91."Thus, from one that most exactly knoweth it, you have heard what is the design of the fleet now gone;and which the generals there, as far as they can, will also put in execution.Understand next that unless you aid them, they yonder cannot possibly hold out.
For the Sicilians, though inexpert, if many of them unite may well subsist;but that the Syracusians alone, with their whole power already beaten and withal kept from the use of the sea, should withstand the forces of the Athenians already there is a thing impossible.And if their city should be taken, all Sicily is had, and soon after Italy also;
and the danger from thence which I foretold you would not be long ere it fell upon you.Let no man therefore think that he now consulteth of Sicily only but also of Peloponnesus, unless this be done with speed.
Let the army you send be of such as being aboard may row and landing presently be armed;and (which I think more profitable than the army itself) send a Spartan for commander, both to train the soldiers already there and to compel unto it such as refuse.For thus will your present friends be the more encouraged, and such as be doubtful come to you with the more assurance.It were also good to make war more openly upon them here, that the Syracusians, seeing your care, may the rather hold out, and the Athenians be less able to send supply to their army.
You ought likewise to fortify Deceleia in the territory of Athens, a thing which the Athenians themselves most fear, and reckon for the only evil they have not yet tasted in this war.
And the way to hurt an enemy most is to know certainly what he most feareth and to bring the same upon him.For in reason a man therefore feareth a thing most as having the precisest knowledge of what will most hurt him.As for the commodities which yourselves shall reap and deprive the enemy of by so fortifying, letting much pass, I will sum you up the principal.Whatsoever the territory is furnished withal will come most of it unto you, partly taken and partly of its own accord.
The revenue of the silver mines in Laurium and whatsoever other profit they have from their land or from their courts of justice will presently be lost;and, which is worse, their confederates will be remiss in bringing in their revenue and will care little for the Athenians if they believe once that you follow the war to the utmost.That any of these things be put in act speedily and earnestly, men of Lacedaemon, it resteth only in yourselves;for I am confident, and I think I err not, that all these things are possible to be done.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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