'Even if we had a great superiority in the number of our ships, and were not compelled as we1
are to employ them all in keeping guard, we could hardly have the like advantage. For our supplies have to pass so near the enemy's city that they are with difficulty conveyed to us now, and if we relax our vigilance ever so little we shall lose them altogether.
'It has been, and continues to be the ruin of our crews, that the sailors, having to forage and fetch water and wood from a distance, are cut off by the Syracusan horse2
while our servants, since we have been reduced to an equality with the enemy, desert us. Of the foreign sailors, some who were pressed into the service run off at once to the Sicilian cities; others, having been originally attracted by high pay, and fancying that they were going to trade and not to fight, astonished at the resistance which they encounter, and especially at the naval strength of the enemy, either find an excuse for deserting to the Syracusans, or they effect their escape into the country; and Sicily is a large place. Others, again, have persuaded the trierarchs to take Hyccarian slaves in their room while they themselves are busy trading; and thus the precision of the service is lost.