Demosthenes, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Dem.].
<<Dem. 18 Dem. 19 (Greek) >>Dem. 20

On the Embassy

19.1Citizens of Athens, I do not doubt that you are all pretty well aware that this trial has been the center of keen partisanship and active canvassing, for you saw the people who were accosting and annoying you just now at the casting of lots. note But I have to make a request which ought to be granted without asking, that you will all give less weight to private entreaty or personal influence than to the spirit of justice and to the oath which you severally swore when you entered that box. You will reflect that justice and the oath concern yourselves and the commonwealth, whereas the importunity and party spirit of advocates serve the end of those private ambitions which you are convened by the laws to thwart, not to encourage for the advantage of evil-doers.

19.2Now I observe that men who enter public life with honest intentions, even after they have submitted to scrutiny, do still acknowledge a perpetual responsibility. But Aeschines, the defendant, reverses this practice. Before coming into court to justify his proceedings, he has put out of the way one of the men who called him to account, and the others he is constantly threatening. So he is trying to introduce into politics a most dangerous and deplorable practice; for if a man who has undertaken and administered any public function can get rid of accusers not by his honesty but by the fear he inspires, the people will soon lose all control of public affairs.

19.3While I have entire confidence that I shall prove that this man is guilty of serious delinquencies, and that he deserves the most severe punishment, yet, in spite of that assurance, I have a misgiving, which I will explain to you quite frankly. It appears to me, men of Athens, that the trials which come before you are affected quite as much by the conditions of the hour as by the facts; and I am afraid that the long lapse of time since the embassy has inclined you to forget or to acquiesce in these iniquities. 19.4I will, then, suggest a method by which you may nevertheless reach a just conclusion and give a righteous verdict today. By consideration among yourselves, gentlemen, you should form a true conception of what should be included in the vindication which the state requires of any ambassador. He is responsible then, in the first place, for the reports he has made; secondly, for the advice he has offered; thirdly, for his observance of your instructions; then there is the question of times and opportunities; and, to crown all, whether he has done his business corruptly or with integrity. 19.5Why are these the topics of inquiry? Your conclusions are derived from the ambassador's reports: you reach a right decision if they are true, a wrong decision if they are false. The advice of ambassadors you regard as the more trustworthy because it is given by men who presumably understand their own mission. 19.6No ambassador, then, ought ever to be convicted of defective or mischievous counsels. Thirdly, when he has been expressly instructed what to say and what to do by resolution of the Assembly, it is his duty to conduct his business according to such instructions. Very well; but how does the question of time arise? Because, men of Athens, in important transactions opportunities are often short-lived: once willfully surrendered and betrayed to the enemy, they cannot be recovered, do what you will. 19.7Next, as for the question of bribery or no bribery, of course you are agreed that it is a scandalous and abominable offence to accept money for acts injurious to the commonwealth. The author of the statute, however, made no such distinction; he forbade the acceptance of rewards absolutely, holding, as I suppose, that the man who takes them and is thereby corrupted can no longer be trusted by the state as a judge of sound policy. 19.8If, then, I can establish by clear proofs that the reports of the defendant, Aeschines, were entirely untruthful, and that he prevented the Assembly from hearing the truth from me; that his counsels were totally opposed to your true interests; that he disobeyed all your instructions when on embassy; that by his waste of time many important opportunities were lost to the city; and finally that for all these delinquencies he, as well as Philocrates, accepted presents and rewards; pronounce him guilty and exact a penalty adequate to his crimes. But if I fail to prove all these five charges, or any one of them, then call me an impostor, and acquit him.

19.9I have many further charges to add, such as must excite universal abhorrence; but, by way of preface, I will first remind you of what doubtless most of you remember,—of the party with which Aeschines at first ranged himself in politics, and of the speeches which he thought fit to make in opposition to Philip. In this way I hope to satisfy you that his early acts and speeches supply abundant proof of his present corruption. 19.10Aeschines, then, was the first man in Athens, as he claimed at the time in a speech, to perceive that Philip had designs against Greece, and was corrupting some of the magnates of Arcadia. It was he who, with Ischander, son of Neoptolemus, as his understudy, addressed the Council, and addressed the Assembly, on this subject, and persuaded them to send ambassadors to all the Greek states to convene a conference at Athens for the consideration of war with Philip. 19.11It was he who afterwards, on his return from Arcadia, gave a report of the fine long orations which he said he had delivered as your spokesman before the Ten Thousand at Megalopolis in reply to Philip's champion Hieronymus, and he made a long story of the enormous harm which corrupt statesmen in the pay of Philip were doing not only to their own countries but to the whole of Greece. 19.12So on the strength of his policy at that time, and of the sample he had exhibited of his conduct, he was actually appointed as one of the ambassadors when you were induced by Aristodemus, Neoptolemus, Ctesiphon and others, who had brought entirely misleading reports from Macedonia, to send an embassy to negotiate peace with Philip. He was chosen, not as one who would make traffic of your interests, not as one who had any confidence in Philip, but as one of the party that was to keep an eye on the rest, for in view of his early speeches, and of his known hostility to Philip, it was natural that you should all have such an opinion of the man. 19.13Then he came to me and proposed that we should act together on the embassy, being especially urgent that we should jointly keep watch upon that infamous scoundrel Philocrates. And until after our return from the first embassy I at least, men of Athens, had no suspicion that he was corrupt and had already sold himself. For apart from the speeches which, as I said, he had made on former occasions, he rose at the first of the two assemblies at which you discussed terms of peace, and began with an exordium which I believe I can repeat to you in the very words he used: 19.14“If Philocrates, men of Athens, had given many days to studying how best he could thwart the peace, I do not think he could have found a better way than the present proposal. Such a peace as this I for one will never advise the city to make, so long as a single Athenian remains alive; yet I do say that we ought to make peace.” In such terms he spoke, concisely and with moderation. 19.15And then on the next day, when the peace was to be ratified, when I supported the resolutions of our allies, and did what I could to secure fair and equitable terms, and when the people sympathized with my purpose and refused to hear a word from the contemptible Philocrates, up jumped the very man who had made the speech I have quoted in the head of all of you only the day before, and addressed you in support of Philocrates, 19.16using language for which, as Heaven is my witness, he deserves to die many times over. He told you that you ought to forget the achievements of your forefathers; that you should not tolerate all that talk about old trophies and sea-fights; and that he would draft and enact a law forbidding aid to any Greeks who had not previously brought aid to you. This speech the shameless reprobate found courage to make while the ambassadors, whom you summoned from the Greek cities at his own suggestion, before he had sold himself, were standing at his elbow and listening to what he said.

19.17Well, you appointed him a second time, men of Athens, as an envoy to receive the oath of ratification; and I shall shortly have to tell you how he again wasted time, mishandled all the affairs of the commonwealth, and repeatedly fell out with me in regard to them when I tried to stand in his way. However, by reason of the persistent misconduct of these men, and their disobedience to instructions, we came back from the embassy for the oaths—that is the embassy which is the subject of the present scrutiny—without having realized any single one, great or small, of the advantages which were promised or expected when you approved the peace,—with nothing but deception and disappointment. Then we repaired to the Council. There are many eye-witnesses of what I am about to relate, for the Council-house was thronged with spectators. 19.18I came forward and reported the whole truth to the Council. I denounced these men, and told the whole story, point by point, beginning with those earlier hopes created by the reports of Ctesiphon and Aristodemus, going on to the more recent orations of Aeschines at the approval of the peace, and showing to what straits they had reduced the city. There remained the question of the Phocians and Thermopylae, and we must not—such was my advice—we must not repeat our experience, and throw them overboard, and so, in reliance upon a succession of idle hopes and assurances, allow ourselves to fall into the last extremity of disaster. I convinced the Council; 19.19but when the Assembly met, and we had to address the whole body of citizens, Aeschines took the first turn of all of us. And here I most earnestly entreat you to verify my account by your own recollections; for I am now relating transactions which ultimately brought your affairs to complete and final ruin. He utterly ignored the duty of giving a report of the doings of the embassy. He never mentioned the speeches made to the Council, or told you whether he disputed the truth of my statement. But he made such a fine speech, so full of big promises, that he carried you all away with him. 19.20For he declared that he had completely converted Philip to the interests of Athens in respect of the Amphictyonic question and of everything else. He went through a long diatribe against the Thebans, which he said he had addressed to Philip himself, recapitulating the main points. He offered you a calculation that, thanks to his diplomacy, without leaving your homes, without any campaigning or worry, within two or three days you would hear the news of the beleaguerment of Thebes, independently of the rest of Boeotia, 19.21of the repopulation of Thespiae and Plataea, and of the recovery of Apollo's treasure, not from the Phocians, but from the Thebans, who had planned the seizure of the temple. It was himself, he added, who had instructed Philip that those who contrived the project were quite as sacrilegious as the men by whose hands it was executed; and therefore the Thebans had set a price on his head! 19.22He had even heard some Euboeans, who were thoroughly frightened by the friendship that had been cemented between Philip and Athens, utter these very words: “Gentlemen of the Embassy, we know all about the terms on which you have concluded peace with Philip, and we are aware that you have given up Amphipolis to him, and that he has agreed to hand over Euboea to you.” He had also, he said, settled another matter, but he thought it better not to mention it just yet—some of his colleagues were already so jealous of him. This was a veiled allusion to Oropus. 19.23And so, in all the glory of these disclosures, with everybody regarding him as a grand speaker and a marvellous man, he descended from the tribune in his most majestic manner. Then I rose, and said that the whole story was news to me. I attempted to repeat the statement I had made to the Council; but Aeschines and Philocrates posted themselves one on either side of me—shouting, interrupting, and finally jeering. You were all laughing; you would not listen to me, and you did not want to believe anything except what Aeschines had reported. 19.24And I must say that your feeling was quite natural. For how could anyone, filled with anticipation of those wonderful benefits, be patient of a speaker who told you that you would never get them, and even denounced the conduct of the benefactors? At the moment, I imagine, everything else was thrown into the shade by the hopes and expectations that were suggested to you; contradiction seemed to be mere annoyance and malice; and these great achievements were thought amazingly fine and most beneficial to the commonwealth.

19.25Why have I begun by reviving these memories and quoting those old speeches? My first and chief object, men of Athens, is that, when you hear me relate some performance that seems to you atrocious and incredible, no one may ask in surprise: “Then why did you not speak out and give us this information instantly?” 19.26but that, by recalling the assurances by which on every occasion these men stopped others from getting your attention, and that magnificent promise of Aeschines, you may realize that you have to thank him for this crowning injury,—that you were precluded from learning the truth promptly and at the proper time, being cheated by hopes and impostures and vain assurances. 19.27That, I say, is my first and main purpose in this narration. What is my second purpose? It is one of no less importance. I want you to remind yourselves of that policy of precaution and distrust of Philip which this man deliberately chose when he was still unbribed, and to compare the confidence and friendship that afterwards sprang up so suddenly; 19.28and then, if the fair reports he laid before you have really proved true, and if all the results have been fortunate, to admit the view that that friendship was formed for truth's sake and in the best interests of the city; but, if the sequel has given the lie to all his predictions, if it has involved the city in much dishonor and in grievous perils, then be assured that his own sordid greed has prompted this change of front, because he has sold the truth for a bribe.

19.29Having allowed myself to refer to those old speeches, I wish to relate first of all how these men took the business of the Phocians out of your hands. Gentlemen of the jury, I hope that none of you will regard my charges and accusations as too big for the calibre of the defendant, measuring him against the magnitude of the transactions. Reflect rather that, if any man soever, placed by you in the position he filled, and trusted to deal with the occasions that arose, had taken hire, and had sought to deceive and mislead you as Aeschines did, he would have brought about exactly the same disaster as Aeschines. 19.30For though you often employ insignificant men for public business, it does not follow that those affairs are insignificant for which the rest of the world acknowledges our competence. Assuredly not. Again, it was Philip, of course, who really destroyed the Phocians; but these men co-operated. The question on which you are to fix your minds is whether they purposely wasted and threw away any chances that came to the embassy of saving the Phocians. I do not suggest that Aeschines destroyed the Phocians all by himself. How could he?

19.31Give me the resolution which the Council adopted on my report, and the evidence of the member who moved it on that occasion. These documents will satisfy you that I did not hold my peace then, to run away from my actions now,—for I was laying my complaint, and trying to forecast results, at the first opportunity; and also that the Council, not being debarred from hearing the truth from me, did not give these men either a vote of thanks, or an invitation to the public dinner in the Town Hall. We are told that these compliments had never before been withheld from any ambassadors since the foundation of Athens—not even from Timagoras, note whom the Assembly condemned to death. These men, however, had to go without them. 19.32Read first the deposition, and then the resolution, to the jury.Deposition

Here is no commendation, no invitation from the Council to the ambassadors to dine in the Town Hall. If Aeschines says that such a thing exists, let him produce and exhibit it, and I will sit down. But no; there is none. Now, if all the envoys acted alike, the Council was right in thanking nobody,—for we had all in very truth behaved scandalously indeed. But if some acted rightly and others wrongly, the well-conducted, it would seem, must submit to a discourtesy provoked by those who had played the rogue. 19.33How then can you find an easy answer to the question, Who was the rogue? Consult your own recollections, and mark who denounced the transactions at the outset. For it is clear that, if the evil-doer could hold his peace, escape immediate detection, and never afterwards allow himself to be called to account, that was good enough for him; whereas the man with a good conscience bethought himself that it would be very hard if by keeping silence he should become a reputed accomplice in scandalous and wicked actions. Well then, it was I who denounced these men from the outset, and none of them denounced me.

19.34Well, the Council adopted this resolution. When the Assembly met, Philip was already at Thermopylae. For that is the beginning of their misdeeds; they had surrendered control to Philip and then,—although the right course for you was, first to hear the facts, next to decide, and finally to carry out your decision,—you heard nothing until he was already on the spot, and it was no easy matter to advise you what to do. 19.35Further, no one read the resolution to the Assembly, and the people never heard it. However, Aeschines rose and delivered that oration which I have already described, about the wonderful advantages he had induced Philip to grant to you, and the price set on his head by the Thebans in consequence; and so, although you were at first alarmed at Philip's approach, and indignant that the ambassadors had given you no warning, you became as mild as lambs, expecting to get all that you desired, and refused to hear a word from me or anyone else. 19.36Then the letter from Philip was read. It had been composed by Aeschines without our knowledge, and was in fact a downright, explicit written defence of the errors these men had committed. For it alleges that Philip stopped them when they wanted to visit the towns and receive the oaths, and that he detained them in order that they might help him to reconcile the Halians with the Pharsalians; Philip takes on his own shoulders the burden of all their delinquencies: 19.37but of the Phocians and the Thespians, and of all the promises reported to you by Aeschines,—not a word! The job was not managed in this fashion by mere accident. For derelictions of duty, for which they ought to have been brought to justice, and for their failure to do their work according to your instructions, Philip takes all the blame. He tells you it was his fault,—and of course you were never likely to have any opportunity of punishing him! 19.38On the other hand, all the matters in which he was trying to cheat you and overreach you were left for Aeschines to report by word of mouth, so that you might never have it in your power to incriminate Philip or throw any blame on him, as the assertions were not to be found in the letter or in any other direct communication of his. Read to the jury the letter written by Aeschines and dispatched by Philip. You will observe that it agrees exactly with my description. Read.Letter

19.39You hear the letter, men of Athens,—such a nice, courteous letter! But about the Phocians, about the Thebans, about everything that Aeschines reported—not a scrape of the pen! There is nothing in it that is honest, as you shall see at once. For he tells you that he detained them that they might help him to reconcile the Halians. Well, the reconciliation of the Halians consisted in their being cast out of their homes, and their country devastated. As for the prisoners, this man, who wanted to know what he could do to oblige you, declares that the idea of getting them liberated never entered his head. 19.40You know that evidence has already been given before the Assembly,—and that evidence shall now be repeated,—that I had started with a talent in my pocket for their ransom; and therefore, to rob me of a patriotic act, Aeschines persuaded Philip to write these words. Now for the most important point. The man who, in the first letter, which we brought home, wrote these words: “I would write more explicitly of the benefits I intend to confer on you, if I were certain that the alliance will be made,”—this man, now that the alliance has been made, says that he does not know how he can gratify you. Not know the very thing he promised! Why, he must have known it, unless he was hoodwinking us throughout. To prove, however, that he did so write at that time, please take and read the actual passage from the first letter,—beginning here. Read.Excerpt from the letter

19.41You see that, before he got his peace, he covenanted that, if you should make alliance with him as well, he would specify in writing the great benefits that he would confer on Athens. But now that both peace and alliance are concluded, he says that he does not know what he can do to oblige you, but that, if you will tell him, he will do anything “that is consistent with his own honor and reputation”—taking refuge in this saving clause, and leaving himself a loophole in case you make any proposal or are induced to ask any favor.

19.42All this chicanery, and much besides, might have been instantly detected, and you might have been informed and spared the sacrifice of your interests, if you had not been cheated out of the truth by that story of Thespiae and Plataea and the imminent punishment of the Thebans. Yet if Philip's promises were merely for show, and if the city was to be deluded, it was right to mention them; if, on the other hand, they were really to be fulfilled, it was best to say nothing about them. For if the project was so far matured that the Thebans could gain nothing by hearing of it, why has it not been executed? But if it has been thwarted because they had news of it in time, who let the secret out? 19.43Aeschines? Oh no; it was never meant to come off, and he neither wanted it nor expected it; let him be quit of the imputation of blabbing! The truth is that his purpose required that you should be hoodwinked by that talk; that you should refuse to hear the truth from me and should stay at home; and that they should triumphantly carry a decree ensuring the destruction of the Phocians. That is why this tissue of lies was woven; that is why it was made the theme of a popular harangue.

