Literally Translated, with Notes
CHARLES RANN KENNEDY
THE ORATIONS OF DEMOSTHENES.
* * * * *
THE FIRST OLYNTHIAC.
Olynthus was a city in Macedonia, at the head of the Toronaic gulf, and north of the peninsula of Pallene. It was colonized by a people from Chalcis in Euboea, and commanded a large district called Chalcidice, in which there were thirty-two cities. Over all this tract the sway of Olynthus was considerable, and she had waged wars anciently with Athens and Sparta, and been formidable to Philip's predecessors on the throne of Macedon. Soon after Philip's accession, the Olynthians had disputes with him, which were at first accommodated, and he gratified them by the cession of Anthemus. They then joined him in a war against Athens, and he gave up to them Potidaea, which had yielded to their united arms. After the lapse of some years, during which Philip had greatly increased his power, and acquired considerable influence in Thessaly and Thrace, the Olynthians became alarmed, and began to think him too dangerous a neighbor. The immediate cause of rupture was an attack which he made on one of the Chalcidian towns. An embassy was instantly sent to Athens, to negotiate an alliance. Philip, considering this as an infraction of their treaty with him, declared war against them, and invaded their territory. A second embassy was sent to Athens, pressing for assistance. The question was debated in the popular assembly. Demades, an orator of considerable ability, but profligate character, opposed the alliance. Many speakers were heard; and at length Demosthenes rose to support the prayer of the embassy, delivering one of those clear and forcible speeches, which seldom failed to make a strong impression on his audience. The alliance was accepted, and succors voted.
The orator here delicately touches on the law of Eubulus, which had made it capital to propose that the Theoric fund should be applied to military service. This fund was in fact the surplus revenue of the civil administration, which by the ancient law was appropriated to the defense of the commonwealth; but it had by various means been diverted from that purpose, and expended in largesses to the people, to enable them to attend the theatre, and other public shows and amusements. The law of Eubulus perpetuated this abuse. (See my article Theorica in the Archaeological Dictionary.) Demosthenes, seeing the necessity of a war supply, hints that this absurd law ought to be abolished, but does not openly propose it.
There has been much difference of opinion among the learned as to the order of the three Olynthiac orations; nor is it certain, whether they were spoken on the occasion of one embassy, or several embassies. The curious may consult Bishop Thirlwall's Appendix to the fifth volume of his Grecian History, and Jacobs' Introduction to his translation. I have followed the common order, as adopted by Bekker, whose edition of Demosthenes is the text of this translation; and indeed my opinion is, on the whole, in favor of preserving the common order, though the plan of this work prevents my entering into controversy on the question. To enable the reader more fully to understand the following orations, I have in an Appendix to this volume given a brief account of Olynthus, showing its position with reference to Macedonia, and the importance of its acquisition to Philip. The historical abstract prefixed to this volume is intended chiefly to assist the reader in reference to dates. Such occurrences only are noticed as may be useful to illustrate Demosthenes.
I believe, men of Athens, you would give much to know, what is the true policy to be adopted in the present matter of inquiry. This being the case, you should be willing to hear with attention these who offer you their counsel. Besides that you will have the benefit of all preconsidered advice, I esteem it part of your good fortune, that many fit suggestions will occur to some speakers at the moment, so that from them all you may easily choose what is profitable.
The present juncture, Athenians, all but proclaims aloud, that you must yourselves take these affairs in hand, if you care for their success. I know not how we seem disposed in the matter. [Footnote: This is a cautious way of hinting at the general reluctance to adopt a vigorous policy. And the reader will observe the use of the first person, whereby the orator includes himself in the same insinuation.] My own opinion is, vote succor immediately, and make the speediest preparations for sending it off from Athens, that you may not incur the same mishap as before; send also embassadors, to announce this, and watch the proceedings. For the danger is, that this man, being unscrupulous and clever at turning events to account, making concessions when it suits him, threatening at other times, (his threats may well be believed,) slandering us and urging our absence against us, may convert and wrest to his use some of our main resources. Though, strange to say, Athenians, the very cause of Philip's strength is a circumstance favorable to you. [Footnote: After alarming the people by showing the strength of their adversary, he turns off skillfully to a topic of encouragement.] His having it in his sole power to publish or conceal his designs, his being at the same time general, sovereign, paymaster, and every where accompanying his army, is a great advantage for quick and timely operations in war; but, for a peace with the Olynthians, which he would gladly make, it has a contrary effect. For it is plain to the Olynthians, that now they are fighting, not for glory or a slice of territory, but to save their country from destruction and servitude. They know how he treated those Amphipolitans who surrendered to him their city, and those Pydneans who gave him admittance. [Footnote: Amphipolis was a city at the head of the Strymonic gulf, in that part of Macedonia which approaches western Thrace. It had been built formerly by an Athenian colony, and was taken by the Spartan general Brasidas in the Peloponnesian war. Ever since Athens regained her character of an imperial state, she had desired to recover Amphipolis, which was important for its maritime position, its exportation of iron, and especially from the vicinity of the forests near the Strymon, which afforded an inexhaustible supply of ship-timber. But she had never been able to accomplish that object. Philip, who at that time possessed no maritime town of importance, was for obvious reasons anxious to win Amphipolis for himself; and he got possession of it partly by force of arms, partly by the treachery of certain Amphipolitans who were attached to his interest. It seems the Athenians had been amused by a promise of Philip to give up the town to them. The non-performance of this compact led to their first long war with him. Immediately after the capture of Amphipolis, Philip marched against Pydna, and was admitted into the town.] And generally, I believe, a despotic power is mistrusted by free states, especially if their dominions are adjoining. All this being known to you, Athenians, all else of importance considered, I say, you must take heart and spirit, and apply yourselves more than ever to the war, contributing promptly, serving personally, leaving nothing undone. No plea or pretense is left you for declining your duty. What you were all so clamorous about, that the Olynthians should be pressed into a war with Philip, has of itself come to pass, [Footnote: Compare Virgil, Aen. ix. 6.
Turne, quod optanti Divum promittere nemo Auderet, volvenda dies en attulit ultro.]
and in a way most advantageous to you. For, had they undertaken the war at your instance, they might have been slippery allies, with minds but half resolved perhaps: but since they hate him on a quarrel of their own, their enmity is like to endure on account of their fears and their wrongs. You must not then, Athenians, forego this lucky opportunity, nor commit the error which you have often done heretofore. For example, when we returned from succoring the Euboeans, and Hierax and Stratocles of Amphipolis came to this platform, [Footnote: The hustings from which the speakers addressed the people. It was cut to the height of ten feet out of the rock which formed the boundary wall of the assembly; and was ascended by a flight of steps.] urging us to sail and receive possession of their city, if we had shown the same zeal for ourselves as for the safety of Euboea, you would have held Amphipolis then and been rid of all the troubles that ensued. Again, when news came that Pydna, [Footnote: Potidaea was in the peninsula of Pallene, near Olynthus, and was therefore given by Philip to the Olynthians, as mentioned in the argument. Methone and Pydna are on the Macedonian coast approaching Thessaly. Pagasae is a Thessalian town in the Magnesian district. It was the sea-port of Pherae, capital of the tyrant Lycophron, against whom Philip was invited to assist the Thessalians. Philip overcame Lycophron, and restored republican government at Pherae; but Pagasae he garrisoned himself, and also Magnesia, a coast-town in the same district.] Potidaea, Methone, Pagasae, and the other places (not to waste time in enumerating them) were besieged, had we to any one of these in the first instance carried prompt and reasonable succor, we should have found Philip far more tractable and humble now. But, by always neglecting the present, and imagining the future would shift for itself, we, O men of Athens, have exalted Philip, and made him greater than any king of Macedon ever was. Here then is come a crisis, this of Olynthus, self-offered to the state, inferior to none of the former. And methinks, men of Athens, any man fairly estimating what the gods have done for us, notwithstanding many untoward circumstances, might with reason be grateful to them. Our numerous losses in war may justly be charged to our own negligence; but that they happened not long ago, and that an alliance, to counterbalance them, is open to our acceptance, I must regard as manifestations of divine favor. It is much the same as in money matters. If a man keep what he gets, he is thankful to fortune; if he lose it by imprudence, he loses withal his memory of the obligation. So in political affairs, they who misuse their opportunities forget even the good which the gods send them; for every prior event is judged commonly by the last result. Wherefore, Athenians, we must be exceedingly careful of our future measures, that by amendment therein we may efface the shame of the past. Should we abandon these men [Footnote: Here he points to the Olynthian embassadors.] too, and Philip reduce Olynthus, let any one tell me, what is to prevent him marching where he pleases? Does any one of you, Athenians, compute or consider the means, by which Philip, originally weak, has become great? Having first taken Amphipolis, then Pydna, Potidaea next, Methone afterward, he invaded Thessaly. Having ordered matters at Pherae, Pagasae, Magnesia, every where exactly as he pleased, he departed for Thrace; where, after displacing some kings and establishing others, he fell sick; again recovering, he lapsed not into indolence, but instantly attacked the Olynthians. I omit his expeditions to Illyria and Paeonia, that against Arymbas, [Footnote: Arymbas was a king of the Molossians in Epirus, and uncle of Olympias, Philip's wife.] and some others.
