§§ 1—3. The defendant Phormion's obvious inexperience and incapacity for public speaking make it necessary for his friends to state his case on his behalf. They confront the plaintiff Apollodorus with a special plea in bar of action, not to waste time and evade the main issue, but to secure a final settlement of the case. Their friend, the defendant, has conferred many kindnesses on the plaintiff; and has further been released from all the legal claims of the latter, only to find himself at last the victim of a vexatious lawsuit. However, a brief recital of the transactions of the litigants will prove that the plaintiff's case is utterly untenable.

τὴν ἀπειρίαν τοῦ λέγειν Like all slaves at Athens, Phormion (once the slave of the banker Pasion) was of barbarian birth; and though subsequently rewarded with the rights of freedom and citizenship, remained unable to speak good Greek. In a later speech arising out of the present action, Apollodorus, himself the son of one who was once a slave, taunts him with his foreign extraction and his indifferent pronunciation. Or. 45 § 81 βάρβαρος ἐωνήθης, and § 30 ἴσως αὐτὸν ὑπειλήφατε, ὅτι σολοικίζει τῆ̣ φωνῆ̣, βάρβαρον καὶ εὐκαταφρόνητον εἶναι. In § 77, Apollodorus himself apologizes for his broad brogue or loud voice ( λαλεῖν μέγα); the speaker of πρὸς Πανταίνετον makes similar excuses for his διάλεκτος (Or. 37 §§ 52, 55); and a like tribute to the sensitiveness of an Attic audience is paid by the Mytilenaean in Antiphon's de Caede Herodis (Or. v § 5) δέομαι ὑμῶν. .ἐάν τι τῆ̣ γλώσση̣ ἁμάρτω, συγγνώμην ἔχειν μοι καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι ἀπειρίᾳ αὐτὸ μᾶλλον ἀδικίᾳ ἡμαρτῆσθαι. Cf. Cicero Or. §§ 24—27.

ἀδυνάτως ἔχει ‘Is quite incapable,’ referring mainly to his inexperience and want of facility in speaking. Thus in Antiphon u. s. v § 2 τοῦ λέγειν ἀδυναμία is contrasted with ἐμπειρία τῶν πραγμάτων. It is suggested by Blass, Att. Ber. III 405{1} (463{2}), that ἀδυνάτως refers to feebleness of health, but this appears improbable.

ὁρᾶτε In a general sense, ‘you all of yourselves observe.’ Or. 3 Olynth. § 1 τοὺς λόγους... ὁρῶ γιγνομένους.

τοῖς ἐπιτηδείοις as his συνήγοροι. Hyperid. Euxen. 25 τί τούτου τῶν ἐν τῆ̣ πόλει βέλτιον δημοτικώτερόν ἐστι... ὁπόταν τις ἰδιώτης εἰς ἀγῶνα καὶ κίνδυνον καταστὰς μὴ δύνηται ὑπὲρ ἐαυτοῦ ἀπολογεῖσθαι, τούτῳ τὸν βουλόμενον τῶν πολιτῶν ἀναβάντα βοηθῆσαι; κ.τ.λ.

λέγειν καὶ διδάσκειν Dem. is particularly fond of coupling together words that are nearly synonymous with one another, e.g. in the next line, εἰδότες καὶ μεμαθηκότες, and in the next, δίκαια καὶ εὔορκα, § 4 άκοῦσαι καὶ μαθεῖν, § 12 λέγειν καὶ ἐπιδεικνύναι, § 18 πεπραγμένα καὶ γεγενημένα, § 29 ὄντι καὶ ζῶντι, § 32 δόντος καὶ ἐπισκήψαντος, § 47 κοσμεῖν καὶ περιστέλλειν, § 61 φυλάττετε καὶ μέμνησθε. Also § 16 αἰτίας καὶ ἐγκλήματα (cf. § 61), § 2 ἰσχυρὰ καὶ βέβαια. Similarly in Or. 20 § 163 λέγειν καὶ διεξιέναι, 21 § 17 εἰπεῖν καὶ διηγήσασθαι (Huettner). This characteristic of his style is noticed by Dionysius Hal. περὶ τῆς Δημ. δεινότητος 58, and is illustrated by Blass, Att. Ber. III 94{1} (97{2}).

ἃν δίκαιαεὔορκα The relative clause to ταῦτα ψηφίσησθε is placed before it partly for increased emphasis, partly to bring δίκαια closer to τὰ δίκαια in the previous context.

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    • Demosthenes, Against Leptines, 163
    • Demosthenes, Against Stephanus 1, 81
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