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The Public Orations of Demosthenes, volume 2 by Demosthenes

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I saw Philip reducing all mankind to servitude, I opposed him, and without
ceasing warned and exhorted you to make no surrender.

{73} But the Peace, Aeschines, was in reality broken by Philip, when he
seized the corn-ships, not by Athens. (_To the clerk_.) Bring the decrees
themselves, and the letter of Philip, and read them in order. (_To the
jury_.) For they will make it clear who is responsible, and for what.

{74} [_A decree is read_.]

{75} This decree then was proposed by Eubulus, not by me; and the next by
Aristophon; he is followed first by Hegesippus, and he by Aristophon
again, and then by Philocrates, then by Cephisophon, and then by all of
them. But I proposed no decree upon this subject. (_To the clerk_.) Read.

[_Decrees are read_.]

{76} As then I point to these decrees, so, Aeschines, do you point to a
decree of any kind, proposed by me, which makes me responsible for the
war. You cannot do so: for had you been able, there is nothing which you
would sooner have produced. Indeed, even Philip himself makes no charge
against me as regards the war, though he complains of others. (_To the
clerk_.) Read Philip's letter itself.

{77, 78} [_Philip's letter is read_.]

{79} In this letter he has nowhere mentioned the name of Demosthenes, nor
made any charge against me. Why is it then that, though he complains of
others, he has not mentioned my own actions? Because, if he had written
anything about me, he must have mentioned his own acts of wrong; for it
was these acts upon which I kept my grip, and these which I opposed. First
of all, when he was trying to steal into the Peloponnese, I proposed the
embassy to the Peloponnese;[n] then, when he was grasping at Euboea, the
embassy to Euboea;[n] then the expedition--not an embassy any more--to
Oreus,[n] and that to Eretria, when he had established tyrants in those
cities. {80} After that I dispatched all the naval expeditions, in the
course of which the Chersonese and Byzantium and all our allies were
saved. In consequence of this, the noblest rewards at the hands of those
who had benefited by your action became yours--votes of thanks, glory,
honours, crowns, gratitude; while of the victims of his aggression, those
who followed your advice at the time secured their own deliverance, and
those who neglected it had the memory of your warnings constantly in their
minds, and regarded you not merely as their well-wishers, but as men of
wisdom and prophetic insight; for all that you foretold has come to pass.
{81} And further, that Philistides would have given a large sum to retain
Oreus, and Cleitarchus to retain Eretria, and Philip himself, to be able
to count upon the use of these places against you, and to escape all
exposure of his other proceedings and all investigation, by any one in any
place, of his wrongful acts--all this is not unknown to any one, least of
all to you, Aeschines. {82} For the envoys sent at that time by
Cleitarchus and Philistides lodged at your house, when they came here, and
you acted as their patron.[n] Though the city rejected them, as enemies
whose proposals were neither just nor expedient, to you they were friends.
None of their attempts succeeded, slander me though you may, when you
assert that I say nothing when I receive money, but cry out when I spend
it. That, certainly, is not _your_ way: for you cry out with money in your
hands, and will never cease, unless those present cause you to do so by
taking away your civil rights[n] to-day. {83} Now on that occasion,
gentlemen, you crowned me for my conduct. Aristonicus proposed a decree
whose very syllables were identical with those of Ctesiphon's present
proposal; the crown was proclaimed in the theatre; and this was already
the second proclamation[n] in my honour: and yet Aeschines, though he was
there, neither opposed the decree, nor indicted the mover. (_To the
clerk_.) Take this decree also and read it.

{84} [_The decree of Aristonicus is read_.]

{85} Now is any of you aware of any discredit that attached itself to the
city owing to this decree? Did any mockery or ridicule ensue, such as
Aeschines said must follow on the present occasion, if I were crowned? But
surely when proceedings are recent and well known to all, then it is that,
if they are satisfactory, they meet with gratitude, and if they are
otherwise, with punishment. It appears, then, that on that occasion I met
with gratitude, not with blame or punishment.

{86} Thus the fact that, up to the time when these events took place, I
acted throughout as was best for the city, has been acknowledged by the
victory of my advice and my proposals in your deliberations, by the
successful execution of the measures which I proposed, and the award of
crowns in consequence of them to the city and to myself and to all, and by
your celebration of sacrifices to the gods, and processions, in
thankfulness for these blessings.

{87} When Philip had been expelled from Euboea--and while the arms which
expelled him were yours, the statesmanship and the decrees (even though
some of my opponents may split their sides) were mine--he proceeded to
look for some other stronghold from which he could threaten the city. And
seeing that we were more dependent than any other people upon imported
corn, and wishing to get our corn-trade into his power, he advanced to
Thrace. First, he requested the Byzantines, his own allies, to join him in
the war against you; and when they refused and said (with truth) that they
had not made their alliance with him for such a purpose, he erected a
stockade against the city, brought up his engines, and proceeded to
besiege it. {88} I will not ask again what you ought to have done when
this was happening; it is manifest to all. But who was it that went to the
rescue of the Byzantines, and saved them? Who was it that prevented the
Hellespont from falling into other hands at that time? It was you, men of
Athens--and when I say 'you', I mean this city. And who was it that spoke
and moved resolutions and acted for the city, and gave himself up
unsparingly to the business of the State? It was I. {89} But of the
immense benefit thus conferred upon all, you no longer need words of mine
to tell you, since you have had actual experience of it. For the war which
then ensued, apart from the glorious reputation that it brought you, kept
you supplied with the necessaries of life in greater plenty and at lower
prices than the present Peace, which these worthy men are guarding to
their country's detriment, in their hopes of something yet to be realized.
May those hopes be disappointed! May they share the fortune which you, who
wish for the best, ask of the gods, rather than cause you to share that
upon which their own choice is fixed! (_To the clerk_.) Read out to the
jury the crowns awarded to the city in consequence of her action by the
Byzantines and by the Perinthians.

{90, 91} [_The decree of the Byzantines is read_.]

{92} Read out also the crowns awarded by the peoples of the Chersonese.

[_The decree of the peoples of the Chersonese is read_.]

{93} Thus the policy which I had adopted was not only successful in saving
the Chersonese and Byzantium, in preventing the Hellespont from falling at
that time into the power of Philip, and in bringing honours to the city in
consequence, but it revealed to the whole world the noble gallantry of
Athens and the baseness of Philip. For all saw that he, the ally of the
Byzantines, was besieging them--what could be more shameful or revolting?
{94} and on the other hand, it was seen that you, who might fairly have
urged many well-founded complaints against them for their inconsiderate
conduct[n] towards you at an earlier period, not only refused to remember
your grudge and to abandon the victims of aggression, but actually
delivered them; and in consequence of this, you won glory and goodwill on
all hands. And further, though every one knows that you have crowned many
public men before now, no one can name any but myself--that is to say, any
public counsellor and orator--for whose merits the city has received a

{95} In order to prove to you, also, that the slanders which he uttered
against the Euboeans and Byzantines, as he recalled to you any ill-natured
action that they had taken towards you in the past, are disingenuous
calumnies, not only because they are false (for this, I think, you may all
be assumed to know), but also because, however true they might be, it was
still to your advantage to deal with the political situation as I have
done, I desire to describe, and that briefly, one or two of the noble
deeds which this city has done in your own time. For an individual and a
State should strive always, in their respective spheres, to fashion their
future conduct after the highest examples that their past affords. {96}
Thus, men of Athens, at a time when the Spartans were masters of land and
sea,[n] and were retaining their hold, by means of governors and
garrisons, upon the country all round Attica--Euboea, Tanagra, all
Boeotia, Megara, Aegina, Ceos, and the other islands--and when Athens
possessed neither ships nor walls, you marched forth to Haliartus, and
again, not many days later, to Corinth, though the Athenians of that day
might have borne a heavy grudge against both the Corinthians and the
Thebans for the part they had played in reference to the Deceleian War.[n]
{97} But they bore no such grudge. Far from it! And neither of these
actions, Aeschines, was taken by them to help benefactors; nor was the
prospect before them free from danger. Yet they did not on that account
sacrifice those who fled to them for help. For the sake of glory and
honour they were willing to expose themselves to the danger; and it was a
right and a noble spirit that inspired their counsels. For the life of all
men must end in death, though a man shut himself in a chamber and keep
watch; but brave men must ever set themselves to do that which is noble,
with their joyful hope for their buckler, and whatsoever God gives, must
bear it gallantly. {98} Thus did your forefathers, and thus did the elder
among yourselves: for, although the Spartans were no friends or
benefactors of yours, but had done much grievous wrong to the city, yet,
when the Thebans, after their victory at Leuctra, attempted to annihilate
them, you prevented it, not terrified by the strength or the reputation
which the Thebans then enjoyed, nor reckoning up what the men had done to
you, for whom you were to face this peril. {99} And thus, as you know, you
revealed to all the Hellenes, that whatever offences may be committed
against you, though under all other circumstances you show your resentment
of them, yet if any danger to life or freedom overtakes the transgressors,
you will bear no grudge and make no reckoning. Nor was it in these
instances only that you were thus disposed. For once more, when the
Thebans were appropriating Euboea,[n] you did not look on while it was
done; you did not call to mind the wrong which had been done to you in the
matter of Oropus[n] by Themison and Theodorus: you helped even these; and
it was then that the city for the first time had voluntary trierarchs, of
whom I was one.[n] But I will not speak of this yet. {100} And although to
save the island was itself a noble thing to do, it was a yet nobler thing
by far, that when their lives and their cities were absolutely in your
power, you gave them back, as it was right to do, to the very men who had
offended against you, and made no reckoning, when such trust had been
placed in you, of the wrongs which you had suffered. I pass by the
innumerable instances which I might still give--battles at sea,
expeditions [by land, campaigns] both long ago and now in our day; in all
of which the object of the city has been to defend the freedom and safety
of the other Hellenic peoples. {101} And so, when in all these striking
examples I had beheld the city ever ready to strive in defence of the
interests of others, what was I likely to bid her do, what action was I
likely to recommend to her, when the debate to some extent concerned her
own interests? 'Why,' you would say, 'to remember her grudge against those
who wanted deliverance, and to look for excuses for sacrificing
everything!' And who would not have been justified in putting me to death,
if I had attempted to bring shame upon the city's high traditions, though
it were only by word? The deed itself you would never have done, I know
full well; for had you desired to do it, what was there to hinder you?
Were you not free so to act? Had you not these men here to propose it?

{102} I wish now to return to the next in succession of my political acts;
and here again you must ask yourselves, what was the best thing for the
city? For, men of Athens, when I saw that your navy was breaking up, and
that, while the rich were obtaining exemption on the strength of small
payments,[n] citizens of moderate or small means were losing all that they
had; and further, that in consequence of these things the city was always
missing her opportunities; I enacted a law in accordance with which I
compelled the former--the rich--to do their duty fairly; I put an end to
the injustice done to the poor, and (what was the greatest service of all
to the State) I caused our preparations to be made in time. {103} When I
was indicted for this, I appeared before you at the ensuing trial, and was
acquitted; the prosecutor failed to obtain the necessary fraction of the
votes. But what sums do you think the leaders of the Taxation-Boards, or
those who stood second or third, offered me, to induce me, if possible,
not to enact the law, or at least to let it drop and lie under sworn
notice of prosecution?[n] They offered sums so large, men of Athens, that
I should hesitate to mention them to you. It was a natural course for them
to take. {104} For under the former laws it was possible for them to
divide their obligation between sixteen persons, paying little or nothing
themselves, and grinding down their poorer fellow citizens: while by my
law each must pay down a sum calculated in proportion to his property; and
a man came to be charged with two warships, who had previously been one of
sixteen subscribers to a single one (for they used now to call themselves
no longer captains of their ships, but subscribers). Thus there was
nothing that they were not willing to give, if only the new plan could be
brought to nothing, and they could escape being compelled to do their duty
fairly. (_To the clerk_.) {105} Now read me, first, the decree[n] in
accordance with which I had to meet the indictment; and then the lists of
those liable under the former law, and under my own, respectively. Read.

[_The decree is read_.]

{106} Now produce that noble list.

[_A list is read_.]

Now produce, for comparison with this, the list under my own law.

[_A list is read_.]

Was this, think you, but a trifling assistance which I rendered to the
poor among you? {107} Would the wealthy have spent but a trifling sum to
avoid doing their duty fairly? I am proud not only of having refused all
compromise upon the measure, not only of having been acquitted when I was
indicted, but also of having enacted a law which was beneficial, and of
having given proof of it in practice. For throughout the war the armaments
were equipped under my law, and no trierarch ever laid the suppliants'
branch[n] before you in token of grievance, nor took sanctuary at
Munychia; none was imprisoned by the Admiralty Board; no warship was
abandoned at sea and lost to the State, or left behind here as
unseaworthy. Under the former laws all these things used to happen; {108}
and the reason was that the obligation rested upon the poor, and in
consequence there were many cases of inability to discharge it. I
transferred the duties of the trierarchy from the poor to the rich; and
therefore every duty was properly fulfilled. Aye, and for this very reason
I deserve to receive praise--that I always adopted such political measures
as brought with them accessions of glory and honour and power to the city.
No measure of mine is malicious, harsh, or unprincipled; none is degrading
or unworthy of the city. The same spirit will be seen both in my domestic
and my international policy. {109} For just as in home affairs I did not
set the favour of the rich above the rights of the many, so in
international affairs I did not embrace the gifts and the friendship of
Philip, in preference to the common interests of all the Hellenes.

