Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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3.251

But the people, discouraged by what they have experienced, as though in very dotage or declared of unsound mind, lay claim only to the name of democracy, and have surrendered the substance to others. And so you go home from the meetings of your assembly, not as from a deliberative session, but as from some picnic, where you have been given the leavings as your share.

3.252

To prove that this is not mere talk, consider my statement in the light of the following facts: There came—it pains me to call it to mind repeatedly—there came a certain disaster to the city. At that time a certain private citizen who merely undertook to sail to Samos was on the same day punished with death by the Senate of the Areopagus, as a traitor to his country. Another private citizen, who sailed away to Rhodes, was only the other day prosecuted, because he was a coward in the face of danger. The vote of the jury was a tie, and if a single vote had been changed, he would have been cast outside our borders. [Note]

3.253

Now with that let us compare what is taking place today. A politician, the man who is responsible for all our disasters, deserted his post in the field, and then ran away from the city: [Note] this man is calling for a crown, and he thinks he must be proclaimed. Away with the fellow, the curse of all Hellas! Nay, rather, seize and punish him, the pirate of politics, who sails on his craft of words over the sea of state.

3.254

And mark well the occasion on which you are casting your vote. A few days hence the Pythian games are to be celebrated and the synod of Hellas assembled. Our city is already the object of slander in consequence of the policies of Demosthenes in connection with the present critical situation. [Note] If you crown him, you will seem to be in sympathy with those who violate the general peace, whereas if you do the opposite, you will free the people from these charges.

3.255

Deliberate, therefore, not as for some foreign state, but as for your own; treat your honors, not as favours to be bestowed, but as rewards of merit; reserve your crowns for better heads and more worthy men. Deliberate, not with the help of your ears alone, but with your eyes as well, looking sharply among yourselves to see who of your number they are who propose to aid Demosthenes; whether they are comrades of his youth in the hunting-field, or companions in the gymnasium—but no, by the Olympian Zeus, that cannot be, for his time has been spent, not in hunting wild boars, and not in cultivating vigor of body, but in practising his art of hunting down men of property.

3.256

Yes, look at his imposture when he says that by his services as envoy he dragged Byzantium from Philip's hands, and caused the revolt of the Acarnanians, and carried the Thebans away by his harangues. For he supposes that you have by this time come to such a pitch of folly that you will credit even this, as though it were the goddess Persuasion that you have been nurturing in your city, and not a slanderer!

3.257

But when at last at the close of his speech he calls forward to support his cause the men who have shared his bribes, imagine that on the platform where now I am standing as I speak, you see, drawn up in array against the lawlessness of these men, the benefactors of the state: Solon, who equipped the democracy with the best of laws, a philosopher and a good lawgiver, begging you soberly, as he naturally would, by no means to hold the words of Demosthenes as more weighty than your oaths and the laws;

3.258

and that man who assessed the tribute of the Greeks, and whose daughters our people dowered after his death, Aristeides, expressing his indignation at this mockery of justice, and asking you if you are not ashamed that whereas, when Arthmius of Zeleia transported the gold of the Medes into Hellas, [Note] although he had once resided in our city, and was proxenus of the Athenian people, your fathers were all but ready to kill him, and they warned him out of their city, and out of all the territory under Athenian control,

3.259

you now propose to crown with a golden crown Demosthenes, a man who has not indeed “transported” the gold of the Medes, but has received it as a bribe, and keeps it to this day. Think you not that Themistocles and those who died at Marathon and at Plataea, and the very sepulchres of your fathers, will groan aloud, if the man who admits that he has negotiated with the barbarians against the Greeks shall receive a crown?



Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.245 Aeschin. 3.254 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.260

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