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It is my good fortune, too, that all the members of my mother's family are free-born citizens; and to-day I see her here before my eyes in anxiety and fear for my safety. And yet, Demosthenes, this mother of mine went out to Corinth an exile, with her husband, and shared the disasters of the democracy; but you, who claim to be a man—that you really are a man I should not venture to say—you were once indicted for desertion, and you saved yourself by buying off the man who indicted you, Nicodemus of Aphidna, whom afterward you helped Aristarchus to destroy;1 wherefore you are polluted, and have no right to be invading the market-place.2
1 In the spring of 348 Demosthenes was serving on an expedition sent out to Euboea. On the approach of the Great Dionysia he was obliged to return to the city to serve as choragus, a burden which he had previously volunteered to take upon himself, at heavy cost. Personal enemies of his brought, but did not prosecute, a charge of desertion in the field.The murder of Nicodemus by Aristarchus, a young friend of Demosthenes, was a notorious case, but the attempts of Demosthenes' enemies to connect him with it were entirely unsuccessful. See Aeschin. 1.172.
2 A man under indictment for murder was not allowed access to the market-place, for contact with a murderer would pollute innocent men.
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