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children, you are bound in conscience to decide in our case. It appears therefore, having regard to what is right and equitable, having regard to the statute laws, to your oaths, and to the defendant's own confession, that I, men of Athens, am asking you what is fair and reasonable, while the defendant asks what is not only unfair, but contrary to the practice of the country.
THE ORATION AGAINST BOTUS II.
OR, THE ORATION FOR THE DOWRY.
THIS is the action brought by the same plaintiff against the same defendant to establish his title to the marriage portion of his mother. The circumstances which led to it have already been explained in the argument to the preceding oration, and need not be here repeated. As Boeotus disputed the fact of the plaintiff's mother having received a portion on her marriage, Mantitheus calls his maternal relations to prove it; and in answer to the counter-claim set up by Bootus for the portion of his mother Plangon, in support of which no direct testimony had been offered, he shows by the facts and probabilities of the case, that Plangon was portionless, and that the defendant's account of the matter is a fabrication. The decision of the arbitrator, which had not been appealed against, is insisted on by the plaintiff as affording a strong presumption in his favour. He enters, as in the previous case, into the topics of their family history, shows how ungratefully Bootus had treated him, and appeals to the sympathies of the jury.
It is the most grievous thing in the world, men of the jury, when any one is by name called brother of persons whom in reality he regards as enemies, and when, on account of cruel injuries which they have heaped upon him, he is compelled to come into a court of justice; as is my case now. I have not only had the misfortune in the beginning, that Plangon, the mother of these men, deceived my father, and by manifest perjury forced him against his will to acknowledge them, and consequently I was deprived of two thirds of my patrimony: but, in addition to this, I have been driven by my opponents out of my paternal house, in which I was born and bred, and in which I received them after my father's death, though he in his lifetime would never admit them to it; and I am deprived of the marriage portion of my own mother, for which
I am now suing. I have myself given them satisfaction for all the demands which they made upon me, except a few cross-demands which they have vexatiously brought against me on account of this action, as will be perfectly clear to you; yet from them in a period of eleven years I have not been able to obtain anything that is reasonable, and at length I have recourse to you for protection. I beseech you then, men of the jury, to give me a favourable hearing while I address you to the best of my ability, and, if it shall appear to you that I have been shamefully treated, to forgive my coming here to recover what is my own, the more especially as it is for a portion to give with my daughter; for I married when only eighteen at my father's request, and so it happens that I have a daughter already marriageable. It is just therefore on many accounts that you should redress the wrongs which have been done to me; and it is meet that you show resentment against these men; who (O earth and heaven!) when they might by doing justice have avoided coming into court, are not ashamed to remind you of any thing which our father may have done amiss or any offence which they committed against him, and actually force me into litigation with them. To make you clearly understand, that it is not I, but my opponents, who are the cause of this proceeding, I will relate the facts of the case to you from the beginning in as short a compass as possible.
My mother, men of the jury, was the daughter of Polyaratus of Cholargus, and sister of Menexenus and Bathyllus and Periander. Her father having given her in marriage to Cleomedon, the son of Cleon, with a portion of a talent, she lived with him as his wife, and bore him three daughters and one son, named Cleon; her husband then died, and she left his family and received back the portion. Her brothers Menexenus and Bathyllus (Periander being yet a minor) gave her in marriage again with the talent for her portion, and she lived in wedlock with my father. They had issue myself and a younger brother, who died in infancy. I will first call witnesses, to prove to you that I am stating these facts correctly.
My father, having thus espoused my mother, lived with her in his own house and treated her as his wife; me he
brought up, and showed a fatherly affection to me, such as you all show to your children. With Plangon, the mother of these men, he had intercourse of some kind or other; (it is not for me to say what :) his passion however was so far under restraint, that even after my mother's death he did not choose to receive her into his house as an inmate, nor could he be persuaded that these men were his children; and they lived all the rest of the time without being regarded as my father's sons, as most of you are aware; but after Bootus had grown up and had leagued himself with a gang of pettifoggers, at the head of whom were Mnesicles and Menecles, the person who convicted Ninus, with whose assistance he went to law with my father, pretending that he was his son -many meetings took place about these affairs, and my father said, nothing could convince him that these men were his children; at length Plangon, men of the jury, (for the whole truth shall be told you,) conspiring with Menecles against my father, and deceiving him by an oath which among all mankind is held to be the most solemn and awful, agreed that upon receipt of thirty minas she would get her brothers to adopt these men, and that, if my father would challenge her before the arbitrator to swear that the children were his, she would decline the challenge; so, she said, while her children would not be deprived of their civic rights, they would no longer have it in their power to annoy my father, their mother having refused the oath. These terms being assented to-I needn't make a long story of it—he attended before the arbitrator, and Plangon, in violation of all her engagements, accepts the challenge, and swears in the Delphinium an oath directly contrary to her former oath, as most of you are aware; for the transaction was much talked about.
