This is Google's cache of
Google's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web.
The page may have changed since that time. Click here for the current page without highlighting.

Google is not affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.

Provided by The Internet Classics Archive.
See bottom for copyright. Available online at

By Plutarch

(legendary, died 317 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

Demades, the orator, when in the height of the power which he obtained
at Athens, by advising the state in the interest of Antipater and
the Macedonians, being necessitated to write and speak many things
below the dignity, and contrary to the character, of the city, was
wont to excuse himself by saying he steered only the shipwrecks of
the commonwealth. This hardy saying of his might have some appearance
of truth, if applied to Phocion's government. For Demades, indeed,
was himself the mere wreck of his country, living and ruling so dissolutely,
that Antipater took occasion to say of him, when he was now grown
old, that he was like a sacrificed beast, all consumed except the
tongue and the belly. But Phocion's was a real virtue, only overmatched
in the unequal contest with an adverse time, and rendered, by the
ill fortunes of Greece, inglorious and obscure. We must not, indeed,
allow ourselves to concur with Sophocles in so far diminishing the
force of virtue as to say that- 

"When fortune fails, the sense we had before 
Deserts us also, and is ours no more." 

Yet thus much, indeed, must be allowed to happen in the conflicts
between good men and ill fortune, that instead of due returns of honour
and gratitude, obloquy and unjust surmises may often prevail, to weaken,
in a considerable degree, the credit of their virtue. 

It is commonly said that public bodies are most insulting and contumelious
to a good man, when they are puffed up with prosperity and success.
But the contrary often happens; afflictions and public calamities
naturally embittering and souring the minds and tempers of men, and
disposing them to such peevishness and irritability that hardly any
word or sentiment of common vigour can be addressed to them, but they
will be apt to take offence. He that remonstrates with them on their
errors is presumed to be insulting over their misfortunes, and any
free-spoken expostulation is construed into contempt. Honey itself
is searching in sore and ulcerated parts; and the wisest and most
judicious counsels prove provoking to distempered minds, unless offered
with those soothing and compliant approaches which made the poet,
for instance, characterize agreeable things in general by a word expressive
of a grateful and easy touch, exciting nothing of offence or resistance.
Inflamed eyes require a retreat into dusky places, amongst colours
of the deepest shades, and are unable to endure the brilliancy of
light. So fares it in the body politic, in times of distress and humiliation;
a certain sensitiveness and soreness of humour prevail, with a weak
incapacity of enduring any free and open advice, even when the necessity
of affairs most requires such plain dealing, and when the consequences
of any single error may be beyond retrieving. At such times the conduct
of public affairs is on all hands most hazardous. Those who humour
the people are swallowed up in the common ruin; those who endeavour
to lead them aright perish the first in their attempt. 

Astronomers tell us, the sun's motion is neither exactly parallel
with that of the heavens in general, nor yet directly and diametrically
opposite, but describing an oblique line, with insensible declination
he steers his course in such a gentle, easy curve, as to dispense
his light and influence, in his annual revolution, at several seasons
in just proportions to the whole creation. So it happens in political
affairs; if the motions of rulers be constantly opposite and cross
to the tempers and inclinations of the people, they will be resented
as arbitrary and harsh; as, on the other side, too much deference,
or encouragement, as too often it has been, to popular faults and
errors, is full of danger and ruinous consequences. But where concession
is the response to willing obedience, and a statesman gratifies his
people, that he may the more imperatively recall them to a sense of
the common interest, then, indeed, human beings, who are ready enough
to serve well and submit to much, if they are not always ordered about
and roughly handled, like slaves, may be said to be guided and governed
upon the method that leads to safety. Though it must be confessed
it is a nice point, and extremely difficult, so to temper this lenity
as to preserve the authority of the government. But if such a blessed
mixture and temperament may be obtained, it seems to be of all concords
and harmonies the most concordant and most harmonious. For thus we
are taught even God governs the world, not by irresistible force,
but persuasive argument and reason, controlling it into compliance
with his eternal purposes. 

Cato the younger is a similar instance. His manners were little agreeable
or acceptable to the people, and he received very slender marks of
their favour; witness his repulse when he sued for the consulship,
which he lost, as Cicero says, for acting rather like a citizen in
Plato's commonwealth, than among the dregs of Romulus's posterity,
the same thing happening to him, in my opinion, as we observe in fruits
ripe before their season, which we rather take pleasure in looking
at and admiring than actually use; so much was his old-fashioned virtue
out of the present mode, among the depraved customs which time and
luxury had introduced, that it appeared, indeed, remarkable and wonderful,
but was too great and too good to suit the present exigencies, being
so out of all proportion to the times. Yet his circumstances were
not altogether like Phocion's, who came to the helm when the ship
of the state was just upon sinking. Cato's time was, indeed, stormy
and tempestuous, yet so, as he was able to assist in managing the
sails, and lend his helping hand to those who, which he was not allowed
to do, commanded at the helm, others were to blame for the result;
yet his courage and virtue made it in spite of all a hard task for
fortune to ruin the commonwealth, and it was only with long time and
effort and by slow degrees, when he himself had all but succeeded
in averting it, that the catastrophe was at last effected.

Phocion and he may be well compared together, not for any mere general
resemblances, as though we should say both were good men and great
statesmen. For, assuredly, there is difference enough among virtues
of the same denomination, as between the bravery of Alcibiades and
that of Epaminondas, the prudence of Themistocles and that of Aristides,
the justice of Numa and that of Agesilaus. But these men's virtue,
even looking to the most minute points of difference, bear the same
colour, stamp, and character impressed upon them, so as not to be
distinguishable. The mixture is still made in the same exact proportions
whether we look at the combination to be found in them, both of lenity
on the one hand, with austerity on the other; their boldness upon
some occasions, and caution on others; their extreme solicitude for
the public, and perfect neglect of themselves; their fixed and immovable
bent to all virtuous and honest actions, accompanied with an extreme
tenderness and scrupulosity as to doing anything which might appear
mean or unworthy; so that we should need a very nice and subtle logic
of discrimination to detect and establish the distinctions between

As to Cato's extraction, it is confessed by all to have been illustrious,
as will be said hereafter, nor was Phocion's, I feel assured, obscure
or ignoble. For had he been the son of a turner, as Idomeneus reports,
it had certainly not been forgotten to his disparagement by Glaucippus,
the son of Hyperides, when heaping up a thousand spiteful things to
say against him. Nor, indeed, had it been possible for him, in such
circumstances, to have had such a liberal breeding and education in
his youth, as to be first Plato's and afterwards Xenocrates's scholar
in the Academy, and to have devoted himself from the first to the
pursuit of the noblest studies and practices. His countenance was
so composed that scarcely was he ever seen by any Athenian either
laughing or in tears. He was rarely known, so Duris has recorded,
to appear in the public baths, or was observed with his hand exposed
outside his cloak, when he wore one. Abroad, and in the camp, he was
so hardy in going always thin clad and barefoot, except in a time
of excessive and intolerable cold, that the soldiers used to say in
merriment, that it was like to be a hard winter when Phocion wore
his coat. 