It still remains for me, I suppose, to speak about the proclamation, and
about my examination. {110} The statement that I acted for the best, and
that I am loyal to you throughout and eager to do you good service, I have
proved, I think, sufficiently, by what I have said. At the same time I am
passing over the most important parts of my political life and actions;
for I conceive that I ought first to render to you in their proper order
my arguments in regard to the alleged illegality itself: which done, even
if I say nothing about the rest of my political acts, I can still rely
upon that personal knowledge of them which each of you possesses.

{111} Of the arguments which the prosecutor jumbled together in utter
confusion with reference to the laws accompanying his indictment,[n] I am
quite certain that you could not follow the greater part, nor could I
understand them myself; but I will simply address you straightforwardly
upon the question of right. So far am I from claiming (as he just now
slanderously declared) to be free from the liability to render an account,
that I admit a life-long liability to account for every part of my
administration and policy. {112} But I do not admit that I am liable for
one single day--you hear me, Aeschines?--to account for what I have given
to the People as a free-will offering out of my private estate; nor is any
one else so liable, not even if he is one of the nine archons. What law is
so replete with injustice and churlishness, that when a man has made a
present out of his private property and done an act of generosity and
munificence, it deprives him of the gratitude due to him, hales him before
a court of disingenuous critics, and sets them to audit accounts of sums
which he himself has given? There is no such law. If the prosecutor
asserts that there is, let him produce it, and I will resign myself and
say no more. {113} But the law does not exist, men of Athens; this is
nothing but an informer's trick on the part of Aeschines, who, because I
was Controller of the Festival Fund when I made this donation, says,
'Ctesiphon proposed a vote of thanks to him when he was still liable to
account.' The vote of thanks was not for any of the things for which I was
liable to account; it was for my voluntary gift, and your charge is a
misrepresentation. 'Yes,' you say, 'but you were also a Commissioner of
Fortifications.' I was, and thanks were rightly accorded me on the very
ground that, instead of charging the sums which I spent, I made a present
of them. A statement of account, it is true, calls for an audit and
scrutineers; but a free gift deserves gratitude and thanks; and that is
why the defendant proposed this motion in my favour. {114} That this
principle is not merely laid down in the laws, but rooted in your national
character, I shall have no difficulty in proving by many instances.
Nausicles,[n] to begin with, has often been crowned by you, while general,
for sacrifices which he had made from his private funds. Again, when
Diotimus[n] gave the shields, and Charidemus[n] afterwards, they were
crowned. And again, Neoptolemus here, while still director of many public
works, has received honours for his voluntary gifts. It would really be too
bad, if any one who held any office must either be debarred thereby from
making a present to the State, or else, instead of receiving due gratitude,
must submit accounts of the sums given. {115} To prove the truth of my
statements, (_to the clerk_) take and read the actual decrees which were
passed in honour of these persons. Read.

{116} [_Two decrees are read_.]

{117} Each of these persons, Aeschines, was accountable as regards the
office which he held, but not as regards the services for which he was
crowned. Nor am I, therefore; for I presume that I have the same rights as
others with reference to the same matters. I made a voluntary gift. For
this I receive thanks; for I am not liable to account for what I gave. I
was holding office. True, and I have rendered an account of my official
expenditure, but not of what I gave voluntarily. Ah! but I exercised my
office iniquitously! What? and you were there, when the auditors brought
me before them, and did not accuse me?

{118} Now that the court may see that the prosecutor himself bears me
witness that I was crowned for services of which I was not liable to
render an account, (_to the clerk_) take and read the decree which was
proposed in my honour, in its entirety. (_To the jury_.) The points which
he has omitted to indict in the Council's resolution will show that the
charges which he does make are deliberate misrepresentations. (_To the
clerk_.) Read.

[_The decree is read_.]

{119} My donations then, were these, of which you have not made one the
subject of indictment. It is the reward for these, which the Council
states to be my due, that you attack. You admit that it was legal to
accept the gifts offered, and you indict as illegal the return of
gratitude for them. In Heaven's name, what must the perfect scoundrel, the
really heaven-detested, malignant being be like? Must he not be a man like

{120} But as regards the proclamation in the theatre, I pass by the fact
that ten thousand persons have been thus proclaimed on ten thousand
different occasions, and that my own name has often been so proclaimed
before. But, in Heaven's name, Aeschines, are you so perverse and stupid,
that you cannot grasp the fact that the recipient of the crown feels the
same pride wherever the crown is proclaimed, and that it is for the
benefit of those who confer it that the proclamation is made in the
theatre? For those who hear are stimulated to do good service to the
State, and commend those who return gratitude for such service even more
than they commend the recipient of the crown. That is why the city has
enacted this law. (_To the clerk_.) Take the law itself and read it.

[_The law is read_.]

{121} Do you hear, Aeschines, the plain words of the law? 'Except such as
the People or the Council shall resolve so to proclaim. But let these be
proclaimed.' Why, wretched man, do you lay this dishonest charge? Why do
you invent false arguments? Why do you not take hellebore[n] to cure you?
What? Are you not ashamed to bring a case founded upon envy, not upon any
crime--to alter some of the laws, and to leave out parts of others, when
they ought surely, in justice, to be read entire to those who have sworn
to give their votes in accordance with the laws? {122} And then, while you
act in this way, you enumerate the qualities which should be found in a
friend of the People, as if you had contracted for a statue, and
discovered on receiving it that it had not the features required by the
contract; or as if a friend of the People was known by a definition, and
not by his works and his political measures! And you shout out
expressions, proper and improper, like a reveller on a cart[n]--
expressions which apply to you and your house, not to me. I will add this
also, men of Athens. {123} The difference between abuse and accusation is,
I imagine, that an accusation is founded upon crimes, for which the
penalties are assigned by law; abuse, upon such slanders as their own
character leads enemies to utter about one another. And I conceive that
our forefathers built these courts of law, not that we might assemble you
here and revile one another with improper expressions suggested by our
adversary's private life, but that we might convict any one who happens to
have committed some crime against the State. {124} Aeschines knew this as
well as I; and yet he chose to make a ribald attack instead of an
accusation. At the same time, it is not fair that he should go off without
getting as much as he gives, even in this respect; and when I have asked
him one question, I will at once proceed to the attack. Are we to call
you, Aeschines, the enemy of the State, or of myself? Of myself, of
course. What? And when you might have exacted the penalty from me, on
behalf of your fellow countrymen, according to the laws--at public
examinations, by indictment, by all other forms of trial--did you always
omit to do so? {125} And yet to-day, when I am unassailable upon every
ground--on the ground of law, of lapse of time, of the statutable
limit,[n] of the many previous trials which I have undergone upon every
charge, without having once been convicted of any crime against you to
this day--and when the city must necessarily share to a greater or smaller
degree in the glory of acts which were really acts of the people, have you
confronted me upon such an issue as this? Take care lest, while you
profess to be _my_ enemy, you prove to be the enemy of your fellow

{126} Since then I have shown you all what is the vote which religion and
justice demand of you, I am now obliged, it would seem, by the slanders
which he has uttered (though I am no lover of abuse) to reply to his many
falsehoods by saying just what is absolutely necessary about himself, and
showing who he is, and whence he is sprung, that he so lightly begins to
use bad language, pulling to pieces certain expressions of mine, when he
has himself used expressions which any respectable man would have shrunk
from uttering; {127} for if the accuser were Aeacus or Rhadamanthus or
Minos,[n] instead of a scandal-monger,[n] an old hand in the
marketplace,[n] a pestilent clerk, I do not believe that he would have
spoken thus, or produced such a stock of ponderous phrases, crying aloud,
as if he were acting a tragedy, 'O Earth and Sun and Virtue,'[n] and the
like; or again, invoking 'Wit and Culture, by which things noble and base
are discerned apart'--for, of course, you heard him speaking in this way.
{128} Scum of the earth! What have you or yours to do with virtue? How
should _you_ discern what is noble and what is not? Where and how did you
get your qualification to do so? What right have _you_ to mention culture
anywhere? A man of genuine culture would not only never have asserted such
a thing of himself, but would have blushed to hear another do so: and
those who, like you, fall far short of it, but are tactless enough to
claim it, succeed only in causing distress to their hearers, when they
speak--not in seeming to be what they profess.

{129} But though I am not at a loss to know what to say about you and
yours, I am at a loss to know what to mention first. Shall I tell first[n]
how your father Tromes was a slave in the house of Elpias, who kept an
elementary school near the temple of Theseus, and how he wore shackles and
a wooden halter? Or how your mother, by celebrating her daylight nuptials
in her hut near the shrine of the Hero of the Lancet,[n] was enabled to
rear you, her beautiful statue, the prince of third-rate actors? But these
things are known to all without my telling them. Shall I tell how Phormio,
the ship's piper, the slave of Dion of Phrearrii, raised her up out of
this noble profession? But, before God and every Heavenly Power, I shudder
lest in using expressions which are fitly applied to you, I may be thought
to have chosen a subject upon which it ill befits myself to speak. {130}
So I will pass this by, and will begin with the acts of his own life; for
they were not like any chance actions,[n] but such as the people curses.
For only lately--lately, do I say? only yesterday or the day before--did
he become at once an Athenian and an orator, and by the addition of two
syllables converted his father from Tromes into Atrometus, and gave his
mother the imposing name of Glaucothea,[n] when every one knows that she
used to be called Empusa[n]--a name which was obviously given her because
there was nothing that she would not do or have done to her; for how else
should she have acquired it? {131} Yet, in spite of this, you are of so
ungrateful and villainous a nature, that though, thanks to your
countrymen, you have risen from slavery to freedom, and from poverty to
wealth, far from feeling gratitude to them, you devote your political
activity to working against them as a hireling. I will pass over every
case in which there is any room for the contention that he has spoken in
the interests of the city, and will remind you of the acts which he was
manifestly proved to have done for the good of her enemies.

{132} Which of you has not heard of Antiphon,[n] who was struck off the
list of citizens,[n] and came into the city in pursuance of a promise to
Philip that he would burn the dockyards? I found him concealed in the
Peiraeus, and brought him before the Assembly; but the malignant Aeschines
shouted at the top of his voice, that it was atrocious of me, in a
democratic country, to insult a citizen who had met with misfortune, and
to go to men's houses without a decree;[n] and he obtained his release.
{133} And unless the Council of Areopagus had taken notice of the matter,
and, seeing the inopportuneness of the ignorance which you had shown, had
made a further search for the man, and arrested him, and brought him
before you again, a man of that character would have been snatched out of
your hands, and would have evaded punishment, and been sent out of the
country by this pompous orator. As it was, you tortured and executed him--
and so ought you also to have treated Aeschines. {134} The Council of
Areopagus knew the part which he had played in this affair; and for this
reason, when, owing to the same ignorance which so often leads you to
sacrifice the public interests, you elected him[n] to advocate your claims
in regard to the Temple of Delos, the Council (since you had appointed it
to assist you and entrusted it with full authority to act in the matter)
immediately rejected Aeschines as a traitor, and committed the case to
Hypereides. When the Council took this step, the members took their votes
from the altar,[n] and not one vote was given for this abominable man.
{135} To prove that what I say is true, (_to the clerk_) call the
witnesses who testify to it.

[_The witnesses are called_.]

{136} Thus when the Council rejected him from the office of advocate, and
committed the case to another, it declared at the same time that he was a
traitor, who wished you ill.

Such was one of the public appearances of this fine fellow, and such its
character--so like the acts with which he charges me, is it not? Now
recall a second. For when Philip sent Python of Byzantium,[n] and with him
envoys from all his allies, in the hope of putting the city to shame and
showing her to be in the wrong, I would not give way before the torrent of
insolent rhetoric which Python poured out upon you, but rose and
contradicted him, and would not betray the city's rights, but proved the
iniquity of Philip's actions so manifestly, that even his own allies rose
up and admitted it. But Aeschines supported Python; he gave testimony in
opposition to his country, and that testimony false.

{137} Nor was this sufficient for him; for again after this he was
detected going to meet Anaxinus[n] the spy in the house of Thrason. But
surely one who met the emissary of the enemy alone and conferred with him,
must himself have been already a born spy and an enemy of his country. To
prove the truth of what I say, (_to the clerk_) call the witnesses to
these facts.

[_The witnesses are called_.]

