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fathers alluded to by La Mothe are St. Chrysostom and St. Hierosmus. The former presents the life and character of Diogenes as affording many examples of religious virtues, and the latter places his greatness far above that of Alexander.
La Mothe de Vayer justly remarks that if Diogenes had been the immoral, indecent person whom he is represented by his enemies, he would not have been held in the high veneration in which he was by the Stoics, who are admitted by all to have been the most austere of philosophers. Since their chief dogma was that virtue is the sovereign good, and that none can be good' who do not live according to virtue, it is incredible that they could esteem a philosopher of another sect who was guilty of the most disgusting and unnatural vices.
But many of the stories told of Diogenes by those whose vices he exposed contain their own refutation; this is true, for example, of the relations which he is alleged to have held for many years, in the most public and disgraceful manner, with the celebrated courtesan Lais. When the testimony, if such it may be called, upon which this charge is sought to be sustained is carefully examined, it is found that at the time this scandalous conduct is represented to have taken place the courtesan must have been at least fourscore years old and the philosopher over seventy !*
We have already alluded to the gratitude evinced toward Diogenes, not only by his pupils, but also by their parents. Laertes mentions another fact or two illustrative of this feeling, which tend strongly to vindicate the philosopher. “Onescritas of Ægina,” he says, “ had sent to Athens the younger of his two sons to be educated; the youth became so charmed with the discourses of Diogenes that he could not leave him. The elder son was then sent, and he became equally attached to Diogenes. Finally, the father himself went and became as much fascinated as his sons.”+ To this the biographer adds that among the disciples of Diogenes were Phocian, surnamed the Good, Stilpon of Megara, and many other distinguished men.
l'autorité des pères qui ont parlé de luy en si bonne part. Mais de le soustenir tel parce qu'il de moquait des dieux de la populace, c'est une très vicieuse conséquence."- De la Vertu des Païens, tome v. p. 134.
* Vide Plutarch, Apophth. ; Diogenes Laert. etc. + Diogenes Laert. in Vila.
What all unprejudiced good men, whose education qualified them for studying the subject, have said in defence of Diogenes is fully justified by the precepts and other remarkable sayings of the philosopher as reported by Laertes and others. We will transcribe a few of these as they occur to us, and let the reader' jndge for himself, in connection with what we have already shown, whether they are such as could have emanated from an illiterate, brutal person, without shame or decency. Comparing man to the lower animals, he says: “When I consider human life and those who govern it, the physicians and the philosophers, man seems to me the wisest of animals; but when I cast my eyes on the interpreters of dreams, the necromancers and those who have confidence in them, on those who pride themselves on glory and riches, nothing appears to me more foolish than man.' Among the “necromancers ” he includes all that numerous class known at the present day as speculators, quacks, etc.
It was natural enough that, when he indulged in denunciations of the malefactors, the latter would do all they could to insult him, but their insults were powerless to induce him to swerve in the slightest degree from what he considered his duty. At the same time none need expect to attack him with impunity. Thus, being reproached with his old failing of having counterfeited money, “Oh! yes,” said he, “there was a time when I was what you are at present; but you will never be what I am now.” Being sarcastically asked on another occasion how it was that the poorest and commonest gave money and other gifts to ordinary beggars, while very few, if any, gave anything to philosophers, “The reason is plain enough,” replied the sage : “there are none of those people so ignorant and stupid but they may be one day lame or blind, but under no circumstances can they expect to be philosophers.” He made a similar reply to one who told him that all the people mocked at him. “Perhaps," he says, “the asses mock at them also; but they do not trouble themselves about the mockery of asses, and I trouble myself with theirs just as little."
He was sufficiently frank to those who asked him reasonable questions in a civil manner. Thus, for example,
being asked why he was called a dog, he replied, " 1 flatter those who give me, I bark at those who do not give me, and I bite the wicked.” To this it need hardly be added that he made a very broad distinction between those who were friendly and *those who were unfriendly to himself, although he only “ bit" those who were wicked. It is true that Christians are sup. posed to love their enemies as much as their friends, but before we condemn Diogenes, let us ask how many have met with such Christians. St. Chrysostom readily admits* that it was much better for the philosopher to act in accordance with his precepts than to profess, or say one thing and habitually do the reverse.