Although he was most gentle and humane in his disposition, his aspect
was stern and forbidding, so that he was seldom accosted alone by
any who were not intimate with him. When Chares once made some remark
on his frowning looks, and the Athenians laughed at the jest, "My
sullenness," said Phocion, "never yet made any of you sad, but these
men's jollities have given you sorrow enough." In like manner Phocion's
language, also, was full of instruction, abounding in happy maxims
and wise thoughts, but admitted no embellishment to its austere and
commanding brevity. Zeno said a philosopher should never speak till
his words had been steeped in meaning; and such, it may be said, were
Phocion's, crowding the greatest amount of significance into the smallest
allowance of space. And to this, probably, Polyeuctus, the Sphettian,
referred, when he said that Demosthenes was, indeed, the best orator
of his time, but Phocion the most powerful speaker. His oratory, like
small coin of great value, was to be estimated, not by its bulk, but
its intrinsic worth. He was once observed, it is said, when the theatre
was filling with the audience, to walk musing alone behind the scenes,
which one of his friends taking notice of said, "Phocion, you seem
to be thoughtful." "Yes," replied he, "I am considering how I may
shorten what I am going to say to the Athenians." Even Demosthenes
himself, who used to despise the rest of the haranguers, when Phocion
stood up, was wont to say quietly to those about him, "Here is the
pruning-knife of my periods." This, however, might refer, perhaps,
not so much to his eloquence as to the influence of his character,
since not only a word, but even a nod from a person who is esteemed,
is of more force than a thousand arguments or studied sentences from

In his youth he followed Chabrias, the general, from whom he gained
many lessons in military knowledge, and in return did something to
correct his unequal and capricious humour. For whereas at other times
Chabrias was heavy and phlegmatic, in the heat of battle he used to
be so fired and transported that he threw himself headlong into danger
beyond the forwardest, which indeed, in the end, cost him his life
in the island of Chios, he having pressed his own ship foremost to
force a landing. But Phocion, being a man of temper as well as courage,
had the dexterity at some times to rouse the general, when in his
procrastinating mood, to action, and at others to moderate and cool
the impetuousness of his unseasonable fury. Upon which account Chabrias,
who was a good-natured, kindly-tempered man, loved him much, and procured
him commands and opportunities for action, giving him means to make
himself known in Greece, and using his assistance in all his affairs
of moment. Particularly the sea-fight of Naxos added not a little
to Phocion's reputation, when he had the left squadron committed to
him by Chabrias, as in this quarter the battle was sharply contested,
and was decided by a speedy victory. And this being the first prosperous
sea-battle the city had engaged in with its own force since its captivity,
Chabrias won great popularity by it, and Phocion, also, got the reputation
of a good commander. The victory was gained at the time of the Great
Mysteries, and Chabrias used to keep the commemoration of it by distributing
wine among the Athenians, yearly, on the sixteenth day of Boedromion.

After this, Chabrias sent Phocion to demand their quota of the charges
of the war from the islanders, and offered him a guard of twenty ships.
Phocion told him, if he intended him to go against them as enemies,
that force was insignificant; if as to friends and allies, one vessel
was sufficient. So he took his own single galley, and having visited
the cities, and treated with the magistrates in an equitable and open
manner, he brought back a number of ships, sent by the confederates
to Athens, to convey the supplies. Neither did his friendship and
attention close with Chabrias's life, but after his decease he carefully
maintained it to all that were related to him, and chiefly to his
son, Ctesippus, whom he laboured to bring to some good, and although
he was a stupid and intractable young fellow, always endeavoured,
so far as in him lay, to correct and cover his faults and follies.
Once, however, when the youngster was very impertinent and troublesome
to him in the camp, interrupting him with idle questions, and putting
forward his opinions and suggestions of how the war should be conducted,
he could not forbear exclaiming, "O Chabrias, Chabrias, how grateful
I show myself for your friendship, in submitting to endure your son!"

Upon looking into public matters, and the way in which they were now
conducted, he observed that the administration of affairs was cut
and parcelled out, like so much land by allotment, between the military
men and the public speakers, so that neither these nor those should
interfere with the claims of the others. As the one were to address
the assemblies, to draw up votes and prepare motions, men, for example,
like Eubulus, Aristophon, Demosthenes, Lycurgus, and Hyperides, and
were to push their interests here; so, in the meantime, Liopithes,
Menestheus, Leosthenes, and Chares were to make their profit by war
and in military commands. Phocion, on the other hand, was desirous
to restore and carry out the old system, more complete in itself,
and more harmonious and uniform, which prevailed in the times of Pericles,
Aristides, and Solon; when statesmen showed themselves, to use Archilochus's

"Mars' and the Muses' friends alike designed, 
To arts and arms indifferently inclined." 

and the presiding goddess of his country was, he did not fail to see,
the patroness and protectress of both civil and military wisdom. With
these views, while his advice at home was always for peace and quietness,
he nevertheless held the office of general more frequently than any
of the statesmen, not only of his own times, but of those preceding,
never, indeed, promoting or encouraging military expeditions, yet
never, on the other hand, shunning or declining, when he was called
upon by the public voice. Thus much is well known, that he was no
less than forty-five several times chosen general, he being never
on any one of those occasions present at the election, but having
the command, in his absence, by common suffrage, conferred on him,
and he sent for on purpose to undertake it. Insomuch that it amazed
those who did not well consider to see the people always prefer Phocion,
who was so far from humouring them or courting their favour, that
be always thwarted and opposed them. But so it was, as great men and
princes are said to call in their flatterers when dinner has been
served, so the Athenians, upon slight occasions, entertained and diverted
themselves with their spruce speakers and trim orators, but when it
came to action, they were sober and considerate enough to single out
the austerest and wisest for public employment, however much he might
be opposed to their wishes and sentiments. This, indeed, he made no
scruple to admit, when the oracle from Delphi was read, which informed
them that the Athenians were all of one mind, a single dissentient
only excepted, frankly coming forward and declaring that they need
look no further; he was the man; there was no one but he who was dissatisfied
with everything they did. And when once he gave his opinion to the
people, and was met with the general approbation and applause of the
assembly, turning to some of his friends, he asked them, "Have I inadvertently
said something foolish?" 

Upon occasion of a public festivity, being solicited for his contribution
by the example of others, and the people pressing him much, he bade
them apply themselves to the wealthy; for his part he should blush
to make a present here, rather than a repayment there, turning and
pointing to Callicles, the money-lender. Being still clamoured upon
and importuned, he told them this tale. A certain cowardly fellow
setting out for the wars, hearing the ravens croak in his passage,
threw down his arms, resolving to wait. Presently he took them and
ventured out again, but hearing the same music, once more made a stop.
"For," said he "you may croak until you are tired, but you shall make
no dinner upon me." 

The Athenians urging him at an unseasonable time to lead them out
against the enemy, he peremptorily refused, and being upbraided by
them with cowardice and pusillanimity, he told them, "Just now, do
what you will, I shall not be brave; and do what I will, you will
not be cowards. Nevertheless, we know well enough what we are." And
when again, in a time of great danger, the people were very harsh
upon him, demanding a strict account how the public money had been
employed, and the like, he bade them, "First, good friends, make sure
you are safe." After a war, during which they had been very tractable
and timorous, when, upon peace being made, they began again to be
confident and overbearing, and to cry out upon Phocion, as having
lost them the honour of victory, to all their clamour he made only
this answer, "My friends, you are fortunate in having a leader who
knows you; otherwise, you had long since been undone." 

Having a controversy with the Boeotians about boundaries, which he
counselled them to decide by negotiation, they inclined to blows.
"You had better," said he, "carry on the contest with the weapons
in which you excel (your tongues), and not by war, in which you are
inferior." Once when he was addressing them, and they would not hear
him or let him go on, said he, "You may compel me to act against my
wishes, but you shall never force me to speak against my judgment."
Among the many public speakers who opposed him, Demosthenes, for example,
once told him, "The Athenians, Phocion, will kill you some day when
they once are in a rage." "And you," said he, "if they once are in
their senses." Polyeuctus, the Sphettian, once on a hot day was urging
war with Philip, and being a corpulent man, and out of breath and
in a great heat with speaking, took numerous draughts of water as
he went on. "Here, indeed," said Phocion, "is a fit man to lead us
into a war! What think you he will do when he is carrying his corselet
and his shield to meet the enemy, if even here, delivering a prepared
speech to you, has almost killed him with exhaustion?" When Lycurgus
in the assembly made many reflections on his past conduct, upbraiding
him above all for having advised them to deliver up the ten citizens
whom Alexander had demanded, he replied that he had been the author
of much safe and wholesome counsel, which had not been followed.

