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he turned into a song the begiming of the decree which Demosthenes had prepared to excite the Greeks to this war; and sung thus, himself beating time, “ Demosthenes the Pea 6 anian, son of Demosthenes, has said.” Every body was shocked to see the king dishonour himself by this behaviour, and sully his glory by an action so unworthy a king and a conqueror; but no one opened his lips about it. Demades, the orator, whose soul was free, though his body was a prisoner, was the only person who ventured to make him sensible of the indecency of his conduct, telling him,“ ah, sir, since “ fortune has given you the part of Agamemnon, are you not « ashamed to act that of Thersites?" These words, spoke with so generous a liberty, opened his eyes, and made him turn them inward ; and so far from being displeased with Demades, he esteemed him the more for them, treated him with the utmost respect and friendship, and conferred all possible honours upon him.
From this moment Philip seemed quite changed, both in his disposition and behaviour, as if, * says an historian, the conversation of Demades had softened his temper, and introduced him to a familiar acquaintance with the Attic graces. He dismissed all the Athenian captives without any ransom, and gave the greatest part of them clothes; with the view of acquiring the confidence of so powerful a commonwealth, as Athens by that kind treatment : in which, says Polybius,t he gained a second triumph, more glorious for himself, and even more advantageous than the first; for in the battle, his courage had prevailed over none but those who were present. in it ; but on this occasion, his kindness and clemency acquired him a whole city, and subjected every heart to him. He renewed with the Athenians the ancient treaty of friendship and alliance, and granted the Baotians a peace, after having left a strong garrison in Thebes.
| We are told that Isocrates, the most celebrated rhetorician of that age, who loved his country with the utinost tenderness, could not survive the loss and ignominy with which it was covered, by the loss of the battle of Chæronea, The instant he received the news of it, being uncertain what use Philip would make of his victory, and determined to die a freeman, he hastened his end by abstaining from food. He was 98 years
age. I shall have occasion to speak elsewhere of his style and of bis works.
Demosthenes seemed to have been the principal cause of the terrible shock whích Athens received at this time, and Upou tou Demadou, Kathomilethontas,tais Attikais Charisi. Diod. + Polyb. 1. v. P. 359, Plut..in Isocr. p. 887.
which gave its power such a wound as it never recovered. * But at the very instant that the Athenians heard of this bloodly overthrow, which affected so great a number of families, when it would have been no wonder, had the multitude seized with terror and alarm, given way to an emotion of blind zeal against the man whom they might have considered in some measure as the author of this dreadful calamity; even at this very instant, I say, the people submitted to the counsels of Demosthenes.
The precautions that were taken to post guards, to raise the walls, and to repair the fosses, were all in consequence of his advice. He himself was appointed to supply the city with provisions, and to repair the walls ; which latter commission he executed with so much generosity that it acquired him the greatest honour ; and for which, at the request of Ctesiphon, a crown of gold was decreed him, as a reward for his having presented the commonwealth with a sum of money, out of his own estate, sufficient to defray what was wanting of the sums for repairing the walls.
On the present occasion, that is, after the battle of Chæronea, such orators as opposed Demosthenes, having all risen up in concert against him, and having cited to him to take his trial according to law, the people not only de- , clared him innocent of the several accusations laid to his charge, but conferred' more honours upon him than he had enjoyed before ; so strongly did the veneration they had for his zeal and fidelity overbalance the efforts of calumny and mare
The Athenians, a fickle, wavering people, and apt to punish their own errors and omissions in the person of those whose projects were often rendered abortive, for no other reason but because they had executed them too slowly, in thus crowning Demosthenes, in the midst of a public ca. lamity which he alone seemed to have brought upon them, pay the most glorious homage to his abilities and integrity. By this wise and brave conduct, they seem in some mea. sure to confess their own error, in not having followed his counsel neither fully nor early enough ; and to confess themselves alone guilty of all the evils which had befall. en them.
† But the people did not stop here. The bones of such as had been killed in the battle of Chæronea, having been! brought to Athens to be interred, they appointed Demos, thenes to compose the eulogium of those brave - men.; ai
p. 514. Plut. in Demosth. p, 855. + Plut. irr Debosth. p: 855. Demosth. pro Cies. p.519, 540.
manifest proof that they did not ascribe to him the ill success of the battle, but to Providence only, who disposes of human events at pleasure ; a circumstance which was expressly mentioned in the inscription engraven on the moiument of those illustrious deceased warriors.
This earth entombs those viciiins to the state
Of being free from crimes, with never-ending joy. * Demosthenes opposed Æschines, who was perpetually reproaching him with having occasioned the loss of the battle in question, with this solid answer : « Censure me,” says he, “ for the counsels I give ; but do not calumniate me for " the ill success of them ; for it is the supreme Being who “ conducts and terminates all things ;. whereas it is from “ the nature of the counsel itself that we are to judge of “ the intention of him who offers it. If therefore the event " has declared in favour of Philip, impute it not to me as
a crime, since it is God, and not myself, who disposed “ of the victory. But if you can prove that I did not ex“ert myself with probity, vigilance, and an activity inde
fatigable, and superior to my strength : if with these I “ did not seek, I did not employ evėry method which hu
man prudence could suggest : and did not inspire the « most necessary and noble resolutions, such as were truly
worthy of Athenians : show me this, and then give what scope you please to your accusations."
