Isocrates, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Isoc.].
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19.45Apart from this, it is reasonable to suppose that Thrasyllus, more than anyone else, was friendly toward those whose claims are based upon a testamentary gift. For he himself learned his art from Polemaenetus the soothsayer, and received his fortune, not through family relationship but through merit; surely, therefore, he would not complain if a man who had acted honorably toward his children should be regarded as deserving of the same reward as himself. 19.46You should call to mind also what I said in the beginning. For I pointed out to you that he esteemed relationship with our family so highly that he married the sister and then the cousin of my father. And yet to whom would he more willingly have given his own daughter in marriage than to that family from which he himself chose his wife? And from what family would he have more gladly seen a son adopted according to law than that from which he sought to beget children of his own body? 19.47

If therefore, you award the inheritance to me, you will stand well with Thrasyllus and with all others who have any proper interest in this matter; but if you permit yourselves to be deceived by the persuasion of this woman, not only will you do injury to me, but also to Thrasylochus, the testator, and to Sopolis, and to their sister, who is now my wife, and their mother, who would be the unhappiest of women if it should not be enough for her to have lost her children, but also must see this additional sorrow that their wishes are nullified, her family without an heir, and this woman, 19.48as she exults over her misfortunes, making good at law her claim to the property, while I am unable to obtain my just rights, although my treatment of her sons has been such that, if anyone should compare me—I will not say with this woman, but with any who have ever entered their claim to an inheritance on the strength of testamentary gift—I should be found to have been inferior to none in my conduct toward my friends. And yet men of my kind ought to be honored and esteemed rather than be robbed of the gifts which others have bestowed upon them. 19.49It is expedient, to, that you should uphold the law which permits us to adopt children and to dispose wisely of our property, reflecting that for men who are childless this law takes the place of children; for it is owing this law that both kinsmen and those who are not related take greater care of each other. 19.50

But that I may conclude and occupy no more time in speaking, pray consider how strong and how just are the claims with which I have come before you; there is, first, my friendship with those who have left the inheritance, a friendship of ancient origin, handed down from our fathers, and in all that time never broken; second, my many great acts of kindness done for them in their adversity; third, there is a will which my opponents themselves acknowledge; and lastly, the law, which supports the will, a law that in the opinion of all Greeks is regarded as wisely made. 19.51Of my statement the best proof is this—although the Greek states differ in opinion about many other enactments, they are of one accord concerning this one. I beg you, therefore, bearing in mind both these considerations and the others I have mentioned, to give a just verdict, and prove yourselves to be for me such judges as you would want to have for yourselves.



Isocrates, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [word count] [Isoc.].
<<Isoc. 19.37 Isoc. 19.49 (Greek) >>Isoc. 20.1

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