91.Hearing this, they gave credit to Themistocles for the love they bore him;but when others coming thence averred plainly that the wall went up and that it was come to good height already, they could not then choose but believe it.
Themistocles, when he saw this, wished them not to be led by reports, but rather to send thither some of their own, such as were honest men, and, having informed themselves, would relate the truth, which they also did.
And Themistocles sendeth privily to the Athenians about the same men to take order for their stay with as little appearance of it as they could and not to dismiss them till their own ambassadors were returned (for by this time were arrived those that were joined with him, namely, Abronychus the son of Lysicles, and Aristides the son of Lysimachus, and brought him word that the wall was of a sufficient height);
for he feared lest the Lacedaemonians, when they knew the truth, would refuse to let them go.The Athenians therefore kept there those ambassadors according as it was written to them to do.Themistocles, coming now to his audience before the Lacedaemonians, said plainly, ‘that the city of Athens was already walled, and that sufficiently for the defence of those within, and that if it shall please the Lacedaemonians upon any occasion to send ambassadors unto them, they were to send thenceforward as to men that understood what conduced both to their own and also to the common good of all Greece.
For when they thought it best to quit their city and put themselves into their galleys,’ he said, ‘they were bold to do it without asking the advice of them;
and in common counsel the advice of the Athenians was as good as the advice of them.And now at this time their opinion is that it will be best, both for themselves in particular and for all the confederates in common, that their city should be walled.
For that in strength unequal men cannot alike and equally advise for the common benefit of Greece.Therefore,’ said he, ‘either must all the confederate cities be unwalled, or you must not think amiss of what is done by us.’
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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