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


To prove that I speak the truth, please call Mnason the Phocian and those who have come with him, and call the delegates chosen by the Boeotian exiles. Come up to the platform, Liparus and Pythion, and do me the same service for the saving of my life that I did for you.Plea of the Boeotians and Phocians

Would it not, then, be monstrous treatment for me if I should be convicted when my accuser is Demosthenes, the paid servant of Thebes and the wickedest man in Hellas, while my advocates are Phocians and Boeotians?


But he dared to say that I am tripped up by my own words. For he says [Note] that when I was prosecuting Timarchus I said that his lewdness was a matter of common report, and that Hesiod, a good poet, says, “But Common Report dies never, the voice that tongues of many men do utter. She also is divine.” [Note] He says that this same god comes now and accuses me, for everybody says, according to him, that I have got money from Philip.


But be assured, fellow citizens, there is the greatest difference between common report and slander. For common report has no affinity with malice, but malice is slander's own sister. I will define each of them specifically: it is a case of common report when the mass of the people, on their own impulse and for no reason that they can give, say that a certain event has taken place; but it is slander when one person, insinuating an accusation in the minds of the people, calumniates a man in all the meetings of the assembly and before the senate. To Common Report we offer public sacrifice, as to a god, but the slanderer we prosecute, in the name of the people, as a scoundrel. Do not, therefore, join together the most honourable and the most shameful things.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.134 Aeschin. 2.142 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.149

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