19.44Now when I heard him making all these fine promises, and knew to a certainty that he was lying,—but let me tell you why I knew. First, because, when Philip was on the point of swearing the oath of ratification, the Phocians were expressly excluded from the treaty by these men and that exclusion should have been passed over in silence, if the Phocians were to be delivered; note and secondly because none of the ambassadors from Philip, nor Philip's own letter, but only Aeschines, mentioned the promises. 19.45So drawing my conclusions, I rose and presented myself, and made an attempt to reply. When you refused me a hearing, I held my peace, except that I protested—and I entreat that you will recall this—that I had no knowledge of the promises, nothing to do with them, and, I added, no faith in them. At the words “no faith in them,” you became exasperated; and I proceeded: “If any of these promises come true, men of Athens, be sure you give thanks and honors and decorations to these gentlemen; but not to me. If, however, things turn out otherwise, see that it is on them that you vent your wrath. I stand aside.” 19.46“Not now,” said Aeschines, interrupting me, “do not stand aside now; only do not put in your claim then.” “Agreed;” said I, “if I do, I shall be in the wrong.” Then Philocrates rose, and said, in a very supercilious manner: “No wonder Demosthenes and I disagree, men of Athens. He drinks water; I drink wine.” And then you all laughed.

19.47Now look at the decree, which Philocrates afterwards drafted and handed to the clerk. It sounds well enough to the ear; but if you will take into account the occasion on which it was proposed, and the promises which Aeschines was making at the time, it will be clear that they were simply handing over the Phocians to Philip and the Thebans—I might almost say, with shackles on their wrists. Read the decree.Decree

19.48You observe, men of Athens, how full the decree is of compliments and fine phrases; that it provides that the peace, and also the alliance, made with Philip shall be extended to his posterity; and that thanks are given to Philip for his promise of just dealings. But it was not Philip who had made any promises; so far from promising he says that he does not know what to do to oblige you. 19.49It was Aeschines who was Philip's spokesman and gave undertakings. Then Philocrates, taking advantage of your ready acceptance of Aeschines' words, inserts in the decree a clause providing that, if the Phocians should not do what was right and give up the temple to the Amphictyonic Council, the Athenian people should send a force to coerce the recalcitrants. 19.50And so, men of Athens, as you stayed at home instead of taking the field, as the Lacedaemonians had discerned Philip's treachery and withdrawn, and as no members of the Council were on the spot except the Thessalians and the Thebans, he really has proposed, with the utmost civility, to hand the temple over to them. The wording is, “to the Amphictyons;” but what Amphictyons? There were none there except Thessalians and Thebans. He makes no such proposal as that the Amphictyonic Council should be convened, or that operations should be suspended until it meets, or that Proxenus should march against the Phocians, or that the Athenians should take the field. 19.51Philip, however, did send you two letters of summons. Yes, but not with the intention that you should take the field. That is certain; otherwise he would not have destroyed your opportunity of going out before he summoned you, nor would he have detained me when I wanted to sail home, nor ordered Aeschines to make statements calculated to deter you from going out. No, his object was that you, in the belief that he would do all that you wanted, should make no decree prejudicial to him, and the Phocians might not stand their ground and hold out in reliance upon hopes afforded by you, but might make unconditional surrender to him in sheer desperation. Read Philip's actual letters.Letters

19.52These letters, then, do summon you,—yes, indeed, at last! note But if there had been any honesty in the letters, it was clearly the duty of these men to exhort you to take the field, and to propose that Proxenus, whom they knew to be in those parts, should at once march to the aid of Philip. Their actual policy was very different. Naturally; for they did not apply their minds to the phrasing of the letter; they were in the secret of the intention with which it was written, and with that intention they concurred and cooperated.

19.53When therefore the Phocians learned your policy from the proceedings of the Assembly, received the decree of Philocrates, and were informed of the report and promises of Aeschines, their ruin was complete. Just consider. There were some men in Phocis, sensible men, who had no confidence in Philip. They were induced to trust him. Why? Because they conceived that, though Philip had deceived them ten times over, he would never have dared to deceive Athenians and envoys of the Athenian people, that the report of Aeschines was true, and that destruction had overtaken not themselves but the Thebans. 19.54There were others who were ready at all hazards to hold out to the end; but even they were mollified by the persuasion that Philip was their friend, and that, if they refused compliance, you, from whom they were expecting succor, would turn against them. A third party supposed that you regretted your treaty of peace with Philip; but they were now informed that you had actually decreed an extension of the treaty to Philip's descendants, and so they abandoned all hope of your assistance. And that is why these men packed all those provisions into one decree. 19.55In my judgement they could not have done you a more grievous injury. To turn their treaty of peace with a mortal man, a mere potentate of occasion, into a covenant of immortal ignominy for the commonwealth; to strip their city of all she had, even of the largess of her good fortune; in the veriest extravagance of malice to heap injuries not only on the Athenians of today but upon all who shall hereafter be Athenians,—is not that an appalling iniquity? 19.56Never would you have consented to add to the treaty by afterthought the words “and to his posterity,” but for your confidence in the promises alleged by Aeschines. In those promises the Phocians confided,—and perished! They surrendered themselves to Philip; of their own accord they put their cities at his mercy; and their treatment has exactly contradicted all the assurances of Aeschines.

19.57To give you the clearest proof that that destruction was effected in this way by the contrivance of these men, I will submit a reckoning of the dates of the several transactions. If any of the defendants challenges my calculation, let him stand up and speak in the time note allotted to me. Now the treaty was made on the nineteenth of Elaphebolion, and we were abroad receiving the oaths for three entire months. During the whole of that time the Phocians were safe. 19.58We returned from the oath-taking embassy on the thirteenth of Scirophorion, when Philip was already at Thermopylae and making promises to the Phocians which they were not disposed to believe. The proof of that is that otherwise they would not have resorted to you. Then the Assembly, at which these men brought the whole business to ruin with their lies and cajolery, was held on the sixteenth of Scirophorion. 19.59Now I calculate that the news from Athens reached the Phocians on the fourth day after that date, for there were Phocian envoys in the city, and they were interested in knowing what report these men would submit and what decree you would adopt. Therefore the twentieth was the day on which we reckon that the Phocians received the news, that is, the fourth day after the sixteenth. Then followed the twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third; and on the twenty-third the convention was made, and the fortunes of Phocis perished and came to an end. 19.60How, then, is this date proved? On the twenty-seventh, when you were holding an assembly at Peiraeus to discuss dockyard business, Dercylus arrived from Chalcis with the intelligence that Philip had put the whole affair into the hands of the Thebans, and he computed that it was then the fourth day after the convention. Twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven: that makes it the fourth day. Therefore these dates, together with their own reports and decrees, all convict these men of having co-operated with Philip, and they share with him the guilt of the destruction of the Phocians. 19.61Again, the consideration that not a city of the Phocians was taken forcibly, whether by blockade or assault, and yet that they were all brought to utter ruin under the convention, is a convincing proof that they perished because they had been persuaded through these men that Philip would deliver them; for about his character they had no illusions. Now give me our treaty with the Phocians, and the Amphictyonic decrees, under which they dismantled their defences. These documents will show you on what footing you stood with them, and what treatment they have received by the fault of these wicked men. Read.Alliance of the Phocians and the Athenians

19.62These are the relations that subsisted between you and them—friendship, alliance, succor. Now hear what they have suffered through the man who thwarted the succor you owed them. Read.Convention between Philip and the Phocians

You hear it, men of Athens. A convention between Philip and the Phocians, it says, not between the Thebans and the Phocians, or the Thessalians and the Phocians, or the Locrians, or any other of the nationalities then present. Again, it says that the Phocians are to surrender their cities to Philip, not to the Thebans, or the Thessalians, or any other people. 19.63Why? Because you had been assured by Aeschines that Philip had come to deliver the Phocians. In Aeschines they had confidence; to Aeschines they looked for aid; with Aeschines they were making their peace. Read the other documents. Now you shall see to what sufferings they were brought by that confidence. Does the story agree with, does it in any way resemble, those reports of Aeschines? Read.Decrees of the Amphictyonic Council

19.64Men of Athens, nothing more awful or more momentous has befallen in Greece within living memory, nor, as I believe, in all the history of the past. Yet through the agency of these men all these great and terrible transactions have been dominated by a single individual, though the city of Athens is still in being, the city whose ancestral prerogative it was to stand forth as the champion of the Hellenic race, and declare that such things shall not be. In what fashion these unhappy Phocians have perished you may learn, not from the decrees alone, 19.65but from the deeds that have been wrought—a spectacle, men of Athens, to move us to terror and pity indeed! Not long ago, when we were travelling to Delphi, necessity compelled us to look upon that scene—homesteads levelled with the ground, cities stripped of their defensive walls, a countryside all emptied of its young men; only women, a few little children, and old men stricken with misery. No man could find words adequate to the woes that exist in that country today. And yet these are the people—you take the words out of my mouth—these are the people who in the day of our trial note openly cast their vote against the Thebans, when the question was the enslavement of us all! 19.66Then what vote, what judgement, men of Athens, do you think that our forefathers would give, if they could recover consciousness, at the trial of the men who devised the destruction of the Phocians? I conceive that they would account even those who should stone them to death with their own hands to be free of all bloodguiltiness. For is it not an ignominy—or use a stronger word if such there be—that, by the fault of these men, the people who saved us at that crisis, and gave for us the verdict of deliverance, have received evil in requital of good, and have been abandoned to the endurance of afflictions such as no people of the Greeks has ever known? And who is the author of those wrongs? Who is the contriver of that deception? Who but Aeschines?

19.67Men of Athens, Philip has many claims to congratulation on his good fortune, but beyond them all he might well be especially congratulated for one thing, in which I solemnly declare that I can name no man of our time who has been equally fortunate. Such achievements as the capture of great cities and the subjugation of a vast territory are, I suppose, enviable, as they are undoubtedly imposing; yet we could mention many other men who have done the like. 19.68But the stroke of good fortune I have in mind is peculiar to him and has befallen no other man. What is it? It is that, when he needed scoundrels for his purposes, he found bigger scoundrels than he wanted. For surely that is a fair description of the men who deceived you, hiring themselves out for lies which Philip, in spite of the great interests at issue, did not dare to tell on his own account, which he never wrote in any letter or put into the mouth of ambassadors of his own. 19.69Antipater and Parmenio, though they were in the service of a hard taskmaster, and though they were not likely to fall in with you again, nevertheless claimed exemption from serving as the agents of your beguilement; and yet citizens of Athens, the appointed envoys of the freest of all cities, men who must needs encounter you and look you in the face, who must live with you all the rest of their life, who would have to render you a strict account of their actions, accepted a commission to beguile you! Could any men be more wicked or more lost to all sense of shame?

19.70To show you that this man is already accursed by you, and that religion and piety forbid you to acquit one who has been guilty of such falsehoods,—recite the curse. note Take and read it from the statute: here it is.Prayer

This imprecation, men of Athens, is pronounced, as the law directs, by the marshal on your behalf at every meeting of the Assembly, and again before the Council at all their sessions. The defendant cannot say that he is not familiar with it, for, when acting as clerk to the Assembly and as an officer of the Council, he used to dictate the statute to the marshal. 19.71Would you not have acted absurdly and preposterously if today, when the power is in your own hands, you should preclude yourselves from doing what you enjoin, or rather require, the gods to do on your behalf; if you should yourselves release a man whom you have implored them to extirpate along with his household and his kindred? Never! Leave the undetected sinner to the justice of the gods; but about the sinner whom you have caught yourselves, lay no further injunctions on them.

19.72I am informed that he has become so proficient in effrontery and hardihood that he will disavow all his acts—his reports, his promises, his deceptions of the city—as though he were not on trial before a jury that knows the whole truth, and that he will denounce first the Lacedaemonians,then the Phocians, and then Hegesippus. That is buffoonery, nay, barefaced impudence. 19.73Whatever he may say just now about the Phocians or the Lacedaemonians or Hegesippus,—that they did not receive Proxenus, that they are irreligious, that they are—anything he can say to their disadvantage,—surely all that was finished and done with before the return of the envoys to Athens, and therefore could not have stood in the way of the deliverance of the Phocians. Who says so? Why, Aeschines here, the defendant himself. 19.74For he did not allege in his report that, but for the Lacedaemonians, but for their refusal to receive Proxenus, but for Hegesippus, but for this or that, the Phocians would have been delivered. He passed over all that, and declared explicitly that before his return he had persuaded Philip to deliver the Phocians, to repopulate Boeotia, and to put the whole business into your hands; that it would all be accomplished within two or three days, and that in revenge the Thebans had set a price upon his head. 19.75Do not, then, listen to anything that had been done by Lacedaemonians or Phocians before he made his report; do not let him talk about it; do not permit him to denounce the Phocians and call them rascals. You saved the Lacedaemonians in old time, and those accursed Euboeans lately, and many other peoples, not because they were virtuous, but because their safety profited Athens, as that of the Phocians would today. What transgression did the Phocians or the Lacedaemonians or you or anyone else commit after Aeschines' speech, that the promises made by him to you then should not be fulfilled? 19.76Ask him that question. He can point to none. For he made his lying report, you believed it, the Phocians heard of it, surrendered, and perished, all within a period of five days only. Hence it is clearly evident that the ruin of the Phocians was nothing but a concoction of deceit and artifice. For during the time when Philip was unable to march by reason of the peace, but was already laying his plans, he sent for the Lacedaemonians, promising to do everything for them, so that the Phocians might not, through your agency, secure their help. 19.77But when he had reached Thermopylae, and when the Lacedaemonians, detecting the snare, had withdrawn, he sent Aeschines as his agent in advance for your deception, lest, when you discovered that he was acting in the interest of the Thebans, he should be involved once more in delays and fighting and waste of time with the Phocians resisting him, and you helping them. In this way he hoped to obtain complete mastery without a struggle. And so it fell out. Aeschines, then, must not escape punishment for deceiving you, merely because Philip deceived the Lacedaemonians and the Phocians. That would be unjust indeed.

19.78If as an offset to the Phocians and Thermopylae and all our other losses he tells you that the city still retains the Chersonese, I adjure you not to accept that excuse. In addition to the wrongs he has done you by his embassy, you must not suffer him by his defence also to fasten upon the city the reproach that, while stealthily securing some of your own possessions, you made sacrifice of the safety of your allies. You did no such thing. Peace was concluded; the Chersonese was secure; and then for the four ensuing months the Phocians were not imperilled, until you were deceived, and the Phocians destroyed, by this man's mendacity. 19.79Moreover, you will find that the Chersonese is in greater danger now than then. When would it have been easier to punish Philip for wrongful aggression upon that country—before he forestalled us at Thermopylae, or today? Surely far easier then! What, then, does it profit us that we still retain the Chersonese, if the man, who would have invaded it if he could, is freed from the apprehensions and perils that deterred him?

19.80I hear of another argument he will use: he will wonder why his accuser is Demosthenes and not one of the Phocians. I had better explain at once how the matter stands. The best and most respectable of the expatriated Phocians, being exiled and in distress, are living peaceably, and none of them would be willing to incur private animosity on account of the misfortunes of the nation, while those who might have done anything for a fee find that there is no one to pay it them. 19.81For I would never pay a man a farthing to stand here by my side and make an outcry about his sufferings, since truth and fact cry out loudly enough. Nay more, the commonalty of the Phocians are in such an evil and pitiable plight that there is no question with them of prosecuting at an Athenian scrutiny—only of living like slaves in mortal terror of Thebans and of Philip's mercenaries, who are billeted on them after they have been disarmed and distributed among villages. 19.82Do not allow this plea. No, Aeschines must prove either that the Phocians are not ruined, or that he did not promise that Philip would protect them. These are the questions for a scrutiny of an embassy: What has been accomplished? What did you report? If the truth,—go in peace; if falsehood,—take your punishment. What matter if the Phocians are not in court? You have played your part in reducing them to such straits that they can neither help their friends nor repel their enemies.

19.83Moreover, apart from the discredit and infamy attached to these transactions, it is easy to show that they have involved the commonwealth in very serious perils. You all know that the prowess of the Phocians, and their control of the pass of Thermopylae, gave us security against the Thebans, and ensured that neither Philip nor the Thebans would invade either the Peloponnesus, or Euboea, or Attica. 19.84But, overborne by the impostures and falsehoods of these men, you have flung away the security of position and circumstances which the city enjoyed. That security was fortified by arms and an unbroken front, by strongholds of our allies and a broad territory; and you have acquiesced in its devastation. Your former expedition to Thermopylae, made at a cost of more than two hundred talents, if you include the private expenses of the troops, has gone to waste; and so have all your hopes respecting the Thebans. 19.85But of all the many shameful services rendered by Aeschines to Philip, let me mention the one that really implied the most insolent disdain of the city and of you all. Philip was resolved from the first to do for the Thebans all that he has done, but Aeschines by the perversions of his report revealed your repugnance, and so intensified both your hostility and Philip's friendliness towards the Thebans. How could the man have treated you more arrogantly?

19.86Now take and read the decrees of Diophantus and of Callisthenes. They will show you how, when you did your duty, you made it an occasion of services of praise and thanksgiving, both at Athens and abroad; but when you had been led astray by these men, you brought your wives and children in from the country, and ordered the festival of Heracles to be held within the walls, in time of peace. It makes me wonder whether you will release unpunished a man who has deprived even the gods of immemorial observances. Read the decree.Decree

So you decreed at that time, men of Athens, agreeably to your achievements. Now read the next.Decree

19.87That is the decree you then made; and you owe it to these men. It was not with such expectations that you either made the first draft of the peace and alliance, or subsequently consented to add the words, and to his posterity, but in the hope of marvellous benefits through their agency. Yes, and since then you all remember how many times you have been agitated by news of Philip's army and auxiliaries at Porthmus or at Megara. True, he has not yet set foot in Attica; but you must not look only at that and abate your vigilance,—you must bear in mind that, thanks to these men, he has it in his power to do so whenever he chooses. You must keep that danger before your eyes, and abhor and punish the author and purveyor of that power.

