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It must now be clear to all of you, Athenians, that Philip never concluded a peace with you, but only postponed the war; for ever since he handed HalusA town in the south of Thessaly on the Pagasaean Gulf; not to be confused with Halonnesus. over to the Pharsalians, settled the Phocian question, and subdued the whole of Thrace, coining false excuses and inventing hollow pretexts, he has been all the time practically at war with Athens, though it is only now that he confesses it openly in the letter which he has sent.
Philip to the Council and People of Athens, greeting. To the embassies that I have repeatedly dispatched to ensure the observance of our oaths and agreements you have paid no attention, so that I am forced to send you a statement of the matters in which I consider myself wronged. But you must not be surprised at the length of the letter, for I have many charges to prefer, and it is necessary to put them all clearly and frankly.
In dealing with the sum of money under discussion and the other matters referred to this Assembly, I see no difficulty, men of Athens, in either of two methods: I may attack the officials who assign and distribute the public funds and may thus gain credit with those who regard this system as detrimental to the State, or I may approve and commend the right to receive these doles and so gratify those who are especially in need of them. For neither class has the interest of the State in view, when they approve or complain of the system, but they are prompted respectively by their poverty or their affluence.
Those who praise your ancestors, men of Athens, seem to me to choose an acceptable theme, which yet fails to do any real service to those whom they eulogize; for when they attempt to speak about achievements to which no words could possibly do justice, they earn for themselves the reputation of clever speakers, but leave their hearers with a lower estimate of the merits of those famous men. Indeed, I think the best testimony to their merits is the length of time that has elapsed, during which no other men have been able to surpass their achievements.
Your duty, men of Athens, when debating such important matters, is, I think, to allow freedom of speech to every one of your counsellors. Personally, I never thought it a difficult task to point out to you the best policy—for, to speak plainly, you all seem to me to have discerned it already—but rather to induce you to put it into operation; for when a resolution has been approved and passed, it is no nearer accomplishment than before it was approv
Both sides seem to be in error, men of Athens, both those who have spoken in favor of the Arcadians and those who have done the same for the Lacedaemonians; for, just as though they had come from one or other of those states and were not citizens of Athens, to which both embassies are addressed, they are indulging in mutual abuse and recrimination. That, indeed, might be a task for other of those states and were not citizens of Athens, to which both embassies are addressed, they are indulging in mutual abuse and recrimination. That, indeed, might be a task for our visitors; but to take a broad view of the question and to explore the best policy, with a regard for your interests and yet without party-spirit, that is the task of men who claim to offer advice in this Assembly.
Our hearty assent, men of Athens, is due to those who insist that we should abide by our oaths and covenants, provided that they do so from conviction; for I believe that nothing becomes a democratic people more than zeal for equity and justice. Those, therefore, who are so emphatic in urging you to this course should not keep wearying you with speeches which are belied by their practice, but after submitting now to full inquiry, should either for the future be sure of your assent in these matters, or else make way for the counsels of those who show a truer conception of what is just,
Let me begin, men of Athens, by beseeching all the Powers of Heaven that on this trial I may find in Athenian hearts such benevolence towards me as I have ever cherished for the city and the people of Athens. My next prayer is for you, and for your conscience and honor. May the gods so inspire you that the temper with which you listen to my words shall be guided, not by my men of Athens, by beseeching all the Powers of Heaven that on this trial I may find in Athenian hearts such benevolence towards me as I have ever cherished for the city and the people of Athens. My next prayer is for you, and for your conscience and honor. May the gods so inspire you that the temper with which you listen to my words shall be guided, not by my adversary
Citizens of Athens, I do not doubt that you are all pretty well aware that this trial has been the center of keen partisanship and active canvassing, for you saw the people who were accosting and annoying you just now at the casting of lots.For the selection of jurors. But I have to make a request which ought to be granted without asking, that you will all give less weight to private entreaty or personal influence than to the spirit of justice and to the oath which you severally swore when you entered that box. You will reflect that justice and the oath concern yourselves and the commonwealth, whereas the importunity and party spirit of advocates serve the end of those private ambitions which you are convened by the laws to thwart, not to encourage for the advantage of evil-doers.
Gentlemen of the jury, it is chiefly because I consider that the State will benefit by the repeal of this law, but partly also out of sympathy with the young son of Chabrias, that I have consented to support the plaintiffs to the best of my ability. It is clear, men of Athens, that Leptines and anyone else who defends the law will have nothing fair to say in its favor, but will urge the unworthiness of certain persons who have used their exemption as a means of shirking the public services, and he will take his stand chiefly on that ground.