Demosthenes, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Dem.].
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9.63Perhaps you wonder why the people of Olynthus and Eretria and Oreus were more favorably inclined to Philip's advocates than to their own. The explanation is the same as at Athens, that the patriots, however much they desire it, cannot sometimes say anything agreeable, for they are obliged to consider the safety of the state; but the others by their very efforts to be agreeable are playing into Philip's hands. The patriots demanded a war-subsidy, the others denied its necessity; the patriots bade them fight on and mistrust Philip, the others bade them keep the peace, until they fell into the snare. 9.64Not to go into particulars, it is the same tale everywhere, one party speaking to please their audience, the other giving advice that would have ensured their safety. But at the last there were many things that the people were induced to concede, not as before for their own gratification nor through ignorance, but gradually yielding because they thought that their discomfiture was inevitable and complete. 9.65And, by Heaven, that is what I certainly fear will be your experience, when you count your chances and discover that there is nothing left for you to do. And yet I pray, Athenians, that such may not be the issue of events. Better to die a thousand times than pay court to Philip [and abandon any of your loyal counsellors.] A fine return the people of Oreus have gained for handing themselves over to Philip's friends and rejecting Euphraeus! 9.66A fine return the democrats of Eretria have gained for spurning your embassy and capitulating to Clitarchus! They are slaves, doomed to the whipping-post and the scaffold. A fine clemency he showed to the Olynthians, who voted Lasthenes their master of the horse and banished Apollonides! 9.67It is folly and cowardice to cherish such hopes, to follow ill counsel and refuse to perform any fraction of your duties, to lend an ear to the advocates of your enemies and imagine that your city is so great that no conceivable danger can befall it. 9.68Ay, and a disgrace too it is to have to say, when all is over, “Why! who would have thought it? For of course we ought to have done this or that, and not so and so.” Many things could be named by the Olynthians today, which would have saved them from destruction if only they had then foreseen them. Many could be named by the Orites, many by the Phocians, many by every ruined city. 9.69But of what use to them is that? While the vessel is safe, whether it be a large or a small one, then is the time for sailor and helmsman arid everyone in his turn to show his zeal and to take care that it is not capsized by anyone's malice or inadvertence; but when the sea has overwhelmed it, zeal is useless. 9.70So we too, Athenians, as long as we are safe, blessed with a very great city, ample advantages, and the fairest repute—what are we to do? Perhaps some of my hearers have long been eager to ask that question. I solemnly promise that I will answer it and will also move a resolution, for which you can vote if so disposed. To begin with ourselves, we must make provision for our defence, I mean with war-galleys, funds, and men; for even if all other states succumb to slavery, we surely must fight the battle of liberty. 9.71Then having completed all these preparations and made our purpose clear, we must lose no time in calling upon the other Greeks, and we must inform them by sending ambassadors [in every direction, to the Peloponnese, to Rhodes, to Chios, to the Great King—for even his interests are not unaffected if we prevent Philip from subduing the whole country—] so that if you win them over, you may have someone to share your dangers and your expenses when the time comes, or if not, that you may at least delay the course of events. 9.72For since the war is against an individual and not against the might of an organized community, even delay is not without its use; nor were those embassies useless which you sent round the Peloponnese last year to denounce Philip, when I and our good friend Polyeuctus here and Hegesippus and the rest went from city to city and succeeded in checking him, so that he never invaded Ambracia nor even started against the Peloponnese. 9.73I do not, however, suggest that you should invite the rest, unless you are ready to do for yourselves what is necessary; for it would be futile to abandon our own interests and pretend that we are protecting those of others, or to overlook the present dangers and alarm our neighbors with dangers to come. That is not my meaning. But I do contend that we must send supplies to the forces in the Chersonese and satisfy all their demands, and while we make preparation ourselves, we must summon, collect, instruct, and exhort the rest of the Greeks. That is the duty of a city with a reputation such as yours enjoys. 9.74But if you imagine that Greece will be saved by Chalcidians or Megarians, while you run away from the task, you are wrong. For they may think themselves lucky if they can save themselves separately. But this is a task for you; it was for you that your ancestors won this proud privilege and bequeathed it to you at great and manifold risk.


Demosthenes, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Dem.].
<<Dem. 9.56 Dem. 9.67 (Greek) >>Dem. 9.76

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