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1. AGAINST PHILIP. - Demosthenes. Original Translation. Demosthenes, whose claim to the title of the greatest of orators has not yet been superseded, was born at Athens, about 380 B. C. At the age of seventeen he determined to study eloquence, though his lungs were weak, his articulation imperfect, and his gestures awkward. These impediments he overcame by perseverance. When the encroachments of Philip, King of Macedon, alarmed the Grecian states, Demosthenes roused his countrymen to registance by a series of harangues, so celebrated, that similar orations are, to this day, often styled Philippics. The influence which he ed he employed for the good of his country. The charges that have come down of his cowardice and venality are believed to be calumnious. It is related of Demosthenes, that, while studying Oratory, he spoke with pebbles in his mouth, to cure himself of stammering ; that he repeated verses of the poets as he ran up hill, to strengthen his voice ; and that he declaimed on the gea-shore, to accustom himself to the tumult of a popular assembly. He died 322 B. C. The speeches of Demosthenes were delivered before select, not accidental, assemblages of the people; and they have here been placed under the Senatorial head, as partaking mostly of that style of Oratory. The first four extracts, from the first, third, eighth and ninth Philippics, which follow, together with the extract from Æschines on the Crown, are chiefly translated from Stievenart's excellent and very spirited version.
BEGIN, O men of Athens, by not despairing of your situation, however deplorable it may seem; for the very cause of your former reverses offers the best encouragement for the future. And how? Your utter supineness, O Athenians, has brought about your disasters. If these had come upon you in spite of your most strenuous exertions, then only might all hopes of an amelioration in your affairs be abandoned. When, then, O my countrymen! when will you do your duty ? What wait you ? Truly, an event! or else, by Jupiter, necessity! But how can we construe otherwise what has already occurred ? For myself, I can conceive of no necessity more urgent to free souls than the pressure of dishonor. Tell me, is it your wish to go
about the public places, here and there, continually, asking, "What is there new?" Ah! what should there be new, if not that a Macedonian could conquer Athens, and lord it over Greece ? “ Is Philip dead ?” "No, by Jupiter! he is sick.” Dead or sick, what matters it to you? If he were to die, and your vigilance were to continue slack as now, you would cause a new Philip to rise up at once, - since this one owes his aggrandizement less to his own power than to your
inertness! It is a matter of astonishment to me, O Athenians, that none of you are aroused either to reflection or to anger, in beholding a war, begun for the chastisement of Philip, degenerate at last into a war of defence against him.
And it is evident that he will not stop even yet, unless we bar his progress.
But where, it is asked, shall we make a descent?
Lei us but attack, 0, Athenians, and the war itself will disclose the enemy's weak point. But, if we tarry at home, lazily listening to speech-makers, in their emulous abuse of one another, never, — no, never, shall we accomplish a single necessary step!
Some among you, retailing the news, affirm that Philip is plotting with Lacedæmon the ruin of Thebes and the dismemberment of our democracies; others make him send ambassadors to the Great King; others tell us he is fortifying places in Illyria. All have their different stories. For myself, Athenians, I do, by the Gods, believe that this man is intoxicated by his magnificent exploits; I believe that a thousand dazzling projects lure his imagination; and that, seeing no barrier opposed to his career, he is inflated by success. But, trust me, he does not so combine his plans that all our fools of low degree may penetrate them; which fools — who are they but the gossips ? If, Icaving them to their reveries, we would consider that this man is our enemy, our despoiler, that we have long endured his insolence; that all the succors, on which we counted, have been turned against us; that henceforth our only resource is in ourselves ; that, to refuse now to carry the war into his dominions, would surely be to impose upon us the fatal necessity of sustaining it at the gates of Athens ; - if we would comprehend all this, we should then know what it imports us to know, and discard all idiot conjectures. For it is not your duty to dive into the future; but it does behoove you to look in the face the calamities which that future must bring, unless you shake off your present heedless inactivity.
