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know of making men believe in the justice of their question of me, a philosopher? Ay, sincerely gods. And if they never were to believe in it at or not at all. all, it is right that they should confide in the Plato. Sincerely as you could wish, I must equity of their fellow-men. Even this were im- declare then your temper is the worst in the perfect : for every despot and conqueror inflicts world. much greater misery than any human body can Diogenes. I am much in the right, therefore, suffer. Now then plainly thou seest the extent not to keep it. Embrace me: I have spoken now of what thou wouldst call my cruelty. We who in thy own manner. Because thou sayest the have ragged beards are cruel by prescription and most malicious things the most placidly, thou acclamation ; while they who have pumiced faces thinkest or pretendest thou art sincere. and perfumed hair, are called cruel only in the Plato. Certainly those who are most the masters moments of tenderness, and in the pauses of irri- of their resentments, are likely to speak less tation. Thy friend Alcibiades was extremely erroneously than the passionate and morose. good-natured : yet, because the people of Melos, Diogenes. If they would, they might: but the descendants from the Lacedæmonians, stood moderate are not usually the most sincere : for the neutral in the Peloponesian war, and refused to same circumspection which makes them moderate, fight against their fathers, the good-natured man, makes them likewise retentive of what could give when he had vanquished and led them captive, offence: they are also timid in regard to fortune induced the Athenians to slaughter all among and favour, and hazard little. There is no mass them who were able to bear arms: and we know of sincerity in any place. What there is must be that the survivors were kept in irons until the picked up patiently, a grain or two at a time; and victorious Spartans set them free.
the season for it is after a storm, after the overPlato. I did not approve of this severity. flowing of banks, and bursting of mounds, and
Diogenes. Nor didst thou at any time disap- sweeping away of landmarks. Men will always prove of it. Of what value are all thy philosophy hold something back : they must be shaken and and all thy eloquence, if they fail to humanise a loosened a little, to make them let go what is bosom-friend, or fear to encounter a misguided deepest in them, and weightiest and purest. populace ?
Plato. Shaking and loosening as much about 1 Plato. I thought I heard Diogenes say he had you as was requisite for the occasion, it became no sympathy with the mass of mankind. What you to demonstrate where, and in what manner, could excite it so suddenly in behalf of an enemy? I had made Socrates appear less sagacious and less
Diogenes. Whoever is wronged is thereby my eloquent than he was: it became you likewise to fellow-creature, although he were never so before. consider the great difficulty of finding new Scorn, contumely, chains, unite us.
thoughts and new expressions for those who had Plato. Take heed, 0 Diogenes ! lest the people more of them than any other men, and to repreof Athens hear you.
sent them in all the brilliancy of their wit and in Diogenes. Is Diogenes no greater than the all the majesty of their genius. I do not assert | people of Athens ? Friend Plato! I take no heed that I have done it; but if I have not, what man about them. Somebody or something will demo- has? what man has come so nigh to it? He who lish me sooner or later. An Athenian can but could bring Socrates, or Solon, or Diogenes, begin what an ant, or a beetle, or a worm will through a dialogue, without disparagement, is finish. Any one of the three would have the best much nearer in his intellectual powers to them, of it. While I retain the use of my tongue, I will than any other is near to him. exercise it at my leisure and my option. I would Diogenes. Let Diogenes alone, and Socrates, not bite it off, even for the pleasure of spitting it and Solon. None of the three ever occupied his in a tyrant's face, as that brave girl Egina did. hours in tinging and curling the tarnished plumes But I would recommend that, in his wisdom, he of prostitute Philosophy, or deemed anything should deign to take thine preferably, which, worth his attention, care, or notice, that did not having always honey upon it, must suit his taste make men brave and independent. As thou better.
callest on me to show thee where and in what Plato. Diogenes ! if you must argue or discourse manner thou hast misrepresented thy teacher, and with me, I will endure your asperity for the sake as thou seemest to set an equal value on eloquence of your acuteness : but it appears to me a more and on reasoning, I shall attend to thee awhile on philosophical thing to avoid what is insulting and each of these matters, first inquiring of thee vexatious, than to breast and brave it.
whether the axiom is Socratic, that it is never Diogenes. Thou hast spoken well.
becoming to get drunk *, unless in the solemniPlato. It belongs to the vulgar, not to us, to ties of Bacchus ?
