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- Works, V3 - 1/51 -


THE WORKS OF LUCIAN OF SAMOSATA

Complete with exceptions specified in the preface

TRANSLATED BY

H. W. FOWLER AND F. G. FOWLER

VOLUME III

OF FOUR VOLUMES

What work nobler than transplanting foreign thought into the barren domestic soil? except indeed planting thought of your own, which the fewest are privileged to do.--_Sartor Resartus_.

At each flaw, be this your first thought: the author doubtless said something quite different, and much more to the point. And then you may hiss _me_ off, if you will.--LUCIAN, _Nigrinus_, 9.

(LUCIAN) The last great master of Attic eloquence and Attic wit.-- _Lord Macaulay_.

CONTENTS OF VOL. III

LIFE OF DEMONAX

A PORTRAIT-STUDY

DEFENCE OF THE 'PORTRAIT-STUDY'

TOXARIS: A DIALOGUE OF FRIENDSHIP

ZEUS CROSS-EXAMINED

ZEUS TRAGOEDUS

THE COCK

ICAROMENIPPUS, AN AERIAL EXPEDITION

THE DOUBLE INDICTMENT

THE PARASITE, A DEMONSTRATION THAT SPONGING IS A PROFESSION

ANACHARSIS, A DISCUSSION OF PHYSICAL TRAINING

OF MOURNING

THE RHETORICIAN'S VADE MECUM

THE LIAR

DIONYSUS, AN INTRODUCTORY LECTURE

HERACLES, AN INTRODUCTORY LECTURE

SWANS AND AMBER

THE FLY, AN APPRECIATION

REMARKS ADDRESSED TO AN ILLITERATE BOOK-FANCIER

ALPHABETICAL TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIFE OF DEMONAX

It was in the book of Fate that even this age of ours should not be destitute entirely of noteworthy and memorable men, but produce a body of extraordinary power, and a mind of surpassing wisdom. My allusions are to Sostratus the Boeotian, whom the Greeks called, and believed to be, Heracles; and more particularly to the philosopher Demonax. I saw and marvelled at both of them, and with the latter I long consorted. I have written of Sostratus elsewhere [Footnote: The life of Sostratus is not extant.], and described his stature and enormous strength, his open-air life on Parnassus, sleeping on the grass and eating what the mountain afforded, the exploits that bore out his surname--robbers exterminated, rough places made smooth, and deep waters bridged.

This time I am to write of Demonax, with two sufficient ends in view: first, to keep his memory green among good men, as far as in me lies; and secondly, to provide the most earnest of our rising generation, who aspire to philosophy, with a contemporary pattern, that they may not be forced back upon the ancients for worthy models, but imitate this best--if I am any judge--of all philosophers.

He came of a Cyprian family which enjoyed considerable property and political influence. But his views soared above such things as these; he claimed nothing less than the highest, and devoted himself to philosophy. This was not due to any exhortations of Agathobulus, his predecessor Demetrius, or Epictetus. He did indeed enjoy the converse of all these, as well as of Timocrates of Heraclea, that wise man whose gifts of expression and of understanding were equal. It was not, however, to the exhortations of any of these, but to a natural impulse towards the good, an innate yearning for philosophy which manifested itself in childish years, that he owed his superiority to all the things that ordinary men pursue. He took independence and candour for his guiding principles, lived himself an upright, wholesome, irreproachable life, and exhibited to all who saw or heard him the model of his own disposition and philosophic sincerity.

He was no half-baked enthusiast either; he had lived with the poets, and knew most of them by heart; he was a practised speaker; he had a knowledge of philosophic principles not of the superficial skin-deep order; he had developed and hardened his body by exercise and toil, and, in short, had been at the pains to make himself every man's equal at every point. He was consistent enough, when he found that he could no longer suffice to himself, to depart voluntarily from life, leaving a great reputation behind him among the true nobility of Greece.

Instead of confining himself to a single philosophic school, he laid them all under contribution, without showing clearly which of them he preferred; but perhaps he was nearest akin to Socrates; for, though he had leanings as regards externals and plain living to Diogenes, he never studied effect or lived for the applause and admiration of the multitude; his ways were like other people's; he mounted no high horse; he was just a man and a citizen. He indulged in no Socratic irony; but his discourse was full of Attic grace; those who heard it went away neither disgusted by servility nor repelled by ill-tempered censure, but on the contrary lifted out of themselves by charity, and encouraged to more orderly, contented, hopeful lives.

He was never known to shout or be over vehement or angry, even when he had to correct; he touched offences, but pardoned offenders, saying that the doctors' was the right model, who treat sickness but are not angry with the sick. It is human, he thought, to err, but divine (whether in God or man) to put the error right.

A life of this sort left him without wants of his own; but he was always ready to render any proper service to his friends--including reminders to those among them who passed for fortunate, how brief was their tenure of what they so prided themselves upon. To all, on the other hand, who repined at poverty, resented exile, or complained of old age or bad health, he administered laughing consolation, and bade them not forget how soon their troubles would be over, the distinction between good and bad be obsolete, and long freedom succeed to short-lived distress.

He was fond of playing peace-maker between brothers at variance, or presiding over the restoration of marital harmony. He could say a word in season, too, before an agitated political assembly, which would turn the scale in favour of patriotic duty. Such was the temper that philosophy produced in him, kindly, mild, and cheerful.

Nothing ever grieved him except the illness or death of a friend, friendship being the one among blessings that he put highest; and indeed he was every man's friend, counting among his kindred whatever had human shape. Not that there were no degrees in the pleasure different people's society gave him; but he avoided none, except those who seemed so far astray that they could get no good from him. And every word or act in which these principles took shape might have been dictated by the Graces and Aphrodite; for 'on his lips Persuasion sat,' as the play has it.

Accordingly he was regarded with reverence at Athens, both by the collective assembly and by the officials; he always continued to be a person of great consequence in their eyes. And this though most of them had been at first offended with him, and hated him as heartily as their ancestors had Socrates. Besides his candour and independence, there had been found Anytuses and Meletuses to repeat the historic charges: _he had never been known to sacrifice, and he made himself singular by avoiding initiation at Eleusis_. On this occasion he showed his courage by appearing in a garland and festal attire, and then pleading his cause before the people with a dash of unwonted asperity infused into his ordinary moderate tone. On the count of never having sacrificed to Athene, 'Men of Athens,' he said, 'there is nothing wonderful in this; it was only that I gave the Goddess credit for being able to do very well without sacrifices from me.' And in the matter of the Mysteries, his reason for not following the usual practice was this: if the Mysteries turned out to be bad, he would never be able to keep quiet about it to the uninitiated, but must dissuade them from the ceremony; while, if they were good, humanity would tempt him to divulge them. The Athenians, stone in hand already, were at once disarmed, and from that time onwards paid him honour and respect, which ultimately rose to reverence. Yet he had opened his case with a bitter enough reproof: 'Men of Athens, you see me ready garlanded; proceed to sacrifice me, then; your former offering [Footnote: i.e., Socrates.] was deficient in this formality.'

I will now give some specimens of his pointed and witty sayings, which may begin with his answers to Favorinus. The latter had heard that he made fun of his lectures, and in particular of the sentimental verses with which they were garnished, and which Demonax thought contemptible, womanish, and quite unsuited to


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