My father was thus by reason of his own challenge under the necessity of submitting to the award; at the same time he was indignant at what had occurred, and took it much to heart, and would not even then receive these persons into his house, although he was compelled to introduce them to his clansmen. And he entered this one in the register under the name of Bootus, his brother under the name of Pamphilus. As I was about eighteen years of age, he persuaded me at once to marry the daughter of Euphemus, wishing to
see children born to me. I, men of the jury-considering that I was always bound to please my father, and that, when these men were vexing him by litigation and annoyance, it was my special duty to take the opposite course, and to console him by every means in my power-complied with his request, and married accordingly. He lived to see my daughter born, and a few years afterwards fell sick and died. Though in my father's lifetime, men of the jury, I did not choose to thwart him in anything, after his death I received these men into the house, and allowed them to share the whole property with me; not that I regarded them as brothers, (for it is almost universally known in what way they have become such,) but because I considered that, as my father had been taken in, it was necessary for me to obey your laws. They being thus received by me into the house, we proceeded to divide the inheritance; and, upon my demanding the return of my mother's marriage portion, these men advanced a counter-claim, and alleged that a portion of the like amount was repayable to their mother. Under the advice of persons who were present, we divided all the rest of the property, but reserved the house and the domestic slaves of my father, so that, whichever party established his title to the marriage portion, might receive its value out of the house, and, the slaves being common to both, should these men want to search for any of our father's effects, they might get information from the slaves, either by the torture or by any kind of investigation which they preferred. That these statements are correct, as well as the others which I have made, you shall see from the depositions which I put in.
After this my brothers commenced actions against me for their demands, and I sued them for the marriage portion. And in the first instance we nominated1 Solon of Erchia as
1 Literally "caused him to be inserted"-either in the agreement of reference, (in tabulis pacti, as Reiske has it in his Index,) or, which is more probable, in the margin, or at the foot, of the record: for I rather apprehend that Solon was a public arbitrator, to whom the magistrate sent the case in the first instance, perhaps at the nomination of both parties. The arbitrator afterwards appointed was undoubtedly a public one; for the plaintiff intimates that an appeal lay from his decision. See Vol. III. Appendix X. page 398, &c.
arbitrator, and submitted our mutual claims to his decision. My brothers however, instead of attending the reference, shirked the hearing altogether, so that a great deal of time was wasted, and Solon died without having given judgment: they then commence their actions against me over again, and I commence a fresh action against the defendant, summoning him in the name of Boeotus and so entitling the plaint; for my father had given him that name. In their suit against me Bootus appeared and fought the case, but, as he was unable to give any proof of his claim, the arbitrator pronounced in my favour; and Bootus, knowing that he had made an unfounded demand, did not appeal to a jury, and has not now commenced any action against me for these matters, but for some others, thinking to defeat this judgment of mine by his new claims. In the suit which I then prosecuted against Bootus for the marriage portion, he being in the country and not having attended before the arbitrator, judgment was given against him for non-appearance. Bootus, men of the jury, neither appeared then to contest the cause, nor allowed that I had obtained the judgment of the arbitrator against him: for he said that his name was not Bootus but Mantitheus, and thus, by disputing about a name, he in point of fact deprives me of my mother's marriage portion. As I scarcely knew how such a case was to be dealt with, I commenced this same action against him afresh in the name of Mantitheus, and now in the eleventh year I am come to you for protection.
To prove the truth of these statements, he shall read you the depositions which relate to them.
That my mother lived with my father in wedlock, that she brought him a marriage portion of a talent, and was affianced by her brothers, as the laws require the manner also in which I received these persons into the house after my father's death, and that I obtained judgment in the actions which they brought against me-all this, men of the jury, has been proved to you and given in evidence. Now, if you please, take this law concerning the marriage portion.