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The Fourth Philippic   

at his court, when he was taken prisoner. The philosopher afterward
married his sister.] of all Philip's preparations against the king has
been snatched off, and the king will hear all the proceedings, not from
Athenian accusers, whom he might consider to be speaking for their own
interests, but from the acting minister himself; the charges therefore
will be credible, and the only remaining argument for our embassadors
will be, one which the Persian monarch will rejoice to hear, that we
should take common vengeance on the injurer of both, and that Philip is
much more formidable to the king, if he attack us first; for, should we
be left in the lurch and suffer any mishap, he will march against the
king without fear. On all these matters then I advise that you dispatch
an embassy to confer with the king, and put aside that nonsense which
has so often damaged you--"the barbarian," forsooth, "the common
enemy"--and the like. I confess, when I see a man alarmed at a prince in
Susa and Ecbatana, and declaring him to be an enemy of Athens, him that
formerly [Footnote: In the confederate war, when the Persian fleet
enabled Conon to defeat the Lacedaemonians at Onidus, B. C. 394.]
assisted in re-establishing her power, and lately made overtures
[Footnote: Artaxerxes had applied both to Athens and Lacedaemon to aid
him in the recovery of Egypt, which for many years had been held in a
state of revolt. Both these states refused to assist him. He then
applied to Thebes and Argos, each of which sent an auxiliary force.]--if
you did not accept them, but voted refusal, the fault is not his--while
the same man speaks a different language of one who is close at our
doors, and growing up in the centre of Greece to be the plunderer of her
people; I marvel, I dread this man, whoever he is, because he dreads not

There is another thing too, the attacking of which by unjust reproach
and improper language hurts the state, and affords an excuse to men who
are unwilling to perform any public duty: indeed you will find that
every failure to discharge the obligation of a citizen is attributable
to this. I am really afraid to discuss the matter; however, I will speak

I believe I can suggest, for the advantage of the state, a plea for the
poor against the rich, and for men of property against the indigent;
could we remove the clamor which some persons unfairly raise about the
theatric fund, [Footnote: Boeckh, Schaefer, and others, regard it as
conclusive against the genuineness of this Oration, that a different
view is here taken on the subject of the Theoric fund from that which
Demosthenes had expressed in the Olynthiacs. And certainly it is a
strong argument. It is possible, however, that circumstances may have
induced him to modify his opinion, or he may have thought it dangerous
to meddle with the law of Eubulus at the present crisis, which called
for the greatest unanimity among all classes. We may partly gather from
this speech, that there had been some agitation among the lower classes,
occasioned by the complaints of the wealthy against this law. Any
agitation tending to a spirit of communism must have been extremely
dangerous at Athens, where the people had such power of muleting the
higher classes by their votes in the popular assembly and courts of
justice. It might therefore be better to let the people alone with their
theatrical treats, their fees and largesses, than to provoke retaliation
by abridging such enjoyments. Leland observes on the subject as
follows--"All that the orator here says in defense of the theatrical
appointments is expressed with a caution and reserve quite opposite to
his usual openness and freedom; and which plainly betray a consciousness
of his being inconsistent with his former sentiments. How far he may be
excused by the supposed necessity of yielding to the violent
prepossessions of the people, and giving up a favorite point, I can not
pretend to determine. But it is certainly not very honorable to
Demosthenes, to suppose with Ulpian, that his former opposition was
merely personal, and that the death of Eubulus now put an end to it."]
and the fear that it can not stand without some signal mischief. No

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