|Demosthenes, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [lemma count] [Dem.].|
|<<Dem. 44||Dem. 45 (Greek)||>>Dem. 46|
45.1Having been overwhelmed by false testimony, men of Athens, and having been outrageously and cruelly treated by Phormio, I have come to win in your court a verdict against those responsible for the wrong. I beg and beseech and implore you all, in the first place to give me a favorable hearing (for it is a great thing for those who have met with misfortune, as I have done, to be able to tell others of what they have suffered, and to find in you listeners who are kindly disposed) note; and in the second place, if I shall seem to you to be the victim of wrongdoing, to render me the aid which is my due. 45.2I shall prove to you that this man Stephanus has both given false testimony, and has done this from a base desire for gain, and that he is convicted out of his own lips; so transparent is the case from every point of view. And I shall endeavor to relate to you in the fewest possible words all that has taken place between Phormio and myself from the first; and after hearing this you will be convinced both of the villainy of Phormio and that these men have borne false testimony.
45.3As for myself, men of the jury, a large property was left me by my father, and this was in the possession of Phormio, who furthermore had married my mother while I was out of the country on public business, serving as your trierarch. (How he managed it, perhaps it is not proper for a son fully to explain about his mother.) When I returned and learned of this and saw what had been done, although I was greatly incensed and took it much to heart, 45.4I was unable to bring a private action (for there were no actions at that time, since you put off all such matters because of the war note), but I indicted him before the Thesmothetae note on the charge of outrage. note However, time passed and the indictment was evaded (seeing that actions were not being held), and moreover children were born by my mother to Phormio, and after this (for the whole truth shall be told you, men of the jury), many kindly overtures were made on the part of my mother, and pleas on behalf of this man Phormio, and many overtures on the part of Phormio himself that were both moderate and humble in their terms. 45.5However, to make the story brief, men of Athens, he would not do one of the things to which he had agreed, and tried to withhold from me the money which he held as capital in the bank; so then I was compelled to enter suit against him at the earliest opportunity. Phormio on his part, seeing that everything would be brought to light, and that he would be proved to have acted toward me as the basest of humankind, contrived and concocted this plot in furtherance of which the defendant Stephanus gave this false testimony against me. In the first place, he entered a special plea in the suit in which he was defendant, claiming that the suit was not admissible; and then he produced false witnesses who stated that I had given him a release from my claims, and who deposed to a forged lease and to a will which never existed. 45.6He had the advantage over me in being the first speaker, because this was a special plea and the case was not coming to trial upon the real issue, and by reading these documents and making other false statements which he thought would favor his case, he made such an impression on the jury that they refused to hear a single word from me. I was fined one-sixth of the amount claimed, note was denied the right of a hearing, and was treated with such contumely as I doubt if any other man ever was, and I went from the court, men of Athens, taking the matter bitterly and grievously to heart. 45.7Upon going over it in my own mind, however, I see that there was abundant excuse for those who gave that verdict (for I do not know what other vote I could myself have given, if I had known nothing of the facts and had heard the testimony), but that our anger should fall upon these men who by giving false testimony were responsible for this result. Of the others who have given testimony I shall speak when I proceed against them, but regarding the testimony of the defendant Stephanus I shall try to instruct you at once.
45.8Take the deposition itself, and read it, please, that from its very language I may prove my point.
Read; and do you check the water. Stephanus, son of Menecles, of Acharnae, Endius, son of Epigenes, of Lamptrae, Scythes, son of Harmateus, of Cydathenaeum note depose that they were present before the arbitrator Teisias, of Acharnae, when Phormio challenged Apollodorus, if he declared that the document which Phormio put into the box was not a copy of the will of Pasio, to open the will of Pasio, which Amphias, brother-in-law of Cephisophon, submitted to the arbitrator; and that Apollodorus refused to open it; and that the document in question was a copy of the will of Pasio.
Stephanus, son of Menecles, of Acharnae, Endius, son of Epigenes, of Lamptrae, Scythes, son of Harmateus, of Cydathenaeum note depose that they were present before the arbitrator Teisias, of Acharnae, when Phormio challenged Apollodorus, if he declared that the document which Phormio put into the box was not a copy of the will of Pasio, to open the will of Pasio, which Amphias, brother-in-law of Cephisophon, submitted to the arbitrator; and that Apollodorus refused to open it; and that the document in question was a copy of the will of Pasio.
