Imágenes de página
[ocr errors]

Wallace. Sir, I have none worthy of your royal Edward. What are knights in my presence ? participation.

Wallace. Examples, monitors, preceptors, Edward. Thou formest the best possible in one judges; the highest of the earth ; for a king who moment, and executest them in another.

is unworthy of a spur is unworthy of a sceptre. Wallace. Peradventure the only one I could The descendant of a knight acknowledges no devise and execute, in this contingency, might superior in birth ; howbeit the gainer of knightnot please you.

hood in the field stands above him. Edvard. It would, beyond measure, I promise Eduard. Talk to me of knights! Hast thou thee : set about it instantly: I must enjoy it before forgotten the punishment I inflicted on a prince, I rest. Tell it me, tell it me.

convicted of treason, some sixteen years ago, in Wallace. Must I ?

another part of my kingdom? Answer me. Edward. Thou must: I am faint with waiting. Wallace. I never heard it.

Wallace. I would go unto him bareheaded ; I Edward. Never heard of the foolish David, would kiss his hand.

brother of Llewelyn the Welshman? Eduard. Nothing can be better; wary, provi- Wallace. You said in your kingdom, sir. dent, deep.

Edvard. I did : I made it mine by the help Wallace. I would lead him before the altar, if of God. The madman was torn asunder by my entreaty could do it.

horses. Edward. No, no, no!

Unless in case of Wallace. Was this also by the help of God? necessity.

Edward. His bowels and heart were burnt beWallace. I would adjure him by the Lord of fore his face; he was then beheaded and quartered. Hosts, the preserver of Scotland ..

Now dost thou remember? Edward. No harm in that.

Wallace. O king! a voice more terrible than Wallace. to pity his country

mine will ask that question of thee. Edward. Ay; it would vex him to reflect on Edward. Thou shalt follow him first, limb by what a state it is in at present.

limb, piece by piece, drop by drop. Righteous Wallace. . . and to proclaim a traitor to his vengeance hath overtaken thee, audacious rebel ! king and God every Scotchman who abandons or I now have my own, and all my own. despairs of her.

Wallace. Not yet, 0 Edward ! a part lies beEdward. What is this? why would it hurt him? yond the grave. I comprehend not half the stratagem. How! thy Edward. To-morrow thy tongue, I trow, shall limbs swell huger, thy stature higher ... thou wag less bravely, though it have a good spear to scornest, thou scoffest, thou defyest me! A support it. I will render thee a terror to thy prisoner! a bondman! By the Holy Ghost ! the riotous gang. The raven shall take a text from hurdle shall creak under thee to-morrow.

thee and preach over thee, and merry Carlisle Wallace. To-morrow !

shall ring the bells after the service. Edward. To-morrow; I repeat it.

Wallace. Thou needest not send branch nor Wallace. So soon?

bough nor cutting to Carlisle: that city, from Edward. Yea, by the rood ! no later.

autumn to spring, hath beheld the tree nod in its Wallace. King Edward, I never thought to glory, and feared lest it sweep her walls. thank thee.

Edward. Sirrah! where I am, mark me, there Edrcard. What audacious insurgent pride ! is but one great man. what villanous loftiness! By all the saints of Wallace. Thou hast endeavoured to make heaven ! every town in England shall have a fair another, and wilt almost accomplish it. sight of thee, more or less; hand or foot, brisket Edward. Guards! away with him. A traitor's or buttock, heart or liver.

doom awaits thee. Wallace. They should have seen me, King of Wallace. Because I would not be one. England, to greater advantage, if thy sword alone Edward. Laughter too! and lewd mockery! had been against me.

Carry him back to prison : cord him! pinion Edward. Against a vassal's !

him ! cart him ! Wallace. Against a knight's, nor unworthy of Wallace. Thou followest me to death, less willthe dignity; one who never spake falsely nor ingly. fought unfairly.

