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68. Then the Athenians entered, and one after another proceeded to mount the wall. A few1 Peloponnesian guards at first resisted and some of them were killed; [2] but the greater part took to flight; they were terrified at the night attack of the enemy, and fancied, when they saw the Megarians who were in the conspiracy fighting against them, that all the Megarians had betrayed them. [3] It had occurred at the same time to the Athenian herald, without orders, to make proclamation that any Megarian who pleased might join the ranks of the Athenians. When the Lacedaemonians heard the proclamation none of them remained any longer, but thinking that the Megarians were really fighting on the Athenian side they fled into Nisaea. [4] When the morning dawned and the Long Walls were already captured, Megara was in a tumult, and those who had negotiated with the Athenians and a large number of others who were in the plot insisted upon opening the gates and going out to battle. Now they had agreed that the Athenians should immediately rush in; [5] and they were themselves to be anointed with oil; this was the mark by which they were to be distinguished, that they might be spared in the attack. There was the less danger in opening the gates, since there had now arrived four thousand Athenian hoplites and six hundred horse, who by a previous arrangement had come from Eleusis during the night. [6] When they were anointed and had collected about the gates some one in the secret acquainted the other party, who instantly came upon them in a compact body and declared that there should be no going out; even when they were stronger than at present they had not ventured to take the field; the danger to the city was too palpable; if any one opposed them the battle would have to be fought first within the walls. They did not betray their knowledge of the plot, but assumed the confident tone of men who were recommending the best course. At the same time they kept watch about the gates; and thus the conspiracy was foiled.

1 The Peloponnesians supposing the Megarians to have gone over to the enemy, fly to Nisaea. The plot is detected by the oligarchical party in time to save Megara itself.

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