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Vol. V. 





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 




o r^ 

University Press: 
JOHN Vl^iLicN & S6n,\ Cambridge 





By William Baxter, Gent, 

The very idea of eating the carcasses of slain animals is repulsive, 3. Who could 
have begun the practice, but from the direst necessity ? 4. Men must have been 
driven to the deed of slaying animals for food, because the supply of food from 
the vegetable world had utterly failed, 4, 5. We have no such necessity, 5. 
Man is not by nature a carnivorous animal, 7. Our conduct in slaying animals 
and then preparing them for food is wholly against nature, 8. Animal food is 
injurious : it clogs and confuses the mind and renders it stupid, 9. It operates 
unfavorably on character, 9, 10. If we must eat flesh, let it be with sorrow and 
pity ; not tormenting and abusing the poor animal before taking its life, 11. Pass- 
ing the bounds of nature in our feeding, intemperate appetites and shameful lusts 
are gratified, 12. Cruelty to mankind is induced, 12. Animals have senses ; they 
have faculties for seeing, hearing, understanding : is it right to extinguish these 
faculties 1 13. Who knows but the bodies of animals may contain the souls of 
deceased men ; of a father, brother, son, or other friend f 14, 15. 


Bt Charles Barcroft, Lecturer of St. Mildred's, Bread Streki. 

1. Antiphon, 17-21. 2. Andocides, 21-23. 3. Lysias, 24-26. 4. Isocrates, 27-33. 
5. Isaeus, 33. 6. Aeschines, 34-36. 7. Lycurgus, 36-42. 8. Demosthenes, 43- 
53. 9. Hyperides, 53-57. 10. Dinarchus, 57, 58. Decrees proposed to the 
Athenians for statues to be set up to Demosthenes, 58-63. 



By F. Fetherstow, D.D. 

It is maintained by some, that after a certain time men should not employ them- 
selves in public affairs, 64. The love of honor and zeal for the public good never 
grows old, 65. It is not well for a man who has never been accustomed to pub- 
lic business to commence such employment late in life, 66. An aged man may 
usefully conduct public affairs, as we see in the instances of Augustus Caesar, 
Pericles, and Agesilaus, 67, 68. Simonides and Sophocles, in old age, were good 
poets, 68. It is unworthy of a man who has served the public many years, to 


descend, in the decline of life, to mean employments, 69, 70. Political life has 
pleasures very great and honorable, 71. A man should not suffer his glory to 
wither in old age, 72. Reputation once acquired is easily maintained, and the 
people readily trust their old and faithful servants, 73. Envy and jealousy do not 
assail old age, 37, 74. It is not easy to terminate a long and faithful public ser- 
vice, 74. An old man staying at home, and spending his time in small matters 
is not honored, 75. Old men, full of experience and of wisdom, are often com- 
pelled by their fellow-citizens to conduct difficult negotiations, 76. Old age of 
itself is not a good reason for quitting the public service, 77, 78. Young men for 
war, but old men for counsel, 78. The Roman council of state is called the 
Senate, 79. The regal dignity has cares and toils, but who would advise the 
king to abdicate ? 80. Old men in office may instruct and guide younger states- 
men, 81, 82. Old men are often hale and vigorous, and so not disabled for the 
service of the state, 83. Examples of Phocion, Masinissa, and Cato, 83. Idle- 
ness enervates even great men, as Lucullus, while constant employment invigor- 
ates, 84. Our country has claims on our services, 85. Yet old age should have 
becoming employment, 86. An aged man should abstain from small and frivo- 
lous matters, 87. Offices of honor and dignity befit old men, 88. They should 
not eagerlj' seek office, 88. Old men should not be forward to speak in public : 
they should speak on grave occasions, 89. On other occasions, let them yield to 
younger men, 89, 90. Let them comfort and encourage deserving young men in 
their failures, 91. To be a statesman is not only to hold office and conduct nego- 
tiations, but also to guide, instruct, and assist those who conduct public affairs, 
when occasion requires, 93, 94. Even men in private stations may do this, and 
thus serve their country till death, 95, 96. 


By Samuel White, M.D. 

Counsels to a politician, 97. In the administration of public affairs, be guided by 
reason and judgment, 98. Act not from vain-glory, emulation, or want of other 
emploj^ment, 98, 99. Accommodate yourself to the temper and disposition of 
the citizens, 99, 100. Having obtained power among the people, endeavor to 
reform their disposition, 101. Do not give them an opportunity of finding fault 
with your own life or manners, 102. Beware of little faults, 102, 103. Cultivate 
the graces of speech, 104, 105. Orators sway the multitude, as in the case of Peri- 
cles, 106, 107. What the speech of a statesman should be, 107. Hovr to use 
satire and invective, 108, 109. Think before you speak, and speak right on, 110. 
Speak in full, round tones, 110, 111. Two ways of entering on public life. 111. 
First, with a bold, vigorous hand, like Aratus, Alcibiades, Scipio, Pompey, &c., 
112. Secondly, by procuring the assistance of some man of influence and au- 
thority, 114. Be careful in the choice of your man, lest your success inspire 
him with jealous}', 115. Pompey owed his success to Sylla, 115. Avoid flatter- 
ers and favorites, 116. Do not gratify friends in derogation of law and right, 117. 
Grant favors to friends when consistent with duty and public advantage, 120. 
Be generous and just towards your enemies, 121, 123. Let patriotism over- 
shadow all private griefs, 122 How to meet invective, 124. Allow others 
to assist in public afTIiirs, 128. Undertake nothing for which you lack qualifi- 
cation, 128, 129. Keep the helm in your own hand, but carry yourself with 
moderation ; do not forget the limits of your power, 130, 131. As Greece 


is under the Koman sway, it is well to remember that fact, and to cultivate 
the favor of some powerful man at Rome, 132. Yet you should avoid, as much 
as possible, foreign interference, 183. Let the affairs of every city be settled 
by its own citizens, 133. When commotions arise, try to compose them, 134. 
One man's virtue has often saved a state, 185. Treat colleagues in office with 
honor and respect, 186. Plutarch relates an incident in his own life, 137. 
Honor the magistrates, even if you are personally their superior, 138. If a 
magistrate should be remiss in duty, do what you can to supply the defect, 139. 
Yield to the multitude in small things, that you may hinder their misdoings in 
greater, 140. When the people desire something which would be injurious to 
the state, use evasion and delay, 141. When about to undertake some difficult 
affair, secure the assistance of well-qualified persons, rather than of persons 
like yourself, 142. Divest yourself of the desire for riches, and of a mean, 
ignoble ambition, 143, 144. Decline not the honors which the people are disposed 
to bestow, 145, 146. The good-will of the people towards a public servant helps 
him greatly in the discharge of his duty, 147. If you are rich, and can give 
largesses to the people, bestow them, but with due care, 148. If you are poor, 
hesitate not to confess it, and incur no expense you cannot afford, 149, 150. In 
case of a sedition, try to compose it, 152. Especially try to prevent seditions and 
commotions, 153. In the present state of Greece, subject to the will of a Koman 
proconsul, no good can arise from public commotions, 154. 


By John Philips, Gent. 

Field sports, the slaughter of wild and at length of tame animals, prepared the way 
for men to kill one another, 158. Have brutes a soul ? they certainly have sense 
and imagination, 160. They learn to desire some things and to avoid others, 161. 
They have expectation, memory, design, hope, fear, desire, and grief, 161. If 
they have sense, they have understanding, 161. They have what in men is 
called understanding, 162. Men punish dogs and horses for their faults, as if for 
the purpose of producing repentance, 162. Beasts are susceptible of pleasure, 
joy, anger, fear, 163. But are they capable of virtue 1 163. They love their 
offspring, 164. They may have reason, and yet not have it perfectly, or in a high 
degree, 164. As sight and swiftness exist in different degrees, so may reason 
and mental force, 165. Animals differ widely in their faculties, as in their habits, 
165. Many brute animals excel men in the faculties of sight and hearing, as well 
as in swiftness and strength ; but we may not therefore say that men are blind, 
&c., 166. There are mad dogs and horses ; what is this but a disturbance of the 
reason? 167. Mankind are chargeable with great injustice in dealing with beasts 
as they do, 169. There is a necessary and convenient use of the brute creation, 
169, 170. Beyond this, we ought not to go, 170. In the exercise of what so 
nearly resembles reason, do land animals excel those that live in the water? 172 
There is sufficient reason to believe that they do, 173. Observe the habits 
of bulls, lions, and elephants. 173. Of the ichneumon, of swallows, and spiders, 
174. Of bees, crows, geese, and cranes, 175. The contrivances and labors of 
emmet", 176, 177. The sagacity of the elephant and the fox, 178, 179. The 
affection of the dog for his master ; some striking instances related, 180, 181. 
Story of a mule at Athens, 182. Another dog story, 182, 183. The elephant 


that carried King Poms, ] 83. The horse Bucephalus, 183. Where there is one 
virtue in a brute, there are commonly others, 188, 184. Instances of subtlety 
and cunning, 184-186. Elephants and lions have a taste for society, 187. AmoF- 
ous propensities of some brutes towards mankind ; singular instances given, 188. 
Starlings, magpies, and parrots learn to talk, 188, 189. Swans and nightingales 
sing, 189. Story of a magpie at Rome imitating the music of trumpets exactly, 
190. Wonderful docility of a dog, 191. Men have learned of the spider to 
weave ; of the swallow to build ; and have acquired from other animals skill in 
medicine, 191, 192. Some oxen have learned ta count, 193. Soothsaying and 
divination is by means of birds, 194. What now can be said of the sagacity and 
intelligence of fishes and other water-animals ? living in the sea, and remote from 
our observation, they are but little known ta us, 195. Crocodiles come when 
called, 196. Fish are not easily caught, a proof of great cunning and wariness, 
197, 198. Fish stand by and defend each other in danger, 199. Sagacity of the 
dolphin and the cuttle-fish, 200. Subtlety of the fish in taking their own prey, 
the torpedo, polypus, and others, 201, 202. Sagacity of the tunny, 203, 204. 
Mutual affection of the crocodile and the trochilus, 206. Sagacity of fish in 
depositing their spawn, 207, 208. Care of the tortoise and crocodile for their 
young, 209, 210. Intelligence and conjugal affection of the halcyon, 211, 212. 
Story of a dolphin which served as a guide to messengers of Ptolemy Soter, king 
of Egypt, 213, 214. The dolphin, a solitary instance among the brutes of disin- 
terested love for man, 214. Stories of affectionate dolphins, 215, 216. 


By Sir A. J. 

A satire on the boasted wisdom, fortitude, magnanimity, and temperance oi man, in 
the form of a dialogue between Ulysses in the island of Circe, and Gryllua, whom 
she had changed into a swine, and who now prefers his swinish condition to a 
return to the human form ; Ulysses asks Circe for permission to restore his com- 
panions to the human shape, 218. Circe will grant the request if the men them- 
selves desire it, 219. Gryllus, one of them, is brought forward to answer in 
behalf of the entire company, 219. He refuses, and gives his reasons, 220, et seq. 
He says that by making him and his convpanions beasts, Circe has done them a 
great favor, 220. Beasts have more fortitude tlaan men ; they fight in fair, open 
combat, without trick or artifice ; they are nc cowards, they never cry for mercy, 
222. Beasts are courageous and daring, even the females ; while the bourage of 
men is artificial, and women are timid, 228, 224. Beasts are more temperate and 
chaste than men ; they indulge tlieir appetites only in a natural way, and at the 
proper season, 225, 226, 228. Beasts do not value silver or gold, 227. They have 
no adventitious desires, 227. Their senses are more accurate, 227. Men are 
incontinent: they indulge unnatural and excessive appetites; are never satisfied, 
229. 230. Beasts are satisfied with one kind of food, and this procured without 
difficulty ; they have nature for their teacher, and could teach men many useful 
lessons, 231, 232. 


By a. G., Gent. 

In abstruse speculations, if we fail of satisfaction in one direction, we must inquire in 
another, 234. A face or form is seen in the moon ; how is this to be explained 1 234. 


The appearance of a form in the moon is not the result of any acuteness 
or dulness of our vision, 234, 235. The appearance in question some think may 
be a reflection of the ocean from the moon's disc, 236. This opinion refuted, 236, 
237. Some think the moon to be a compound of air and fire, a disturbance of 
which causes the appearance in question, 238. This notion disproved, 238, 239, 242. 
That the earth is a larger body than the moon, is shown by eclipses of the moon, 
241. The moon must be a solid body, though much lighter than the earth, 241, 242. 
The spherical form of the earth, the antipodes, and all motion tending towards 
the earth's centre, are pronounced absurdities, 243, 244. The moon is not far 
from the earth, and feels its influence, though not of the same substance, 245, 246. 
Computation of the respective distances of the sun and moon from the earth, 246. 
The spherical form of the earth again denied, 247. If the earth is in the middle, 
of what is it the middle ? not of the universe, surely, 247. Relations of bodies above 
and beneath, 248. We are not, in our philosophy, to reduce every thing to the 
place to which it naturally belongs, 249, 250. All things do not follow their natural 
course, 250. In the human body the heaviest parts are not placed lowermost, 
251. So it may be in the structure of the world, 252. The moon, though placed 
in high heaven, may be a heavy body, 253. It is not therefore composed of fire 
and air, 253. But has the moon the nature of earth ? 254. Does the moon reflect 
the light of the sun 1 255. Reasons why this is probable, 256. When the moon 
appears only half-enlightened, ought not the light reflected to come at right 
angles 1 and is it so 1 256-258. Aspect of the moon when gibbous or crescent, 

258. Only solid bodies reflect light ; the moon therefore must be a solid body, 

259, 260. That the moon is a solid body is further proved by eclipses of the sun, 
260-262. Size of the moon ; as large as Peloponnesus, 261. Its proportionate 
size in relation to the earth, 261. Further arguments from eclipses, 263-265. 
Objections answered, 266-268. The moon is not a star, or a burning body, 266. 
Its nature is like that of the earth, 268. This need not impugn her divinity, 268. 
There may be cavities and other inequalities on the surface of the moon, and 
these may be immensely large, so as to be seen by us, 269. The shadow of Mount 
Athos falls on Lemnos, the shadow being immensely larger than the moun- 
tain, 270. An objection from this answered, 270-273. Is the moon inhabited? 
is it fit for the abode of animated beings'? 274, 275. Answer, (1.) If it be not, 
it does not prove that the moon was made in vain, 276. (2.) The moon may be 
inhabited : we can see no reasons to the contrary, 277-279. Objections consid- 
ered, 277, 278. That the moon is inhabited is not more incredible than that the 
ocean should be inhabited, 280. A description of the isle Ogygia, in the Western 
Ocean, the abode of Saturn ; its inhabitants ; the phenomena and customs of the 
place, 281-283. Man is compounded of three parts : the body, the soul, and the 
understanding, 286. The understanding is from the sun, the soul from the moon, 
that is from Proserpine, 286. Every soul, dismissed from the body, wanders for a 
time between the earth and the moon, 286. When they reach the moon, they 
behold its greatness and beauty, 288 The moon described as it appears to them, 
289. The Elysian fields are there, 289. If any of the dwellers there commit a 
fault, they are thrust down to earth again, 289. After a long time, they come 
back to the moon, 291. This about the moon may be taken for what one pleases, 



Bt the Same Hand. 

Fate is either (1) an energy, a law, an act, 293; or (2) a substance, the soul of the 
world, 294. Though comprehending infinite, it is itself finite, for law is in its 
nature finite, 294, 295. Every thing moves in a circle ; all beings and all actions 
that now exist will come around again : we shall again do what we are now doing, 
and in the same manner, 295. Fate, the Divine Law, the Law of Nature, deter- 
mines all things, 296. It determines both conditionally and universally, 297. What 
relation has Fate to Divine Providence 1 what to fortune 1 what to human abil- 
ity 1 what to contingent events 1 298. As the civil law comprehends and relates 
to many things which are not lawful, so it is with Fate, 298. The words possible 
and contingent defined ; also power, necessity/, &c., 299, 300. Of causes : some are 
causes per se, others are causes by accident, 301. Fortune is a cause by accident, 
802. Fortune is not the same thing as Chance, though Chance comprehends For- 
tune, 303. Fortune relates to men only ; Chance includes things animate and 
manimate, 303. Of Divine Providence . (1) the will of the Supreme Deity; (2) 
the will of the subordinate deities; (3) the will of the Daemons, 304. Of the 
Providence of the Supreme God, 305. Of the Providence of the inferior gods, 
806. Of the Providence of the Daemons, 307, 308. 


Bt F. Fethekston, D.D. 

Is cold the mere privation of heat ? 309. This is denied, for cold seems to act on 
fluids and on solids : like heat or other actual substances, it has a productive 
power, 310. Further, a mere privation is not capable of degrees ; but cold exists 
in different degrees, 310. A privation is nothing; cold is something, 311. A 
privation is not the object of any of our senses ; but cold can be felt, 311. Priva- 
tion is something single and simple ; substances have differences, continually 
varying; and thus it is with cold, therefore cold must be a substance, 312. Cold 
acts as a substance ; it resists heat, and overcomes it or is vanquished by it, 312. 
As there are four elements, of which all things are composed, so there should be 
four qualities, heat and cold, drought and moisture, 313. What sort of substance 
is cold? 314. The air, when it becomes dark, becomes also cold, 315. The 
freezing of water is caused by cold air, 316. Great rivers and lakes are not frozen 
to the bottom, because the air does not reach so far ; the power of cold is there- 
fore as many think, from the air, 317 ; but this is doubtful, 318. Water makes 
things black ; air makes them white, 318. Oil is transparent because so much 
air is in it, 318. It does not easily freeze, 319. Cold things are always heavy, 
319. Fire and water are opposites, 320. In winter, heat is driven inward by 
cold, 321. It is driven downward from the surfaces of great rivers, 321. Several 
considerations show that water, and not air, is the cause of cold, 322. Water is 
cold of itself, being the opposite of fire, 323. Opinion of Chrysippus combated, 

324. The earth, because it is dark, might be considered the cause of cold, 324, 

325. But many hot things are dark, 326. Cold makes things hard, heavy, rigid, 
and capable of resistance : the earth is therefore the source of cold, 326, 327. 
Several considerations which seem to prove that heat exists in every thing except 


the earth, and that cold proceeds as a substance from the earth ; which, and the 
whole subject, in conclusion, is left in doubt, to be decided as the reader pleases. 


By the Same Hand. 

Arguments of the superior usefulness of Water : We need it at all times and in 
all places ; it is not so with fire. Water was given to man at his first creation ; 
fire was introduced by Prometheus. Some men and all brute animals can live 
without fire, but not without water. Fire is often pernicious ; water never. Fire 
cannot be kept up without expense ; water requires no expense. Water, or the 
sea, is the great civilizer of man, 331-334. 2. Arguments in behalf of Fire : Heat 
is the exciting cause of vegetation ; water becomes putrid when fire leaves it; 
animals perish without heat ; death is only the absence of heat ; water is made 
more useful by fire ; the arts cannot exist without fire, 334-337. 


Bt a. G., Gent. 

Occasion of this tract ; a book written by Colotes, 338. Plutarch undertakes to 
answer it, and why, 339, 340. Colotes wrongly represents Democritus, 341. 
Our senses give us true information, but it does not follow that the different 
qualities which are perceived in the same object by different persons prove that 
nothing is of one nature more than another, 341-343. Tiiis argument further 
applied, 344. Does color exist in the dark "? 344, 345. Doctrine of Democritus 
concerning atoms, 346. Are atoms immutable and impassible ? 347, 348. How 
then can any thing be generated ? 348. Is generation the mere union of atoms 1 
848. According to Colotes life cannot exist, 349. His doctrines virtually abolish 
nature, 349. Is nature nothing distinct from bodies and their place ? 350. Is 
death nothing but that which dies 1 350. Empedocles defended from the mis- 
representations of Colotes, 3.50, 351. Parmenides also defended, 352-354. A 
thing positively existing distinguished from its sensible qualities, 354. Aristotle 
and the Peripatetics differed from Plato, 355. Colotes misrepresents Plato, 355, 
856. Difference between that which exists by itself, and tliat wliich participates 
of something else ; or between essence and form, 356-359. Colotes falls at the 
feet of Epicurus, 360. Epicurus accepts the homage, 360. Disparagement of 
Socrates by Colotes, 361. Though our senses are not perfect, they may in gen- 
eral be safely relied on, 362. If self-knowledge is valuable, Colotes is blamable 
for scofiing at those who seek it, 363. Stilpo defended against Colotes, 365-367. 
That one thing cannot be predicated of another may not endanger life, 365. It 
is bad to withhold reverence and worship from the gods, as Colotes and the 
Epicureans do, 366. Colotes assaults the philosophers of his own time, 367. He 
condemns even the opinions of Epicurus, when he finds them held by others, 
868, 369. The Cyrenaic philosophers ridiculed, 369. Arcesilaus unfairly treated 
by Colotes, 371. Three sorts of motions in the soul : what they are ; their 
influence, 371, 372. Absurdity of Epicureanism, 373. The opinions of Epicurus 
tend to universal scepticism, 374. It is well and safe in some cases to withhold 
our assent, and to doubt in matters which do not appear credible, as did Arces- 


ilaus and his followers, 371-376. Safety of believing and following the doctrines 
of Socrates, Plato, and the Academy, 377. Degradation and danger resulting 
from the doctrines of Epicurus, 377, 378. Those doctrines fatal to the state, 379. 
No people, no city, is found without some religion, but Epicureanism subverts 
all religion, 380. Great public spirit of Democritus, Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, 
and others, who are reviled by Colotes and other Epicureans, 381, 382. Men of 
the school of Epicurus do not contribute to the public welfare, 383-385. 


By Robert Midglet, M.D., and Coll. Med. Lond. Cand. 

He counsels patience, 386. The child was affectionate and interesting ; her memory 
should be cherished, 387. The mother is commended for controlling her grief 
excessive grief is unreasonable, 388. Tlie mother's admirable conduct on the 
previous death of her eldest son, 389. Women are frantic with joy at the birth 
of their children, and mourn excessively at their death, 389, 390. The body 
should not suffer through grief, 390. Women nourish and increase the grief of 
bereaved wives and mothers, by their tears and lamentations when visiting them; 
Plutarch does not fear this in the present case, 390. We should remember the 
pleasure our deceased child has afforded us, 391. True happiness arises from the 
mind itself, and not from external circumstances, 392. You have much left to 
comfort you, 392. State of the soul after death ; the soul will return to earth in 
a new body ; an early death is desirable, 393, 394. 


By R. Smith, M.A. 

Which of these three sorts is best ? 395. The word policij or government defined, 
396. The Persians had monarchy ; Sparta had an oligarchy ; Athens was a de- 
mocracy : and all were powerful and prosperous, 397. The author prefers mon- 
archy, 398. 


By the Same Hand. 

Historians, even the most admired and popular, only relate the actions of other men, 
399. Athens was the nurse of History, of Painting, and of Poetry ; and has de- 
rived great reputation thereby, 400, 401. But what are historians, painters, and 
poets, compared with the generals, admirals, and statesmen, whom they com- 
memorate ? 402, 403. Athens not renowned for epic or lyric verse, 404. Tragedy 
flourished there, but what benefit did tragedy procure for the Athenians 1 405. 
They lavished money on scenes and shows, to the neglect of more important in- 
terests, 406. True renown belongs to those commanders who have upheld the 
honor of their country, and they merit a lasting remembrance, 407, 408. But not 
80 poets, rhetoricians, and orators, 408-411. Miltiades and other commanders, 
compared with Demosthenes and other orators, to the disadvantage of the latter, 



By the Saue Hand. 

Running in debt should not be resorted to but in the last necessity, 412. To avoid 
it, practise the closest economy, 413. The borrower is slave to the lender, 414 
415. Usurers are chargeable with oppression, fraud, and falsehood, 416, 417 
They take a man's money without an equivalent, 417. It is shameful to be in 
the power of another, 418. We incur debt, not to procure necessaries, but to 
purchase ornaments and superfluities, 4ii0. We must avoid the usurer or be 
mined, 421-424. 


By R, Brown, M.L. 

1. Why did Socrates act the midwife's part, rather than the parent's ? in other words, 
why did he prefer to develop in the minds of others the germs of knowledge, 
rather than communicate knowledge to them ? 425-427. 2. Why does Plato call 
the supreme God the Father and Maker of all things 1 428, 429. 3. What does 
Plato, in his Republic, mean by dividing the universe into unequal parts f and 
of the sections, thus made, which is the greater, the Intelligible or the Sensible? 
429-432. 4. Plato always says that the Soul is elder than the Body, and the 
cause and principle of its rise. Yet he also says that neither could the Soul 
exist without the Body, nor the Reason without the Soul, but the Soul in the 
Body, and the Reason in the soul. How can this be explained? 432. 5. Since 
geometrical figures and solids are contained, partly by Rectilinears and partly 
by Circles, why does Plato make Isosceles Triangles and Triangles of unequal 
sides the Principles of Rectilinears, &c. ? 438-435. 6. Why does Plato say that 
the nature of a Wing participates most of the Body of God ? 435. 7. In what 
sense does Plato say that the Antiperistasis, or Reaction, of Motion, is the cause 
of the effect, in using cupping-glasses, in swallowing, in throwing of weights, 
in the use of the loadstone, &c. 1 435-438. 8. What does he mean in the Ti- 
maeus when he says that Souls are dispersed into the Earth, the Moon, and 
into other instruments of time 1 Is the Earth, is the Sun, an instrument of 
time ? 438-441. 9. Did Plato, in his Republic, place the Rational or the 
Irascible Faculty in the middle chord of the human faculties ? 441-444. 10. Why 
did he say that Speech is composed of Nouns and Verbs ? 444-449. Because 
they are the principal elements, ib. 


By John Oswald, M.A. 

1. Invasion of Attica by Datis ; the story of Cynaegirus, matched with the story of 
a Roman, 450, 451. 2. Invasion of Greece by Xerxes ; war of Porsena against 
Rome ; a story under each, 451, 452. 3. Combat of the Argives with the Lace- 
daemonians in Tiiyreatis ; defeat of the Romans at the Caudine Forks, 452, 453 
4. Leonidas at Thermopylae ; Fabius Maximus in the Punic War, 453. 6 Chasms 
in the earth closed by men leaping into them, 454. 6. Amphiaraus, and Valerius 


Conatus, swallowed up alive by the earth, 455. 7. A king of Euboea, and a king of 
Alba, drawn in pieces by liorses, 455. 8. Pliilip of Macedon and Aster the archer, 
Porsena of Clusium and Horatius Codes, 456. 9. Saturn and his four children, 456, 

457. 10. Pausanias, the Spartan traitor, and Cassius, a Roman traitor, both starved 
to death, 457. 11. Filial treachery in Persian and in Roman history, and its pun- 
ishment, 458. 12. A son of Epaminondas, the Theban general, and a son of 
Manhus, the Roman consul, beheaded for disobeying the orders of their fathers, 

458, 459. 13. lole, the beloved of Hercules, threw herself from a wall without 
hurt ; this story matched from Roman history, 459. 14. The sacrifice of Iphi- 
genia at Aulis, matched among the Romans, 459, 460. 15. The story of Tarpeia, 
promising to betray the Roman capitol, matched at Ephesus, 460. 16. The com- 
bat of the Horatii and Curiatii in Roman history has a parallel in Tegea, 460, 
461. 17. The Palladium in liinm and in Rome, 461. 18. Codrus of Athens, 
and Decius of Rome, 462. 19. A Syracusan and a Roman, each having refused 
worship to Bacchus, are intoxicated to commit incest, and are slain, 462, 463, 
20. A daughter of Erechtheus, and a daughter of Marius, sacrificed by their 
fathers to procure victory, 463 . 21. A Thessalian wife, and a Sybarite wife, 
torn in pieces by dogs of their husbands, 463, 464. 22. Two maidens, a Greek 
and a Roman, who had carnal knowledge of their fathers ; their punishment, 
464, 465. 23. Diomedes and Calpurnius Crassus liberated from captivity by 
women who loved them, 465. 24. Priam commits his son to the care of one who 
murdered him ; the story matched in Roman history, 465, 466. 25. Aeacus 
and his two sons ; Caius Maximus and his two sons, 466. 26. Mars, and his 
lascivious misdoings in Greece and Italy, 466, 467. 27. Telamon deflowers a 
virgin, whose father orders her to be thrown into the sea ; a parallel at Romt , 
467. 28. Six sons and six daughters in two different families ; incest of a brother 
with a sister, 467, 468. 29. Two cases of men having carnal knowledge of 
brutes, and what followed, 468. 30. As the price of peace women are given up 
to the embraces of the enemy, 468, 469. 31. The allowance of soldiers shortened 
in war, and the fatal result to him who did it, 469. 32. Romulus murdered in 
the senate, and his body carried away in pieces ; a parallel in the Peloponnesian 
war, 470. 33. Pelops and his two sons, Atreus and Thyestes, their story ; a 
parallel in Italy, 470, 471. 34. Theseus and his son Hippolytus ; the latter is 
killed by his horses running away : a parallel in Italy, 471, 472. 35. A noble 
virgin to be sacrificed to obtain relief from pestilence : an instance in Lacedae- 
mon, another in Falerii, 472, 473. 36. The story of Romulus and Remus suckled 
by a she-wolf: a parallel in Arcadia, 473. 37. Orestes slays his mother, in revenge 
of his father's death : a similar story from Rome, 474. 38. Strangers murdered 
by Busiris in Egypt, and by Faunus in Italy, 474. 39. A brazen cow made for 
Phalaris of Agrigentum, a brazen horse for a tyrant of Egesta, 474, 475. 40. Er 
enus cannot keep his daughter a virgin : neither can Anius, king of the Tuscans, 


By R. White, MA. 

1 Hydaspes, a river in India, why it received the name, &c., 477, 478. 2. Ismenns, a 
river of Boeotia, Cadmus, mount Cithaeron, Tisiphone, &c., 478^80. 3. Hebrus, 
a river of Thrace ; mount Pangaeus, 480, 481. 4. Ganges ; the mountain Anatole, 


481, 482. 5. Phasis, a riyer of Thrace ; mount Caucasus, 482-484. 6. Arar, a 
river of Gaul ; mount Lugdunum, 484, 485. 7. Pactolus, in Lydia ; mount Tmolus 
485-487. 8. Lycormas, in Aetolia, 487. 9. Maeander, in Asia ; mount Sipylus, 
488,489. 10. Marsyas, in Phrygia, 490. 11. Strymon, in Thrace ; the moimtaina 
Rhodope and Haemus, 491, 492. 12. Sagaris, in Phrygia, 492. 13. Scamander, 
in Troas ; moimt Ida, 493. 14. Tanais, in Scythia ; mount Brixaba, 494. 16. 
Thermodon, in Scythia, 495. 16. Nile, formerly Melas and Aegyptus, 495-497. 
17. Eurotas, in Laconia ; mount Taygetus, 497, 498. 18. Inachus, in Argolis ; 
mount Mycenae, &c., 498-501. 19. Alpheus, in Arcadia ; mount Cronium, 601, 
502. 20. Euphrates, 502. 21. Caicus, in Mysia; mount Teuthras, 603, 604. 
22. Acheloiis, in Aetolia ; mount Calydon, 504, 505. 23. Araxes, in Armenia ; 
mount Diorphus, 606, 607. 24. Tigris; mount Gauran, 507, 608. 25. Indus; 
moxmt Lilaeus, 508, 509. 

INDEX. 611 




1. You ask of me then for what reason it was that Py- 
thagoras abstained from eating of flesh. I for my part do 
much admire in what humor, with what soul or reason, 
the first man with his mouth touched slaughter, and reached 
to his lips the flesh of a dead animal, and having set be- 
fore people courses of ghastly corpses and ghosts, could 
give those parts the names of meat and victuals, that but 
a little before lowed, cried, moved, and saw ; how his sight 
could endure the blood of slaughtered, flayed, and man- 
gled bodies ; how his smell could bear their scent ; and 
how the very nastiness happened not to off"end the taste, 
while it chewed the sores of others, and participated of 
the saps and juices of deadly wounds. 

Crept the raw hides, and with a bellowing sound 
Roared the dead limbs ; the burning entrails groaned.* 

This indeed is but a fiction and fancy ; but the fare itself 
is truly monstrous and prodigious, — that a man should 
have a stomach to creatures while they yet bellow, and that 
he should be giving directions which of things yet alive 
and speaking is fittest to make food of, and ordering the 
several manners of the seasoning and dressing them and 
serving them up to tables. You ought rather, in my opin- 
ion, to have enquired who first began this practice, than 
who of late times left it ofi". 

* Odyss. XII. 395. 


2. And truly, as for those people who first ventured 
upon eating of flesh, it is very probable that the whole 
reason of their so doing was scarcity and want of other 
food ; for it is not likely that their living together in law- 
less and extravagant lusts, or their growing wanton and 
capricious through the excessive variety of provisions then 
among them, brought them to such unsociable pleas- 
ures as these, against Nature. Yea, had they at this 
instant but their sense and voice restored to them, I am 
persuaded they would express themselves to this purpose : 

" Oh ! happy you, and highly favored of the Gods, who 
now live ! Into what an age of the world are you fallen, 
who share and enjoy among you a plentiful portion of 
good things ! What abundance of things spring up for 
your use ! What fruitful vineyards you enjoy ! What 
wealth you gather from the fields ! What delicacies from 
trees and plants, which you may gather ! You may glut 
and fill yourselves without being polluted. As for us, we 
fell upon the most dismal and afi"righting part of time, in 
which we were exposed by our first production to mani- 
fold and inextricable wants and necessities. As yet the 
thickened air concealed the heaven from our view, and the 
stars were as yet confused with a disorderly huddle of fire 
and moisture and violent fluxions of winds. As yet the 
sun was not fixed to an unwandering and certain course, 
so as to distinguish morning and evening, nor did he bring 
back the seasons in order crowned with wreaths from the 
fruitful harvest. The land was also spoiled by the inunda- 
tions of disorderly rivers ; and a great part of it was de- 
formed with sloughs, and utterly wild by reason of deep 
quagmires, unfertile forests, and woods. There was then 
no production of tame fruits, nor any instruments of art 
or invention of wit. And hunger gave no time, nor did 
seed-time then stay for the yearly season. What wonder 
is it if we made use of the flesh of beasts contrary to Na- 


ture, when mud was eaten and the bark of wood, and 
when it was thought a happy thing to find either a sprout- 
ing grass or a root of any plant ! But when they had by 
chance tasted of or eaten an acorn, they danced for very 
joy about some oak or escuhis, calUng it by the names of 
life-giver, mother, and nourisher. And this was the only 
festival that those times were acquainted with ; upon all 
other occasions, all things were full of anguish and dismal 
sadness. But whence is it that a certain ravenousness and 
frenzy drives you in these happy days to pollute yourselves 
with blood, since you have such an abundance of things 
!\ecessary for your subsistence ? Why do you belie the 
earth as unable to maintain you ? Why do you profane 
the lawgiver Ceres, and shame the mild and gentle Bac- 
chus, as not furnishing you with sufficiency 1 Are you not 
ashamed to mix tame fruits with blood and slaughter] 
You are indeed wont to call serpents, leopards, and lions 
savage creatures ; but yet yourselves are defiled with blood, 
and come nothing behind them in cruelty. What they kill 
is their ordinary nourishment, but what you kill is your 
better fare." 

3. For we eat not lions and wolves by way of revenge ; 
but we let those go, and catch the harmless and tame sort, 
and such as have neither stings nor teeth to bite with, and 
slay them ; which, so may Jove help us, Nature seems to 
us to have produced for their beauty and comeliness only. 
*[Just as if one seeing the river Nilus overflowing its 
banks, and thereby filling the whole country with genial 
and fertile moisture, should not at all admire that secret 
power in it that produces plants and plenteousness of most 
sweet and useful fruits, but beholding somewhere a croco- 
dile swimming in it, or an asp crawling along, or mice 

* " I see not how this that is included within these marks [ ] agreeth with 
this place, or matter in hand : I suppose therefore it is inserted heere without judge- 
ment, and taken out of some other booke."— Holland. 


(savage and filthy creatures), should presently affirm these 
to be the occasion of all that is amiss, or of any want or 
defect that may happen. Or as if indeed one contemplat- 
ing this land or ground, how full it is of tame fruits, and 
how heavy with ears of corn, should afterwards espy some- 
where in these same cornfields an ear of darnel or a wild 
vetch, aud thereupon neglect to reap and gather in the 
corn, and fall a complaining of these. Such another thing 
it would be, if one — hearing the harangue of some advo- 
cate at some bar or pleading, swelling and enlarging and 
hastening towards the relief of some impending danger, 
or else, by Jupiter, in the impeaching and charging of 
certain audacious villanies or indictments, flowing and roll- 
ing along, and that not in a simple and poor strain, but 
with many sorts of passions all at once, or rather indeed 
with all sorts, in one and the same manner, into the many 
and various and diff'ering minds of either hearers or judges 
that he is either to turn and change, or else, by Jupiter, 
to soften, appease, and quiet — should overlook all this 
business, and never consider or reckon upon the labor or 
struggle he had undergone, but pick up certain loose ex- 
pressions, which the rapid motion of the discourse had 
carried along with it, as by the current of its stream, and 
so had slipped and escaped the rest of the oration, and 
hereupon undervalue the orator.] 

4. But we are nothing put out of countenance, either 
by the beauteous gayety of the colors, or by the charming- 
ness of the musical voices, or by the rare sagacity of the 
intellects, or by the cleanliness and neatness of diet, or by 
the rare discretion and prudence of these poor unfortunate 
animals ; but for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, 
we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that propor- 
tion of life and time it had been born into the world to 
enjoy. And then we fancy that the voices it utters and 
screams forth to us are nothing else but certain inarticulate 


sounds and noises, and not the several deprecations, en- 
treaties, and pleadings of each of them, as it were saying 
thus to us : "I deprecate not thy necessity (if such there 
be), but thy wantonness. Kill me for thy feeding, but do 
not take me off for thy better feeding." O horrible cruelty ! 
It is truly an affecting sight to see the very table of rich 
people laid before them, who keep them cooks and caterers 
to furnish them with dead corpses for their daily fare ; but 
it is yet more affecting to see it taken away, for the mam- 
mocks left are more than that which was eaten. These 
therefore were slain to no purpose. Others there are, who 
are so sparing of what is set before them that they will 
not suffer it to be cut or sliced ; thus abstaining from them 
when dead, while they would not spare them when alive. 

5. Well then, we understand that that sort of men are 
used to say, that in eating of flesh they follow the conduct 
and direction of Nature. But that it is not natural to 
mankind to feed on flesh, we first of all demonstrate from 
the very shape and figure of the body. For a human body 
no ways resembles those that were born for ravenousness ; 
it hath no havv^k's bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of 
teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as 
can be sufiicient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy 
fare. But even from hence, that is, from the smoothness 
of the tongue, and the slowness of the stomach to digest, 
Nature seems to disclaim all pretence to fleshy victuals. 
But if you will contend that yourself was born to an incli- 
nation to such food as you have now a mind to eat, do you 
then yourself kill what you would eat. But do it yourself, 
without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet, or axe, — as 
wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once. 
Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, 
tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive 
as they do. But if thou hadst rather stay until what thou 
eatest is become dead, and if thou art loath to force a sou] 


out of its body, why then dost thou against Nature eat an 
animate thing? Nay, there is nobody that is willing to 
eat even a lifeless and a dead thing as it is ; but they boil 
it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it 
were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with 
thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby 
deceived may admit of such uncouth fare. It was indeed 
a witty expression of a Lacedaemonian, who, having pur- 
chased a small fish in a certain inn, delivered it to his 
landlord to be dressed ; and as he demanded cheese, and 
vinegar, and oil to make sauce, he replied, if I had had 
those, I would not have bought the fish. But we are grown 
so wanton in our bloody luxury, that we have bestowed 
upon flesh the name of meat (o^ov), and then require 
another seasoning (oyjov), to this same flesh, mixing oil, 
wine, honey, pickle, and vinegar, with Syrian and Arabian 
spices, as though we really meant to embalm it after its 
disease. Indeed when things are dissolved and made thus 
tender and soft, and are as it were turned into a sort of 
a carrionly corruption, it must needs be a great difficulty 
for concoction to master them, and when it hath mastered 
them, they must needs cause grievous oppressions and 
qualmy indigestions. 

6. Diogenes ventured once to eat a raw pourcontrel, that 
he might disuse himself from meat dressed by fire ; and 
as several priests and other people stood round him, he 
wrapped his head in his cassock, and so putting the fish 
to his mouth, he thus said unto them : It is for your sake, 
sirs, that I undergo this danger, and run this risk. A 
noble and gallant risk, by Jupiter! For far otherwise 
than as Pelopidas ventured his life for the liberty of the 
Thebans, and Harmodius and Aristogiton for that of the 
Athenians, did this philosopher encounter with a raw pour- 
contrel, to the end he might make human life more brutish. 
Moreover, these same flesh-eatings not only are preter- 


natural to men's bodies, but also by clogging and cloying 
them, they render their very minds and intellects gross. 
For it is well known to most, that wine and much flesh- 
eating make the body indeed strong and lusty, but the 
mind weak and feeble. And that I may not offend the 
wrestlers, I will make use of examples out of my own 
country. The Athenians are wont to call us Boeotians 
gross, senseless, and stupid fellows, for no other reason 
but our over-much eating ; and Pindar calls us also hogs, for 
the same reason. Menander the comedian calls us " fel- 
lows with long jaws." It is observed also that, according 
to the saying of Heraclitus, " the wisest soul is like a 
dry light."* Earthen jars, if you strike them, will sound; 
but if they be fall, they perceive not the strokes that are 
given them. Copper vessels also that are thin communi- 
cate the sound round about them, unless some one stop 
and dull the ambient stroke with his fingers. Moreover, 
the eye, when seized with an over-great plenitude of hu- 
mors, grows dim and feeble for its ordinary work. When 
we behold the sun through a humid air and a great quan- 
tity of gross and indigested vapors, we see it not clear and 
bright, but obscure and cloudy, and with glimmering 
beams. Just so in a muddy and clogged body, that is 
swagged down with heavy and unnatural nourishments ; it 
must needs happen that the gayety and splendor of the 
mind be confused and dulled, and that it ramble and roll 
after little and scarce discernible objects, since it wants 
clearness and vigor for higher things. 

7. But to pass by these considerations, is not accustom- 
ing one's self to mildness and a human temper of mind an 
admirable thing 1 For who could wrong or injure a man 
that is so sweetly and humanly disposed with respect to 
the ills of strangers that are not of his kind ? I remember 
that three days ago, as I was discoursing, I made mention 

* See Mullach, Fragm. Philos. p. 325 (No. 73). 


of a saying of Xenocrates, and how the Athenians gave 
judgment upon a certain person who had flayed a living 
ram. For my part 1 cannot think him a worse criminal 
that torments a poor creature while living, than a man 
that shall take away its life and murder it. But (as it 
seems) we are more sensible of what is done against cus- 
tom than against Nature. There, however, I discoursed 
on these matters in a more popular style. But as for that 
grand and mysterious principle which (as Plato speaks) is 
incredible to base minds and to such as afl'ect only mortal 
things, I as little care to move it in this discourse as a 
pilot doth a ship in a storm, or a comedian his machine 
while the scenes are moving ; but perhaps it would not be 
amiss, by way of introduction and preface, to proclaim cer- 
tain verses of Empedocles. . . . For in these, by way of 
allegory, he hints at men's souls, as that they are tied to 
mortal bodies, to be punished for murders, eating of flesh 
and of one another, although this doctrine seems much 
ancienter than his time. For the fables that are storied 
and related about the discerption of Bacchus, and the at- 
tempts of the Titans upon him, and of their tasting of his 
slain body, and of their several punishments and fulmina- 
tions afterwards, are but a representation of the regenera- 
tion. For what in us is unreasonable, disorderly, and 
boisterous, being not divine but demoniac, the ancients 
termed Titans, that is tormented and punished (from 

TtVto). ... 


1. Reason persuades us now to return with fresh cogi- 
tations and dispositions to what we left cold yesterday of 
our discourse about flesh-eating. It is indeed a hard and 
a difficult task to undertake (as Cato once said) to dispute 
with men's bellies, that have no ears ; since most have 


already drunk that draught of custom, which is like that 
of Circe, 

Of groans and frauds and sorcery replete.* 

And it is no easy task to pull out the hook of flesh- 
eating from the jaws of such as have gorged themselves 
with luxury and are (as it were) nailed down with it. It 
would indeed be a good action, if as the Egyptians draw 
out the stomach of a dead body, and cut it open and 
expose it to the sun, as the only cause of all its evil 
actions, so we could, by cutting out our gluttony and 
blood-shedding, purify and cleanse the remainder of our 
lives. For the stomach itself is not guilty of bloodshed, 
but is involuntarily polluted by our intemperance. But if 
this may not be, and we are ashamed by reason of custom 
to live unblamably, let us at least sin with discretion. Let 
us eat flesh ; but let it be for hunger and not for wanton- 
ness. Let us kill an animal ; but let us do it with sorrow 
and pity, and not abusing and tormenting it, as many now- 
adays are used to do, while some run red-hot spits through 
the bodies of swine, that by the tincture of the quenched iron 
the blood may be to that degree mortified, that it may 
sweeten and soften the flesh in its circulation ; others 
jump and stamp upon the udders of sows that are ready 
to pig, that so they may trample into one mass, (O Piacular 
Jupiter !) in the very pangs of delivery, blood, milk, and 
the corruption of the crushed and mangled young ones, 
and so eat the most inflamed part of the animal ; others 
sew up the eyes of cranes and swans, and so shut them up 
in darkness to be fattened, and then souse up their flesh 
with certain monstrous mixtures and pickles. 

2. By all which it is most manifest, that it is not for 
nourishment, or want, or any necessity, but for mere glut- 
tony, wantonness, and expensiveness, that they make a 

* Odyea. X. 234. 


pleasure of villany. Just as it happens in persons who 
cannot satiate their intemperance upon women, and having 
made trial of every thing else and falling into vagaries, at 
last attempt things not to be mentioned ; even so inordi- 
nateness in feeding, when it hath once passed the bounds 
of nature and necessity, studies at last to diversify the lusts 
of its intemperate appetite by cruelty and villany. For 
the senses, when they once quit their natural measures, 
sympathize with each other in their distempers, and are 
enticed by each other to the same consent and intemper- 
ance. Thus a distempered ear first debauched music, the 
soft and effeminate notes of which provoke immodest 
touches and lascivious tickling. These things first taught 
the eye not to delight in Pyrrhic dances, gesticulations of 
hands, or elegant pantomimes, nor in statues and fine 
paintings ; but to reckon the slaughtering and death of 
mankind and wounds and duels the most sumptuous of 
shows and spectacles. Thus unlawful tables are accom- 
panied with intemperate copulations, with unmusician-like 
balls, and theatres become monstrous through shameful 
songs and rehearsals ; and barbarous and brutish shows 
are again accompanied with an unrelenting temper and 
savage cruelty towards mankind. Hence it was that the 
divine Lycurgus in his Three Books of Laws gave orders 
that the doors and ridges of men's houses should be made 
with a saw and an axe, and that no other instrument should 
so much as be brought to any house. Not that he did 
hereby intend to declare war against augers and planes 
and other instruments of finer work ; but because he very 
well knew that with such tools as these you will never 
bring into your house a gilded couch, and that you will 
never attempt to bring into a slender cottage either silver 
tables, purple carpets, or costly stones ; but that a plain 
supper and a homely dinner must accompany such a house, 
couch, table, and cup. The beginning of a vicious diet is 


presently followed by all sorts of luxury and expensive- 

Ev'n as a mare is by her thirsty colt. 

3. And what meal is not expensive ? That for which no 
animal is put to death. Shall we reckon a soul to be a 
small expense. I will not say perhaps of a mother, or a 
father, or of some friend, or child, as Empedocles did ; but 
one participating of feeling, of seeing, of hearing, of imagi- 
nation, and of intellection ; which each animal hath re- 
ceived from I^ature for the acquiring of what is agreeable 
to it, and the avoiding what is disagreeable. Do but con- 
sider this with yourself now, which sort of philosophers 
render us most tame and civil, they who bid people to feed 
on their children, friends, fathers, and wives, when they are 
dead ; or Pythagoras and Empedocles, that accustom men 
to be just towards even the other members of the creation. 
You laugh at a man that will not eat a sheep : but we 
(they will say again) — when we see you cutting off the 
parts of your dead father or mother, and sending it to your 
absent friends, and calling upon and inviting your present 
friends to eat the rest freely and heartily — shall we not 
smile 1 Nay, peradventure we offend at this instant time 
while we touch these books, without having first cleansed 
our hands, eyes, feet, and ears ; if it be not (by Jupiter) a 
sufficient purgation of them to have discoursed of these 
matters in potable and fresh language (as Plato speaketh), 
thereby washing off the brackishness of hearing. Now if 
a man should set these books and discourses in opposition 
to each other, he will find that the philosophy of the one 
sort suits with the Scythians, Sogdians, and Melanchlae- 
nians, of whom Herodotus's relation is scarce believed ; 
but the sentiments of Pythagoras and Empedocles were the 
laws and customs of the ancient Grecians. 

4. Who then were the first authors of this opinion, that 
we owe no justice to dumb animals 1 


"Who first beat out accursed steel. 

And made the lab'ring ox a knife to feel. 

In the very same manner oppressors and tyrants begin first 
to shed blood. For example, the first man that the Athe- 
nians ever put to death was one of the basest of all knaves, 
whom all thought deserving of death ; after him they put 
to death a second and a third. After this, being now ac- 
customed to blood, they patiently saw Niceratus the son of 
Nicias, and their own general Theramenes, and Polemar- 
chus the philosopher suffer death. Even so, in the begin- 
ning, some wild and mischievous beast was killed and eaten, 
and then some little bird or fish was entrapped. And the 
love of slaughter, being first experimented and exercised 
in these, at last passed even to the laboring ox, and the 
sheep that clothes us, and to the poor cock that keeps 
the house ; until by little and little, unsatiableness being 
strengthened by use, men came to the slaughter of men, 
to bloodshed and wars. Now even if one cannot demon- 
strate and make out, that souls in their regenerations make 
a promiscuous use of all bodies, and that that which is now 
rational will at another time be irrational, and that again 
tame which is now wild, — for that Nature changes and 
transmutes every thing. 

With different fleshy coats new clothing all, — 

this thing should be sufficient to change and reclaim men, 
that it is a savage and intemperate habit, that it brings sick- 
ness and heaviness upon the body, and that it inclines the 
mind the more brutishly to bloodshed and destruction, when 
we have once accustomed ourselves neither to entertain a 
guest nor keep a wedding nor to treat our friends without 
blood and slaughter. 

5. And if what is argued about the return of souls into 
bodies is not of force enough to beget faith, yet methinks 
the very uncertainty of the thing should fill us with appre- 
hension and fear. Suppose, for instance, one should in 


some night- engagement run on with his drawn sword upon 
one that had fallen down and covered his body with his 
arms, and should in the mean time hear one say, that he 
was not very sure, but that he fancied and believed, that 
the party lying there was his own son, brother, father, or 
tent-companion; which were more advisable, think you, — 
to hearken to a false suggestion, and so to let go an enemy 
under the notion of a friend, or to slight an authority not 
sufficient to beget faith, and to slay a friend instead of a 
foe ? This you will all say would be insupportable. Do 
but consider the famous Merope in the tragedy, who taking 
up a hatchet, and lifting it at her son's head, whom she 
took for her son's murderer, speaks thus as she was ready 
to give the fatal blow, 

Villain, this pious blow shall cleave thy head ; * 

what a bustle she raises in the whole theatre while she 
raises herself to give the blow, and what a fear they are 
all in, lest she should prevent the old man that comes to 
stop her hand, and should wound the youth. Now if an- 
other old man should stand by her and say, " Strike, it is 
thy enemy," and this, " Hold, it is thy son ; " which, think 
you, would be the greater injustice, to omit the punishing 
of an enemy for the sake of one's child, or to suffer one's 
self to be so transported with anger at an enemy as to kill 
one's child ■? Since then neither hatred nor wrath nor any 
revenge nor fear for ourselves carries us to the slaughter 
of a beast, but the poor sacrifice stands with an inclined 
neck, only to satisfy thy lust and pleasure, and then one 
philosopher stands by and tells thee, " Cut him down, it is 
but an unreasonable animal," and another cries, " Hold, 
what if there should be the soul of some kinsman or God 
inclosed in him "1 — good Gods ! is there the like danger 
if I refuse to eat flesh, as if I for want of faith murder my 
child or some other friend? 

• Eurip. Cresphontes, Frag. 467. 


6. The Stoics' way of reasoning upon this subject of flesh- 
eating is no way equal nor consonant with themselves. 
Who is this that hath so many mouths for his belly and the 
kitchen'? Whence comes it to pass, that they so very 
much womanize and reproach pleasure, as a thing that they 
will not allow to be either good or preferable, or so much 
as agreeable, and yet all on a sudden become so zealous 
advocates for pleasures ? It were indeed but a reasonable 
consequence of their doctrine, that, since they banish. per- 
fumes and cakes from their banquets, they should be much 
more averse to blood and to flesh. But now, just as if they 
would reduce their philosophy to their day-books, they 
lessen the expenses of their suppers in certain unnecessary 
and needless matters, but the untamed and murderous part 
of their expense they nothing boggle at. " Well ! What 
then ? " say they. " We have nothing to do with brute 
beasts." Nor have you any with perfumes, nor with for- 
eign sauces, may some one answer; therefore expel these 
from your banquets, if you are driving out every thing 
that is both useless and needless. 

7. Let us therefore in the next place consider, whether 
we owe any justice to the brute beasts. Neither shall we 
handle this point artificially, or like subtle sophisters, but 
by casting our eye into our own breasts, and conversing with 
ourselves as men, we will weigh and examine the whole 
matter. . . . 



Antiphon, the son of Sophilus, by descent a Rhamrni- 
sian, was his father's scholar ; for Sophikis kept a rhetoric 
school, to which it is reported that Alcibiades himself had 
recourse in his youth. Having attained to competent 
measure of knowledge and eloquence, — and that, as some 
believe, from his own natural ingenuity, — he dedicated his 
study chiefly to affairs of state. And yet he was for some 
time conversant in the schools, and had a controversy with 
Socrates the philosopher about the art of disputing, — not 
so much for the sake of contention as for the profit of 
arguing, as Xenophon tells us in his Commentaries of So- 
crates. At the request of some citizens, he wrote orations 
by which they defended their suits at law. Some say that 
he was the first that ever did any thing of this nature. 
For it is certain there is not one juridical oration extant 
written by any orator that lived before him, nor by his con- 
temporaries either, as Themistocles, Aristides, and Pericles ; 
though the times gave them opportunity, and there was 
need enough of their labor in such business. Not that we 
are to impute it to their want of parts that they did noth- 
ing in this way, for we may inform ourselves of the contrary 
from what historians relate of each of them. Besides, if 
we inspect the most ancient of those known in history who 
had the same form and method in their pleadings, such as 
Alcibiades, Critias, Lysias, and Archinous, we shall find 


that they all followed Antiphon when he was old. For 
being a man of incomparable sagacity, he was the first 
that published institutions of oratory ; and by reason of 
his profound learning, he was surnamed Nestor. Caecilius, 
in a tract which he wrote of him, supposes him to have 
been Thucydides's pupil, from what Antiphon delivered in 
praise of him. He is most accurate in his orations, in in- 
vention subtle ; and he would frequently baffle his adver- 
sary at unawares, by a covert sort of pleading ; in trouble- 
some and intricate matters he was very judicious and sharp ; 
and as he was a great admirer of ornamental speaking, he 
would always adapt his orations to both law and reason. 

