65.The Argives and their confederates, as soon as they came in sight, seized on a certain place fortified by nature and of hard access and put themselves into battle array.
And the Lacedaemonians marched presently towards them and came up within a stone or a dart's cast.But then one of the ancient men of the army cried out unto Agis (seeing him to go on against a place of that strength) that he went about to amend one fault with another, signifying that he intended to make amends for his former retreat from Argos, which he was questioned for, with his now unseasonable forwardness.
But he, whether it were upon that increpation or some other sudden apprehension of his own, presently withdrew his army before the fight began, and marching unto the territory of Tegea, turned the course of the water into the territory of Mantineia;
touching which water, because into what part soever it had his course it did much harm to the country, the Mantineans and Tegeans were at wars.Now his drift was, by the turning of that water to provoke those Argives and their confederates which kept the hill, when they should hear of it, to come down and oppose them, that so they might fight with them in the plain.
And by that time he had stayed about the water a day, he had diverted the stream.The Argives and their confederates were at first amazed at this their sudden retreat from so near them and knew not what to make of it.But when after the retreat they returned no more in sight, and that they themselves, lying still on the place, did not pursue them, then began they anew to accuse their commanders, both for suffering the Lacedaemonians to depart formerly, when they had them inclosed at so fair an advantage before Argos, and now again for not pursuing them when they ran away, but giving them leave to save themselves, and betraying the army.
The commanders for the present were much troubled hereat;but afterwards they drew down the army from the hill, and coming forth into the plain, encamped as to go against the enemy.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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