Demosthenes, Orations 1. Olynthiac 1

LCL 238: 4-5

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Demosthenes

ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΟΥΣ

1. ΟΛΥΝΘΙΑΚΟΣ Α

1Ἀντὶ πολλῶν ἄν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, χρημάτων ὑμᾶς ἑλέσθαι νομίζω, εἰ φανερὸν γένοιτο τὸ μέλλον συνοίσειν τῇ πόλει περὶ ὧν νυνὶ σκοπεῖτε. ὅτε τοίνυν τοῦθ᾿ οὕτως ἔχει, προσήκει προθύμως ἐθέλειν ἀκούειν τῶν βουλομένων συμβουλεύειν· οὐ γὰρ μόνον εἴ τι χρήσιμον ἐσκεμμένος ἥκει τις, τοῦτ᾿ ἂν ἀκούσαντες λάβοιτε, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ὑμετέρας τύχης ὑπολαμβάνω πολλὰ τῶν δεόντων ἐκ τοῦ παραχρῆμ᾿ ἐνίοις ἂν ἐπελθεῖν εἰπεῖν, ὥστ᾿ ἐξ ἁπάντων ῥᾳδίαν τὴν τοῦ συμφέροντος ὑμῖν αἵρεσιν γενέσθαι.

2Ὁ μὲν οὖν παρὼν καιρός, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, μόνον οὐχὶ λέγει φωνὴν ἀφιεὶς ὅτι τῶν πραγμάτων ὑμῖν ἐκείνων αὐτοῖς ἀντιληπτέον ἐστίν, εἴπερ ὑπὲρ σωτηρίας αὐτῶν φροντίζετε· ἡμεῖς δ᾿ οὐκ οἶδ᾿ ὅντινά μοι δοκοῦμεν ἔχειν τρόπον πρὸς αὐτά. ἔστι δὴ τά γ᾿ ἐμοὶ δοκοῦντα, ψηφίσασθαι μὲν ἤδη τὴν βοήθειαν, καὶ παρασκευάσασθαι τὴν ταχίστην ὅπως ἐνθένδε βοηθήσετε (καὶ μὴ πάθητε ταὐτὸν ὅπερ καὶ πρότερον), πρεσβείαν δὲ πέμπειν, ἥτις 3ταῦτ᾿ ἐρεῖ καὶ παρέσται τοῖς πράγμασιν· ὡς ἔστι [10]μάλιστα τοῦτο δέος, μὴ πανοῦργος ὢν καὶ δεινὸς

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First Olynthiac

Demosthenes

I. First Olynthiac

You would, I expect, men of Athens, accept it as the equivalent of a large amount of money, if it could be made clear to you what will prove our best policy in the matters now under discussion. This then being so, you are bound to give an eager hearing to all who offer advice. For not only if someone comes forward with a well-considered plan, could you hear and accept it, but also I count it part of your good fortune that more than one speaker may be inspired with suitable suggestions on the spur of the moment, so that out of the multitude of proposals the choice of the best should not be difficult.

The present crisis, Athenians, calls on you, almost with an audible voice, to take into your own hands the control of your interests in the North, if you are really anxious to safeguard them. But, I confess, our attitude puzzles me. My own idea would be to vote an expedition at once, to make instant preparation for its dispatch, thus avoiding our previous blunder, and to send ambassadors to state our intentions and watch events. Our chief ground for alarm is that this man, so unscrupulous, so quick to seize

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demosthenes-orations_i_first_olynthiac.1930