Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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For if no one of you would willingly defile himself with justifiable bloodshed, surely he would guard against that which was unjustifiable, such as robbing a man of life or property or civil rights—such acts as have caused some men to kill themselves, others to be put to death by decree of the state. Will you then, fellow citizens, pardon me, if I call him a lewd rascal, unclean of body, even to the place whence his voice issues forth, and if I go on to prove that the rest of his accusation about Cersobleptes is false on the face of it?


You have a practice which in my judgment is most excellent and most useful to those in your midst who are the victims of slander: you preserve for all time in the public archives your decrees, together with their dates and the names of the officials who put them to vote. Now this man has told you that what ruined the cause of Cersobleptes was this: that when Demosthenes urged that we should go to Thrace, where Cersobleptes was being besieged, and should solemnly call on Philip to cease doing this thing, I, as leader of the ambassadors and influential with you, refused, and sat down in Oreus, I and the rest of the ambassadors, busy with getting foreign consulships for ourselves. [Note]


Hear now the letter which Chares sent to the people at the time, saying that Cersobleptes had lost his kingdom and that Philip had taken Hieron Oros [Note] on the twenty-fourth of Elaphebolion. And it was Demosthenes, one of the ambassadors, who was presiding in the assembly here on the twenty-fifth of that month.Letter


Now not only did we delay all the rest of that month, but it was Munichion [Note] when we set out. As witness of this I will present the senate, for there is a decree of theirs which commands the ambassadors to set out in order to receive the oaths. Please read the decree of the senate.Decree

Now read also the date of the decree.Date


You hear that the decree was passed on the third of Munichion. How many days before I set out was it that Cersobleptes lost his kingdom? According to Chares the general it occurred the month before—that is, if Elaphebolion is the month next before Munichion! Was it, then, in my power to save Cersobleptes, who was lost before I set out from home? And now do you imagine that there is one word of truth in his account of what was done in Macedonia or of what was done in Thessaly, when he gives the lie to the senate-house and the public archives, and falsifies the date and the meetings of the assembly?


and is it true, Demosthenes, that you at Athens tried to exclude Cersobleptes from the treaty, but pitied him when you got to Oreus? And do you today accuse me of having taken bribes, you who were once fined by the Senate of the Areopagus for not prosecuting your suit for assault, that time when you indicted your cousin Demomeles of Paeania for the cut on your head that you gave yourself with your own hand? [Note] And do you put on airs before these jurymen, as though they did not know that you are the bastard son of Demosthenes the cutler? [Note]


But you undertook to say that I at first refused to serve on the embassy to the Amphictyons, [Note] and later went on the embassy and was guilty of misconduct, and you read the one decree and suppressed the other. [Note] I was, indeed, chosen one of the ambassadors to the Amphictyons, and even as I had shown myself zealous in reporting to you the embassy from which I had returned, so now, although I was in poor health, I did not refuse the new mission, but promised to serve, if I should have the strength. But as the ambassadors were on the point of setting out, I sent my brother and his son with my physician to the senate, not to decline service for me


(for the law does not permit men who have been elected by the assembly to decline before the senate), but merely to testify to my illness.

When now the ambassadors had been informed of the fate of the Phocians, they returned, and a meeting of the assembly was held. I had by this time recovered and was present. When the people insisted that we who had been originally elected should all go on with the embassy in spite of what had happened, I thought it my duty to speak the truth to the Athenians. [Note]

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