Page images
PDF
EPUB

cours. Their ambaladors opened ceived, from those whose public admi. their commission in an assembly of niftration hath been devoted to his inthe people, who had the right either terest; those services which you muit to agree to, or to reject their de- punith, I do not think it seasonable to dismand. As the importance of the oc- play. There are other points of more mocasion increased the number of speake ment for you all to hear; and which must ers, the elder orators had debated the excite the greatest abhorrence of him, in affair before Demosthenes arose. In every reasonable mind.—These I thall lay the following oration therefore he before you. speaks as to a people already inform And now, should I call him perjured ed, urges the neceflity of joining with and perfidious, and not point out the inthe Olynthians, and confirms his opi- ftances of this his guilt, it might be deem. nion by powerful arguments ; lays ed the mere virulence of malice, and with open the designs and practices of justice. Nor will it engage too much of Philip, and labours to remove their your attention to hear him fully and clearly dreadful apprehenfions of his power. convicted, from a full and clear detail of He concludes with recommending to all his actions. And this I think useful them to reform abuses, to restore an upon two accounts: first, that he inay apcient discipline, and to put an end to pear, as he really is, treacherous and false; all domestic diffenfions.

and then, that they who are struck with

terror, as if Philip was something more IN many instances (Athenians !) have than human, may see that he hath exthe gods, in my opinion, manifestly de. hausted all those artifices to which he owes clared their favour to this state: nor is it his present elevation ; and that his affairs least observable in this present juncture. are now ready to decline. For I myself For that an enemy sould arise against (Athenians !) Mould think Philip really Philip, on the very confines of his king- to be dreaded and admired, if I saw him dom, of no inconsiderable power, and, raised by honourable means. But I find, what is of most importance, so determined upon reflection, that at the time when cerupon the war, that they consider any ac tain persons drove out the Olynthians from commodation with him, first, as infidious, this assembly, when desirous of conferring next, as the downfal of their country: with you, he began with abusing our fimthis seems no less than the gracious inter- plicity by his promise of surrendering Ampofition of Heaven itself. It must, there- phipolis, and executing the secret article fore, be our care (Athenians!) that we of his treaty, then so much fpoken of: ourselves may not frustrate this goodness. that, after this, he courted the friendihip For it must reflect disgrace, nay, the of the Olynthians by seizing Potidæa, fouleft infamy upon us, if we appear to where we were rightful sovereigns, dehave thrown away not those states and spoiling us his former allies, and giving territories only which we once commanded, them poffeffion: that, but just now, he but those alliances and favourable inci- gained the Theffalians, by promising to dents, which fortune hath provided for us. give up Magnesia; and, for their ease, to

To begin on this occasion with a display take the whole conduct of the Phocian war of Philip's power, or to press you to exert upon himself. In a word, there are no your vigour, by motives drawn from hence, people who ever made the least use of him, is, in my opinion, quite improper. And but have suffered by his subtlety: his prewhy? Because whatever may be offered sent greatness being wholly owing to his upon such a subject, sets him in an ho- deceiving those who were unacquainted nourable view, but seems to me, as a re with him, and making them the instruproach to our conduct. For the higher ments of his success. As these states there. his exploits have arisen above his former fore raised him, while each imagined he estimation, the more must the world ad was promoting some interest of theirs ; mire him: while your disgrace hath been these states must also reduce him to his the greater, the more your conduct hath former meanness, as it now appears that proved unworthy of your state. These his own private intereit was the end of all things therefore I shall pass over. He in- his actions. deed, who examines justly, must find the Thus then, Athenians! is Philip cirfource of all his greatness here, not in him- cumstanced. If not, let the man stand felf. But the services he hath here re. forth, who can prove to me, I should have

