Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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3.202

But if he shall overleap the just defence and call Demosthenes to the platform, the best course for you is to refuse to receive a sophist, who expects to overthrow the laws with words. And when Ctesiphon asks you if he shall call Demosthenes, let no man of you consider that he is doing a meritorious thing in being the first to cry, “Aye, call him, call him.” Against yourself you are calling him, against the laws you are calling him, against the constitution you are calling him. But if after all you decide to listen, demand that Demosthenes make his defence in the same way in which I have made the accusation. In what way have I made the accusation? Let me recall it to you.

3.203

I did not at the beginning review the private life of Demosthenes, nor did I at the beginning call to mind a single one of his public crimes—though I certainly had great abundance of material, or else I must be the most helpless of mortals—but first I exhibited the laws which forbid crowning men who have not yet rendered their accounts, and then I convicted the orator of having moved to crown Demosthenes before he had rendered account, and that too without inserting the qualifying proviso, “When he shall have rendered account,” but in utter contempt of you and of your laws. And I told you what excuses they would offer for this, which I earnestly pray you to keep in mind.

3.204

Secondly, I recited to you the laws which govern proclamations, in which it is expressly forbidden that when one is crowned by the people the proclamation shall be made in any other place than in the assembly. But the politician who is the defendant in this case has not only transgressed the laws, but the time of proclamation, and the place of it; for he orders the proclamation to be made, not in the assembly, but in the theater, not when the Athenian assembly is in session, but when the tragedies are about to he performed. After saying this, I spoke briefly about his private life, but chiefly about his public crimes.

3.205

I insist, therefore, that you demand the same order of defence from Demosthenes; first, let him defend himself against the law of accountability, secondly, against the law which governs proclamations, and thirdly, and most important, let him show also that he is not unworthy of the reward. But if he asks you to indulge him as to the order of his speech, and solemnly promises that at the close of his defence he will clear away the matter of illegality, do not yield to him, and do not forget that this is an old trick of the court-room. For he would never of his own choice return to the defence against the illegality but because he has nothing to say which is just, he seeks by the insertion of extraneous matters to plunge you into forgetfulness of the charge.

3.206

As, therefore, in gymnastic contests you see the boxers contending with one another for position, so do you for the city's sake fight with him the whole day long for position as regards argument; and do not let him set his feet outside the bounds of the illegality charged, but watch him and lie in wait for him as you listen, drive him into discussion of the illegality, and look out for the twists and turns of his speech.

3.207

What, on the other hand, will surely be the result for you if you listen in the way that they propose, I ought now to forewarn you. For the defendant will call to his aid this juggler and cut-purse, a man who has torn the constitution to shreds. This man weeps more readily than other men laugh, and nothing is so easy for him as perjury. And I should not wonder if he should change his tactics and slander the listeners outside the bar, alleging that those whom truth herself has singled out and counted as oligarchs have come to the platform of the prosecution, but all the friends of the people to the platform of the defence. [Note]

3.208

Now when he talks like that, in answer to such appeals to faction, make this suggestion to him: “Demosthenes, if the men of Phyle, who brought back the people from exile, had been like you, never had the democracy been reestablished. But as it was, they saved the city out of great disasters, and gave utterance to those words which are the fairest product of enlightened minds, ‘Forgive and forget.’ But as for you, you tear open old sores, and you care more for the words of the moment than for the safety of the state.”

But when, perjurer that he is, he takes refuge in the confidence which you place in oaths, remind him of this, that when a man repeatedly perjures himself, and yet is continually demanding to be believed because of his oaths, one of two things ought to be true, either the gods ought to be new gods, or the hearers not the same.

3.209

But in answer to his tears and the straining of his voice when he asks you, “Whither shall I flee, fellow citizens? You have compassed me about, I have not whither to take wings,” suggest to him, “But the Athenian people, Demosthenes, whither shall they flee? What allies have been made ready to receive them? What resources are prepared? What bulwark have you thrown up before the people by your policies? For we all see what provision you have made for yourself. You have left the upper city and the Peiraeus, as it seems, is not so much your home, as an anchorage for you, off the city's coast. And you have provided as means for your cowardly flight, the King's gold and the fruits of your political bribery.”



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.196 Aeschin. 3.205 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.213

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