Demosthenes sends his good wishes to Heracleodorus.
I am at a loss to know whether I ought to believe or disbelieve the news that Menecrates
brings me. For he said that information had been laid against Epitimus, that Aratus2
had taken him to prison and that you were supporting
the prosecution and were the most uncompromising of all toward him. I do beseech you in
the name of Zeus the god of friendship and by all the gods not to get me involved in any
disagreeable and embarrassing predicament.
For be well
assured that, apart from my concern for the safety of Epitimus and my belief that it will
be a great misfortune if anything should happen to him and you should be partly
responsible for it, I am ashamed to face people who are familiar with the reports I have
been making to everybody concerning yourself. I was convinced that I spoke the truth, not
because I possessed confirmation from having associated with you,
but because I observed that, while gaining some renown, you were also
glad to have an education, and that too in the school of Plato, the one that really has
nothing to do with getting the better of people and the quackeries3
that concern themselves with this, but
has been demonstrated to aim at the highest excellence and perfect justice in all things.
By the gods I swear that it is impious for a man who has shared in this instruction not to
be free from all deception and honest in all dealings.
would also be to me one of the most grievous disappointments if, after having started out
to feel friendly toward you, I should be compelled to take the opposite decision instead,
and if I assume that I have been slighted and deceived, even if I shall deny it, believe
me, it will be so.
If you have looked down upon us
because we are not yet among the foremost men,4
reflect that you too were once a young man of the same age as we are now, and that you
have reached your present position through speech and action in public life. Such success
may attend me also. For deliberative oratory I have mastered already5
and, with Fortune lending a hand, the practical
experience also may follow.
Now a fine tribute, a just return.6
make me this recompense. Neither allow yourself to be led by one of those whose judgement
is inferior to your own nor submit to them, but try to bring those men around to your way
of thinking, and so conduct yourself that we may not have to give up any of our judgements
of you that were assumed to be true, but that for Epitimus some deliverance may be found
and release from his perils. I too shall be on hand at whatever time you shall say is the
fitting moment. Send me a written message or rather command me as a friend. Farewell.