23.In the meantime those Plataeans, which having scaled the wall first and slain the watch were now masters of both the towers, not only guarded the passages by standing themselves in the entries but also, applying ladders from the wall to the towers and conveying many men to the top, kept the enemies off with shot both from above and below.In the mean space, the greatest number of them having reared to the wall many ladders at once and beaten down the battlements passed quite over between the towers.
And ever as any of them got to the other side, they stood still upon the brink of the ditch without and with arrows and darts kept off those that came by the outside of the wall to hinder their passage.
And when the rest were over, then last of all, and with much ado, came they also down to the ditch which were in the two towers.And by this time the three hundred that were to assist the watch came and set upon them and had lights with them,
by which means the Plataeans that were on the further brink of the ditch discerned them the better from out of the dark and aimed their arrows and darts at their most disarmed parts;for standing in the dark, the lights of the enemy made the Plataeans the less discernible, insomuch as these last passed the ditch, though with difficulty and force.
For the water in it was frozen over, though not so hard as to bear, but watery, and such as when the wind is at east rather than at north.And the snow which fell that night, together with so great a wind as that was, had very much increased the water, which they waded through with scarce their heads above.But yet the greatness of the storm was the principal means of their escape.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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