Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
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But this was only the beginning of outrage—this actual selling of such opportunities and accessions to the league and contributions of money for that which I am about to relate was far worse, as you shall see. For Callias was led on to such a pitch of insolence and arrogance, and Demosthenes—whom Ctesiphon praises—to such a pitch of rapacity for bribes, that, while you still had life and sight and senses, they succeeded in stealing away from you the contributions of Oreus and Eretria, ten talents in all, and they detached from you the delegates from those cities, and carried them back to Chalcis, uniting them in the so-called Euboean Congress. But how they did it and by what crimes, it is high time for you to hear.


Callias, depending no longer on messengers, came himself to you, [Note] and coming forward in your assembly repeated a speech that Demosthenes had prepared for him. He said that he had just come from the Peloponnesus, and that he had made arrangements for contributions which would yield a revenue of not less than one hundred talents for use against Philip; and he counted off what each state was to pay: the united Achaeans and the Megarians sixty talents, and the united cities in Euboea, forty.


From this fund he said we could be sure of forces by land and sea, adding that there were many other Greeks who wished to share in contributing, so that there would be no lack of money or men. So much was openly told; but he said that he had also conducted other negotiations in secret, and that certain of our citizens were witnesses of them; finally he called on Demosthenes by name and bade him confirm his statements.


Demosthenes came forward with a most solemn air, praised Callias above measure, and pretended to know the secret business; but he said that he wished to report to you his own recent mission to the Peloponnesus and Acarnania. The sum of what he said was that all Peloponnesus could be counted on, and that he had brought all the Acarnanians into line against Philip; that the contributions of money were sufficient to provide for the manning of one hundred swift ships, and to employ ten thousand foot soldiers and a thousand cavalry;


and that in addition to these forces the citizen troops would be ready, from the Peloponnesus more than two thousand hoplites, and as many more from Acarnania that the leadership of them all was given to you, and that all this was going to be done, not after a long interval, but by the 16th of Anthesterion; [Note] for he himself had given notice in the cities, and invited all the delegates to come to Athens by the time of the full moon to take part in a congress. [Note] For this is Demosthenes' personal and peculiar way of doing things:


other deceivers, when they are lying, try to speak in vague and ambiguous terms, afraid of being convicted; but Demosthenes, when he is cheating you, first adds an oath to his lie, calling down destruction on himself; and secondly, predicting an event that he knows will never happen, he dares to tell the date of it; and he tells the names of men, when he has never so much as seen their faces, deceiving your ears and imitating men who tell the truth. And this is, indeed, another reason why he richly deserves your hatred, that he is not only a scoundrel himself, but destroys your faith even in the signs and symbols of honesty.


But now when he had said this, he gave the clerk a resolution to read, longer than the Iliad, but more empty than the speeches that he is accustomed to deliver and the life that he has lived. Empty did I say? Nay, full of hopes that were not to be realized and of armies that were never to be assembled. And leading you off out of sight of his fraud, and suspending you on hopes, at last he gathers all up in a motion that you choose ambassadors to go to Eretria and beg the Eretrians—of course it was necessary to beg!—no longer to pay their contribution of five talents to you, [Note] but to Callias; and further, that you choose other ambassadors to go to Oreus to beg the people of that city to make common cause with the Athenians.


Here again, in this resolution, you see how entirely absorbed he is in his thievery, for he also moves that your ambassadors ask the people of Oreus to give their five talents, not to you, but to Callias. But to prove that I am speaking the truth, read—leave out the grandiloquence and the triremes and the pretence, and come to the trick worked on us by the vile and wicked man, who, according to Ctesiphon's motion which we are discussing, “constantly speaks and does what is best for the people of Athens.”Resolution

Aeschines, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Aeschin.].
<<Aeschin. 3.89 Aeschin. 3.97 (Greek) >>Aeschin. 3.105

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