68.After this the Athenian soldiers, as they entered, went up every one to the wall.
And a few of the Peloponnesians that were of the garrison, made head at first and fought and were some of them slain;but the most of them took their heels, fearing in the night both the enemy that charged them and also the traitors of the Megareans that fought against them, apprehending that all the Megareans in general had betrayed them.
It chanced also that the Athenian herald of his own discretion made proclamation that if any Megarean would take part with the Athenians, he should come and lay down his arms.When the Peloponnesians heard this, they stayed no longer, but seriously believing that they jointly warred upon them, fled into Nisaea.
As soon as it was day, the walls being now taken and the Megareans being in a tumult within the city, they that had treated with the Athenians, and with them the rest, as many as were conscious, said it was fit to have the gates opened and to go out and give the enemy battle.
Now it was agreed on between them that when the gates were open, the Athenians should rush in, and that themselves would be easily known from the rest, to the end they might have no harm done them, for that they would besmear themselves with some ointment.And the opening of the gates would be for their greater safety, for the four thousand men of arms of Athens and six hundred horsemen, which according to the appointment were to come to them, having marched all night, were already arrived.
When they had besmeared themselves and were now about the gates, one of those who were privy discovered the conspiracy to the rest that were not.These joining their strength came all together to the gates, denying that it was fit to go out to fight, for that neither in former times when they were stronger than now, durst they do so, or to put the city into so manifest danger, and said, that if they would not be satisfied, the battle should be thereright.Yet they discovered not that they knew of the practice, but only, as having given good advice, meant to maintain it.And they stayed at the gates, insomuch as the traitors could not perform what they intended.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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