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12. 'Moreover they have sent ambassadors to Peloponnesus asking for reinforcements, and Gylippus1 has gone to the cities in Sicily intending to solicit those who are at present neutral to join him, and to obtain from his allies fresh naval and land forces. [2] For they purpose, as I hear, to attack our walls by land, and at the same time to make an effort at sea. [3] And let no one be startled when I say ‘at sea.’ Our fleet was originally in first-rate condition: the ships were sound and the crews were in good order, but now, as the enemy are well aware, the timbers of the ships, having been so long exposed to the sea, are soaked, and the efficiency of the crews is destroyed. [4] We have no means of drawing up our vessels and airing them, because the enemy's fleet is equal or even superior in numbers to our own, and we are always expecting an attack from them. They are clearly trying their strength; [5] they can attack us when they please, and they have far greater facilities for drying their ships, since they are not, like us, engaged in a blockade.

1 The Syracusans are seeking reinforcements in Peloponnesus and Sickly, and mean to attack us by ships and crews are in good order; whereas our ships are decaying.

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