{138} There are still an infinite number of things which I might relate of
him; but I pass them over. For the truth is something like this. I could
still point to many instances in which he was found to be serving our
enemies during that period, and showing his spite against me. But you do
not store such things up in careful remembrance, to visit them with the
indignation which they deserve; but, following a bad custom, you have
given great freedom to any one who wishes to trip up the proposer of any
advantageous measure by dishonest charges--bartering, as you do, the
advantage of the State for the pleasure and gratification which you derive
from invective; and so it is always easier and safer to be a hireling in
the service of the enemy, than a statesman who has chosen to defend your

{139} To co-operate with Philip before we were openly at war with him was
--I call Earth and Heaven to witness--atrocious enough. How could it be
otherwise--against his own country? Nevertheless, concede him this, if you
will, concede him this. But when the corn-ships had been openly plundered,
and the Chersonese was being ravaged, and the man was on the march against
Attica; when the position of affairs was no longer in doubt, and war had
begun; what action did this malignant mouther of verses ever do for your
good? He can point to none. There is not a single decree, small or great,
with reference to the interests of the city, standing in the name of
Aeschines. If he asserts that there is, let him produce it in the time
allotted to me. But no such decree exists. In that case, however, only two
alternatives are possible: either he had no fault to find at the time with
my policy, and therefore made no proposal contrary to it; or else he was
seeking the advantage of the enemy, and therefore refrained from bringing
forward any better policy than mine.

{140} Did he then abstain from speaking, as he abstained from proposing
any motion, when any mischief was to be done? On the contrary, no one else
had a chance of speaking. But though, apparently, the city could endure
everything else, and he could do everything else unobserved, there was one
final deed which was the culmination of all that he had done before. Upon
this he expended all that multitude of words, as he went through the
decrees relating to the Amphisseans, in the hope of distorting the truth.
But the truth cannot be distorted. It is impossible. Never will you wash
away the stain of your actions there! You will not say enough for that!

{141} I call upon all the gods and goddesses who protect this land of
Attica, in the presence of you all, men of Athens; and upon Apollo of
Pytho, the paternal deity[n] of this city, and I pray to them all, that if
I should speak the truth to you--if I spoke it at that very time without
delay, in the presence of the people, when first I saw this abominable man
setting his hand to this business (for I knew it, I knew it at once),--
that then they may give me good fortune and life: but if, to gratify my
hatred or any private quarrel, I am now bringing a false accusation
against this man, then they may take from me the fruition of every

{142} Why have I uttered this imprecation with such vehemence and
earnestness? Because, although I have documents, lying in the public
archives, by which I will prove the facts clearly; although I know that
you remember what was done; I have still the fear that he may be thought
too insignificant a man to have done all the evil which he has wrought--as
indeed happened before, when he caused the ruin of the unhappy Phocians by
the false report which he brought home. {143} For the war at Amphissa,
which was the cause of Philip's coming to Elateia, and of one being
chosen[n] commander of the Amphictyons, who overthrew the fortunes of the
Hellenes--_he_ it is who helped to get it up; he, in his sole person, is
to blame for disasters to which no equal can be found. I protested at the
time, and cried out, before the Assembly, 'You are bringing war into
Attica, Aeschines--an Amphictyonic War.' But a packed group of his
supporters refused to let me speak, while the rest were amazed, and
imagined that I was bringing a baseless charge against him, out of
personal animosity. {144} But what the true nature of these proceedings
was, men of Athens--why this plan was contrived, and how it was executed--
you must hear from me to-day, since you were prevented from doing so at
the time. You will behold a business cunningly organized; you will advance
greatly in your knowledge of public affairs; and you will see what
cleverness there was in Philip.

{145} Philip had no prospect of seeing the end of the war with you, or
ridding himself of it, unless he could make the Thebans and Thessalians
enemies of Athens. For although the war was being wretchedly and
inefficiently conducted by your generals, he was nevertheless suffering
infinite damage from the war itself and from the freebooters. The
exportation of the produce of his country and the importation of what he
needed were both impossible. {146} Moreover, he was not at that time
superior to you at sea, nor could he reach Attica, if the Thessalians
would not follow him, or the Thebans give him a passage through their
country; and although he was overcoming in the field the generals whom you
sent out, such as they were (for of this I say nothing), he found himself
suffering from the geographical conditions themselves, and from the nature
of the resources[n] which either side possessed. {147} Now if he tried to
encourage either the Thessalians or the Thebans to march against you in
order to further his own quarrel, no one, he thought, would pay any
attention to him; but if he adopted their own common grounds of action and
were chosen commander, he hoped to find it easier to deceive or to
persuade them, as the case might be. What then does he do? He attempts
(and observe with what skill) to stir up an Amphictyonic War, and a
disturbance in connexion with the meeting of the Council. {148} For he
thought that they would at once find that they needed his help, to deal
with these. Now if one of his own or his allies' representatives on the
Council[n] brought the matter forward, he thought that both the Thebans
and the Thessalians would regard the proceeding with suspicion, and that
all would be on their guard: but if it was an Athenian, sent by you, his
adversaries, that did so, he would easily escape detection--as, in fact,
happened. {149}* How then did he manage this? He hired Aeschines. No one,
I suppose, either realized beforehand what was going on or guarded against
it--that is how such affairs are usually conducted here; Aeschines was
nominated a delegate to the Council; three or four people held up their
hands for him, and he was declared elected. But when, bearing with him the
prestige of this city, he reached the Amphictyons, he dismissed and closed
his eyes to all other considerations, and proceeded to perform the task
for which he had been hired. He composed and recited a story, in
attractive language, of the way in which the Cirrhaean territory had come
to be dedicated; {150} and with this he persuaded the members of the
Council, who were unused to rhetoric and did not foresee what was about to
happen, that they should resolve to make the circuit of the territory,[n]
which the Amphisseans said they were cultivating because it was their own,
while he alleged that it was part of the consecrated land. The Locrians
were not bringing any suit against us, or taking any such action as (in
order to justify himself) he now falsely alleges. You may know this from
the following consideration. It was clearly impossible[n] for the Locrians
to bring a suit against Athens to an actual issue, without summoning us.
Who then served the summons upon us? Before what authority was it served?
Tell us who knows: point to him. You cannot do so. It was a hollow and a
false pretext of which you thus made a wrongful use. {151} While the
Amphictyons were making the circuit of the territory in accordance with
Aeschines' suggestion, the Locrians fell upon them and came near to
shooting them all down with their spears; some of the members of the
Council they even carried off with them. And now that complaints and
hostilities had been stirred up against the Amphisseans, in consequence of
these proceedings, the command was first held by Cottyphus, and his force
was drawn from the Amphictyonic Powers alone. But since some did not come,
and those who came did nothing, the men who had been suborned for the
purpose--villains of long standing, chosen from the Thessalians and from
the traitors in other States--took steps with a view to entrusting the
affair to Philip, as commander, at the next meeting of the Council. {152}
They had adopted arguments of a persuasive kind. Either, they said, the
Amphictyons must themselves contribute funds, maintain mercenaries, and
fine those who refused to do so; or they must elect Philip. To make a long
story short, the result was that Philip was appointed. And immediately
afterwards, having collected a force and crossed the Pass, ostensibly on
his way to the territory of Cirrha, he bids a long farewell to the
Cirrhaeans and Locrians, and seizes Elateia. {153} Now if the Thebans had
not changed their policy at once, upon seeing this, and joined us, the
trouble would have descended upon the city in full force, like a torrent
in winter. As it was, the Thebans checked him for the moment; chiefly, men
of Athens, through the goodwill of some Heavenly Power towards us; but
secondarily, so far as it lay in one man's power, through me also. (_To
the clerk_.) Now give me the decrees in question, and the dates of each
proceeding; (_to the jury_) that you may know what trouble this abominable
creature stirred up, unpunished. (_To the clerk_.) Read me the decrees.

{154} [_The decrees of the Amphictyons are read_.]

{155} (_To the clerk_.) Now read the dates of these proceedings. (_To the
jury_.) They are the dates at which Aeschines was delegate to the Council.
(_To the clerk_.) Read.

[_The dates are read_.]

{156} Now give me the letter which Philip sent to his allies in the
Peloponnese, when the Thebans failed to obey his summons. For from this,
too, you may clearly see that he concealed the real reason for his
action--the fact that he was taking measures against Hellas and the
Thebans and yourselves--and pretended to represent the common cause and
the will of the Amphictyons. And the man who provided him with all these
occasions and pretexts was Aeschines. (_To the clerk_.) Read.

{157} [_Philip's letter is read_.]

{158} You see that he avoids the mention of his own reasons for action,
and takes refuge in those provided by the Amphictyons. Who was it that
helped him to prepare such a case? Who put such pretexts at his disposal?
Who is most to blame for the disasters that have taken place? Is it not
Aeschines? And so, men of Athens, you must not go about saying that Hellas
has suffered such things as these at the hands of one man.[n] I call Earth
and Heaven to witness, that it was at the hands, not of one man, but of
many villains in each State. {159} And of these Aeschines is one; and, had
I to speak the truth without any reserve, I should not hesitate to
describe him as the incarnate curse of all alike--men, regions or cities--
that have been ruined since then. For he who supplied the seed is
responsible for the crop. I wonder that you did not turn away your eyes at
the very sight of him: but a cloud of darkness seems to hang between you
and the truth.

{160} I find that in dealing with the measures taken by Aeschines for the
injury of his country, I have reached the time when I must speak of my own
statesmanship in opposition to these measures; and it is fair that you
should listen to this, for many reasons, but above all because it will be
a shameful thing, if, when I have faced the actual realities of hard work
for you, you will not even suffer the story of them to be told. {161} For
when I saw the Thebans, and (I may almost say) yourselves as well, being
led by the corrupt partisans of Philip in either State to overlook,
without taking a single precaution against it, the thing which was really
dangerous to both peoples and needed their utmost watchfulness--the
unhindered growth of Philip's power; while, on the contrary, you were
quite ready to entertain ill-feeling and to quarrel with one another; I
kept unceasing watch to prevent this. Nor did I rely only on my own
judgement in thinking that this was what your interest required. {162} I
knew that Aristophon, and afterwards Eubulus, always wished to bring about
this friendly union, and that, often as they opposed one another in other
matters, they always agreed in this. Cunning fox! While they lived, you
hung about them and flattered them; yet now that they are dead, you do not
see that you are attacking them. For your censure of my policy in regard
to Thebes is far more a denunciation of them than of me, since they were
before me in approving of that alliance. {163} But I return to my previous
point--that it was when Aeschines had brought about the war at Amphissa,
and the others, his accomplices, had effectually helped him to create the
ill-feeling against the Thebans, that Philip marched against us. For it
was to render this possible that their attempt to throw the two cities
into collision was made; and had we not roused ourselves a little before
it was too late, we should never have been able to regain the lost ground;
to such a length had these men carried matters. What the relations between
the two peoples already were, you will know when you have heard these
decrees and replies. (_To the clerk_.) Take these and read them.

{164, 165} [_The decrees are read_.]

{166} (_To the clerk_.) Now read the replies.

{167} [_The replies are read_.]

{168} Having established such relations between the cities, through the
agency of these men, and being elated by these decrees and replies, Philip
came with his army and seized Elateia, thinking that under no
circumstances whatever should we and the Thebans join in unison after
this. And though the commotion which followed in the city is known to you
all, let me relate to you briefly just the bare facts.

