This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The next day they were called together again. When, in accordance with Greek usage, the usher announced that the magistrates gave permission to speak to any one who wished to lay his views before the council, there was a long silence, each looking for some one else to speak.  Nor was this surprising, when men who had been turning over in their minds proposals flatly opposed to each other until their brains had come to a standstill, were still further bewildered by speeches lasting the whole day through, in which the difficulties on both sides were set forth in tones of warning.  At last, Aristaenus, the president, determined not to adjourn the council without discussion, said: "Where, Achaeans, are those lively disputes which go on at your dinner-tables and at the street corners, in which whenever Philip or the Romans are mentioned you can scarcely keep your hands off each other?  Now, in a council convened for this special purpose, when you have heard the representatives of both sides, when the magistrates submit the question to discussion, when the usher invites you to express your views, you have become dumb.  If care for the common safety fails to do so, cannot the party spirit which makes you take one side or the other, extort a word from any one?  especially as no one is so dense as not to see that this is the moment, before any decree is passed, for speaking and advocating the course which commends itself to any one as the best. When a decree has once been made, every one will have to uphold it as a good and salutary measure, even those who previously opposed it."  This appeal from the president not only failed to induce a single speaker to come forward, it did not even call forth a single cheer or murmur in that great assembly, where so many States were represented.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.