45.Now speaking of these things before the council, and how that they were come thither with full power to make agreement concerning all controversies betwixt them, they put Alcibiades into fear, lest, if they should say the same before the people, the multitude would be drawn unto their side, and so the Argive league fall off.
But Alcibiades deviseth against them this plot.He persuaded the Lacedaemonians not to confess their plenary power before the people, and giveth them his faith that then Pylus should be rendered (for he said he would persuade the Athenians to it as much as he now opposed it), and that the rest of their differences should be compounded.
This he did to alienate them from Nicias;and that by accusing them before the people as men that had no true meaning nor ever spake one and the same thing, he might bring on the league with the Argives, Eleians, and Mantineans.And it came to pass accordingly.
For when they came before the people, and to the question whether they had full power of concluding, had, contrary to what they had said in council, answered No, the Athenians would no longer endure them, but gave ear to Alcibiades, that exclaimed against the Lacedaemonians far more now than ever;and were ready then presently to have the Argives and those others with them brought in, and to make the league;but an earthquake happening before anything was concluded, the assembly was adjourned.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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