He lived about the time of the Persian war and of 
Gorgias the rhetorician, being somewhat younger than he. 
And he lived to see the subversion of the popular govern- 
ment in the commonwealth which was wrought by the 
four hundred conspirators, in which he himself is thought 
to have had the chiefest hand, being sometimes commander 
of two galleys, and sometimes general, and having by the 
many and great victories he obtained gained them many 
allies, he armed the young men, manned out sixty galleys, 
and on all their occasions went ambassador to Lacedaemon 
at the time when Eetionia was fortified. But when those 
Four Hundred were overcome and taken down, he with 
Archeptolemus, who was likewise one of the same number, 
was accused of the conspiracy, condemned, and sentenced 
to the punishment due to traitors, his body cast out un- 
buried, and all his posterity infamous on record. But 
there are some who tell us, that he was put to death by the 
Thirty Tyrants ; and among the rest, Lysias, in his oration 
for x\ntiphon's daughter, says the same ; for he left a little 
daughter, whom Callaeschrus claimed for his wife by the 
law of propinquity. And Theopompus likewise, in his 
Fifteenth Book of Philippics, tells us the same thing. But 
this must have been another Antiphon, son of Lysidonides, 


whom Cratinus mentions in his Pytine as a rascal. But 
how could he be executed in the time of the Four Hundred, 
and afterward live to be put to death by the Thirty Tyrants ? 
There is likewise another story of the manner of his death : 
that when he was old, he sailed to Syracuse, when the 
tyranny of Dionysius the First was most famous ; and 
being at table, a question was put, what sort of brass was 
best. When others had answered as they thought most 
proper, he replied, That is the best brass, of which the 
statues of Harmodius and Aristogiton were made. The 
tyrant hearing this, and taking it as a tacit exhortation to 
his subjects to contrive his ruin, he commanded Antiphon 
to be put to death ; and some say that he put him to death 
for deriding his tragedies. 

This orator is reported to have written sixty orations ; 
but Caecilius supposes twenty-five of them to be spurious 
and none of his. Plato, in his comedy called Pisander, 
traduces him as a covetous man. He is reported to have 
composed some of his tragedies alone, and others with 
Dionysius the tyrant. While he was poetically inclined, 
he invented an art of curing the distemper of the mind, as 
physicians are wont to provide cure of bodily diseases. 
And having at Corinth built him a little house, in or near 
the market, he set a postscript over the gate, to this effect : 
that he had a way to cure the distemper of men's minds by 
words ; and let him but know the cause of their malady, 
he would immediately prescribe the remedy, to their com- 
fort. But after some time, thinking that art not worth his 
while, he betook himself to the study and teaching of 
oratory. There are some who ascribe the book of Glaucus 
of Rhegium concerning Poets to him as author. His ora- 
tions concerning Herodes, against Erasistratus concerning 
Peacocks,* are very much commended, and also that which, 
when he was accused, he penned for himself against a 

* Concerning Ideas, according to the MSS. (G.) 


public indictment, and that against Demosthenes the 
general for moving an illegal measure. He likewise had 
another against Hippocrates the general ; who did not 
appear on the day appointed for his trial, and was con- 
demned in his absence. 

Caecilius has recorded the decree of the senate for the 
judicial trial of Antiphon, passed in the year* in which 
Theopompus was chief magistrate of Athens, the same in 
which the Four Hundred were overthrown, — in these 
words : 

" Enacted by the senate on the twenty-first day of the 
prytany. Demonicus of Alopece was clerk ; Philostratus 
of Pallene was president. 

" Andron moved in regard to those men, — viz. Archep- 
tolemus, Onomacles, and Antiphon, whom the generals had 
declared against, for that they went in an embassage to 
Lacedaemon, to the great damage of the city of Athens, 
and departed from the camp in an enemies' ship, and 
went through Decelea by land, — that they should be 
apprehended and brought before the court for a legal 

" Therefore let the generals, with others of the senate, 
to the number of ten, whom it shall please the generals to 
name and choose, look after these men to present them 
before the court, that they may be present during the pro- 
ceedings. Then let the Thesmothetes summon the de- 
fendants to appear on the morrow, and let them open the 
proceedings in court at the time at which the summonses 
shall be returnable. Then let the chosen advocates, with 
the generals and any others who may have any thing to say, 
accuse the defendants of treason ; and if any one of them 
shall be found guilty, let sentence be passed upon him as a 
traitor, according to the law in such case made and pro- 

• Theopompus was Archon in b.c. 411. (G.) 


At the bottom of this decree was subscribed the sen 
tence : — 

" Archeptolemus son of Hippodamus, the Agrylian, and 
Antiphon son of Sophilus, the Ramnusian, being both 
present in court, are condemned of treason. And this 
was to be their punishment : that they should be delivered 
to the eleven executioners, their goods confiscated, the 
tenth part of them being first consecrated to Minerva ; 
their houses to be levelled with the ground, and in the 
places where they stood this subscription to be engraven 
on brass, ' [The houses] of Archeptolemus and Antiphon, 
traitors.' ... * That Archeptolemus and Antiphon should 
neither of them be buried in Athens, nor anywhere else 
under that government. And besides all this, that their 
posterity should be accounted infamous, bastards as well 
as their lawful progeny ; and he too should be held infa- 
mous who should adopt any one of their progeny for his 
son. And that all this should be engrossed and engraven 
on a brass column, and that column should be placed 
where that stands on which is engraven the decree con- 
cerning Phrynichus." 


Andocides, the son of Leogoras, [and grandson of that 
Andocides] who once made a peace between the Athenians 
and the Lacedaemonians, by descent a Cydathenian or 
Thorian, of a noble family, and, as Hellanicus tells us, the 
offspring of Mercury himself, for the race of Heralds 
belongs to him. On this account he was chosen by the 
people to go with Glaucon, with twenty sail of ships, to 
aid the Corcyraeans against the Corinthians. But in 

* The corrupt clause indicated by . . . probably means, that the Demarchs were 
to make inventories {uno^rivai) of the traitors' estates. (G.) 


process of time he was accused of some notorious acts 
of impiety, as that he was of the number of those who 
defaced the statues of Mercury and divulged the sacred 
mysteries of Ceres. And withal, he had been before this 
time wild and intemperate, and had once been seen in the 
night in masquerade to break one of the statues of Mer- 
cury ; and when on his trial he refused to bring his servant 
to examination whom his accusers named, he not only 
remained under this reproach, but was also on this account 
very much suspected to be guilty of the second crime too. 
This later action was laid to his charge soon after the ex- 
pedition of the navy sent by the Athenians into Sicily. 
For, as Cratippus informs us, when the Corinthians sent the 
Leontines and Egestians to the Athenians, who hesitated 
to lend them assistance, they in the night defaced and 
brake all the statues of Mercury which were erected in the 
market. To which offence Andocides added another, that 
of divulging the mysteries of Ceres. He was brought to 
his trial, but was acquitted on condition he would discover 
who were companions with him in the crime. In which 
affair being very diligent, he found out who they were that 
had been guilty, and among the rest he discovered his own 
father. He proved all guilty, and caused them all to be 
put to death except his father, whom he saved, though in 
prison, by a promise of some eminent service he would do 
to the commonwealth. Nor did he fail of what he prom- 
ised ; for Leogoras accused many who had acted in several 
matters against the interest of the commonwealth, and 
for this was acquitted of his own crime. 

Now, though Andocides was very much esteemed of for 
his skill in the management of the affairs of the com- 
monwealth, yet his inclinations led him rather to traffic by 
sea ; and by this means he contracted friendship with the 
kings of Cyprus and other great princes. At which time 
he privily stole a damsel of the city, the daughter of Aris- 


tides, and his own niece, and sent her as a present to the 
king of Cyprus. But suspecting he should be called in 
question for it, he again stole her from Cyprus, for which 
the king of Cyprus took him and clapped him up in 
prison ; whence he brake loose, and returned to Athens, 
just at that time when the four hundred conspirators had 
usurped the government. By whom being confined, he 
again escaped when the oligarchical government was 

broken up But when the Thirty Tyrants were 

uppermost, he withdrew to Elis, and there lived till Thra- 
sybulus and his faction returned into the city, and then he 
also repaired thither. And after some time, being sent 
to Lacedaemon to conciliate a peace, he was again sus- 
pected to be faulty, and on that suspicion banished. 

He himself has given an account of all these transac- 
tions, in his orations, which he has left behind him. For 
some of them contain his defence of himself in regard to 
the mysteries ; others his petition for restoration from ex- 
ile ; there is one extant on Endeixis (or information laid 
against a criminal) ; also a defence against Phaeax, and 
one on the peace. He flourished at the same time with 
Socrates the philosopher. He was born in the seventy- 
eighth Olympiad, when Theogenides was chief magistrate 
of Athens, so that he should seem to be about ten years 
before Lysias. There is an image of Mercury, called from 
his name, being given by the tribe Aegeis ; and it stood 
near the house where Andocides dwelt, and was therefore 
called by his name. This Andocides himself was at the 
charge of a cyclic chorus for the tribe Aegeis, at the per- 
formance of a dithyrambus. And having gained a victory, 
he erected a tripod on an ascent opposite to the tuffstone 
statue of Silenus. His style in his orations is plain and 
easy, without the least affectation or any thing of a figura 
tive ornament. 



Lysias was the son of Cephalus, grandson of Lysanias, 
and great-grandson of Cephalus. His father was by birth 
a Syracusan ; but partly for the love he had to the city, 
and partly in condescension to the persuasions of Pericles 
the son of Xanthippus, who entertained him as his friend 
and guest, he went to live at Athens, being a man of great 
wealth. Some say that he was banished Syracuse when 
the city was under the tyranny of Gelo. Lysias was born 
at Athens when Philocles, the successor of Phrasicles, was 
chief magistrate, in the second year of the eightieth Olym- 
piad.* At his first coming, he was educated among the 
most noble of the Athenians. But when the city sent 
a colony to Sybaris, which was afterwards called Thurii, he 
went thither with bis other brother Polemarchus, his father 
being now dead (for he had two otber brothers, Euthy- 
demus and Brachyllus), that he might receive his portion 
of his father's estate. This was done in the fifteenth year 
of his age, when Praxiteles was chief magistrate. f There 
then he stayed, and was brought up under Nicias and Tisias, 
both Syracusans. And having purchased a house and re- 
ceived his estate, he lived as a citizen for thhty-three years, 
till the year of Cleocritus.:}: In the year following, in the 
time of Callias, viz. in the ninety-second Olympiad, when the 
Athenians had met with their disasters in Sicily, and when 
other of their allies revolted, and especially the Italians, 
he, being accused of favoring the Athenians, was ban- 
ished with three other of his association ; when "coming to 
Athens, in the year wherein Callias succeeded Cleocritus, 
the city then laboring under the tyranny of the four hundred 
conspirators, he there sat down. But after the fight at 
Aegospotami, when the Thirty Tyrants had usurped the 

» B.C. 459. t B.C. 444. J B.C. 413. 


government, he was banished thence, after he had remained 
in Athens seven years. His goods were confiscated ; and 
having Hkewise lost his brother Polemarchus, he himself 
escaped by a back door of the house in which he was kept 
for execution, fled to Megara and there lived. But when 
the citizens endeavored to return from Phyle, he also be- 
haved himself very well, and appeared very active in the 
affair, having, to forward this great enterprise, deposited 
two thousand drachms of silver and two hundred targets, 
and being commissioned with Hermas, he maintained three 
hundred men in arms, and prevailed with Thrasylaeus the 
Elean, his old friend and host, to contribute two talents. 
Upon entering the city, Thrasybulus proposed that, for a 
consideration of his good service to the public, he should 
receive the rights of citizenship : this was during the so- 
called time of anarchy before Euclides. Which proposal 
being ratified by the people, Archinus objected that it was 
against the laws, and a decree without authority of the 
senate. The decree was thereupon declared void, and 
Lysias lost his citizenship. He led the remainder of his 
life in the rank of an Isoteles (or citizen who had no right 
to vote or hold office), and died at last at Athens, being 
fourscore and three years old, or as some would have it, 
seventy-six ; and others again say, that he lived above four- 
score years, till after the birth of Demosthenes. It is sup- 
posed he was born in the year of Philocles. 

There are four hundred and twenty-five orations which 
bear his name, of which Dionysius and Caecilius affu'm 
only two hundred and thirty to be genuine, and he is said 
to have been overcome but twice in all. There is extant 
also the oration which he made in defence of the fore- 
mentioned decree against Archinus, who indicted it and 
thereby prevented Lysias from receiving the citizenship, as 
also another against the Thirty Tyrants. He was very co- 
gent in his persuasions, and was always very brief in what 


he delivered. He would commonly give orations to private 
persons. There are likewise his institutions of oratory, 
his public harangues, his epistles, his eulogies, funeral 
orations, discourses of love, and his defence of Socrates, 
accommodated to the minds of the judges. His style 
seems plain and easy, though hardly imitable. Demosthe- 
nes, in his oration against Neaera, says that he was in love 
with one Metanira, Neaera's serving-maid, but afterwards 
married his brother Brachyllus's daughter. Plato in hi*^ 
Phaedrus makes mention of him, as a most eloquent ora- 
tor and ancienter than Isocrates. Philiscus, his companion, 
and Isocrates's votary, composed an epigram concerning 
him, whence the same that we have urged from Plato is 
deducible ; and it sings to this effect : 

Calliope's witty daughter, Phrontis, show 
If aught of wit or eloquence thou hast ; 
For 'tis decreed that thou shalt bear a son, 
Lysias by name, to spread the name of him 
Whose great and generous acts do fill the world, 
And are received for glorious above. 
Let him who sings those praises of the dead. 
Let him, my friend, too, praise our amity. 

He likewise wrote two orations for Iphicrates, — one 
against Harmodius, and another accusing Timotheus of 
treason, — in both which he overcame. But when Iphi- 
crates made himself responsible for Timotheus's actions, 
and would purge himself of the allegation of treason 
made also against him, Lysias wrote an oration for him to 
deliver in his defence ; upon which he was acquitted, but 
Timotheus was fined in a considerable sum of money. 
He likewise delivered an oration at the Olympic games, 
in which he endeavored to convince the Greeks of how 
great advantage it would be to them, if they could but 
unanimously join to pull down the tyrant Dionysius. 



IsocRATES was the son of Theodorus, of Erchia, reck- 
oned among the middle class of citizens, and a man who 
kept servants under him to make flutes, by which he got 
so much money as enabled him not only to bring up his 
children after the most genteel manner, but likewise to 
maintain a choir. For besides Isocrates, he had other 
sons, Telesippus and Diomnestus, and one daughter. And 
hence, we may suppose, those two comical poets, Aristo- 
phanes and Stratis, took occasion to bring him on the 
stage. He was born in the eighty-sixth Olympiad,* Lysi- 
machus being archon, about two and twenty years after 
Lysias, and seven before Plato. When he was a boy, he 
was as well educated as any of the Athenian children, 
being under the tuition of Prodicus the Cean, Gorgias the 
Leontine, Tisias the Syracusan, and Theramenes the rhe- 
torician. And when Theramenes was to be apprehended 
by the order of the Thirty Tyrants, and flying for succor 
to the altar of the senate, only Isocrates stood his friend, 
when all others were struck with terror. For a long time 
he stood silent ; but after some time Theramenes advised 
him to desist, because, he told him, it would be an aggra- 
vation of his grief, if any of his friends should come 
into trouble through him. And it is said that he made 
use of certain institutions of rhetoric composed by Thera- 
menes, when he was slandered in court ; which institutions 
have since borne Boton's name. 

When Isocrates was come to man's estate, he meddled 
with nothing of state aff'airs, both because he had a very 
weak voice and because he was something timorous ; and 
besides these two impediments, his estate was much im- 
paired by the loss of a great part of his patrimony in the 

♦ B.O. 436. 


war with the Lacedaemonians. It is evident that he 
composed orations for others to use, but deUvered only one, 
that concerning Exchange of Property, Having set up a 
school, he gave himself much to writing and the study of 
philosophy, and then he wrote his Panegyrical oration, 
and others which were used for advice, some of which he 
delivered himself, and others he gave to others to pro- 
nounce for him ; aiming thereby to persuade the Greeks 
to the study and practice of such things as were of most 
immediate concern to them. But his endeavors in that way 
proving to no purpose, he gave those things over, and 
opened a school in Chios first, as some will have it, having 
for a beginning nine scholars ; and when they came to him 
to pay him for their schooling, he weeping said, " Now I 
see plainly that I am sold to my scholars." He admitted 
all into his acquaintance who desired it. He was the first 
that made a separation between wrangling pleas and polit- 
ical arguments, to which latter he rather addicted himself. 
He instituted a form of magistracy in Chios, much the 
same with that at Athens. No schoolmaster ever got so 
much ; so that he maintained a galley at his own charge. 
He had more than a hundred scholars, and among others 
Timotheus the son of Conon was one, with whom he 
visited many cities, and composed the epistles which Timo- 
theus sent to the Athenians ; who for his pains gave him 
a talent out of that which he got at Samos. Theopom- 
pus likewise the Chian, Ephorus the Cumaean, Asclepiades 
who composed arguments for tragedies, and Theodectes of 
Phaselis, who afterwards wrote tragedies, were all Iso- 
crates's scholars. The last of these had a monument in 
the way to the shrine of Cyamites, as we go to Eleusis by 
the Sacred Way, of which now remains only rubbish. 
There also he set up with his own the statues of other 
famous poets, of all which only Homer's is to be seen. 
Leodamas also the Athenian, and Lacritus who gave laws 


to the Athenians, were both his scholars ; and some say, 
Hyperides and Isaeus too. They add likewise, that De- 
mosthenes also was very desirous to learn of him, and 
because he could not give the full rate, which was a thou- 
sand drachms, he offered him two hundred, the fifth part, 
if he would teach him but the fifth part of his art propor- 
tionable : to whom Isocrates answered, We do not use, 
Demosthenes, to impart our skill by halves, but as men 
sell good fish whole, or altogether, so if thou hast a desire 
to learn, we will teach thee our full art, and not a piece 
of it. He died in the year when Charondas was chief 
magistrate,* when, being at Hippocrates's public exercise, 
he received the news of the slaughter at Cbaeronea ; for 
he was the cause of his own death by a four days' fast, 
which he then made, pronouncing just at his departure 
the three verses which begin three tragedies of Euripides • 

Danaus, father of the fifty sisters, — 
Pelops, son of Tantalus, in quest of Pisa, — 
Cadmus, in time past, going from Sidon. 

He lived ninety-eight years, or, as some say, a hundred, 
not being able to behold Greece the fourth time brought 
into slavery. The year (or, as some say, four years) before 
he died, he wrote his Panathenaic oration. He labored 
upon his Panegyric oration ten years, or, as some tell us, 
fifteen, which he is supposed to have borrowed out of 
Gorgias the Leontine and Lysias. His oration concerning 
Exchange of Property he wrote when he was eighty-two 
years old, and those to Philip a little before his death. 
When he was old, he adopted Aphareus, the youngest of 
rtie three sons of Plathane, the daughter of Hippias the 
orator. He was very rich, both in respect of the great 
sums of money he exacted of his scholars, and besides 
that, having at one time twenty talents of Nicocles, king 
of Cyprus, for an oration which he dedicated to him. By 

* B.C. 338. 


reason of his riches he became obnoxious to the envy of 
others, and was three times named to maintain a galley ; 
which he evaded twice by the assistance of his son and a 
counterfeit sickness, but the thu*d time he undertook it., 
though the charge proved very great. A father telling him 
that he had allowed his son no other companion than one 
slave, Isocrates replied, Go thy way then, for one slave 
thou shalt have two. He strove for the prize which Are- 
temisia dedicated to the honor and memory of her husband 
Mausolus ; but that oration is lost. He wrote also another 
oration in praise of Helen, and one called Areopagiticus. 
Some say that he died when he had fasted nine days, 
— some again, at four days' end, — and his death took its 
date from the funeral solemnities of those that lost their 
lives at Chaeronea. His son Aphareus likewise wrote 
several orations. 

He lies buried with all his family near Cynosarges, on 
the left hand of the hill. There are interred Isocrates 
and his father Theodorus, his mother and her sister Anaco, 
his adoptive son Aphareus, Socrates the son of Anaco, 
Theodorus his brother, bearing his father's name, his 
grandsons, the sons of his adopted Aphareus, and his 
wife Plathane, the mother of Aphareus. On these tombs 
were erected six tables, which are now demolished. And 
upon the tomb of Isocrates himself was placed a column 
thirty cubits high, and on that a mermaid of seven cubits, 
which was an emblem of his eloquence ; there is nothing 
now extant. There was also near it a table, having poets 
and his schoolmasters on it ; and among the rest, Gorgias 
inspecting a celestial globe, and Isocrates standing by him. 
There is likewise a statue of his of bronze in Eleusis, 
dedicated by Timothy the son of Conon, before the entry 
of the porch, with this inscription : 

To the fame and honor of Isocrates, 
This statue's sacred to the Goddesses ; 
The gift of Timothy. 


This statue was made by Leochares. There are three- 
score orations which bear his name ; of which, if we credit 
Dionysius, only five and twenty are genuine ; but accord- 
ing to CaeciHus, twenty-eight ; and the rest are accounted 
spurious. He was an utter stranger to ostentation, inso- 
much that, when there came at one time three persons to 
hear him declaim, he admitted but two of them, desiring 
the third to come the next day, for that two at once were 
to him as a full theatre. He used to tell his scholars that 
he taught his art for ten minas ; but he would give any 
man ten thousand, that could teach him to be bold and 
give him a good utterance. And being once asked how 
he, who was not very eloquent himself, could make others 
so, he answered. Just as a whetstone cannot cut, yet it will 
sharpen knives for that purpose. Some say that he wrote 
institutions to the art of oratory ; others are of opinion 
that he had no method of teaching, but only exercise. 
He would never ask any thing of a free-born citizen. He 
used to enjoin his scholars being present at public assem- 
blies to repeat to him what was there delivered. He con- 
ceived no little sorrow for the death of Socrates, insomuch 
that the next day he put himself in mourning. Being 
asked what was the use and force of rhetoric, he an- 
swered. To make great matters small, and small great. 
At a feast with Nicoceon, the tyrant of Cyprus, being 
desired by some of the company to declaim upon some 
theme, he made answer, that that was not a season for 
him to speak what he knew, and he knew nothing that 
was then seasonable. Happening once to see Sophocles 
the tragedian amorously eying a comely boy, he said to 
him, It will become thee, Sophocles, to restrain not only 
thy hands, but thine eyes. When Ephorus of Cumae left 
his school before he had arrived at any good proficiency, 
his father Demophilus sent him again with a second sum 
of money in his hand ; at which Isocrates jocosely called 


him Diphoriis, that is, twice hringing his fee. However, 
he took a great deal of pains and care with him, and went 
so far as to put him in the way of writing history. 

He was wantonly given ; and used to lie upon a . . 
mat for his bed, and his bolster was commonly made moist 
with saffron. He never married while he was young ; but 
in his old age he kept a miss, whose name was Lagisce, 
and by her he had a daughter, who died in the twelfth 
year of her age, before she was married. He afterwards 
married Plathane, tlie wife of Hippias the rhetorician, who 
had three sons, the youngest of which, Aphareus by name, 
he adopted for his own, as we said before. This Aphareus 
erected a bronze statue to him near the temple of Jupiter, 
as may be seen from the inscription : 

In veneration of the mighty Jove, 
His noble parents, and the Gods above, 
Aphareus this statue liere has set, 
The statue of Isocrates his father. 

He is said to have run a race on a swift horse, when he 
was but a boy ; for he is to be seen in this posture in the 
Citadel, in the tennis court of the priestesses of Minerva, 
in a statue. There were but two suits commenced against 
him in his whole life. One whereof was with Megaclides, 
who provoked him to exchange of property ; at the trial of 
which he could not be personally present, by reason of 
sickness ; but sending Aphareus, he nevertheless overcame. 
The other suit was commenced against him by Lysimachus, 
who would have him come to an exchange or be at the 
charge of maintaining a galley for the commonwealth. In 
this case he was overthrown, and forced to perform the 
service. There was likewise a painting of him in the 

Aphareus also wrote a few orations, both judicial and 
deliberative ; as also tragedies to the number of thirty- 
seven, of which two are contested. He began to make 


his works public in the year of Lysistratus, and continued 
it to the year of Sosigenes, that is, eight and twenty years * 
In these years he exhibited dramas six times at the city 
Dionysiac festivals, and twice went away with the prize 
through the actor Dionysius ; he also gained two other 
victories at the Lenaean festival through other actors. 

There were to be seen in the Citadel the statues of the 
mother of Isocrates, of Theodorus, and of Anaco his 
mother's sister. That of the mother is placed just by the 
image of Health, the inscription being changed ; that of 
Anaco is no longer there. [Anaco] had two sons, Alex- 
ander by Coenes, and Lysicles by Lysias. 


IsAEus was born in Chalcis. When he came to Athens, 
he read Lysias's works, whom he imitated so well, both in 
his style and in his skill in managing causes, that he who 
was not very well acquainted with their manner of writing 
could not tell which of the two was author of many of 
their orations. He flourished after the Peloponnesian war, 
as we may conjecture from his orations, and was in repute 
till the reign of Philip. He taught Demosthenes — not at 
his school, but privately — who gave him ten thousand 
drachms, by which business he became very famous. Some 
say that he composed orations for Demosthenes, which he 
pronounced in opposition to his guardians. He left behind 
him sixty-four orations, of which fifty are his own ; as like- 
wise some peculiar institutions of rhetoric. He was the 
first that used to speak or write figuratively, and that ad- 
dicted himself to civil matters ; which Demosthenes chiefly 
followed. Theopompus the comedian makes mention of 
him in his Theseus. 

* B.O. 869-842. 

VOL. V. 8 



He was the son of Atrometus — who, being banished by 
the Thirty Tyrants, was thereby a means of reducing the 
commonwealth to the government of the people — and of 
his wife Glaucothea ; by birth a Cothocidian. He was 
neither nobly born nor rich ; but in his youth, being strong 
and well set, he addicted himself to all sorts of bodily ex- 
ercises ; and afterwards, having a very clear voice, he took 
to playing of tragedies, and if we may credit Demosthenes, 
he was a petty clerk, and also served Aristodemus as a 
player of third parts at the Bacchanalian festivals, in his 
times of leisure rehearsing the ancient tragedies. When 
he was but a boy, he was assisting to his father in teaching 
little children their letters, and when he was grown up, he 
listed himself a private soldier. Some think he was 
brought up under Socrates and Plato ; but Caecilius will 
have it that Leodamas was his master. Being concerned 
in the affairs of the commonwealth, he openly acted in 
opposition to Demosthenes and his faction ; and was em- 
ployed in several embassies, and especially in one to Philip, 
to treat about articles of peace. For which Demosthenes 
accused him for being the cause of the overthrow and ruin 
of the Phocians, and the inflamer of war ; which part he 
would have him thought to have acted when the Amphic- 
tyons chose him one of their deputies to the Amphissians 
who were building up the harbor [of Crissa]. On which 
the Amphictyons put themselves under Philip's protection, 
who, being assisted by Aeschines, took the affair in hand, 
and soon conquered all Phocis.* But Aeschines, notwith- 
standing all that Demosthenes could do, being favored by 
Eubulus the son of Spintharus, a Probalisian, who plead- 

* The Greek text is corrupt ; but it is evident that the author confounds the 
Phocian war, which ended in 346 B.C., with the Amphissian war of 339 b.c The 
next sentence sliows the same mistake. (G.) 


ed in his behalf, carried his cause by thirty voices, aud 
so was cleared. Though some tell us, that there were 
orations prepared by the orators, but the news of the con- 
quest of Chaeronea put a stop to the present proceedings, 
and so the suit fell. 

Some time after this, Philip being dead, and his son 
Alexander marching into Asia, Aeschines impeached Ctesi- 
phon for acting against the laws, in passing a decree in 
favor of Demosthenes. But he having not the fifth part 
of the voices of the judges on his side, was forced to 
go in exile to Rhodes, because he would not pay his 
mulct of a thousand drachms. Others say, that he in- 
curred disfranchisement also, because he would not depart 
the city, and that he went to Alexander at Ephesus. But 
upon the death of Alexander, when a tumult had been 
excited, he went to Rhodes, and there opened a school and 
taught. And on a time pronouncing the oration which he 
had formerly made against Ctesiphon, to pleasure the Rho- 
dians, he did it with that grace, that they wondered how 
he could fail of carrying his cause if he pleaded so well 
for himself. But ye would not wonder, said he, that I was 
overthrown, if ye had heard Demosthenes pleading against 
me. He left a school behind him at Rhodes, which was 
afterwards called the Rhodian school. Thence he sailed 
to Samos, and there in a short time died. He had a very 
good voice, as both Demosthenes and Demochares testified 
of him. 

Four orations bear his name, one of which was against 
Timarchus, another concerning false embassage, and a 
third against Ctesiphon, which three are really his own ; 
but the fourth, called Deliaca, is none of his ; for though 
he was named to plead the cause of the temple at Delos, 
yet Demosthenes tells us that Hyperides was chosen in 
his stead.* He says himself, that he had two brothers, 

* See Demosthenes on the Crown, p. 271, 27. 


Aphobetus and Philochares. He was the first that brought 
the Athenians the news of the victory obtained at Tamynae, 
for which he was crowned for the second time. Some 
report that Aeschines was never any man's scholar, but 
having passed his time chiefly in courts of justice, he raised 
himself from the office of clerk to that of orator. His fii'st 
public appearance was in a speech against Philip ; with 
which the people being pleased, he was immediately chosen 
to go ambassador to the Arcadians ; and being come 
thither, he excited the Ten Thousand against Philip. 
He indicted Timarchus for profligacy ; who, fearing the 
issue, deserted his cause and hanged himself, as Demos- 
thenes somewhere informs us. Being employed with 
Ctesiphon and Demosthenes in an embassage to Philip to 
treat of peace, he appeared the most accomplished of the 
three. Another time also he was one of ten men sent in 
embassage to conclude a peace ; and being afterwards 
called to answer for it, he was acquitted, as we said. 


Lycurgus was the son of Lycophron, and grandson of 
that Lycurgus whom the Thirty Tyrants put to death, by 
the procurement of Aristodemus the Batesian, who, also 
being treasurer of the Greeks, was banished in the time 
of the popular government. He was a Butadian by birth, 
and of the line or family of the Eteobutades. He received 
his fii'st institutions of philosophy from Plato the philoso- 
pher. But afterward entering himself a scholar to Iso- 
crates the orator, he employed his study about afl"airs of 
the commonwealth. And to his care was committed the 
disposal and management of the city stock, and so he exe- 
cuted the office of treasurer-general for the space of twelve 
years ; in which time there went through his hands four- 


teen thousand talents, or (as some will have it) eighteen 
thousand six hundred and fifty. It was the orator Strato- 
cles that procured him this preferment. At first he was 
chosen in his own name ; but afterwards he nominated one 
of his friends to the office, while he himself performed the 
duties ; for there was a law just passed, that no man should 
be chosen treasurer for above the term of four years. But 
Lycurgus plied his business closely, both summer and win- 
ter, in the administration of public aff"airs. And being 
entrusted to make provision of all necessaries for the wars, 
he reformed many abuses that were crept into the com- 
monwealth. He built four hundred galleys for the use of 
the public, and prepared and fitted a place for public ex- 
ercises in Lyceum, and planted trees before it; he likewise 
built a wrestling-court, and being made surveyor of the 
theatre of Bacchus, he finished this building. He was 
likewise of so great repute among all sorts, that he was 
entrusted with two hundred and fifty talents of private 
citizens. He adorned and beautified the city with gold 
and silver vessels of state, and golden images of victory. 
He likewise finished many things that were as yet imper- 
fect, as the dockyards and the arsenal. He built a wall also 
about the spacious Panathenaic race-course, and made 
level a piece of uneven ground, given by one Dinias to Ly- 
curgus for the use of the city. The keeping of the city 
was committed wholly to his care, and power to apprehend 
malefactors, of whom he cleared the city utterly ; so that 
some sophisters were wont to say, that Lycurgus did not 
dip his pen in ink, but in blood. And therefore it was, 
that when Alexander demanded him of the people, they 
would not deliver him up. When Philip made the second 
war upon the Athenians, he was employed with Demos- 
thenes and Polyeuctus in an embassy to Peloponnesus and 
other cities. He was always in great repute and esteem 
with the Athenians, and looked upon as a man of that 


justice and integrity, that in the courts of judicature his 
good word was at all times prevalent on the behalf of 
those persons for whom he undertook to speak. He was 
the author of several laws ; one of which was, that there 
should be certain comedies played at the Chytrian solemni- 
ties, and whoever of the poets or players should come off 
victor, he should thereby be invested with the freedom of 
the city, which before was not lawful ; and so he revived 
a solemnity which for want of encouragement had for 
some time before been out of request. Another of his 
laws was, that the city should erect statues to the memory 
of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides ; and that their 
tragedies, being fairly engrossed, should be preserved in 
the public consistory, and that the public clerks should 
read these copies as the plays were acted, that nothing 
might be changed by the players ; and that otherwise it 
should be unlawful to act them. A third law proposed by 
him was, that no Athenian, nor any person inhabiting in 
Athens, should be permitted to buy a captive, who was 
once free, to be a slave, without the consent of his for- 
mer master. Further, that in the Piraeus there should be 
at least three circular dances played to Neptune ; and that 
to the victor in the first should be given not less than ten 
minas ; in the second, eight ; in the third, six. Also, that 
no woman should go to Eleusis in a coach, lest the poor 
should appear more despicable than the rich, and so be 
dejected and cast down ; and that whoever should ride in 
a coach contrary to this law should be fined six thousand 
drachms. And when even his own wife was taken in the 
violation of it, he paid to the discoverers of it a whole 
talent ; for which being afterwards called in question by 
the people : See therefore, said he, I am called to answer 
for giving, and not for receiving money. 

As he was walking one day in the streets, he saw an 
officer lay hand on Xenocrates the philosopher ; and when 


nothing would serve his turn bat the philosopher must to 
prison, because he had not deposited the tribute due from 
strangers, he with his staff struck the officer on the head 
for his unmannerly roughness toward a person of that 
character, and freeing Xenocrates, cast the other into pris- 
on in his stead. And not many days after, Xenocrates 
meeting with the children of Lycurgus said: I have re- 
turned thanks unto your father right speedily, my good 
children, for his friendship towards me, for I hear his 
kindness commended by all people where I go. He made 
likewise several decrees, in which he made use of the 
help of an Olynthian named Euclides, one very expert in 
such matters. Though he was rich enough, yet he was 
used to wear the same coat every day, both summer and 
winter ; but he wore shoes only when he was compelled to 
do it. Because he was not ready to speak extempore, 
he used to practise and study day and night. And to the 
end he might not at any time oversleep himself and so 
lose time from his study, he used to cover himself on his 
bed only with a sheepskin with the wool on, and to lay a 
hard bolster under his head. When one reproached him 
for being in fee with rhetoricians when he studied his ora- 
tions, he answered, that, if a man would promise to restore 
his sons better, he would give him not only a thousand 
drachms, but half what he was worth. He took the liber- 
ty of speaking boldly upon all occasions, by reason of his 
greatness ; as when once the Athenians interrupted him in 
his speaking, he cried out, O thou Corcyraean whip, how 
many talents art thou worth "? And another time, when 
some would rank Alexander among the Gods, What man- 
ner of God, said he, must he be, when all that go out of 
his temple had need to be dipped in water to purify them- 
selves ? 

After his death Menesaechmus accusing and indicting 
them by virtue of an instrument drawn by Thracycles, his 


sons were delivered to the eleven executioners of Justice. 
But Demosthenes, being in exile, wrote to the Athenians, 
to let them know that they were wrongfully accused, and 
that therefore they did not well to hear their accusers ; 
upon which they recanted what they had done, and set 
them at liberty again, — Democles, who was Theophrastus's 
scholar, likewise pleading in their defence. Lycurgus and 
some of his posterity were buried publicly, at or near the 
temple of Minerva Paeonia, where their monuments stand 
in the garden of Melanthius the philosopher, on which 
are inscriptions to Lycurgus and his children, which are 
yet extant. The greatest thing he did while he lived was 
his raising the revenue of the commons totally from sixty 
talents, as he found it, to twelve hundred. When he 
found he must die, he was by his own appointment carried 
into the temple of the Mother of the Gods, and into the 
senate-house, being willing before his death to give an ac- 
count of his administration. And no man daring to accuse 
him of any thing except Menesaechmus, having purged 
himself from those calumnies which he cast upon him, 
he was carried home again, where in a short time he 
ended his life. He was always accounted honest ; his 
orations were commended for the eloquence they carried 
in them ; and though he was often accused, yet he never 
was overthrown in any suit. 

He had three children by Callisto, the daughter of 
Abron, and sister of Callias, Abron's son, by descent a 
Batesian, — I mean, of him who, when Chaerondas was 
magistrate, was paymaster to the army. Of this affinity 
Dinarchus speaks in his oration against Pas tins. He left 
behind him three sons, Abron, Lycurgus, and Lycophron ; 
of which, Abron and Lycurgus died without issue, though 
the first, Abron, did for some time act very acceptably and 
worthily in affairs of the commonwealth. Lycophron mar- 
rying Callistomacha, the daughter of Philip of Aexone, 


begat Callisto, who married Cleombrotus the son of Dino- 
crates the Acharnian, to whom she bare Lycophron, who, 
being adopted by his grandfather, died without issue. He 
being dead, Socrates married Callisto, of whom he had his 
sou Symmachus. To him was born Aristonymus ; to Aris- 
tonymus, Charmides, who was the father of Philippe. Of 
her and Lysander came Medeius, who also was an inter- 
preter, one of the Eumolpids. He begat two children of 
Timothea, the daughter of Glaucus, viz. Laodamia and 
Medius, who were priests of Neptune Erechtheus ; also 
Philippe a daughter, who was afterward priestess of Mi- 
nerva ; for before, she was married to Diodes of Melite, to 
whom she bare a son named Diodes, who was a colonel 
of a regiment of foot. He married Hediste, the daughter 
of Abron, and of her begat Philippides and Nicostrata, 
whom Themistocles the torch-bearer, son of Theophrastus, 
married, and by her had Theophrastus and Diodes ; and 
he likewise constituted the priesthood of Neptune Erech- 

It is said that he penned fifteen orations. He was often 
crowned by the people, and had statues dedicated to him. 
His image in brass was set up in Ceramicus by order of 
the public, in the year of Anaxicrates ; in whose time also 
it was ordered that he and his eldest son should be provided 
for with diet in the Prytaneum ; but he being dead, Lyco- 
phron his eldest son was forced to sue for that donation. 
This Lycurgus also was used frequently to plead on the 
account of sacred things ; and accused Autolycus the Areo- 
pagite, Ly sides the general, Demades' the son of Demeas, 
Menesaechmus, and many others, all whom he caused to 
be condemned as guilty. Diphilus also was called in ques- 
tion by him, for impairing and diminishing the props 
of the metal mines, and unjustly making himself rich 
therefrom ; and he caused him to be condemned to die, 
according to the provision made by the laws in that case. 


He gave out of his own stock fifty drachms to every citi- 
zen, the sum total of which donation amounted to one 
hundred and sixty talents ; * but some say he gave a mina 
of silver to each. He likewise accused Aristogiton, Leo- 
crates, and Autolycus for cowardice. He was called the 
Ibis: . . . 

The ibis to Lycurgus, to Chaerephon the bat.f 

His ancestors derived their pedigree from Erechtheus, the . 
son of the Earth and of Vulcan ; but he was nearest to 
Lycomedes and Lycurgus, whom the people honored with 
public solemnities. There is a succession of those of the 
race who were priests of Neptune, in a complete table 
placed in the Erechtheum, painted by Ismenias the Chalci- 
dian ; in the same place stood wooden images of Lycurgus, 
and of his sons, Abron, Lycurgus, and Lycophron; made by 
Timarchus and Cephisodotus, the sons of Praxiteles. His 
son Abron dedicated the table ; and coming to the priest- 
hood by right of succession, he resigned to his brother 
Lycophron, and hence he is painted as giving a trident. 
But Lycurgus had made a draught of all his actions, and 
hung it on a column before the wrestling-court built by 
himself, that all might read that would ; and no man could 
accuse him of any peculation. He likewise proposed to 
the people to crown Neoptolemus, the son of Anticles, and 
to dedicate statues to him, because he had promised and 
undertaken to cover the altar of Apollo in the market with 
gold, according to the order of the oracle. He decreed 
honors likewise tOt Diotimus, the son of Diopithes of 
Euonymus, in the year when Ctesicles was magistrate. 

* This is one of the statements which seem to fix the number of Athenian citi- 
zens in the age of the Orators at about 20,000. See Boeckh's Public Economy of 
the Athenians, I. Book 1, chap. 7. (G.) 

t Aristoph. Birds, 1296. 



Demosthenes, the son of Demosthenes by Cleobule, the 
daughter of Gylon, was a Paeanian by descent. He was 
left an orphan by his father, when he was but seven years 
old, together with a sister of the age of five. Being kept 
by his mother during his nonage, he went to school to Iso- 
crates, say some ; but the generality are of opinion that he 
was pupil to Isaeus the Chalcidian, who lived in Athens 
and was Isocrates's scholar. He imitated Thucydides and 
Plato, and some affirm that he more especially attended the 
school of Plato. Hegesias the Magnesian writes, that he 
entreated his master's leave to go to hear Callistratus the 
son of Empaedus, an Amphidnean, a noble orator, and 
sometime commander of a troop of horse, who had dedi- 
cated an altar to Mercury Agoraeos, and was to make an 
oration to the people. And when he heard him, he 
became a lover of oratory, and so long as he continued 
at Athens, remained his disciple. 

But Callistratus being soon banished to Thrace, and 
Demosthenes arrived at some years of maturity, he joined 
with Isocrates and Plato. After this, he took Isaeus into 
his house, and for the space of four years labored very 
hard in imitation of his orations. Though Ctesibius in 
his book of philosophy affirms that, by the help of Callias 
the Syracusan, he got the orations of Zoilus the Amphi- 
polite, and by the assistance of Charicles the Carystian 
those also of Alcidamas, and devoted himself to the imita- 
tion of them. When he came to age, in the year of Timo- 
crates* he called his tutors and guardians to account for 
their maladministration, in not allowing him what was 
fitting and requisite out of his estate. And these tutors or 
guardians were three, Aphobus, Therippides, and Demo- 
phon (or Demeas), the last of whom, being his uncle, he 

* B.C. 364. 


charged more severely than the other two. He arrested 
each of them m an action of ten talents, and cast them, 
but did not exact of them what the law had given him, 
releasing some for money and others for favor. 

When Aristophon, by reason of his age, could not hold 
the office any longer, he was chosen choregus, or overseer 
of the dances. During the execution of which office, 
Midias the Anagyrasian striking him as he was ordering 
the dances in the theatre, he sued him upon it, but let 
fall his suit upon Midias's paying him three thousand 

It is reported of him that, while he was a youth, he 
confined himself to a den or cave, and there studied his 
orations, and shaved half of his head that he might not be 
allured to divert himself from it ; and that he lay upon a 
very narrow bed, that he might awake and rise the sooner. 
And for that he could not very well pronounce the letter 
E., he accustomed himself very much to that, that he might 
master it if possible ; and using likewise an unseemly 
motion of his shoulder when he spake at any time, he 
remedied that by a spit (or, as some say, a sword) stuck in 
the ceiling just over his shoulder, that the fear of being 
pricked with it might break him of that indecent ges- 
ture. They report of him further that, when he could 
declaim pretty well, he had a sort of mirror made as big 
as himself, and used always in declaiming to look in that, 
to the end that he might see and correct what was amiss. 
He used likewise at some certain times to go down to the 
Phalerian shore, to the end that, being accustomed to the 
surges and noise of the waves, he might not be daunted 
by the clamors of the people, when he should at any time 
declaim in public. And being naturally short-winded, he 
gave Neoptolemus a player ten thousand drachms to teach 
him to pronounce long sentences in one breath. 

Afterwards, betaking himself to the afi'airs of the com- 


monwealth, and finding the people divided into two differ- 
ent factions, one in favor of Philip, and the other standing 
for the liberty and properties of the people, he took part 
with them that opposed Philip, and always persuaded the 
citizens to help those who were in danger and trouble by 
Philip's oppression ; taking for his companions in council 
Hyperides, Nausicles, Polyeuctus, and Diotimus ; and then 
he drew the Thebans, Euboeans, Corcyraeans, Corinthians, 
Boeotians, and many more into a league with the Athe- 
nians. Being in the assembly one day and his memory 
failing him, his oration was hissed ; which made him return 
home very heavy and melancholy ; and being met by Euno- 
mus the Thriasian, an old man, by him he was comforted 
and encouraged. But he was chiefly animated by Andro- 
nicus the player, who told him that his orations were 
excellent, but that he wanted something of action, there- 
upon rehearsing certain places out of his oration which 
he had delivered in that same assembly. Unto which 
Demosthenes gave good ear and credit, and he then be- 
took himself to Andronicus. And therefore, when he was 
afterwards asked what was the first part of oratory, he 
answered, " Action ; " and which was the second, he re- 
plied, " Action ; " and which was the third, he still an 
swered, " Action." Another time, declaiming publicly, and 
using expressions too youthful for one of his years and 
gravity, he was laughed at, and ridiculed by the comedians, 
Antiphanes and Timocles, who in derision used to repeat 
such phrases as these, as uttered by him : 

By the earth, by the fountains, by the rivers, by the floods ! 

For having sworn thus in presence of the people, he raised 
a tumult about him. He likewise used to swear by 
Asclepius, and accented the second syllable {'^axXymog)* 
through some mistake, and yet afterwards defended it ; for 

* This name was properly pronounced with the accent on the last syllable,'A«T/cA77 


this Asclepius, he said, was called i'jmog, that is a mild God. 
This also often caused him to be interrupted. But all 
these things he reformed in time, being sometime con- 
versant with Eubulides, the Milesian philosopher. Be- 
ing on a time present at the Olympic games, and hearing 
Lamachus the Myrrhinaean sound the praises of Philip and 
of Alexander the Great, his son, and decry the cowardice 
of the Thebans and Olynthians, he stood up in their de- 
fence against him, and from the ancient poets he pro- 
claimed the great and noble achievements of the Thebans 
and Olynthians ; and so elegantly he behaved himself in 
this affair, that he at once silenced Lamachus, and made 
him convey himself immediately out of the assembly. And 
even Philip himself, when he had heard what harangues 
he made against him, replied, that if he had heard him, he 
should have chosen him general in the war against himself. 
He was used to compare Demosthenes's orations to soldiers, 
for the force they carried along with them ; but the ora- 
tions of Isocrates to fencers, because of the theatrical 
delight that accompanied them. 

Being about the age of seven and thirty, reckoning from 
Dexitheus to Callimachus,* — in whose time the Olynthians 
sent to beg aid of the Athenians against Philip, who then 
made war upon them, — he persuaded them to answer the 
Olynthians' request ; but in the following year, in which 
Plato died,! Philip overthrew and destroyed the Olyn- 
thians. Xenophon also, the scholar of Socrates, had some 
knowledge of Demosthenes, either at his first rise, or at 
least when he was most famous and flourishing ; for he 
wrote the Acts of the Greeks, as touching what passed at 
the battle of Mantinea, in the year of Chariclides ; J our 
Demosthenes having sometime before overthrown his guar- 
dians in a suit he had commenced against them, in the 
year of Timocrates. When Aeschines, being condemned, 

* B. c. 385-384 to 349-348. t B.C. 348-847. J b. c. 363-362. 


fled from Athens. Demosthenes hearing of it took horse 
and rode after him ; which Aeschines understanding, and 
fearing to be apprehended again, he came out to meet De- 
mosthenes, and fell at his feet, covered his face, and begged 
his mercy ; upon which Demosthenes bid him stand up, 
be assured of his favor, and as a pledge of it, gave him a 
talent of silver. He advised the people to maintain a 
company of mercenary soldiers in Thasos, and thither 
sailed himself as captain of the galleys. Another time, 
being entrusted to buy corn, he was accused of defrauding 
the city, but cleared himself of the accusation and was 
acquitted. When Philip had seized upon Elatea, Demos- 
thenes with others went to the war of Chaeronea, where he 
is said to have deserted his colors ; and flying away, a bram- 
ble caught hold of his vest behind, when turning about in 
haste, thinking an enemy had overtaken him, he cried out, 
Save my life, and say what shall be my ransom. On his 
buckler he had engraven for his motto. To Good Fortune. 
And it was he that made the oration at the funerals of 
such as died in that battle. 

After these things, he bent his whole care and study for 
the reparation of the city and wall ; and being chosen 
commissary for repairing the walls, besides what money 
he expended out the city stock, he laid out of his own at 
least a hundred minas. And besides this, he gave ten 
thousand drachms to the festival fund ; and taking ship, 
he sailed from coast to coast to collect money of the allies ; 
for which he was often by Demotelus, Aristonicus, and 
Ilyperides crowned with golden crowns, and afterwards 
by Ctesiphon. Which last decree had like to have been 
retracted, Diodotus and Aeschines endeavoring to prove it 
to be contrary to the laws ; but he defended himself so 
well against their allegations, that, he overcame all diflicul- 
ties, his enemies not having the fifth part of the votes of 
the judges. 


After this, Avhen Alexander the Great made his expedi- 
tion into Asia, and Harpalus fled to Athens with a great 
sum of money, at first he would not let him be entertained, 
but afterwards, Harpalus being landed and having given 
him a thousand darics he was of another mind ; and when 
the Athenians determined to deliver Harpalus up to Anti- 
pater, he opposed it, proposing to deposit the money in 
the Citadel, still without declaring the amount to the people. 
Thereupon Harpalus declared that he had brought with 
him from Asia seven hundred talents, and that this sum had 
been deposited in the Citadel ; but only three hundred and 
fifty or a little more could be found, as Philochorus relates. 
But when Harpalus broke out of the prison wherein he 
was kept till some person should come from Alexander, 
and was escaped into Crete, — or, as some will have it, 
into Taenarum in Laconia, — Demosthenes was accused 
that he had received from him a sum of money, and that 
therefore he had not given a true account of the sum de- 
livered to him, nor had impeached the negligence of the 
keepers. So he was judicially cited by Hyperides, Py- 
theus, Menesaechmus, Himeraeus, and Patrocles, who 
prosecuted him so severely as to cause him to be con- 
demned in the court of Areopagus ; and being condemned, 
he went into exile, not being able to pay fivefold ; for he 
was accused of receiving thirty talents. Others say, that 
he would not run the risk of a trial, but went into banish- 
ment before the day came. After this tempest was over, 
when the Athenians sent Polyeuctus to the republic of 
Arcadia to di-aw them off from the alliance with the Mace- 
donians, he not succeeding, Demosthenes appeared to 
second him, where he reasoned so effectually that he easily 
prevailed. Which procured him so much credit and esteem, 
that after some time a galley was dispatched to call him 
home again. And the Athenians decreed that, whereas he 
owed the state thirty talents, as a fine laid on him for the 


misdemeanor he was accused of, he should be excused for 
only building an altar to Jupiter Servator in the Piraeus ; 
which decree was first proposed by Demon his near kins- 
man. This being agreed on, he returned to the administra- 
tion of affairs in the commonwealth again. 

But when Antipater was blocked up in Lamia, and the 
Athenians offered sacrifices for the happy news, he hap- 
pened, being talking with Agesistratus, one of his intimate 
friends, to say, that his judgment concerning the state of 
affairs did not jump with other men's, for that he knew 
the Greeks were brisk and ready enough to run a short 
course but not to hold on a long race. When Antipater 
had taken Pharsalus, and threatened to besiege Athens it- 
self if they refused to deliver up such orators as had de- 
claimed against him, Demosthenes, suspecting himself to 
be one of the number, left the city, and fled first into 
Aegina, that he might take sanctuary in the temple of 
Aeacus ; but being afraid to trust himself long there, he 
went over to Calauria ; and when the Athenians had de- 
creed to deliver up those orators, and him especially as one 
of them, he continued a suppliant in the temple of Nep- 
tune. When Archias came thither, — who, from his office 
of pursuing fugitives, was called Phygadotheres and was 
the scholar of Anaximines the orator, — when he, I say, 
came to him, and persuaded him to go with him, telling 
him that no doubt he should be received by Antipater as a 
friend, he replied : When you played a part in a tragedy, 
you could not persuade me to believe you the person you 
represented ; no more shall you now persuade me by your 
counsel. And when Archias endeavored to force him 
thence, the townsmen would not suffer it. And Demos- 
thenes told them, that he did not flee to Calauria to save 
his life, but that he might convince the Macedonians of 
their violence committed even against the Gods themselves. 
And with that he called for a writing-table ; and if we may 


credit Demetrius the Magnesian, on that he wrote a distich, 
which afterwards the Athenians caused to be affixed to his 
statue ; and it was to this purpose : 

Hadst thou, Demostlienes, an outward force 

Great as thy inward magnanimity, 
Greece should not wear the Macedonian yoke. 

This statue, made by Polyeuctus, is placed near the 
cloister where the altar of the twelve Gods is erected. 
Some say this writing was found : " Demosthenes to An- 
tipater, Greeting." Philochorus tells us that he died by 
drinking of poison ; and Satyrus the historiographer will 
have it, that the pen was poisoned with which he wrote his 
epistle, and putting it into his mouth, soon after he tasted 
it he died. Eratosthenes is of another opinion, that being 
in continual fear of the Macedonians, he wore a poisoned 
bracelet on his arms. Others say again, that he died with 
holding his breath ; and others, lastly, say that he carried 
strong poison in his signet. He lived to the age of seventy, 
according to those who give the highest number, — of 
sixty-seven, according to other statements. And he was in 
public life two and twenty years. 

When King Philip was dead, he appeared publicly in a 
glorious robe or mantle, as rejoicing for his death, though 
he but just before mourned for his daughter. He assisted 
the Thebans likewise against Alexander, and animated all 
the other Greeks. So that when Alexander had conquered 
Thebes, he demanded Demosthenes of the Athenians, 
threatening them if they refused to deliver him. When he 
went against Persia, demanding ships of the Athenians, De- 
mosthenes opposed it, saying, who can assure us that he will 
not use those ships we should send him against ourselves ? 

He left behind him two sons by one wife, the daughter 
of one Heliodorus, a principal citizen. He had but one 
daughter, who died unmarried, being but a child. A sister 
too he had, who married with Laches of Leuconoe, his 


kinsman, and to him bore Demochares, who proTed inferioi 
to none in his time for eloquence, conduct, and courage. 
His statue is still standing in the Prytaneum, the first on 
the right as you approach the altar, clothed with a mantle 
and girt with a sword, because in this habit he delivered 
an oration to the people, when Antipater demanded of 
them their orators. 

Afterwards, in process of time, the Athenians decreed 
nourishment to be given to the kindred of Demosthenes in 
the Prytaneum, and likewise set up a statue to his memory, 
when he was dead, in the market, in the year of Gorgias,* 
which honors were paid him at the request of Demochares 
his sister's son. And ten years after, Laches, the son of 
Demochares of Leuconoe, in the year of Pytharatus, re- 
quired the same honor for himself, that his statue should 
be set up in the market, and that both he and the eldest 
of his line for the future should have their allov/ance in 
the Prytaneum, and the highest room at all public shows. 
These decrees concerning both of them are engrossed, and 
to be found among the statute laws. The statue of De- 
mochares, of which we have spoken before, was afterwards 
removed out of the market into the Prytaneum. 

There are extant sixty-five orations which are truly his. 
Some report of him, that he lived a very dissolute and 
vicious life, appearing often in women's apparel, and being 
frequently conversant at masks and revellings, whence he 
was surnamed Batalus ; though others say, that this was a 
pet name given him by his nurse, and that from this he was 
called Batalus in derision. Diogenes the Cynic espying 
him one day in a victualling-house, he was very much 
ashamed, and to shun him, went to withdraw ; but Dioge- 
nes called after him, and told him, The more you shrink 
inward, the more you will be in the tavern. The same 
Diogenes once upon the banter said of him, that in his 

* B.c 280. 


orations he was a Scythian, but in war a delicate nice 
citizen. He was one of them who received gold of Ephi- 
altes, one of the popular orators, who, being sent in an 
embassy to the king of Persia, took money privily, and 
distributed it among the orators of Athens, that they might 
use theu' utmost endeavors to kindle and inflame the war 
against Philip ; and it is said of Demosthenes, that he for 
his part had at once three thousand darics of the king. 
He apprehended one Anaxilas of Oreus, who had been 
his friend, and caused him to be tortured for a spy ; and 
when he would confess nothing, he procured a decree that 
he should be delivered to the eleven executioners. 

