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cution, one there is which most surprises me. In recalling the misfortunes of that fatal period to our minds, he hath felt no part of that sensibility, which bespeaks a zealous or an honest citizen. He never dropped one tear: never discovered the least tender emotion. No! his voice was elevated, he exulted, he strained and swelled, with all the triumph of a man who had convicted me of some notorious offence. But, in this, he hath given evidence against himself, that he is not affected by our public calamities in the same manner with his fellowcitizens. And, surely the man, who, like Æschines, affects an attachment to the laws and constitution, should approve his sincerity, if by no other means, at least by this, by feeling joy and sorrow, on the same occasions, with his countrymen; —not take part with their enemies, in his public conduct. And this part you have most evidently taken; you, who point at me as the cause of all; me, as the author of all our present difficulties.—But was it my administration, were they my instances which first taught my country to rise in defence of Greece? If you grant me this, if you make me the author of our vigorous opposition to that power which threatened the liberties of our nation, you do me greater honour than ever was conferred upon an Athenian. But it is an honour I cannot claim: I should injure my country: it is an honour, I well know, ye would not resign. And surely, if he had the least regard to justice, his private enmity to me never could have driven him to this base attempt to disgrace, to deny you, the most illustrious part of your character.
But why should I dwell on this, when there are so many more enormous instances of his baseness and falsehood ?He who accuses me of favouring Philip!—Heavens and earth! what would not this man assert?—But let us, in the name of all the gods, attend to truth, to fact; let us lay aside all private animosity ;—and who are really the men on whom we can fairly and justly lay the guilt of all misfortunes? The men who, in their several states, pursued his course, (it is easy to point them out) not those who acted like me: The men, who, while the power of Philip was yet in its weak and infant state, when we frequently warned them, when we alarmed them with the danger, when we pointed out their best and safest course; yet sacrificed the interest of their country to their own infamous gain, deceived and corrupted the leading citizens in each state, until they had enslaved them all. Thus were the Thessalians treated by Daochus, Cineas, and Thrasydæas; the Arcadians, by Cercidas, Hieronymus, Eucalpidas; the Argians, by Myrtes, Telademus, Mnaseas; Elis, by Euxitheus, Cleotimus, Aristachmus; Messene, by the sons of Philiades, that abomination of the gods; by Neon and Thrasylochus; Sicyon, by Aristratus and Epichares; Corinth, by Dinarchus, Demaratus; Megara, by Elixus, Ptedorus, Perilaus; Thebes, by Timolaüs, Theogiton, Anemætas; Eubea, by Hipparchus, Clitarchus, Sosicrates.—The whole day would be too short for the names only of the traitors. And these were the men who, in their several states, adopted the same measures which this man pursued at Athens. Wretches ! flatterers! miscreants ! tearing the vitals of their country, and tendering its liberties with a wanton indifference, first to Philip, now to Alexander! confined to the objects of a sordid and infamous sensuality, as their only blessings ! subverters of that freedom and independence which the Greeks of old regarded as the test and standard of true happiness!—Amidst all this shamefully avowed corruption, this confederacy, or (shall I call it by its true name?) this traitorous conspiracy against the liberty of Greece, my conduct preserved the reputation of this state unimpeached by the world; while my character (Athenians !) stood equally unimpeached by you. Do you ask me, then, on what merits I claim this honour? Hear my answer. When all the popular leaders through Greece had been taught by your example, and accepted the wages of corruption, from Philip first, and now from Alexander; no favourable moment was found to conquer my integrity; no insinuation of address, no magnificence of promises, no hopes, no fears, no favour, nothing could prevail upon me to resign the least part of what I deemed the just rights and interests of my country: nor, when my counsels were demanded, was I ever known, like you and your associates, to lean to that side, where a bribe had been, as it were, cast into the scale. No: my whole conduct was influenced by a spirit of rectitude, a spirit of justice and integrity: and, engaged as I was, in affairs of greater moment than any statesman of my time, I administered them all with a most exact and uncorrupted faith.—These are the merits on which I claim this honour.