DIOGENES AND PLATO. Diogenes. Stop! stop ! come hither! Why Plato. I am not obliged in courtesy to tell you. lookest thou so scornfully and askance upon Diogenes. Upon whose errand? Answer me me?

directly. Plato. Let me go; loose me; I am resolved Plato. Upon my own.

Diogenes. 0! then I will hold thee yet awhile. Diogenes

. Nay then, by Jupiter and this tub! If it were upon another's, it might be a hardthou leavest three good ells of Milesian cloth ship to a good citizen, though not a good behind thee. Whither wouldst thou amble ? philosopher.

to pass.

Plato. That can be no impediment to my re- most universal and the most indefatigable travellease : you do not think me one.

| ler, he must also be the oldest creature upon earth. Diogenes. No, by my father Jove!

Plato. How so? Plato. Your father!

Diogenes. Because he must know perfectls the Diogenes. Why not? Thou shouldst be the last climate, the soil, the situation, the peculiarities, man to doubt it. Hast not thou declared it irra- of the races, of their allies, of their enemies : he tional to refuse our belief to those who assert that must have sounded their harbours, he must have they are begotten by the gods, though the asser- measured the quantity of their arable land and tion (these are thy words) be unfounded on reason pasture, of their woods and mountains : he must or probability? In me there is a chance of it: have ascertained whether there are fisheries an whereas in the generation of such people as thou their coasts, and even what winds are prevalent.* art fondest of frequenting, who claim it loudly, On these causes, with some others, depend the there are always too many competitors to leave it bodily strength, the numbers, the wealth, the probable.

wants, the capacities, of the people. Plato. Those who speak against the great, do Plato. Such are low thoughts. not usually speak from morality, but from envy. Diogenes. The bird of wisdom flies low, and seeks

Diogenes. Thou hast glimpse of the truth in her food under hedges : the eagle himself Food this place ; but as thou hast already shown thy be starved if he always soared aloft and against ignorance in attempting to prove to me what a the sun. The sweetest fruit grows near the ground, man is, ill can I expect to learn from thee what is and the plants that bear it require ventilation and a great man.

lopping. Were this not to be done in thy garden, Plato. No doubt your experience and inter- every walk and alley, every plot and border, would course will afford me the information.

be covered with runners and roots, with boughs Diogenes. Attend, and take it. The great man and suckers. We want no poets or logicians or is he who hath nothing to fear and nothing to metaphysicians to govern us : we want practical hope from another. It is he who, while he de- men, honest men, continent men, unambitivas monstrates the iniquity of the laws, and is able to men, fearful to solicit a trust, slow to accept, and correct them, obeys them peaccably. It is he resolute never to betray one. Experimentalists who looks on the ambitious both as weak and may be the best philosophers; they are always fraudulent. is he who hath no disposition or the worst politicians. Teach people their duties, occasion for any kind of deceit, no reason for and they will know their interests. Change as being or for appearing different from what he is. little as possible, and correct as much. It is he who can call together the most select Philosophers are absurd from many causes, bet company when it pleases him.

principally from laying out unthriftily their dis Plato. Excuse my interruption. In the begin- tinctions. They set up four virtues : fortitude, ning of your definition I fancied that you were prudence, temperance, and justice. Now a man designating your own person, as most people do may be a very bad one, and yet possess three out in describing what is admirable ; now I find that of the four. Every cut-throat must, if he has been you have some other in contemplation.

a cut-throat on many occasions, have more forti Diogenes. I thank thee for allowing me what tude and more prudence than the greater part of perhaps I do possess, but what I was not then those whom we consider as the best men. And thinking of; as is often the case with rich pos- what cruel wretches, both executioners and judge sessors : in fact, the latter part of the description have been strictly just! how little have they cared suits me as well as any portion of the former. what gentleness, what generosity, what genius.

