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72. They also sent ten commissioners to Samos, who were to pacify the army, and to explain that1 the oligarchy was not established with any design of injuring Athens or her citizens, but for the preservation of the whole state. The promoters of the change, they said, were five thousand, not four hundred; but never hitherto, owing to the pressure of war and of business abroad, had so many as five thousand assembled to deliberate even on the most important questions. [2] They instructed them to say anything else which would have a good effect, and sent them on their mission as soon as they themselves were installed in the government. For they were afraid, and not without reason as the event showed, that the Athenian sailors would be impatient of the oligarchical system, and that disaffection would begin at Samos and end in their own overthrow.

1 They also send an embassy to Samos, who are to make an apology for them.

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load focus English (Thomas Hobbes, 1843)
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