{169} It was evening, and one had come to the Prytanes[n] with the news
that Elateia had been taken. Upon this they rose up from supper without
delay; some of them drove the occupants out of the booths in the market-
place and set fire to the wicker-work;[n] others sent for the generals and
summoned the trumpeter; and the city was full of commotion. On the morrow,
at break of day, the Prytanes summoned the Council to the Council-Chamber,
while you made your way to the Assembly; and before the Council had
transacted its business and passed its draft-resolution,[n] the whole
people was seated on the hill-side.[n] {170} And now, when the Council had
arrived, and the Prytanes had reported the intelligence which they had
received, and had brought forward the messenger, and he had made his
statement, the herald proceeded to ask, 'Who wishes to speak?' But no one
came forward; and though the herald repeated the question many times,
still no one rose, though all the generals were present, and all the
orators, and the voice of their country was calling for some one to speak
for her deliverance. For the voice of the herald, uttered in accordance
with the laws, is rightly to be regarded as the common voice of our
country. {171} And yet, if it was for those to come forward who wished for
the deliverance of the city, all of you and all the other Athenians would
have risen, and proceeded to the platform, for I am certain that you all
wished for her deliverance. If it was for the wealthiest, the Three
Hundred[n] would have risen; and if it was for those who had both these
qualifications--loyalty to the city and wealth--then those would have
risen, who subsequently made those large donations; for it was loyalty and
wealth that led them so to do. {172} But that crisis and that day called,
it seems, not merely for a man of loyalty and wealth, but for one who had
also followed the course of events closely from the first, and had come to
a true conclusion as to the motive and the aim with which Philip was
acting as he was. For no one who was unacquainted with these, and had not
scrutinized them from an early period, was any the more likely, for all
his loyalty and wealth, to know what should be done, or to be able to
advise you. {173} The man who was needed was found that day in me. I came
forward and addressed you in words which I ask you to listen to with
attention, for two reasons--first, because I would have you realize that I
was the only orator or politician who did not desert his post as a loyal
citizen in the hour of danger, but was found there, speaking and proposing
what your need required, in the midst of the terror; and secondly, because
by the expenditure of a small amount of time, you will be far better
qualified for the future in the whole art of political administration.
{174} My words then were these: 'Those who are unduly disturbed by the
idea that Philip can count upon the support of Thebes do not, I think,
understand the present situation. For I am quite sure that, if this were
so, we should have heard of his being, not at Elateia, but on our own
borders. At the same time, I understand quite well, that he has come to
prepare the way for himself at Thebes. {175} Listen,' I said, 'while I
tell you the true state of affairs. Philip already has at his disposal all
the Thebans whom he could win over either by bribery or by deception; and
those who have resisted him from the first and are opposing him now, he
has no chance of winning. What then is his design and object in seizing
Elateia? He wishes, by making a display of force in their neighbourhood
and bringing up his army, to encourage and embolden his own friends, and
to strike terror into his enemies, that so they may either concede out of
terror what they now refuse, or may be compelled. {176} Now,' I said, 'if
we make up our minds at the present moment to remember any ill-natured
action which the Thebans may have done us, and to distrust them on the
assumption that they are on the side of our enemies, we shall be doing, in
the first place, just what Philip would pray for: and further, I am afraid
that his present opponents may then welcome him, that all may
philippize[n] with one consent, and that he and they may march to Attica
together. If, however, you follow my advice, and give your minds to the
problem before us, instead of to contentious criticism of anything that I
may say, I believe that I shall be able to win your approval for my
proposals, and to dispel the danger which threatens the city. {177} What
then must you do? You must first moderate your present alarm, and then
change your attitude, and be alarmed, all of you, for the Thebans. They
are far more within the reach of disaster than we: it is they whom the
danger threatens first. Secondly, those who are of military age, with the
cavalry, must march to Eleusis,[n] and let every one see that you
yourselves are in arms; in order that those who sympathize with you in
Thebes may be enabled to speak in defence of the right, with the same
freedom that their opponents enjoy, when they see that, just as those who
are trying to sell their country to Philip have a force ready to help them
at Elateia, so those who would struggle for freedom have you ready at hand
to help them, and to go to their aid, if any one attacks them. {178} Next
I bid you elect ten envoys, and give them full authority, with the
generals, to decide the time of their own journey to Thebes, and to order
the march of the troops. But when the envoys arrive in Thebes, how do I
advise that they should handle the matter? I ask your special attention to
this. They must require nothing of the Thebans--to do so at such a moment
would be shameful; but they must undertake that we will go to their aid,
if they bid us do so, on the ground that they are in extreme peril, and
that we foresee the future better than they; in order that, if they accept
our offer and take our advice, we may have secured our object, and our
action may wear an aspect worthy of this city; or, if after all we are
unsuccessful, the Thebans may have themselves to blame for any mistakes
which they now make, while we shall have done nothing disgraceful or
ignoble.' {179} When I had spoken these words, and others in the same
strain, I left the platform. All joined in commending these proposals; no
one said a word in opposition; and I did not speak thus, and then fail to
move a motion; nor move a motion, and then fail to serve as envoy; nor
serve as envoy, and then fail to persuade the Thebans. I carried the
matter through in person from beginning to end, and gave myself up
unreservedly to meet the dangers which encompassed the city. (_To the
clerk_.) Bring me the resolution which was then passed.

{180} But now, Aeschines, how would you have me describe your part, and
how mine, that day? Shall I call myself, as you would call me by way of
abuse and disparagement, _Battalus_?[n] and you, no ordinary hero even,
but a real stage-hero, _Cresphontes_ or _Creon_,[n] or--the character
which you cruelly murdered at Collytus[n]--_Oenomaus_? Then I, Battalus of
Paeania, proved myself of more value to my country in that crisis than
Oenomaus of Cothocidae. In fact you were of no service on any occasion,
while I played the part which became a good citizen throughout. (_To the
clerk_.) Read this decree.

{181-7} [_The decree of Demosthenes is read_.]

{188} This was the first step towards our new relations with Thebes, and
the beginning of a settlement. Up to this time the cities had been
inveigled into mutual hostility, hatred, and mistrust by these men. But
this decree caused the peril that encompassed the city to pass away like a
cloud. It was for an honest citizen, if he had any better plan than mine,
to make it public at the time, instead of attacking me now. {189} The true
counsellor and the dishonest accuser, unlike as they are in everything,
differ most of all in this: the one declares his opinion before the event,
and freely surrenders himself as responsible, to those who follow his
advice, to Fortune, to circumstances, to any one.[n] The other is silent
when he ought to speak, and then carps at anything untoward that may
happen. {190} That crisis, as I have said, was the opportunity for a man
who cared for his country, the opportunity for honest speaking. But so
much further than I need will I go, that if any one can _now_ point to any
better course--or any course at all except that which I chose--I admit my
guilt. If any one has discovered any course to-day, which would have been
for our advantage, had we followed it at the time, I admit that it ought
not to have escaped me. But if there neither is nor was such a
possibility; if even now, even to-day, no one can mention any such course,
what was the counsellor of the people to do? Had he not to choose the best
of the plans which suggested themselves and were feasible? {191} This I
did. For the herald asked the question, Aeschines, 'Who wishes to speak?'
not 'Who wishes to bring accusations about the past?' nor 'Who wishes to
guarantee the future?' And while you sat speechless in the Assembly
throughout that period, I came forward and spoke. Since, however, you did
not do so then, at least inform us now, and tell us what words, which
should have been upon my lips, were left unspoken, what precious
opportunity, offered to the city, was left unused, by me? What alliance
was there, what course of action, to which I ought, by preference, to have
guided my countrymen?

{192} But with all mankind the past is always dismissed from
consideration, and no one under any circumstances proposes to deliberate
about it. It is the future or the present that make their call upon a
statesman's duty. Now at that time the danger was partly in the future,
and partly already present; and instead of cavilling disingenuously at the
results, consider the principle of my policy under such circumstances. For
in everything the final issue falls out as Heaven wills; but the principle
which he follows itself reveals the mind of the statesman. {193} Do not,
therefore, count it a crime on my part, that Philip proved victorious in
the battle. The issue of that event lay with God, not with me. But show me
that I did not adopt every expedient that was possible, so far as human
reason could calculate; that I did not carry out my plan honestly and
diligently, with exertions greater than my strength could bear; or that
the policy which I initiated was not honourable, and worthy of Athens, and
indeed necessary: and then denounce me, but not before. {194} But if the
thunderbolt [or the storm] which fell has proved too mighty, not only for
us, but for all the other Hellenes, what are we to do? It is as though a
ship-owner, who had done all that he could to ensure safety, and had
equipped the ship with all that he thought would enable her to escape
destruction, and had then met with a tempest in which the tackling had
been strained or even broken to pieces, were to be held responsible for
the wreck of the vessel. 'Why,' he would say, 'I was not steering the
ship'--just as I was not the general[n]--'I had no power over Fortune: she
had power over everything.' But consider and observe this point. {195} If
it was fated that we should fare as we did, even when we had the Thebans
to help us in the struggle, what must we have expected, if we had not had
even them for our allies, but they had joined Philip?--and this was the
object for which Philip employed[n] every tone that he could command. And
if, when the battle took place, as it did, three days' march from Attica,
the city was encompassed by such peril and terror, what should we have had
to expect, if this same disaster had occurred anywhere within the borders
of our own country? Do you realize that, as it was, a single day, and a
second, and a third gave us the power to rally, to collect our forces, to
take breath, to do much that made for the deliverance of the city: but
that had it been otherwise--it is not well, however, to speak of things
which we have not had to experience, thanks to the goodwill of one of the
gods, and to the protection which the city obtained for herself in this
alliance, which you denounce.

{196} The whole of this long argument, gentlemen of the jury, is addressed
to yourselves and to the circle of listeners outside the bar; for to this
despicable man it would have been enough to address a short, plain
sentence. If to you alone, Aeschines, the future was clear, before it
came, you should have given warning, when the city was deliberating upon
the subject; but if you had no such foreknowledge, you have the same
ignorance to answer for as others. Why then should you make these charges
against me, any more than I against you? {197} For I have been a better
citizen than you with regard to this very matter of which I am speaking--I
am not as yet talking of anything else--just in so far as I gave myself up
to the policy which all thought expedient, neither shrinking from nor
regarding any personal risk; while you neither offered any better
proposals than mine (for then they would not have followed mine), nor yet
made yourself useful in advancing mine in any way. What the most worthless
of men, the bitterest enemy of the city, would do, you are found to have
done, when all was over; and at the same time as the irreconcilable
enemies of the city, Aristratus in Naxos, and Aristoleos in Thasos, are
bringing the friends of Athens to trial, Aeschines, in Athens itself, is
accusing Demosthenes. {198} But surely one who treasured up[n] the
misfortunes of the Hellenes, that he might win glory from them for
himself, deserved to perish rather than to stand as the accuser of
another; and one who has profited by the very same crisis as the enemies
of the city cannot possibly be loyal to his country. You prove it,
moreover, by the life you live, the actions you do, the measures you take
--and the measures, too, that you do not take. Is anything being done
which seems advantageous to the city? Aeschines is speechless. Has any
obstruction, any untoward event occurred? There you find Aeschines, like a
rupture or a sprain, which wakes into life, so soon as any trouble
overtakes the body.

{199} But since he bears so hardly upon the results, I desire to say what
may even be a paradox; and let no one, in the name of Heaven, be amazed at
the length to which I go, but give a kindly consideration to what I say.
Even if what was to come was plain to all beforehand; even if all foreknew
it; even if you, Aeschines, had been crying with a loud voice in warning
and protestation--you who uttered not so much as a sound; even then, I
say, it was not right for the city to abandon her course, if she had any
regard for her fame, or for our forefathers, or for the ages to come.
{200} As it is, she is thought, no doubt, to have failed to secure her
object--as happens to all alike, whenever God wills it: but then, by
abandoning in favour of Philip her claim to take the lead of others, she
must have incurred the blame of having betrayed them all. Had she
surrendered without a struggle those claims in defence of which our
forefathers faced every imaginable peril, who would not have cast scorn
upon you, Aeschines--upon you, I say; not, I trust, upon Athens nor upon
me? {201} In God's name, with what faces should we have looked upon those
who came to visit the city, if events had come round to the same
conclusion as they now have--if Philip had been chosen as commander and
lord of all, and we had stood apart, while others carried on the struggle
to prevent these things; and that, although the city had never yet in time
past preferred an inglorious security to the hazardous vindication of a
noble cause? {202} What Hellene, what foreigner, does not know, that the
Thebans, and the Spartans, who were powerful still earlier, and the
Persian king would all gratefully and gladly have allowed Athens to take
what she liked and keep all that was her own, if she would do the bidding
of another, and let another take the first place in Hellas? {203} But this
was not, it appears, the tradition of the Athenians; it was not tolerable;
it was not in their nature. From the beginning of time no one had ever yet
succeeded in persuading the city to throw in her lot with those who were
strong, but unrighteous in their dealings, and to enjoy the security of
servitude. Throughout all time she has maintained her perilous struggle
for pre-eminence, honour, and glory. {204} And this policy you look upon
as so lofty, so proper to your own national character, that, of your
forefathers also, it is those who have acted thus that you praise most
highly. And naturally. For who would not admire the courage of those men,
who did not fear to leave their land[n] and their city, and to embark upon
their ships, that they might not do the bidding of another; who chose for
their general Themistocles (who had counselled them thus), and stoned
Cyrsilus to death, when he gave his voice for submission to a master's
orders--and not him alone, for your wives stoned his wife also to death.
{205} For the Athenians of that day did not look for an orator or a
general who would enable them to live in happy servitude; they cared not
to live at all, unless they might live in freedom. For every one of them
felt that he had come into being, not for his father and his mother alone,
but also for his country. And wherein lies the difference? He who thinks
he was born for his parents alone awaits the death which destiny assigns
him in the course of nature: but he who thinks he was born for his country
also will be willing to die, that he may not see her in bondage, and will
look upon the outrages and the indignities that he must needs bear in a
city that is in bondage as more to be dreaded than death.

{206} Now were I attempting to argue that _I_ had induced you to show a
spirit worthy of your forefathers, there is not a man who might not rebuke
me with good reason. But in fact, I am declaring that such principles as
these are your own; I am showing that _before_ my time the city displayed
this spirit, though I claim that I, too, have had some share, as your
servant, in carrying out your policy in detail. {207} But in denouncing
the policy as a whole, in bidding you be harsh with me, as one who has
brought terrors and dangers upon the city, the prosecutor, in his
eagerness to deprive me of my distinction at the present moment, is trying
to rob you of praises that will last throughout all time. For if you
condemn the defendant on the ground that my policy was not for the best,
men will think that your own judgement has been wrong, and that it was not
through the unkindness of fortune that you suffered what befell you. {208}
But it cannot,[n] it cannot be that you were wrong, men of Athens, when
you took upon you the struggle for freedom and deliverance. No! by those
who at Marathon bore the brunt of the peril--our forefathers. No! by those
who at Plataeae drew up their battle-line, by those who at Salamis, by
those who off Artemisium fought the fight at sea, by the many who lie in
the sepulchres where the People laid them, brave men, all alike deemed
worthy by their country, Aeschines, of the same honour and the same
obsequies--not the successful or the victorious alone! And she acted
justly. For all these have done that which it was the duty of brave men to
do; but their fortune has been that which Heaven assigned to each. {209}
Accursed, poring pedant![n] if you, in your anxiety to deprive me of the
honour and the kindness shown to me by my countrymen, recounted trophies
and battles and deeds of long ago--and of which of them did this present
trial demand the mention?--what spirit was I to take upon me, when I
mounted the platform, I who came forward to advise the city how she should
maintain her pre-eminence? Tell me, third-rate actor! The spirit of one
who would propose things unworthy of this people? {210} I should indeed
have deserved to die! For you too, men of Athens, ought not to judge
private suits and public in the same spirit. The business transactions of
everyday life must be viewed in the light of the special law and practice
associated with each; but the public policy of statesmen must be judged by
the principles that your forefathers set before them. And if you believe
that you should act worthily of them, then, whenever you come into court
to try a public suit, each of you must imagine that with his staff[n] and
his ticket there is entrusted to him also the spirit of his country.

