ALCIBIADES IN DISGRACE
ALCIBIADES had no sooner sailed, however, than his
enemies, grown bolder, began to talk louder, and soon
convinced the people of his guilt. In their wrath, the
Athenians now sent a messenger to Sicily to overtake
him, and bid him return to Athens to be tried.
His friends, seeing the excitement of the people, and
fearing that they would condemn him in anger, sent word
to him not to return, but to wait until the popular
fury had had time to blow over.
In obedience to this advice, Alcibiades left the fleet,
and, instead of going to Athens, went straight to
Sparta, where he took up his abode. Here the changeable
youth adapted the Spartan dress, lived with the utmost
simplicity and frugality, and even used the laconic
mode of speech.
As he was tall and strong, and a very good athlete, he
soon won the admiration of the Spartans, and made many
friends. During his stay here, he heard that he had
been tried at Athens, although absent, found guilty of
sacrilege, and even sentenced to death.
This ingratitude on the part of his people so angered
 Alcibiades, that he told the Spartans all the Athenian
plans, and showed how to upset them. By his
advice, the Spartans sent aid to the Greeks in Sicily,
helped them to resist the Athenian attack, and even
captured both generals and seven thousand soldiers, who
were put to death.
The Spartans, still under Alcibiades' instructions, now
took and fortified the small town of Decelea, only
twelve miles from Athens. Here they kept an armed
force, ready to spring out at any minute and molest the
Athenians, who found themselves in a continual state of
warfare and insecurity.
The small cities and islands which the Athenians had
won by force now seized this favorable opportunity to
revolt; and the Persians, at Alcibiades' invitation,
joined them, and again began to wage war with the proud
The Athenians were almost in despair. They had enemies
on all sides, and were also worried by the quarrels of
aristocrats and democrats within the city. These two
political parties were now so opposed to each other,
that nothing could make them friends.
The army, longing for action, and without a leader,
finally took matters into their own hands. They
recalled Alcibiades, and asked him to help them. The
 young man, who was generous and kind-hearted,
immediately responded to this appeal; and, now that it
was too late, he repented of what he had done, and
began to do all in his power to defeat the enemy he had
By his eloquence and skill, Alcibiades finally
succeeded in winning the Persians over to side with the
Athenians, and to fight against the Spartans; but all
his efforts to make up for the past were in vain. His
treachery had ruined Athens; and when he led the troops
against the Spartans, the Athenians were completely