45.9You have heard the deposition, men of the jury, and I think that even if you have noticed nothing else, this at least must have seemed strange to you, that it begins with a challenge and ends with a will. However, I on my part, count it right, when I shall have shown what may be called the main substance of the testimony to be false, then, and not till then, to say something also about matters of that sort. 45.10Well, then, it is deposed by them that Phormio challenged me to open the will which Amphias, brother—in—law of Cephisophon, submitted to the arbitrator Teisias; and that I refused to open it; and that the will to which they themselves deposed was a copy of that original; and then follows a copy of the will. 45.11Now as to whether Phormio tendered me this challenge or not, and whether the will is genuine or spurious I say nothing as yet; I will discuss these matters before you presently; but I will take up the testimony they have given, that I refused to open the document. I would have you look at the matter in this way—what reason would anyone have had for refusing to open it? In order, one may say, that the will might not be shown to the jury. 45.12Well and good. If they had not deposed to the will as well as to the challenge, there would have been some reason in my refusing to open the document; but since they deposed to both, and the jurymen were going to hear the will in any case, what advantage was there for me in refusing? None, assuredly. Quite the contrary, men of Athens; even if these men had tendered no challenge, but had merely talked of the matter, and someone had delivered a document to them as a will, 45.13it would have been my business to tender the challenge and to order them to open it, in order that, if the contents differed from the statements which these men had made in their deposition, I might have called a number of the bystanders as witnesses, and have used this fact as a proof that the rest of their story too was a fabrication; but, if the contents were the same, I might have required the one presenting it to give evidence himself. If he consented, I should have had a responsible witness, and, if he refused, this very fact again would have been a convincing proof for me that the affair had been concocted. And in the former case the result would have been that I had one person with whom to deal, whereas according to the depositions of these men I have many. Is there anyone among you who would have chosen the latter course? I think not one of you would have. 45.14Well then, you ought not to believe it of anyone else either. For, men of Athens, in all courses of action which involve anger or some getting of gain or exasperation or a spirit of jealousy, different persons will act in different ways in accordance with their several dispositions; but in all cases where none of these things is involved, but merely a calm calculation of one's own interest, who would be so senseless as to dismiss what would help him and do what would make it more difficult for him to win his case? Yet a course of action which is neither natural nor reasonable, which, in short, no human being would have undertaken—this these witnesses have attributed to me.
45.15Moreover, it is not only from what they have stated in their deposition regarding my refusal to open the document that one can tell that they are lying, but also from the fact that they have deposed at one and the same time both to a challenge and to a will. For I think you are all aware that challenges were devised for all transactions which it is impossible to bring before you; 45.16for instance, a man may not be put to torture in your presence—for this it is necessary that there be a challenge; again, if anything has been transacted and has taken place somewhere out of the country, it is necessary that for this too there should be a challenge to go by sea or land to the place where the thing was done; and so for other things of that sort. But in cases where it is possible to produce the things themselves before your eyes, what could be simpler than to produce them publicly? 45.17Well, my father died at Athens, the arbitration took place in the Painted Stoa, note and these men have deposed that Amphias produced the document before the arbitrator. Then, if it was genuine, the document ought to have been put into the box, note and the one producing it should have so testified, in order that the jurymen might have reached a decision in accordance with the truth and after an inspection of the seals; and I, on my part, if anyone was wronging me, might have proceeded against him. 45.18But, as it is, no one person has taken the whole matter upon himself or given straightforward testimony, as one would do in testifying to the truth, but each has deposed to a part of the story, fancying that he is very clever and that for this reason he will escape punishment,—one of them deposing that he holds a document on which is written “the will of Pasio”; another that, being sent by the former person, he produced this document, but had no knowledge as to whether it was genuine or spurious. 45.19These men, who are here in court, using the challenge as a screen, deposed to a will in such a way that the jurymen believed this will to be my father's, and I was debarred from obtaining a hearing regarding my wrongs, but in such a way also that they on their part would most clearly be convicted of having given false testimony. And yet this was the very opposite of what they intended.
However, that you may know that I am speaking the truth in this, take the deposition of Cephisophon. Cephisophon, son of Cephalion, of Aphidna, note deposes that a document was left him by his father, on which was inscribed “the will of Pasio.”
Cephisophon, son of Cephalion, of Aphidna, note deposes that a document was left him by his father, on which was inscribed “the will of Pasio.”
45.20It was a simple thing, men of the jury, for the one who gave this testimony to add “and this is the document which the deponent exhibits,” and to put the document into the box. But, I presume, he thought that this falsehood would deserve your indignation, and that you would punish him for it, whereas to testify that a document had been bequeathed to him was a trifling matter and one of no consequence. And yet it is this very thing that makes the whole matter clear, and proves that they have concocted it. 45.21For if the inscription on the will had been “the property of Pasio and Phormio” or “in the matter of Phormio,” or something of that sort, he would naturally have kept it for him; but if, as he has testified, the inscription was “the will of Pasio,” I should certainly have appropriated it, knowing that I was about to go to law, and knowing further that, if its contents were as represented, it was prejudicial to my interests; for I was the heir, and if the will was my father's, it belonged to me, as did also all the rest of my father's estate. 45.22Well then, by its having been produced to Phormio, by its having been inscribed “the will of Pasio,” and yet ignored by me, it is proved that the will is a forgery and that the testimony of Cephisophon is false. But no more of Cephisophon; it is not with him that I have to do at present, and he has given no testimony as to the contents of the will. 45.23And yet, men of Athens, I would have you consider how strong a proof this also is that these men have given false testimony. For when the witness who stated that he had the document in his own possession did not dare to say that the one produced by Phormio was a copy of the one in his own keeping; and when these men cannot state that they were present in the first instance or that they saw the document opened before the arbitrator, but have themselves actually deposed that I refused to open it, to have testified now that the one is a copy of the other, is not this to have accused themselves of falsifying?
