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He denied the truth of the charges made against himself, as well as the plaintiff's title to the ten minas, and with respect to that part of the claim he alleged in particular, that he himself had only received thirty minas in money as his wife's portion, the rest being made up of dress and ornaments, to which the plaintiff had received an equivalent in value, and therefore, if the plaintiff's demand were allowed, he (Spudias) would not have his equal share of the inheritance. The plaintiff's arguments are partly directed to meet these points of defence, which (he contends) are false in fact and bad in law.
SPUDIAS the defendant and I, men of the jury, are married to two sisters, the daughters of Polyeuctus. He having died without male issue, I am compelled to go to law with the defendant about the property which has been left. And if, men of the jury, I had not been perfectly willing and made every endeavour to come to a settlement and refer our differences to friends, I should have blamed myself for not submitting to a trifling loss rather than engaging in a troublesome lawsuit. But, the more kindness and forbearance I showed in discussing the matter with Spudias, the more contemptuously he treated me. And now, I apprehend, I am not in the same position that he is with regard to the present trial. The defendant takes it easily, being accustomed to come often before you here: I am afraid that, through my inexperience, I may not be able even to explain the case to you. However, men of the jury, I pray your attention.
Polyeuctus was a member of the Thriasian township; perhaps some of you may have heard of him. This Polyeuctus, as he had no male issue, adopts Leocrates, the brother of his wife. Having two daughters by the sister of Leocrates, he gives the elder to me with a portion of forty minas, and the younger to Leocrates. So things stood, when a quarrel took place between Polyeuctus and Leocrates, the nature of which there is no need to mention, and Polyeuctus takes away his daughter and gives her to Spudias the defendant. Leocrates, in high dudgeon, commenced actions against Polyeuctus and Spudias, and they were called upon to meet all the claims that he advanced against them. At length however they came to a settlement, upon the terms that Leocrates should receive back all that he had brought into the estate, that he should be reconciled to Polyeuctus, and that they should give mutual releases from all demands. Why, men of the jury, have I stated these facts to you? Because I did not receive
the whole of my wife's portion, but a thousand drachms were left unpaid, with the assurance that I should have them on the death of Polyeuctus; and, so long as Leocrates was the heir of Polyeuctus, he was responsible to me for the payment of the debt; but, when Leocrates had quitted the family, and Polyeuctus was dangerously ill, then, men of the jury, I got a mortgage for ten minas upon this house, of which Spudias prevents me receiving the rents.
I will first produce the witnesses who were present, when Polyeuctus contracted to give me his daughter with a portion of forty minas: then I will prove that I received it less a thousand drachms; and further, that Polyeuctus always admitted that he owed me that sum, and introduced Leocrates to me as a party jointly liable,1 and that at the last he directed by his will, that tablets should be put on the house for a thousand drachms owing to me in respect of my wife's portion. Call me the witnesses.
This, men of the jury, is one of the claims which I make against Spudias. And in support of it what stronger or more convincing argument could I have brought before you than the law, which expressly declares, that there shall be no right of action for property which people have mortgaged, neither for them nor for their heirs? Nevertheless Spudias is come here to contest this point of law. My next claim, men of the jury, is the following. Aristogenes has deposed, that Polyeuctus on his death-bed claimed two minas as owing to him from Spudias, with interest; (it was the price of a domestic servant, whom the defendant had purchased of Polyeuctus, but neither paid him the money nor has brought it now into the general account : 2) and there are also eighteen hundred drachms, as to which I have not the least idea what he can have to say. He had borrowed the money from the wife of Polyeuctus, and there are some papers which she left
1 Or, as guarantee; or the party to whom I was to look for payment after his death. Pabst-"als Mitschuldner mir vorgestellt." Schäfer explains σvornoa in like manner, referring to Meier, Attic Process, page 503.
2 Reiske in his Index-"in censum infert-in recensione reliquarum rerum commemorat." Pabst-" ohne dass er auch jetzt zu der Erbschaftsmasse die Summe eingeworfen hätte."
on her death-bed, and the brothers of the lady are witnesses; they were present while she wrote them, and questioned her as to every particular, that there might be no unpleasantness between us. It is shameful and cruel, men of the jury, when for everything which I either bought of Polyeuctus or had from his wife I have paid the price with interest, and when now I bring everything which I owed into the general account, that the defendant should regard neither your laws nor the will of Polyeuctus nor the papers which have been left nor the witnesses who know the facts, but should have come in the face of all this to contest my demand.
Please to take first the statute, which declares that there shall be no right of action for mortgaged property against those who hold the mortgage, then the papers which were left, and the deposition of Aristogenes. Read.
[The Law. The Papers. The Deposition.]
