Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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In order, then, that he may lose his confidence, and that you may be instructed in advance, and that I may reply, in the presence of the jury, Demosthenes, and of all the other citizens who are standing there outside the bar, and of all the other Greeks who have taken the trouble to listen to this case—and I see that not a few are here, more in fact than have ever attended a public trial within the memory of any man—I answer you that for all the four periods which you enumerate I accuse you.


And if the gods permit, and the jurors give us an impartial hearing, and I am able to call to mind all that I know about you, I confidently expect to show to the jury that for the safety of the city it is the gods who are responsible, and the men who in the crisis have treated the city with humanity and moderation; [Note] but for all our misfortunes, Demosthenes. The order of my treatment shall be that which I understand he will follow; and I will speak first concerning the first period, second concerning the second, third concerning the next, and fourth concerning the present situation. So now I address myself to the peace which you and Philocrates formally proposed.


You could have made that former peace, [Note] fellow citizens, supported by the joint action of a congress of the Greek states, if certain men had allowed you to wait for the return of the embassies which at that crisis you had sent out among the Greeks, with the call to join you against Philip; and in the course of time the Greeks would of their own accord have accepted your hegemony again. Of this you were deprived, thanks to Demosthenes and Philocrates, and the bribes which they took in their conspiracy against the common weal.


But if such a statement as I have just made, falling suddenly on your ears, is too incredible to some of you, permit me to suggest how you ought to listen to the rest of my argument: When we take our seats to audit the accounts of expenditures which extend back a long time, it doubtless sometimes happens that we come from home with a false impression; nevertheless, when the accounts have been balanced, no man is so stubborn as to refuse, before he leaves the room, to assent to that conclusion, whatever it may be, which the figures themselves establish.


I ask you to give a similar hearing now. If some of you have come from home with the opinion, formed in the past, that of course Demosthenes has never in conspiracy with Philocrates said a word in Philip's interest—if any man of you is under such impression, let him decide nothing either way, aye or no, until he has heard; for that would not be fair. But if, as I briefly recall the dates, and cite the resolutions which Demosthenes moved in cooperation with Philocrates, the truthful audit of the facts shall convict Demosthenes of having moved more resolutions than Philocrates concerning the original peace and alliance,


and of having flattered Philip and his ambassadors with a shamelessness which was beyond measure, and of being responsible to the people for the failure to secure the concurrence of a general congress of the Greek states in the making of the peace, and of having betrayed to Philip Cersobleptes, king of Thrace, a friend and ally of our city—if I shall clearly demonstrate all this to you, I shall make of you this modest request: in God's name agree with me, that in the first of his four periods his policies have not been those of a good citizen. I will speak in a way that will enable you to follow me most easily.


Philocrates made a motion [Note] that we permit Philip to send to us a herald and ambassadors to treat concerning peace. This motion was attacked in the courts as illegal. The time of the trial came. Lycinus, who had indicted him, spoke for the prosecution; Philocrates made answer for himself, and Demosthenes spoke in his behalf; [Note] Philocrates was cleared. After this came the archonship of Themistocles. [Note] Now Demosthenes came in as senator, not drawn by the lot either as a member of the senate or as a substitute, but through intrigue and bribery; the purpose of it was to enable him to support Philocrates in every way, by word and deed, as the event itself made evident.


For now Philocrates carries a second resolution, providing for the election of ten ambassadors, who shall go to Philip and ask him to send hither plenipotentiaries to negotiate peace. Of these ambassadors one was Demosthenes. On his return, Demosthenes was a eulogist of the peace, he agreed with the other ambassadors in their report, and he alone of the senators moved to give safe-conduct to Philip's herald and ambassadors; and in this motion he was in accord with Philocrates, for the one had given permission to send a herald and ambassadors hither, the other gave safe-conduct to the embassy.


As to what followed, I beg you now to pay especial attention. For negotiations were entered into—not with the other ambassadors, who were slandered again and again by Demosthenes after he had changed face, but with Philocrates and Demosthenes (naturally, for they were at once ambassadors and authors of the motions)—first, that you should not wait for the ambassadors whom you had sent out with your summons against Philip, for they wished you to make the peace, not together with the Greeks, but by yourselves;

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.51 Aeschin. 3.59 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.68

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