19.88No doubt Aeschines will eschew a direct reply to the charges alleged, and in his desire to lead you as far as possible away from the facts, he will dilate on the great blessings that peace brings to the world and set against them the evils of war. He will eulogize peace in general terms, and that will be his defence. But all those considerations tell against him. For, if peace, which brings blessings to others, has brought so much vexation and bewilderment to you, what are we to say except that these men with their bribe-taking have perverted to evil a thing in itself excellent? What next? 19.89Perhaps he will ask: “Do you not retain, and shall you not retain through the peace, three hundred war-galleys with stores and money for them?”

In reply to that, you have to reflect that Philip also has greatly strengthened his position owing to the peace, as regards his material resources in arms, in territory, in revenues, which last have increased largely. 19.90And so indeed have ours, to some extent. But as to those other resources, of policy and of alliance,—and it is by them that all nations hold advantages for themselves or for stronger states—in our case, bartered away by these men, they have perished, or at least deteriorated: his are now formidable and far greater. It is surely unfair that, while Philip, thanks to these men, enjoys extended alliances and increased revenues, the advantages that we should in any case have gained from the peace should be reckoned by them as a set-off against those that they have sold. For our gains are not a compensation for our losses; far from it! No; what we now have would equally have been ours, and what we have not would have been added to us, but for these men.

19.91Speaking generally, men of Athens, you will doubtless agree that, however many misfortunes have befallen the city, if Aeschines had no hand in them, they ought not to be visited upon him. On the other hand, if the right policy has been taken by others, it is not fair that their success should save him. Take into account everything to which he contributed; requite him with gratitude, if he deserves it, with resentment, if his conduct provokes resentment. 19.92How then will you reach a right conclusion? Do not allow him to make a hotch-potch of the faults of the generals, the war with Philip, the blessings of peace; but consider one thing at a time. For example, we were at war with Philip. True. Does anyone blame Aeschines for that? Does anyone wish to arraign him for the events of the war? Not a single man. Then so far he is acquitted; he need not say a word. A defendant should adduce witnesses and submit proofs on the issues in dispute, not mislead the jury by addressing his defence to points of agreement. You are not to say anything about the war, Aeschines. No one blames you for that. 19.93Afterwards certain persons advised us to make peace; we took their advice; we sent ambassadors; and they brought back to Athens envoys authorized to conclude peace. Here again no one blames Aeschines. Does anyone allege that he broached the question of peace? Or that he acted wrongly when he brought the delegates here? Not a single man. Then about the mere fact that the city made peace he need not say a word; for that he is not chargeable. 19.94Suppose I am asked: “What do you mean, sir? At what point do you begin your accusations?” I begin at this point, men of Athens—at the time when you were deliberating, not whether peace should or should not be made—that question was already decided—but what sort of peace. Then he contradicted men who spoke honestly, and he supported the mover of a venal resolution, being himself bribed. Afterwards, when appointed to receive the oaths of ratification, he disobeyed every one of your instructions; he brought to ruin allies of ours whose safety had never been imperilled in time of war; and he told lies which both in quantity and quality exceed all records of human mendacity before or since. At the outset, until Philip got a hearing on the question of peace, Ctesiphon and Aristodemus undertook the first initiation of the imposture, but, when the business was ripe for action, they passed it on to Philocrates and the defendant, who took it over, and completed the enterprise of destruction. 19.95And now that he is answerable for his misdeeds, and must stand his trial, being as he is a knave, a scoundrel, and—a government clerk, note he will conduct his defence as if he were on trial for the peace, not to make his justification broader than his indictment—that would be folly—but because he can see in his own acts nothing that is good, nothing that is not criminal, while a defence of the peace, if it has no other merit, will enable him to pose as a Friend of Humanity.

19.96Speaking of the peace, I fear, men of Athens, I sadly fear that we are unconsciously enjoying it like men who borrow money at a high rate of interest. For these men have betrayed the security and guarantee of the peace—the Phocians and Thermopylae. Anyhow, we have not to thank the defendant for peace. What I am going to say is strange, but quite true. If any man is really pleased with the peace, let him be grateful to those generals whom everyone denounces. For, had they fought to your satisfaction, you would have scorned the very name of peace. 19.97Peace, then, we owe to the generals; a perilous, insecure, and precarious peace to these men and their venality. Put a stop, then, to his eloquence about the peace. Make him address himself to his own performances. Aeschines is not on trial for the peace; the peace is discredited through Aeschines. That is easily proved. Suppose that the peace had been concluded, and that you had not thereafter been deluded, and none of your allies destroyed—what human being would the peace have aggrieved? I mean, apart from the consideration that it was not a glorious peace. For that fault Aeschines is indeed partly to blame, as he supported Philocrates. However, in the case supposed, no incurable mischief would have been done. As the case stands, he is answerable for a great deal.

19.98Well, I suppose that you are satisfied that all this ruin and mischief was shamefully and wickedly perpetrated by these men. For my part, gentlemen of the jury, I am so reluctant to play the informer in these matters, or to ask you to do so, that, if we are dealing with blunders due to stupidity or simplicity or any other sort of ignorance, I acquit Aeschines, and invite you to do the like. 19.99And yet ignorance is not a fair excuse in public life; no man is required or compelled by you to handle politics. When a man puts himself forward with a persuasion of his own ability, you receive his advances, as kindly and courteous people should, with goodwill and without jealousy; you give him appointments and entrust him with public business. 19.100If he succeeds, he will be honored, and so far will gain an advantage over ordinary people; but if he fails, shall he put forward excuses and apologies? That would be unfair. For it would be very poor consolation indeed to our ruined allies, or to their wives and children and the rest, to be told that their sufferings were due to stupidity on my part, not to say on his. 19.101Nevertheless, I ask you to overlook even the scandalous and outrageous misconduct of Aeschines, if it is shown that he did all this mischief because he was simple-minded or otherwise ignorant. But if he maliciously accepted money and rewards, and if that is clearly proved from the facts of the case, put him to death if possible, or, failing that, make him a living example to other malefactors. Now consider the proof of these matters and its justice, among yourselves.

19.102Assuming that, when Aeschines made those speeches about the Phocians and Thespiae and Euboea, he had not sold himself, and was not wilfully deceiving you, we are reduced to one of two suppositions. Either he had taken an explicit promise from Philip that he would do and perform certain acts, or else, being spellbound and deluded by Philip's habitual courtesy, he honestly expected him to do them. There is no third alternative. 19.103Now, on either of those suppositions, he ought, of all men in the world, to detest Philip. Why? Because, thanks to Philip, he has fallen into the utmost danger and ignominy. He has deceived you; his reputation is shattered; he is on his trial. If he had been treated as he deserves, he would have been impeached long ago; but, in fact, by your simplicity and placability, he is only submitting to the usual scrutiny, and has chosen his own time. Is there then any man in that box who has ever heard the voice of Aeschines denouncing Philip, or has known him to press home, or even mention, his grievance against Philip? note 19.109Not a man! Every man in Athens is more ready than he is to denounce Philip, even casual people, who have suffered no personal wrong. I was expecting him, if he had not sold himself, to make this speech: “Men of Athens, deal with me as you choose. I was credulous; I was deceived; I made a blunder; I admit it. Beware of that man, men of Athens; he is double-faced, a trickster, a scoundrel. See how he has behaved to me; see how he has made me his dupe.” But no; I have never heard him talk like that, nor have you. 19.110Why? Because he was not cajoled and hoodwinked; he had sold himself, and pocketed the money, before he made his speech and betrayed us to Philip. To Philip he has been a trusty and well-beloved hireling; to you a treacherous ambassador and a treacherous citizen, worthy of threefold destruction.

19.111That is not the only proof that he was paid for all that he said. The other day there came to you some Thessalians, and envoys of Philip with them, to ask you to vote for Philip's admission to the Amphictyonic Council. Who ought to have been the very first to oppose them? Aeschines. Why ? Because Philip's acts had falsified his report. 19.112For he had told you that Philip would fortify Thespiae and Plataea, would not destroy the Phocians, and would put a stop to the aggressions of the Thebans; but Philip has made the Thebans dangerously strong, he has exterminated the Phocians, and, instead of fortifying Thespiae and Plataea, he has enslaved Orchomenus and Coronea as well. Could contradiction go further? Yet Aeschines offered no opposition; he never opened his lips or made a single objection. That was bad—but not bad enough for him. He did what no other man in all Athens did—he spoke in support of the envoys. Even that miscreant Philocrates durst not go so far as that—only this man Aeschines. When you raised a clamor, and refused to hear him, 19.113he came down from the tribune, exclaiming, in order to cut a figure before Philip's ambassadors—you cannot have forgotten it:—“Plenty of shouters, but very few fighters, when it comes to fighting!”—being himself, I suppose, such a marvellous fighter. O heavens!

19.114Here is another point: if we were unable to prove that any one man among the ambassadors received anything, or if that were not as clear as daylight, we might have had recourse to torture note or the like. But when Philocrates not only confessed his gains repeatedly in the Assembly, but paraded them before your eyes, dealing in wheat, building houses, boasting that he would go abroad even if you did not appoint him, importing timber, changing his gold openly at the bankers,—he assuredly cannot deny that he has taken money, after that admission and that display. 19.115Think then of a man, who had it in his power to be counted among the innocent, choosing to fall out with them and to be accused as an adherent of Philocrates, merely to let Philocrates make money, while he accepts only the discredit and the peril! Could any human being be so senseless, or so unlucky? No, indeed. You will find here, men of Athens, if you will only look at it in the right way, a strong and sufficient proof that Aeschines did take bribes.

19.116Now look at a recent, but most convincing, proof that he sold himself to Philip. You know, I am sure, that, not long ago, when Hypereides impeached Philocrates, I rose and said that I was dissatisfied with the impeachment in one respect: it implied that all these grave misdemeanors had been committed by Philocrates alone, and not by any of the other nine ambassadors. That, I remarked, was impossible; for by himself Philocrates would have counted for nothing, if he had none of his colleagues to act with him. 19.117“I do not wish,” I said, “either to acquit or to accuse any man; I want the guilt to be detected and the innocent cleared by plain fact. Therefore let any man who chooses stand up and come forward, and declare that he had no part in Philocrates' doings, and does not approve them. Every man who does this,” I added, “I acquit.” No doubt you remember the incident. Well, no one came forward or presented himself. The rest had various excuses: 19.118one was not legally accountable; another was not present; a third had a brother-in-law in Macedonia. Aeschines had no such excuse. The truth is, he has sold himself once for all. Not only has he taken hire for past actions, but it is evident that, if he escapes now, he will henceforward, as against you, be Philip's man; and so, for fear of uttering a single word injurious to Philip, even when you acquit him he does not accept acquittal. He prefers disrepute, prosecution, any punishment this court may inflict rather than to do anything disagreeable to Philip. 19.119But why this fellow-feeling? Why this concern for Philocrates? Though all his acts on embassy had been consistent with honor and sound policy, if Philocrates admitted, as he did admit, that he had taken bribes, an incorruptible ambassador would have taken infinite pains to avoid and disavow all association with him. Aeschines has not done so. Is not that a plain argument, men of Athens? Does it not proclaim aloud that he has taken bribes, and that from first to last he went wrong for money's sake,—not through stupidity, or ignorance, or blundering?

19.120“What witness,” he will ask, “testifies that I have taken bribes?” A brilliant argument! Facts, Aeschines, the most credible of all witnesses. You cannot find fault with facts, and say that they are what they are in deference to somebody, or to oblige somebody. They are what your treachery and perversion have made them, and such they appear on examination. But I have another witness besides the facts. You shall this very moment give evidence against yourself. Come here: stand up and answer me!—Nothing to say? You cannot plead inexperience. You, who take up a new prosecution as easily as you study a new play, and convict your man without witnesses and under a time-limit, you must be an uncommonly clever speaker! note

19.121Among the many flagrant misdeeds committed by Aeschines, the singular baseness of which I think you all appreciate, there is none more flagrant, in my judgement, than the action I am about to relate, none that will more palpably prove him to have taken bribes and sold everything. When for the third time you sent your ambassadors to Philip, for the fulfilment of those magnificent expectations which Aeschines had guaranteed, you reappointed most of the former envoys, including Aeschines and me. 19.122I immediately declined the appointment on affidavit, note and when certain persons were clamorous and insisted that I should go, I declared that I would not leave Athens; but the nomination of Aeschines was still valid. After the dispersal of the Assembly, the envoys met and discussed which of them should be left behind, note for the whole business was still in the clouds, and the future uncertain, and all sorts of conferences and discussions were going on in the market-place. 19.123They were afraid that an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly might suddenly be convened, and that then, on hearing the truth from me, you might adopt some acceptable resolution in favor of the Phocians, and that so Philip might lose control. One friendly resolution, one gleam of hope, and the Phocians might have been saved. If you had not fallen into the trap, it was impossible—yes, impossible—for Philip to remain at Thermopylae. There was no corn in the country, as the war had prevented sowing; and the conveyance of corn was impossible so long as your fleet was there and commanded the sea. The Phocian cities were numerous, and not easy of capture, unless by protracted siege. Even if Philip had taken a city a day, there were twenty-two of them. 19.124For all these reasons they left Aeschines at home, fearing that you might be undeceived and change your policy. Now to decline an appointment on affidavit with no reason alleged was a strange move and very suspicious. “What do you mean? Are you declining the embassy? Are you not going to Macedonia to realize all those grand benefits which you announced yourself?” However, he had to remain. What was to be done? He pleaded ill-health; and his brother, taking Execestus the physician with him, repaired to the council-house, made affidavit of the illness, and received the appointment himself. 19.125But afterwards, when within five or six days the Phocians were destroyed, when Aeschines' wages stopped as such things do, when Dercylus had returned from Chalcis and had informed you, at the assembly held at Peiraeus, of the destruction of the Phocians, when that news filled you with indignation on their account and alarm on your own, when you were resolving to bring in your women and children from the country, to reinstate the frontier fortresses, to fortify the Peiraeus, and to hold the festival of Heracles within the walls,— 19.126then at last, at that crisis, when the city was encompassed with confusion and terror, off marched this wise, clever, smooth-tongued gentleman, without waiting for Council or Assembly to reappoint him, on his embassy to the court of the chief malefactor. He forgot that he had sworn that he was too ill to travel; forgot that another ambassador had been chosen in his stead, and that the law visits such conduct with death; forgot that, with the Thebans not only holding all Boeotia but in possession of the territory of Phocis, 19.127it was a very odd thing for a man, who had solemnly announced that the Thebans had set a price upon his head, to walk straight into the middle of Thebes and the Theban encampment. Nevertheless, he was so excited, his appetite for moneymaking and bribe-taking was so keen, that he put aside and ignored all these obstacles, and off he went.

19.128That was a remarkable proceeding, but far stranger still was his behavior after his arrival in Macedonia. While you who are here and all other Athenians regarded the treatment of the Phocians as scandalous and outrageous, insomuch that you would not send any member of council or any judge to represent you at the Pythian games, but relinquished that time-honored delegation, Aeschines attended the service of thanksgiving which the Thebans and Philip held to celebrate their victory and their political success, was a guest at the banquet, and took part in the libations and doxologies with which Philip thanked Heaven for the destruction of the fortresses, the territory, and the armies of your allies. He even joined Philip in wearing garlands and singing the Hymn of Praise, and drank to his health in the loving-cup.

19.129Of these proceedings it is not possible for the defendant to give an account differing from mine. As for the affidavit of refusal, there is an entry in the record-office at the Temple of Demeter, of which the public caretaker is in charge, and a decree in which he is mentioned by name. As for his conduct over yonder, his own colleagues who were present, and from whom I got my information, will give evidence against him. I was not one of his colleagues, as I had declined on oath. 19.130Read the decree and the records, and call the witnesses.Decree

What do you imagine were the prayers offered by Philip when he made libation? Or by the Thebans? Surely they implored strength and victory for themselves and their allies, weakness and defeat for the allies of the Phocians. In that prayer Aeschines joined. He invoked a curse on his own fatherland. It is for you to make that curse recoil upon his own head.

19.131So, when he took his departure, he was breaking a law whose penalty is death; after his arrival, he is again proved guilty of conduct that deserves death; and his earlier misconduct of this business of the embassy had been bad enough to bring him to death. You have therefore to consider what punishment shall be rigorous enough to afford a retribution adequate to all these transgressions. 19.132For assuredly, men of Athens, when all of you and the whole nation passed censure upon all the results of the peace, when you refused participation in the doings of the Amphictyonic Council, when your attitude towards Philip is still one of anger and suspicion, marking the whole of his conduct as sacrilegious and shameful, as well as unjust and injurious to yourselves,—it would be discreditable that you, who have entered this court to adjudicate at the scrutiny of those transactions, and have taken the judicial oath on behalf of the commonwealth, that you, I say, when the author of these wrongs has been placed in your power, caught red-handed after perpetrating such crimes, should return a verdict of acquittal. 19.133Is there a man among your fellow-citizens, nay, in all Greece, who will not justly upbraid you if he sees you venting your wrath upon Philip, whose offence admits of much excuse—for he was making peace after war, and buying his ways and means from willing sellers—and acquitting this man, who made infamous traffic of your interests, in defiance of laws that visit such offences with the severest retribution?