said to this asembly, that I have afferted your fortunes, your persons, muft appear these things falsely; or that they whom he devoted to the common cause; your uthath deceived in former intances, will most efforts must be exerted. If you will confide in him for the future; or that the act thus, as your honour and your interest Thessalians, who have been so baselv, so require; then, Athenians ! you will not undeservedly enslaved, would not gladly only discover the weakness and insincerity embrace their freedom.--If there be any of the confederates of Philip, but the ruone among you, who acknowledges all inous condition of his own kingdom will this, yet thinks that Philip will lupport also be laid open. The power and fovehis power, as he hath secured places of reignty of Macedon may have some weight firength, convenient ports, and other like indeed, when joined with others. Thus, advantages; he is deceived. For when when you marched against the Olynthians, forces join in barmony and affection, and under the conduct of Timotheus, it proved one common interelt unites the confede an useful ally; when united with the OlynTating powers, then they share the toils thians against Potidæa, it added something with alacrity, they endure the distresses, to their force; just now, when the Thelthey perievere. But when extravagant am falians were in the midst of disorder, febition, and lawless power (as in his case) dition, and confusion, it aided them against have aggrandised a single person; the first the family of their tyrants : (and in every pretence, the slightest accident, overthrows case, any, even a small accession of Atrength, him, and all his greatness is dashed at once is, in my opinion, of considerable effeet.) to the ground. For it is not, no, Atheni- But of itfelf, unsupported, it is infirm, it ans! it is not poffible to found a laiting is totally diflempered: for by all those power upon injustice, perjury, and trea- glaring exploits, which have given him chery. These may perhaps succeed for this apparent greatness, his wars, his exonce'; and borrow for a while, from peditions, he hath rendered it yet weaker hope, a gay and flourishing appearance. than it was naturally. For you are not to But time betrays their weakness; and they imagine that the inclinations of his sub. fall into ruin of themselves. For, as in jeets are the fame with those of Philip. structures of every kind, the lower parts He thirsts for glory: this is his object, this should have the greateft firmness, so the he eagerly pursues, through toils and dangrounds and principles of actions should be gers of every kind; despising safety and just and truc. But these advantages are life, when compared with the honour of not found in the actions of Philip. atchieving such actions as no other prince

I say then, that you should dispatch fuc- of Macedon could ever boat of. But cours to the Olynthians: (and the more his subjects have no part in this ambihonourably and 'expeditiously this is pro- tion. Harrassed by those various excurposed to be done, the more agreeably to fions he is ever making, they groan under my sentiments) and send an embassy to perpetual calamity; torn from their busithe Theffalians, to inform some, and to en ness, and their families, and without op, liven that fpirit already raised in others : portunity to dispose of that pittance which (for it hath actually been resolved to de. their toils have earned; as all commerce is mand the restitution of Pagalæ, and to shut out from the coast of Macedon by the assert their claim to Magnesia.) And let it be your care, Athenians, that our ambas

Hence one may perceive how his subfadors may not depend only upon words, jects in general are affected to Philip. but give them fome action to display, by But then his auxiliaries, and the soldiers of taking the field in a manner worthy of his phalanx, have the character of wonderthe state, and engaging in the war with ful forces, trained compleatly to war. And vigour. For words, if not accompanied yet I can aflirm, upon the credit of a perby actions, mult ever appear vain and con son from that country, incapable of falsetemptible; and particularly when they hood, that they have no such superiority. come from us, whose prompt abilities, and For, as he allures me, if any man of exwell-known eminence in speaking, make perience in military affairs should be found us to be always heard with the greater among them, he dismisses all such, from suspicion.

an ambition of having every great action Would you indeed regain attention and ascribed wholly to himself: (for, besides his confidence, your measures must be greatly other pallions, the man hath this ambition changed, your conduct totally reformed; in the highest degree.) And if any per

fon,

war.

fon, from a sense of decency, or other vir- where; whom no opportunity escapes; to taous principle, betrays a dislike of his whom no season is unfavourable; should daily intemperance, and riotings, and ob- be fuperior to you, who are wholly en, scenities, he loses all favour and regard; gaged in contriving delays, and framing so that none are left about him, but decrees, and enquiring after news. I am wretches, who subsist on rapine and flat not surprised at this, for the contrary must tery, and who, when heated with wine, do have been furprising: if we, who never not scruple to descend to such inilances act in any single instance, as becomes a of revelry, as it would shock you to re- state engaged in war, should conquer him, peat. Nor can the truth of this be doubt- who, in every instance, acts with an indeed: for they whom we all conspired to fatigable vigilance. This indeed surprises drive from hence, as infamous and aban- me; that you, who fought the cause of doned, Callias the public servant, and Greece against Lacedemon, and generously others of the fame ftamp; buffoons, com- declined all the many favourable opportuposers of lewd songs, in which they ridi. nities of aggrandizing yourselves; who, cule their companions: these are the per- to secure their property to others, parted fons whom he entertains and caresses. And with your own, by your contributions; and these taings, Athenians, trilling as they bravely exposed yourselves in battle; should may appear to some, are to men of just now decline the service of the field, and discernment great indications of the weak- delay the necessary supplies, when called to ness both of his mind and fortune. At the defence of your own rights: that you, present, his successes cast a shade over in whom Greece in general, and each parthem; for prosperity hath great power to ticular state, hath often found protection, veil such baseness from observation. But should sit down quiet spectators of your let his arms meet with the least disgrace, own private wrongs. This I say surprises and all his actions will be exposed. This me: and one thing more; that not a man is a truth, of which he himself, Athenians! among you can reflect how long a time will, in my opinion, foon convince you, if we have been at war with Philip, and in the gods favour us, and you exert your what measures, this time hath all been vigour. For as in our bodies, while a man wafted. You are not to be informed, that, is in health, he feels no effect of any in- in delaying, in hoping that others would ward weakness; but, when disease attacks assert our cause, in accusing each other, him, every thing becomes sensible, in the in impeaching, then again entertaining vessels, in the joints, or in whatever other hopes, in such measures as are now purpart his frame may be disordered; so in sued, that time hath been entirely waited. states and monarchies, while they carry on And are you so devoid of apprehension, as a war abroad, their defects escape the ge- to imagine, when our state hath been reneral eye : but when once it approaches duced from greatness to wretchedness, that their own territory, then they are all de- the very fame conduct will raise us from tected.