45.24More than all this, men of Athens, any man by examining the wording of the deposition can see that it is nothing but a contrivance of theirs to the end that rightly or wrongly it may appear that my father made this will.
But take the deposition itself, and read, stopping wherever I bid you, that from its own wording I may prove my point. . . . depose that they were present before the arbitrator Teisias, when Phormio challenged Apollodorus, if he declared that the document was not a copy of the will of Pasio . . .
. . . depose that they were present before the arbitrator Teisias, when Phormio challenged Apollodorus, if he declared that the document was not a copy of the will of Pasio . . .
Read the deposition again from the beginning. . . . depose that they were present before the arbitrator Teisias . . .
. . . depose that they were present before the arbitrator Teisias . . .
We do depose; for we were present. Read on. . . . when Phormio challenged Apollodorus . . .
. . . when Phormio challenged Apollodorus . . .
This, too, they might properly have stated, assuming that he really tendered the challenge. . . . if he declared that the document was not a copy of the will of Pasio . . .
. . . if he declared that the document was not a copy of the will of Pasio . . .
45.26Stop right there. There is not a person in the world, I presume, who would have proceeded to give this testimony, unless he had been present when my father drew up the will. Instead, he would have said at once, “How do we know if there is any will of Pasio's?”—and he would have demanded that Phormio write, as in the beginning of the challenge: “If I declared that the document was not a copy of the will which Phormio stated that Pasio had left,”—not “of the will of Pasio.” For this was to testify that there was a will (which was their intention), the other that Phormio said that there was. And, I take it, there is a world of difference between a thing's being so, and Phormio's saying that it is.
45.27So, in order that you may know how many and how important objects were to be secured by the fabrication of the will, listen for a moment. The first, men of Athens, was this, that Phormio should escape paying the penalty for corrupting one whom it is not proper for me to name, but whom you know of yourselves, even if I do not name her note; next, that he might get possession of my father's property which was in my mother's keeping; and in addition to this, that he might become master of everything else which belonged to us. That this is so, you will be convinced when you hear the will. For it will be found, not like that of a father writing in the interest of his sons, but like that of a slave who has shamefully misused what belonged to his master, and who is seeking how he may escape punishment.
45.28Read them the will itself, to which these men have deposed along with the challenge; and do you mark well what I say.
This is the will of Pasio of Acharnae. I give my wife Archippê to Phormio, and I give as dowry to Archippê the talent due to me at Peparethus, note the talent due to me here in Athens, a lodging-house worth one hundred minae, the female slaves and jewelry, and all else that she has in the house. All these things I give to Archippê.
You have heard, men of Athens, the large amount of the dowry,—a talent from Peparethus, a talent from Athens, a lodging-house worth a hundred minae, female slaves and jewelry, and all else that she has in her possession—I give it all, says the will; and by this clause he precludes us even from searching for any of the property that was left.
45.29Now let me show you the lease under which Phormio had taken the bank from my father; for from this also, spurious though it is, you will see that the will is fabrication through and through. I will set forth for you, not a different lease, but the one which Phormio produced, in which there is an added clause setting down my father as owing Phorniio eleven talents on the deposits. 45.30This had, I think, the following purpose. Of the effects in the house he made himself master by the will, on the ground that they had been given as a dowry with my mother, as you have just heard; but the money in the bank, about which everybody knew, and which could not be hidden, he got into his hands by representing that our father owed it, so that whatever sums he might be proved to have in his possession he might claim to have received in payment. You have perhaps imagined, because he solecizes note in his speech, that he is a barbarian and a man readily to be despised. The fellow is indeed a barbarian in that he hates those whom he ought to honor; but in villainy and in bringing matters to ruin note he is second to none.
45.31Take the lease and read it—the lease which they put in, as they did the will, by means of a challenge.
Lease of The Bank
On the following terms Pasio has let the bank to Phormio: Phormio is to pay to the sons of Pasio as rental for the bank two talents and forty minae each year above the daily expenditure, and it shall not be lawful for Phormio to carry on a banking business independently unless he first obtains the consent of the sons of Pasio. And Pasio owes the bank eleven talents upon the deposits.
