But while he was still undergoing the exile of which I have spoken, Alexander died,1
and the Greek states proceeded to form a league again, while Leosthenes was displaying deeds of valour and walling Antipater up in Lamia, where he held him in siege.
Accordingly, the orators Pytheas and Callimedon (called the Stag-beetle) fled from Athens and joined the party of Antipater, and travelling about with the regent's friends and ambassadors tried to prevent the Greeks from revolting or attaching themselves to Athens; but Demosthenes, joining himself to the ambassadors from Athens, used his utmost efforts in helping them to induce the cities to unite in attacking the Macedonians and expelling them from Greece.
And Phylarchus states that in Arcadia Pytheas and Demosthenes actually fell to abusing one another in an assembly, the one speaking in behalf of the Macedonians, the other in behalf of the Greeks. Pytheas, we are told, said that just as we think that a house into which asses milk is brought must certainly have some evil in it, so also a city must of necessity be diseased into which an Athenian embassy comes;
whereupon Demosthenes turned the illustration against him by saying that asses' milk was given to restore health, and the Athenians came to bring salvation to the sick.
At this conduct the Athenian people were delighted, and voted that Demosthenes might return from exile. The decree was brought in by Demon of Paeania, who was a cousin of Demosthenes; and a trireme was sent to Aegina to fetch him home.
When he set out to go up to the city from Piraeus, not an archon or a priest was missing, and all the rest of the people also met him in a body and welcomed him eagerly. It was at this time, too, as Demetrius the Magnesian says, that he lifted his hands towards heaven and blessed himself for that day, since he was coming home from exile more honourably than Alcibiades did; for he had persuaded, not forced, his fellow-citizens to welcome him.
It is true that his pecuniary fine remained standing against him (for it was not lawful to remit an assessment by act of grace), but they found a device to evade the law. It was their custom, namely, in the case of a sacrifice to Zeus the Saviour, to pay a sum of money to those who prepared and adorned the altar, and they now gave Demosthenes the contract to make these preparations for fifty talents, which was just the amount of his assessment.