Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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3.167

What are these things, you beast? Are they words or monstrosities? And again when you whirled around in a circle on the platform and said, pretending that you were working against Alexander, “I admit that I organized the Laconian uprising, I admit that I am bringing about the revolt of the Thessalians and the Perrhaebi.” You cause a revolt of the Thessalians? What! Could you cause the revolt of a village? Would you actually approach—let us talk not about a city—would you actually approach a house, where there was danger? But if money is being paid out anywhere, you will lay siege to the place; a man's deed you will never do. If any good-fortune come of itself, you will lay claim to it, and sign your name to the thing after it has been done; but if any danger approach, you will run away; and then if we regain confidence, you will call for rewards and crowns of gold.

3.168

Yes, but he is a friend of the people! If now you attend only to the plausible sound of his words, you will be deceived as in the past; but if you look at his character and the truth, you will not be deceived. Call him to account in this way: with your help I will reckon up what ought to be the inborn qualities of the “friend of the people” and the orderly citizen; and over against them I will set down what manner of man one would expect the oligarch and the worthless man to be. And I ask you to compare the two and to see to which class he belongs—not by his professions, but by his life.

3.169

I think you would all acknowledge that the following qualities ought to he found in the “friend of the people”: in the first place, he should be free-born, on both his father's and his mother's side, lest because of misfortune of birth he be disloyal to the laws that preserve the democracy. In the second place, he should have as a legacy from his ancestors some service which they have done to the democracy, or at the very least there must he no inherited enmity against it, lest in the attempt to avenge the misfortunes of his family he undertake to injure the city.

3.170

Thirdly, he ought to be temperate and self-restrained in his daily life, lest to support his wanton extravagance he take bribes against the people. Fourthly, he ought to be a man of good judgment and an able speaker; for it is well that his discernment choose the wisest course, and his training in rhetoric and his eloquence persuade the hearers; but if he cannot have both, good judgment is always to be preferred to eloquence of speech. Fifthly, he ought to be a man of brave heart, that in danger and peril he may not desert the people. But the oligarch we should expect to have all the opposite qualities; why need I go over them again? Examine, then, and see what one of these qualities belongs to Demosthenes. And let the reckoning be made with all fairness.

3.171

His father was Demosthenes of Paeania, a free man, for there is no need of lying. But how the case stands as to his inheritance from his mother and his maternal grandfather, I will tell you. There was a certain Gylon of Cerameis. This man betrayed Nymphaeum in the Pontus to the enemy, for the place at that time belonged to our city. [Note] He was impeached and became an exile from the city, not awaiting trial. He came to Bosporus [Note] and there received as a present from the tyrants of the land a place called “the Gardens.”

3.172

Here he married a woman who was rich, I grant you, and brought him a big dowry, but a Scythian by blood. This wife bore him two daughters, whom he sent hither with plenty of money. One he married to a man whom I will not name—for I do not care to incur the enmity of many persons,—the other, in contempt of the laws of the city, [Note] Demosthenes of Paeania took to wife. She it was who bore your busy-body and informer. From his grandfather, therefore, he would inherit enmity toward the people, for you condemned his ancestors to death and by his mother's blood he would be a Scythian, a Greek-tongued barbarian—so that his knavery, too, is no product of our soil.

3.173

But in daily life what is he? From being a trierarch he suddenly came forward as a hired writer of speeches, [Note] when he had disreputably squandered his patrimony. But when he had lost his reputation even in this profession, for he disclosed his clients' arguments to their opponents, he vaulted on to the political platform. And though he made enormous profits out of politics, he laid up next to nothing. It is true that just now the Persian's gold has floated his extravagance, but even that will not suffice, for no wealth ever yet kept up with a debauched character. And to sum it all up, he supplies his wants, not from his private income, but from your perils.

3.174

But as regards good judgment and power of speech, how does it stand with him? Eloquent of speech, infamous of life! For so licentious has been his treatment of his own body that I prefer not to describe his conduct; for before now I have seen people hated who recount too exactly the sins of their neighbors. Then again, what is the outcome for the city? His words are fine, his acts worthless.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.163 Aeschin. 3.170 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.178

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