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But I urged that we should take warning from the Sicilian expedition, which was sent out to help the people of Leontini, at a time when the enemy were already in our own territory and Deceleia was fortified against us; and that final act of folly, when, outmatched in the war, and offered terms of peace by the Lacedaemonians, with the agreement that we should hold not only Attica, but Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros also, and retain the constitutional democracy, the people would have none of it, but chose to go on with a war that was beyond their powers. And Cleophon, the lyre-maker, whom many remembered as a slave in fetters, who had dishonourably and fraudulently got himself enrolled as a citizen, and had corrupted the people by distribution of money,Aristot. Const. Ath. 28 tells us that it was Cleophon who introduced the two obol donation from the treasury to provide a free seat in the theatre for every citizen who applied for it. This was the beginning of the Theorika, recognized in t
But when you had passed a decree that the Phocians should hand over these posts to your general Proxenus, and that you should man fifty triremes, and that all citizens up to the age of forty years should take part in the expedition, then instead of surrendering the Posts to Proxenus, the tyrants arrested those ambassadors of their own who had offered to hand over the garrison posts to you and when your heralds carried the proclamation of the sacred truce of the Mysteries,A provision for the safe conduct of all Greeks, who wished to attend the celebration of the lesser Eleusinian Mysteries, which took place in Attica in the spring. the Phocians alone in all Hellas refused to recognize the truce. Again, when Archidamus the Laconian was ready to take over those posts and guard them, the Phocians refused his offer, answering him that it was the danger from Sparta that they feared, not the danger at home.
And did he not at last from smouldering and ill-omened sacrifices send forth our troops into manifest danger? And yet it was but yesterday that he dared to assert that the reason why Philip did not advance against our countryAfter Philip's overwhelming victory at Chaeronea it was a surprise to every one that he did not immediately press on and invade Attica. was that the omens were not favorable to him. What punishment, then, do you deserve, you curse of Hellas! For if the conqueror refrained from entering the land of the conquered because the omens were not favorable to him, whereas you, ignorant of the future, sent out our troops before the omens were propitious, ought you to be receiving a crown for the misfortunes of the city, or to have been thrust already beyond her borders?