1.77It follows then, Athenians, that if you fully recognize this fact you should not surely be parties in future to Demosthenes' corruption and ill-luck or rest your hopes of security on him; you need not think that you will lack brave men or wise advisers. Let the anger of your forefathers be yours. Put to death this robber taken in the act, this traitor who does not withhold his hands from the gold brought into Athens but has cast the city into the direst misfortunes, this arch-criminal of Greece. Have his body cast beyond the city's borders, give her fortunes a chance to mend, and then, with this accomplished, expect a happier lot.
1.78I want you also, Athenians, to hear that other decree moved by Demosthenes, [Note] the decree which this democratic statesman proposed when the city was in disorder after the battle of Chaeronea, and also the oracle sent from Dodona from Dodonian Zeus; for it has long been warning you clearly to beware of your leaders and advisers. Read the oracle first.
1.79Read that splendid decree of his.
Part of the Decree
A fine democrat indeed who arranges for himself, being a brave and courageous man, to remain in arms, while he orders the citizens whom he rejects for service to go off to their work or to do anything else he thinks is called for. Read the rest.1.80Listen to that, gentlemen of the jury. The decree says that the chosen embassies shall set out. When, after the battle of Chaeronea, he heard that Philip intended to invade our country he appointed himself an envoy, so as to escape from the city, and went off, [Note] after scraping together eight talents from the treasury, without a thought about the plight we were in, at a time when everyone else was contributing from his own money to ensure your protection.
1.81That is the character of your adviser. Demosthenes has made only these two journeys abroad in his life [Note]: one after the battle when he ran away from the city, and another just recently to Olympia when he wanted to use the presidency of the sacred embassy as a means of meeting Nicanor. [Note] A right thing indeed to entrust the city to this man's charge, when danger confronts us! When it was time to fight against the enemy, side by side with his fellows, he left his post and made for home; yet when he should have stayed at home to face danger with them, he offered himself as an envoy and ran away and left the city.
1.82When ambassadors were needed for the peace he said he would not move a foot to leave the city; yet when it was reported that Alexander was restoring the exiles and Nicanor came to Olympia he offered himself to the council as president of the sacred embassy. These are the parts he plays: on the field of battle he is a stay-at-home, when others stay at home he is an ambassador, among ambassadors he is a runaway.
Rest of the Decree
Now read the [Note] and the decree relating to the inquiry over the money proposed by Demosthenes for the Areopagus and affecting both himself and you. I want you by comparing them together to realize that he is demented.1.83Did you propose this, Demosthenes? You did; you cannot deny it. Was the council given authority on your motion? It was. Have some of the citizens been executed? They have. Did your decree have power over them? You cannot deny that it did.
Read the decree again which Demosthenes proposed against Demosthenes. Let me have your attention, gentlemen.1.84The council has found Demosthenes guilty. Need we enlarge on this? It has made its report on him, Athenians. Justice demanded that, having been self-condemned, he should immediately be put to death. But now that he has fallen into the hands of you who have been assembled by the people and have sworn to obey the laws and the people's decrees, what will you do? Will you ignore the claims of piety towards the gods and the justice recognized by the world? No, Athenians, do not do so.
1.85It would be an utter disgrace if, when others no worse, and even less guilty, than Demosthenes have been destroyed by his decrees, he, with his contempt for you and the laws, should be at large unpunished in the city, when by his own motion and the decrees which he proposed he has been convicted. The same council, Athenians, the same place, the same rights have been in question.