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Against Boeotus 2

40.1Nothing is more painful, men of the jury, than when a man is addressed by name as “brother” of certain persons, whom in fact he regards as enemies, and when he is compelled, on account of the many cruel wrongs which he has suffered at their hands, to come into court; as is my case now. 40.2For instance, I have not only had the misfortune in the beginning that Plangon, the mother of these men, by deceit and manifest perjury, compelled my father to bring himself to acknowledge them, and that consequently I was robbed of two-thirds of my inheritance; but, in addition to this, I have been driven by these men out of the house of my fathers, in which I was born and brought up, and into which they were admitted, not by my father, but by myself after his death; 40.3and I am being robbed of my mother's dowry, for which I am now bringing suit, although I have myself given them satisfaction in all the matters in which they made claims upon me, except some trifling cross-demands which they have maliciously brought against me on account of this action, as will be perfectly clear to you also; yet in the course of eleven years I have been unable to obtain from them a reasonable settlement, and so at length I have had recourse to you for help. 40.4I beg you all, men of the jury, to listen to me with goodwill, while I speak as best I can; and if I seem to you to have suffered cruel wrongs, to pardon me for seeking to recover what is my own, especially as it is for a marriage-portion for my daughter. For it so happened that I married at my father's request when I was only eighteen, and that I have a daughter who is already of marriageable age. 40.5It is, therefore, just on many accounts that you should aid me who am being wronged, and fitting that you should feel indignation against the men, who—O Earth and the Gods—when they need not have come into court at all had they done what is fair, are not ashamed to remind you of any improper acts of my father, or of wrongs which they committed against him, but even force me to go to law with them. To make you understand clearly that it is they, not I, who are to blame for this, I will set forth to you the facts of the case from the beginning with the utmost possible brevity.

40.6My mother, men of the jury, was the daughter of Polyaratus, of Cholargus note, and sister of Menexenus, and Bathyllus and Periander. Her father gave her in marriage to Cleomedon, son of Cleon, note adding a talent as her marriage-portion; and at the first she dwelt with him as his wife, and bore him three daughters and one son, Cleon. After this her husband died, and she left his family, receiving back her marriage-portion. 40.7Her brothers, Menexenus and.Bathyllus (for Periander was still a boy) then gave her again in marriage with the talent for her dowry, and she dwelt with my father as his wife. There were born to them myself and another brother, younger than I, who died while still a child.

To prove that I am speaking the truth, I will first bring forward witnesses to establish these facts.Witnesses

40.8My father, then, having thus married my mother, maintained her as his wife in his own house; and he brought me up and showed me a father's affection such as you also all show to your children. But with Plangon, the mother of these men, he formed a connection of some sort or other (it is not for me to say what it was); 40.9however, he was not so wholly the slave of his passion as to deem it right even after my mother's death to receive the woman into his own house, or to admit that the defendants were his children. No, for all the rest of the time they lived as not being sons of my father, as most of you know; but after Boeotus had grown up and had associated with himself a gang of blackmailers, note whose leaders were Mnesicles and that Menecles who secured the conviction of Ninus, in connection with these men he brought suit against my father, claiming that he was his son. 40.10Many meetings took place about these matters, and my father declared that he would never be convinced that these men were his children, and finally Plangon, men of the jury (for the whole truth shall be told you), having in conjunction with Menecles laid a snare for my father, and deceived him by an oath that among all mankind is held to be the greatest and most awful, note agreed that, if she were paid thirty minae, she would get her brothers to adopt these men, and that, on her own part, if my father should challenge her before the arbitrator to swear that the children were in very truth his sons, she would decline the challenge. For if this were done, she said, the defendants would not be deprived of their civic rights, note but they would no longer be able to make trouble for my father, seeing that their mother had refused the oath. 40.11When these terms had been accepted—for why should I make my story a long one?—he went to meet her before the arbitrator, and Plangon, contrary to all that she had agreed to do, accepted the challenge, and swore in the Delphinium note an oath which was the very opposite of her former one, as most of you know well; for the transaction became a notorious one. Thus, my father was compelled on account of his own challenge to abide by the arbitrator's award, but he was indignant at what had been done, and took the matter heavily to heart, and did not even so consent to admit these men into his house; but he was compelled to introduce them to the clansmen. The defendant he enrolled as Boeotus, and the other as Pamphilus. 40.12As for me, he forthwith persuaded me, for I was about eighteen years of age, to marry the daughter of Euphemus, wishing to live to see children born to me. I, men of the jury, as before, so especially then, when these men were beginning to annoy him with lawsuits and were proving troublesome, thought that I, on the contrary, ought to strive to gladden him by doing everything whereby I could give him pleasure, and so obeyed him. 40.13When I had married in this way, and he had lived to see my little daughter born, not many years later he fell sick and died. Then, although during my father's lifetime, men of the jury, I had thought it my duty to oppose him in nothing, yet after his death I received these men into the house, and gave them a share of all the property, not as being really my brothers (for most of you are well aware of the manner in which they became such), but thinking that, as my father had been beguiled, it was my duty to obey your laws. 40.14And when they had thus been received by me into the house, we proceeded to divide the inheritance; and upon my demanding that my mother's marriage-portion be repaid to me, these men put in a counter-claim, and alleged that a portion of like amount was owing to their mother. note On the advice of friends who were present we divided all the rest of the property but kept apart the house and the domestic servants of my father, 40.15in order that whichever party of us might establish his claim to the dowry should recover it from the value of the house; and from the slaves, who were common property, the defendants, should they wish to search out note any of my father's effects, might make inquiry by torturing them, or by prosecuting their search in any other way they might please.