When once at a meeting of the Athenians they would 
not suffer him to speak, he told them he had but a short 
story to tell them. Upon which all being silent, thus he 
began: A certain youth, said he, hired an ass in summer 
time, to go from hence to Megara. About noon, when the 
sun was very hot, and both he that hired the ass and the 
owner were desirous of sitting in the shade of the ass, 
they each thrust the other away, — the owner arguing that 
he let him only his ass and not the shadow, and the other 
replying that, since he had hked the ass, all that belonged 
to him was at his dispose. Having said thus, he seemed 
to go his way. But the Athenians willing now to hear his 
story out, called him back, and desired him to proceed. 
To whom he replied : How comes it to pass that ye are so 
desirous of hearing a story of the shadow of an ass, and 
refuse to give ear to matters of greater moment? Polus 
the player boasting to him that he had gotten a whole 
talent by playing but two days, he answered, and I have 
gotten five talents by being silent but one day. One day 
his voice failing him when he was declaiming publicly, 
being hissed, he cried out to the people, saying. Ye are to 
judge of players, indeed, by their voice, but of orators by 
the gravity of their sentences. 


Epicles upbraiding him for his premeditating what he 
was to say, he repKed, I should be ashamed to speak what 
comes uppermost to so great an assembly. They say of 
him that he never put out his lamp — that is, never ceased 
polishing his orations — until he was fifty years old. He 
says of himself, that he drank always fair water. Lysias 
the orator was acquainted with him ; and Isocrates knew 
him concerned in the management of public affairs till the 
battle of Chaeronea ; as also some of the Socratical sect. 
[He delivered most of his orations extempore. Nature hav- 
ing well qualified him for it.]* The first that proposed 
the crowning him with a coronet of gold was Aristonicus, 
the son of Nicophanes, the Anagyrasian ; though Diondas 
interposed with an indictment. 


Hyperides was son of Glaucippus, and grandson oi 
Dionysius, of the borough of Colyttus. He had a son, 
who bare the same name with his father Glaucippus, an 
orator, who wrote many orations, and begat a son named 
Alphinous. At the same time with Lycurgus, he had been 
a scholar of the philosopher Plato and of the orator Iso- 
ciates. In Athens his concern in the commonwealth was 
at that time when Alexander accosted Greece, whom he 
vigorously opposed in his demands made of the Athenians 
for the generals as well as for galleys. He advised the 
people not to discharge the garrison of Taenarum, and this 
he did for the sake of a friend of his, Chares, who was 
commander of it. At first he used to plead causes for a 
fee. He was suspected to have received part of the money 
which Ephialtes brought out of Persia, and was chosen 
to maintain a galley, and was sent to assist the Byzantines, 

* This is supposed to have been added by some other hand, because a jontrarr 
sentence is given of him before. 


when Philip was besieging their city. Nevertheless, in 
the same year he took the charge of defraying the expense 
of the solemn dunces, whereas the rest of the captains 
were exempt from all such public burdens for that year. 
He obtained a decree for some honors to be paid to De- 
mosthenes ; and when that decree was indicted at the in- 
stance of Diondas, as being contrary to the laws, he, being 
called in question upon it, cleared himself. He did not 
continue his friendship with Demosthenes, Lysicles, and 
Lycurgus to the last ; for, Lysicles and Lycurgus being 
dead, and Demosthenes being accused of having received 
money of Harpalus, he, among all the rest, was pitched 
upon, as the only person who was not corrupted wath 
bribery, to draw up his indictment, which he accordingly did. 
Being once accused at the instance of Aristogiton of pub- 
lishing acts contrary to the laws after the battle of Chae- 
ronea, — that all foreign inhabitants of Athens should be 
accounted citizens, that slaves should be made free, that 
all sacred things, children, and women should be confined 
to the Piraeus, — he cleared himself of all and was ac- 
quitted. And being blamed by some, who wondered how 
he could be ignorant of the many laws that were directly 
repugnant to those decrees, he answered, that the arms of 
the Macedonians darkened his sight, and it was not he but 
the battle of Chaeronea that made that decree. But Philip, 
being affrighted at somewhat, gave leave to carry away 
their dead out of the field, which before he had denied to 
the heralds from Lebadea. 

After this, at the overthrow at Crannon, being demanded 
by Antipater, and the people being resolved to deliver 
him up, he fled out of the city with others who were under 
the same condemnation to Aegina ; where meeting with 
Demosthenes, he excused himself for the breach of friend- 
ship between them. Going from thence, he was appre- 
hended by Archias, surnamed Phygadotheres, by country a 


Tliurian, formerly a player, but at that time in the service 
of Antipater ; by this man, I say, he was apprehended, 
even in the very temple of Neptune, though he grasped 
the image of that God in his arms. He was brought be- 
fore Antipater, who was then at Corinth ; where being 
put upon the rack, he bit out his tongue, because he would 
not divulge the secrets of his country, and so died, on the 
ninth day of October. Hermippus tells us that, as he went 
into Macedonia, his tongue was cut out and. his body cast 
forth unburied ; but Alphinous his cousin-german (or, ac- 
cording to the opinion of others, his grandson, by his son 
Glaucippus) obtained leave, by means of one Philopithes 
a physician, to take up his body, which he burnt, and car- 
ried the ashes to Athens to his kinsfolk there, contrary to 
the edicts both of the Athenians and Macedonians, which 
not only banished them, but likewise forbade the burial of 
them anywhere in their own country. Others say, that 
he was carried to Cleonae with others, and there died, 
having his tongue cut out, as above ; however, his relations 
and friends took his bones, when his body was burned, and 
buried them among his ancestors before the gate Hippades, 
as Heliodorus gives us the relation in his Third Book of 
Monuments. His monument is now altogether unknown 
and lost, being thrown down with age and long standing. 

He is said to have excelled all others in his way of de- 
livering himself in his orations to the people. And there 
are some who prefer him even to Demosthenes himself. 
There are seventy-seven orations which bear his name, of 
which only two and fifty are genuine and truly his. He 
was much given to venery, insomuch that he turned his 
son out of doors, to entertain that famous courtesan Myr- 
rhina. In Piraeus he had another, whose name was Aris- 
tagora ; and at Eleusis, where part of his estate lay, he 
kept another, one Philte a Theban, whom he ransomed 
for twenty minas. His usual walk was in the fish-market. 


It is thought that he was accused of impiety with one 
Phryne, a courtesan likewise, and so was sought after to be 
apprehended, as he himself seems to intimate in the be- 
ginning of an oration ; and it is said, that when sentence 
was just ready to be passed upon her, he produced her in 
court, opened her clothes before, and discovered her naked 
breasts, which were so very white, that for her beauty's 
sake the judges acquitted her. He at leisure times drew 
up several declamations against Demosthenes, which were 
thus discovered : Hyperides being sick, Demosthenes came 
one day to visit him, and caught him with a book in his 
hand written against him ; at which seeming somewhat 
displeased, Hyperides told him : This book shall hurt no 
man that is my friend ; but as a curb, it may serve to re- 
strain my enemy from offering me any injury. He obtained 
a decree of some honors to be paid to lolas, who gave the 
poisoned cup to Alexander. He joined with Leosthenes 
in the Lamian war, and made an admkable oration at the 
funerals of those who lost their lives therein. 

When Philip was prepared to embark for Euboea, and 
the Athenians heard the news of it with no little conster- 
nation, Hyperides in a very short time, by the voluntary 
contributions of the citizens, fitted out forty sail, and was 
the first that set an example, by sending out two galleys, 
one for himself and another for his son, at his own 

When there was a controversy between the Delians and 
the Athenians, who should have the pre-eminence in the 
temple at Delos ; Aeschines being chosen on the behalf of 
the Athenians for their advocate, the Areopagites refused 
to ratify the choice and elected Hyperides ; and his ora- 
tion is yet extant, and bears the name of the Deliac ora- 

He likewise went ambassador to Rhodes ; where meet- 

* See Demosthenes on the Crown, p. 221, 27. 


ing other ambassadors from Antipater, who commended 
then* master very highly for his goodness and virtue, We 
know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we have no 
need of a good master at present. 

It is said of him, that he never affected much action in 
his orations to the people, his chief aim being to lay down 
the matter plainly, and make the case as obvious to the 
judges as he could. 

He was sent likewise to the Eleans, to plead the cause of 
Callippus the fencer, who was accused of carrying away 
the prize at the public games unfairly ; in which cause he 
got the better. But when he opposed the sentence of pay- 
ing honors to Phocion, obtained by Midias the son of Mi- 
dias the Anagyrasian, he was in that cause overthrown. 
This cause was pleaded on the twenty-fourth day of May, 
in the year when Xenius was magistrate. 


DiNARCHUs, the son of Socrates or Sostratus, — born, as 
some think, at Athens, but according to others, at Corinth, 
— came to Athens very young, and there took up his 
dwelling, at that time when Alexander made his expedition 
into Asia. He used to hear Theophrastus, who succeeded 
Aristotle in his school. He was frequently conversant with 
Demetrius the Phalerian too. He betook himself more 
especially to the affairs of the commonwealth after the 
death of Antipater, when some of the orators were killed 
and others banished. Having contracted friendship with 
Cassander, he became in a short time vastly rich, by exact- 
ing great rates for his orations of those for whom he wrote 
them. He opposed himself to the greatest and most noble 
orators of his time, not by being overforward to declaim 
publicly, — for his faculty did not lie that way, — but by 


composing orations for their adversaries. And when Har- 
palus had broken out of prison, he wrote several orations, 
which he gave to their accusers to pronounce against those 
that were suspected to have taken bribes of him. 

Some time after, being accused of a conspiracy with 
Antipater and Cassander about the matter of Munychia, 
when it was surprised by Antigonus and Demetrius, who 
put a garrison into it, in the year of Anaxicrates,* he turned 
the greatest part of his estate into money, and fled to Chal- 
cis, where he Uved in exile about fifteen years, and in- 
creased his stock ; but afterwards, by the mediation of 
Theophrastus, he and some other banished persons returned 
to Athens. Then he took up his abode in the house of 
one Proxenus, his intimate friend ; where, being very aged 
and withal dim-sighted, he lost his gold. And because 
Proxenus refused to make inquiry after the thief, he appre- 
hended him ; and this was the first time that ever he ap- 
peared in court. That oration against Proxenus is extant ; 
and there are sixty-four that bear his name, Avhereof some 
are believed to be Aristogiton's. He imitated Hyperides ; 
or, as some incline to judge, rather Demosthenes, because 
of that vigor and force to move the affections, and the 
rhetorical ornaments that are evident in his style. 



Demochares, the son of Laches of Leuconoe, requires 
that a statue of brass be set up for Demosthenes, the son 
of Demosthenes the Paeanian, in the market-place, as 

* B.C. 307. 


likewise that provision of diet be made in the Prytaneura 
for himself and the eldest of his progeny snccessively, and 
the chief seat in all pnblic shows ; for that he had done 
many good offices for the Athenians, had on most occasions 
been a good counsellor, and had spent his patrimony in the 
commonwealth ; had expended eight talents for the fitting 
out and maintenance of one galley, when they delivered 
Euboea, another, when Cephisodorus sailed into the Helles- 
pont, and a third, when Chares and Phocion were commis- 
sioned by the people to go captains to Byzantium ; that he 
at his own charge had redeemed many who had been taken 
prisoners by Philip at Pydna, Methone, and Olynthus ; that 
himself had maintained a choir of men, when no provision 
had been made therefor through the neglect of the tribe 
Pandionis ; that he had furnished many indigent citizens 
with arms ; that being chosen by the people to oversee the 
city works, he had laid out three talents of his own stock 
towards the repairing of the walls, besides all that he 
gave for making two trenches about the Piraeus ; that 
after the battle of Chaeronea he deposited one talent for 
the use of the public, and after that, another to buy corn 
in time of scarcity and want; that by his beneficence, 
wholesome counsels and effectual persuasions, he allured 
the Thebans, Euboeans, Corinthians, Megarians, Achaeans, 
Locrians, Byzantines, and Messenians to a league with the 
Athenians ; that he raised an army of ten thousand foot 
and a thousand horse, and contracted plenty to the people 
and their allies ; that being ambassador, he had persuaded 
the allies to the contribution of above five hundred talents ; 
that in the same quality, by his influence and the free gift 
of money, he obtained of the Peloponnesians that they 
should not send aid to Alexander against the Thebans ; 
and in consideration of many other good offices performed 
by him, either as to his counsels, or his personal administra- 


tion of affairs in the commonwealth, in which, and in 
defending the rights and liberties of the people, no man in 
his time had done more or deserved better ; and in regard 
of his sufferings when the commonwealth was mined, 
being banished by the insolence of the oligarchy, and at 
last dying at Calauria for his good-will to the public, there 
being soldiers sent from Antipater to apprehend him ; and 
that notwithstanding his being in the hands of his enemies, 
in so great and imminent danger, his hearty affection to his 
countrymen was still the same, insomuch that he never to 
the last offered any unworthy thing to the injury of his 


In the magistracy of Pytharatus,* Laches, the son of 
Demochares of Leuconoe requires of the Athenian senate 
that a statue of brass be set up for Demochares, the son 
of Laches of Leuconoe, in the market-place, and table and 
diet in the Prytaneum for himself and the eldest of his 
progeiay successively, and the first seat at all public shows ; 
for that he had always been a benefactor and good coun- 
sellor to the people, and had done these and the like good 
offices to the public : he had gone in embassies in his own 
person ; had proposed and carried in bills relating to his 
embassage ; had been chief manager of pubUc matters ; 
had repaired the walls, prepared arms and machines ; 
had fortified the city in the time of the four years' wai\ and 
composed a peace, truce, and alliance with the Boeotians ; 
for which things he was banished by those who overturned 
and usurped the government ; — and being called home 
again by a decree of the people, in the year of Diodes, 
he had contracted the administration, sparing the public 
funds ; and going in embassage to Lysimachus, he had at 

« B.C. 269. 


one time gained thirty, and at another time a hundred 
talents of silver, for the use of the public ; he had moved 
the people to send an embassage to Ptolemy, by which 
means the people got fifty talents ; he went ambassador 
to Antipater, and by that got twenty talents, and brought 
i*; to Eleusis to the people, — all which measures he per- 
suaded the people to adopt while he himself carried them 
out ; furthermore, he was banished for his love for the 
commonwealth, and would never take part with usurpers 
against the popular government ; neither did he, after the 
overthrow of that government, bear any public office in 
the state ; he was the only man, of all that had to do in 
the public administration of affairs in his time, who never 
promoted or consented to any other form of government 
but the popular ; by his prudence and conduct, all the 
judgments and decrees, the laws, courts, and all things 
else belonging to the Athenians, were preserved safe and 
inviolate ; and, in a word, he never said or did any thing 
to the prejudice of the popular government. 


Lycophron, the son of Lycurgus of Butadae, requires 
that he may have diet in the Prytaneum, according to a 
donation of the people to Lycurgus. In the year of 
Anaxicrates,* in the sixth prytany, — which was that 
of the tribe Antiochis, — Stratocles, the son of Euthyde- 
mus of Diomea, proposed ; that, — since Lycurgus, the 
son of Lycophron of Butadae, had (as it were) an in- 
generated good-will in him towards the people of Athens ; 
and since his ancestors Diomedes and Lycurgus lived in 
honor and esteem of all people, and when they died were 
honored for their virtue so far as to be buried at the 

* B.C. 307. 


public charge in the Ceramicus ; and since Lycurgus 
himself, while he had the management of public afFau's, 
was the author of many good and wholesome laws, and 
was the city treasurer for twelve years together, during 
which time there passed through his own hands eighteen 
thousand and nine hundred talents, besides other great 
sums of money that he was entrusted with by private citi- 
zens for the public good, to the sum of six hundred and 
fifty talents ; in all which concerns he behaved himself so 
justly, that he was often crowned by the city for his 
fidelity ; besides, being chosen by the people to that 
purpose, he brought much money into the Citadel, and 
provided ornaments, golden images of victory, and vessels 
of gold and silver for the Goddess Minerva, and gold orna- 
ments for a hundred Canephoroe ; * since, being commis- 
sary-general, he brought into the stores a great number 
of arms and at least fifty thousand shot of darts, and set 
out four hundred galleys, some new built, and others 
only repaired ; since, finding many buildings half finished, 
as the dock-yards, the arsenal, and the theatre of Bacchus, 
he completed them ; and finished the Panathenaic race, 
and the court for public exercises at the Lyceum, and 
adorned the city with many fair new buildings ; since, 
when Alexander, having conquered Asia, and assuming 
the empire of all Greece, demanded Lycurgus as the prin- 
cipal man that confronted and opposed him in his affairs, 
the people refused to deliver him up, notwithstanding the 
terror inspired by Alexander ; and since, being often called 
to account for his management of affairs in so free a city, 
which was wholly governed by the people, he never was 
found faulty or corrupt in any particular ; — that all peo- 
ple, therefore, may know, not only that the people do 
highly esteem all such as act in defence of their liberties 
and rights while they live, but likewise that they pay them 

* Persons who carried baskets, or panniers, on their heads, of sacred things. 


honors after death, in the name of Good Fortune it is de- 
creed by the people, that such honors be paid to Lycurgus, 
the son of Lycophron of Butadae, for his justice and mag- 
nanimity, as that a statue of brass be erected in memory 
of him in any part of the market which the laws do not 
prohibit ; as likewise that there be provision for diet in 
the Prytaneum for every eldest son of his progeny, suc- 
cessively for ever. Also, that all his decrees be ratified, 
and engrossed by the public notary, and engraven on 
pillars of stone, and set up in the Citadel just by the 
gifts consecrated to Minerva ; and that the city treasurer 
shall deposit fifty drachms for the engraving of them, out 
of the money set apart for such uses. 


1. We are not ignorant, O Euphanes, that you, being an 
extoller of Pindar, have often in your mouth this saying 
of his, as a thing well and to the purpose spoken by him : 

When as the combat's once agreed, 
Who by pretence seeks to be freed 
Obscures his virtue quite. 

But since sloth and effeminacy towards civil affairs, having 
many pretences, do for the last, as if it were drawn from 
the sacred line, tender to us old age, and thinking by this 
chiefly to abate and cool our honorable desire, allege that 
there is a certain decent dissolution, not only of the ath- 
letical, but also of the political period, or that there is in 
the revolution of our years a certain set and limited time, 
after which it is no more proper for us to employ ourselves 
in the conduct of the state than in the corporeal and robust 
exercises of youth ; I esteem myself obliged to communi- 
cate also to you those sentiments of mine concerning old 
men's intermeddling with public matters, which I am ever 
and anon ruminating on by myself; so that neither of us 
may desert that long course we have to this day held 
together, nor rejecting the political life, which has been 
(as it were) an intimate friend of our own years, change it 
for another to which we are absolute strangers, and with 
which we have not time to become acquainted and famil- 
iar, but that we may persist in what we had chosen and 
have been inured to from the beginning, putting the same 


conclusion to our life and our living honorably ; unless we 
would, by the short space of life we have remaining, dis- 
grace that longer time we have already lived, as having 
been spent idly and in nothing that is commendable. For 
tyranny is not an honorable sepulchre, as one told Diony- 
sius, whose monarchy, obtained by and administered with 
injustice, did by its long continuance bring on him but a 
more perfect calamity ; as Diogenes afterwards let his son 
know, when, seeing him at Corinth, of a tyrant become a 
private person, he said to him : " How unworthy of thyself, 
Dionysius, thou actest ! For thou oughtest not to live 
here at liberty and fearless with us, but to spend thy life, 
as thy father did, even to old age, immured within a 
tyrannical fortress." But the popular and legal government 
of a man accustomed to show himself no less profitable in 
obeying than in commanding is an honorable monument, 
which really adds to death the glory accruing from life. 
For this thing, as Simonides says, " goes last under the 
ground ; " unless it be in those in whom humanity and the 
love of honor die first, and whose zeal for goodness sooner 
decays than their covetousness after temporal necessaries ; 
as if the soul had its active and divine parts weaker than 
those that are passive and corporeal ; which it were neither 
honest to say, nor yet to admit from those who affirm that 
only of gaining we are never weary. But we ought to 
turn to a better purpose the saying of Thucydides, and 
believe that it is not the desire of honor only that never 
grows old,* but much more also the inclinations to society 
and aff'ection to the state, which continue even in ants and 
bees to the very last. For never did any one know a bee 
to become by age a drone, as some think it requisite of 
statesmen, of whom they expect that, when the vigor of 
their youth is past, they should retire and sit mouldy at 
home, suff"ering their active virtue to be consumed by idle- 

* Thuc. n. 44. 
VOL. T. 6 


ness, as iron is by rust. For Cato excellently well said, 
that we ought not willingly to add the shame proceeding 
from vice to those many afflictions which old age has of 
its own. For of the many vices everywhere abounding, 
there is none which more disgraces an old man than sloth, 
delicacy, and effeminateness, when, retiring from the court 
and council, he mews himself up at home like a woman, 
or getting into the country oversees his reapers and glean- 
ers ; for of such a one we may say, 

Where's Oedipus, and all his famous riddles ? 

But as for him who should in his old age, and not be- 
fore, begin to meddle with public matters, — as they say 
of Epimenides, that having fallen asleep while he was a 
young man, he awakened fifty years after, — and shaking 
off so long and so close-sticking a repose, should thrust 
himself, being unaccustomed and unexercised, into difficult 
and laborious employs, without having been experienced 
in civil affairs, or inured to the conversations of men, such 
a man may perhaps give occasion to one that would repre- 
hend him, to say with the prophetess Pythia : 

Thou com'st too late, 

seeking to govern in the state and rule the people, and at 
an unfit hour knocking at the palace gate, like an ill-bred 
guest coming late to a banquet, or a stranger, thou wouldst 
change, not thy place or region, but thy life for one 
of which thou hast made no trial. For that saying of 

The state instructs a man, 

is true in those who apply themselves to the business of 
the commonweal whilst they have yet time to be taught, 
and to learn a science which is scarce attained with much 
labor through many strugglings and negotiations, even 
when it timely meets with a nature that can easily un- 
dergo toil and difficulty. These things seem not to be 


impertinently spoken against him who in his old age begins 
to act in the management of the state. 

2. And yet, on the contrary, we see how young men and 
those of unripe years are by persons of judgment diverted 
from meddling in public matters ; and the laws also testify 
the same, when by the crier in the assemblies they sum- 
mon not first the men like Alcibiades and Pytheas to come 
to the desk, but those who have passed the age of fifty 
years, to make speeches and consult together for the 
good of the people. For the being unused to boldness 
and the want of experience are not so much to every 
soldier. . . . 

[Here is a defect in the original.] 
But Cato, when above eighty years of age he was to plead 
his own cause, said, that it was a difficult thing for a 
man to make his apology and justify his life before others 
than those with whom he had lived and been conversant. 

x'Vll men indeed confess, that the actions of Augustus 
Caesar, when he had defeated Antony, were no less royal 
and useful to the public towards the end of his life, than 
any he had done before. And himself severely reprehend- 
ing the dissoluteness of young men by establishing good 
customs and laws, when they raised an uproar, he only 
said to them : Young men, refuse not to hear an old man, 
to whom old men not unwillingly gave ear when he was 
young. The government also of Pericles exerted itself 
with most vigor in his old age, when he both persuaded 
the Athenians to make war, and at another time, when 
they were eagerly bent unseasonably to go forth and fight 
sixty thousand armed men withstood and hindered them, 
sealing up in a manner the arms of the people and the 
keys of the gates. Now as for what Xenophon has written 
of Agesilaus, it is fit it should be set down in his own 
words. "What youth," says he, " was ever so gallant but 
that his old age surpassed it"? Who was ever so terrible to 


his enemies in the very flower of his virility, as Agesilaus 
in the declension of his days ? At whose death were 
adversaries ever seen more joyful than at that of Agesi- 
laus, though he departed not this life till he was stooping 
under the burden of his years ? Who more emboldened 
his confederates than Agesilaus, though being at the ut- 
most period of his life 1 What young man was ever missed 
more by his friends than Agesilaus, who died not till he 
was very old ? " 

3. Age then hindered not these men from performing 
such gallant actions; and yet we, forsooth, being at our 
ease in states which have neither tyranny, war, nor siege 
to molest them, are afraid of such bloodless debates and 
emulations, as are for the most part terminated with justice 
only by law and words ; confessing ourselves by this not 
only worse than those ancient generals and statesmen, but 
even than poets, sophisters, and players. Since Simonides 
in his old age gained the victory by his choral songs, as the 
epigram testifies in these concluding verses : 

Fourscore years old was Leoprepes' son, 
Simonides, when he this glory won. 

And it is said of Sophocles, that, to avoid being condemned 
of dotage at the instance of his children, he repeated the 
entrance song of the Chorus in his tragedy of Oedipus in 
Colonus, which begins thus : 

Welcome, stranger, come in time 

To the best place of this clime, 

White Colonus, which abounds 

With brave horses. In these grounds, 

Spread with Nature's choicest green, 

Philomel is often seen. 
Here she her hearers charms with sweetest lays. 

Whilst with shrill throat 

And warbling note 
She moans the sad misfortunes of her former days:* 

and that, this song appearing admirable, he was dismissed 

♦ Soph. Oed. Colon. 668. 


from the court, as from the theatre, with the applause and 
acclamations of all that were present And this short verse 
is acknowledged to be written of him : 

When Sophocles framed for Herodotus 
This ode, his years were fifty-five. 

Philemon also the comedian and Alexis were snatched 
away by death, whilst they were acting on the stage and 
crowned with garlands. And as for Polus the tragedian, 
Eratosthenes and Philochorus related of him that, being 
seventy years of age, he a little before his death acted in 
four days eight tragedies. 

4. Is it not then a shame, that those who have grown 
old in councils and courts of judicature should appear less 
generous than such as have spent their years on the stage, 
and forsaking those exercises which are really sacred, cast 
off the person of the statesman, to put on instead of it I 
know not what other ] For to descend from the state of a 
prince to that of a ploughman is all over base and mean. 
For since Demosthenes says that the Paralus, being a 
sacred galley, was unworthily used in being employed to 
carry timber, pales, and cattle to Midias ; would not a man 
who should, after his having quitted the office of superin- 
tendent at the public solemnities, governor of Boeotia, 
or president in the council of the Amphictyons, be seen 
measuring of corn, weighing of raisins, and bargaining 
about fleeces and wool-fells, — would not such a one, I 
say, wholly seem to have brought on himself, as the prov- 
erb has it, the old age of a horse, without any one's neces- 
sitating him to it 1 For to set one's self to mechanical 
employments and trafficking, after one has borne office in 
the state, is the same as if one should strip a well-bred 
virtuous gentlewoman out of her matron-like attire, and 
thrust her with an apron tied about her into a public vic- 
tualling-house. For the dignity and greatness of political 
virtue is overthrown, when it is debased to such mean 


administrations and traffics for gain. But if (which is the 
only thing remaining) they shall, by giving effeminacies 
and voluptuousness the name of living at quiet and enjoy- 
ing one's self, exhort a statesman leisurely to waste away 
and grow old in them, I know not to which of the two 
shameful pictures his life will seem to have the greater 
resemblance, — whether to the mariners who, leaving their 
ship for the future not in the harbor but under sail, spend 
all their time in celebrating the feasts of Venus ; or to 
Hercules, whom some painters merrily but yet ridiculously 
represent wearing in Omphale's palace a yellow petticoat, 
and giving himself up to be boxed and combed by the 
Lydian damsels. So shall we, stripping a statesman of 
his lion's-skin, and seating him at a luxurious table, there 
be always cloying his palate with delicacies, and filling his 
ears with effeminate songs and music ; being not a whit 
put to the blush by the saying of Pompey the Great to 
Lucullus, who after his public services both in camp and 
council, addicted himself to bathing, feasting, conversing 
with women in the day, and much other dissoluteness, even 
to the raising and extravagantly furnishing of sumptuous 
buildings, and who, once upbraiding Pompey with an am- 
bition and desire of rule unsuitable to his age, was by him 
answered, that it was more misbecoming an old man to 
live voluptuously than to govern "? The same Pompey, 
when in his sickness his physican had prescribed him the 
eating of a thrush, which was then hard to be got, as 
being out of season, being told that Lucullus bred great 
store of such birds, would not send to him for one, but 
said : What ! Cannot Pompey live, unless Lucullus be 
luxurious 1 

5. For though Nature seeks by all means to delight and 
rejoice herself, yet the bodies of old men are incapacitated 
for all pleasures, except a few that are absolutely neces- 
sary. For not only 


Venus to old men is averse,* 

as Euripides has it ; but their appetite also to their meat 
and drink is for the most part dull, and as one would say, 
toothless ; so that they have but little gust and relish in 

They ought therefore to furnish themselves with pleas- 
ures of the mind, not ungenerous or illiberal, like those of 
Simonides, who said to those who reproached him with 
covetousness, that being by his years deprived of other 
pleasures, he recreated his old age with the only delight 
which remained, that of heaping up riches. But political 
life has in it pleasures exceeding great, and no less honor- 
able, being such as it is probable the very Gods do only 
or at least chiefly enjoy themselves in ; and these are the 
delights which proceed from doing good and performing 
what is honest and laudable. For if Nicias the painter 
took such pleasure in the work of his hands, that he often 
was fain to ask his servants whether he had washed or 
dined ; and if Archimedes was so intent upon the table in 
which he drew his geometrical figures, that his attendants 
were obliged by force to pluck him from it and strip him 
of his clothes that they might anoint him, whilst he in the 
mean time drew new schemes on his anointed body ; and 
if Canus the piper, whom you also know, was wont to say 
that men knew not how much more he delighted himself 
with his playing than he did others, for that then his hear- 
ers would rather demand of him than give him a reward ; 
do we not thence conceive how great pleasures the virtues 
afford to those who practise them, from their honest ac- 
tions and public-spirited works tending to the benefit of 
human society? They do not tickle or weaken, as do such 
sweet and gentle motions as are made on the flesh ; for 
these indeed have a furious and unconstant itching, mixed 
with a feverish inflammation ; whereas those which accom- 

* Eurip. Aeolus, Frag. 23. 


pany such gallant actions as he who rightly administers 
the state is worker of, not like the golden plumes of Euri- 
pides, but like those celestial wings of Plato, elevate the 
soul which has received a greatness of courage and wis- 
dom accompanied with joy. 

6. Call to mind a little, I entreat you, those things you 
have so often heard. For Epaminondas indeed, being 
asked what was the most pleasant thing that ever befell 
him, answered, his having gained the victory at Leuctra 
whilst his father and mother were yet living. And Sylla, 
when, having freed Italy from civil wars, he came to Rome, 
could not the first night fetch the least wink of sleep, 
having his soul transported with excessive joy and content, 
as with a strong and mighty wind ; and this he himself 
has written in his Commentaries. For be it indeed so, as 
Xenophon says, that there is no sound more pleasing than 
one's own praises ; yet there is no sight, remembrance, or 
consideration which gives a man so much satisfaction as 
the contemplation of his own actions, performed by him 
in offices of magistracy, and management of the state, in 
eminent and public places. 

It is moreover true, that the courteous thanks attending 
as a witness on such virtuous acts, and the emulous praise 
conferred on them, which is as a guide conducting us in 
the way of just benevolence, add a certain lustre and 
shining gloss to the joy of virtue. Neither ought a man 
negligently to suffer his glory to wither in his old age, like 
a wrestler's garland ; but, by adding always something new 
and fresh, he should awaken, meliorate, and confirm the 
grace of his former actions. For as those workmen on 
whom was incumbent the charge of keeping in repair the 
Delian ship, by supplying and putting into the place of 
the decayed planks and timber others that were new and 
sound, seem to have preserved it from ancient times, as if 
it were eternal and incorruptible ; so the preserving and 


upholding of one's glory is as the keeping in of a fire, a 
work of no difficulty, as requiring only to be supplied with 
a little fuel, but when either of them is wholly extinct and 
suppressed, one cannot without great labor rekindle it 
again. Lampis, the sea commander, being asked how he 
got his wealth, answered : " My greatest estate I gained 
easily enough, but the smaller slowly and with much labor." 
In like manner, it is not easy at the beginning to acquire 
reputation and power in the state ; but to augment and 
conserve it, when it is grown great, is not at all hard for 
those who have obtained it. For neither does a friend, 
when he is once had, require many and great services that 
he may so continue, but assiduity does by small signs pre- 
serve his good- will ; nor do the friendship and confidence 
of the people expect to have a man always bestowing lar- 
gesses, defending their causes, or executing of magistracy, 
but they are maintained by a readiness, and by not failing 
or being weary of carefulness and solicitude for the public. 
For even wars themselves have not alway conflicts, fights, 
and sieges ; but there sometimes intervene sacrifices and 
parleys, and abundance of leisure for sports and pastimes. 
Whence then comes it, that the administration of the com- 
monwealth should be feared as inconsolable, laborious, 
and unsupportable, where theatres, processions, largesses, 
music, joy, and at every turn the service and festival of 
some God or other, unbending the brows of every council 
and senate, yield a manifold pleasure and delight'? 

7. As for envy, which is the greatest evil attending the 
management of public aff'airs, it least attacks old age. For 
dogs indeed, as Heraclitus has it, bark at a stranger whom 
they do not know ; and envy opposes him who is a begin 
ner on the very steps of the tribune, hindering his access, 
but she meekly bears an accustomed and familiar glory, 
and not churlishly or difficultly. Wherefore some resemble 
envy to smoke ; for it arises thick at first, when the fire 


begins to burn ; but when the flame grows clear, it vanishes 
away. Now men usually quarrel and contend about other 
excellences, as virtue, nobility, and honor, as if they were 
of opinion that they took from themselves as much as they 
give to others ; but the precedency of time, which is prop- 
erly called by the Greeks IlQso^dov (or the honor of old 
age), is free from jealousy, and willingly granted by men 
to their companions. For to no honor is it so incident to 
grace the honorer more than the honored, as to that which 
is given to persons in years. Moreover, all men do not 
expect to gain themselves authority from wealth, eloquence, 
or wisdom ; but as for the reverence and glory to which 
old age brings men, there is not any one of those who act 
in the management of the state but hopes to attain it. 

He therefore who, having a long time contended against 
envy, shall when it ceases and is appeased withdraw him- 
self from the state, and together with public actions desert 
communities and societies, differs nothing from that pilot 
who, having kept his ship out at sea when in danger of 
being overwhelmed by contrary and tempestuous waves 
and winds, seeks to put into harbor as soon as ever the 
weather is grown calm and favorable. For the longer time 
there has been, the more friends and companions he has 
made ; all which he cannot carry out with him, as a 
singing-master does his choir, nor is it just to leave them. 
But as it is not easy to root up old trees, so neither is it to 
extirpate a long-continued practice in the management of 
the state, which having many roots is involved in a tangled 
mass of affairs, which create more troubles and vexations 
to those who retire from them than to those who continue 
in them. And if there is any remainder of envy and emu- 
lation against old men from former contentions about civil 
affairs, they should rather extinguish it by authority, than 
turn their backs on it and go away naked and disarmed. 
For envious persons do not so much assail those who con- 


tend against them, as they do by contempt insult over such 
as retire. 

8. And to this bears witness that saying of the great 
Epaminondas to the Thebans, when in the winter the Ar- 
cadians requested them to come into their city and dwell 
in their houses, — which he would not permit, but said to 
them : Now the Arcadians admire you, seeing you exercise 
yourselves, and wrestle in your armor ; but if they shall 
behold you sitting by the fire and pounding of beans, they 
will think you to differ nothing from themselves. So an 
old man speaking to the people, acting in the state, and 
honored, is a venerable spectacle ; but he who wastes away 
his days in his bed, or sits discoursing of trivial matters 
and wiping his nose in the corner of a gallery, easily ren- 
ders himself an object of contempt. And this indeed 
Homer himself teaches those who hear him aright. For 
Nestor, who fought before Troy, was highly venerated and 
esteemed ; whilst Peleus and Laertes, who stayed at home, 
were slighted and despised. For the habit of prudence 
does not continue the same in those who give themselves 
to their ease ; but by little and little diminishes and is 
dissolved by sloth, as always requiring some exercise of 
the thought to rouse up and purify the rational, active facul- 
ty of the soul. For, 

Like glittering brass, by being used it shines.* 

For the infirmity of the body does not so much incommode 
the administrations of those who, almost spent with age, 
go to the tribune or to the council of war, as they are 
advantageous by the caution and prudence which attend 
their years, and keep them from thrusting themselves pre- 
cipitately into affairs, abused partly by want of experience 
and partly by vain-glory, and hurrying the people along 
with them by violence, like a sea agitated by the winds ; 

* Sophocles, Frag. 779. 


causing them mildly and moderately to manage those with 
whom they have to do. 

Whence cities, when they are in adversity and fear, de- 
sire the government of grave and ancient personages ; and 
often having drawn out of his field some old man who had 
not so much as the least thought of it, have compelled 
him, though unwilling, to put his hand to the helm, and 
conduct the ship of the state into the haven of security, 
rejecting generals and orators, who not only knew how to 
speak loud and make long harangues without drawing 
their breath, but were able also valiantly to march forth 
and fight their enemies. So w^hen the orators one day at 
Athens, before Timotheus and Iphicrates uncovering 
Chares the son of Theochares, a vigorous and stout-bod- 
ied young man, said they were of opinion that the general 
of the Athenians ought to be such a one ; Not so, by all 
the Gods, answered Timotheus, but such a one he should 
be that is to carry the general's bedding ; but the general 
himself ought to be such a one as can at the same time see 
both forwards and backwards, and will suffer not his rea- 
sonings about things convenient to be disturbed by any 

Sophocles indeed said, he was glad that he was got free 
from the tyranny of wanton love, as being a furious and 
raging master ; but in the administrations of state, we are 
not to avoid this one only master, the love of women or 
boys, but many who are madder than he, such as obstina- 
cy in contending ambition, and a desire of being always 
the first and greatest, which is a disease most fruitful in 
bringing forth envy, jealousy, and conspiracies ; some of 
"w hich vices old age abates and dulls, while it wholly ex- 
tinguishes and cools the others, not so much detracting 
from the practical impulse of the mind, as repressing its 
impetuous and over-hot passions, that it may apply a sober 
and settled reasoning to its considerations about the manage- 
ment of affairs. 


9. Nevertheless let this speech of the poet, 

Lie still at ease, poor wretch, in thy own bed,* 

both be and seem to be spoken for the dissuading of him 
who shall, when he is now grown gray Avith age, begin to 
play the youth ; and for the restraining an old man who, 
rising from a long administration of his domestic affairs, 
as from a lingering disease, shall set himself to lead an 
army to the field, or perform the office of secretary of 

But altogether senseless, and nothing like to this, is he 
who will not suffer one that has spent his whole time in 
political administrations, and been thoroughly beaten to 
them, to go on to his funeral torch and the conclusion of 
his life, but shall call him back, and command him (as it 
were) to turn out of the long road he has been travelling 
in. He who, to draw off from his design an old fellow 
who is crowned and is perfuming himself to go a wooing, 
should say to him, as was heretofore said to Philoctetes, 

What virgin will her blooming maidenhead 

Bestow on such a wretch ? Why would'st thou wed ? 

would not be at all absurd, since even old men break 
many such jests upon themselves, and say, 

I, old fool, know, I for my neighbors wed ; 

but he who should think, that a man which has long co- 
habited and lived irreprehensibly with his wife ought, be- 
cause he is grown old, to dismiss her and live alone, or 
take a concubine in her place, would have attained the 
utmost excess of perverseness. So he would not act 
altogether unreasonably, that should admonish an old man 
who is making his first approaches to the people, whether 
he be such a one as Chlidon the farmer, or Lampon the mar- 
iner, or some old dreaming philosopher of the garden, and 

♦ Eurip. Creates, 268. 


advise him to continue in his accustomed unconcernedness 
for the public ; but he who, taking hold of Phocion, Cato, 
or Pericles, should say to him, My Athenian or Roman 
friend, who art come to thy withered old age, make a di- 
vorce, and henceforth quit the state ; and dismissing all 
conversations and cares about either council or camp, re- 
tire into the country, there with an old maid-servant look- 
ing after thy husbandry, or spending the remainder of thy 
time in managing thy domestic affairs and taking thy ac- 
counts, — would persuade a statesman to do things misbe- 
seeming him and unacceptable. 

10. What then ! may some one say ; do we not hear the 
soldier in the comedy affirming, 

Henceforth my gray hairs exempt me from wars ? 

Yes indeed, my friend, it is altogether so ; for it becomes 
the servants of Mars to be young and vigorous, as man- 

War, and war's toilsome works ; * 

in which, though an helmet may also hide the old man's 
gray hairs. 

Yet inwardly his limbs are all decayed, t 

and his strength falls short of his good-will. But from 
the ministers of Jupiter, the counsellor, orator, and patron 
of cities, we expect not the works of feet and hands, but 
those of counsel, providence, and reason, — not such as 
raises a noise and shouting amongst the people, but such as 
has it in understanding, prudent solicitousness, and safety ; 
by which the derided hoariness and wrinkles appear as 
witnesses of his experience, and add to him the help of 
persuasion, and the glory of ingenuity. For youth is 
made to follow and be persuaded, age to guide and direct ; 
and that city is most secure, where the counsels of the old 
and the prowess of the young bear sway. And this of 
Homer, % 

* n. vm. 463. t n. xix. i65. t d. n. 53. 


A council first of valiant old men 
He called in Nestor's ship, 

is wonderfully commended. Wherefore the Pythian Apollo 
called the aristocracy or council of noblemen in Lacedae- 
mon, joined as assistants to their kings, nQsa^vyeveTg (or the 
ancients), and Lycurgus named it plainly rsQovreg (or the 
council of old men) ; and even to this day the council of 
the Romans is called the senate (from senium, signifying 
old age). And as the law places the diadem and crown, 
so does Nature the hoariness of the head, as an honorable 
sign of princely dignity. And I am of opinion, that yf^ag 
(signifying an honorable reward) and yzQaiquv (signifying 
to honor) continue still in use amongst the Greeks, being 
made venerable from the respect paid to old men, not be- 
cause they wash in warm water and sleep on softer beds 
than others, but because they have as it were a king-like 
esteem in states for their prudence, from which, as from a 
late-bearing tree, Nature scarcely in old age brings forth 
its proper and perfect good. Therefore none of those 
martial and magnanimous Achaeans blamed that king of 
kings, Agamemnon, for praying thus to the Gods, 

O that among the Greeks I had but ten 
Such counsellors as Nestor ; * 

but they all granted, that not in policy only, but in war 
also, old age has great influence ; 

For one discreet advice is much more worth 
Than many hands, t 

and one rational and persuasive sentence effects the bravest 
and greatest of public exploits. 

11. Moreover, the regal dignity, which is the perfectest 
and greatest of all political governments, has exceeding 
many cares, labors, and difficulties ; insomuch that Seleucus 
is reported ever and anon to have said : If men knew how 
laborious are only the writing and reading of so many 

» n. n. 372. t Eurip. Antiope, Frag. 220. 


epistles, they would not so much as stoop to take up a 
diadem thrown on the ground. And Philip, when, being 
about to pitch his camp in a fair and commodious place, he 
was told that there was not there forage for his regiments, 
cried out : O Hercules, what a life is ours, if we must live 
for the conveniency of asses ! It is then time to persuade a 
king, when he is now grown into years, to lay aside his 
diadem and purple, and putting on a coarse coat, with a 
crook in his hand, to betake himself to a country life, lest 
he should seem to act superfluously and unseasonably by 
reigning in his old age. But if the very mentioning such 
a thing to an Agesilaus, a Numa, or a Darius would be an 
indignity ; let us not, because they are in years, either 
drive away Solon from the council of the Areopagus, or 
remove Cato out of the senate ; nor yet let us advise 
Pericles to abandon the democracy. For it is besides alto- 
gether unreasonable and absurd, that he who has in his 
youth leaped into the tribunal should, after he has dis- 
charged all his furious ambitions and impetuous passions 
on the public, when he is come to that maturity of years 
which by experience brings prudence, desert and abandon 
the commonwealth, having abused it as if it were a woman. 
12. Aesop's fox indeed would not permit the hedge-hog, 
who off"ered it, to take from him the ticks that fed upon 
his body. For, said he, if thou remov'st those that are full, 
other hungry ones will succeed them. So it is of necessity, 
that a commonwealth which is always casting off those 
who grow old must be replenished with young men, thirst- 
ing after glory and powder, and void of understanding in 
state affairs. For whence, I pray, should they have it, if 
they shall have been neither disciples nor spectators of any 
ancient statesman? For if treatises of navigation cannot 
make those skilful pilots who have not often in the stern 
been spectators of the conflicts against the waves, winds, 
and pitchy darkness of the night, 


When the poor trembling seaman longs to see 
Tlie safety-boding twins, Tyndaridae ; 

how should a raw young man take in hand the govern- 
ment of a city, and rightly advise both the senate and the 
people, having only read a book or written an exercise in 
the Lyceum concerning policy, though he has seldom or 
never stood by the reins or helm, when grave statesmen 
and old commanders have in debating alleged both their 
experiences and fortunes, whilst he was wavering on both 
sides, that so he might with dangers and transacting of 
affairs gain instruction 1 This is not to be said. But if it 
were for nothing else, yet ought an old man to manage in 
public affairs, that he may instruct and teach those who 
are young. For as those who teach children reading and 
music do, by pronouncing and by singing notes and tunes 
before them, lead and bring on their scholars ; so an old 
statesman, not by speaking and dictating exteriorly, but by 
acting and administering public affairs, directs and breeds 
up a young one, who is by his deeds joined with his words 
interiorly formed and fashioned. For he who is exercised 
after this manner, not amongst the disputes of nimble 
tongued sophisters, as in the wrestling-schools and anoint- 
ings, where there is not the least appearance of any danger, 
but really, and as it were in the Olympian and Pythian 
games, will tread in his teacher's steps, 

Like a young colt, which runs by th' horse's side, — 

as Simonides has it. Thus Aristides followed Clisthenes, 
Cimon Aristides, Phocion Chabrias, Cato Fabius Maxi- 
mus, Pompey Sylla, and Polybius Philopoemen ; for these, 
when they were young, joining themselves with their 
elders, and afterwards as it were flourishing and growing 
up by their administrations and actions, gained experience, 
and were inured to the management of public affairs with 
reputation and power. 

13 Aeschines therefore the Academic, being charged 


by certain sophisters that he pretended himself a disciple 
of Carneades when he was not so, said : I was then a 
hearer of Carneades, when his discourse, having dismissed 
contention and noise by reason of his old age, contracted 
itself to what was useful and fit to be communicated. Now 
an aged man's government being not only in words but in 
deeds far remote from all ostentation and vain-glory, — as 
they say of the bird ibis, that when she is grown old, 
having exhaled all her venomous and stinking savor, she 
sends forth a most sweet and aromatical one, — so in men 
grown into years, there is no opinion or counsel disturbed, 
but all grave and settled. Wherefore, even for the young 
men's sake, as has been said, ought an old man to act in 
the government of the state ; that, (as Plato said of wine 
allayed with water, that the furious God was made wise, 
being chastised by another who was sober) so the caution 
of old age, mixed among the people with the fervency of 
youth, transported by glory and ambition, may take off 
that which is furious and over-violent. 

14. But besides all this, they are under a mistake who 
think that, as sailing and going to the wars, so also acting 
in the state is done for a certain end, and ceases when that 
is obtained. For the managing of state affairs is not a 
ministry which has profit for its end ; but the life of gentle, 
civil, and sociable animals, framed by nature to live civilly, 
honestly, and for the benefit of mankind. Wherefore it is 
fit he should be such a one as that it may be said of him, 
he is employed in state affairs, and not he has been so em- 
ployed ; as also, that he is true, and not he has been true ; 
he acts justly, and not he has acted justly ; and that he 
loves his country and fellow-citizens, and not he has loved 
them. For to these things does Nature direct, and these 
voices does she sound to those who are not totally corrupted 
with sloth and effeminacy : 


Thy father has engendered thee a man, 
Worthy of much esteem with men : 

and again, 

Let us not cease to benefit mankind. 

15. Now as for those who pretend weakness and impo- 
tency, they accuse rather sickness and infirmity of body 
than old age ; for there are many young men sickly, and 
many old ones lusty ; so that we are not to remove from 
the administration of the state aged, but impotent persons ; 
nor call to it such as are young, but such as are able. For 
Aridaeus was young, and Antigonus old ; and yet the latter 
conquered in a manner all Asia, whereas the former, as if 
he had only been to make a dumb show with his guards 
upon a stage, was but the bare name of a king, a puppet 
always mocked by those who were in power. As therefore 
he would be a very fool that should think Prodicus the 
sophister and Philetas the poet — men indeed young, but 
withal weak, sickly, and almost always confined by their 
infirmity to their beds — fit to be concerned in the manage- 
ment of the state ; so he would be no less absurd that 
should hinder such vigorous old men as were Phocion, 
Masinissa the Libyan, and Cato the Roman, from govern- 
ing or leading forth of armies. For Phocion, when the 
Athenians were at an unseasonable time hurrying to war, 
made proclamation that all who were not above sixty years 
of age should take up arms and follow him ; and when 
they were off"ended at it, he said. There is no hardship put 
upon you, for I, who am above fourscore years old, will be 
your general. And Polybius relates, that Masinissa, dying 
at the age of ninety years, left behind him a young son of 
his own begetting, not above four years old ; and that, 
having a little before been in a great fight, he was the next 
day seen at the door of his tent eating a dirty piece of 
bread, and that he said to those who wondered at it, that 
he did this. . . . 


For brass by use and wear its gleam displays, 
But every house untenanted decays ; * 

as Sophocles has it ; we all say the same of that light and 
lustre of the soul, by which we reason, remember, and 

16. Wherefore also they say, that kings become better 
in wars and military expeditions than when they live at 
ease. Attains therefore, the brother of Eumenes, being 
enervated with long idleness and peace, was with little 
skill managed by Philopoemen, one of his favorites, who 
fattened him like a hog in the sty ; so that the Romans 
were wont in derision to ask those who came out of Asia, 
whether the king had any power with Philopoemen. Now 
one cannot find amongst the Romans many stouter generals 
than Lucullus, as long as he applied his mind to action ; 
but when he gave himself up to an unactive life, to a con- 
tinuing lazily at home, and an unconcernedness for the 
public, being dulled and mortified, like sponges in calm 
weather, and then delivering his old age to be dieted and 
ordered by Callisthenes one of his freedmen, he seemed 
bewitched by him with philters and other incantations ; till 
such time as his brother Marcus, having driven away this 
fellow, did himself govern and conduct the remainder of 
his life, which was not very long. But Darius, father of 
Xerxes, said, that by difficulties he grew wiser than him- 
self. And the Scythian Ateas affirmed, that he thought 
there was no difference between himself and his horse- 
keepers, when he was idle. And Dionysius the Elder, 
when one asked him whether he was at leisure, answered. 
May that never befall me. For a bow, they say, will 
break, if over-bent ; and a soul, if too much slackened. 
For even musicians, if they over-long omit to hear accords, 
geometricians, if they leave off demonstrating their propo- 
sitions, and arithmeticians, if they discontinue their casting 

* Sophocles, Frag. 779. 


up of accounts, do, together with the actions, impair by 
their progress in age the habits, though they are not 
practical but speculative arts ; but the habit of statesmen 
— being wise counsel, discretion, and justice, and besides 
these, experience which seizes upon the right opportunities 
and words, the very faculty which works persuasion — is 
maintained by frequent speaking, acting, reasoning, and 
judging. And a hard thing it would be, if by avoiding to 
do these things it should suffer such and so great virtues 
to run out of the soul. For it is probable also that hu- 
manity, friendly society, and beneficence will then also 
decay, of which there ought to be no end or limit. 

17. If then you had Tithonus to your father, who was 
indeed immortal, but yet by reason of his old age stood 
perpetually in need of much attendance, I do think you 
would shun or be weary of looking to him, discoursing 
with him, and helping him, as having a long time done 
him service. Now our fatherland (or, as the Cretans call 
it, our motherland)^ being older and having greater rights 
than our parents, is indeed long lasting, yet neither free 
from the inconveniences of old age nor self-sufficient ; but 
standing always in need of a serious regard, succor, and 
vigilance, she pulls to her and takes hold of a statesman, 

And with strong hand restrains him, who would go.* 

And you indeed know that I have these many Pythiads 
served the Pythian Apollo ; but yet you would not say to 
me : Thou hast sufficiently, O Plutarch, sacrificed, gone in 
procession, and led dances in honor of the Gods ; it is now 
time that, being in years, thou shouldst in favor of thy 
old age lay aside the garland and leave the oracle. There- 
fore neither do you think that you, who are the chief priest 
and interpreter of religious ceremonies in the state, may 

* n. XVI. 9. 


leave the service of Jupiter, the protector of cities and 
governor of assemblies, for the performance of which you 
were long since consecrated. 

18. But leaving, if you please, this discourse about 
withdrawing old men from performing their duties to the 
state, let us make it a little the subject of our considera- 
tion and philosophy, how we may enjoin them no exercise 
unfitting or grievous to their years, the administration of a 
commonwealth having many parts beseeming and suitable 
for such persons. For as, if we were obliged to persevere 
in the practice of singing to the end of our days, it would 
behoove us, being now grown old, of the many tones and 
tensions there are of the voice, which the musicians call 
harmonies, not to aim at the highest and shrillest, but to 
make choice of that in which thei'e is an easiness joined 
with a decent suitableness ; so, since it is more natural for 
men to act and speak even to the end of their lives, than 
for swans to sing, we must not reject action, like a harp 
that is set too high, but rather let it a little down, accom- 
modating it to such employs in the state as are easy, 
moderate, and fitting for men in years. For neither do we 
suffer our bodies to be altogether motionless and unexer- 
cised because we cannot any longer make use of spades 
and plummets, nor yet throw quoifs or skirmish in armor, 
as we have formerly done ; but some of us do by swinging 
and walking, others by playing gently at ball, and some 
again by discoursing, stir up our spirits and revive our 
natural heat. Therefore neither let us permit ourselves to 
be wholly chilled and frozen by idleness, nor yet on the 
contrary let us, by burthening ourselves with every office 
or intermeddling with every public business, force on old 
age, convinced of its disability, to break forth into these 
exclamations : 

The spear to brandish, thou, right hand, art bent ; 
But weak old age opposes thy intent. 


Since even that man is not commended who, in the vigor 
and strength of his years, imposing all public affairs in 
general on himself, and unwilling to leave any thing for 
another (as the Stoics say of Jupiter), thrusts himself into 
all employs, and intermeddles in every business, through 
an insatiable desire of glory, or through envy against those 
who are in some measure partakers of honor and authority 
in the state. But to an old man, though you should free 
him from the infamy, yet painful and miserable would be 
an ambition always laying wait at every election of magis- 
trates, a curiosity attending for every opportunity of judi- 
cature or assembling in counsel, and a humor of vain-glory 
catching at every embassy and patronage. For the doing 
of these things, even with the favor and good liking of 
every one, is too heavy for that age. And yet the contrary 
to this happens ; for they are hated by the young men, as 
leaving them no occasions of action, nor suffering them to 
put themselves forth ; and their ambitious desire of primacy 
and rule is no less odious to others than the covetousness 
and voluptuousness of other old men. 

19. Therefore, as Alexander, unwilling to tire his Buce- 
phalus when he now began to grow old, did before the 
fight ride on other horses, to view his army and draw it up 
for battle, and then, after the signal was given, mounting 
this, marched forth and charged the enemy ; so a statesman, 
if he is wise, moderating himself when he finds years 
coming on, will abstain from intermeddling in unnecessary 
affairs, and suffering the state to make use of younger 
persons in smaller matters, will readily exercise himself in 
such as are of great importance. For champions indeed 
keep their bodies untouched and unemployed in necessary 
matters, that they may be in a readiness for unprofitable 
engagements ; but let us on the contrary, letting pass what 
is little and frivolous, carefully preserve ourselves for 
worthy and gallant actions. For all things perhaps, as 


Homer says, equally become a young man ; * all men now 
esteem and love him ; so that for undertaking frequently 
little and many businesses, they say he is laborious and a 
good commonwealths-man ; and for enterprising none but 
splendid and noble actions, they style him generous and 
magnanimous ; nay, there are also some occurrences when 
even contention and rashness have a certain seasonableness 
and grace, becoming such men. But an old man's under- 
taking in a state such servile employs as the farming out 
of the customs, and the looking after the havens and mar- 
ket-place, or else his running on embassies and journeys 
to princes and potentates when there are no necessary or 
honorable affairs to be treated of, but only compliments 
and a maintaining of correspondence, — such management, 
dear friend, seems to me a thing miserable and not to be 
imitated, but to others, perhaps, odious and intolerable. 

