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


secondly, that you should vote, not only for peace, but also for alliance with Philip, in order that any states which were taking note of what the Athenian democracy was doing might fall into utter discouragement on seeing that, while you were summoning them to war, you had at home voted to make both peace and an alliance; and thirdly, that Cersobleptes, king of Thrace, should not be included in the oaths, nor share the alliance and peace—indeed, an expedition was already being levied against him.


Now the man who was buying such services was doing no wrong, for before the oaths had been taken and the agreements entered into, he could not be blamed for negotiating to his own advantage; but the men who sold, who admitted Philip into partnership in the control of the strongholds of the state, were deserving of your great indignation. For the man who now shouts, “Down with Alexander!” and in those days, “Down with Philip!” the man who throws in my face the friendship of Alexander, this man Demosthenes,


stole away the opportunities of the city by making the motion that the prytanes call an assembly for the eighth day of Elaphebolion, the day of the sacrifice to Asclepius, and the introductory day of the festival [Note]—the sacred day—a thing that no man remembers ever to have been done before. And what was his pretext? “In order,” he says, “that if Philip's ambassadors shall by that time have arrived, the people may most speedily deliberate on their relations with Philip.” He thus appropriates the assembly for the ambassadors in advance, before their arrival, cutting short your time, and hurrying on the whole business; and this was in order that you might make the peace, not in cooperation with the other Greeks, on the return of your ambassadors, [Note] but alone.


After this, fellow citizens, Philip's ambassadors arrived [Note] but yours were absent, summoning the Greeks against Philip. Thereupon Demosthenes carries another resolution, in which he provides that we take counsel, not only regarding peace, but on the subject of an alliance also; and that we should do this without waiting for your ambassadors to return, but immediately after the City Dionysia, on the 18th and 19th of the month. As proof of the truth of what I say, hear the resolutions.Resolutions


When now, fellow citizens, the Dionysia were past and the assemblies took place, in the first assembly a resolution of the synod of the allies was read, [Note] the substance of which I will give briefly before having it read to you. First, they provided only that you should take counsel regarding peace, and omitted the word “alliance”—and that not inadvertently, but because they looked upon even the peace as necessary, rather than honorable; secondly, they met Demosthenes' bribery with a well-chosen remedy,


by adding in their resolution that any Greek state that wished should be permitted within the space of three months to have its name inscribed with the Athenians on the same stone, and to share the oaths and agreements. In this way they were taking two precautions, and those of the greatest importance; for first, they provided the period of three months, a sufficient time for the ambassadors of the Greek states to arrive; and secondly, they sought to secure to the city the good-will of the Greeks, by the provision for a general congress, in order that in case the agreements should be violated, we might not enter upon the war unprepared and alone—the misfortune that actually came upon us, thanks to Demosthenes. Now that what I say is true, you shall learn by hearing the resolution itselfResolution of the Allies

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