I will now, men of the jury, explain to you the particulars of my other claims. They received from the wife of Polyeuctus a plate, which they pawned with some jewellery, and this they have not redeemed and brought into the account, as Demophilus, to whom it was pawned, will testify. And a parasol1 which they have taken-this they don't account for; and there are some more articles of the same kind. And lastly, though my wife advanced a mina in silver, to defray the expenses of a funeral offering 2 for her father, even of this he refuses to contribute his share: but this is the way he proceeds what is justly his own he has either had beforehand, or will receive in the partition of the property; his liabilities he openly refuses to discharge.3
1 So Harpocration interprets σknvnv in this passage. Pabst and Auger give it the ordinary meaning of a tent. Reiske thinks it might signify the curtains and hangings of a four-post bed.
2 Literally "the Nemesea," which Reiske interprets as follows"videntur inferiæ fuisse Nemesi factæ, ne manes defuncti succenserent superstitibus, si forte per imprudentiam aliquid justorum omisissent aut a testamenti sententiâ descissent." He himself would prefer to read vekuota, which were offerings to the dead on the anniversary of the day of death.
3 The antithetical form of the sentence, & μèv―Tŵv dè—Td dè—cannot well be kept up in English.
It is to be understood thus: ἃ μὲν ἔχει προλαβών, refers to gifts or payments which Spudias had had during the life of his father in law, for
That I may not omit to prove these last matters, please to take the depositions concerning all of them.
Perhaps, men of the jury, Spudias will not contest these facts; indeed he will not be able, clever as he is: but he will accuse Polyeuctus and his wife, and say that they did all these things to favour me and under my influence, and that in fact he has been seriously injured in other ways, and has brought an action against me: for this he attempted to say before the arbitrator. I beg to say, men of the jury, that, in the first place, I don't consider a defence of this kind to be legitimate: it is not proper, when a case is clearly made out against a party, that he should shift the ground and resort to recrimination and calumny: for his cross-demands, if he has any cause of complaint, he will of course recover satisfaction; for the claims made on him he is to give satisfaction. How could I now defend myself against the slanders of my opponents, and pass by the questions upon which you have to give your verdict? In the next place, I wonder, if he had a true and just demand, how it happened that, when our friends wished to reconcile us and many discussions took place on the subject, he could not agree to abide by their decision. Who could so easily have exposed what was frivolous either in his claims or in mine, as persons who were present at all these transactions, who knew the facts as well as ourselves, and who were impartial judges and friends of both? But it evidently did not suit the defendant's interest, to come to a settlement in this way, and be exposed and convicted by our friends. For don't imagine, men of the jury, that the persons who knew all these facts, and who now at the risk of their responsibility give testimony in my favour, had formed any different opinion then, when they were not even on their oaths.1
example, his wife's marriage portion: Tŵv de тd μéρn koμíšeтαι, the share which he claimed as husband of one of the next of kin in her father's estate: τὰ δὲ οὐκ ἀποδίδωσιν, the claims made on him by the plaintiff; viz. the ten minas and a half due to himself, and the twenty minas and borrowed articles which he had to pay or account for to the
Schäfer condemns the reading of oud bulσavras, on the ground that arbitrators were always sworn, and himself adopts the reading
Supposing I had none of these points to help my case, even then it is easy to see which of us gives the true account of the matter. With respect to the house, if he says that it was under my influence that Polyeuctus ordered the hypothecation for the thousand drachms-well, Spudias!` but surely I did not influence the witnesses to give false testimony for me-those witnesses who were present when he promised me his daughter, who knew that I did not receive the whole of the marriage-portion, who heard him acknowledge himself in my debt and also introduce the party who was to pay, and who lastly were present at the making of the will. With all these persons the question was no longer whether they would favour me, but whether they would risk a charge of false testimony by deposing to what never occurred.
But let us have done with that matter. What will you say to this, Spudias? Mind that you give a satisfactory explanation to the jury. If he does not, demand it of him, one and all of you. I say that, when Polyeuctus gave this testamentary direction, the defendant's wife was present, and of course she reported to him the will of her father, especially if he did not take an equal share, but it was to his disadvantage in all respects. And the defendant himself was invited to attend, so that he cannot say it was a clandestine transaction and contrived by us behind their backs. When he was asked to come, he said he was engaged himself, but it would be sufficient for his wife to be there. What further have I to mention? Aristogenes gave him a full report of what had been done, and even then he made no remark about it, but, though Polyeuctus lived after that more than five days, he neither expressed dissatisfaction when he went to the house, nor made any remonstrance, nor did his wife, who was present
duoλoyhoavras, translating "aliud quid consensu pronuntiâsse." But Schäfer is in error in supposing that there was an award pronounced. Assuming that there was a reference to private arbitration, which is not quite certain, (for these meetings of friends, Bovλoμévwv diaλúeiv, may have been without any formal reference,) at all events the submission was revoked before any award was given, as is clear from the words οὐχ οἷός τ ̓ ἦν ἐμμένειν οἷς ἐκεῖνοι γνοῖεν. There was indeed 3 hearing before a public arbitrator, πρòs тê diαitηtî, (1031,) but that is
In my opinion oud' duboavras is the true reading; otherwise there is no antithesis to the νυνὶ μὲν ὑποκινδύνους, &c.