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On the Crown


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Demosthenes' oration On the Crown.


It follows the full text transcript of Demosthenes' On the Crown speech, delivered on the Pnyx Hill, Athens, ancient Greece - 330 BC.

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Demosthenes - Speech I pray first, men of Athens, to every god and goddess, that the goodwill, which I ever feel towards this city and towards all of you, may in equal measure be vouchsafed to me by you at this present trial.

And secondly, a prayer which especially touches yourselves, your consciences,
and your reputation, that the gods may put it into your minds not to take counsel of my adversary in regard to the spirit in which you ought to hear me. For that would surely be a cruel thing. But of the laws and of your oath wherein besides all other precepts of justice, this also is written that you shall listen to both sides with a like mind. And this means, not only that you should have formed no prejudice, and should accord equal goodwill to each, but also that you should give leave to every man who pleads before you to adopt that order, and make that
defense, upon which he has resolved and fixed his choice.

I am in many respects at a disadvantage in the present controversy, as compared with Aeschines; and particularly, men of Athens, in two points of importance. The first is that I am not contending for the same stake as he. It is not the same thing for me to lose your goodwill now, as it is for him to fail to win his case; since for me--but I would say nothing unpleasant at the opening of my address--I say only that Aeschines can well afford to risk this attack upon me.

The second disadvantage lies in the natural and universal tendency of mankind to hear invective and denunciation with pleasure, and to be offended with those who praise themselves. And of the two courses in question, that which contributes
to men's pleasure has been given to Aeschines, and that which annoys (I may say) every one is left for me. If, to avoid giving such annoyance, I say nothing of all that I myself have done, it will be thought that I am unable to clear myself of the charges against me, or to show the grounds upon which I claim to deserve distinction. If, on the other hand, I proceed to speak of my past acts and my political life, I shall often be compelled to speak of myself. I will endeavor, then, to do this as modestly as possible; and for all that the necessities of the case compel me to say, the blame must in fairness be borne by the prosecutor, who
initiated a trial of such a kind as this.

I think, men of Athens, that you would all admit that this present trial equally concerns myself and Ctesiphon, and demands no less earnest attention from me than from him. For while it is a painful and a grievous thing for a man to be robbed of anything, particularly if it is at the hands of an enemy that this befalls him, it is especially so, when he is robbed of your goodwill and kindness, just in proportion as to win these is the greatest possible gain. And because such is the issue at stake in the present trial, I request and entreat you all alike to give me, while I make my defense upon the charges that have been brought against me, a fair hearing, as you are commanded to do by the laws--those laws to which their original maker, your well-wisher and the People's friend, Solon, thought fit to give the sanction not of enactment only, but also of an oath on the part of those who act as judges: not because he distrusted you (so at least it seems to me), but because he saw that a defendant cannot escape from the imputations and the slanders which fall with special force from the prosecutor, because he is the first to speak, unless each of you who sit in judgment, keeping his conscience pure in
the sight of God, will receive the pleadings of the later speaker also with the same favor, and will thus, because his attention has been given equally and impartially to both sides, form his decision upon the case in its entirety.

And now, when I am about, as it seems, to render an account of my whole private life and public career, I would once more invoke the aid of the gods; and in the presence of you all I pray, first, that the goodwill which I ever feel towards this city and towards all of you, may in equal measure be vouchsafed to me by you at this trial; and secondly, that whatsoever judgment upon this present suit will conduce to your public reputation, and the purity of each man's conscience, that judgment they may put it into all your minds to give.

Now if Aeschines had confined his charges to the subject of the indictment, I too, in making my defense, would have dealt at once with the actual resolution of the Council. But since he has devoted no less a portion of his speech to the relation of other matters, and for the most part has spoken against me falsely, I think it is necessary, and at the same time just, that I should deal briefly, men of Athens, with these, in order that none of you may be led by irrelevant arguments to listen less favorably to my pleas in answer to the indictment itself.

As for his slanderous vituperation of my private life, mark how straightforward and how just is the reply that I make. If you know me as the man that he charged me with being (for my life has been spent nowhere but in your own midst), do not even suffer me to speak--no, not though my whole public career has been one of transcendent merit--but rise and condemn me without delay. But if, in your judgment and belief, I am a better man than Aeschines, and come of better men; if I and mine are no worse than any other respectable persons, to use no  offensive expression, then do not trust him even in regard to other points, for it is plain that all that he said was equally fictitious; but once more accord to me to-day the goodwill which throughout the past you have so often displayed towards
me in previous trials. Knave as you are, Aeschines, you were assuredly more fool than knave, when you thought that I should dismiss all that I had to say with regard to my past acts and political life, and should turn to meet the abuse that fell from you. I shall not do so; I am not so brain-sick; but I will review the falsehoods and the calumnies which you uttered against my political career; and then, if the court desires it, I will afterwards refer to the ribald language that has been so incontinently used.

The offences charged against me are many; and for some of them the laws assign heavy and even the most extreme penalties. But I will tell you what is the motive which animates the present suit. It gives play to the malice of a personal enemy, to his insolence, his abuse, his contumelies, and every expression of his hostility: and yet, assuming that the charges and the imputations which have been made are true, it does not enable the State to exact a penalty that is adequate, or nearly adequate, to the offences. For it is not right to seek to debar another from coming before the people and receiving a hearing, nor to do so in a spirit of malice and envy. Heaven knows, it is neither straightforward, nor citizen-like, nor just, men of Athens! If the crimes by which he saw me injuring the city were of such a magnitude as he just now so theatrically set forth, he should have had recourse to the punishments enjoined by the laws at the time of the crimes themselves. If he saw me so acting as to deserve impeachment, he should have impeached me, and so brought me to trial before you; if he saw me proposing illegal measures, he should have indicted me for their illegality. For surely, if he can prosecute Ctesiphon on my account, he would not have failed to indict me in person, had he thought that he could convict me. And further, if he saw me committing any of those other crimes against you, which he just now slanderously enumerated, or any other crimes whatsoever, there are laws which deal with each, and punishments, and lawsuits and judgments involving penalties that are harsh and severe: to all of these he could have had recourse; and from the moment when it was seen that he had acted so, and had conducted his hostilities against me on that plan, his present accusation of me would have been in line with his past conduct. But as it is, he has forsaken the straight path of justice; he has shrunk from all attempts to convict me at the time; and after all these years, with the imputations, the jests, the invectives, that he has accumulated, he appears to play his part. So it is, that though his accusations are against me, it is Ctesiphon that he prosecutes; and though he sets his quarrel with me in the forefront of the whole suit, he has never faced me in person to settle the quarrel, and it is another whom we see him trying to deprive of his civil rights. Yet surely, besides everything else that may be pleaded on behalf of Ctesiphon, this, I think, may surely be most reasonably urged--that we ought in justice to have brought our own quarrel to the test by ourselves, instead of avoiding all conflict with one another, and looking for a third party to whom we could do harm. Such iniquity really passes all bounds.

