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


Now how it was that he came to reverse his policies (for this is the second period), [Note] and what is the reason that policies identical with those of Demosthenes led to the impeachment and exile of Philocrates, [Note] while Demosthenes suddenly stood forth as accuser of the rest, and how it is that the pestilential fellow has plunged you into misfortune, this you ought now especially to hear.


For as soon as Philip had come this side Thermopylae, and contrary to all expectation had destroyed the cities of Phocis, and strengthened the Thebans beyond what was seasonable and advantageous for you, as you then thought, and when you in alarm had brought in your movable property from the country districts, and the ambassadors who had negotiated the peace were under the gravest accusation—Philocrates and Demosthenes far beyond all the rest, because they not only had been ambassadors, but were also the authors of the resolutions,


and when it happened at the same time that Demosthenes and Philocrates had a falling out—you were able to guess the reasons without much difficulty—when all this disturbance had arisen, then Demosthenes proceeded to take counsel as to his future course, consulting his own innate corruption, his cowardice, and his jealousy of Philocrates' bribes; and he came to the conclusion that if he should step forward as the accuser of his colleagues on the embassy and of Philip, Philocrates would surely be ruined, his other colleagues would be put in jeopardy, and he himself would gain favour, and—scoundrel and traitor to his friends—would appear to be a faithful servant of the people.

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