46.Moreover, he advised Tissaphernes not to be too hasty to make an end of the war, nor to fetch in the Phoenician fleet which was making ready, nor take more men into pay, whereby to put the whole power both by sea and land into the hands of one, but to let the dominion remain divided into two, that the king, when one side troubled him, might set upon it with the other;
whereas the dominion both by sea and land being in one, he will want by whom to pull down those that hold it unless with great danger and cost he should come and try it out himself;but thus the danger would be less chargeable, he being but at a small part of the cost;and he should wear out the Grecians one against another and himself in the meantime remain in safety.
He said further that the Athenians were fitter to partake dominion with him than the other for that they were less ambitious of power by land and that their speeches and actions tended more to the king's purpose;for that they would join with him to subdue the Grecians, that is to say, for themselves as touching the dominion by sea, and for the king as touching the Grecians in the king's territories;whereas the Lacedaemonians, on the contrary, were come to set them free;and it was not likely but that they that were come to deliver the Grecians from the Grecians will, if they overcome the Athenians, deliver them also from the barbarians.
He gave counsel therefore, first to wear them out both and then, when he had clipped, as near as he could, the wings of the Athenians, to dismiss the Peloponnesians out of his country.
And Tissaphernes had a purpose to do accordingly, as far as by his actions can be conjectured.For hereupon he gave himself to believe Alcibiades as his best counsellor in these affairs, and neither paid the Peloponnesians their wages nor would suffer them to fight by sea;but pretending the coming of the Phoenician fleet, whereby they might afterwards fight with odds, he overthrew their proceedings and abated the vigour of their navy, before very puissant, and was in all things else more backward than he could possibly dissemble.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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