From this one may see the nature of all his charges alike, uttered, as they have been, without justice or regard for truth. Yet I desire also to examine them severally, and more particularly the false statements which he made against me in regard to the Peace and the Embassy, when he ascribed to me the things which he himself had done in conjunction with Philocrates. And here it is necessary, men of Athens, and perhaps appropriate, that I should remind you of the state of affairs subsisting during that period, so that you may view each group of actions
in the light of the circumstances of the time.

When the Phocian war had broken out (not through any action of mine, for I had not yet entered public life), your own attitude, in the first place, was such, that you wished for the preservation of the Phocians, although you saw that their actions were unjustifiable; while you would have been delighted at anything that might happen to the Thebans, against whom you felt an indignation that was neither unreasonable nor unfair; for they had not used their good fortune at Leuctra with moderation. And, in the second place, the Peloponnese was all disunited: those who detested the Spartans were not strong enough to annihilate them, and those who had previously governed with the support of Sparta were no longer able to maintain their control over their cities; but both these and all the other states were in a condition of indeterminate strife and confusion. When Philip saw this (for it was not hard to see), he tried, by dispensing money to the traitors whom each state contained, to throw them all into collision and stir up one against another; and thus, amid the blunders and perversity of others, he was making his own preparations, and growing great to the danger of all.

And when it became clear to all that the then overbearing (but now unhappy) Thebans, distressed by the length of the war, would be forced to fly to you for aid, Philip, to prevent this--to prevent the formation of any union between the cities--made offers of peace to you, and of assistance to them. Now what was it that helped him, and enabled him to find in you his almost willing dupes? It was the baseness (if that is the right name to use), or the ignorance, or both, of the rest of the Hellenes, who, though you were engaged in a long and continuous war, and that on behalf of the interests of all, as has been proved by the event, never assisted you either with money or with men, or in any other way whatsoever. And in your just and proper indignation with them, you listened readily to Philip. It was for these reasons, therefore, and not through any action of mine, that the Peace which we then conceded was negotiated; and any one who investigates the matter honestly will find that it is the crimes and the corrupt practices of these men, in the course of the negotiations, that are responsible for our position to-day. It is in the interests of truth that I enter into all these events with this exactitude and thoroughness; for however strong the appearance of criminality in these proceedings may be, it has, I imagine, nothing to do with me. The first man to suggest or mention the Peace was Aristodemus the actor; and the person who took the matter up and moved the motion, and sold his services for the purpose, along with Aeschines, was Philocrates of Hagnus--your partner, Aeschines, not mine, even if you split your sides with lying; while those who supported him, from whatever motive (for of that I say nothing at present), were Eubulus and Cephisophon.

I had no part in the matter anywhere. And yet, although the facts are such as with absolute truth I am representing them to be, he carried his effrontery so far as to dare to assert that I was not only responsible for the Peace, but had also prevented the city from acting in conjunction with a general assembly of the Hellenes in making it. What? and you--oh! how can one find a name that can be applied to you?--when you saw me (for you were there) preventing the city from taking this great step and forming so grand an alliance as you just now described, did you once raise a protest or come forward to give information and to set forth the crimes with which you now charge me? If I had covenanted with Philip for money that I would prevent the coalition of the Hellenes, your only course was to refuse to keep silence--to cry aloud, to protest, to reveal the fact to your fellow countrymen. On no occasion did you do this: no such utterance of yours was ever heard by any one. In fact there was no embassy away at the time on a mission to any Hellenic state; the Hellenes had all long ago been tried and found wanting; and in all that he has said upon this matter there is not a single sound word. And, apart from that, his falsehoods involve the greatest calumnies upon this city. For if you were at one and the same time convoking the Hellenes with a view to war, and sending ambassadors yourselves to Philip to discuss peace, it was a deed for a Eurybatus, not a task for a state or for honest men, that you were carrying out. But that is not the case; indeed it is not. For what could possibly have been your object in summoning them at that moment? Was it with a view to peace? But they all had peace already. Or with a view to war? But you were yourselves discussing peace. It is therefore evident that neither was it I that introduced or was responsible for the Peace in its original shape, nor is one of all the other falsehoods which he told of me shown to be true.

Again, consider the course of action which, when the city had concluded the Peace, each of us now chose to adopt. For from this you will know who it was that co-operated with Philip throughout, and who it was that acted in your interest and sought the good of the city. As for me, I proposed, as a member of the Council, that the ambassadors should sail as quickly as possible to any district in which they should ascertain Philip to be, and receive his oath from him. But even when I had carried this resolution, they would not act upon it. What did this mean, men of Athens? I will inform you. Philip's interest required that the interval
before he took the oath should be as long as possible; yours, that it should be as short as possible. And why? Because you broke off all your preparations for the war, not merely from the day when he took the oath, but from the day when you first hoped that Peace would be made; and for his part, this was what he was all along working for; for he thought (and with truth) that whatever places he could snatch from Athens before he took the oath, would remain securely his, since no one would break the Peace for their sake.

Foreseeing and calculating upon this, men of Athens, I proposed this decree, that we should sail to any district in which Philip might be and receive his oath as soon as possible, in order that the oaths might be taken while the Thracians, your allies, were still in possession of those strongholds of which Aeschines just now spoke with contempt - Serrhium, Myrtenum, and Ergiske. And that Philip might not snatch from us the keys of the country and make himself master of Thrace, nor obtain an abundant supply of money and of soldiers, and so proceed without difficulty to the prosecution of his further designs. And now, instead of citing or reading this decree he slanders me on the ground that I thought fit, as a member of the Council, to introduce the envoys. But what should I have done? Was I to propose not to introduce those who had come for the express purpose of speaking with you? or to order the lessee of the theatre not to assign them seats? But they would have watched the play from the three penny seats, if this decree had not been proposed. Should I have guarded the interests of the city in petty details, and sold them wholesale, as my opponents did? Surely not. (To the clerk.) Now take this decree, which the prosecutor passed over, though he knew it well, and read it.

[The decree of Demosthenes is read.]

Though I had carried this decree, and was seeking the good not of Philip, but of the city, these worthy ambassadors paid little heed to it, but sat idle in Macedonia for three whole months, until Philip arrived from Thrace, after subduing the whole country; when they might, within ten days, or equally well within three or four, have reached the Hellespont, and saved the strongholds, by receiving his oath before he could seize them. For he would not have touched them when we were present; or else, if he had done so, we should have refused to administer the oath
to him; and in that case he would have failed to obtain the Peace: he would not have had both the Peace and the strongholds as well.

Such was Philip's first act of fraud during the time of the Embassy, and the first instance of venality on the part of these wicked men. And over this I confess that then and now and always I have been and am at war and at variance with them. Now observe, immediately after this, a second and even greater piece of villainy. As soon as Philip had sworn to the Peace, after first gaining possession of Thrace because these men did not obey my decree, he obtained from them, again by purchase, the postponement of our departure from Macedonia, until all should be in readiness for his campaign against the Phocians; in order that, instead of our bringing home a report of his intentions and his preparations for the march, which would make you set out and sail round to Thermopylae with your war-ships as you did before, you might only hear our report of the facts when he was already on this side of Thermopylae, and you could do nothing. And Philip was beset with such fear and such a weight of anxiety, lest in spite of his occupation of these places, his object should slip from his grasp, if, before the Phocians were destroyed, you resolved to assist them, that he hired this despicable creature, not now in company with his colleagues, but by himself alone, to make to you a statement and a report of such a character that owing to them all was lost.