As to those public works so much the object of your ridicule, they undoubtedly demand a due share of honour and applause: but I rate them far beneath the great merits of my administration: It is not with stones nor bricks that I have fortified the city. It is not from works like these that I derive my reputation. Would you know my methods of fortifying? Examine, and you will find them, in the arms, the towns, the territories, the harbours I have secured, the navies, the troops, the armies I have raised. These are the works by which I defended Attica, as far as human foresight could defend it; these are the fortifications I drew round our whole territory, and not the circuit of our harbour, or of our city only. In these acts of policy, in these provisions for a war, I never yielded to Philip. No; it was our generals and our confederate forces who yielded to fortune. Would you know the proofs of this? They are plain and evident. Consider : what was the part of a faithful citizen? Of a prudent, an active, and an honest minister? Was he not to secure Eubea, as our defence against all attacks by sea ? Was he not to make Bæotia our barrier on the mid-land side? The cities bordering on Peloponnesus our bulwark, on that quarter? Was he not to attend with due precaution to the importation of corn, that this trade might be protected, through all its progress, up to our own harbour ? Was he not to cover those districts which we commanded by seasonable detachments, as the Proconesus, the Chersonesus, and Tenedos ? To exert himself in the assembly for this purpose? While with equal zeal he laboured to gain others to our interest and alliance, as Byzantium, Abydus, and Eubæa? Was he not to cut off the best and most important resources of our enemies, and to supply those in which our country was defective ?-And all this you gained by my counsels, and my administration. Such counsels and such an administration, as must appear upon a fair and equitable view, the result of strict integrity; such as left no favourable juncture unimproved, through ignorance or treachery; such as ever had their due effect, as far as the judgment and abilities of one man could prove effectual. But, if some superior being, if the power of fortune, if the misconduct of generals, if the iniquity of you traitors, or if all these together broke in upon us, and at length involved us in one general devastation, how is DEMOSTHENES to be blamed? Had there been a single man in each Grecian state, to act the same part which I supported in this city; nay, had but one such man been found in Thessaly, and one in Arcadia, actuated by my principles, not a single Greek either beyond, or on this side Thermopylæ, could have experienced the misfortunes of this day. All had then been free and independent, in perfect tranquillity, security, and happiness, uncontrouled, in their several communities, by any foreign power, and filled with gratitude to you, and to your state, the authors of these blessings so extensive and so precious. And all this by my means.—To convince you that I have spoken much less than I could justify by facts, that, in this detail, I have studiously guarded against envy, take-read the lists of our confederates, as they were procured by my decrees.
The Lists—The Decrees-are here read. These, and such as these, Æschines, are the actions which become a noble-minded honest citizen. Had they succeeded, heavens and earth! to what a pitch of glory must they have raised you, and with justice raised you! yet, unsuccessful as they proved, still they were attended with applause, and prevented the least impeachment of this state, or of her conduct. The whole blame was charged on fortune, which determined the event with such fatal cruelty. Thus, I say, is the faithful citizen to act, not to desert his country, not to hire himself to her enemies, and labour to improve their favourable exigencies, instead of those of his own state; not to malign his fellow-citizen, who, with a steady and persevering zeal, recommends and supports such measures as are worthy of his country; not to cherish malice and private animosity against him; not to live in that dishonest and insidious retirement which you have often chosen. For there is, yes, there is a state of retirement, honest, and advantageous to the public. Such have you, my countrymen, frequently enjoyed in artless integrity. But his retirement is not of this kind. Far from it! he retires, that he may desert the public service when he pleases; (and he too often pleases to desert it.) Thus he lies watching the moment when you grow tired of a constant speaker, or when fortune hath traversed your designs, and involved you in some of those various misfortunes incident to humanity. This is his time. He at once becomes a speaker in the assembly: he rushes, like a sudden gust of wind, from his retreat: his voice is already exercised; his words and periods are prepared; he delivers them with force and volubility, but to no useful purpose, with no effect of any real importance. They serve but to involve some fellow-citizen in distress; and, to his country, they are a disgrace.—But all this preparation (Æschines) all this anxiety of attention, if the genuine dictates of loyal zeal, of true patriot principles, must have produced fruits of real worth and excellence, of general emolument Alliances, subsidies, extension of commerce, useful laws for our internal security, effectual defence against our foreign enemies. Such were the services which the late times required; such were the services which a man of real worth and excellence had various opportunities of performing. But in all these you never took a part; not the first, not the second, not the third, not the fourth, not the fifth nor sixth, no, not any part whatever; for it would have served your country. Say, what alliance did the state gain by your management ? What additional forces? What regard or reverence? What embassy of your's? What instance of your ministerial conduct ever exalted the reputation of your country? What domestic interests, what national affairs, what concerns of foreigners have prospered under your direction? What arms, what arsenals, what fortifications, what forces, what advantages of any kind have we received from you? What generous and publicspirited effects have either rich or poor experienced from your fortune? None.