Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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But was Phalaecus the only one who failed to discern what the outcome was going to be? How stood public opinion here? Were you not yourselves all expecting that Philip was going to humble the Thebans, when he saw their audacity, and because he was unwilling to increase the power of men whom he could not trust? And did not the Lacedaemonians take part with us in the negotiations against the Thebans, and did they not finally come into open collision with them in Macedonia and threaten them? Were not the Theban ambassadors themselves perplexed and alarmed? And did not the Thessalians laugh at all the rest and say that the expedition was for their own benefit?


Did not some of' Philip's companions say explicitly to some of us that Philip was going to reestablish the cities in Boeotia? Had not the Thebans already, suspicious of the situation, called out all their reserves and taken the field? And did not Philip, when he saw this, send a letter to you calling upon you to come out with all your forces in defence of the cause of justice? As for those who are now for war, and who call peace cowardice, did they not prevent your going out, in spite of the fact that peace and alliance had been made with Philip? And did they not say that they were afraid he would take your soldiers as hostages?


Was it I, therefore, who prevented the people from imitating our forefathers, or was it you, Demosthenes, and those who were in conspiracy with you against the common good? And was it a safer and more honourable course for the Athenians to take the field at a time when the Phocians were at the height of their madness and at war with Philip, with Alponus and Nicaea in their possession—for Phalaecus had not yet surrendered these posts to the Macedonians—and when those whom we were proposing to aid would not accept the truce for the Mysteries, and when we were leaving the Thebans in our rear: or after Philip had invited us, when we had already received his oaths and had an alliance with him, and when the Thessalians and the other Amphictyons were taking part in the expedition?


Was not the latter opportunity far better than the former? But at this later time, thanks to the combination of cowardice and envy in you, Demosthenes, the Athenians brought in their property from the fields, when I was already absent on the third embassy, [Note] and appearing before the assembly of the Amphictyons [Note]—that embassy on which you dare to say that I set out without having been elected, although, enemy as you are to me, you have never to this day been willing to prosecute me as having wrongly served on it; and we may safely assume that this is not because you begrudge me bodily pains and penalties.


When, therefore, the Thebans were besieging him with their importunities, and our city was in confusion, thanks to you, and the Athenian hoplites were not with him; [Note] when the influence of the Thessalians had been added to that of the Thebans, thanks to your shortsightedness and because of the hostility to the Phocians which the Thessalians had inherited from that ancient time when Phocians seized and flogged the Thessalian hostages; and when, before my coming and that of Stephanus, Dercylus, and the rest of the ambassadors, Phalaecus already made terms and departed;


Then the people of Orchomenus were in exceeding fear, and had begged for peace, on condition that their lives should be spared and they be allowed to go forth from Boeotia; [Note] when the Theban ambassadors were standing by, and when it was plain that Philip was threatened with the hostility of the Thebans and Thessalians: then it was that the cause was lost not from any fault of mine, but thanks to your treachery, Demosthenes, and your hired service to Thebes. Of this I think I can furnish important confirmation from what has actually happened.


For if there were any truth in these assertions of yours, the Boeotian fugitives, for whose expulsion I was responsible, and the Phocian exiles, whose restoration I prevented, would be accusing me now. But as a matter of fact they ignore the misfortunes that have come upon them, and satisfied with my loyalty to them, the Boeotian exiles have held a meeting and chosen men to speak in my behalf; and from the towns of Phocis have come ambassadors whose lives I saved when I was representing you before the Amphictyons on the third embassy; for when the representatives from Oetaea went so far as to say that they ought to cast the grown men over the cliffs, I brought the Phocians into the assembly of the Amphictyons and secured a hearing for them. For Phalaecus had made terms for himself and gone, and those who were guiltless were on the point of being put to death; but I pleaded for them, and their lives were spared.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.131 Aeschin. 2.139 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.146

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