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ἐπισταμένοις δ᾽ ὐμῖν γράφω—you do not need to be told that. Both in Greek and, still oftener, in Lat. a 1st pers. sing. is used where we prefer to avoid it. With the perf. in Gk., the impers. pass. is preferred to the 1st pers. sing. act. βραχεῖα ἀκμὴ πληρώματος—generally taken to mean the efficient part of a ship's crew is small; and this accords well with the next clause. But the Schol. says οὐ πολλῷ χρόνῳ ἀκμάζει ἡ ναυτικὴ δύναμις, with which agrees Plutarch, Caes. 40 παρεσκευασμένος ἄριστα πᾶσι πρὸς τὸν χρόνον ἠξίου τρίβειν καὶ μαραίνειν τὴν τῶν πολεμίων ἀκμὴν βραχεῖαν οὖσαν. The Schol. is probably right, though βραχὺς in Thuc often = ‘small.’ καὶ ὀλίγοι τῶν ναυτῶν—it is but few of the sailors that both start the ship, and (then) keep rowing (all the time). ἐξορμᾶν means that the sailors start ‘working,’ ξυνέχειν that only few of them continue to work, ξυνεχῶς τὴν εἰρεσίαν ποιοῦνται. Too many of those who work at first ‘get slack’ after a short time: others reserve themselves at the start.
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