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what seasonThe season of the Etesian winds; see Dem. 8.14. of the year is upon us—the season at which certain people think it their duty to keep the Hellespont clear of you and hand it over to Philip? What if he quits Thrace and never approaches the Chersonese or Byzantium—for you must take that also into your reckoning—but turns up at Chalcis and Megara, just as he did at Oreus not long ago? Will it be better to make our stand here and let the war spread to Attica, or to contrive some employment for him away yonder? I prefer the la
In what then consists your danger, if anything should happen? In the alienation of the Hellespont, in the control of Megara and Euboea by one who is at war with you, and in the defection of the Peloponnesians to his side. Am I still to say that the man who brings this siege-engine to bear on your city is at peace with you?
Are not tyrannies already established in Euboea, an island, remember, not far from Thebes and Athens? Does he not write explicitly in his letters, “I am at peace with those who are willing to obey me”? And he does not merely write this without putting it into practice; but he is off to the Hellespont, just as before he hurried to Ambracia; in the Peloponnese he occupies the important city of Elis; only the other day he intrigued against the Megarians. Neither the Greek nor the barbarian world is big enough for the fellow's ambiti
That, too, is the meaning of the dispatch of a second general to the Hellespont. For if Diopithes is acting outrageously in detaining the merchantmen, a note, men of Athens, a brief note, could put a stop to all this at once; and there are the laws, which direct us to impeach such offenders, but not, of course, to mount guard over ourselves,i.e. to keep a jealous watch over our own officers. at such a cost and with so large a fleet; for that would be the height of madness.
But when our national enemy, with a strong force, is trying to forestall us in the neighborhood of the Hellespont, and when, if we are once too late, we shall never again be able to save the situation, then I think it is to our interest to complete our plans and preparations as quickly as we can, and not be diverted from our purpose by clamorous accusations about extraneous matters.
Yes, you may say, as to that indeed the speakers are proved wrong, but the mercenaries are really acting abominably in ravaging the shores of the Hellespont, and Diopithes is wrong in detaining the merchantmen, and we must not sanction it. Very well; be it so. I have no objection.