That I am speaking the truth in this also you will know from these depositions.Depositions

40.16After this these men brought action against me to establish their claims, and I sued them for the marriage-portion. At the first we had Solon, of Erchia, note registered as arbitrator, and submitted to him for decision the claims we advanced against each other. These men, however, did not appear, but avoided the hearing; and thus considerable time was wasted, and it came about that Solon died. These men then instituted their suit against me afresh, and I my suit against the defendant, summoning him under the name of Boeotus, and inscribing that name on the complaint; for that was the name my father gave him. 40.17In the suit which these men brought against me, Boeotus appeared and fought the case, but, since he was unable to establish any of their claims, the arbitrator decided in my favor; and Boeotus, conscious that he was making charges without any just basis, did not appeal to a jury, and has not now entered any suit against me in regard to these matters, but in regard to some others, thinking to break down this suit of mine by these counter-charges. note In the suit which at that time I was carrying on against Boeotus in regard to the marriage-portion, since he was here in Athens and did not appear before the arbitrator, the latter gave judgement against him by default. 40.18And Boeotus, men of the jury, though he was here at the time would not contest the suit, but declared that I had not received the arbitrator's verdict against him, for his name was not Boeotus, but Mantitheus; and thus, by quibbling about a name, he is in fact depriving me of my mother's portion. As I was at a loss to know how one should deal with a matter like this, I instituted the same suit afresh against him as Mantitheus, and now in the eleventh year I have come to you for help.

To prove that I am speaking the truth in this also, the clerk will read the depositions dealing with these matters.Depositions

40.19That my mother, therefore, men of the jury, bringing a talent as her dowry, and given in marriage by her brothers, as the laws command, lived with my father as his wife; the manner, too, in which I received these men into the house after my father's death; and the fact that I obtained a verdict in the suits which they brought against me;—all this has been established for you by proofs and by testimony.

