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[7] On hearing this, the Ephors, as long as it was day, publicly disported themselves in easygoing festival fashion; for it was their festival of the Hyacinthia. But in the night they selected five thousand Spartans, each of whom had seven Helots to attend upon him, and sent them forth without the knowledge of the Athenians. So when Aristides came before them with renewed invectives, they laughed and said he was but a sleepy babbler, for that their army was already in Arcadia on its march against the ‘strangers’ (they called the Persians strangers).

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