Why, it may be said, do you mention all this now? That you, Athenians, may feel and understand both the folly of continually abandoning one thing after another, and the activity which forms part of Philip's habit and existence, which makes it impossible for him to rest content with his achievements. If it be his principle, ever to do more than he has done, and yours, to apply yourselves vigorously to nothing, see what the end promises to be. Heavens! which of you is so simple as not to know, that the war yonder will soon be here, if we are careless? And should this happen, I fear, O Athenians, that as men who thoughtlessly borrow on large interest, after a brief accommodation, lose their estate, so will it be with us; found to have paid dear for our idleness and self-indulgence, we shall be reduced to many hard and unpleasant shifts, and struggle for the salvation of our country.
To censure, I may be told, is easy for any man; to show what measures the case requires, is the part of a counselor. I am not ignorant, Athenians, that frequently, when any disappointment happens, you are angry, not with the parties in fault, but with the last speakers on the subject; yet never, with a view to self-protection, would I suppress what I deem for your interest. I say then, you must give a two-fold assistance here; first, save the Olynthians their towns, [Footnote: The Chalcidian towns. See the Argument. Philip commenced his aggressions upon the Olynthians by reducing several of these.] and send out troops for that purpose; secondly, annoy the enemy's country with ships and other troops; omit either of these courses, and I doubt the expedition will be fruitless. For should he, suffering your incursion, reduce Olynthus, he will easily march to the defense of his kingdom; or, should you only throw succor into Olynthus, and he, seeing things out of danger at home, keep up a close and vigilant blockade, he must in time prevail over the besieged. Your assistance therefore must be effective, and two-fold.
Such are the operations I advise. As to a supply of money: you have money, Athenians; you have a larger military fund than any people; and you receive it just as you please. If ye will assign this to your troops, ye need no further supply; otherwise ye need a further, or rather ye have none at all. How then? some man may exclaim: do you move that this be a military fund? Verily, not I. [Footnote: There is some studied obscurity in this passage, owing to the necessity under which the speaker lay of avoiding the penalty of the law and a little quiet satire on his countrymen, who seemed desirous of eating their pudding and having it too. The logic of the argument runs thus—My opinion is, that we ought to have a military fund, and that no man should receive public money, without performing public service. However, as you prefer taking the public money to pay for your places at the festivals, I will not break the law by moving to apply that money to another purpose. Only you gain nothing by it; for, as the troops must be paid, there must be an extraordinary contribution, or property tax, to meet the exigency of the case.] My opinion indeed is, that there should be soldiers raised, and a military fund, and one and the same regulation for receiving and performing what is due; only you just without trouble take your allowance for the festivals. It remains then, I imagine, that all must contribute, if much be wanted, much, if little, little. Money must be had; without it nothing proper can be done. Other persons propose other ways and means. Choose which ye think expedient; and put hands to the work, while it is yet time.
It may be well to consider and calculate how Philip's affairs now stand. They are not, as they appear, or as an inattentive observer might pronounce, in very good trim, or in the most favorable position. He would never have commenced this war, had he imagined he must fight. He expected to carry every thing on the first advance, and has been mistaken. This disappointment is one thing that troubles and dispirits him; another is, the state of Thessaly. [Footnote: Philip's influence in Thessaly was of material assistance to him in his ambitious projects. It was acquired in this way. The power established by Jason of Pherae, who raised himself to a sort of royal authority under the title of Tagus, had devolved upon Lycophron. His sway extended more or less over the whole of Thessaly; but was, if not generally unpopular, at least unacceptable to the great families in the northern towns, among whom the Aleuadae of Larissa held a prominent place. They invoked Philip's aid, while Lycophron was assisted by the Phocian Onomarchus. After various success, Onomarchus was defeated and slain, and Lycophron expelled from Pherae. This established Philip's influence, and led to his being afterward called in to terminate the Sacred war. How far the assertions of Demosthenes, respecting the discontent of the Thessalians, are true, can not exactly be told. They are confirmed, however, in some degree by the fact, that at the close of the Sacred war Philip restored to them Magnesia. A new attempt by the regnant family caused Philip again to be invited, and Thessaly became virtually a province of Macedonia. Among other advantages therefrom was the aid of a numerous cavalry, for which Thessaly was famous.] That people were always, you know, treacherous to all men; and just as they ever have been, they are to Philip. They have resolved to demand the restitution of Pagasae, and have prevented his fortifying Magnesia; and I was told, they would no longer allow him to take the revenue of their harbors and markets, which they say should be applied to the public business of Thessaly, not received by Philip. Now, if he be deprived of this fund, his means will be much straitened for paying his mercenaries. And surely we must suppose, that Paeonians and Illyrians, and all such people, would rather be free and independent than under subjection; for they are unused to obedience, and the man is a tyrant. So report says, and I can well believe it; for undeserved success leads weak-minded men into folly; and thus it appears often, that to maintain prosperity is harder than to acquire it. Therefore must you, Athenians, looking on his difficulty as your opportunity, assist cheerfully in the war, sending embassies where required, taking arms yourselves, exciting all other people; for if Philip got such an opportunity against us, and there was a war on our frontier, how eagerly think ye he would attack you! Then are you not ashamed, that the very damage which you would suffer, if he had the power, you dare not seize the moment to inflict on him?
And let not this escape you, Athenians, that you have now the choice, whether you shall fight there, or he in your country. If Olynthus hold out, you will fight there and distress his dominions, enjoying your own home in peace. If Philip take that city, who shall then prevent his marching here? Thebans? I wish it be not too harsh to say, they will be ready to join in the invasion. Phocians? who can not defend their own country without your assistance. Or some other ally? But, good sir, he will not desire! Strange indeed, if, what he is thought fool-hardy for prating now, this he would not accomplish if he might. As to the vast difference between a war here or there, I fancy there needs no argument. If you were obliged to be out yourselves for thirty days only, and take the necessaries for camp-service from the land, (I mean, without an enemy therein,) your agricultural population would sustain, I believe, greater damage than what the whole expense of the late war [Footnote: The Amphipolitan war, said to have cost fifteen hundred talents.] amounted to. But if a war should come, what damage must be expected? There is the insult too, and the disgrace of the thing, worse than any damage to right-thinking men.
On all these accounts, then, we must unite to lend our succor, and drive off the war yonder; the rich, that, spending a little for the abundance which they happily possess, they may enjoy the residue in security; the young, [Footnote: Strictly, those of the military age, which was from eighteen years to sixty. Youths between eighteen and twenty were liable only to serve in Attica, and were chiefly employed to garrison the walls. Afterward they were compellable to perform any military service, under the penalty of losing their privileges as citizens. The expression in the text, it will be seen, is not rendered with full accuracy; as those of the military age can only be called young by comparison. But a short and apt antithesis was needed. Sometimes I have "the service-able" or "the able-bodied." Jacobs: die waffenfahigen Junglinge, and elsewhere, die Rustige.] that, gaining military experience in Philip's territory, they may become redoubtable champions to preserve their own; the orators, that they may pass a good account [Footnote: Every man, who is required to justify the acts for which he is responsible, may be said to be "called to account." But Demosthenes spoke with peculiar reference to those accounts, which men in official situations at Athens were required to render at the close of their administration.] of their statesmanship; for on the result of measures will depend your judgment of their conduct. May it for every cause be prosperous.
THE SECOND OLYNTHIAC.
The Athenians had voted an alliance with the Olynthians, and resolved to send succors. But the sending of them was delayed, partly by the contrivance of the opposite faction, partly from the reluctance of the people themselves to engage in a war with Philip. Demosthenes stimulates them to exertion, and encourages them, by showing that Philip's power is not so great as it appears.
On many occasions, men of Athens, one may see the kindness of the gods to this country manifested, but most signally, I think, on the present. That here are men prepared for a war with Philip, possessed of a neighboring territory and some power, and (what is most important) so fixed in their hostility, as to regard any accommodation with him as insecure, and even ruinous to their country; this really appears like an extraordinary act of divine beneficence. It must then be our care, Athenians, that we are not more unkind to ourselves than circumstances have been; as it would be a foul, a most foul reproach, to have abandoned not only cities and places that once belonged to us, but also the allies and advantages provided by fortune.