But I request and entreat you, men of Athens, to remember throughout this whole trial, that, had Aeschines made no accusation that was not included in the indictment, I too would not have said a word that did not bear upon it; but since he has had recourse to all kinds of imputation and slander at once, I am compelled also to give a brief answer to each group of charges. What then were the statements uttered by him that day, in consequence of which all was lost? 'You must not be perturbed,' he said, 'at Philip's having crossed to this side of Thermopylae; for you will get everything that you desire, if you remain quiet; and within two or three days you will hear that he has become the friend of those whose enemy he was, and the enemy of those whose friend he was, when he first came. For,' said he, 'it is not phrases that confirm friendships' (a finely sententious expression!) 'but identity of interest; and it is to the interest of Philip and of the Phocians and of yourselves alike, to be rid of the heartless and overbearing demeanor of the Thebans.' To these statements some gave a ready ear, in consequence of the tacit ill-feeling towards the Thebans at the time. What then followed, and not after a long interval, but immediately? The Phocians were overthrown. Their cities were razed to the ground. You who had believed Aeschines and remained inactive were soon afterwards bringing in your effects from the country; while Aeschines received his gold; and besides all this, the city reaped the ill-will of the Thebans and Thessalians, while their gratitude for what had been done went to Philip. To prove that this is so, (to the clerk) read me both the decree of Callisthenes, and Philip's letter. (To the jury.) These two documents together will make all the facts plain. (To the clerk.) Read.

[The decree of Callisthenes is read.]

Were these the hopes, on the strength of which you made the Peace? Was this what this hireling promised you? (To the clerk.) Now read the letter which Philip sent after this.

[Philip's letter is read.]

You hear how obviously, in this letter sent to you, Philip is addressing definite information to his own allies. 'I have done these things,' he tells them, 'against the will of the Athenians, and to their annoyance; and so, men of Thebes and Thessaly, if you are wise, you will regard them as enemies, and will trust me.' He does not write in those actual terms, but that is what he intends to indicate. By these means he so carried them away, that they did not foresee or realize any of the consequences, but allowed him to get everything into his own power: and that is why, poor men, they have experienced their present calamities. But the man who helped him to create this confidence, who co-operated with him, who brought home that false report and deluded you, he it is who now bewails the sufferings of the Thebans and enlarges upon their piteousness--he, who is himself the cause both of these and of the misery in Phocis, and of all the other evils which the Hellenes have endured. Yes, it is evident that you are pained at what has come to pass, Aeschines, and that you are sorry for the Thebans, when you have property in Boeotia and are farming the land that was theirs; and that I rejoice at it--I, whose surrender was immediately demanded by the author of the
disaster! But I have digressed into subjects of which it will perhaps be more convenient to speak presently. I will return to the proofs which show that it is the crimes of these men that are the cause of our condition to-day.

For when you had been deceived by Philip, through the agency of these men, who while serving as ambassadors had sold themselves and made a report in which there was not a word of truth--when the unhappy Phocians had been deceived and their cities annihilated--what followed? The despicable Thessalians and the slow-witted Thebans regarded Philip as their friend, their benefactor, their savior. Philip was their all-in-all. They would not even listen to the voice of any one who wished to express a different opinion. You yourselves, though you viewed what had been done with suspicion and vexation, nevertheless kept the Peace; for there was nothing else that you could have done. And the other Hellenes, who, like yourselves, had been deluded and disappointed of their hopes, also kept the Peace, and gladly; since in a sense they also were remotely aimed at by the war. For when Philip was going about and subduing the Illyrians and Triballi and some of the Hellenes as well, and bringing many large forces into his own power, and when some of the members of the several States were taking advantage of the Peace to travel to Macedonia, and were being corrupted--Aeschines among them--at such a time all of those whom Philip had in view in thus making his preparations were really being attacked by him. Whether they failed to realize it is another
question, which does not concern me.

For I was continually uttering warnings and protests, both in your midst and wherever I was sent. But the cities were stricken with disease: those who were engaged in political and practical affairs were taking bribes and being corrupted by the hope of money; while the mass of private citizens either showed no foresight, or else were caught by the bait of ease and leisure from day to day; and all alike had fallen victims to some such delusive fancy, as that the danger would come upon every one but themselves, and that through the perils of others they would be able to secure their own position as they pleased. And so I suppose, it has come to pass that the masses have atoned for their great and ill-timed indifference by the loss of their freedom, while the leaders in affairs, who fancied that they were selling everything except themselves, have realized that they had sold themselves first of all. For instead of being called friends and guest-friends, as they were called at the time when they were taking their bribes, they now hear themselves called flatterers, and god-forsaken, and all the other names that they deserve. For no one, men of Athens, spends his money out of a desire to benefit the traitor; nor, when once he has secured the object for which he bargains, does he employ the traitor to advise him with regard to other objects: if it were so, nothing could be happier than a traitor. But it is not so, of course. Far from it! When the aspirant after dominion has gained his object, he is also the master of those who have sold it to him: and because then he knows their villainy, he then hates and mistrusts them, and covers them with insults. For observe, for even if the time of the events is past, the time for realizing truths like these is ever present to wise men.

Lasthenes was called his friend but only until he had betrayed Olynthus. And Timolaus; but only until he had destroyed Thebes. And Eudicus and Simus of Larissa; but only until they had put Thessaly in Philip's power. And now, persecuted as they are, and insulted, and subjected to every kind of misery, the whole inhabited world has become filled with such men. And what of Aristratus at Sicyon? what of Perillus at Megara? Are they not outcasts? From these instances one can see very clearly, that it is he who best protects his own country and speaks most constantly against such men, that secures for traitors and hirelings like yourselves, Aeschines, the continuance of your opportunities for taking bribes. It is the majority of those who are here, those who resist your will, that you must thank for the fact that you live and draw your pay; for, left to yourselves, you would long ago have perished.

There is still much that I might say about the transactions of that time, but I think that even what I have said is more than enough. The blame rests with Aeschines, who has drenched me with the stale dregs of his own villainy and crime from which I was compelled to clear myself in the eyes of those who are too young to remember the events; though perhaps you who knew, even before I said a single word, of Aeschines' service as a hireling, may have felt some annoyance as you listened. He calls it, forsooth, 'friendship' and 'guest-friendship'; and somewhere in his speech just now he used the expression, 'the man who casts in my teeth my guest-friendship with Alexander.' I cast in your teeth your guest-friendship with Alexander? How did you acquire it? How came you to be thought worthy of it? Never would I call you the guest-friend of Philip or the friend of Alexander--I am not so insane--unless you are to call harvesters and other hired servants the friends and guest-friends of those who have hired them. But that is not the case, of course. Far from it! Nay, I call you the hireling, formerly of Philip, and now of Alexander, and so do all who are present. If you disbelieve me, ask them--or rather I will ask them for you. Men of Athens, do you think of Aeschines as the hireling or as the guest-friend of Alexander? You hear what they say.

