8.The next summer, early in the spring, the Athenian ambassadors returned from Sicily, and the ambassadors of Egesta with them, and brought in silver uncoined sixty talents, for a month's pay of sixty galleys, which they would entreat the Athenians to send thither.
And the Athenians, having called an assembly and heard both from the Egestaean and their own ambassadors, amongst other persuasive but untrue allegations, touching their money, how they had great store ready both in their treasury and temples, decreed the sending of sixty galleys into Sicily, and Alcibiades, the son of Cleinias, Nicias, the son of Niceratus, and Lamachus, the son of Xenophanes, for commanders with authority absolute;the which were to aid the people of Egesta against the Selinuntians, and withal, if they had time to spare, to plant the Leontines anew in their city, and to order all other the affairs of Sicily as they should think most for the profit of the Athenians.
Five days after this the people assembled again to consult of the means how most speedily to put this armada in readiness and to decree such things as the generals should further require for the expedition.
But Nicias, having heard that himself was chosen for one of the generals, and conceiving that the state had not well resolved, but affected the conquest of all Sicily, a great matter, upon small and superficial pretences, stood forth, desiring to have altered this the Athenians' purpose, and spake as followeth:
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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