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


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.


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.


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.


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.


now it happened on the occasion of our first embassy, that at the moment when I was leaving for home with the rest of the ambassadors, Philip was setting out for Thrace; but we had his promise that while you were deliberating concerning peace, he would not set foot on the Chersonese with an armed force. Now on that day when you voted the peace, no mention was made of Cersobleptes. But after we had already been elected to receive the oaths, [Note] before we had set forth on the second embassy, an assembly was held, the presidency of which fell by lot to Demosthenes, [Note] who is now accusing me.


in that assembly Critobulus of Lampsacus came forward and said that Cersobleptes had sent him, and he demanded that he should be allowed to give his oath to the ambassadors of Philip, and that Cersobleptes be enrolled among your allies. [Note] When he had thus spoken, Aleximachus of the deme Pelex handed to the presiding officers a motion to be read, in which it was written that the representative of Cersobleptes be permitted to join the other allies in giving the oath to Philip.


When the motion had been read—I think you all remember this—Demosthenes arose from among the presiding officers and refused to put the motion to vote, saying that he would not bring to naught the peace with Philip, and that he did not recognize the sort of allies who joined only in time, as it were, to help in pouring the peace libations; for they had had their opportunity at an earlier session of the assembly. But you shouted and called the board of presidents to the platform, and so against his will the motion was put to vote.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 2.72 Aeschin. 2.80 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 2.88

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