There was a man called Archibiades, nicknamed the Lacedaemonian, who
used to go about with a huge, over-grown beard, wearing an old threadbare
cloak, and affecting a very stern countenance. Phocion once, when
attacked in council by the rest, appealed to this man for his support
and testimony. And when he got up and began to speak on the popular
side, putting his hand to his beard, "O Archibiades," said he, "it
is time you should shave." Aristogiton, a common accuser, was a terrible
man of war within the assembly, always inflaming the people to battle,
but when the muster-roll came to be produced, he appeared limping
on a crutch, with a bandage on his leg; Phocion descried him afar
off, coming in, and cried out to the clerk, "Put down Aristogiton,
too, as lame and worthless." 

So that it is a little wonderful, how a man so severe and harsh upon
all occasions should, notwithstanding, obtain the name of the Good.
Yet, though difficult, it is not, I suppose, impossible for men's
tempers, any more than for wines, to be at the same time harsh and
agreeable to the taste; just as on the other hand many that are sweet
at the first taste are found, on further use, extremely disagreeable
and unwholesome. Hyperides, we are told, once said to the people,
"Do not ask yourselves, men of Athens, whether or not I am bitter,
but whether or not I am paid for being so," as though a covetous purpose
were the only thing that should make a harsh temper insupportable,
and as if men might not even more justly render themselves obnoxious
to popular dislike and censure, by using their power and influence
in the indulgence of their own private passions of pride and jealousy,
anger and animosity. Phocion never allowed himself from any feeling
of personal hostility to do hurt to any fellow-citizen, nor, indeed,
reputed any man his enemy, except so far as he could not but contend
sharply with such as opposed the measures he urged for the public
good; in which argument he was, indeed, a rude, obstinate, and uncompromising
adversary. For his general conversation, it was easy, courteous, and
obliging to all, to that point that he would befriend his very opponents
in their distress, and espouse the cause of those who differed most
from him, when they needed his patronage. His friends reproaching
him for pleading in behalf of a man of indifferent character, he told
them the innocent had no need of an advocate. Aristogiton, the sycophant,
whom we mentioned before, having, after sentence passed upon him,
sent earnestly to Phocion to speak with him in the prison, his friends
dissuaded him from going; "Nay, by your favour," said he, "where should
I rather choose to pay Aristogiton a visit?" 

As for the allies of the Athenians, and the islanders, whenever any
admiral besides Phocion was sent, they treated him as an enemy suspect,
barricaded their gates, blocked up their havens, brought in from the
country their cattle, slaves, wives, and children, and put them in
garrison; but upon Phocion's arrival, they went out to welcome him
in their private boats and barges, with streamers and garlands, and
received him at landing with every demonstration of joy and pleasure.

When King Philip was effecting his entry into Euboea, and was bringing
over troops from Macedonia, and making himself master of the cities,
by means of the tyrants who ruled in them, Plutarch of Eretria sent
to request aid of the Athenians for the relief of the island, which
was in imminent danger of falling wholly into the hands of the Macedonians.
Phocion was sent thither with a handful of men in comparison, in expectation
that the Euboeans themselves would flock in and join him. But when
he came, he found all things in confusion, the country all betrayed,
the whole ground, as it were, undermined under his feet, by the secret
pensioners of King Philip, so that he was in the greatest risk imaginable.
To secure himself as far as he could, he seized a small rising ground,
which was divided from the level plains about Tamynae by a deep watercourse,
and here he enclosed and fortified the choicest of his army. As for
the idle talkers and disorderly bad citizens who ran off from his
camp and made their way back, he bade his officers not regard them,
since here they would have been not only useless and ungovernable
themselves, but an actual hindrance to the rest: and further, being
conscious to themselves of the neglect of their duty, they would be
less ready to misrepresent the action, or raise a cry against them
at their return home. When the enemy drew nigh, he bade his men stand
to their arms, until he had finished the sacrifice, in which he spent
a considerable time, either by some difficulty of the thing itself,
or on purpose to invite the enemy nearer. Plutarch, interpreting this
tardiness as a failure in his courage, fell on alone with the mercenaries,
which the cavalry perceiving, could not be contained, but issuing
also out of the camp, confusedly and in disorder, spurred up to the
enemy. The first who came up were defeated, the rest were put to the
rout. Plutarch himself took to flight, and a body of the enemy advanced
in the hope of carrying the camp, supposing themselves to have secured
the victory. But by this time, the sacrifice being over, the Athenians
within the camp came forward, and falling upon them put them to flight,
and killed the greater number as they fled among the intrenchments,
while Phocion, ordering his infantry to keep on the watch and rally
those who came in from the previous flight, himself, with a body of
his best men, engaged the enemy in a sharp and bloody fight, in which
all of them behaved with signal courage and gallantry. Thallus, the
son of Cineas, and Glaucus of Polymedes, who fought near the general,
gained the honours of the day. Cleophanes, also, did good service
in the battle. Recovering the cavalry from its defeat, and with his
shouts and encouragement bringing them up to succour the general,
who was in danger, he confirmed the victory obtained by the infantry.
Phocion now expelled Plutarch from Eretria, and possessed himself
of the very important fort of Zaretra, situated where the island is
pinched in, as it were, by the seas on each side, and its breadth
most reduced to a narrow girth. He released all the Greeks whom he
took, out of fear of the public speakers at Athens, thinking they
might very likely persuade the people in their anger into committing
some act of cruelty. 

This affair thus despatched and settled, Phocion set sail homewards,
and the allies had soon as good reason to regret the loss of his just
and humane dealing as the Athenians that of his experience and courage.
Molossus, the commander who took his place, had no better success
than to fall alive into the enemy's hands. 

Philip, full of great thoughts and designs, now advanced with all
his forces into the Hellespont, to seize the Chersonesus and Perinthus,
and after them Byzantium. The Athenians raised a force to relieve
them, but the popular leaders made it their business to prefer Chares
to be general, who, sailing thither, effected nothing worthy of the
means placed in his hands. The cities were afraid, and would not receive
his ships into their harbours, so that he did nothing but wander about,
raising money from their friends, and despised by their enemies. When
the people, chafed by the orators, were extremely indignant, and repented
having ever sent any help to the Byzantines, Phocion rose and told
them they ought not to be angry with the allies for distrusting, but
with their generals for being distrusted. "They make you suspected,"
he said, "even by those who cannot possibly subsist without your succour."
The assembly being moved with this speech of his, changed their minds
on the sudden, and commanded him immediately to raise another force,
and go himself to assist their confederates in the Hellespont; an
appointment which, in effect, contributed more than anything to the
relief of Byzantium. 

For Phocion's name was already honourably known; and an old acquaintance
of his, who had been his fellow-student in the Academy, Leon, a man
of high renown for virtue among the Byzantines, having vouched for
Phocion to the city, they opened their gates to receive him, not permitting
him, though he desired it, to encamp without the walls, but entertained
him and all the Athenians with perfect reliance, while they, to requite
their confidence, behaved among their new hosts soberly and inoffensively,
and exerted themselves on all occasions with the greatest zeal and
resolution for their defence. Thus King Philip was driven out of the
Hellespont, and was despised to boot, whom, till now, it had been
thought impossible to match, or even to oppose. Phocion also took
some of his ships, and recaptured some of the places he had garrisoned,
making besides several inroads into the country, which he plundered
and overran, until he received a wound from some of the enemy who
came to the defence, and, thereupon, sailed away home. 

