Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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And yet you will presently see Hegesandrus and his brother Crobylus leaping to the platform here and most vehemently and eloquently declaring that what I say is all nonsense. They will demand that I present witnesses to testify explicitly where he did it, how he did it, or who saw him do it, or what sort of an act it was—a shameless demand, I think.


For I do not believe your memory is so short that you have forgotten the laws that you heard read a few moments ago, in which it stands written that if anyone hires any Athenian for this act, or if any one lets himself out for hire, he is liable to the most severe penalties, and the same penalties for both offences. Now what man is so reckless that he would be willing to give in plain words testimony which, if the testimony be true, would inevitably amount to information against himself as liable to extreme punishment?


Only one alternative then remains: that the man who submitted to the act shall acknowledge it. But he is on trial on precisely this charge, that after such conduct as this, he breaks the laws by speaking before the assembly. Shall we, then, drop the whole affair,and make no further inquiry? By Poseidon, a fine home this city will be for us, if when we ourselves know that a thing has been done in fact, we are to ignore it unless some man come forward here and testify to the act in words as explicit as they must be shameless.


But pray consider the case with the help of illustrations; and naturally the illustrations will have to be like the pursuits of Timarchus. You see the men over yonder who sit in the bawdy-houses, men who confessedly pursue the profession. Yet these persons, brought to such straits as that, do nevertheless make some attempt to cover their shame: they shut their doors. Now if, as you are passing along the street, any one should ask you, “Pray, what is the fellow doing at this moment?” you would instantly name the act, though you do not see it done, and do not know who it was that entered the house; knowing the profession of the man, you know his act also.


In the same way, therefore, you ought to judge the case of Timarchus, and not to ask whether anyone saw, but whether he has done the deed. For by heaven, Timarchus, what shall a man say? What would you say yourself about another man on trial on this charge? What shall we say when a young man leaves his father's house and spends his nights in other people's houses, a conspicuously handsome young man? When he enjoys costly suppers without paying for them, and keeps the most expensive flutegirls and harlots? When he gambles and pays nothing himself but another man always pays for him?


Does it take a wizard to explain all that? Is it not perfectly plain that the man who makes such demands must himself necessarily be furnishing in return certain pleasures to the men who are spending their money on him? I say “furnishing pleasures,” because, by the Olympian Zeus, I don't know how I can use more euphemistic language than that in referring to your contemptible conduct.


But also look at the case, if you please, with the help of certain illustrations taken from the field of politics, especially matters which you have in hand just now. We have been having revisions of the citizen-lists in the demes, and each one of us has submitted to a vote regarding himself to determine whether he is a genuine citizen or not. Now whenever I am in the court-room listening to the pleas, [Note] I see that the same argument always prevails with you: when the prosecutor says


“Gentlemen of the jury, the men of the deme have under oath excluded this man on their own personal knowledge, although nobody brought accusation or gave testimony against him,” you immediately applaud, assuming that the man who is before the court has no claim to citizenship. For I suppose you are of the opinion that when one knows a thing perfectly of his own knowledge, he does not need argument or testimony in addition.


Come now, in God's name! if, as on the question of birth, so on the question of these personal habits, Timarchus had to submit to a vote as to whether he is guilty of the charge or not, and the case were being tried in court and were being brought before you as now, except that it were not permitted by constitution or statute either for me to accuse or for him to defend himself, and if this crier who is now standing at my side were putting the question to you in the formula prescribed by law, “The hollow ballot for the juror who believes that Timarchus has been a prostitute, the solid ballot for the juror who does not,” [Note] what would be your vote? I am absolutely sure that you would decide against him.


Now if one of you should ask me, “How do you know that we would vote against him?” I should answer, “Because you have spoken out and told me.” And I will remind you when and where each man of you speaks and tells me: it is every time that Timarchus mounts the platform in the assembly; and the senate spoke out, when last year he was a member of the senate. For every time he used such words as “walls” or “tower” that needed repairing, or told how so-and-so had been “taken off” somewhere, you immediately laughed and shouted, and yourselves spoke the words that belong to those exploits of which he, to your knowledge, is guilty. [Note]

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 1.65 Aeschin. 1.75 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 1.85

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