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all who use it. Here then is a man who attempts to do you, mischief and cover you with infamy-won't you punish him when you have caught him? And what will you have to say for yourselves? You may see with what deep designs he has framed the statute, and how adverse such designs are to the existing government, if you reflect that, wherever people embark in revolutionary measures with a view to put down a democracy, they begin with this-they release those who are suffering imprisonment under previous legal sentence for crimes. Then does not the defendant deserve, if possible, to perish three times over-when, standing alone, and being (as I presume) not likely to put down you, but rather himself to die by your sentence, if you do what is right and proper, he nevertheless followed this flagitious example, and chose by means of his law to release those whom the tribunals have sent to prison, framing an impudent clause, that, if any one has been condemned or shall hereafter be condemned to suffer the penalty of imprisonment, he shall be discharged? Why, suppose1 just now you were to hear a noise close to the court, and then some one told you that the prison had been opened and the prisoners were making their escape: there is not a man, however old or indifferent, who would not run to give what help he could. And if any one came forward and said that it was Timocrates who was setting them at liberty, he would be led off instantly, and put to death without a hearing. Now then, O Athenians, you have the defendant, who has not secretly done this, but by cheating and imposing on you has publicly passed a law, by which the prison is not 1 Longin, don son traité du sublime, cite cet endroit du discours, au chap. 13, où il parle de l'effet que produisent les images. La supposition de Démosthene devoit faire impression, surtout dans une république, où chacun ayant part au gouvernement, s'interessoit d'une façon particuliere à la chose publique et au bon ordre de la ville.”Auger.
Compare Quintilian, Inst. Orat. Lib. xii. c. 10.
"Mihi falli multum videntur, qui solos esse Atticos credunt tenues et lucidos et significantes, sed quâdam eloquentiæ frugalitate contentos, ac semper manum intra pallium continentes. Nam quis erit hic Atticus?-Quid Eschines,-nonne his latior et audentior et excelsior? Quid denique Demosthenes? Non cunctos illos tenues et circumspectos vi, sublimitate, impetu, cultu, compositione, superavit? non insurgit locis? non figuris gaudet? non translationibus nitet? non oratione fictâ dat carentibus vocem? non illud jusjurandum per cæsos in Marathone ac Salamine propugnatores reipublicæ satis manifeste docet præceptorem ejus Platonem fuisse?"
opened but destroyed, and has included in it the courts of justice also. For what is the use of them, when persons sentenced to imprisonment are released, and, if you sentence any one hereafter, you are none the better for it?
You should look at this also, that many of the Greeks have often passed resolutions to adopt your laws; a circumstance in which you take a pride, very naturally. For a saying in this court that I have heard of I consider to be true, that all wise people regard the laws as the morals of a state. You should be anxious therefore to make them appear as good as possible, and to punish those who corrupt and impair them; for, should they suffer by your neglect, you will be deprived of this honour, and will create an unfavourable opinion of the commonwealth. Again, if Solon and Draco are justly eulogised, though there is no public service that you could attribute to either of them, except that they passed good and useful laws, surely towards those who legislate in a contrary spirit you ought to show displeasure and resentment. Certain I am that Timocrates has introduced this statute in great measure on his own account; for he felt that many of his political acts merited a prison.
I wish to tell you however of another saying, attributed to Solon, when he was prosecuting a man for having passed an improper law. It is reported that, after having gone through his other charges, he said to the jury, that it was the law in almost all countries, to punish a man with death for debasing the coin-he then asked them if they considered that law just and reasonable, and the jurors answering in the affirmative, he declared it to be his opinion that money was a coin invented for the private dealings of individuals, but the laws he regarded as the coin of the state; therefore, if any one debased this, the coin of the state, and introduced a counterfeit, the jurors had much more reason to detest and punish such a person, than one who debased the coin of individuals. And, as a further proof of its being a greater crime to debase the laws than the currency, he added, that many states, by openly using silver alloyed with copper and lead, saved themselves from ruin and suffered no damage by it, whereas no people ever came off well by adopting bad laws and letting their existing laws be corrupted. To this charge, I say, Timocrates now stands amenable, and ought in justice to receive condign punishment from you.
All men indeed who pass bad and disreputable laws are just objects of resentment; but especially men who vitiate that class of laws, upon which it depends whether the commonwealth is mean or great. Which are they? The laws which punish wrong-doers, and those which confer honour upon the virtuous. For if all men were zealous to serve the public, from an ambition to win the attendant honours and rewards; and if all men abstained from vicious conduct, through fear of the pains and penalties which follow; is there aught that prevents our commonwealth from being preeminently great? Does she not possess more ships of war than any Greek state?-more troops of the line-cavalry—revenue -posts-harbours? And what preserves and consolidates all these advantages? The laws for it is while they govern the commonwealth, that these things are useful to the people. If the state of things were different; if good men had no recompense; if evil-doers had all the impunity which Timocrates has provided; what confusion would naturally result! Be assured that from these possessions which I have enumerated, if they were twice as many as they are now, you would not derive a particle of benefit. Well then; it is shown that the defendant is attempting to injure you in that department of law, which provides for the punishment of criminals.1
For all the reasons then which I have mentioned, you are called upon to show your resentment, to punish this man, and make him an example to others. To be lenient to persons like him, or to inflict but a slight penalty on conviction, is to train up and accustom the greatest possible number to do you wrong.