I now wish, without more delay, to make my defense upon the indictment itself, and to go through my past acts, in order that Aeschines may hear (though he knows them well) the grounds on which I claim to have a right both to the gifts which the Council have proposed, and even to far greater than these. (To the clerk.) Now take the indictment and read it.

[The indictment is read.]

These, men of Athens, are the points in the resolution which the prosecutor assails; and these very points will, I think, afford me my first means of proving to you that the defense which I am about to offer is an absolutely fair one. For I will take the points of the indictment in the very same order as the prosecutor: I will speak of each in succession, and will knowingly pass over nothing. Any decision upon the statement that I 'consistently do and say what is best for the People, and am eager to do whatever good I can', and upon the proposal to vote me thanks for this, depends, I consider, upon my past political career: for it is by an
investigation of my career that either the truth and the propriety, or else the falsehood, of these statements which Ctesiphon has made about me will be discovered. Again, the proposal to crown me, without the addition of the clause 'when he has submitted to his examination', and the order to proclaim the award of the crown in the theatre, must, I imagine, stand or fall with my political career; for the question is whether I deserve the crown and the proclamation before my fellow countrymen or not. At the same time I consider myself further bound to point out to you the laws under which the defendant's proposal could be made. In this honest and straightforward manner, men of Athens, I have determined to make my defense; and now I will proceed to speak of my past actions themselves.
And let no one imagine that I am detaching my argument from its connection with the indictment, if I break into a discussion of international transactions. For it is the prosecutor who, by assailing the clause of the decree which states that I do and say what is best, and by indicting it as false, has rendered the discussion of my whole political career essentially germane to the indictment; and further, out of the many careers which public life offers, it was the department of international
affairs that I chose; so that I have a right to derive my proofs also from that department.

I will pass over all that Philip snatched from us and secured, in the days before I took part in public life as an orator. None of these losses, I imagine, has anything to do with me. But I will recall to you, and will render you an account of all that, from the day when I entered upon this career, he was prevented from taking, when I have made one remark. Philip, men of Athens, had a great advantage in his favor. For in the midst of the Hellenic peoples--and not of some only, but of all alike--there had sprung up a crop of traitors--corrupt, god-forsaken men--more
numerous than they have ever been within the memory of man. These he took to help and co-operate with him; and great as the mutual ill-will and dissensions of the Hellenes already were, he rendered them even worse, by deceiving some, making presents to others, and corrupting others in every way; and at a time when all had in reality but one interest--to prevent his becoming powerful--he divided them into a number of factions.

All the Hellenes then being in this condition, still ignorant of the growing and accumulating evil, you have to ask yourselves, men of Athens, what policy and action it was fitting for the city to choose, and to hold me responsible for this; for the person who assumed that responsibility in the State was myself. Should she, Aeschines, have sacrificed her pride and her own dignity? Should she have joined the ranks of the Thessalians and Dolopes, and helped Philip to acquire the empire of Hellas, cancelling thereby the noble and righteous deeds of our forefathers? Or, if she should not have done this (for it would have been in very truth an atrocious thing), should she have looked on, while all that she saw would happen, if no one prevented it--all that she realized, it seems, at a distance--was actually taking place? Nay, I should be glad to ask to-day the severest critic of my actions, which party he would have desired the city to join--the party which shares the responsibility for the misery and disgrace which has fallen upon the Hellenes (the party of the Thessalians and their supporters, one may call it), or the party which looked on while these calamities were taking place, in the hope of gaining some advantage for themselves--in which we should place the Arcadians and Messenians and Argives. But even of these, many--nay, all--have in the end fared worse than we. For if Philip had departed immediately after his victory, and gone his way; if afterwards he had remained at peace, and had given no trouble whatever to any of his own allies or of the other Hellenes; then there would have been some ground for blaming and accusing those who had opposed his plans. But if he has stripped them all alike of their dignity, their paramountcy, and their independence--nay, even of their free constitutions, wherever he could do so--can it be denied that the policy which you adopted on my advice was the most glorious policy possible?

But I return to my former point. What was it fitting for the city to do, Aeschines, when she saw Philip establishing for himself a despotic sway over the Hellenes? What language should have been used, what measures proposed, by the adviser of the people at Athens (for that it was at Athens makes the utmost difference), when I knew that from the very first, up to the day when I myself ascended the platform, my country had always contended for pre-eminence, honor, and glory, and in the cause of honor, and for the interests of all, had sacrificed more money and lives than any other Hellenic people had spent for their private ends: when I saw that Philip himself, with whom our conflict lay, for the sake of empire and absolute power, had had his eye knocked out, his collar-bone broken, his hand and his leg maimed, and was ready to resign any part of his body that Fortune chose to take from him, provided that with what remained he might live in honor and glory? And surely no one would dare to say that it was fitting that in one bred at Pella, a place then inglorious and insignificant, there should have grown up so lofty a spirit that he aspired after the empire of Hellas, and conceived such a project in his mind; but that in you, who are Athenians, and who day by day in all that you hear and see behold the memorials of the gallantry of your forefathers, such baseness should be found, that you would yield up your liberty to Philip by your own deliberate offer and deed. No man would say this. One alternative remained, and that, one which you were bound to take--that of a righteous resistance to the whole course of action by which he was doing you injury. You acted thus from the first, quite rightly and properly; while I helped by my proposals and advice during the time of my political activity, and I do not deny it. But what ought I to
have done? For the time has come to ask you this, Aeschines, and to dismiss everything else. Amphipolis, Pydna, Poteidaea, Halonnesus--all are blotted from my memory.

As for Serrhium, Doriscus, the sack of Peparethus, and all the other injuries inflicted upon the city, I renounce all knowledge of their ever having happened--though you actually said that I involved my countrymen in hostility by talking of these things, when the decrees which deal with them were the work of Eubulus and Aristophon and Diopeithes, and not mine at all--so glibly do you assert anything that suits your purpose! But of this too I say nothing at present. I only ask you whether Philip, who was appropriating Euboea, and establishing it as a stronghold to command Attica; who was making an attempt upon Megara, seizing Oreus, razing the walls of Porthmus, setting up Philistides as tyrant at Oreus and Cleitarchus at Eretria, bringing the Hellespont into his own power, besieging Byzantium, destroying some of the cities of Hellas, and restoring his exiled friends to others--whether he, I say, in acting thus, was guilty of wrong, violating the truce and breaking the Peace, or not? Was it fit that one of the Hellenes should arise to prevent it, or not? If it was not fit--if it was fit that Hellas should become like the Mysian booty in the proverb before men's eyes, while the Athenians had life and being, then I have lost my labor in speaking upon this theme, and the city has lost its labor in obeying me: then let everything that has been done be counted for a crime and a blunder, and those my own! But if it was right that one should arise to prevent it, for whom could the task be more fitting than for the people of Athens? That then, was the aim of my policy; and when I saw Philip reducing all mankind to servitude, I opposed him, and without ceasing warned and exhorted you to make no surrender. But the Peace, Aeschines, was in reality broken by Philip, when he seized the corn-ships, not by Athens. (To the clerk.) Bring the decrees themselves, and the letter of Philip, and read them in order. (To the jury.) For they will make it clear who is responsible, and for what.