To dilate, Athenians, on Philip's power, and by such discourse to incite you to your duty, I think improper: and why? Because all that may be said on that score involves matter of glory for him, and misconduct on our part. The more he has transcended his repute, [Footnote: Jacobs otherwise: uber sein Verdienst gelungen.] the more is he universally admired; you, as you have used your advantages unworthily, have incurred the greater disgrace. This topic, then, I shall pass over. Indeed, Athenians, a correct observer will find the source of his greatness here, [Footnote: In this assembly, by the contrivance of venal orators, or through the supineness of the people. In the first Philippic there is a more pointed allusion to the practices of Philip's adherents, who are charged with sending him secret intelligence of what passed at home. Such men as Aristodemus, Neoptolemus, perhaps Demades and others are referred to. Aeschines had not yet begun to be a friend of Philip.] and not in himself. But of measures, for which Philip's partisans deserve his gratitude and your vengeance, I see no occasion to speak now. Other things are open to me, which it concerns you all to know, and which must, on a due examination, Athenians, reflect great disgrace on Philip. To these will I address myself.
To call him perjured and treacherous, without showing what he has done, might justly be termed idle abuse. But to go through all his actions and convict him in detail, will take, as it happens, but a short time, and is expedient, I think, for two reasons: first, that his baseness may appear in its true light; secondly, that they, whose terror imagines Philip to be invincible, may see he has run through all the artifices by which he rose to greatness, and his career is just come to an end. I myself, men of Athens, should most assuredly have regarded Philip as an object of fear and admiration, had I seen him exalted by honorable conduct; but observing and considering I find, that in the beginning, when certain persons drove away the Olynthians who desired a conference with us, he gained over our simplicity by engaging to surrender Amphipolis, and to execute the secret article [Footnote: A secret intrigue was carried on between Philip and the Athenians, by which he engaged to put Amphipolis in their hands, but on the understanding that they would deliver up Pydna to him. Demosthenes only mentions the former part of the arrangement, the latter not being honorable to his countrymen.] once so famous; afterward he got the friendship of the Olynthians, by taking Potidaea from you, wronging you his former allies, and delivering it to them; and lastly now the Thessalians, by promising to surrender Magnesia, and undertake the Phocian war on their behalf. In short, none who have dealt with him has he not deceived. He has risen by conciliating and cajoling the weakness of every people in turn who knew him not. As, therefore, by such means he rose, when every people imagined he would advance their interest, so ought he by the same means to be pulled down again, when the selfish aim of his whole policy is exposed. To this crisis, O Athenians, are Philip's affairs come; or let any man stand forward and prove to me, or rather to you, that my assertions, are false, or that men whom Philip has once overreached will trust him hereafter, or that the Thessalians who have been degraded into servitude would not gladly become free.
But if any among you, though agreeing in these statements, thinks that Philip will maintain his power by having occupied forts and havens and the like, this is a mistake. True, when a confederacy subsists by good-will, and all parties to the war have a common interest, men are willing to co-operate and bear hardships and persevere. But when one has grown strong, like Philip, by rapacity and artifice, on the first pretext, the slightest reverse, all is overturned and broken up. [Footnote: The original [Greek: anechaitise] is "shakes off," or "throws off," as a horse does his rider, when he rears and tosses up his neck. It will be observed that Demosthenes is very high-flown in his language here, passing from one metaphor to another. Leland translates these words, "overthrows him, and all his greatness is dashed at once to the ground." Francis: "hath already shaken off the yoke and dissolved their alliance." Wilson: "turneth all things upside down and layeth it flat in the end." Auger, better: suffisent pour l' ebranler et la dissoudre. Jacobs: reicht Alles umzusturzen, und aufzulosen. Pabst, very nearly the same.] Impossible is it,—impossible, Athenians,—to acquire a solid power by injustice and perjury and falsehood. Such things last for once, or for a short period; maybe, they blossom fairly with hope; [Footnote: So in Henry VIII. Act iii. Sc. 2.
Such is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms, And wears his blushing honors thick upon him.]
but in time they are discovered and drop away. [Footnote: Like the leaves of a flower; pursuing the last metaphor. So says Moore, in The Last Rose of Summer: "the gems drop away." Jacobs: fallt sie von selbst zusammen. Pabst: sturet in sich selbst zusammen.] As a house, a ship, or the like, ought to have the lower parts firmest, so in human conduct, I ween, the principle and foundation should be just and true. But this is not so in Philip's conduct.
I say, then, we should at once aid the Olynthians, (the best and quickest way that can be suggested will please me most,) and send an embassy to the Thessalians, to inform some of our measures, and to stir up the rest; for they have now resolved to demand Pagasae, and remonstrate about Magnesia. But look to this, Athenians, that our envoys shall not only make speeches, but have some real proof that we have gone forth as becomes our country, and are engaged in action. All speech without action appears vain and idle, but especially that of our commonwealth; as the more we are thought to excel therein, the more is our speaking distrusted by all. You must show yourselves greatly reformed, greatly changed, contributing, serving personally, acting promptly, before any one will pay attention to you. And if ye will perform these duties properly and becomingly, Athenians, not only will it appear that Philip's alliances are weak and precarious, but the poor state of his native empire and power will be revealed.
To speak roundly, the Macedonian power and empire is very well as a help, as it was for you in Timotheus' time against the Olynthians; likewise for them against Potidaea the conjunction was important; and lately it aided the Thessalians in their broils and troubles against the regnant house: and the accession of any power, however small, is undoubtedly useful. But the Macedonian is feeble of itself, and full of defects. The very operations which seem to constitute Philip's greatness, his wars and his expeditions, have made it more insecure than it was originally. Think not, Athenians, that Philip and his subjects have the same likings. He desires glory, makes that his passion, is ready for any consequence of adventure and peril, preferring to a life of safety the honor of achieving what no Macedonian king ever did before. They have no share in the glorious result; ever harassed by these excursions up and down, they suffer and toil incessantly, allowed no leisure for their employments or private concerns, unable even to dispose of their hard earnings, the markets of the country being closed on account of the war. By this then may easily be seen, how the Macedonians in general are disposed to Philip. His mercenaries and guards, indeed, have the reputation of admirable and well-trained soldiers, but, as I heard from one who had been in the country, a man incapable of falsehood, they are no better than others. For if there be any among them experienced in battles and campaigns, Philip is jealous of such men and drives them away, he says, wishing to keep the glory of all actions to himself; his jealousy (among other failings) being excessive. Or if any man be generally good and virtuous, unable to bear Philip's daily intemperances, drunkenness, and indecencies, [Footnote: The original signifies a certain lascivious dance, which formed a part of riotous festivities. We gather from history that the orator's description here is not wholly untrue, though exaggerated. Thirlwall thus writes of Philip: "There seem to have been two features in his character which, in another station, or under different circumstances, might have gone near to lower him to an ordinary person, but which were so controlled by his fortune as to contribute not a little to his success. He appears to have been by his temperament prone to almost every kind of sensual pleasure; but as his life was too busy to allow him often to indulge his bias, his occasional excesses wore the air of an amiable condescension. So his natural humor would perhaps have led him too often to forget his dignity in his intercourse with his inferiors; but to Philip, the great king, the conqueror, the restless politician, these intervals of relaxation occurred so rarely, that they might strengthen his influence with the vulgar, and could never expose him to contempt." It has been observed, that Philips partiality for drinking and dancing, his drollery, and a dash of scurrility in his character, endeared him especially to the Thessalians. See Jacobs' note on this passage.] he is pushed aside and accounted as nobody. The rest about him are brigands and parasites, and men of that character, who will get drunk and perform dances which I scruple to name before you. My information is undoubtedly true; for persons whom all scouted here as worse rascals than mountebanks, Callias the town-slave and the like of him, antic-jesters, [Footnote: [Greek: Mimous geloion], players of drolls, mimes, or farces. Our ancient word droll signifies, like [Greek: mimos], both the actor and the thing acted.] and composers of ribald songs to lampoon their companions, such persons Philip caresses and keeps about him. Small matters these may be thought, Athenians, but to the wise they are strong indications of his character and wrong-headedness. Success perhaps throws a shade over them now; prosperity is a famous hider of such blemishes; but, on any miscarriage, they will be fully exposed. And this (trust me, Athenians) will appear in no long time, if the gods so will and you determine. For as in the human body, a man in health feels not partial ailments, but, when illness occurs, all are in motion, whether it be a rupture or a sprain or any thing else unsound; so with states and monarchs, while they wage eternal war, their weaknesses are undiscerned by most men, but the tug of a frontier war betrays all.
