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there never was any loan or contract in writing, as he himself indeed acknowledges in the plaint. He says he lent money to Hegestratus a shipowner, and that, after he lost his life in the sea, we appropriated the freight: this is the charge in the plaint. I will in the same speech prove to you that the action is not maintainable, and expose the whole of this man's rascally plot. I entreat you, men of the jury, if you ever did pay attention to any matter, to attend to this. You will hear a case of unparalleled audacity and fraud, if I am only able, as I think I shall be, to explain to you his proceedings.
Zenothemis the plaintiff, being an agent of Hegestratus the shipowner, whom he himself states in his plaint to have perished in the sea, (how this occurred, he adds not, but I will tell you), conspired with him to perpetrate the following fraud. He and the plaintiff borrowed money at Syracuse: Hegestratus admitted to persons lending to the plaintiff, when they made any inquiries, that the plaintiff had a large quantity of corn in the ship; while this man admitted to persons who were about to lend money to Hegestratus, that the cargo of the ship belonged to him. As one was shipowner, and the other passenger, they naturally got credit for the statements which they made of each other. Immediately after they got the money, they sent it home to Massilia, and brought nothing into the ship. The agreement being, as such agreements usually are,1 to repay the money if the vessel arrived safe, they, in order to rob their creditors, laid a plot to sink the ship. Accordingly, when they were two or three days' voyage from land, Hegestratus went down at night into the hold of the vessel, and began to cut a hole in the bottom; the plaintiff, as if he knew nothing about it, remained above with the other passengers. There being a noise, the people in the vessel discover that something wrong is going on in the hold, and run down to prevent it. Hegestratus, when he was caught in the act, expecting that he should be punished, runs away, and being pursued throws himself into the sea: it being dark, he missed the boat and was drowned. Thus he perished in a miserable manner, as such a scoundrel deserved, meeting the fate which he designed to inflict on others. The plaintiff, his partner and accomplice, 1 See Appendix V.
at that moment on board ship, immediately after the criminal act, affecting to know nothing about it, and to be in as much consternation as the rest, advised the sailing-master and mariners to get into the boat and abandon the ship as quickly as possible, as there was no hope of saving her and she was certain to sink almost directly so he thought their criminal design might be accomplished, and by the loss of the ship they might rob the creditors of their money. Having failed in this attempt-(for it was opposed by our agent who was on board, and who offered large rewards to the crew if they would save the ship; and the vessel was brought safe into Cephallenia, chiefly by the favour of the Gods, and next to them, through the good conduct of the seamen) he endeavoured, in conjunction with the Massiliotes, the fellow-countrymen of Hegestratus, to prevent the ship returning to Athens, alleging that he himself and the money came from Massilia,2 and the shipowner and lenders were of that place. Here too he failed, the magistrates in Cephallenia ordering that the ship should return to Athens, from whose port she commenced her voyage; and thereupon this man, who, one would have thought, would never have dared to come here after his wicked acts and contrivancesthis man, O Athenians, is so superlatively impudent and audacious, that he has not only come here, but has claimed my corn, and even brought an action against me.
What then do you suppose is the reason? What can have encouraged the plaintiff to come here and commence his action? I will tell you, men of the jury: it gives me pain to do so, I solemnly assure you; but I am compelled. There are gangs of rascally fellows leagued together in Piræus; you've only to see them to know who they are. When the plaintiff was intriguing to prevent the ship returning to Athens, we got one of these persons to go out as commissioner he was a member of the council,3 slightly known
1 That is, Protus, who had bought the corn with the defendant's money, and who, from the nature of his contract, appears to have held a sort of middle position between an agent and a borrower.
2 Pabst thinks that èkeilev means, from Sicily, or from the west generally.
3 ἐκ βουλῆς τινα.
I agree with Schäfer as to the meaning of these words. The other interpretation of èk Bovλîs, "after a consultation," is adopted by Pabst.
to us, though we little thought what sort of a creature he was; indeed it was as great a misfortune, if it is possible to say so, as our having to deal with scoundrels in the beginning. This man whom we commissioned-his name is Aristophon; the same person who has managed that affair of Miccalion (so we are now informed)-has sold himself to the plaintiff and undertaken this job for him; indeed he is the plaintiff's factotum in this case. Zenothemis has been only too glad to accept his services. For when he failed in effecting the destruction of the vessel, not having the means of repaying the money he had borrowed-(how could he, when he had never put its value on board?)-he lays claim to my goods, and pretends to have lent money to Hegestratus on the security of that corn which our agent in his vessel purchased. The lenders, who had been defrauded in the first instance, seeing that, instead of money, they have only a rascal for their debtor, are in hopes that, if Zenothemis imposes on you, they may recover their own out of my property, and so are compelled for the sake of their own interest to espouse the cause of this man, who they know is making a fraudulent demand against me.
