14."To you I write, who know how small a time any fleet continueth in the height of vigour, and how few of the mariners are skilful both how to hasten the course of a galley and how to contain the oar.
But of all, my greatest trouble is this: that being general, I can neither make them do better (for your natures are hard to be governed) nor get mariners in any other place (which the enemy can do from many places), and must of necessity have them from whence we brought both those we have and those we have lost.For our now confederate cities, Naxos and Catana, are not able to supply us.
Had the enemy but that one thing more, that the towns of Italy that now send us provision, seeing what estate we are now in and you not helping us, would turn to them, the war were at an end and we expugned without another stroke.
"I could have written to you other things more pleasing than these, but not more profitable, seeing it is necessary for you to know certainly the affairs here when you go to council upon them.Withal, because I know your natures to be such as though you love to hear the best, yet afterwards when things fall not out accordingly you will call in question them that write it, I thought best to write the truth for my own safety's sake.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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