Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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Now I wish to speak briefly about Ctesiphon, the author of the motion; and I will pass over the greater part of what might be said, for I should like to test your ability, even when no one cautions you, to discern those men who are utter rascals. I will speak only of what is common to the pair of them, and what I can honestly report to you concerning both. For the opinion that each of them has of the other is true, and the things that each, as he goes about the market-place, says of the other are no falsehoods.


For Ctesiphon says he is not afraid so far as he himself is concerned, since he hopes it will appear that he is but a plain citizen, but that what he does fear is Demosthenes' corruption in his conduct of affairs, and his instability and cowardice. And Demosthenes says that when he looks at his own case only, he is confident, but that he is exceedingly anxious in view of Ctesiphon's wickedness and licentiousness! Well, when men have thus condemned one another, you, the common judges of both, must surely not acquit them of the crimes they charge.


I wish also to caution you in a few words as to the slanders which they will utter against me. For I learn that Demosthenes will say that the city has been greatly benefited by him, but damaged by me and he will bring up against me Philip and Alexander, and the charges connected with them. And he is, as it seems, such a master-craftsman of words that he is not content to bring charges against whatever part I have taken in your political action, or whatever speeches I have delivered,


but he actually attacks the very quietness of my life, and makes my silence an accusation, in order that no topic may be left untouched by his slanders. And he censures my frequenting of the gymnasia with the younger men. [Note] And at the very beginning of his speech he demurs against this legal process, saying that I instituted the suit, not in behalf of the city, but as a manifesto to Alexander because he hates Demosthenes. [Note]


And, by Zeus, I understand that he proposes to ask me why I denounce his policy as a whole, but did not try to thwart it in detail, and did not prefer charges in the courts: and why I have brought suit at this late day without having steadily attacked his policy. But I have never in the past emulated the habits of Demosthenes, nor am I ashamed of my own, nor would I wish unsaid the words which I have spoken in your presence, nor would I care to live had my public speeches been like his.


As to my silence, Demosthenes, it has been caused by the moderation of my life. For a little money suffices me, and I have no shameful lust for more. Both my silence and my speech are therefore the result of deliberation, not of the impulse of a spendthrift nature. But you, I think, are silent when you have gotten, and bawl aloud after you have spent; and you speak, not when your judgment approves, and not what you wish to speak, but whenever your pay-masters so order. And you are not ashamed of impostures in which you are instantly convicted of falsehood.


For my suit against this motion, which you say I instituted, not in the city's behalf, but as a manifesto to Alexander, was instituted while Philip was still alive, before Alexander had come to the throne, before ever you had had that dream of yours about Pausanias, or ever had conversed with Athena and Hera in the night. [Note] How then could I have been already making a manifesto to Alexander? Unless, indeed, I and Demosthenes had the same dream!


And you blame me if I come before the people, not constantly, but only at intervals. And you imagine that your bearers fail to detect you in thus making a demand which is no outgrowth of democracy, but borrowed from another form of government. For in oligarchies it is not he who wishes, but he who is in authority, that addresses the people; whereas in democracies he speaks who chooses, and whenever it seems to him good. And the fact that a man speaks only at intervals marks him as a man who takes part in politics because of the call of the hour, and for the common good; whereas to leave no day without its speech, is the mark of a man who is making a trade of it, and talking for pay.


But as to your never having been brought to trial by me, and never having been punished for your crimes—when you take refuge in assertions like that, either you think that your bearers are forgetful, or you are deceiving yourself.

Your impiety in the case of the Amphissians [Note] and your corruption in the Euboean affair, [Note] of which you were clearly convicted by me, perhaps you hope the people have forgotten in the lapse of time;


but what length of time could conceal your acts of plunder in the case of the triremes and the trierarchs? For when you had carried constitutional amendments as to the Three Hundred, [Note] and had persuaded the Athenians to make you Commissioner of the Navy, you were convicted by me of having stolen away trierarchs from sixty-five swift ships, [Note] making away with a greater naval force of the city than that with which the Athenians once defeated Pollis and the Lacedaemonians at Naxos. [Note]

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.207 Aeschin. 3.217 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.226

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