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" the tragical fate of those heroes, which I shall re

present to you by-and-by, or for the enormous in

gratitude of the Athenians? Do not lay open again “ the deep and incurable wounds of the unhappy “ Thebans, who through Demosthenes are become

fugitives, and have been received by you into this “ city. But since you were not present at their ca

tastrophe, endeayour, at least, to form some image " of it, and represent to yourselves a city taken, walls “ levelled, houses reduced to ashes, mothers and " children dragged into slavery, old men and women “ forced to be servants at the end of their days, “ drowned in tears, imploring your justice, breaking

out into reproaches, not against the actors, but “ against the authors of the cruel vengeance, which

they felt; earnestly pressing you to be so far from

conferring any kind of reward upon the destroyer " of Greece, that you would preserve yourselves “ from the curse, the fatality, inseparable from his


“ Imagine then, Athenians, when he shall invite " the confidants and accomplices of his abject perfidy

to range themselves around him towards the close of “his harangue, imagine then, on your side, that you “ see the ancient benefactors of this commonwealth

in battle-array, round this rostrum where "I am now speaking, in order to repulse that auda“ cious band. Imagine you hear Solon, who strength"ened the popular government by such excellent " laws, that philosopher, that incomparable legisla

tor, conjuring you with a gentleness and modesty becoming his character, not to set a higher value

upon Demosthenes's oratorial flourishes, than upon

your oaths and your laws. Imagine you hear Aris“ tides, who made so exact and just a division of the “ contributions imposed upon the Greeks for the " common cause; that sage dispenser, who left no “ other inheritance to his daughters but the public “ gratitude, which was their portion ; imagine, į say, you hear hiin bitterly bewailing the outrageous



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manner in which we trample upon justice, and speaking to you in these words: What! because

when Arthmius of Zelia, that Asiatic, who passed “ through Athens, where he even enjoyed the rights of hospitality, brought gold from the Medes into

Greece, your ancestors were going to send him to “ the place of execution, and banished him, not only “ from their city, but from all the countries depen“dent on them; and will not you blush to decree “ Demosthenes, who has not indeed brought gold « from the Medes, but has received such sums of money from all parts to betray you, and now en- . "joys the fruit of his treasures; will not you,


say, “ blush to decrce a crown of gold to Demosthenes ? Do you think that Themistocles, and the heroes " who were killed in the battles of Marathon and

Platæa, do you think the very tombs of your an“ cestors will not send forthi groans, if you crown a

man, who, by his own confession, has been for ever conspiring with barbarians to ruin Greece ? "! As to myself

, O earth! (sun! virtue! and you, who are the springs of true discernment, lights “ both natural and acquired, by which we distinguish

good from evil, I call you to witness, that I have “used all my endeavours to relieve the state, and to

plead her cause. I could have wished my speech « had been equal to the greatness and importance of “the subject; at least, I can flatter myself with hav

ing discharged my duty according to my abilities, “ if I have not done it according to my wishes. Do

you, gentlemen, from the reasons you have heard, " and those which your wisdom will suggest; do you

pronounce such a judgmentasis conformable to strict justice, and the cominon good demands froin you."




“I begin with intreating all the gods and all the !! goddesses, that they would inspire you, Athenians,

“ in this cause, with a benevolence towards me, pro“portionate to my constant zeal for the common“ wealth in general, and for every one of you


par“ ticular : afterwards (which is of the utinost consequence to your persons, your consciences, and

your “honour) I crave of the same deities, that they would “ fix you in the resolution of consulting upon the “manner of hearing me, not my accuser, (for you “could not do that without partiality) but your laws "and your oaths, the form of which, among other “ terms, (all dictated by justice,) is as follows: Hear both parties equally ; which obliges you to come “ with an unbiassed mind and heart to the tribunal, " and to allow each of the parties to draw up his

reasons and proofs in whatever manner he shall “ think fit [.r].

