« EelmineJätka »
marriage. If you examine his conduct then by the standard of utility, you will find that he has determined wisely but if you spurn Phormio as a father-in-law from family pride, see if it is not ridiculous in you to allege such a ground. For, if you were asked, what sort of a person you consider your father to have been, I am sure you would say, he was a good man. Now, which do you think more resembles Pasion in character and mode of life-yourself or Phormio ? I am sure you think Phormio does. Then do you spurn a man who more resembles your father than you yourself do, because he has married your mother? That the thing took place by your father's desire and direction, not only appears from the will, (observe this, men of Athens,)—but you yourself are witness to the fact. For when you claimed to take your share of your mother's inheritance, she having left children by the defendant Phormio, you then confessed that she had been regularly affianced by your father and married according to the laws. For if the defendant took her, and made her his wife wrongfully, without any one giving her in marriage, his children would not have been heirs, and those not heirs could have had no share in the property. In proof of these statements it has been shown in evidence, that he received a fourth share and gave a release of all demands.
Having nothing to say for himself on any single point, men of Athens, he ventured to make before the arbitrator the most impudent assertions, of which it is best to warn youfirst, that there never was any will at all, but that it was altogether a fiction and a forgery-secondly, that in previous years he forbore to dispute it or go to law, because Phormio was willing to pay and promised to pay him a large rent; "but now," says he, "I go to law, because Phormio does not perform his promise." That both these assertions, if he makes them, will be false, both inconsistent with his own conduct, I am about to show you; pray, attend. When he denies the will, ask him how it came that he got the lodginghouse under the will by right of primogeniture.
He will hardly maintain, that those parts of the will are valid, by which his father gave him a benefit, and that the other parts are invalid. When he says that he was seduced by the defendant's promises, remember that we have brought as witnesses before you the persons, who, long after the defend
ant's retirement, took a lease under Apollodorus and his brother of the bank and the shield-manufactory. At the time when he granted the lease to those men, he ought at once to have made his charge against the defendant, if there was any justice in the demands, of which he then gave a release and for which he now sues.
To prove the truth of these statements-that he took the lodging-house by right of primogeniture according to the will-and that he not only thought it right to make no complaint against the defendant, but expressed approbation of his conduct-take the deposition.
That you may know, men of Athens, what large sums of money he has received from the rents and from the debts, although he will presently bewail his destitution and utter ruin; let me mention a few things to you. The plaintiff has collected out of the debts twenty talents altogether, from the papers which his father left, and of this amount he has kept more than half to himself; for in many cases he cheats his brother out of his share. From the leases, for eight years during which Phormio had the bank, he has received eighty minas a year, the moiety of the whole rent; that makes ten talents forty minas; and for ten years after that, for which they leased to Xeno and Euphræus and Euphron and Callistratus, a talent a year. Besides this, he has had the income for about twenty years of the property originally divided, which he managed himself, more than thirty minas. If you put all these sums together, what he got by the division, what he collected, what he has received as rent, he will appear to have received more than forty talents, besides what Phormio has made him a present of, and the maternal inheritance, and what he has had from the bank and does not return, four talents and a half and six hundred drachms.
Oh, but I suppose the state has had these monies, and you are cruelly treated because of your large expenditure on the public services. Nay. What you gave to the public out of your property before it was divided, you and your brother expended in common; and what you gave afterwards amounts not to the income, I won't say of two talents, but of twenty minas. Do not then accuse the state; do not say that the
state has received the property which you have wickedly and shamefully wasted.
That you may see, men of Athens, both the amount of property which he has received, and the public, charges which he has defrayed, he shall read you the particulars. Please to take this schedule and this challenge and these depositions:
[The Schedule. The Challenge. The Depositions.]
He has received all these monies; he has many talents' worth of debts, some of which he gets paid voluntarily, some he recovers by action; all of which were owing to Pasion, (besides the rent of the bank and the other property which he left,) and which Apollodorus and his brother have now received he has spent only what you have heard, (being an inconsiderable portion of the income-I needn't say the capital,) upon the public services; and yet he will play the braggart, and talk of trierarchal and choragic expenses. That his assertions will be untrue, I have already shown; yet, even were they all true, I think it is more honourable and just that the plaintiff should defray public charges out of his own means, than that you should give the defendant's property to the plaintiff, and, while you yourselves get but a small share of the whole, should see the defendant in extreme indigence, and the plaintiff behaving himself with arrogance and spending his money in the accustomed manner.
