Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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He held the office of auditor, and did the state serious injury by taking bribes from office holders who had been dishonest, [Note] though his specialty was the blackmailing of innocent men who were to appear before the auditing board. He held a magistracy in Andros, which he bought for thirty minas, borrowing the money at nine obols on the mina, [Note] and thus he made your allies a ready source of supply for his own lusts. And in his treatment of the wives of free men he showed such licentiousness as no other man ever did. Of these men I call no one into court to testify publicly to his own misfortune, which he has chosen to cover in silence, but I leave it to you to investigate this matter.


But what do you expect? If a man at Athens not only abuses other people, but even his own body, here where there are laws, where you are looking on, where his personal enemies are on the watch, who would expect that same man, when he had received impunity and authority and office, to have placed any limit on his license? By Zeus and Apollo, many a time before now have I marvelled at the good fortune of your city, shown on many other occasions, but not least in this, that in those days he found nobody to whom he could sell the state of Andros!


But, you say, although he was worthless when he held office alone, yet when he was associated with others he was all right! How so? This man, fellow citizens, became a member of the senate in the archsonship of Nicophemus. [Note] Now to recount all the rascalities of which he was guilty in that year would be too large an undertaking for the small fraction of a day; but those which are most germane to the charge that underlies the present trial, I will relate in a few words.


in the same year in which Timarchus was a member of the senate, Hegesandrus, the brother of Crobylus, was a treasurer of the funds of the goddess, [Note] and together, in right friendly comradeship, they were in the act of stealing a thousand drachmas which belonged to the city. But a reputable man, Pamphilus of the deme Acherdous, who had had some trouble with the defendant and was angry with him, found out what was going on, and at a meeting of the assembly arose and said, “Fellow citizens, a man and a woman are conspiring to steal one thousand drachmas of yours.”


then you in astonishment cried, “How ‘a man and a woman,’ what are you talking about?” after a little he went on: “Don't you understand,” said he, “what I mean? The man is our friend Hegesandrus there, a man now, though he too used to be a woman, Laodamas's woman; as for the woman, she is Timarchus yonder. How the money is being stolen I will tell you.” He then proceeded to give a full account of the matter, and in a way that showed that there was no guesswork about it. After he had given you this information, “What is it, fellow citizens,” said he, “that I advise? If the senate sustains the charge against this man and expels him, and then hands him over to the courts, give the senate the usual testimonial; [Note] but if they fail to punish him, refuse to give it, and lay up this thing against them for that day.”


after this, when the senate had returned to the senate chamber, [Note] they expelled him on the preliminary ballot, but took him back on the final vote. [Note] I must tell you, however unpleasant it is to mention it, that for their failure to hand him over to the courts, or even to expel him from the senate chamber, they failed to receive the usual testimonial. I beg you therefore, fellow citizens, not to present the spectacle of showing resentment toward the senate, and depriving five hundred citizens of a crown because they failed to punish the defendant, and then letting him go free yourselves; and I beg you not to preserve for the popular assembly a public man who has proved useless to the senate.


But, you say, though such is his record in the offices filled by lot, he has been a better man in the elective offices. [Note] Why, who of you has not heard of his notorious conviction for stealing? You will recall that you sent him as an inspector of the mercenary troops in Eretria. [Note] He and he only of the board of inspectors acknowledged that he had taken money, and made no defence against the charge, but immediately admitted his guilt, making his plea only as to the penalty. You punished those who denied their guilt with a fine of a talent apiece, but him with half a talent. Whereas the laws command that thieves who admit their guilt shall be punished with death; it is those who deny their guilt that are to be put on trial.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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