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The beginning of Philippic 1 （Dem. 4） differs but slightly from this. If it had been proposed to discuss some new measure, men of Athens, I should have waited until most of the regular speakers had declared their opinions, and if any of their views had pleased me, I should have held my peace; otherwise, I should then have attempted to say what I myself think. But since you are now considering matters on which these speakers have often spoken before, I feel that, even if the first to rise, I may reasonably appear to be speaking after th
The same thoughts do not present themselves to me, men of Athens, when I hear you refer by name to our form of government and again when I see the manner in which some of you treat those who speak in its defence. As you all know, the name you give to our government is democracy, but I see that some of you listen with more pleasure to those who advocate the opposite to it.
I believe, The beginning of Dem. 1 differs but slightly. men of Athens, that in preference to a large sum of money you would choose the plan that will pay you in the matters you are now considering. This being so, it is then your duty to show yourselves willing hearers of your prospective counsellors; for not only in the event of someone having come here with a useful idea thought out, would you, having listened, have the benefit of it, but I also assume it to be part of your good fortune that many timely suggestions would occur to some men on the spur of the moment, so that from the whole number the choice of the advantageous is made easier for you.
It is your duty, men of Athens, to listen to every proposal made, since it is your prerogative to adopt whichever of them you choose. For it often happens that the same person is wrong on one point and right on another; and so by shouting him down when displeased you may perhaps deprive yourselves of many useful ideas, whereas by attending with decorum and in silence, you will act on every sound proposal, and if you think someone is making a foolish suggestion, you will ignore it. As for me, I am not accustomed to make long speeches, and even if previously I had been in the habit, I should not have taken this occasion to do so; instead, I shall tell you as briefly as I can what I consider to be in your interests.
I observe, men of Athens, that there is no mistaking what kind of speeches you would like to hear and to what kind you are averse. Yet to say what one thinks will find favour I consider to be the badge of those who wish to work some deception, whereas to endure, when one is speaking for measures he is convinced are advantageous to the State, either your heckling or what else you choose to do, I judge to be the part of a loyal and honest citizen.
Although many speeches have been made, men of Athens, by all your counsellors, I do not see that you are now any nearer to discovering what ought to be done than before you came up to the Assembly. The cause of this, in my opinion, is the same as the cause of the wretched plight of our affairs in general, that the speakers do not offer advice about the business before you, but accuse and revile one another, accustoming you, in my judgement, to hearing, without process of law, all the mischief of which they are the cause, in order that if, after all, they do come to face the test some day, you, thinking you are hearing nothing new, but only the charges over which you have often been angry, may so become more merciful jurors and judges of their misdeeds.
The beginning of Dem. 14 is identical Those who praise your forefathers, men of Athens, in my judgement choose a charming theme upon which to speak, and yet I do not think they do a favour to those whom they extol. For instance, when they undertake to tell of the deeds of those men, to which no speaker could do justice, while winning for themselves a reputation for ability to speak, they cause the valor of those men to seem to their hearers less than had been supposed. As for me, I consider the greatest commendation of those heroes to be the test of time, for although a long interval has gone by, no others have been able to exhibit greater deeds than those performed by them,
The beginning of Dem. 14 is identical Both parties seem to me to be in the wrong, men of Athens, both those who have supported the Arcadians and those who have supported the Spartans. For, just as if they had come here from one or the other of the two countries and were not of your own citizen body, to which both embassies are appealing, they are denouncing and abusing one another. This, however, was a concern of the visiting envoys, whilepported the Spartans. For, just as if they had come here from one or the other of the two countries and were not of your own citizen body, to which both embassies are appealing, they are denouncing and abusing one another. This, however, was a concern of the visiting envoys, while to discuss the questions in the common interest and to consider your own interest without self-seeking is the duty of those who see fit to offer advice here in Athens.
I have taken the floor, men of Athens, because I do not hold the same views as some of those who have spoken. Still I shall not allege that these men out of villainy have expressed sentiments opposed to your best interests, but I say that many, while neglecting to judge events critically, make a practice of considering the words they will use, and if they chance to find an ample supply of these, of haranguing the people without more ado. In this they are wrong nor do they reflect in their own minds that, since it is the experience of all that over a long period many plans have worked out happily and some of them, because of the times, quite contrary to their promise, if some speaker cites the one kind and passes over the other, he will unconsciously be doing the easiest thing in the world, deceiving himself.
If you have decided, men of Athens, what it is best to do in the circumstances, it is a mistake to propose debate; for why should you be needlessly bored by listening to what you have yourselves judged to be expedient before hearing it discussed? But if, assuming that you must reach a judgement on the basis of what shall be said, you are exploring and deliberating, it is wrong to stop those who wish to speak, since by so doing you are deprived entirely of whatever practical proposal some speakers have thought up, and you cause other speakers to abandon their own conclusions in favour of what they think you desire to hear.