Plato. You may call together the best com- their sentence hath removed from the earth pany, by using your hands in the call, as you did Temperance and beneficence contain all other with me; otherwise I am not sure that you would virtues. Take them home, Plato, split them, succeed in it.

expound them ; do what thou wilt with them. Diogenes. My thoughts are my company : I can if thou but use them. bring them together, select them, detain them, Before I gave thee this lesson, which is a betta dismiss them. Imbecile and vicious men can not than thou ever gavest anyone, and easier to re do any of these things. Their thoughts are scat- member, thou wert accusing me of invidiousness tered, vague, uncertain, cumbersome; and the and malice against those whom thou callest the worst stick to them the longest ; many indeed by great, meaning to say the powerful. Thy in* choice, the greater part by necessity, and accom- gination, I am well aware, had taken its flight panied, some by weak wishes, others by vain toward Sicily, where thou seekest thy great msa.

as earnestly and undoubtingly as Ceres sought Plato. Is there nothing of greatness, O Dio- her Persephone. Faith! honest Plato, I have do genes ! in exhibiting how cities and communities to envy thy worthy friend Dionysius may be governed best, how morals may be kept Look at my nose ! A lad seven or eight years the purest, and power become the most stabile?

old threw an apple at me yesterday, while I was Diogenes. Something of greatness does not constitute the great man. Let me however see him who hath done what thou sayest. He must be the formerly very rare, and united in none.

* Parts of knowledge which are now general, but vers



[ocr errors]


gazing at the clouds, and gave me nose enough for attracted, not only the admiration of the populace, two moderate men. Instead of such a godsend, but the zeal of the orator, the enthusiasm of the what should I have thought of my fortune if, after poet, the investigation of the historian, and the living all my lifetime among golden vases, rougher contemplation of the philosopher : yet how silent than my hand with their emeralds and rubies, and invisible are they in the depths of air! Do I their engravings and embossments, among Parian say in those depths and deserts ? No; I say at the caryatides and porphyry sphinxes, among philo- distance of a swallow's flight; at the distance she sophers with rings upon their fingers and linen rises above us, ere a sentence brief as this could be Dext their skin, and among singing-boys and uttered.

dancing-girls, to whom alone thou speakest intel- What are its mines and mountains ? Fragments | ligibly.. I ask thee again, what should I in reason wielded up and dislocated by the expansion of

have thought of my fortune, if, after these facilities water from below; the most-part reduced to mud, and superfluities, I had at last been pelted out of the rest to splinters. Afterward sprang up fire my house, not by one young rogue, but by thou- in many places, and again tore and mangled the sands of all ages, and not with an apple (I wish I mutilated carcase, and still growls over it. could say a rotten one), but with pebbles and What are its cities and ramparts and moles broken pots; and, to crown my deserts, had been and monuments ? segments of a fragment, which compelled to become the teacher of so promising a one man puts together and another throws down. generation. Great men, forsooth! thou knowest Here we stumble upon thy great ones at their at last who they are.

work. Show me now, if thou canst, in history, Plato. There are great men of various kinds. three great warriors, or three great statesmen, Diogenes. No, by my beard, are there not. who have acted otherwise than spiteful children.

Plato. What! are there not great captains, great Plato. I will begin to look for them in history geometricians, great dialecticians ?

when I have discovered the same number in the Diogenes. Who denied it? A great man was philosophers or the poets. A prudent man the postulate. Try thy hand now at the powerful searches in his own garden after the plant he

wants, before he casts his eyes over the stalls in Plato. On seeing the exercise of power, a child Kenkrea or Keramicos. can not doubt who is powerful, more or less ; for Returning to your observation on the potency power is relative. All men are weak, not only if of the air, I am not ignorant or unmindful of it. compared to the Demiurgos, but if compared May I venture to express my opinion to you, to the sea or the earth, or certain things upon Diogenes ! that the earlier discoverers and distrieach of them, such as elephants and whales. So buters of wisdom, (which wisdom lies among us in placid and tranquil is the scene around us, we can ruins and remnants, partly distorted and partly hardly bring to mind the images of strength and concealed by theological allegory) meant by Jupiforce, the precipices, the abysses