Such (to speak in a short compass) is the matter upon which you have to give your verdict. I will first produce to you the witnesses who speak to these facts, and then explain the rest of the case. Now read me the depositions.
Upon the arrival of the vessel at Athens-the Cephallenians having ordered, notwithstanding the plaintiff's remonstrances, that the vessel should return to the port from which she first sailed-those persons who had lent money on the ship from Athens took possession of her immediately; and the purchaser took possession of the corn; that was the person who had borrowed money of us. Afterwards came the plaintiff, bringing with him our commissioner, Aristophon, and laid claim to the corn, saying that he had lent money to Hegestratus. "What do you say, man?" exclaimed Protus immediately-that was the name of the man who imported the corn, and who was our debtor-“You give money to Hegestratus, whom you helped to deceive people, that he might obtain credit! and when he was always
telling you that those who parted with their money would lose it! Would you, hearing that, have parted with your money?" He declared that he did, and brazened it out. "Well, granting what you say to be perfectly true"-replied one of the persons present-"your partner and fellowcountryman, Hegestratus, has tricked you, as it appears, and for this he has passed sentence of death upon himself and perished." "Aye" said another who stood by "and that this man has been throughout the accomplice of the other, I'll give you a proof. Before the attempt was made to bore a hole in the ship, this man and Hegestratus deposited a written agreement with one of the fellow-passengers. But, if you gave your money in confidence, why should you have taken an assurance before the wicked act? if you were distrustful, why did you not, as the others did, get a legal acknowledgment on land?" I needn't go into all the particulars. We got no result by these speeches. He stuck to the corn. Protus and Phertatus, the partner of Protus, wanted to remove him; but he resisted, and declared point blank, that he would not be put out of possession by any one but
After that, Protus and myself challenged him to go before the authorities at Syracuse; and if it should appear that he (Protus) bought the corn, and the customs' duties were entered in his name, and he was the person who paid the price, then we proposed that the plaintiff should be punished as a rogue; in the contrary event, that he should recover his expenses and receive a talent besides, and we relinquish our claim to the corn. Notwithstanding this challenge and these declarations by Protus and me, it was of I had no choice but either myself to remove the plaintiff by force, or to lose my security when it was safe in port before my eyes. And Protus again-he protested that he was willing to do anything-to remove the plaintiff, to confirm my acts, or go out to Sicily :1 but if, in spite of such willingness on his part, I chose to abandon the corn to Zenothemis, he said it didn't matter to him. To prove the
1 I have made the best I could of this obscure and probably corrupt passage. Pabst, who adopts Schäfer's emendation, Beßaiv, translates thus: "Denn Protus seinerseits erklärte vor Zeugen, dass er das Getreide ausschiffen wolle, und versicherte dabei, er sey bereit, nach Sicilien zurückzuschiffen."
truth of these statements-that the plaintiff refused to be put out of possession except by me, that he did not accept the challenge to go out, and that he deposited the agreement in the vessel-read the depositions :
When therefore he would neither be removed by Protus, nor make a voyage to Sicily to get the truth decided, and when it appeared that he was privy to all the villainies of Hegestratus, we who had lent our money at Athens, and who had received our corn from the man who honestly purchased it out there, had no alternative but to take it from the plaintiff perforce. For what else could we have done? It had not occurred to any of us partners to imagine, that you would ever pronounce the plaintiff to be the owner of corn, which he advised the mariners to leave, so that it might be lost by the sinking of the ship. This indeed is the strongest proof that it in no way belongs to him; for who would have advised persons willing to save his own corn to abandon it? Or who would not have accepted the challenge and made the voyage to Sicily, where these things might have been clearly ascertained? Again, I was not likely to believe this of you, that you would decide that the plaintiff might enter an action for this cargo, whose entrance into your port he tried in more ways than one to prevent, first, when he advised the crew to abandon it, secondly, when in Cephallenia he opposed the ship's being brought to Athens. For what a shameful and monstrous thing it would be, after the Cephallenians ordering the ship to proceed to your port, so that Athenians might get their property, for you, who are Athenians, to adjudge the property of your countrymen to persons who wished to throw it into the sea, and to allow the plaintiff to enter an action for goods, whose importation he tried wholly to prevent! O heavens! you will surely do nothing of the kind. Now read me what
I have pleaded.
1 The object of Zenothemis, in insisting upon Demon's removing him, probably was, that he considered Demon to be a more responsible person than Protus.
2 Here is a play on the word εἰσαγώγιμα.