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one of the expelled tyrants, returned and asked amnesty from the court. During the trial Lysias came into Court and denounced the assassin of his brother in a burst of simple and passionate eloquence, which must have had a great effect on his hearers. In this he first broke from the stilted manner previously existing into his natural later style of speech. We give an illustrative passage from this oration.]
It is an easy matter, O Athenians, to begin this accusation. But to end it without doing injustice to the cause will be attended with no small difficulty. For the crimes of Eratosthenes are not only too atrocious to describe, but too many to enumerate. No exaggeration can exceed, and within the time assigned for this discourse it is impossible fully to represent them. This trial, too, is attended with another singularity. In other causes it is usual to ask the accusers : “What is your resentment against the defendants ?” But here you must ask the defendant :
" What was your reseatment against your country ? What malice did you bear your fellow-citizens? Why did you rage with unbridled fury against the State itself?'
The time has now indeed come, Athenians, when, insensible to pity and tenderness, you must be armed with just severity against Eratosthenes and his associates. What avails it to have conquered them in the field, if you be overcome by them in your councils ? Do not show them more favor for what they boast they will perform, than resentment for what they have already committed. Nor, after having been at so much pains to become masters of their persons, allow them to escape without suffering that punishment which you once sought to inflict; but prove yourselves worthy of that good fortune which has given you power over your enemies.
The contest is very unequal between Eratosthenes and you. Formerly he was both judge and accuser ; but we, even while we accuse, must at the same time make our defense. Those who were innocent he put to death without trial. To those who are guilty we allow the benefit of law, even though no adequate punishment can ever be inflicted. For should we sacrifice them and their children, would this compensate for the murder of your fathers, your sons, and your brothers ? Should we deprive them of their property, would this indemnify the individuals whom they have beggared, or the State which they have plundered? Though they cannot suffer a punishment adequate to their demerit, they ought not, surely, on this account, to escape. Yet how matchless is the effrontery of Eratosthenes, who, being now judged by the very persons whom he formerly injured, still ventures to make his defense before the witnesses of his crimes ? What can show more evidently the contempt in which he holds you, or the confidence which he reposes in others ?
Let me now conclude with laying before you the miseries to which you were reduced, that you may see the necessity of taking punishment on the authors of them. And first, you who remained in the city, consider the severity of their government. You were reduced to such a situation as to be forced to carry on a war, in which, if you were conquered, you partook indeed of the same liberty with the conquerors; but if you proved victorious, you remained under the slavery of your magistrates. As to you of the Piræus,* you will remember that though you never lost your arms in the battles which you fought, yet you suffered by these men what your foreign enemies could never accomplish, and at home, in times of peace, were disarmed by your fellow-citizens. By them you were banished from the country left you by your fathers. Their rage, knowing no abatement, pursued you abroad, and drove you from one territory to another. Recall the cruel indignities which you suffered ; how you were dragged from the tribunal and the altars; how no place, however sacred, could shelter you against their violence. Others, torn from their wives, their children, their parents, after putting an end to their miserable lives, were deprived of funeral rites ; for these tyrants imagined their government to be so firmly established that even the vengeance of the gods was unable to shake it.
But it is impossible for one, or in the course of one trial, to enumerate the means which were employed to undermine the power of this State, the arsenals which were demolished, the temples sold or profaned, the citizens banished or murdered, and those whose dead bodies were impiously left unirterred. Those citizens now watch your decree, uncertain whether you will prove accomplices of their death or avengers of their murder. shall desist from any further accusations. You have heard, you have seen, you have experienced. Decide then!
*The port of Athens.
THE RETURN OF ALCIBIADES TO ATHENS An interesting scene in the life of the distinguished Greek Orator who was born about 450 B. C. and who is here in this picture welcomed home after a long banishment. He was also an able general. He was a student of Pericles and a disciple of Socrates the great philosopher.
ISOCRATES (436–338 B. C.)
ATHENS SILVER-TONGUED ORATOR
SOCRATES lived at the same time with Lysias and rivalled
him in fame, his style resembling that of Lysias in purity and
correctness, though it is more round and full in its periods, while his orations have a power in their full stream of harmonious diction which is found in no earlier work of rhetoric. The ancient estimate of his powers is shown by the statue of a siren erected in his tomb, in indication of his sweetness. Like his fellow orators, his speeches were not extemporaneous, but were elaborated with great
He is said to have spent ten years in composing and polishing one oration. Of his productions, twenty-one are extant. He opened a school of oratory at Athens, and numbered among his pupils many men of later prominence. He lived to be ninety-eight years of age, and died then from voluntary starvation, occasioned by his grief at the fatal battle in which Philip of Macedon overthrew the power of Athens.
FLATTERY MORE POWERFUL THAN TRUTH [The orations of Isocrates may be classified as didactic, persuasive, laudatory, and forensic. We select from Dinsdale's translation, a passage illustrative of his method. It may be said further that his weak voice and natural timidity prevented him from becoming a public speaker himself, his orations being written for others, or for delivery by chosen speakers on important political occasions.]
Those who come hither are used to say that those things which they are going to speak of are of the noblest nature, and worthy the city's utmost attention ; but if there ever was a time when this might be said of any affairs, methinks that I now handle deserves such an exordium. We are assembled to deliberate about peace and war, which are of the highest importance in human life; and those who consult maturely are more successful than others. The importance, therefore, of our present subject is of this high nature.