45.32This, men of the jury, is the agreement which Phormio produced, alleging that he had leased the bank upon these terms. You learn from hearing it read that Phormio, over and above the daily expenditure, was to pay as rent two talents and forty minae each year, and that it was not to be permitted him to carry on a banking business, unless he obtained our consent; and there is added as a final statement, “Pasio owes eleven talents upon the deposits.” 45.33Now, is there any man who would have submitted to the payment of so large a rental for the counter, the site, and the books? And is there any man who would have entrusted the rest of the assets to a man thanks to whom the bank had incurred so great a liability? note For, if there was a shortage of so large an amount, it was incurred while Phormio was manager. For you all know that, while my father was engaged in the banking business, Phormio sat at the counter and was his manager; so that he ought rather to be in the mill note than to become master of the rest of the property. 45.34However, I pass over this and all else that I might find to say about the eleven talents, to show that my father did not owe them but that Phormio secretly appropriated them.
But let me remind you of the purpose for which I read the lease, namely, to prove that the will is spurious. For it stands written in the lease that it shall not be lawful for Phormio to engage in banking business, unless he obtains our consent. This clause absolutely proves the will to be spurious. For what man, who had taken precautions that the profits which Phormio might make by banking should accrue to his own children and not to Phormio himself, and to secure this end had stipulated that it should not be permitted him to engage in banking for himself, lest his interests might be separated from ours—what man, I ask, in these circumstances would have provided that Phormio should get possession of what he had himself won by his labor and left in his house?45.35And would he have begrudged him the banking business, in which he might have given him a share without disgrace, and yet have given him his wife, a bequest disgraceful above all others? Yes, after receiving from you the gift of citizenship, he gave his wife (if indeed he gave her) as a slave giving to his master, and not, on the contrary, as a master to a slave, and he added such a dowry as no man in Athens was ever known to give. note 45.36And yet, to have been honored with the hand of his mistress was of itself enough to make this fellow content, whereas in my father's case, even if he received as much money as these people allege that he gave, it was not reasonable for him to make this arrangement. note Nevertheless, to things which are proved to be false by the probabilities, the dates and the facts, to these this man Stephanus has not hesitated to depose.
45.37Then he goes about, saying that Nicocles testified that he had served as guardian under the will, and Pasicles that he had lived as ward under the will. But for my part I hold that these very facts are proofs that neither these witnesses nor those have testified to the truth. For a person who testifies that he served as guardian under a will should certainly know what the nature of the will was, and a person who testifies that he lived as ward under a will should certainly know what the nature of the will was. 45.38Why in the world, then, Stephanus, did you people depose to the will under the form of a challenge, instead of leaving the matter to them? If they on their part shall declare that they do not know the contents of the will, how is it possible for you to know them, you who have never in any way been connected with the matter? Why, pray, is it that one group of witnesses testified to these facts, and another group to those? It is as I have already told you: they divided the fraud. The one so testifying saw no danger in deposing that he served as guardian under the will, or that he lived as ward under the will, 45.39each one of them omitting to state what had been written in the will by Phormio,—no danger in deposing that one's father had left him a document with the word “will” written on it, or anything of that sort. But to testify to the existence of a will in which were involved the theft of such vast sums, the corruption of a lady, the marriage of a mistress with her slave, matters which entailed such shame and disgrace—nobody was ready to do this save these men who got up the challenge; and from them it is right to exact the penalty for the whole of this villainous fraud.
45.40Now, men of Athens, that it may be made clear to you that this fellow Stephanus has given false testimony—made clear not merely by my accusations and proofs, but also by the acts of the person who brought him forward as a witness—I wish to tell you what that person has done. As I said at the beginning of my speech, I shall show that they are their own accusers. In the suit in which this testimony was given, Phormio entered a special plea to estop me on the ground that the suit was not admissible, alleging that I had released him from all claims. 45.41Now I myself know that this is false, and I shall prove it so when I proceed against those who gave this testimony; but Stephanus is not at liberty to say it is false. If, then, you should believe in the genuineness of the release, this, more than anything else, would prove that the fellow has given false testimony, and has deposed to a will that is forged. For who would be so senseless as to give a release in the presence of witnesses, that his discharge might be binding, and yet to suffer the articles of agreement, the will, and the other documents regarding which he gave the release, to remain under seal as evidence against himself? 45.42The special plea, therefore, contradicts all the evidence, and the lease which I just now read to you contradicts this will; not one of their acts is either reasonable or straightforward or consistent with itself. In this manner their whole story is shown to be a fiction and a fraud.
