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that Samos was garrisoned by Cyprothemis, under the appointment of Tigranes, the king's deputy, renounced the intention of assisting Ariobarzanes, but invested the island with his forces and delivered it. And to this day there has been no war against you on that account. Man will not fight for aggressive purposes so readily as for defensive. To resist spoliation they strive with all their might. Not so to gratify ambition; this they will atempt if there be none to hinder them; but if prevented, they regard not their opponents as having done them an injury.
My belief is that Artemisia would not even oppose this enterprise now if our state were embarked in the measure. Attend a moment and see whether my calculations be right or wrong. I consider, were the king succeeding in all his designs in Egypt, Artemisia would make a strenuous effort to get Rhodes into his power, not from affection to the king, but from a desire, while he tarried in her neighborhood, to confer an important obligation upon him, so that he might give her the most friendly reception; but since he fares as they report, having miscarried in his attempts, she judges that this island — and so the fact is — would be of no further use to the king at present, but only a fortress to overawe her kingdom and prevent disturbances. Therefore it seems to me she would rather you had the island, without her appearing to have surrendered it, than that he should obtain possession. I think, indeed, she will send no succours at all, but if she do they will be scanty and feeble. As to the king, what he will do I can not pretend to know; but this I will maintain, that it is expedient for Athens to have it immediately understood whether he means to claim the Rhodian city or not; for, if he should, you will have to deliberate not on the concerns of Rhodes only, but on those of Athens and all Greece.
Even if the Rhodians who are now in the government had
held it by themselves I would not have advised you to espouse their cause; not though they promised to do everything for you. But I see that in the beginning, in order to put down the democracy, they gained over a certain number of citizens, and afterward banished those very men when they had accomplished their purpose. I think, therefore, that people who have been false to two parties would be no steadier allies to you. And never would I have proffered this counsel had I thought it would benefit the Rhodian people only; for I am not their state friend, nor is any one of them connected with me by ties of private hospitality. And even if both these causes had existed I would not have spoken unless I had considered it for your advantage. Indeed, as far as the Rhodians are concerned, if the advocate for their deliverance may be allowed to say so, I am rejoiced at what has happened - that, after grudging to you the recovery of your rights, they have lost their own liberty; and, when they might have had an alliance on equal terms with Greeks and their betters, they are under subjection to barbarians and slaves, whom they have admitted into their fortresses. I would almost say that, if you determine to assist them, these events have turned out for their good. For, during prosperity, I doubt whether they would have learned discretion, being Rhodians; but since they are taught by experience that folly is mightily injurious to men, they may possibly perhaps become wiser for the future; and this I think would be no small advantage to them. I say, therefore, you should endeavour to rescue these people, and not harbour resentment, considering that you too have often been deceived by miscreants, but for no such deceit would you allow that you merited punishment yourselves.
Observe also, men of Athens, that you have waged many wars both against democracies and against oligarchies — this, indeed, you know without my telling - but for what cause
you have been at war with either perhaps not one of you considers. What are the causes? Against democratical states your wars have been either for private grievances, when you could not make public satisfaction, or for territory, or boundaries, or a point of honour, or the leadership; against oligarchies for none of these matters, but for your constitution and freedom. Therefore I would not hesitate to say I think it better that all the Greeks should be your enemies with a popular government than your friends under oligarchal. For with freemen I consider you would have no difficulty in making peace when you chose, but with people under an oligarchy even friendship I hold to be insecure. It is impossible that the few can be attached to the many, the seekers of power to the lovers of constitutional equality.
Against the Law of Leptines (355 B. c.). One might pursue the argument and show that in no single respect is the law proper or expedient for you; but, that you may comprehend the whole question at once, and that I may have done speaking, do what I now advise. Make your comparison; consider what will happen to you if you condemn the law, and what if you do not; then keep in mind what you think will be the consequence in either event, that you may choose the better course. If now you condemn the law, as we advise, the deserving will have their rights from you; and if there be any undeserving party, as I grant there may be, such a one, besides being deprived of his honor, will suffer what penalty you think proper according to the amended statute, while the commonwealth will appear faithful, just, true to all men. Should you decide in its favour, which I trust you will not, the good will be wronged on account of the bad, the undeserving will be the cause of
misfortune to others, and suffer no punishment themselves, while the commonwealth (contrary to what I said just now) will be universally esteemed faithless, envious, base. It is not meet, O Athenians, that for so foul a reproach you should reject fair and honourable advantages. Remember, each of you individually will share in the reputation of your common judgment. It is plain to the bystanders and to all men that in the court Leptines is contending with us, but in the mind of each of you jurymen generosity is arrayed against envy, justice against iniquity, all that is virtuous against all that is base. If you follow the wiser counsels, and give judgment in my favour, you will yourselves have the credit of a proper decision, and will have voted what is best for the commonwealth; and should occasion ever arise, you will not lack men willing at their own risk to
You must give your earnest attention to these things, and be careful that you are not forced into error. Many a time, O Athenians, instead of it being proved to you that measures were just, they have been extorted from you by the clamour and violence and impudence of the speakers. Let not this happen now; it would not be well. What you have determined to be just, keep in mind and remember until you vote, that you may give your votes conscientiously against evil counsellors. I marvel when you punish with death those who debase the coin, if you will give ear to persons who render the whole commonwealth false and treacherous. You will not surely! Jupiter and the gods !
I have nothing more to add, as you seem fully to understand what has been said.
On the Navy Boards (354 B. c.). Not to trouble you, men of Athens, with over-many words, I will give a summary of my advice and retire. I bid you prepare yourselves against existing enemies, and I declare that with this same
force you should resist the king and all other people, if they attempt to injure you; but never inflict an injustice either in word or deed. Let us look that our actions, and not our speeches on the platform, be worthy of our ancestors. If you pursue this course you will do service not only to yourselves but also to them who give the opposite coursel, since you will not be angry with them afterward for your errors committed now.
A COMPLETE SPEECH
The First Olynthiac (349 B. c.). I believe, men of Athens, you would give much to know what is the true policy to be adopted in the present matter of inquiry. This being the case, you should be willing to hear with attention those who offer you their counsel. Besides, that you will have the benefit of all preconsidered advice, I esteem it part of your good fortune that many fit suggestions will occur to some speakers at the moment, so that from them all you may easily choose what is profitable.
The present juncture, Athenians, all but proclaims aloud that you must yourselves take these affairs in hand if you care for their success. I know not how we seem disposed in the matter. My own opinion is, vote succour immediately, and make the speediest preparations for sending it off from Athens, that you may not incur the same mishap as before; send also ambassadors to announce this, and watch the proceedings. For the danger is that this man, being unscrupulous and clever at turning events to account, making concessions when it suits him, threatening at other times (his threats may well be believed), slandering us and urging our absence against us, may convert and wrest to his use some of our main resources. Though, strange to say, Athenians, the very cause of Philip's strength is a circumstance favorable to you. His having it in his sole power to publish or