points of state, and also for that he had glanced at him invidiously in his oration, but principally for that he affected to have charge, hoping that himself should be the man to subdue both Sicily and Carthage to the state of Athens, and withal, if it succeeded, to increase his own private wealth and glory. [3] For being in great estimation with the citizens, his desires were more vast than for the proportion of his estate, both in maintaining of horses and other his expenses, was meet; [4] which proved afterwards none of the least causes of the subversion of the Athenian commonwealth. For most men fearing him, both for his excess in things that concerned his person and form of life and for the greatness of his spirit in every particular action he undertook, as one that aspired to the tyranny, they became his enemy. And although for the public he excellently managed the war, yet every man, privately displeased with his course of life, gave the charge of the wars to others, and thereby not long after overthrew the state. [5] Alcibiades at this time stood forth and spake to this effect:

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load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith)
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