The Megarians at this time privately praying aid of the Athenians,
Phocion, fearing lest the Boeotians should hear of it, and anticipate
them, called an assembly at sunrise, and brought forward the petition
of the Megarians, and immediately after the vote had been put, and
carried in their favour, he sounded the trumpet, and led the Athenians
straight from the assembly, to arm and put themselves in posture.
The Megarians received them joyfully, and he proceeded to fortify
Nisaea, and built two new long walls from the city to the arsenal,
and so joined it to the sea, so that having now little reason to regard
the enemies on the land side, it placed its dependence entirely on
the Athenians. 

When final hostilities with Philip were now certain, and in Phocion's
absence other generals had been nominated, he, on his arrival from
the islands, dealt earnestly with the Athenians, that since Philip
showed peaceable inclinations towards them, and greatly apprehended
the danger, they would consent to a treaty. Being contradicted in
this by one of the ordinary frequenters of the courts of justice,
a common accuser, who asked him if he durst presume to persuade the
Athenians to peace, now their arms were in their hands, "Yes," said
he, "though I know that if there be war, I shall be in office over
you, and if peace, you over me." But when he could not prevail, and
Demosthenes's opinion carried it, advising them to make war as far
off from home as possible, and fight the battle out of Attica, "Good
friends," said Phocion, "let us not ask where we shall fight, but
how we may conquer in the war. That will be the way to keep it at
a distance. If we are beaten, it will be quickly at our doors." After
the defeat, when the clamourers and incendiaries in the town would
have brought up Charidemus to the hustings, to be nominated to the
command, the best of the citizens were in a panic, and supporting
themselves with the aid of the council of the Areopagus, with entreaties
and tears, hardly prevailed upon the people to have Phocion entrusted
with the care of the city. He was of opinion, in general, that the
fair terms to be expected from Philip should be accepted, yet after
Demades had made a motion that the city should receive the common
conditions of peace in concurrence with the rest of the states of
Greece, he opposed it, till it were known what the particulars were
which Philip demanded. He was overborne in this advice, under the
pressure of the time, but almost immediately after the Athenians repented
it, when they understood that by these articles they were obliged
to furnish Philip both with horse and shipping. "It was the fear of
this," said Phocion, "that occasioned my opposition. But since the
thing is done, let us make the best of it, and not be discouraged.
Our forefathers were sometimes in command, and sometimes under it;
and by doing their duty, whether as rulers or as subjects, saved their
own country and the rest of Greece." 

Upon the news of Philip's death, he opposed himself to any public
demonstrations of joy and jubilee, saying it would be ignoble to show
malice upon such an occasion, and that the army that had fought them
at Chaeronea was only diminished by a single man. 

When Demosthenes made his invectives against Alexander, now on his
way to attack Thebes, he repeated those verses of Homer:-

"Unwise one, wherefore to a second stroke 
His anger be foolhardy to provoke?" 

and asked "Why stimulate his already eager passion for glory? Why
take pains to expose the city to the terrible conflagration now so
near? We, who accepted office to save our fellow-citizens, will not,
however they desire it, be consenting to their destruction."

After Thebes was lost, and Alexander had demanded Demosthenes, Lycurgus,
Hyperides, and Charidemus to be delivered up, the whole assembly turning
their eyes to him, and calling on him by name to deliver his opinion,
at last he rose up, and showing them one of his most intimate friends,
whom he loved and confided in above all others, told them, "You have
brought things amongst you to that pass, that for my part, should
he demand this my friend Nicocles, I would not refuse to give him
up. For as for myself, to have it in my power to sacrifice my own
life and fortune for the common safety, I should think the greatest
of good fortune. Truly," he added, "it pierces my heart to see those
who are fled hither for succour from the desolation of Thebes. Yet
it is enough for Greece to have Thebes to deplore. It will be more
for the interest of all that we should deprecate the conqueror's anger,
and intercede for both, than run the hazard of another battle."

When this was decreed by the people, Alexander is said to have rejected
their first address when it was presented, throwing it from him scornfully,
and turning his back upon the deputation, who left him in affright.
But the second, which was presented by Phocion, he received, understanding
from the older Macedonians how much Philip had admired and esteemed
him. And he not only gave him audience and listened to his memorial
and petition, but also permitted him to advise him, which he did to
this effect, that if his designs were for quietness, he should make
peace at once; if glory were his aim, he should make war, not upon
Greece, but on the barbarians. With various counsels and suggestions,
happily designed to meet the genius and feelings of Alexander, he
so won upon him, and softened his temper, that he bade the Athenians
not forget their position, as if anything went wrong with him, the
supremacy belonged to them. And to Phocion himself, whom he adopted
as his friend and guest, he showed a respect, and admitted him to
distinctions, which few of those who were continually near his person
ever received. Duris, at any rate, tells us, that when he became great,
and had conquered Darius, in the heading of all his letters he left
off the word Greeting, except in those he wrote to Phocion. To him,
and to Antipater alone, he condescended to use it. This also is stated
by Chares. 

As for his munificence to him, it is well known he sent him a present
at one time of one hundred talents; and this being brought to Athens,
Phocion asked of the bearers how it came to pass that among all the
Athenians he alone should be the object of this bounty. Being told
that Alexander esteemed him alone a person of honour and worth, "Let
him, then," said he, "permit me to continue so and be still so reputed."
Following him to his house, and observing his simple and plain way
of living, his wife employed in kneading bread with her own hands,
himself drawing water to wash his feet, they pressed him to accept
it, with some indignation, being ashamed, as they said, that Alexander's
friend should live so poorly and pitifully. So Phocion, pointing out
to them a poor old fellow, in a dirty worn-out coat, passing by, asked
them if they thought him in worse condition than this man. They bade
him not mention such a comparison. "Yet," said Phocion, "he, with
less to live upon than I, finds it sufficient, and in brief," he continued,
"if I do not use this money, what good is there in my having it; and
if I do use it, I shall procure an ill name, both for myself and for
Alexander, among my countrymen." So the treasure went back again from
Athens, to prove to Greece, by a signal example, that he who could
afford to give so magnificent a present, was yet not so rich as he
who could afford to refuse it. And when Alexander was displeased,
and wrote back to him to say that he could not esteem those his friends
who would not be obliged by him, not even would this induce Phocion
to accept the money, but he begged leave to intercede with him in
behalf of Echecratides, the sophist, and Athenodorus, the Imbrian,
as also for Demaratus and Sparton, two Rhodians, who had been arrested
upon some charges, and were in custody at Sardis. This was instantly
granted by Alexander, and they were set at liberty. Afterwards, when
sending Craterus into Macedonia, he commanded him to make him an offer
of four cities in Asia, Cius, Gergithus, Mylasa, and Elaea, any one
of which, at his choice, should be delivered to him; insisting yet
more positively with him, and declaring he should resent it, should
he continue obstinate in his refusal. But Phocion was not to be prevailed
with at all, and shortly after, Alexander died. 

