'He is either a coward or a traitor who would not rejoice to hear that the Athenians are so mad as to come hither and deliver themselves into our hands. The audacity of the people who are spreading these alarms does not surprise me, but I do wonder at their folly if they cannot see that their motives are transparent.
Having private reasons for being afraid, they want to strike terror into the whole city1
that they may hide2
under the shadow of the common fear. And now, what is the meaning of these rumours? They do not grow of themselves; they have been got up by persons who are the troublers of our state.
And you, if you are wise, will not measure probabilities by their reports, but by what we may assume to be the intentions of shrewd and experienced men such as I conceive the Athenians to be. They are not likely to leave behind them a power such as Peloponnesus.
The war which they have already on their hands is far from settled, and will they go out of their way to bring upon themselves another as great? In my opinion they are only too glad that we are not attacking them, considering the number and power of our states.