But Athens had made it a maxim never to let difficulty or disaster drive her back from any enterprise once undertaken, so long as she possessed the means of making any effort, however desperate, for its accomplishment. With indomitable pertinacity she now decreed, instead of recalling her first armament from before Syracuse, to send out a second, though her enemies near home had now renewed open warfare against her, and by occupying a permanent fortification in her territory, had severely distressed her population, and were pressing her with almost all the hardships of an actual siege. She still was mistress of the sea, and she sent forth another fleet of seventy galleys, and another army, which seemed to drain almost the last reserves of her military population, to try if Syracuse could not yet be won, and the honour of the Athenian arms be preserved from the stigma of a retreat. Hers was, indeed, a spirit that might be broken but never would bend. At the head of this second expedition, she wisely placed her best general, Demosthenes, one of the most distinguished officers that the long Peloponnesian war had produced, and who, if he had originally held the Sicilian command, would soon have brought Syracuse to submission.
The fame of Demosthenes, the general, has