Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
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1.99How then shall we be of one mind, Athenians? How shall we agree upon the interests of the state when our leaders and demagogues take bribes and betray their country's interests, when you yourselves and the whole people are in danger of losing the very foundations of Athens, together with your fathers' temples and your wives and children, while they have conspired together, so that in the assemblies they purposely abuse and lose their tempers with each other, though in private they are united and thus deceive you, who are so ready to lend an ear to what they say. 1.100What is the duty of a democratic orator, hating those who menace the city by speech or bill? What are we told, Demosthenes and Polyeuctus, about your predecessors? What did they always do, even though no danger threatened the city at the time? Did they not summon each other for trial; bring in impeachments? Did they not indict each other for illegal proposals? Have you, who profess to have the people at heart, and maintain that your safety rests upon this jury's vote, done a single one of these things? 1.101Have you denounced a decree, Demosthenes, despite the many outrageous and illegal measures which Demades has proposed? Have you prevented any political step among those which he has taken on his own initiative against the interests of the state? Not a single one. Have you impeached this man who has often acted contrary to the decrees of the people and the laws? Never. You allowed him to have his statue set up in bronze in the market and to share entertainment in the Prytaneum with the descendants of Harmodius and Aristogiton. [Note] 1.102In what way then did the people sample your goodwill, where did we see proof of the orator's protecting power? Or will you all maintain that herein lie your powers: to cheat these men by persisting that you cannot leave the country, that you have no other refuge than our goodwill? You ought first to have made it clear that in speech and action you opposed the decrees brought forward against the people's interests and then sought to convince these men that your claim to have no means of safety but the assistance offered by the people was true. 1.103But you place your hopes abroad and compete in flattery with those who admit that they are serving Alexander and have taken bribes from the same sources as those from which you are reported by the council to have received them. And you, Demosthenes, after conversing with Nicanor in front of all the Greeks and settling everything you wanted, now make yourself out to be in need of pity, traitor though you are and a receiver of bribes; as if these men will forget your wickedness, as if you will not pay the penalty for the crimes at which you have been caught. You are acting more boldly than Demades to this extent, 1.104that though he has given warning in the Assembly of his desperate character and admits that he accepts money and will continue to do so, still he has not dared to show his face before these men and did not presume to dispute the council's report; moreover he did not propose that the council should have authority over him or lay down the death penalty if he should be proved to have taken bribes. But you have such complete confidence in your own arguments and such a contempt for these men's simplicity that you expect to persuade the jury that in your case only has the council's statement been false and that you alone of those whom it reported have not accepted the gold. Who could believe that?

1.105Let me explain, Athenians, what you are going to do. You have taken over the case from the people, who know the facts; and to undergo the punishment, due to those whose names appear in the reports, Demosthenes is brought in first. We have made our accusation and have allowed no private interest on the part of any to stand in the way of common justice. 1.106Will you disregard all that has passed and acquit the first man up before you? Will you, with full power at your command, reject what seemed just both to the people and the Areopagus, and indeed to everyone, and take upon yourselves these men's depravity? 1.107Or will you, for the city's sake, give a demonstration to all alike of the hatred you bear towards traitors and those who, through love of gain, betray the people's interests? All this now lies in your control, and the fifteen hundred of you hold the city's safety in your hands. Your verdict of today will either bring to Athens great security, if you are willing to make a just decision, or else, if you endorse such practices as this, drive all men to despondency.

1.108You must not be cowed, Athenians, or by losing your self-control give up the city's just defence, which touches all alike, in deference to Demosthenes' entreaties. For none of you compelled this man to take the money, to which he had no right, against your own interests, when he has acquired, with your assistance, much more than enough besides, nor to defend himself now when the crimes have been acknowledged and he has proposed the death penalty for himself. But the avarice and wickedness, fostered in him by his whole mode of life, have brought this on his head. 1.109So do not be concerned when he weeps and laments. You might, with far more justice, pity the country, which this man is exposing to danger by behaving as he has, and which is begging you, who are its sons, in the names of your wives and children, to take vengeance on the traitor and save it: the land which your ancestors, after facing many noble combats for it, have handed on to you free in which many noble examples have been left us of the courage of those who gave their lives.



Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
<<Din. 1.92 Din. 1.103 (Greek) >>Din. 1.113

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