1 fly from a man's opinions to his actions, and to Plato. This god was the discoverer of the vine ! stab him in his own house for having received no and of its uses. wound in the school. One merit you will allow me : Diogenes. Is drunkenness one of its uses, or the I always keep my temper; which you seldom do. discovery of a god? If Pallas or Jupiter hath
Diogenes. Is mine a good or a bad one? given us reason, we should sacrifice our reason
* Dialogue VI. on The Laws.
with more propriety to Jupiter or Pallas. To those whom the judges acquit: the law, by allow-
The next is, that he who is punished by the
laws is the better for it, or, however, the less deDid Socrates teach thee that “slaves are to be praved. What! if anteriorly to the sentence he scourged, and by no means admonished as though lives and converses with worse men, some of whom they were the children of the master ?'
console him by deadening the sense of shame, Plato. He did not argue upon government. others by removing the apprehension of punishDiogenes. He argued upon humanity, whereon ment ? Many laws as certainly make men bad, as all government is founded : whatever is beside it bad men make many laws : yet under thy regimen is usurpation.
they take us from the bosom of the nurse, turn the Plato. Are slaves then never to be scourged, meat about upon the platter, pull the bed-clothes whatever be their transgressions and enormities? off, make us sleep when we would wake, and wake
Diogenes. Whatever they be, they are less than when we would sleep, and never cease to rummage his who reduced them to their condition.
and twitch us, until they see us safe landed at the Plato. What! though they murder his whole grave. We can do nothing (but be poisoned) with family?
impunity. What is worst of all, we must marry Diogenes. Ay, and poison the public fountain certain relatives and connections, be they disof the city.
What am I saying ? and to whom? torted, blear-eyed, toothless, carbuncled, with hair Horrible as is this crime, and next in atrocity to (if any) eclipsing the reddest torch of Hymen, and parricide, thou deemest it a lighter one than steal with a hide outrivalling in colour and plaits his ing a fig or grape. The stealer of these is scourged trimmest saffron robe. At the mention of this by thee; the sentence on the poisoner is to cleanse indeed, friend Plato! even thou, although reout the receptacle *. There is however a kind of solved to stand out of harms' way, beginnest to poisoning, which, to do thee justice, comes before make a wry mouth, and findest it difficult to pucker thee with all its horrors, and which thou wouldst and purse it up again, without an astringent store punish capitally, even in such a sacred personage of moral sentences. Hymen is indeed no acquaintas an aruspex or diviner : I mean the poisoning ance of thine. We know the delicacies of love by incantation. I, my whole family, my whole which thou wouldst reserve for the gluttony of race, my whole city, may bite the dust in agony heroes and the fastidiousness of philosophers. from a truss of henbane in the well; and little Heroes, like gods, must have their own way; but harm done forsooth! Let an idle fool set an image against thee and thy confraternity of elders I of me in wax before the fire, and whistle and caper would turn the closet-key, and your mouths might to it, and purr and pray, and chant a hymn to water over, but your tongues should never enter, Hecate while it melts, intreating and imploring those little pots of comfiture. Seriously, you who her that I may melt as easily; and thou wouldst, wear embroidered slippers ought to be very in thy equity and holiness, strangle him at the cautious of treading in the mire. Philosophers first stave of his psalmody.
should not only live the simplest lives, but should Plato. If this is an absurdity, can you find also use the plainest language. Poets, in employanother?
ing magnificent and sonorous words, teach philoDiogenes. Truly, in reading thy book, I doubted sophy the better by thus disarming suspicion, that at first, and for a long continuance, whether thou the finest poetry contains and conveys the finest couldst have been serious; and whether it were philosophy. You will never let any man hold not rather a satire on those busy-bodies who are his right station : you would rank Solon with incessantly intermeddling in other people's affairs. Homer for poetry. This is absurd. The only It was only on the protestation of thy intimate resemblance is, in both being eminently wise. friends that I believed thee to have written it in Pindar too makes even the cadences of his earnest.
