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The Fourth Philippic   


greater help to our affairs could we introduce; [Footnote: Viz., than
the removal of this clamor and alarm about the theatric fund.] none that
would more strengthen the whole community. Look at it thus. I will
commence on behalf of those who are considered the needy class. There
was a time with us, not long ago, when only a hundred and thirty talents
came into the state; [Footnote: This must be understood (according to
Boeckh) of the tribute only, which came in from the allies. The total
revenue of Athens must have greatly exceeded this.] and among the
persons qualified to command ships or pay property-tax, there was not
one who claimed exemption from his duty because no surplus existed:
[Footnote: There was as much ground for legal exemption then as there is
now; and yet it was never claimed. Why should the rich seek to be
relieved from their burdens because of an abundance of revenue? That
abundance is for the general benefit of the state, not for theirs in
particular. Such appears to be the argument, perhaps not quite
satisfactory; but such it is. Pabst, apparently reading [Greek: _aph
heautou_], has: _der nicht aus eigenem Antrieb seine Schuldigkeit
zu thun bereit war, weil kein Gelduberschuss vorhanden war_.] galleys
sailed, money was forthcoming, every thing needful was done. Since that
time fortune happily has increased the revenue, and four hundred talents
come in instead of one, without loss to any men of property, but with
gain to them; for all the wealthy come for their share of the fund, and
they are welcome to it. [Footnote: _I. e._ the Theoric fund, in
which every member of the commonwealth had a right to share.] Why then
do we reproach one another on this account, and make it an excuse for
declining our duties, unless we grudge the relief given by fortune to
the poor? I would be sorry to blame them myself, and I think it not
right. In private families I never see a young man behaving so to his
elders, so unfeeling or so unreasonable, as to refuse to do any thing
himself, unless all the rest will do what he does. Such a person would
certainly be amenable to the laws against undutiful conduct: [Footnote:
Pabst: _die Gesetze wegen ungebuhrlicher Behandlung der Eltern_.
[Greek: _Kakosis_], "maltreatment", was a technical term in the
Attic law, denoting a failure of duty on the part of husbands, children,
or guardians, toward their wives, parents, or wards, for which they were
liable to be tried and punished in a suit called [Greek: _kakoseos
dikae_]. The jurisdiction over this offense belonged to the Archon,
who was the protector of all family rights.] for I ween there is a
tribute assigned to parents both by nature and by law, which ought to be
cheerfully offered and amply paid. Accordingly, as each individual among
us hath a parent, so should we regard the whole people as parents of the
state, and, so far from depriving them of what the state bestows, we
ought, in the absence of such bounty, to find other means to keep them
from destitution. If the rich will adopt this principle, I think they
will act both justly and wisely; for to deprive any class of a necessary
provision, is to unite them in disaffection to the commonwealth.

To the poor I would recommend, that they remove the cause, which makes
men of property discontented with the present system, and excites their
just complaints. I shall take the same course on behalf of the wealthy
as I did just now, and not hesitate to speak the truth. There can not, I
believe, be found a wretch so hard-hearted--I will not say among
Athenians, but among any other people--who would be sorry to see poor
men, men without the necessaries of life, receiving these bounties.
Where then is the pinch [Footnote: The expression "Where is the rub?"
would be still nearer to the original, and the expression reminds one of
the line in Hamlet:

To sleep! perchance to dream! ay, there's the rub.

Reiske says the simile is taken from the collision of chariots in the
race; but this is confining it too much. His vernacular explanation is:
_woran stosst es sich? wo ist der Haken?_ Pabst has: _woran
stosst sich die Sache, und was erzeugt den Verdruss?_] of the matter?

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