20. For it is not even seasonable for such men to be 
employed in magistracies, unless it be such as bear some- 
what of grandeur and dignity ; such is the presidency in 
the council of Areopagus, which you now exercise, and 
such also, by Jove, is the excellency of the Amphictyonic 
office, which your country has conferred on you for your 
life, having an easy labor and pleasant pains. And yet old 
men ought not ambitiously to affect even these honors, but 
accept them with refusal, not seeking but being sought ; ' 
nor as taking government on themselves, but bestowing 
themselves on government. For it is not, as Tiberius 
Caesar said, a shame for those that are above threescore 
years old to reach forth their hands to the physician ; but 
it far more misbeseems them to hold up their hands to the 
people, to beg their votes or suffrages for the obtaining 
offices ; for this is ungenerous and mean, whereas the con- 
trary has a certain majesty and comeliness, when, his 
country choosing, inviting, and expecting him, he comea 

* 11. XXII. 71. 


down with honor and courtesy to welcome and receive the 
present, tiTily befitting his old age and acceptance. 

21. After the same manner also ought he that is grown 
old to use his speech in assemblies, not ever and anon 
climbing up to the desk to make harangues, nor always, 
like a cock, crowing against those that speak, nor letting 
go the reins of the young men's respect to him by contend- 
ing against them and provoking them, nor breeding in them 
a desire and custom of disobedience and unwillingness to 
hear him ; but he should sometimes pass them by, and let 
them strut and brave it against his opinion, neither being 
present nor concerning himself much at it, as long as there 
is no great danger to the public safety nor any offence 
against what is honest and decent. But in such cases, on 
the contrary, he ought, though nobody call him, to run 
beyond his strength, or to deliver himself to be led or car- 
ried in a chair, as historians report of Appius Claudius in 
Rome. For he having understood that the senate, after 
their army had been in a great fight worsted by Pyrrhus, 
were debating about receiving proposals of peace and alli- 
ance, could not bear it, but, although he had lost both his 
eyes, caused himself to be carried through the common 
place straight to the senate house, where entering among 
them and standing in the midst, he said, that he had for- 
merly indeed been troubled at his being deprived of his 
sight, but that he now wished he had also lost his ears, 
rather than to have heard that the Roman senators were 
consulting and acting things so ungenerous and dishonor- 
able. And then partly reprehending, and partly teaching 
and exalting them, he persuaded them to betake them- 
selves presently to their arms, and fight with Pyrrhus for 
the dominion of Italy. And Solon, when the popularity 
of Pisistratus was discovered to be only a plot for the ob- 
taining of a tyranny, none daring to oppose or impeach it, 
did himself bring forth his arms, and setting them before 


the doors of his house, called out to the people to assist 
him ; and when Pisistratus sent to ask him what gave him 
the confidence to act in that manner, " My old age," an- 
swered he. 

22. For matters that are so necessary as these inflame 
and rouse up old men who are in a manner extinct, so that 
they have but any breath yet left them ; but in other occur- 
rences, an old man, as has been said, should be careful to 
avoid mean and servile offices, and such in which the trou- 
ble to those who manage them exceeds the advantage and 
profit for which they are done. Sometimes by expecting 
also till the citizens call and desire and fetch him out of 
house, he is thought more worthy of credit by those who 
request him. And even when he is present, let him for 
the most part silently permit the younger men to speak, as 
if he were an arbitrator, judging to whom the reward and 
honor of this their debate about public matters ought to be 
given ; but if any thing should exceed a due mediocrity, 
let him mildly reprehend it, and with sweetness cut off all 
obstinate contentions, all injurious and choleric expres- 
sions, directing and teaching without reproof him that errs 
in his opinions, boldly praising him that is in the right, 
and often willingly suffering himself to be overcome, per- 
suaded, and brought to their side, that he may hearten and 
encourage them ; and sometimes with commendations sup- 
plying what has been omitted, not unlike to Nestor, whom 
Homer makes to speak in this manner : 

There is no Greek can contradict or mend 
What you have said ; yet to no perfect end 
Is your speech brought. No wonder, for't appears 
You're young, and may my son be for your years.* 

23. And it were yet more civil and politic, not only in 
reprehending them openly and in the face of the people, 
to forbear that sharpness of speech which exceedingly 

* II. IX. 55. 


dashes a young man and puts him out of countenance, but 
rather, wholly abstaining from all such public reproofs, 
privately to instruct such as have a good genius for the 
managing of state affairs, drawing them on by setting 
gently before them useful counsels and political precepts, 
inciting them to commendable actions, enlightening their 
understanding, and showing them, as those do who teach 
to ride, how at their beginning to render the people tract- 
able and mild, and if any young man chances to fall, not 
to suffer him to lie gasping and panting on the ground, but 
to help him up and comfort him, as Aristides dealt by 
Cimon, and Mnesiphilus by Themistocles ; whom they 
raised up and encouraged, though at first they were harshly 
received and ill spoken of in the city, as audacious and 
intemperate. It is said also, that Demosthenes being re- 
jected by the people and taking it to heart, there came to 
him a certain old man, who had in former years been an 
hearer of Pericles, and told him, that he naturally resem- 
bled that great man, and did unjustly cast down himself. 
In like manner Euripides exhorted Timotheus, when he 
was hissed at for introducing of novelty, and thought to 
transgress against the law of music, to be of good courage, 
for that he should in a short time have all the theatres 
subject to him. 

24. In brief, as in Rome the Vestal virgins have their 
time divided into three parts, in one of which they are to 
learn what belong to the ceremonies of their religion, in 
the second to execute what they have learned, and in the 
third to teach the younger ; and as in like manner they 
call every one of those who are consecrated to the service 
of Diana in Ephesus, first Mell-hiere (one that is to be a 
priestess), then Hiere (priestess), and thirdly Par-hiere (or 
one that has been a priestess), so he that is a perfect states- 
man is at first a learner in the management of public affairs, 
then a practitioner, and at last a teacher and instructor in 


the mysteries of government. For in leed he who is to 
oversee others that are performing their exercise or fight- 
ing for prizes cannot judge at the same exercise and fight 
himself. Thus he who instructs a young man in public 
affairs and negotiations of the state, and prepares him 

Both to speak well and act heroicly * 

for the service of his country, is in no small or mean de- 
gree useful to the commonwealth, but in that at which 
Lycurgus chiefly and principally aimed himself, when he 
accustomed young men to persist in obedience to every 
one that was elder, as if he were a lawgiver. For to 
what, think you, had Lysander respect, when he said that 
in Lacedaemon men most honorably grew old ? Was it 
because old men could most honorably grow old there en- 
joying idleness, putting out money to use, sitting together 
at tables, and after their game taking a cheerful cup 1 You 
will not, I believe, say any such thing. But it was be- 
cause all such men, being after some sort in the place of 
magistrates, fatherly governors, or tutors of youth, inspect- 
ed not only the public affairs, but also made inquiry — and 
that not slightly — into every action of the younger men, 
both as concerning their exercises, recreations, and diet, 
being terrible indeed to offenders, but venerable and desir- 
able to the good. For young men indeed always venerate 
and follow those who increase and cherish the neatness 
and generosity of their disposition without any envy. 

25. For this vice, though beseeming no age, is never- 
theless in young men veiled with specious names, being 
styled emulation, zeal, and desire of honor ; but in old 
men, it is altogether unseasonable, savage, and unmanly. 
Therefore a statesman that is in years must be very far 
from being envious, and not act like those old trees and 
stocks which, as with a certain charm, manifestly with- 

* n. IX. 443. 


draw the nutritive juice from such young plants as grow 
near them or spring up under them, and hinder their 
growth ; but he should kindly admit and even offer him- 
self to those that apply themselves to him and seek to con- 
verse with him, directing, leading, and educating them, 
not only by good instructions and counsels, but also by 
affording them the means of administering such public 
affairs as may bring them honor and repute, and executing 
such unprejudicial commissions as will be pleasing and 
acceptable to the multitude. But for such things as, being 
untoward and difficult, do like medicines at first gripe and 
molest, but afterwards yield honor and profit, — upon these 
things he ought not to put young men, nor expose those 
who are inexperienced to the mutinous clamors of the rude 
and ill-natured multitude, but he should rather take the 
odium upon himself for such things as (though harsh and 
unpleasing) may yet prove beneficial to the commonwealth ; 
for this will render the young men both more affectionate 
to him, and more cheerful in the undertaking other ser- 

26. But besides all this, we are to keep in mind, that to 
be a statesman is not only to bear offices, go on embassies, 
talk loud in public meetings, and thunder on the tribune, 
speaking and writing such things in which the vulgar 
think the art of government to consist ; as they also think 
that those only philosophize who dispute from a chair and 
spend their leisure time in books, while the policy and 
philosophy which is continually exercised in works and con- 
spicuous in actions is nowise known to them. For they 
say, as Dicaearchus affirmed, that they who fetch turns to 
and fro in galleries walk, but not they who go into the 
country or to visit a friend. But the being a statesman is 
like the being a philosopher. Wherefore Socrates did 
philosophize, not only when he neither placed benches nor 
seated himself in his chair, nor kept the hour of confer- 


ence and walking appointed for his disciples, but also 
when, as it happened, he played, drank, went to war with 
some, bargained, finally, even when he was imprisoned 
and drank the poison ; having first shown that man's life 
does at all times, in every part, and universally in all pas- 
sions and actions, admit of philosophy. The same also 
we are to understand of civil government, to wit, that fools 
do not administer the state, even when they lead forth 
armies, write dispatches and edicts, or make speeches to 
the people ; but that they either endeavor to insinuate 
themselves into the favor of the vulgar and become popu- 
lar, seek applause by their harangues, raise seditions and 
disturbances, or at the best perform some service, as com- 
pelled by necessity. But he that seeks the public good, 
loves his country and fellow-citizens, has a serious regard 
to the welfare of the state, and is a true commonwealths- 
man, such a one, though he never puts on the military 
garment or senatorial robe, is yet always employed in the 
administration of the state, by inciting to action those who 
are able, guiding and instructing those that want it, assist- 
ing and advising those that ask counsel, deterring and 
reclaiming those that are ill-given, and confirming and 
encouraging those that are well-minded ; so that it is man- 
ifest, he does not for fashion's sake apply himself to the 
public affairs, nor go then to the theatre or council when 
there is any haste or when he is sent for by name, that he 
may have the first place there, being otherwise present 
only for his recreation, as when he goes to some show or 
a concert of music ; but on the contrary, though absent in 
body, yet is he present in mind, and being informed of 
what is done, approves some things and disapproves 

27. For neither did Aristides amongst the Athenians, 
nor Cato amongst the Romans often execute the office of 
magistrate ; and yet both the one and the other employed 


their whole lives perpetually in the service of their coun- 
try. And Epaminondas indeed, being general, performed 
many and great actions ; but yet there is related an exploit 
of his, not inferior to any of them, performed about 
Thessaly when he had neither command in the army noi 
office in the state. For, when the commanders, having 
through inadvertency drawn a squadron into a difficult 
and disadvantageous ground, were in amaze, for that the 
enemies pressed hard upon them, galling them with their 
arrows, he, being called up from amongst the heavy- 
armed foot, first by his encouraging them dissipated the 
trouble and fright of the army, and then, having ranged 
and brought into order that squadron whose ranks had 
been broken, he easily disengaged them out of those straits, 
and placed them in front against their enemies, who, there- 
upon changing their resolutions, marched off. Also when 
Agis, king of Sparta, was leading on his army, already put 
in good order for fight, against the enemies, a certain old 
Spartan called out aloud to him, and said, that he thought 
to cure one evil by another ; meaning that he was desirous 
the present unseasonable promptness to fight should salve 
the disgrace of their over-hasty departure from before Ar- 
gos, as Thucydides says. Now Agis, hearing him, took 
his advice, and at that present retreated ; but afterwards 
got the victory. And there was every day a chair set for 
him before the doors of the government house, and the 
Ephori, often rising from their consistory and going to 
him, asked his advice and consulted him about the great- 
est and most important affairs ; for he was esteemed very 
prudent, and is recorded to have been a man of great 
sense. And therefore, having now wholly exhausted the 
strength of his body, and being for the most part tied to 
his bed, when the Ephori sent for him to the common hall 
of the city, he strove to get up and go to them ; but walk- 
ing heavily and with great difficulty, and meeting by the 


way certain boys, he asked them whether they knew any 
thing stronger than the necessity of obeying their master ; 
and they answering him that inabiUty was of greater force, 
he, supposing that this ought to be the limit of his service, 
turned back again homewards. For a readiness and good 
will to serve the public ought not to fail, whilst ability 
lasts ; but when that is once gone, it is no longer to be 
forced. And indeed Scipio, both in war and peace, al- 
ways used Cains Laelius for a counsellor ; insomuch that 
some said, Scipio was the actor of those noble exploits, 
and Cains the poet or author. And Cicero himself con- 
fessed, that the honorablest and greatest of his counsels, 
by the right performance of which he in his consulship 
preserved his country, were concerted with Publius Nigi 
dins the philosopher. 

28. Thus is there nothing that in any manner of gov 
ernment hinders old men from helping the public by the 
best things, to wit, by their reason, sentences, freedom of 
speech, and solicitous care, as the poets term it. For not 
only our hands, feet, and corporeal strength are the pos- 
session and share of the commonwealth ; but chiefly our 
soul, and the beauties of our soul, justice, temperance, 
and prudence ; which receiving their perfection late and 
slowly, it were absurd that men should remain in charge of 
house and land and other wealth, and yet not be benefi- 
cial to their common country and fellow-citizens by reason 
of their age, which does not so much detract from their 
ministerial abilities as it adds to their directive and politi- 
cal. And this is the reason why they portrayed the Mer- 
curies of old without hands and feet, but having their 
natural parts stifl", enigmatically representing that there is 
no great need of old men's corporeal services, if they have 
but their reason (as is convenient) active and fruitful. 


1. If ever, O Menemachus, that saying of Nestor's in 

There is no Greek can contradict or mend 
What you have said, yet to no perfect end 
Is your speech brought,* 

might pertinently be made use of and applied, it is against 
those exhorting, but nothing teaching nor any way in- 
structing, philosophers. For they do (in this respect) 
resemble those who are indeed careful in snuffing the 
lamps, but negligent in supplying them with oil. See- 
ing therefore that you, being by reason moved to engage 
yourself in the affairs of the state, desire, as becomes the 
nobility of your family, 

Both to speak and act heroicly t 

in the service of your country, and that, not having at- 
tained to such maturity of age as to have observed the life 
of a wise and philosophical man openly spent in the trans- 
actions of the state and public debates, and to have been 
a spectator of worthy examples represented not in word 
but in deed, you request me to lay you down some politi- 
cal precepts and instructions ; I think it no ways becoming 
me to give you a denial, but heartily wish that the work 
may be worthy both of your zeal and my forwardness. 
Now I have, according to your request, made use in this 
my discourse of sundry and various examples. 

* n. IX. 55. t n. IX. 443. 

TOL. T. 7 


2. First then for the administration of state affairs, let 
there be laid, as a firm and solid foundation, an intention 
and purpose, having for its principles judgment and 
reason, and not any impulse from vain-glory, emulation, 
or want of other employment. For as those who have 
nothing grateful to them at home frequently spend their 
time in the forum, though they have no occasion that re- 
quires it ; so some men, because they have no business of 
their own worth employing themselves in, thrust them- 
selves into public affairs, using policy as a divertisement. 
Many also, having been by chance engaged in the negotia- 
tions of the commonweal, and being cloyed with them, 
cannot } et easily quit them ; in which they suffer the same 
with those who, going on board a ship that they may be 
there a little tossed, and being after carried away into the 
deep, send forth many a long look towards the shore, being 
sea-sick and giddy-headed, and yet necessitated to stay and 
accommodate themselves to thek present fortune. 

Past is the lovely pleasure 
They took, when th' sea was calm and weather bright, 
In walking at their leisure 
On the ship's deck, 
Whilst her sharp beak 
With merry gale, 
And full blown sail, 
Did through the surging billows cut its course aright. 

And these do most of all discredit the matter by their 
repenting and being discontented, when either hoping for 
glory they fall into disgrace, or expecting to become formi- 
dable to others by their power they are engaged in affairs 
full of dangers and troubles. But he who on a well 
grounded principle of reason undertakes to act in the 
public, as an employ very honorable and most beseeming 
him, is dismayed by none of these things ; nor does he 
therefore change his opinion. For we must not come to 
the management of the commonweal on a design of 
gaining and growing rich by it, as Stratocles and Dromo 


elides exhorted one another to the golden harvest, — so 
in mirth terming the tribunal, or place of making harangues 
to the people, — nor yet as seized with some sudden fit of 
passion, as did heretofore Caius Gracchus, who having, 
whilst his brothers' misfortunes were hot, withdrawn him- 
self to a retired life most remote from public affairs, did 
afterwards, inflamed by indignation at the injuries and 
afli'onts put on him by some persons, thrust himself into 
the state, where being soon filled with afl"airs and glory, 
when he sought to desist and desired change and repose, 
he could not (so great was it grown) find how to lay down 
his authority, but perished with it. And as for those who 
through emulation frame themselves for the public as 
actors for the stage, they must needs repent of their 
design, finding themselves under a necessity of either serv- 
ing those whom they think themselves worthy to govern, 
or disobliging those whom they desire to please. Now I 
am of opinion, that those who by chance and without fore- 
sight stumble upon policy, falling as it were into a pit, 
connot but be troubled and repent ; whereas they that go 
leisurely into it, with preparation and a good resolution, 
comfort themselves moderately in all occurrences, as having 
no other end of their actions but the discharging of their 
duty with honor. 

3. Now they that have thus grounded their choice with- 
in themselves, and rendered it immovable and difficult to be 
changed, must set themselves to contemplate that disposi- 
tion of the citizens which, being compounded (as it were) 
of all their natures, appears most prevalent among them. 
For the endeavoring presently to form the manners and 
change the nature of a people is neither easy nor safe, but 
a work requiring much time and great authority. But as 
wine in the beginning is overcome by the nature of the 
drinker, but afterwards, gently warming him and mixing 
itself in his veins, assimilates and changes him who drinks 


it into its own likeness, so must a statesman, till he has by 
his reputation and credit obtained a leading power amongst 
the people, accommodate himself to the dispositions of the 
subjects, knowing how to consider and conjecture those 
things with which the people are naturally delighted and 
by which they are usually drawn. The Athenians, to wit, 
are easily moved to anger, and not difficultly changed to 
mercy, more willing to suspect quickly than to be informed 
by leisure ; and as they are readier to help mean and in- 
considerable persons, so do they embrace and esteem face- 
tious and merry speeches ; they are exceedingly delighted 
with those that praise them, and very little offended with 
such as jeer them ; they are terrible even to their gov- 
ernors, and yet courteous to their very enemies. Far other 
is the disposition of the Carthaginians, severe, rigid, obse- 
quious to their rulers, harsh to their subjects, most abject 
in their fear, most cruel in their anger, firm in their resolu- 
tions, untractable, and hard to be moved by sportive and 
pleasant discourse. Should Cleon have requested them to 
defer their assembly, because he had sacrificed to the Gods 
and was to feast certain strangers, they would not have 
risen up, laughing and clapping their hands for joy ; nor, 
if Alcibiades, as he was making an harangue to them, had 
let slip a quail from under his cloak, would they have 
striven who should catch her and restore her to him again, 
but would rather have killed them both on the place, as 
contemning and deriding them ; since they banished Hanno 
for making use of a lion to carry his baggage to the army, 
accusing him of affecting tyranny. Neither do I think, 
that the Thebans, if they had been made masters of their 
enemies' letters, would have foreborne looking into them, as 
did the Athenians, when, having taken the messengers of 
Philip who were carrying a letter superscribed to Olym- 
pias, they would not so much as open it, or discover the 
conjugal secrets of an absent husband, written to his wife. 


Nor yet do I believe that the Athenians on the other side 
would have patiently suffered the haughtiness and disdain 
of Epaminondas, when, refusing to answer an accusation 
brought against him, he rose up from the theatre, and 
went away through the midst of the assembly to the place 
of public exercises. And much less am I of opinion that 
the Spartans would have endured the contumely and scur- 
rility of Stratocles, who persuaded the people to offer 
sacrifices of thanksgiving to the Gods, as having obtained 
the victory, and afterwards, when, being truly informed of 
the loss they had received, they were angry with him, asked 
them what injury they had sustained in having through 
his means spent three days merrily. 

Courtly flatterers indeed, like to quail-catchers, by imi- 
tating the voices and assimilating themselves to the man- 
ners of kings, chiefly insinuate into their favors and entrap 
them by deceit ; but it is not convenient for a statesman to 
imitate the people's manners, but to know them, and make 
use of those things toward every person by which he is 
most likely to be taken. For the ignorance of men's 
humoj-s brings no less disorders and obstacles in common- 
weals than in the friendships of kings. 

4. When therefore you shall have already gotten power 
and authority amongst the people, then must you endeavor 
to reform their disposition, treating them gently, and by 
little and little drawing them to what is better. For the 
changino; of a multitude is a difficult and laborious work. 
But as for your own manners and behavior, so compose 
and adorn them, as knowing that you are henceforth to 
lead your life on an open stage ; and if it is no easy task 
for you wholly to extirpate vice out of your soul, at least 
take away and retrench those offences which are most 
notorious and apparent. For you cannot but have heard 
how Themistocles, when he designed to enter upon the 
management of public affairs, withdrew himself from drink- 


ing and revelling, and fell to watching, fasting, and study- 
ing, saying to his intimate friends, that Miltiades's trophy 
suffered him not to sleep. And Pericles also so changed 
himself, both as to the comportment of his body and his 
manner of living, that he walked gravely, discoursed affa- 
bly, always showed a staid and settled countenance, con- 
tinually kept his hand under his robe, and went only that 
way which led to the assembly and the senate. For a 
multitude is not so tractable as that it should be easy for 
every one to take it with safety, but it is a service much to 
be valued, if, being like a suspicious and skittish beast, it 
can be so managed that, without being frighted either by 
sight or voice, it will submit to receive instruction. 

These things therefore are not slightly to be observed ; 
nor are we to neglect taking such care of our own life and 
manners that they may be clear from all stain and repre- 
hension. For statesmen are not only liable to give an 
account of what they say or do in public ; but there is a 
busy enquiry made into their very meals, beds, marriages, 
and every either sportive or serious action. For what need 
we speak of Alcibiades, who, being of all men the most 
active in public affairs, and withal an invincible com- 
mander, perished by his irregularity in living and his 
audaciousness, and who by his luxury and prodigality ren- 
dered the state unbenefited by all his other good qualities ? 
— since the Athenians blamed Cimon's wine ; the Komans, 
having nothing else to cavil at, found f\iult with Scipio's 
sleeping ; and the enemies of Pompe) the Great, having 
observed that he scratched his head with one finger, up- 
braided him with it. For as a freckle or wart in the face 
is more prejudicial than stains, maims, and scars in the 
rest of the body ; so little faults, discerned in the lives of 
princes and statesmen, appear great, through an opinion 
most men have conceived of government and policy, which 
they look on as a great and excellent thing, and such as 


ought to be pure from all absurdity and imperfection. 
Therefore not unjustly is Livius Drusus commended, who, 
when several parts of his house lay open to the view of 
his neighbors, being told by a certain workman that he 
would for the expense only of five talents alter and remedy 
that fault, said : I will give thee indeed ten, to make my 
whole house so transparent that all the city may see how I 
live. For he was a temperate and modest man. And yet 
perhaps he had no need of this perspicuity ; for many per- 
sons pry into those manners, counsels, actions, and lives of 
statesmen which seem to be most deeply concealed, no less 
loving and admiring one, and hating and despising another, 
for their private than for their public transactions. What 
then ! perhaps you may say : Do not cities make use also of 
such men as live dissolutely and effeminately'? True ; for as 
women with child frequently long for stones and chalk, as 
those that are stomach-sick do for salt-fish and such other 
meats, which a little after they spit out again and reject ; so 
also the people sometimes through wantonness and petu- 
lancy, and sometimes for want of better guides, make use of 
those that come first to hand, though at the same time de- 
testing and contemning them, and after rejoice at such 
things spoken against them as the comedian Plato makes 
the people themselves to say : 

Quick, take me by the hand, and hold me fast. 
Or I'll Agyrrius captain choose in haste. 

And again he brings them in, calling for a basin and feathei 
that they may vomit, and saying, 

A chamber-pot by my tribunal stands. 

And a little after, 

It feeds a stinking pest, foul Cephalus. 

And the Koman people, when Carbo promised them some- 
thing, and (to confirm it) added an oath and execration, 


"unanimously swore on the contrary that they would not be- 
lieve him. And in Lacedaemon, when a certain dissolute 
man named Demosthenes had delivered a very convenient 
opinion, the people rejected it ; but the Ephori, who ap- 
proved of his advice, having chosen by lot one of the 
ancient senators, commanded him to repeat the same dis- 
course, pouring it (as it were) out of a filthy vessel into a 
clean one, that it might be acceptable to the multitude. 
Of so great moment either way in political affairs is the 
belief conceived of a person's disposition and manners. 

5. Yet are we not therefore so to lay the whole stress on 
virtue, as utterly to neglect all gracefulness and efficacy 
of speech ; but esteeming rhetoric, though not the worker, 
yet a coadjutor and forwarder of persuasion, we should 
correct that saying of Menander, 

The speaker's manners, not his speech, persuade. 

For both manners and language ought to concur, unless 
any one forsooth shall say that — as it is the pilot who 
steers the ship, and not the rudder, and the rider that turns 
the horse, and not the bridle — so political virtue, using 
not eloquence but manners as an helm and bridle, per- 
suades and guides a city, which is (to speak with Plato) an 
animal most easy to be turned, managing and directing 
it (as it were) from the poop. For since those great and 
(as Homer calls them) Jove-begotten kings, setting them- 
selves out with their purple, sceptres, guards, and the very 
oracles of the Gods, and subjecting to them by their maj- 
esty the multitude, as if they were of a better nature and 
more excellent mould than other men, desired also to be 
eloquent orators, and neglected neither the gracefulness of 

Nor public meeting, that more perfect they 
Might be for feats of war,* 

* D. IX. 441. 


not only venerating Jupiter the counsellor, Mars the 
slaughterer, and Pallas the warrior, but invocating also 

"Who still attends on regal Majesty,* 

by her persuasive oratory appeasing and moderating the 
fierceness and violence of the people; how is it possible 
that a private man in a plebeian garb and with a vulgar 
mien, undertaking to conduct a city, should ever be able to 
prevail over and govern the multitude, if he is not endowed 
with alluring and all-persuading eloquence ? The captains 
indeed and pilots of ships make use of others to deliver 
their commands ; but a statesman ought to have in himself 
not only a spirit of government, but also a commanding 
faculty of speech, that he may not stand in need of an- 
other's voice, nor be constrained to say, as did Iphicrates 
when he was run down by the eloquence of Aristophon, 
" My adversaries have the better actors, but mine is the 
more excellent play," nor yet be often obliged to make use 
of these words of Euripides, 

and again. 

O that the race of miserable men 
Were speechless 1 

Alas ! Why have not men's affairs a tongue, 
That those fine pleaders who of right make wrong 
Might be no longer in request ? t 

For to these evasions perhaps might an Alcamenes, a 
Nesiotes, an Ictinus, and any such mechanical persons as 
get their bread by their hands, be permitted on their oath 
to have recourse. As it sometime happened in Athens, 
where, when two architects were examined about the erect- 
ing a certain public work, one of them, who was of a free 
and voluble speech and had his tongue (as we say) well 
hung, making a long and premeditated harangue concern- 
ing the method and order of raising such a fabric, greatly 

» See Od. VII. 165. t Eurip. Frag. 977 and 442. 


moved the people ; but the other, who was indeed the bet- 
ter workman though the worse speaker, coming forth into 
the midst, only said, " Ye men of Athens, what this man has 
spoken, I will do." For those men venerate only Minerva 
surnamed Ergane (or the Artisan), who, as Sophocles says 
of them, 

Do on the massy anvil lay 
* A lifeless iron bar, where they 

With blows of heavy hammer make 
It pliant to the work they undertake. 

But the prophet or minister of Minerva Polias (that is, the 
protectress of cities) and of Themis (or Justice) the coun- 

Who both convenes assemblies, and again 
Dissolves them,* 

making use of no other instrument but speech, does, by 
forming and fashioning some things and smoothing and 
polishing others that, like certain knots in timber or flaws 
in iron, are averse to his work, embellish and adorn a city. 
By this means the government of Pericles was in name (as 
Thucydidesf says) a democracy, but in effect the rule of 
one principal man through the power of his eloquence. 
For there were living at the same time Cimon, and also 
Ephialtes and Thucydides.J all good men ; now Thucydi- 
des, being asked by Archidamus, king of the Spartans, 
whether himself or Pericles were the better wrestler, thus 
answered : " That is not easily known ; for when I in 
wrestling overthrow him, he, by his words persuading the 
spectators that he did not fall, gains the victory." And 
this did not only bring glory to himself, but safety also to 
the city ; for being persuaded by him, it preserved the 
happiness it had gotten, and abstained from intermeddling 
with foreign affairs. But Nicias, though having the same 
design, yet falling short in the art of persuasion, when he 

* Od. IL 69. t Thuc. II. 65. 

t The son of Melesias, not the historian. (G.) 


endeavored by his speech, as by a gentle curb, to restrain 
and turn the people, could not compass it or prevail with 
them, but was fain to depart, being violently hurried and 
dragged (as it were) by the neck and shoulders into Sicily. 
They say, that a wolf is not to be held by the ears ; but a 
people and city are chiefly to be drawn by the ears, and 
not as some do who, being unpractised in eloquence, seek 
other absurd and unartificial ways of taking them, and 
either draw them by the belly, making them feasts and 
banquets, or by the purse, bestowing on them gifts and 
largesses, or by the eye, exhibiting to them masks and 
prizes or public shows of dancers and fencers, — by which 
they do not so much lead as cunningly catch the people. 
For to lead a people is to persuade them by reason and 
eloquence ; but such allurements of the multitude noth- 
ing differ from the baits laid for the taking of irra- 
tional animals. 

6. Let not yet the speech of a statesman be youthful 
and theatrical, as if he were making an harangue com- 
posed, like a garland, of curious and florid words ; nor again 
— as Pytheas said of an oration made by Demosthenes, 
that it smelt of the lamp and sophistical curiosity — let 
it consist of over-subtle arguments and periods, exactly 
framed by rule and compass. But as musicians require 
that the strings of their instruments should be sweetly and 
gently touched, and not rudely thrummed or beaten ; so 
in the speech of a statesman, both when he counsels and 
when he commands, there should not appear either vio- 
lence or cunning, nor should he think himself worthy of 
commendation for having spoken formally, artificially, and 
with an exact observation of punctualities ; but his whole 
discourse ought to be full of ingenuous simplicity, true 
magnanimity, fatherly freedom, and careful providence and 
understanding, joined with goodness and honesty, grace- 
fulness and attraction, proceeding from grave expressions 


and proper and persuasive sentences. Now a political 
oration does much more properly than a juridical one ad- 
mit of sententious speeches, histories, fables, and meta- 
phors, by which those who moderately and seasonably use 
them exceedingly move their hearers ; as he did who said, 
Make not Greece one-eyed ; and Demades, when he af- 
firmed of himself, that he was to manage the wreck of 
the state ; and Archilochus, when he said 

Nor let the stone of Tantalus 
Over this isle hang always thus ; 

and Pericles, when he commanded the eyesore* of the 
Piraeus to be taken away ; and Phocion, when he pro- 
nounced of Leosthenes's victory, that the beginning or the 
short course of the war was good, but that he feared the 
long race that was to follow. But in general, majesty and 
greatness more benefit a political discourse, a pattern of 
which may be the Philippics, and (amongst the orations set 
down by Thucydides) that of Sthenelaidas the Ephor, that 
of Archidamus at Plataea, and that of Pericles after 
the plague. But as for those rhetorical flourishes and ha- 
rangues of Ephorus, Theopompus, and Anaximenes, which 
they made after they had armed and set in order the bat- 
talions, it may be said of them, 

None talks thus foolishly so near the sword.t 

7. Nevertheless, both taunts and raillery may sometimes 
be part of political discourse, so they proceed not to injury 
or scurrility, but are usefully spoken by him who either 
reprehends or scoifs. But these things seem most to be 
allowed in answers and replies. For in that manner to 
begin a discourse as if one had purposely prepared himself 
for it, is the part of a common jester, and carries with it 
an opinion of maliciousness ; as was incident to the biting 
jests of Cicero, Cato the Elder, and Euxitheus, an intimate 

* So he called the little island Aegina. t Eurip. Autolycus, Frag. 284, vs. 22. 


acquaintance of Aristotle, — all of whom frequently began 
first to jeer; but in him, who does it only in revenge, the 
seasonableness of it renders it not only pardonable but 
also graceful. Such was the answer of Demosthenes, when 
one that was suspected of thievery derided him for writing 
by night : I know that the keeping my candle burning all 
night is offensive to you. So when Demades bawled out, 
Demosthenes forsooth would correct me : thus would the 
sow (as the proverb has it) teach Minerva ; — That Minerva, 
replied Demosthenes, was not long since taken in adultery. 
Not ungraceful also was that of Xenaenetus to those citi- 
zens who upbraided him with flying when he was general, 
'Twas with you, my dear hearts. But in raillery great 
care is to be taken for the avoiding of excess, and of any 
thing that may either by its unseasonableness offend the 
hearers or show the speaker to be of an ungenerous and 
sordid disposition ; — such as were the sayings of Demo- 
crates. For he, going up into the assembly, said that, like 
the city, he had little force but much wind ; and after the 
overthrow at Chaeronea, going forth to the people, he 
said : I would not have had the state to be in so ill a con- 
dition that you should be contented to hear me also giving 
you counsel. For this showed a mean-spirited person, as 
the other did a madman ; but neither of them was becom- 
ing a statesman. Now the succinctness of Phocion's 
speech was admired ; whence Polyeuctus affirmed, that 
Demosthenes was the greatest orator, but that Phocion 
spake most forcibly, for that his discourse did in very few 
words contain abundance of matter. And Demosthenes, 
who contemned others, was wonf, when Phocion stood up, 
to say. The hatchet (or pruning-knife) of my orations 

8, Let your chief endeavor therefore be, to use to the 
multitude a premeditated and not empty speech, and that 
with safety, knowing that Pericles himself, before he made 


any discourse to the people, was wont to pray that there 
might not a word pass from him foreign to the business he 
was to treat of. It is requisite also, that you have a vol- 
uble tongue, and be exercised in speaking on all occurren- 
ces ; for occasions are quick, and bring many sudden things 
in political affairs. Wherefore also Demosthenes was, as 
they say, inferior to many, withdrawing and absconding 
himself when sudden occasion offered. And Theophras- 
tus relates that Alcibiades, desirous to speak not only what 
he ought but as he ought, often hesitated and stood still 
in the midst of his speech, seeking and composing expres- 
sions fit for his purpose. But he who, as matters and 
occasions present themselves, rises up to speak, most of all 
moves, leads, and disposes of the multitude. Thus Leo 
Byzantius came to make an harangue to the Athenians, 
being then at dissension amongst themselves ; by whom 
when he perceived himself to be laughed at for the little- 
ness of his stature. What would you do, said he, if you 
saw my wife, who scarce reaches up to my knees ? And 
the laughter thereupon increasing, Yet, went he on, as 
little as we are, when we fall out with one another, the 
city of Byzantium is not big enough to hold us. So Py- 
theas the orator, who declaimed against the honors decreed 
to Alexander, when one said to him, Dare you, being so 
young, discourse of so great matters'? made this answer, 
And yet Alexander, whom you decree to be a God, is 
younger than I am. 

9. It is requisite also for the champion of the common- 
weal to bring to this not slight but all-concerning contest 
a firm and solid speech, 'attended with a strong habit of 
voice and a long lasting breath, lest, being tired and spent 
with speaking, he chance to be overcome by 

Some ravening crier, with a roaring voice, 
Loud as Cycloborus.* 

* A brook near Alliens, the waters of which fell with an extraordinary noise. 
Aristoph. Eq. 137. 


Cato, when he had no hopes of persuading the people or 
senate, whom he found prepossessed by the courtships and 
endeavors of the contrary party, was wont to rise up and 
hold them a whole day with an oration, by that means de- 
priving his adversaries of their opportunity. And thus 
much concerning the preparation and use of speech may 
be sufficient for him who can of himself find out and add 
what necessarily follows from it. 

10. There are, moreover, two avenues or ways of entermg 
into the government of the state ; the one short and expe- 
ditious to the lustre of glory, but not without danger ; the 
other more obscure and slow, but having also greater 
security. For some there are who, beginning with some 
great and illustrious action which requires a courageous 
boldness, do, like to those that from a far extended prom- 
ontory launch forth into the deep, steer directly into the 
very midst of public affairs, thinking Pindar to have been 
in the right when he said. 

If you a stately fabric do design, 

Be sure that your work's front with lustre shine.* 

For the multitude do, through a certain satiety and loath- 
ing of those to whom they have been accustomed, more 
readily receive a beginner ; as the beholders do a fresh 
combatant, and as those dignities and authorities which 
have a splendid and speedy increase dazzle and astonish 
envy. For neither does that fire, as Ariston says, make a 
smoke, nor that glory breed envy, which suddenly and 
quickly shines forth ; but of those who grow up slowly 
and by degrees, some are attacked on this side, others on 
that ; whence many have withered away about the tribunal, 
before ever they came to flourish. But when, as they say 
of Ladas, 

The sound o' th' rope t yet rattled in his ear. 
When Ladas haying finished his career 
Was crowned, 

» Plnd. Olymp. VI. 4. t From whence they set forth to run. 


any one suddenly and gloriously performs an embassy, 
triumphs, or leads forth an army, neither the envious nor 
the disdainful have like power over him as over others. 
Thus did Aratus ascend to glory, making the overthrow of 
the tyrant Nicocles his first step to the management of the 
commonweal. Thus did Alcibiades, settling the alliance 
with the Mantineans against the Lacedaemonians. Pom- 
pey also required a triumph, being not yet admitted into 
the senate ; and when Sylla opposed it, he said to him. 
More adore the rising than the setting sun ; which when 
Sylla heard, he yielded to him. And the people of Kome 
on a sudden, contrary to the ordinary course of the law, 
declared Cornelius Scipio consul, when he stood candidate 
for the aedileship, not from any vulgar reason, but admiring 
the victory he had got, whilst he was but a youth, in a 
single combat fought in Spain, and his conquests a little 
after, perforined at Carthage, when he was a tribune of 
foot ; in respect of which Cato the Elder cried out with a 
loud voice, 

He only's wise, the rest like shadows fly.* 

Now then, since the affairs of the cities have neither wars 
to be managed, tyrannies to be overthrown, nor leagues 
and alliances to be treated, what can any one undertake 
for the beginning of an illustrious and splendid govern- 
ment? There are yet left public causes and embassies to 
the emperor, which require the courage and prudence of 
an acute and cautious person. There are also in the cities 
many good and laudable usages neglected, which may be 
restored, and many ill practices brought in by custom, to 
the disgrace or damage of the city, which may be redressed, 
to gain him the esteem of the people. Moreover, a great 
suit rightly determined, fidelity in defending a poor man's 
cause against a powerful adversary, and freedom of speech 
in behalf of justice to some unjust nobleman, have afforded 

* See Odyss. X. 495. 


some a glorious entrance into the administration of the 
state. Not a few also have been advanced by enmity and 
quarrels, having set themselves to attack such men whose 
dignity was either envied or terrible. For the power of 
him that is overthrown does with greater glory accrue to 
his overthrower. Indeed, through envy to contend against 
a good man, and one that has by virtue been advanced to 
the chiefest honor, — as Simmias did against Pericles, Alc- 
maeon against Themistocles, Clodius against Pompey, and 
Meneclides the orator against Epaminondas, — is neither 
good for one's reputation nor otherwise advantageous. For 
when the multitude, having outraged some good man, soon 
after (as it frequently happens) repent of their indignation, 
they think that way of excusing this offence the easiest 
which is indeed the justest, to wit, the destroying of him 
who was the persuader and author of it. But the rising 
up to humble and pull down a wicked person, who has by 
his audaciousness and cunning subjected the city to him- 
self (such as heretofore Cleon and Clitophon were in 
Athens), makes a glorious entrance to the management 
of public affairs, as it were to a play. I am not ignorant 
also that some, by opposing — as Ephialtes did at Athens, 
and Phormio amongst the Eleans — an imperious and oli- 
garchical senate, have at the same time obtained both 
authority and honor ; but in this there is great danger to 
him who is but entering upon the administration of state. 
AVherefore Solon took a better beginning ; for the city of 
Athens being divided into three parts, the Diacrians (or 
inhabitants of the hill), the Pedieans (or dwellers on the 
plain), and the Paralians (or those whose abode was by 
the water side), he, joining himself with none of them, but 
acting for the common good of them all, and saying and 
doing all things for to bring them to concord, was chosen 
the lawgiver to take away their differences, and by that 
means settled the state. 

roL. V. 8 


Sucli then and so many beginnings has the more splen- 
did way of entering upon state affairs. 

11. But many gallant men have chosen the safe and 
slow method, as Aristides. Phocion, Pammenes the Theban, 
Lucullus in Home, Cato, and Agesilaus the Lacedaemo- 
nian. For as ivy, twining about the strongest trees, rises 
up together with them ; so every one of these, applying 
himself, whilst he was yet young and inglorious, to some 
elder and illustrious personage, and growing up and in- 
creasing by little and little under his authority, grounded 
and rooted himself in the commonweal. For Clisthenes ad- 
vanced Aristides, Chabrias preferred Phocion, Sylla pro- 
moted Lucullus, Maximus raised Cato, Pammenes forwarded 
Epaminondas, and Lysander assisted Agesilaus. But this 
last, injuring his own reputation through an unseason- 
able ambition and jealousy, soon threw off the director of 
his actions ; but the rest honestly, politically, and to the 
end, venerated and magnified the authors of their advance- 
ment, — like bodies which are opposed to the sun, — by re- 
flecting back the light that shone upon them, augmented 
and rendered more illustrious. Certainly those who 
looked asquint upon Scipio called him the player, and his 
companion Laelius the poet or author of his actions ; yet 
was not Laelius puffed up by any of these things, but con- 
tinued to promote the virtue and glory of Scipio. And 
Afranius, the friend of Pompey, though he was very 
meanly descended, yet being at the very point to be chosen 
consul, when he understood that Pompey favored others, 
gave over his suit, saying that his obtaining the consulship 
would not be so honorable as grievous and troublesome to 
him, if it were against the good-will and without the 
assistance of Pompey. Having therefore delayed but one 
year, he enjoyed the dignity and preserved his friendship. 
Now those who are thus by others led, as it were, by the 
hand to glory do, in gratifying one, at the same time also 


gratify the multitude, and incur less odium, if any incon- 
venience befalls them. Wherefore also Philip (king of 
Macedon) exhorted his son Alexander, whilst he had 
leisure during the reign of another, to get himself friends, 
winning their love by kind and affable behavior. 

12. Now he that begins to enter upon the administration 
of state aifairs should choose himself a guide, who is not 
only a man of credit and authority but is also such for his 
virtue. For as it is not every tree that will admit and bear 
the twining of a vine, there being some which utterly 
choke and spoil its growth ; so in states, those who are 
no lovers of virtue and goodness, but only of honor and 
sovereignty, afford not young beginners any opportunities 
of performing worthy actions, but do through envy keep 
them down and let them languish whom they regard as 
depriving them of their glory, which is (as it were) their 
food. Thus Marius, having first in Afric and afterwards 
in Galatia done many gallant exploits by the assistance of 
Sylla, forbare any farther to employ him, and utterly cast 
him off, being really vexed at his growing into repute, but 
making his pretence the device engraven on his seal. For 
Sylla, being paymaster under Marius when he was general 
in Afric, and sent by him to Bocchus, brought with him 
Jugurtha prisoner ; but as he was an ambitious young 
man, who had but just tasted the sweetness of glory, he 
received not his good fortune with moderation ; but having 
caused the representation of the action to be engraven on 
his seal, wore about him Jugurtha delivered into his hands ; 
and this did Marius lay to his charge, when he turned him 
off. But Sylla, passing over to Catulus and Metellus, who 
were good men and at difference with Marius, soon after 
in a civil war drove away and ruined Marius, who wanted 
but little of overthrowing Rome, Sylla indeed, on the 
contrary, advanced Pompey from a very youth, rising up 
to him and uncovering his head as he passed by, and not 


only giving other young men occasions of doing captain- 
like actions, but even instigating some that were backward 
and unwilling. He filled the armies with emulation and 
desire of honor; and thus he had the superiority over thetn 
all, desiring not to be alone, but the tirst and greatest 
amongst many great ones. These therefore are the men 
to whom young statesmen ought to adhere, and with these 
they should be (as it were) incorporated, not stealing from 
them their glory, — like Aesop's wren, which, being car- 
ried up on the eagle's wings, suddenly flew away and got 
before her, — but receiving it of them with friendship and 
good-will, since they can never, as Plato says, be able to 
govern aright, if they have not been first well practised in 

13. After this follows the judgment that is to be had in 
the choice of friends, in which neither the opinion of 
Themistocles nor that of Cleon is to be approved. For 
Cleon, when he first knew that he was to take on him the 
government, assembling his friends together, brake off 
friendship with them, as that which often disables the 
mind, and withdraws it from its just and upright intention 
in managing the affairs of the state. But he would have 
done better, if he had cast out of his soul avarice and 
contention, and cleansed himself from envy and malice*- 
For cities want not men that are friendless and unaccom- 
panied, but such as are good and temperate. Now he 
indeed drove away his friends ; but a hundred heads of 
fawning flatterers were, as the comedian speaks, licking 
about him ; * and being harsh and severe to those that 
were civil, he again debased himself to court the favor of 
the multitude, doing all things to humor them in their 
dotage, and taking rewards at every man's hand,"|* and 
joining himself with the worst and most distempered of 
the people against the best. But Themistocles, on the 

• Aristoph. Pac. 756 t See Aristoph. Eq. 1099. 


contrary, said to one who told him that he would govern 
■well if he exhibited himself alike to all : May I never sit 
on that throne on which my friends shall not have more 
power with me than those who are not my friends. Neith- 
er did he well in pinning the state to his friendship, and 
submitting the common and public affairs to his private 
favors and affections. And farther, he said to Simonides, 
when he requested somewhat that was not just : Neither 
is he a good poet or musician, who sings against measure ; 
nor he an upright magistrate, who gratifies any one against 
the laws. And it would really be a shameful and misera- 
ble thing, that the pilot should choose his mariners, and 
the master of a ship the pilot, 

Who well can rule the helm, and in good guise 
Hoist up the sails, when winds begin to rise, 

and that an architect should make choice of such sei 
vants and workmen as will not prejudice his work, but 
take pains in the best manner to forward it ; but that a 
statesman — who, as Pindar has it, 

The best of artists and chief workman is 
Of equity and justice — 

should not presently choose himself like-affected friends 
and ministers, and such as might co-inspire into him a love 
of honesty ; but that one or other should be always un- 
justly and violently bending him to other uses. For then 
he would seem to differ in nothing from a carpenter or 
mason who, through ignorance or want of experience, 
uses such squares, rules, and levels as will certainly make 
his work to be awry. Since friends are the living and in- 
telligent instruments of statesmen, who ought to be so far 
from bearing them company in their slips and transgres- 
sions, that they must be careful they do not, even unknown 
to them, commit a fault. 

And this it was, that disgraced Solon and brought him 
into disrepute amongst his citizens ; for he, having an in- 


tention to ease men's debts and to bring in that which 
was called at Athens the Seisachtheia (for that was the 
name given by Avay of extenuation to the cancelling of 
debts), communicated this design to some of his friends, 
who thereupon did a most unjust act ; for having got this 
inkling, they borrowed abundance of money, and the law 
being a little after brought to light, they appeared to have 
purchased stately houses, and great store of land with the 
wealth they had borrowed ; and Solon, who was himself 
injured, was accused to have been a partaker of their in- 
justice. Agesilaus also was most feeble and mean-spirited 
in what concerned the suits of his friends, being like the 
horse Pegasus in Euripides, 

Who, frighted, bowed his back, more than his rider would,* 

80 that, being more ready to help them in their misfortunes 
than was requisite, he seemed to be privy to their injustices. 
For he saved Phoebidas, who was accused for having 
without commission surprised the castle of Thebes, called 
Cadmea, saying that such enterprises were to be attempted 
without expecting any orders. And when Sphodrias was 
brought to trial for an unlawful and heinous act, having 
made an incursion into Attica at such time as the Athe- 
nians were allies and confederates of the Spartans, he pro- 
cured him to be acquitted, being softened by the amorous 
entreaties of his son. There is also recorded a short epis- 
tle of his to a certain prince, written in these words : If 
Nicias is innocent, discharge him ; if he is guilty, discharge 
him for my sake ; but however it is, discharge him. But 
Phocion (on the contrary) would not so much as appear in 
behalf of his son-in-law Charicles, when he was accused 
for having taken money of Harpalus ; but having said, 
Only for acts of justice have I made you my son-in-law, — 
went his way. And Timoleon the Corinthian, when he 

* Eurip. Bellerophon, Frag. SIL 


could not by admonitions or requests dissuade his brother 
from being a tyrant, confederated with his destroyers. For 
a magistrate ought not to be a friend even to the altar (or 
till he comes to the point of being forsworn), as Pericles 
sometime said, but no farther than is agreeable to all law, 
justice, and the utility of the state ; any of which being 
neglected brings a great and public damage, as did the 
not executing of justice on Sphodrias and Phoebidas, who 
did not a little contribute to the engaging of Sparta in the 
liGuctrian war, . 

Otherwise, reason of state is so far from necessitatmsr 
one to show himself severe on every peccadillo of his 
friends, that it even permits him, when he has secured the 
principal affairs of the public, to assist them, stand by 
them, and labor for them. There are, moreover, certain 
favors that may be done without envy, as is the helping a 
friend to obtain an office, or rather the putting into his 
hands some honorable commission or some laudable em 
bassy, such as for the congratulating or honoring some 
prince or the making a league of amity and alliance with 
some state. But if there be some difficult but withal illus- 
trious and great action to be performed, having first taken 
it upon himself, he may afterwards assume a friend to his 
assistance, as did Diomedes, whom Homer makes to speak 
in this manner : 

Since a companion you will have me take. 
How can I think a better choice to make, 
Than the divine Ulysses ? * 

And Ulysses again as kindly attributes to him the praise of 
the achievement, saying : 

These stately steeds, whose country you demand, 
Nestor, were hither brought from Thracian land. 
Whose king, with twelve of his best friends, lies dead, 
All slain by th' hand of warlike Diomed.t 

*n.X.242. tn.X.558. 


For this sort of concession no less adorns the praiser than 
the praised ; but self-conceitedness, as Plato says, dwells 
with solitude. He ought moreover to associate his friends 
in those good and kind offices which are done by him, 
bidding those whom he has benefited to love them and 
give them thanks, as having been the procurers and coun- 
sellors of his favors to them. But he must reject the dis- 
honest and unreasonable request of his friends, yet not 
churlishly but mildly, teaching and showing them that they 
are not beseeming their virtue and honor. Never was any 
man better at this than Epaminondas, who, having denied 
to deliver out of prison a certain victualler, when requested 
by Pelopidas, and yet a little after dismissing him at the 
desire of his miss, said to his friend, These, O Pelopidas, 
are favors fit for wenches to receive, and not for generals. 
Cato on the other side acted morosely and insolently, when 
Catulus the censor, his most intimate and familiar friend, 
interceded with him for one of those against whom he, be- 
ing quaestor, had entered process, saying : It would be a 
shame if you, who ought to reform young men for us, 
should be thrust out by our servants. For he might, 
though in efi'ect refusing the requested favor, have yet for- 
borne that severity and bitterness of speech ; so that his 
doing what was displeasing to his friend might have seemed 
not to have proceeded from his own inclination, but to 
have been a necessity imposed upon him by law and jus- 
tice. There are also in the administration of the state 
methods, not dishonorable, of assisting our poorer friends 
in the making of their fortune. Thus did Themistocles, 
who, seeing after a battle one of those which lay dead in 
the field adorned with chains of gold and jewels, did him- 
self pass by him ; but turning back to a friend of his, said. 
Do you take these spoils, for you are not yet come to be 
Themistocles. For even the affairs themselves do fre- 
quently afford a statesman such opportunities of benefiting 


his friends ; for every man is not a Menemachus. To one 
therefore give the patronage of a cause, both just and 
beneficial ; to another recommend some rich man, who 
stands in need of management and protection ; and help 
a third to be employed in some public work, or to some 
gainful and profitable farm. Epaminondas bade a friend 
of his go to a certain rich man, and ask him for a talent 
by the command of Epaminondas, and when he to whom 
the message was sent came to enquire the reason of it ; 
Because, said Epaminondas, he is a very honest man and 
poor ; but you, by converting much of the city's wealth to 
your own use, are become rich. And Xenophon reports, 
that Agesilaus delighted in enriching his friends, himself 
making no account of money. 

14. Now since, as Simonides says, all larks must have a 
crest, and every eminent ofHce in a commonweal brings 
enmities and dissensions, it is not a little convenient for a 
statesman to be forewarned also of his comportment in 
these rencounters. Many therefore commend Themistocles 
and Aristides, who, when they were to go forth on an 
embassy or to command together the army, laid down their 
enmity at the confines of the city, taking it up again after 
their return. Some again are highly pleased with the 
action of Cretinas the Magnesian, He, having for his 
rival in the government one Hermias, a man not power- 
ful and rich, but ambitious and high-spirited, when the 
Mithridatic war came on, seeing the city in danger, desired 
Hermias either to take the government upon himself and 
manage the affairs whilst he retired, or, if he would have 
him take the command of the army, to depart himself im- 
mediately, lest they should through their ambitious conten- 
tion destroy the city. The proposal pleased Hermias, 
who, saying that Cretinas was a better soldier than himself, 
did with his wife and children quit the city. Cretinas then 
escorted him as he went forth, furnishing him out of his 


own estate with all such things as are more useful to those 
that fly from home than to those that are besieged ; and 
excellently defending the city, unexpectedly preserved it, 
being at the point to be destroyed. For if it is generous 
and proceeding from a magnanimous spirit to cry out, 

I love my children, but my .country more, 

why should it not be readier for every one of them to say, 
I hate this man, and desire to do him a diskindness, but 
the love of my country has greater power over me ? For 
not to condescend to be reconciled to an enemy for those 
very causes for which we ought to abandon even a friend, 
is even to extremity savage and brutish. But far better 
did Phocion and Cato, who grounded not any enmity at all 
on their political differences, but being fierce and obstinate 
only in their public contests not to recede from any thing 
they judged convenient for the state, did in their private 
affairs use those very persons friendly and courteously from 
whom they differed in the other. For one ought not to 
esteem any citizen an enemy, unless it be one like Aristion, 
Nabis, or Catiline, the disease and plague of the city : but 
as for those that are otherwise at discord, a good magistrate 
should, like a skilful musician, by gently setting them up 
or letting them down, bring them to concord ; not falling 
angrily and reproachfully upon those that err, but mildly 
reprehending them in such like terms as these of Homer's, 

Good friend, I thought you wiser than the rest ; * 

and again, 

You could have told a better tale than this ; t 

nor yet repining at their honors, or sparing to speak freely 
in commendation of their good actions, if they say or do 
any thing advantageous to the public. For thus will our 
reprehension, when it is requisite, be credited, and we shall 
render them averse to vice, increasing their vhtue, and 

* II. XVIL 171 t II. VIL 358. 


showing, by comparing them, how much the one is more 
worthy and beseeming them than the other. 