1 This is the best sense I can make of the text as it stands in Bekker. And it agrees undoubtedly with the argument of the orator. The only question is, whether the words ToÚTY T vóμw do not rather point to the law of Timocrates, which is the subject of the indictment. Emendations are suggested by some of the commentators, who would insert ook or ἄκυροι before εἰσὶν αἱ τιμωρίαι.
Pabst translates in accordance with some such amendment: "Timocrates nun hat durch diess sein Gesetz Euch zu schaden versucht, wie sich klar zeigt, sofern nach demselben Die, welche zu freveln wagen, keine Strafe treffen soll.”
To the like effect Auger: "Timocrate montre donc son dessein de vous nuire, lorsque par sa loi il exempte de la peine ceux qui veulent vous nuire."
THE ORATION AGAINST ARISTOGITON-I.
ARISTOGITON was an Athenian orator contemporary with Demosthenes, but one of the most opposite character in all respects. His speaking was distinguished by a coarse volubility and vulgar impudence, which, together with certain other qualities and propensities, obtained for him the opprobrious nickname of the Dog. He is said to have belonged to that class of persons at Athens who were called Sycophanta, of whom I have spoken elsewhere (see Vol. iii. p. 344); and certainly no man better deserved the title than he did, if we only believe half what is said of him by Demosthenes and Dinarchus, whose statements pretty well agree with each other, and are confirmed by what we read in Plutarch's Life of Phocion and elsewhere. The father of Aristogiton having died in debt to the state, he, according to the Athenian law, inherited the liability, and, not being able to discharge it, was thrown into prison. From this time he seems to have been hardly ever free from debt, and to have passed more of his time in prison than out of it. When he was at liberty, he owed it more to the mercy than to the justice of the law; yet he did not scruple to violate it, by intruding into the assemblies and law-courts, from which his disfranchisement excluded him. His vocation was, to attack those public men of the day over whom he could get any advantage; to commence actions, or lay informations, against persons whom he caught tripping in the law, sometimes bringing them to trial, but more often extorting money by threats of legal proceedings. Among others whom he prosecuted were Demosthenes and Hyperides, after the battle of Charonea. Divers anecdotes are related, marking the thorough profligacy of his character. He counterfeited lameness, in order to escape enrolment for military service. He refused to bury his own father. When he was in prison, he committed a theft and an outrage of so gross a kind, that even his fellow-prisoners refused to associate with him. Having been chosen by lot to serve the office of Overseer of the Emporium, he was rejected by the jury on his probation. Finally he was prosecuted by Dinarchus, for having taken a bribe of Harpalus, the Persian envoy, and being thrown into prison, he died there.
The present prosecution was brought against Aristogiton, for exercising his civic franchise before he had discharged certain debts which he
owed to the state. He had been fined five talents upon a conviction for moving an illegal decree. He had also incurred the penalty of a thousand drachms, upon failing to get a fifth part of the votes on an indictment preferred by himself. These two sums not having been paid within the prescribed period, the debt in due course was doubled, and became ten talents two thousand drachms. To secure the payment of this, he mortgaged a piece of land to the state; and shortly afterwards the mortgage was transferred to his brother Eunomus, he agreeing to pay the debt by ten yearly instalments. Eunomus made two payments, amounting to two talents four hundred drachms, leaving eight talents sixteen hundred drachms still due. Aristogiton, regarding himself as no longer indebted to the state, his brother having been accepted as debtor in his place, proceeded to exercise his political rights as usual, speaking in the assembly, appearing as a suitor in the courts, and commencing prosecutions against his fellow-citizens. For this an information was laid against him by Lycurgus, assisted by Demosthenes; and upon the foregoing facts arose a question, whether Eunomus had become the state-debtor in lieu of his brother, or whether he was only a guarantee, or, at most, a joint debtor with him, Aristogiton not being released from liability. There was also another debt, with which Aristogiton was entered as chargeable in the public register, but which he disputed, alleging that a false entry had been made by one Ariston, against whom he had preferred an indictment for the fraud. The prosecutors contended that this had nothing to do with the present inquiry; that, so long as a man's name remained inscribed in the register of debtors, he must be taken for all purposes to be the debtor; if it was wrongfully entered, he had his legal remedy and could procure his name to be struck out, but in the meantime he was subject to the legal disabilities.
Lycurgus, as principal manager of the prosecution, spoke first, and left very little for his colleague to say upon the questions of law and the evidence in the case. Demosthenes therefore, in his address to the jury, confines himself almost entirely to general observations upon the nature of the offence and the character of the defendant; urging, that it was necessary on constitutional grounds, and for the sake of example, to punish infractions of the law; that Aristogiton was a person who deserved no clemency, because his debts were contracted by misconduct, not by misfortune; that his previous life (which was notorious to all) showed what an abandoned profligate he was a bad son, a treacherous friend, a corrupt politician; in short, in every respect, both public and private, a pest of society, whom it was dangerous and disgraceful to let off.
The exact date of these speeches cannot be determined; but it appears from internal evidence that they are some years later than the battle of Chæronea. Dionysius and many other critics, both ancient and modern, judging from the style of the orations, have expressed doubts whether they are rightly ascribed to Demosthenes. That in the first of them there are many fine passages, with much force both of argument and language, and that it is in all probability a genuine Attic speech of the day, can hardly be denied; but it has been