Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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1.179

and when you have been drawn away from the defence itself, and your minds have become intent on other things, you forget the accusation entirely, and leave the court-room without having received satisfaction from either party—not from the complainant, for you are given no opportunity to vote with reference to him, and not from the defendant, for by his extraneous charges he has brushed aside the original complaints against himself, and gone out of court scot-free. Thus the laws are losing their force, the democracy is being undermined, and the custom is steadily gaining ground. For you sometimes thoughtlessly listen to mere talk that is unsupported by a good life.

1.180

Not so the Lacedaemonians (and it is well to imitate virtue even in a foreigner). For instance, when a certain man had spoken in the assembly of the Lacedaemonians, a man of shameful life but an exceedingly able speaker, and when, we are told, the Lacedaemonians were on the point of voting according to his advice, a man came forward from the Council of Elders [Note]—a body of men whom they reverence and fear, whose age gives its name to that office which they consider the highest, and whom they appoint from among those who have been men of sobriety from boyhood to old age—one of these, it is said, came forward and vehemently rebuked the Lacedaemonians and denounced them in words like these: that the homes of Sparta would not long remain unravaged if the people folIowed such advisers in their assemblies.

1.181

at the same time he called forward another of the Lacedaemonians, a certain man who was not gifted in speech, but brilliant in war and distinguished for justice and sobriety, and he ordered him to express as best he could the same sentiments that the former orator had uttered, “In order,” he explained, “that a good man may speak before the Lacedaemonians vote, but that they may not even receive into their ears the voices of proven cowards and rascals.” Such was the advice that the old man, who had lived a pure life from childhood, gave to his fellow citizens. He would have been quick, indeed, to allow Timarchus or the low-lived Demosthenes to take part in public affairs!

1.182

But that I may not seem to be flattering the Lacedaemonians, I will make mention of our ancestors also. For so stern were they toward all shameful conduct, and so precious did they hold the purity of their children, that when one of the citizens found that his daughter had been seduced, and that she had failed to guard well her chastity till the time of marriage, he walled her up in an empty house with a horse, which he knew would surely kill her, if she were shut in there with him. And to this day the foundations of that house stand in your city, and that spot is called “the place of the horse and the maid.”

1.183

and Solon, the most famous of lawgivers, has written in ancient and solemn manner concerning orderly conduct on the part of the women. For the woman who is taken in the act of adultery he does not allow to adorn herself, nor even to attend the public sacrifices, lest by mingling with innocent women she corrupt them. But if she does attend, or does adorn herself, he commands that any man who meets her shall tear off her garments, strip her of her ornaments, and beat her (only he may not kill or maim her); for the lawgiver seeks to disgrace such a woman and make her life not worth the living.

1.184

and he commands that procurers, men and women, be indicted, and if they are convicted, be punished with death, because to people who lust after sin but hesitate and are ashamed to meet one another, the procurers offer their own shamelessness for pay, and make it possible to discuss the act and to accomplish it.

1.185

Such, then, was the judgment of your fathers concerning things shameful and things honorable; and shall their sons let Timarchus go free, a man chargeable with the most shameful practices, a creature with the body of a man defiled with the sins of a woman? In that case, who of you will punish a woman if he finds her in wrong doing? Or what man will not be regarded as lacking intelligence who is angry with her who errs by an impulse of nature,while he treats as adviser [Note] the man who in despite of nature has sinned against his own body?

1.186

How will each man of you feel as he goes home from court? For the person who is on trial is no obscure man, but well known; the law governing the official scrutiny of public speakers is not a trivial law, but a most excellent one; and we must expect that the boys and young men will ask the members of their families how the case was decided.

1.187

What then, pray, are you going to answer, you in whose hands the decision now rests, when your sons ask you whether you voted for conviction or acquittal? When you acknowledge that you set Timarchus free, will you not at the same time be overturning our whole system of training the youth? What use is there in keeping attendants for our children, or setting trainers and teachers over them, when those who have been entrusted with the laws allow themselves to be turned into crooked paths of shame?



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 1.173 Aeschin. 1.182 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 1.191

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