wretchedness to greatness ? No! this is If there be any one among you who, not reasonable, it is not natural; for it is from Philip's good fortune, concludes that much easier to defend, than to acquire he must prove a formidable enemy; such dominions. But, now, the war hath left reasoning is not unworthy a man of pru. us nothing to defend : we must acquire. dence. Fortune hath great influence, nay, And to this work you yourselves alone are the whole influence, in all human affairs : equal. but then, were I to chule, I Mould prefer This, then, is my opinion. You should the fortune of Athens (if you yourselves raise fupplies; you should take the field will assert your own cause, with the leait with alacrity. Prosecutions should be all degree of vigour) to this man's fortune. suspended until you have recovered your For we have many better reasons to de- affairs; let each man's sentence be deterpend upon the favour of Heaven, than this mined by his actions : honour those who man. But our present state is, in my opi- have deserved applause; let the iniquitous nion, a state of total inactivity; and he meet their punishment: let there be no who will not exert his own strength, can pretences, no deficiencies on your part; not apply for aid, either to his friends or for you cannot bring the actions of others to the gods. It is not then surprising, that to a severe scrutiny, unless you have first he who is himself ever a nidit the dangers been careful of your own duty. What inand labours of the field; who is every- deed can be the reason, think ye, that

every man whom ye have sent out at the moment he concludes; you yourselves will head of an army, hath deserted your

fer fhare it hereafter, when you find how vice, and sought out fome private expe- greatly you have advanced the interests of dition? (if we must speak ingenuously of your itate.

Leland. these our generals also,) the reason is this: when engaged in the service of the flate, § 3. The second Olynthiac Oration : prothe prize for which they fight is yours. nounced in the same Year. Thus, fhould Amphipolis be now taken, you instantly posiels yourselves of it: the

INTRODUCTION, commanders have all the danger, the re To remove the impression made on the wards they do not share. But, in their minds of the Athenians by the preprivate enterprises, the dangers are lefs; ceding oration, Dennades and other che acquisitions are all shared by the ge. popular leaders in the interests of nerals and soldiers; as were Lamplacus, Philip rose up, and opposed the proSigæum, and those vesels which they plun pofitions of Demofthenes, with all dered. Thus are they all determined by their eloquence. Their oppofition, their private interest. And, when you turr however, proved ineffectual : for the your eyes to the wretched itate of your aftembly decreed, that relief should affairs, you bring your generals to a trial; be sent to the Olynthians: and thirty you grant them leave to speak; you hear gallies and two thousand forces were the necessities they plead; and then ac accordingly dispatched, under the quit them. Nothing then remains for us, command of Chares. But these fucbut to be distracted with endless contests cours, consisting entirely of merceand divisions: (some urging these, some naries, and commanded by a general zhose meafures) and to feel the public ca of no great reputation, could not be lamity. For in former times, Athenians, of confiderable service: and were vou divided into classes, to raise supplies. besides suspected, and scarcely less Now the business of these claffes is to go dreaded by the Olynthians than the vern; each hath an orator at its head, Macedonians themselves. In the mean and a general, who is his creature; the time, the progrefs of Philip's arms THREE HUNDRED are afitants to these, could meet with little interruption. and the rest of you divide, fome to this, He reduced several places in the refome to that party. You must rectify these gion of Chalcis, razed the fortress disorders: you must appear yourlelves : of Zeira, and, having twice defeated you must leave the power of speaking, of the Olynthians in the field, at last advising, and of acting, open to every citi fhut them up in their city. In this

But if you suffer some perlons to emergency, they again applied to the iiïue out their mandates, as with a royal Athenians, and pressed for fresh and authority; if one set of men be forced to effectual succours. In the following fit out sips, to raise supplies, to take up oration, Demosthenes endeavours to arms; while others are only to make de support this petition; and to prove crees against them, without any charge, that both the honour and the interest any employment besides ; it is not posible of the Athenians demanded their imthat any thing can be effected seasonably mediate compliance. As the expence and successfully: for the injured party ever of the armament was the great point will desert you; and then your sole resource of difficulty, he recommends the abrowill be to make them feel your resentment gation of such laws, as prevented the instead of your enemies.