45.43That the statements in the deposition are true I hold that neither Stephanus himself nor anyone else in his behalf will be able to prove. I hear, however, that he is prepared to make some such statement as this, that he is responsible for a challenge, not for a deposition, and that he should be held to account, not for everything written in it, but for two things only—whether Phormio tendered me this challenge or not, and whether I refused it; these matters and no more, he will say, were included in his deposition; as for the rest, Phormio covered them in his challenge, but whether they were true or not it was not the business of the witness to inquire. 45.44In answer to this argument and to the man's impudence it is better that I say a few words to you in advance, that you be not taken at unawares and misled. In the first place, when he tries to bring forward the argument that he is not responsible for the entire content of the deposition, bear in mind that the reason why the law requires people to give evidence in written form is that it may not be open to them to strike out any part of what has been written, or add anything to it. He should at the time have demanded the erasure of the statements to which he will now deny having deposed, and not try now to brazen it out, while they stand in the document. 45.45Moreover, consider this too, whether you would suffer me in your presence to take the document and add to it. Of course you would not. Well, then, neither is it fitting to suffer him to strike out any of its contents. For who will ever be convicted of giving false testimony, if he is to depose to what he pleases, and be accountable only for what he pleases? No, the law does not thus make a distinction in these matters, and you ought not to listen to such a thing either. The straightforward and honest course is this: “What stands written? To what have you deposed? Show that this is true. For you have written in your plea in answer to the complaint these words, 'I have given true testiniony in testifying to what is contained in the deposition'—not 'to this or that in the deposition.'”
45.46To prove that this is so, take, please, the plea itself. Read it.
Complaint and Counter-Plea
Apollodorus, son of Pasio, of Acharnae, sues Stephanus, son of Menecles, of Acharnae, for false testimony; damages one talent. Stephanus gave false testimony against me in testifying to that which is contained in the record.
I gave true testimony in testifying to that which is contained in the record.
This is the plea which the defendant himself has entered. You must keep it in mind, and not regard the deceitful language which will soon be addressed to you as being more worthy of credence than the laws and what the defendant has written in his own plea.
45.47I learn that they are going to speak about my original suit and to denounce it as baseless and malicious. But I on my part have already mentioned to you and explained in detail the manner in which Phormio concocted the lease, in order to get into his possession the banking-stock, and I should be unable to speak of these other matters and at the same time convict these men of giving false testimony; for the amount of water allotted me is not sufficient. 45.48And that you yourselves could not in fairness be willing to listen to them in regard to these matters you will see at once, if you reflect that it is no difficult matter to speak now about subjects concerning which no charge is made, just as it was no difficult matter for Phormio to get himself acquitted by reading false depositions. However, no man would say that either of these courses is right, but that course rather which I am about to propose. 45.49Listen, and judge. I demand that they do not now seek for the proofs regarding my charges, proofs which should have been mentioned at the former trial, but of which they deprived me; but that they prove that the testimony by which they deprived me of them was true. If, when I bring in my suit, they are to demand that I refute their testimony, and, when I proceed against that, they are to bid me speak regarding my original charges, what they propose will be neither right nor in your interest. 45.50For you have sworn to give a verdict, not in regard to matters upon which the defendant asks your decision, but in regard to those only which are raised by the prosecution. The cause of action must be made clear by the complaint of the prosecutor, and this in my case is a suit against this man for false testimony. Let him not, then, leave this and talk about matters regarding which I am not suing him; and do you, if he is so shameless, refuse to permit it.
45.51I imagine that, having no just argument to advance on any point, he will have recourse to this defence also—that it is absurd for me, after having been worsted in the case of the special plea, to sue those who gave evidence of a will; and he will maintain that the jurymen in that trial were led to vote in favor of Phormio, by the evidence of those who testified to the release rather than by that of those who testified to the will. But, men of Athens, I think you all know that it is your habit to examine the facts no less closely than the pleas which men make regarding them; and these men, by giving false testimony against me regarding the facts themselves, weakened my arguments on the special plea. 45.52However, besides this, it is absurd, when all have given false evidence, to demonstrate who did the greatest amount of harm, instead of making each one prove that he has himself testified to the truth. It is not by proving that another has done more outrageous things than himself that a witness is to be let off, but by showing that he has himself given testimony that is true.
45.53Now, men of Athens, let me show you the thing for which more than anything else this fellow Stephanus deserves to be put to death. It is an awful thing to bear false witness against anyone whomsoever, but it is a thing more awful by far, and more deserving of indignation, to bear false witness against those of your own blood; for a man of that stamp violates, not the written laws alone, but also the ties of natural relationship. This, then, Stephanus shall be proved to have done. 45.54For his mother and the father of my wife are a brother and sister, so that my wife is his first cousin, and the children born to her and to me are his cousin's children. Do you think, then, that this man, if he saw his female relatives driven by want to shameful actions, would give them in marriage and add marriage portions out of his own resources—a thing which many a man has done ere now—when he has chosen to give false testimony in order to prevent their getting what belongs to them, and has counted the wealth of Phormio of higher worth than the strong ties of kinship?
45.55However, to prove that I am telling the truth in this, take the deposition of Deinias and read it; and call Deinias.
Deinias, son of Theomnestus, of Athmonon, note deposes that he gave his daughter to Apollodorus to live with him as his wife according to the laws, and that he was never present when Apollodorus released Phormio from all claims, nor was ever aware that he had done so.