19.134Perhaps some such argument as this will be addressed to you,—that, if you condemn the diplomatists who negotiated the peace, it will be the beginning of enmity with Philip. If that is true, I do not think I could bring any more damaging charge against the defendant. If the potentate who spent his money to get the peace has indeed become so powerful and formidable that you are to ignore justice and the oath you have sworn, and consider only how to oblige Philip, what penalty can be too severe for the authors of his aggrandizement? 19.135However, I think I can satisfy you that their punishment will more probably sow the seed of a profitable friendship. Let me tell you, men of Athens, that Philip does not undervalue your city; it was not because he thought you less serviceable that he preferred the Thebans to you. But he was schooled by these men and was informed by them—I once told you this in Assembly, and none of them contradicted me— 19.136that a democracy is the most unstable and capricious thing in the world, like a restless wave of the sea ruffled by the breeze as chance will have it. One man comes, another goes; no one attends to, or even remembers, the common weal. Philip, they said, ought to have friends at Athens, who would manage his business for him as it arose, and carry it through—the person speaking, for example; if that provision were made, he would easily accomplish here whatever he desired. 19.137Now if he had heard that the persons who talked like that to him had been cudgelled to death immediately after their return home, I fancy he would have done what the King of Persia did. You remember what that was: the King had been inveigled by Timagoras, and had made him a present, as the story goes, of forty talents; but when he heard that the man had been put to death at Athens, and had not been competent to warrant his own life, much less to fulfil his undertaking, he realized that he had not paid the price to the man who could deliver the goods. The first result was that he again placed in subjection to you the city of Amphipolis, which he had put on his own list of friends and allies; and the second, that he nevermore gave money to anybody. 19.138Philip would have done the same if he had seen any of these men brought to justice; and he will do the same, if he sees that sight now. But when he sees these men holding up their heads here, making speeches, bringing other people to trial—what is he to do? Is he to make a point of spending a great deal of money, when a little will do? Is he to try to humor all of us, instead of two or three? No; that would be folly. For even his policy of public benevolence to the Thebans was by no means of his own choosing; 19.139he was persuaded by their ambassadors, and I will tell you how. Ambassadors came to him from Thebes at the same time that we were there from you. He offered them money—a very large sum, by their own account. The Theban ambassadors declined the overture, and would not take the bribe. Afterwards, at a sacrificial banquet, when Philip was drinking with them, and showing them much civility, he kept offering them presents, beginning with captives and the like, and ending with gold and silver goblets. All these gifts they rejected, and would on no account give themselves away. 19.140At last Philo, one of the ambassadors, made a speech that deserved to have been spoken by your representatives, men of Athens, instead of by the spokesman of Thebes. He said that he was delighted and gratified to find Philip so courteously and generously inclined towards them; that they were already his friends and guests, without those gifts; would he be good enough to direct his benevolence to the public business on which he was engaged, and do something creditable both to himself and to the Thebans? If so, they could promise him the friendship of all Thebes as well as their own. 19.141Now consider what the Thebans have gained in the end by this policy, and, in the light of actual truth, see what a fine thing it is to refuse to sell your country! The Thebans have gained, in the first place, peace, when they were in trouble, hard pressed by the war, and in danger of defeat; and secondly, the complete overthrow of their enemies, the Phocians, and the utter destruction of their strongholds and cities. Is that all? No, indeed; they have also gained Orchomenus, Coronea, Corsia, Tilphosaeum, and as much of the Phocian territory as they want. 19.142Such is the outcome of the peace for the Theban people; and more they could not desire. And what have the ambassadors gained? Nothing at all—except the satisfaction of having achieved these results for their country. Ah, but that is worth having, men of Athens; a glorious reward, if you set any store by that honor and good repute which Aeschines and his friends bartered for a bribe.

Let us now set side by side the results of the peace to the commonwealth of Athens and to the ambassadors of Athens respectively, and you shall see whether there is any equivalence. 19.143To the commonwealth the result has been the loss of all those possessions and all those allies, and a sworn promise to Philip that if any man shall at any time attempt to recover them, you will thwart him, and treat the man who would restore to you your own as an enemy and an adversary, and the man who robbed you as an ally and a friend. 19.144Such are the terms that Aeschines supported and his accomplice Philocrates proposed. On the first day I had the upper hand and persuaded you to confirm the decision of your allies and to summon Philip's ambassadors, but Aeschines forced an adjournment to the following day, and then persuaded you to adopt Philocrates' resolution, which included all these proposals and others still more objectionable. 19.145That is what the peace has brought to the city: you could not easily invent anything more dishonorable. What has it brought to the ambassadors who contrived that dishonor? I say nothing of the wealth that lies before your eyes—houses, timber, grain; but in the country of our ruined allies there are estates and extensive farms bringing in a rental of a talent to Philocrates and half a talent to Aeschines. 19.146Surely, men of Athens, it is strange and intolerable that the disasters of your allies have become the emolument of your envoys, and that one and the same peace should have brought, to the city sending ambassadors, the destruction of allies, dispossession of property, ignominy in exchange for honor, and to the ambassadors themselves who intrigued against the city, revenues, property, estates, and opulence in exchange for penury. To prove the truth of my statement, call the witnesses from Olynthus.Witnesses

19.147I shall not be surprised if he finds courage to tell you that we could not make an honorable peace, such as I required, because the generals mismanaged the war. If so, I beg that you will not forget to ask him whether he represented Athens or some other city. If another city, of which he can say that it had competent generals and has won the war, he has received bribes with some reason; but if he represented this city, how comes it that by terms of treaty the city that sent him has lost property and he has increased his property by his rewards? note In common justice, the city and its representatives should have fared alike.

19.148Here is another point for your consideration, gentlemen of the jury. Who gained the greater advantage in the operations, the Phocians over the Thebans, or Philip over you? I reply, the Phocians over the Thebans. They held Orchomenus, and Coronea, and Tilphosaeum; they had kept within the walls the Theban garrison at Neon; they had slain two hundred and seventy Thebans at Hedyleum, and a trophy had been set up; they were superior in cavalry, and so an Iliad of woes encompassed the Thebans. 19.149No such disaster ever befell, nor, I hope, ever will befall, you. The worst misfortune of your war with Philip was that you could not do him as much harm as you wished; against defeat you were absolutely secure. Then why did the same peace mean, for the Thebans, who were so badly worsted in the war, the recovery of their own possessions and the acquisition of possessions of their adversaries, and, for the Athenians, the loss in time of peace of advantages which were maintained in the war? The reason is that their ambassadors did not sell them, but these men have sold you. That my account is true, you will find further proof as we proceed.

19.150When the peace of Philocrates, which Aeschines supported in a speech, had been concluded, Philip's ambassadors accepted the oaths, and departed. So far no fatal mischief had been done. The peace was, indeed, discreditable and unworthy of Athens—but then we were going to get those wonderful advantages in exchange. I at once called upon you, and told the envoys, to sail for the Hellespont as speedily as possible, and not to abandon, or allow Philip to seize and hold, any of the positions there in the meantime; 19.151for well I knew that indolent people lose for ever anything that they let slip in the transition from war to peace. No one, who has been induced by general considerations to sheathe the sword, is ever inclined to begin war over again for the recovery of his losses; and so the appropriator retains possession. Apart from these considerations, I conceived that, if we sailed at once, the city would gain one of two advantages. For when we were on the spot and had accepted his oath according to the decree, either he would restore the places he had taken from Athens and keep his hands off the rest, 19.152or, if he refused, we could promptly report his refusal. In that case you, observing his grasping spirit and perfidy in those distant and comparatively unimportant places, would no longer be negligent of the more important concerns that lay nearer home—I mean the Phocians and Thermopylae. If he had not seized the positions, and if there had been no deception of you, all your interests were safe enough, and you would get fair treatment from him without compulsion. 19.153This was a reasonable expectation; for so long as the Phocians were safe, as they were at the time, and in possession of Thermopylae, there was no menace which Philip could have brandished in your face to make you disregard any of your just claims. He could not reach Attica either by a march across country or by getting command of the seas. If he refused justice, you could forthwith close his ports, stop his supply of money, and otherwise reduce him to a state of blockade; and so he, and not you, would be wholly dependent on the contingent benefits of the peace. 19.154I will now prove to you that I am not making up a story or claiming merit after the event, but that I formed my judgement, kept my eye on your interests, and told the envoys, without any delay. Finding that you had got to the end of the regular Assemblies, and that there was no meeting left, and observing that the envoys were still wasting time at Athens instead of starting at once, I proposed a decree as a member of the Council, to which the Assembly had given authority, directing the envoys to sail immediately, and the general Proxenus to convey them to any place in which he should ascertain that Philip was to be found. I drafted it, as I now read it, in those express terms. Please take and read the decree.Decree

19.155So I got them away from Athens, but quite against their will, as you will easily learn from their subsequent behavior. When we had arrived at Oreus and joined Proxenus, instead of obeying their instructions and proceeding by sea, they started on a roundabout tour. We had wasted three-and-twenty days before we reached Macedonia; and all the rest of the time, making, with the time consumed by the journey, fifty days in all, until the arrival of Philip, we were dawdling at Pella. 19.156Throughout that period Philip was occupying and disposing of Doriscus, Thrace, the Thracian fortresses, the Sacred Mount, and so forth, in spite of the peace and armistice. note All this time I did not spare words; I talked to them first as one communicating his opinion, then as instructing the ignorant, and finally in uncompromising language, as dealing with corrupt and profligate persons. 19.157The man who openly contradicted me, and set himself in opposition to my advice and your formal resolutions, was Aeschines. You will learn presently whether his conduct was agreeable to his colleagues. For the moment, I have nothing to say of them by way of fault-finding. They may all show themselves honest men today, not by compulsion but of their own free will, and as having no share in those iniquities. note That the deeds done were disgraceful, monstrous, and venal, you have already discovered; let facts disclose who were the participators.

19.158But it may be urged that they spent all this time swearing in the allies, or discharging some other part of their duty. Not at all; though they were on their travels for three whole months, and received from you a thousand drachmas for journey-money, they did not get the oaths from any single city either on their outward journey or on their way home. The oaths were administered at the hostelry in front of the Temple of the Twins,—any of you who have been to Pherae will know the place I mean,—at the time when Philip was already on his march towards Athens with his army, and in a manner, men of Athens, that was thoroughly discreditable to the city. 19.159Yet Philip would have paid any sum to have matters managed in this way. For when these men had failed to draw the treaty, as they first tried to do, with a clause excepting the Halians and the Phocians, and Philocrates had been compelled by you to erase those words and write expressly, “the Athenians and the Allies of the Athenians,” to the treaty so drawn Philip did not wish any of his allies to have sworn; for then they would have refused to join in his forcible occupation of those possessions of yours which he now holds, and the oath would have been their excuse. 19.160Nor did he desire witnesses of the promises on the strength of which he was obtaining the peace, nor any public disclosure of the fact that after all Athens had not been beaten in the war, and that it was Philip who was really eager for the peace, and was ready to make large promises to the Athenians if he could get it. Therefore he disapproved of these men going anywhere, lest the facts that I am stating should become generally known; and they were ready to gratify him with ostentatious deference and extravagant adulation. 19.161Yet, when they are convicted of all these delinquencies, of having squandered their time, thrown away the Thracian outposts, done nothing agreeable either to your instructions or to sound policy, and sent lying dispatches to Athens, how can this man possibly find a way of escape before an intelligent and conscientious jury? However, to prove the truth of my statements, read first the decree giving directions for the administration of the oath, then Philip's letter, and then the decree of Philocrates, and the decree of the Assembly.Decree

19.162To prove, moreover, that we should have caught Philip at the Hellespont, if my advice had been taken and your directions obeyed in the terms of the decrees, call the witnesses who were there present.Witnesses

Now read the other deposition testifying to the answer made by Philip to Eucleides note here, who arrived later.

(The Deposition is read)Deposition

19.163Let me show you that there is no way of denying that they were acting in the interest of Philip. When we were setting out on the former embassy for peace, you sent forward a herald to arrange our safe-conduct. On that occasion, as soon as they reached Oreus, they wasted no time there waiting for the herald. Although Halus was beleaguered, they crossed the sea thither; then left the town and went to Parmenio, who was conducting the siege; set off through the enemies' positions for Pagasae, and continued their journey till they met the herald at Larissa. Such was the energy and goodwill with which they travelled then; 19.164but now, in time of peace, with complete security for travelling, and with your injunctions of haste, it never occurred to them to hasten their journey by land or to travel by sea. Why so? Because then it was to Philip's advantage that peace should be concluded with all speed, but now that as much time as possible should be wasted before the administration of the oaths. 19.165To prove that this statement also is true, take and read this deposition.Deposition

Now could men be more clearly convicted of acting throughout in the interest of Philip? It was the same journey: they loitered when they should have bestirred themselves in your service; they hurried when they ought not to have moved a step until the arrival of the herald.

19.166Take next the period of our loitering at Pella, and compare the employments which we severally chose for ourselves. Mine was to seek out and rescue the captives, spending money of my own, and asking Philip to apply to their ransom the money he was spending on hospitable gifts for us. But what Aeschines constantly tried to effect, you shall hear in a moment. What then was it? It was that Philip should give us a lump sum as a collective present. 19.167You must know that Philip was already sounding us all in this way: he sent private messages to each of us in turn, with the offer, men of Athens, of a really large sum in gold. Having failed in some case or other,—in what case let the result disclose; it is not for me to name myself,—he conceived that a collective present might be accepted by all of us without misgiving; and that there would be security for those who had individually sold themselves, if we all shared even to a trifling extent in the general acceptance. Accordingly it was offered,—nominally, as a form of hospitality. 19.168I stopped that manoeuvre; and then these men divided that money also among themselves. When I asked Philip to spend it on the captives, he could not with decency either inform against them by replying, “It is in so-and-so's pockets,” or escape the outlay; so he made me the promise, but evaded performance by saying that he would send the men home in time for the Panathenaic Festival. Read the deposition of Apollophanes, and then those of the other persons who were there.Deposition

19.169Let me now tell you how many of the captives I ransomed myself. For while we were staying at Pella, before Philip's arrival, some of the prisoners,—all in fact who were out on bail,—having, I suppose, no confidence that they would afterwards be able to induce Philip to move, told me that they were willing to provide for their own ransom without putting themselves under obligation to Philip, and offered to borrow their ransom-money, three minas, five minas, or as the case might be. 19.170So when Philip agreed to get the release of the rest, I called together these men, to whom I had lent the money as a friendly loan, reminded them of the transaction, and made them a free gift of their ransom-money, lest they should seem to have been put into a worse position by their impetuosity, or to have been ransomed, though poor men, at their own expense, while the rest were expecting deliverance from Philip. To prove the truth of my statement, read these depositions also.Depositions

19.171Well, these sums of money I gave away as a free gift to my fellow-citizens in distress. If Aeschines in addressing you should say presently: “Demosthenes, if you really inferred from my speech in support of Philocrates that our conduct was thoroughly corrupt, why did you join us on the subsequent embassy to receive the oaths, instead of excusing yourself?” you must remember that I had promised the prisoners whom I delivered that I would bring the ransom-money and do my utmost for their rescue. 19.172It would therefore have been too bad to break my word and abandon fellow-creatures and fellow-citizens in misfortune. Had I declined on oath, a private excursion to Macedonia would have been neither decent nor safe. Except for my strong desire to liberate those men, may I die miserably before my time note if any reward would have induced me to accept an embassy with these men as my colleagues. I proved that by twice excusing myself when you twice appointed me to the third embassy, and also by my constant opposition to them on this journey.

19.173So the business which I controlled by myself on the embassy turned out in this fashion to your advantage, although, where the majority prevailed, everything went to ruin. Indeed, if my advice had been taken, all our transactions might have had an equally fortunate issue; for I was not so foolish and stupid as to lose money, while others were making money, out of sheer public spirit, and then object to a course of action that would have cost no expense, and that offered far greater advantages to the whole commonwealth. Yes, men of Athens, the issue might have been fortunate indeed; only these men had their way.

19.174And now I ask you to look at the acts of Aeschines and those of Philocrates, in comparison with mine; for the contrast will help to expose them. First, in violation both of the decree and of assurances given to you, they excluded the Halians, the Phocians, and Cersobleptes, from the benefits of the treaty. Then they attempted to tamper with and repeal the decree from which our own authority was derived. Next they entered the Cardians as allies of Philip, and refused by a definite vote to send a dispatch written by me, but themselves composed and sent one that did not contain an honest word. 19.175Then, because I objected to their acts, not only thinking them dishonorable but fearing that I might share the ruin they were bringing on themselves, our chivalrous friend accused me of promising to Philip that I would overthrow the Athenian democracy, while all the time he was himself constantly holding private communications with Philip. I need only mention that not I but Dercylus, with the help of this servant of mine, watched him by night at Pherae, caught him emerging from Philip's tent, and told the servant to let me know, and not to forget it himself; and that in the end this impudent blackguard stayed with Philip for a day and a night on our departure. 19.176To prove the truth of these statements, in the first place I will give evidence myself, having duly written down my deposition and incurred legal responsibility note; and I will then call the other ambassadors in turn, and compel them either to testify, or to take oath that they are unable to testify. If they take the oath, I shall easily convict them of perjury.Deposition

19.177You have seen how I was harassed by troubles and annoyance throughout the expedition. You can imagine how they behaved there, with their paymaster next door, when their conduct here, under the eyes of the people, who hold the power to reward and to chastise, is what we know it to be.