[A decree is read]

This decree then was proposed by Eubulus, not by me. And the next by Aristophon; he is followed first by Hegesippus, and he by Aristophon again, and then by Philocrates, then by Cephisophon, and then by all of them. But I proposed no decree upon this subject. (To the clerk.) Read.

[Decrees are read.]

As then I point to these decrees, so, Aeschines, do you point to a decree of any kind, proposed by me, which makes me responsible for the war. You cannot do so: for had you been able, there is nothing which you would sooner have produced. Indeed, even Philip himself makes no charge against me as regards the war, though he complains of others. (To the clerk.) Read Philip's letter itself.

[Philip's letter is read.]

In this letter he has nowhere mentioned the name of Demosthenes, nor made any charge against me. Why is it then that, though he complains of others, he has not mentioned my own actions? Because, if he had written anything about me, he must have mentioned his own acts of wrong; for it was these acts upon which I kept my grip, and these which I opposed. First of all, when he was trying to steal into the Peloponnese, I proposed the embassy to the Peloponnese; then, when he was grasping at Euboea, the embassy to Euboea; then the expedition--not an embassy any more--to Oreus, and that to Eretria, when he had established tyrants in those cities. After that I dispatched all the naval expeditions, in the course of which the Chersonese and Byzantium and all our allies were saved. In consequence of this, the noblest rewards at the hands of those who had benefited by your action became yours--votes of thanks, glory, honors, crowns, gratitude; while of the victims of his aggression, those who followed your advice at the time secured their own deliverance, and those who neglected it had the memory of your warnings constantly in their minds, and regarded you not merely as their well-wishers, but as men of wisdom and prophetic insight; for all that you foretold has come to pass. And further, that Philistides would have given a large sum to retain Oreus, and Cleitarchus to retain Eretria, and Philip himself, to be able
to count upon the use of these places against you, and to escape all exposure of his other proceedings and all investigation, by any one in any place, of his wrongful acts--all this is not unknown to any one, least of all to you, Aeschines. For the envoys sent at that time by Cleitarchus and Philistides lodged at your house, when they came here, and you acted as their patron. Though the city rejected them, as enemies whose proposals were neither just nor expedient, to you they were friends. None of their attempts succeeded, slander me though you may, when you assert that I say nothing when I receive money, but cry out when I spend it. That, certainly, is not your way for you cry out with money in your hands, and will never cease, unless those present cause you to do so by taking away your civil rights to-day.

Now on that occasion, gentlemen, you crowned me for my conduct. Aristonicus proposed a decree whose very syllables were identical with those of Ctesiphon's present proposal; the crown was proclaimed in the theatre; and this was already
the second proclamation in my honor: and yet Aeschines, though he was there, neither opposed the decree, nor indicted the mover. (To the clerk.) Take this decree also and read it.

[The decree of Aristonicus is read.]

Now is any of you aware of any discredit that attached itself to the city owing to this decree? Did any mockery or ridicule ensue, such as Aeschines said must follow on the present occasion, if I were crowned? But surely when proceedings are recent and well known to all, then it is that, if they are satisfactory, they meet with gratitude, and if they are otherwise, with punishment. It appears, then, that on that occasion I met with gratitude, not with blame or punishment. Thus the fact that, up to the time when these events took place, I acted throughout as was best for the city, has been acknowledged by the victory of my advice and my proposals in your deliberations, by the successful execution of the measures which I proposed, and the award of crowns in consequence of them to the city and to myself and to all, and by your celebration of sacrifices to the gods, and processions, in thankfulness for these blessings.

When Philip had been expelled from Euboea--and while the arms which expelled him were yours, the statesmanship and the decrees (even though some of my opponents may split their sides) were mine--he proceeded to look for some other stronghold from which he could threaten the city. And seeing that we were more dependent than any other people upon imported corn, and wishing to get our corn-trade into his power, he advanced to Thrace. First, he requested the Byzantines, his own allies, to join him in the war against you; and when they refused and said (with truth) that they had not made their alliance with him for such a purpose, he erected a stockade against the city, brought up his engines, and proceeded to besiege it. I will not ask again what you ought to have done when this was happening; it is manifest to all. But who was it that went to the
rescue of the Byzantines, and saved them? Who was it that prevented the Hellespont from falling into other hands at that time? It was you, men of Athens--and when I say 'you', I mean this city. And who was it that spoke and moved resolutions and acted for the city, and gave himself up unsparingly to the business of the State? It was I. But of the immense benefit thus conferred upon all, you no longer need words of mine to tell you, since you have had actual experience of it. For the war which then ensued, apart from the glorious reputation that it brought you, kept you supplied with the necessaries of life in greater plenty and at lower prices than the present Peace, which these worthy men are guarding to their country's detriment, in their hopes of something yet to be realized. May those hopes be disappointed! May they share the fortune which you, who wish for the best, ask of the gods, rather than cause you to share that upon which their own choice is fixed! (To the clerk.) Read out to the jury the crowns awarded to the city in consequence of her action by the Byzantines and by the Perinthians.

[The decree of the Byzantines is read.]

Read out also the crowns awarded by the peoples of the Chersonese.

[The decree of the peoples of the Chersonese is read.]

Thus the policy which I had adopted was not only successful in saving the Chersonese and Byzantium, in preventing the Hellespont from falling at that time into the power of Philip, and in bringing honors to the city in consequence, but it revealed to the whole world the noble gallantry of Athens and the baseness of Philip. For all saw that he, the ally of the Byzantines, was besieging them--what could be more shameful or revolting? and on the other hand, it was seen that you, who might fairly have urged many well-founded complaints against them for their inconsiderate conduct towards you at an earlier period, not only refused to remember your grudge and to abandon the victims of aggression, but actually
delivered them; and in consequence of this, you won glory and goodwill on all hands. And further, though every one knows that you have crowned many public men before now, no one can name any but myself--that is to say, any public counselor and orator--for whose merits the city has received a crown.

In order to prove to you, also, that the slanders which he uttered against the Euboeans and Byzantines, as he recalled to you any ill-natured action that they had taken towards you in the past, are disingenuous calumnies, not only because they are false (for this, I think, you may all be assumed to know), but also because, however true they might be, it was still to your advantage to deal with the political situation as I have done, I desire to describe, and that briefly, one or two of the noble deeds which this city has done in your own time. For an individual and a State should strive always, in their respective spheres, to fashion their future conduct after the highest examples that their past affords. Thus, men of Athens, at a time when the Spartans were masters of land and sea, and were retaining their hold, by means of governors and garrisons, upon the country all round Attica--Euboea, Tanagra, all Boeotia, Megara, Aegina, Ceos, and the other islands--and when Athens possessed neither ships nor walls, you marched forth to Haliartus, and again, not many days later, to Corinth, though the Athenians of that day might have borne a heavy grudge against both the Corinthians and the
Thebans for the part they had played in reference to the Deceleian War. But they bore no such grudge. Far from it! And neither of these actions, Aeschines, was taken by them to help benefactors; nor was the prospect before them free from danger. Yet they did not on that account sacrifice those who fled to them for help. For the sake of glory and honor they were willing to expose themselves to the danger; and it was a right and a noble spirit that inspired their counsels. For the life of all men must end in death, though a man shut himself in a chamber and keep watch; but brave men must ever set themselves to do that which is noble,
with their joyful hope for their buckler, and whatsoever God gives, must bear it gallantly.