45.56Deinias, men of the jury, is very like Stephanus, is he not?—Deinias, who on account of his relationship, refuses to testify against the defendant even to what is true, and on behalf of his daughter and his daughter's children, and me, his son-in-law! note Not so Stephanus here. He did not hesitate to give false testimony against us; even respect for his own mother, if for no one else, did not keep him from bringing the extremest poverty upon those who through her were his relatives.
45.57I wish now, men of the jury, to tell you of the most a outrageous thing which has been done to me,—a thing which more than anything else overwhelmed me with dismay in the course of the trial; for you will thus see even more clearly the fellow's baseness, and I, by venting before you my grief for what has happened, shall find, as it were, a sort of relief. The deposition, which I thought was there, and which afforded the strongest evidence in support of my case, I did not find in the box. 45.58At the time, dismayed by this misfortune, I could imagine nothing else than that the magistrate had wronged me and tampered with the box. Now, however, from what I have since learned, I find that the defendant Stephanus had filched the document away in the very presence of the arbitrator, when I had got up to put a witness on his oath. And to prove that I am speaking the truth in this, depositions shall first be offered you from those who were present at the time and saw it; for I do not think they will choose to take an oath of disclaimer. 45.59But if they are shameless enough to do this the clerk shall read you a challenge by which you will catch them in the very act of perjury, and will know all the same that this man did steal the deposition. And yet, men of Athens, a person who would not shrink from being named as one who had stolen what was prejudicial to another—what do you suppose he would do in his own interest?
45.60Read the deposition, and then this challenge.
The deponents testify that they are friends and associates of Phormio, and that they were present hefore the arbitrator Teisias when the announcement of the award was made in the suit between Apollodorus and Phormio, and that they know that Stephanus filched away the deposition which Apollodorus charges him, with having stolen.
Either depose, or take the oath of disclaimer.
Oath of Disclaimer
45.61It was plain enough, men of the jury, that they would do this—take the oath of disclaimer with eagerness. Well, then, that they may at once be convicted of perjury, take, please, this deposition and challenge. Read.
Deposition and Challenge
The deponents testify that they were present when Apollodorus challenged Stephanus to give up his attendant slave to be put to the torture concerning the theft of the document, and Apollodorus was ready to write out the conditions on which the torture was to be administered; and that when Apollodorus tendered this challenge, Stephanus refused to give up the slave, but replied to Apollodorus that he might bring suit, if he chose, if he maintained that he was being in any way wronged by him.
45.62Who is there, men of the jury, who, on a charge like that, if he were sure of his innocence, would not have accepted the torture? Then, by refusing the torture, he is convicted of the theft. Now do you think that a man would be ashamed of the reputation of having borne false witness, who did not shrink from being proved a thief? Or that he would hesitate to give false witness at the request of another, when, at no man's bidding, he voluntarily committed a fraud?
45.63Now, men of the jury, while he might justly be made to pay the penalty for all these things, he deserves even more to be punished in your court for the rest of his conduct. Observe the kind of a life he has lived, and judge. For so long as it was the lot of Aristolochus, the banker, to enjoy prosperity, this fellow fawned upon him as he walked beside him, adapting his pace to his, and this is well known to many of you who are present here. 45.64But when Aristolochus was ruined and lost his property, chiefly through having been plundered by this fellow and others of his stamp, Stephanus never stood by the son of Aristolochus, who was overburdened with lawsuits, nor aided him, but it was Apolexis note or Solon or anybody else that helped him rather than he. Then he has courted Phormio and become intimate with him, choosing him out of all the Athenians; and he sailed to Byzantium note as agent in his interest, when the Byzantines detained Phormio's vessels, and he pleaded his cause against the Calchedonians, note and he has thus flagrantly given false witness against me. 45.65A man, then, who is a flatterer of those in prosperity, and who betrays these same men if they fall into adversity; who out of all the host of good and worthy citizens of Athens deals with not a single one on the basis of equality, but willingly fawns upon people like Phormio; who takes no thought whether he is going to injure any of his kinsfolk by these actions, or whether he is going to win an evil reputation in the minds of other men, but thinks only of one thing, how he may enrich himself—ought you not to loathe this man as a common enemy of the whole human race? I certainly think so. 45.66This course of action, involving so great disgrace, he has adopted, men of Athens, with a view to evading his duties to the state and to conceal his wealth, that he may make secret profits by means of the bank, and never serve as choregus or trierarch, or perform any other of the public duties which befit his station. And he has accomplished this object. Here is a proof. Although he has so large an estate that he gave his daughter a marriage portion of one hundred minae, he has never been seen by you to perform any public service whatever, even the very slightest. And yet how much more honorable it would have been to be proved a man of public spirit and one zealous in the performance of his duties to the state, than a flatterer and a bearer of false testimony! But the fellow would do anything to get money. 45.67Surely, men of Athens, you ought to feel indignation rather toward those who are rascals in wealth than toward those who are such in poverty. In the case of the latter the pressure of their needy state affords them some excuse in the eyes of those who look on the matter with human sympathy, whereas those who, like this fellow, are rascals while possessing abundance, could find no reasonable excuse to offer, but will be shown to act as they do from a spirit of shameful greed and covetousness and insolence, and a resolve to make their own plots stronger than the laws. Not one of these things is to your interest, but rather that the weak, if he suffers wrong, should be able to get redress from the wealthy. And he will be able, if you punish those who are thus manifestly rascals while possessing wealth.
