DEMADES the orator, who was powerful at Athens because he conducted affairs so as to please Antipater and the Macedonians, and was forced to propose and favour many measures which were at variance with the dignity and character of the city, used to say that he was excusable because he was in command of a shipwrecked state. This may have been too hardy an utterance for the orator, but it would seem to be true when transferred to the administration of Phocion. Demades, indeed, was himself but wreckage of the state, since his life and administration were so outrageous that Antipater said of him, when he was now grown old, that he was like a victim when the sacrifice was over—nothing left but tongue and guts. But the fame of Phocion's virtue, which may be said to have found an antagonist in a grievous and violent time, the fortunes of Greece rendered obscure and dim. Surely we must not follow Sophocles in making virtue weak, as when he says:—
Indeed, O King, what reason nature may have given
Abides not with the unfortunate, but goes astray;
yet thus much power must be granted to Fortune in her conflicts with good men: instead of the honour and gratitude which are their due, she brings base censure and calumny upon some, and so weakens the world's confidence in their virtue.