If any of you think Philip a formidable opponent, because they see he is fortunate, such reasoning is prudent, Athenians. Fortune has indeed a great preponderance—nay, is every thing, in human affairs. Not but that, if I had the choice, I should prefer our fortune to Philip's, would you but moderately perform your duty. For I see you have many more claims to the divine favor than he has. But we sit doing nothing; and a man idle himself can not require even his friends to act for him, much less the gods. No wonder then that he, marching and toiling in person, present on all occasions, neglecting no time or season, prevails over us delaying and voting and inquiring. I marvel not at that; the contrary would have been marvelous, if we doing none of the duties of war had beaten one doing all. But this surprises me, that formerly, Athenians, you resisted the Lacedaemonians for the rights of Greece, and rejecting many opportunities of selfish gain, to secure the rights of others, expended your property in contributions, and bore the brunt of the battle; yet now you are both to serve, slow to contribute, in defense of your own possessions, and, though you have often saved the other nations of Greece collectively and individually, under your own losses you sit still. This surprises me, and one thing more, Athenians; that not one of you can reckon, how long your war with Philip has lasted, and what you have been doing while the time has passed. You surely know, that while you have been delaying, expecting others to act, accusing, trying one another, expecting again, doing much the same as ye do now, all the time has passed away. Then are ye so senseless, Athenians, as to imagine, that the same measures, which have brought the country from a prosperous to a poor condition, will bring it from a poor to a prosperous? Unreasonable were this and unnatural; for all things are easier kept than gotten. The war now has left us nothing to keep; we have all to get, and the work must be done by ourselves. I say then, you must contribute money, serve in person with alacrity, accuse no one, till you have gained your objects; then, judging from facts, honor the deserving, punish offenders; let there be no pretenses or defaults on your own part for you can not harshly scrutinize the conduct of others, unless you have done what is right yourselves. Why, think you, do all the generals [Footnote: A system of employing mercenary troops sprang up at the close of the Peloponnesian war, when there were numerous Grecian bands accustomed to warfare and seeking employment. Such troops were eagerly sought for by the Persian satraps and their king, by such men as Jason of Pherae, Dionysius of Syracuse, or Philomelus of Phocis. Athens, which had partially employed mercenaries before, began to make use of them on a large scale, while her citizens preferred staying at home, to attend to commerce, politics, and idle amusements. The ill effects however were soon apparent. Athenian generals, ill supplied with money, and having little control over their followers, were tempted or obliged to engage in enterprises unconnected with, and often adverse to, the interests of their country. Sometimes the general, as well as the troops, was an alien, and could be very little depended on. Such a person was Charidemus, a native of Oreus in Euboea, who commenced his career as captain of a pirate vessel. He was often in the service of Athens, but did her more harm than good. See my article Mercenarii, Arch. Dict.] whom you commission avoid this war, and seek wars of their own? (for of the generals too must a little truth be told.) Because here the prizes of the war are yours; for example, if Amphipolis be taken, you will immediately recover it; the commanders have all the risk and no reward. But in the other case the risks are less, and the gains belong to the commanders and soldiers; Lampsacus, [Footnote: Chares, the Athenian general, was said to have received these Asiatic cities from Artabazus, the Persian satrap, in return for the service he had performed. Probably it was some authority or privileges in those cities, not the actual dominion, that was conferred upon him. Sigeum, which is near the mouth of the Hellespont, and was a convenient situation for his adventures, was the ordinary residence of Chares.] Sigeum, the vessels which they plunder. So they proceed to secure their several interests: you, when you look at the bad state of your affairs, bring the generals to trial; but when they get a hearing and plead these necessities, you dismiss them. The result is that, while you are quarreling and divided, some holding one opinion, some another, the commonwealth goes wrong. Formerly, Athenians, you had boards [Footnote: This refers to the institution of the [Greek: summoriai], or boards for management of the property-tax at Athens, as to which see Appendix IV. The argument of Demosthenes is as follows—The three hundred wealthier citizens, who were associated by law for purposes of taxation, had become a clique for political purposes, with an orator at their head, (he intentionally uses the term [Greek: haegemon], chairman of the board,) to conduct the business of the assembly, while they stood to shout and applaud his speeches. The general, who held a judicial court to decide disputes about the property-tax, and who in matters of state ought to be independent, was subservient to the orator, who defended him in the popular assembly.] for taxes; now you have boards for politics. There is an orator presiding on either side, a general under him, and three hundred men to shout; the rest of you are attached to the one party or the other. This you must leave off; be yourselves again; establish a general liberty of speech, deliberation, and action. If some are appointed to command as with royal authority, some to be ship-captains, tax-payers, soldiers by compulsion, others only to vote against them, and help in nothing besides, no duty will be seasonably performed; the aggrieved parties will still fail you, and you will have to punish them instead of your enemies. I say, in short; you must all fairly contribute, according to each man's ability; take your turns of service till you have all been afield; give every speaker a hearing, and adopt the best counsel, not what this or that person advises. If ye act thus, not only will ye praise the speaker at the moment, but yourselves afterward, when the condition of the country is improved.
THE THIRD OLYNTHIAC.
The Athenians had dispatched succors to Olynthus, and received, as Libanius says, some favorable intelligence; more probably, however, some vague rumors, which led them to imagine the danger was for the time averted. They began, very prematurely, as the result showed, to be confident of success, and talked of punishing Philip for his presumption. In this they were encouraged by certain foolish orators, who sought to flatter the national prejudices. Demosthenes in this oration strives to check the arrogance of the people; reminds them of the necessity of defensive rather than offensive measures, and especially of the importance of preserving their allies. He again adverts (and this time more boldly) to the law of Eubulus, which he intimates ought to be repealed; and he exhorts the Athenians generally to make strenuous exertions against Philip,
Not the same ideas, men of Athens, are presented to me, when I look at our condition and when at the speeches which are delivered. The speeches, I find, are about punishing Philip; but our condition is come to this, that we must mind we are not first damaged ourselves. Therefore, it seems to me, these orators commit the simple error of not laying before you the true subject of debate. That once we might safely have held our own and punished Philip too, I know well enough; both have been possible in my own time, not very long ago. But now, I am persuaded, it is sufficient in the first instance to effect the preservation of our allies. When this has been secured, one may look out for revenge on Philip; but before we lay the foundation right, I deem it idle to talk about the end.
The present crisis, O Athenians, requires, if any ever did, much thought and counsel. Not that I am puzzled, what advice to give in the matter; I am only doubtful, in what way, Athenians, to address you thereupon. For I have been taught both by hearsay and experience, that most of your advantages have escaped you, from unwillingness to do your duty, not from ignorance. I request you, if I speak my mind, to be patient, and consider only, whether I speak the truth, and with a view to future amendment. You see to what wretched plight we are reduced by some men haranguing for popularity.
I think it necessary, however, first to recall to your memory a few past events. You remember, Athenians, when news came three or four years ago, that Philip was in Thrace beieging Heraeum. [Footnote: A fortress on the Propontis,(now Sea of Marmora,) near Perinthus. This was a post of importance to the Athenians, who received large supplies of corn from that district.] It was then the fifth month, [Footnote: Corresponding nearly to our November. The Attic year began in July, and contained twelve lunar months, of alternately 29 and 30 days. The Greeks attempted to make the lunar and solar courses coincide by cycles of years, but fell into great confusion. See Calendarium in Arch. Dict.] and after much discussion and tumult in the assembly you resolved to launch forty galleys, that every citizen under forty-five [Footnote: This large proportion of the serviceable citizens, [Greek: ton en haelikia], shows the alarm at Athens. Philip's illness seems to have put a stop to his progress in Thrace at this period. Immediately on his recovery he began his aggression against Olynthus. See the Chronological Abstract prefixed to this volume.] should embark, and a tax be raised of sixty talents. That year passed; the first, second, third month arrived; in that month, reluctantly, after the mysteries, [Footnote: The Eleusinian Mysteries, in honor of Ceres and Proserpine, called The Mysteries from their peculiar sanctity.] you dispatched Charidemus with ten empty ships and five talents in money; for as Philip was reported to be sick or dead, (both rumors came.) you thought there was no longer any occasion for succors, and discontinued the armament. But that was the very occasion; if we had then sent our succors quickly, as we resolved, Philip would not have been saved to trouble us now.
