When all this had been read aloud, it did not occur to the Syracusans, as it should have done, to be astonished at the firmness and magnanimity of Dion, who was resisting in behalf of honour and justice such strong claims of relationship, but they found occasion for suspecting and fearing him, on the ground that he was under a strong necessity of sparing Dionysius, and at once turned their eyes towards other leaders. And particularly, when they learned that Heracleides was putting in to the harbour, they were all excitement.
Now, Heracleides was one of the exiles, a man of military capacity and well known for the commands which he had held under the tyrants, but irresolute, fickle, and least to be relied upon as partner in an enterprise involving power and glory. He had quarrelled with Dion in Peloponnesus, and had resolved to sail on his own account and with his own fleet against the tyrant; but when he reached Syracuse, with seven triremes and three transports, he found Dionysius once more beleaguered, and the Syracusans elated with victory.
At once, then, he sought to win the favour of the multitude, having a certain natural gift of persuading and moving a populace that seeks to be courted, and winning them over to his following all the more easily because they were repelled by the gravity of Dion. This they resented as severe and out of place in a public man, because their power had given them license and boldness, and they wished to be flattered by popular leaders before they were really a people.