But I indeed am also of opinion, that a statesman should 
in just causes give testimony to his enemies, stand by them 
when they are accused by. sycophants, and discredit impu- 
tations brought against them if they are repugnant to their 
characters ; as Nero himself, a little before he put to death 
Thraseas, whom of all men he both most hated and feared, 
when one accused him for giving a wrong and unjust sen- 
tence, said : I wish Thraseas was but as great a lover of 
me, as he is a most upright judge. Neither is it amiss for 
the daunting of others who are by Nature more inclined to 
vice, when they offend, to make mention of some enemy 
of theirs who is better behaved, and say, Such a one would 
not have spoken or acted thus. And some again, when 
they transgress, are to be put in mind of their virtuous 
progenitors. Thus Homer says, 

Tydeus has left a son unlike himself.* 

And Appius, contending in the Comitia with Scipio Afri- 
canus, said. How deeply, O Paulus, wouldst thou sigh 
amongst the infernal shades, wert thou but sensible that 
Philonicus the publican guards thy son, who is going to 
stand for the office of censor. For such manner of speeches 
do both admonish the offender, and become their ad- 
monishers. Nestor also in Sophocles, being reproached by 
Ajax, thus politicly answers him : 

I blame you not, for you act well, although 

You speak but ill. 

And Cato, who had opposed Pompey in his joining with 
Caesar to force the city, when they fell to open wars, gave 
his opinion that the conduct of the state should be com- 
mitted to Pompey, saying, that those who are capable to do 
the greatest mischiefs are fittest to put a stop to them. 

* L. V. 800. 


For reprehension mixed with praise, and accompanied not 
with opprobriousness but liberty of speech, working not 
animosity but remorse and repentance, appears both kind 
and salutary ; but railing expressions do not at all beseem 
statesmen. Do but look into the speeches of Demosthenes 
against Aeschines, and of Aeschines against him ; and 
again into wliat Hyperides has written against Demades, 
and consider whether Solon, Pericles, Lycurgus the Lace- 
daemonian, or Pittacus the Lesbian would have spoken in 
that manner. And yet Demosthenes used this reproachful 
manner of speaking only in his juridical orations or plead- 
ings ; for his Philippics are clean and free from all scoffing 
and scurrility. For such discourses do not only more dis- 
grace the speakers than the hearers, but do moreover 
breed confusion in affairs, and disturb counsels and assem- 
blies. Wherefore Phocion did excellently well, who, hav- 
ing broken off his speech to give way to one that railed 
against him, when the other with much ado held his peace, 
going on again where he had left off, said : You have 
already heard what has been spoken of horsemen and 
heavy armed foot ; I am now to treat of such as are light 
armed and targeteers. 

But since many persons can hardly contain themselves 
on such occasions, and since railers have often their mouths 
not impertinently stopped by replies ; let the answer be 
short and pithy, not showing any indignation or bitterness 
of anger, but mildness joined with raillery and graceful- 
ness, yet somewhat tart and biting. I^ow such especially 
are the retortings of what has been spoken before. For as 
darts returning against their caster seem to have been re- 
pulsed and beaten back by a certain strength and solidity 
in that against which they were thrown ; so what was 
spoken seems by the strength and understanding of the 
reproached to have been turned back upon the reproacher. 
Such was that reply of Epaminondas to Callistratus, who 


upbraided the Thebans with Oedipus, and the Argives with 
Orestes, — one of which had killed his father and the other 
his mother, — Yet they who did these things, being rejected 
by us, were received by you. Such also was the repartee 
of Antalcidas the Spartan to an Athenian, who said to him, 
We have often driven you back and pursued you from the 
Cephissus ; But we (replied Antalcidas) never yet pursued 
you from the Eurotas. Phocion also, when Demades cried 
out. The Athenians if they grow mad, will kill thee ; ele 
gantly replied. And thee, if they come again to their wits. 
So, when Domitius said to Crassus the orator. Did not you 
weep for the death of the lamprey you kept in your fish- 
pond ? — Did not you, said Crassus to him again, bury three 
wives without ever shedding a tear? These things there- 
fore have indeed their use also in other parts of a man's 

15. Moreover, some, like Cato, thrust themselves into 
every part of polity, thinking a good citizen should not 
omit any care or industry for the obtaining authority. And 
these men greatly commend Epaminondas ; for that being 
by the Thebans through envy and in contempt appointed 
telearch, he did not reject it, but said, that the office does 
not show the man, but the man also the office. He brought 
the telearchate into great and venerable repute, which was 
before nothing but a certain charge of the carrying the 
dung out of the narrow streets and lanes of the city, and 
turning of watercourses. Nor do I doubt but that I my- 
self afford matter of laughter to many who come into this 
our city, being frequently seen in public employed about 
such matters. But that comes into my assistance which is 
related of Antisthenes ; for, when one wondered to see him 
carry a piece of stock-fish through the market, 'Tis for my- 
self, said he. But I, on the contrary, say to those who 
upbraid me for being present at and overseeing the meas- 
uring of tiles, or the bringing in and unloading of clay and 


stones : It is not for myself, but for my country, that I per- 
form this service. For though he who in his own person 
manages and does many such things for himself may be 
judged mean-spirited and mechanical, yet if he does them 
for the public and for his country, he is not to be deemed 
sordid ; but on the contrary, his diligence and readiness, 
extending even to these small matters, is to be esteemed 
greater and more highly to be valued. But others there 
are, that hold Pericles's manner of acting to have been 
more magnanimous and august ; amongst which Critolaus 
the Peripatetic, who is of opinion that, as at Athens the 
Salaminian ship and the Paralus were not launched forth 
for every service, but only on necessary and great occa- 
sions, so a statesman ought to employ himself in the chief- 
est and greatest affairs, like the King of the universe, who, 
as Euripides says. 

Reserves great things for his own government, 
But small things leaves to Fortune's management. 

For neither do we approve the excessively ambitious and 
contentious spirit of Theagenes, who, having obtained the 
victory not only through the whole course of public games, 
but also in many other contests, and not only in wrestling 
but in buffeting and running of long races, at last, being 
at the anniversary festival supper of a certain hero, after 
every one was served, according to the custom, he started 
up, and fell to wrestling, as if it were necessary that no 
other should conquer when he was present ; whence he got 
together twelve hundred coronets, most of which one would 
have taken for rubbish. 

Now nothing do they differ from him, who strip them- 
selves for every public affair, and render themselves repre- 
hensible by many, becoming troublesome, and being, when 
they do well, the subject of envy, and when they do ill, of 
rejoicing. And that industry which was at the beginning 
admired turns afterwards to contempt and laughter. In 


this manner it was said ; Metiochus leads forth the array, 
Metiochiis oversees the highways, Metiochus bakes the 
bread, Metiochus bolts the meal, Metiochus does all things, 
Metiochus shall suffer for it at last. This Metiochus was 
a follower of Pericles, and made use, it seems, of the power 
he had with him invidiously and disdainfully. For a 
statesman ought to find the people when he comes to them 
(as they say) in love with him, and leave in them a longing 
after him when he is absent ; which course Scipio Africa- 
nus also took, dwelling a long time in the country, at the 
same time both removing from himself the burthen of envy, 
and giving those leisure to breathe, who seemed to be op- 
pressed by his glory. But Timesias the Clazomenian, who 
was otherwise a good commonwealths-man, was ignorant 
of his being envied and hated for doing all things by him- 
self, till the following accident befell him. It happened 
that, as he passed by where certain boys were striking a 
cockal-bone out of an hole, some of them said, that the 
bone was still left within ; but he who had stricken it cried 
out, I wish I had as certainly beaten out Timesias's brains, 
as this bone is out of the hole. Timesias, hearing this, 
and thereby understanding the envy and spite borne him by 
every one, returned home, where he imparted the matter 
to his wife, and having commanded her to pack up all and 
follow him, immediately left both his house and the city. 
And Themistocles seems to have been in some such condi- 
tion amongst the Athenians, when he said : How is it, O 
ye blessed ones, that you are tired with the frequent re 
ceiving of benefits ? 

Now some of those things have indeed been rightly 
spoken, others not so well. For a statesman ought not to* 
withdraw his affection and providential care from any pub- 
lic affair whatever, nor reserve himself sacred, like the 
anchor in a ship, for the last necessities and hazards of the 
state. But as the masters of ships do some things with their 


own hands, and perform others, sitting afar off, by other 
instruments, turning and winding them by the hands of 
others, and making use of mariners, boatswains, and mates, 
some of which they often call to the stern, putting the helm 
into their hands ; so it is convenient for a statesman some- 
times to yield the command to his companions, and to in- 
vite them kindly and civilly to the tribunal, not managing 
all the affairs of the commonweal by his own speeches, 
decrees, and actions, but having good and faithful men, to 
employ every one of them in that proper and peculiar 
station which he finds to be most suitable for him. Thus 
Pericles used Menippus for the conduct of the armies, by 
Ephialtes he humbled the council of the Areopagus, by 
Charinus he passed the law against the Megarians, and 
sent Lampon to people the city of Thurii. For not only 
is the greatness of authority less liable to be envied by the 
people, when it seems to be divided amongst many ; but 
the business also is more exactly done. For as the division 
of the hand into fingers has not w^eakened it, but rendered 
it more commodious and instrumental for the uses to which 
it serves ; so he wdro in the administration of a state gives 
part of the affairs to others renders the action more effica- 
cious by communicating it. But he who, through an un- 
satiable desire of glory or power, lays the whole burthen 
of the state upon his own shoulders, and applies himself 
to that for which he is neither fitted by nature nor exer- 
cise, — as Cleon did to the leading forth of armies, Philo- 
poemen to the commanding of navies, and Hannibal to 
haranguing the people, — has no excuse for his errors ; 
but hears that of Euripides objected against him, 

Thou, but a carpenter, coneernd'st thyself 
With works not wrought in wood ; — 

being no good orator, you went on an embassage ; being 
of a lazy temper, you thrust yourself into the stewardship ; 
being ignorant in keeping accounts, you would be treas- 


urer ; or, being old and infirm, you took on you the com- 
mand of the army. But Pericles divided his authority 
with Cimon, reserving to himself the governing within the 
city, and committing to him the manning of the navy and 
making war upon the barbarians ; for the other was natu- 
rally fitted for war, and himself for civil affairs. Eubulus 
also the Anaphlystian is much commended, that, having 
credit and authority in matters of the greatest importance, 
he managed none of the Grecian affairs, nor betook him- 
self to the conducting of the army ; but employing himself 
about the treasure, he augmented the public revenues, 
and greatly benefited the city by them. But Iphicrates, 
practising to make declamations at his own house in the 
presence of many, rendered himself ridiculous ; for though 
he had been no bad orator but an excellently good one, yet 
ought he to have contented himself with the glory got by 
arms, and abstaining from the school, to have left it to the 

16. But since it is incident to every populacy to be 
malicious and desirous to find fault with their governors, 
and since they are apt to suspect that many, even useful 
things, if they pass without being opposed or contradicted, 
are done by conspiracy, and since this principally brings 
societies and friendships into obloquy ; they must not 
indeed leave any real enmity or dissension against them- 
selves, as did Onomademus, a demagogue of the Chians, 
who, having mastered a sedition, suffered not all his ad- 
versaries to be expelled the city ; lest, said he, we should 
begin to differ with our friends, when we are wholly freed 
from our enemies ; for this would be indeed a folly. But 
when the multitude shall have conceived a suspicion against 
any important beneficial project, they must not, as if it 
were by confederacy, all deliver the same opinion ; but 
two or three of them must dissent, and mildly oppose their 
friend, and afterwards, as if they were convinced by reason, 

YOL. V 9 


change their sentiments ; for by this means they draw along 
with them the people, who think them moved by the bene- 
ficialness of the thing. But in small matters, and such as 
are of no great consequence, it is not amiss to suffer his 
friends really to differ, every one following his own private 
reason ; that so in the principal and greatest concerns, they 
may not seem to act upon design, when they shall unani- 
mously agree to what is best. 

17. The politician therefore is by nature always the 
prince of the city, as the king among the bees ; and in 
consideration of this, he ought always to have the helm of 
public affairs in his hand. But as for those dignities and 
offices to which persons are nominated and chosen by the 
suffrages of the people, he should neither too eagerly nor 
too often pursue them, — the seeking after offices being 
neither venerable nor popular, — nor yet should he reject 
them, when the people legally confer them on him and 
invite him to them, but even though they are below his 
reputation, he should accept them and willingly employ 
himself in them ; for it is but just that they who have 
been honored by offices of greater dignity should in return 
grace those of inferior rank. And in those more weighty 
and superior employs, such as are the commanding of the 
armies in Athens, the Prytania in Rhodes, and the Boeo- 
tarchy amongst us, he should carry himself with such 
moderation as to remit and abate something of their gran- 
deur, adding somewhat of dignity and venerableness to 
those that are meaner and less esteemed, that he may be 
neither despised for these nor envied for those. 

Now it behooves him that enters upon any office, not 
only to have at hand those arguments of which Pericles 
put himself in mind when he first received the robe of 
state : Bethink thyself, Pericles, thou govern'st freemen, 
thou govern'st Grecians, yea, citizens of Athens ; but 
farther also, he ought to say thus with himself: Thou, 


being a subject, govern'st a city which is under the obe 
dience of Caesar s proconsul or lieutenant. Here is no 
fight in a fair field, this is not the ancient Sardis, nor is 
this the puissance of the Lydians. Thou must make thy 
robe scantier, look from the pavilion to the tribunal, and 
not place too great confidence in thy crown, since thou 
see'st the Roman's shoes over thy head. But in this the 
stage-players are to be imitated, who add indeed to the 
play their own passionate transports, behavior, and coun- 
tenance, suitable to the person they represent, but yet give 
ear to the prompter, and transgress not the rhyme and 
measures of the faculty granted them by their masters. 
For an error in government brings not, as in the acting of 
a tragedy, only hissing and derision ; but many have by 
this means subjected themselves to that 

Severe chastiser, the neck-cutting axe. 

As it befell your countryman Pardalas, when he forgot the 
limits of his power. Another, being banished from home 
and confined to a little island, as Solon has it. 

Became at last from an Athenian 
A Pholegandrian or Sicinitan. 

For we laugh indeed, when we see little children endeav- 
oring to fasten their father's shoes on their own feet, or 
setting their crowns on their own heads in sport. But the 
governors of cities, foolishly exhorting the people to imi- 
tate those works, achievements, and actions of their ances- 
tors which are not suitable to the present times and affairs, 
elevate the multitude, and although they do things that are 
ridiculous, they yet meet with a fate which is not fit to be 
laughed at, unless they are men altogether despised. For 
there are many other facts of the ancient Greeks, the re- 
cital of which to those who are now living may serve to 
form and moderate their manners ; as would be the relat- 
ing at Athens, not the warlike exploits of their progenitors. 


but (for example) the decree of amnesty after the expul- 
sion of the Thirty Tyrants ; the fining of Phrynicus, who 
represented in a tragedy the taking of Miletus ; how they 
wore garlands on their heads when Cassander rebuilt 
Thebes ; how, having intelligence of the Scytalism (or 
slaughter) at Argos in which the Argives put to death fif- 
teen hundred of their own citizens, they commanded a 
lustration (or expiatory sacrifice) to be carried about in a 
full assembly ; and how, when they were searching of 
houses for those that were confederated with Harpalus, 
they passed by only one, which was inhabited by a man 
newly married. For by the imitating of such things as 
these, they may even now resemble their ancestors ; but 
the fights at Marathon, Eurymedon, and Plataea, and what- 
ever examples vainly pufi" up and heighten the multitude, 
should be left to the schools of the sophisters. 

18. Now a statesman ought not only to exhibit himself 
and his country blameless to the prince, but also to have 
always for his friend some one of those that are most 
powerful above, as a firm support of polity ; for the Ro- 
mans are of such a disposition, that they are most ready to 
assist their friends in their political endeavors. It is good 
also, when we have received benefit from friendship with 
princes, to apply it to the advancement of our country ; 
as did Polybius and Panaetius, who through the favor of 
Scipio to them greatly advantaged their countries for the 
obtaining felicity. So Caesar Augustus, when he had 
taken Alexandria, made his entry into it, holding Arius 
by the hand, and discoursing with him alone of all his 
familiars ; after which he said to the Alexandrians, who 
expecting the utmost severity supplicated his favor, that 
he pardoned them first for the greatness of their city, 
secondly for its builder, Alexander, and thirdly, added he, 
to gratify this my friend. Is it then fit to compare to this 
benefit those exceeding gainful commissions and adminis- 


trations of provinces, in the pursuit of which many even 
grow old at other men's doors, leaving their own domestic 
affairs in the mean time unregarded 1 Or should we rather 
correct Euripides, singing and saying that, if one must 
watch and sue at another's court and subject one's self to 
some great man's familiarity, it is most commendable so 
to do for the sake of one's country ; but otherwise, we 
should embrace and pursue friendships on equal and just 

19. Yet ought not he who renders and exhibits his 
country obsequious to potent princes to contribute to the 
oppressing of it, nor having tied its legs to subject also its 
neckj as some do who, referring all things both great and 
little to these potentates, upbraid it with servitude, or rather 
wholly take away the commonwealth, rendering it aston- 
ished, timorous, and without command of any thing. For 
as those who are accustomed neither to sup nor bathe 
without the physician do not make so much use of their 
health as Nature affords them ; so they who introduce the 
prince's judgment into every decree, council, favor, and 
administration, necessitate the princes to be more masters 
of them than they desire. Now the cause of this is prin- 
cipally the avarice and ambition of the chief citizens. For 
either, by injuring their inferiors, they compel them to fly 
out of the city ; or in such things wherein they differ from 
one another, disdaining to be worsted by their fellow-citi- 
zens, they bring in such as are more powerful, whence 
both the council, people, courts of judicature, and whole 
magistracy lose their authority. But he ought to appease 
private citizens by equality, and mightier men by mutual 
submissions, so as to keep peace within the commonweal, 
and coolly to determine their affairs ; making for these 
things, as it were for secret diseases, a certain political 
medicine, both being himself rather willing to be van- 
quished amongst his fellow-citizens, than to get the better 


by the injury and dissolution of his country's rights, and 
requesting the same of every one else, and teaching them 
how great a mischief this obstinacy in contending is. But 
now, rather than they will with honor and benignity mu- 
tually yield to their fellow-citizens, kinsmen, neighbors, 
and colleagues in office, they do, with no less prejudice 
than shame, carry forth their dissensions to the doors of 
the pleaders, and put them into the hands of pragmatical 

Physicians indeed turn and drive forth into the super- 
ficies of the body such diseases as they are not able utterly 
to extirpate ; but a statesman, though he cannot keep a 
city altogether free from internal troubles, yet should, by 
concealing its disturbance and sedition, endeavor to cure 
and compose it, so that it may least stand in need of phy- 
sicians and medicines from abroad. For the intention of 
a statesman should be fixed upon the public safety, and 
should shun, as has been said, the tumultuous and furious 
motion of vain-glory ; and yet in his disposition there 
should be magnanimity. 

And undaunted courage, — as beconies 

The men, who are for their dear country's right 

Prepared till deatli 'gainst stoutest foes to fight,* 

and who are bravely resolved, not only to hazard their 
lives against the assaults of invading enemies, but also to 
struggle with the most difficult afi"airs, and stem the tor- 
rent of the most dangerous and impetuous times. For as 
he must not himself be a creator of storms and tempests, 
so neither must he abandon the ship of the state when 
they come upon it ; and as he ought not to raise commo- 
tions and drive it into danger, so is he obliged, when it 
is tossed and is in peril, to give it his utmost assistance, put- 
ting forth all his boldness of speech, as he would throw out 
a sacred anchor when affairs are at the greatest extremity. 

* See II. XVII. 156. 


Such were the difficulties that befell the Pergamenians 
under Nero, and the Rhodians lately under Domitian, and 
the Thessalians heretofore in the time of Augustus, when 
they burned Petraeus alive. 

You shall not in this case demurring 6ee,* 

or starting back for fear, any one who is truly a statesman ; 
neither shall you find him accusing others and withdraw- 
ing himself out of harm's way ; but you shall have him 
rather going on embassies, sailing to foreign parts, and not 
only saying first. 

We're here, Apollo, who the murther wrought, 
No longer plague our country for our fault, 

but also ready to undergo perils and dangers for the multi- 
tude, even though he has not been at all partaker of their 
crime. For this indeed is a gallant action ; and besides its 
honesty, one only man's virtue and magnanimity has often 
wonderfully mitigated the anger conceived against a whole 
multitude, and dissipated the terror and bitterness with 
which they were threatened. Such an influence with a 
king of Persia had the deportment of Sperchis and Bulis, 
two noble Spartans ; and equally prevalent was the speech 
of Stheno with Pompey, when, being about to punish the 
Mamertines for their defection, he was told by Stheno, that 
he would not act justly if he should for one guilty person 
destroy abundance of innocents ; for that he himself had 
caused the revolt of the city, by persuading his friends and 
forcing his enemies to that attempt. This speech did so 
dispose Pompey, that he both pardoned the city and courte- 
ously treated Stheno. But Sylla's host, having used the 
like virtue towards an unlike person, generously ended his 
days. For when Sylla, having taken the city of Prae- 
neste, determined to put all the rest of the inhabitants to 
the sword, and to spare only him for the hospitality that 

* See II. IV. 223 


had been between them, he, saying that he would not be 
indebted for his preservation to the destroyer of his coun- 
try, thrust himself in amongst his fellow-citizens, and was 
massacred with them. We ought therefore indeed to 
deprecate such times as these, and hope for better things. 

20. Moreover, we should honor, as a great and sacred 
thing, every magistracy and magistrate. Now the mutual 
concord and friendship of magistrates with one another is 
a far greater honor of magistracy than their diadems and 
purple-garded robes. Now those who lay for a foundation 
of friendship their having been fellow-soldiers or having 
spent their youth together, and take their being joint com- 
manders or co-magistrates for a cause of enmity, cannot 
avoid being guilty of one of these three evils. For either, 
regarding their colleagues in government as their equals, 
they brangle with them ; or looking on them as their su- 
periors, they envy them ; or esteeming them their inferiors, 
they despise them ; whereas, indeed, one ought to court 
his superior, advance his inferior, honor his equal, and love 
and embrace all, as having been made friends, not by eat- 
ing at the same table, drinking in the same cup, or meeting 
at the same solemn feast, but by a common and public 
bond, and having in some sort an hereditary benevolence 
derived from their country. Scipio therefore was ill spoken 
of in Rome, for that, making a feast for his friends at the 
dedication of a temple to Hercules, he invited not to it his 
colleague Mummius ; for, though in other things they took 
not one another for friends, yet in such occurrences as 
these they should have mutually honored and caressed 
each other, for the sake of their common magistracy. If 
then the omission of so small a civility brought Scipio, 
who was otherwise an admirable man, under a suspicion 
of arrogancy ; how can he who seeks to impair the dignity 
of his colleague, or to obfuscate the lustre of his actions, 
or through insolency to draw and attribute all things to 


himself, taking them wholly from his companion, be es- 
teemed reasonable and moderate 1 I remember that, when 
I was yet but a young man, being jointly with another sent 
on an embassy to the proconsul, and my companion — I 
know not on what occasion — stopping by the way, I went 
on alone and performed the affair. Now when at my re- 
turn I was to render an account of my charge, my father, 
taking me aside, admonished me not to say / we7it but We 
went, not / spoke but We spoke, and so through all the 
rest to make my report by associating my companion, and 
rendering him a sharer in my actions. For this is not only 
decent and courteous, but also takes from glory what is 
offensive, that is, envy. Whence it is that great men gen- 
erally co-ascribe their most glorious actions to their Daemon 
or Fortune ; as did Timoleon, who having destroyed the 
tyrannies in Sicily, consecrated a temple to Chance ; and 
Python, when, being admired and honored by the iVthenians 
for having slain Cotys, he said, God did this, making use 
of my hand. But Theopompus, king of the Lacedaemo- 
nians, when one said that Sparta was preserved because its 
kings were well skilled in governing, replied : 'Tis rather 
because the people are well versed in obeying. 

21. These two things then are affected by each other; 
yet most men both say and think that the business of po- 
litical instruction is to render the people pliable to be 
governed. For there are in every city more governed than 
governors, and every one who lives in a democracy rules 
only a short time, but is subject all his life, so that it is the 
most excellent and useful lesson we can learn, to obey 
those who are set over us, though they are less furnished 
with authority and reputation. 

For it is absurd that a Theodorus or a Polus, tbe principal 
actor in a tragedy, should often obey a hireling who plays 
the third part, and speak humbly to him because he wears 
a diadem and a sceptre ; and that in real actions and iu 


the government of the state, a rich and mighty man should 
undervalue and contemn a magistrate because he is simple 
and poor, thus injuring and degrading the dignity of the 
commonweal by his own ; whereas he should rather by his 
own reputation and authority have increased and advanced 
that of the magistrate. As in Sparta the kings rose up 
out of their thrones to the ephors, and whoever else was 
sent for by them did not slowly obey, but running hastily 
and with speed through the forum, gave a pattern of obe- 
dience to his fellow-citizens, whilst he gloried in honoring 
the magistrates ; not like to some ill-bred and barbarous 
persons, who, priding themselves in the abundance of their 
power, affront the judges of the public combats, revile 
the directors of the dances in the Bacchanals, and deride 
military commanders and those that preside over the exer- 
cises of youth, neither knowing nor understanding that to 
honor is sometimes more glorious than to be honored. For 
to a man of great authority in a city, his accompanying 
and attending on the magistrate is a greater grace than if 
he were himself accompanied and attended on by him ; or 
rather this indeed would bring trouble and envy, but that 
brings real glory, and such as proceeds from kindness and 
good-will. And such a man, being seen sometimes at the 
magistrate's door, and saluting him first, and giving him 
the middle place in walking, does, without taking any 
thing from himself, add ornament to the city. 

22. It is also a popular thing and wins greatly on the 
multitude, to bear patiently the reproaches and indignation 
of a magistrate, saying either with Diomedes, 

Great glory soon will follow this,* 

or this, which was sometime said by Demosthenes, — that 
he is not now Demosthenes only, but a magistrate, or 
a director of public dances, or a wearer of a diadem. 
Let us therefore lay aside our revenge for a time ; for 

* II. IV. 415. 


either we shall come upon him when he is dismissed 
from his ofl&ce, or shall by delaying gain a cessation of 

23. Indeed one should in diligence, providence, and care 
for the public always strive with every magistrate, advising 
them, — if they are gracious and well behaved, — of such 
things as are requisite, warning them, and giving them 
opportunities to make use of such things as have been 
rightly counselled, and helping them to advance the com- 
mon good ; but if there is in them any sloth, delay, or ill- 
disposedness to action, then ought one to go himself and 
speak to the people, and not to neglect or omit the public 
on pretence that it becomes not one magistrate to be 
curious and play the busybody in another's province. For 
the law always gives the first rank in government to him 
w^ho does what is just and knows what is convenient. 
" There was," says Xenophon,* " one in the army named 
Xenophon, who was neither general nor inferior comman- 
der ; " but yet this man, by his skill in what was fit and 
boldness in attempting, raising himself to command, pre- 
served the Grecians. Now of all Philopoemen's deeds 
this is the most illustrious, that Agisf having surprised 
Messene, and the general of the Achaeans being unwilling 
and fearful to go and rescue it, he with some of the for- 
wardest spirits did without a commission make an assault 
and recover it. Yet are we not to attempt innovations on 
every light or trivial occasion ; but only in cases of neces- 
sity, as did Philopoemen, or for the performance of some 
honorable actions, as did Epaminondas when he continued 
in the Boeotarchy four months longer than was allowed by 
the law, during which he brake into Laconia and re-edified 
Messene. Whence, if any complaint or accusation shall 
on this occasion happen, we may in our defence against 

♦ Xen. Anab. III. 1, 4. 

t Probably a mistake for Nobis. See Plutarch's Life of Philopoemen, § 12. (G.) 


such accusation plead necessity, or have the greatness and 
gallantry of the action as a comfort for the danger. 

24. There is recorded a saying of Jason, monarch of 
the Thessalians, which he always had in his mouth when 
he outraged or molested any, that there is a necessity for 
those to be unjust in small matters who will act justly in 
great ones. Now that speech one may presently discern 
to have been made by a despot. But more political is this 
precept, to gratify the populacy with the passing over 
small things, that we may oppose and hinder them when 
th( y are like to offend in greater. For he that will be 
exact and earnest in all things, never yielding or conniving, 
but always severe and inexorable, accustoms the people to 
strive obstinately, and behave themselves perversely to- 
wards him. 

But wlien the waves beat high, the sheet should be 
A little slackened, — 

sometimes by unbending himself and sporting graciously 
with them, as in the celebrating of festival sacrifices, 
assisting at public games, and being a spectator at the 
theatres, and sometimes by seeming neither to see nor 
hear, as we pass by the faults of such children in oui 
houses ; that the faculty of freely chastising and repre- 
hending, being — like a medicine — not antiquated or de- 
bilitated by use, but having its full vigor and authority, 
may more forcibly move and operate on the multitude in 
matters of greater importance. 

Alexander, being informed that his sister was too famil- 
iarly acquainted with a certain handsome young man, was 
not displeased at it., but said, that she also must be per- 
mitted to have some enjoyment of the royalty ; acting in 
this concession neither rightly nor as beseemed himself; 
for the dissolution and dishonoring of the state ought not 
to be esteemed an enjoyment. But a statesman will not to 
his power permit the people to injure any private citizens, 


to confiscate other men's estates, or to share the public 
stock amongst them ; but will by persuading, instructing, 
and threatening oppugn such irregular desires, by the feed- 
ing and increasing of which Cleon caused many a stinging 
drone, as Plato says, to breed in the city. But if the mul- 
titude, taking occasion from some solemn feast of the 
country or the veneration of some God, shall be inclined 
either to exhibit some show, to make some small distribu- 
tion, to bestow some courteous gratification, or to perform 
some other magnificence, let them in such matters have an 
enjoyment both of their liberality and abundance. For 
there are many examples of such things in the govern- 
ments of Pericles and Demetrius ; and Cimon adorned the 
market-place by planting rows of plane-trees and making 
of walks. Cato also, seeing the populacy in the time of 
Catiline's conspiracy put in a commotion by Caesar, and 
dangerously inclined to make a change in the government, 
persuaded the senate to decree some distributions of money 
amongst the poor, and this being done appeased the tumult 
and quieted the sedition. For, as a physician, having 
taken from his patient great store of corrupt blood, gives 
him a little innocent nourishment ; so a statesman, having 
taken from the people some great thing which was either 
inglorious or prejudicial, does again by some small and 
courteous gratuity still their morose and complaining 

25. It is not amiss also dexterously to turn aside the 
eager desires of the people to other useful things, as 
Demades did when he had the revenues of the city under 
his management. For they being bent to send galleys to 
the assistance of those who were in rebellion against Alex- 
ander, and commanding him to furnish out money for that 
purpose, he said to them : You have money ready, for I 
have made provision against the Bacchanals, that every 
one of you may receive half a mina ; but if you had rather 


have it employed this way, make use as you please of your 
own. And by this means taking them off from sending 
the fleet, lest they should be deprived of the dividend, he 
kept the people from ofl"ending Alexander. For there are 
many prejudicial things to which we cannot directly put a 
stop, but we must for that end make use of turning and 
winding; as did Phocion, when he was required at an un- 
seasonable time to make an incursion into Boeotia. For he 
immediately caused proclamation to be made, that all from 
sixteen years of age to sixty should prepare to follow 
him ; and when there arose upon it a mutiny amongst the 
old men, he said : There is no hardship put upon you, for 
I, who am above fourscore years old, shall be your general. 
In this manner also is the sending of embassies to be put 
off, by joining in the commission such as are unprepared ; 
and the raising of unprofitable buildings, by bidding them 
contribute to it ; and the following of indecent suits, by 
ordering the prosecutors to appear together and go together 
from the court. Now the proposers and inciters of the 
people to such things are first to be drawn and associated 
for the doing them ; for so they will either by their shifting 
it off seem to break the matter, or by their accepting of it 
have their share in the trouble. 

26. But when some great and useful matter, yet such as 
requires much struggling and industry, is to be taken in 
hand, endeavor to choose the most powerful of your friends, 
or rather the mildest of the most powerful ; for they will 
least thwart you and most co-operate with you, having 
wisdom without a contentious humor. Nevertheless, 'thor- 
oughly understanding your own nature, you ought, in that 
for which you are naturally less fit, rather to make choice 
of such as are of suitable abilities, than of such as are 
like yourself; as Diomedes, when he went forth to spy, 
passing by the valiant, took for his companion one that was 
prudent and cautious. For thus are actions better coun- 


terpoised, and there is no contention bred betwixt them, 
when they desire honor from different virtues and qualities. 
If therefore you are yourself no good speaker, choose for 
your assistant in a suit or your companion in an em- 
bassy an eloquent man, as Pelopidas did Epaminondas ; 
if you are unfit to persuade and converse with the multi- 
tude, being too high-minded for it, as was Callicratidas, 
take one that is gracious and courtly ; if you are infirm of 
body and unable to undergo fatigues, make choice of one 
who is robust and a lover of labor, as Nicias did of Lama- 
chus. For thus Geryon would have become admirable, 
having many legs, hands, and eyes, if only they had been 
all governed by one soul. But it is in the power of states- 
men — by conferring together, if they are unanimous, not 
only their bodies and wealth, but also their fortunes, au- 
thorities, and virtues, to one common use — to perform the 
same action with greater glory than any one person ; not 
as did the Argonauts, who, having left Hercules, were ne- 
cessitated to have recourse to female subtleties and be sub- 
ject to enchantments and sorceries, that they might save 
themselves and steal away the fleece. 

Men indeed entering into some temples leave their gold 
without; but iron, that I may speak my mind in a word, 
they never carry into any. Since then the tribunal is a 
temple common to Jupiter the counsellor and protector of 
cities, to Themis, and to Justice, from the very beginning, 
before thou enterest into it, stripping thy soul of avarice 
and the love of wealth, cast them into the shops of bank- 
ers and usurers. 

And from them turn thyself,* 

esteeming him who heaps up treasures by the management 
of public affairs to rob the temples, plunder graves, and 
steal from his friends, and enriching himself by treachery 
and bearing of false witness, to be an unfaithful counsellor, 

* Odjss. V. 350. 


a perjured judge, a bribe-taking magistrate, and in brief, 
free from no injustice. Whence it is not necessary to say 
much concerning this matter. 

27. Now ambition, though it is more specious than covet- 
ousness, brings yet no less plagues into a state. For it is 
usually more accompanied with boldness, as being bred, 
not in slothful and abject spirits, but chiefly in such as are 
vigorous and active; and the vogue of the people, fre- 
quently extolling it and driving it by their praises, renders 
it thereby headstrong and hard to be managed. As there- 
fore Plato advised, that we should even from our infancy 
inculcate into young people, that it is not fit for them to 
wear gold about them abroad nor yet to be possessors of 
it, as having a peculiar treasure of their own, immixed 
with their souls, — enigmatically, as I conceive, insinuating 
the virtue propagated in their natures from the race or stock 
of which they are descended, — so let us also moderate our 
ambition by saying, that we have in ourselves uncorrupted 
gold, that is, honor unmixed, and free from envy and repre- 
hension, which is still augmented by the consideration and 
contemplation of our acts and jests in the service of the 
commonweal. Wherefore we stand not in need of honors 
painted, cast, or engraven in brass, in which what is most 
admired frequently belongs to another. For the statue of 
a trumpeter or halberdier is not commended or esteemed 
for the sake of the person whom it is made to represent, 
but for that of the workman by whom it is made. And 
Cato, when Home was in a manner filled with statues, 
would not suffer his to be erected, saying, I had rather 
men should ask why my statue is not set up, than why it 
is. For such things are subject to envy, and the people 
think themselves obliged to those who have not received 
them ; whereas those who have received them are esteemed 
burthensome, as seeking public employs for a reward. For 
as he does no great or glorious act who, having without 


danger sailed along the Syrtis, is afterwards cast away in 
the harbor ; so he who, having kept himself safe in pass- 
ing through the treasury and the management of the 
public revenues, is caught with a presidency or a place in 
the Prytaneum, not only dashes against an high promon- 
tory, but is likewise drowned. 

He then is best, who desires none of these things, but 
shuns and refuses them all. But if perhaps it is not easy 
wholly to decline a favor or testimonial of the people's 
amity, when they are fully bent to bestow it, yet for those 
who have in the service of the state contended not for sil- 
ver or presents, but have fought a fight truly sacred and 
deserving a crown, let an inscription, a tablet, a decree, or 
a branch of laurel or olive suffice, such as Epimenides re- 
ceived out of the castle of Athens for having purified the 
city. So Anaxagoras, putting back the other honors that 
were given him, desired that on the day of his death the 
children might have leave to play and intermit their stud- 
ies. And to the seven Persians who killed the Magi it was 
granted that they and their posterity should wear their 
turban on the fore part of the head ; for this, it seems, 
they had made the signal, when they went about that at- 
tempt. The honor also which Pittacus received had some- 
thing political ; for being bid to take what portion he 
would of the land he had gotten for his citizens, he ac- 
cepted as much as he could reach with the cast of his dart. 
So Codes the Roman took as much as he himself, being 
lame, could plough in a day. For the honor should not be a 
recompense of the action, but an acknowledgment of grati- 
tude, that it may continue also long, as those did which we 
have mentioned. But of the three hundred statues erected 
to Demetrius Phalereus, not one was eaten into by rust or 
covered with filth, they being all pulled down whilst him- 
self was yet alive ; and those of Demades were melted 
into chamber-pots. Many other honors also have under- 

VOL. T. 10 


gone the like fate, being regarded with an ill eye, not only 
for the wickedness of the receiver, but also for the great- 
ness of the gift. A moderation in the expense is therefore 
the best and surest preservative of honors ; for such as 
are great, immense, and ponderous are like to unpropor- 
tioned statues, soon overthrown. 

28. Now I here call those honors which the people, 

Whose right it is, so name ; with them I speak : 

as Empedocles has it ; since a wise statesman will not de- 
spise true honor and favor, consisting in the good-will and 
friendly disposition of those who gratefully remember his 
services ; nor will he contemn glory by shunning to please 
his neighbors, as Democritus would have him. For nei- 
ther the fawning of dogs nor the affection of horses is to be 
rejected by huntsmen and jockeys ; nay, it is both profit- 
able and pleasant to breed in those animals which are 
brought up in our houses and live with us, such a disposi- 
tion towards one's self as Lysimachus's dog showed to his 
master, and as the poet relates Achilles's horses to have 
had towards Patroclus.* And I am of opinion that bees 
would fare better if they would make much of those who 
breed them and look after them, and would admit them to 
come near them, than they do by stinging them and driv- 
ing them away ; for now their keepers punish them by 
smothering them with smoke ; so they tame unruly horses 
with short bits ; and dogs that are apt to run away, by col- 
laring them and fastening them to clogs. But there is 
nothing which renders one man so obsequious and submis- 
sive to another, as the confidence of his good-will, and the 
opinion of his integrity and justice. Wherefore Demos- 
thenes rightly affirmed, that the greatest preservative of 
states against tyrants is distrust. For the part of the soul 
by which we believe is most apt to be caught. As there- 

* See n. XIX. 404. 


fore Cassandra's gift of prophecy was of no advantage to 
the citizens of Troy, who would not believe her : 

The God (says she) would have me to foretell 
Things unbelieved ; for when the people well 
Have smarted, groaning under pressures sad, 
They style me wise, till then they think me mad ; 

so the confidence the citizens had in Archytas, and their 
good-will towards Battus, were highly advantageous to 
those who would make use of them through the good 
opinion they had of them. 

Now the first greatest benefit which is in the reputation 
of statesmen is the confidence that is had in them, giving 
them an entrance into affairs ; and the second is, that the 
good-will of the multitude is an armor to the good against 
those that are envious and wicked ; for, 

As when the careful mother drives the flies 
From her dear babe, which sweetly sleeping lies,* 

it chases away envy, and renders the plebeian equal in au- 
thority to the nobleman, the poor man to the rich, and 
the private man to the magistrates ; and in a word, when 
truth and virtue are joined with it, it is a strange and fav- 
orable wind, directly carrying men into government. And 
on the other side behold and learn by examples the mis- 
chievous eff'ects of the contrary disposition. For those of 
Italy slew the wife and children of Dionysius, having first 
violated and polluted them with their lusts ; and after- 
wards burning their bodies, scattered the ashes out of the 
ship into the sea. But when one Menander, who had 
reigned graciously over the Bactrians, died afterwards in 
the camp, the cities indeed by common consent celebrated 
his funeral ; but coming to a contest about his relics, they 
were difficultly at last brought to this agreement, that his 
ashes being distributed, every one of them should carry 
away an equal share, and they should all erect monuments 

• n. IV. 130. 


to him. Again, the Agrigentines, being got rid of Phala- 
ris, made a decree, that none should wear a blue garment ; 
for the tyrant's attendants had blue liveries. But the Per- 
sians, because Cyrus was hawk-nosed, do to this day love 
such men and esteem them handsomest. 

29. That is of all loves the strongest and divinest, which 
is by cities and states borne to any man for his virtue. But 
those false-named honors and false testimonials of amity, 
which have their rise from stage-plays, largesses, and fen- 
cings, are not unlike the flatteries of whores ; the people 
always with smiles bestowing an unconstant and short-lived 
glory on him that presents them and gratifies them. 

He therefore who said, the people were first overthrown 
by him which first bestowed largesses on them, very well 
understood that the multitude lose their strength, being 
rendered weaker by receiving. But these bestowers must 
also know that they destroy themselves, when, purchasing 
glory at great expenses, they make the multitude haughty 
and arrogant, as having it in their power to give and take 
away some very great matter. 

30. Yet are we not therefore to act sordidly in the dis- 
tribution of honorary presents, when there is plenty enough. 
For the people more hate a rich man who gives nothing 
of his own, than they do a poor man that robs the public 
treasury ; attributing the former to pride and a contempt 
of them, but the latter to necessity. First, therefore, let 
these largesses be made gratis, for so they more oblige the 
receivers, and strike them with admiration ; then, on some 
occasion that has a handsome and laudable pretence, with 
the honor of some God wholly drawing the people to 
devotion ; for so there is at the same time bred in them a 
strong apprehension and opinion that the Deity is great 
and venerable, when they see those whom they honor and 
highly esteem so bountifully and readily expending their 
wealth upon his honor. As therefore Plato forbade 


young men who were to be liberally educated to learn the 
Lydian and Phrygian harmony, — one of which excites the 
mournful and melancholy part of our soul, whilst the other 
increases its inclination to pleasure and sensual delight, — 
so do you, as much as possibly you can, drive out of the 
city all such largesses as either foster and cherish brutality 
and savageness, or scurrility and lasciviousness ; and if 
that cannot be, at least shun them, and oppose the many 
when they desire such spectacles ; always making the sub- 
jects of our expenses useful and modest, having for their 
end what is good and necessary, or at least what is pleasant 
and acceptable, without any prejudice or injury. 

31. But if your estate be but indifferent, and by its 
centre and circumference confined to your necessary use, 
it is neither ungenerous nor base to confess your poverty 
and give place to such as are provided for those honorary 
expenses, and not, by taking up money on usury, to render 
yourself at the same time both miserable and ridiculous by 
such services. For they whose abilities fall short cannot 
well conceal themselves, being compelled either to be 
troublesome to their friends, or to court and flatter usurers, 
so that they get not any honor or power, but rather shame 
and contempt by such expenses. It is therefore always 
useful on such occasions to call to mind Lamachus and 
Phocion. For Phocion, when the Athenians at a solemn 
sacrifice called upon him, and often importuned him to 
give them something, said to them, I should be ashamed 
to give to you, and not pay this Callicles, — pointing to an 
usurer who was standing by. And as for Lamachus, he 
always put down in his bill of charges, when he was gen 
eral, the money laid out for his shoes and coat. And to 
Hermon, when he refused the undertaking of an office 
because of his poverty, the Thessalians ordained a pun- 
cheon of wine a month, and a bushel and a half of meal 
every four days. It is therefore no shame to confess one's 


poverty ; nor are the poor in cities of less authority than 
those who feast and exhibit pubUc shows, if they have 
but gotten freedom of speech and reputation by their 

A statesman ought therefore chiefly to moderate himself 
on such occasions, and neither, being himself on foot, go 
into the field against well-mounted cavaliers, nor, being 
himself poor, vie with those that are rich about race 
matches, theatrical pomps, and magnificent tables and ban- 
quets ; but he should rather strive to be like those who 
endeavor to manage the city by virtue and prudence, al- 
ways joined with eloquence ; in which there is not only 
honesty and venerableness, but also a gracefulness and 

Ear more to be desired than Croesus' wealth. 

For a good man is neither insolent nor odious ; nor is a dis- 
creet person self-conceited, 

Nor with a look severe walks he amongst 
His fellow-citizens ; 

but he is, on the contrary, courteous, affable, and of easy 
access to all, having his house always open, as a port of 
refuge to those that will make use of him, and showing 
his care and kindness, not only by being assistant in the 
necessities and aff"airs of those that have recourse to him, 
but also by condoling with those that are in adversity, and 
congratulating and rejoicing with such as have been suc- 
cessful ; neither is he troublesome or offensive by the mul- 
titude and train of domestics attending him at bath, or by 
taking up of places in. the theatres, nor remarkable by 
things invidious for luxury and sumptuousness ; but he is 
equal and like to others in his clothes, diet, education of 
his children, and the garb and attendance of his wife, as 
desiring in his comportment and manner of living to be 
like the rest of the people. Then he exhibits himself an 


intelligent counsellor, an unfeed advocate and courteous 
arbitrator between men and their wives, and friends at 
variance amongst themselves ; not spending a small part 
of the day for the service of the commonweal at the 
tribunal or in the hall of audience, and employing all the 
rest, and the whole remainder of his life, in drawing to 
himself every sort of negotiations and affairs, as the north- 
east wind does the clouds ; but always employing his cares 
on the public, and reputing polity (or the administration 
of the state) as a busy and active life, and not, as it is 
commonly thought, an easy and idle service ; he does by 
all these and such like things turn and draw the many, 
who see that all the flatteries and enticements of others 
are but spurious and deceitful baits, when compared to his 
care and providence. The flatterers indeed of Demetrius 
vouchsafed not to give the other potentates of his time, 
amongst whom Alexanders empire was divided, the title 
of kings, but styled Seleucus master of the elephants, 
Lysimachus treasurer, Ptolemaeus admiral, and Agathocles 
governor of the isles. But the multitude, though they 
may at the beginning reject a good and prudent man, yet 
coming afterwards to understand his veracity and the sin- 
cerity of his disposition, esteem him a public-spirited per- 
son and a magistrate ; and of the others, they think and 
call one a maintainer of choruses, a second a feaster, 
and a third a master of the exercises. Moreover, as at 
the banquets made by Callias or Alcibiades, Socrates only 
is heard, and to Socrates all men's eyes are directed ; so in 
sound and healthy states Ismenias bestows largesses, Lichas 
makes suppers, and Niceratus provides choruses ; but it is 
Epaminondas, Aristides, and Lysander that govern, man- 
age the state, and lead forth the armies. Which if any 
one considers, he ought not to be dejected or amazed at 
the glory gotten amongst the people from theatres, ban- 
que ting-halls, and public buildings ; since it lasts but a 


short time, being at an end as soon as the prizes and plays 
are over, and having in them nothing honorable or worthy 
of esteem. 

32. Those that are versed in the keeping and breeding 
of bees look on that hive to be healthiest and in best 
condition, where there is most humming, and which is 
fullest of bustle and noise ; but he to whom God has com- 
mitted the care of the rational and political hive, reputing 
the felicity of the people to consist chiefly in quietness and 
tranquillity, will receive and to his power imitate the rest 
of Solon's ordinances, but will doubt and wonder what it 
was that induced him to decree, that he who, when there 
arises a sedition in the city, adheres to neither party should 
be reputed infamous. For in the body, the beginning of 
its change from sickness to health is not wrought by the 
parts that are infected with the disease, but when the 
temperature of such parts as are sound, growing powerful, 
drives away what is contrary to nature ; and in a state, 
where the people are disturbed by a sedition not dangerous 
and mortal, but which will after a while be composed and 
allayed, it is of necessity that there be a mixture of much 
that is uninfected and sound, and that it continue and co- 
habit in it. For thither flows from the wise what is fit and 
natural, and passes into the part that is diseased. But 
when cities are in an universal commotion, they are in 
danger of being utterly destroyed, unless, being constrained 
by some necessity and chastisement from abroad, they are 
by the force of their miseries reduced to wisdom. Yet 
does it not become you in the time of a sedition to sit as 
if you were neither sensible nor sorry, praising your own 
unconcernedness as a quiet and happy life, and taking de- 
light in the error of others. But on such occasions chiefly 
should you put on the buskin of Theramenes, and confer- 
ring with both parties, join yourself to neither. For you will 
not seem a stranger by not being a partaker in injustice, 


but a common friend to them all by your assistance ; nor 
will you be envied for your not sharing in the calamity, 
when you appear equally to condole with every one of 
them. But the best is, by your providential care to pre- 
vent the raising of any sedition ; and in this consists the 
greatest and most excellent point, as it were, of the politi- 
cal art. For you are to consider that, the greatest benefits 
a city can enjoy being peace, liberty, plenty, abundance of 
men, and concord, the people have at this time no need of 
statesmen for the procuring of peace ; since all war, 
whether with Greeks or barbarians, is wholly taken away 
and banished from us. As for liberty, the people have as 
much as the emperors think fit to grant them, and more 
perhaps would not be expedient. The prudent man there- 
fore will beg the Gods to grant to his fellow-citizens the 
unenvied plenty of the earth, and the kind temper of the 
seasons, and that wives may bear " children like to their 
parents," * and also safety for all that is born and produced. 
There remains therefore to a statesman, of all those 
things that are subject to his charge, this alone, which is 
inferior to none of the other benefits, the keeping of those 
who are co-inhabitants of the same city in perpetual con- 
cord and friendship, and the taking away of all contentions, 
animosities, and heart-burnings. In which he shall, as in 
the difi'erences between friends, so converse with the party 
appearing to be most injured, as if he himself seemed also 
a sharer in the injury and equally offended at it, endeavor- 
ing afterwards so to appease him, by showing him how 
much those who pass by injuries excel such as strive to 
contend and conquer, not only in good-nature and sweet- 
ness of disposition, but also in prudence and magnanimity ; 
and how, by remitting a little of their right in small mat- 
ters, they get the better in the greatest and most important. 
He shall afterwards admonish them both in general and 

* Hesiod, Works and Days, 235. 


apart, instructing them in the weakness of the Grecian 
affairs, which it is better for intelligent men to make the 
best of, and to live in peace and concord, than to engage in 
a contest for which fortune has left no reward. For what 
authority, what glory is there remaining for the conquer- 
ors ? What power is there, which the least decree of a 
proconsul cannot abolish or transfer elsewhere, and which, 
though it should continue, would yet have any thing worth 
our pains 1 But since, as a conflagration in a town does 
not frequently begin in sacred and public places, but a 
lamp negligently left in a house, or the burning of a little 
trash or rubbish, raises a great fire and works a common 
mischief; so sedition in a state is not always kindled by 
contentions about public aff"airs, but oftentimes the differ- 
ences arising from private concerns and jangles, being pro- 
pagated into the public, have disturbed a whole city. It is 
no less becoming a statesman to remedy and prevent all 
these, so that some of them may never have any being, 
others may quickly be extinguished, and others hindered 
from increasing or taking hold of the public, and confined 
amongst the adversaries themselves. And as himself 
ought to take care for this, so should he advertise others, 
that private disturbances are the occasion of public ones, 
and little of great ones, if they are neglected and suffered 
to proceed without taking care to apply fit remedies to 
them in the beo:inninD;. 

In this manner is the greatest and most dangerous dis- 
turbance that ever happened in Delphi said to have been 
occasioned by Crates, whose daughter Orgilaus, the son of 
Phalis, being about to marry, it happened that the cup 
they were using in the espousals brake asunder of itself; 
which he taking for an ill omen, left his bride, and went 
away with his father. Crates a little after, charging them 
with taking away a certain golden vessel, used in the sacri- 
fices, caused Orgilaus and his brother, unheard, to be pre- 


cipitated from the top of a rock to the bottom, and after- 
wards slew several of their most intimate friends, as they 
were at their devotions in the temple of Providence. Aftei 
many such things were perpetrated, the Delphians, putting 
to death Crates and his companions in the sedition, out of 
their estates which they called excommunicated, built the 
temples in the lower part of the town. In Syracuse also 
there were two young men, betwixt whom there was an 
extraordinary intimacy, one of which, having taken into 
his custody his friend's catamite, vitiated him in his 
absence. The other at his return, by way of retaliation, 
debauched his companion's wife. Then one of the ancient 
senators, coming into the council, proposed the banishing 
of them both before the city was ruined by their filling it 
with enmity. Yet did not he prevail ; but a sedition 
arising on this occasion by very great calamities overturned 
a most excellently constituted commonweal. You have 
also a domestical example in the enmity between Pardalus 
and Tyrrhenus, which wanted little of destroying Sardis 
by embroiling it in revolt and war on little and private 
differences. A statesman therefore is not to slight the little 
offences and heart-burnings which, as diseases in a body, 
pass speedily from one to another, but to take them in 
hand, suppress, and cure them. For, as Cato says, by 
attention and carefulness great matters are made little, and 
little ones reduced to nothing. Now there is no better 
artifice of inuring men to this, than the showing one's self 
easily pacified in his own private differences, persisting 
without rancor in matters of the first importance, and 
managing none with obstinacy, contending wrath, or any 
other passion, which may work sharpness or bitterness in 
necessary disputes. For as they bind certain round muffles 
about the hands of those who combat at buffets, that in 
their contests there may not arrive any fatal accident, 
the blows being soft and such as can do no great harm ; so 


in such suits and processes with one's fellow-citizens, it is 
best to manage the dispute by making use of pure and 
simple pretences, and not by sharpening and empoisoning 
matters, as if they were weapons, with calumnies, malice, 
and threats, to render them pernicious, great, and public. 
For he who in this manner carries himself with those with 
whom he has affairs will have others also subject to him. 
But contentions about public matters, where private grudges 
are taken away, are soon appeased, and bring no difficult 
or fatal mischiefs. 




1. AuTOBULus. Leonidas, being asked the question what 
he thought of Tyrtaeus, made answer, that he was a good 
poet to whet minds of young men ; as a person who, 
by the vigor and spirit of his poetical raptures, kindled 
that wrathful indignation and ambition of honor, which 
emboldened them in combat tO the contempt of death and 
danger. Which makes me afraid, my dearest friends, lest 
the encomium of hunting yesterday recited may have in- 
flamed our young gentlemen beyond the bounds of modera- 
tion, so as to deem all other things fruitless and of little 
worth, while they rendezvous from all parts to this exer- 
cise. So much the rather, because I myself, when I was 
but very young, even beyond the strength of my age, 
seemed to be more than became me addicted to this sport, 
and to be over desirous with Phaedra in Euripides, 

With hounds and horn and merry hollow, 
The spotted hart and hind to follow. 

So did that discourse affect me, fortified with many and 
probable arguments. 

