29.Now when he had dispatched with the assembly and the Athenians had by their voices decreed him the voyage, he joined unto himself Demosthenes, one of the commanders at Pylus, and presently put to sea.
He made choice of Demosthenes for his companion because he heard that he also of himself had a purpose to set his soldiers aland in the isle.For the army, having suffered much by the straitness of the place and being rather the besieged than the besieger, had a great desire to put the matter to the hazard of a battle;
confirmed therein the more for that the island had been burnt.For having been for the most part wood and (by reason it had lain ever desert) without path, they were before [the more] afraid and thought it the advantage of the enemy;for assaulting them out of sight, they might annoy a very great army that should offer to come aland.For their errors being in the wood and their preparation could not so well have been discerned, whereas all the faults of their own army should have been in sight, so that the enemy might have set upon them suddenly in what part soever they had pleased, because the onset had been in their own election.
Again, if they should by force come up to fight with the Lacedaemonians at hand in the thick woods, the fewer and skilful of the ways, he thought, would be too hard for the many and unskilful.Besides, their own army being great it might receive an overthrow before they could know of it, because they could not see where it was needful to relieve one another.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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