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But I will pass over all this, and speak of the most recent events. The Lacedaemonians and their mercenary force had been successful in battle and had destroyed the forces of Corrhagus;Corrhagus was the Macedonian commander. The reference is to the Spartan revolt against Macedonia, which had been put down by Antipater shortly before the case of Aeschines against Ctesiphon came to trial. the Eleans and the Achaeans, all but the people of Pellene, had come over to them, and so had all Arcadia except Megalopolis, and that city was under siege and its capture was daily expected. Meanwhile Alexander had withdrawn to the uttermost regions of the North, almost beyond the borders of the inhabited world, and Antipater was slow in collecting an army; the whole outcome was uncertain. Pray set forth to us, Demosthenes, what in the world there was that you did then, or what in the world there was that you said. I will yield the platform to you, if you wish, until you have told us.
Now no one would deny that our city is benefited by the weakness of the Lacedaemonians and of the Thebans yonder.A gesture reminds his hearers how near neighbors the Thebans were. The position of affairs, then, if one may judge from statements repeatedly made in your Assembly, is such that the Thebans will be weakened by the refounding of Orchomenus, Thespiae and Plataea, but the Lacedaemonians will regain their power, if they get Arcadia into their hands and destroy Megalopolis.
But if the Lacedaemonians act unjustly and insist on fighting, then, on the one hand, if the only question to be decided is whether we shall abandon Megalopolis to them or not, just indeed it is not, but I for my part agree to allow it and to offer no opposition to the people who shared the same dangers with usAt Mantinea.; but, on the other hand, if you are all aware that the capture of Megalopolis to them or not, just indeed it is not, but I for my part agree to allow it and to offer no opposition to the people who shared the same dangers with usAt Mantinea.; but, on the other hand, if you are all aware that the capture of Megalopolis will be followed by an attack on Messene, I ask any of those who are now so hard on the Megalopolitans to tell me what he will advise us to do then.
But I shall get no answer. Yet you all know that, whether these speakers advise it or not, you are bound to help the Messenians, both for the sake of your sworn agreement with them and for the advantage that you derive from the preservation of their city. Just ask yourselves at what point you would begin to make your stand against Lacedaemonian injustice with more honor and generosity—with the defence of Megalopolis or with the defence of Messene
But these, I take it, are the allegations of men who want once again to drive the Megalopolitans elsewhere for an alliance. Now I know, as far as reasoning and conjecture can teach me, and I think that most of you will agree with me, that if the Lacedaemonians take Megalopolis, Messene will be in danger; and if they take Messene also, I say that we shall find ourselves in alliance with Thebes.
For I cannot regard it as a pledge of our security, that the Lacedaemonians should seize Megalopolis and grow great once more, seeing as I do that even now they have not taken up arms to avenge an injury, but to recover the power that once was theirs; and what their ambition was in the day of their power, you know perhaps better than I, and will distrust them accordingly.
In order, then, that this unwillingness may not stand in the way of the weakening of Thebes, let us admit that Thespiae, Orchomenus and Plataea ought to be restored, and let us co-operate with their inhabitants and appeal to the other states, for it is a just and honorable policy not to allow ancient cities to be uprooted; but at the same time let us not abandon Megalopolis and Messene to their oppressors, nor allow the restoration of Plataea and Thespiae to blind us to the destruction of existing and established states.
Then again I think that you must bear this in mind, that if you reject the Megalopolitans and they are overthrown and decentralized,By destroying their metropolis and compelling them to live in scattered and unwalled villages. the Lacedaemonians can at once be a great power, or if they do escape destruction—for such miracles have happened before now—they are bound to be the staunch friends of Thebes; but if you accept them as allies, Megalopolis will indeed owe its immediate deliverance to you, but we must put on one side all calculation of risk, and consider what will be the effect upon our relations with Thebes and Spar
It was he who afterwards, on his return from Arcadia, gave a report of the fine long orations which he said he had delivered as your spokesman before the Ten Thousand at Megalopolis in reply to Philip's champion Hieronymus, and he made a long story of the enormous harm which corrupt statesmen in the pay of Philip were doing not only to their own countries but to the whole of Greece.