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


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.


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;


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.


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.


How he has deceived you—deceit is ever the mark of the charlatan—see from his own words. He says that I went down the Loedias river to Philip in a canoe by night, and that I wrote for Philip the letter which came to you. For Leosthenes, who had been exiled from Athens through the work of blackmailers, was not competent to write a clever letter—a man whom some do not hesitate to rank next to Callistratus of Aphidna as an able orator!


and Philip himself was not competent, against whom Demosthenes was not able to hold his own when he tried to speak in your behalf! nor Python of Byzantium, a man who takes pride in his ability as a writer! but, as it seems, the thing required my help too! And you say that time and again I had private interviews with Philip in the daytime, but you accuse me of paddling down the river in the night—the need of a midnight letter was so urgent!


But there is no truth in your story, as those who messed with me have come to testify—Aglaocreon of Tenedos and latrocles the son of Pasiphon, with whom I slept every night during the whole time, from beginning to end; they know that I was never away from them a single night, nor any part of a night. We present also our slaves and offer them for torture; [Note] and I offer to interrupt my speech if the prosecution agree. The officer shall come in and administer the torture in your presence, gentlemen of the jury, if you so order. There is still time enough to do it, for in the apportionment of the day eleven jars of water have been assigned to my defence. [Note]

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.115 Aeschin. 2.122 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.130

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