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but they will prompt the king of Persia to become our paymaster and he is richer than all the rest together, and his power to interfere in Greece is such that in our former wars with Sparta, whichever side he joined, he ensured their victory, and so, if he sides with us now, he will easily crush the power of Philip.
and today you have such a superabundance of hatred for me that you negotiate with him for a defensive alliance. Yet I am given to understand that your fathers of old punished the sons of Pisistratus for inviting the Persians to invade Greece. You are not ashamed to do what you have always made a matter of indictment against your tyrants.
But apart from this, many operations demand your actual presence, and beside the advantage of using a national force in a national quarrel, this is necessary on every other ground. For if you were content to let things slide and not worry about the state of Greece, it would be another matter.
Thus did our ancestors; but as for us, who have gained, as you all see, a clear field, consider whether we can match them. Have we not wasted more than fifteen hundred talents on the needy communities of Greece?No one knows to what this refers; but the passage is only a parody of the Third Olynthiac. Have we not squandered our private estates, our public funds, and the contributions of our allies? Have not the allies gained in war been lost in the peace?
But besides it is no longer in your power, even if you wished it, to hold aloof from Greek affairs. For you have many exploits to your credit from the earliest times, and it would be disgraceful to abandon the friends you have, while it is impossible to trust your enemies and allow them to grow powerful. In short, you stand in the same position as your statesmen stand to you—they cannot retire when they would; for you are definitely involved in the politics of Greece.
Now, if anyone expects the Thebans to take our side, it is difficult to speak to you about them, because you have such a hearty dislike of them that you would not care to hear any good of them, even if it were true; but yet, when dealing with grave matters, one must not on any pretext pass over an important consideration. For my part, I believe that the Thebans are so little likely to join the King in an attack on Greece that they would pay a large sum,
Now seeing that all Greece was in such a plight, and still unconscious of a gathering and ever-growing evil, what was the right policy for Athens to adopt, and the right action for her to take? That is the question, men of Athens, which you ought to consider, and that is the issue on which I ought to be called to account; for I was the man who took up a firm position in that department of your public affairs.
Was it the duty of our city, Aeschines, to abase her pride, to lower her dignity, to rank herself with Thessalians and Dolopians, to help Philip to establish his supremacy over Greece, to annihilate the glories and the prerogatives of our forefathers? Or, if she rejected that truly shameful policy, was she to stand by and permit aggressions which she must have long foreseen, and knew would succeed if none should intervene?