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

42.1I invoke many blessings, men of the jury, first upon all of you, and then also upon Solon, who established the law about the exchange of estates. For if he had not clearly defined for us what is the first thing to be done by those who have offered an exchange, and what the second, and so on in due order, I do not know to what lengths the audacity of this man Phaenippus would have gone, when even as it is, notwithstanding that the law prescribes all these things for us, he has nevertheless disregarded its just provisions, and instead of giving me the inventory of his property as the law prescribes within three days after he took the oath, or if he did not wish to do so then, giving it at least on the sixth day of the month Boedromion, note which date was fixed upon at his request, and on which he promised to deliver the inventory, he did neither the one thing nor the other, 42.2but, showing contempt both for me and for the law, he has delivered his inventory a month later, only two or three days before the case was brought into court, and all the rest of the time has kept himself out of sight; and instead of leaving untouched the seals which I had put upon the buildings, he went into the country, opened the buildings, and carried off the barley and other things, just as if the law had granted him the privilege of doing whatever he pleases, and not what is right. 42.3For my part, men of the jury, I should be most happy to see myself enjoying the material prosperity which was mine before, and remaining in the group of the Three Hundred, note but since, partly through having to share in the misfortunes common to all those who are engaged in mining works, and partly through having met heavy reverses in my private business, I have lost my estate, and now at the last must pay three talents to the state, a talent for each share (for I too was a partner, as I wish I had not been, in the confiscated mine), note I am compelled to try to substitute in my place a man who is not only richer than I am now, but was richer even before my losses, and who has never borne any state services, nor made any contribution to the state. 42.4I therefore beg of you all, men of the jury, that, if I prove that Phaenippus here has both transgressed the just provisions of the law and is a richer man than myself, you will succor me, and appoint him in the list of the Three Hundred in my stead; for it is on this account that the laws every year provide for the tendering of exchanges, because to enjoy unbroken prosperity is not wont to be the permanent fortune of any large number of our citizens. But I will tell you all that has been done regarding the exchange from the very beginning.

42.5On the second day of the month Metageitnion, note men of the jury, the generals appointed a court for the Three Hundred for the tendering of exchanges. Among these I cited this man Phaenippus as the law provides. After citing him, I took some of my friends and relatives, and proceeded to his outlying farm at Cytherus. note And first I led them around the farm, the circuit of which was more than forty stades, note and pointed out to them, and called them to witness in the presence of Phaenippus, that there were no mortgage-pillars note on the farm, and I bade Phaenippus, if he said there were, to declare it at once and point them out to me, for fear some debt existing against the property might be brought to light later on. 42.6Then I sealed the buildings, and bade Phaenippus to proceed to my property. After this I asked him where his threshed grain was, for by the gods and goddesses, men of the jury, there were two threshing-floors there, each one of nearly a plethron in extent. note He answered me that some of the grain had been sold, and that some was stored within. 42.7Finally, to make a long story short, I stationed men inside to keep watch, and by Zeus I gave strict orders to the ass-drivers and made them stop carrying off timber from the farm (for in addition to the rest of his property Phaenippus has also this very considerable source of revenue: six asses carry off wood the whole year through, and he receives more than twelve drachmae a day). I forbade the ass-drivers, as I said, to touch the wood, and after giving notice to Phaenippus to attend the sacrifice, note as the law commands, I went back to the city.

42.8First, now, I will produce for you the depositions substantiating what I have said, and then you shall hear the entire truth about the other aspects of the case. For you will find, men of the jury, that this fellow Phaenippus began from the very first day to act in utter disregard of right. I sealed the buildings, as the law permitted me; he opened them. And he acknowledges that he removed the seal, but does not acknowledge that he opened the door, as if men removed the seals for any other purpose than to open the doors. 42.9Then I had forbidden that wood should be carried off; he carried it off every day except that on which I issued the order. There was no debt charged against the farm; he now reports a number of debts. In a word, he does just what he pleases, not what the laws bid him do.