proper settlement of the funds ne. To sum up all, my sentiments are these: cessary for carrying on a war of such

That every man sould contribute in importance. The nature of these proportion to his fortune; that all should

laws will come immediately to be extake the field in their turns, until all have plained. served; that whoever appears in this place, It appears, from the beginning of this should be allowed to speak: and that, when oration, that other speakers had arisen you give your voices, your true interest before Demofthenes, and inveighed only thould determine you, not the au loudly against Philip. Full of the thority of this or the other speaker. Pur national prejudices, or disposed to flatfue this course, and then your applause ter the Athenians in their notions of will not be lavished on some orator, the the dignity and importance of their

ftate,

zen.

4

ftate, they breathed nothing but in- to gain your favour, our affairs have been dignation against the enemy, and reduced to the extremity of distress. poffibly, with some contempt of his I think it necessary, in the first place, to present enterprises, proposed to the recal fome late transactions to your thoughts. Athenians to correct his arrogance, You may remember, Athenians, tnat, by an invasion of his own kingdom. about three or four years since, you reDemofthenes, on the contrary, insists ceived advice that Philip was in Thrace, on the necessity of self-defence ; en- and had laid fiege to the fortress of Heræa. deavours to rouse his hearers from It was then the month of November. Great their security, by the terror of im- commotions and debates arose. It was pending danger; and affects to con- resolved to send out forty gallies; that all sider the defence of Olynthus, as the citizens, under the age of five-and-forty, last and only means of preserving the should themselves embark; and that fixiy very being of Athens.

talents should be raised.

Thus it was

agreed; that year passed away; then came I AM by no means affected in the in the months July, Augus, September. fame manner, Athenians! when I review In this last month, with great difficulty, the state of our affairs, and when I attend when the mysteries had first been celeto those speakers, who have now declared brated, you sent out Charidemus, with just their sentiments. They infift, that we ten vesiels unmanned, and five talents of should punish Philip: but our affairs, fitu- silver. For when reports came of the sick. ated as they now appear, warn us to guard ness, and the death of Philip, (both of against the dangers with which we our. these were affirmed) you laid aside your selves are threatened. Thus far therefore intended armament, imagining, that at I mult differ from these speakers, that I such a juncture, there was no need of suc. apprehend they have not proposed the pro- cours. And yet

this was the

very

critical per object of your attention. There was moment; for, had they been dispatched a time indeed, I know it well, when the with the same alacrity with which they ftate could have possessed her own do were granted, Philip would not have then minions in security, and sent out her ar- escaped, to become that formidable enemy mies to inflict chastisement on Philip. I he now appears. myself haye seen that time when we en But what was then done, cannot be joyed such power. But, now, I am per- amended. Now we have the opportunity suaded we should confine ourselves to the of another war: that war I mean, which protection of our allies. When this is once hath induced me to bring these transactions effected, then we may consider the punish- into view, that you may not once more ment his outrages have merited. But, till fall into the same errors. How then shall the first great point be well secured, it is we improve this opportunity? This is the weakness to debate about our more remote only question. For, if you are not resolved concernments,

to alift with all the force you can comAnd now, Athenians, if ever we stood mand, you are really serving under Philip, in need of mature deliberation and coun

you are fighting on his fide.

The Olynfel, the present juncture calls loudly for thians are a people, whose power was them. To point out the course to be pur- thought considerable. Thus were the cirsued on this emergency, I do not think cumitances of affairs : Philip could not the greatest difficulty : but I am in doubt confide in them; they looked with equal in what manner to propose my fenti- fufpicion upon Philip. We and they then ments; for all that I have observed, and entered into mutual engagements of peace all that I have heard, convinces me, that and alliance : this was a grievous embarmost of your misfortunes have proceeded rassment to Philip, that we mould have a from a want of inclination to pursue the powerful state confederated with us, spies necessary measures, not from ignorance of upon the incident of his fortune. them.-Let me intreat you, that, if I agreed, that we should, by all means, en, now speak with an unusual boldness, ye gage this people in a war with him: and may bear it : considering only, whether I now, what we all so earnestly desired, is speak truth, and with a sincere intention to effected: the manner is of no moment. advance your future interests: for you now What then remains for us, Athenians, but fee, that by fome orators, who fludy but to send immediate and effectual succours,

I cannot

It was

SS

« PreviousContinue »