Next winter, however, the Ephors under whom the treaty had been made were no longer in office, and some of their successors were directly opposed to it.
Embassies now arrived from the Lacedaemonian confederacy, and the Athenians, Boeotians, and Corinthians also presented themselves at Lacedaemon, and after much discussion and no agreement between them, separated for their several homes; when Cleobulus and Xenares, the two Ephors who were the most anxious to break off the treaty, took advantage of this opportunity to communicate privately with the Boeotians and Corinthians, and advising them to act as much as possible together, instructed the former first to enter into alliance with Argos, and then try and bring themselves and the Argives into alliance with Lacedaemon.
The Boeotians would so be least likely to be compelled to come in to the Attic treaty; and the Lacedaemonians would prefer gaining the friendship and alliance of Argos even at the price of the hostility of Athens and the rupture of the treaty.
The Boeotians knew that an honorable friendship with Agros had been long the desire of Lacedaemon; for the Lacedaemonians believed that this would considerably facilitate the conduct of the war outside Peloponnese.
Meanwhile they begged the Boeotians to place Panactum in her hands in order that she might, if possible, obtain Pylos in exchange for it, and so be more in a position to resume hostilities with Athens.