Posts Tagged ‘Demosthenes’

Phocion waited wearily as his barber gave him a longwinded summary of the current Athenian political situation. At one point he stopped realizing what he was there for. He asked, ‘How would you like to have your hair trimmed?’
‘In silence’, was the reply.
Phocion lived in the golden age of oratory and in the department of causing a verbal avalanche none could have stood the force of Demosthenes. Once he told Phocion, ’The Athenians will kill you someday when they are in a rage.’
‘And you, when they are in their senses. ’came the retort. (Ack: The Bumper Book of Insults-Nancy McPhee/Chancellor Press-1981)
Having the custom of the famous French comedian Fernandel made the barber brighten up. He could do hardly enough. After a length of time he produced the mirror and held it behind the famous head and asked, ‘Is that all right?’
Fernandel looked at his cut and gave a look of disapproval. He said, ‘Almost just a little longer at the back, please.’
(Ack: Munich Revu)


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Cicero was the best orator of his time. He made his name in one of the darkest periods of Rome. Sylla the dictator had decreed the sale of goods that belonged to one who was murdered with his consent. While the crier had the goods sold off at rock-bottom price to a favorite of the dictator a freed bondman, the slain man’s son protested. Sylla fearing that it will bring charge against himself for fraud had the son arrested: on trumped up charge  of parricide. No one but Cicero dared to take up the case for the innocent man. His pleading was brilliant and effective too. He won the case.

While pleading on behalf of the Sicilians against Verres( which means a boar) who sent to the orator one who was suspected of being a Jew. Cicero refused his representations thus:’What has a Jew to do with a swine?”
When asked which of the Demosthenes orations he liked best Cicero replied thus: the longest.

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