Τὴν μὲν παρασκευὴν ὁρᾶτε, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, καὶ τὴν παράταξιν ὅση γεγένηται, καὶ τὰς κατὰ τὴν ἀγορὰν δεήσεις, αἷς κέχρηνταί τινες ὑπὲρ τοῦ τὰ μέτρια καὶ συνήθη μὴ γίγνεσθαι ἐν τῇ πόλει· ἐγὼ δὲ πεπιστευκὼς ἥκω πρῶτον μὲν τοῖς θεοῖς, ἔπειτα1 τοῖς νόμοις καὶ ὑμῖν, ἡγούμενος οὐδεμίαν παρασκευὴν μεῖζον ἰσχύειν παρ᾿ ὑμῖν τῶν νόμων καὶ τῶν δικαίων.
2Ἐβουλόμην μὲν οὖν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, καὶ τὴν βουλὴν τοὺς πεντακοσίους καὶ τὰς ἐκκλησίας ὑπὸ τῶν ἐφεστηκότων ὀρθῶς διοικεῖσθαι, καὶ τοὺς νόμους οὓς ἐνομοθέτησεν ὁ Σόλων περὶ τῆς τῶν ῥητόρων εὐκοσμίας ἰσχύειν, ἵνα ἐξῆν πρῶτον μὲν τῷ πρεσβυτάτῳ τῶν πολιτῶν, ὥσπερ οἱ νόμοι προστάττουσι, σωφρόνως ἐπὶ τὸ βῆμα παρελθόντι ἄνευ θορύβου καὶ ταραχῆς ἐξ ἐμπειρίας τὰ βέλτιστα τῇ πόλει συμβουλεύειν, δεύτερον δ᾿ ἤδη καὶ τῶν ἄλλων πολιτῶν τὸν βουλόμενον καθ᾿ ἡλικίαν χωρὶς καὶ ἐν μέρει περὶ ἑκάστου γνώμην ἀποφαίνεσθαι· οὕτω γὰρ ἄν μοι δοκεῖ ἥ τε πόλις ἄριστα διοικεῖσθαι, αἵ τε κρίσεις ἐλάχισται γίγνεσθαι.
3Ἐπειδὴ δὲ πάντα τὰ πρότερον ὡμολογημένα καλῶς ἔχειν νυνὶ καταλέλυται, καὶ γράφουσί τε
- 1ἔπειτα Stephanus: ἔπειτα δεύτερον or δεύτερον δὲ MSS.
You see, fellow citizens, how certain persons have been making their preparations for this case: how they have mustered their forces, and how they have gone begging up and down the market place, in the attempt to prevent the fair and orderly course of justice in the state. But I have come trusting first in the gods, then in the laws and in you, believing that with you no scheming preparation can override law and justice.
I could wish, indeed, fellow citizens, that the Senate of Five Hundred and the assemblies of the people were properly conducted by those who preside over them, and the laws enforced which Solon enacted to secure orderly conduct on the part of public speakers; for then it would be permitted to the oldest citizen, as the law prescribes, to come forward to the platform first, with dignity, and, uninterrupted by shouting and tumult, out of his experience to advise for the good of the state; and it would then be permitted to all other citizens who wished, one by one in turn, in order of age, to express their opinion on every question; for so, I think, the state would be best governed, and least litigation would arise.
But now all our standards of orderly procedure have been set aside; there are men who do not