Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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I acknowledge that I supported this resolution, as did all who spoke in the first of the two assemblies; and the people left the assembly with substantially this supposition, that peace would be made (that, however, it was better not to discuss an alliance, because of our summons to the Greeks), and that the peace would be shared by all the Greeks. Night intervened. We came the next day to the assembly. Then it was that Demosthenes, hastening to get possession of the platform, and leaving no other man an opportunity to speak, said that the propositions of yesterday were utterly useless unless Philip's ambassadors could be persuaded to assent to them. He further said that he could not conceive of peace without alliance.


For he said we must not—I remember the expression he used, for the word was as odious as the man—he said we must not “rip off” the alliance from the peace, nor wait for the slow decisions of the other Greeks, but we must either fight ourselves, or by ourselves make the peace. And finally he called Antipater [Note] to the platform, and proceeded to ask him a certain question—he had previously told him what he gas going to ask, and had instructed him what he was to answer, to the injury of the state. Finally this thing prevailed, Demosthenes forcing you to it by his talk, and Philocrates moving the resolution.


One thing remained now for them to do—to betray Cersobleptes and the Thracian coast. This they accomplished on the 25th of Elaphebolion, before Demosthenes set out on the second embassy, the embassy for the ratification of the oaths (for this orator of ours, this man who shouts “Down with Alexander!” and “Down with Philip!” has twice been an ambassador to Macedonia, when he need not have gone once—the man who now bids you spit on the Macedonians). Presiding over the assembly on the 25th, for he had gained a seat in the senate by intrigue, [Note] he, with the help of Philocrates, betrayed Cersobleptes;


for Philocrates unobserved slipped this clause in among the provisions of his resolution, and Demosthenes put it to the vote, that “The members of the synod of the allies do on this day give their oaths to the ambassadors from Philip.” But no representative of Cersobleptes had a seat in the synod and so in providing that those who were sitting in the synod should give oath, he excluded Cersobleptes from the oaths, for he had no place in the synod. [Note]


As proof that I am speaking the truth, read, if you please, who it was that made this motion, and who it was that put it to vote.Resolution

An excellent thing, fellow citizens, an excellent thing is the preservation of the public acts. For the record remains undisturbed, and does not shift sides with political turncoats, but whenever the people desire, it gives them opportunity to discern who have been rascals of old, but have now changed face and claim to be honorable men.


It remains for me to describe his flattery. For Demosthenes, fellow citizens, was senator for a year, yet he will be found never to have invited any other embassy to the seat of honor [Note]—nay, that was the first and the only time; and he placed cushions and spread rugs; and at daybreak he came escorting the ambassadors into the theater, so that he was actually hissed for his unseemly flattery. And when they set out on their return journey, he hired for them three span of mules, and escorted the ambassadors as far as Thebes, making the city ridiculous. But that I may not wander from my subject, please take the resolution concerning the seats of honor.Resolution


Now this man it was, fellow citizens, this past master of flattery, who, when informed through scouts of Charidemus [Note] that Philip was dead, before any one else had received the news, made up a vision for himself and lied about the gods, pretending that he had received the news, not from Charidemus, but from Zeus and Athena, the gods by whose name he perjures himself by day, and who then converse with him in the night, as he says, and tell him of things to come. And though it was but the seventh day after the death of his daughter, and though the ceremonies of mourning were not yet completed, he put a garland on his head and white raiment on his body, and there he stood making thank-offerings, violating all decency—miserable man, who had lost the first and only one who ever called him “father”!


Not that I reproach him for his misfortune, but I am probing his character. For the man who hates his child and is a bad father could never become a safe guide to the people; the man who does not cherish the persons who are nearest and dearest to him, will never care much about you, who are not his kinsmen; the man who is wicked in his private relations would never be found trustworthy in public affairs; and the man who is base at home was never a good and honorable man in Macedonia, for by his journey he changed his position, not his disposition.

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.67 Aeschin. 3.74 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.82

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