53.The Athenian ambassadors sent from Samos with Pisander, being arrived at Athens, were making their propositions to the people, and related unto them summarily the points of their business, and principally this, that if they would call home Alcibiades, and not suffer the government to remain in the hands of the people in such manner as it did, they might have the king for their confederate, and get the victory of the Peloponnesians.
Now when many opposed that point touching the democracy, and the enemies of Alcibiades clamoured withal that it would be a horrible thing he should return by forcing the government, when the Eumolpidae and Ceryces bare witness against him concerning the mysteries for which he fled and prohibited his return under their curse, Pisander, at this great opposition and querimony, stood out, and going amongst them took out one by one those that were against it, and asked them whether, now that the Peloponnesians had as many galleys at sea to oppose them as they themselves had, and confederate cities more than they, and were furnished with money by the king and Tissaphernes, the Athenians being without, they had any other hope to save their state but by persuading the king to come about to their side.
And they that were asked having nothing to answer, then in plain terms he said unto them: ‘This you cannot now obtain, except we administer the state with more moderation and bring the power into the hands of a few that the king may rely upon us.And we deliberate at this time, not so much about the form as about the preservation of the state;for if you mislike the form, you may change it again hereafter.And let us recall Alcibiades, who is the only man that can bring this to pass.’
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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