As for thy question, it is idle to stoop dithyrambics keep time to the flute of Reason. and pick out absurdities from a mass of incon- My tub, which holds fiftyfold thy wisdom, would sistency and injustice : but another and another crack at the reverberation of thy voice. I could throw in, and another and another after- Plato. Farewell. ward, from any page in the volume. Two bare Diogenes. Not quite yet. I must physic thee a staring falsehoods lift their beaks one upon the little with law again before we part; answer me one other, like spring frogs. Thou sayest that no more question. In punishing a robbery, wouldst punishment, decreed by the laws, tendeth to evil. thou punish him who steals everything from What! not if immoderate ? not if partial ? Why one who wants everything, less severely than him then repeal any penal statute while the subject of who steals little from one who wants nothing ? its animadversion exists? In prisons the less Pluto. No: in this place the iniquity is manicriminal are placed among the more criminal, the fest: not a problem in geometry is plainer. inexperienced in vice together with the hardened Diogenes. Thou liedst then .. in thy sleep in it. This is part of the punishment, though it perhaps .. but thou liedst. Differing in one precedes the sentence : nay, it is often inflicted on page from what was laid down by thee in another, **
* Dialogue VIII.
* Books IX. and X.
thou wouldst punish what is called sacrilege with that which impels to choice or will must act death. The magistrates ought to provide that among the rest. the temples be watched so well, and guarded so Plato. Every impulse from some other (I must effectually, as never to be liable to thefts. The so take it) under God, or the first cause. gods, we must suppose, can not do it by themselves; Diogenes. Be it so: I meddle not at present for, to admit the contrary, we must admit their with infinity or eternity: when I can comprehend indifference to the possession of goods and chattels: them I will talk about them. You metaphysicians an impiety so great, that sacrilege itself drops into kill the flower-bearing and fruit-bearing glebe atoms under it. He however who robs from the with delving and turning over and sifting, and gods, be the amount what it may, robs from the never bring up any solid and malleable mass rich; robs from those who can want nothing, from the dark profundity in which you labour. although, like the other rich, they are mightily The intellectual world, like the physical, is inapvindictive against petty plunderers. But he who plicable to profit and incapable of cultivation a steals from a poor widow a loaf of bread, may little way below the surface .. of which there is deprive her of everything she has in the world ; more to manage, and more to know, than any of perhaps, if she be bedridden or paralytic, of life you will undertake. itself.
Plato. It happens that we do not see the stars I am weary of this digression on the inequality at even-tide, sometimes because there are clouds of punishments; let us come up to the object of intervening, but oftener because there are glimthem. It is not, 0 Plato! an absurdity of thine merings of light : thus many truths escape us alone, but of all who write and of all who converse from the obscurity we stand in; and many more on them, to assert that they both are and ought from that crepuscular state of mind, which in. to be inflicted publicly, for the sake of deterring duceth us to sit down satisfied with our imagina. from offence. The only effect of public punish- tions and unsuspicious of our knowledge. ment, is, to show the rabble how bravely it can be Diogenes. Keep always to the point, or with an borne; and that everyone who hath lost a toe- eye upon it, and instead of saying things to make nail hath suffered worse. The virtuous man, as a people stare and wonder, say what will withhold reward and a privilege, should be permitted to see them hereafter from wondering and staring. This how calm and satisfied a virtuous man departs. is philosophy; to make remote things tangible, The criminal should be kept in the dark about common things extensively useful, useful things the departure of his fellows, which is oftentimes extensively common, and to leave the least neces as unreluctant: for to him, if indeed no reward or sary for the last. I have always a suspicion of privilege, it would be a corroborative and a cordial. sonorous sentences. The full shell sounds little, Such things ought to be taken from him, no less but shows by that little what is within. A bladcarefully than the instruments of destruction or der swells out more with wind than with oil. evasion. Secrecy and mystery should be the Plato. I would not neglect politics nor morals, attendants of punishment, and the sole persons nor indeed even manners: these however are present should be the injured, or two of his mutable and evanescent: the human understand. relatives, and a functionary delegated by each ing is immovable and for ever the same in its tribe, to witness and register the execution of principles and its constitution, and no study is so justice.
