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59. After the second Peloponnesian invasion, now that Attica had been once more ravaged,1 and the war and the plague together lay heavy upon the Athenians, a change came over their spirit. [2] They blamed Pericles because he had persuaded them to go to war, declaring that he was the author of their troubles; and they were anxious to come to terms with the Lacedaemonians. Accordingly envoys were despatched to Sparta, but they met with no success. And now, being completely at their wits' end, they turned upon Pericles. [3] He saw that they were exasperated by their misery and were behaving just as he had always anticipated that they would. And so, being still general, he called an assembly, wanting to encourage them and to convert their angry feelings into a gentler and more hopeful mood. At this assembly he came forward and spoke as follows:—

1 The Athenians sue for peace and are rejected. They turn upon Penicles. His defence.

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