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


And by your recriminations you so blocked the punishment which was your due that the danger came, not upon you, the wrong-doer, but upon those who attempted to proceed against you; for in your charges you everlastingly brought forward Alexander and Philip, and complained that certain persons were fettering the opportunities of the city—you who always ruin the opportunity of to-day, and guarantee that of to-morrow. And when at last you were on the point of being impeached by me, did you not contrive the arrest of Anaxinus of Oreus, who was making purchases for Olympias? [Note]


And you twice put to the torture with your own hand and moved to punish with death the same man in whose house you had been entertained at Oreus. The man with whom at the same table you had eaten and drunken and poured libations, the man with whom you had clasped hands in token of friendship and hospitality, that man you put to death! When I convicted you of this in the presence of all Athens, and charged you with being the murderer of your host, you did not deny the impious crime, but gave an answer that called forth a cry of protest from the citizens and all the foreigners who were standing about the assembly. For you said that you held the city's salt as of more importance than the table of your foreign host.


I say nothing of forged letters and the arrest of spies, and torture applied on groundless charges, on your assertion that I with certain persons was seeking a revolution.

Furthermore, he intends, as I learn, to ask me what kind of a physician he would be who should give no advice to his patient in the course of his illness, but after his death should come to the funeral and tell over to the relatives by what course of treatment the man might have been cured.


But, Demosthenes, you fail to ask yourself in turn what kind of a statesman he would be who, having the power to cajole the people, should sell the opportunities for saving the city, and by his calumnies prevent patriots from giving advice; and when he had run away from danger and had entangled the city in misfortunes from which there was no escape, should demand that he be crowned for his virtue, when he had done nothing that was good, but was himself responsible for all the disasters; and should then ask those who had been driven out of public life by his slanders in those critical days when there was still a chance of safety, why they had not prevented his wrong doing;


and should conceal the final fact of all, that after the battle we had no time to attend to punishing you, but were engrossed in negotiations for the safety of the city. But when, not content with having escaped punishment, you were actually calling for rewards, making the city an object of ridicule in the eyes of all Hellas, then I interposed and brought my indictment.


And, by the Olympian gods, of all the things which I understand Demosthenes is going to say, I am most indignant at what I am now about to tell you. For he likens me in natural endowment to the Sirens, saying that it was not charm that the Sirens brought to those who listened to them, but destruction, and that therefore the Siren-song has no good repute; and that in like manner the smooth flow of my speech and my natural ability have proved the ruin of those who have listened to me. [Note] And yet I think no man in the world is justified in making such a statement about me. It is a shame to accuse a man and not to be able to show the ground for the accusation.

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