Phocion's house is shown to this day in Melita, ornamented with small
plates of copper, but otherwise plain and homely. Concerning his wives,
of the first of them there is little said, except that she was sister
of Cephisodotus, the statuary. The other was a matron of no less reputation
for her virtues and simple living among the Athenians than Phocion
was for his probity. It happened once when the people were entertained
with a new tragedy, that the actor, just as he was to enter the stage
to perform the part of a queen, demanded to have a number of attendants
sumptuously dressed, to follow in his train, and on their not being
provided, was sullen and refused to act, keeping the audience waiting,
till at last Melanthius, who had to furnish the chorus, pushed him
on the stage, crying out, "What, don't you know that Phocion's wife
is never attended by more than a single waiting-woman, but you must
needs be grand, and fill our women's heads with vanity?" This speech
of his, spoken loud enough to be heard, was received with great applause,
and clapped all round the theatre. She herself, when once entertaining
a visitor out of Ionia, who showed her all her rich ornaments, made
of gold and set with jewels, her wreaths, necklaces, and the like,
"For my part," said she, "all my ornament is my husband, Phocion,
now for the twentieth year in office as general at Athens."

He had a son named Phocus, who wished to take part in the games at
the great feast of Minerva. He permitted him so to do, in the contest
of leaping, not with any view to the victory, but in the hope that
the training and discipline for it would make him a better man, the
youth being in a general way a lover of drinking, and ill-regulated
in his habits. On his having succeeded in the sports, many were eager
for the honour of his company at banquets in celebration of the victory.
Phocion declined all these invitations but one, and when he came to
this entertainment and saw the costly preparations, even the water
brought to wash the guests' feet being mingled with wine and spices,
he reprimanded his son, asking him why he would so far permit his
friend to sully the honour of his victory. And in the hope of wholly
weaning the young man from such habits and company, he sent him to
Lacedaemon, and placed him among the youths then under the course
of the Spartan discipline. This the Athenians took offence at, as
though he slighted and contemned the education at home: and Demades
twitted him with it publicly. "Suppose, Phocion, you and I advise
the Athenians to adopt the Spartan constitution. If you like, I am
ready to introduce a bill to that effect, and to speak in its favour."
"Indeed," said Phocion, "you, with that strong scent of perfumes about
you, and with that mantle on your shoulders, are just the very man
to speak in honour of Lycurgus, and recommend the Spartan table."

When Alexander wrote to demand a supply of galleys, and the public
speakers objected to sending them, Phocion, on the council requesting
his opinion, told them freely, "Sirs, I would either have you victorious
yourselves, or friends of those who are so." He took up Pytheas, who
about this time first began to address the assembly, and already showed
himself a confident, talking fellow, by saying that a young slave
whom the people had but bought yesterday ought to have the manners
to hold his tongue. And when Harpalus, who had fled from Alexander
out of Asia, carrying off a large sum of money, came to Attica, and
there was a perfect race among the ordinary public men of the assembly
who should be the first to take his pay, he distributed amongst these
some trifling sums by way of a bait and provocative, but to Phocion
he made an offer of no less than seven hundred talents and all manner
of other advantages he pleased to demand; with the compliment that
he would entirely commit himself and all his affairs to his disposal.
Phocion answered sharply, Harpalus should repent of it, if he did
not quickly leave off corrupting and debauching the city, which for
the time silenced him, and checked his proceedings. But afterwards,
when the Athenians were deliberating in council about him, he found
those that had received money from him to be his greatest enemies,
urging and aggravating matters against him, to prevent themselves
being discovered, whereas Phocion, who had never touched his pay,
now, so far as the public interest would admit of it, showed some
regard to his particular security. This encouraged him once more to
try his inclinations, and upon further survey finding that he himself
was a fortress, inaccessible on every quarter to the approaches of
corruption, he professed a particular friendship to Phocion's son-in-law,
Charicles. And admitting him into his confidence in all his affairs,
and continually requesting his assistance, he brought him under some
suspicion. Upon the occasion, for example, of the death of Pythonice,
who was Harpalus's mistress, for whom he had a great fondness, and
had a child by her, he resolved to build her a sumptuous monument,
and committed the care of it to his friend Charicles. This commission,
disreputable enough in itself, was yet further disparaged by the figure
the piece of workmanship made after it was finished. It is yet to
be seen in the Hermenum, as you go from Athens to Eleusis, with nothing
in its appearance answerable to the sum of thirty talents, with which
Charicles is said to have charged Harpalus for its erection. After
Harpalus's own decease, his daughter was educated by Phocion and Charicles
with great care. But when Charicles was called to account for his
dealings with Harpalus, and entreated his father-in-law's protection,
begging that he would appear for him in the court, Phocion refused,
telling him, "I did not choose you for my son-in-law for any but honourable

Asclepiades, the son of Hipparchus, brought the first tidings of Alexander's
death to Athens, which Demades told them was not to be credited; for
were it true, the whole world would ere this have stunk with the dead
body. But Phocion, seeing the people eager for an instant revolution,
did his best to quiet and repress them. And when numbers of them rushed
up to the hustings to speak, and cried out that the news was true,
and Alexander was dead, "If he is dead to-day," said, "he will be
so to-morrow and the day after to-morrow equally. So that there is
no need to take counsel hastily or before it is safe." 

When Leosthenes now had embarked the city in the Lamian war, greatly
against Phocion's wishes, to raise a laugh against Phocion, he asked
him scoffingly, what the state had been benefited by his having now
so many years been general. "It is not a little," said Phocion, "that
the citizens have been buried in their own sepulchres." And when Leosthenes
continued to speak boldly and boastfully in the assembly, "Young man,"
he said, "your speeches are like cypress-trees, stately and tall,
and no fruit to come of them." When he was then attacked by Hyperides,
who asked him when the time would come that he would advise the Athenians
to make war. "As soon," said he, "as I find the young men keep their
ranks, the rich men contribute their money, and the orators leave
off robbing the treasury." Afterwards, when many admired the forces
raised, and the preparations for war that were made by Leosthenes,
they asked Phocion how he approved of the new levies. "Very well,"
said he, "for the short course; but what I fear is the long race.
Since, however late the war may last, the city has neither money,
ships, nor soldiers, but these." The event justified his prognostics.
At first all things appeared fair and promising. Leosthenes gained
great reputation by worsting the Boeotians in battle, and driving
Antipater within the walls of Lamia, and the citizens were so transported
with the first successes, that they kept solemn festivities for them,
and offered public sacrifices to the gods. So that some, thinking
Phocion must now be convinced of his error, asked him whether he would
not willingly have been author of these successful actions. "Yes,"
said he, "most gladly, but also of the former counsel." And when one
express after another came from the camp, confirming and magnifying
the victories, "When," said he, "will the end of them come?"

Leosthenes, soon after, was killed, and now those who feared lest
if Phocion obtained the command he would put an end to the war, arranged
with an obscure person in the assembly, who should stand up and profess
himself to be a friend and old confidant of Phocion's, and persuade
the people to spare him at this time, and reserve him (with whom none
could compare) for a more pressing occasion, and now to give Antiphilus
the command of the army. This pleased the generality, but Phocion
made it appear he was so far from having any friendship with him of
old standing, that he had not so much as the least familiarity with
him; "Yet now, sir," says he, "give me leave to put you down among
the number of my friends and well-wishers, as you have given a piece
of advice so much to my advantage." 

When the people were eager to make an expedition against the Boeotians,
he at first opposed it; and on his friends telling him the people
would kill him for always running counter to them, "That will be unjust
of them," he said, "if I give them honest advice, if not, it will
be just of them." But when he found them persisting and shouting to
him to lead them out, he commanded the crier to make proclamation,
that all the Athenians under sixty should instantly provide themselves
with five days' provision, and follow him from the assembly. This
caused a great tumult. Those in years were startled, and clamoured
against the order; he demanded wherein he injured them, "For I," says
he, "am now fourscore, and am ready to lead you." This succeeded in
pacifying them for the present. 

