Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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I am also surprised, fellow citizens, that you who hate the brothel-keeper propose to let the willing prostitute go free. And it seems that a man who is not to be permitted to be a candidate for election by lot for the priesthood of any god, as being impure of body as that is defined by the laws, this same man is to write in our decrees prayers to the August Goddesses [Note] in behalf of the state. Why then do we wonder at the futility of our public acts, when the names of such public men as this stand at the head of the people's decrees? And shall we send abroad as ambassador a man who has lived shamefully at home, and shall we continue to trust that man in matters of the greatest moment? What would he not sell who has trafficked in the shame of his own body? Whom would he pity who has had no pity on himself?


To whom of you is not the bestiality of Timarchus well known? For just as we recognize the athlete, even without visiting the gymnasia, by looking at his bodily vigor, even so we recognize the prostitute, even without being present at his act, by his shamelessness, his effrontery, and his habits. For he who despises the laws and morality in matters of supreme importance, comes to be in a state of soul which is plainly revealed by his disorderly life.


Many men of this sort you could find who have overthrown cities and have fallen into the greatest misfortunes themselves. For you must not imagine, fellow citizens, that the impulse to wrong doing is from the gods; nay, rather, it is from the wickedness of men; nor that ungodly men are, as in tragedy, driven and chastised by the Furies [Note] with blazing torches in their hands.


No, the impetuous lusts of the body and insatiate desire—these it is that fill the robbers' bands, that send men on board the pirates' boats; these are, for each man, his Fury, urging him to slay his fellow citizens, to serve the tyrant, to help put down the democracy. For such men reck not of disgrace, nor yet of punishment to come, but are beguiled by the pleasures they expect if they succeed. Therefore, fellow citizens, remove from among us such natures, for so shall you turn the aspirations of the young toward virtue.


And be assured—I earnestly beg of you to remember what I am about to say—be assured that if Timarchus shall pay the penalty for his practices, you will lay the foundation for orderly conduct in this city; but if he shall be cleared, the case had better never have been tried. For before Timarchus came to trial, the law and the name of the courts did cause some men to fear; but if the leader in indecency and the most notorious man of all shall once have been brought into court and then come safely off, many will be induced to offend; and it will finally be, not what is said, but the desperate situation, that will arouse your anger.


therefore punish one man, and do not wait till you have a multitude to punish; and be on your guard against their machinations and their advocates. I will name no one of these, lest they make that their excuse for speaking, saying that they would not have come forward had not someone mentioned them by name. But this I will do: I will omit their names, but by describing their habits will make known their persons also. And each man will have only himself to blame if he comes up here and displays his impudence.


three sorts of supporters, namely, are going to come into court to help the defendant: firstly, men who have squandered their patrimony by the extravagance of their daily life; secondly, men who have abused their youth and their own bodies, and now are afraid, not for Timarchus, but for themselves and their own habits, lest they one day be called to account; and still others from the ranks of the licentious, and of those who have freely associated with licentious men; for they would have certain men rely on their aid, and thus be the more ready to indulge in wrong-doing.


therefore you hear the pleas of these men in his support, call to mind their lives, and bid those who have sinned against their own bodies to cease annoying you and to stop speaking before the people; for the law investigates, not men in private station, but those who are in public life. And tell those who have eaten up their patrimony to go to work, and find some new way to get their living. And as for the hunters of such young men as are easily trapped, command them turn their attention to the foreigners and the resident aliens, that they may still indulge their predilection, but without injuring you.


And now I have fulfilled all my obligation to you: I have explained the laws, I have examined the life of the defendant. Now, therefore, you are judges of my words, and soon I shall be spectator of your acts, for the decision of the case is now left to your judgment. If, therefore, you do what is right and best, we on our part shall, if it be your wish, be able more zealously to call wrongdoers to account.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 1.182 Aeschin. 1.192 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.1

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