96.When the news of that which had happened in Euboea was brought to Athens, it put the Athenians into the greatest astonishment that ever they had been in before.For neither did their loss in Sicily, though then thought great, nor any other at any time so much affright them as this.
For now when the army at Samos was in rebellion, when they had no more galleys nor men to put aboard, when they were in sedition amongst themselves and in continual expectation of falling together by the ears, then in the neck of all arrived this great calamity, wherein they not only lost their galleys, but also, which was worst of all, Euboea, by which they [had] received more commodity than by Attica.
How then could they choose but be dejected?But most of all they were troubled, and that for the nearness, with a fear lest upon this victory the enemy should take courage and come immediately into Peiraeus, now empty of shipping, of which they thought nothing wanting, but that they were not there already.
And had they been anything adventurous, they might easily have done it;and then, had they stayed there and besieged them, they had not only increased the sedition but also compelled the fleet to come away from Ionia to the aid of their kindred and of the whole city, though enemies to the oligarchy, and in the meantime gotten the Hellespont, Ionia, the Islands, and all places even to Euboea, and, as one may say, the whole Athenian empire into their power.
But the Lacedaemonians, not only in this but in many other things, were most commodious enemies to the Athenians to war withal.For being of most different humours, the one swift, the other slow;the one adventurous, the other timorous;the Lacedaemonians gave them great advantage, especially when their greatness was by sea.This was evident in the Syracusians, who, being in condition like unto them, warred best against them.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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