Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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After this she at once began to make earnest entreaty in your behalf and in her own, and for the maintenance of the throne—in a word for full protection. When Iphicrates had heard all this, he drove Pausanias out of Macedonia and preserved the dynasty for you.” Next I spoke about Ptolemaeus, who had been made regent, telling what an ungrateful and outrageous thing he had done: I explained how in the first place he continually worked against our city in the interest of Amphipolis, and when we were in controversy with the Thebans, made alliance with them; and then how Perdiccas, when he came to the throne, fought for Amphipolis against our city.


And I showed that, wronged as you were, you maintained your friendly attitude; for I told how, when you had conquered Perdiccas in the war, under the generalship of Callisthenes, you made a truce with him, ever expecting to receive some just return. And I tried to remove the ill feeling that was connected with this affair by showing that it was not the truce with Perdiccas that led the people to put Callisthenes to death, but other causes. And again I did not hesitate to complain of Philip himself, blaming him for having taken up in his turn the war against our state.


As proof of all my statements, I offered the letters of the persons in question, the decrees of the people, and Callisthenes' treaty of truce. Now the facts about our original acquisition both of the district and of the place called Ennea Hodoi, [Note] and the story of the sons of Theseus, one of whom, Acamas, is said to have received this district as the dowry of his wife—all this was fitting to the occasion then, and was given with the utmost exactness, but now I suppose I must be brief; but those proofs which rested, not on the ancient legends, but on occurrences of our own time, these also I called to mind.


For at a congress [Note] of the Lacedaemonian allies and the other Greeks, in which Amyntas, the father of Philip, being entitled to a seat, was represented by a delegate whose vote was absolutely under his control, he joined the other Greeks in voting to help Athens to recover possession of Amphipolis. As proof of this I presented from the public records the resolution of the Greek congress and the names of those who voted.


“Now,” said I, “a claim which Amyntas renounced in the presence of all the Greeks, and that not by words alone, but by his vote, that claim you his son have no right to advance. But if you argue that it is right for you to keep the place because you took it in war, if it is true that it was a war against us in which you took the city, you do hold it justly, by right of conquest; but if it was from the Amphipolitans that you took a city which belonged to the Athenians, it is not the property of the Amphipolitans that you are holding, but territory of Athens.” [Note]


Now when I had said this and more beside, at last came Demosthenes' turn to speak. All were intent, expecting to hear a masterpiece of eloquence. For, as we learned afterwards, his extravagant boasting had been reported to Philip and his court. So when all were thus prepared to listen, this creature mouthed forth a proem—an obscure sort of thing and as dead as fright could make it; and getting on a little way into the subject he suddenly stopped speaking and stood helpless; finally he collapsed completely.


Philip saw his plight and bade him take courage, and not to think, as though he were an actor on the stage, that his collapse was an irreparable calamity, but to keep cool and try gradually to recall his speech, and speak it off as he had prepared it. But he, having been once upset, and having forgotten what he had written, was unable to recover himself; nay, on making a second attempt, he broke down again. Silence followed; then the herald bade us withdraw.


Now when we were by ourselves, our worthy colleague Demosthenes put on an exceedingly sour face and declared that I had ruined the city and the allies. And when not only I, but all the rest of the ambassadors were amazed, and asked him his reason for saying that, he asked me if I had forgotten the situation at Athens, and if I did not remember that the people were worn out and exceedingly anxious for peace.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.23 Aeschin. 2.32 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.41

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