Read the depositions, first those concerning the mine, and then the others as well.Depostitions

42.10The wrongs, therefore, which Phaenippus began to do to me beginning with the very first day after the tendering of the exchanges, you have heard, men of Athens, both from myself and from the witnesses; but the things which he did after this have been offences, not against me only, but also against the laws, to the defence of which you are all bound to rally. 42.11For although he had sworn on the eleventh of the month Boedromion to give me a true and just inventory of his property, and the law expressly declares that the inventory shall be given within three days after one takes the oath, he came up to me in front of the courtrooms with Polyeuctus of Crioa note and some others, and begged me, first to have a conference with him regarding a settlement, assuring me that he would do everything that was right; and, secondly, to put off the declaration regarding the property for a few days only (for he said he understood my position). 42.12I, on my part, thinking it was becoming to a good citizen who wished to avoid quarrels not to rush headlong into court, was persuaded (for why should I multiply words?) to consent that the conference regarding a settlement should take place on the twenty-third of the month Boedromion, and the declaration regarding the property on the twenty-fifth. note Yet, although he had obtained both his requests from me, Phaenippus did not present himself on either of these days; instead, he now appears before you as one who has transgressed two laws instead of one;—first, that which declares that the inventory shall be presented within three days after that on which one takes the oath, and, secondly, that which declares that mutual covenants, agreed upon in the presence of witnesses, shall be binding. 42.13Yet, men of the jury, who among you does not know that the day fixed by law and that agreed upon by the contending parties are equally binding? Why, very often, although the thirtieth day is appointed by law, we fix upon another by mutual agreement; and in all the offices the magistrates put off trials and judgements for the contestants, when these have come to a mutual agreement; and if anyone should hold that the agreement thus entered upon was to be of no effect, you would despise him as a cheat without equal. 42.14Well then, Phaenippus, just as though the law enjoined that one should do nothing that one had agreed to, from the day on which he promised to meet me for a settlement and to give me an inventory of his property and receive from me one of mine, never put in an appearance; but I, when I saw that he was paying no heed to me or to the laws, gave in my inventory at the office of the generals, whereas Phaenippus, as I said a moment ago, gave me a paper only the other day with no other purpose than that he might appear to have given me his inventory, but that I should be unable to make any use of its contents. 42.15But, men of the jury, you should not grant more than their due to those who hold their own shamelessness to be stronger than the laws; if you do, you will multiply the numbers of those who mock at the just provisions of the laws. No; you should succor those who regard the voice of the laws as your voice, and the day appointed for coming into court as established in the interest of those who have been wronged, not of those who have done wrong.

42.16Read the depositions in support of what I have just said, and the laws.Depositions

Having, then, been thus treated by Phaenippus, men of the jury, I reported to the generals the following inventory of my property. Read.Inventory

42.17How else, then, in the name of the gods and divinities, men of the jury, should one prove that Phaenippus is liable under the laws which have been read, than precisely in the way in which I am proving it? Yet Phaenippus has none the less brought a counter-charge against me that I am not rendering a just inventory of my property; so easy is it for men of his stamp to make false statements before you; and he complains of the oath which I took before filing the inventory, asserting that I undertook to report all the rest of my property except that in the mining-works;—as if to swear according to law were a matter for complaint! 42.18But you know the law, men of the jury, for you enacted it, that which expressly makes this provision, that those tendering exchanges to one another, when they under oath report their inventories, shall swear also the following oath: “I will give a true and honest inventory of my property except that in the silver mines, all of which the laws have made exempt from taxes.” 42.19But, rather, read the law itself. Yet, stop a moment, please. For I made this offer before to Phaenippus, and now again, men of the jury, I tender it freely:—I will surrender to him all my property including that in the mining works, if he will hand over to me the farm alone free from all encumbrances as it was when I first went to it with witnesses, and will replace as they were before the grain and wine and the other things which he has carried away from the buildings after removing the seals from the doors. 42.20Why, pray, do you keep on talking and crying out? From my silver mines, Phaenippus, I formerly by my own bodily toil and labor reaped a large profit. I confess it. But now I have lost all but a small portion of my gains. You, on the contrary, since you sell from your farm your barley at a price of eighteen drachmae and your wine at a price of twelve, are a rich man, naturally, for you make more than a thousand medimni note of grain and above eight hundred measures note of wine. 42.21Ought I, then, to continue in the same class, when the same fortune does not attend me now as formerly? Do not demand that; it would not be just. No; do you also take your turn and share for a little while in the class that performs public services, since those engaged in mining have suffered reverses while you farmers are prospering beyond what is your due. For a considerable time you have enjoyed the income of two estates, that of your natural father, Callippus, and that of him who adopted you, Philostratus, the orator, and you have never done anything for your fellow-citizens here. note 42.22Yet my father left to each of us, my brother and myself, an estate of forty-five minae merely, on which it is not easy to live, while your fathers were possessed of such wealth that each of them set up a tripod in honor of choregic victories at the Dionysia. And I do not begrudge them this, for it is the duty of the wealthy to render service to the state. Do you, therefore, show that you have expended one single copper coin on the state—you, who have inherited two estates which performed public services. 42.23But you cannot show it, for you have learned secrecy and evasion and how to do everything to escape rendering service to your fellow-citizens here. But I will show that I have expended large sums—I, who inherited that slender estate from my father.

