the relations between Athens and Philip were altogether hostile, and, in Phocion's absence, other generals were chosen to conduct the war. But when Phocion returned with his fleet from the islands, to begin with, he tried to persuade the people, since Philip was peaceably inclined and greatly feared the peril of war, to accept the terms of settlement which he offered.
And when one of those who haunted the law-courts in the capacity of public informer opposed him, and said,
‘Canst thou dare, O Phocion, to divert the Athenians from war when they are already under arms?’
‘I can,’ said he,
‘and that, too, though I know that while there is war thou wilt be under my orders, but when peace has been made I shall be under thine.’ When, however, he could not prevail, but Demosthenes carried the day and was urging the Athenians to join battle with Philip as far from Attica as possible,
‘My good Sir,’ said Phocion,
‘let us not ask where we can fight, but how we shall be victorious.
For in that case the war will be at a long remove; but wherever men are defeated every terror is close at hand.’ But when the defeat came,2
and the turbulent and revolutionary spirits in the city dragged Charidemus to the tribunal and demanded that he be made general, the best citizens were filled with fear; and with the aid of the council of the Areiopagus in the assembly, by dint of entreaties and tears, they persuaded them at last to entrust the city to the guidance of Phocion.
In general, Phocion thought that the policy and kindly overtures of Philip should be accepted by the Athenians; but when Demades brought in a motion that the city should participate with the Greeks in the common peace and in the congress,3
Phocion would not favour it before they found out what demands Philip was going to make upon the Greeks.
His opinion did not prevail, owing to the crisis, and yet as soon as he saw that the Athenians were repenting of their course, because they were required to furnish Philip with triremes and horsemen,
‘This is what I feared,’ said he,
‘when I opposed your action; but since you agreed upon it, you must not repine or be dejected, remembering that our ancestors also were sometimes in command, and sometimes under command, but by doing well in both these positions saved both their city and the Greeks.’
And on the death of Philip,4
he was opposed to the peoples offering sacrifices of glad tidings; for it was an ignoble thing, he said, to rejoice thereat, and the force which had been arrayed against them at Chaeroneia was diminished by only one person.