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The general has no power; his mercenaries are not paid; we receive no trustworthy report of his actions; and what then can we expect?

ἕν᾽ ἄνδρα, i.e. the general, despatched without troops.

φῆσαι, ‘say “oh yes.”’ The ‘promises of Chares’ became a proverb.

ἀπομίσθων, ‘without pay,’ here only in this sense. Elsewhere the word means ‘paid off,’ ‘discharged.’

ῥᾳδίως, either with ψευδόμενοι, ‘the orators who lightly spread false reports,’ or with ἐνθάδ᾽ ὦσιν ‘can be in Athens without any trouble.’ For the latter, which is somewhat favoured by the rhythm, cf. § 32 πρὸς αὐτῇ τῇ χώρᾳ...ῥᾳδίως ἔσται.

τι ἂν τύχητε, sc. ψηφιζόμενοι, ‘at haphazard.’ The personal construction is generally preferred. Cf. Thuc. III.43 πρὸς ὀργὴν ἥντιν᾽ ἂν τύχητε ἔστιν ὅτε σφαλέντες, Phil. 3. 54.

καὶ is frequently placed, as here, immediately after an interrogative word, with a force which may best be given in English by throwing stress upon an auxiliary verb, ‘what must we expect?’

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  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.43
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