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The Fourth Philippic   


mean. This again is not so. Your father was a thief, [Footnote: This
seems to shock Leland, who spoils the pungency of the expression, by
rendering it: "Your father was like you, and therefore base and
infamous." Auger remarks: "L'invective de Demosthene est fort eloquente,
mais bien violente. L'amour de la patrie, contre laquelle sans doute
agissait Aristodeme, peut seul en excuser la vivacite."] if he resembled
you, whereas by the ancestors of the commonwealth, as all men know, the
Greeks have twice been rescued from the brink of destruction. Truly the
behaviour of some persons, in private and in public, is neither
equitable nor constitutional. How is it equitable, that certain of these
men, returned from prison, should not know themselves, while the state,
that once protected all Greece and held the foremost place, is sunk in
ignominy and humiliation?

Much could I add on many points, but I will forbear. It is not, I
believe, to lack of words that our distresses have been owing either now
or heretofore. The mischief is when you, after listening to sound
arguments, and all agreeing in their justice, sit to hear with equal
favor those who try to defeat and pervert them; not that you are
ignorant of the men; (you are certain at the first glance, who speak for
hire and are Philip's political agents, and who speak sincerely for your
good;) your object is to find fault with these, turn the thing into
laughter and raillery, and escape the performance of your duty.

Such is the truth, spoken with perfect freedom, purely from good-will
and for the best: not a speech fraught with flattery and mischief and
deceit, to earn money for the speaker, and to put the commonwealth into
the hands of our enemies. I say, you must either desist from these
practices, or blame none but yourselves for the wretched condition of
your affairs.

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