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The First Philippic   


the business, and the dispute was judicially heard and decided.] and
consider about ways and means; then it is resolved that resident aliens
and householders [Footnote: Freedmen, who had quitted their masters'
house, and lived independently.] shall embark, then to put yourselves on
board instead: but during these days the objects of our expedition are
lost; for the time of action we waste in preparation, and favorable
moments wait not our evasions and delays. The forces that we imagine we
possess in the mean time, are found, when the crisis comes, utterly
insufficient. And Philip has arrived at such a pitch of arrogance, as to
send the following letter to the Euboeans:

[_The letter is read_.]

Of that which has been read, Athenians, most is true, unhappily true;
perhaps not agreeable to hear. And if what one passes over in speaking,
to avoid offense, one could pass over in reality, it is right to humor
the audience; but if graciousness of speech, where it is out of place,
does harm in action, shameful is it, Athenians, to delude ourselves, and
by putting off every thing unpleasant to miss the time for all
operations, and be unable even to understand, that skillful makers of
war should not follow circumstances, but be in advance of them; that
just as a general may be expected to lead his armies, so are men of
prudent counsel to guide circumstances, in order that their resolutions
may be accomplished, not their motions determined by the event. Yet you,
Athenians, with larger means than any people--ships, infantry, cavalry,
and revenue--have never up to this day made proper use of any of them;
and your war with Philip differs in no respect from the boxing of
barbarians. For among them the party struck feels always for the blow;
[Footnote: Compare Virgil, Aen. ix 577.

Ille manum projecto tegmine demens
Ad vulnus tulit.]

strike him somewhere else, there go his hands again; ward or look in the
face he can not nor will. So you, if you hear of Philip in the
Chersonese, vote to send relief there if at Thermopylae, the same; if
any where else, you run after his heels up and down, and are commanded
by him; no plan have you devised for the war, no circumstance do you see
beforehand, only [Footnote: This loose mode of expression, which is
found in the original, I designedly retain.] when you learn that
something is done, or about to be done. Formerly perhaps this was
allowable: now it is come to a crisis, to be tolerable no longer. And it
seems, men of Athens, as if some god, ashamed for us at our proceedings,
has put this activity into Philip. For had he been willing to remain
quiet in possession of his conquests and prizes, and attempted nothing
further, some of you, I think, would be satisfied with a state of
things, which brands our nation with the shame of cowardice and the
foulest disgrace. But by continually encroaching and grasping after
more, he may possibly rouse you, if you have not altogether despaired. I
marvel, indeed, that none of you, Athenians, notices with concern and
anger, that the beginning of this war was to chastise Philip, the end is
to protect ourselves against his attacks. One thing is clear: he will
not stop, unless some one oppose him. And shall we wait for this? And if
you dispatch empty galleys and hopes from this or that person, think ye
all is well? Shall we not embark? Shall we not sail with at least a part
of our national forces, now though not before? Shall we not make a
descent upon his coast? Where, then, shall we land? some one asks. The
war itself, men of Athens, will discover the rotten parts of his empire,
if we make a trial; but if we sit at home, hearing the orators accuse
and malign one another, no good can ever be achieved. Methinks, where a
portion of our citizens, though not all, are commissioned with the rest,
Heaven blesses, and Fortune aids the struggle: but where you send out a
general and an empty decree and hopes from the hustings, nothing that
you desire is done; your enemies scoff, and your allies die for fear of

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