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Philochares yonder, our eldest brother, a man not of ignoble pursuits, as you slanderously assert,For Demosthenes' taunts as to the brothers of Aeschines and those of his wife, see his speech Dem. 19.237 and 287. but a frequenter of the gymnasia, a one-time comrade of Iphicrates in the field, and a general now for the past three years, has come to beg you to save me. Our youngest brother, too, Aphobetus yonder, who as ambassador to the king of Persia has served you to the credit of the city, who administered your revenues honestly and well when you called him to the department of the treasury, who has gotten him children lawfully—not by putting his wife in Cnosion's bed, as you, Demosthenes, did yours—he also is here, despite your slanders ;for defamation goes no further than the e
No! by Zeus and the gods, do not, my fellow citizens, do not, I beseech you, set up in the orchestra of Dionysus a memorial of your own defeat; do not in the presence of the Greeks convict the Athenian people of having lost their reason; do not remind the poor Thebans of their incurable and irreparable disasters, men who, exiled through Demosthenes' acts, found refuge with you, when their shrines and children and tombs had been destroyed by Demosthenes' taking of bribes and by the Persian gold.Aeschines assumes that Demosthenes' opposition to Macedon was paid for by the king of Persia.
But see from the following how the facts tally with the charge. For if Demosthenes had been bent on war with Alexander, as he claims to have been, or had any thought of it, three of the best opportunities in the world have been offered to him, and, as you see, he has not seized one of them. One, the first, was when Alexander, newly come to the throne, and not yet fairly settled in his personal affairs, crossed into Asia. The king of Persia was at the height of his power then, with ships and money and troops,and he would gladly have received us into his alliance because of the dangers that were threatening him. But did you, Demosthenes, at that time say a word? Did you move a decree? Shall I assume that you followed your natural disposition and were frightened? And yet the public opportunity waits not for the orator's fears.
But this same man, overtaken by the dangers which are now upon him,See on Aeschin. 3.132. sent, not at the request of the Athenians, but of his own accord, three hundred talents to the people, which they were wise enough to refuse. Now what brought the gold was the crisis, and his fear, and his need of allies. And this same thing it was that brought about the alliance with Thebes. But you, Demosthenes, tire us out with your everlasting talk of Thebes and of that most ill-starred alliance, while you are silent as to the seventy talents of the king's gold which you have seized and embezzled.It appears that when Athens refused the 300 talents which had been brought from the king of Persia to help in organizing a revolt against Alexander, the Persian envoys put at least a part of the gold into Demosthenes' hands, in the expectation that he would use it in unofficial efforts against Macedon.