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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Invective against License of Speech

By Demosthenes (384–322 B.C.)

THIS, you must be convinced, is a struggle for existence. You cannot overcome your enemies abroad till you have punished your enemies, his ministers, at home. They will be the stumbling-blocks which prevent you reaching the others. Why, do you suppose, Philip now insults you? To other people he at least renders services though he deceives them, while he is already threatening you. Look for instance at the Thessalians. It was by many benefits conferred on them that he seduced them into their present bondage. And then the Olynthians, again,—how he cheated them, first giving them Potidæa and several other places, is really beyond description. Now he is enticing the Thebans by giving up to them Bœotia, and delivering them from a toilsome and vexatious war. Each of these people did get a certain advantage; but some of them have suffered what all the world knows; others will suffer whatever may hereafter befall them. As for you, I recount not all that has been taken from you, but how shamefully have you been treated and despoiled! Why is it that Philip deals so differently with you and with others? Because yours is the only State in Greece in which the privilege is allowed of speaking for the enemy, and a citizen taking a bribe may safely address the Assembly, though you have been robbed of your dominions. It was not safe at Olynthus to be Philip’s advocate, unless the Olynthian commonalty had shared the advantage by possession of Potidæa. It was not safe in Thessaly to be Philip’s advocate, unless the people of Thessaly had secured the advantage by Philip’s expelling their tyrants and restoring the Synod at Pylæ. It was not safe in Thebes, until he gave up Bœotia to them and destroyed the Phocians. Yet at Athens, though Philip has deprived you of Amphipolis and the territory round Cardia—nay, is making Eubœa a fortress as a check upon us, and is advancing to attack Byzantium—it is safe to speak in Philip’s behalf.