Now I wish to recapitulate the charges I have brought home, and to show that I have fulfilled the undertaking I gave at the outset of my speech. I have proved, not by words but by the testimony of facts, that there was no word of truth in the report of Aeschines, but that he successfully deceived you. 19.178I have proved that he is to blame for your refusal to hear the truth from me, captivated as you then were by his promises and assurances; that his counsels were exactly opposed to right policy; that he spoke against the terms of peace proposed by our allies, and in favor of the proposals of Philocrates; that he purposely wasted your time to debar you from going to the aid of the Phocians if you should so desire; that throughout his journey abroad his sins were many and grievous; that he has betrayed everything, sold everything, taken bribes, and stopped short of no iniquity. That, then, is what I undertook to prove; and that is what I have proved. 19.179Now mark what follows; for the argument I now put before you is plain and straightforward. You have sworn to give a verdict according to the laws, and to the decrees of the people and of the Council of Five Hundred; the conduct of the defendant when holding the office of ambassador has manifestly violated those laws, those decrees, and the principles of justice; therefore he must be convicted by an intelligent jury. If he had committed no other crime, two only of his transgressions are sufficient to put him to death, for he has betrayed Thrace as well as the Phocians to Philip. 19.180Yet no man could point out two places in the whole world of more importance to the commonwealth than Thermopylae by land and the Hellespont by sea; and both of them these men have infamously sold and delivered into the hands of Philip. What an enormous offence, apart from all the rest, is the surrender of Thrace and the Thracian outposts, I could show by a thousand reasons; and it would be easy to point to many men who for such betrayals have been sentenced to death or mulcted in large sums of money in this court,—Ergophilus, Cephisodotus, Timomachus, and, in old times, Ergocles, Dionysius, and others, of whom I may say that all of them together had inflicted fewer injuries upon the commonwealth than the defendant. 19.181But in those days, men of Athens, you were still careful to be on your guard against perils, and not sparing of precaution; now you overlook anything that at any given moment does not disturb you or cause immediate annoyance. And then you come here and pass random resolutions,—that Philip shall swear fidelity to Cersobleptes,—that he shall have no share in Amphictyonic business,—that he shall revise the terms of peace. Yet all your resolutions would have been unnecessary, if only the defendant had chosen to travel by sea and to do his duty. What might have been saved by sailing, he has lost by insisting on travel by land; and what might have been saved by telling the truth, he has lost by telling lies.

19.182He will presently, as I am informed, make it a grievance that he, and he alone of all our debaters, is to be called to account for his speeches. I will spare him the retort that any man who takes money for his speeches might reasonably be brought to justice; but there is one point on which I do insist. If Aeschines talked like an idiot and made blunders as an unofficial person, do not be hypercritical, leave him alone, make allowances. But if he has purposely deceived you for money while holding office as ambassador, do not let him off, do not listen to the suggestion that he is not to be put on his trial for mere words. 19.183For what are we to bring any ambassador to justice, if not for his words? Ambassadors have control, not over war-ships, and military positions, and troops, and citadels,—these are never entrusted to them,—but over words and opportunities. If an ambassador has not wasted the opportunities of the state, he is no wrongdoer; if he has wasted them, he has done wrong. If the words of his reports are true and profitable words, let him be acquitted; if they are false, venal, and noxious, let him be convicted. 19.184A man can do no greater wrong than by telling lies to a popular assembly; for, where the political system is based upon speeches, how can it be safely administered if the speeches are false? If he actually takes bribes and speaks in the interest of our enemies, will not you be imperilled? Again, to filch your opportunities is not an offence equivalent to filching those of an oligarchy or a monarchy, but far greater. 19.185For in those polities, I take it, everything is done promptly at the word of command; but with you, first the Council must be informed, and must adopt a provisional resolution,—and even that not at any time, but only after written notice given to marshals and embassies; then the Council must convene an Assembly, but only on a statutory date. Then the most honest debaters have to make good their advantage and argue down an ignorant or dishonest opposition; 19.186and even then, after all these proceedings, when a decision has been formed, and its propriety demonstrated, further time must be granted to the poverty of the populace for the provision of whatever is needed, to enable them to execute the decision. Surely the man who, under a constitution like ours, destroys the opportunities for this procedure, has not destroyed opportunities merely; he has absolutely robbed us of our control over affairs.

19.187Now there is an easy phrase at the disposal of every one who wishes to delude you: “The disturbers of the commonwealth; the thwarters of Philip's public benefactions.” I will not say a word in reply; I will only read to you Philip's letters, and remind you of the several occasions of your deception, to show how “the Benefactor” has forfeited by his beguilements that frigid and nauseating title.Letters of Philip

19.188Although so many, indeed all, of his acts on embassy were so discreditable and unpatriotic, he goes about asking: “And what are we to say of Demosthenes, who denounces his own colleagues?” Yes, indeed; I do and must denounce them, willingly or unwillingly, having been the victim of your machinations throughout the expedition, and being now reduced to the alternative of appearing as either the accomplice or the accuser of your crimes. 19.189I declare I was no colleague of yours; yours was an embassy of flagrant wrong, mine was an embassy of loyal service. Your colleague was Philocrates, and you and Phryno were his; for it was you and your friends who did these things and who approved of them. Hark to his melodramatic whine: “Where is the salt of friendship? where is the genial board? where is the cup of communion?” as if doers of justice, not doers of iniquity, were traitors to those symbols! 19.190I know that the Presidents note unite in a sacrificial service, dine together, and make libation together; but it does not follow that the honest men take their cue from the knaves; as soon as they detect one of themselves in misconduct, they lay information before the Council and the Assembly. In just the same way the Council holds its service of inauguration and its social banquet; the commanders unite in worship and libation; and so of all, or nearly all, the public authorities. Do they give impunity to delinquent colleagues on account of these observances? No, indeed! 19.191Leon denounced Timagoras, his fellow-ambassador for four years; Eubulus his messmates, Tharrex and Smicythus; and long ago Conon denounced Adeimantus after serving with him as general. Who were untrue to their salt and to the cup of friendship, Aeschines? The traitors, the false ambassadors, and the bribe-takers, or their accusers? The evil-doers, like you, broke covenant not with their friends alone but with the whole nation.

19.192To show you, then, that these men are the basest and most depraved of all Philip's visitors, private as well as official,—yes, of all of them,—let me tell you a trifling story that has nothing to do with the embassy. After Philip had taken Olynthus, he was holding Olympian games, note and had invited all sorts of artists to the religious celebration and the festival. 19.193At the entertainment at which he crowned the successful competitors, he asked Satyrus, the comedian of our city, why he was the only guest who had not asked any favor; had he observed in him any illiberality or discourtesy towards himself? Satyrus, as the story goes, replied that he did not want any such gift as the others were asking; what he would like to ask was a favor which Philip could grant quite easily, and yet he feared that his request would be unsuccessful. 19.194Philip bade him speak out, declaring with the easy generosity of youth that there was nothing he would not do for him. Thereupon Satyrus told him that Apollophanes of Pydna had been a friend of his, and that after his death by assassination his kinsmen in alarm had secretly removed his daughters, who were then children, to Olynthus. These girls had been made captive when the town was taken, and were now in Philip's hands, and of marriageable age. 19.195“I earnestly beg you,” he went on, “to bestow them on me. At the same time I wish you to understand what sort of gift you will be giving me, if you do give it. It will bring me no gain, for I shall provide them with dowries and give them in marriage; and I shall not permit them to suffer any treatment unworthy of myself or of their father.” It is said that, when the other guests heard this speech, there was such an outburst of applause and approval that Philip was strongly moved, and granted the boon. And yet Apollophanes was one of the men who had slain Philip's own brother Alexander.

19.196Now let us compare the banquet of Satyrus with another entertainment which these men attended in Macedonia; and you shall see whether there is any sort of resemblance. These men had been invited to the house of Xenophron, a son of Phaedimus, who was one of the Thirty Tyrants, and off they went; but I declined to go. When the drinking began, Xenophron introduced an Olynthian woman,—a handsome, but a freeborn and, as the event proved, a modest girl. 19.197At first, I believe, they only tried to make her drink quietly and eat dessert; so Iatrocles told me the following day. But as the carouse went on, and they became heated, they ordered her to sit down and give them a song. The poor girl was bewildered, for she did not wish, and she did not know how, to sing. Then Aeschines and Phryno declared that it was intolerable impertinence for a captive,—and one of those ungodly, pernicious Olynthians too,—to give herself such airs. “Call a servant,” they cried; “bring a whip, somebody.” In came a flunkey with a horsewhip, and—I suppose they were tipsy, and it did not take much to irritate them,when she said something and began to cry, he tore off her dress and gave her a number of lashes on the back. 19.198Maddened by these indignities, she jumped to her feet, upset the table, and fell at the knees of Iatrocles. If he had not rescued her, she would have perished, the victim of a drunken orgy, for the drunkenness of this blackguard is something terrible. The story of this girl was told even in Arcadia, at a meeting of the Ten Thousand note; it was related by Diophantus at Athens in a report which I will compel him to repeat in evidence; and it was common talk in Thessaly and everywhere.

19.199With all this on his conscience the unclean scoundrel will dare to look you in the face, and before long he will be declaiming in sonorous accents about his blameless life. It makes me choke with rage. As if the jury did not know all about you: first the acolyte, note reading the service-books while your mother performed her hocus-pocus, reeling and tumbling, child as you were, with bacchanals and tipsy worshippers; 19.200then the junior clerk, doing the dirty work of public offices for a few shillings a month: and at last, not so long ago, the parasite of the greenrooms, eking out by sponging what you earned as a player of trumpery parts! What is the life you will claim, and where have you lived it, when such is too clearly the sort of life you really have lived? And then the assurance of the man! Bringing another man note before this court on a charge of unnatural crime! However, I will let that go for the present. First read these depositions.Depositions

19.201Of all these heinous crimes against the commonwealth, gentlemen of the jury, he has been proved guilty. No element of baseness is lacking. Bribe-taker, sycophant, guilty under the curse, a liar, a traitor to his friends,—here are flagrant charges indeed! Yet he will not defend himself against any one of them; he has no honest and straightforward defence to offer. As for the topics on which, as I am informed, he intends to dwell, they border on insanity,—though, perhaps, a man devoid of any honest plea cannot help resorting to all manner of shifts. 19.202For I hear that he will tell you that I participated in all the acts I am denouncing, that I approved of them, and co-operated with him, and now have suddenly changed my mind and become his accuser. That is no honest and decent defence against specific charges; it is, however, an accusation against me; for if I acted as he says, I am a worthless person; but that is far from making his actions a whit better. 19.203However, it is incumbent on me, I suppose, first, to satisfy you that the allegation, if he makes it, will be false, and secondly, to show you what is an honest defence. Now it is an honest and straightforward defence to prove either that the acts alleged were never committed, or that, if committed, they were for the advantage of the state. But he cannot make good either of these positions. 19.204He cannot claim as advantages the destruction of the Phocians, or Philip's occupation of Thermopylae, or the aggrandizement of Thebes, or the invasion of Euboea, or the designs against Megara, or the unratified peace; for he reported himself that exactly the opposite was going to happen and would be to your advantage. Neither can he convince you, against the evidence of your own eyes and your own knowledge, that these disasters are fabulous. 19.205My remaining duty is to prove that I had no partnership with these men in any of their doings. Is it your wish that I should put aside the rest of the story,—how I spoke against them in Assembly, how I fell out with them on the journey, how from first to last I persistently opposed them,—and should produce these men themselves as my witnesses to testify that my conduct and theirs has been utterly at variance, that they accepted money to thwart you, and that I refused it? Then observe.

19.206Whom would you call the most detestable person in all Athens, and the most swollen with impudence and superciliousness? No one, I am sure, would name, even by a slip of the tongue, anyone but Philocrates. Who is the most vehement speaker, the man who can express himself most emphatically with the aid of his big voice? Undoubtedly Aeschines. Whom do these men call timid and faint-hearted, or, as I should say, diffident, in addressing a crowd? Me; for I never worried you; I have never tried to dragoon you against your inclinations. 19.207Well, at every Assembly, whenever there is any discussion of this business, you hear me denouncing and incriminating these men, and declaring roundly that they have taken bribes and made traffic of all the interests of the commonwealth; and no one of them ever contradicts me, or opens his mouth, or lets himself be seen. 19.208How comes it then that the most impudent men in Athens, and the loudest speakers, are overborne by me, the nervous man, who can speak no louder than another? Because truth is strong, and consciousness of corruption weak. Conscience paralyses their audacity; conscience cripples their tongues, closes their lips, stifles them, puts them to silence. 19.209You remember the most recent occasion, at Peiraeus only the other day, when you refused to appoint Aeschines to an embassy, how he bellowed at me: “I will impeach you,—I will indict you,—aha! aha!” note And yet a threat of impeachment involves endless speeches and litigation; but here are just two or three simple words that a slave bought yesterday could deliver: “Men of Athens, here is a strange thing! This man accuses me of offences in which he himself took part. He says that I have taken bribes, when he took them, or shared them, himself.” 19.210He never spoke, he never uttered a word of that speech; none of you heard it; he only vented idle menaces. The reason is that he was conscious of guilt; he cowered like a slave before those words; his thoughts did not approach them but recoiled from them, arrested by his evil conscience. Mere vague invective and abuse there was no one to stop.

19.211And now comes the strongest possible point—not a matter of assertion but of fact. I wished to do the honest thing, and to give an account of myself twice, because I had been appointed ambassador twice; but Aeschines approached the Court of Scrutiny, taking with him a crowd of witnesses, and forbade them to summon me, on the ground that I had already submitted to scrutiny, and was no longer liable. What was the real meaning of this ludicrous proceeding? Having himself rendered his account of the earlier embassy, with which nobody found fault, he did not wish to come into court in respect of the embassy for which he is now under examination; and that is the embassy that includes all his misdeeds. 19.212But, if I came into court twice, he could not avoid a second appearance, and therefore he would not let me be summoned. Yet that act, men of Athens, proves two propositions: first, that Aeschines has pronounced his own condemnation, and therefore you cannot conscientiously acquit him today; and secondly, that he will not have a truthful word to say about me, otherwise he would have spoken out and denounced me then, instead of trying to block my summons.

19.213To prove the truth of these statements, please call the witnesses. note

If, however, he says scurrilous things about me, not pertinent to the question of the embassy, there are many reasons why you should not listen. I am not on my trial today, and I shall have no second opportunity note of speaking. It will only mean that he is destitute of honest arguments. No culprit would deliberately choose to prefer accusations, if he had any defence to offer. 19.214Or again, look at it in this light, gentlemen of the jury. Suppose that I were on trial, with Aeschines for my accuser, and Philip for my judge, and suppose that, being unable to deny my guilt, I were to vilify Aeschines and throw mud at him; do you not think that that is just what would move Philip's indignation, his own benefactors calumniated before his own tribunal? Do not be less rigorous than Philip, but compel him to address his defence to the real issues of this controversy. Now read the deposition.Deposition

19.215Thus in my consciousness of innocence I thought it my duty to render my account and accept my full legal liability, while Aeschines did not. Is my conduct then the echo of his? Is it competent for him to lay before this court charges which he has never made before? Assuredly not; and yet he will lay them, for a very good reason. For you know that, ever since mankind and the criminal law first came into being, no culprit has ever been convicted while confessing his guilt. They vapor, they gainsay, they tell lies, they forge excuses,—anything to evade justice. 19.216Do not be duped today by any of these stale tricks. You must pass judgement on the facts, according to your knowledge; you must pay no heed either to my assertions or to his, nor even to the witnesses whom he will have in waiting, with Philip as his paymaster, and you will see how glibly they will testify. You must not notice what a fine loud voice he has, and what a poor voice I have. 19.217If you are wise, you must not treat this trial as a competition of forensic eloquence; but in regard to a dishonorable and perilous catastrophe, cast back upon the guilty the dishonor that attaches to it, after reviewing transactions that lie within the knowledge of you all. What, then, are the facts that you know and I need not recount? 19.218If all the promised results of the peace have come true, if you confess yourselves so effeminate and so cowardly that, with no enemy within your borders, no blockade of your ports, no imperilment of your capital, with corn-prices low and every other condition as favorable as it is today, 19.219and with foreknowledge on the assurance of your ambassadors that your allies would be ruined, that the Thebans would gain strength, that Philip would occupy the northern positions, that a basis of attack would be established against you in Euboea, and that everything that has in fact resulted would befall you, you thereupon cheerfully made the peace, by all means acquit Aeschines, and do not crown your other dishonors with the sin of perjury. He has done you no wrong, and I am a madman and a fool to accuse him. 19.220But if the truth is otherwise, if they spoke handsomely of Philip and told you that he was the friend of Athens, that he would deliver the Phocians, that he would curb the arrogance of the Thebans, that he would bestow on you many boons of more value than Amphipolis, and would restore Euboea and Oropus, if only he got his peace,—if, I say, by such assertions and such promises they have deceived and deluded you, and wellnigh stripped you of all Attica, find him guilty, and do not reinforce the outrages, for I can find no better word,—that you have endured, by returning to your homes laden with the curse and the guilt of perjury, for the sake of the bribes that they have pocketed.

19.221You should further ask yourselves, gentlemen of the jury, why, if they were not guilty, I should have gone out of my way to accuse them. You will find no reason. Is it agreeable to have many enemies? It is hardly safe. Perhaps I had an old standing feud with Aeschines? That is not so. “Well, but you were frightened on your own account, and were coward enough to seek this as a way of escape;” for that, I hear, is one of his suggestions. But, by your own account, Aeschines, there is no crime, and therefore no jeopardy. If he repeats the insinuation, do you, gentlemen, consider this: in a case where I, who did no wrong whatever, was yet afraid lest these men's conduct should ruin me, what punishment ought they to suffer who were themselves the guilty parties? 19.222However, that was not my reason. Then why am I accusing you? Perhaps as a common informer, to get money out of you? Which course was more profitable for me, to take money from Philip, who offered me a great deal,—as much as he gave them,—and so to make friends both with him and with them,—for indeed I might have had their friendship if I had been their accomplice, and even now there is no vendetta between us, only that I had no part in their malpractices, or to levy blackmail on their takings, and so incur Philip's enmity and theirs; to spend all my money on the ransom of captives, and then expect to get a trifle back dishonorably and at the cost of their hostility? 19.223The thing is impossible! No; I made honest reports; I kept my hands clean of corruption for the sake of truth and justice and of my future career, believing, as others have believed, that my honesty would be rewarded by your favor, and that my public spirit must never be bartered away for any emolument. I abhor these men because throughout the embassy I found them vicious and ungodly, and because by their corruption I have been robbed of the due reward of my patriotism, through your natural dissatisfaction with the whole business. I now denounce them, and I have attended this scrutiny, because I have a care for the future, and desire a decision recorded in this case and by this court that my conduct has been exactly opposed to theirs. 19.224And yet I am afraid,—for all my thoughts shall be laid open to you,—I am afraid that hereafter you may destroy me with them in despite of my innocence, while today you are supine. For indeed, men of Athens, you seem to me to have become altogether slack, idly waiting for the advent of disaster. You see the distresses of others, but take no precaution for yourselves; you have no thought for the steady and alarming deterioration of your commonwealth.

