At first Constantine threatened in speaking, but requested in writing, His letters gradually assumed a menacing tone; but while he required that the entrance of the church should be open to 'all', he avoided the odious name of Arius. Athanasius, like a skilful politician, has accurately marked these distinctions (tom. i. p. 788 [tom. i. p. 140, ed. Bened.]), which allowed him some scope for excuse and delay.