Now read me first that law which declares that no mining property shall be included in the inventory, and the challenge and then the depositions proving that this fellow Phaenippus has inherited two estates that performed public services.Law

42.24There is one thing only, men of the jury, in which anyone could show that this man Phaenippus has been ambitious of honor from you: he is an able and ambitious breeder of horses, note being young and rich and vigorous. What is a convincing proof of this? He has given up riding on horseback, has sold his war horse, and in his place has bought himself a chariot—he, at his age!—that he may not have to travel on foot; such is the luxury that fills him. This chariot he has included in his inventory to me, but of the barley and wine and the rest of the farm-produce not a tenth part. 42.25He deserves then, does he not, to be let off now, seeing that he has been so public-spirited and ambitious to serve both with his property and his person? No; far from it. For it is the duty of honest jurymen to give respite to those citizens, when they have need of such help, who, when prosperous, willingly perform public services and remain in the list of the Three Hundred; but as to those who consider as lost whatever money they spend upon the state, you should bring them into the list of those who make advance contributions, and not suffer them to run away from their duty.

Read first the deposition, and then his declaration.Deposition

42.26Enough of that. Yet Phaenippus, men of the jury, opened the rooms that had been sealed and carried off much that was within, as the witnesses have testified to you, leaving behind just what he pleased; and one month after the law prescribes gave me the declaration regarding his property. Nevertheless, enough of that.

Read from the words, “Upon this property I owe the following debts.”Declaration

42.27Stop reading. This Aristonoê, men of the jury, is the daughter of Philostratus and mother of Phaenippus. He declares that a debt is owing to her for her marriage portion, but of this the laws make him the owner. note His statement is therefore false, and he does not make a just declaration. For why is it that I, Phaenippus, while my mother—who brought with her a marriage portion—is living and dwelling in my house, do not declare the marriage portion as a debt due to her, and thus try to lead the jurymen astray, but permit her to share in all that I have, alike whether it shall prove to be the estate of Phaenippus or my own? Because the laws so command, my good Sir. But all that you do is contrary to the laws. Read on.Declaration

42.28You hear, men of the jury. He declares that he owes upon the land to Pamphilus and Pheidoleus of Rhamnus note jointly a talent, and to Aeantides of Phlyus note four thousand drachmae, and to Aristomenes of Anagyrus note fourteen minae. Why, then, Phaenippus, when I asked you in the presence of witnesses whether you owed anything on your farm, and bade you show me the pillar of mortgage, if one were set up anywhere upon it, and and adjured you not to have any fictitious creditors to be brought to light later on to my prejudice—why, pray, did you not reveal any of these debts then? And why, when you have been a month late in giving me your declaration, though the law bids that it be given within three days, have creditors and debts for more than three talents now come on the scene? 42.29Because, my good Sir, it is merely this that you are contriving, that you may now have private debts equal in amount to the public debt which I have incurred to the state. But that your statement is false, Phaenippus, and that you have come before these gentlemen as a perjured man, I shall straightway prove beyond all question.

Please, clerk, take the deposition of Aeantides and Theoteles to whom this fellow has declared that he owes four thousand drachmae. His declaration is false, and he long ago paid the debt, not willingly, but after a judgement had been secured against him. Read.Deposition

42.30Well, then, men of the jury, when a man has made out a declaration that is so manifestly false in all points and has shown no regard for the laws which define the time within which the declaration must be made out, or to the private agreements which we hold to be equally binding; when besides this he has opened the seals of the buildings and carried off the grain and wine from within, and furthermore has after the offer to exchange sold the cut timber to the value of more than thirty minae; and when (worst of all) he has concocted false debts for the purpose of the exchange—will you decide by your votes that this man has made a just declaration? Surely not, men of the jury. 42.31For where is one to turn if he fails of a verdict from you, when men of wealth who have never been of any service to you, who produce large quantities of grain and wine and dispose of this at three times its former price, have an advantage in your courts? Let not this happen now, I beg of you; but, as you have given public aid to all those engaged in mining, so now give aid to me as a private citizen. 42.32For, if I had been your slave and not a citizen, seeing my industry and my goodwill toward you, you would have given me respite from my expenditures and would have turned to one of the rest who was running away from his duty. In the same manner, when I shall have paid the three talents for which I became liable to you, and shall have recovered my losses, you will relieve some other person among those in distress and turn to me. But for the present discharge me, men of the jury, I beg of you all; and since I have spoken only what is just, I implore you to come to my aid, and not to suffer me to be harried by these men.

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