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Anabasis

Page: 130





III

After listening to these proposals, they gave and accepted pledges of good faith; and so the deputation rode off. Before day they were back again in camp, and severally rendered a report to those who sent them. At dawn Aristarchus again summoned the generals and officers, but the latter resolved to have done with the visit to Aristarchus, and to summon a meeting of the army. In full conclave the soldiers met, with the exception of Neon's men, who remained about ten furlongs off. When they were met together Xenophon rose, and made the following announcement: "Men, Aristarchus with his ships of war hinders us from sailing where we fain would go; it is not even safe to set foot on board a vessel. But if he hinders us here, he hastens us there. 'Be off to the Chersonese,' says he, 'force a passage through the Sacred mountain.' If we master it and succeed in getting to that place, he has something in store for us. He promises that he will not sell you any more, as he did at Byzantium; you shall not be cheated again; you shall have pay; he will no longer, as now, suffer you to remain in want of provisions. That is his proposal. But Seuthes says that if you will go to him he will treat you well. What you have now to consider is, whether you will stay to debate this question, or leave its settlement till we have gone up into a land of provisions. If you ask me my opinion, it is this: Since here we have neither money to buy, nor leave to take without money what we need, why should we not go up into these villages where the right to help ourselves is conferred by might? There, unhampered by the want of bare necessaries, you can listen to what this man and the other wants of you and choose whichever sounds best. Let those," he added, "who agree to this, hold up their hands." They all held them up. "Retire then," said he, "and get your kit together, and at the word of command, follow your leader."


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