19.225Do you not think this an extremely dangerous symptom? (For though I had decided to say nothing, I am tempted to speak out) Of course you know Pythocles, son of Pythodorus. I was on the most civil terms with him, and there has been no unpleasantness between us to this day. But now, since his visit to Philip, he turns aside whenever he meets me, and if he cannot avoid an encounter, he rushes off as soon as he can for fear he should be seen talking to me, while he will perambulate the whole market-place discussing plans with Aeschines. 19.226It is shocking and scandalous, men of Athens, that Philip has such an acute perception of the fidelity or treachery of the men who have made subservience to him their policy, that they all expect that nothing they do even in Athens will escape the master's eye, as though he stood at their very elbow, and that they must needs choose their private friends and enemies in obedience to his wishes; while those whose lives are devoted to your service, and who covet and have never betrayed the honor that you can bestow, encounter in you such dullness of hearing, such darkness of vision, that here am I today contending on equal terms with these pernicious persons, even in a court well acquainted with the whole history. 19.227Would you like to know the reason? I will tell you, and I trust that you will not take offence at my candor. Philip, I take it, having one body and one soul loves those who help him and hates those who harm him with his whole heart, whereas no one of you regards the benefactor of the commonwealth as his benefactor, or the enemy of the commonwealth as his enemy. 19.228Each man has other motives, of more importance to him, and thereby you are often led astray,—compassion, jealousy, resentment, good nature, and a thousand more. For even though a man escape every other danger, he can never wholly escape those who do not want such a person as he is to exist. But, little by little, by accumulation of these errors the foundation is sapped, and the integrity of public life collapses.

19.229Do not, men of Athens, give way to these motives today. Do not acquit the man who has done you such grievous wrong. Think of the story that will be told, if you do acquit him. Once upon a time certain ambassadors went from Athens to see Philip, and their names were Philocrates, Aeschines, Phryno, and Demosthenes. One of them not only made no gain from his mission, but delivered captives at his own expense; but another went about buying harlots and fish with the money for which he had sold his country. 19.230One of them, named Phryno, a bold, bad man, sent his son to Philip before he had put him on the list of citizens; but another did not do anything that was unworthy of his country or himself. Though he was still paying for a chorus and a man-of-war, note he thought it only right to spend more money of his own free will, to ransom captives, and to allow none of his countrymen to suffer distress through poverty. But another, instead of delivering any of the Athenians who were already in captivity, helped to bring a whole district, and ten thousand of the infantry and about a thousand of the cavalry of the allies into captivity to Philip. 19.231The sequel was that the Athenians caught these bad men, for they knew all about it, and—what do you think? They released the men who had taken bribes and had disgraced themselves, the city, and their own children, because they thought that they were very sensible men, and that the city was going on nicely; but they thought that the man who accused them had gone out of his mind, and that he did not understand Athens, and that he did not know even how to fling his money away.

19.232With this example before his eyes, who, men of Athens, will ever wish to prove himself an honest man, or to go on embassy for nothing, if he is neither to make money nor to be held more worthy of your confidence than those who have made money? Today you are not merely adjudging this case: you are legislating for all future time, whether every ambassador is basely to serve your enemies for hire, or without fee or bribe to give his best service to you. 19.233On these matters you need no further witness; but to prove that Phryno did send his son to Philip, please call the witnesses.

Now Aeschines never prosecuted Phryno for sending his own son to Philip with a dishonorable intention. But if a man note in the bloom of his youth was more comely than others, and if, disregarding the suspicion that his personal charm might provoke, he has lived rather recklessly in later years, Aeschines must needs proceed against that man for immorality.

19.234Now let me say a word about my entertainment and my decree. I had nearly forgotten those all-important topics! When I was drafting the provisional resolution of the Council respecting the earlier embassy, and again in addressing the people at the Assemblies that were held to discuss the terms of peace, I followed the usual custom, and included a vote of thanks and an invitation to the public mess-table; for at that time no wrongful word or act of theirs had been disclosed. 19.235It is also true that I entertained Philip's ambassadors, and did the thing very handsomely; for, having observed in their own country that they take pride in such hospitality as evidence of wealth and splendor, I thought it my duty to outdo them with a more striking display of munificence. On the strength of these incidents, Aeschines will tell you: “Demosthenes thanked us, and entertained the ambassadors himself”—without marking the distinction of time. 19.236All this took place before the country had suffered wrong, and before it was evident that the envoys had sold themselves, immediately after the first return of the envoys, when the people had still to hear their report, and when it was not yet known that Aeschines would support Philocrates, or that Philocrates would move such a resolution. If he mentions the incidents, bear in mind that the dates were earlier than their offences, and that I have never since had any intimacy or any association with them. Read the deposition.Deposition

19.237Perhaps he will find a brother to speak for him, Philochares or Aphobetus; to both of whom there is much that you can say with justice. (One must converse quite frankly, without any reserve.) We, Aphobetus and Philochares, although you, Philochares, were a painter of alabaster boxes and tambourines, and your brothers ordinary people, junior clerks and the like,—respectable occupations, but hardly suitable for commanding officers,—we, I say, dignified you with embassies, commands as generals, and other high distinctions. 19.238Even if none of the family had committed any crime, you would have no claim on our gratitude, but we should have a large claim on yours; for we passed over many much more worthy claimants, and glorified you. But if in the actual enjoyment of those dignities one of you has committed a crime, and such a crime as this, do you not all deserve abhorrence much more than deliverance? That is my view. However, they will storm and bluster,—for they have very loud voices and very little modesty,—and will remind you that “it is no sin to help your kin.” 19.239Do not give way to them. It is their business to think of Aeschines; it is your business to think of the laws, of the whole commonwealth, and above all of the oath in virtue of which you sit in that box. If they have besought any of you to deliver him, ask yourselves whether they mean in case he is not, or in case he is, guilty of a crime against the common weal. If they mean in case he is not guilty, I admit the plea; but if they mean, deliver him in any case, they have entreated you to perjure yourselves. For though the vote is secret, it will not escape the eye of Heaven. The legislator wisely discerned herein the essence of secret voting, that no suppliant shall know the name of the juror who has granted his prayer, but the gods and the divine spirit will know him who has cast an unrighteous vote. 19.240Far better for each of you to make good his hopes of the blessing of Heaven for himself and his children, by recording a righteous and a dutiful verdict, than to bestow on these men a secret and unacknowledged favor, and acquit a man convicted by his own testimony. For what more powerful evidence, Aeschines, can I adduce for the many crimes of your embassy than the evidence you have given against yourself? You, who thought it necessary to implicate in so grievous a calamity one who purposed to bring a part of your misconduct to light, must surely have expected a terrible retribution if the jury should learn the true history of your deeds.

19.241If you are wise, that performance of his will now be turned to his disadvantage, not only because it was a powerful indication of his misconduct, but because he employed in his prosecution arguments that are now valid against himself. For surely the principles which you, Aeschines, laid down when you prosecuted Timarchus ought to have equal weight for others against you. 19.242Now on that occasion he observed to the jury: “Demosthenes will conduct this man's defence, and will denounce my conduct of the embassy; and then, if he leads you astray by his speech, he will go about in his conceited way, and boast: 'How did I do it? What did I say? Why, I led the jury clean away from the question; filched the whole case from them, and came off triumphant.' ” Then do not follow my example: address your defence to the real issue. You had your opportunity of denouncing and saying what you chose when you were the prosecutor.

19.243Moreover, having no witnesses to produce in support of your accusations, you quoted verses to the jury: Rumor, that many people spread abroad,
Dieth not wholly: Rumor is a god.

And now, Aeschines, everybody says that you made money out of your embassy; so, of course, as against you, the rumor that many people spread abroad does not wholly die. 19.244That you may understand how far more numerous are your accusers than those of Timarchus, observe this. He was not known even to all his neighbors; but there is not a man in Greece or in foreign parts who does not aver that you ambassadors made gain of your embassy. If rumor is true, the rumor of the multitude is against you; and for the veracity, and even the divinity, of rumor, and for the wisdom of the poet who composed these verses, we have your own assurance.

19.245After these heroics he naturally proceeds to collect and declaim some iambic poetry, for instance: Whoso delights to walk with wicked men,
Of him I ask not, for I know him such
As are the men whose converse pleases him.
Then follows the passage about “the man who frequented cockpits, and consorted with Pittalacus,” and so forth; “do you not know what his character is?” Well, Aeschines, your iambics shall now serve my turn for an observation about you. I shall be speaking with the propriety of the Tragic Muse, when I say to the jury: Whoso delights to walk (especially on an embassy) with Philocrates, of him I ask not, for I know him well—to have taken bribes, as Philocrates did, who made confession.

19.246Well, when he tries to insult other people by calling them speech-makers and charlatans, he shall be shown to be open to the same reproach. For those iambics come from the Phoenix of Euripides. That play was never acted by Theodorus or Aristodemus, for whom Aeschines commonly took the inferior parts; Molon however produced it, and perhaps some other players of the old school. But Sophocles' Antigone was frequently acted by Theodorus, and also by Aristodemus; and in that play there are some iambic lines, admirably and most instructively composed. That passage Aeschines omitted to quote, though he has often spoken the lines, and knows them by heart; 19.247for of course you are aware that, in all tragic dramas, it is the enviable privilege of third-rate actors to come on as tyrants, carrying their royal scepters. Now you shall weigh the merits of the verses which were specially written by the poet for the character of Creon-Aeschines, though he forgot to repeat them to himself in connection with his embassy, and did not quote them to the jury. Read.Iambics from the Antigone of Sophocles
Who shall appraise the spirit of a man,
His mind, his temper, till he hath been proved
In ministry of laws and government?
I hold, and long have held, that man a knave
Who, standing at the helm of state, deserts
The wisest counsel, or in craven fear
Of any, sets a curb upon his lips.
Who puts his friend above his fatherland
I scorn as nothing worth; and for myself,
Witness all-seeing Heaven! I will not hold
My peace when I descry the curse that comes
To sap my citizens' security;
Nor will I count as kin my country's foes;
For well I wot our country is the ship
That saves us all, sailing on even keel:
Embarked in her we fear no dearth of friends.
Soph. Ant. 175-190

19.248Aeschines did not quote any of these lines for his own instruction on his embassy. He put the hospitality and friendship of Philip far above his country,—and found it more profitable. He bade a long farewell to the sage Sophocles; and when he saw the curse that came,—to wit, the army advancing upon the Phocians,—he sounded no warning, sent no timely report; rather he helped both to conceal and to execute the design, and obstructed those who were ready to tell the truth. 19.249He forgot the ship that saves; forgot that embarked in her his own mother, performing her rites, scouring her candidates, making her pittance from the substance of her employers, here reared her hopeful brood to greatness. Here, too, his father, who kept an infant-school, lived as best he could,—next door to Heros the physician, note as I am told by elderly informants,—anyhow, he lived in this city. The offspring of this pair earned a little money as junior clerks and messengers in the public offices, until, by your favor, they became full-fledged clerks, with free maintenance for two years in the Rotunda. note Finally, from this same city Aeschines received his commission as ambassador. 19.250He cared for none of these obligations; he took no thought that the ship of state should sail on even keel; he scuttled her and sank her, and so far as in him lay put her at the mercy of her foes. Are not you then a charlatan? Yes, and a vile one too. Are not you a speech-writer? Yes, and an unprincipled one to boot. You passed over the speech that you so often spoke on the stage, and knew by heart; you hunted up rant that in all your career you had never declaimed in character, and revived it for the undoing of your own fellow-citizen.

19.251Let us now turn to his remarks about Solon. By way of censure and reproach of the impetuous style of Timarchus, he alleged that a statue of Solon, with his robe drawn round him and his hand enfolded, had been set up to exemplify the self-restraint of the popular orators of that generation. People who live at Salamis, however, inform us that this statue was erected less than fifty years ago. Now from the age of Solon to the present day about two hundred and forty years have elapsed, so that the sculptor who designed that disposition of drapery had not lived in Solon's time,—nor even his grand-father. 19.252He illustrated his remarks by representing to the jury the attitude of the statue; but his mimicry did not include what, politically, would have been much more profitable than an attitude,—a view of Solon's spirit and purpose, so widely different from his own. When Salamis had revolted, and the Athenian people had forbidden under penalty of death any proposal for its recovery, Solon, accepting the risk of death, composed and recited an elegiac poem, and so retrieved that country for Athens and removed a standing dishonor. 19.253Aeschines, on the other hand, gave away and sold Amphipolis, a city which the King of Persia and all Greece recognized as yours, speaking in support of the resolution moved by Philocrates. It was highly becoming in him, was it not to remind us of Solon? Not content with this performance at home, he went to Macedonia, and never mentioned the place with which his mission was concerned. So he stated in his own report, for no doubt you remember how he said “I, too, had something to say about Amphipolis, but I left it out to give Demosthenes a chance of dealing with that subject.” 19.254I rose and told you that he had never once left to me anything that he wanted to say to Philip: he would sooner give a man a share of his life-blood than a share of his speech. The truth is that, having accepted money, he could hardly confront Philip, who gave him the money on purpose that he might not restore Amphipolis. Now, please, take and read these elegiac verses of Solon, to show the jury how Solon detested people like the defendant.

19.255What we require, Aeschines, is not oratory with enfolded hands, but diplomacy with enfolded hands. But in Macedonia you held out your hands, turned them palm upwards, and brought shame upon your countrymen, and then here at home you talk magniloquently; you practise and declaim some miserable fustian, and think to escape the due penalty of your heinous crimes, if you only don your little skull-cap, note take your constitutional, and abuse me. Now read.Solon's Elegiacs
Not by the doom of Zeus, who ruleth all,
Not by the curse of Heaven shall Athens fall.
Strong in her Sire, above the favored land
Pallas Athene lifts her guardian hand.
No; her own citizens with counsels vain
Shall work her rain in their quest of gain;
Dishonest demagogues her folk misguide,
Foredoomed to suffer for their guilty pride.
Their reckless greed, insatiate of delight,
Knows not to taste the frugal feast aright;
Th' unbridled lust of gold, their only care,
Nor public wealth nor wealth divine will spare.
Now here, now there, they raven, rob and seize,
Heedless of Justice and her stern decrees,
Who silently the present and the past
Reviews, whose slow revenge o'ertakes at last.
On every home the swift contagion falls,
Till servitude a free-born race enthralls.
Now faction reigns now wakes the sword of strife,
And comely youth shall pay its toll of life;
We waste our strength in conflict with our kin,
And soon our gates shall let the foeman in.
Such woes the factious nation shall endure;
A fate more hard awaits the hapless poor;
For them, enslaved, bound with insulting chains,
Captivity in alien lands remains.
To every hearth the public curse extends;
The courtyard gate no longer safety lends;
Death leaps the wall, nor shall he shun the doom
Who flies for safety to his inmost room.

Ye men of Athens, listen while I show
How many ills from lawless licence flow.
Respect for Law shall check your rising lust,
Humble the haughty, fetter the unjust,
Make the rough places plain, bid envy cease,
Wither infatuation's fell increase,
Make crooked judgement straight, the works prevent
Of insolence and sullen discontent,
And quench the fires of strife. In Law we find
The wisdom and perfection of Mankind.

19.256You have heard, men of Athens, what Solon says of men of such character, and of the gods who protect our city. That saying about the protection of our city by the gods is, as I hope and firmly believe, eternally true; and in a manner I think that even the events of this scrutiny furnish the commonwealth with a new example of the divine favor. 19.257For consider this: a man who had scandalously misconducted his embassy, and who had given away whole provinces in which the gods should have been worshipped by you and your allies, disfranchised one who had prosecuted him at duty's call. note And all for what? That he himself may win neither compassion nor indulgence for his own transgressions. Moreover, in accusing him, he went out of his way to speak evil of me, and again at the Assembly he declared he would lay an indictment, with other such threats. And why? In order that you may extend your best indulgence to me when I, who have the most accurate knowledge of his villainies, and have watched him closely throughout, appear as his prosecutor. 19.258Again, thanks to his continual evasions, he has at last been brought to trial at the very moment when, for the sake of the future if for no other reason, you cannot possibly, or consistently with your own security, allow a man so steeped in corruption to go scot-free; for, while it is always your duty, men of Athens, to abhor and to chastise traitors and bribe-mongers, a conviction at this crisis will be peculiarly seasonable and profitable to all mankind. 19.259A strange and distressing epidemic, men of Athens, has invaded all Greece, calling for extraordinary good fortune, and for the most anxious treatment on your part. The magnates of the several cities, who are entrusted with political authority, are betraying their own independence, unhappy men! They are imposing on themselves a servitude of their own choosing, disguising it by specious names, as the friendship of Philip, fraternity, good-fellowship, and such flummery. The rest of the people, and all the various authorities of the several states, instead of chastising these persons and putting them to death on the spot, as they ought, are filled with admiration and envy, and would all like to be Philip's friends too. 19.260Yet this infatuation, this hankering after Philip, men of Athens, until very recently had only destroyed the predominance of the Thessalians and their national prestige, but now it is already sapping their independence, for some of their citadels are actually garrisoned by Macedonians. It has invaded Peloponnesus and caused the massacres at Elis. It infected those unhappy people with such delirious insanity that, to overmaster one another and to gratify Philip, they stained their hands with the blood of their own kindred and fellow-citizens. 19.261It has not stopped there. It has entered Arcadia, and turned Arcadian politics upside down; and now many of that nation, who ought to pride themselves as highly as you upon their independence—for you and they are the only indigenous peoples in Greece—admire Philip, set up his effigy in bronze, decorate it with garlands, and, to crown all, have enacted a decree that, if he ever visits Peloponnesus, he shall be made welcome within their walls. The Argives have followed their example. 19.262Holy Mother Earth! if I am to speak as a sane man, we stand in need of the utmost vigilance, when this infection, moving in its circuit, has invaded our own city. Therefore take your precautions now, while we are still secure. Let the men who have brought it here be punished with infamy. If not, beware lest you discern the wisdom of my words too late, when you have lost the power of doing what you ought.

