Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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3.242

From such shameless business as that, Ctesiphon, you will therefore withdraw, if you are wise, and make your defence in your own person. For surely you will not put forth this excuse, that you have not the ability to speak. It was only the other day that you allowed yourself to be elected as envoy to Cleopatra, the daughter of Philip, to condole with her over the death of Alexander, king of the Molossians; [Note] you would then be in a strange position today, if you should say that you have not the ability to speak. Have you, then, the ability to console a foreign woman in her grief, but when you have made a motion for pay, will you not speak in defence of it?

3.243

Or is the man whom you have moved to crown so obscure a man as not to be known by those whom he has served, unless some one shall help you to describe him? Pray ask the jury whether they knew Chabrias and Iphicrates and Timotheus, and inquire why they gave them those rewards and set up their statues. All will answer with one voice, that they honored Chabrias for the battle of Naxos, and Iphicrates because he destroyed a regiment of the Lacedaemonians, and Timotheus because of his voyage to Corcyra, and other men, each because of many a glorious deed in war.

3.244

But ask them why Demosthenes is to be honored. Because he is a taker of bribes? Because he is a coward? Because he deserted his post? And will you in reality be honoring him, or leaving unavenged yourselves and those who died for you in the battle? In imagination see them expostulating against the crowning of this man. When sticks and stones and iron, voiceless and senseless things, fall on any one and kill him, we cast them beyond the borders, [Note] and when a man kills himself, the hand that did the deed is buried apart from the body;

3.245

how outrageous, then, fellow citizens, if Demosthenes, who made the motion for that final campaign, and then betrayed the soldiers, is to receive honor from you! So are the dead insulted, and the living are disheartened, when they see that death is the prize of valor, while the memory of it fades away. And, most important of all, the younger men inquire of you after what example they ought to shape their lives.

3.246

For be assured, fellow citizens, it is not our wrestling halls or the schools or our system of liberal studies alone that educate the young, but far more our public proclamations. It is proclaimed in the theater that one is crowned for virtue and nobility and patriotism, a man whose life is shameful and loathsome; a younger man, at sight of that, is corrupted. A man has been punished who is a rascal and libertine—like Ctesiphon; the rest have received instruction. A juror who has cast his vote against honor and justice goes home and proceeds to instruct his son; the boy refuses to obey, and with good reason, and he is surely justified thenceforth in calling exhortation vexation.

3.247

Cast your vote, then, not only as men who are rendering a verdict, but also as men who are in the public eye, to be called to account by the citizens who, though they are not now present, will nevertheless ask you what your verdict was. For be assured, fellow citizens, men will hold the city to be of like character with the man who is proclaimed. And it is a reproach for you to be likened, not to your fathers, but to the cowardice of Demosthenes.

How then could you escape such disgrace?

3.248

By guarding against those who arrogate to themselves the name of “patriot” and “benefactor,” but are untrustworthy in character. For loyalty and the name of friend of the people are prizes which are offered to us all, but for the most part those persons are the first to take refuge in them in speech who are farthest from them in conduct.

3.249

When, therefore, you find a politician coveting crowns and proclamations in the presence of the Greeks, bid him bring his argument back to the proof of a worthy life and a sound character, precisely as the law commands a man to give security for property. [Note] But if he has no testimony to this, do not confirm to him the praises which he seeks let your thought be for the democracy, which is already slipping through your hands.

3.250

Does it not seem to you to be an outrage if the senate-house and the people are coming to be ignored, while the letters and ambassadors come to private houses, sent hither not by ordinary men, but by the first men of Asia and Europe? And deeds the legal penalty for which is death, these deeds certain men do not deny, but acknowledge them before the people; and they read their letters to one another and compare them. And some of them bid you look into their faces as being guardians of the democracy, and others call for rewards as being saviours of the state.



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.237 Aeschin. 3.245 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.254

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