“Now, my countrymen, among the many disadvantages on my side in this cause, there are two

particularly, and two very terrible ones, which "make my condition much worse than his. The first is, that we run very unequal risks ; for now I “hazard much more in losing your good will, than “ he does, should he fail to make good the charge; " since I am to... But I will not suffer one word to “fall from me in the beginning of my discourse, that

presages any thing sinister. He, on the contrary, "attacks me through wantonness, and without any “necessity for so doing. The other disadvantage I

I “lie under, is, that all men are naturally inclinable " to hear an accuser with pleasure; while, on the “ other hand, they hear those who boast or magnity “themselves, with indignation. He therefore acts a part that pleases universally ; whereas almost eve

. ry thing which falls to my lot, is what generally “ makes every man an enemy.

But if, on one hand, “the fear of ineurring indignation, which is insepa“rable from self-applause, should oblige me to be “ silent on my own actions; it will be thought that I

[x] Æschines pretended to henes was to observe in his pleadpoint out the order which Demost- ing.

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can neither refute him who reproaches me with crimes, nor justify the person who decrees rewards

On the other, if I should discuss the ser“ vices I have done during my administration, I “ shall be forced to speak of myself frequently. I shall therefore endeavour, in this dangerous dilem

ma, to behave with all possible moderation ; but “ whatever the necessity of my own defence may ex

tort from me, this ought in justice to be imputed only to the aggressor, who voluntarily imposed it upon me.

“But in spite of those facts, incontestible, and cer“ tified, as it were, by the mouth of truth itself,

Æschines has so far renounced all shame, that, not content to proclaim me the author of such a peace

as he has mentioned, he is so audacious as to tax “me likewise with preventing the commonwealth from concerting it with the general assembly of the Greeks. ... But did you, O!... (what title shall “ I give you?) did you betray the least shadow of

displeasure against me, when I broke the cords of “that harmony in your presence, and dispossessed the “commonwealth of the advantages of that confede

racy, which you now magnify so much, with the " loudest strains of your theatrical voice [y] ? Did

you ascend the rostrum? Did you denounce, oronce explain, these crimes, with which you are now pleased to charge me? Surely then, if I could have

forgot my duty so far as to sell myself to Philip, in “ order to exclude the Greeks from participating in " that peace, you ought then to have exclaimed,

protested, and discovered my prevarications to “ those who now hear me; but you never did any

thing of this kind, nor did any person living hear you say one syllable tending this way...

* But if Philip was constantly depriving all states, “ without exception, of their honour, prerogatives,

liberty, or rather subverting as many common" wealths as he could ; did not you, Athenians, form

[y] Æschines had been a comediana

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" those very arguments, which undoubtedly were the “most glorious to you, through your regard for my “advice! Tell us, Æschines, how Athens should “ have behaved in Philip's sight, when he set all en

gines at work, to establish his empire and tyranny " over the Greeks? Or what counsels and resolutions “ should I, who was the minister, have proposed, es

pecially in Athens (for the circumstances of place require a particular attention) I, who was intimately

sensible, that my country had at all times, even till “the day I first ascended the tribunal, perpetually

fought for superiority, for honour and glory; and “that it alone had, through a noble emulation, sacrificed more men and money for the general good of “the Greeks, than any other of the Grecian states “ had ever sacrificed for their own private advantage?

' I, who besides, saw this same Philip, with whom we “ contended for sovereignty and empire; saw him, “though covered with wounds, his eye beat out, his “collar bone broken, his hand and leg maimed, still “resolved to plunge himself amidst dangers, and

ready to give up to fortune whatever other part of “ his body she should require, provided he could live

honourably and gloriously with the remainder? Now, certainly no man dares to say, that a barba

rian, educated in Pella (then a contemptible and “obscure place) could possibly possess a soul haughty " enough to desire and undertake the conquest of “ the Greeks ; but for you, though Athenians, for you, who every day hear the virtue of your ances

tors displayed either by your orators in the rostrum, “ or by your actors upon the stage; for you, I say,

I "to carry meanness of soul and cowardice so far, as "to abandon and make a voluntary surrender of the

liberties of Greece to Philip; no man living will

ever be so audacious as to make such a strange ! proposal,

“Censure me, Æschines, for the advice I gave; " do not asperse me for the event: for the Supreme · Being unravels and terininates every thing at plea


" sure;

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