2. DEGENERACY OF ATHENS. - Den henes. Original Translation. Contrast, 0 men of Athens, your conduct with that of your an cestors. Loyal towards the People of Greece, religious towards the Gods, faithful to the rule of civic equality, they mounted, by a sure path, to the summit of prosperity. What is your condition, under your present complaisant rulers ? Is it still the same ? Has it in any respect changed ? In how many! I confine myself to this simple fact : Sparta prostrate, Thebes occupied elsewhere, - with no power capable of disputing our sovereignty, — able, in fact, in the peaceable possession of our own domains, to be the umpire of other Nations, what have we done? We have lost our own provinces ; and dissipated, with no good result, more than fifteen hundred talents; the allies which we had gained by war your counsellors have deprived us of by peace; and we have trained up to power our formidable foe. Whosoever denies this, let him stand forth, and tell me where, then, has this Philip drawn his strength, if not from the very bosom of Athens ?
Ah! but surely, if abroad we have been weakened, our interior administration is more flourishing. And what are the evidences of this? A few whitewashed ramparts, repaired roads, fountains, bagatelles ! Turn — turn your eyes on the functionaries, to whom we owe these vanities. This one has passed from misery to opulence; that one, from obscurity to splendor. Another has built for himself sumptuous palaces, which look down upon the edifices of the State. Indeed, the more the public fortunes have declined, the more have theirs ascended. Tell us the meaning of these contrasts ! Why is it, that formerly all prospered, while now all is in jeopardy? It is because formerly the People, itself, daring to wage war, was the master of its functionaries, the sovereign dispenser of all favors. It is because individual citizens were then glad to receive from the People honors, magistracies, benefits. How are the times changed! All favors are in the gift of our functionaries; everything is under their control; while you -- you, the People! — enervated in your habits, mutilated in your means, and weakened in your allies, stand like so many supernumeraries and lackeys, too happy if your worthy chiefs distribute to you the fund for the theatre — if they throw to you a meagre pittance! And last degree of baseness ! the hand which thus makes largess to you of your own! Do they not imprison you within your own walls, beguile you to your ruin, tame you and fashion you to their yoke? Never, O! never can a manly pride and a noble courage impel men, subjected to vile and unworthy actions! The life is necessarily the image of the heart. And your degeneracy — by Heaven, I should not be surprised if I, in charging it home upon you, exposed myself, rather than those who have brought you to it, to your resentment! To be candid, frankness of speech does not every day gain the entrance of your ears; and that you suffer it now, may well be matter of astonishment !
3. A DEMOCRACY HATEFUL TO PHILIP.-Id. Original Translation. THERE are persons among you, O Athenians, who think to confound a speaker by asking, "What, then, is to be done?” To which I might answer : Nothing that you are doing — everything that you leave undone!” And it would be a just and a true reply. But I will be more explicit; and may these men, so ready to question, be equally ready to act! In the first place, Athenians, admit the incontestable fact, that Philip has broken your treaties, - that he has declared war against you. Let us have no more crimination and recrimination on this point! And then, recognize the fact, that he is the mortal enemy of Athens, — of its very soil, — of all within its walls, – ay, of those even who most flatter themselves that they are high in his good graces. For, what Philip most dreads and abhors is our liberty — our Democratic system. For the destruction of that, all his snares are laid, all his projects are shaped! And in this is he not consistent? He is well aware that, though he should subjugate all the rest of Greece, his conquest would be insecure, while your Democracy stands. He knows that, should he experience ono
of those reverses to which the lot of humanity is so liable, it would be into your arms that all those Nations, now forcibly held under his yoke, would rush. Is there a Tyrant to be driven back ? — Athens is in the field! Is there a People to be enfranchised ? - Lo, Athens, prompt to aid! What wonder, then, that Philip should be impatient while Athenian liberty is a spy upon his evil days ? Be sure, O my countrymen, that he is your irreconcilable foe; that it is against Athens that he musters and disposes all his armaments; against Athens that all his schemes are laid.