But when Micion, with a large force of Macedonians and mercenaries,
began to pillage the sea-coast, having made a descent upon Rhamnus,
and overrun the neighbouring country, Phocion led out the Athenians
to attack him. And when sundry private persons came, intermeddling
with his dispositions, and telling him that he ought to occupy such
or such a hill, detach the cavalry in this or that direction, engage
the enemy on this point or that, "Oh Hercules," said he, "how many
generals have we here, and how few soldiers!" Afterwards, having formed
the battle, one who wished to show his bravery advanced out of his
post before the rest, but on the enemy's approaching, lost heart,
and retired back into his rank. "Young man," said Phocion, "are you
not ashamed twice in one day to desert your station, first that on
which I had placed you, and secondly that on which you had placed
yourself?" However, he entirely routed the enemy, killing Micion and
many more on the spot. The Grecian army, also, in Thessaly, after
Leonnatus and the Macedonians who came with him out of Asia had arrived
and joined Antipater, fought and beat them in a battle. Leonnatus
was killed in the fight, Antiphilus commanding the foot, and Menon,
the Thessalian, the horse. 

But not long after, Craterus crossed from Asia with numerous forces;
a pitched battle was fought at Cranon; the Greeks were beaten; though
not, indeed, in a signal defeat, nor with any great loss of men. But
what with their want of obedience to their commanders, who were young
and over-indulgent with them, and what with Antipater's tampering
and treating with their separate cities, one by one, the end of it
was that the army was dissolved, and the Greeks shamefully surrendered
the liberty of their country. 

Upon the news of Antipater's now advancing at once against Athens,
with all his force, Demosthenes and Hyperides deserted the city, and
Demades, who was altogether insolvent for any part of the fines that
had been laid upon him by the city, for he had been condemned no less
than seven times for introducing bills contrary to the laws, and who
had been disfranchised, and was no longer competent to vote in the
assembly, laid hold of this season of impunity to bring in a bill
for sending ambassadors with plenipotentiary power to Antipater, to
treat about a peace. But the people distrusted him, and called upon
Phocion to give his opinion, as the person they only and entirely
confided in. He told them, "If my former counsels had been prevalent
with you, we had not been reduced to deliberate the question at all."
However, the vote passed; and a decree was made, and he with others
deputed to go to Antipater, who lay now encamped in the Theban territories,
but intended to dislodge immediately, and pass into Attica. Phocion's
first request was, that he would make the treaty without moving his
camp. And when Craterus declared that it was not fair to ask them
to be burdensome to the country of their friends and allies by their
stay, when they might rather use that of their enemies for provisions
and the support of their army, Antipater, taking him by the hand,
said, "We must grant this favour to Phocion." For the rest he bade
them return to their principals, and acquaint them that he could only
offer them the same terms, namely, to surrender at discretion, which
Leosthenes had offered to him when he was shut up in Lamia.

When Phocion had returned to the city and acquainted them with this
answer, they made a virtue of necessity and complied, since it would
be no better. So Phocion returned to Thebes with the other ambassadors,
and among the rest Xenocrates, the philosopher, the reputation of
whose virtue and wisdom was so great and famous everywhere, that they
conceived there could not be any pride, cruelty, or anger arising
in the heart of man, which would not at the mere sight of him be subdued
into something of reverence and admiration. But the result, as it
happened, was the very opposite, Antipater showed such a want of feeling,
and such a dislike of goodness. He saluted every one else, but would
not so much as notice Xenocrates. Xenocrates, they tell us, observed
upon it, that Antipater, when meditating such cruelty to Athens, did
well to be ashamed of seeing him. When he began to speak, he would
not hear him, but broke in and rudely interrupted him, until at last
he was obliged to be silent. But when Phocion had declared the purport
of their embassy, he replied shortly, that he would make peace with
the Athenians on these conditions, and no others; that Demosthenes
and Hyperides should be delivered up to him; that they should retain
their ancient form of government, the franchise being determined by
a property qualification; that they should receive a garrison into
Munychia, and pay a certain sum of the cost of the war. As things
stood, these terms were judged tolerable by the rest of the ambassadors;
Xenocrates only said, that if Antipater considered the Athenians slaves,
he was treating them fairly; but if free, severely. Phocion pressed
him only to spare them the garrison, and used many arguments and entreaties.
Antipater replied, "Phocion, we are ready to do you any favour, which
will not bring ruin both on ourselves and on you." Others report it
differently; that Antipater asked Phocion, supposing he remitted the
garrison to the Athenians, would he, Phocion, stand surety for the
city's observing the terms and attempting no revolution? And when
he hesitated, and did not at once reply, Callimedon, the Carabus,
a hot partisan and professed enemy of free states, cried out, "And
if he should talk so idly, Antipater, will you be so much abused as
to believe him and not carry out your own purpose?" So the Athenians
received the garrison, and Menyllus for the governor, a fair-dealing
man, and one of Phocion's acquaintance. 

But the proceeding seemed sufficiently imperious and arbitrary, indeed
rather a spiteful and insulting ostentation of power, than that the
possession of the fortress would be of any great importance. The resentment
felt upon it was heightened by the time it happened in, for the garrison
was brought in on the twentieth of the month of Boedromion. Just at
the time of the great festival, when they carry forth Iacchus with
solemn pomp from the city to Eleusis; so that the solemnity being
disturbed, many began to call to mind instances, both ancient and
modern, of divine interventions and intimations. For in old time,
upon the occasions of their happiest successes, the presence of the
shapes and voices of the mystic ceremonies had been vouchsafed to
them, striking terror and amazement into their enemies; but now, at
the very season of their celebration, the gods themselves stood witnesses
of the saddest oppressions of Greece, the most holy time being profaned,
and their greatest jubilee made the unlucky date of their most extreme
calamity. Not many years before, they had a warning from the oracle
at Dodona, that they should carefully guard the summits of Diana,
lest haply strangers should seize them. And about this very time,
when they dyed the ribbons and garlands with which they adorn the
couches and cars of the procession, instead of a purple, they received
only a faint yellow colour; and to make the omen yet greater, all
the things that were dyed for common use, took the natural colour.
While a candidate for initiation was washing a young pig in the haven
of Cantharus, a shark seized him, bit off his lower parts up to the
belly, and devoured them, by which the god gave them manifestly to
understand, that having lost the lower town and sea-coast, they should
keep only the upper city. 

Menyllus was sufficient security that the garrison should behave itself
inoffensively. But those who were now excluded from the franchise
by property amounted to more than twelve thousand; so that both those
that remained in the city thought themselves oppressed and shamefully
used, and those who on this account left their homes and went away
into Thrace, where Antipater offered them a town and some territory
to inhabit, regarded themselves only as a colony of slaves and exiles.
And when to this was added the deaths of Demosthenes at Calauria,
and of Hyperides at Clonae, as we have elsewhere related, the citizens
began to think with regret of Philip and Alexander, and almost to
wish the return of those times. And as, after Antigonus was slain,
when those that had taken him off were afflicting and oppressing the
people, a countryman in Phrygia, digging in the fields, was asked
what he was doing, "I am," said he, fetching a deep sigh, "searching
for Antigonus;" so said many that remembered those days, and the contests
they had with those kings, whose anger, however great, was yet generous
and placable; whereas Antipater, with the counterfeit humility of
appearing like a private man, in the meanness of his dress and his
homely fare, merely belied his real love of that arbitrary power,
which he exercised, as a cruel master and despot, to distress those
under his command. Yet Phocion had interest with him to recall many
from banishment by his intercession, and prevailed also for those
who were driven out, that they might not, like others, be hurried
beyond Taenarus, and the mountains of Ceraunia, but remain in Greece,
and plant themselves in Peloponnesus, of which number was Agnonides,
the sycophant. He was no less studious to manage the affairs within
the city with equity and moderation, preferring constantly those that
were men of worth and good education to the magistracies, and recommending
the busy and turbulent talkers, to whom it was a mortal blow to be
excluded from office and public debating, to learn to stay at home,
and be content to till their land. And observing that Xenocrates paid
his alien-tax as a foreigner, he offered him the freedom of the city,
which he refused, saying he could not accept a franchise which he
had been sent as an ambassador to deprecate. 