SocLARUs. You say very truly, Autobulus. For that 
same poet seems to me to have awakened the force of 
rhetoric, for a long time lulled asleep, to gratify the incli- 


nations of the youthful gentry, and to make himself their 
spring companion. But I am most pleased with him for 
introducing the example of single combatants, from whence 
he takes occasion to praise the sport of hunting, as being 
that which for the most part draws to itself whatever is 
natural in us, or what we have by use acquired, of that de- 
light which men take in fighting with single weapons one 
against another, thus affording an evident prospect of arti- 
fice and daring courage, endued with understanding, en- 
countering brutish force and strength, and applauding that 
of Euripides : 

Small is the nerveless strength of feeble man, 
Yet through the cunning of his reaching brain, 
By various slights and sundry stratagems, 
Whatever land or th' Ocean breeds he tames.* 

2. AuTOBULus. And hence it was, as they say, my dearest 
Soclarus, that men at first became insensible and inhuman, 
having once tasted of murder, and being all accustomed, 
by hunting and following the chase, not only to behold 
without remorse the wounds and blood of wild beasts, but 
to rejoice at their being killed and slaughtered. After- 
wards, as at Athens, some sycophant was by the Thirty 
Tyrants set apart for death, as a proper object of capital 
punishment, then a second, and a third ; till, proceeding by 
degrees, they seized upon good men, and at length spared 
not the best and most worthy citizens. In like manner 
the first that slew a bear or a wolf obtained applause, 
then the ox and hog were appointed to be killed, under 
pretence of having tasted the sacred things that lay before 
them. Next to them deer, hares, and goats were made 
use of for food, and in some places the flesh of sheep, 
dogs, and horses grew familiar to human taste. The tame 
goose also and pigeon, man's familiar domestic, according 
to Sophocles, — not for nourishment or to assuage hunger, 

* Eurip. Hippol. 218. 


as cats and weasels do, but to indulge voluptuous appetites, 
— they dressed and mangled to pieces. This gave strength 
and vigor to whatever was in nature bloodthirsty and 
savage, and rendering the disposition of man inflexible 
to pity, had almost erased out of his breast whatever was 
inclinable to humanity and mildness. Whereas, on the other 
side, the Pythagoreans, that they might accustom men to 
the love of humanity and compassion, still inculcated into 
their minds a particular care of being mild and gentle 
towards beasts. For there is nothing more powerful than 
custom to win upon all the affections of man, and to 
draw them from moderation to extremity. But I know not 
how it comes to pass, that being entered into this dis- 
course, we have forgot not only the subject we were yes- 
terday upon, but what we had also this day agreed to 
make the theme of our colloquy. For yesterday, as you 
well know, having thrown out a proposition, that all creat- 
ures were in some manner partakers of understanding 
and reason, we gave an occasion to you, young huntsmen, 
for a fair dispute, which of the two excelled in craft and 
cunning, the land animals, or the creatures that breed in 
the sea"? Which, if you please, we will determine this 
day, if Aristotimus and Phaedimus will stand to their 
agreement ; of which two gentlemen, the one has' offered 
himself to his friends to be the patron of the land animals, 
the other reserves the honor of being more crafty to those 
of the sea. 

SocLARus. They will be as good as their words, I assure 
you, Autobulus, and will be here presently ; for I saw them 
both early this morning preparing for the combat. In the 
mean time, if you please, before they begin, let us resume 
something of what was yesterday not so fully discoursed 
of for want of time, or not so carefully argued in our 
wine, as it ought to have been. For there seemed a dis- 
pute to resound in my ears from the Stoics' portico, that, 


as immortal is opposite to mortal, incorruptible to corrupti- 
ble, incorporeal to corporeal, in like manner things void 
of reason ought to be opposed to those beings that are en- 
dued with reason, lest among so many pairs of contraries 
this alone should be found maimed and imperfect. 

3. AuTOBULUs. Good now, friend Soclarus, who was he 
that maintained that, because there are certain beings en- 
dued with reason, therefore there is nothing void of rea- 
son 1 For we abound with examples in all things that are 
destitute of a soul ; nor do we want any other antithesis to 
irrational, but only to oppose whatever is deprived of a 
soul — as being void of reason and understanding — to 
that which is endued with reason and understanding to- 
gether wath a soul. But if any one will assert, that Na- 
ture is not defective, and that therefore animated Nature is 
partly rational, partly without reason ; another may at the 
same time allege, that animated Nature is partly endued 
with imagination, partly deprived of it ; partly sensible, 
partly insensible ; to the end that Nature may not want 
these opposite habits and privations, as it were, equally 
balanced in the same kind. For, as it would be absurd to 
expect to find some living creatures sensible and others 
without sense, and equally ridiculous to grant imagination 
to some living creatures and not allloAV it to others, — since 
there is no living creature that comes into the world but 
what is presently endued with sense and imagination, — 
thus would he be as much out of the way, who should re- 
quire one living creature to be rational and another void 
of reason, and that too when he is disputing with men 
who hold that nothing whatever can partake of sense 
which does not also partake of understanding, and that 
there is no animal not endued by Nature with opinion and 
ratiocination, as well as with sense and instinct. For Na- 
ture, which, as they truly say, made all things for the sake 
of something and to some end, did not make a sensible 


creature to be merely sensible of barely suffering some- 
'"bing ; but since there are many things familiar and agree- 
able, and other things as baneful and pernicious, no one of 
them could survive for a moment, did they not learn to 
avoid some things and covet the use and benefit of others. 
Sense it is, therefore, that affords to every creature the 
knowledge both of useful and hurtful ; but the discretion 
which accompanies the said sense, choosing and seizing 
upon things profitable, and discerning and avoiding things 
pernicious or troublesome, can never be thought to reside 
in any creature not capable to reason, to judge, remember, 
and consider. Therefore, if you will deprive the creatures 
of expectation, memory, design, preparation, hope, fear, 
desire, and grief, you must at the same time deny them the 
use either of eyes or ears, and indeed of all sense and im- 
agination ; which it is better for them to be without, since 
they cannot make use of them, than to labor under grief 
and pain, with no means present of averting them. 

There is an oration of Strato the philosopher, demon- 
strating that without sense there can be no understanding. 
For many times letters cursorily glanced upon by the eye, 
and speeches little regarded by the ear, escape our knowl- 
edge, our minds being intent on other matters. After- 
wards by recollection the same things return into our mind, 
for us to run through and pursue them in our thoughts as 
we please. Whence we say proverbially, " The mind sees, 
the mind hears ; all other things are deaf and blind," in 
regard there can be no sense in the eyes and ears, if un- 
derstanding be wanting. Therefore King Cleomenes, 
after great commendations given to a copy of verses recited 
at a banquet where he w^as present, being asked whether 
it were not an admirable piece, bid them that heard it give 
their judgment, for that his mind was in the Peloponnesus. 
Therefore of necessity, whatever creatures are capable of 
sense must also be capable of understanding, if we can 

VOL. V. 11 


no otherwise be sensible than by the force of understand 

But suppose we should grant that sense has no need of 
the understanding for the performance of the duty incum- 
bent upon it ; nevertheless, when that same sense which 
has shown an animal the difference between what is grate- 
ful and what is averse to Nature has departed, where is 
that faculty which retains this difference in the memory, 
— dreading things that are abominable, and longing after 
things that are useful, and if they are wanting, seeking 
means to compass them, — which provides animals recepta- 
cles and places of refuge, that they may look out after their 
prey, and avoid the snares and gins of the hunters 1 And 
yet those very authors inculcate these things in their intro- 
ductions, even to the teasing our ears : defining purpose 
to be an indication that something is to be brought to 
completion ; design to be an impulse before an impulse ; 
preparation to be an action before an action ; memory to 
be the comprehension of some certain past impression, 
which at first was apprehended by sense. In all which 
things there is nothing which may not rightly be said to 
partake of reason, and yet all these things are common to 
all creatures ; as indeed are certainly all cogitations ; 
which, while they lie concealed in the brain, we call 
thoughts, but when they come to be in motion, we name 
conceptions. In the mean time they acknowledge all 
passions and perturbations of the mind to be false judg- 
ments and erroneous opinions ; so that it is a wonder to 
me, that the same men should oversee so many operations 
and motions, some of desire, others of fear, nay, by Jupi- 
ter, many times of envy and emulation itself. And many 
times they themselves punish their dogs and horses when 
they commit a fault, and this not to no purpose, but to 
chastise them by causing in them through pain that trouble 
of mind which we call repentance. Now the tickling the 


ear by pleasing sounds is called enchantment, but the be- 
witching the eye is called bewitching ; both which we 
make use of in the domesticating of wild beasts. Harts 
and horses are allured by the sounds of pipes and flutes. 
And there are a sort of crabs which are charmed out of 
their holes by fifes ; and it is reported that the shadfish are 
drawn to show themselves above water by singing and 
clapping of hands. The otus also, which is a bird not 
much unlike a night-raven, is taken by allurement of the 
sight ; for that while he stands staring upon the fowlers 
dancing before him in measure and figure, and out of 
aff'ection will be striving to act his part by aping their 
motions with his wings and shoulders, he is frequently sur- 
prised and taken. 

But as for those that more foolishly affirm that beasts 
are not affected with joy or anger or fear, that the swal- 
low does not build, that the bee does not remember, that 
the lion is not angry, that the hart is not timorous, but that 
they do all these things only as it were and apparently ; I 
would fain know what answer they will make to those who 
say, that beasts neither see nor hear, but as it were see and 
as it were hear ; that they neither neigh nor bleat, but as 
it were send forth a certain sound ; lastly, that they do not 
absolutely live, but live as it were ? For, in my opinion, 
to aver this is as contrary to plain demonstration as the 

4. SocLARUs. Well then, Autobulus, suppose me to be 
one of those that affirm these things. For it is great 
folly for men to compare the actions of beasts with the 
customs, actions, and manner of living men, and above all, 
to deny that beasts have the least inclination or aim at any 
progress towards virtue, to which we bent our discourse. 
Indeed, I doubt whether Nature gave them a beginning or 
no, since they are so incapable to attain the end. 

Autobulus. Why truly, Soclarus, this is not a thing that 


seems so absurd to those men. For that while they assert 
the extreme love of parents towards their children to be 
the principle of society and justice, and find at the same 
time this virtue apparent and surpassing in brute animals, 
yet they will not allow them in the least to partake of jus- 
tice ; like mules, which, though they are furnished with 
genital parts, as wanting neither privities nor wombs, and 
mixing with delight and pleasure, yet cannot attain the end 
of generation. But then again I would have you consider, 
whether they be not ridiculous, that affirm Socrates or 
Plato to be no less vicious than the meanest of slaves, — 
nay more, that they were fools, intemperate, and unjust, — 
and then find fault with the nature of beasts, as being 
impure and no way accurately framed for the reception of 
virtue ; as if this were proof of utter want of reason, and 
not of depravedness and imbecility of reason. And all 
the while, they acknowledge that there are vices of reason, 
of which all brute beasts are guilty ; many of which we 
plainly find to be intemperate, fearful, malicious, and un- 
just. Therefore he that denies that reason exists by Nature 
in a creature, because it is not framed by Nature to attain 
to the perfection of reason, little differs from one that 
should deny a monkey to partake of deformity by Nature, 
or a tortoise of slowness, as being neither susceptible of 
beauty or swiftness. Nor do they observe the distinction 
that lies before their eyes. For reason is in the creature 
by Nature, but right and perfect reason is attained by in- 
dustry and education ; so that naturally all creatures may 
be said to be rational. But if they look for perfection of 
reason and true wisdom, they will hardly find those perfec- 
tions in any man whatever. For as there is a difiference 
between sight and sight, and between flight and flight, 
— for hawks and grasshoppers do not see alike, neither do 
eagles and partridges fly with equal swiftness, — so neither 
in all rational creatures is there to be found the same per- 


fection of cunning and acuteness. For as there are many 
examples to be produced of several brute creatures, excel- 
ling in the observance of society, fortitude, and foresight 
as to their particular economy and making provision for 
themselves ; so on the other side, there may be found 
among them as many of injustice, cowardice, and folly. 
Which is evident from the present contest wherein these 
young gentlemen have engaged themselves, while the one 
has undertaken to maintain that land-animals, the other 
that creatures bred in the sea, are most inclined to virtue. 
Which is plainly demonstrated by comparing river-horses 
with storks. For the one support and cherish their fathers, 
the others kill them that they may enjoy their dams. So 
likewise, if you compare doves with partridges. For the 
cock partridge will not suffer the hen to sit, but breaks her 
eggs and throws them out of the nest if she refuses to be 
trod. But the cock pigeon takes upon him part of the 
female's duty, in brooding over the eggs and feeding the 
young ones ; and if the hen happens to be too long absent, 
he corrects her with his bill, till he forces her to return to 
her nest. So that, while Antipater found fault with sheep 
and asses for their nastiness, I wonder how he came to 
pass by lynxes and swallows, of which the one are so 
cleanly that they always remove and hide their excrements, 
the others teach their young ones to turn their tails out of 
their nest, before they let fall their defilement. Anti in- 
deed, why may we not say that one tree is more docible 
than another, as dogs are more docible than sheep ; or one 
pot-herb more timorous than another, as harts are more 
fearful than lions 1 Or otherwise, as among things immov- 
able, there is not one thing slower in motion than another ; 
nor among things that are mute, one thing more vocal than 
another ; so neither, among things to which Nature has 
not afforded a faculty of understanding, is there one thing 
more timorous, more slothful, or more intemperate than 


another. But as to those creatures where that faculty is 
present, the difference is manifest in the degrees of more 
or less. 

5. SocLARUs. However, it is a wonderful thing to ob- 
serve, how much man differs from all other creatures in 
probity of manners, in industry, and in all those things 
that relate to justice and common society. 

AuTOBULUS. Nevertheless, my dear friend, this cannot 
be denied, that there are many brute beasts that surpass 
men both in bulk and swiftness, others that far surpass him 
in strength of sight and exactness of hearing ; and yet for 
all this we are not to say that man is blind, without 
strength, or wants ears. For Nature has not deprived us 
either of hands or eyes or strength or bulk, though we 
must not compare with camels or elephants. In like man- 
ner we must not say that brute beasts are altogether de- 
prived of reason and understanding, because they are more 
dull of understanding, and not so quick at ratiocination as 
we are, as only enjoying a weak and muddy sort of reason, 
like a dim and clouded eye. And did I not presently ex- 
pect these young gentlemen, being persons both studious 
and learned, to bring together an infinite number of ex- 
amples in reference to both land and sea-animals, I could 
produce a thousand examples of docility and a thousand 
more of good nature in beasts, which the famous city of 
Rome has given us an opportunity to fetch from her impe- 
rial theatres ; but we will leave these things fresh and 
untouched, for them to embellish with theu' eloquent dis- 

In the mean time I have something to offer by the by, 
which is this, that I am of opinion that there is a mutila- 
tion, disease, and defect peculiar to every part and faculty, 
— as blindness of the eye, lameness of the leg, and stut- 
tering of the tongue, — which defects cannot be appro- 
priated to any other members. For that blindness can 


never be attributed to that which was never created to see, 
nor lameness to that which never could go, nor can any 
thing be said to stammer that wants a tongue, or to lisp or 
stutter that has not a vocal utterance. And nothing can 
be said to be a changeling or beside his wits or mad, to 
which Nature never gave the use of thought, reason, and 
understanding ; for it is impossible to be so without some 
faculty that can suffer either privation or mutilation or 
some other defect. But you have seen dogs that were 
mad, and I have seen horses under the same predicament ; 
and some there are who say that bulls and foxes will be 
mad. But the example of dogs is sufficient, which is un- 
questionable. This makes it evident, that those creatures 
have a sort of reason and understanding not to be despised, 
which being once confused and troubled, the affection 
arises which is called madness. For we do not find either 
their sight or their hearing diminished. Now, as when a 
man is affected with hypochondriac melancholy, or in a 
delirium, it would be absurd to say that he was not beside 
himself, or that his sense, reason, and memory were not 
disturbed, — for custom tells that they who are in a raving 
condition are not in their right senses, but are fallen from 
their reason, — so whoever believes that there is any other 
cause why dogs run mad, but only that their natural senses, 
reason, and memories are disturbed, while they cease to 
know faces the most familiar to them before, and abandon 
their most usual food, and overlook what is just before their 
eyes, such a man, I say, seems to me either to overlook what 
is just before his eyes, or else, seeing the conclusions that 
follow, to fight against the truth itself. 

6 SocLARus. You seem to me to be very much in the 
right, for the Stoics and Peripatetics are led to affirm the 
contrary upon this supposition, that justice could have no 
certain original, but would be altogether incomprehen- 
sible and inexistent if all brute creatures should partake 


of reason. For either of necessity we must do a very 
great piece of injustice when we devour and feed upon 
them ; or if we forbear the use of them, it will be impos- 
sible for us to live, or rather we shall in some measure 
live the lives of beasts, rejecting the use of brute creatures. 
I pass by those innumerable myriads of nomades and 
Troglodytes that know no other food but flesh. But as 
for us that seem to live lovingly and in friendship to- 
gether, what necessity would there be of laboring on the 
earth, toiling upon the sea, or mining in the mountains, 
what ornament would there be in our life, if it were so 
that we must be bound to live, as it would then become 
us, not only without injury but rather with all civility and 
humanity toward all the sorts of beasts, as being our fellow 
rational creatures ? We have no cure, no remedy for an 
unquestionable necessity that deprives us either of life or 
justice, unless we observe that ancient bound and dispensa- 
tion which, according to Hesiod, distinguishing natures and 
separating every kind by themselves, commands 

The fish, wild beasts, and all the winged fowl, 
To prey upon their kinds without control, 
For among them no law nor justice reigns ; 
Only by justice man from man abstains.* 

And therefore, as brutes can extend no act of justice to 
us, so neither can we commit any act of injustice against 
them. Which argument they who reject have left us no 
benefit of life, nor any the smallest entrance for justice 
into the world. 

7. AuTOBULUs. These things, dear friend, you utter 
as the opinion of those people. But we are not to allow 
philosophers a remedy to procure easy delivery, as they do 
to women that are subject to hard labors, merely that they 
may bring us forth justice without any pain or trouble. 
;For the same persons, even in the greatest matters, will 

p « Hesiod, Works and Days, 275. 


not allow to Epicurus so small and pitiful a thing as the 
slightest inclination of one only atom, for to make way for 
the stars and living creatures and Fortune to come into the 
world, and that thereby our free will might be saved. For 
we ought either to prove what is doubtful or to assume 
what of itself is manifest ; so we ought not to take for 
granted this doctrine touching beasts as regards justice, 
unless it is either confessed or otherwise proved by demon- 
stration. For justice has another way to establish itself, 
neither so steep nor so slippery, nor leading to the subver- 
sion of evident truths ; but which, according to Plato's in- 
struction, my son and thy friend, Soclarus, has showed to 
such as are not captiously contentious but willing to learn. 
For certain it is, that both Empedocles and Heraclitus held 
it for a truth, that man could not be altogether cleared 
from injustice in dealing with beasts as he now does ; 
often bewailing and exclaiming against Nature, as if she 
were nothing else but necessity and war, having neither 
any thing unmixed nor any thing truly pure, but still 
arriving at her end by many, and those unjust and unlaw- 
ful passions. Whence they affirm that generation itself 
originally proceeded from injustice by the conjunction of 
immortal with mortal, and that the thing engendered is still 
contrary to Nature delighted with the parts of that which 
engenders, dismembered from the whole. But this seems 
to be too luxuriant and severe an accusation of Nature. 
For there is yet a more moderate excuse, which does not 
altogether deprive the beasts of reason, yet justifies the 
necessary and convenient use of them ; which when the 
ancients introduced, they detested and utterly discoun- 
tenanced voracious and voluptuous gluttony. Pythagoras 
also resumed the argument, teaching how we might reap 
the benefit of the creatures without doing injustice. For 
they do no injustice, that chastise and kill such savage 
beasts that are both hurtful to man and never will be 


tame. But taming such as are gentle and loving to men, 
they thereby make them assistant in the several uses to 
which they were ordained, — 

The horse and ass, that backs to load resign. 
And race of bulls, 

which, as Prometheus in Aeschylus* observes, 

Kind Heaven vouchsafed to men by toil distrest. 
With servile limbs his labors to assist. 

Thus we make use of dogs to guard our goats and 
sheep, while they are milked and shorn. For life does 
not presently forsake a man unless he have his platters 
of fish or livers of geese, or unless he may kill whole oxen 
or kids to supply his banquets, or unless — that he may 
disport himself in the theatre or take his pleasure in hunt- 
ing — he may compel some beasts to be daring and to 
fight against their wills, and kill others whom Nature has 
not armed to defend themselves. For, in my opinion, he 
that is for sport and pastime ought to seek out for such as 
will sport and be merry with him. And as it was the say- 
ing of Bion, that, though boys throw stones at frogs in 
sport, yet the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest ; so 
in hunting and fishing, the fault is in the men delighting 
in the torments and cruel deaths of beasts, and tearing 
them without compassion from their whelps and their 
young ones. For it is not in the making use of beasts 
that men do them wrong, but in the wastefully and cruelly 
destroying them. 

8. SocLARUs. Contain yourself, my dearest Autobulus, 
and. forbear these accusations ; for here are several gentle- 
men coming, all great huntsmen, whom it will be very dif- 
ficult to bring over to your opinion ; neither is it convenient 
to offend them. 

Autobulus. You give me good advice. However, I 

* In the lost tragedy, Prometheus Unbound, Frag. 188 (Nauck). (G.) 


know Eubiotus very well, and my kinsman Ariston; nor 
am I less acquainted with Aeacides and Aristotimus, the 
sons of Dionysius the Delphian, as also with Nicander the 
son of Euthydamus, all expert in the chase by land, as 
Homer expresses it ; and therefore likely to take part with 
Aristotimus. On the other side, yonder comes Phaedimus 
too, bringing along with him the islanders and neighbors 
to the sea, Heracleon of Megara, and Philostratus of 

Whose whole delight is all the day 
The toilsome pastime of the sea.* 

But as for Optatus, our equal in years (like Tydides), — 

Which of the sides to range him well, 
So versed in both, we cannot tell.t 

For he is one that offers as well the first-fruits of his 
fishery to Dictynna, as of his forest spoils to Diana ; so 
that it is apparent he comes among us as one that intends 
not to be partial to one side more than the other ; or else 
our conjecture is amiss, dear Optatus, that your design is 
only to be an impartial umpire between these young 

Optatus. You conjecture very truly, Autobulus. For 
the ancient law of Solon is out of date, that punished 
those who stood neuters and refused to adhere to either 

Autobulus. Seat yourself then here by us, that if there 
should be any occasion for a testimony, we may not be 
troubled to run to Aristotle's writings, but acquiescing in 
your experience, may give our suffrages according to what 
you aver for truth. 

Optatus. Go to then, young gentlemen : are ye agreed 
upon the method and order of the dispute ? 

Phaedimus. Truly, worthy Soclarus, that very thing 

* See Odyss. XII. 116. t H. V. 85 


occasioned a great debate among us ; but at length, ac- 
cording to that of Euripides, 

The child of Fortune, Chance, the point agreed, 
And fixed the method how we should proceed, 

by giving the precedence to the land animals to plead their 
cause before marine creatures. 

SocLARDs. Then, Aristotimus, it is high time for you to 
speak and for us to hear. 

9. Aristotimus. The court is open to all concerned in 
the controversy. . . . Others there are that kill their young 
ones by leaping the females at the very instant of their 
bringing forth. There are a sort of mullets, called pardiae, 
that feed upon their own slime. But the polypus sits all 
the winter feeding upon itself. 

In fireless house, and domicils forlorn ; * 

SO slothful, or SO stupid, or so given to his gut he is, or 
else so abandoned to all those vices together. And there- 
fore Plato again and again forbids, or rather makes it his 
wish, in his laws, that young men might not be permitted 
to addict themselves to marine fishery, wherein there is no 
exercise of strength, no cogitation of wisdom, nor any 
thing that contributes to fortitude, swiftness, or agility, in 
combating against pikes, congers, or scates ; whereas, in 
the chase of wild beasts, the fiercer sort accustom the 
huntsman to contempt of danger, the more subtle sort ex- 
ercise and sharpen his wit and cunning, the swifter sort 
exercise his strength, and render him more apt to endure 
labor. These are the advantages that accrue to a man by 
hunting ; but in fishing, there is nothing worth his while. 
For never any of the Gods got honor by the surname of 
a conger-killer ; as Apollo was surnamed the wolf-slayer ; 
never any of the Deities gloried in being a darter of mul- 
lets, as Diana is honored with the addition of hart-darting. 

* Hesiod, Works and Days, 525. 


And Avhat wonder is it, when it is accounted more noble 
for a man to kill than to buy a wild boar, a hart, a goat, 
or a hare, but more honorable to buy a tunny, a lobster, or 
an amy, than to kill one ? And therefore, because there is 
nothing in fishing that is noble, no using of gins and 
slight of cunning, it is accounted a sorry, pitiful exercise, 
not worth a man's labor. 

10. In general then, since the usual arguments by which 
philosophers demonstrate that beasts partake of reason 
are these following, — purpose, contrivance, memory, pas- 
sions, care of their young ones, gratefulness to those from 
whom they receive kindnesses, and the remembrance of 
shrewd turns, to which we may add the search after and 
choice of what is needful and beneficial for them, together 
with apparent shows of virtue, as of fortitude, society, 
continence, and magnanimity, — if we consider the marine 
creatures, we shall not find that our strictest observation 
can perceive in them any of these excellences, or at best 
they are such obscure and imperfect glimmerings as are 
scarce discernible. But in terrestrial and land animals, 
there is not any man but may behold the most luculent, the 
most evident and uncontrollable demonstrations in the world 
of all that has been said. In the first place, observe the 
designs and preparations of bulls provoked to combat, and 
of wild boars whetting their teeth. Again, elephants — 
since, by digging up or tearing down the trees which they 
intend to feed upon, they blunt and wear out their tushes 
— make use of only one for those purposes, but reserve 
the other strong and sharp for their own defence. The 
lion also always walks with his feet inverted, hiding his claws 
withinside his paw, to prevent the hunter from tracing 
him easily by his footing. For the track of a lion's claw 
is not easily to be found, so that the hunters are frequently 
at a loss, and wander after the obscure and scarce discern- 
ible footsteps of those beasts. You have heard also, I sup- 


pose, of the ichneumon, how that he arms himself as com- 
pletely as a soldier with his breastplate and cuirass pre- 
pared for battle ; in such a manner does that creature 
surround and wrap himself about with a coat of mail, 
when he attacks the crocodile. 

Admirable are the preparations of swallows before they 
go to lay their eggs, how they place the more solid stubble 
for foundations, and upon that build up the slighter straws ; 
and if they perceive that the nest wants mud to serve as 
glue, you may observe how they fly to the next lake or 
sea, and after they have skimmed the superficies of the 
water with their wings, — so as to make them moist, yet 
not heavy with wet, — they lick up the dust, and so daub 
and bind together the loose and ill-cohering parts of the 
nest. As for the form of their architecture, it is composed 
neither of angles nor of many sides, but smooth and, as 
much as may be, spherical ; for that such a figure is last- 
ing and capacious, and not easily affording entrance to 
creatures that lie in wait for their destruction from with- 

Who is there that does not admire, for more reasons 
than one, the labor of the S23iders, which seems as pattern 
for the threads that women spin and the nets that are used 
in hunting ? For the extraordinary fineness of the spin- 
ning, and the evenness of the thread, not discontinued or 
snapped off like the yarn upon a quill, but having the 
smooth and subtle texture of a thin membrane, and knit 
and spun together with a certain clammy moisture imper- 
ceptibly mixed ; besides the tincture of it, causing a kind 
of airy and misty color, the better to deceive ; but above 
all, the conduct and governing of this little engine, in 
which when any thing happens to be entangled, you see 
how presently, like an expert huntsman, the subtle artist 
contracts her net and binds her prey within it ; — all this, 
being every day obvious to our sight and contemplation, 


gives credit to my discourse, which otherwise might be 
accounted no less fabulous than what is reported of certain 
Libyan crows, that, when they are a-thirsty, throw stones 
into the water, by that means to raise it to such a height 
that they may be able to reach it with their bills. Then 
again, when I saw a ship dog, in the absence of the sea- 
men, putting in stones in a half-empty jar of oil, it was to 
me a wonder how that dog should understand that the 
pressure of the heavier weight would make the lighter rise. 

And the same artifices are reported of Cretan bees and 
Cilician geese. For the first of these, being to take their 
flight about some windy promontory, ballast themselves 
with little stones, to prevent their being carried away by 
the stronger blasts. And as for the geese, they being 
afraid of the eagles, every time they cross the mountain 
Taurus, carry great stones in their mouths, to the end that 
by that means (as it were) br dling their gaggling tongues, 
they may cross the mountain in silence, without alarming 
their enemies. 

Extraordinary also is the caution which the cranes ob- 
serve in their flight. For they fly, when the wind is very 
high and the air very tempestuous, not as in fair weather, 
all afront or in manner of the half-moon ; but forming a 
triangular body, with the sharp angle of that figure they 
penetrate the wind that ruffles round about them, and by 
that means preserve their order unbroken. On the other 
side, when they fall upon the ground, those that are upon 
the night-watch stand with the whole weight of their 
bodies upon one leg, holding a stone in the claw of the 
other foot. For the holding of the stone keeps them 
awake for a long time together, and wakes them again 
with the noise of the fall if they happen to drop asleep. 
So that it was no wonder that Hercules laid his quiver 
under his arm-pit, and with his strenuous arm embracing 
his bow. 


Slept all the night, where'er he laid his load, 
With his right-handed weight upon the wood. 

Nor do I so much admire at him who was the first that 
hit upon the way to open an oyster, when I meet with and 
consider the artifices of the herons. For a heron, when 
he has swallowed a closed oyster, endures the trouble 
and vexation of it for so long time, till he perceives it 
soften and relaxed by the heat of his stomach ; then cast- 
ing it up again gaping and divided, he takes out that 
which is fit for food. 

11. But as it is a task of great labor accurately to relate 
the economy and contrivances of the emmets, so it would 
argue too much of negligence to pass them over in silence. 
For there is not in Nature a smaller creature ; and yet it is 
a most absolute mirror of the greatest and most noble per- 
formances, and (as it were) in a transparent drop the 
appearance of all virtue. There is friendship to be dis- 
cerned in their mutual society. There is the image of 
fortitude in the patient undergoing of labor. In them are 
to be seen many seeds of continence, many of wisdom and 
justice. Insomuch that Cleanthes, who denied that beasts 
were endued with reason, could not forbear reporting how 
he met with the following accident of a crowd of emmets, 
that came to another ant-hill, bringing along with them a 
dead emmet. Presently other emmets ascending out of 
their ant-hill seemed (as it were) to meet them, and then 
disappeared again ; and this was done twice or thrice. 
Till at length the one side brought up from under ground 
a worm, as the price of the dead emmet's redemption, 
which the other party of pismires receiving, delivered the 
dead emmet, and so departed. But that which is appar- 
ent to all is their equity to each other when they meet one 
another, while they that carry nothing always give way to 
those that are burdened ; nor are their divisions and par- 
titions of things too weighty for single carriage less re- 


markablc", to the end the burdens may be divided among 
many. But when they bring forth their little eggs and ex- 
pose them to the cold, Aratus makes it a sign of rainy 

When from her hollow cells th' industrious ant 
Her hidden store of eggs brings forth. 

For in that sense many read //f« (provision) for wea {eggs)^ 
referring it to the providence of those little creatures, who, 
when they find their provision in their magazines to begin 
to taint and grow rotten, bring it forth and expose it to 
the open air, to prevent the progress of the putrefaction. 
But that which above all things demonstrates the surpass- 
ing excellency of their understanding is their pre-apprehen- 
sion of the germinating of wheat. For the wheat does 
not remain dry and void of putrefaction, but grows moist 
and turns into a kind of milky substance, when it changes 
from seed to become an herb. For fear therefore that 
preserving the quality it should become useless for food, 
they eat out the very principal part of the grain, from 
whence the wheat sends forth its blossom. I must confess, 
I do not approve of those who dig up ant-hills on purpose 
to improve their learning (as it were) by anatomy. How- 
ever, they tell us by virtue of that cruel information, that 
the passage or descent from the top of the hill to the nest 
is not directly straight nor easily penetrated by any other 
creature, but intercepted with several turnings and wind- 
ings, leading through several underminings and perforations 
into three cavities ; of which the one is the common place 
of feeding and converse for the whole community, the next 
is the general magazine of their provision, and the third is 
the apartment where they dispose of their dead. 

12. I am afraid you may deem me too impertinent in 
joining elephants with pismires, and yet I cannot but 
think it seasonable to show the nature and force of under- 


standing, as well in the smallest as in the greatest hodies, 
neither obscured in the one nor deficient in the other. 

Some there are that admire in an elephant his aptness 
to learn and to be taught, and the many various postures 
and alterations of movement which he shows upon the 
theatres, not easily to be equalled by human assiduity, as 
subtle and abounding in memory and retention as man is. 
But for my part, I rather choose to prove his evident un- 
derstanding from the passions and inclinations of the 
creature, that were never taught him, but only infused by 
Nature, as being altogether unmixed and pure without the 
help of art. 

At Rome, not very long ago, there were many elephants 
that were taught many dangerous postures, many windings 
and turnings and circular sere wings of their bulky bodies, 
hard to be expressed ; among which there was one, which, 
being duller than the rest, and therefore often rated and 
chastised for his stupidity, was seen in the night-time, by 
moonlight, without being forced to it, to practise over his 
lessons with all the industry imaginable. 

Agno tells a story of an elephant in Syria, that was bred 
up in a certain house, who observed that his keeper took 
away and defrauded him every day of half the measure of 
his barley ; only that once, the master being present and 
looking on, the keeper poured out the whole measure ; 
which was no sooner done, but the elephant, extending his 
proboscis, separated the barley and divided it into two 
equal parts, thereby ingeniously discovering, as much as in 
him lay, the injustice of his keeper. 

Another in revenge that his keeper mixed stones and 
dirt with his barley, as the keeper's meat was boiling upon 
the fire, took up the ashes and flung them into the pot. 

Another being provoked by the boys in Rome, that 
pricked his proboscis with the sharp ends of their writing- 
steels, caught one of them in his proboscis, and mounted 


him up into the air, as if he intended to have squashed 
out his guts ; but upon the loud outcries of the spectators, 
set him gently down again upon his feet, and so went on. 
believing he had sufficiently punished the boy in scaring 
him. Many other things are reported of the wild elephants 
that feed without control, but nothing more to be admired 
than their passing of great rivers. For first of all the 
youngest and the least flounces into the stream ; whom the 
rest beholding from the shore, if they see that the less 
bulky leader keeps steady footing with his back above 
water, they are then assured and confident that they may 
boldly adventure without any danger. 

13. Having thus far proceeded in our discourse, I cannot 
think it well done to pass by the cunning of the fox, by 
reason of the similitude it has with the former. The 
mythologists tell us that the dove which Deucalion sent 
out of his ark, returning back again, was to him a certain 
sign of the storm not ceased ; but of serene and fair 
weather, when she flew quite away. But the Thracians 
to this day, when they design to pass a river that is frozen 
over, make use of a fox to try whether the ice will bear or 
no. For the fox, treading gently, lays his ear to the ice, 
and if he perceive by the noise of the water that the stream 
runs very close underneath, conjecturing from thence that 
the congelation is not deep but thin, and no way steadfastly 
solid, he makes a stop, and if he be suffered, returns back 
again ; but if he perceive no noise, he goes on boldly. 
Nor can we say that this is only an exquisiteness of sense 
without reason; but it is a syllogistical deduction from 
sense, concluding that whatever makes a noise is moved ; 
whatever is moved, cannot be frozen ; what is not frozen, 
is moist; what is moist, gives way. The logicians say 
that a dog, making use of the argument drawn from many 
disjunctive propositions, thus reasons with himself, in places 
where several highways meet: Either the wild beast is 


gone this way, or that, or that way ; but not that way, nor 
that way, therefore this way : the force of sense affording 
nothing but the minor premise, but the force of reason 
affording the major proposition, and inferring the conchision 
of the assumption. But a dog stands in no need of any 
such testimonial ; in regard it is both false and adulterate. 
For sense itself shows which way the beast is fled, by his 
tracks and footsteps, bidding farewell to disjunctive and 
copulative propositions. The nature of dogs is palpably 
to be discerned by many other actions, affections, and duti- 
ful service, neither the effects of hearing or seeing, but 
practicable only by reason and understanding. It would 
be ridiculous for me to discourse of the continence, obe- 
dience, and industry of dogs in hunting, to you that are so 
well confirmed in the knowledge of those things by daily 
experience and practice. 

There was a Roman named Calvus, slain in the civil 
wars, whose head nobody durst cut off before they killed 
the dog that guarded his body and fought in defence of 
his master. It happened that King Pyrrhus, travelling 
one day, lit upon a dog watching over the carcass of 
a person slain ; and hearing that the dog had been there 
three days without meat or drink, yet would not forsake 
his dead master, ordered that the man should be buried, 
but that the dog should be preserved and brought to him. 
A few days after, there was a muster of the soldiers, so 
that they were forced to march all in order by the king, 
with the dog quietly lying by him for a good while. But 
when he saw the murderers of his master pass by him, he 
flew upon them with a more than ordinary fury, barking 
and baying and tearing his throat, and ever and anon turn- 
ing about to the king ; which did not only rouse the king's 
suspicion, but the jealousy of all that stood about him. 
Upon which the men were presently apprehended ; and 
though the circumstances were very slight which otherwise 


appeared against them, yet they confessed the fact and 
were executed. 

The same thing is reported to have been done by a dog 
that belonged to Hesiod, surnamed the wise, which dis- 
covered the sons of Ganyctor the Naupactian, by whom 
Hesiod was murdered. But that which came to the knowl- 
edge of our parents, when they were students at Athens, 
is yet more evident than any thing we have said. For a 
certain person getting into the temple of Aesculapius, 
after he had stolen all the massy offerings of gold and 
silver, made his escape, not believing he was discovered. 
But the dog which belonged to the temple, who was called 
Capparus, when he found that none of the sacristans 
took any notice of his barking, pursued himself the sac- 
rilegious thief; and though at first the fellow pelted him 
with stones, he could not beat him off. So soon as it was 
day, the dog still followed him, though at such a distance 
that he always kept him in his eyes. When the fellow 
threw him meat he refused it ; when the thief went to bed, 
the dog watched at his door ; and when he rose in the 
morning, the dog still followed him, fawning upon the 
passengers on the road, but still barking and baying at 
the heels of the thief. These things when they who were 
in pursuit of the sacrilegious person heard, and were told 
withal by those they met the color and bigness of the dog, 
they were the more vigorous in the pursuit ; and by that 
means overtaking the thief, brought him back from Crom- 
myon, while the dog ran before, leaping and capering and 
full of joy, as it were challenging to himself the praise and 
reward of apprehending the temple-robber. And indeed 
the Athenians were so grateful to him, that they decreed 
him such a quantity of meat to be publicly measured to 
him, and ordered the priests to take care to see it done ; in 
imitation of the kindness of the ancient Athenians in r^ 
warding the mule. 


For when Pericles built the temple Hecatompedon (or 
Parthenon) in the tower of Athens, it so fell out that the 
stones were to be fetched every day many furlongs off, and 
a world of carriages were made use of for that purpose. 
Amons: the rest of the mules that labored hard in this em- 
ployment, there was one that, though dismissed by reason 
of age, would still go down to the Ceramicus, and meeting 
the carts that brought the stones, would be always in their 
company running by their sides, as it were by the way of 
encouragement and to excite them to work cheerfully. So 
that the people, admmng the zeal of the mule, ordered 
him to be fed at the public charge, as they were wont to 
decree public alms to the superannuated wrestlers. 

14. And therefore they who deny that there is any thing 
of justice due from us towards dumb animals may be said 
to speak true, so far as concerns them that live in the sea 
and haunt the abysses of the deep. For those kind of 
creatures are altogether unsociable, without affection for 
their young ones, void of all softness of disposition ; and 
therefore it was well said of Homer, speaking to a person 
whom he looked upon as a mere savage, 

But as for thee, so little worth, 

Tlie gleaming sea did bring thee forth ; * 

in regard the sea brings forth nothing friendly, nothing 
mansuete or gentle. But he that uses the same discourse 
and arguments as:ainst land animals is himself a brute and 
savage creature ; unless any man will affirm that there was 
nothing of justice due from Lysimachus to the Hyrcanian 
dog, that would not stir from the body of his deceased 
master, and when he saw his master's carcass burning, ran 
and threw himself into the flames. The same is reported 
to have been done by the dog Astus, that was kept by one 
Pyrrhus, not the king, but a private person of that name. 
For upon the death of his master, he would not stir from 

* n. XVI. 34. 


the body, but when it was carried forth, leaped upon the 
bier, and at length threw himself into the funeral pile, and 
was burnt alive with his master's body. 

The elephant also which carried King Porus, when the 
king was wounded in the battle against Alexander, pulled 
out several darts out of his wounds with his proboscis, 
with no less tenderness and care than the chirurgeon could 
have done ; and though the elephant himself was but in a 
very bad condition, yet would he not give over till he per- 
ceived the king was ready to reel and sink down by reason 
of the blood which he had lost ; and then fearing lest the 
king should fall, he stooped down gently, to ease the king 
in sliding to the ground. 

Such was the humor of Bucephalus, who, before he was 
accoutred, would suffer his groom to back him, but when 
he had all his royal trappings and housings about him, 
would permit nobody but Alexander to bestride him. 
But if any other persons approached him in curiosity to 
try what they could do, he encountered them open-mouthed, 
and neighing out his fury, leaped upon their shoulders, 
bore them down, and trampled them under his feet, unless 
prevented by keeping at a distance or by speedy flight. 

15. Nor am I ignorant but that there is something of 
variety in every one of these examples, which you must 
acknowledge. x\nd indeed it is not easy to find out the 
natural dexterity of any one ingenious and docible animal, 
which is not accompanied with more than one single virtue. 
Thus, where there is afl'ection toward their young ones, 
there is desire of praise. Where there is generosity, there 
is also moderation of anger. Cunning likewise and under- 
standing are rarely parted from daring boldness and forti- 
tude. But as for those that rather choose to divide and 
distinguish every one of these virtues particularly by them- 
selves, they shall find incogs a fair demonstration of a 
gentle and yet lofty mind at the same time, in turning away 


from such as sit quietly upon the ground ; according to that 
of Homer, 

With hideous noise the dogs upon him flew ; 
But sly Ulysses, who the danger knew, 
Sate husht and still, and from his royal hand 
His sceptre dropt, as useless in command.* 

For dogs never bite or worry those that prostrate them- 
selves at their mercy and put on a face of humility. Thus 
they say the bravest of those Indian dogs that fought 
against Alexander never stirred or so much as looked about 
them upon the letting loose of a hart, a boar, and a bear ; 
but when they saw a lion, then they began to rouse, to 
shake, and prepare themselves for the combat. By which 
it was plain that they thought only the lion an antagonist 
Avorthy of their courage, but despised all the rest as below 
their anger. 

Your hounds that usually hunt hares, if they kill the 
hares themselves, take great delight in tearing them to 
pieces and lapping up the blood. But if the hare despair- 
ing of her life, as many times it happens, runs herself to 
death, the hounds finding her dead will never touch her, but 
stand wagging their tails, as if they did hunt not so much 
for the love of the food as for victory and triumph's sake. 

16. There are many examples of cunning and subtlety 
abounding in land creatures ; but to omit slights and arti- 
fices of foxes, cranes, and jackdaws, of which I shall say 
nothing, because they are things already so well known, I 
shall make use of the testimony of Thales, the ancientest 
of our philosophers, who is reported to have chiefly ad- 
mired the most excellent in any art or cunning. 

A certain mule that was wont to carry salt, in fording a 
river, by accident happened to stumble, by which means 
the water melting away the salt, when the mule rose again 
lie felt himself much lighter ; the cause of which the mule 

* Odyss. XIV. 30. 


was very sensible of, and laid it up in his memory, inso- 
much that every time he forded the same river, he would 
always stoop when he came into the deepest part, and fill 
his vessels with water, crouching down, and leaning some- 
times to one side, sometimes to the other. Thales hearing 
this, ordered the vessels to be well filled with wool and 
sponges, and to drive the mule laden after that manner. 
But then the mule, as he was wont, filling his burthens 
with water, reasoned with himself that he had ill consulted 
his own benefit, and ever afterwards, when he forded the 
same river, was so careful and cautious, that he would 
never suffer his burthens so much as to touch the water by 

Another piece of cunning, joined with an extraordinary 
affection to their young ones, is to be observed in partridges, 
which instruct their young ones, ere they are able to fly, 
when they are pursued by the fowlers, to lay themselves 
upon their backs, their breasts covered with some clod of 
earth or little heap of dirt, under which they may lie 
concealed. On the other side, the old partridges do de- 
ceive the fowlers, and draw them quite a contrary way, 
make short flights from one place to another, thereby en- 
ticing the fowlers to follow them ; till thus allured from 
their young ones, the fowlers give over all hopes of being 
masters of their game. 

In like manner, hares returning to their forms dispose 
their leverets one to one place, another to another, at the 
distance many times of an acre of ground ; so that, upon 
the tracing either of men or hounds, they are sure not to 
be all in danger at one time, — themselves in the mean 
time not easy to be tracked, by reason of the various 
windings and turnings which they make, until at length, 
by giving a large leap, they discontinue the print of their 
feet, and so betake themselves to their rest. 

A bear, when she perceives her winter sleep coming 


upon her, before she grows stiff and unwieldy, cleanses 
the place where she intends to conceal herself, and in 
her passage thither lifts up her paws as high as she can, 
and treads upon the ground with the top of her toes, and 
at length turning herself upon her back, throws herself 
into her receptacle. 

Your hinds generally calve at a distance from all places 
frequented by flesh-devouring beasts ; and stags, when they 
find themselves unwieldy through surplusage of flesh and 
fat, get out of the way and hide themselves, hoping to 
secure themselves by lurking, when they dare not trust to 
their heels. 

The means by which the land hedge-hogs defend and 
guard themselves occasioned the proverb, 

Many sly tricks the subtle Reynard knows, 
But one the hedge-hog greater than all those. 

For the hedge-hog, as Ion the poet says,* when he spies 
the fox coming. 

Round as a pine-nut, or more sphere-like ball. 

Lies with his body palisaded all 

With pointed thorns, which all the fox's slight 

Can find no way to touch, much less to bite. 

But the provision which the hedge-hogs make for their 
young ones is much more ingenious. For when autumn 
comes, they creep under vines, and shake off the grapes 
with their feet ; which done they roll themselves up and 
down, and take them up with their prickles, so that when 
they creep away again, you would think it a walking clus- 
ter (and this we have looked on and seen them do) ; after 
which returning to their holes, they lay themselves down 
for their young ones to feed. Their holes have two open- 
ings, one to the south, the other to the north. So that 
when they perceive the alteration of the air, like pilots 
shifting their sails, they stop up that which lies to the 

* Fragment 38. 


wind and open the other. Which a certain person that 
lived at Cyzicus observing, took upon him from thence 
at any time to tell in what corner the wind would sit. 

17. x\s for love and observance of society joined with 
understanding and prudence, Juba produces many exam- 
ples of it in elephants. For it is the usual practice of the 
elephant-hunters to dig large pits in the elephants' walks, 
and cover them slightly over with dry twigs or other ma- 
terials ; into which if any elephant happens to fall, the 
rest fetch wood and stones to fill up the cavity of the pit, 
that the other may the more easily get out again. And 
some report of the elephants, that they make prayers to 
the Gods by natural instinct, that they perform divine cere- 
monies to the sea, and worship the rising sun, lifting up 
the proboscis to heaven instead of hands. For which rea- 
son they are creatures the most beloved of any by the 
Gods, as Ptolemy Philopator testified. For having van- 
quished Antiochus, and being desirous to pay a more than 
ordinary honor to the Deity, among many other oblations 
of thanksgivings for his victory, he sacrificed four elephants. 
After which being terrified with a dream, which threatened 
him with the wrath of the Deity for that prodigious sacri- 
fice, he sought out several ways to expiate his oifence, and 
among the rest by way of propitiation, he erected four 
elephants of brass to atone for the four elephants he had 

Examples not inferior of the observance of society are 
to be found among lions. For the younger carry forth the 
slow and aged, when they hunt abroad for their prey. 
When the old ones are weary and tired, they rest and stay 
for the younger that hunt on ; who, when they have seized 
upon any thing, call to the old ones, making a noise like 
the bleating of a calf. They presently hear, and so meet- 
ing all together, they feed in common upon the prey. 

18. In the amours of many animals there is much vari- 


cty. Some are furious and mad ; others observe a kind 
of human decency, and tricking of themselves to set off 
their beauty, not without a courtly kind of conversation. 
Such was the amour of the elephant at Alexandria, thttt 
rivalled Aristophanes the grammarian. For they were 
both in love with a girl that sold garlands ; nor was the 
elephant's courtship less conspicuous than the other's. 
For as he passed through the fruit-market, he always 
brought her apples, and stayed with her for some time, and 
thrusting his proboscis within her waistcoat, instead of 
a hand, took great delight in gently feeling her breasts. 

No less remarkable was the serpent in love with the 
Aetolian woman. He came to her in the night, and getting 
under her garments to her very skin, embraced her naked 
body ; and never either willingly or unwillingly did he do 
her any harm, but always about break of day departed ; 
w4iich the kindred of the woman observing to be the com- 
mon custom of the animal, removed her a great way off. 
After that, the serpent came not again for three or four 
days together, being all the while, as it seemed, wandering 
about in search of her. But at length, having with much 
ado found her out, he did not approach her with that mild- 
ness as he was wont to do, but after a rougher manner ; 
with his folds having first bound her hands to her body, 
with the end of his tail he lashed the calves of her legs ; 
expressing thereby a gentle and loving anger, which had 
more in it of indulgent expostulation than punishment. 

I say nothing of a goose in Egypt in love with a boy, 
nor of the ram in love with Glance who played on the 
harp ; for the stories are in all people's mouths. And be- 
sides, I am apt to think you are satiated with examples of 
this nature. 

19. But as for starlings, magpies, and parrots, that learn 
to talk, and afford their teachers such a spirit of voice, so 
well tempered and so adapted for imitation, they seem to 


me to be patrons and advocates in behalf of other creat- 
ures, by their talent of learning what they are taught ; 
and in some measure to teach us that those creatures also, 
as well as we, partake of vocal expression and articulate 
sound. From whence I conclude it a most ridiculous thins 
in them that would compare these creatures with a sort of 
mute animals, I mean the fish, that have not voice enough 
to howl or make a mournful noise. Whereas, in the natu- 
ral and untaught notes of these creatures, what music, 
what a charming grace do we observe ! To which the 
famous poets and choicest singers among men bear testi- 
mony, while they compare their sweetest odes and poems 
to the singing of swans and melody of nightingales. Now 
in regard there is more of reason in teaching than in 
learning, we are to believe Aristotle,* who assures us that 
terrestrial animals do that likewise, in regard that nightin- 
gales have been observed instructing their young ones to 
sing. Of which this may be a sufficient proof, that such 
nightingales are known to sing worse that are taken very 
young from the nest and deprived of the education of the old 
one. For they both learn and are taught from the old one, 
not for hire or to get reputation, but merely out of a de- 
light in mixing their notes together, and because they 
have a greater love for that which is excellent and curious 
in the voice than for what is profitable. Concerning 
which I have a story to tell you, which I heard from sev- 
eral Greeks and Romans, who were eye-witnesses of the 

A certain barber in Rome, who had a shop right against 
the temple which is called the Greeks' Market, bred in 
his house a kind of a prodigy of a magpie, whose tongue 
would be always going with the greatest variety imagin- 
able, sometimes imitating human speech, sometimes chat- 
tering her wild notes, and sometimes humoring the sounds 

* History of Animals, IV. 9, 19. 


of wind instruments ; neither was this by any constraint, 
but as she accustomed herself, with a more than ordinary 
ambition, to leave nothing unspoken, nothing that her imi 
tation should not master. 

It happened a certain person of the wealthier sort, newly 
dead in the neighborhood, was carried forth to be buried 
with a great number of trumpets before him. Now in 
regard it was the custom of the bearers to rest themselves 
before the barber's shop, the trumpeters being excellent in 
their art, and withal commanded so to do, made a long 
stop, sounding all the while. 

After that day the magpie was altogether mute, not so 
much as uttering her usual notes by which she called for 
what she wanted, insomuch that they who before admired 
as they passed to and fro at the chattering and prating of 
the bird now much more wondered at her sudden silence ; 
and many suspected her to have been poisoned by some 
that affected peculiar skill in teaching this kind- of birds. 
But the greatest number were of opinion, that the noise 
of the trumpets had stupefied her hearing, and that by the 
loss of her hearing the use of her voice was likewise 
extinguished. But her unusual silence proceeded from 
neither of these causes, but from her retiring to privacy, by 
herself to exercise the imitation of what she had heard, 
and to tit and prepare her voice as the instrument to ex- 
press what she had learned. For soon after she came of 
a sudden to sight again, but had quitted all her former 
customary imitations, and sounded only the music of the 
trumpets, observing all the changes and cadences of the 
harmony, with such exactness of time as was not to be 
imagined ; an argument, as I have said before, that the 
aptness in those creatures to learn of themselves is more 
rational than readiness to be taught by others. Nor do I 
think it proper to pass by in silence one wonderful ex- 
ample of the docility of a dog, of which I myself was a 


Spectator at Rome. This dog belonged to a certain mimic, 
who at that time had the management of a farce wherein 
there was great variety of parts, which he undertook to 
instruct the actors to perform, with several imitations 
proper for the matters and passions therein represented. 
Among the rest there was one who was to drink a sleepy 
potion, and after he had drunk it, to fall into a deadly 
drowsiness and counterfeit the actions of a dying person. 
The dog, who had studied several of the other gestures 
and postures, more diligently observing this, took a piece 
of bread that was sopped in the potion, and after he had 
ate it, in a short time counterfeited a trembling, then a 
staggering, and afterwards a drowsiness in his head. 
Then stretching out himself, he lay as if he had been 
dead, and seemed to proffer himself to be dragged out of 
the place and carried to burial, as the plot of the play 
required. Afterwards understanding the time from what 
was said and acted, in the first place he began gently to 
stir, as it were waking out of a profound sleep, and lift- 
ing up his head, he gazed about him. Afterwards to the 
amazement of the beholders, he rose up, and went to his 
master to whom he belonged, with all the signs of glad- 
ness and fawning kindness, insomuch that all the specta- 
tors, and even Caesar himself (for old Vespasian was 
present in Marcellus's theatre) were taken with the sight. 

20. But perhaps we may seem ridiculous for signalizing 
beasts in this manner because they learn, since we find 
that Democritus affirms us to have been their scholars in 
the greatest matters ; — of the spider, in weaving and 
repairing what we tear or wear out ; of the swallow, in 
building houses ; and of the mournful swan and night- 
ingale, in singing and imitation. Moreover in others we 
observe a threefold practice of physic, both natural and 
inbred. For tortoises make use of marjoram and weasels 
eat rue, when they have devoured a serpent ; and dogs 


purge themselves from abounding gall with a certain sort 
of grass. The dragon quickens the dimness of his sight 
with fennel ; and the bear, coming forth of her cave after 
long emaciation, feeds upon the wild arum, for the acri- 
mony of that herb opens and separates her guts when 
clung together. At other times, being overcloyed with 
food, she repairs to the emmet-hills, and thrusting forth 
her tongue all soft and unctuous, by reason of the sweet 
kind of slime that all besmears it, till it be crowded with 
emmets, at length swallows them down her throat, and so 
recovers. And it is reported that the Egyptians observe 
and imitate the bird called ibis, in purging and cleansing 
her bowels with the briny sea-water. For which reason 
the priests, when they hallow themselves, make use of the 
water of which the ibis has drunk ; for that those birds 
will not drink the water, if it be medicinal or otherwise 
infected. Some beasts there are that cure themselves by 
abstinence ; as wolves and lions, who, when they are 
gorged with flesh, lie still and digest their crudities by the 
warmth of one another's bodies. It is reported also of 
the tiger, that if a kid be thrown to her, she will not eat 
in two days ; but growing almost famished the third day, 
if she be not supplied with another, she will tear down 
the cage that holds her, if she have strength enough ; yet 
all this while she will not meddle with the first kid, as 
being her companion and fellow-housekeeper. 

More than this, the elephants are said to make use of 
chirurgery ; for that being brought to persons wounded, 
they will draw forth the heads of spears and arrows out 
of their bodies with little pain, and without dilacerating 
and mangling the flesh. 

The Cretan goats, which by eating dittany expel the 
arrows shot into their bodies, taught women with child to 
understand the virtue of that herb, so prevalent to expel 
the birth. For those goats being wounded seek no other 
cure, but presently seek out and hunt for dittany. 