ter the air in its agitated state, by Juno the air Diogenes. Prythee hold thy loose tongue, in its quiescent. These are the great agents, and twinkling and glittering like a serpent's in the therefore called the king and queen of the gods. midst of luxuriance and rankness. Did never Jupiter is denominated by Homer the compeller this reflection of thine warn thee that, in human of clouds : Juno receives them, and remits them life, the precipices and abysses would be much in showers to plants and animals. further from our admiration, if we were less in- I nay trust you, I hope, 0 Diogenes ! considerate, selfish, and vile? I will not however Diogenes. Thou mayest lower the gods in my stop thee long, for thou wert going on quite con presence, as safely as men in the presence of sistently.

As thy great men are fighters and Timon. wranglers, so thy mighty things upon the earth Plato. I would not lower them: I would exalt and sea are troublesome and intractable incum- them. brances. Thou perceivedst not what was greater Diogenes. More foolish and presumptuous still ! in the former case, neither art thou aware what is Plato. Fair words, O Sinopean! I protest to greater in this. Didst thou feel the gentle air you my aim is truth. that passed us?

Diogenes. I can not lead thee where of a cerPlato. I did not, just then.

tainty thou mayest always find it; but I will tell Diogenes. That air, so gentle, so imperceptible thee what it is. Truth is a point; the subtilest to thee, is more powerful not only than all the and finest; harder than adamant; never to be creatures that breathe and live by it; not only broken, worn away, or blunted. Its only bad than all the oaks of the forest, which it rears in an quality is, that it is sure to hurt those who touch age and shatters in a moment; not only than all the it; and likely to draw blood, perhaps the life-blood, monsters of the sea, but than the sea itself, which of those who press earnestly upon it. Let us away it tosses up into foam, and breaks against every from this narrow lane skirted with hemlock, and rock in its vast circumference ; for it carries in pursue our road again through the wind and dust, its bosom, with perfect calm and composure, the toward the great man and the powerful. Him I incontrollable ocean and the peopled earth, like would call the powerful one, who controls the an atom of a feather.

storms of his mind, and turns to good account the To the world's turmoils and pageantries is worst accidents of his fortune. The great man, I was going on to demonstrate, is somewhat more. I thou canst, in what he is either a sycophant or a He must be able to do this, and he must have an malignant. intellect which puts into motion the intellect of Plato. Willingly. others.

Diogenes. I believe it. But easily too? Plato. Socrates then was your great man. Plato. I think so. Knowing the arrogance of

Diogenes. He was indeed; nor can all thou Philip, and the signs of ambition which his boy 1 hast attributed to him ever make me think the (I forget the name) hath exhibited so early, he contrary. I wish he could have kept a little more says, in the fourth book of his Ethics (already ini at home, and have thought it as well worth his the hands of several here at Athens, although in while to converse with his own children as with its present state unfit for publication), that “he others.

who deems himself worthy of less than his due, is Plato. He knew himself born for the benefit of a man of pusillanimous and abject mind." the human race.

Diogenes. His canine tooth, friend Plato, did Diogenes. Those who are born for the benefit of not enter thy hare's fur here. the human race, go but little into it: those who Plato. No; he sneered at Phocion, and flattered are born for its curse, are crowded.

Philip. He adds, “whether that man's merits Plato. It was requisite to dispell the mists of be great, or small, or middling.” And he supports ignorance and error.