{211} But I have entered upon the subject of your forefathers'
achievements, and have passed over certain decrees and transactions. I
desire, therefore, to return to the point from which I digressed.

When we came to Thebes, we found envoys there from Philip, and from the
Thessalians and his other allies--our friends in terror, his full of
confidence. And to show you that I am not saying this now to suit my own
purpose, read the letter which we, your envoys, dispatched without delay.
{212} The prosecutor, however, has exercised the art of misrepresentation
to so extravagant a degree, that he attributes to circumstances, not to
me, any satisfactory result that was achieved; but for everything that
fell out otherwise, he lays the blame upon me and the fortune that attends
me. In his eyes, apparently, I, the counsellor and orator, have no share
in the credit for what was accomplished as the result of oratory and
debate; while I must bear the blame alone for the misfortunes which we
suffered in arms, and as a result of generalship. What more brutal, more
damnable misrepresentation can be conceived? (_To the clerk_.) Read the

[_The letter is read_.]

{213} When they had convened the Assembly, they gave audience to the other
side first, on the ground that they occupied the position of allies; and
these came forward and delivered harangues full of the praises of Philip
and of accusations against yourselves, recalling everything that you had
ever done in opposition to the Thebans. The sum of it all was that they
required the Thebans to show their gratitude for the benefits which they
had received from Philip, and to exact the penalty for the injuries they
had received from you, in whichever way they preferred--either by letting
them march through their country against you, or by joining them in the
invasion of Attica; and they showed (as they thought) that the result of
the course which they advised would be that the herds and slaves and other
valuables of Attica would find their way into Boeotia; while the result of
what (as they alleged) you were about to propose would be that those of
Boeotia would be plundered in consequence of the war. {214} They said much
more, but all tending to the same effect. As for our reply, I would give
my whole life to tell it you in detail; but I fear lest, now that those
times have gone by, you may feel as if a very deluge[n] had overwhelmed
all, and may regard anything that is said on the subject as vanity and
vexation. But hear at least what we persuaded them to do, and their answer
to us. (_To the clerk_.) Take this and read it.

[_The answer of the Thebans is read_.]

{215} After this they invited and summoned you; you marched; you went to
their aid; and (to pass over the events which intervened) they received
you in so friendly a spirit that while their infantry and cavalry were
encamped outside the walls,[n] they welcomed your troops into their
houses, within the city, among their children and wives, and all that was
most precious to them. Three eulogies did the Thebans pronounce upon you
before the world that day, and those of the most honourable kind--the
first upon your courage, the second upon your righteousness, the third
upon your self-control. For when they chose to side with you in the
struggle, rather than against you, they judged that your courage was
greater, and your requests more righteous, than Philip's; and when they
placed in your power what they and all men guard most jealously, their
children and wives, they showed their confidence in your self-control.
{216} In all these points, men of Athens, your conduct proved that their
judgement had been correct. For the force came into the city; but no one
made a single complaint--not even an unfounded complaint--against you; so
virtuously did you conduct yourselves. And twice you fought by their side,
in the earliest battles-the battle by the river[n] and the winter-
battle[n]--and showed yourselves, not only irreproachable, but even
admirable, in your discipline, your equipment, and your enthusiasm. These
things called forth expressions of thanks to you from other states, and
sacrifices and processions to the gods from yourselves. {217} And I should
like to ask Aeschines whether, when all this was happening, and the city
was full of pride and joy and thanksgiving, he joined in the sacrifices
and the rejoicing of the multitude, or whether he sat at home grieving and
groaning and angry at the good fortune of his country. If he was present,
and was seen in his place with the rest, surely his present action is
atrocious--nay, even impious--when he asks you, who have taken an oath by
the gods, to vote to-day that those very things were not excellent, of
whose excellence he himself on that day made the gods his witnesses. If he
was not present, then surely he deserves to die many times, for grieving
at the sight of the things which brought rejoicing to others. (_To the
clerk_.) Now read these decrees also.

[_The decrees ordering sacrifices are read_.]

{218} Thus we were occupied at that time with sacrifices, while the
Thebans were reflecting how they had been saved by our help; and those
who, in consequence of my opponents' proceedings, had expected that they
would themselves stand in need of help, found themselves, after all,
helping others, in consequence of the action they took upon my advice. But
what the tone of Philip's utterance was, and how greatly he was confounded
by what had happened, you can learn from his letter, which he sent to the
Peloponnese. (_To the clerk_.) Take these and read them: (_to the jury_)
that you may know what was effected by my perseverance, by my travels, by
the hardships I endured, by all those decrees of which Aeschines spoke so
disparagingly just now.

{219} You have had, as you know, many great and famous orators, men of
Athens, before my time--Callistratus himself, Aristophon, Cephalus,
Thrasybulus, and a vast number of others. Yet not one of these ever gave
himself up entirely to the State for any purpose: the mover of a decree
would not serve as ambassador, the ambassador would not move the decree.
Each left himself, at one and the same time, some respite from work, and
somewhere to lay the blame,[n] in case of accidents. {220} 'Well,' some
one may say, 'did _you_ so excel them in force and boldness, as to do
everything yourself?' I do not say that. But so strong was my conviction
of the seriousness of the danger that had overtaken the city, that I felt
that I ought not to give my personal safety any place whatever in my
thoughts; it was enough for a man to do his duty and to leave nothing
undone. {221} And I was convinced with regard to myself--foolishly
perhaps, but still convinced--that no mover would make a better proposal,
no agent would execute it better, no ambassador would be more eager or
more honest in his mission, than I. For these reasons, I assigned every
one of these offices to myself. (_To the clerk_.) Read Philip's letters.

[_Philip's letters are read_.]

{222} To this condition, Aeschines, was Philip reduced by my
statesmanship. This was the tone of his utterances, though before this he
used to threaten the city with many a bold word. For this I was deservedly
crowned by those here assembled, and though you were present, you offered
no opposition; while Diondas, who indicted the proposer, did not obtain
the necessary fraction of the votes. (_To the clerk_.) Read me these
decrees, (_to the jury)_ which escaped condemnation, and which Aeschines
did not even indict.

[_The decrees are read_.]

{223} These decrees, men of Athens, contain the very same syllables, the
very same words, as those which Aristonicus previously employed in his
proposal, and which Ctesiphon, the defendant, has employed now; and
Aeschines neither prosecuted the proposer of them himself, nor supported
the person who indicted him. Yet surely, if the charges which he is
bringing against me to-day are true, he would have had better reason then
for prosecuting Demomeles (the proposer of the decree) and Hypereides,
than he has for prosecuting Ctesiphon. And why? {224} Because Ctesiphon
can refer you to them--to the decision of the courts, to the fact that
Aeschines himself did not accuse them, though they had moved exactly what
he has moved now, to the prohibition by law of further prosecution in such
cases, and to many other facts: whereas then the case would have been
tried on its merits, before the defendant had got the advantage of any
such precedent. {225} But of course it was impossible then for Aeschines
to act as he has acted now--to select out of many periods of time long
past, and many decrees, matters which no one either knew or thought would
be mentioned to-day; to misrepresent them, to change the dates, to put
false reasons for the actions taken in place of the true, and so appear to
have a case. {226} At the time this was impossible. Every word spoken then
must have been spoken with the truth in view, at no distance of time from
the events, while you still remembered all the facts and had them
practically at your fingers' ends. For that reason he evaded all
investigation at the time; and he has come before you now, in the belief
(I fancy) that you will make this a contest of oratory, instead of an
inquiry into our political careers, and that it is upon our eloquence, not
upon the interests of the city, that you will decide.

{227} Yes, and he ingeniously suggests that you ought to disregard the
opinion which you had of each of us when you left your homes and came into
court; and that just as, when you draw up an account in the belief that
some one has a balance, you nevertheless give way when you find that the
counters all disappear[n] and leave nothing over, so now you should give
your adhesion to the conclusion which emerges from the argument. Now
observe how inherently rotten everything that springs from dishonesty
seems to be. {228} By his very use of this ingenious illustration he has
confessed that to-day, at all events, our respective characters are well
established--that I am known to speak for my country's good, and he to
speak for Philip. For unless that were your present conception of each of
us, he would not have sought to change your view. {229} And further, I
shall easily show you that it is not fair of him to ask you to alter this
opinion--not by the use of counters--that is not how a political reckoning
is made--but by briefly recalling each point to you, and treating you who
hear me both as auditors of my account and witnesses to the facts. For
that policy of mine which he denounces caused the Thebans, instead of
joining Philip, as all expected them to do, in the invasion of our
country, to range themselves by our side and stay his progress. {230} It
caused the war to take place not in Attica, but on the confines of
Boeotia, eighty miles from the city. Instead of our being harried and
plundered by freebooters from Euboea, it gave peace to Attica from the
side of the sea throughout the war. Instead of Philip's taking Byzantium
and becoming master of the Hellespont, it caused the Byzantines to join us
in the war against him. {231} Can such achievements, think you, be
reckoned up like counters? Are we to cancel them out,[n] rather than
provide that they shall be remembered for all time? I need not now add
that it fell to others to taste the barbarity which is to be seen in every
case in which Philip got any one finally into his power; while you reaped
(and quite rightly) the fruits of the generosity which he feigned while he
was bringing within his grasp all that remained. But I pass this over.

{232} Nay, I will not even hesitate to say, that one who wished to review
an orator's career straightforwardly and without misrepresentation, would
not have included in his charges such matters as you just now spoke of--
making up illustrations, and mimicking words and gestures. Of course the
fortune which befell the Hellenes--surely you see this?--was entirely due
to my using this word instead of that, or waving my hand in one direction
rather than the other! {233} He would have inquired, by reference to the
actual facts, what resources and what forces the city had at her command
when I entered political life; what I subsequently collected for her when
I took control; and what was the condition of our adversaries. Then if I
had diminished our forces, he would have proved that the fault lay at my
door; but if I had greatly increased them, he would have abstained from
deliberate misrepresentation. But since you have avoided such an inquiry,
I will undertake it; and do you, gentlemen, observe whether my argument is

{234} The military resources of the city included the islanders--and not
all, but only the weakest. For neither Chios nor Rhodes nor Corcyra was
with us. Their contribution in money came to 45 talents, and these had
been collected in advance.[n] Infantry and cavalry, besides our own, we
had none. But the circumstance which was most alarming to us and most
favourable to our enemies was that these men had contrived that all our
neighbours should be more inclined to enmity than to friendship--the
Megareans, the Thebans, and the Euboeans. {235} Such was the position of
the city at the time; and what I say admits of no contradiction. Now
consider the position of Philip, with whom our conflict lay. In the first
place, he held absolute sway over his followers--and this for purposes of
war is the greatest of all advantages. Next, his followers had their
weapons in their hands always. Then he was well off for money, and did
whatever he resolved to do, without giving warning of it by decrees, or
debating about it in public, or being put on trial by dishonest accusers,
or defending himself against indictments for illegality, or being bound to
render an account to any one. He was himself absolute master, commander,
and lord of all. {236} But I who was set to oppose him--for this inquiry
too it is just to make--what had I under my control? Nothing! For, to
begin with, the very right to address you--the only right I had--you
extended to Philip's hirelings in the same measure as to me; and as often
as they defeated me--and this frequently happened, whatever the reason on
each occasion--so often you went away leaving a resolution recorded in
favour of the enemy. {237} But in spite of all these disadvantages, I won
for you the alliance of the Euboeans, Achaeans, Corinthians, Thebans,
Megareans, Leucadians, and Corcyreans, from whom were collected--apart
from their citizen-troops--15,000 mercenaries and 2,000 cavalry. {238} And
I instituted a money-contribution, on as large a scale as I could. But if
you refer,[n] Aeschines, to what was fair as between ourselves and the
Thebans or the Byzantines or the Euboeans--if at this time you talk to us
of equal shares--you must be ignorant, in the first place, of the fact
that in former days also, out of those ships of war, three hundred [n] in
all, which fought for the Hellenes, Athens provided two hundred, and did
not think herself unfairly used, or let herself be seen arraigning those
who had counselled her action, or taking offence at the arrangement. It
would have been shameful. No! men saw her rendering thanks to Heaven,
because when a common peril beset the Hellenes, she had provided double as
much as all the rest to secure the deliverance of all. {239} Moreover, it
is but a hollow benefit that you are conferring upon your countrymen by
your dishonest charges against me. Why do you tell them _now_, what course
they ought to have taken? Why did you not propose such a course at the
time (for you were in Athens, and were present) if it was possible in the
midst of those critical times, when we had to accept, not what we chose,
but what circumstances allowed; since there was one at hand, bidding
against us, and ready to welcome those whom we rejected, and to pay them
into the bargain.