19.263Do you not see, men of Athens, what a conspicuous and striking example is offered by those miserable Olynthians, who owe their rain, unhappy men, to nothing so much as to such conduct as I have described? You may easily discover the truth by a review of their experience. At the time when their cavalry was only four hundred strong, and their whole force numbered no more than five thousand, for there was then no coalition of all the Chalcidians, 19.264they were invaded by the Lacedaemonians with a large force, both naval and military; and you will remember that in those days the Lacedaemonians may be said to have held command both of land and of sea. Yet in spite of the strength of the attacking force, they never lost a town or even an outpost, they won many engagements, they slew three of the enemy commanders, and finally brought the war to an end on their own terms. note 19.265But when some of them began to accept bribes, when the populace was so stupid, or, let us say, so unlucky, as to give more credence to those persons than to patriotic speakers, when Lasthenes had roofed his house with timber sent as a present from Macedonia, and Euthycrates was keeping a large herd of cattle for which he had paid nothing to anybody, when one man returned home with a flock of sheep and another with a stud of horses, when the masses, whose interests were endangered, instead of being angry and demanding the punishment of the traitors, stared at them, envied them, honored them, and thought them fine fellows,— 19.266when, I say, the business had gone so far as that, and corruption had won the day, then, though they numbered more than ten thousand and had a thousand cavalry, though all their neighbors were in alliance with them, though you came to their aid with ten thousand mercenaries, fifty war-galleys, and four thousand of your citizen-force, nothing could save them. Before the war had lasted a year they had lost every town in Chalcidice through treachery, and Philip could no longer pay any attention to the traitors, and hardly knew what to capture first. 19.267He took five hundred horsemen with all their equipment by the treason of their officers—a number beyond all precedent. The perpetrators of that infamy were not put to the blush by the sun that shone on their shame or by the soil of their native land on which they stood, by temples or by sepulchres, by the ignominy that waited on their deeds: such madness, men of Athens, such obliquity, does corruption engender! Therefore it behoves you, you the commonalty of Athens, to keep your senses, to refuse toleration to such practices, and to visit them with public retribution. For indeed it would be monstrous if, after passing so stern a decree of censure upon the men who betrayed the Olynthians, you should have no chastisement for those who repeat their iniquity in your own midst. Read the decree concerning the Olynthians.Decree

19.268Gentlemen of the jury, by the universal judgement of Greeks and barbarians alike, you acted well and righteously in passing this vote of censure upon traitors and reprobates. Therefore, inasmuch as bribe-taking is the forerunner of such treasons, and for the sake of bribes men commit them, whenever, men of Athens, you see any man taking bribes, you may be sure that he is also a traitor. If one man betrays opportunities, another negotiations, another soldiery, each one is making havoc of the business he controls, and all alike deserve your reprobation. 19.269In dealing with them you, men of Athens, and you alone among the nations of the world, can find examples to imitate in your own history, and may emulate in act the forefathers whom you justly commend. For if at the present time you are at peace, and cannot emulate the battles, the campaigns, the hazards of war, in which they won renown, you may at least imitate their sound judgement. 19.270That is wanted in all circumstances; and an honest judgement costs you no more pains and vexation than a vicious judgement. Each of you will sit in this court for just as long a time, whether, by reaching a right decision and giving a right verdict upon this case, he amends the condition of the commonwealth and does credit to his ancestry, or, by a wrong decision, impairs that condition and dishonors that ancestry. What, then, was their judgement in such a case?—Clerk, take this and read it.—For I would have you know that you are treating with indifference offences such as your forefathers once punished with death.Stela Inscription

19.271You hear, men of Athens, the record which declares Arthmius, son of Pythonax, of Zelea, to be enemy and foeman of the Athenian people and their allies, him and all his kindred. His offence was conveying gold from barbarians to Greeks. Hence, apparently, we may conclude that your ancestors were anxious to prevent any man, even an alien, taking rewards to do injury to Greece; but you take no thought to discountenance wrongs done by your own citizens to your own city. 19.272Does anyone say that this inscription has been set up just anywhere? No; although the whole of our citadel is a holy place, and although its area is so large, the inscription stands at the right hand beside the great brazen Athene which was dedicated by the state as a memorial of victory in the Persian war, at the expense of the Greeks. In those days, therefore, justice was so venerable, and the punishment of these crimes so meritorious, that the retribution of such offenders was honored with the same position as Pallas Athene's own prize of victory. Today we have instead—mockery, impunity, dishonor, unless you restrain the licence of these men.

19.273In my judgement, men of Athens, you will do well, not to emulate your forefathers in some one respect alone, but to follow their conduct step by step. I am sure you have all heard the story of their treatment of Callias, son of Hipponicus, who negotiated the celebrated peace note under which the King of Persia was not to approach within a day's ride of the coast, nor sail with a ship of war between the Chelidonian islands and the Blue Rocks. At the inquiry into his conduct they came near to putting him to death, and mulcted him in fifty talents, because he was said to have taken bribes on embassy. 19.274Yet no one can cite a more honorable peace made by the city before or since; but that is not what they regarded. They attributed the honorable peace to their own valor and to the high repute of their city, the refusal or acceptance of money to the character of the ambassador; and they expected an honest and incorruptible character in any man who entered the service of the state. 19.275They held the taking of bribes to be too inimical and unprofitable to the state to be tolerated in any transaction or in any person; but you, men of Athens, having before you a peace which at once has pulled down the walls of your allies and is building up the houses of your ambassadors, which robbed the city of her possessions and earned for them wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, instead of putting them to death of your own accord, wait for the appearance of a prosecutor. You are giving them a trial of words with their evil deeds before your eyes.

19.276Yet we need not restrict ourselves to bygone history, or rely upon those ancient precedents in our appeal to retributive justice. Within your own lifetime, in the time of the generation now living, not a few men have been tried and condemned. Passing by other instances, let me recall to your memory one or two men who have been punished by death after an embassy far less mischievous to the city. Please take and read this decree.Decree

19.277By the terms of this decree, men of Athens, you condemned to death the ambassadors named. One of them was Epicrates, who, as I am informed by persons older than myself, was an honest, useful, and popular politician, and one of the men who marched from Peiraeus and restored the democracy. note No such consideration availed him; and that was right, for a man who accepts so important a mission is not to be virtuous by halves. He must not use the public confidence he has earned as an opportunity for knavery; his duty is simply to do you no wilful wrong at all. 19.278Well, if the present defendants have omitted any single one of the misdeeds for which those persons were sentenced to death, execute me on the spot. Look at the decree: “Whereas the said ambassadors have disobeyed their instructions.” That is the first charge alleged. And did not these men disobey their instructions? Did not the decree say, “for the Athenians and the Allies of the Athenians,” and did not they declare the Phocians to be excluded? Did it not instruct them to swear in the magistrates in the several cities, and did they not swear in only such persons as Philip sent to them? Did not the decree say that they were not to meet Philip alone in any place whatsoever, and did they not continually have private dealings with Philip? 19.279“Whereas,” says the old decree, “certain of them are convicted of making untruthful reports to the Council.” Why, these men are convicted of making untruthful reports even to the Assembly. On what evidence?—you remember that brilliant quibble. On the evidence of facts: the report was exactly contradicted by the event. It goes on: “and of sending untruthful dispatches.” So did they. “And of bearing false witness against allies, and of taking bribes.” For “bearing false witness” read “utterly destroying”—a vastly greater injury. But as to their having taken bribes, we should still, if they denied it, have to make the charge good; but since they admit it, surely there should have been a summary arrest and punishment. note

19.280What follows, men of Athens? Such being the facts, will you, the descendants of these men, some of whom are still living, be content that Epicrates, the champion of democracy, the hero of the march from Peiraeus, should have been degraded and punished; that more recently Thrasybulus, a son of Thrasybulus the great democrat, who restored free government from Phyle, should have paid a fine of ten talents that even a descendant of Harmodius and of the greatest of all your benefactors, the men to whom, in requital of their glorious deeds, you have allotted by statute a share of your libations and drink-offerings in every temple and at every public service, whom, in hymns and in worship, you treat as the equals of gods and demigods,— 19.281will you be content that all these men should have been subjected to the inexorable penalty of law; that they should find no succor in mercy or compassion, in weeping children bearing honored names, or in any other plea? And then, when you have in your power a son of Atrometus the dominie, and of Glaucothea, the fuglewoman of those bacchanalian routs for which another priestess note suffered death, will you release the son of such parents, a man who has never been of the slightest use to the commonwealth, neither he, nor his father, nor any member of his precious family? 19.282Has the state ever had to thank any one of them in the whole course of his life for so much as a horse, or a war-galley, or a military expedition, or a chorus, or any public service, assessed contribution, or free gift, or for any deed of valor or any benefit whatsoever? Yet even if he could claim credit for all those services, but could not add that he has been an honest and disinterested ambassador, he ought assuredly to suffer death. If he has neither the one claim nor the other, will you not punish him? 19.283Remember what he told you himself when he prosecuted Timarchus,—that there is no merit in a city that is nerveless in its dealings with malefactors, or in a polity where indulgence and importunity are stronger than the laws. You must not, he said, have any pity for Timarchus's mother, an aged woman, or his children, or anyone else: you must fix your mind on the thought that, if you desert the laws and the constitution, you will find no one to pity you. 19.284The unfortunate Timarchus is still disfranchised because he was a witness of Aeschines' misdeeds, and why should you allow Aeschines to go scot-free? If he demanded such severity of retribution from men who had transgressed only against himself and his friends, what retribution are you, a legal jury bound by oath, to exact from men who have grievously transgressed against the commonwealth, and of whom he is proved to be one? 19.285He will say that the trial of Timarchus will improve the morals of our young men. Then this trial will improve the integrity of our statesmen, on whom depend the gravest political hazards; and they also have a claim on your consideration. But let me show you that he did not bring Timarchus to ruin because of his anxious care—Heaven help us! for the modesty of your children. Your children, men of Athens, are already modest; and God forbid that Athens should ever be in such evil case as to require an Aphobetus or an Aeschines to teach young people modesty! 19.286He did it because Timarchus had moved in the Council a decree making the conveyance of arms or ships' tackle to Philip a capital offence. As evidence of that, let me ask how long Timarchus had been a public speaker? A very long time; and during all that time Aeschines was in Athens; yet he never took offence, he never began to think it a shame that a man of such character should make speeches, until he had visited Macedonia and sold himself. Please take and read the actual decree of Timarchus.Decree

19.287The man who for your sake proposed the prohibition, under penalty of death, of carrying arms to Philip is vilified and disgraced; the man who surrendered to Philip the armaments of our allies is his accuser. Immorality—save the mark!—was the theme of his speech, while at his side stood his two brothers-in-law, the very sight of whom is enough to set you in an uproar,—the disgusting Nicias, who went to Egypt as the hireling of Chabrias, and the abominable Cyrebio, note the unmasked harlequin of the pageants. But that was nothing: under his eyes sat his brother Aphobetus. In truth, on that day all that declaiming against immorality was like water flowing upstream. note

19.288And now, to illustrate the discredit into which our city has been dragged by this man's trickery and mendacity, omitting much that I might mention, I will point to a symptom that you have all observed. In former times, men of Athens, all Greece used to watch anxiously for your decisions. Today we prowl the streets wondering what the other communities have resolved, all agog to hear what is the news from Arcadia, what is the news from the Amphictyons, what will be Philip's next movement, whether he is alive or dead. 19.289You know that such is our behavior. What alarms me is the thought, not that Philip is alive, but that in Athens the spirit that loathes and punishes evil-doers is dead. Philip does not terrify me, if only your condition is healthy; but if there is to be impunity in this court for men who hunger after Philip's pay, and if men who have won your confidence, men who have hitherto scorned the imputation of intriguing for Philip, are to appear as their advocates, that does terrify me.— 19.290What does this mean, Eubulus? At the trial of your cousin Hegesilaus, and recently at that of Thrasybulus, an uncle of Niceratus, before the first vote of the jury note you would not even answer when you were called; on the question of damages you did get up to speak, but you had not a word to say in their favor, and merely asked the jury to excuse you. So you do not mount the tribune for your own kinsmen and for men who have a claim on your services, and will you mount it for Aeschines, 19.291who, when Aristophon prosecuted Philonicus, and in denouncing him denounced your own policy, joined in the attack upon you, and so ranged himself with your enemies? After terrifying the people, and telling them that they must go down to Peiraeus at once, pay the war-tax and turn the theatric fund into a war-chest, or else vote for the resolution that was supported by Aeschines and moved by that abominable Philocrates, with the result that we got a discreditable instead of an equitable peace, 19.292and after all the ruin that has been wrought by their subsequent misdeeds, are you reconciled with them after that? In the Assembly you solemnly cursed Philip; you swore by the head of your children that you desired his utter destruction, and will you now be the defender of Aeschines? How can Philip be utterly destroyed, if you rescue the men who take his bribes? 19.293Why did you prosecute Moerocles, because he had extorted twenty drachmas apiece from the lessees of the silver-mines; why did you indict Cephisophon for misappropriating sacred funds, because he was three days late in paying seven minas into the bank, if, instead of prosecuting, you now try to rescue men who have confessed, who have been caught in the act, who are convicted of taking bribes for the destruction of our allies? 19.294Yes, these are formidable offences, calling for the utmost vigilance and precaution; while the charges you brought against those two men were comparatively ludicrous, as these considerations will show. Were there any persons in Elis who embezzled public money? In all probability, yes. Did any one of them take part in the recent overthrow of free government there? 19.295Not one. When there was still such a city as Olynthus, were there any thieves there? I take it there were. Did Olynthus perish through their sins? No. Do you suppose there were no thieves and pilferers of public funds in Megara? There must have been such. Has any one of them been shown to be responsible for the present political troubles there? Not one. Then who are the people who commit these monstrous crimes? Persons who fancy themselves important enough to be called friends of Philip, men itching for military commands and eager for political distinction, men who claim superiority over the common herd. At Megara the other day was not Perillus tried before the Three Hundred on a charge of visiting Philip? And did not Ptoeodorus, the first man in all Megara for wealth, birth, and reputation, come forward and beg him off, and then send him back to Philip? The sequel was that one of the pair returned with an alien army at his back, while the other was hatching the plot at home. Take that as a specimen. 19.296Indeed, there is no danger, no danger whatsoever, that requires more anxious vigilance than allowing any man to become stronger than the people. Let no man be delivered, and let no man be destroyed, merely because this man or that so desires; let hem who is delivered or destroyed by the evidence of facts be entitled to receive from this court the verdict that is his due. That is the democratic principle. 19.297Furthermore, at Athens many men have upon occasion risen to power—the great Callistratus, for instance, Aristophon, Diophantus, and others of earlier date. But what was the field of their supremacy? The popular assembly. In courts of justice no man to this day has ever been superior to the people, or to the laws, or to the judicial oath. Then permit no such superiority to Aeschines today. To enforce the warning that it is better to take those precautions than to be credulous, I will read to you an oracle of the gods,—to whom Athens owes her salvation far more than to her most prominent politicians. Read the oracles.Oracles

19.298Men of Athens, you hear the admonitions of the gods. If they are addressed to you in time of war, they bid you beware of your commanders, for commanders are the leaders of warfare; if after conclusion of peace, of your statesmen, for they are your leaders, they have your obedience, by them you may haply be deceived. The oracle also bids you keep the commonwealth together, that all may be of one mind, and may not gratify the enemy. 19.299What do you think, men of Athens? Will Philip be gratified by the deliverance or by the punishment of the man who has done all this mischief? By his deliverance surely; but the oracle bids you strive that the enemy shall not rejoice. Therefore, you are all exhorted by Zeus, by Dione, by all the gods, to punish with one mind those who have made themselves the servants of your enemies. There are foes without; there are traitors within. It is the business of foes to give bribes, of traitors to take bribes, and to rescue those who have taken them.

