« ForrigeFortsæt »
been shown to the King by putting the matter in this way. Whereas the whole earth lying beneath the firmament is divided into two portions, the one called Asia and the other Europe, he has taken by the treaty one half, as if he were dividing the world with Zeus instead of making an agreement with men. And this is the agreement which he has compelled us to inscribe on pillars of stone and to dedicate in our common temples.' a far fairer trophy than any to be won in battles; for the trophies of battle are on account of small events and isolated successes, but this agreement is established to commemorate the whole war and concerns the whole of Hellas.
For these things it is but right that we should feel indignation and consider how we shall take vengeance for the past and set the future on a right footing. For it is a dis
a grace that, while in private life we think it fitting to use the barbarians as domestic servants, we should in public affairs suffer so many of our allies to be in slavery to them, and that, whereas those who lived in the time of the Trojan war did for the rape of one woman all join so heartily in the indignation of those who had suffered the wrong, that they did not cease to carry on the war until they had laid in ruins the city of the man who had dared to commit the offence, we on the contrary wreak no public vengeance for outrages which are being inflicted upon the whole of Hellas, though it is in our power to achieve things worthy of aspiration. For it is only a war of this kind which is better than peace, a war more like a sacred embassy than a campaign, and to the interest of both parties, both those who prefer to live in quiet and those who desire to go to war; for it would enable the former to reap in security the fruits of their own possessions, and the latter to acquire great riches out of the possessions of others.
Now in many directions it will be found on consideration that this course of action is most to our profit. For consider: against whom should war be made by those who desire no selfish aggression, but look to justice alone? Surely against those who formerly did injury to Hellas, are now
1 The pillars were placed inside or near the public temples.
scheming against us, and always entertain hostile feelings towards us. Against whom may envy be fairly cherished by men who are not altogether given over to an unmanly jealousy, but indulge this feeling with discretion? Surely against those who have encompassed themselves with power too great for men to hold, and yet are deserving of less than those who are unfortunate in our country. Against whom should a campaign be conducted by those who wish to act as pious men and at the same time desire their own advantage? Surely against those who are both our natural and our ancestral enemies, who possess the highest prosperity with the smallest power of striking a blow in its defence. Now the Persians
. are open to all these reproaches. Moreover, we shall not even trouble the states by levying soldiers from them, which is now a most severe burden to them in our civil war; for I think that far fewer will wish to stay behind than will desire to follow in our train. For who, be he young or old, has a heart so unmoved that he will not wish to take his part in this expedition, an expedition generalled by Athenians and Lacedaemonians, mustering on behalf of the freedom of the allies, going forth at the bidding of all Hellas, and marching to the chastisement of the barbarians ? What fame, and name, and glory must we deem that these men, who have been foremost in so great an enterprise, will enjoy while living, or dying, will leave behind them? For whereas they who fought against Alexander and took one city were deemed worthy of such praises, what eulogies must we expect will be won by the conquerors of all Asia ? For surely everyone who has the gift of poetry or the power of speech will toil and study in the wish to leave behind him for all time a memorial at once of his own genius and of their valour?
Now I do not find myself of the same opinion at the present moment as at the beginning of my speech. Then I thought I should be able to speak in a fashion worthy of my subject; now I cannot attain to its magnitude, and much that I thought of has escaped me. You must then for ourselves consider together what happiness we should gain by turning
1 The later name of Paris of Troy.
against the inhabitants of the continent the war which now besets us here, and by transferring to Europe the happiness of Asia. You must not go away hearers and no more, but the men of action should with mutual exhortation endeavour to reconcile our state to that of the Lacedaemonians, while those who dispute the palm of oratory should cease to write concerning fiduciary deposit and the other trifling subjects of their conversation, and should rather direct their rivalry against this discourse, and consider how to speak better than I have done on the same subject, reflecting that it does not befit those who promise great things to occupy themselves with trifles, nor to engage in arguments from which the lives of their audience will gain no advantage by conviction, but to employ discussions, by the realization of which they will not only themselves be relieved from their present embarrassment, but will also be regarded as the source of great blessings to others.
1 One of the forensic speeches of Isocrates treats of a deposit intrusted to Euthynus. The suit led to a literary feud. Antisthenes the Cynic, a pupil of Gorgias and Speusippus, attacked the speech of Isocrates.