Clearchus threw out these leading remarks in hopes that this man, who was the ambassador from the king, might himself be led to advise them not to give up their arms, in which case the Hellenes would be still more sanguine and hopeful. But, contrary to his expectation, Phalinus turned round and said: “I say that if you have one chance, one hope in ten thousand to wage a war with the king successfully, do not give up your arms. That is my advice. If, however, you have no chance of escape without the king’s consent, then I say save yourselves in the only way you can.” And Clearchus answered: “So, then, that is your 20 deliberate view? Well, this is our answer, take it back. We conceive that in either case, whether we are expected to be friends with the king, we shall be worth more as friends if we keep our arms than if we yield them to another; or whether we are to go to war, we shall fight better with them than without.” And Phalinus said: “That answer we will repeat; but the king bade me tell you this besides, ’Whilst you remain here there is truce; but one step forward or one step back, the truce ends; there is war.’ Will you then please inform us as to that point also? Are you minded to stop and keep truce, or is there to be war? What answer shall I take from you?” And Clearchus replied: “Pray answer that we hold precisely the same views on this point as the king.”—“How say you the same views?” asked Phalinus. Clearchus made answer: “As long as we stay here there is truce, but a step forward or a step backward, the truce ends; there is war.” The other again asked: “Peace or war, what answer shall I make?” Clearchus returned answer once again in the same words: “Truce if we stop, but if we move forwards or backwards war.” But what he was minded really to do, that he refused to make further manifest.
Phalinus and those that were with him turned and went. But the 1 messengers from Ariaeus, Procles and Cheirisophus came back. As to Menon, he stayed behind with Ariaeus, They brought back this answer from Ariaeus: “‘There are many Persians,’ he says, ’better than himself who will not suffer him to sit upon the king’s throne; but if you are minded to go back with him, you must join him this very night, otherwise he will set off himself to-morrow on the homeward route.’” And Clearchus said: “It had best stand thus between us then. If we come, well and good, be it as you propose; but if we do not come, do whatsoever you think most conducive to your interests.” And so he kept these also in the dark as to his real intention.