45.68Neither should the airs which the fellow puts on as he walks with sullen face along the walls be properly considered as marks of sobriety, but rather as marks of misanthropy. In my opinion a man whom no misfortune has befallen, and who is in no lack of the necessaries of life, but who none the less habitually maintains this demeanor,has reviewed the matter and reached the conclusion in his own mind, that to those who walk in a simple and natural way and wear a cheerful countenance, men draw near unhesitatingly with requests and proposals, whereas they shrink from drawing near in the first place to affected and sullen characters. 45.69This demeanor, then, is nothing but a cloak to cover his real character, and he shows therein the rudeness and malignity of his temper. Here is a proof. You have been far better off than you deserved, yet to whom among the whole host of Athenians have you ever made a contribution? To whom have you ever lent aid, or to whom done a kindness? 45.70You could not name a single one; but while lending money at interest and regarding the misfortunes and necessities of others as your own good fortune, you ejected your own uncle Nicias from the house of his fathers, you have taken from your own mother-in-law the resources upon which she lived, and you have, in so far as it depended upon you, rendered homeless the son of Archedemus. No one ever exacted payment from a defaulter as rigorously as you exact interest from your debtors. A man, then, whom you find to be so brutal and so savage on all occasions, are you going to fail to punish him when you have caught him in the very act of wrongdoing? In that case, men of the jury, you will do what is an outrage and in no sense right.
45.71It is fitting therefore, men of Athens, that you should wax indignant also against Phormio, for bringing this man forward as a witness, when you see the shamelessness of his character and his ingratitude. For I fancy you all know that if, when the fellow was for sale, a cook or an artisan in any other trade had bought him, he would have learned the trade of his master and been far removed from the prosperity which now is his. 45.72But since my father into whose possession he came, was a banker and taught him letters and instructed him in his business and put him in control of large sums of money, he has become wealthy, having found the good luck which brought him into our family the foundation of all his present wealth. 45.73It is outrageous, then, O Earth and the gods, and worse than outrageous, that he should suffer those who made him a Greek instead of a barbarian and a man of note instead of a slave, and who brought him to such great prosperity, to live in dire want while he has means and is rich, and that he should have come to such a pitch of shamelessness that he cannot bring himself to share with us the good fortune which we shared with him. 45.74But for himself he has not scrupled to marry his mistress, and he dwells as husband with her who scattered the sweatmeats over him when he was bought as a slave, note nor to write a clause giving himself a marriage portion of five talents in addition to the large sums of which he became master, inasmuch as they were in the custody of my mother—for why do you suppose he wrote in the will the clause “and all else which she has I give to Archippê”?—while he looks with indifference on my daughters, who are doomed through poverty to grow old in maidenhood with none to dower them. 45.75If Phormio had been poor, and it had been our fortune to be wealthy, and if, in the course of nature, anything had happened to me, this fellow's sons would have claimed my daughters in marriage—the sons of the slave would have claimed the daughters of the master! For they are their uncles, since the man married my mother; but seeing that it is we who are poor, he will not help to portion them off, but he talks and talks, and reckons up the amount of property which I possess.
