' O most senseless of men, for such you are indeed if you do not see the mischief of your own schemes; never in all my experience have I known such blindness among Hellenes, or such wickedness if you have your eyes open to what you are doing. Yet even now1
learn if you are stupid, repent if you are guilty; and let your aim be the welfare of the whole country. Remember that the good among you will have an equal or larger share in the government of it than the people2
while if you want more you will most likely lose all. Away with these reports; we know all about them, and are determined to suppress them. Let the Athenians come, and Syracuse will repel her enemies in a manner worthy of herself; we have generals who will look to the matter. But if, as I believe, none of your tales are true, the state is not going to be deceived, and will not in a moment of panic admit you to power, or impose upon her own neck the yoke of slavery. She will take the matter into her own hands, and when she gives judgment will reckon words to be equally criminal with actions. She will not be-talked out of her liberty by you, but will do her utmost to preserve it; she will be on her guard, and will put you down with a strong hand.'