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Against Timarchus   



Hegesandrus, son of Diphilus, of Steiria testifies. When I returned from my voyage to the Hellespont, I found Timarchus, son of Arizelus, staying at the house of Pittalacus, the gambler. As a result of this acquaintance I enjoyed the same intimacy with Timarchus as with Leodamas previously.

[69] I was sure, fellow citizens, that Hegesandrus would disdain the oath, and I told you so in advance. This too is plain at once, that since he is not willing to testify now, he will presently appear for the defence. And no wonder, by Zeus! For he will come up here to the witness stand, I suppose, trusting in his record, honorable and upright man that he is, an enemy of all evil-doing, a man who does not know who Leodamas was--Leodamas, at whose name you yourselves raised a shout as the affidavit was being read.

[70] Shall I yield to the temptation to use language somewhat more explicit than my own self-respect allows? Tell me, fellow citizens, in the name of Zeus and the other gods, when a man has defiled himself with Hegesandrus, does not that man seem to you to have prostituted himself to a prostitute? In what excesses of bestiality are we not to imagine them to have indulged when they were drunken and alone! Don't you suppose that Hegesandrus, in his desire to wipe out his own notorious practices with Leodamas, which are known to all of you, made extravagant demands on the defendant, hoping to make Timarchus' conduct so exceedingly bad that his own earlier behavior would seem to have been modest indeed?

[71] And yet you will presently see Hegesandrus and his brother Crobylus leaping to the platform here and most vehemently and eloquently declaring that what I say is all nonsense. They will demand that I present witnesses to testify explicitly where he did it, how he it, or who saw him do it, or what sort of an act it was--a shameless demand, I think.

[72] For I do not believe your memory is so short that you have forgotten the laws that you heard read a few moments ago, in which it stands written that if anyone hires any Athenian for this act, or if any one lets himself out for hire, he is liable to the most severe penalties, and the same penalties for both offences. Now what man is so reckless that he would be willing to give in plain words testimony which, if the testimony be true, would inevitably amount to information against himself as liable to extreme punishment?

[73] Only one alternative then remains: that the man who submitted to the act shall acknowledge it. But he is on trial on precisely this charge, that after such conduct as this, he breaks the laws by speaking before the assembly. Shall we, then, drop the whole affair, and make no further inquiry? By Poseidon, a fine home this city will be for us, if when we ourselves know that a thing has been done in fact, we are to ignore it unless some man come forward here and testify to the act in words as explicit as they must be shameless.

[74] But pray consider the case with the help of illustrations; and naturally the illustrations will have to be like the pursuits of Timarchus. You see the men over yonder who sit in the bawdy-houses, men who confessedly pursue the profession. Yet these persons, brought to such straits as that, do nevertheless make some attempt to cover their shame: they shut their doors. Now if, as you are passing along the street, any one should ask you, "Pray, what is the fellow doing at this moment?" you would instantly name the act, though you do not see it done, and do not know who it was that entered the house; knowing the profession of the man, you know his act also.

[75] In the same way, therefore, you ought to judge the case of Timarchus, and not to ask whether anyone saw, but whether he has done the deed. For by heaven, Timarchus, what shall a man say? What would you say yourself about another man on trial on this charge? What shall we say when a young man leaves his father's house and spends his nights in other people's houses, a conspicuously handsome young man? When he enjoys costly suppers without paying for them, and keeps the most expensive flutegirls and harlots? When he gambles and pays nothing himself but another man always pays for him?

[76] Does it take a wizard to explain all that? Is it not perfectly plain that the man who makes such demands must himself necessarily be furnishing in return certain pleasures to the men who are spending their money on him? I say "furnishing pleasures," because, by the Olympian Zeus, I don't know how I can use more euphemistic language than that in referring to your contemptible conduct.

[77] But also look at the case, if you please, with the help of certain illustrations taken from the field of politics, especially matters which you have in hand just now. We have been having revisions of the citizen-lists in the demes, and each one of us has submitted to a vote regarding himself to determine whether he is a genuine citizen or not. Now whenever I am in the court-room listening to the pleas, I see that the same argument always prevails with you: when the prosecutor says

[78] "Gentlemen of the jury, the men of the deme have under oath excluded this man on their own personal knowledge, although nobody brought accusation or gave testimony against him," you immediately applaud, assuming that the man who is before the court has no claim to citizenship. For I suppose you are of the opinion that when one knows a thing perfectly of his own knowledge, he does not need argument or testimony in addition.

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