45.76For this is the most absurd thing of all. Up to this day he has never seen fit to render an account of the money of which he has defrauded me, but enters a special plea that my action is not even admissible; yet he charges against me what I have received from the estate of my fathers. Other slaves one may see called to strict account by their masters, but here we see the very opposite: the fellow, though a slave, calls his master to account, thinking thereby to show him forth as a vile fellow and a prodigal. 45.77For myself, men of Athens, in the matter of my outward appearance, my fast walking, and my loud voice, I judge that I am not one of those favored by nature; for in so far as I annoy others without benefiting myself, I am in many respects at a disadvantage; but since I am moderate in all my personal expenses, it will be seen that I live a much more orderly life than Phormio and others who are like him. 45.78Whatever concerns the state, however, and all that concerns you, I perform, as you know, as lavishly as I can; for I am well aware that for you who are citizens by birth it is sufficient to perform public services as the laws require; we on the contrary who are created citizens ought to show that we perform them as a grateful payment of a debt. Cease, then, to fling into my teeth matters for which I should properly win commendation. 45.79But, Phormio, whom of the citizens have I hired for prostitution, as you have done? Show me. Whom have I deprived of the citizenship of which I was deemed worthy, and of the right of free speech in the city, as you did in the case of the man whom you dishonored? Whose wife have I debauched, as you have the wives of many?—among them her to whom this god-detested fellow built the monument near that of his mistress at a cost of more than two talents. And he did not see that a structure, being of that sort, would be a monument, not of her tomb, but of the wrong which because of him she had done to her husband. 45.80Do you, then, who perform acts like these, and who have given such manifest proofs of your outrageous conduct, dare to scrutinize the manner of life of anyone else? By day you act soberly, but the whole night long you indulge in actions for which death is the penalty. He is a knave, men of Athens, a knave and a villain, and has been such from of old, ever since he left the temple of Castor and Pollux. note Here is the proof. If he had been honest, he would have managed his master's business, and remained poor. But as it is, having got control of so large an amount of money that he could steal from it all that he now possesses without detection, he regards what he holds, not as a debt, but as an inherited patrimony. 45.81And yet, by the gods, if I had led you off to prison as a thief caught in the act, piling upon your back—if this had been in any way possible—the wealth which you now possess, and had then demanded of you, if you denied having got this wealth by thievery, to refer me to the source from which you got it, to whom would you have referred me? Your father did not give it to you; you did not find it; you had not got it from some other source when you come into our family; for you were a barbarian when you were purchased. Have you, then, a man who ought to have been publicly put to death for what you have done, after saving your skin, after securing for yourself a city with our money, and after being allowed to beget children as brothers to your own masters—have you entered a special plea that our action for the sums claimed from you is inadmissible? 45.82And, then, did you speak evil of me, and inquire what manner of man my father was? Men of Athens, who would not have been indignant at this? For my part, though it beseem me to have less of pride than any of you, yet I judge that I may at least have more than Phormio, while as for him, though there be no one else than whom he should have less, yet he should have less than I; for, assuming that we are the sort of people your words made us out to be, you, Phormio, were none the less our slave.
45.83There is perhaps something else which one of them may say: that Pasicles, although he is my brother, makes no charge against Phormio for these same actions. Well, I will speak about Pasicles, too, men of Athens, though I beg and implore you to pardon me, if I am so carried away by indignation at the outrages I have received from my own slaves as to be unable to restrain myself; I will not keep silent, but will declare what until now I pretended not to hear when others said it;— 45.84I consider Pasicles to be my brother on my mother's side, but whether on my father's side also, I do not know; but I am afraid that the wrongs which Phormio has done us began with Pasicles. For when he joins in pleading the cause of the slave and dishonors his brother, when he fawns upon those, and curries the favor of those, who ought to seek his favor, to what suspicion does this naturally give rise? Away, then, with Pasicles, and let him be called your son instead of your master, and my adversary (since he so chooses) instead of my brother.
45.85I bid adieu to this fellow and appeal to those to whom my father left me as my helpers and friends—to you, men of the jury. And I beg and entreat and implore you, do not suffer my daughters and myself through our poverty to become a source of malicious joy to my own slaves and to his flatterers. My father gave you a thousand shields and made himself serviceable to you in many ways, and five times served as trierarch, voluntarily equipping the ships and manning them at his own expense. I remind you of this, not because I consider that you are under obligation to me—for it is I that am under obligation to you,—but in order that I may not suffer unworthy treatment without your knowing it. For that would not be a credit to you any more than to me.
45.86I have much to say regarding the indignities which I have suffered, but I see that I have not enough water left in the clock. I will tell you, therefore, how I think you will all best come to know the enormity of the wrongs that have been done me. You must each of you consider what slave he left at home, and then imagine that you have suffered from him the same treatment that I have suffered from Phormio. Do not take into consideration that they are severally Syrus or Manes or what not, while this fellow is Phormio. The thing is the same—they are slaves, and he was a slave; you are masters, and I was master. 45.87Believe, then, that it is fitting now for me to exact the penalty which each one of you would claim; and in the interest of the laws and of the oaths which you have taken as jurors punish the man who has robbed me of a verdict by giving false testimony, and make him an example to others, remembering all that you have heard from me and bearing it in mind, if they attempt to mislead you, and meeting them at every point. If they deny that they have borne witness to all the facts, ask them these questions, “What stands written in the deposition? Why did you not strike it out at the time? What is the counter-plea in the custody of the archons?” 45.88If they declare that they have testified, one person that he lived as ward under a will, another that he served as guardian, and another that he has the will in his possession, demand of them, “What will? What were the provisions contained in it?” For to the deposition to which these men bore witness no one of the others has given corroborative testimony. But if they try whining tactics, you should consider that the one wronged is more deserving of pity than those about to be punished. If you act in this way, you will succor me, and you will restrain these men from their excessive adulation; and to your own satisfaction you will have rendered a righteous verdict.
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