86.And those ambassadors of The Four Hundred, which had been sent out before to mollify and to inform those of Samos, came from Delos now whilst Alcibiades was present.An assembly being called, they were offering to speak.
But the soldiers at first would not hear them, but cried out to have them put to death for that they had deposed the people;yet afterwards with much ado they were calmed and gave them hearing.
They declared that the change had been made for the preservation of the city, not to destroy it nor to deliver it to the enemy;for they could have done that before now when the enemy during their government assaulted it, that every one of The Five Thousand was to participate of the government in their turns;and their friends were not, as Chaereas had laid to their charge, abused, nor had any wrong at all, but remained every one quietly upon his own.
Though they delivered this and much more, yet the soldiers believed them not, but raged still and declared their opinions, some in one sort some in another, most agreeing in this to go against Peiraeus.And now Alcibiades appeared to be the first and principal man in doing service to the commonwealth.For when the Athenians at Samos were carried headlong to invade themselves, in which case most manifestly the enemy had presently possessed himself of Ionia and Hellespont, [it was thought that] he was the man that kept them from it.
Nor was there any man at that time able to have held in the multitude but himself.
He both made them to desist from the voyage and rated off from the ambassadors those that were in their own particular incensed against them.Whom also he sent away, giving them their answer himself: That he opposed not the government of The Five Thousand, but willed them to remove The Four Hundred and to establish the council that was before of five hundred;
that if they had frugally cut off any expense so that such as were employed in the wars might be the better maintained, he did much commend them for it.And withal he exhorted them to stand out and give no ground to their enemies, for that as long as the city held out, there was great hope for them to compound;
but if either part miscarry once, either this at Samos or the other at Athens, there would none be left for the enemy to compound withal.There chanced to be present also the ambassadors of the Argives, sent unto the popular faction of the Athenians in Samos to assist them.
These Alcibiades commended and appointed to be ready when they should be called for and so dismissed them.These Argives came in with those of the Paralus, that had been bestowed formerly in the military galley by The Four Hundred to go about Euboea and to convoy Laespodias, Aristophon, and Melesias, ambassadors from The Four Hundred, to Lacedaemon.These, as they sailed by Argos, seized on the ambassadors and delivered them as principal men in deposing of the people to the Argives, and returned no more to Athens, but came with the galley they then were in to Samos and brought with them these ambassadors from the Argives.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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