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34. For some little time these skirmishes continued. But soon the Lacedaemonians became too1 weary to rush out upon their assailants, who began to be sensible that their resistance grew feebler. The sight of their own number, which was many times that of the enemy, encouraged them more than anything; they soon found that their losses were trifling compared with what they had expected; and familiarity made them think their opponents much less formidable than when they first landed cowed by the fear of facing Lacedaemonians. They now despised them and with a loud cry rushed upon them in a body, hurling at them stones, arrows, javelins, whichever came first to hand. [2] The shout with which they accompanied the attack dismayed the Lacedaemonians, who were unaccustomed to this kind of warfare. Clouds of dust arose from the newlyburnt wood, and there was no possibility of a man's seeing what was before him, owing to the showers of arrows and stones hurled by their assailants which were flying amid the dust. [3] And now the Lacedaemonians began to be sorely distressed, for their felt cuirasses did not protect them against the arrows, and the points of the javelins broke off where they struck them. They were at their wits' end, not being able to see out of their eyes or to hear the word of command, which was drowned by the cries of the enemy. Destruction was staring them in the face, and they had no means or hope of deliverance.

1 They are sorely distressed.

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load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
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