Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
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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. 1.86The same orator was responsible for the misfortunes which overtook them and those which will soon overtake him. He himself in the Assembly instructed this council to judge his case, after calling on you as his witnesses. He made an agreement with the people and proposed the decree against himself, to be kept by the mother of the gods, [Note] who is the city's guardian of all written contracts. It would thus be impious for you to invalidate this or, after swearing by the gods in the present trial, to give a vote which did not conform with the actions of the gods themselves. 1.87When Poseidon lost his suit against Ares over Halirrothius he abode by the decision. [Note] The awful goddesses too, in their case against Orestes, [Note] abode by the judgement of this council, associating themselves for the future with its reputation for truth. How will you act with your claim to unrivalled piety? Will you annul the decision of the council and follow the bad example of Demosthenes? You will not, Athenians, if you remain in your senses. 1.88This is no small or incidental matter that you are deciding today; the question at issue is the safety of the whole city and also bribery, an evil habit and a practice which is harmful to you and has always brought men to ruin. If you do everything in your power to rid the city of this vice and to suppress those who gladly take bribes against you, we shall be saved, with Heaven's consent. But if you allow the orators to sell you, you will stand by and see them wreck the city.

1.89Demosthenes himself proposed in the Assembly, clearly implying that it was a just step to take, that we should keep for Alexander the money brought into Attica with Harpalus. [Note] Tell me, sir: are we going to keep it under present conditions, when you have taken twenty talents for personal use, someone else fifteen, Demades six thousand gold staters, and the others the various sums that have been credited to them? For sixty-four talents have already been traced, for which, you must conclude, gentlemen, that these men are to be held responsible. 1.90Which is the more honorable alternative, which the more just: that all the money should be kept in the treasury until the people has reached some fair decision, or that the orators and certain of the generals should seize and keep it? Personally I think that to keep it in the treasury is the course which all would admit to be just, while no one would consider it fair for these men to retain it.

1.91The statements made by the defendant, gentlemen, have been numerous and very varied but never consistent. For he realizes that all along you have been cheated by him with empty hopes and lying assertions and that you remember his promises only so long as they are being uttered. If then the city must go on enjoying the fruits of Demosthenes' wickedness and ill-fortune, that we may still be plagued by an evil genius,—I can find no other word for it,—we should acquiesce in the present state of affairs. 1.92But if we have any regard for our country, if we hate wicked and corrupt men and want our fortune to change for the better, you must not surrender yourselves, Athenians, to the prayers of this accursed juggler or lend an ear to his laments and quackeries. You have had enough experience of him, his speeches, his actions, and his luck. 1.93Which of you is so hopeful, Athenians, or so irrational, which of you is so unversed in past or present history, as to expect that a man who reduced the city, through whatever fault or fortune,—I am not concerned with that,—from such great prosperity to such utter disgrace, will save us now by serving as a counsellor and administrator? For besides the other difficulties and dangers which beset us we have now corruption also, of men right in the city, and are one and all striving to clear ourselves of a shameful charge, lest the people be thought to hold in their own name the money which certain individuals are keeping for themselves. 1.94I am not citing other instances of his continual change of policy or of the pernicious speeches which he has consistently made. At one time he made a proposal forbidding anyone to believe in any but the accepted gods and at another said that the people must not question the grant of divine honors to Alexander [Note]; and again when he was on the point of being tried before you, he impeached Callimedon for consorting with the exiles [Note] in Megara with intent to overthrow the democracy, 1.95and directly after countermanded the impeachment and brought forward at the recent sitting of the Assembly a false witness whom he had primed to say that there was a plot afoot threatening the docks. In all this he offered no proposals but simply furnished us with charges for the present trial, since on all these points you are witnesses against him. This man is a juggler, Athenians, and a blackguard, not entitled to be a citizen of Athens, either by virtue of his birth or of his political record.



Dinarchus, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Din.].
<<Din. 1.80 Din. 1.89 (Greek) >>Din. 1.100

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