Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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2.117

Now I showed that the motive of this expedition was righteous and just; but I said that the Amphictyonic Council ought to be convened at the temple, receiving protection and freedom to vote, [Note] and that those individuals who were originally responsible for the seizure of the shrine ought to be punished—not their cities, but the individuals who had plotted and carried out the deed; and that those cities which surrendered the wrongdoers for trial ought to be held guiltless. “But if you take the field and with your forces confirm the wrongdoing of the Thebans, [Note] you will receive no gratitude from those whom you help, for you could not possibly do them so great a service as the Athenians once did, and they have no memory for that; while you will be wronging those whom you leave in the lurch, and will find them, not your friends in the future, but all the more your enemies.”

2.118

But not to waste time in reciting to you now precisely what was spoken there, I will content myself with this brief summary of it all. Fortune and Philip were masters of the issue, but I, of loyalty to you and of the words spoken. My words were words of justice, and they were spoken in your interest; the issue was not according to our prayer, but according to Philip's acts. Who, therefore, is it that deserves your approval? Is it the man who showed no desire to do any good thing whatever, or the man who left undone nothing that was in his power? But I now pass over many things for lack of time.

2.119

He said that I deceived you by saying that within a few days Thebes would be humbled; and that I told about the Euboeans, how I had frightened them, and that I led you on into empty hopes. But, fellow citizens, let me tell you what it is that he is doing. While I was with Philip I demanded—and when I returned to you I reported that I thought it right—that Thebes should be Boeotian, and not Boeotia, Theban. He asserts, not that I reported this, but that I promised it.

2.120

And I told you that Cleochares of Chalcis said that he was surprised at the sudden agreement between you and Philip, especially when we had been instructed “to negotiate concerning any good thing that should be within our power.” For he said the people of the small states, like himself, were afraid of the secret diplomacy of the greater. Demosthenes asserts, not that I related this fact, but that I promised to hand over Euboea! But I had supposed that when the city was about to deliberate on matters of supreme importance, no statement from any Hellenic source ought to be ignored.

2.121

But he falsely declared that when he wished to report the truth, he was hindered by me, together with Philocrates—for he divided the responsibility in that case also. Now I should like to ask you this: Has any ambassador sent out from Athens ever been prevented from presenting to the people an official report of his conduct? And if one had suffered such treatment and had been repudiated by his colleagues, would he ever have made a motion that they be given a vote of thanks and invited to dinner? But Demosthenes on his return from the second embassy, in which he says that the cause of Hellas was ruined, moved the vote of thanks in his decree;

2.122

and not only that, but when I had reported to the people what I had said about the Amphictyons and Boeotians, not briefly and rapidly as now, but as nearly word for word as possible, and when the people heartily applauded, I called upon him together with the other ambassadors, and asked them whether my report was true, and identical with what I had said to Philip; and when all my colleagues had testified and praised me, after them all Demosthenes arose and said: No, I had not to-day been speaking as I spoke there, but that I spoke twice as well there. You who are going to give the verdict are my witnesses of this.

2.123

and yet what better opportunity could he have had to convict me than to do it then and there, if I was in any wise deceiving the city? You say, Demosthenes, that while I was in a conspiracy against the city in the first embassy, you were not aware of it, but that on the second you found it out—the embassy in which we find you testifying to my services! And while accusing me for my conduct on the first embassy, you at the same time deny that you accuse me, and direct your accusations against the embassy that was sent to take the oaths. And yet if it is the peace you find fault with, it was you who moved to add the alliance to it. And if Philip did at any point deceive the city, his deception had to do with the peace, for he was maneuvering for the precise form of peace that would serve his own advantage. But it was the earlier embassy that offered the opportunity to accomplish this; the second took place after the thing was already done.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.113 Aeschin. 2.120 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.127

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