56.After this the Chians were besieged both by sea and land more narrowly, and great famine was in the city.Pisander, and the other Athenian ambassadors that went with him, when they came to Tissaphernes, began to confer about the agreement.
But Alcibiades (for he was not sure of Tissaphernes, because he stood in fear too much of the Peloponnesians, and had a purpose besides, as Alcibiades himself had taught him, to weaken both sides [yet more]), betook himself to this shift: that Tissaphernes should break off the treaty by making to the Athenians exorbitant demands.
And it seemed that Tissaphernes and he aimed at the same thing, Tissaphernes for fear, and Alcibiades for that when he saw Tissaphernes not desirous to agree, [though the offers were never so great], he was unwilling to have the Athenians think he could not persuade him to it, but rather that he was already persuaded and willing, and that the Athenians came not to him with sufficient offers.
For Alcibiades being the man that spake for Tissaphernes, though he were also present, made unto them such excessive demands that though the Athenians should have yielded to the greatest part of them, yet it must have been attributed to them that the treaty went not on.For they demanded, first, that all Ionia should be rendered;then again, the adjacent islands and other things;which the Athenians stood not against.In fine, at the third meeting, when he feared now plainly to be found unable to make good his word, he required that they should suffer the king to build a navy and sail up and down by their coast wheresoever and with what number soever of galleys he himself should think good.Upon this the Athenians would treat no longer, esteeming the conditions intolerable and that Alcibiades had abused them, and so went away in a chafe to Samos.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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