Personally, gentlemen of the jury, as I was just saying to those seated beside me, what surprises me is this. Is it really true that Demosthenes, unlike any other man in Athens
, is exempt from the laws which enforce an agreement made by a person against his own interests? Is he unaffected by the people's decrees, which you have sworn to observe in voting, decrees which were proposed, not by any of his enemies, but by Demosthenes himself, and which the people carried on his motion, almost as though he deliberately sought to destroy himself . . . and yet the just verdict, gentlemen of the jury, is, as I see it, simple: it is in our favor against Demosthenes. In private suits differences are often settled by challenge, and that is how this affair also has been settled. Look at it in this way, gentlemen. The people accused you, Demosthenes, of having accepted twenty talents illegally, against the interests of the state. You denied having done so and drew up a challenge, which you laid before the people in the form of a decree entrusting the matter on which you were accused to the council of the Areopagus. . . .