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The Fourth Philippic   


the way of proceeding. It is never possible with sudden levies to
perform any essential service. You must establish an army, provide
maintenance for it, and paymasters, and commissaries, so ordering it
that the strictest care be taken of your funds; demand from those
officers an account of the expenditure, from your general an account of
the campaign; and leave not the general any excuse for sailing elsewhere
or prosecuting another enterprise. If ye so act and so resolve in
earnest, you will compel Philip to observe a just peace and remain in
his own country, or will contend with him on equal terms; and perhaps,
Athenians, perhaps, as you now inquire what Philip is doing, and whither
marching, so he may be anxious to learn, whither the troops of Athens
are bound, and where they will make their appearance.

Should any man think that these are affairs of great expense and toil
and difficulty, he thinks rightly enough: but let him consider what the
consequences to Athens must be, if she refuse so to act, and he will
find it is our interest to perform our duties cheerfully. Suppose you
had some god for your surety--for certainly no mortal could guarantee a
thing so fortunate--that, although you kept quiet and sacrificed every
thing, Philip would not attack you at last, yet, by Jupiter and all the
gods, it would be disgraceful, unworthy of yourselves, of the dignity of
your state, and the deeds of your ancestors, for the sake of selfish
indolence to abandon the rest of Greece to servitude. For my part, I
would rather die than have advised such a course: however, if any other
man advises it, and can prevail on you, be it so; make no defense,
abandon all. But if no man holds such an opinion, if on the contrary we
all foresee, that, the more we permit Philip to conquer, the more fierce
and formidable an enemy we shall find him, what subterfuge remains? what
excuse for delay? Or when, O Athenians, shall we be willing to act as
becomes us? Peradventure, when there is some necessity. But what may be
called the necessity of freemen is not only come, but past long ago; and
that of slaves you must surely deprecate. What is the difference? To a
freeman shame for what is occurring is the strongest necessity; I know
of none stronger that can be mentioned: to a slave, stripes and bodily
chastisement; abominable things! too shocking to name!

To be backward, men of Athens, in performing those services to which the
person and property of every one are liable, is wrong, very wrong, and
yet it admits of some excuse: but refusing even to bear what is
necessary to be heard, and fit to be considered, this calls for the
severest censure. Your practice however is, neither to attend until the
business actually presses, as it does now, nor to deliberate about any
thing at leisure. When Philip is preparing, you, instead of doing the
like and making counter-preparation, remain listless, and, if any one
speaks a word, clamor him down: when you receive news that any place is
lost or besieged, then you listen and prepare. But the time to have
heard and consulted was then when you declined; the time to act and
employ your preparations is now that you are hearing. Such being your
habits, you are the only people who adopt this singular course: others
deliberate usually before action, you deliberate after action. One thing
[Footnote: He means negotiation with Persia, to obtain pecuniary
assistance.] remains, which should have been done long ago, but even yet
is not too late: I will mention it. Nothing in the world does Athens
need so much, as money for approaching exigencies. Lucky events have
occurred, and, if we rightly improve them, perhaps good service may be
done. In the first place, those, [Footnote: The Thracians, who had
always been regarded as benefactors of the Persian king, since they
assisted Darius on his invasion of Scythia. Philip was making war in
Thrace at this time, and had subjected a considerable part of the
country.] whom the king trusts and regards as his benefactors, are at
enmity and war with Philip. Secondly, the agent and confidant [Footnote:
Hermias, governor of Atarneus in Mysia, who for his treasonable
practices against Artaxerxes was seized by Mentor and sent in chains to
Susa, where he was put to death. He was a friend of Aristotle, who was

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