3.The Athenians, afflicted with the disease, and with the war now on foot and at the hottest, thought it a dangerous matter that Lesbos, which had a navy and was of strength entire, should thus be added to the rest of their enemies, and at first received not the accusations, holding them therefore the rather feigned because they would not have them true.But after, when they had sent ambassadors to Mytilene and could not persuade them to dissolve themselves and undo their preparation, they then feared the worst and would have prevented them,
and to that purpose suddenly sent out the forty galleys made ready for Peloponnesus with Cleippedes and two other commanders.
For they had been advertised that there was a holiday of Apollo Maloeis to be kept without the city and that to the celebration thereof the Mytilenaeans were accustomed to come all out of the town;and they hoped, making haste, to take them there unawares.And if the attempt succeeded, it was well;if not, they might command the Mytilenaeans to deliver up their galleys and to demolish their walls;or they might make war against them if they refused.
So these galleys went their way.And ten galleys of Mytilene which then chanced to be at Athens, by virtue of their league to aid them, the Athenians stayed and cast into prison the men that were in them.
In the meantime a certain man went from Athens into Euboea by sea and then by land to Geraestus and, finding there a ship ready to put off, having the wind favourable, arrived in Mytilene three days after he set forth from Athens and gave them notice of the coming of the fleet.Hereupon they not only went not out to Maloeis, as was expected, but also stopped the gaps of their walls and ports where they were left unfinished and placed guards to defend them.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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