Those events can not be altered. But here is the crisis of another war, the cause why I mentioned the past, that you may not repeat your error. How shall we deal with it, men of Athens? If you lend not the utmost possible aid, see how you will have manoeuvred every thing for Philip's benefit. There were the Olynthians, possessed of some power; and matters stood thus: Philip distrusted them, and they Philip. We negotiated for peace with them; this hampered (as it were) and annoyed Philip, that a great city, reconciled to us, should be watching opportunities against him. We thought it necessary by all means to make that people his enemies; and lo, what erewhile you clamored for, has somehow or other been accomplished. Then what remains, Athenians, but to assist them vigorously and promptly? I know not. For besides the disgrace that would fall upon us, if we sacrificed any of our interests, I am alarmed for the consequences, seeing how the Thebans are affected toward us, the Phocian treasury exhausted, nothing to prevent Philip, when he has subdued what lies before him, from turning to matters here. Whoever postpones until then the performance of his duty, wishes to see the peril at hand, when he may hear of it elsewhere, and to seek auxiliaries for himself, when he may be auxiliary to others; for that this will be the issue, if we throw away our present advantage, we all know pretty well.
But, it may be said, we have resolved that succors are necessary, and we will send them; tell us only how. Marvel not then, Athenians, if I say something to astonish the multitude. Appoint law-revisers: [Footnote: A provision was made by Solon for a periodical revision, of the Athenian laws by means of a legislative committee, called [Greek: Nomothetai]. See my article Nomothetes, Arch. Dict.) They were chosen by lot from the judicial body, on a reference to them by a vote of the popular assembly, Demosthenes says, "enact no statutes," instead of saying, "let the committee enact no statutes." This is because the committee would be taken from the people themselves, and the part are treated as the whole. So in speeches to juries we shall frequently observe that in mentioning the decision of some other jury he says, "you did this or that," as if they were the same persons.] at their session enact no statutes, for you have enough, but repeal those which are at present injurious; I mean, just plainly, the laws concerning our theatrical fund, and some concerning the troops, whereof the former divide the military fund among stayers-at-home for theatrical amusement, the latter indemnify deserters, and so dishearten men well inclined to the service. When you have repealed these, and made the road to good counsel safe, then find a man to propose what you all know to be desirable. But before doing so, look not for one who will advise good measures and be destroyed by you for his pains. Such a person you will not find, especially as the only result would be, for the adviser and mover to suffer wrongfully, and, without forwarding matters, to render good counsel still more dangerous in future. Besides, Athenians, you should require the same men to repeal these laws, who have introduced them. It is unjust, that their authors should enjoy a popularity which has injured the commonwealth, while the adviser of salutary measures suffers by a displeasure that may lead to general improvement. Till this is set right, Athenians, look not that any one should be so powerful with you as to transgress these laws with impunity, or so senseless as to plunge into ruin right before him.
Another thing, too, you should observe, Athenians, that a decree is worth nothing, without a readiness on your part to do what you determine. Could decrees of themselves compel you to perform your duty, or execute what they prescribe, neither would you with many decrees have accomplished little or nothing, nor would Philip have insulted you so long. Had it depended on decrees, he would have been chastised long ago. But the course of things is otherwise. Action, posterior in order of time to speaking and voting, is in efficacy prior and superior. This requisite you want; the others you possess. There are among you, Athenians, men competent to advise what is needful, and you are exceedingly quick at understanding it; ay, and you will be able now to perform it, if you act rightly. For what time or season would you have better than the present? When will you do your duty, if not now? Has not the man got possession of all our strongholds? And if he become master of this country, shall we not incur foul disgrace? Are not they, to whom we promised sure protection in case of war, at this moment in hostilities? Is he not an enemy, holding our possessions—a barbarian [Footnote: Barbarians (among the Greeks) designates persons who were not of Hellenic origin. Alexander, an ancestor of Philip, had obtained admission to the Olympic games by proving himself to be of Argive descent. But the Macedonian people were scarcely considered as Greeks till a much later period; and Demosthenes speaks rather with reference to the nation than to Philip personally.]—anything you like to call him? But, O heavens! after permitting, almost helping him to accomplish these things, shall we inquire who were to blame for them? I know we shall not take the blame to ourselves. For so in battles, no runaway accuses himself, but his general, his neighbor, any one rather; though, sure enough, the defeat is owing to all the runaways; for each one who accuses the rest might have stood his ground, and had each done so they would have conquered. Now then, does any man not give the best advice? Let another rise and give it, but not censure the last speaker. Does a second give better advice? Follow it, and success attend you! Perhaps it is not pleasant: but that is not the speaker's fault, unless he omits some needful prayer. [Footnote: Demosthenes sneers at the custom of introducing into the debate sententious professions of good-will, and prayers for prosperity; a poor substitute (he would say) for good counsel. Compare Virg. Georg. III. 454.
Alitur vitium vivitque tegendo, Dum medicas adhibere manus ad vulnera pastor Abnegat, et meliora, Deos sedet omina poscens.]
To pray is simple enough, Athenians, collecting all that one desires in a short petition: but to decide, when measures are the subject of consideration, is not quite so easy; for we must choose the profitable rather than the pleasant, where both are not compatible.
But if any one can let alone our theatrical fund, and suggest other supplies for the military, is he not cleverer? it may be asked. I grant it, if this were possible: but I wonder if any man ever was or will be able, after wasting his means in useless expenses, to find means for useful. The wishes of men are indeed a great help to such arguments, and therefore the easiest thing in the world is self-deceit; for every man believes what he wishes, though the reality is often different. See then, Athenians, what the realities allow, and you will be able to serve and have pay. It becomes not a wise or magnanimous people, to neglect military operations for want of money, and bear disgraces like these; or, while you snatch up arms to march against Corinthians and Megarians, to let Philip enslave Greek cities for lack of provisions for your troops.
I have not spoken for the idle purpose of giving offense: I am not so foolish or perverse, as to provoke your displeasure without intending your good: but I think an upright citizen should prefer the advancement of the commonweal to the gratification of his audience. And I hear, as perhaps you do, that the speakers in our ancestors' time, whom all that address you praise, but not exactly imitate, were politicians after this form and fashion;—Aristides, Nicias, my namesake, [Footnote: Demosthenes, the general so distinguished in the Peloponnesian war, who defeated the Spartans at Pylus, and afterward lost his life in Sicily.] Pericles. But since these orators have appeared, who ask, What is your pleasure? what shall I move? how can I oblige you? the public welfare is complimented away for a moment's popularity, and these are the results; the orators thrive, you are disgraced. Mark, O Athenians, what a summary contrast may be drawn between the doings in our olden time and in yours. It is a tale brief and familiar to all; for the examples by which you may still be happy are found not abroad, men of Athens, but at home. Our forefathers, whom the speakers humored not nor caressed, as these men caress you, for five-and-forty years took the leadership of the Greeks by general consent, and brought above ten thousand talents into the citadel; and the king of this country was submissive to them, as a barbarian should be to Greeks; and many glorious trophies they erected for victories won by their own fighting on land and sea, and they are the sole people in the world who have bequeathed a renown superior to envy. Such were their merits in the affairs of Greece: see what they were at home, both as citizens and as men. Their public works are edifices and ornaments of such beauty and grandeur in temples and consecrated furniture, that posterity have no power to surpass them. In private they were so modest and attached to the principle of our constitution, that whoever knows the style of house which Aristides had, or Miltiades, and the illustrious of that day, perceives it to be no grander than those of the neighbors. Their politics were not for money-making; each felt it his duty to exalt the commonwealth. [Footnote: As Horace says:—
Privatus illis census erat brevis, Commune magnum.]
By a conduct honorable toward the Greeks, pious to the gods, brotherlike among themselves, they justly attained a high prosperity.
So fared matters with them under the statesmen I have mentioned. How fare they with you under the worthies of our time? Is there any likeness or resemblance? I pass over other topics, on which I could expatiate; but observe: in this utter absence of competitors, (Lacedaemonians depressed, Thebans employed, none of the rest capable of disputing the supremacy with us,) when we might hold our own securely and arbitrate the claims of others, we have been deprived of our rightful territory, and spent above fifteen hundred talents to no purpose; the allies, whom we gained in war, these persons have lost in peace, and we have trained up against ourselves an enemy thus formidable. Or let any one come forward and tell me, by whose contrivance but ours Philip has grown strong. Well, sir, this looks bad, but things at home are better. What proof can be adduced? The parapets that are whitewashed? The roads that are repaired? fountains, and fooleries? [Footnote: Jacobs: und solches Geschwatz. The proceedings of Eubulus are here more particularly referred to.] Look at the men of whose statesmanship these are the fruits. They have risen from beggary to opulence, or from obscurity to honor; some have made their private houses more splendid than the public buildings; and in proportion as the state has declined, their fortunes have been exalted.