important or so inviting. Trials, on the contrary, should be public in Diogenes. Your sect hath done little in it. You every case. It being presumable that the sense are singularly fond of those disquisitions in which of shame and honour is not hitherto quite extin- few can detect your failures and your fallacies, guished in the defendant, this, if he be guilty, is and in which, if you stumble or err, you may find the worst part of his punishment; if innocent, the some countenance in those who lost their way best of his release. From the hour of trial until before you. the hour of return to society (or the dust) there Is not this school-room of mine, which holdeth should be privacy, there should be solitude. but one scholar, preferable to that out of which
Plato. It occurs to me, 0 Diogenes ! that you have proceeded so many impetuous in passion, agree with Aristoteles on the doctrine of necessity. refractory in discipline, unprincipled in adventure, Diogenes. I do.
and (worst of all) proud in slavery? Poor creaPlato. How then can you punish, by any tures who run after a jaded mule or palfrey, to heavier chastisement than coercion, the heaviest pick up what he drops along the road, may be offences ? Everything being brought about, as certain of a cabbage the larger and the sooner for you hold, by fate and predestination ..
it; while those who are equally assiduous at tbe Diogenes. Stay! Those terms are puerile, and heel of kings and princes, hunger and thirt for imply a petition of a principle: keep to the term more, and usually gather less. Their attendance necessity. Thou art silent. Here then, 0 Plato! is neither so certain of reward nor so honest, their will I acknowledge to thee, I wonder it should patience is scantier, their industry weaker, their have escaped thy perspicacity that free-will itself complaints louder. What shall we say of their is nothing else than a part and eflluence of neces- philosophy? what of their virtue? What shall sity. If everything proceeds from some other we say of the greatness whereon their feeders thing, every impulse from some other impulse, I plume themselves ? not caring they indeed for the humbler character of virtue or philosophy. We thrusts away the living load that intercepts from never call children the greater or the better for him, what even the reptiles and insects, what even wanting others to support them : why then do we the bushes and brambles of the roadside, enjoy! call men so for it? I would be servant of any Plato. We began with definitions : I rejoice, O helpless man for hours together: but sooner shall Diogenes, that you are warmed into rhetoric, in a king be the slave of Diogenes than Diogenes a which you will find me a most willing auditor : for king's.
I am curious to collect a specimen of your prowess, Plato. Companionship, O Sinopean, is not where you have not yet established any part of slavery.
your celebrity Diogenes. Are the best of them worthy to be Diogenes. I am idle enough for it: but I have my companions ? Have they ever made you other things yet for thy curiosity, other things yet wiser ? have you ever made them so ? Prythee, for thy castigation. what is companionship where nothing that im- Thou wouldst separate the military from the proves the intellect is communicated, and where citizens; from artisans and from agriculturists. the larger heart contracts itself to the model and A small body of soldiers, who never could be anydimension of the smaller ? 'Tis a dire calamity thing else, would in a short time subdue and subto hare a slave ; 'tis an inexpiable curse to be one. jugate the industrious and the wealthy. They When it befalls a man through violence he must would begin by demanding an increase of pay; be pitied: but where is pity, where is pardon, for then they would insist on admission to magisthe wretch who solicits it, or bends his head tracies ; and presently their general would assume under it through invitation? Thy hardness of the sovereignty, and create new offices of trust heart toward slaves, 0 Plato, is just as unnatural and profit for the strength and security of his as hardness of heart toward dogs would be in me. usurpation. Soldiers, in a free state, should be
Plato. You would have none perhaps in that enrolled from those principally who are most condition.