Come now, take also this law concerning the marriage-portion.Law

40.20Such being the law, I fancy that this man—call him Boeotus or Mantitheus, or any other name by which he likes to be addressed—will have no valid or genuine defence to offer, but, relying upon his own audaciousness and effrontery, will endeavor to attach to me the misfortunes of his own family, as he is wont to do also in private life; and will allege that when the property of Pamphilus, who was the father of Plangon, was confiscated, my father took from out the council-chamber note the surplus proceeds note and he will thus try to show that his own mother brought a dowry of more than one hundred minae, while my mother (he will claim) brought my father no portion whatever. 40.21These things he will state at length to you, men of the jury, although he has not put a single deposition in the box to substantiate them, and knows very well that there is not a word of truth in what he says; for he is fully conscious that in your court no man who confessed his guilt was ever acquitted, whereas by lying and advancing arguments to lead you astray many a man ere now has avoided paying the penalty for his deeds. In order, then, that you may not be deceived by him, I think it is better to speak to you briefly about this matter also. 40.22For if he shall say that my mother did not bring with her a marriage-portion, while their mother did, bear in mind that he is manifestly lying. To begin with, Pamphilus, the father of this man's mother, died owing five talents to the public treasury, and so far from there being any surplus proceeds for his children after his property had been scheduled and confiscated, even his indebtedness has not been paid in full, but to this day Pamphilus stands inscribed as a debtor to the treasury. How, then, can it be that my father received money from the estate of Pamphilus, which proved inadequate to pay in full even the debt due to the city? 40.23Furthermore, men of the jury, bear this in mind, that were it never so true that this surplus money did accrue as these men pretend, it was not my father who would have received it, but the sons of Pamphilus, Boeotus and Hedylus and Euthydemus; and, I fancy, they are not men who would go to all lengths to get hold of the property of others, as you all know, and yet at the same time quietly have allowed my father to take possession of what was theirs.

40.24That the mother of these men did not bring with her a marriage-portion, but that they are lying in regard to this, I think has been proved to you quite adequately; but that my mother did bring one, I shall easily show. In the first place, she was the daughter of Polyaratus, who was both honored by you citizens, and had acquired a large estate. Secondly, it has been proved to you by witnesses that her sister brought a dowry of the like amount when she married Eryximachus, the brother-in-law of Chabrias. note 40.25Besides all this, my mother is shown to have been first given in marriage to Cleomedon, whose father Cleon, we are told, note commanded troops among whom were your ancestors, and captured alive a large number of Lacedaemonians in Pylos, note and won greater renown than any other man in the state; so it was not fitting that the son of that famous man should wed my mother without a dowry, nor is it likely that Menexenus and Bathyllus, who had large fortunes themselves, and who, after Cleomedon's death, received back the dowry, defrauded their own sister; rather, they would themselves have added to her portion, when they gave her in marriage to my father, as they themselves and the others have testified before you. 40.26And besides this, just consider why in the world, if my mother had not been a lawfully espoused wife, and had brought no dowry, while the mother of these men did, should my father have denied that they were his sons, and have acknowledged me, and brought me up? Because, forsooth, as these men will claim, he dishonored them in order to show favor to me and my mother. 40.27But my mother died, leaving me still a little boy, whereas the mother of these men, Plangon, who was a handsome woman, maintained her connection with him both before and after that; so that it was much more likely that for the sake of the living woman, with whom he was in love all this time, he would dishonor the son of her who was dead, than that for my sake and my dead mother's he would refuse to acknowledge the children of her who was living and maintaining her connection with him. 40.28My opponent, however, has come to such a pitch of audacity as to declare that my father made feast for him on the tenth day. note And in regard to this he has put in depositions of Timocrates note and Promachus alone, who are in no way related to my father, and were not friends of his. The testimony they have borne is so patently false, that, whereas you all know that Boeotus by instituting proceedings forced my father against his will to acknowledge him these men, like witnesses to a summons—and only two of them—depose that he made a feast for this fellow on the tenth day! 40.29Is there anyone of you who can believe that? And assuredly it is not open to him to say this, either—that when he was a little child my father acknowledged him, but that when he was grown he scorned him because of some quarrel with the mother of these men; note for surely man and wife are much more apt, in cases where they are at variance with one another, to become reconciled for the sake of their children than, because of their enmity toward each other, to hate their common children as well. If, therefore, he attempts to say this, do not permit him to brazen it out. 40.30And should he go on to talk about the actions brought by them, which the arbitrator decided in my favor, and claim that he was caught by me unprepared, remember, first, that it was not a short time that he had in which to prepare himself, but a great many years, and secondly, that it was he who brought the suit, so that it was much more likely that I should be taken unprepared by him than he by me. 40.31And further, all those who were present before the arbitrator have given testimony that Boeotus was present when the arbitrator gave his decision in my favor and that he did not appeal to the court, but acquiesced in the decision. And yet it seems to me a strange thing that, whereas other men, who consider that they are being wronged, note bring before you on appeal cases even of the slightest import, this fellow, who had brought suit against me to recover a talent as the marriage-portion, and had this suit decided against him by the arbitrator, unjustly, as he claims, should acquiesce in the decision. 40.32Ah, but it may be said that he is a man who loves peace and hates litigation. I could indeed wish, men of the jury, that he were a man of that type. But here is the truth: you are so generous and so kind toward your fellow-men that you did not deem it right to banish from the city even the sons of the Thirty Tyrants note; but Boeotus, plotting against me with Menecles, who is the prime mover in all these schemes, having managed to get up a quarrel that from disputes and revilings should come to blows, cut his own head, and summoned me before the Areopagus on a charge of murderous assault, with the intention of driving me into exile from the city. 40.33And if Euthydicus, the physician, to whom these men had gone in the first instance, asking him to make a cut on the head of Boeotus—had not told to the court of the Areopagus the whole truth, this man would have taken such vengeance upon me, who was guilty of no wrong toward him, as you would not try to inflict on those who were guilty of the greatest wrongs toward you.