What has produced these results? How is it that all went prosperously then, and nowgoes wrong? Because anciently the people, having the courage to be soldiers, controlled the statesmen, and disposed of all emoluments; any of the rest was happy to receive from the people his share of honor, office, or advantage. Now, contrariwise, the statesmen dispose of emoluments; through them every thing is done; you the people, enervated, stripped of treasure and allies, are become as underlings and hangers-on, happy if these persons dole you out show-money or send you paltry beeves; [Footnote: Entertainments were frequently given to the people after sacrifices, at which a very small part of the victim was devoted to the gods, such as the legs and intestines, the rest being kept for more profane purposes. Tho Athenians were remarkably extravagant in sacrifices. Demades, ridiculing the donations of public meat, compared the republic to an old woman, sitting at home in slippers and supping her broth. Demosthenes, using the diminutive [Greek: boidia], charges the magistrates with supplying lean and poor oxen, whereas the victims ought to be healthy and large, [Greek: teleia]. See Virgil, Aen. xi. 739.
Hic amor, hoc studium; dum sacra secundus aruspex Nuntiet, ac lucos vocet hostia pinguis in altos.]
and, the unmanliest part of all, you are grateful for receiving your own. They, cooping you in the city, lead you to your pleasures, and make you tame and submissive to their hands. It is impossible, I say, to have a high and noble spirit, while you are engaged in petty and mean employments: whatever be the pursuits of men, their characters must be similar. By Ceres, I should not wonder, if I, for mentioning these things, suffered more from your resentment than the men who have brought them to pass. For even liberty of speech you allow not on all subjects; I marvel indeed you have allowed it here.
Would you but even now, renouncing these practices, perform military service and act worthily of yourselves; would you employ these domestic superfluities as a means to gain advantage abroad; perhaps, Athenians, perhaps you might gain some solid and important advantage, and be rid of these perquisites, which are like the diet ordered by physicians for the sick. As that neither imparts strength, nor suffers the patient to die, so your allowances are not enough to be of substantial benefit, nor yet permit you to reject them and turn to something else. Thus do they increase the general apathy. What? I shall be asked: mean you stipendiary service? Yes, and forthwith the same arrangement for all, Athenians, that each, taking his dividend from the public, may be what the state requires. Is peace to be had? You are better at home, under no compulsion to act dishonorably from indigence. Is there such an emergency as the present? Better to be a soldier, as you ought, in your country's cause, maintained by those very allowances. Is any one of you beyond the military age? What he now irregularly takes without doing service, let him take by just regulation, superintending and transacting needful business. Thus, without derogating from or adding to our political system, only removing some irregularity, I bring it into order, establishing a uniform rule for receiving money, for serving in war, for sitting on juries, for doing what each according to his age can do, and what occasion requires. I never advise we should give to idlers the wages of the diligent, or sit at leisure, passive and helpless, to hear that such a one's mercenaries are victorious; as we now do. Not that I blame any one who does you a service: I only call upon you, Athenians, to perform on your own account those duties for which you honor strangers, and not to surrender that post of dignity which, won through many glorious dangers, your ancestors have bequeathed.
I have said nearly all that I think necessary. I trust you will adopt that course which is best for the country and yourselves.
THE FIRST PHILIPPIC.
Philip, after the defeat of Onomarchus, had marched toward the pass of Thermopylae, which, however, he found occupied by the Athenians, who had sent a force for the purpose of preventing his advance. Being baffled there, he directed his march into Thrace, and alarmed the Athenians for the safety of their dominions in the Chersonese. At the same time he sent a fleet to attack the islands of Lemnos and Imbrus, infested the commerce of Athens with his cruisers, and even insulted her coast. In Thrace he became involved in the disputes between the rival kings Amadocus and Cersobleptes, espousing the cause of the former; and for some time he was engaged in the interior of that country, either at war with Cersobleptes, or extending his own influence over other parts of Thrace, where he established or expelled the rulers, as it suited him. It was just at that time that Demosthenes spoke the following oration, the first in which he called the attention of his countrymen to the dangerous increase of Philip's power. He had become convinced by the course of events, and by observing the restless activity of Philip, that Athens had more to fear from him than from Thebes, or from any new combination of the Grecian republics. The orator himself, perhaps, hardly appreciated the extent of Philip's resources, strengthened as he was now by the friendship of Thessaly, possessed of a navy and maritime towns, and relieved from the presence of any powerful neighbors. What were the precise views of Demosthenes as to the extent of the impending danger, we can not say. It was not for him to frighten the Athenians too much, but to awaken them from their lethargy. This he does in a speech, which, without idle declamation or useless ornament, is essentially practical. He alarms, but encourages, his countrymen; points out both their weakness and their strength; rouses them to a sense of danger, and shows the way to meet it; recommends not any extraordinary efforts, for which at the moment there was no urgent necessity, and to make which would have exceeded their power, but unfolds a scheme, simple and feasible, suiting the occasion, and calculated (if Athenians had not been too degenerate) to lay the foundation of better things.
Had the question for debate been any thing new, Athenians, I should have waited till most of the usual speakers [Footnote: By an ancient ordinance of Solon, those who were above fifty years of age were first called on to deliver their opinion. The law had ceased to be in force; but, as a decent custom, the older men usually commenced the debate. There would be frequent occasions for departing from such a custom, and Demosthenes, who was now thirty-three, assigns his reason for speaking first.] had been heard; if any of their counsels had been to my liking, I had remained silent, else proceeded to impart my own. But as the subjects of discussion is one upon which they have spoken oft before, I imagine, though I rise the first, I am entitled to indulgence. For if these men had advised properly in time past, there would be no necessity for deliberating now.
First I say, you must not despond, Athenians, under your present circumstances, wretched as they are; for that which is worst in them as regards the past, is best for the future. What do I mean? That our affairs are amiss, men of Athens, because you do nothing which is needful; if, notwithstanding you performed your duties, it were the same, there would be no hope of amendment.
Consider next, what you know by report, and men of experience remember; how vast a power the Lacedaemonians had not long ago, yet how nobly and becomingly you consulted the dignity of Athens, and undertook the war [Footnote: He refers to the war in which Athens assisted the Thebans against Lacedaemon, and in which Chabrias won the naval battle of Naxos. That war commenced twenty-six years before the speaking of the first Philippic, and would be well remembered by many of the hearers. See the Historical Abstract in this volume.] against them for the rights of Greece. Why do I mention this? To show and convince you, Athenians, that nothing, if you take precaution, is to be feared, nothing, if you are negligent, goes as you desire. Take for examples the strength of the Lacedaemonians then, which you overcame by attention to your duties, and the insolence of this man now, by which through neglect of our interests we are confounded. But if any among you, Athenians, deem Philip hard to be conquered, looking at the magnitude of his existing power, and the loss by us of all our strongholds, they reason rightly, but should reflect, that once we held Pydna and Potidaea and Methone and all the region round about as our own, and many of the nations now leagued with him were independent and free, and preferred our friendship to his. Had Philip then taken it into his head, that it was difficult to contend with Athens, when she had so many fortresses to infest his country, and he was destitute of allies, nothing that he has accomplished would he have undertaken, and never would he have acquired so large a dominion. But he saw well, Athenians, that all these places are the open prizes of war, that the possessions of the absent naturally belong to the present, those of the remiss to them that will venture and toil. Acting on such principle, he has won every thing and keeps it, either by way of conquest, or by friendly attachment and alliance; for all men will side with and respect those, whom they see prepared and willing to make proper exertion. If you, Athenians, will adopt this principle now, though you did not before, and every man, where he can and ought to give his service to the, state, be ready to give it without excuse, the wealthy to contribute, the able-bodied to enlist; in a word, plainly, if you will become your own masters, and cease each expecting to do nothing himself, while his neighbor does every thing for him, you shall then with heaven's permission recover your own, and get back what has been frittered away, and chastise Philip. Do not imagine, that his empire is everlastingly secured to him as a god. There are who hate and fear and envy him, Athenians, even among those that seem most friendly; and all feelings that are in other men belong, we may assume, to his confederates. But now they are all cowed, having no refuge through your tardiness and indolence, which I say you must abandon forthwith. For you see, Athenians, the case, to what pitch of arrogance the man has advanced, who leaves you not even the choice of action or inaction, but threatens and uses (they say) outrageous language, and, unable to rest in possession of his conquests, continually widens their circle, and, while we dally and delay, throws his net all around us. When then, Athenians, when will ye act as becomes you? In what event? In that of necessity, I suppose. And how should we regard the events happening now? Methinks, to freemen the strongest necessity is the disgrace of their condition. Or tell me, do ye like walking about and asking one another:—is there any news? Why, could there be greater news than a man of Macedonia subduing Athenians, and directing the affairs of Greece? Is Philip dead? No, but he is sick. And what matters it to you? Should any thing befall this man, you will soon create another Philip, if you attend to business thus. For even he has been exalted not so much by his own strength, as by our negligence. And again; should any thing happen to him; should fortune, which still takes better care of us than we of ourselves, be good enough to accomplish this; observe that, being on the spot, you would step in while things were in confusion, and manage them as you pleased; but as you now are, though occasion offered Amphipolis, you would not be in a position to accept it, with neither forces nor counsels at hand. [Footnote: Important advice this, to men in all relations of life. Good luck is for those who are in a position to avail themselves of it.
