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The outcome was that Parmeniscus, the defendant's partner, when he had received the letter sent by him and had learned the price of grain prevailing here, discharged his cargo of grain at Rhodes and sold it there in defiance of the agreement, men of the jury, and of the penalties to which they had of their own will bound themselves, in case they should commit any breach of the agreement, and in contempt also of your laws which ordain that shipowners and supercargoes shall sail to the port to which they have agreed to sail or else be liable to the severest penalties.
We on our part, as soon as we learned what had taken place, were greatly dismayed at his action, and went to this man, who was the prime mover in the whole plot, complaining angrily, as was natural, that although we had expressedly stipulated in the agreement that the ship should sail to no other port than to Athens, and had lent our money on this condition, he had left us open to suspicion with people who might wish to accuse and say that we also had been partners to the conveyance of the grain to Rhodes; and complaining also that he and his partner, despite their agreement to do so, had not brought the ship back to your port.
When, however, we made no headway in talking about the agreement and our rights, we demanded that he at any rate pay us back the amount loaned with the interest as originally agreed upon. But the fellow treated us with such insolence as to declare that he would not pay the interest stipulated in the agreement. “If, however,” he said, “you are willing to accept the interest calculated in proportion to the voyage completed, I will give you,” said he, “the interest as far as Rhodes; but more I will not give.” Thus he made a law for himself and refused to comply with the just terms of the agreement.
When we said that we could not acquiesce in anything like this, considering that, were we to do so, it would be an admission that we too had been engaged in conveying grain to Rhodes, he became even more insistent, and came up to us, bringing a host of witnesses, asserting that he was ready to pay us the principal with interest as far as Rhodes; not that he had any more intention to grain to Rhodes, he became even more insistent, and came up to us, bringing a host of witnesses, asserting that he was ready to pay us the principal with interest as far as Rhodes; not that he had any more intention to pay, men of the jury, but suspecting that we should be unwilling to accept the money on account of the charges to which our action might give rise. The result made this clear.
For when some of your citizens, men of Athens, who chanced to be present advised to accept what was offered and to sue for the amount under dispute, but not to admit the reckoning of the interest to Rhodes until the case should be settled we agreed to this. We were not unaware, men of the jury, of our rights under the agreement, but we thought it better to suffer some loss and to make a concession, so as not to appear litigious. But when the fellow saw that we were on the point of accepting his offer, he said, “Well, then, cancel the agreement.” “We cancel the agreement?
and has expressly agreed in writing that his ship shall return to your port, or that, if she does not, he shall pay double the amount, has not brought the ship to the Peiraeus and does not pay his debt to the lenders; and as for the grain, has unladed that and sold it at Rhodes, and then despite all this dares to look into your faces?
But hear what he says in reply to this. He alleges that the ship was disabled on the voyage from Egypt, and that for this reason he was obliged to touch at Rhodes and unlade the grain there. And as a proof of this he states that he chartered ships from Rhodes and shipped some of his goods to Athens. This is one part of his defence, and here is another. But hear what he says in reply to this. He alleges that the ship was disabled on the voyage from Egypt, and that for this reason he was obliged to touch at Rhodes and unlade the grain there. And as a proof of this he states that he chartered ships from Rhodes and shipped some of his goods to Athens. This is one part of his defence, and here is another.
He claims that some other creditors of his have agreed to accept from him interest as far as Rhodes, and that it would be hard indeed if we should not make the same concession that they have made. And thirdly, besides all this, he declares that the agreement requires him to pay the money if the ship arrives safely, but that the ship has not arrived safely in the Peiraeus. To each of these arguments, men of the jury, hear the just answer that we make.