{240} But if I am accused to-day, for what I have actually done, what if
at the time I had haggled over these details, and the other states had
gone off and joined Philip, and he had become master at once of Euboea and
Thebes and Byzantium? What do you think these impious men would then have
done? {241} What would they have said? Would they not have declared that
the states had been surrendered? that they had been driven away, when they
wished to be on your side? 'See,' they would have said (would they not?),
'he has obtained through the Byzantines the command of the Hellespont and
the control of the corn trade of Hellas; and through the Thebans a trying
border war has been brought into Attica; and owing to the pirates who sail
from Euboea, the sea has become unnavigable,' and much more in addition.
{242} A villainous thing, men of Athens, is the dishonest accuser always--
villainous, and in every way malignant and fault-finding! Aye, and this
miserable creature is a fox by nature, that has never done anything honest
or gentlemanly--a very tragical ape, a clodhopping Oenomaus, a counterfeit
orator! {243} Where is the profit to your country from your cleverness? Do
you instruct us now about things that are past? It is as though a doctor,
when he was paying his visits to the sick, were to give them no advice or
instructions to enable them to become free from their illness, but, when
one of his patients died and the customary offerings[n] were being paid
him, were to explain, as he followed to the tomb, 'if this man had done
such and such things, he would not have died.' Crazy fool! Do you tell us
this _now_?

{244} Nor again will you find that the defeat--if you exult at it, when
you ought to groan, accursed man!--was determined by anything that was
within my control. Consider the question thus. In no place to which I was
sent by you as ambassador, did I ever come away defeated by the
ambassadors of Philip--not from Thessaly nor from Ambracia, not from the
Illyrians nor from the Thracian princes, not from Byzantium nor from any
other place, nor yet, on the last occasion, from Thebes. But every place
in which his ambassadors were defeated in argument, he proceeded to attack
and subdue by force of arms. {245} Do you then require those places at
_my_ hands? Are you not ashamed to jeer at a man as a coward, and in the
same breath to require him to prove superior, by his own unaided efforts,
to the army of Philip--and that with no weapons to use but words? For what
else was at my disposal? I could not control the spirit of each soldier,
or the fortune of the combatants, or the generalship displayed, of which,
in your perversity, you demand an account from me. {246} No; but every
investigation that can be made as regards those duties for which an orator
should be held responsible, I bid you make. I crave no mercy. And what are
those duties? To discern events in their beginnings, to foresee what is
coming, and to forewarn others. These things I have done. Again, it is his
duty to reduce to the smallest possible compass, wherever he finds them,
the slowness, the hesitation, the ignorance, the contentiousness, which
are the errors inseparably connected with the constitution of all city-
states; while, on the other hand, he must stimulate men to unity,
friendship, and eagerness to perform their duty. All these things I have
done, and no one can discover any dereliction of duty on my part at any
time. {247} If one were to ask any person whatever, by what means Philip
had accomplished the majority of his successes, every one would reply that
it was by means of his army, and by giving presents and corrupting those
in charge of affairs. Now I had no control or command of the forces:
neither, then, does the responsibility for anything that was done in that
sphere concern me. And further, in the matter of being or not being
corrupted by bribes, I have defeated Philip. For just as the bidder has
conquered one who accepts his money, if he effects his purchase, so one
who refuses to accept it [and is not corrupted] has conquered the bidder.
In all, therefore, in which I am concerned, the city has suffered no

{248} The justification, then, with which I furnished the defendant for
such a motion as he proposed with regard to me, consisted (along with many
other points) of the facts which I have described, and others like them. I
will now proceed to that justification which all of you supplied. For
immediately after the battle, the People, who knew and had seen all that I
did, and now stood in the very midst of the peril and terror, at a moment
when it would not have been surprising if the majority had shown some
harshness towards me--the People, I say, in the first place carried my
proposals for ensuring the safety of the city; and all the measures
undertaken for its protection--the disposition of the garrisons, the
entrenchments, the funds for the fortifications--were all provided for by
decrees which I proposed. And, in the second place, when the People chose
a corn-commissioner, out of all Athens they elected me. {249} Subsequently
all those who were interested in injuring me combined, and assailed me
with indictments, prosecutions after audit, impeachments, and all such
proceedings--not in their own names at first, but through the agency of
men behind whom, they thought, they would best be screened against
recognition. For you doubtless know and remember that during the early
part of that period I was brought to trial every day; and neither the
desperation of Sosicles, nor the dishonest misrepresentations of
Philocrates,[n] nor the frenzy of Diondas and Melantus, nor any other
expedient, was left untried by them against me. And in all these trials,
thanks to the gods above all, but secondarily to you and the rest of the
Athenians, I was acquitted--and justly; for such a decision is in
accordance both with truth and with the credit of jurors who have taken
their oath, and given a verdict in conformity with it. {250} So whenever I
was impeached, and you absolved me and did not give the prosecutor the
necessary fraction of the votes, you were voting that my policy was the
best. Whenever I was acquitted upon an indictment, it was a proof that my
motion and proposals were according to law. Whenever you set your seal to
my accounts at an audit, you confessed in addition that I had acted
throughout with uprightness and integrity. And this being so, what epithet
was it fitting or just that Ctesiphon should apply to my actions? Was it
not that which he saw applied by the People, and by juries on their oath,
and ratified by Truth in the judgement of all men?

{251} 'Yes,' he replies, 'but Cephalus'[n] boast was a noble one--that he
had never been indicted at all.' True, and a happy thing also it was for
him. But why should one who has often been tried, but has never been
convicted of crime, deserve to incur criticism any the more on that
account? Yet in truth, men of Athens, so far as Aeschines is concerned, I
too can make this noble boast that Cephalus made. For he has never yet
preferred or prosecuted any indictment against me; so that by you at
least, Aeschines, I am admitted to be no worse a citizen than Cephalus.

{252} His want of feeling and his malignity may be seen in many ways, and
not least in the remarks which he made about fortune. For my part, I think
that, as a rule, when one human being reproaches another with his fortune,
he is a fool. For when he who thinks himself most prosperous and fancies
his fortune most excellent, does not know whether it will remain so until
the evening, how can it be right to speak of one's fortune, or to taunt
another with his? But since Aeschines adopts a tone of lofty superiority
upon this as upon many other subjects, observe, men of Athens, how much
more truthful and more becoming in a human being my own remarks upon
Aeschines' fortune will be. {253} I believe that the fortune of this city
is good; and I see that the God of Dodona also declares this to you
through his oracle. But I think that the prevailing fortune of mankind as
a whole to-day is grievous and terrible. For what man, Hellene or
foreigner, has not tasted abundance of evil at this present time? {254}
Now the fact that we chose the noblest course, and that we are actually
better off than those Hellenes who expected to live in prosperity if they
sacrificed us, I ascribe to the good fortune of the city. But in so far as
we failed, in so far as everything did not fall out in accordance with our
wishes, I consider that the city has received the share which was due to
us of the fortune of mankind in general. {255} But my personal fortune,
and that of every individual among us, ought, I think, in fairness to be
examined with reference to our personal circumstances. That is my
judgement with regard to fortune, and I believe (as I think you also do)
that my judgement is correct and just. But Aeschines asserts that my
personal fortune has more influence than the fortune of the city as a
community--the insignificant and evil more than the good and important!
How can this be?

{256} If, however, you determine at all costs to scrutinize my fortune,
Aeschines, then compare it with your own; and if you find that mine is
better than yours, then cease to revile it. Examine it, then, from the
very beginning. And, in Heaven's name, let no one condemn me for any want
of good taste. For I neither regard one who speaks insultingly of poverty,
nor one who prides himself on having been brought up in affluence, as a
man of sense. But the slanders and misrepresentations of this unfeeling
man oblige me to enter upon a discussion of this sort; and I will conduct
it with as much moderation as the facts allow.

{257} I then, Aeschines, had the advantage as a boy of attending the
schools which became my position, and of possessing as much as one who is
to do nothing ignoble owing to poverty must possess. When I passed out of
boyhood, my life corresponded with my upbringing--I provided choruses and
equipped warships; I paid the war-tax; I neglected none of the paths to
distinction in public or private life, but gave my services both to my
country and my friends; and when I thought fit to enter public life, the
measures which I decided to adopt were of such a character that I have
been crowned many times both by my country and by many other Hellenic
peoples, while not even you, my enemies, attempt to say that my choice was
not at least an honourable one. {258} Such is the fortune which has
accompanied my life, and though I might say much more about it, I refrain
from doing so, in my anxiety not to annoy any one by the expression of my
pride. And you--the lofty personage, the despiser of others--what has been
your fortune when compared with this?--the fortune, thanks to which you
were brought up as a boy in the depths of indigence, in close attendance
upon the school along with your father, pounding up the ink, sponging down
the forms, sweeping the attendants' room,[n] occupying the position of a
menial, not of a free-born boy! {259} Then, when you became a man, you
used to read out the books[n] to your mother at her initiations, and help
her in the rest of the hocus-pocus, by night dressing the initiated[n] in
fawnskins, drenching them from the bowl, purifying them and wiping them
down with the clay and the bran, and (when they were purified) bidding
them stand up and say, 'The ill is done, the good begun,' priding yourself
upon raising the shout of joy more loudly than any one had ever done
before--and I can believe it, for, when his voice is so loud, you dare not
imagine that his shout is anything but superlatively fine. {260} But by
day you used to lead those noble companies through the streets, men
crowned with fennel and white poplar,[n] throttling the puff-adders and
waving them over your head, crying out 'Euoe, Saboe,'[n] and dancing to
the tune of 'Hyes Attes, Attes Hyes'--addressed by the old hags as leader,
captain, ivy-bearer, fan-bearer, and so on; and as the reward of your
services getting sops and twists and barley-bannocks! Who would not
congratulate himself with good reason on such things, and bless his own
fortune? {261} But when you were enrolled among your fellow
parishioners,[n] by whatever means (for of that I say nothing)--when, I
say, you _were_ enrolled, you at once selected the noblest of occupations,
that of a clerk and servant to petty magistrates. {262} And when at length
you escaped from this condition also, after yourself doing all that you
impute to others, you in no way--Heaven knows!--disgraced your previous
record by the life which you subsequently lived; for you hired yourself
out to the actors Simylus and Socrates--the Roarers, they were nicknamed
--and played as a third-rate actor, collecting figs[n] and bunches of
grapes and olives, like a fruiterer gathering from other peoples' farms,
and getting more out of this than out of the dramatic competitions in
which you were competing for your lives; for there was war without truce
or herald between yourselves and the spectators; and the many wounds you
received from them make it natural for you to jeer at the cowardice of
those who have had no such experiences. {263} But I will pass over all
that might be accounted for by your poverty, and proceed to my charges
against your character itself. For you chose a line of political action
(when at length it occurred to you to take up politics too), in pursuance
of which, when your country's fortune was good, you lived the life of a
hare, in fear and trembling, always expecting a thrashing for the crimes
which lay on your conscience; whereas all have seen your boldness amid the
misfortunes of others. {264} But when a man plucks up courage at the death
of a thousand of his fellow citizens, what does he deserve to suffer at
the hands of the living? I have much more to say about him, but I will
leave it unsaid. It is not for me, I think, to mention lightly all the
infamy and disgrace which I could prove to be connected with him, but only
so much as it is not discreditable to myself to speak of.

{265} And now review the history of your life and of mine, side by side--
good temperedly, Aeschines, not unkindly: and then ask these gentlemen
which fortune, of the two, each of them would choose. You taught letters;
I attended school. You conducted initiations; I was initiated. You were a
clerk; I a member of the Assembly: you, a third-rate actor, I a spectator
of the play. You used to be driven from the stage, while I hissed. Your
political life has all been lived for the good of our enemies, mine for
the good of my country. {266} To pass over all besides, even on this very
day, I am being examined with regard to my qualification for a crown--it
is already admitted that I am clear of all crimes; while you have already
the reputation of a dishonest informer, and for you the issue at stake is
whether you are to continue such practices, or to be stopped once for all,
through failing to obtain a fifth part of the votes. A good fortune
indeed--can you not see?--is that which has accompanied your life, that
you should denounce mine!

{267} And now let me read to you the evidence of the public burdens which
I have undertaken; and side by side with them, do you, Aeschines, read the
speeches which you used to murder--

'I leave the abysm of death and gates of gloom,'[n]


'Know that I am not fain ill-news to bring';

and 'evil in evil wise',[n] may you be brought to perdition, by the gods
above all, and then by all those here present, villainous citizen,
villainous third-rate actor that you are. (_To the clerk_.) Read the

[_The evidence is read_.]