21. But these things, though wonderful, are not so much 
to be admired as are those beasts that understand the use 
of numbers and have the power of reckoning, like the 
oxen about Susa. For there are oxen in that place that 
water the king's gardens with portable buckets, of which 
the number is fixed. For every ox carries a hundred 
buckets every day, and more you cannot force them to 
take or carry, would you never so fain ; insomuch that, 
when constraint has been used for experiment's sake, 
nothing could make them stir after they had carried their 
full number. Such an accurate accoimt do they take, and 
preserve the same in their memory, as Ctesias the Cnidian 
relates it. 

The Libyans deride the Egyptians for the fables which 
they report of the oryx, which, as they say, makes a great 
noise upon the same day, at the very hour, when the Dog- 
star, which they call Sothes, rises. However, this is cer- 
tain, that all their goats, when that star rises truly with 
the sun, turn themselves and stand gazing toward the 
east ; which is a most unquestionable argument of that 
star's having finished its course, and agrees exactly with 
the astronomer's observations. 

22. But that my discourse may draw to a conclusion, let 
us (as the saying is) move the stone over the sacred line, 
and add something concerning the divinity and prophetic 
nature with which our terrestrial creatures are endued. 
Which when we consider, we shall find that that part of 
soothsaying which is founded upon the observation of 
birds is not the meanest or most ignoble, but very ancient 
and in great esteem. For the smartness and intelligible 
faculty of birds, together with their capability to receive 
all impressions of fancy, aflford the Deity a convenience to 
make use of those faculties as instruments, that he may 
turn them into motion, sounds, chirpings, and forms, now 
to stop and stay, anon to drive forward like the winds ; by 

VOL, V. 13 


means of some of these stopping short, by the means of 
others directing to their end, the actions and impetuous 
impulses of men. Therefore Euripides in general calls 
birds the criers of the Gods ; and particularly Socrates 
styles himself a fellow-servant with the swans. As among 
princes, Pyrrhus was pleased with the surname of Eagle ; 
and Antiochus loved to be called Antiochus the Falcon. 
But they who deride men as insipid and void of ingenuity 
call them by the names of fish. And whereas we can 
produce millions of things and accidents which are foretold 
us by land and flying creatures, there is not any one such 
example that the patrons of water-animals can produce in 
their behalf; but being all void of hearing, perfectly sot- 
tish, and without any sight, discerning, or providence, they 
are all thrown apart into that same place, unblest and 
hideous, called the sea, as it were into the region of the 
ungodly, where the rational and intellectual part of the 
soul is extinguished ; being animated with only some di- 
minutive portion, the lowest that may be imagined, of a 
confused and overwhelmed sense, so that they rather seem 
to palpitate than breathe. 

23. Heracleo. Pluck up your brows then, friend Phae- 
dimus ; after all this, it is time to rouse thyself in the de- 
fence of the islanders, and others that live by the seaside. 
For this has been no frivolous discourse, but a hard fought 
contest, and a continued piece of rhetoric that wanted 
only lattices and a pulpit to give it the honor it deserved. 

Phaedimus. Therefore, you see, it is plain here has been 
foul play and treachery in the case, for a person sober and 
upon premeditation to set upon us when we were stomach- 
sick and dozed with our last night's compotation. But 
there is no way to avoid the combat ; for that, being an 
imitator of Pindar, it shall never be said of me, 

Combats refused, when nobly set upon, 
Have virtue into deepest darkness thrown. 


For we have leisure enough, as having not only allowed 
ourselves a vacation from jollity and balls, but our hounds 
and horses a relaxation from their labors, and withal having 
hung up our drag-nets and spears, as having also this day 
granted, for disputation's sake, a general truce to all creat- 
ures, as well upon the land as in the sea. However, fear 
not ; for I will use it moderately, without producing either 
the opinions of philosophers or the fables of the Egyptians, 
or the relations either of the Indians or Libyans, wanting 
testimony ; but such as shall be verified by good witnesses, 
who have made it their business to toil upon the ocean, 
and such as are evident to the eye. For to say truth, 
there is not any one of those examples produced from the 
land which is not apparent and openly manifested to our 
sense. Whereas the sea affords few but such as are diffi- 
cult to be discerned, as concealing the generation and 
nourishment of most of her creatures, their antipathies, 
and ways of preserving themselves ; in reference to which 
many acts of understanding, memory, and community are 
unknown to us, so that we cannot be so copious in our dis- 
course. Then again, land animals, by reason of their 
familiarity and cohabitation, being in some measure accus- 
tomed to the conditions of men, become capable of their 
nutriture, education, and imitation ; which sweetens and 
allays all their acerbity and moroseness, like the mixture 
of fresh water with sea brine, and awakening that which 
is slow and disordered in them, inflames it with human 
motions. Whereas the living of sea animals being by many 
degrees remote from the converse of men, and having 
nothing adventitious or that may be said to be acquired by 
custom and familiarity, is altogether peculiar, genuine, and 
unmixed with manners strange and foreign to them ; which 
proceeds not from Nature, but from the place itself. For 
Nature, receiving and cherishing whatever knowledge 
comes to herself, affords it also to fish, and makes many 


eels tame and familiar to men, which for that reason are 
called sacred, like those in the fountain Arethusa ; so that 
in many places there are fish that will hear and obey when 
called by their names, as the story goes of Crassus's mullet, 
upon the death of which he wept. For which when 
Domitius twitted him in these words. Did not you weep 
when your mullet died] — he retorted upon him again, 
Did you not bury three wives and never weep at all ? The 
crocodiles belonging to the priests not only know the voices 
of those that call them, and suffer themselves to be stroked 
and handled, but gaping hold out their teeth to be cleansed 
and wiped by the hands of the priests. 

Lately Philinus, after he had been long travelling in 
Egypt, returning to us, told us how he saw, in the city 
which derives its name from Anteus, an old woman sleep- 
ing by the side of a crocodile, upon a low soft bed well 
and decently dressed up. 

In ancient histories we find that when King Ptolemy 
called the sacred crocodile, and w^hen the crocodile neither 
vouchsafed to appear at his call nor would answer to the 
earnest expostulations of the priests, it was looked upon 
as a prognostication of the death of the king, which hap- 
pened soon after. Which shows that the race of water- 
animals is neither without a share of that inestimable thing 
called prophetic signification, nor undeserving those honors 
ascribed to land creatures. For that about Sura, which is 
a village in Lycia between Phellus and Myra, I have heard 
it credibly reported, that there are certain persons who 
make it their business to watch the turns, flights, and pur- 
suits of the fish, whence, by a certain art which they have, 
they gather predictions, as others from the observation of 

24. But let these examples suffice to show, that fish are 
not altogether strangers to mankind, nor altogether void 
of human affection. But for a great and common demon- 


stration of their unmixed and natural understanding, we 
find that there is not any fish that swims, unless they be 
such as stick and cling to the rocks, which is so easily 
taken by men, as asses are seized by wolves, bees by bee- 
eaters, grasshoppers by swallows, serpents by harts. And 
these last are therefore called elacpoi, not from their swift- 
ness {tlacpaorr^g), but from a faculty which they have of 
drawing serpents to them (tlneiv ocpsig). So sheep call the 
wolf by the sound of their feet, and the panther allures 
to her paws both apes and other creatures by the fragrant 
smell of her body. But so suspicious is the sense of all 
water animals, and so watchful are they to avoid all baits 
and treacheries against them, by reason of their extraor- 
dinary cunning, that fishing thereby becomes no easy or 
single labor, but a toil that requires various instruments 
and many tricks of human cunning and deceit. This is 
apparent from examples near at hand. For no man desires 
an angling-rod too thick, though strong enough to hold 
against the twitches of the fish when taken ; but rather 
they require it slender, lest by casting too great a shadow 
upon the water, it should frighten the suspicious creat- 
ure. In the next place, they never knit too many knots 
in the line, but make it as smooth as may be, for that 
would too much discover the deceit ; and then for the hairs 
which are next the hook, they endeavor to get the whitest 
they can meet with ; for so, by reason of the likeness of 
color, they lie the more easily concealed in the water. 
Therefore some there are who, wrongly expounding the 
following verses of Homer,* 

She to the bottom quickly sinks, like lead, 
Which fixt to horn t of rustic ox descends. 
And brings destruction to the greedy fish, 

believe that the ancients made use of ox-hair for their lines 
with which they angled, alleging that xigag then signified 

* II. XXIV. 80. t Kipas. 


hair, — from whence xsiQaadai, to he shaved, and xovqu, shav- 
ing, — and that xeQOTildazrjg in Archilochus signified one who 
takes dehght in trimming and decking the hair. But this 
is an error. For they made use of horse-hair, more 
especially that of male horses. For mares, by moistening 
their tails with their urine, render the hair weak and 
brittle. Though Aristotle will not allow any thing to be 
said in all this that requires such extraordinary subtlety. 
Only he says, that the lower piece of the line was fortified 
with a little hollow piece of horn, lest the fish should come 
at the line itself and bite it off; moreover, that they made 
use of round hooks to catch mullets and tunnies, in regard 
they had but small mouths, for that they were afraid of a 
straight hook. He also further says, that the mullet many 
times suspecting the round hook, will swim round about it, 
flapping the bait with his tail, and then turning round, 
secures to himself so much as he has broken off. Or if 
he cannot do that, he shuts his mouth close, and with the 
extremities of his lips nibbles off some part of the bait. 

The fish called labrax behaves himself more stoutly 
than the elephant ; for when he perceives himself struck 
with the hook, without assistance he sets himself at lib- 
erty, widening the wound by flinging his head to and fro, 
and enduring the painful twingings of the hook, till he 
have freed himself from it with the loss of his flesh. The 
sea fox (or the fish called alopex) seldom bites, but avoids 
the deceit ; but if he chance to be taken, he presently turns 
the inside of his body outward. For by reason of the 
strength and moisture of his body, he has a peculiar fac- 
ulty to turn it so that, the inside coming to be outermost, 
the hook falls off. These things demonstrate understand- 
ing, and a subtle and extraordinary use of it in the nick 
and juncture of time. 

25. Other examples there are which show not only this 
same understanding and knowledge, but the community 


and mutual affection of fish. Thus, if one scate happen 
to swallow the hook, all the rest of the scates that are in 
the same shoal presently crowd together and bite the line 
in pieces. The same scates, if any of their companions 
fall into the net, give the prisoners their tails to take hold 
of with their teeth, and so draw them forth by main 

But the fish called anthiae with far more courage assist 
their fellows in distress. For getting under the line with 
their backs, and setting up their fins, with these, as with 
sharp saws, they endeavor to cut it in two. 

Now we know no land animal that will assist and de- 
fend his kind in danger ; neither the bear, nor the wild 
boar, nor the lion, nor the panther. True it is that, when 
they are in herds together, they will gather into a circle 
and defend each other in common ; but no single land 
animal either knows or cares to assist a single companion, 
but flies and shifts for himself as far off as he can from 
the beast that is wounded and lies a dying. For as for 
that old story of elephants filling up the ditches with 
heaps of adjoining materials, whether wood or earth, for 
the unfortunate elephant the more easily to get up again, 
this, my good friend, is extremely uncouth and foreign to 
us, as if we were bound to believe Juba's books by virtue 
of a royal edict. However, if it is true, it does but serve to 
show that many of the marine creatures are nothing infe- 
rior in understanding and community to the most intelli- 
gent of the land animals. But as for their mutual society, 
we shall discourse apart of that by itself. 

26. Now the fishermen, observing how that most fish 
avoided the casts of their hooks by cunning or by striving 
with the tackling, betook themselves to force, — as the 
Persians use to serve their enemies in their wars,* — 

* That is, by joining hands and sweeping across an island. See the description 
in Herod. VL 31, and aayrivevu in Liddell and Scott. (G.) 


making use of nets, that there might be no escape foi 
those that were caught either by the help of reason or 
subtlety. Thus mullets and the fish called julides are 
taken with sweep-nets and drag-nets, as are also several 
other sorts of fish called mormuri, sargi, gobii, and la- 
braces ; those that are called casting-nets catch the mullet, 
the gilthead. and the scorpion fish ; and therefore Homer 
calls this sort of net navdyQa, or the all-sweeper* And yet 
there are some fish that are too cunning for these nets. 
Thus the labrax, perceiving the drawing of the sweep-net, 
Avitli the force of his body beats a hollow place in the mud, 
where he lays himself close till the net be gone over him. 
But as for the dolphin, when he finds himself taken and 
in the midst of the net, he remains there without being in 
the least perplexed, but falls to with a great deal of joy, 
and feasts upon the numerous fry within the meshes ; but 
so soon as he comes near the shore, he bites his way 
through the net with his teeth and swims away. Or if he 
chance to be taken, the fishermen do him no other harm 
the first time, but only sew a sort of large bulrush to the 
finny crown upon his head, and so let him go. If they 
take him a second time, they punish him with stripes, well 
knowing him again by the prints of the needle. But that 
rarely happens. For having got pardon the first time, for 
the most part of them, they acknowledge the favor, and 
abstain from spoil for the future. 

Moreover, among the many examples that make evident 
the wariness of fish in avoiding the deceits and craft of 
the fishermen, it would not be convenient to pass by that 
of the cuttle-fish. For this fish, carrying near his neck a 
certain black and inky sort of liquor, so soon as he per- 
ceives himself discovered, throws that liquor forth, and 
darkens all the water round about him in such a manner 
that, the fisherman losing sight of him, by that means he 

* See II. V. 487. 


makes his escape ; imitating therein Homer's Deities, who, 
when they had a mind to save any of their heroes, hid 
them in an azure cloud. But of this enough. 

27. Now for the extraordinary subtlety of fish in hunting 
and catching their own prey, we shall meet with several 
examples of it in several fish. Particularly the star-fish, 
understanding his own nature to be such that whatever he 
touches dissolves and liquefies, readily offers his body, and 
permits himself to be touched by all that come near him. 

You know yourself the property of the torpedo or cramp 
5sh, which not only benumbs all those that touch it, but 
also strikes a numbness through the very net into the hands 
of them that go about to take him. And some that have 
had greater experience of this fish report that, if it happen 
to fall alive upon the land, they that pour water upon it 
shall presently perceive a numbness seizing upon their 
hands and stupefying their feeling, through the water 
affected with the quality of the fish. And therefore, hav- 
ing an innate sense of this faculty, it never makes any re- 
sistance against any thing, nor ever is it in danger. Only 
swimming ckcularly about his prey, he shoots forth the 
effluviums of his nature like so many darts, and first infects 
the water, then the fish through the water, which is neither 
able to defend itself nor to escape, being (as it were) held 
in chains and frozen up. 

The fish called the fisherman is well known to many, 
who has his name given him from his manner of catching 
fish ; whose art, as Aristotle writes, the cuttle-fish makes 
use of, for he lets down, like a line, a certain curl which 
Nature has given him, so ordered as to let it run out at 
length or draw it to him again, as he sees occasion. This, 
when he sees any of the lesser fish approach, he off'ers 
them to bite, and then by degrees pulls the curl nearer and 
nearer by virtue of the bait, till he has drawn his prey 
within the reach of his mouth. And as for the polypus's 


changing his color, Pindar has made it famous in these 
words : 

In any city may thai man expose 
His safety, who well knows 
Like sea-bred polypus to range, 
And vary color upon every change. 

In like manner Theognis : 

Change manners with thy friends, observing thus 
The many-colored, cunning polypus ; 
Who let him stick to whatsoever rock, 
Of the same color does his body look.* 

It is true the chameleon changes color, not out of any 
design or to conceal himself, but out of fear, being natu- 
rally timorous and trembling at every noise he hears. And 
this is occasioned by the extraordinary abundance of 
breath which he enjoys, as Theophrastus affirms. For the 
whole body of this creature wants but little of being noth- 
ing else but lungs ; which demonstrates him to be full of 
spirits, and consequently apt to change. But this same 
change of the polypus is no product of any affection of 
the mind, but a kind of action. For he changes on pur- 
pose, making use of this artifice to escape what he fears, 
and to get the food which he lives by. For by fraud, those 
things that he will take never avoid him, and those things 
he will escape pass him by without taking any notice of 
him. For that he devours his own claws is an untruth, 
but that he is afraid of the lamprey and conger is certain ; 
for by these he is ill treated, not being able to return them 
any injury, by reason of their being so slippery. Though 
on the other side the crawfish, having once got them within 
his claws, holds them with ease. For slenderness affords 
no help against roughness ; but when the polypus comes 
to thrust his horns into the body of the crawfish, then also 
the crawfish dies. And this same vicissitude of avoiding 

* Theognis, vs. 216. 


and pursuing one another has Nature infused into them on 
purpose to exercise their subtlety and understanding. 

28. Then again we have heard Aristotimus relating how 
the land hedge-hog had a perception of the rising of the 
wind, and praising the trigonal flight of cranes. But for 
my part, I produce no particular hedge-hog of Cyzicus or 
Byzantium, but all the sea hedge-hogs in general ; who, 
when they perceive a storm coming, ballast themselves with 
little stones, lest they should be overturned by reason of 
their lightness or carried away by the rolling of the waves, 
which they prevent by the weight of their little stones. 

On the other side, the cranes' order in their flight against 
the wind is not of one sort. But this is a general notion 
among all fish, that they always swim against the waves and 
the tide, and always take care lest the wind being in their 
tails should force their fins from their backs, and leave 
their naked bodies exposed to the cold and other incon- 
veniences ; and therefore they still oppose the prows of 
their bodies against the waves. For that while they thus 
cleave the waves at the top, the sea keeps their fins close, 
and lightly flowing over the superficies of their bodies, be- 
comes less burdensome, besides that it suff"ers not their 
scales to rise. 

This, I say, is common to all fish, except that fish which 
is called ellops ; which, as they report, always swims with 
the wind and tide, not minding the erection or opening of 
the scales, which do not lie towards the tail, as in other 

29. Moreover, the tunny is so sensible of the equinoxes 
and solstices, that he teaches even men themselves without 
the help of any astrological table. For where the winter 
solstice overtakes him, there he remains till the vernal 

As for that same artifice of the cranes, that keep them- 
selves waking by clutching a stone in their claws, how much 


more cunningly done is that of the dolphin, for whom it 
is not lawful to stand still or to be out of motion. For it 
is the nature of the dolphins to be always in motion ; so 
that, when they cease to move, they also cease to live. 
And therefore when sleep seizes them, they raise their 
bodies to the superficies of the sea, and so sinking down 
again with their bellies upward, are carried along with the 
tide till they touch again the shore. Wakened in that 
manner, with an impetuous noise they mount upward again, 
desisninsr thus a kind of rest still intermixed with motion. 
And the same thing is reported of the tunnies for the same 

Having thus concluded their mathematical foreknowl- 
edge of the mutations of the sun, of which Aristotle 
gives testimony, let me now relate their skill in arithmetic ; 
but first of all, their knowledge in optics, of which Aes- 
chylus seems not to have been altogether ignorant. For 
these are his words : 

Casting a squint-eye like the tunny. 

For tunnies seem to be dim-sighted of one eye. And there- 
fore, when they enter the Euxine Sea, they coast along 
the land on the right side, and contrariwise when they 
come forth ; prudently committing the care of their bodies 
to the best eye. 

But wanting arithmetic in order to the preservation of 
mutual love and society one with another, they arrive in 
such a manner to the perfection of that science, that, in 
regard they are extremely desirous to enjoy the society of 
each other, they always make up their whole fry into tbo 
form of a cube, and make a solid of the whole number 
consisting of six equal planes; and then they swim in such 
order as to present an equal front in each direction. So 
then, if the observer of the tunnies does but exactly take 
the number of the side that he sees, he knows the whole 


number of the shoal ; well knowing that the depth is equal 
to the breadth and length. 

.30, The fish amiae, which are another sort of tunnies, are 
so called, because they swim in shoals, as also the pelamydes 
or summer whitings. As for the rest that are seen to swim 
in shoals and to observe a mutual society, their number is 
not to be expressed. And therefore let us proceed to those 
that observe a kind of private and particular society one 
with another. Among which is the pinoteras of Chrysip- 
pus, upon which he has expended so much ink, that he 
gives it the precedency in all his books, both physical and 
ethical. For Chrysippus never knew the spongotera, for 
he would not have passed it over out of negligence. 

The pinoteras is so called, from watching the fish called 
pina or the nacre, and in shape resembles a crab ; and co- 
habiting with the nacre, he sits like a porter at his shell- 
side, which he lets continually to stand wide open until he 
spies some small fishes gotten within it, such as they are 
wont to take for their food. Then entering the shell, he 
nips the flesh of the nacre, to give him notice to shut his 
shell ; which being done, they feed together within the 
fortification upon the common prey. 

The sponge is governed by a certain little creature more 
like a spider than a crab. For the sponge wants neither 
soul nor sense nor blood ; but growing to the stones, as 
many other things do, it has a peculiar motion from itself 
and to itself, which nevertheless stands in need as it were 
of a monitor or instructor. For being otherwise of a sub- 
stance loose and open, and full of holes and hollowness, 
by reason of the sloth and stupidity of it the sponge-watch- 
er assists to give notice when any thing of food enters the 
cavities of it, at which time the sponge contracts itself 
and falls to feeding. 

But if a man approach and touch it, being nipped and 
admonished by the sponge-watcher, it seems to shuddei 


and shut up the body of it, closing and condensing it in 
such a manner as makes it no easy thing to cut it from the 
place where it grows. 

The purple shellfish also, called porphyrae, clustering 
together in a kind of mutual society, build up little combs 
for themselves like bees, wherein they are said to gener- 
ate ; and culling out the choicest substance of the moss and 
seaweed that stick to their shells, they seem to be in a cir- 
cular commons among themselves, feeding the one upon 
the other's nourishment. 

31. But why should we admire society in these creatures, 
when the most savage and most unsociable of all creatures 
which either lakes, rivers, or the ocean nourishes, the croco- 
dile, shows himself the most sociable and grateful of water 
monsters in the banquets which he bestows upon the 
trochilus ? For the trochilus is a bird that haunts marshes 
and rivers, and he guards and watches over the crocodile, 
not as one that feeds at his table, but as one that lives 
upon his scraps and leavings only. For when this bird 
observes the crocodile asleep, and the ichneumon ready to 
assail him, smeared with mud for the conflict like a wrest- 
ler covered with dust, he never leaves crying and pecking 
him with his beak, till he rouse the drowsy monster. In 
return of which the crocodile is so tame and gentle towards 
this bird, that he permits him to enter his yawning chaps, 
and is pleased with his pecking out and cleansing away 
with his beak the remainders of the devoured flesh that 
sticks between his teeth. And when the monster has an 
inclination to shut his mouth, he gives the bird notice by 
a gentle lowering of his jaw, nor will he close his chaps 
till he finds that the bird is flown away. The fish which 
the Greeks call hegemon (or the captain or leader) is a 
small fish, in bigness and shape not much unlike a gudg- 
eon, but by reason of the roughness of his scales is said 
to resemble a bird when she shakes her feathers. This 


fish always keeps company with one of the huge whales, 
and swims before him to direct his course, lest he should 
bruise himself upon the shallows, or fall into any marshy 
place or narrow haven whence he could not easily get out 
again. Therefore the whale follows him, as the ship fol-, 
lows the helm, directing his course with confidence. All 
other things whatever, whether skiff, whether beast or 
stone, that chance to light into the gaping gulf of the 
whale's mouth, immediately perish, being swallowed by 
the monster ; but acknowledging his conductor, he receives 
him and lodges him, like an anchor, safely in his jaws. 
There he sleeps ; and all the while he takes his rest, the 
whale lies still, as if he were at anchor ; and when his 
guide comes forth again, the whale proceeds, never forsak- 
ing him night or day ; or if he wander without his leader, 
the monster shipwrecks, like a vessel cast upon a rock 
without a helm. And this we saw not long ago near An- 
ticyra, where they report that in former times a whale 
being cast and putrefying caused a pestilence. 

Is it worth while then to compare these observations of 
community and association with those sympathies which, 
as Aristotle relates, exist between foxes and serpents be- 
cause the eagle is an enemy to both ? Or with those of the 
horn-owls with horses, whose dung they love to scrape about 
the field ? For my part I observe no such care of one 
another in bees and emmets, which, by reason of their mul- 
titude, carry on and perfect their work in common, but 
have no particular care or consideration one of another. 

32. We shall observe this diff'erence more evidently, if 
we direct our discourses upon the most ancient and great- 
est works of common society, which are the works of gen- 
eration and procreation of offspring. For in the first 
place, those fish that frequent the shores next adjoining to 
vast lakes or great rivers, when they are near their time of 
bringing forth, retire up into those places, seeking the 


fresh waters which are more gentle and void of brine. For 
tranquillity is most convenient for such as bring forth, and 
there is most safety in rivers and lakes for their young 
ones, as being freest from the devouring monsters of the 
sea. Which is the reason that there is the greatest plenty 
of fish about the Euxine Sea, where there are no whales, 
but only small sea-calves or little dolphins. Besides, the 
mixture of rivers, many in number, and those very large, 
that fall into the Pontus, make the temperature more kind- 
ly and proper for breeding and bringing forth. And that 
is most wonderful which is reported of the anthias, which 
Homer * calls the sacred fish, though some interpret sacred 
to signify great in that place, as we call a certain great 
bone OS sacrum^ and the epilepsy, being a great disease, 
the sac7'ed disease, though others interpret that to be sa- 
cred which ought not to be touched, as being dedicated to 
holy use. And Eratosthenes seems to take the gilthead, 
so called from the golden hair about his eyes, for the sa- 
cred fish ; though many believe it to be the ellops, — a 
fish seldom seen and difficult to be caught, yet many times 
it appears in the rivers of Pamphylia. So they that catch 
them are crowned, and their boats are also adorned with 
garlands, and as they pass along they are received and 
honored with loud shouts and clapping of hands. How- 
ever it be, most people take the anthias to be a sacred fish, 
because that where the anthias appears, there are no sea- 
monsters, but the sponge-cutters dive boldly, and the fish 
as fearlessly spawn, as having a pledge for their security. 
And the reason is twofold, either because the sea-monsters 
dread the anthias, as elephants dread a hog, and lions 
a cock ; or else it is a sign that there are no sea-monsters 
in those places, which the anthias knows and observes, as 
being an intelligent fish, endued with sense and a good 

• n. XVI. 407. 


33. Then again, the care of their young is common to 
both sexes. For the males never devour their offspring, 
but remain and abide constantly by the sj)awn, protecting 
it with a diligent watchfulness, as Aristotle relates ; and 
those that accompany the females moisten the spawn with 
a small quantity of milky seed ; for that otherwise the 
spawn will not grow, but remains imperfect and never 
arrives at the due proportion. Particularly the fish called 
phycides make themselves nests in the seaweed to preserve 
their spawn from the waves. 

But the love of the galeus toward her young ones is 
beyond the affection and clemency of any the tamest of 
creatures ; for they lay an egg^ which being hatched, they 
nourish and carry the young about not outwardly, but 
within their own bowels, as if they could not breed their 
young without a second birth. 

AVhen the young ones are somewhat grown, they put 
them forth again, and teach them to swim close by them- 
selves, then resume them again through their mouths into 
their bellies, and afford them nourishment and safe retire- 
ment in their bodies, till they are able to shift for them- 

No less admirable is the care of the tortoise, as to the 
bringing forth and preserving her young. For she retires 
out of the sea to lay ; but not being able to stay long upon 
the land, she hides her eggs in the sand, covering them 
over gently with the lightest of the gravel ; and when she 
has thus sufficiently and assuredly concealed them, some 
report that she marks and streaks the place with her feet, 
that she may be able to know it again ; others affirm that 
the female, being turned upon her back upon the sand by 
the male, leaves her particular marks and signatures behind 
her. However it be, this is most wonderful, that after 
waiting forty days (for in so many the eggs come to break) 
she returns, and knowing where the treasure lies, as weU 

VOL. V. 14 


as any man understands where he hides his gold, she opens 
them with great joy and alacrity. 

34. Many observations like to these are made of the 
crocodile. But such is its skill in choosing a place for 
breeding, that no man can explain it by reason or conject- 
ure. Whence it comes that the foreknowledge of this 
creature is imputed more to divinity than reason. For 
neither farther nor nearer, but just so far as the Nile that 
year will increase and cover the land, thither she goes forth 
and lays her eggs ; which the countrymen finding, are able 
to tell one another how far the river will overflow that 
year. So truly does that animal measure for herself, that 
though she live in the water, she may lay her eggs dry. 
But the young ones being hatched, whichsoever of them, 
so soon as they are come to life, does not seize whatever 
comes next — either upon a fly, or a worm, or a straw, or 
a tuft of grass — with his mouth, the dam presently tears 
him to pieces with her teeth. But those that are fierce 
and active she loves and cherishes, according to the judg- 
ment of the wisest men, imparting her afl'ection by the 
rules of judgment, not by the sway of passion. 

The sea-calves also bring forth upon the dry lands ; but 
then fetching out their young ones by degrees, they give 
them a taste of the sea-water, and presently lead them out 
again ; and this they often do, till custom has made them 
bold, and brought them to love a sea life. 

Frogs when they couple use a certain croaking invita- 
tion, which is commonly called ololygon ; and when the 
male has thus enticed the female, they abide together all 
night. For in the water they cannot, and in the daytime 
they are afraid to engender upon the land, which in the 
night-time they do without control. At other times they 
croak more shrill and loud ; and this is a sign of rain, 
and holds among the most assured prognostics of wet 


35. But what absurdity, dearest Neptune, would this 
passion of mine lead me into ! How ridiculous should I 
appear, if trifling among sea-calves and frogs, I should 
omit one of the marine animals, the wisest and most be- 
loved by the Gods ! For what nightingales are to be com- 
pared with the halcyon for music ? or who will presume to 
prefer the swallow's love of offspring, the dove's love of 
her mate, or the ait and curiosity of the bees, to those 
virtues ascribed to the halcyon 1 One only island, as his- 
tory tells us, received and entertained Latona when she 
gave birth ; which island, floating before, was then made 
firm land. But when the halcyon brings forth, about the 
winter solstice, the whole ocean remains calm and undis- 
turbed without the wrinkle of a wave. So that there is 
not any other creature for which man has so great an 
affection, seeing that for her sake for seven days and seven 
nights together, in the depth of winter, they sail without 
fear of shipwreck, and make their voyages upon the sea 
with greater safety than they travel upon the land. 

But if it be required that we should make a brief recital 
of her particular virtues, she is so great an example of 
conjugal affection, that she does not keep company with 
her mate for a single season, but for the whole year to- 
gether, and that not for wantonness (for she never couples 
but with her own), but out of affection and friendship, like 
a truly virtuous married wife. And when her mate through 
age becomes infirm and not able to bear her company, she 
takes care of him, and feeds and carries him about in his 
old age, never forsaking nor leaving him alone, but taking 
him upon her shoulders, carries him from place to place, 
never abandoning him till death. 

As to her affection towards her young ones and care of 
their preservation, so soon as she perceives herself near the 
time of her bringing forth, she presently betakes herself 
to the making of her nest. For the building of which, 


she neither makes use of mud and dirt nor props it up 
with walls and rafters, like the swallows ; nor does she 
use several members of her body to work with, like the 
bees, that employ their whole body to enter the wax and 
open their cells, with their six feet fashioning their six- 
sided apartments. For the halcyon having but one 
single instrument, one single tool, which is her bill, 
nor any other help to assist her in labor and her care of 
her young ones, what a wonderful master-piece of work- 
manship does she erect? Insomuch that it is a difficult 
thing for them that have not well considered it to believe 
their eyesight ; her workmanship seeming rather the art 
of a shipwright than of a common builder; of all inven- 
tions being the only form not to be overwhelmed and 
washed by the waves. To this purpose she gathers to- 
gether the thorns of the sea-needle — some straight, others 
oblique, like the woof in the loom — and twists and binds 
them where the thread and yarn are interwoven one within 
another, till she has framed a nest round and oblong, re- 
sembling the usual fisher-boats. This when she has fin- 
ished she launches into the sea, where the waves beating 
gently upon it direct to reform what is amiss, by consoli- 
dating the loose and ill compacted parts, where the water 
has forced any entrance ; insomuch that at length she 
fastens and strengthens what she has put together in such 
a manner, that it is not to be broken or pierced either by 
stones or steel. Nor is the symmetry and form of the in- 
side and cavity of the nest less to be admired. For it is so 
contrived as only to receive herself; the entrance into it 
not being to be found by any other creature, nor can the 
sea itself find a way into it. I am apt to believe that there 
is none of you who never saw this nest. But for my own 
part, that have often seen and handled one of them, I may 
safely say, that I 

In Delos' temple near Apollo's shrine, 
Something like this, a fabric most divine, 


have seen. That is to say, the horned altar, celebrated for 
one of the seven wonders of the world, which without the 
help of parget, glue, soder, paste, or any other binding, is 
framed only of horns that grew on the right side of the 
head of the beast. 

Now may the Deity that is somewhat musical and an 
islander be propitious to me, . . . while I deride the 
questions which those scoffers put, — wherefore Apollo 
may not be called mullet-shooter, when we find that Venus 
is called the muUet-protectrix ; for which reason she is 
honored with temples adjoining to the sea, and sacred 
rights ; and certain it is, that she is displeased when any 
mullet is killed. Therefore at Leptis the priests of Nep- 
tune never eat any thing that breeds in the sea ; and you 
know the mullet is in great veneration among the profes- 
sors of the Eleusinian mysteries ; moreover, that the priest- 
ess of Juno at Argos abstains from the same fish ; and 
the reason is because the mullets kill and destroy the sea- 
hare, which is pernicious to man, and therefore they spare 
those creatures that are kind and beneficial to him. 

36. Then again, we find among many of the Greeks 
temples and altars frequently dedicated to Diana Dictynna 
(so called from dUxvov, a net) and Delphinian Apollo. And 
that same place which Apollo has peculiarly chosen for 
himself was first of all inhabited by Cretans, having a 
dolphin for their leader. For the Deity did not swim be- 
fore his army in another shape (as the mythologists dream), 
but sending a dolphin to direct them in their course, the 
dolphin brought them to Cirrha. Story also tells us that 
Soteles and Dionysius, who were sent to Sinope by Ptolemy 
Soter to fetch from thence Serapis, were driven by contrary 
winds beyond Cape Malea, having the Peloponnesus upon 
their right hands ; while they were thus wandering and 
out of their course, a dolphin appeared before the prow 
of the headmost vessel, and (as it were) kindly inviting 


them, conducted them into safe harbors and roads, till by 
his good guidance and leading them he at length brought 
the whole fleet to Cirrha. There, when they came to ofl'er 
the usual sacrifices for their safe landing, they came to un- 
derstand that, of two statues which were in the place, they 
were to take that of Pluto and carry it along with them ; 
but as for that of Proserpina, they were only to take the 
mould and leave the statue itself behind. Probable it is 
that the Deity had a kindness for the dolphin, considering 
how much he delights in music. For which reason Pindar 
likens himself to the dolphin, and confesses himself to be 
moved in the same manner as that noble creature, 

Which flutes' beloved sound 

Excites to play, 
Upon the calm and placid sea. 

Though it is very probable that his aflection to men is 
more pleasing to the Deity, he being the only creature that 
bears an aff"ection to man as man. For as for the land 
animals, some kinds there are that fly him altogether, and 
the tamest and most gentle follow him and are familiar 
with him, only for the benefit and nourishment which they 
receive from him ; as the dog, the horse, and elephant. 
The swallows, by necessity constrained, build in houses, 
seeking shade and security, but are no less afraid of men 
than of the wild beasts. Only to the dolphin has Nature 
bequeathed that excellent quality, so much sought for by 
the best of philosophers, to love for no advantage ; for 
that having no need at all of man, he is a kind friend to 
all men, and has lent his assistance to many. There is no 
man that is ignorant of the famous story of Arion. And 
you, my dear friend, have seasonably put us in mind of 
Hesiod ; but 

Thou didst not by a legal course 
Rightly conclude thy long discourse.* 

* II. IX. 56. See above, chap. 13. 


For when you had spoken so much in praise of the dog, 
you should not have passed by the dolphin. For it would 
have been a blind story of the dog that barked and flew 
with violence upon the murderers, had it not been for the 
dolphins, that took the carcass of Hesiod, floating in the 
sea near Nemeum, and readily receiving it from one 
another, landed it at Rhium, whereby the murder came to 
be known. 

Myrtilus the Lesbian writes, that Enalus the Aeolian, 
being in love with the daughter of Phineus, who, by the 
command of the oracle of Amphitrite was cast into the 
sea by the Penthilidae, when he understood it, threw him- 
self also into the sea, but was saved by a dolphin, and 
carried to Lesbos. 

But the gentleness and kindness of the dolphin towards 
the lad of Jasus was so extraordinary that it might be said 
to amount even to amorous love. For he played and swam 
with him in the daytime, and sufl'ered himself to be 
handled and bestrid by him ; nor did he swim away with 
him, but joyfully carried him which way soever the lad by 
the motion of his body turned him, while the lasians 
flocked from all parts to the shore to behold the sight. 
At length the lad, being thrown from the dolphin's back 
by a terrible shower of rain and hail, was drowned. 
Which the dolphin perceiving took up the dead youth, 
and threw himself upon the land together with the body, 
from which he never stirred till he died out of his own 
element ; deeming it but just to partake of that end of 
which he seemed to have been the occasion to his friend 
and playfellow. Nor can the lasians forget the accident, 
but keep it still in remembrance by the stamp upon their 
coin, which is a lad upon a dolphin's back. 

And from hence it was that the fabulous stories of 
Coeranus gained credit. He was a Parian by birth, who 
residing at Byzantium, when a draught of dolphins caught 


in a net were exposed to sale and in danger of slaughter, 
bought them up all, and put them into the sea again. It 
happened not long after that Coeranus took a voyage in a 
vessel of fifty oars, carrying, as the story goes, several 
pirates. But between Naxos and the Bay of Pares he 
suffered shipwreck ; and when all the rest were drowned, 
ho alone was taken up by a dolphin that hastened to his 
succor, and carried to Sicynthus, and set ashore near the 
cave which to this day bears the name of Coeraneum. 
Upon which Archilochus is said to have made these lines : 

Of fifty men, great Neptune gentle grown 
Left courteous Coeranus alive alone. 

Some years after Coeranus dying, his relations burnt his 
body near the seaside ; at what time several dolphins ap- 
peared near the shore, as if they had come to his funeral ; 
nor would they stir till the funeral was over. Moreover 
Stesichorus writes that Ulysses bore a dolphin painted 
upon his shield; and for what reason the Zacynthian 
records tell us, as Critheus testifies. For they say that 
Telemachus, when he was but a boy, falling into the sea, 
was saved by the dolphins that took him up and set him 
ashore. And therefore he made use of a dolphin for the 
impression of his seal and the ornament of his shield. 
But having promised before that I would produce no fabu- 
lous stories, and yet being carried, I know not how, to dis- 
course beyond probability of dolphins by this repetition of 
the stories of Coeranus and Ulysses, I will do justice upon 
myself by concluding here. 

37. Aristotimus. Now, gentlemen, it lies on your part 
that are judges, to pronounce sentence. 

SocLARus. Assuredly then, for our parts, we shall give 
the same judgment in this, as Sophocles did in another 
case : 

Discourse upon discording arguments 

Is then determined best, when what was said 

la duly weighed and stated on both sides. 


For thus comparing what you have both discoursed one 
against another, it will be found that you have acquitted 
yourselves on both sides like true champions against those 
that would deprive brute animals of sense and under- 



1. Ulysses. All these things, Circe, I believe that I 
have learned and well remember. But I would will- 
ingly ask thee, whether thou hast any Grecians here, 
which being men thou hast transformed into wolves and 

Circe. Very many, dearest Ulysses, but wherefore do 
you ask the question ? 

Ulysses. Because in good truth I am of opinion I 
should gain a high reputation among the Greeks, if by 
thy favor I could restore these men to human shape again, 
and not suffer them through any negligence of mine to 
wax old in the bodies of beasts, where they lead a mis- 
erable and ignominious life. 

Circe. Surely, this man, fool as he is, believes it requi- 
site that his ambition should be unfortunate not only to 
himself and his friends, but to those that nothing belong 
to him. 

Ulysses. Thou art now jumbling and mixing another 
villanous potion of twittle twattle, and wouldst plainly 
turn me into a beast too, if thou couldst make me believe 
that it were a misfortune to be transformed from a beast 
to a man. 

Circe. What hast thou made thyself better than a 
beast, who, forsaking an immortal life, free from the mis- 
eries of old age, with me, art making such haste through 


a thousand threatening calamities to a mortal and (as 
I may say) old wife, pursuing an empty good and a shadow 
instead of real truth, and all this, thinking to be more con- 
spicuous and famous than thou art. 

Ulysses. Well, Circe, let it be as thou sayest ; for 
why should we be. always contending about the same 
thing 1 However, do me the favor to restore these men, 
and give them into my custody. 

CiRce. By Hecate, not so fast neither ; these are no 
ordinary fellows. But ask them first whether they are 
willing. If they refuse, do you, being such an eloquent 
gentleman, discourse them and persuade them ; if you 
cannot persuade them, being too hard for ye at your own 
weapon, then let it suffice ye that you have ill consulted 
your own and the good of your friends. 

Ulysses. Blessed woman, wherefore dost thou mock 
me thus 1 For how can they either talk or hear reason, 
so long as they are asses, hogs, and lions ? 

Circe. Be of good comfort, most ambitious of men ; I 
will so order the business, that they shall both understand 
and discourse ; or rather, let one suffice to hear and return 
answers instead of all the rest. Look ye, here is one at 
hand ; pray talk to him. 

Ulysses. Prithee, Circe, by what name shall we call 
him ? Who is this fellow of all the men in the world 1 

Circe. What's this to the purpose ? Call him Gryllus, 
if you please ; and for my part, I'll leave ye together, 
that ye may not suspect him for speaking contrary to his 
mind to please me. 

2. Gryllus. Save ye, Mr. Ulysses. 

Ulysses. And you too, by Jove, Mr. Gryllus. 

Gryllus. What is't your worship would have with 
me 1 

Ulysses. Knowing you were all born men, I pity the 
condition ye are now in ; and I pity ye the more, for that 


being Greeks ye are fallen under this misfortune ; and 
therefore I made it my request to Circe that she would 
restore ye again to your former shape, as many of you as 
were desirous, to the end ye might return home again 
with us. 

Gryllus. Hold, Mr. Ulysses, not a word more of this, 
I beseech your worship. For we all contemn thee, as one 
that none but fools call cunning, and as vainly vauntest 
thyself to be wiser than other men, and yet art afraid of 
being changed from worse to better ; like children that 
are frightened at physician's doses and hate going to 
school, although the medicines and the precepts make 
them healthy and learned of diseased and fools ; just so 
thou refusest to be transformed out of one thing into 
another. And now thy bones rattle in thy skin for dread 
of living with Circe, lest she should transform thee into a 
hog or a wolf; and thou wouldst persuade us living in 
plenty of all enjoyments not only to forsake these bless- 
ings, but to abandon her that has so well provided for us, 
to sail along with thee, and to become men again, the most 
miserable of all creatures. 

Ulysses. In my opinion, Gryllus, this same wicked cup 
has not only deprived thee of thy shape, but of thy sense 
and reason too ; or else thou art got drunk with those 
opinions which are everywhere exploded as nasty and 
villanous, unless some voluptuous pleasure of custom and 
habit has bewitched thee to this body. 

Gryllus. Neither of these, O king of the Cephallenians. 
But if thou art come hither to dispute, and not to rail and 
swagger, we shall soon convince thee, having experience 
of both manners of living, that our way is to be preferred 
before that which thou so much applaudest. 

Ulysses. Nay, then go on ; I'll listen with both ears to 
hear this paradox discussed. 

3. Gryllus. Have at ye then, sir. But it behooves us 


to begin first with those virtues which you so presumptuously 
assume to yourselves, and for which you so highly advance 
yourselves before the beasts, such as justice, prudence, 
fortitude, &c. Now answer me, thou the wisest among 
mortals ; for I have heard thee telling a story to Circe of 
the territory of the Cyclops, that being neither ploughed 
nor planted by any person, it is so fertile and generously 
productive, that it bears all sorts of fruits and herbs spon- 
taneously Now which do you prefer, this country, or 
your own goat-feeding stony Ithaca, which being cultivated 
with great labor and hardship, yet answers the expecta- 
tions of the husbandmen with only a mean and scanty 
return 1 Now take it not amiss that I forewarn ye lest 
your love to your country sway ye to give an answer con- 
trary to truth. 

Ulysses. No, no, I will not lie for the matter ; I must 
confess I love and honor my own country more ; but I 
applaud and admire theirs far beyond it. 

Gryllus. Hence we must conclude that it is so as the 
wisest of men has affirmed ; that there are some things to 
be praised and approved, others to be preferred by choice 
and affection. And I suppose you believe the same con- 
cerning the soul. For the same reasons hold in reference 
to the soul as to the ground ; that such a soul should be 
the best, that produces virtue like spontaneous fruit, with- 
out labor and toil. 

Ulysses. Grant all this. 

Gryllus. Then you confess that the souls of beasts are 
the more perfect, and more fertilely endued for the produc- 
tion of virtue ; seeing that without any command or in- 
struction — as it were without sowing or ploughing — it 
produces and increases that virtue which is requisite for 
every one. 

Ulysses. Prithee, Gryllus, don't rave, but tell me what 
those virtues are that beasts partake of? 


4. Gryllus. Rather what virtues do they not partake of 
in a higher degree than the wisest of men ? Look upon 
fortitude in the first place, of which you vaunt and brag to 
have such a terrible share, being not ashamed of the mag- 
nificent titles of Ulysses the bold and city-stormer, when 
indeed, like a pitiful knave as thou art, thou dost only 
circumvent by tricks and artifices men that understand 
only the simple and generous way of making war, ignorant 
altogether of fraud and faith-breaking, and by that means 
coverest thy deceit with the name of virtue, which never 
admits of any such coney-catching devices. But do you ob- 
serve the combats and warfare of beasts, as well one 
against another as against yourselves, how free from craft 
and deceit they are, and how with an open and naked 
courage they defend themselves by mere strength of body ; 
and how, neither afraid of the law that calls them forth to 
battle nor the severe edicts against deserters, but only out 
of scorn to be overcome, they fight with obstinacy to the 
last for conquest and victory. For they are not van- 
quished when their bodies are worsted, neither does de- 
spair cowardize them, but they die upon the spot. And 
you shall see many times that the strength of many, while 
they are expiring, being retired and crowded together in 
some part of the body, still makes resistance against the 
victor, and pants and fumes till at length it fails like ex- 
tinguished fire that goes out for want of fuel. But there 
is no crying for quarter, no begging of mercy, no acknowl- 
edgment of being beaten ; nor will the lion be a slave to 
the lion, nor the horse to the horse, as one man is a slave 
to another, willingly and patiently embracing servitude, 
which derives its name {dovXsia) from that of cowardice 
{8£(Xia). On the other side, such beasts as men by nets and 
treacherous snares get into their power, if fully grown, 
rather choose to die than serve, refusing nourishment and 
suffering extremity of drought. But as for their young 


ones, — being tractable and supple by reason of their 
age, and fed with the deceitful mixtures and food that 
men provide for them, their inbred fierceness languishing 
through the taste of preternatural delights, — they suffer 
that which is called domestication, which is only an effe- 
minating of their natural fury. 

Whence it is apparent that beasts are naturally inclined 
to be courageous and daring, but that the martial confi- 
dence of men is preternatural. Which, most noble Ulysses, 
you may chiefly observe from hence ; for that in beasts 
Nature keeps an equal balance of strength ; so that the 
female, being but little inferior to the male, undergoes all 
necessary toils, and fights in defence of her young ones. 
And thus you hear of a certain Cromyonian sow, which, 
though a female, held Theseus tack, and found him work 
sufficient. Neither had the wisdom of that same female 
Sphinx that sat on Phicium, with all her riddles and enig- 
mas, availed her, had she not far excelled the Cadmeans 
in strength and fortitude. Not far from whence the Tel- 
mesian fox had his den, a great propounder of questions 
also ; not to omit the female serpent that fought with 
Apollo for his oracle at Delphi. Your king also took the 
mare Aetha from the Sicyonian, as a bribe to discharge 
him from going to the wars ; and he did well, thereby 
showing how much he esteemed a valiant and generous 
mare above a timorous coward. You yourself have also 
seen female panthers and lionesses little inferior to the 
males in strength and courage ; when your own wife, 
though a Lacedaemonian, when you were hectoring and 
blustering abroad, sat at home in the chimney-corner, not 
daring to do so much as the very swallows in encountering 
those who plagued both her and her family. Why need I 
still speak of the Carian and Maeonian women ? Whence 
it is apparent that fortitude is not natural to men, for then 
the women would partake of the same strength with men. 


So that the fortitude which you exercise is only constrained 
by law, not natural and voluntary, but subservient to the 
manners of the place and enslaved to reproach, a thing 
made up only of glorious words and adventitious opinion. 
And you undergo labor and throw yourself into danger, 
not out of real valor and boldness, but because ye are 
more afraid of other things. Therefore, as among thy own 
companions he that first makes haste to snatch up the light 
oar does it not because he contemns it, but because he is 
loath to be troubled with the more heavy ; so he that 
endures a blow to avoid a wound, and defends himself 
against an enemy to preserve himself from wounds and 
death, does it not out of daring courage against the one, 
but out of fear of the other. Thus your fortitude is only 
a prudent fear ; and your courage a knowing timidity, 
which understandingly does one thing to avoid another. 

In short, if you believe yourselves superior to the beasts 
in fortitude, why do your poets call those that behave 
themselves most valiantly against their enemies wolf- 
breasted, lion-hearted, and compare them to wild boars ; 
but never call the courage of lions man-like, or resemble 
the strength of a wild boar to that of a man ? But as they 
call the swift wind-footed, and the beautiful Godlike- 
formed, hyperbolizing in their similes ; so when they extol 
the gallantry of the stout in battle, they derive their com- 
parisons from the superior in bravery. The reason is, 
because courage is as it were the tincture and edge of for- 
titude ; which the beasts make use of unmixed in their 
combats, but in you being mixed with reason, like wine 
diluted with water, it gives way to danger and loses the 
opportunity. And some of you there are who deny that 
courage is requisite in battle, and therefore laying it aside 
make use of sober reason ; which they do well for their 
preservation, but are shamefully beside the cushion, in 
point of strength and revenge. How absurd is it therefore 


for you to complain of Nature, because she did not furnish 
your bodies with goads and teeth and crooked claws to 
defend yourselves, when at the same time you would dis- 
arm the soul of her natural weapons ? 

5. Ulysses. In good truth, Gryllus, you are grown, in 
my conceit, a notable sophister, to discourse at this rate 
out of a hog's snout, and yet to handle your argument so 
strenuously. But why have you not all this while spoke 
a word of temperance ? 

Gryllus. Because I thought you would have contra- 
dicted first what I have already said. But you are in haste 
to hear what 1 have to say concerning temperance, because 
that, being the husband of a most temperate and chaste 
wife, you believe you have set us an example of temper- 
ance by abstaining from Circe's embraces. And yet in 
this you differ nothing from all the beasts ; for neither do 
they desire to approach their superiors, but they pursue 
their pleasures and amours among those of their own tribe. 
No wonder is it then, if — like the Mendesian goat in 
Egypt, which is reported to have been shut up with sev- 
eral most beautiful women, yet never to have offered copu- 
lation with them, but when he was at liberty, with a lustful 
fury flew upon the she-goats — so thou, though a man 
addicted greatly to venereal pleasures, yet being a man, 
hast no desire to sleep with a goddess. And for the chas- 
tity of thy Penelope, the ten thousand rooks and daws that 
chatter it abroad do but make it ridiculous and expose 
it to contempt, there being not one of those birds but, 
if she loses her mate, continues a widow, not for a small 
time, but for nine ages of men ; so that there is not one of 
those female rooks that does not surpass in chastity thy 
fair Penelope above nine times. 

6. But because thou believest me to be a sophister, 1 
shall observe a certain order in my discourse, first giving 
thee the definition of temperance, and then dividing desire 

VOL. V. 15 


according to the several kinds of it. Temperance then is 
the contracting and well governing our desires, pruning off 
those that are superfluous and encroaching upon our wills, 
and ruHng those that are necessary by the standards of 
reason and moderation. Now in desires you observe a vast 
number of distinctions. For it is both natural and neces- 
sary to drink ; but as for venereal desires, which derive 
tlieir originals from Nature, there is a time when they may 
be restrained without any inconvenience ; these are there- 
fore called natural but not necessary. But there is another 
sort, which are neither natural nor necessary, but infused 
from without by vain opinion through the mistake of right 
and true ; and it is these that want but very little of ruin- 
ing all your natural desires with their number, like a mul- 
titude of foreigners outnumbering the natives and expelling 
them from their habitations. But the beasts, having their 
souls unmixed and not to be overcome by these adventitious 
passions, and living lives as distant from vain opinion as 
from the sea, are inferior to you in living elegantly and su- 
perfluously, but they are extremely wary in preserving 
temperance and the right government of their desires, as 
being neither troubled with many, nor those foreign to 
their natures. And therefore formerly I was no less 
smitten with the glister of gold than thou art now, as be- 
lieving nothing else that a man could possess to be com- 
parable to it. Silver also and ivory inveigled me with the 
same desires ; and he that enjoyed these things in the 
greatest measure seemed to be a man most happy and be- 
loved of God, whether a Phrygian or a Carian, whether 
more meanly descended than Dolon or more miserable than 
Priam. From thenceforward being altogether swayed by 
my desires, I reaped no other pleasure nor delight in any 
other blessings of my life, with which I abounded, believ- 
ing that I wanted still and missed my share of those that 
were the chiefest and the greatest. Therefore, I remem- 


ber, when I beheld thee in Crete, at some solemnity, most 
pompously attired, I neither envied thy wisdom nor thy 
virtue ; but the extraordinary fineness and exquisite work- 
manship of thy tunic, and the glistering of thy purple 
upper garment, and the beauty of the ornaments struck me 
with admiration. And the golden clasp, methought, was 
la pretty toy that had something of extraordinary graving 
in it ; and bewitched with these baubles, I followed thee 
as the women did. But now being altogether estranged 
from those vain opinions, and having my understanding 
purified, I tread both gold and silver under my feet as I do 
the common stones ; nor did I ever sleep more soundly 
upon thy carpets and tapestries, than now I do, rolled over 
head and ears in the deep and soft mud. None of those 
adventitious desires reside in our souls, but for the most 
part our manner of living is accustomed to necessary 
pleasures and desires ; and as for those pleasures which 
are not necessary but only natural, we make such a use of 
them as is neither without order nor moderation. 

7. And therefore let us consider these in the first place. 
The pleasure then that affects the sense of smelling with 
sweet odors and fragrant exhalations, besides that it has 
something in it which is pure in itself, and as it were be- 
stowed upon us gratis, contributes also in some measure to 
the distinction of nourishment. For the tongue is said to 
be the judge of sweet, sour, and tart, only when the juices 
have come to be mingled and concorporate with the tasting 
faculty, and not before. But our smell, before the taste, 
becoming sensible of the virtue and qualities of every 
thing, and being more accurate than the tasters attending 
upon princes, admits what is familiar to Nature, and expels 
whatever is disagreeable to it ; neither will it suffer it to 
touch or molest the taste, but accuses and declares the 
offensiveness of the thing smelt, before it do any harm. 
As to other things, it troubles us not at all as it does you, 


whom it constrains for the sake of the sweet scents of 
cinnamon nard, malobathrum, and Arabian reed, to seek 
out for things dissimilar, and to jumble them together 
with a kind of apothecary's or perfumer's art, and at vast 
expense to purchase an unmanly and effeminate delight, 
for nothing profitable or useful. Now being such, this 
sense of smelling has not only corrupted all the female 
sex but the greatest part of men, insomuch that they care 
not to converse with their own wives, unless perfumed with 
precious ointments and odoriferous compositions. Where- 
as sows, she-goats, and other females attract the boars, he- 
goats, and the males of their own kind, by their own proper 
scents ; and smelling of the pure dew, the meadows, and 
the fresh grass, they are incited to copulation out of com- 
mon affection ; the females without the coynesses . of 
women, or the practice of little frauds and fascinations, 
to inflame the lust of their mates ; and the males, not with 
amorous rage and frenzy stimulated, and enforced to pur- 
chase the act of generation with expensive hire or servile 
assiduity, but enjoying their seasonable amours without de- 
ceit or purchase of the satisfaction of their venery. For 
Nature in the spring-time, even as she puts forth the buds 
of plants, likewise awakens the desires of animals, but 
presently quenches them again, neither the female admit- 
ting the male nor the male attempting the female after 
conception. And thus pleasure has but a small and slen- 
der esteem among us ; but Nature is all in all. So that 
even to this very day, we beasts were never yet tainted 
with coupling male with male, and female with female. 
Of which nevertheless there are many examples to be 
produced among the greatest and most celebrated persons ; 
for I pass by those not worth remembrance. 