19.300Moreover, it can be shown by mere human reasoning that it is extremely injurious and dangerous to permit the intimacy of a prominent statesman with men whose purposes are at variance with those of the people. If you will consider by what means Philip acquired his political supremacy and performed his most signal achievements, you will find that it was by buying treachery from willing sellers, and by corrupting leading politicians and stimulating their ambition. 19.301Both these practices it is within your power, if you so choose, to frustrate today, if you will first refuse to listen to the defenders of treachery, and prove that they cannot exercise that authority over you of which they boast, and then punish before the eyes of the world the man who has traitorously sold himself. 19.302You have good reason, men of Athens, to be indignant with every man who by such conduct has thrown overboard your allies, your friends, and those opportunities on which, for any nation, success or failure depends, but with no man more fiercely or more righteously than with Aeschines. For a man who once ranged himself with those who distrusted Philip, and made unassisted the first discovery of Philip's hostility to all Greece, and then became a deserter and a traitor and suddenly appeared as Philip's champion—does he not deserve a hundred deaths? 19.303Yet that such are the facts, he will not be able to deny. For who originally introduced Ischander to you, declaring him to have come as the representative of the Arcadian friends of Athens? Who raised the cry that Philip was forming coalitions in Greece and Peloponnesus while you slept? Who made those long and eloquent speeches, and read the decrees of Miltiades and Themistacles and the oath which our young men take in the temple of Aglaurus note? 19.304Was it not Aeschines? Who persuaded you to send embassies almost as far as the Red Sea, declaring that Greece was the object of Philip's designs, and that it was your duty to anticipate the danger and not be disloyal to the Hellenic cause? Was it not Eubulus who proposed the decree, and the defendant Aeschines who went as ambassador to the Peloponnesus? What he said there after his arrival, either in conversation or in public speeches, is best known to himself: what he reported on his return I am sure you have not forgotten. 19.305For he made a speech in which he repeatedly called Philip a barbarian and a man of blood. He told you that the Arcadians were delighted to hear that Athens was really waking up and attending to business. He related an incident which, he said, had filled him with deep indignation. On his journey home he had met Atrestidas travelling from Philip's court with some thirty women and children in his train. He was astonished, and inquired of one of the travellers who the man and his throng of followers were; 19.306and when he was told that they were Olynthian captives whom Atrestidas was bringing away with him as a present from Philip, he thought it a terrible business, and burst into tears. Greece, he sorrowfully reflected, is in evil plight indeed, if she permits such cruelties to pass unchecked. He counselled you to send envoys to Arcadia to denounce the persons who were intriguing for Philip; for, he said, he had been informed that, if only Athens would give attention to the matter and send ambassadors, the intriguers would promptly be brought to justice. 19.307Such was his speech on that occasion; a noble speech, worthy of our Athenian traditions. But after he had visited Macedonia, and beheld his own enemy and the enemy of all Greece, did his language bear the slightest resemblance to those utterances? Not in the least: he bade you not to remember your forefathers, not to talk about trophies, not to carry succor to anybody. As for the people who recommended you to consult the Greeks on the terms of peace with Philip, he was amazed at the suggestion that it was necessary that any foreigner should be convinced when the questions were purely domestic. 19.308And as for Philip,—why, good Heavens, he was a Greek of the Greeks, the finest orator and the most thorough—going friend of Athens you could find in the whole world. And yet there were some queer, ill-conditioned fellows in Athens who did not blush to abuse him, and even to call him a barbarian!

19.309Is it, then, conceivable that the man who made the earlier of those speeches should also have made the later unless he had been corrupted? Is it possible that the same man who was then inflamed with abhorrence of Atrestidas on account of those Olynthian women and children, should now be content to cooperate with Philocrates, who brought free-born Olynthian ladies to this city for their dishonor? Philocrates is now so notorious for the infamous life he has lived that I need not apply to him any degrading or offensive epithet. When I merely mention that he did bring the ladies, there is not a man in this court, whether on the jury or among the onlookers, who does not know the sequel, and who does not, I am sure, feel compassion for those miserable and unfortunate beings. Yet Aeschines had no compassion for them. He did not shed tears over Greece on their account, indignant that they should suffer outrage in an allied country at the hands of Athenian ambassadors.

19.310No; our discredited ambassador will keep all his tears for himself. Very likely he will bring his children into court and put them in a conspicuous position. But do you, gentlemen of the jury, as you look at those children of his, reflect how many children of your own friends and allies are wanderers, roaming the world in beggary, suffering hardships which they owe to this man; and that they deserve your compassion infinitely more than the offspring of a malefactor and a traitor, while, by adding to the treaty of peace the words and to their posterity, he and his friends robbed your own children even of hope. When you witness his tears, remember that you hold in your power a man who bade you send accusers to Arcadia to testify against the agents of Philip. 19.311And so today you have no need to send a mission to Peloponnesus, to make a long journey, or to pay travelling expenses; you have only to advance one by one to this platform, and there cast a just and a righteous vote for your country's sake against the man who, having at the outset, as I described to you, spoken so eloquently about Marathon and Salamis, about battles and victories, from the moment he set foot on Macedonian soil contradicted his own utterances, forbade you to remember the example of your forefathers, or recall old victories, or carry succor to your friends, or take common counsel with the Greeks, and well-nigh bade you to dismantle the defences of your city. 19.312No more disgraceful speeches have ever been made in your hearing during the whole course of your history. Lives there a man, Greek or barbarian, so boorish, so unversed in history, or so ill-disposed to our commonwealth that, if he were asked the question, “Tell me, in all the country that we call Greece and inhabit today, is there an acre that would still bear that name, or remain the home of the Greeks who now possess it, if the heroes of Marathon and Salamis, our forefathers, had not in their defence performed those glorious deeds of valor,” is there one man who would not make reply: “No; the whole country would have become the prey of the barbarian invaders”? 19.313Even among your foes there is not a man who would despoil those heroes of their meed of praise and gratitude; and does an Aeschines forbid you, their own descendants, to commemorate their names—all for the sake of his miserable bribes? There are indeed rewards in which the dead have no part or lot; but the praise that waits on glorious achievements is the peculiar guerdon of those who have gloriously died—for then jealousy is no longer their adversary. Let the man who would rob the dead of their reward be stripped of his own honors: that retribution you will levy on him for your forefathers' sake. By those speeches of yours, you reprobate, you made havoc of our policy, traducing and disparaging with your tongue the achievements of our forefathers. 19.314And from these performances you emerge a land-owner, a person of high consideration! Take another point. Before he did all that mischief to the commonwealth, he used to admit that he had been a clerk; he was grateful to you for his appointments; his demeanor was quite modest. But since he has perpetrated wrongs without number, he has become mightily supercilious. If a man speaks of “Aeschines, the man who was once a clerk,” he makes a private quarrel of it, and talks of defamation of character. Behold him pacing the market-place with the stately stride of Pythocles, his long robe reaching to his ankles, his cheeks puffed out, as who should say, “One of Philip's most intimate friends, at your service!” He has joined the clique that wants to get rid of democracy,—that regards the established political order as an inconstant wave,—mere midsummer madness. And once he made obeisance to the Rotunda! note

19.315Now I wish by a brief recapitulation to remind you of the manner in which Philip discomfited your policy with these scoundrels as his confederates. It is well worth while to examine and contemplate the whole imposition. At the outset he was really desirous of peace, for his whole country was overrun by banditti, and his ports were blockaded, so that he got no advantage from all his wealth. Accordingly he sent those envoys who addressed you in his name with so much courtesy—Neoptolemus, Aristodemus, and Ctesiphon. 19.316But as soon as he was visited by us ambassadors, he promptly took Aeschines into his pay, that he might support and co-operate with the infamous Philocrates, and overpower those of us whose intentions were honest. He then composed a letter to you, as the best means of obtaining the peace he desired. 19.317Even then it was still out of his power to achieve any important result to your disadvantage, unless he should destroy the Phocians. That was no easy task, for, as luck would have it, his affairs had reached a crisis of such a nature that either he could not realize any of his purposes, or else he was obliged to commit falsehood and perjury, with the whole world, both Greek and barbarian, to witness his wickedness. 19.318For if he should accept the Phocians as allies, and with your help take the oath of friendship to them, he must at once violate the oaths he had already sworn to the Thessalians and the Thebans, with the latter of whom he had covenanted to help them in the subjugation of Boeotia, and with the former to restore their rights at the Amphictyonic Council. If, on the other hand, he was loth to accept them—and in fact the prospect did not please him—he expected that you would send troops to Thermopylae to stop his passage, as indeed you would have done if you had not been outwitted. In that event, he calculated that he would be unable to get through. 19.319He did not need any information from others to reach that conclusion. He was himself a sufficient witness, for, after his first defeat of the Phocians and the overthrow of their leader and commander Onomarchus, although no one in the whole world, Greek or barbarian, sent aid to them save you alone, so far from getting through Thermopylae, or accomplishing any of the purposes of the passage, he had been unable even to approach the pass. 19.320I take it he was perfectly well aware that now, with Thessaly at variance with him—the Pheraeans, for example, refusing to join his following—with the Thebans getting the worst of the war, defeated in an engagement, and a trophy erected at their expense, he would be unable to force the passage if you sent troops to Thermopylae, and that he could not even make the attempt without serious loss unless he should also resort to some trickery. “How, then,” he thought, “shall I escape open falsehood, and attain all my objects without incurring the charge of perjury? Only if I can find Athenians to hood-wink the Athenian people, for then I shall have no share in the ensuing dishonor.” 19.321Accordingly his envoys warned you that he would not accept the Phocian alliance, but then Aeschines and his friends, taking up the tale, assured the people that, although for the sake of the Thebans and the Thessalians Philip could not with decency accept the alliance, yet if he should become master of the situation, and get his peace, he would thereafter do exactly what we should now ask him to agree to. 19.322So on the strength of these expectations and inducements he obtained his peace, with the Phocians excluded; but it was still necessary to stop the reinforcement of Thermopylae, for which fifty war-galleys were lying at anchor to enable you to check Philip's advance. 19.323How could it be done? What new artifice could he invent for that purpose? Someone must filch your opportunities of action, and surprise you with an unexpected crisis, so that you might lose the power, if not the will, of sending the expedition. That, then, was clearly what these men undertook. As you have often heard, I was unable to get away in time; I had chartered a ship, but was prevented from sailing. 19.324But it was further necessary that the Phocians should acquire confidence in Philip and make a voluntary surrender, so that no delay should intervene, and no unfriendly resolution come to hand from you. “Very well,” thought Philip, “a report shall be made by the Athenian ambassadors that the Phocians are to be protected; and so, though they persist in mistrusting me, they will deliver themselves into my hands through confidence in the Athenians. We will enlist the sympathy of the Athenian people in the hope that, supposing themselves to have got everything they want, they will pass no obstructive resolution. These men shall carry from us such flattering reports and assurances that, whatsoever may befall, they will make no movement.”

19.325In this manner and by the aid of this artifice our ruin was accomplished by men themselves doomed to perdition. For at once, instead of witnessing the restoration of Thespiae and Plataea, you heard of the enslavement of Orchomenus and Coronea. Instead of the humiliation of Thebes and the abasement of her pride and insolence, the walls of your own allies the Phocians were demolished, and demolished by those very Thebans whom Aeschines in his speech had sent to live in scattered villages. 19.326Instead of the surrender to you of Euboea in exchange for Amphipolis, Philip is establishing positions in Euboea as a base of attack upon you, and is constantly plotting against Geraestus and Megara. Instead of recovering Oropus, we are making an armed expedition to secure Drymus note and the district of Panactus, note an operation in which we never engaged so long as the Phocians were safe. 19.327Instead of the re-establishment of ancient rites in the Temple of Apollo, and the restitution of treasure to the god, men who were once Amphictyons are fugitives and exiles, and men who never in all former time were members of it, Macedonians and barbarians, are now forcing their way into the Amphictyonic Council. If anyone says a word about the sacred treasure, he is thrown down the precipice; and Athens is robbed of her precedence in the consultation of the Oracle. 19.328To Athens the whole business is an insoluble puzzle. Philip has escaped falsehood, and has accomplished all his purposes, while you, after expecting the complete fulfilment, have witnessed the entire disappointment, of your desires. You are nominally at peace; yet peace has brought you greater calamities than war. Meantime these men have made money by your misfortunes, and until today have never been brought to justice. 19.329That they have done it all for bribes, and that they have the price of their perfidy in their pockets, has, I suppose, long ago been manifest to you for many reasons; and I am afraid that, contrary to my desire, I may be wearying you by submitting detailed proofs of facts well known to you. 19.330However, I must ask you to listen to one more argument. Gentlemen of the jury, would you set up in the market-place a statue of any of the ambassadors whom Philip sent? Or would you give to them free maintenance in the Town Hall, or any of the other privileges with which you reward your benefactors? Surely not; but why not? For in you there is no lack of gratitude or justice or kindness. It is, you will say—and it is a fair and honest reply—because they did everything for Philip and nothing for us. 19.331Then do you suppose that Philip acts on an entirely different principle from yours, and gives all those handsome presents to Aeschines and his friends because they conducted their mission duly and honestly in your interest? That is not so. You have observed the reception he gave to the envoy Hegesippus note and his colleagues. Not to mention other details, he banished by proclamation the Athenian poet Xenocleides for offering them hospitality as fellow-citizens. Such is his behavior towards your representatives when they honestly speak out what they think; those who have sold themselves he treats as he treated Aeschines and his friends. My argument requires no other witnesses and no stronger proofs; nor can anyone erase these proofs from your minds.

19.332Some one came up to me just now in front of the court, and told me a very odd thing. Aeschines, he said, had prepared himself to denounce the general Chares, note hoping to cajole you by his eloquent treatment of that topic. I will not lay too much stress on the observation that, whenever Chares has been brought to trial, he has been found to have acted faithfully and loyally, so far as in him lay, in your interests, though he has often failed of success by the fault of the people who do mischief for money. I will go so far as to grant for argument's sake that every word Aeschines will utter against him is true. But even on that assumption it is absolutely ridiculous that a man in Chares' position should be denounced by a man like Aeschines. 19.333Observe that I do not blame Aeschines for any of the misadventures of the war, for which the generals are duly called to account. Nor do I blame him because the city made the peace: so far I acquit him. What then is the basis of my speech and of my indictment? That, when the city was making the peace, he supported Philocrates, and did not support speakers whose proposals were patriotic; that he took bribes; that thereafter, on the later embassy, he deliberately squandered his opportunities; that he deceived the city, and confounded its policy, by suggesting the hope that Philip would satisfy all our desires; and that subsequently, when others warned you to beware of the perpetrator of so many iniquities, he addressed you as his advocate. 19.334These are my accusations. Do not forget them. For a just and equitable peace I would be grateful; I would have commended and advised you to decorate negotiators who had not first sold themselves and then deceived you with falsehoods. Granted that you were wronged by any commander,—he is not concerned in the present inquiry. Did any commander bring Halus to destruction? or the Phocians? or Doriscus? or Cersobleptes? or the Sacred Mount? or Thermopylae? Was it a commander who gave Philip an open road to Attica through the territory of friends and allies? Who has made Coronea and Orchomenus and Euboea alien ground for us? Who nearly did the same with Megara only yesterday? Who has made the Thebans strong? 19.335These are enormous losses, but for none of them is any general to blame. Philip does not hold any of these advantages as a concession made with your consent in the terms of peace. We owe them all to these men and to their venality. If, then, Aeschines shirks the issue, if he tries to lead you astray by talking of anything rather than the charges I bring, I will tell you how to receive his irrelevance. “We are not sitting in judgement on any military commander. You are not being tried on the charges you refute. Do not tell us that this man or that man is to blame for the destruction of the Phocians; prove to us that you are not to blame. If Demosthenes committed any crime, why bring it up now? Why did you not lay your complaint at the statutory investigation of his conduct? For that silence alone you deserve your doom. 19.336You need not tell us that peace is a lovely and profitable thing; for nobody blames you because the city concluded peace. Deny, if you can, that the peace we have is a disgraceful and ignominious peace; deny that after its conclusion we were deceived, and that by that deception all was lost. The blame for all these calamities has been brought home to you. Why do you still speak the praises of the man who inflicted them?” Keep guard over his tricks in that fashion, and he will have nothing to say. He will only aggravate the thunders of his voice, and exhaust himself with his own vociferation.

19.337On that famous voice of his, however, I really must offer some observations. For I am informed that he sets great store thereby, and that he hopes to overawe you by an exhibition of histrionic talent. When he tried to represent the woes of the House of Thyestes, or of the men who fought at Troy, you drove him from the stage with hisses and cat-calls, and came near to pelting him with stones, insomuch that in the end he gave up his profession of actor of small parts; and I think you would be behaving very strangely if now, when he has wrought measurable mischief, not on the stage, but in his dealings with the most momentous affairs of state, you should be favorably impressed by his beautiful voice. 19.338No, gentlemen; you must not yield to unworthy emotion. If you are holding an examination for the office of herald, you do well to look for a man with a fine loud voice; but if you are choosing an ambassador or a candidate for public office, you seek an honest man, a man who exhibits a proud spirit as your representative, and a spirit of equality as your fellow-citizen. I, for example, showed no respect for Philip; I kept my respect for the captives, I rescued them, I spared no effort. Aeschines, on the other hand, grovelled at Philip's feet, sang his Hymn of Victory, and disregards you altogether. 19.339Again, when you observe eloquence, or vocal power, or any such merit, in a right-minded and patriotic speaker, by all means congratulate him and help him to exercise his gift, for you all share in its advantages. But when you find such powers in the possession of a corrupt and evil-minded man, the slave of filthy lucre, discourage him, and listen to him with aversion and animosity; for if knavery enjoys in your eyes the reputation of ability, it becomes a peril to the commonwealth. 19.340You have before your eyes the dangers with which the city is encompassed as the result of the reputation he has achieved. Now other forms of ability are almost wholly independent of conditions; but the ability of the speaker is paralyzed by the recalcitrance of his audience. Listen to him, then, as to a knave and a bribe-taker, who will have no truthful word to utter.

19.341Observe in conclusion that, apart from all other reasons, the conviction of this man is eminently desirable in view of your future relations with Philip. For if Philip ever finds himself under the necessity of treating Athens with common justice, he will have to remodel his methods. At present his chosen policy is to cheat the many and court the few; but, when he learns that his favorites have been brought to ruin, he will wish for the future to deal with the many, who are the real masters of our state. 19.342Or if he persists in the lawlessness and the insolence that he displays today, you, by putting these men out of the way, will have delivered Athens from men ready to go to all lengths in his service. For if the fear that they would be called to account did not deter them, what conduct can you expect from them if you should give them a licence to do what they please? Will they not outvie Euthycrates, Lasthenes, and all the traitors of history? 19.343Every other man will be a worse citizen, when he sees that men who have made traffic of the common interests emerge with wealth and reputation, and with all the advantages of Philip's friendship, while the lot of those who approved themselves honest men and spent their money in your service is vexation and ill-will, and the enmity of those whom I need not name. Let it not be so! For the sake of your honor, of your religion, of your security, of everything you value, you must not acquit this man. Visit him with exemplary punishment, and let his fate be a warning not to our own citizens alone but to every man who lives in the Hellenic world.

Demosthenes, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Dem.].
<<Dem. 18 Dem. 19 (Greek) >>Dem. 20

Powered by PhiloLogic