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[17] For when I was on the point of instituting this suit against them they attacked me by having an exchange of estates tendered me,1 in order that, if I accepted it, I might not be allowed to pursue my action against them,2 since (they thought) this suit would then belong to the one tendering the exchange; and if I did not do so, I might undertake the service with slender means, and so be absolutely ruined. In this matter Thrasylochus of Anagyrus3 was their tool. I, with no thought of the consequences, accepted the exchange with him, but excluded him from the premises hoping to win a court decision,4 but, failing of this, and being hard pressed for time, rather than be forced to give up my suit, I mortgaged my house and all my property, and paid the cost of the service in question,5 being eager to bring before you my suit against these men.

1 See note in the introduction to Dem. 27.

2 That is, they hoped that the exchange of properties, if carried out, would transfer to Thrasylochus also the claims of Demosthenes against them, and so debar the latter from taking further action.

3 Thrasylochus was the brother of the Meidias against whom Demosthenes brought action for assault (see Dem. 21). Anagyrus was a deme of the tribe Erectheis.

4 If the exchange of properties was accepted, either party had the right to enter and search the house and land of each other. Demosthenes denies this right to Thrasylochus, hoping that he might win a decision from the generals, before whom such cases were heard, as to whether or not his claim against his guardians would pass to Thrasylochus together with his visible property. From the oration against Meidias we learn that Meidias and Thrasylochus came jointly to Demosthenes' house, and with great violence forced themselves even into the women's apartments before they were finally ejected.

5 The service was the trierarchy, and the cost entailed amounted to twenty minae.

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