Menyllus wished to give Phocion a considerable present of money, who,
thanking him, said, neither was Menyllus greater than Alexander, nor
his own occasions more urgent to receive it now, than when he refused
it from him. And on his pressing him to permit his son Phocus to receive
it, he replied, "If my son returns to a right mind, his patrimony
is sufficient; if not, all supplies will be insufficient." But to
Antipater he answered more sharply, who would have him engaged in
something dishonourable. "Antipater," said he, "cannot have me both
as his friend and his flatterer." And, indeed, Antipater was wont
to say he had two friends at Athens, Phocion and Demades; the one
would never suffer him to gratify him at all, the other would never
be satisfied. Phocion might well think that poverty a virtue, in which,
after having so often been general of the Athenians, and admitted
to the friendship of potentates and princes, he had now grown old.
Demades, meantime, delighted in lavishing his wealth even in positive
transgressions of the law. For there having been an order that no
foreigner should be hired to dance in any chorus on the penalty of
a fine of one thousand drachmas on the exhibitor, he had the vanity
to exhibit an entire chorus of a hundred foreigners, and paid down
the penalty of a thousand drachmas a head upon the stage itself. Marrying
his son Demeas, he told him with the like vanity, "My son, when I
married your mother, it was done so privately it was not known to
the next neighbours, but kings and princes give presents at your nuptials."

The garrison in Munychia continued to be felt as a great grievance,
and the Athenians did not cease to be importunate upon Phocion, to
prevail with Antipater for its removal; but whether he despaired of
effecting it, or perhaps observed the people to be more orderly, and
public matters more reasonably conducted by the awe that was thus
created, he constantly declined the office, and contented himself
with obtaining from Antipater the postponement for the present of
the payment of the sum of money in which the city was fined. So the
people, leaving him off applied themselves to Demades, who readily
undertook the employment, and took along with him his son also into
Macedonia; and some superior power, as it seems, so ordering it, he
came just at that nick of time when Antipater was already seized with
his sickness, and Cassander, taking upon himself the command, had
found a letter of Demades's, formerly written by him to Antigonus
in Asia recommending him to come and possess himself of the empire
of Greece and Macedon, now hanging, he said (a scoff at Antipater),
"by an old and rotten thread." So when Cassander saw him come, he
seized him; and first brought out the son. and killed him so close
before his face that the blood ran all over his clothes and person,
and then, after bitterly taunting and upbraiding him with his ingratitude
and treachery, despatched him himself. 

Antipater being dead, after nominating Polysperchon general-in-chief
and Cassander commander of the cavalry, Cassander at once set up for
himself, and immediately despatched Nicanor to Menyllus, to succeed
him in the command of the garrison, commanding him to possess himself
of Munychia before the news of Antipater's death should be heard;
which being done, and some days after the Athenians hearing the report
of it, Phocion was taxed as privy to it before, and censured heavily
for dissembling it, out of friendship for Nicanor. But he slighted
their talk, and making it his duty to visit and confer continually
with Nicanor, he succeeded in procuring his good-will and kindness
for the Athenians, and induced him even to put himself to trouble
and expense to seek popularity with them, by undertaking the office
of presiding at the games. 

In the meantime Polysperchon, who was intrusted with the charge of
the king, to countermine Cassander, sent a letter to the city, declaring,
in the name of the king, that he restored them their democracy, and
that the whole Athenian people were at liberty to conduct their commonwealth
according to their ancient customs and constitutions. The object of
these pretences was merely the overthrow of Phocion's influence, as
the event manifested. For Polysperchon's design being to possess himself
of the city, he despaired altogether of bringing it to pass whilst
Phocion retained his credit; and the most certain way to ruin him
would be again to fill the city with a crowd of disfranchised citizens,
and let loose the tongues of the demagogues and common accusers.

With this prospect the Athenians were all in excitement, and Nicanor,
wishing to confer with them on the subject, at a meeting of the Council
in Piraeus, came himself, trusting for the safety of his person to
Phocion. And when Dercyllus, who commanded the guard there, made an
attempt to seize him, upon notice of it beforehand, he made his escape,
and there was little doubt he would now lose no time in righting himself
upon the city for the affront; and when Phocion was found fault with
for letting him get off and not securing him, he defended himself
by saying that he had no mistrust of Nicanor, nor the least reason
to expect any mischief from him, but should it prove otherwise, for
his part he would have them all know, he would rather receive than
do the wrong. And so far as he spoke for himself alone, the answer
was honourable and high-minded enough, but he who hazards his country's
safety, and that, too, when he is her magistrate and chief commander,
can scarcely be acquitted, I fear, of transgressing a higher and more
sacred obligation of justice, which he owed to his fellow-citizens.
For it will not even do to say that he dreaded the involving the city
in war, by seizing Nicanor, and hoped by professions of confidence
and just-dealing to retain him in the observance of the like; but
it was, indeed, his credulity and confidence in him, and an overweening
opinion of his sincerity, that imposed upon him. So that notwithstanding
the sundry intimations he had of his making, preparations to attack
Piraeus, sending soldiers over into Salamis, and tampering with and
endeavouring to corrupt various residents in Piraeus, he would, notwithstanding
all this evidence, never be persuaded to believe it. And even when
Philomedes of Lampra had got a decree passed, that all the Athenians
should stand to their arms, and be ready to follow Phocion their general,
he yet sat still and did nothing, until Nicanor actually led his troops
out from Munychia, and drew trenches about Piraeus; upon which, when
Phocion at last would have let out the Athenians, they cried out against
him, and slighted his orders. 

Alexander, the son of Polysperchon, was at hand with a considerable
force, and professed to come to give them succour against Nicanor,
but intended nothing less, if possible, than to surprise the city,
whilst they were in tumult and divided among themselves. For all that
had previously been expelled from the city, now coming back with him,
made their way into it, and were joined by a mixed multitude of foreigners
and disfranchised persons, and of these a motley and irregular public
assembly came together, in which they presently divested Phocion of
all power, and chose other generals; and if by chance Alexander had
not been spied from the walls, alone in close conference with Nicanor,
and had not this, which was often repeated, given the Athenians cause
of suspicion, the city had not escaped the snare. The orator Agnonides,
however, at once fell foul upon Phocion, and impeached him of treason;
Callimedon and Charicles, fearing the worst, consulted their own security
by flying from the city. Phocion, with a few of his friends that stayed
with him went over to Polysperchon, and out of respect for him, Solon
of Plataea, and Dinarchus of Corinth, who were reputed friends and
confidants of Polysperchon, accompanied him. But on account of Dinarchus
falling ill, they remained several days in Elatea, during which time,
upon the persuasion of Agnonides and on the motion of Archestratus,
a decree passed that the people should send delegates thither to accuse
Phocion. So both parties reached Polysperchon at the same time, who
was going through the country with the king, and was then at a small
village of Phocis, Pharygae, under the mountain now called Galate,
but then Acrurium. 

