When they came to the council, silence being with difficulty obtained, the king was introduced by Phaeneas the praetor and the other chiefs and began to speak.
The opening of his speech was an apology because he had come with forces so much smaller than everyone had hoped and expected.
This, he said, should be the best proof of the goodwill which he felt for them, because, although not fully prepared in any respect and at a premature time1
for sailing, at the summons of their ambassadors he had obeyed without objection and had believed that when the Aetolians saw him they would consider that all their hope of safety depended on himself alone.
But the hopes, even of those whose expectations seemed disappointed for the moment, he would realize to the full:
for as soon as the early season of the year made the sea navigable he would fill all Greece with arms, men, horses, the whole seacoast with ships, and would spare no expense nor toil
nor danger until, with the Roman yoke removed from their necks, he had made Greece free in truth and the Aetolians the foremost people in the land.
With the armies, supplies of every kind also would come [p. 131]
from Asia; in the meantime the responsibility should2
rest upon the Aetolians of supplying him with abundance of grain for his men and with other things at a fair price.