Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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2.74

Such was the situation of the city, such the circumstances under which the debate on the peace took place. But the popular speakers arose and with one consent ignored the question of the safety of the state, but called on you to gaze at the Propylaea of the Acropolis, and remember the battle of , Salamis, and the tombs and trophies of our forefathers.

2.75

I replied that we must indeed remember all these, but must imitate the wisdom of our forefathers, and beware of their mistakes and their unseasonable jealousies; I urged that we should emulate the battle that we fought at Plataea, the struggles off the shores of Salamis, the battles of Marathon and Artemisium, and the generalship of Tolmides, who with a thousand picked men of the Athenians fearlessly marched straight through the Peloponnesus, the enemy's country.

2.76

But I urged that we should take warning from the Sicilian expedition, which was sent out to help the people of Leontini, at a time when the enemy were already in our own territory and Deceleia was fortified against us; and that final act of folly, when, outmatched in the war, and offered terms of peace by the Lacedaemonians, with the agreement that we should hold not only Attica, but Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros also, and retain the constitutional democracy, the people would have none of it, but chose to go on with a war that was beyond their powers. And Cleophon, the lyre-maker, whom many remembered as a slave in fetters, who had dishonourably and fraudulently got himself enrolled as a citizen, and had corrupted the people by distribution of money, [Note] threatened to take his knife and slit the throat of any man who should make mention of peace.

2.77

Finally they brought the city to such a pass that she was glad to make peace, giving up everything, tearing down her walls, receiving a garrison and a Lacedaemonian governor, and surrendering the democracy to the Thirty, who put fifteen hundred citizens to death without a trial. I admit that I urged that we should guard against such folly as that, and imitate the conduct shortly before described. For it was from no stranger that I heard that story, but from him who is nearest of all men to me.

2.78

for Atrometus our father, whom you slander, though you do not know him and never saw what a man he was in his prime—you, Demosthenes, a descendant through your mother of the nomad Scythians—our father went into exile in the time of the Thirty, and later helped to restore the democracy; while our mother's brother, our uncle Cleobulus, the son of Glaucus of the deme Acharnae, was with Demaenetus of the family of the Buzygae, when he won the naval victory over Cheilon the Lacedaemonian admiral. The sufferings of the city were therefore a household word with us, familiar to my ears.

2.79

But you find fault with my service as ambassador to Arcadia and my speech before the Ten Thousand [Note] there, and you say that I have changed sides—yourself more slave than freeman, all but branded as a runaway! So long as the war lasted, I tried so far as in me lay to unite the Arcadians and the rest of Hellas against Philip. But when no man came to the help of our city, but some were waiting to see what was going to happen, and others were taking the field against us, while the politicians in our own city were using the war to subsidize the extravagance of their daily life, [Note] I acknowledge that I advised the people to come to terms with Philip, and to make the peace, which you, Demosthenes, now hold disgraceful, you who never had a weapon of war in your hands—but which I declare to be much more honourable than the war.

2.80

You ought, fellow citizens, to judge your ambassadors in the light of the crisis in which they served your generals, in the light of the forces which they commanded. For you set up your statues and you give your seats of honour and your crowns and your dinners in the Prytaneum, not to those who have brought you tidings of peace, but to those who have been victorious in battle. But if the responsibility for the wars is to he laid upon the ambassadors, while the generals are to receive the rewards, the wars you wage will know neither truce nor herald of peace, for no man will be willing to be your ambassador.

2.81

Now it remains for me to speak of Cersobleptes and the Phocians, as well as the other matters in which I have been slandered. For, fellow citizens, both on the first and on the second embassy I reported to you what I saw, as I saw it; what I heard, as I heard it. What was it then in either case: what was it that I saw and what was it that I heard about Cersobleptes? I, as well as all my colleagues in the embassy, saw the son of Cersobleptes a hostage at Philip's court; and this is still the case.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.68 Aeschin. 2.77 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.85

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