That I may not be thought to be slandering him, read, please, the depositions.Depositions

40.34This great and formidable contest, then, he got up against me, not as a simple-minded fellow, but as a conspirator and a villain. But after this, instead of the name, Boeotus, which my father had given him, as has been proved to you by witnesses, after my father's death he had his name inscribed on the list of the demesmen as Mantitheus, and being further addressed by the name of the same father and the same deme as I myself, he not only forced a retrial of the case in which I am now suing him, note but when you had elected me taxiarch, he came in person to the court to pass the probationary test note; and when judgement had been given against him in an ejectment suit, he declared that it was not against him but against me that the judgement had been given. 40.35And to sum up the matter for you, he gave me so much trouble that he compelled me to bring suit against him regarding the name, not in order to get money from him, men of the jury, but that, if it should appear to you that I am being outrageously treated and am suffering grievous wrongs, he may go on being called Boeotus, as my father named him.

To prove that I am speaking the truth in this also, take, please, the depositions bearing on these matters.Depositions

40.36In addition to all this, on the charge that, when I was on military service and had collected mercenaries with Ameinias note(seeing that I was well-provided with funds from other sources, and had collected from Mytilene from your proxenus note Apollonides and the friends of our city three hundred Phocaic staters, note and had spent that sum upon these troops, in order that a matter might be prosecuted which was of advantage to you and to them alike)— 40.37for this he brings suit against me, alleging that I had collected a debt due to my father from the city of the Mytileneans. In this he was seeking to serve Cammys, note tyrant of Mytilene, who is an enemy of Athens and a private enemy of mine.

But to prove that my father at the time received in person the reward which the people of Mytilene voted him, and that no debt was owing to him in Mytilene, I will produce a deposition of your friends.Deposition

40.38I could mention many other outrageous acts of which Boeotus has been guilty, men of the jury, both against myself and against you; but I am compelled to pass them by as but little water is left me in the clepsydra. note I think, however, that, even as it is, you have been shown conclusively that the same man who got up against me a suit involving the risk of banishment, and sued me on charges which concerned me not at all, is not one who would have come before the arbitrator unprepared; so that if he tries to say anything about this, I imagine that you will not tolerate it. 40.39If, however, he declares that he offered to turn over all matters at issue between us to Conon, note son of Timotheus, for arbitration, and that I refused to submit them, be sure that he will be trying to mislead you. I, for my part, was ready to submit all matters upon which a decision had not yet been rendered, either to Conon or to any other impartial arbitrator whom Boeotus might choose; but matters regarding which the arbitrator had given a decision in my favor, after Boeotus had thrice appeared before him and contested the case,—a decision in which Boeotus acquiesced, as witnesses have testified to you,—these matters, I thought, could not justly be reopened. 40.40For to what final settlement could we ever have come, if I had made invalid a decision given by an arbitrator in accordance with the laws, and had referred the same charge to the decision of another arbitrator?—especially as I knew full well that, even though in relation to other men it is not proper to insist overmuch on the decisions of arbitrators, yet it is peculiarly fair to deal thus with Boeotus. 40.41For come, suppose someone should indict him for the usurpation of the rights of citizenship, declaring that my father denied on oath that this man was his son; could he rely on anything else to meet this charge than that, because of their mother's oath and the decision of the arbitrators, my father was forced to abide by the award? 40.42It would, then, be an outrageous thing, if this man, after having become a citizen of your city through an arbitrator's decision, and having secured a share of my inheritance, and obtained all that was fair, should be thought by you to have any justice in his claim, when he demanded the reopening of the suits in which I won my acquittal, when he was present and argued against it, and acquiesced in the verdict; just as though, when it is to his interest, awards ought to be valid, but, when it is not to his interest, his opinion should have more weight than decisions rendered in accordance with your laws. 40.43He is such a crafty schemer that his purpose even in this proposal of arbitration was not made that he might be rid of his disputes with me, but that, as he had for eleven years previously carried on his knavery, so now, by rendering invalid the decisions given in my favor by the arbitrator, he might afresh institute his malicious proceedings against me, and elude the present suit. 40.44Here is a convincing proof of this. He would not accept the challenge which I gave him according to the laws; and when I had previously referred the suit about the name to Xenippus, whom he had proposed as arbitrator, he forbade him to render any decision.