Thus did your forefathers, and thus did the elder among yourselves: for, although the Spartans were no friends or benefactors of yours, but had done much grievous wrong to the city, yet, when the Thebans, after their victory at Leuctra, attempted to annihilate them, you prevented it, not terrified by the strength or the reputation which the Thebans then enjoyed, nor reckoning up what the men had done to you, for whom you were to face this peril. And thus, as you know, you revealed to all the Hellenes, that whatever offences may be committed against you, though under all other circumstances you show your resentment of them, yet if any danger to life or freedom overtakes the transgressors, you will bear no grudge and make no reckoning. Nor was it in these instances only that you were thus disposed. For once more, when the Thebans were appropriating Euboea, you did not look on while it was done; you did not call to mind the wrong which had been done to you in the matter of Oropus by Themison and Theodorus: you helped even these; and it was then that the city for the first time had voluntary trierarchs, of whom I was one. But I will not speak of this yet. And although to save the island was itself a noble thing to do, it was a yet nobler thing by far, that when their lives and their cities were absolutely in your power, you gave them back, as it was right to do, to the very men who had offended against you, and made no reckoning, when such trust had been placed in you, of the wrongs which you had suffered. I pass by the innumerable instances which I might still give--battles at sea, expeditions [by land, campaigns] both long ago and now in our day; in all of which the object of the city has been to defend the freedom and safety of the other Hellenic peoples. And so, when in all these striking examples I had beheld the city ever ready to strive in defense of the interests of others, what was I likely to bid her do, what action was I likely to recommend to her, when the debate to some extent concerned her own interests? 'Why,' you would say, 'to remember her grudge against those who wanted deliverance, and to look for excuses for sacrificing everything!' And who would not have been justified in putting me to death, if I had attempted to bring shame upon the city's high traditions, though it were only by word? The deed itself you would never have done, I know full well; for had you desired to do it, what was there to hinder you? Were you not free so to act? Had you not these men here to propose it?

I wish now to return to the next in succession of my political acts; and here again you must ask yourselves, what was the best thing for the city? For, men of Athens, when I saw that your navy was breaking up, and that, while the rich were obtaining exemption on the strength of small payments, citizens of moderate or  small means were losing all that they had; and further, that in consequence of these things the city was always missing her opportunities; I enacted a law in accordance with which I compelled the former--the rich--to do their duty fairly; I put an end to the injustice done to the poor, and (what was the greatest service of all to the State) I caused our preparations to be made in time. When I was indicted for this, I appeared before you at the ensuing trial, and was acquitted; the prosecutor failed to obtain the necessary fraction of the votes. But what sums do you think the leaders of the Taxation-Boards, or those who stood second or third, offered me, to induce me, if possible, not to enact the law, or at least to let it drop and lie under sworn notice of prosecution? They offered sums so large, men of Athens, that I should hesitate to mention them to you. It was a natural course for them to take. For under the former laws it was possible for them to
divide their obligation between sixteen persons, paying little or nothing themselves, and grinding down their poorer fellow citizens: while by my law each must pay down a sum calculated in proportion to his property; and a man came to be charged with two warships, who had previously been one of sixteen subscribers to a single one (for they used now to call themselves no longer captains of their ships, but subscribers). Thus there was nothing that they were not willing to give, if only the new plan could be brought to nothing, and they could escape being compelled to do their duty fairly. (To the clerk.) Now read me, first, the decree in
accordance with which I had to meet the indictment; and then the lists of those liable under the former law, and under my own, respectively. Read.

[The decree is read.]

Now produce that noble list.

[A list is read.]

Now produce, for comparison with this, the list under my own law.

[A list is read.]

Was this, think you, but a trifling assistance which I rendered to the poor among you? Would the wealthy have spent but a trifling sum to avoid doing their duty fairly? I am proud not only of having refused all compromise upon the measure, not only of having been acquitted when I was indicted, but also of having enacted a law which was beneficial, and of having given proof of it in practice. For throughout the war the armaments were equipped under my law, and no trierarch ever laid the suppliants' branch before you in token of grievance, nor took sanctuary at Munychia; none was imprisoned by the Admiralty Board; no warship was abandoned at sea and lost to the State, or left behind here as unseaworthy. Under the former laws all these things used to happen; and the reason was that the obligation rested upon the poor, and in consequence there were many cases of inability to discharge it. I transferred the duties of the trierarchy from the poor to the rich; and therefore every duty was properly fulfilled. Aye, and for this very reason I deserve to receive praise--that I always adopted such political measures
as brought with them accessions of glory and honor and power to the city. No measure of mine is malicious, harsh, or unprincipled; none is degrading or unworthy of the city. The same spirit will be seen both in my domestic and my international policy. For just as in home affairs I did not set the favor of the rich above the rights of the many, so in international affairs I did not embrace the gifts and the friendship of Philip, in preference to the common interests of all the Hellenes.

It still remains for me, I suppose, to speak about the proclamation, and about my examination. The statement that I acted for the best, and that I am loyal to you throughout and eager to do you good service, I have proved, I think, sufficiently, by what I have said. At the same time I am passing over the most important parts of my political life and actions; for I conceive that I ought first to render to you in their proper order my arguments in regard to the alleged illegality itself: which done, even if I say nothing about the rest of my political acts, I can still rely upon that personal knowledge of them which each of you possesses.

Of the arguments which the prosecutor jumbled together in utter confusion with reference to the laws accompanying his indictment, I am quite certain that you could not follow the greater part, nor could I understand them myself. But I will simply address you straightforwardly upon the question of right. So far am I from claiming, as he just now slanderously declared, to be free from the liability to render an account, that I admit a life-long liability to account for every part of my
administration and policy. But I do not admit that I am liable for one single day, you hear me, Aeschines? to account for what I have given to the People as a free-will offering out of my private estate. Nor is any one else so liable, not even if he is one of the nine archons.