{268} Such was I in my relation to the State. And as to my private life,
unless you all know that I was open-hearted and generous and at the
disposal of all who had need of me, I am silent; I prefer to tell you
nothing, and to produce no evidence whatever, to show whether I ransomed
some from the enemy, or helped others to give their daughters in marriage,
or rendered any such services. {269} For my principle may perhaps be
expressed thus. I think that one who has received a kindness ought to
remember it all his life; but that the doer of the kindness should forget
it once for all; if the former is to behave like a good man, the latter
like one free from all meanness. To be always recalling and speaking of
one's own benefactions is almost like upbraiding the recipients of them. I
will do nothing of the kind, and will not be led into doing so. Whatever
be the opinion that has been formed of me in these respects, with that I
am content.

{270} But I desire to be rid of personal topics, and to say a little more
to you about public affairs. For if, Aeschines, you can mention one of all
those who dwell beneath the sun above us, Hellene or foreigner, who has
not suffered under the absolute sway, first of Philip, and now of
Alexander, so be it! I concede that it is my fortune or misfortune,
whichever you are pleased to call it, that has been to blame for
everything. {271} But if many of those who have never once even seen me or
heard my voice have suffered much and terribly--and not individuals alone,
but whole cities and nations--how much more just and truthful it is to
regard the common fortune (as it seems to be) of all mankind, and a
certain stubborn drift of events in the wrong direction, as the cause of
these sufferings. {272} Such considerations, however, you discard. You
impute the blame to me, whose political life has been lived among my own
fellow countrymen--and that, though you know that your slander falls in
part (if not entirely) upon all of them, and above all upon yourself. For
if, when I took part in the discussion of public affairs, I had had
absolute power, it would have been possible for all of you, the other
orators, to lay the blame on me. {273} But if you were present at every
meeting of the Assembly; if the city always brought forward questions of
policy for public consideration; if at the time my policy appeared the
best to every one, and above all to you (for it was certainly from no
goodwill that you relinquished to me the hopes, the admiration, the
honours, which all attached themselves to my policy at that time, but
obviously because the truth was too strong for you, and you had nothing
better to propose); then surely you are guilty of monstrous iniquity, in
finding fault to-day with a policy, than which, at the time, you could
propose nothing better. {274} Among all the rest of mankind, I observe
that some such principles as the following have been, as it were,
determined and ordained. If a man commits a deliberate crime, indignation
and punishment are ordained against him. If he commits an involuntary
mistake, instead of punishment, he is to receive pardon. If, without crime
or mistake, one who has given himself up wholly to that which seems to be
for the advantage of all has, in company with all, failed to achieve
success, then it is just, not to reproach or revile such a man, but to
sympathize with him. {275} Moreover, it will be seen that all these
principles are not so ordained in the laws alone. Nature herself has laid
them down in her unwritten law, and in the moral consciousness of mankind.
Aeschines, then, has so far surpassed all mankind in brutality and in the
art of misrepresentation, that he actually denounces me for things which
he himself mentioned under the name of misfortunes.

{276} In addition to everything else, as though he had himself always
spoken straightforwardly and in loyalty, he bade you keep your eyes on me
carefully, and make sure that I did not mislead or deceive you. He called
me 'a clever speaker', 'a wizard', 'a sophist', and so on: just as if it
followed that when a man had the first word and attributed his own
qualities to another, the truth was really as he stated, and his hearers
would not inquire further who he himself was, that said such things. But I
am sure that you all know this man, and are aware that these qualities
belong to him far more than to me. And again, {277} I am quite sure that
my cleverness--yes, let the word pass; though I observe that the influence
of a speaker depends for the most part on his audience; for in proportion
to the welcome and the goodwill which you accord to each speaker is the
credit which he obtains for wisdom;--I am sure, I say, that if I too
possess any such skill, you will all find it constantly fighting on your
behalf in affairs of State, never in opposition to you, never for private
ends; while the skill of Aeschines, on the contrary, is employed, not only
in upholding the cause of the enemy, but in attacking any one who has
annoyed him or come into collision with him anywhere. He neither employs
it uprightly, nor to promote the interests of the city. {278} For a good
and honourable citizen ought not to require from a jury, who have come
into court to represent the interests of the community, that they shall
give their sanction to his anger, or his enmity, or any other such
passion; nor ought he to come before you to gratify such feelings. It were
best that he had no such passions in his nature at all; but if they are
really inevitable, then he should keep them tame and subdued. Under what
circumstances, then, should a politician and an orator show passion? {279}
When any of the vital interests of his country are at stake; when it is
with its enemies that the People has to deal: those are the circumstances.
For then is the opportunity of a loyal and gallant citizen. But that when
he has never to this day demanded my punishment, either in the name of the
city or in his own, for any public--nor, I will add, for any private--
crime, he should have come here with a trumped-up charge against the grant
of a crown and a vote of thanks, and should have spent so many words upon
it--that is a sign of personal enmity and jealousy and meanness, not of
any good quality. {280} And that he should further have discarded every
form of lawsuit against myself, and should have come here to-day to attack
the defendant, is the very extremity of baseness. It shows, I think,
Aeschines, that your motive in undertaking this suit was your desire, not
to exact vengeance for any crime, but to give a display of rhetoric and
elocution. Yet it is not his language, Aeschines, that deserves our esteem
in an orator, nor the pitch of his voice, but his choice of the aims which
the people chooses, his hatred or love of those whom his country loves or
hates. {281} He whose heart is so disposed will always speak with loyal
intent; but he who serves those from whom the city foresees danger to
herself, does not ride at the same anchor as the People, and therefore
does not look for safety to the same quarter. But I do, mark you! For I
have made the interests of my countrymen my own, and have counted nothing
as reserved for my own private advantage. What? {282} You have not done so
either? How can that be, when immediately after the battle you went your
way as an ambassador to Philip, the author of the calamities which befell
your country at that time; and that, despite the fact that until then you
always denied this intimacy[n] with him, as every one knows? But what is
meant by a deceiver of the city? Is it not one who does not say what he
thinks? Upon whom does the herald justly pronounce the curse? Is it not
upon such a man as this? With what greater crime can one charge a man who
is an orator, than that of saying one thing and thinking another? Such a
man you have been found to be. {283} And after this do you open your
mouth, or dare to look this audience in the face? Do you imagine that they
do not know who you are? or that the slumber of forgetfulness has taken
such hold upon them all, that they do not remember the speeches which you
used to deliver during the war, when you declared with imprecations and
oaths that you had nothing to do with Philip, and that I was bringing this
accusation against you, when it was not true, to satisfy my personal
enmity? {284} But so soon as the news of the battle had come, you thought
no more of all this, but at once avowed and professed that you stood on a
footing of friendship and guest-friendship with him; though these were
nothing but your hireling-service under other names; for upon what honest
or equal basis could Aeschines, the son of Glaucothea the tambourine--
player,[n] enjoy the guest-friendship, or the friendship, or the
acquaintance of Philip? I cannot see. In fact, you had been hired by him
to ruin the interests of these your countrymen. And yet, though your own
treason has been so plainly detected--though you have been an informer
against yourself after the event--you still revile me, and reproach me
with crimes of which, you will find, any one is more guilty than I.

{285} Many a great and noble enterprise, Aeschines, did this city
undertake and succeed in, inspired by me; and she did not forget them. It
is a proof of this, that when, immediately after the event, the People had
to elect one who should pronounce the oration over the dead, and you were
nominated, they did not elect you, for all your fine voice, nor Demades,
who had just negotiated the Peace, nor Hegemon,[n] nor any other member of
your party: they elected me. And when you and Pythocles[n] came forward in
a brutal and shameless fashion, God knows! and made the same charges
against me as you are making again to-day, and abused me, the People
elected me even more decidedly. {286} And the reason you know well; but I
will tell it you nevertheless. They knew for themselves both the loyalty
and zeal which inspired my conduct of affairs, and the iniquity of
yourself and your friends. For what you denied with oaths when our cause
was prosperous, you admitted in the hour of the city's failure; and those,
accordingly, who were only enabled by the misfortunes of their country to
express their views without fear, they decided to have been enemies of
their own for a long while, though only then did they stand revealed.{287}
And further, they thought that one who was to pronounce an oration over
the dead, and to adorn their valour, should not have come beneath the same
roof, nor shared the same libation,[n] as those who were arrayed against
them; that he should not there join with those who with their own hands
had slain them, in the revel[n] and the triumph-song over the calamities
of the Hellenes, and then come home and receive honour--that he should not
play the mourner over their fate with his voice, but should grieve for
them in his heart. What they required they saw in themselves and in me,
but not in you; and this was why they appointed me, and not any of you.
{288} Nor, when the people acted thus, did the fathers and brothers of the
slain, who were then publicly appointed to conduct the funeral, act
otherwise. For since (in accordance with the ordinary custom) they had to
hold the funeral-feast in the house of the nearest of kin, as it were, to
the slain, they held it at my house, and with reason; for though by birth
each was more nearly akin to his dead than I, yet none stood nearer to
them all in common. For he who had their life and their success most at
heart, had also, when they had suffered what I would they had not, the
greatest share of sorrow for them all.

(_To the clerk _) {289} Read him the epitaph which the city resolved to
inscribe above them at the public cost; (_to Aeschines_) that even by
these very lines, Aeschines, you may know that you are a man destitute of
feeling, a dishonest accuser, an abominable wretch!

_The Inscription_.[n]

These for their country, fighting side by side,
By deeds of arms dispelled the foemen's pride.
heir lives they saved not, bidding Death make clear--
Impartial Judge!--their courage or their fear.
For Greece they fought, lest, 'neath the yoke brought low,
In thraldom she th' oppressor's scorn should know.
Now in the bosom of their fatherland
After their toil they rest--'tis God's command.
'Tis God's alone from failure free to live;[n]
Escape from Fate to no man doth He give.

{290} Do you hear, Aeschines [in these very lines], 'Tis God's alone from
failure free to live'? Not to the statesman has he ascribed the power to
secure success for those who strive, but to the gods. Why then, accursed
man, do you revile _me_, for our failure, in words which I pray the gods
to turn upon the heads of you and yours?

{291} But, even after all the other lying accusations which he has brought
against me, the thing which amazed me most of all, men of Athens, was that
when he mentioned what had befallen the city, he did not think of it as a
loyal and upright citizen would have thought. He shed no tears; he felt no
emotion of sorrow in his heart: he lifted up his voice, he exulted, he
strained his throat, evidently in the belief that he was accusing me,
though in truth he was giving us an illustration, to his own discredit, of
the utter difference between his feelings and those of others, at the
painful events which had taken place. {292} But surely one who professes,
as Aeschines professes now, to care for the laws and the constitution,
ought to show, if nothing else, at least that he feels the same griefs and
the same joys as the People, and has not, by his political profession,
ranged himself on the side of their opponents. That you have done the
latter is manifest today, when you pretend that the blame for everything
is mine, and that it is through me that the city was plunged in trouble:
though it was not through my statesmanship or my policy, gentlemen, {293}
that you began to help the Hellenes: for were you to grant me this--that
it was through me that you had resisted the dominion which was being
established over the Hellenes--you would have granted me a testimonial
which all those that you have given to others together could not equal.
But neither would I make such an assertion; for it would be unjust to you;
nor, I am sure, would you concede its truth: and if Aeschines were acting
honestly, he would not have been trying to deface and misrepresent the
greatest of your glories, in order to satisfy his hatred towards me.

{294} But why do I rebuke him for this, when he has made other lying
charges against me, which are more outrageous by far? For when a man
charges me--I call Heaven and Earth to witness!--with philippizing, what
will he not say? By Heracles and all the gods, if one had to inquire
truthfully, setting aside all calumny and all expression of animosity, who
are in reality the men upon whose heads all would naturally and justly lay
the blame for what has taken place, you would find that it was those in
each city who resemble Aeschines, not those who resemble me. {295} For
they, when Philip's power was weak and quite insignificant--when we
repeatedly warned and exhorted you and showed you what was best--they, to
satisfy their own avarice, sacrificed the interests of the community, each
group deceiving and corrupting their own fellow citizens, until they
brought them into bondage. Thus the Thessalians were treated by Daochus,
Cineas, and Thrasydaeus; the Arcadians by Cercidas, Hieronymus and
Eucampidas; the Argives by Myrtis, Teledamus, and Mnaseas; the Eleans by
Euxitheus, Cleotimus and Aristaechmus; the Messenians by the sons of the
godforsaken Philiadas--Neon and Thrasylochus; the Sicymians by Aristratus
and Epichares; the Corinthians by Deinarchus and Demaretus; the Megareans
by Ptoeodorus, Helixus and Perillus; the Thebans by Timolaus, Theogeiton,
and Anemoetas; the Euboeans by Hipparchus and Sosistratus. {296} Daylight
will fail me before the list of the traitors is complete. All these, men
of Athens, are men who pursue the same designs in their own cities, as my
opponents pursue among you--abominable men, flatterers, evil spirits, who
have hacked the limbs each of his own fatherland, and like boon companions
have pledged away their freedom, first to Philip and now to Alexander; men
whose measure of happiness is their belly, and their lowest instincts;
while as for freedom, and the refusal to acknowledge any man as lord--the
standard and rule of good to the Hellenes of old--they have flung it to
the ground.

