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17. Demosthenes remained behind, and busied himself in getting ready the expedition which he was to bring out in the spring. He1 announced to the allies that troops would be required, collected money, and mustered ships, and hoplites at Athens. [2] The Athenians also sent twenty ships to cruise off the Peloponnesian coast and intercept any vessels trying to pass to Sicily from the Peloponnesus or Corinth. [3] The Sicilian envoys2 had now arrived at Corinth, and the Corinthians had heard from them that affairs were looking better in Sicily. Seeing how opportune had been the arrival of the ships which they had already despatched they were more zealous than ever. They prepared to convey hoplites to Sicily in merchant-vessels; the Lacedaemonians were to do the like from Peloponnesus. [4] The Corinthians also proceeded to man twenty-five ships of war, intending to hazard a naval engagement against the Athenian squadron stationed at Naupactus. They hoped that, if the attention of the Athenians was diverted by an opposing force, they would be unable to prevent their merchant-vessels from sailing.

1 The Athenians and Peloponnesians get ready their forces.

2 Cp. 7.7.

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