Illi poma cadunt qui poma sub arbore quaerit.]
However, as to the importance of a general zeal in the discharge of duty, believing you are convinced and satisfied, I say no more.
As to the kind of force which I think may extricate you from your difficulties, the amount, the supplies of money, the best and speediest method (in my judgment) of providing all the necessaries, I shall endeavor to inform you forthwith, making only one request, men of Athens. When, you have heard all, determine; prejudge not before. And let none think I delay our operations, because I recommend an entirely new force. Not those that cry, quickly! to-day! speak most to the purpose; (for what has already happened we shall not be able to prevent by our present armament;) but he that shows what and how great and whence procured must be the force capable of enduring, till either we have advisedly terminated the war, or overcome our enemies: for so shall we escape annoyance in future. This I think I am able to show, without offense to any other man who has a plan to offer. My promise indeed is large; it shall be tested by the performance; and you shall be my judges.
First, then, Athenians, I say we must provide fifty warships, [Footnote: The Athenian ship of war at this time was the Trireme, or galley with three ranks of oars. It had at the prow a beak ([Greek: embolon]), with a sharp iron head, which, in a charge, (generally made at the broadside,) was able to shatter the planks of the enemy's vessel. An ordinary trireme carried two hundred men, including the crew and marines. These last ([Greek: epibatai]) were usually ten for each ship, but the number was often increased. The transports and vessels of burden, whether merchant vessels or boats for the carriage of military stores, were round-bottomed, more bulky in construction, and moved rather with sails than oars. Hence the fighting ship is called [Greek: tacheia], swift. It carried a sail, to be used upon occasion, though it was mainly worked with oars.] and hold ourselves prepared, in case of emergency, to embark and sail. I require also an equipment of transports for half the cavalry [Footnote: The total number was one thousand, each tribe furnishing one hundred.] and sufficient boats. This we must have ready against his sudden, marches from his own country to Thermopylae, the Chersonese, Olynthus, and any where he likes. For he should entertain the belief, that possibly you may rouse from this over-carelessness, and start off, as you did to Euboea, [Footnote: The expedition about five years before, when the Thebans had sent an army to Euboea, and Timotheus roused his countrymen to expel them from the island. Of this, Demosthenes gives an animated account at the close of tho oration on the Chersonese.] and formerly (they say) to Haliartus, [Footnote: B. C. 395, when the war between Thebes and Sparta had begun and Lysander besieged Haliartus. He was slain in a sally by the Thebans and Athenians.] and very lately to Thermopylae. And although you should not pursue just the course I would advise, it is no slight matter, that Philip, knowing you to be in readiness—know it he will for certain; there are too many among our own people who report every thing to him—may either keep quiet from apprehension, or, not heeding your arrangements, be taken off his guard, there being nothing to prevent your sailing, if he give you a chance, to attack his territories. Such an armament, I say, ought instantly to be agreed upon and provided. But besides, men of Athens, you should keep in hand some force, that will incessantly make war and annoy him: none of your ten or twenty thousand mercenaries, not your forces on paper, [Footnote: Literally "written in letters," that is, promised to the generals or allies, but never sent. Jacobs: eine Macht die auf dem Blatte steht. Compare Shakspeare, Henry IV, Second Part, Act i.
We fortify in paper and in figures. Using the names of men instead of men.]
but one that shall belong to the state, and, whether you appoint one or more generals, or this or that man or any other, shall obey and follow him. Subsistence too I require for it. What the force shall be, how large, from what source maintained, how rendered efficient, I will show you, stating every particular. Mercenaries I recommend—and beware of doing what has often been injurious—thinking all measures below the occasion, adopting the strongest in your decrees, you fail to accomplish the least—rather, I say, perform and procure a little, add to it afterward, if it prove insufficient. I advise then two thousand soldiers in all, five hundred to be Athenians, of whatever age you think right, serving a limited time, not long, but such time as you think right, so as to relieve one another; the rest should be mercenaries. And with them two hundred horse, fifty at least Athenians, like the foot, on the same terms of service; and transports for them. Well; what besides? Ten swift galleys: for, as Philip has a navy, we must have swift galleys also, to convoy our power. How shall subsistence for these troops be provided? I will state and explain; but first let me tell you why I consider a force of this amount sufficient, and why I wish the men to be citizens.
Of that amount, Athenians, because it is impossible for us now to raise an army capable of meeting him in the field: we must plunder [Footnote: Make predatory incursions, as Livy says, "popula bundi magis quam justo more belli." Jacobs: den Krieg als Freibeuter fahren. Another German: Streifzuge zu machen (guerilla warfare). Leland: "harass him with depredations." Wilson, an old English translator: "rob and spoil upon him."] and adopt such kind of warfare at first: our force, therefore, must not be over-large, (for there is not pay or subsistence,) nor altogether mean. Citizens I wish to attend and go on board, because I hear that formerly the state maintained mercenary troops at Corinth, [Footnote: He alludes to the time when Corinth, Athens, Thebes, and Argos, were allied against Sparta, and held a congress at Corinth, B. C. 394. The allies were at first defeated, but Iphicrates gained some successes, and acquired considerable reputation by cutting off a small division (mora) of Spartan infantry.] commanded by Polystratus and Iphicrates and Chabrias and some others, and that you served with them yourselves; and I am told, that these mercenaries fighting by your side and you by theirs defeated the Lacedaemonians. But ever since your hirelings have served by themselves, they have been vanquishing your friends and allies, while your enemies have become unduly great. Just glancing at the war of our state, they go off to Artabazus [Footnote: Diodorus relates that Chares, in the Social war, having no money to pay his troops, was forced to lend them to Artabazus, then in rebellion against the king of Persia. Chares gained a victory for the satrap, and received a supply of money. But this led to a complaint and menace of war by the king, which brought serious consequences. See the Historical Abstract.] or any where rather, and the general follows, naturally; for it is impossible to command without giving pay. What therefore ask I? To remove the excuses both of general and soldiers, by supplying pay, and attaching native soldiers, as inspectors of the general's conduct. The way we manage things now is a mockery. For if you were asked: Are you at peace, Athenians? No, indeed, you would say; we are at war with Philip. Did you not choose from yourselves ten captains and generals, and also captains and two generals [Footnote: There were chosen at Athens every year
Ten generals (one for each tribe), [Greek: strataegoi]. Ten captains (one for each tribe), [Greek: taxiarchoi]. Two generals of cavalry, [Greek: ipparchoi]. Ten cavalry officers (one for each tribe), [Greek: phularchoi].
In a regular army of citizens, when each tribe formed its own division, both of horse and foot, all these generals and officers would he present. Thus, there were ten generals at Marathon. A change took place in later times, when the armies were more miscellaneous. Three Athenian generals were frequently employed, and at a still later period only one. Demosthenes here touches on a very important matter, which we can well understand, viz. the necessity of officering the foreign mercenaries from home.] of horse? How are they employed? Except one man, whom you commission on service abroad, the rest conduct your processions with the sacrificers. Like puppet-makers, you elect your infantry and cavalry officers for the market-place, not for war. Consider, Athenians, should there not be native captains, a native general of horse, your own commanders, that the force might really be the state's? Or should your general of horse sail to Lemnos, [Footnote: To assist at a religious ceremony held annually at Lemnos, where many Athenians resided.] while Menelaus commands the cavalry fighting for your possessions? I speak not as objecting to the man, but he ought to be elected by you, whoever the person be.
Perhaps you admit the justice of these statements, but wish principally to hear about the supplies, what they must be and whence procured. I will satisfy you. Supplies, then, for maintenance, mere rations for these troops, come to ninety talents and a little more: for ten swift galleys forty talents, twenty minas a month to every ship; for two thousand soldiers forty more, that each soldier may receive for rations ten drachms a month; and for two hundred horsemen, each receiving thirty drachms a month, twelve talents. [Footnote: As to Athenian money, see Appendix II.] Should any one think rations for the men a small provision, he judges erroneously. Furnish that, and I am sure the army itself will, without injuring any Greek or ally, procure every thing else from the war, so as to make out their full pay. I am ready to join the fleet as a volunteer, and submit to any thing, if this be not so. Now for the ways and means of the supply, which I demand from you.
