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Against Timarchus   


[40] First of all, as soon as he was past boyhood he settled down in the Peiraeus at the establishment of Euthydicus the physician, pretending to be a student of medicine, but in fact deliberately offering himself for sale, as the event proved. The names of the merchants or other foreigners, or of our own citizens, who enjoyed the person of Timarchus in those days I will pass over willingly, that no one may say that I am over particular to state every petty detail. But in whose houses he has lived to the shame of his own body and of the city, earning wages by precisely that thing which the law forbids, under penalty of losing the privilege of public speech, of this I will speak.

[41] Fellow citizens, there is one Misgolas, son of Naucrates, of the deme Collytus, a man otherwise honorable, and beyond reproach save in this, that he is bent on that sort of thing like one possessed, and is accustomed always to have about him singers or cithara-players. I say this, not from any liking for indecent talk, but that you may know what sort of man Misgolas is. Now this Misgolas, perceiving Timarchus' motive in staying at the house of the physician, paid him a sum of money in advance and caused him to change his lodgings, and got him into his own home; for Timarchus was well developed, young, and lewd, just the person for the thing that Misgolas wanted to do, and Timarchus wanted to have done.

[42] Timarchus did not hesitate, but submitted to it all, though he had income to satisfy all reasonable desires. For his father had left him a very large property, which he has squandered, as I will show in the course of my speech. But he behaved as he did because he was a slave to the most shameful lusts, to gluttony and extravagance at table, to flute-girls and harlots, to dice, and to all those other things no one of which ought to have the mastery over a man who is well-born and free. And this wretch was not ashamed to abandon his father's house and live with Misgolas, a man who was not a friend of his father's, nor a person of his own age, but a stranger, and older than himself, a man who knew no restraint in such matters, while Timarchus himself was in the bloom of youth.

[43] Among the many ridiculous things which Timarchus did in those days was one which I wish to relate to you. The occasion was the procession at the City Dionysia. Misgolas, who had taken possession of him, and Phaedrus, son of Callias, of the deme Sphettus, were to march in the procession together. Now Timarchus here had agreed to join them in the procession, but they were busy with their general preparations, and he failed to come back. Misgolas, provoked at the thing, proceeded to make search for him in company with Phaedrus. They got word of him and found him at lunch with some foreigners in a lodging-house. Misgolas and Phaedrus threatened the foreigners and ordered them to follow straight to the lock-up for having corrupted a free youth. The foreigners were so scared that they dropped everything and ran away as fast as they could go.

[44] The truth of this story is known to everybody who knew Misgolas and Timarchus in those days. Indeed, I am very glad that the suit that I am prosecuting is against a man not unknown to you, and known for no other thing than precisely that practice as to which you are going to render your verdict. For in the case of facts which are not generally known, the accuser is bound, I suppose, to make his proofs explicit; but where the facts are notorious, I think it is no very difficult matter to conduct the prosecution, for one has only to appeal to the recollection of his hearers.

[45] However, although the fact in this case is acknowledged, I remember that we are in court, and so I have drafted an affidavit for Misgolas, true and not indelicate in phrasing, as I flatter myself. For I do not set down the actual name of the thing that Misgolas used to do to him, nor have I written anything else that would legally incriminate a man who has testified to the truth. But I have set down what will be no news for you to hear, and will involve the witness in no danger nor disgrace.

[46] If therefore Misgolas is willing to come forward here and testify to the truth, he will be doing what is right; but if he prefers to refuse the summons rather than testify to the truth, the whole business will be made clear to you. For if the man who did the thing is going to be ashamed of it and choose to pay a thousand drachmas into the treasury rather than show his face before you, while the man to whom it has been done is to be a speaker in your assembly, then wise indeed was the lawgiver who excluded such disgusting creatures from the platform.

[47] But if Misgolas does indeed answer the summons, but resorts to the most shameless course, denial of the truth under oath, as a grateful return to Timarchus, and a demonstration to the rest of them that he well knows how to help cover up such conduct, in the first place he will damage himself, and in the second place he will gain nothing by it. For I have prepared another affidavit for those who know that this man Timarchus left his father's house and lived with Misgolas, though it is a difficult thing, no doubt, that I am undertaking. For I have to present as my witnesses, not friends of mine nor enemies of theirs, nor those who are strangers to both of us, but their friends.

[48] But even if they do persuade these men also not to testify--I do not expect they will, at any rate not all of them--one thing at least they will never succeed in accomplishing: they will never hush up the truth, nor blot out Timarchus' reputation among his fellow citizens--a reputation which he owes to no act of mine, but to his own conduct. For the life of a virtuous man ought to be so clean that it will not admit even of a suspicion of wrong-doing.

[49] But I wish to say another thing in anticipation, in case Misgolas shall answer before the laws and before you. There are men who by nature differ widely from the rest of us as to their apparent age. For some men, young in years, seem mature and older than they are; others, old by count of years, seem to be mere youths. Misgolas is such a man. He happens, indeed, to be of my own age, and was in the cadet corps with me; we are now in our forty-fifth year. I am quite gray, as you see, but not he. Why do I speak of this? Because I fear that,seeing him for the first time, you may be surprised,and some such thought as this may occur to you: "Heracles! This man is not much older than Timarchus." For not only is this youthful appearance characteristic of the man, but moreover Timarchus was already past boyhood when he used to be in his company.

[50] But not to delay, call first, if you please, those who know that Timarchus here lived in the house of Misgolas, then read the testimony of Phaedrus, and, finally, please take the affidavit of Misgolas himself, in case fear of the gods, and respect for those who know the facts as well as he does, and for the citizens at large and for you the jurors, shall persuade him to testify to the truth.

Testimony

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