interested in the conservation of order and proDiogenes. None should be made slaves, except- perty; chiefly the sons of tradesmen in towns: ing those who have attempted to make others so, first, because there is the less detriment done to or who spontaneously have become the instru- agriculture; the main thing to be considered in ments of unjust and unruly men. Even these all countries : secondly, because such people ar ought not to be scourged every day perhaps : for pronest to sedition, from the two opposite sides of their skin is the only sensitive part of them, and enrichment and poverty : and lastly, because their such castigation might shorten their lives. families are always at hand, responsible for their
Plato. Which, in your tenderness and mercy, fidelity, and where shame would befall them you would not do.
thickly in case of cowardice, or any misconduct. Diogenes. Longevity is desirable in them; that Those governments are the most flourishing and they may be exposed in coops to the derision of stabile, which have the fewest idle youths about the populace on holidays; and that few may the streets and theatres : it is only with the sword serve the purpose.
that they can cut the halter. Plato. We will pass over this wild and thorny Thy faults arise from two causes principally: theory, into the field of civilisation in which we first, a fondness for playing tricks with argulive; and here I must remark the evil conse- ment and with fancy: secondly, swallowing from quences that would ensue, if our domestics could others what thou hast not taken time enough nor listen to you about the hardships they are exercise enough to digest. enduring
Plato. Lay before me the particular things you Diogenes. And is it no evil that truth and accuse me of drawing from others. beneficence should be shut out at once from so Diogenes. Thy opinions on numbers are dislarge a portion of mankind? Is it none when torted from those of the Chaldeans, Babylonians, things are so perverted, that an act of bene- and Syrians; who believe that numbers, and letficence might lead to a thousand acts of cruelty, ters too, have peculiar powers, independent of and that one accent of truth should be more per- what is represented by them on the surface. nicious than all the falsehoods that have been Plato. I have said more, and often differently. accumulated, since the formation of language, Diogenes. Thou hast indeed. Neither they nor since the gift of speech! I have taken thy view Pythagoras ever taught, as thou hast done, that of the matter ; take thou mine. Hercules was the basis of the earth is an equilateral triangle, called just and glorious, and worshipped as a deity, and the basis of water a rectangular. We are then because he redressed the grievances of others : is informed by thy sagacity, that “the world has no it unjust, is it inglorious, to redress one's own ? need of eyes, because nothing is left to be looked If that man rises high in the favour of the people, at out of it; nor of ears, because nothing can be higb in the estimation of the valiant and the wise, heard beyond it; nor of any parts for the recephigh before God, by the assertion and vindication tion, concoction, and voidance, of nutriment; of his holiest law, who punishes with death such because there can be no secretion nor accretion*.” as would reduce him or his fellow citizens to sla- This indeed is very providential. If things very, how much higher rises he, who, being a slave, springs up indignantly from his low estate, and
were otherwise, foul might befall your genii, who the other?” « Yes." “ What springs then from are always on active service : a world would not the living ?" “ The dead." “And what from the bespatter them so lightly as we mortals are be dead ?”
« The living.” Then all things alive spattered by a swallow. Whatever is asserted on spring from the dead." things tangible, should be asserted from experi- Diogenes. Why that repetition ? but go on. ment only. Thou shouldst have defended better Plato (reads). “Souls therefore exist after death that which thou hast stolen : a thief should not in the infernal regions." only have impudence, but courage.
