Aeschines, On the Embassy

LCL 106: 162-163

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The Speeches of Aeschines


Δέομαι ὑμῶν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, ἐθελῆσαί μου μετ᾿ εὐνοίας ἀκοῦσαι λέγοντος, ὑπολογιζομένους τό τε μέγεθος τοῦ κινδύνου καὶ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν αἰτιῶν πρὸς ἃς ἀπολογήσασθαί με δεῖ, καὶ τὰς τέχνας καὶ τὰς κατασκευὰς τοῦ κατηγόρου καὶ τὴν ὠμότητα, ὃς ἐτόλμησε παρακελεύσασθαι πρὸς ἄνδρας ὀμωμοκότας τῶν ἀντιδίκων ὁμοίως ἀμφοτέρων ἀκούσεσθαι τοῦ κινδυνεύοντος φωνὴν 2μὴ ὑπομένειν. καὶ ταῦτ᾿ εἶπεν οὐ δι᾿ ὀργήν· οὐδεὶς γὰρ τῶν ψευδομένων τοῖς ἀδίκως διαβαλλομένοις ὀργίζεται, οὐδ᾿ οἱ τἀληθῆ λέγοντες κωλύουσι λόγου τυχεῖν τὸν φεύγοντα· οὐ γὰρ πρότερον ἡ κατηγορία παρὰ τοῖς ἀκούουσιν ἰσχύει, πρὶν ἂν ὁ φεύγων ἀπολογίας τυχὼν ἀδυνατήσῃ τὰς προειρημένας 3αἰτίας ἀπολύσασθαι. ἀλλ᾿ οἶμαι Δημοσθένης οὐ χαίρει δικαίοις λόγοις, οὐδ᾿ οὕτω παρεσκεύασται, ἀλλὰ τὴν ὑμετέραν ὀργὴν ἐκκαλέσασθαι βεβούληται. καὶ κατηγόρηκε δωροδοκίας, ἀπίθανος ὢν πρὸς τὴν ὑποψίαν ταύτην· τὸν γὰρ ἐπὶ ταῖς δωροδοκίαις προτρεπόμενον1 ὀργίζεσθαι, αὐτὸν χρὴ τῶν τοιούτων ἔργων ἀπέχεσθαι.2

4Ἐμοὶ δέ, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, συμβέβηκε τῆς Δημοσθένους ἀκούοντι κατηγορίας μήτε δεῖσαι


On the Embassy

II.—On the Embassy

I beg you, fellow citizens, to hear me with willing and friendly mind, remembering how great is my peril, and how many the charges against which I have to defend myself; remembering also the arts and devices of my accuser, and the cruelty of the man who, speaking to men who are under oath to give equal hearing to both parties, had the effrontery to urge you not to listen to the voice of the defendant. And it was not anger that made him say it; for no man who is lying is angry with the victim of his calumny, nor do men who are speaking the truth try to prevent the defendant from obtaining a hearing; for the prosecution does not find justification in the minds of the hearers until the defendant has had opportunity to plead for himself, and has proved unable to refute the charges that have been preferred. But Demosthenes, I think, is not fond of fair argument, nor is that the sort of preparation he has made. No, it is your anger that he is determined to call forth. And he has accused me of receiving bribes—he who would be the last man to make such suspicion credible! For the man who seeks to arouse the anger of his hearers over bribery must himself refrain from such conduct.

But, fellow citizens, as I have listened to Demosthenes’ accusation, the effect upon my own mind has

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aeschines-embassy.1919