What law is so replete with injustice and churlishness, that when a man has made a present out of his private property and done an act of generosity and munificence, it deprives him of the gratitude due to him, hales him before a court of disingenuous critics, and sets them to audit accounts of sums which he himself has given? There is no such law. If the prosecutor asserts that there is, let him produce it, and I will resign myself and say no more. But the law does not exist, men of Athens; this is nothing but an informer's trick on the part of Aeschines, who, because I was Controller of the Festival Fund when I made this donation, says, 'Ctesiphon proposed a vote of thanks to him when he was still liable to account.' The vote of thanks was not for any of the things for which I was liable to account; it was for my voluntary gift, and your charge is a misrepresentation. 'Yes,' you say, 'but you were also a Commissioner of Fortifications.' I was, and thanks were rightly accorded me on the very ground that, instead of charging the sums which I spent, I made a present of them. A statement of account, it is true, calls for an audit and scrutineers; but a free gift deserves gratitude and thanks; and that is why the defendant proposed this motion in my favor. That this principle is not merely laid down in the laws, but rooted in your national character, I shall have no difficulty in proving by many instances. Nausicles, to begin with, has often been crowned by you, while general, for sacrifices which he had made from his private funds. Again, when Diotimus gave the shields, and Charidemus afterwards, they were crowned. And again, Neoptolemus here, while still director of many public works, has received honors for his voluntary gifts. It would really be too bad, if any one who held any office must either be debarred thereby from making a present to the State, or else, instead of receiving due gratitude, must submit accounts of the sums given. To prove the truth of my statements, (to the clerk) take and read the actual decrees which were passed in honor of these persons. Read.

[Two decrees are read.]

Each of these persons, Aeschines, was accountable as regards the office which he held, but not as regards the services for which he was crowned. Nor am I, therefore; for I presume that I have the same rights as others with reference to the same matters. I made a voluntary gift. For this I receive thanks; for I am not liable to account for what I gave. I was holding office. True, and I have rendered an account of my official expenditure, but not of what I gave voluntarily. Ah! but I exercised my office iniquitously! What? and you were there, when the auditors brought me before them, and did not accuse me?

Now that the court may see that the prosecutor himself bears me witness that I was crowned for services of which I was not liable to render an account, (to the clerk) take and read the decree which was proposed in my honor, in its entirety. (To the jury.) The points which he has omitted to indict in the Council's resolution will show that the charges which he does make are deliberate misrepresentations. (To the clerk.) Read.

[The decree is read.]

My donations then, were these, of which you have not made one the subject of indictment. It is the reward for these, which the Council states to be my due, that you attack. You admit that it was legal to accept the gifts offered, and you indict as illegal the return of gratitude for them. In Heaven's name, what must the perfect scoundrel, the really heaven-detested, malignant being be like? Must he not be a man like this?

But as regards the proclamation in the theatre, I pass by the fact that ten thousand persons have been thus proclaimed on ten thousand different occasions, and that my own name has often been so proclaimed before. But, in Heaven's name, Aeschines, are you so perverse and stupid, that you cannot grasp the fact that the recipient of the crown feels the same pride wherever the crown is proclaimed, and that it is for the benefit of those who confer it that the proclamation is made in the theatre? For those who hear are stimulated to do good service to the State, and commend those who return gratitude for such service even more than they commend the recipient of the crown. That is why the city has enacted this law. (To the clerk.) Take the law itself and read it.

[The law is read.]

Do you hear, Aeschines, the plain words of the law? 'Except such as the People or the Council shall resolve so to proclaim. But let these be proclaimed.' Why, wretched man, do you lay this dishonest charge? Why do you invent false arguments? Why do you not take hellebore to cure you? What? Are you not ashamed to bring a case founded upon envy, not upon any crime--to alter some of the laws, and to leave out parts of others, when they ought surely, in justice, to be read entire to those who have sworn to give their votes in accordance with the laws? And then, while you act in this way, you enumerate the qualities which should be found in a friend of the People, as if you had contracted for a statue, and discovered on receiving it that it had not the features required by the contract; or as if a friend of the People was known by a definition, and not by his works and his political measures! And you shout out expressions, proper and improper, like a reveler on a cart--expressions which apply to you and your house, not to me. I will add this also, men of Athens. The difference between abuse and accusation is, I imagine, that an accusation is founded upon crimes, for which the
penalties are assigned by law; abuse, upon such slanders as their own character leads enemies to utter about one another. And I conceive that our forefathers built these courts of law, not that we might assemble you here and revile one another with improper expressions suggested by our adversary's private life, but that we might convict any one who happens to have committed some crime against the State. Aeschines knew this as well as I; and yet he chose to make a ribald attack instead of an accusation. At the same time, it is not fair that he should go off without getting as much as he gives, even in this respect; and when I have asked him one question, I will at once proceed to the attack. Are we to call
you, Aeschines, the enemy of the State, or of myself? Of myself, of course. What? And when you might have exacted the penalty from me, on behalf of your fellow countrymen, according to the laws--at public examinations, by indictment, by all other forms of trial--did you always omit to do so? And yet to-day, when I am unassailable upon every ground--on the ground of law, of lapse of time, of the statutable limit, of the many previous trials which I have undergone upon every
charge, without having once been convicted of any crime against you to this day--and when the city must necessarily share to a greater or smaller degree in the glory of acts which were really acts of the people, have you confronted me upon such an issue as this? Take care lest, while you profess to be my enemy, you prove to be the enemy of your fellow countrymen!

Since then I have shown you all what is the vote which religion and justice demand of you, I am now obliged, it would seem, by the slanders which he has uttered (though I am no lover of abuse) to reply to his many falsehoods by saying just what is absolutely necessary about himself, and showing who he is, and whence he is sprung, that he so lightly begins to use bad language, pulling to pieces certain expressions of mine, when he has himself used expressions which any respectable man would have shrunk from uttering; for if the accuser were Aeacus or Rhadamanthus or Minos, instead of a scandal-monger, an old hand in the marketplace, a pestilent clerk, I do not believe that he would have spoken thus, or produced such a stock of ponderous phrases, crying aloud, as if he were acting a tragedy, 'O Earth and Sun and Virtue,' and the like; or again, invoking 'Wit and Culture, by which things noble and base are discerned apart'--for, of course, you heard him speaking in this way. Scum of the earth! What have you or yours to do with virtue? How should you discern what is noble and what is not? Where and how did you get your qualification to do so? What right have you to mention culture anywhere? A man of genuine culture would not only never have asserted such a thing of himself, but would have blushed to hear another do so: and those who, like you, fall far short of it, but are tactless enough to claim it, succeed only in causing distress to their hearers, when they speak--not in seeming to be what they profess.

But though I am not at a loss to know what to say about you and yours, I am at a loss to know what to mention first. Shall I tell first how your father Tromes was a slave in the house of Elpias, who kept an elementary school near the temple of Theseus, and how he wore shackles and a wooden halter? Or how your mother, by celebrating her daylight nuptials in her hut near the shrine of the Hero of the Lancet, was enabled to rear you, her beautiful statue, the prince of third-rate actors? But these things are known to all without my telling them. Shall I tell how Phormio, the ship's piper, the slave of Dion of Phrearrii, raised her up out of this noble profession? But, before God and every Heavenly Power, I shudder lest in using expressions which are fitly applied to you, I may be thought to have chosen a subject upon which it ill befits myself to speak. So I will pass this by, and will begin with the acts of his own life; for they were not like any chance actions, but such as the people curses. For only lately--lately, do I say? only yesterday or the day before--did he become at once an Athenian and an orator, and by the addition of two syllables converted his father from Tromes into Atrometus, and gave his mother the imposing name of Glaucothea, when every one knows that she used to be called Empusa--a name which was obviously given her because
there was nothing that she would not do or have done to her; for how else should she have acquired it? Yet, in spite of this, you are of so ungrateful and villainous a nature, that though, thanks to your countrymen, you have risen from slavery to freedom, and from poverty to wealth, far from feeling gratitude to them, you devote your political activity to working against them as a hireling. I will pass over every case in which there is any room for the contention that he has spoken in the interests of the city, and will remind you of the acts which he was manifestly proved to have done for the good of her enemies.