Diogenes. Where is the therefore? where is it Plato. What do you mean?
even as to existence? As to the infernal regions, Diogenes. I mean that every one of thy whim. there is nothing that points toward a proof, or sies hath been picked up somewhere by thee in promises an indication. Death neither springs thy travels; and each of them hath been rendered from life, nor life from death. Although death is more weak and puny by its place of concealment the inevitable consequence of life, if the observain thy closet. What thou hast written on the tion and experience of ages go for anything, yet immortality of the soul, goes rather to prove the nothing shows us, or ever hath signified, that life immortality of the body; and applies as well to comes from death. Thou mightest as well say the body of a weasel or an eеl as to the fairer one that a barley-corn dies before the germ of another of Agathon or of Aster. Why not at once intro- barley-corn grows up from it: than which nothing duce a new religion*? since religions keep and is more untrue : for it is only the protecting part are relished in proportion as they are salted with of the germ that perishes, when its protection is absurdity, inside and out; and all of them must no longer necessary. The consequence, that souls have one great crystal of it for the centre; but exist after death, cannot be drawn from the corPhilosophy pines and dies unless she drinks limpid ruption of the body, even if it were demonstrable water. When Pherecydes and Pythagoras felt in that out of this corruption a live one could rise themselves the majesty of contemplation, they up. Thou hast not said that the soul is among spurned the idea that flesh and bones and arteries those dead things which living things must spring should confer it; and that what comprehends the from : thou hast not said that a living soul propast and the future, should sink in a moment and duces a dead soul, or that a dead soul produces a be annihilated for ever. No, cried they, the power living one. of thinking is no more in the brain than in the Plato. No indeed. hair, although the brain may be the instrument Diogenes. On my conscience, thou hast said on which it plays. It is not corporeal, it is not however things no less inconsiderate, no less inof this world ; its existence is eternity, its resi- consequent, no less unwise; and this very thing dence is infinity. I forbear to discuss the ration must be said and proved, to make thy argument ality of their belief, and pass on straightway to of any value. Do dead men beget children? thine; if indeed I am to consider as one, belief Plato. I have not said it. and doctrine.
Diogenes. Thy argument implies it. Plato. As you will.
Plato. These are high mysteries, and to be apDiogenes. I should rather then regard these proached with reverence. things as mere ornaments; just as many decorate Diogenes. Whatever we can not account for, is their apartments with lyres and harps, which they in the same predicament. We may be gainers by themselves look at from the couch, supinely being ignorant, if we can be thought mysterious complacent, and leave for visitors to admire and It is better to shake our heads and to let nothing play on.
out of them, than to be plain and explicit in matPlato. I foresee not how you can disprove my ters of difficulty. I do not mean in confessing our argument on the immortality of the soul, which, ignorance or our imperfect knowledge of them, being contained in the best of my dialogues, and but in clearing them up perspicuously : for, if we being often asked for among my friends, I carry answer with ease, we may haply be thought good. with me.
natured, quick, communicative; never deep, nerer! Diogenes. At this time?
sagacious; not very defective possibly in our intell Plato. Even so.
lectual faculties, yet unequal and chinky, and Diogenes. Give me then a certain part of it for liable to the probation of every clown's knuckle. my perusal.
Plato. The brightest of stars appear the most Plato. Willingly.
unsteady and tremulous in their light; not from Diogenes. Hermes and Pallas ! I wanted but a any quality inherent in themselves, but from the cubit of it, or at most a fathom, and thou art pull- vapours that float below, and from the imperfec! ing it out by the plethron.
tion of vision in the surveyor. Plato. This is the place in question.
Diogenes. To the stars again! Draw thy robe Diogenes. Read it.
round thee; let the folds fall gracefully, and look Plato (reads). “Sayest thou not that death is the majestic. That sentence is an admirable one; opposite of life, and that they spring the one from but not for me. I want sense, not stars. What
then? Do no vapours float below the others ? and * He alludes to the various worships of Egypt, and to is there no imperfection in the vision of those who what Plato had learned there.
look at them, if they are the same men, and look