There Polysperchon, having set up the golden canopy, and seated the
king and his company under it, ordered Dinarchus at once to be taken,
and tortured, and put to death; and that done, gave audience to the
Athenians, who filled the place with noise and tumult, accusing and
recriminating on one another, till at last Agnonides came forward,
and requested they might all be shut up together in one cage, and
conveyed to Athens, there to decide the controversy. At that the king
could not forbear smiling, but the company that attended, for their
own amusement, Macedonians and strangers, were eager to hear the altercation,
and made signs to the delegates to go on with their case at once.
But it was no sort of fair hearing. Polysperchon frequently interrupted
Phocion, till at last Phocion struck his staff on the ground and declined
to speak further. And when Hegemon said, Polysperchon himself could
bear witness to his affection for the people, Polysperchon called
out fiercely, "Give over slandering me to the king," and the king
starting up was about to have run him through with his javelin, but
Polysperchon interposed and hindered him; so that the assembly dissolved.

Phocion, then, and those about him, were seized; those of his friends
that were not immediately by him, on seeing this, hid their faces,
and saved themselves by flight. The rest Clitus took and brought to
Athens, to be submitted to trial; but, in truth, as men already sentenced
to die. The manner of conveying them was indeed extremely moving;
they were carried in chariots through the Ceramicus, straight to the
place of judicature, where Clitus secured them till they had convoked
an assembly of the people, which was open to all comers, neither foreigners,
nor slaves, nor those who had been punished with disfranchisement
being refused admittance, but all alike, both men and women, being
allowed to come into the court, and even upon the place of speaking.
So having read the king's letters, in which he declared he was satisfied
himself that these men were traitors, however, they being a free city,
he willingly accorded them the grace of trying and judging them according
to their own laws, Clitus brought in his prisoners. Every respectable
citizen, at the sight of Phocion, covered up his face, and stooped
down to conceal his tears. And one of them had the courage to say,
that since the king had committed so important a cause to the judgment
of the people, it would be well that the strangers, and those of servile
condition, should withdraw. But the populace would not endure it,
crying out they were oligarchs, and enemies to the liberty of the
people, and deserved to be stoned; after which no man durst offer
anything further in Phocion's behalf. He was himself with difficulty
heard at all, when he put the question, "Do you wish to put us to
death lawfully or unlawfully?" Some answered, "According to law."
He replied, "How can you, except we have a fair hearing?" But when
they were deaf to all he said, approaching nearer, "As to myself,"
said he, "I admit my guilt, and pronounce my public conduct to have
deserved sentence of death. But why, O men of Athens, kill others
who have offended in nothing?" The rabble cried out they were his
friends, that was enough. Phocion therefore drew back, and said no

Then Agnonides read the bill, in accordance with which the people
should decide by show of hands whether they judged them guilty, and
if so it should be found, the penalty should be death. When this had
been read out, some desired it might be added to the sentence that
Phocion should be tortured also, and the rack should be produced with
the executioners. But Agnonides perceiving even Clitus to dislike
this, and himself thinking it horrid and barbarous, said, "When we
catch that slave, Callimedon, men of Athens, we will put him to the
rack, but I shall make no motion of the kind in Phocion's case." Upon
which one of the better citizens remarked, he was quite right; "If
he should torture Phocion, what could we do to you?" So the form of
the bill was approved of, and the show of hands called for; upon which,
not one man retaining his seat, but all rising up, and some with garlands
on their heads, they condemned them all to death. 

There were present with Phocion, Nicocles, Thudippus, Hegemon, and
Pythocles. Demetrius the Phalerian, Callimedon, Charicles, and some
others, were included in the condemnation, being absent.

After the assembly was dismissed, they were carried to the prison;
the rest with cries and lamentations, their friends and relatives
following and clinging about them, but Phocion looking (as men observed
with astonishment at his calmness and magnanimity), just the same
as when he had been used to return to his home attended, as general,
from the assembly. His enemies ran along by his side, reviling and
abusing him. And one of them coming up to him, spat in his face; at
which Phocion, turning to the officers, only said, "You should stop
this indecency." Thudippus, on their reaching the prison, when he
observed the executioner tempering the poison and preparing it for
them, gave away to his passion, and began to bemoan his condition
and the hard measure he received, thus unjustly to suffer with Phocion.
"You cannot be contented," said he, "to die with Phocion?" One of
his friends that stood by, asked him if he wished to have anything
said to his son. "Yes, by all means," said he, "bid him bear no grudge
against the Athenians." Then Nicocles, the dearest and most faithful
of his friends, begged to be allowed to drink the poison first. "My
friend," said he, "you ask what I am loath and sorrowful to give,
but as I never yet in all my life was so thankless as to refuse you,
I must gratify you in this also." After they had all drunk of it,
the poison ran short; and the executioner refused to prepare more,
except they would pay him twelve drachmas, to defray the cost of the
quantity required. Some delay was made, and time spent, when Phocion
called one of his friends, and observing that a man could not even
die at Athens without paying for it, requested him to give the sum.

It was the nineteenth day of the month Munychion, on which it was
the usage to have a solemn procession in the city, in honour of Jupiter.
The horsemen, as they passed by, some of them threw away their garlands,
others stopped, weeping, and casting sorrowful looks towards the prison
doors, and all the citizens whose minds were not absolutely debauched
by spite and passion, or who had any humanity left, acknowledged it
to have been most impiously done, not, at least, to let that day pass,
and the city so be kept pure from death and a public execution at
the solemn festival. But as if this triumph had been insufficient,
the malice of Phocion's enemies went yet further; his dead body was
excluded from burial within the boundaries of the country, and none
of the Athenians could light a funeral pile to burn the corpse; neither
durst any of his friends venture to concern themselves about it. A
certain Conopion, a man who used to do these offices for hire, took
the body and carried it beyond Eleusis, and procuring fire from over
the frontier of Megara, burned it. Phocion's wife, with her servant-maids,
being present and assisting at the solemnity, raised there an empty
tomb, and performed the customary libations, and gathering up the
bones in her lap, and bringing them home by night, dug a place for
them by the fireside in her house, saying, "Blessed hearth, to your
custody I commit the remains of a good and brave man, and, I beseech
you, protect and restore them to the sepulchre of his fathers, when
the Athenians return to their right minds." 

And, indeed, a very little time and their own sad experience soon
informed them what an excellent governor, and how great an example
and guardian of justice and of temperance they had bereft themselves
of. And now they decreed him a statue of brass, and his bones to be
buried honourably at the public charge; and for his accusers, Agnonides
they took themselves, and caused him to be put to death. Epicurus
and Demophilus, who fled from the city for fear, his son met with,
and took his revenge upon them. This son of his, we are told, was
in general of an indifferent character, and once when enamoured of
a slave girl kept by a common harlot merchant, happened to hear Theodorus,
the atheist, arguing in the Lyceum, that if it were a good and honourable
thing to buy the freedom of a friend in the masculine, why not also
of a friend in the feminine, if, for example, a master, why not also
a mistress? So putting the good argument and his passion together,
he went off and purchased the girl's freedom. The death which was
thus suffered by Phocion revived among the Greeks the memory of that
of Socrates, the two cases being so similar, and both equally the
sad fault and misfortune of the city. 



Copyright statement:
The Internet Classics Archive by Daniel C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.
World Wide Web presentation is copyright (C) 1994-2000, Daniel
C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.
All rights reserved under international and pan-American copyright
conventions, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part
in any form. Direct permission requests to
Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
copyright (C) Thomas Bushnell, BSG.