The Achaeans having been thus utterly overwhelmed, Aratus, who was wont to be their general every other year, refused the office and declined to listen to their invitations and prayers; thus unwisely, when the ship of state was in a heavy storm, handing over the helm to another and abandoning the post of authority. Cleomenes, on the other hand, at the first was thought to impose moderate terms upon the Achaean embassy, but afterwards he sent other envoys and bade them hand over to him the leadership among the Greeks, assuring them that on other points he would not quarrel with them, but would at once restore to them their captives and their strongholds.1
The Achaeans were willing to settle matters on these terms, and invited Cleomenes to come to Lerna, where they were about to hold their assembly. But it fell out that Cleomenes, who had made a strenuous march and then too soon had drunk water, brought up a great quantity of blood and lost his speech. For this reason he sent back to the Achaeans the most prominent men among their captives, but postponed the conference and went back home to Sparta.