At any rate, Phocion, among his contemporaries, though he took the lead in a policy which is not to be commended, and though he had the reputation of favouring Macedonia, nevertheless, by reason of his bravery and integrity, was held to be in no wise inferior to Ephialtes and Aristides and Cimon.
Demosthenes, however, was not worthy of confidence when he bore arms, as Demetrius says, nor was he altogether inaccessible to bribes, but though he did not succumb to the gold which came from Philip and Macedonia, that which came down in streams from Susa and Ecbatana reached arid overwhelmed him, and therefore while he was most capable of praising the virtues of earlier generations, he was not so good at imitating them. For certainly the orators of his own day (though I leave Phocion out of the account) were surpassed by him even in his life and conversation.
And it is manifest that beyond them all he reasoned boldly with the people, opposed himself to the desires of the multitude, and persistently attacked their faults, as may be gathered from his speeches. And even Theopompus1
tells us that, when the Athenians nominated him to conduct a certain impeachment, and, on his refusal, raised a tumult against him, he rose and said:
‘Men of Athens, I will serve you as a counsellor, even though you do not wish it; but not as a false accuser, even though you wish it.’
Moreover, the measures which he took in the case of Antiphon2
were exceedingly aristocratic in their spirit. Antiphon had been acquitted by the assembly, but Demosthenes arrested him and brought him before the council of the Areiopagus, and making no account of the offence thus given to the people, convicted him of having promised Philip to set fire to the dockyards; and Antiphon was given up to justice by the council and suffered death. He also accused the priestess Theoris of many misdemeanours, and particularly of teaching the slaves to practise deceit; and by fixing the penalty at death he brought about her execution.