the position by sophistry. Diogenes. Has he done it? What doubt has Diogenes. How could he act more consistently! he elucidated, or what fact has he established ? Such is the support it should rest on. If the Although I was but twelve years old and resident man's merits were great, he could not be abject. in another city when he died, I have taken some Plato. Yet the author was so contented with pains in my inquiries about him from persons of his observation, that he expresses it again a less vanity and less perverseness than his disciples. hundred lines below. He did not leave behind him any true philosopher Diogenes. Then he was not contented with his among them; any who followed his mode of observation ; for, had he been contented, he would argumentation, his subjects of disquisition, or his have said no more about it. But, having seen course of life; any who would subdue the malig- lately his treatise, I remember that he varies the nant passions or coerce the looser; any who would expression of the sentiment, and, after saying a abstain from calumny or from cavil; any who very foolish thing, is resolved on saying one would devote his days to the glory of his country, rather less inconsiderate : on the principle of the or, what is easier and perhaps wiser, to his own hunter on the snows of Pindus, who, when his well-founded contentment and well-merited repose. fingers are frost-bitten, does not hold them inXenophon, the best of them, offered up sacrifices, stantly to the fire, but dips them first into cold believed in oracles, consulted soothsayers, turned water. Aristoteles says, in his second trial at the pale at a jay, and was dysenteric at a magpie. thesis, " for he who is of low and abject mind,

Plato. He had then no courage ? I was the first strips himself of what is good about him, and is, to suspect it.

to a certain degree, bad, because he thinks himself Diogenes. Which thou hadst never been if unworthy of the good.” others had not praised him for it; but his courage Modesty and diffidence make a man unfit for was of so strange a quality, that he was ready, if public affairs : they also make him unfit for jay or magpie did not cross him, to fight for brothels : but do they therefore make him bad! Spartan or Persian. Plato, whom thou esteemest It is not often that your scholar is lost in this much more, and knowest somewhat less, careth as way, by following the echo of his own voice. His little for portents and omens as doth Diogenes. greatest fault is, that he so condenses his thoughts What he would have done for a Persian I can not as to render it difficult to see through them: he say: certain I am that he would have no more inspissates his yellow to black. However, I see fought for a Spartan than he would for his own more and more in him the longer I look at him : father: yet he mortally hates the man who hath in you I see less and less. Perhaps other men a kinder muse or a better milliner, or a seat may have eyes of another construction, and filled nearer the minion of a king. So much for the with a subtiler and more etherial fluid. two disciples of Socrates who have acquired the Plato. Acknowledge at least that it argues a greatest celebrity!

poverty of thought to repeat the same sentiment. Plato. Why do you attribute to me invidious- Diogenes. It may or it may not. Whatever of ness and malignity, rather than to the young ingenuity or invention be displayed in a remark, philosopher who is coming prematurely forward another may be added which surpasses it. lf, into public notice, and who hath lately been in- after this and perhaps more, the author, in a difvited by the King of Macedon to educate his ferent treatise, or in a different place of the same, son ?

throws upon it fresh materials, surely you must Diogenes. These very words of thine demon- allow that he rather hath brought forward the strate to me, calm and expostulatory as they evidence of plenteousness than of poverty. Much appear in utterance, that thou enviest in this of invention may be exhibited in the variety of young man, if not his abilities, his appointment. turns and aspects he makes his thesis assume. And prythee now demonstrate to me as clearly, if | A poor friend may give me to-day a portion of