[Statement of ways and means.]
[Footnote: Here the clerk or secretary reads the scheme drawn up by Demosthenes, in the preparing of which he was probably assisted by the financial officers of the state. What follows was according to Dionysius, spoken at a different time. The curious may consult Leland, and Jacobs' introduction to his translation.]
This, Athenians, is what we have been able to devise. When you vote upon the resolutions, pass what you [Footnote: I. e. some measure, if not mine, whereby the war may be waged effectually. The reading of [Greek: poiaesate], adopted by Jacobs after Schaefer, is not in congruity with the sentence.] approve, that you may oppose Philip, not only by decrees and letters, but by action also.
I think it will assist your deliberations about the war and the whole arrangements, to regard the position, Athenians, of the hostile country, and consider, that Philip by the winds and seasons of the year gets the start in most of his operations, watching for the trade-winds [Footnote: The Etesian winds blowing from the northwest in July, which would impede a voyage from Athens to Macedonia and Thrace.] or the winter to commence them, when we are unable (he thinks) to reach the spot. On this account, we must carry on the war not with hasty levies, (or we shall be too late for every thing,) but with a permanent force and power. You may use as winter quarters for your troops Lemnos, and Thasus, and Sciathus, and the islands [Footnote: As Scopelus, Halonnesus, Peparethus, which were then subject to Athens.] in that neighborhood, which have harbors and corn and all necessaries for an army. In the season of the year, when it is easy to put ashore and there is no danger from the winds, they will easily take their station off the coast itself and at the entrances of the sea-ports.
How and when to employ the troops, the commander appointed by you will determine as occasion requires. What you must find, is stated in my bill. If, men of Athens, you will furnish the supplies which I mention, and then, after completing your preparations of soldiers, ships, cavalry, will oblige the entire force by law to remain in the service, and, while you become your own paymasters and commissaries, demand from your general an account of his conduct, you will cease to be always discussing the same questions without forwarding them in the least, and besides, Athenians, not only will you cut off his greatest revenue—What is this? He maintains war against you through the resources of your allies, by his piracies on their navigation—But what next? You will be out of the reach of injury yourselves: he will not do as in time past, when falling upon Lemnos and Imbrus he carried off your citizens captive, seizing the vessels at Geraestus he levied an incalculable sum, and lastly, made a descent at Marathon and carried off the sacred galley [Footnote: A ship called Paralus generally used on religious missions or to carry public dispatches.] from our coast, and you could neither prevent these things nor send succors by the appointed time. But how is it, think you, Athenians, that the Panathenaic and Dionysian festivals [Footnote: The Panathenaic festivals were in honor of Pallas or Athene, the protectress of Athens, and commemorated also the union of the old Attic towns under one government. There were two, the greater held every fourth year, the lesser annually. They were celebrated with sacrifices, races, gymnastic and musical contests, and various other amusements and solemnities, among which was the carrying the pictured robe of Pallas to her temple. The Dionysia, or festival of Bacchus, will be spoken of more fully hereafter.] take place always at the appointed time, whether expert or unqualified persons be chosen to conduct either of them, whereon you expend larger sums than upon any armament, and which are more numerously attended and magnificent than almost any thing in the world; while all your armaments are after the time, as that to Methone, to Pagasae, to Potidaea? Because in the former case every thing is ordered by law, and each of you knows long before-hand, who is the choir-master [Footnote: The choregus, or choir-master, of each tribe, had to defray the expense of the choruses, whether dramatic, lyric, or musical, which formed part of the entertainment on solemn occasions. This was one of the [Greek: leitourgiai], or burdensome offices, to which men of property were liable at Athens, of which we shall see more in other parts of our author.] of his tribe, who the gymnastic [Footnote: The gymnasiarch, like the choregus, had a burden imposed on him by his tribe, to make certain provisions for the gymnasium, public place or school of exercise. Some of the contests at the festivals being of a gymnastic nature, such as the Torch-race, it was his duty to make arrangements for them, and more particularly to select the ablest youths of the school for performers.] master, when, from whom, and what he is to receive, and what to do. Nothing there is left unascertained or undefined: whereas in the business of war and its preparations all is irregular, unsettled, indefinite. Therefore, no sooner have we heard any thing, than we appoint ship-captains, dispute with them on the exchanges, [Footnote: For every ship of war a captain, or trierarch, was appointed, whose duty it was, not merely to command, but take charge of the vessel, keep it in repair, and bear the expense (partly or wholly) of equipping it. In the Peloponnesian war we find the charge laid upon two joint captains, and afterward it was borne by an association formed like the Symmoriae of the Property Tax. Demosthenes, when he came to the head of affairs, introduced some useful reforms in the system of the Trierarchy.
The exchange, [Greek: antidosis], was a stringent but clumsy contrivance, to enforce the performance of these public duties by persons capable of bearing them. A party charged might call upon any other person to take take the office, or exchange estates with him. If he refused, complaint was made to the magistrate who had cognizance of the business, and the dispute was judicially heard and decided.] and consider about ways and means; then it is resolved that resident aliens and householders [Footnote: Freedmen, who had quitted their masters' house, and lived independently.] shall embark, then to put yourselves on board instead: but during these days the objects of our expedition are lost; for the time of action we waste in preparation, and favorable moments wait not our evasions and delays. The forces that we imagine we possess in the mean time, are found, when the crisis comes, utterly insufficient. And Philip has arrived at such a pitch of arrogance, as to send the following letter to the Euboeans:
[The letter is read.]
Of that which has been read, Athenians, most is true, unhappily true; perhaps not agreeable to hear. And if what one passes over in speaking, to avoid offense, one could pass over in reality, it is right to humor the audience; but if graciousness of speech, where it is out of place, does harm in action, shameful is it, Athenians, to delude ourselves, and by putting off every thing unpleasant to miss the time for all operations, and be unable even to understand, that skillful makers of war should not follow circumstances, but be in advance of them; that just as a general may be expected to lead his armies, so are men of prudent counsel to guide circumstances, in order that their resolutions may be accomplished, not their motions determined by the event. Yet you, Athenians, with larger means than any people—ships, infantry, cavalry, and revenue—have never up to this day made proper use of any of them; and your war with Philip differs in no respect from the boxing of barbarians. For among them the party struck feels always for the blow; [Footnote: Compare Virgil, Aen. ix 577.
Ille manum projecto tegmine demens Ad vulnus tulit.]
strike him somewhere else, there go his hands again; ward or look in the face he can not nor will. So you, if you hear of Philip in the Chersonese, vote to send relief there if at Thermopylae, the same; if any where else, you run after his heels up and down, and are commanded by him; no plan have you devised for the war, no circumstance do you see beforehand, only [Footnote: This loose mode of expression, which is found in the original, I designedly retain.] when you learn that something is done, or about to be done. Formerly perhaps this was allowable: now it is come to a crisis, to be tolerable no longer. And it seems, men of Athens, as if some god, ashamed for us at our proceedings, has put this activity into Philip. For had he been willing to remain quiet in possession of his conquests and prizes, and attempted nothing further, some of you, I think, would be satisfied with a state of things, which brands our nation with the shame of cowardice and the foulest disgrace. But by continually encroaching and grasping after more, he may possibly rouse you, if you have not altogether despaired. I marvel, indeed, that none of you, Athenians, notices with concern and anger, that the beginning of this war was to chastise Philip, the end is to protect ourselves against his attacks. One thing is clear: he will not stop, unless some one oppose him. And shall we wait for this? And if you dispatch empty galleys and hopes from this or that person, think ye all is well? Shall we not embark? Shall we not sail with at least a part of our national forces, now though not before? Shall we not make a descent upon his coast? Where, then, shall we land? some one asks. The war itself, men of Athens, will discover the rotten parts of his empire, if we make a trial; but if we sit at home, hearing the orators accuse and malign one another, no good can ever be achieved. Methinks, where a portion of our citizens, though not all, are commissioned with the rest, Heaven blesses, and Fortune aids the struggle: but where you send out a general and an empty decree and hopes from the hustings, nothing that you desire is done; your enemies scoff, and your allies die for fear of such an armament. For it is impossible—ay, impossible, for one man to execute all your wishes: to promise, [Footnote: Chares is particularly alluded to. The "promises of Chares" passed into a proverb.] and assert, and accuse this or that person, is possible; but so your affairs are ruined. The general commands wretched unpaid hirelings; here are persons easily found, who tell you lies of his conduct; you vote at random from what you hear: what then can be expected?