With respect to Phormio's affluence, Apollodorus, and his having got it from your father's estate, and the questions which you said you would put, how Phormio has acquired his property-you of all men, Apollodorus, are the least entitled to talk in this way. For Pasion your father did not acquire his property, any more than Phormio did, by good luck1 or by inheritance from his father; but while he was with his masters, Antisthenes and Archestratus, the bankers, he gave proof that he was honest and just in his dealings, and won their confidence. In the commercial world and the money market it is thought a wonderful thing, when the same person shows himself to be both honest and diligent.2 Pasion
1 Schäfer-"fortuitu." Pabst-"durch Erwerb."
2 Pabst "Es ist aber an einem Handelsplatze und bei Leuten, welche Geldgeschäfte treiben, etwas ganz ausserordentlich Wichtiges, wenn Einer sich thätig und betriebsam und zugleich brav und redlich zeigt."
did not derive this quality from his masters, for he was honest by nature: no more did Phormio derive it from your father; for, had it been in your father's power, he would have made you honest in preference to Phormio. If you are ignorant of this, that trustworthiness is the best capital for money-getting, you must be ignorant of everything. And besides this, Phormio has in many ways been useful as well to your father as to you, and to your affairs generally. But indeed such is your covetousness, such your disposition, that no language could come up to it.1 I am astonished you don't reflect, that Archestratus, to whom your father formerly belonged, has a son here, Antimachus, in a condition unbefitting his rank; who does not go to law with you and say he is cruelly treated, because you wear a mantle, and have redeemed one mistress and given another in marriage, and do these things notwithstanding that you have a wife, and take three footboys about with you, and live so indecently that even people meeting you in the streets perceive it, while he himself is in a state of wretched destitution. Nor is Phormio's position unknown to him. If you think you have a claim to Phormio's property on this account, because he once belonged to your father, Antimachus has a greater claim than you; for your father also belonged to that house, so that both you and Phormio belong to Antimachus according to your argument. But you are so lost to proper feeling, that, what you ought to detest any one for saying, you yourself compel people to say of you, and, while you disgrace yourself and your deceased parents, you treat the state with contumely, and, instead of cherishing and making much of the good fortune, which your father and afterwards the defendant Phormio obtained by the kindness of these men, so that it might have reflected the utmost credit both upon the givers and you the receivers, you bring it into public view, you point your finger at it, you call it in question, and all but reproach the Athenians for naturalising such a person as yourself. Nay, at such a pitch of madness are you arrived (for what else can one call it?)—you don't perceive, that at this very moment we, who insist that, as Phormio has received his freedom, the fact of his having once belonged your father should not be remembered to his disadvantage, 1 Pabst "wer könnte genügend schildern?"
are speaking on your behalf; while you, who insist that he should never be on a footing of equality with you, are speaking against yourself: for the same law of justice, which you lay down for yourself against the defendant, will be advanced against you by those whose slave your father was originally.
To prove that Pasion also was a slave, and afterwards obtained his freedom in the same manner as the defendant did from your house-please to take these depositions, showing that Pasion belonged to Archestratus :
The man then who originally upheld the business, who made himself in various ways useful to the plaintiff's father, who has conferred on the plaintiff himself all the benefits which you have heard, he thinks proper, by means of a judgment with such heavy damages, to cast out unjustly from house and home. It is this only that you will be able to accomplish, Apollodorus. For, if you look closely at the nature of the property, you will see to whom it belongs,1 in case the jury should be misled; which heaven forbid! Do you see Archilochus, the son of Charidemus? he once owned some land; and now it has many owners; for, when he purchased it, he was indebted to a great number of persons. You know also Sosinomus and, Timodemus and the other bankers, who, when they were obliged to settle with their creditors, gave up their whole property. You however don't choose to take anything into consideration, not even the prudential measures taken by your father, a better and a wiser man in all things than yourself. He-by Jupiter and the Gods !—regarded the defendant as so much more valuable than you, both to yourself and to him and to your affairs, that, although you had come to man's estate, he left the defendant, and not you, to be the manager of his leases, and gave him his wife in marriage, and honoured him in his lifetime. Justly, men of Athens. For other bankers, not paying rents, but trafficking on their own account, have all come to ruin; while the defendant, paying you a rent of two talents and forty minas, maintained the bank. For this Pasion was thankful to him, but you make no account of it; you,
1 I.e. to the creditors of the bank, who will soon come upon it, if heavy damages are awarded against Phormio.