Which of you has not heard of Antiphon, who was struck off the list of citizens, and came into the city in pursuance of a promise to Philip that he would burn the dockyards? I found him concealed in the Peiraeus, and brought him before the Assembly; but the malignant Aeschines shouted at the top of his voice, that it was atrocious of me, in a democratic country, to insult a citizen who had met with misfortune, and to go to men's houses without a decree; and he obtained his release. And unless the Council of Areopagus had taken notice of the matter, and, seeing the inopportuneness of the ignorance which you had shown, had made a further search for the man, and arrested him, and brought him before you again, a man of that character would have been snatched out of your hands, and would have evaded punishment, and been sent out of the country by this pompous orator. As it was, you tortured and executed him--and so ought you also to have treated Aeschines. The Council of Areopagus knew the part which he had played in this affair; and for this reason, when, owing to the same ignorance which so often leads you to sacrifice the public interests, you elected him to advocate your claims in regard to the Temple of Delos, the Council (since you had appointed it to assist you and entrusted it with full authority to act in the matter) immediately rejected Aeschines as a traitor, and committed the case to Hypereides. When the Council took this step, the members took their votes from the altar, and not one vote was given for this abominable man. To prove that what I say is true, (to the clerk) call the witnesses who testify to it.

[The witnesses are called.]

Thus when the Council rejected him from the office of advocate, and committed the case to another, it declared at the same time that he was a traitor, who wished you ill. Such was one of the public appearances of this fine fellow, and such its character--so like the acts with which he charges me, is it not? Now recall a second. For when Philip sent Python of Byzantium, and with him envoys from all his allies, in the hope of putting the city to shame and showing her to be in the wrong, I would not give way before the torrent of insolent rhetoric which Python poured out upon you, but rose and contradicted him, and would not betray the city's rights, but proved the iniquity of Philip's actions so manifestly, that even his own allies rose up and admitted it. But Aeschines supported Python; he gave testimony in opposition to his country, and that testimony false. Nor was this sufficient for him; for again after this he was detected going to meet Anaxinus the spy in the house of Thrason. But surely one who met the emissary of the enemy alone and conferred with him, must himself have been already a born spy and an enemy of his country. To prove the truth of what I say, (to the clerk) call the witnesses to these facts.

[The witnesses are called.]

There are still an infinite number of things which I might relate of him; but I pass them over. For the truth is something like this. I could still point to many instances in which he was found to be serving our enemies during that period, and showing his spite against me. But you do not store such things up in careful remembrance, to visit them with the indignation which they deserve; but, following a bad custom, you have given great freedom to any one who wishes to trip up the proposer of any advantageous measure by dishonest charges--bartering, as you do, the advantage of the State for the pleasure and gratification which you derive
from invective; and so it is always easier and safer to be a hireling in the service of the enemy, than a statesman who has chosen to defend your cause.

To co-operate with Philip before we were openly at war with him was --I call Earth and Heaven to witness--atrocious enough. How could it be otherwise--against his own country? Nevertheless, concede him this, if you will, concede him this. But when the corn-ships had been openly plundered, and the Chersonese was being ravaged, and the man was on the march against Attica; when the position of affairs was no longer in doubt, and war had begun; what action did this malignant mouther of verses ever do for your good? He can point to none. There is not a single decree, small or great, with reference to the interests of the city, standing in the name of Aeschines. If he asserts that there is, let him produce it in the time allotted to me. But no such decree exists. In that case, however, only two alternatives are possible: either he had no fault to find at the time with my policy, and therefore made no proposal contrary to it; or else he was seeking the advantage of the enemy, and therefore refrained from bringing forward any better policy than mine.

Did he then abstain from speaking, as he abstained from proposing any motion, when any mischief was to be done? On the contrary, no one else had a chance of speaking. But though, apparently, the city could endure everything else, and he could do everything else unobserved, there was one final deed which was the culmination of all that he had done before. Upon this he expended all that multitude of words, as he went through the decrees relating to the Amphisseans, in the hope of distorting the truth. But the truth cannot be distorted. It is impossible. Never will you wash away the stain of your actions there! You will not say enough for that! I call upon all the gods and goddesses who protect this land of Attica, in the presence of you all, men of Athens; and upon Apollo of Pytho, the paternal deity of this city, and I pray to them all, that if I should speak the truth to you--if I spoke it at that very time without delay, in the presence of the people, when first I saw this abominable man setting his hand to this business (for I knew it, I knew it at once),--that then they may give me good fortune and life: but if, to gratify my hatred or any private quarrel, I am now bringing a false accusation against this man, then they may take from me the fruition of every

Why have I uttered this imprecation with such vehemence and earnestness? Because, although I have documents lying in the public archives by which I will prove the facts clearly, although I know that you remember what was done, I have still the fear that he may be thought too insignificant a man to have done all the evil which he has wrought--as indeed happened before, when he caused the ruin of the unhappy Phocians by the false report which he brought home. For the war at Amphissa, which was the cause of Philip's coming to Elateia, and of one being chosen commander of the Amphictyons, who overthrew the fortunes of the
Hellenes--he it is who helped to get it up; he, in his sole person, is to blame for disasters to which no equal can be found. I protested at the time, and cried out, before the Assembly, 'You are bringing war into Attica, Aeschines, an Amphictyonic War.' But a packed group of his supporters refused to let me speak, while the rest were amazed, and imagined that I was bringing a baseless charge against him, out of personal animosity. But what the true nature of these proceedings was, men of Athens--why this plan was contrived, and how it was executed--you must hear from me to-day, since you were prevented from doing so at the time. You will behold a business cunningly organized; you will advance
greatly in your knowledge of public affairs; and you will see what cleverness there was in Philip.

Philip had no prospect of seeing the end of the war with you, or ridding himself of it, unless he could make the Thebans and Thessalians enemies of Athens. For although the war was being wretchedly and inefficiently conducted by your generals, he was nevertheless suffering infinite damage from the war itself and from the freebooters. The exportation of the produce of his country and the importation of what he needed were both impossible. Moreover, he was not at that time superior to you at sea, nor could he reach Attica, if the Thessalians would not follow him, or the Thebans give him a passage through their country; and although he was overcoming in the field the generals whom you sent out, such as they were (for of this I say nothing), he found himself suffering from the  geographical conditions themselves, and from the nature of the resources which either side possessed. Now if he tried to encourage either the Thessalians or the Thebans to march against you in order to further his own quarrel, no one, he thought, would pay any attention to him; but if he adopted their own common grounds of action and were chosen commander, he hoped to find it easier to deceive or to persuade them, as the case might be. What then does he do? He attempts (and observe with what skill) to stir up an Amphictyonic War, and a
disturbance in connection with the meeting of the Council. For he thought that they would at once find that they needed his help, to deal with these.


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