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20. How this matter really stands, then, it is difficult to decide; but as for Demosthenes, he is said to have had complete confidence in the Greek forces, and to have been lifted into a state of glowing excitement by the strength and ardour of so many men eager to engage the enemy, so that he would not suffer his countrymen to give heed to oracles or listen to prophecies; nay, he even suspected the Pythian priestess of being in sympathy with Philip, reminding the Thebans of Epaminondas and the Athenians of Pericles, and declaring that those great leaders regarded things of this kind as pretexts for cowardice, and therefore followed the dictates of reason. [2] Up to this point, then, he was a brave man; but in the battle1 he displayed no conduct that was honourable or consonant with his words, but forsook his post, cast away his arms, and ran away most disgracefully, nor was he ashamed to belie the inscription on his shield, as Pytheas said, whereon was written in letters of gold, ‘With good fortune.’

[3] Immediately after his victory, then, Philip waxed insolent for joy, and going forth in revel rout to see the bodies of the slain, and being in his cups, recited the beginning of the decree introduced by Demosthenes, dividing it into feet and marking off the time:—

Demosthenes, son of Demosthenes, of Paeania, thus moves;
2 but when he got sober and realized the magnitude of the struggle in which he had been involved, he shuddered at the power and the ability of the orator who had forced him to hazard his empire and his life in the brief span of a single day. [4] And the fame of this orator penetrated even to the Persian king, who sent letters to his satraps on the coast, bidding them to offer money to Demosthenes, and to pay more attention to him than to any other Greek, since he was able to distract and detain the Macedonian3 with the troubles which he raised in Greece. [5] These things, now, were discovered at a later time by Alexander, who found at Sardis certain letters of Demosthenes and documents of the King's generals, which disclosed the amount of money they had given him.

1 At Charoneia, 338 B.C.

2 The Greek words form an iambic tetrameter cataletic.

3 Philip was threatening the invasion of Asia.

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