+ He afterwards uses the bold sublime figure following, which is looked upon as the most beautiful passage in his oration, and is so highly applauded by Longinus. Demosthenes endeavours to justify his own conduct, and prove to the Athenians, that they did not do wrong in giving Philip battle. He is not satisfied with merely citing in a frigid manner the example of the great men who had fought for the same cause in the plains of Marathon, at Salamin, and before Platæa; no, he makes a quite different use of them, says this rhetorician ; and on a sudden, as if inspired by some god, and possessed with the spirit of Apollo himself, cries cut, swear• Demosth. pro Cees. p. 505.
+ Ibid, P. 508, Loogia. de sublim, c. xiv,
ing by those brave defenders of Greece, no, Athenians ! “ you have not erred. I swear by those illustrious men who « fought on land at Marathon and Pratæa ; at sea before “ Salamin and Artemisium ; and all those who have been “honoured by the commonwealth with the solemn rites of “ burial ; and not those only who have been crowned with
success, and came off victorious.” Would not one conclude, adds Longinus, that by changing the natural air of the proof, in this grand and pathetic manner of affirming by oaths of so extraordinary a nature, he deifies in some measure, those ancient citizens ; and makes all who die in the same glorious manner so many gods, by whose names it is proper to swear?
I have already observed in another place, how naturally apt these *orations, spoken in a most solemn manner, to the glory of those who lost their lives in fight for the cause of liberty, were to inspire the Athenian youth with an ardent zeal for their country, and a warm desire to signalise themselves in battle.
Another ceremony observed with regard to the children of those whose fathers died in the bed of honour, was no less efficacious to inspire them with the love of virtue. In a cel ebrated festival, in which shows were exhihited to the whole people, an herald came upon the stage, and producing the young orphans, dressed in complete armour, he said, with a loud voice," these young orphans, whom an-untimely death in “the midst of dangers has deprived of their illustrious fath
ers, have found in the people a parent, who has taken “ care of them till no longer in a state of infancy. And now “ they send them back, armed cap-a-pee, to follow, under " the most happy auspices, their own affairs; and invite “ each of them to emulate each other in deserving the chief
employments of the state." By such methods martial bravery, the love of one's country, and a taste for virtue and solid glory, are perpetuated in a state.
It was the very year of the battle of Chæronea, and two years before the death of Philip, that Æschines drew up an accusaticn against Ctesiphon, or rather against Demosthenes: but the cause was not pleaded till seven or eight years after, about the fifth or sixth year of the reign of Alexander. I
* Demosthenes, in his oration against Leptines, p. 562, observer, that the Athenians were the only people who caused funeral orations to be spoken in honour of such persons as had lost their lives in de fence of their country.
+ Æschin, contra Ctesiph. p. 452.
shall relate the event of it in this place, to avoid breaking in upon the history of the life and actions of that prince.
No cause ever excited so much curiosity, nor was pleaded with so much pomp:
People flocked to it from all parts, says Cicero, and they had great reason for so doing ; for what sight could be nobler than a conflict between two orators, each of them excellent in his way; both formed by nature, improved by árt, and animated by perpetual dissentions, and an implacable animosity against each other?
These two orations have always been considered as the master-pieces of antiquity, especially that of Demosthenes, + Cicero had translated the latter, a strong proof of the high opinion he entertained of it. Unhappily for us, the preamble only to that performance is now extant, which suffices to make us very much regret the loss of the rest.
Amidst the numberless beauties which are conspicuous in every part of these two orations, methinks there appears (if I may be allowed to censure the writings of such great men) a considerable error that very much lessens their perfection, and which appears to me directly repugnant to the rules of solid just eloquence; and that is, the gross injurious terms in which the two orators reproach one another. The same objection has been made to Cicero, with regard to his ora. tions against Antony. I have already declared, that this manner of writing, this kind of gross opprobrious expressions, were the very reverse of solid eloquence; and indeed, every speech which is dictated by passion and revenge, neve er fails of being suspected by those who judge of it, whereas an oration that is strong and invincible from reason and argument, and which at the same time is conducted with reserye and moderation, wins the heart, whilst it informs the understanding; and persuades no less by the esteem it inspires for the orator than by the force of his arguments.
The juncture seemed to favour Æschines very much ; for the Macedonian party, whom he had always befriended, was very powerful in Athens, especially after the ruin of Thebes. Nevertheless, Æschines lost his cause, and was justly sentenced to banishment for his rash accusation. He thereupon: went and settled himself in Rhodes, where he opened a sehool of eloquence, the fame and glory of which continued for ma. ný ages. He began his lectures with the two orations that
* Ad quod judicium concursus dicitur e tota Græcia factus esse. Quid enim aut tam visendum, aut tam audicndum fuit, quam sum. morum oratorum, in gravissima causa, accurata et inimicitiis insensa, contcntio ? Cicero de opc. gen, orat: 1, 220 † De opt. gen, osat.