That I am speaking the truth on these matters also you will learn from the deposition and the challenge.Depostition

40.45This challenge, then, he did not accept, wishing rather to lay a snare for me and to delay the suit as long as he possibly could; and now, as I learn, he will accuse not only me, but my father as well, alleging that my father wronged him in many ways in order to show favor to me. But I beg you, men of the jury, as you would yourselves deem it an unseemly thing to be evil spoken of by your own children, not to allow this man either to speak evil of his father. 40.46For it would indeed be an outrageous thing when you yourselves, after having come to terms with those who in the time of the oligarchy put to death without trial numbers of your countrymen, abide by your compact with them, note as men of honor should do, that you should allow this man, who was reconciled with my father while he lived, and won many advantages to which he had no right, now to renew the quarrel and to speak evil of that father when he is no more. Do not suffer this, men of the jury. 40.47If it be possible, prevent him from acting in this way; but if he persists in defying you and in speaking evil of my father, remember that he is bearing witness against himself that he is no son of his. For those who are true-born children, even though they may quarrel with their fathers while they are alive yet speak well of them when they are dead; whereas those who are accounted sons, but are not in truth children of their supposed fathers, quarrel with them without scruple while they are alive, and think nothing of slandering them when they are dead. 40.48And, besides, think how absurd it is that this fellow should abuse my father for his failings toward him, when it was thanks to this father's failings note that he became a citizen of your state. I, on my part, have, thanks to the mother of these men, been deprived of two-thirds of my property, but for all that I have too much respect for you to speak disparagingly of her. 40.49But Boeotus feels no shame in disparaging before you the man whom he compelled to become his father, and has even come to such a pitch of vulgarity that, although the laws forbid speaking ill even of other men's fathers after they are dead, he will slander the man whose son he claims to be; whereas it would be proper for him to show resentment if anyone else spoke evil of him.

40.50I fancy, men of the jury, that, when he is at a loss for anything else to say, he will undertake to speak evil of me, and will try to bring me into disrepute, rehearsing at length how I was reared and educated and married in my father's house, while he had no share in any of these advantages. But I bid you bear in mind that my mother died leaving me a child, so that the interest of her marriage-portion was sufficient to rear and educate me; 40.51whereas Plangon, the mother of these men, maintained them and a host of female servants in her own house, and herself lived lavishly, having my father ready, because of his passion for her, to supply the funds for all this, and forcing him to heavy expenditures. She therefore spent far more of his property than I did, so that I might with far better reason bring charges against them than they against me. 40.52For, besides all the rest, in connection with my father I borrowed twenty minae from Blepaeus the banker, for the purchase of some mining properties, and after my father's death I shared the mines with these men, but had to pay the loan myself. I also borrowed another thousand drachmae from Lysistratus of Thoricus for my father's funeral, and have personally paid the debt.

