Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.146 Aeschin. 2.153 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.162


But you dared to speak about my wife's family also—so shameless you are and so inherently thankless, you that have neither affection nor respect for Philodemus, [Note] the father of Philon and Epicrates, the man by whose good offices you were enrolled among the men of your deme, as the elder Paeanians know. [Note] But I am amazed if you dare slander Philon, and that, too, in the presence of the most reputable men of Athens, who, having come in here to render their verdict for the best interest of the state, are thinkingmore about the lives we have lived than what we say.


Which think you would they pray heaven to give them, ten thousand hoplites like Philon, so fit in body and so sound of heart, or thrice ten thousand lewd weaklings like you? You try to bring into contempt the good breeding of Epicrates, Philon's brother; but who ever saw him behaving in an indecent manner, either by day in the Dionysiac procession, as you assert, or by night? For you certainly could never say that he was unobserved, for he was no stranger.


And I myself, gentlemen, have three children, one daughter and two sons, by the daughter of Philodemus, the sister of Philon and Epicrates; and I have brought them into court with the others for the sake of asking one question and presenting one piece of evidence to the jury. This question I will now put to you; for I ask, fellow citizens, whether you believe that I would have betrayed to Philip, not only my country, my personal friendships, and my rights in the shrines and tombs of my fathers, but also these children, the dearest of mankind to me. Do you believe that I would have held his friendship more precious than the safety of these children? By what lust have you seen me conquered? What unworthy act have I ever done for money? It is not Macedon that makes men good or bad, but their own inborn nature; and we have not come back from the embassy changed men, but the same men that you yourselves sent out.


But in public affairs I have become exceedingly entangled with a cheat and rascal, who not even by accident can speak a truthful word. No: when he is lying, first comes an oath by his shameless eyes, and things that never happened he not only presents as facts, but he even tells the day on which they occurred; and he invents the name of some one who happened to be there, and adds that too, imitating men who speak the truth. But we who are innocent are fortunate in one thing, that he has no intelligence with which to supplement the trickery of his character and his knack of putting words together. For think what a combination of folly and ignorance there must be in the man who could invent such a lie against me as that about the Olynthian woman, [Note] such a lie that you shut him up in the midst of his speech. For he was slandering a man who is the farthest removed from any such conduct, and that in the presence of men who know.


But see how far back his preparations for this accusation go. For there is a certain Olynthian living here, Aristophanes by name. Demosthenes was introduced to him by some one, and having found out that he is an able speaker, paid extravagant court to him and won his confidence; this accomplished, he tried to persuade him to give false testimony against me before you, promising, namely, to give him five hundred drachmas on the spot, if he would consent to come into court and complain of me, and say that I was guilty of drunken abuse of a woman of his family, who had been taken captive; and he promised to pay him five hundred more when he should have given the testimony.


But Aristophanes answered him, as he himself told the story, that so far as his exile and present need were concerned, Demosthenes' aim had not been wide of the mark—indeed no aim could have been closer—but that he had entirely misjudged his character; for he could do nothing of the sort. I will offer Aristophanes himself to testify to the truth of what I say. Please call Aristophanes the Olynthian, and read his testimony, and call those who heard his story and reported it to me—Dercylus, of the deme Hagnus, the son of Autocles, and Aristeides of Cephisia, the son of Euphiletus.Testimony


You hear the sworn testimony. But these wicked arts of rhetoric, which Demosthenes offers to teach our youth, and has now employed against me, his tears and groans for Hellas, and his praise of Satyrus the comic actor, because over the cups he begged of Philip the release of certain friends of his who were captives in chains, digging in Philip's vineyard—you remember, do you not, how after this preface he lifted up that shrill and abominable voice of his and cried out,


“How outrageous that when a man whose business it is to act the parts of a Carion or of a Xanthias [Note] showed himself so noble and generous, Aeschines, the counsellor of the greatest city, the adviser of the Ten Thousand of Arcadia, did not restrain his insolence, but in drunken heat, when Xenodocus, one of the picked corps of Philip, was entertaining us, seized a captive woman by the hair, and took a strap and flogged her!”

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.146 Aeschin. 2.153 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.162

Powered by PhiloLogic