yesterday's repast; but a rich man is likelier to could carry all this Milesian bravery on his send me what is preferable, forgetting that he had shoulders, might, with the help of three more such sent me as much a day or two before. They who able men, have tost Typhoëus up to the teeth of give us all we want, and beyond what we expected, Jupiter. may be pardoned if they happen to overlook the Plato. We may serve our country, I hope, with extent of their liberality. In this matter thou clean faces. hast spoken inconsiderately and unwisely: but Diogenes. More serve her with clean faces than whether the remark of Aristoteles was intended as with clean hands : and some are extremely shy of a slur on Phocion is uncertain. The repetition of her when they fancy she may want them. it makes me incline to think it was; for few Plato. Although on some occasions I have left writers repeat a kind sentiment, many an unkind Athens, I can not be accused of deserting her in one : and Aristoteles would have repeated a just the hour of danger. observation rather than an unjust, unless he Diogenes. Nor proved to have defended her: wished either to flatter or malign. The gods but better desert her on some occasions, or on all, rarely let us take good aim on these occasions, than praise the tyrant Critias; the cruellest of the but dazzle or overcloud us. The perfumed oil of thirty who condemned thy master. In one hour, flattery, and the caustic spirit of malignity, spread in the hour when that friend was dying, when over an equally wide surface. Here both are young and old were weeping over him, where then thrown out of their jars by the same pair of hands wert thou ? at the same moment; the sweet (as usual) on the Plato. Sick at home. bad man, the unsweet (as universal) on the good. Diogenes. Sick! how long? of what malady? I never heard before that they had fallen on the In such torments, or in such debility, that it would hands of Phocion and of Philip. Thou hast fur- have cost thee thy life to have been carried to the nished me with the suspicion, and I have furnished prison? or hadst thou no litter; no slaves to bear thee with the supports for it. Do not, however, it; no footboy to inquire the way to the public hope to triumph over Aristoteles, because he prison, to the cell of Socrates? The medicine he hath said one thoughtless thing : rather attempt took could never have made thy heart colder, or to triumph with him on saying many wise ones. thy legs more inactive and torpid in their moveFor a philosopher I think him very little of an ment toward a friend. Shame upon thee! scorn! impostor. He mingles too frequently the acute contempt! everlasting reprobation and abhorrence! and dull; and thou too frequently the sweet and Plato. Little did I ever suppose that, in being vapid. Try to barter one with the other, amica- accused of hard-heartedness, Diogenes would exerbly; and not to twitch and carp. You may each cise the office of accuser. be the better for some exchanges; but neither for Diogenes. Not to press the question, nor to cheapening one another's wares. Do thou take avoid the recrimination, I will enter on the subject my advice the first of the two; for thou hast the at large; and rather as an appeal than as a disquimost to gain by it. Let me tell thee also that it sition. I am called hard-hearted; Alcibiades is does him no dishonour to have accepted the invi- called tender-hearted. Speak I truly or falsely? tation of Philip as future preceptor of his newly- Plato. Truly. born child. I would rather rear a lion's whelp Diogenes. In both cases ? and tame him, than see him run untamed about Plato. In both. the city, especially if any tenement and cattle Diogenes. Pray, in what doth hardness of heart were at its outskirts. Let us hope that a soul consist ? once Attic can never become Macedonian; but Plato. There are many constituents and indi. rather Macedonian than Sicilian.

cations of it: want of sympathy with our species Aristoteles, and all the rest of you, must have is one. the wadding of straw and saw-dust shaken out, Diogenes. I sympathise with the brave in their and then we shall know pretty nearly your real adversity and afflictions, because I feel in my own weight and magnitude.

breast the flame that burns in theirs : and I do Plato. A philosopher ought never to speak in not sympathise with others, because with others such a manner of philosophers.

my heart hath nothing of consanguinity. I no Diogenes. None other ought, excepting now more sympathise with the generality of mankind and then the beadle. However, the gods have than I do with fowls, fishes, and insects. We have well protected thee, O Plato, against his worst indeed the same figure and the same flesh, but not violence. Was this raiment of thine the screen of the same soul and spirit. Yet, recall to thy an Egyptian temple? or merely the drapery of memory, if thou canst, any action of mine bringa thirty-cubit Isis ? or peradventure a holiday ing pain of body or mind to any rational creature. suit of Darius for a bevy of his younger concu- True indeed, no despot or conqueror should bines ? Prythee do tarry with me, or return exercise his authority a single hour if my arm or another day, that I may catch a flight of quails my exhortations could prevail against him. Nay with it as they cross over this part of Attica. more: none should depart from the earth without

Plato. It hath always been the fate of the decor- flagellations, nor without brands, nor without exous to be calumniated for effeminacy by the sordid. posure, day after day, in the market-place of the

Diogenes. Effeminacy! By my beard ! he who city where he governed. This is the only way I

« AnteriorContinuar »