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The Fourth Philippic   

THE FOURTH PHILIPPIC.

THE ARGUMENT.


The subject of this Oration is the same as the last, viz.,
the necessity of resistance to Philip. The time of its
delivery would appear to have been a little later, while
Philip was yet in Thrace, and before he commenced the siege
of the Propontine towns. No new event is alluded to, except
the seizure of Hermias by the satrap Mentor, the exact date
of which is uncertain. The orator urges here, still more
strongly than he had done in the third Philippic, the
necessity of applying to Persia for assistance. His advice
was followed, and a negotiation was opened with that
monarchy, which led to the effective relief of Perinthus.
There is a remarkable passage in this speech, on the
importance of general unanimity, which seems to imply that
disputes had arisen between the richer and poorer classes,
chiefly in regard to the application of the public revenue.
The view which is here taken on the subject of the Theoric
distributions is so different from the argument in the
Olynthiacs, that modern critics have generally considered
this Oration to be spurious. Another ground for such opinion
is, that it contains various passages borrowed from other
speeches, and not very skillfully put together. Yet the
genuineness seems not to have been doubted by any of the
ancient grammarians.


Believing, men of Athens, that the subject of your consultation is
serious and momentous to the state, I will endeavor to advise what I
think important. Many have been the faults, accumulated for some time
past, which have brought us to this wretched condition; but none is
under the circumstances so distressing as this, men of Athens; that your
minds are alienated from public business; you are attentive just while
you sit listening to some news, afterward you all go away, and, so far
from caring for what you heard, you forget it altogether.

Well; of the extent of Philip's arrogance and ambition, as evinced in
his dealings with every people, you have been informed. That it is not
possible to restrain him in such course by speeches and harangues, no
man can be ignorant: or, if other reasons fail to convince you, reflect
on this. Whenever we have had to discuss our claims, on no occasion have
we been worsted or judged in the wrong; we have still beaten and got the
better of all in argument. But do his affairs go badly on this account,
or ours well? By no means. For as Philip immediately proceeds, with arms
in his hand, to put all he possesses boldly at stake, while we with our
equities, the speakers as well as the hearers, are sitting still,
actions (naturally enough) outstrip words, and people attend not to what
we have argued or may argue, but to what we do, All our doings are not
likely to protect any of our injured neighbors: I need not say more upon
the subject. Therefore, as the states are divided into two parties, one
that would neither hold arbitrary government nor submit to it, but live
under free and equal laws; another desiring to govern their
fellow-citizens, and be subject to some third power, by whose assistance
they hope to accomplish that object; the partisans of Philip, [Footnote:
I agree with Pabst and Auger that [Greek: _ekeinon_] signifies
Philip. Schaefer takes it neutrally.] who desire tyranny and despotism,
have every where prevailed, and I know not whether there is any state
left, besides our own, with a popular constitution firmly established.
And those, that hold the government through him, have prevailed by all
the means efficacious in worldly affairs; principally and mainly, by
having a person to bribe the corruptible; secondly, a point no less
important, by having at their command, at whatever season they required,

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