That I am speaking the truth on these matters also you will learn from these depositions.Depositions

40.53When I am thus so clearly at a disadvantage in so many respects, shall this man now by making a great to-do and outcry about his wrongs, rob me also of my mother's marriage-portion? But do not, men of the jury, I beg you by Zeus and the Gods, do not be overwhelmed by the noise he makes. He is a violent fellow, violent and ready to go to all lengths; and he is so unscrupulous that, if he has no witnesses to prove a fact, he will say that it is well known to you, men of the jury,—a trick to which all those have recourse who have no just argument to advance. 40.54If he shall try any such trick, do not tolerate it; expose him. What anyone of you does not know, let his deem that his neighbor does not know either. Let him demand that Boeotus prove clearly whatever statements he may make, and not shirk the truth by declaring that you know things about which he will have no just argument to advance; since I, on my part, men of the jury, although you all know the way in which my father was compelled to adopt these men, am none the less suing them at law, and have brought forward witnesses responsible for their testimony. note 40.55And yet the risk is not the same for both of us. On my part, if you are now led astray by these men, it will not be open to me to bring suit again for the marriage-portion; but they, if they claim that the arbitrator was wrong in giving his decision in my favor, as at that time they had the right to appeal to your court, so now again will be permitted, if they so wish, to recover their rights from me in your court. 40.56I, if you leave me in the lurch, which I pray may not happen, shall have no means of giving a dowry to my daughter, whose own father I am, although, if you see her size, you would deem she was not my daughter but my sister note; but these men, if you come to my aid, will pay nothing out of their own property, but will restore to me what is my own from the house which by common agreement we reserved for the settlement of the marriage-portion, but in which these men have been living by themselves. 40.57For it is not fitting that I, having a daughter of marriageable age, should dwell with men of their sort, who are not only themselves living licentious lives, but who also bring into the house a host of others of like stamp with themselves; nay, by Zeus, I do not deem it safe to live in the same house with them myself. When they have thus openly laid a plot, and got up a charge against me before the Areopagus, do you suppose there is any poisoning or any other such villainy from which they would abstain? 40.58Besides all the rest (for this has occurred to me just now), they have come to such a pitch of audacity as to have put in a deposition of Crito, alleging that he has purchased from me my one-third share in the house. Now that this is false you will easily perceive; for in the first place Crito does not live so economically as to be able to purchase a house from someone else, but so extravagantly and licentiously that he spends the property of others as well as his own. Again, he is not now this man's witness, but rather my adversary. For who among you is ignorant that witnesses are those who have no interest in the matter at issue in the suit; while adversaries are those who are involved in the matters in regard to which one goes to law with them? The latter is the case with Crito. 40.59And furthermore, out of all your number, men of the jury, out of all the host of the rest of the Athenians, not a single other person has testified that he was present at this sale; Timocrates alone, like a god from the machine, note testified that my father gave a feast to Boeotus on the tenth day (and Timocrates is of the same age as the present defendant!). Timocrates declares that he has perfect knowledge of all that is for the advantage of these men; and now on his own sole authority he testifies that he was present with Crito when he bought the house from me. Who among you will believe this? Not one, of course; especially since I am not now suing about the house to determine whether Crito bought it or not, but about the marriage-portion which, seeing that my mother brought it with her, the laws declare that I should recover. 40.60Therefore, as I have proved to you by an abundance of testimony and of circumstantial evidence that my mother did bring a talent as her dowry; that I have not recovered it from my father's estate; and that the house was set apart by us to secure its payment; so do you demand of Boeotus that he prove to you, either that I am not speaking the truth, or that it is not right that I should recover the marriage-portion; for these are the questions regarding which you are now going to cast your votes. 40.61But if, having no trustworthy witnesses, nor any other proofs regarding the matters upon which he is being sued, he shall try unscrupulously to introduce irrelevant arguments, and if he indulges in outcries and protestations which have nothing to do with the matter, I adjure you by Zeus and the Gods, do not tolerate it; nay, render me the help that is my due, remembering in the light of all that I have urged that it is far more just that you should by your verdict give my mother's portion to my daughter for her dowry, than that Plangon and these men, in addition to all the rest that they have done, should, in utter defiance of justice, rob me also of my house, which was set apart to secure the payment of the marriage-portion.

Demosthenes, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Dem.].
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