THE news was brought to Athens, but the Athenians could not believe that the armament had been so completely annihilated, although they had the positive assurances of athe very soldiers whoa had escaped from the scene of action. At last they knew the truth; and then they were furious with the orators who had joined in promoting the expedition --as if they had not voted it themselvesb--and with the soothsayers, and prophets, and all who by the influence of religion had at the time inspired them with the belief that they would conquer Sicily. Whichever way they looked there was trouble; they were overwhelmed by their calamity, and were in fear and consternation unutterable. The citizens and the city were alike distressed; they had lost a host of cavalry and hoplites and the flower of their youth, and there were none to replace themc. And when they saw an insufficient number of ships in their docks, and no crews to man them, nor money in the treasury, they despaired of deliverance. They had no doubt that their enemies in Sicily, after the great victory which they had already gained, would at once sail against the Piraeus. Their enemies in Hellas, whose resources were now doubled, would likewise set upon them with all their might both by sea and land, and would be assisted by their own revolted allies. Still they determined, so far as their situation allowed, not to give
At first Athenians will not believe the truth, and are furious when they know it. Their prospects are hopless. However, they determine not to yield. They appoint a council of elders, and are disposed to economise and to behave well.