What, then, ought you, as wise men, convinced of these truths, to do? You ought to shake off your fatal lethargy, contribute according to your means, summon your allies to contribute, and take measures to retain the troops already under arms ; so that, if Philip has an army prepared to attack and subjugate all the Greeks, you may also have one ready to succor and to save them. Tell me not of the trouble and expense which this will involve. I grant it all. But consider the dangers that menace you, and how much you will be the gainers by engaging heartily, at once, in the general cause. Indeed, should some God assure you that, however inactive and unconcerned you might remain, yet, in the end, you should not be molested by Philip, still it would be ignominious, – be witness, Heaven !- it would be beneath you — beneath the dignity of your State — beneath the glory of your ancestors — to sacrifice, to your own selfish repose, the interests of all the rest of Greece. Rather would I perish than recommend such a course! Let some other man urge it upon you, if he will; and listen to him, if you can. But, if my sentiments are yours, if you foresee, as I do, that the more we leave Philip to extend his conquests, the more we are fortifying an enemy, whom, sooner or later, we must cope with, — why do you hesitate? What wait you? When will you put forth your strength ? Wait
you the constraint of necessity ? What necessity do you wait? Can there be a greater for freemen than the prospect of dishonor ? Do you wait for that? It is here already; it presses it weighs on us now. Now, did I say? Long since — long since, was it before us, face to face. True, there still another necessity in reserve the necessity of slaves — blows and stripes ! Wait you for them? The Gods forbid' The very words, in this place, are an indignity!
4. VENALITY THE RUIN OF GREECE. — Id. Original Translation.
O men of Athens, the People or Greece felt the rigor of your rule, or of that of Sparta, their masters were at least their countrymen. But where is our just indignation against Philip and his usurpations ? — Philip, who is no Greek, and no way allied to Greece, — Philip, who is not even a Barbarian of illustrious origin, but a miserable Macedonian, born in a country where not even a decent slave could be procured! And yet, has he not exhausted his
resources of outrage against us? Without mentioning the Grecian cities which he has sacked, does he not take it upon himself to preside at the Pythian games, a celebration exclusively national ? And, if absent himself, does he not delegate his slaves to award the crowns ? Master of Thermopylæ, and of all the passes of Greece, does he not hold these posts by his garrisons and foreign troops ? Does he not place governors over Thessaly, at his pleasure ? Has he not wrested Echinus from the Thebans? Is he not, at this moment, on his march against Byzantium — Byzantium, the ally of Athens ! And if such is his audacity towards collective Greece, what will it be when he has mastered us all in detail ?
And now, why is all this? For, not without a cause could Greece, once so jealous of freedom, now be resigned to servitude. is here. Once, O Athenians, in the hearts of all our People, a sentiment presided, which is paramount no more; a sentiment which triumphed over Persian gold, and maintained Greece free, and invincible by land and sea ; but the loss of that sentiment has brought down ruin, and left the country in the dust. What was it - this sentiment, so powerful ? Was it the result of any subtle policy of State ? No: it was a universal hatred for the bribed traitors, in the рау
of those Powers, seeking to subdue or dishonor Greece! Venality was a capital offence, and punished with the extremest rigor. Pardon, palliation, were not thought of. And so, orators and generals could not with impunity barter those favorable conjunctures which Fortune oftentimes presents to negligence and inactivity, against vigilance and vigor. The public concord, the general hatred and distrust of Tyrants and Barbarians, all the guarantees of liberty, were inaccessible to the power of gold. But now all these are offered for sale in the open market! And, in exchange, we have an importation of morals which are desolating and destroying Greece. What do they exhibit ? Envy, for the recipient of base bribes; derision, should he confess his crime; pardon, should he be convicted; and resentment towards his accuser! - in a word, all the laxities which engender corruption.
In vessels, in troops, in revenues, in the various resources of war, in all that constitutes the strength of a State, we are richer than ever before ; but all these advantages are paralyzed, crushed, by an infamous traffic. And all this you behold with your own eyes, and my testimony in regard to it is quite superfluous !
5. DEMOSTHENES DENOUNCED, – Æschines on the Crown. Original Translation.
WHEN Demosthenes boasts to you, O Athenians, of his Democratic zeal, examine, not his harangues, but his life; not what he professes to be, but what he really is ; redoubtable in words, impotent in deeds ; plausible in speech, perfidious in action. As to his courage — has he not himself, before the assembled People, confessed his poltroonery? By the laws of Athens, the man who refuses to bear arms, the coward,