Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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In consequence of this experience so great became his contempt for you that immediately, on the occasion of the revision of the citizen lists, he gathered in two thousand drachmas. For he asserted that Philotades of Cydathenaeon, a citizen, was a former slave of his own, and he persuaded the members of the deme to disfranchise him. He took charge of the prosecution in court, [Note] and after he had taken the sacred offerings in his hand and sworn that he had not taken a bribe and would not,


and though he swore by the usual gods of oaths [Note] and called down destruction on his own head, yet it has been proved that he received twenty minas from Leuconides, the brother-in-law of Philotades, at the hands of Philemon the actor, which money he soon spent on his mistress Philoxene. And so he broke his oath and abandoned the case. To prove that I speak the truth please call Philemon, who paid over the money, and Leuconides, the brother-in-law of Philotades, and read the copy of the agreement by which he effected the sale of the case.AffidavitsAgreement


Now what manner of man he has shown himself to be in his dealings with his fellow citizens and his own family, how shamefully he has wasted his patrimony, how he has submitted to the abuse of his own body, all this you knew as well as I, before ever I spoke, but my account of it has sufficiently refreshed your memory. Two points of my plea remain, and I pray to all the gods and goddesses that I may be enabled to speak regarding them as I have planned to do, for the public good; and I should like you to give attention to what I am about to say, and to follow me with willing mind.


The first of these points is an anticipation of the defence which I hear he is about to offer, for I fear that if I neglect this topic, that man who professes to teach the young the tricks of speech [Note] may mislead you by some artifice, and so defraud the state. My second point is an exhortation of the citizens to virtue. And I see many young men present in court, and many of their elders, and not a few citizens of other states of Hellas, gathered here to listen. Do not imagine that they have come to look at me.


Nay, rather have they come to find out about you, whether you not only know how to make good laws, but also are able to distinguish between good conduct and bad; whether you know how to honor good men; and whether you are willing to punish those who make their own life a reproach to the city. I will first speak to you about the defence.


The eminent orator Demosthenes says that you must either wipe out your laws, or else no attention must be paid to my words. For he is amazed, he says, if you do not all remember that every single year the senate farms out the tax on prostitutes, and that the men who buy this tax do not guess, but know precisely, who they are that follow this profession. When, therefore, I have dared to bring impeachment against Timarchus for having prostituted himself, in order that I may deprive him of the right to address the people in assembly, Demosthenes says that the very act complained of calls, not for an accuser's arraignment, but for the testimony of the tax-gatherer who collected this tax from Timarchus.


Now, fellow citizens, see whether the reply that I make seems to you frank and straightforward. For I am ashamed in the city's behalf, if Timarchus,the counsellor of the people, the man who dares to go out into Hellas on their embassies, if this man, instead of undertaking to clear his record of the whole matter, shall ask us to specify the localities where he plied his trade, and to say whether the tax collectors have ever collected the prostitutes' licence from him.


For your sakes pray let him give up such defence as that! But I myself will suggest to you, Timarchus, a different line of defence, which is honorable and fair, and you will adopt it, if you are conscious of having done nothing shameful. Come, dare to look the jury in the face and say that which a decent man ought to say of his youth: “Fellow citizens, I have been brought up as boy and youth among you; how I have spent my time is no secret to you, and you see me with you in your assemblies.


Now if I were defending myself before any other set of men on the charge on which I stand accused, I think your testimony would readily suffice to refute the words of my accuser. For if any such act has been committed by me, nay rather if my life has exhibited to you even any resemblance to that of which he accuses me, I feel that the rest of my life is not worth living; I freely concede you my punishment, that the state may have therein a defence in the eyes of Hellas. I have not come here to beg for mercy from you; nay, do with me what you will, if you believe that I am such a man as that.”

This, Timarchus, is the defence of a good and decent man, a man who has confidence in his past life, and who with good reason looks with contempt upon all efforts to slander him.

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