The enemies of Diogenes have relied much on his alleged relations with the ladies, as a means of defaming his character, but not a single fact is recorded of him by any reliable historian which affords any evidence of his being unduly partial to the sex. On the contrary, there are many facts which show that he regarded the charms of women pretty much as he did other dangerous luxuries. It is certain, at least, that he did not take much pains to flatter the sex; the most determined woman-hater could not have pursued the opposite course more persistently. Of this we have some curious evi. dences in his life by Laertes. Thus, seeing a woman suspended from an olive-tree, he exclaimed, “Would to God that all trees would produce such fruits !" meaning, of course, that it would be good for the world that all women were in a similar predicament. Observing a lady carried in a litter, he said, “It would be necessary to have a very different cage for so ferocious an animal.” Returning from Sparta to Athens, he was asked whence he came. “I have come," he replied," from the land of men, and I am going to that of women. His opinion of vicious women may be inferred from remarks like the following. Observing the son of a courtesan throwing a stone into the crowd, he said, “ Be careful that you don't strike your father.” In the same spirit he compares a beautiful courtesan to a dose of poisoned hydromel.
It is very true that a great reformer may be very severe in
* Lib. ii. contra Jovin. c. ix.
his strictures on ladies in general and yet be as fond of particular women as those who apply no language to them but that of approbation or admiration. But we think it will be generally admitted that none who really love the sex would be in favor of a community of wives. Men of strong affections for the sex are proverbially jealous even when they have no real cause ; it is only those that are nearly as indifferent to the charms of women as they are to those of men who could entertain for a moment the idea of a common property in wives and children, as recommended by Diogenes. This, indeed, was one of his weak points, but before we condemn him for it, after acquitting him of being the scandalous libertine which he is represented by his enemies, let us bear in mind that the divine Plato was an advocate of the same doctrine, and that accordingly, from his time to the present, a sentimental regard between the sexes which has scarcely the warmth of even ordinary friendship between men has been called “ Platonic love."
Various works, no longer extant, are attributed to Diogenes; several dialogues entitled Cephalion, Icthyas, Garaculus, The Panther, The Athenian People, Government, The Science of Manners, Riches, Aristarchus on Death, etc. In addition to these, seven tragedies are attributed to him, together with a large series of letters. Some deny that he was the anthor of all these; but all the ancient authors credit him with the authorship of several valuable and learned works.
Various accounts are given of the manner in which he died, but all that is certain on the subject is that he was at least ninety years old at the time of his death. Athenæus, who has vilified him in every other way, has also represented that he committed suicide; but this would have been entirely contrary to his teachings through life, and to the unquestionable heroism of his character. One who battled as he did with the world for more than sixty years was not likely to commit suicide at ninety.
But whatever was the manner of his death, the highest honors were paid to his memory: It was deemed such a sacred privilege to inter him in a suitable manner, that a violent dispute arose between his numerous friends, which was only terminated by the magistrates ordering his burial at the public expense. A magnificent tonib having been prepared for him, it was adorned by a column of Parian marble, terminating in the figure of a dog, the philosopher having always been proud of being compared to that courageous and faithful animal. His fellow-citizens were not pleased, however, until they dedicated to him a statue of their own, the work of the greatest artist of his time, and had the following inscription engraved on it: “Time corrodes brass; but thy glory, O Diogenes ! will endure throughout all ages; for thou alone hast taught mortals to rely on themselves; thou hast pointed out to them the easiest way to happiness."'*
More than two thousand years have passed since the original of this epitaph was written, as transcribed at the bottom of the page. We boast of having made vast improvements since that time; but how many modern cities or governments inscribe such epitaphs on such statues to honor the memory of their great thinkers, overlooking the faults, and taking account only of the virtues, of the benefactors of mankind?
ART. II. Diplomatic Correspondence, Protocols, und other
Documents. Paris, Athens, and Constantinople. 1868–9.
The present Sultan of Turkey is an element in his own government, and in that respect does not resemble his late brother and predecessor, who, in 1853–4, resisted almost the whole authority of Lord Stratford de Radcliffe before he would declare war.
Since the accession of Abdul Asiz, no foreign diplomatist can flatter himself with having guided the general tactics of the Divan, of which the sovereign head, with his fits of fierce energy and his gloomy and abrupt seclusion at times, reminds one of Sultan Mahmoud of old. Armed intervention, prompt and powerful, was imperial policy, which, not long ago, frightened Prince Charles and the Roumans from their designs upon Bulgaria, and caused the downfall of the aggressive
Γηράσκει και χαλκός υπό χρόνου, αλλά σαν ούτι
κύδος και πώς αιων, Διογενες, καθελει. μούνος επει βιοτώς αυτάρκεια δόξαν έδειξας
θνατόις και ζωάς οίμον ελαφροτάταν.”