{297} Of this shameful and notorious conspiracy and wickedness--or rather
(to speak with all earnestness, men of Athens), of this treason against
the freedom of the Hellenes--Athens has been guiltless in the eyes of all
men, in consequence of my statesmanship, as I have been guiltless in your
eyes. And do you then ask me for what merits I count myself worthy to
receive honour? I tell you that at a time when every politician in Hellas
had been corrupted--beginning with yourself--[firstly by Philip, and now
by Alexander], {298} no opportunity that offered, no generous language, no
grand promises, no hopes, no fears, nor any other motive, tempted or
induced me to betray one jot of what I believed to be the rights and
interests of the city; nor, of all the counsel that I have given to my
fellow countrymen, up to this day, has any ever been given (as it has by
you) with the scales of the mind inclining to the side of gain, but all
out of an upright, honest, uncorrupted soul. I have taken the lead in
greater affairs than any man of my own time, and my administration has
been sound and honest throughout all. {299} That is why I count myself
worthy of honour. But as for the fortifications and entrenchments, for
which you ridiculed me, I judge them to be deserving, indeed, of gratitude
and commendation--assuredly they are so--but I set them far below my own
political services. Not with stones, nor with bricks, did I fortify this
city. Not such are the works upon which I pride myself most. But would you
inquire honestly wherein my fortifications consist? You will find them in
munitions of war, in cities, in countries, in harbours, in ships, in
horses, and in men ready to defend my fellow countrymen. {300} These are
the defences I have set to protect Attica, so far as by human calculation
it could be done; and with these I have fortified our whole territory--not
the circuit of the Peiraeus or of the city alone. Nor in fact, did _I
_prove inferior to Philip in calculations--far from it!--or in
preparations for war; but the generals of the confederacy,[n] and their
forces, proved inferior to him in fortune. Where are the proofs of these
things? They are clear and manifest. I bid you consider them.

{301} What was the duty of a loyal citizen--one who was acting with all
forethought and zeal and uprightness for his country's good? Was it not to
make Euboea the bulwark of Attica on the side of the sea, and Boeotia on
that of the mainland, and on that of the regions towards the Peloponnese,
our neighbours[n] in that direction? Was it not to provide for the corn-
trade, and to ensure that it should pass along a continuously friendly
coast all the way to the Peiraeus? {302} Was it not to preserve the places
which were ours--Proconnesus, the Chersonese, Tenedos--by dispatching
expeditions to aid them, and proposing and moving resolutions accordingly;
and to secure the friendship and alliance of the rest--Byzantium,
Tenedos, Euboea? Was it not to take away the greatest of the resources
which the enemy possessed, and to add what was lacking to those of the
city? {303} All this has been accomplished by my decrees and by the
measures which I have taken; and all these measures, men of Athens, will
be found by any one who will examine them without jealousy, to have been
correctly planned, and executed with entire honesty: the opportunity for
each step was not, you will find, neglected or left unrecognized or thrown
away by me, and nothing was left undone, which it was within the power and
the reasoning capacity of a single man to effect. But if the might of some
Divine Power, or the inferiority of our generals, or the wickedness of
those who were betraying your cities, or all these things together,
continuously injured our whole cause, until they effected its overthrow,
how is Demosthenes at fault? {304} Had there been in each of the cities of
Hellas one man, such as I was, as I stood at my own post in your midst--
nay, if all Thessaly and all Arcadia had each had but one man animated by
the same spirit as myself--not one Hellenic people, either beyond or on
this side of Thermopylae, would have experienced the evils which they now
suffer. {305} All would have been dwelling in liberty and independence,
free from all fears, secure and prosperous, each in their own land,
rendering thanks for all these great blessings to you and the rest of the
Athenian people, through me. But that you may know that in my anxiety to
avoid jealousy, I am using language which is far from adequate to the
actual facts, (_to the clerk_) read me this; and take and recite the list
of the expeditions sent out in accordance with my decrees.

[_The list of expeditions is read]_

{306} These measures, and others like them, Aeschines, were the measures
which it was the duty of a loyal and gallant citizen to take. If they were
successful, it was certain that we should be indisputably the strongest
power, and that with justice as well as in fact: and now that they have
resulted otherwise, we are left with at least an honourable name. No man
casts reproach either upon the city, or upon the choice which she made:
they do but upbraid Fortune, who decided the issue thus. {307} It was not,
God knows, a citizen's duty to abandon his country's interests, to sell
his services to her opponents, and cherish the opportunities of the enemy
instead of those of his country. Nor was it, on the one hand, to show his
malice against the man who had faced the task of proposing and moving
measures worthy of the city, and persisting in that intention; while, on
the other hand, he remembered and kept his eyes fixed upon any private
annoyance which another had caused him: nor was it to maintain a wicked
and festering inactivity, as you so often do. {308} Assuredly there is an
inactivity that is honest and brings good to the State--the inactivity
which you,[n] the majority of the citizens, observe in all sincerity. But
that is not the inactivity of Aeschines. Far from it! He, on the contrary,
retires just when he chooses, from public life (and he often chooses to do
so), that he may watch for the moment when you will be sated with the
continual speeches of the same adviser, or when fortune has thrown some
obstacle in your path, or some other disagreeable event has happened (for
in the life of man many things are possible); and then, when such an
opportunity comes, suddenly, like a gale of wind, out of his retirement he
comes forth an orator, with his voice in training, and his phrases and his
sentences collected; and these he strings together lucidly, without
pausing for breath, though they bring with them no profit, no accession of
anything good, but only calamity to one or another of his fellow citizens,
and shame to all alike. {309} Surely, Aeschines, if all this practice and
study sprang from an honest heart, resolved to pursue the interests of
your country, the fruits of it should have been noble and honourable and
profitable to all--alliances of cities, supplies of funds, opening of
ports,[n] enactment of beneficial laws, acts of opposition to our proved
enemies. {310} It was for all such services that men looked in bygone
days; and the past has offered, to any loyal and gallant citizen, abundant
opportunities of displaying them: but nowhere in the ranks of such men
will you ever be found to have stood--not first, nor second, nor third,
nor fourth, nor fifth, nor sixth, nor in any position whatsoever; at
least, not in any matters whereby your country stood to gain. {311} For
what alliance has the city gained by negotiations of yours? What
assistance, what fresh access of goodwill or fame? What diplomatic or
administrative action of yours has brought new dignity to the city? What
department of our home affairs, or our relations with Hellenic and foreign
states, over which you have presided, has shown any improvement? Where are
your ships? Where are your munitions of war? Where are your dockyards?
Where are the walls that you have repaired? Where are your cavalry? Where
in the world _is_ your sphere of usefulness? What pecuniary assistance
have you ever given, as a good and generous fellow citizen,[n] either to
rich or poor? {312} 'But, my good sir, 'you say, 'if I have done none of
these things, I have at least given my loyalty and goodwill.' Where? When?
Why, even at a time when all who ever opened their lips upon the platform
contributed voluntarily to save the city, till, last of all, Aristonicus
gave what he had collected to enable him to regain his civil rights--even
then, most iniquitous of men! you never came forward or made any
contribution whatever: and assuredly it was not from poverty, when you had
inherited more than five talents out of the estate of your father-in-law
Philo, and had received two talents subscribed by the leaders of the Naval
Boards,[n] for your damaging attack upon my Naval Law.[n] {313} But I will
say no more about this, lest by passing from subject to subject I should
break away from the matter in hand. It is at least plain that your failure
to contribute was not due to your poverty, but to your anxiety to do
nothing in opposition to those whose interest is the guide of your whole
public life. On what occasions, then, do your spirit and your brilliancy
show themselves? When something must be done to injure your fellow
countrymen--then your voice is most glorious, your memory most perfect;
then you are a prince of actors, a Theocrines[n] on the tragic stage!

{314} Again, you have recalled the gallant men of old, and you do well to
do so. Yet it is not just, men of Athens, to take advantage of the good
feeling which you may be relied upon to entertain towards the dead, in
order to examine me before you by their standard, and compare me, who am
still living amongst you, with them. {315} Who in all the world does not
know that against the living there is always more or less of secret
jealousy, while none, not even their enemies, hate the dead any more? And
am I, in spite of this law of nature, to be judged and examined to-day by
the standard of those who were before me? By no means! It would be neither
just nor fair, Aeschines. But let me be compared with yourself, or with
any of those who have adopted the same policy as yourself, and are still
alive. {316} And consider this also. Which of these alternatives is the
more honourable? Which is better for the city?--that the good services
done by men of former times--tremendous, nay even beyond all description
though they may be--should be made an excuse for exposing to ingratitude
and contumely those that are rendered to the present generation? or that
all who act in loyalty should have a share in the honours and the kindness
which our fellow citizens dispense? {317} Aye, and (if I must say this
after all) the policy and the principles which I have adopted will be
found, if rightly viewed, to resemble and to have the same aims as those
of the men who in that age received praise; while yours resemble those of
the dishonest assailants of such persons in those days. For in their time
also there were obviously persons who disparaged the living and praised
the men of old, acting in the same malicious way as yourself. {318} Do you
say then, that I am in no way like them? But are you like them, Aeschines?
or your brother? or any other orator of the present day? For my part, I
should say, 'None.' Nay, my good sir--to use no other epithet--compare the
living with the living, their contemporaries, as men do in every other
matter, whether they are comparing poets or choruses or competitors in the
games. {319} Because Philammon was not so powerful as Glaucus of
Carystus[n] and some other athletes of former times, he did not leave
Olympia uncrowned: but because he fought better than all who entered
against him, he was crowned and proclaimed victor. Do you likewise examine
me beside the orators of the day--beside yourself, beside any one in the
world that you choose. {320} I fear no man's rivalry. For, while the city
was still free to choose the best course, and all alike could compete with
one another in loyalty to their country, I was found the best adviser of
them all. It was by my laws, by my decrees, by my diplomacy, that all was
effected. Not one of your party appeared anywhere, unless some insult was
to be offered to your fellow countrymen. But when there happened, what I
would had never happened--when it was not statesmen that were called to
the front, but those who would do the bidding of a master, those who were
anxious to earn wages by injuring their country, and to flatter a
stranger--then, along with every member of your party, you were found at
your post, the grand and resplendent owner of a stud;[n] while I was weak,
I confess, yet more loyal to my fellow countrymen than you. {321} Two
characteristics, men of Athens, a citizen of a respectable character (for
this is perhaps the least invidious phrase that I can apply to myself)
must be able to show: when he enjoys authority, he must maintain to the
end the policy whose aims are noble action and the pre-eminence of his
country: and at all times and in every phase of fortune he must remain
loyal. For this depends upon his own nature; while his power and his
influence are determined by external causes. And in me, you will find,
this loyalty has persisted unalloyed. For mark this. {322} Not when my
surrender was demanded, not when I was called to account before the
Amphictyons, not in face either of threats or of promises, not when these
accursed men were hounded on against me like wild beasts, have I ever been
false to my loyalty towards you. For from the very first, I chose the
straight and honest path in public life: I chose to foster the honour, the
supremacy, the good name of my country, to seek to enhance them, and to
stand or fall with them. {323} I do not walk through the market, cheerful
and exultant over the success of strangers, holding out my hand and giving
the good tidings to any whom I expect to report my conduct yonder, but
shuddering, groaning, bowing myself to the earth, when I hear of the
city's good fortune, as do these impious men, who make a mock of the city
--not remembering that in so doing they are mocking themselves--while they
direct their gaze abroad, and, whenever another has gained success through
the failure of the Hellenes, belaud that state of things, and declare that
we must see that it endures for all time.

{324} Never, O all ye gods, may any of you consent to their desire! If it
can be, may you implant even in these men a better mind and heart. But if
they are verily beyond all cure, then bring them and them alone to utter
and early destruction, by land and sea. And to us who remain, grant the
speediest release from the fears that hang over us, and safety that naught
can shake!


[1] Some writers suppose that it was at the meeting in the spring of 339.
The evidence is not conclusive, but appears to point to the date given



Sec. 1. _who praise your forefathers_. The advocates of war with Persia had
doubtless appealed to the memory of Marathon and Salamis, and the old
position of Athens as the champion of Greece against Persia.

Sec. 10, 11. The argument is this: 'If a war with Persia needed a special
kind of force, we could not prepare for it without being detected: but as
all wars need the same kind of force, our preparations need rouse no
suspicion in Persia particularly.'

_acknowledged foes_: i.e. probably Thebes, or the revolted allies of
Athens, with whom a disadvantageous peace had, perhaps, just been made. It
is not, however, impossible that Philip also is in the orator's mind; for
though at the time he was probably engaged in war with the Illyrians and
Paeonians, his quarrel with Athens in regard to Amphipolis had not been
settled. The Olynthians may also be thought of. (See Introd. to Phil. I
and Olynthiacs.)

Sec. 12. _rhapsodies_. The rhapsodes who went about Greece reciting Homer and
other poets had lost the distinction they once enjoyed, and 'rhapsody'

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