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thought not to be Demosthenic in character, from its containing harsher and bolder metaphors and expressions, and a less elaborate composition, than we are accustomed to in our orator. It has been suggested that Demosthenes may have purposely adopted an unusual style, in imitation of Lycurgus. Reiske attributes the first of the orations to Hyperides, and Schäfer and some others incline to the same opinion. That the second speech, if it has been correctly handed down to us, could hardly have been delivered by Hyperides, appears from a passage in which Hyperides is spoken of in the third person. But the genuineness of the second speech is perhaps more open to suspicion than that of the first; for, in point of merit, it is less worthy of Demosthenes; and Plutarch, in his Life of the orator, mentions only a single speech of his against Aristogiton.
I HAVE been sitting for a long time, men of the jury, and listening, like yourselves, to the speech of Lycurgus for the prosecution; the general tenor of it I admired, but seeing how he over-exerted himself, I have been wondering whether he is ignorant, that the justice of this case derives not its strength from what he has said or what I am about to say, but the result depends on the favour or the disfavour with which profligacy is regarded by each of you. For my own part, I believe that it is necessary to conduct the prosecution and make long speeches, in order to comply with custom, and that the case may be duly laid before you; but that this matter has been decided by each juror in his own mind and according to his own principles long before, and that now, if the majority of you are disposed to protect and to cherish rogues, we shall have rhapsodized to no purpose, but, if you are disposed to abhor them, the defendant will, with heaven's permission, be punished.
Though much has been said, and all of it well, I shall not hesitate to declare to you my own views. It seems to me that the present trial is not in the least like others. Look at it in this way. Juries come to the courts in general, to learn from the accuser and the defendant the question upon which they have to give their verdict, while each of the parties comes to prove that the legal right is strongly on his own side. But how is it with the present trial ? You the jurors know better than we the prosecutors, that the defendant speaks in public when he has no right, being a state debtor and registered as such in the Acropolis; so that each of you is in the position of an accuser, knowing the facts, and not requiring to be told them. The accused is here without the shadow of a defence;
he has no arguments upon the question itself, not a character like that of an ordinary man,1 not a single point in his favour: but he thinks to get off upon grounds, which would have alarmed another man notwithstanding his innocence; for he places his hope of safety in the enormity of his wickedness. This being so, it would hardly be incorrect, methinks, to say, that, while Aristogiton is the defendant, you are upon your probation, and your own character is at stake. For if you manifest your displeasure at these open and grave delinquencies, and if you visit them with punishment, you will seem to have entered court like judges and guardians of the laws, as you are but should different motives prevail, (motives which no one would confess, but which will appear by the votes,) it will look, I fear, as if you were the training masters of every man in the city that wants to be a rogue. For every rogue is weak by himself; but one that you assist becomes strong: and such assistance is power and profit to him that gets it, but to you that lend it a reproach.
Before I begin to speak of the defendant's private life, I should wish you, men of Athens, to consider seriously for a few minutes, to what depth of disgrace and infamy the commonwealth has been brought by all these monsters, among whom the defendant stands middle, last, and first. I will pass by other matters; but they come up to the assemblies
in which you invite your orators to express their opinions, not give utterance to their profligacy-there they come, ready-furnished with audacity and clamour and false charges and calumny and impudence and everything of the kindnothing could be more opposite to the purpose of deliberation; nothing, I am sure, could be more disgraceful. And by these foul means they control everything in the state which is respectable-the laws, the committee of council, the questions of the day,2 and public decency. If you like such doingsif the conduct of these men has your approval-it is all regular, and we must let things take their course. But if
1 Bíov ȧvepáπIVOV. Reiske "civilem-honesto viro dignam vitam.” Pabst "sein Leben als rechtlicher Mann." Auger-" une conduite sage et réglée."
2 Which were set forth by the Prytanes on a tablet, and fixed on the statues of the Heroes, generally four days before the assembly. See Vol. ii. Appendix V. p. 340. Schömann de Comit. 58.
even at this late period you desire to correct the abuses, to reform a vicious and disreputable state of things, which these men introduced long ago and which you have suffered to continue, you must to-day disregard all such practices and pronounce a conscientious verdict, esteeming above all things Eunomia,1 the lover of right, the preserver of countries and states: you must consider every one of you, that you are under the eyes of inexorable and sacred Justice, who, as we are told by Orpheus, our instructor in the most holy ordinances, sits by the throne of Jupiter, and overlooks all the works of men; under that persuasion you must give your votes, taking every possible care not to act unworthily of her, from whom the duty of you jurors derives its name-you that are chosen from time to time to sit in justice, and on that day are charged upon your oaths by your country, by the constitution, by the laws, to maintain the rights and honour and interests of the commonwealth. Should you not be thus disposed, should you have brought your accustomed easiness with you to the bench, I fear the thing may turn out differently from what is expected, and we who fancy we are accusing Aristogiton shall appear to be your accusers; for, the more clearly we demonstrate his turpitude without making an impression on you, the greater will be the reproach that falls upon you. And upon this subject enough.
