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Against Timarchus   



[160] But if they shall undertake to say that no man has been a prostitute unless he was hired under contract, and if they demand that I produce writings and witnesses, I ask you first to call to mind the laws concerning prostitution; in them the lawgiver has nowhere made mention of contracts, for he did not inquire whether it was by contract that a person had defiled himself, but in comprehensive terms, no matter how the deed is done, he commands that the man who did it shall take no part in public affairs. And he is right; for the man who in his youth was led by shameful indulgence to surrender honorable ambition, that man, he believed, ought not in later life to be possessed of the citizen's privileges.

[161] In the second place, it is easy to demonstrate the folly of this plea. For we should all acknowledge this, that we enter into contracts because we do not trust one another, the object being that the party who has not violated the written terms may receive satisfaction by verdict of the courts from the one who has. If, therefore, this business needs the help of the courts, those who have served as prostitutes by contract, in case they are wronged, have left them, according to the argument of the defendants, recourse to the protection of the laws. And what would be the plea that either side would advance? Imagine the case, not as something that I am telling you, but as going on before your eyes.

[162] Assume that the man who hired the other is in the right as regards the fact and the man who was hired is in the wrong and has no ground to stand on; or assume the opposite, that the man who was hired is fair and fulfils his engagement, but the man who has plucked the flower of his youth and hired him has broken his word; then imagine that you yourselves are sitting as jury. Now the elder man, when his time allowance and the right to speak are given him, will press his accusation vigorously, and looking, of course, into your faces, he will say,

[163] "Fellow citizens, I hired Timarchus to serve me as a prostitute according to the contract that is deposited with Demosthenes"--there is no reason why that statement might not be made!--"but he fails to carry out his engagement with me." And now, of course, he proceeds to describe this engagement to the jury, telling what it is that a man of that sort is expected to do. Thereupon will not the man be stoned who has hired an Athenian contrary to the laws, and will he not leave the court-room not only sentenced to pay his fine, but also convicted of wanton outrage?

[164] But suppose it is not this man, but the one who was hired, that is bringing suit. Now let him come forward and speak--or else let the wise Batalus speak in his stead, that we may know what he will find to say! "Gentlemen of the jury, so-and-so"--it does not matter who--"hired me to be his prostitute for money, and I have done, and still continue to do, according to the terms of the contract, all that a prostitute is under obligation to do; he, however, fails to fulfil the agreement." Will he not immediately have to face a loud protest from the jurors? For who will not say, "And then do you thrust yourself into the market-place, do you put on a garland, do you attempt to do anything else that the rest of us do?" His contract, you see, is of no use to him.

[165] Now let me tell you how it happens that it has become the prevailing custom to say, that persons have in the past become prostitutes "under written contract." One of our citizens (I will not name him, for I have no desire to make myself hated), foreseeing none of the consequences which I have just described to you, is said to have served as prostitute according to a contract deposited with Anticles. Now, since he was not a private citizen, but active in politics and subject to scurrilous attack, he caused the city to become accustomed to this expression, and that is the reason why some men ask whether in a given case the practice has been "by written contract." But the lawgiver did not care how the thing was brought about; on the contrary, if there is a letting for hire in any way whatsoever, the man who does the deed is condemned by him to disgrace.

[166] But nevertheless, although all this is so plainly defined, many irrelevant arguments will be invented by Demosthenes. Possibly, when he sticks to his subject, we might be less indignant with him for the animosity he shows; but when, to the injury of our national rights, he foists in matters that do not belong to the case, then one may well be angry. Philip will be largely in evidence, and the name of Philip's son Alexander is going to be mixed up in it. For in addition to all the rest that is bad in him, this Demosthenes is an ill-mannered and boorish sort of person.

[167] His offensive talk against Philip is foolish and out of place, but not so serious a mistake as that which I am about to mention. For confessedly he will be making his slanderous charges against a man--he who is himself no man. But when he insinuates shameful suspicions against the boy, by deliberately applying to him words of double meaning, he makes our city ridiculous.

[168] For, under the impression that he is hurting me with reference to the accounting which I am about to render for my service on the embassy, he says that when the other day he himself was describing the boy Alexander, telling how at a certain banquet of ours he played the cithara, reciting certain passages in which there were thrusts at another boy, and when he reported to the senate what he himself happened to know about the incident, I got angry at his jests at the expense of the boy, as though I were not merely a member of the embassy, but one of the boy's own family.

[169] Now I naturally have had no conversation with Alexander, because of his youth, but Philip I do praise now because of his auspicious words, and if in what he does toward us in the future he shall fulfil the promise of what he now says, he will make praise of him a safe and easy thing. I did, indeed, rebuke Demosthenes in the senate-chamber, not because I was counting the favor of the boy, but because I felt that if you should listen to such words as his, the city would show itself as ill-behaved as the speaker.

[170] But, fellow citizens, I beg you not to accept their irrelevant pleas at all, in the first place for the sake of the oaths which you have sworn, in the second place that you may not be misled by a fellow who makes a trade of the manipulation of words. But I will go back a little way for your instruction. Demosthenes, after he had spent his patrimony, went up and down the city, hunting rich young fellows whose fathers were dead, and whose mothers were administering their property. I will omit many instances, and will mention only one of those who were outrageously treated.

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