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21. The Athenians, as long as the army of the enemy lay about Eleusis and the fields of Thrius and as long as they had any hope it would come on no farther, remembering that also Pleistoanax the son of Pausanias, king of Lacedaemon, when fourteen years before this war he entered Attica with an army of the Peloponnesians as far as Eleusis and Thriasia, retired again and came no farther (for which he was also banished Sparta as thought to have gone back for money), they stirred not. But when they saw the army now at Acharnas but sixty furlongs from the city, then they thought it no longer to be endured; [2] and when their fields were wasted (as it was likely) in their sight, which the younger sort had never seen before nor the elder but in the Persian war, it was taken for a horrible matter and thought fit by all, especially by the youth, to go out and not endure it any longer. [3] And holding councils apart one from another, they were at much contention, some to make a sally and some to hinder it. And the priests of the oracles giving out prophecies of all kinds, everyone made the interpretation according to the sway of his own affection. But the Acharnians, conceiving themselves to be no small part of the Athenians, were they that, whilst their own lands were wasting, most of all urged their going out. Insomuch as the city was every way in tumult and in choler against Pericles, remembering nothing of what he had formerly admonished them, but reviled him for that being their general he refused to lead them into the field, and imputing unto him the cause of all their evil.

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