I shall certainly, men of Athens, speak the truth to you with all frankness. When I saw you in the assemblies proposing and putting me up for accuser of Aristogiton, it annoyed me, and I declare to you solemnly I did not wish it. For I was quite aware, that a man who undertakes anything
of this sort at Athens hurts himself before he has done with it; if not so seriously as to feel it immediately, yet, if he repeats it often and doesn't stop, he'll quickly find it out. However, I deemed it necessary to comply with your wishes. I supposed that Lycurgus himself would state the case upon the information and the laws, as he has done; and I saw that he was summoning the witnesses who speak to this man's baseness. The general points, which are fit to be considered and ought to be weighed by persons deliberating for the state and the laws, I took upon myself to explain; and to this I will now proceed. Give me leave, I entreat you, men of By this title the orator personifies legality and good order.
Athens, to discuss these matters with you in the way that is natural to me and according to the plan that I have marked out. Indeed I could not do it in any other way.
The whole life of men, O Athenians, whether they inhabit a great city or a small one, is governed by nature and by laws. Of these-nature is a thing irregular, unequal, and peculiar to the individual possessor: laws are regular, common, and the same for all. Nature, if it be depraved, has often vicious desires; therefore you will find people of that sort falling into error. Laws desire what is just and honourable and useful; they seek for this, and, when it is found, it is set forth as a general ordinance, the same and alike for all; and that is law, which all men ought to obey for many reasons, and especially because every law is an invention and gift of the Gods, a resolution of wise men, a corrective of errors intentional and unintentional, a compact of the whole state, according to which all who belong to the state ought to live. That Aristogiton has been convicted upon every charge of the information—that no argument which he could urge to the contrary would be endurable—it is easy to show. All laws, men of Athens, are enacted for two objects, first, to prevent the doing of injustice, secondly, that the punishment of transgressors may make other men better. Both of these grounds of condemnation, as you will see, apply to the defendant. For having transgressed the laws in the beginning, he has incurred the penalties; and, for not acquiescing in them,1 he is brought here to be punished by you; so that there is no pretext left for acquitting him. It cannot be said either, that the state is not damaged by these things. I will not remind you, that all the fines of the state are lost, if you admit the sophistries of the defendant—that, if any persons owing fines are to be let off, you should let off the most honest and the best, and those who have been amerced for the least serious offences, not the person who is most profligate, who has most often trespassed, who has been most justly condemned, and for the most shocking offences; for what can be more shocking than pettifoggery and unconstitutional decree-moving, for both of which the defendant has
1 Pabst's version explains the meaning of these words, ovк èμμévei TOÚTOIS-"weil er durch jene Züchtigungen sich nicht hat zur Besserung bewegen lassen."
been condemned? I need not say that, if you forgave every one else, you ought surely to allow no favour to a person who sets you at defiance; for that is outrageous insolence. These and the like arguments I will pass by. But this I think I shall demonstrate to you clearly, that all order legal and political is confounded and destroyed, as far as it can be, by the defendant. And I shall urge nothing that is new or extraordinary or peculiar, but only what you all know as well as myself.1
If any of you will consider what the power is which causes
the council to meet, the people to go up to the assembly, the juries to be impanelled, the old magistrates to make way voluntarily for the new, everything in short by which the state is maintained and governed to be done; he will find that this is owing to the laws and the universal obedience which is paid to them: for, if they were abolished, if every man had a license given him to do what he pleases, not only is the constitution gone, but our mode of living would in no way differ from that of wild beasts. For example, what do you think the defendant himself would do if the laws were abolished, he who thus behaves himself while they are in force? Since then it is acknowledged that, next to the Gods,
1 With this and what follows compare Shakspeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act I Scene 3:—
How could communities,
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark, what discord follows! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy
Strength should be lord of imbecility,
And the rude son should strike his father dead;
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
And appetite, a universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,