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Others were deprived of the right of bringing an indictment, or of lodging an information: others of sailing up the Hellespont, or of crossing to Ionia: while yet others were specifically debarred from entering the Agora. You enacted, then, that both the originals and all extant copies of these several decrees should be cancelled, and your differences ended by an exchange of pledges on the Acropolis. Kindly read the decree of Patrocleides whereby this was effected.The decree reinstates （a） public debtors whose names were still on the official registers in June-July 405, （b） political offenders who had suffered a)timi/a in 410 after the downfall of the Four Hundred and the restoration of the full democracy. These include both members of the Four Hundred and their supporters. An exception is made, however, of those oligarchs who fled to Decelea （e.g. Peisander and Charicles）, and of persons in exile for homicide, massacre, or attempted tyranny. The last two crimes are only
Now what are the terms available to ourselves, gentlemen? How is Sparta disposed to us? Here, if I am about to cause distress to any of you, I ask his forgiveness, as I shall be stating nothing but the facts. To begin with, when we lost our fleet on the Hellespont and were shut within our walls,The siege of Athens, which followed immediately after Aegospotami, lasted from September 405 to April 404. what did our present allies,Notably the Thebans and Corinthians. who were then on the Spartan side, propose to do with us? They proposed, did they not, to sell our citizens as slaves and make Attica a waste. And who was it who prevented this? The Spartans; they dissuaded the allies, and for their own part refused even to contemplate such measures.
The consequences of this are numerous and perhaps not to our liking. Accordingly, if what you wish is to be all the time getting this kind of news, to be considering what you ought to do, and to be in such a plight as at present, you will vote the same measures as for years past—to launch triremes, to embark, to pay a special war-tax and all that sort of thing, forthwith. Then in three or five days, if rumors of hostile movements cease and our enemies become inactive, you will once more assume that there is no longer need to act. This is just what happened when we heard that Philip was in the Hellespont and again when the pirate triremes put in at Marathon.352 B.C.; Dem. 3.4-5 and Dem. 4.34.
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.
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
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.