When the messengers had made an end of speaking, there was a profound silence in the theatre; then Dion rose and began to speak, but copious tears checked his utterance; his mercenaries, however, sympathized with him and bade him take heart. Accordingly, after he had recovered a little from his grief, he said:
‘Men of Peloponnesus and allies, I have brought you together here to deliberate upon your own course of action.
As for me, it is not meet that I should consult my own interests now that Syracuse is perishing, but if I cannot save her, I shall return to seek a grave amid the blazing ruins of my native city. But you, if you are willing even now, after all that has passed, to come to our help, who are the most foolish and the most unfortunate of men, pray restore the city of Syracuse and the work of your own hands.1
If, however, in your displeasure at the Syracusans, you shall leave them to their fate, at least for your former bravery and zeal in my behalf may you obtain a worthy reward from the gods, and may you think of Dion as one who abandoned neither you when you were wronged, nor, afterwards, his fellow citizens when they were in distress.’
While he was still speaking, the mercenaries sprang to their feet with shouts and bade him lead them speedily to the city's relief, while the Syracusan envoys embraced them passionately, invoking many blessings from the gods upon Dion, and many upon his mercenaries. And when the tumult was allayed, Dion ordered his men to go to their quarters and make themselves ready, and, after taking supper, to come with their arms to that very place, for he was determined to go to the rescue by night.