Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/30

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INTRODUCTION


attention at the beginning to the well recognized fact that his own risk was greater than that of Æschines; for while the latter could, at most, suffer some disappointment at failure in the prosecution, he (Demosthenes), if he lost would forfeit the regard of his people. And as he appeared in his own defense, he reminded them that people take more pleasure in hearing invective and accusations than in hearing a man praise himself; and yet if he, himself, did not set forth the arguments to be made in his own behalf, he would be without defense.

The definition which Demosthenes gives of the statesman is worth remembering. He says:

"Yet understand me. Of what a statesman may be responsible for I allow the utmost scrutiny; I deprecate it not. What are his functions? To observe things in the beginning, to foresee and foretell them to others, — this I have done: again, wherever he finds delays, backwardness, ignorance, jealousies, vices inherent and unavoidable in all communities, to contract them into the narrowest compass, and, on the other hand, to promote unanimity and friendship and zeal

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