Agamemnon hunted all Boeotia in pursuit of Argynnus, 
who fled his embraces ; and after he had falsely accused 
the sea and winds, bravely flung himself into the lake Co- 


pais, to quench his love and free himself from the ardor 
of his lust. 

Hercules in like manner pursuing his beardless friend, 
forsook his choicest associates and abandoned the fleet. 

In the vaulted room belonging to Apollo surnamed 
Ptous, one of you men secretly wrote this inscription, 
Achilles the fair ; when Achilles at that time had a son. 
[And I hear the inscription is still remaining.] * Yet if a 
cock tread a cock in the absence of the hen, he is burned 
alive, upon the signification of the soothsayer that it por- 
tends some fatal calamity. This is a plain confession in 
men themselves, that the beasts excel them in chastity, 
and that force is not to be put upon Nature for the sake 
of pleasure. But your incontinence is such, that Nature, 
though she have the law to assist her, is not able to keep 
it within bounds ; insomuch that, like a rapid inundation, 
those inordinate desires overwhelm Nature with continual 
violence, trouble, and confusion. For men have copulated 
with she-goats, sows, and mares ; and women have run 
mad after male beasts. And from such copulations sprang 
the Minotaurs and Silvans, and, as I am apt to believe, the 
Sphinxes and Centaurs. It is true, that sometimes, con- 
strained by hunger, a dog or a bird has fed upon human 
flesh ; but never yet did any beast attempt to couple with 
human kind. But men constrain and force the beasts to 
these and many other unlawful pleasures. 

8. Now being thus wicked and incontinent in reference 
to the aforesaid lustful desires, it is no less easy to be 
proved that men are more intemperate than beasts, even in 
those things which are necessary, that is to say, in eating 
and drinking, the pleasure of which we always enjoy with 
some benefit to ourselves. But you, pursuing the pleasures 
of eating and drinking beyond the satisfaction of nature, 

* It seems incredible that Plutarch could have put this into the mouth of Gryl« 
lus, even by carelessness. (G.) 


are punished with many and tedious diseases, which, 
arising from the single fountain of superfluous gorman- 
dizing, fill your bodies with all manner of wind and va- 
pors not easy for purgation to expel. In the first place, 
all sorts of beasts, according to their kind, feed upon one 
sort of food, which is proper to their natures ; some upon 
grass, some upon roots, and others upon fruits. They that 
feed upon flesh never mind any other sort of food. Neither 
do they rob the weaker animals of their nourishment. But 
the lion sufl'ers the hart, and the wolf the sheep, to feed 
upon what Nature has provided for them. But man, such 
is his voracity, falls upon all, to satisfy the pleasures of his 
appetite ; tries all things, tastes all things ; and, as if he 
were yet to seek what was the most proper diet and most 
agreeable to his nature, among all the creatures is the only 
all-devourer. And first he makes use of flesh, not for 
want, as having the liberty to take his choice of herbs 
and fruits, the plenty of which is inexhaustible ; but out of 
luxury and being cloyed with necessaries, he seeks after in- 
convenient and impure diet, purchased by the slaughter of 
living creatures ; by that means showing himself more 
cruel than the most savage of wild beasts. For blood, 
murder, and flesh are proper to nourish the kite, the wolf, 
and dragon ; but to men they are delicious viands. Then 
making use of all, he does not do like the beasts, which 
abstain from most creatures and are at enmity only with a 
few, and that only compelled by the necessities of hunger ; 
but neither fowl nor fish nor any thing that lives upon the 
land escapes your tables, though they bear the epithets of 
human and hospitable. 

9. Let it be so, that nothing will serve ye but to devour 
whatever comes near ye, to pamper and indulge your 
voracious appetites. Yet where is the benefit and pleasure 
of all this ? But such is the prudence of the beasts, as 
not to admit of any vain and unprofitable arts. And as 


for those that are necessary, they do not acqmre them, as 
being introduced by others or taught for reward ; neither 
do they make it their study to soder and fasten one con- 
templation to another, but they are supplied by their own 
prudence with such as are true-born and genuine. It is 
true, we hear the Egyptians are generally physicians. But 
the beasts are not only every one of them notionally en- 
dued with knowledge and art which way to cure them- 
selves, but also to procure their food and repair their 
strength, to catch their prey by slight and cunning, to 
guard themselves from danger ; neither are some of 
them ignorant how to teach the science of music so 
far as is convenient for them. For from whom did we 
hogs learn to run to the rivers, when we are sick, to 
search for crawfish 1 Who taught the tortoises, when 
they have eaten vipers, to physic themselves with origa- 
num"? Who taught the Cretan goats, when shot with 
arrows that stick in their bodies, to betake themselves to 
dittany, which they have no sooner eaten, but the heads 
of the darts fall out of the wound ? Now if you say that Na- 
ture is the schoolmistress that teaches them these things, 
you acknowledge the prudence of beasts to be derived from 
the chiefest and wisest original of understanding ; which 
if you think not proper to call reason and wisdom, it is 
time for ye to find out a more glorious and honorable 
name for it. Indeed by its eff'ects it shows itself to be 
greater and more wonderful in power ; not illiterate or 
without education, but instructed by itself and wanting 
nothing from without ; not weak and imperfect, but, 
through the vigor and perfection of its natural virtue, 
supporting and cherishing that natural contribution of 
understanding which others attain to by instruction and 
education. So that, whatever men acquire and contem- 
plate in the midst of their luxury and wantonness, those 
things our understanding attains to through the excellency 


of our apprehensions, even contrary to the nature of the 
body. For not to speak of whelps that learn to draw dry 
foot, and colts that will practise figure-dances ; there are 
crows that will speak, and dogs that will leap through 
hoops as they turn around. You shall also see horses and 
bulls upon the theatres lie down, dance, stop, and move 
their bodies after such a manner as would puzzle even 
men to perform the same things ; which, though they are 
of little use, yet being learned and remembered by beasts, 
are great arguments of their docihty. 

If you doubt whether we learn arts, be convinced that 
we teach them. For partridges teach their young ones to 
hide themselves by lying upon their backs just before a 
clod of earth, to escape the pursuit of the fowlers. And 
you shall observe the old storks, when their young ones 
first begin to take wing, what care they take to instruct 
them upon the tops of houses. Nightingales also teach 
their young ones to sing ; insomuch that nightingales taken 
young out of the nest, and bred up by hand in cages, sing 
worse, as being deprived of their instructors before their 
time. So that after I had been a while transformed into 
this shape, I admired at myself, that I was so easily per- 
suaded by idle arguments of the sophisters to believe that 
all other creatures were void of sense and reason except 

10. Ulysses. What then, Gryllus] Does your trans- 
mutation inform ye also that sheep and asses are rational 
creatures 1 

Gryllus. From these very creatures, most worthy and 
best of men, Ulysses, the nature of beasts is chiefly to be 
discerned to be as it is, neither void of reason nor under- 
standing. For as one tree is neither more or less than 
another without a soul, but all are together in the same 
condition of insensibihty (for there is no tree that is endued 
with a soul); so neither would one animal seem to be 


mure slow to understand or more indocible than another, if 
all did not partake of reason and understanding, though 
some in a less, some in a greater measure. For you must 
consider that the stupidity and slothfulness of some is an 
argument of the quickness and subtlety of others, which 
easily appears when you compare a fox, a wolf, or a bee 
with a sheep or ass ; as if thou shouldest compare thyself 
to Polyphemus, or thy grandfather Autolycus with the 
Corinthian [mentioned in] Homer. For I do not believe 
there is such difference between beast and beast, in point 
of reason and understanding and memory, as between man 
and man. 

Ulysses. Have a care, Gryllus ; it is a dangerous thing 
to allow them reason that have no knowledge of a Deity. 

Gryllus. Must we then deny that thou, most noble 
Ulysses, being so wise and full of stratagems as thou art, 
wast begotten by Sisyphus 1 , . . 




[ The beginning of this discourse is lost.'] 

1. These things then, said Sylla, agree with my story, 
and are taken thence. But I should first wilHngly ask, 
what need there is of making such a preamble against 
these opinions, which are at hand and in every man's 
mouth, concerning the face that is seen within the orb of 
the moon. Why should we not, said I, being, by the diffi- 
culty there is in these discourses, forced upon those ? For, 
as they who have long lain lingering under chronical dis- 
eases, after they have been worn out and tired with exper- 
imenting all ordinary remedies and the usual rules of 
living and diet, have at last recourse to lustrations and 
purifications, to charms and amulets fastened about the 
neck, and to the interpretation of dreams ; so in such ob- 
scure and abstruse questions and speculations, when the 
common, apparent, and ordinary reasons are not satisfac- 
tory, there is a necessity of trying such as are more extra- 
vagant, and of not contemning but enchanting ourselves 
(as one may say) with the discourses of the ancients, and 
endeavoring always to find out the truth. 

2. For you see at the very first blush, how impertinent 
his opinion is who said, that the form appearing in the 
moon is an accident of our sight, by its weakness giving 
way to her brightness, which we call the dazzling of our 


eyes ; for he perceives not that this should rather befall 
our looking against the sun, whose lustre is more resplen- 
dent, and whose rays are more quick and piercing ; as 
Empedocles also in a certain passage of his has not 
unpleasantly noted the difference of these two planets, 

The sharp-rayed sun, and gently shining moon. 

For thus does he call her alluring, favorable, and harmless 
light. No less absurd appears the reason he afterwards 
gives why dull and weak eyes discern no difference of 
form in the moon, her orb appearing to them plain and 
smooth, whereas those whose sight is more acute and pen- 
etrating better descry the lineaments and more perfectly 
observe the impressions of a face, and more evidently dis- 
tinguish its different parts. For it should, in my opinion, 
be quite contrary, if this were a fancy caused by the weak- 
ness of the vanquished sight ; so that where the patient's eye 
is weaker, the appearance would be more express and evi- 
dent. Moreover, the inequality every way confutes this 
reason ; for this face is not seen in a continuance and con- 
fused shadow, but the poet Agesianax not unelegantly 
describes it, saying. 

With shining fire it circled does appear, 

And in the midst is seen the visage clear 

Of a young maid, whose eyes more gray than blue, 

Her brow and cheeks a blushing red do show. 

For indeed dark and shady things, encompassed with 
others that are bright and shining, sink underneath and 
reciprocally rise again, being repelled by them ; and in a 
word, they are so interlaced one within another, that they 
represent the figure of a face painted to the life ; and there 
seems to have been great probability in that which was 
spoken against your Clearchus, my dear Aristotle. For 
he appears not inconveniently to be called yours, for ho 


was intimately acquainted with the ancient Aristotle, al- 
though he perverted many of the Peripatetic doctrines. 

3. Then Apollonides taking up the discourse, and asking 
what that opinion of Clearchus was ; It would more, said 
I, beseem any man than you to be ignorant of this dis- 
course, as being grounded on the very fundamental princi- 
ples of geometry. For he affirms, that what we call a face, 
is the image and figure of the great ocean, represented in 
the moon as in a mirror. For the circumference of a 
circle, when it is reflected back,* is wont in many places 
to touch objects which are not seen in a direct line. And 
the full moon is for evenness and lustre the most beautiful 
and purest of all mirrors. As then you hold, that the 
heavenly bow appears, when the ray of light is reflected 
back towards the sun, in a cloud which has got a little 
liquid smoothness and consistence ; so, said he, there is 
seen in the moon the surface of the sea, not in the place 
where it is situated, but from whence the reflection gives a 
sight of it by its reverberated and reflexed light, as Agesi- 
anax again says in another passage. 

This flaming mirror offers to your eyes 
The vast sea's figure, as beneath it lies 
Foaming with raging billows. 

4. Apollonides therefore, being delighted with this, said . 
A singular opinion indeed is this of his, and (to speak in a 
word) strangely and newly invented by a man sufficiently 
presumptuous, but not void of learning and wit. But how, 
I pray, was it refuted ] 

First, said I, the superficies of the sea is all of a nature, 
the current of it being uniform and continuous ; but the 
appearance of those black and dark spots which are seen 
in the face of the moon is not continued, but has certain 

* See the account of various ancient doctrines of vision and the reflection of light 
in the treatise on the Opinions of Philosophers, Book IV. Chapters 13 and 14. The 
idea that vision was caused by something proceeding from the eye to the object is 
especially to be noticed. (G.) 


isthmuses or partitions clear and bright, which divide and 
separate what is dark and shady. Whence every place 
being distinguished and having its own limits apart, the 
conjunctions of the clear with the obscure, taking a re- 
semblance of high and low, express and represent the 
similitude of a figure seeming to have eyes and lips ; so 
that we must of necessity suppose, either that there are 
main oceans and main seas, distinguished by isthmuses and 
continents of firm land, which is evidently absurd and 
false ; or that if there is but one, it is not credible its 
image should appear so distracted and dissipated into 
pieces. And as for this, there is less danger in asking than 
in affirming in your presence, whether, since the habitable 
earth lias both length and breadth, it is possible that the 
sight of all men, when it is reflected by the moon, should 
equally touch the ocean, even of those that sail and 
dwell in it, as do the Britons ; especially since the earth, 
as you have maintained, has but the proportion of a point, 
if compared to the sphere of the moon. This therefore, 
said I, it is your business to observe, but the reflection of 
the sight against the moon belongs neither to you nor Hip- 
parchus. And yet, my friend Lamprias, there are many 
naturalists, who approve not this doctrine of his touching 
the driving back of the sight, but affirm it to be more 
probable that it has a certain obedient and agreeing tem- 
perature and compactness of structure, than such beatings 
and repercussions as Epicurus feigned for his atoms.* l^or 
am I of opinion that Clearchus would have us suppose the 
moon to be a massy and weighty body, but a celestial and 
light-giving star, as you say it is, which must have the 
property of breaking and turning aside the sight ; so that 
all this reflection would come to nothing. But if we are 
desired to receive and admit it, we shall ask why this face 
or image of the sea is to be seen only in the body of the 

* The text in this passage is defective, and the sense chiefly conjectural. ( G. \ 


moon ; and not in any of the other stars ? For the laws 
of probability require that the sight should suffer this 
equally in all, or else in none. 

But pray, sir, said I, casting mine eyes upon Lucius, call 
a little to mind what was said at first by those of our party. 

5. Nay rather, answered he, — lest we should seem too 
injurious to Pharnaces, in thus passing by the opinion of 
the Stoics, without opposing any thing against it, — let us 
make some reply to this man, who supposes the moon to 
be wholly a mixture of air and mild fire, and then says 
that, as in a calm there sometimes arises on a sudden a 
breeze of wind which curls and ruffles the superficies of 
the sea, so, the air being darkened and rendered black, 
there is an appearance and form of a face. 

You do courteously, Lucius, said I, thus to veil and cover 
v/ith specious expressions so absurd and false an opinion. 
But so did not our friend ; but he said, as the truth is, that 
the Stoics disfigured and mortified the moon's face, filling 
it with stains and black spots, one while invocating her by 
the name of Diana and Minerva, and another while making 
her a lump and mixture of dark air and charcoal-fire, not 
kindling of itself or having any light of its own, but a 
body hard to be judged and known, always smoking and 
ever burning, like to those thunders which by the poets 
are styled lightless and sooty. Now that a fire of coals, 
such as they would have that of the moon to be, cannot 
have any continuance nor yet so much as the least sub- 
sistence, unless it meets with some solid matter fit to main- 
tain it, keep it in, and feed it, has, I think, far better than 
it is by these philosophers, been understood by those poets 
who in merriment affirm that Vulcan was therefore said to 
be lame because fire can no more go forward without wood 
or fuel than a cripple without a crutch. If then the moon 
is fire, whence has it so much air ] For that region above, 
which is with a continual motion carried round, consists 


not of air, but some more excellent substance, whose na- 
ture it is to subtilize and set on fire all other things. And 
if it has been since engendered there, how comes it that it 
does not perish, being changed and transmuted by the fire 
into an ethereal and heavenly substance ? And how can it 
maintain and preserve itself, cohabiting so long with the 
fire, as a nail always fixed and fastened in one and the 
same place ? For being rare and' diffused, as by Nature it 
is, it is not fitted for permanency and continuance, but for 
change and dissipation. Neither is it possible that it 
should condense and grow compact, being mixed with fire, 
and utterly void of water and earth, the only two elements 
by which the nature of the air suff'ers itself to be brought 
to a consistency and thickness. And since the swiftness 
and violence of motion is wont to inflame the air which is 
in stones, and even in lead itself, as cold as it is; much 
more will it that which, being in fii'e, is with so great an 
impetuosity whirled about. For they are displeased with 
Empedocles for making the moon a mass of air congealed 
after the manner of hail, included within a sphere of fire. 
And yet they themselves say, that the moon, being a globe 
of fire, contains in it much air dispersed here and there, — 
and this, though it has neither ruptures, concavities, nor 
depths (which they who affirm it to be earthly admit), 
but the air lies superficially on its convexity. Now this is 
both against the nature of permanency, and impossible to 
be accorded with what we see in full moons ; for it should 
not appear separately black and dark, but either be wholly 
obscured and concealed or else co-illuminated, when the 
moon is overspread by the sun. For with us the air which 
is in the pits and hollows of the earth, whither the rays of 
the sun cannot penetrate, remains dark and lightless ; but 
that which is spread over its exterior parts has clearness 
and a lightsome color. For it is by reason of its rarity 
easily transformed into every quality and faculty, but princi* 


pally that of light and brightness, by which, being never 
so little touched, it incontinently changes and is illumi- 
nated. This reason therefore, as it seems greatly to help 
and maintain the opinion of those who thrust the air into 
certain deep valleys and caves in the moon, so confutes 
you, who mix and compose her sphere, I know not how, 
of air and fire. For it is not possible that there should re- 
main any shadow or darkness in the superficies of the 
moon, when the sun with his brightness clears and en- 
lightens whatsoever we can discern of her and ken with 
our sight. 

6. Whilst I was yet speaking, Pharnaces interrupting 
my discourse said : See here again the usual stratagem of 
the Academy brought into play against us, which is to busy 
themselves at every turn in speaking against others, but 
never to afford an opportunity for reproving what they say 
themselves ; so that those with whom they confer and dis- 
pute must always be respondents and defendants, and never 
plaintiffs or opponents. You shall not therefore bring me 
this day to give you an account of those things you charge 
upon the Stoics, till you have first rendered me a reason 
for your turning the world upside down. 

Then Lucius smiling said : This, good sir, I am well 
contented to do, provided only that you will not accuse us 
of impiety, as Cleanthes thought that the Greeks ought 
to have called Aristarchus the Samian into question and 
condemned him of blasphemy against the Gods, as shaking 
the very foundations of the world, because this man, en- 
deavoring to save the appearances, supposed that the 
heavens remained immovable, and that the earth moved 
through an oblique circle, at the same time turning about 
its own axis. As for us therefore, we say nothing that we 
take from them. But how do they, my good friend, who 
suppose the moon to be earth, turn the world upside down 
more than you, who say that the earth remains here hang- 


ing in the air, being much greater than the moon, as the 
mathematicians measure their magnitude by the accidents 
of eclipses, and by the passages of the moon through the 
shadow of the earth, gathering thence how great a space 
it takes up ? For the shadow of the earth is less than it- 
self, by reason it is cast by a greater light. And that the 
end of this shadow upwards is slender and pointed, they 
say that Homer himself was not ignorant, but plainly ex- 
pressed it when he called the night dorj (that is, acute) from 
the sharp-pointedness of the earth's shadow. And yet 
the moon in her eclipses, being caught within this point 
of the shadow, can scarce get out of it by going forward 
thrice her own bigness in length. Consider then, how 
many times the earth must needs be greater than the 
moon, if it casts a shadow, the narrowest point of which 
is thrice as broad as the moon. But you are perhaps 
afraid lest the moon should fall, if it were acknowledged 
to be earth ; but as for the earth, Aeschylus has secured 
you, when he says that Atlas 

Stands shouldering the pillar of the heaven and earth, 
A burden onerous.* 

If then there runs under the moon only a light air, not firm 
enough to bear a solid burthen, whereas under the earth 
there are, as Pindar says, columns and pillars of adamant 
for its support, therefore Pharnaces himself is out of all 
dread of the earth's falling, but he pities the Ethiopians 
and those of Taprobane, who lie directly under the course 
of the moon, fearing lest so ponderous a mass should tum- 
ble upon their heads. And yet the moon has, for an help 
to preserve her from falling, her motion and the impetu- 
osity of her revolution ; as stones, pebbles, and other 
weights, put into slings, are kept from dropping out, 
whilst they are swung round, by the swiftness of their mo- 
tion. For every body is carried according to its natural 

* Aesch. Prom. 349. 

TOL. V. 16 


motion, unless it be diverted by some other intervening 
cause. Wherefore the moon does not move according to 
the motion of her weight, her incUnation being stopped 
and hindered by the violence of a circular revolution. And 
perhaps there would be more reason to wonder, if the 
moon continued always immovable in the same place, as 
does the earth. But now the moon has a great cause to 
keep herself from tending hither downwards ; but for the 
earth, which has no other motion, it is probable that it has 
also no other cause of its settlement but its own weight. 
For the earth is heavier than the moon, not only because it 
is greater, but also because the moon is rendered lighter 
by the heat and inflammation that is in it. In brief, it ap- 
pears by what you say, if it is true that the moon is fire, 
that it stands in need of earth or some other matter, which 
it may rest on and cleave to, for the maintaining and nour- 
ishing of its power. For it is not possible to imagine how 
a fire can be preserved without some combustible matter. 
And you yourselves say that the earth continues firm with- 
out any basis or pedestal to support it. 

Yes surely, said Pharnaces, being in its proper and natu- 
ral place, the very middle and centre of the universe. For 
this it is to which all heavy and ponderous things do from 
every side naturally tend, incline, and aspire, and about 
which they cling and are counterpoised. But every supe- 
rior region, though it may perhaps receive some earthly 
and weighty thing sent by violence up into it, immediately 
repels and casts it down again by force, or (to speak bet- 
ter) lets it follow its own proper inclination, by which it 
naturally tends downwards. 

7. For the refutation of which, being willing to give 
Lucius time for the calling to mind his arguments, I ad- 
dressed myself to Theon, and asked him which of the 
tragic poets it was who said that physicians 

With bitter med'cines bitter choler purge. 


And Theon having answered me that it was Sophocles ; 
This, said I to him, we must of necessity permit them to 
do ; but we are not to give ear to those philosophers who 
would overthrow paradoxes by assertions no less strange 
and paradoxical, and for the oppugning strange and extra- 
vagant opinions, devise others yet more wonderful and 
absurd ; as these men do, who broach and introduce this 
doctrine of a motion tending towards the middle, in which 
what sort of absurdity is there not to be found ? Does it 
not thence follow, that the earth is spherical, though we 
nevertheless see it to have so many lofty hills, so many 
deep valleys, and so great a number of inequalities ] Does 
it not follow that there are antipodes dwelling opposite to 
another, sticking on every side to the earth, with their 
heads downwards and their heels upwards, as if they were 
woodworms or lizards ? That we ourselves go not on the 
earth straight upright, but obliquely and bending aside 
like drunken men 1 That if bars and weights of a thou- 
sand talents apiece should be let fall into the hollow of 
the earth, they would, when they were come to the centre, 
stop and rest there, though nothing came against them or 
sustained them ; and that, if peradventure they should by 
force pass the middle, they would of themselves return 
and rebound back thither again 1 That if one should saw 
oiF the two trunks or ends of a beam on either side of the 
earth, they would not be always carried downwards, but 
falling both from without into the earth, they would equally 
meet, and hide themselves together in the middle ? That 
if a violent stream of water should run downwards into 
the ground, it would, when it came to the centre of the 
earth, which they hold to be an incorporeal point, there 
gather together, and turn round like a whirlpool, with a 
perpetual and endless suspension? Some of which posi- 
tions are so absurd, that none can so much as force his 
imagination, though falsely, to conceive them possible. 


For this is indeed to make that which is above to be 
below ; and to turn all things upside down, by making all 
that is as far as the middle to be downwards^ and all that 
is beyond the middle to be upwards ; so that if a man 
should, by the sufferance and consent of the earth, stand 
with his navel just against her centre, he would by this 
means have his feet and head both upwards ; and if one, 
having digged through that place which is beyond the 
middle, should come to pull him out from thence, that part 
which is below would at one and the same time be drawn 
upwards, and that which is above, downwards. And if 
another should be imagined to stand the contrary way, 
their feet, though the one's were opposite to the other's, 
would both be and be said to be upwards. 

8. Bearing then upon their shoulders, and drawing after 
them, I do not say a little bag or box, but a whole pack of 
juggler's boxes, full of so many absurdities, with which 
they play the hocus-pocus in philosophy, they nevertheless 
accuse others of error for placing the moon, which they 
hold to be earth, on high, and not in the middle or cen- 
tre of the world. And yet, if every heavy body inclines 
towards the same place, and does from all sides and with 
every one of its parts tend to its own centre, the earth 
certainly will appropriate and challenge to itself these 
ponderous masses — which are its parts — not because it 
is the centre of the universe, but rather because it is the 
whole ; and this gathering together of heavy bodies round 
about it will not be a sign showing it to be the middle of 
the world, but an argument to prove and testify that these 
bodies which had been plucked from it and again return 
to it have a communication and conformity of nature with 
the earth. For as the sun draws into himself the parts 
of which he is composed, so the earth receives a stone as 
a part belonging to it, in such manner that every one of 
such things is in time united and incorporated with it. 


And if peradventure there is some other body which was 
not from the beginning allotted to the earth nor has been 
separated from it, but had its own proper and peculiar 
consistence and nature apart, as these men may say of the 
moon, what hinders but it may continue separated by it- 
self, being kept close, compacted, and bound together by 
its own parts ? For they do not demonstrate that the earth 
is the middle of the universe ; and this conglomeration of 
heavy bodies which are here, and their coalition with the 
earth, show us the manner how it is probable that the 
parts which are assembled in the body of the moon con- 
tinue also there. But as for him who drives and ranges 
together in one place all earthly and ponderous things, 
making them parts of one and the same body, I wonder 
that he does not attribute also the same necessity and con- 
straint to light substances, but leaves so many conglomera- 
tions of fire separated one from another ; nor can I see 
why he should not amass together all the stars, and think 
that there ought to be but one body of all those substances 
which fly upwards. 

9. But you mathematicians, friend Apollonides, say that 
the sun is distant from our upper sphere infinite thousands 
of miles, and after him the day-star or Venus, Mercury, 
and other planets, which being situated under the fixed 
stars, and separated from one another by great intervals, 
make their revolutions ; and in the mean time you think 
that the world affords not to heavy and terrestrial bodies 
any great and large place or distance one from another. 
You plainly see, it would be ridiculous, if we should deny 
the moon to be earth because it is not seated in the lowest 
region of the world, and yet affirm it to be a star, though 
so many thousands of miles remote from the upper firma- 
ment, as if it were plunged into some deep gulf. For she 
is so low before all other stars, that the measure of the 
distances cannot be expressed, and you mathematicians 


want numbers to compute and reckon it ; but she in a 
manner touches the earth, making her revohition so near 
the tops of the mountains, that she seems, as Empedocles 
has it, to leave even the very tracks of her chariot-wheels 
behind her. For oftentimes she surpasses not the shadow 
of the earth, which is very short through the excessive 
greatness of the sun that shines upon it, but seems to turn 
so near the superficies, and (as one may say) between the 
arms and in the bosom of the earth, that it withholds from 
her the light of the sun, because she mounts that shady, 
earthly, and nocturnal region which is the lot and inheri- 
tance of the earth. And therefore I am of opinion, we 
may boldly say that the moon is within the limits and con- 
fines of the earth, seeing she is even darkened by the 
summits of its mountains. 

10. But leaving the stars, as well erring as fixed, see 
what Aristarchus proves and demonstrates in his treatise 
of magnitudes and distances ; that the distance of the sun 
is above eighteen times and under twenty times greater 
than that of the moon from us. And yet they who place 
the moon lowest say that her distance from us contains six 
and fifty of the earth's semidiameters, that is, that she is 
six and fifty times as far from us as we are from the centre 
of the earth ; which is forty thousand stadia, according to 
those that make their computation moderately. Therefore 
the sun is above forty millions and three hundred thousand 
stadia distant from the moon ; so far is she from th^ sun 
by reason of her gravity, and so near does she approach 
to the earth. So that if substances are to be distinguished 
by places, the portion and region of the earth challenges 
to itself the moon, which, by reason of neighborhood and 
proximity, has a right to be reputed and reckoned amongst 
the terrestrial natures and bodies. Nor shall we, in my 
opinion, do amiss if, having given so vast an interval and 
distance to these bodies which are said to be above, we 


leave also to those which are below some space and room 
to turn them in, such as is that between the earth and the 
moon. For neither is he who calls only the utmost super- 
ficies of the heaven above and all the rest beneath moder- 
ate or tolerable ; nor is he to be endured who confines 
beneath only to the earth, or rather to its centre ; seeing 
the vast greatness of the world may afford means for the 
assigning farther to this lower part some such space as is 
necessary for motion. Now against him who holds that 
whatever is above the earth is immediately high and sub- 
lime, there is presently another opposition to encounter 
and contradict it, that whatever is beneath the sphere of 
the fixed stars ought to be called low and inferior. 

11. In a word, how is the earth said to be the middle, 
and of what is it the middle ? For the universe is infinite ; 
and infiniteness having neither beginning nor end, it is 
convenient also that it should not have any middle ; for the 
middle is a certain end or limit, but infiniteness is a priva- 
tion of all sorts of limits. Now he that affirms the earth 
to be the middle, not of the universe but of the world, is 
certainly a pleasant man, if he does not think that the 
world itself is subject to the same doubts and difficulties. 
For the universe has not left a middle even to the very 
world, but this being without any certain seat or founda- 
tion, it is carried in an infinite voidness to no proper end ; 
or if perhaps it has stopped, it has met with some other 
cause or stay, not according to the nature of the place. 
As much may be conjectured of the moon, that by the 
means of another soul and another Nature, or (to say 
better) of another difference, the earth continues firm here 
below, and the moon moves. Besides this, see whether 
they are not ignorant of a great inconvenience and error. 
For if it is true that all which is without the centre of the 
earth, however it be, is above, there will then be no part 
of the world below ; but the earth and all that is upon it 


will be above ; and in brief, every body that shall be placed 
about the centre will be above, and there will be noth- 
ing below or underneath, but one only point which has no 
body, which will of necessity make head against and op- 
pose all the rest of the world's nature, if above and beneath 
are naturally opposite to one another. Nor is this the only 
absurdity that will follow ; but all heavy and ponderous 
bodies will also lose the cause for which they move and 
tend downwards hither, for there will be no body below to 
which they should move ; and as for that which is incor- 
poreal, it is not probable, neither will they themselves 
allow, that it should be so forcible as to draw and retain 
all things about itself. But if it is unreasonable and con- 
trary to Nature that the whole world should be above, and 
that there should be nothing below but an incorporeal and 
indivisible term or limit, then is this, as we say, yet more 
reasonable, that the region above and that below being 
divided the one from the other, have nevertheless each of 
them a large and spacious room. 

12. Nevertheless, supposing, if you please, that it is 
against Nature for earthly bodies to have any motions in 
heaven, let us consider leisurely and mildly — and not 
violently, as is done in tragedies — that this is no proof of 
the moon's not being earth, but only that earth is in a 
place where by nature it should not be ; for the fire of 
Mount Aetna is indeed against nature under ground, never- 
theless it ceases not to be fire. And the wind contained 
within bottles is indeed of its own nature light and inclined 
to ascend, but is yet by force constrained to be there where 
naturally it should not be. And is not our very soul, I 
beseech you in the name of Jupiter, which, as yourselves 
say, is light, of a fiery substance, and imperceptible to 
sense, included within the body, which is heavy, cold, and 
palpable 1 Yet do we therefore say that the soul does not 
belong to the body ; or that it is not a divine substance 


uuder a gross and heavy mass , or that it does not in a 
moment pass through heaven, earth, and sea, pierce into 
the flesh, nerves, and marrow, and into the humors which 
are the cause of a thousand passions'? And even your 
Jupiter, such as you imagine him and depaint him to be, 
is he not of his own nature a great and perpetual fire ? 
Yet now he submits, is phable, and transformed into all 
things by several mutations. Take heed therefore, good 
sir, lest, by transferring and reducing every thing to the 
place assigned it by Nature, you so philosophize as to bring 
in a dissolution of the whole world, and put all things 
again into that state of enmity mentioned by Empedocles, 
or (to speak more properly) lest you raise up again those 
ancient Titans and Giants to put on arms against Nature, 
and endeavor to introduce again that fabulous disorder and 
confusion, where all that is heavy goes one way apart, and 
all that is light another ; 

Where neither sun's bright face is seen, 
Nor earth beheld, spread o'er with green. 
Nor the salt sea, 

as Empedocles has it. Then the earth felt no heat, nor 
the sea any wind ; no heavy thing moved upwards, nor any 
light thing downwards ; but the principles of all things 
were solitary, without any mutual love or dilection one to 
another, not admitting any society or mixture together ; 
but shunning and avoiding all communication, moving 
separately by particular motions, as being disdainful, 
proud, and altogether carrying themselves in such man- 
ner as every thing does from which (as Plato says) God is 
absent ; that is, as those bodies do in which there is neither 
soul nor understanding ; till such time as, by Divine Provi- 
dence, desire coming into Nature engendered mutual amity, 
Venus, and Love, — as Empedocles, Parmenides, and 
Hesiod have it, — to the end that changing their natural 
places, and reciprocally communicating their faculties, 


some being by necessity bound to motion, others to quiet 
and rest, and all tending to the better, every thing remitting 
a little of its power and yielding a little from its place, 
. . . they might make at length a harmony, accord, and 
society together. 

13. For if there had not been any other part of the 
world against Nature, but every thing had been in the 
same place and quality it naturally ought to be, without 
standing in need of any change or transposition or having 
had any occasion for it from the beginning, I know not 
what the work of Divine Providence is or in what it con- 
sists, or of what Jupiter has been the father, creator, or 
worker. For there would not in a camp be any need of 
the art of ranging and ordering of battles, if every soldier 
of himself knew and understood his rank, place, and 
station, and the opportunity he ought to take and keep ; 
nor would there be any want of gardeners or builders, if 
water were of itself framed to flow where it is necessary, 
and irrigate such plants as stand in need of watering, or if 
bricks, timber, and stones would of their own inclinations 
and natural motion range and settle themselves in due and 
fitting places and orders. Now if this discourse manifestly 
takes away Providence, and if the ordering and distinction 
of things that are in the world belongs to God, why should 
we wonder at Nature's having been so disposed and or- 
dained by him, that the fire should be here, and the stars 
there, and again the earth should be situated here below, 
and the moon above, lodged in a prison found out by 
reason, more sure and straight than that which was first 
ordained by Nature ? For if it were of absolute necessity 
that all things should follow their natural instinct and 
move according to the motion given them by Nature, 
neither the Sun, Venus, nor any other planet would any 
more run a circular course ; for light and fiery substances 
have by Nature their motion directly upwards. And if 


perhaps Nature itself receives this permutation and change 
by reason of the place, so that fire should here in a direct 
line tend upwards, but being once arrived at heaven, should 
turn round with the revolution of the heavens ; what won- 
der would it be, if heavy and terrestrial bodies, being in 
like manner out of their natural place, were vanquished 
by the ambient air, and forced to take another sort of mo- 
tion ? For it cannot with any reason be said that heaven 
has by Nature the power to take away from light things 
the property of mounting directly upwards, and cannot 
likewise have the force to overcome heavy things and such 
as tend downwards ; but that sometimes making use of 
this power, and sometimes of the proper nature of the 
things, it still orders every thing for the best. 

14. But if, laying aside those servile habits and opinions 
to which we have enslaved ourselves, we must frankly and 
fearlessly deliver our judgment, it seems clear to me, that 
there is not any part of the universe which has a peculiar 
and separate rank, situation, or motion, that can simply be 
said to be natural to it. But when every thing exhibits 
and yields up itself to be moved, as is most profitable and 
fit for that for whose sake it was made and to which it is 
by Nature appointed, — suffering, doing, or being disposed, 
as is most expedient and meet for the safety, beauty, and 
power of the same, — then it appears to have its place, 
motion, and disposition according to Nature. As a proof 
of this, we may observe that man, who, if any thing in 
the world be so, is made and disposed according to Na- 
ture, has upwards, especially about his head, heavy and 
terrestrial things, and about the middle of his body such, 
as are hot and participate of fire ; of his teeth also some 
grow upwards and some downwards, and yet neither the 
one nor the other are contrary to Nature ; neither is the 
fire which shines in his eyes according to Nature, and that 
which is in his heart and stomach against it; but it is in 


each place properly and beneficially seated. Moreover, 
consider the nature of all shell-fishes ; and, that I may use 
the words of Empedocles, 

Look on the crabs, the oysters of the sea, 
And shell-fish all, which heavy coats enfold, 

The tortoise too with arched back, whom we 
Covered with crust, as hard as stone, behold. 

View them but well, and plain it will appear. 

They hardened earth above their bodies bear. 

And yet this crust, stone-like, hard, and heavy, as it is thus 
placed over their bodies, does not press and crush their 
natural habit, nor on the contrary does their heat fly up- 
wards by reason of its lightness, and vanish away, but they 
are mingled and composed one with another, according to 
the nature of each one. 

15. Wherefore it is also probable that the world, if it is 
an animal, has in many parts of its body earth, and in as 
many fire and water and air, not thrust and driven into it 
by force, but ordered and disposed by reason. For neither 
was the eye by its lightness forced into that part of the body 
where it is, nor the heart by its gravity pressed down into 
the breast ; but both the one and the other were thus 
placed because it was better and more expedient. In like 
manner we ought not to think of the parts of the world, 
either that the earth settled where it is, being beaten down 
thither by its ponderosity ; or that the sun was carried 
upwards by its levity, like a bottle or bladder full of wind 
(which, being plunged into the bottom of the water, imme- 
diately rises up again), as Metrodorus of Chios was per- 
suaded ; or that the other stars, as if they had been put 
into a balance, were swayed this way or that way, accord- 
ing to theh weight or lightness, and so mounted higher or 
lower to the places they now possess. But reason having 
prevailed in the constitution of the world, the stars have, 
like to glittering eyes, been fixed in the firmament, as it 
were in the face of the universe, there to turn continually 


about; and the sun, having the force and vigor of the 
heart, sends and distributes its heat and light, like blood 
and spirits, throughout all ; the earth and sea are in the 
world, as the paunch and bladder in the body of a living 
creature ; and the moon placed between the sun and the 
earth, as the liver, or some other soft entrail between the 
heart and the belly, transmits down thither the heat of 
the superior bodies, and draws round about her the vapors 
which arise from hence, subtilizing them by way of con- 
coction and purification. And whether its solid and ter- 
restrial quality has any other property serving for some 
profitable use, is indeed unknown to us ; but everywhere 
that which is better prevails over what is by necessity. 
For what probability can we draw from that which they 
affirm'? They say, that the most subtile and luminous 
part of the air, by reason of its rarity, became heaven ; 
but what was thickened and closely driven together was 
made into stars, of which the moon being the heaviest is 
compacted of the grossest and muddiest matter. And yet 
it is plainly to be seen, that the moon is not separated or 
divided from the air, but moves and makes her revolu- 
tion through that which is about her, to wit, the region 
of the winds, and where the comets are engendered 
and keep their course. These bodies then were not 
by a natural inclination thus placed and situated as they 
are, but have by some other reason been so ordered and 

16. These things being said, as I was giving Lucius his 
turn to follow and continue the discourse, — ; there being 
nothing left to be added but the demonstrations of this 
doctrine, — Aristotle smiling said : I am a witness, that 
you have directed all your contradictions and all your refu- 
tations against those who, supposing the moon to be half 
fire, affirm in general that all bodies do of their own ac- 
cord tend either upwards or downwards ; but if there is 


any one who holds that the stars have of their own nature 
a circular motion, and that they are of a substance wholly 
different from the four elements, you have not thought of 
saying any thing, so much as accidentally or by the way, 
against him ; and therefore I am wholly unconcerned in 
your discourse. 

Indeed, good sir, said Lucius, if you should suppose the 
other stars, and the whole heaven apart, to be of a pure 
and sincere nature, free from all change and alteration of 
passion, and should bring in also a circle, in which they 
make their motion by a perpetual revolution, you would 
not perhaps find any one now to contradict you, though 
there are in this infinite doubts and difficulties. But when 
the discourse descends so far as to touch the moon, it can- 
not maintain in her that perfection of being from 
all passion and alteration, nor that heavenly beauty of her 
body. But to let pass all other inequalities and differences, 
the very face which appears in the body of the moon ne- 
cessarily proceeds from some passion of her own substance 
or the mixture of another ; for what is mixed suffers, be- 
cause it loses its first purity, being filled by force with that 
which is worse. Besides, as for the slowness and dulness 
of her course, her feeble and inefficacious heat, by which, 
as Ion says. 

The black grape comes not to maturity, 

to what shall we attribute them but to her weakness and 
passion, if an eternal and celestial body can be subject to 
passion '? 

In brief, my friend Aristotle, if the moon is earth, she is 
a most fair and admirable thing, and excellently well 
adorned ; but if you regard her as a star or light or a cer- 
tain divine and heavenly body, I am afraid she will prove 
deformed and foul, and disgrace that beautiful appellation, 
if of all bodies, which are in heaven so numerous, she 


alone stands in need of light borrowed of another, and, as 
Parmenides has it, 

Looks always backwards on the sun's bright rays. 

Our friend therefore indeed, having in a lecture of his 
demonstrated this proposition of Anaxagoras, that the sun 
communicates to the moon what brightness she has, was 
well esteemed for it. As for me, I will not say what I 
have learned of you or with you, but having taken it for 
granted, will pass on to the rest. It is then probable that the 
moon is illuminated, not like a glass or crystal, by the 
brightness of the sun's rays shining through her, nor yet 
again, by a certain collustration and conjunction of light 
and brightness, as when many torches set together aug- 
ment the light of one another. For so she would be no 
less full in her conjunction or iirst quarter than in her op- 
position, if she did not obstruct or repel the rays of the 
sun, but let them pass through her by reason of her rari 
ty, or if he did by a contemperature shine upon her and 
kindle the light within her. For we cannot allege her 
declinations and aversions in the conjunction or new moon, 
as when it is half-moon or when she appears crescent or 
in the wane ; but being then perpendicularly (as Democri- 
tus says) under him that illuminates her, she receives and 
admits the sun ; so that then it is probable she should ap- 
pear, and he shine through her. But this she is so far 
from doing, that she is not only then unseen, but also often 
hides the sun, as Empedocles has it : 

The sun's bright beams from us she turns aside, 
And of the earth itself as much doth hide, 
As her orb's breadth can cover ; 

as if the light of the sun fell not upon another star, but 
upon night and darkness. And as for what Posidonius 
says, that the depth of the moon's body is the cause why 
the light of the sun cannot pierce through her to us, this 


is evidently refuted ; for the air, which is infinite and of a 
far greater depth than the body of the moon, is neverthe- 
less all over illustrated and enlightened by the rays of the 

It remains then that, according to the opinion of Empe- 
docles, the light of the moon which appears to us comes 
from the repercussion and reflection of the sun's beams. 
And for this reason it comes not to us hot and bright, as in 
all probability it would, if her shining proceeded either 
from inflammation or the commixtion of two lights. But as 
voices reverberated cause an echo more obscure and less 
express than the speech that was pronounced, and as the 
blows of darts and arrows, rebounding from some wall 
against which they are shot, are more mild and gentle ; 

So Titan's lustre, smiting the moon's orb, 

yields but a faint and feeble reflection and repercussion of 
brightness upon us, its force being abated and weakened 
by the refraction. 

17. Sylla then, taking up the discourse, said: There is 
indeed a great deal of probability in all that you have 
spoken. But as to the strongest objection that is brought 
against it, has it, think you, been any way weakened by 
this discourse ? Or has our friend quite passed it over in 
silence 1 

What opposition do you mean, said Lucius 1 Is it the 
difficulty about the moon, when one half of her appears 
enlightened ? 

The very same, answered Sylla. For there is some 
reason, seeing that all reflection is made by equal angles, 
that when the half-moon is in the midst of heaven, the 
light proceeding from her should not be carried upon the 
earth, but glance and fall beyond and on one side of it. 
For the sun, being placed in the horizon, touches the moon 
with its beams ; which, being equally reflected, will there- 


fore necessarily fall on the other bound of the horizon, and 
not send their light down hither ; or else there will be a great 
distortion and difference of the angle, which is impossible. 

And yet, by Jupiter, replied Lucius, this has not been 
forgotten or overpassed, but already spoken to. And cast- 
ing his eye, as he was discoursing, upon the mathematician 
Menelaus ; I am ashamed, said he, in your presence, dear 
Menelaus, to attempt the subverting and overthrowing of a 
mathematical position, which is supposed as a basis and 
foundation to the doctrine of the catoptrics concerning the 
causes and reasons of mirrors. And yet of necessity I 
must. For it neither appears of itself nor is confessed as 
true, that all reflections are at equal angles ; but this 
position is first checked and contradicted in concave mir- 
rors, when they represent the images of things, appearing 
at one point of sight, greater than the things themselves. 
And it is also disproved by double mirrors, which being 
inclined or turned one towards the other, so that an angle 
is made within, each of the glasses or plain superficies 
yields a double resemblance ; so that there are four images 
from the same face, two answerable to the object without 
on the left side, and two others obscure and not so evident 
on the right side in the bottom of the mirror. Of which 
Plato renders the efiicient cause ; for he says, that a mirror 
being raised on the one and the other side, the sight varies 
the reflection, falling from one side to the other. And 
therefore, since of the views or visions some immediately 
have recourse to us, and others, sliding to opposite parts 
of the mirror, do again return upon us from thence, it is 
not possible that all reflections should be made at equal 
angles. Though those who closely impugn our opinion 
contend that, by these reflections of light from the moon 
upon the earth, the equality of angles is taken away, 
thinking this to be much more probable than the other. 

Nevertheless, if we must of necessity yield and grant 

VOL. V 17 


thus much to our dearly beloved geometry, first, this should 
in all likelihood befall those mirrors which are perfectly 
smooth and exquisitely polished ; whereas the moon has 
many inequalities and roughnesses, so that the rays pro- 
ceeding from a vast body, and carried to mighty altitudes, 
receive one from another and intercommunicate their lights, 
which, being sent to and fro and reciprocally distributed, 
are refracted and interlaced all manner of ways, and the 
counter-lights meet one another, as if they came to us from 
several mirrors. And then, though we should suppose 
these reflections on the superficies of the moon to be made 
at equal angles, yet it is not impossible that the rays, com- 
ing down unto us by so long an interval, may have their 
flexions, fractions, and delapsions, that the light being 
compounded may shine the more. Some also there are 
who prove by lineary demonstration, that many lights send 
a ray down by a line drawn below the line of reflection ; 
but to make the description and delineation of it publicly, 
especially where there were many auditors, would not be 
very easy. 

18. But in brief, said he, I wonder how they come thus 
to allege against us the half-moon, there being the same 
reason when she is gibbous and crescent. For if the sun 
enlightened the moon, as a mass of ethereal or fiery matter, 
he would never surely leave one hemisphere, or half of 
her globe always appearing dark and shadowy to sense, as 
it is seen to be ; but how little soever he touched her super- 
ficies, it would be agreeable to reason that it should be 
wholly replenished and totally changed by that light of his, 
which by reason of its agility and swiftness so easily spreads 
and passes through all. For, since wine touching water 
only in one point, or one drop of blood falling into any 
liquor, dyes and colors it all with a red or purple color; 
and since they say, that the very air is altered and changed 
with light, not by any defluxions or beams intermingled, 


but by a sudden conversion and change made in one only 
point ; how can they imagine that one star touching an- 
other star, and one light another light, should not be im- 
mediately mingled, nor make any thorough confusion or 
change, but only exteriorly illuminate that whose super- 
ficies it touches ? For that circle which the sun makes by 
fetching a compass and turning towards the moon, — some- 
times falling upon the very line that distinguishes her visi- 
ble part from her invisible, and sometimes rising up directly, 
so that it cuts her in two and is reciprocally cut by her, 
causing in her, by several inclinations and habitudes of the 
luminous to the dark, those various forms by which she 
appears gibbous and crescent, — that more than any thing 
else demonstrates, that all this illumination of the moon is 
not a mixture, but only a touching ; nor a conflux or 
gathering together of sundry lights, but only an illustra- 
tion round about. 

But forasmuch as she is not only enlightened herself, 
but also sends back hither the image of her illumination, 
this confirms us yet further in what we say touching her 
substance. For reflections and reverberations are not made 
upon any thing which is rare, and of thin and subtile parts ; 
nor is it easily to be imagined how light can rebound from 
light, or one fire from another. But that which is to make 
the reverberation or reflection must be solid and firm, that 
a blow may be given against it and a rebounding made 
from it. As a proof of this, we see that the air transmits 
the sun, and gives him a way to pierce quite through it, not 
obstructing or driving back his rays ; but on the contrary 
from wood, stones, or clothes put in the sun, there are made 
many reflections of light and many illuminations round 
about. So we see that the earth is illuminated by him, not 
to the very bottom, as the water, nor thoroughly and all 
over, as the air, through which the beams of the sun have 
a clear passage ; but just such a circle as surrounds the 


moon surrounds also the earth ; and as much of the earth 
as this circle includes, so much does the sun enlighten, the 
rest being left without light ; for what is illuminated both 
in the one and in the other is little more than an hemi- 
sphere. Permit me therefore now to conclude after the 
manner of geometricians by proportions. If there are 
three things which the light of the sun approaches, the 
air, the moon, and the earth, and if we see that the moon 
is enlightened by him, not as the air, but as the earth, it 
is of necessity that those two things must have one and 
the same nature, which of one and the same cause suffer 
the same effects. 

19. Now when all the company began highly to com- 
mend Lucius's harangue ; This is excellently well done 
of you, Lucius (said I to him), that you have to so fine a 
discourse added as fine a proportion, for you must not be 
defrauded of that which is your due. 

Then Lucius, smiling, thus went on : I have yet a 
second proportion to be added to the former, by which we 
will clearly demonstrate that the moon altogether resem- 
bles the earth, not only because they suffer and receive the 
same accidents from the same cause, but because they 
work the same effect on the same object. For you will 
without difficulty, I suppose, grant me that, of all the 
accidents which befall the sun, there is none so like to his 
setting as his eclipse, especially if you but call to mind that 
recent conjunction which, beginning at noonday, showed 
us many stars in many places of the heavens, and wrought 
a temperature in the air like that of the twilight. But if 
you will not grant me this, our friend Theon here will 
bring us a Mimnermus, a Cydias, an Archilochus, and be- 
sides these, a Stesichorus and a Pindar, lamenting that in 
eclipses the world is robbed of its brightest light, and say- 
ing that night comes on in the midst of the day, and that 
the rays of the sun wander in the path of darkness ; but 


above all he will produce Homer, saying that the faces of 
men are in eclipses seized upon by night and darkness, 
and the sun is quite lost out of heaven by the conjunction 
of the moon. And ... it is natural that this should 

When one moon's going, and another comes. 

For the rest of the demonstration is, in my opinion, as cer- 
tain and exactly concluding, as are the acute arguments of 
the mathematics. As night is the shadow of the earth, so 
the eclipse of the sun is the shadow of the moon, when it 
stands in the way of our sight. For the sun is at his set- 
ting kept from our sight by the interposition of the earth, 
and at his eclipse by that of the moon. Now both of 
these are obscurations ; but that of his setting is from the 
earth, and that of his being eclipsed from the moon, their 
shadows intercepting our sight. Now the consequences 
of these things are easily understood. For if the effect is 
alike, the efficient causes are also alike ; because it is of 
necessity that the same effects, happening in the same 
subjects, proceed from the same efficients. Now if the 
darkness in eclipses is not so profound, nor does so forci- 
bly and entirely seize the air, as does the night, we are not 
to wonder at it ; for the substance of the body which 
makes the night, and of that which causes the eclipse, 
is indeed the same, though their greatness is not equal. 
For the Egyptians, if I am not mistaken, hold that the 
moon is in bigness the two and seventieth part of the earth ; 
and Anaxagoras says, she is as big as Peloponnesus. And 
Aristarchus shows the overthwart line or diameter of the 
moon to have a proportion to that of the earth which is 
less than if sixty were compared to nineteen, and some- 
what greater than an hundred and eight compared to forty 
and three. Whence it happens that the earth, by reason 
of its greatness, wholly withdraws the sun from our sight ; 


for it is a great obstacle and opposition, and lasts all the 
nisrht. But althouQ^h the moon sometimes hides all the 
sun, yet that eclipse continues not so long nor is so far ex- 
tended, but there always appears about the circumference 
a certain brightness, which permits not the darkness to be 
black, deep, and perfectly obscure. 

And Aristotle (I mean the ancient philosopher of that 
name) rendering the reason why there are oftener seen to 
happen eclipses of the moon than of the sun, among other 
causes alleges this, that the sun is eclipsed by the interpo- 
sition of the moon, and the moon by that of the earth, 
which is much greater and consequently oftener opposes 
itself. And Posidonius thus defines this accident : The 
eclipse of the sun is the conjunction of the sun and moon, 
the shadow of which darkens our sight.* For there is no 
eclipse except to those whose sight the shadow of the moon 
intercepting hinders them from seeing the sun. Now in 
confessing that the shadow of the moon descends down to 
us, I know not what he has left himself to say. It is cer- 
tainly impossible for a star to cast a shadow ; for that 
which is not enlightened is called a shadow, and light 
makes no shadow, but on the contrary drives it away. 

20. But what arguments, said he, were alleged after 
this 1 

The moon, answered I then, suffered the same eclipse. 

You have done well, replied he, to put me in mind of it. 
But would you have me go on and prosecute the rest of 
the discourse, as if you had already supposed and granted 
that the moon is eclipsed, being intercepted within the 
shadow of the earth 1 Or shall I take for the subject of a 
declamation the making a demonstration of it, by rehears- 
ing to you all the arguments, one after another? 

Nay, by Jove, said Theon, let this be the argument of 
your discourse. For I indeed stand in need of some per 

* Here again the text is defective, and the sense conjectural. (G.) 


suasion, having only heard that when these three bodies, 
the earth, the moon, and the sun, are in a direct line, then 
eclipses happen ; for that either the earth takes the sun 
from the moon, or the moon takes him from the earth. For 
the sun suffers an eclipse when the moon, and the moon 
when the earth, is in the midst of the three ; of which 
the one happens in the conjunction or new moon, and the 
other in the opposition or when the moon is full. 

Then said Lucius : These are the principal points, and 
the summary of what is said. But in the fii'st place, if 
you please, take the argument drawn from the form and 
figure of the shadow. For this is a cone, as it must be 
when a great fire or light that is spherical encompasses a 
mass that is also globular but less ; whence it comes that, 
in the eclipses of the moon, the circumscriptions of the 
black and dark from the clear and luminous have their 
sections always round. For the sections given or received 
by one round body applied to another, which way soever 
they go, do by reason of the similitude always keep a cir- 
cular form. Now as for the second argument, I suppose 
you understand that the first part which is eclipsed in the 
moon is always that which looks towards the east, and in 
the sun that which regards the west. Now the shadow of 
the earth moves from the east to the west, but the sun and 
moon from the west eastward. The experience of the ap- 
pearances gives us a visible knowledge of this, nor is there 
need of many words to make us fully understand it ; and 
from these suppositions the cause of the eclipse is con- 
firmed. For, inasmuch as the sun is eclipsed by being 
overtaken, and the moon by meeting that which makes 
the eclipse, it probably or rather necessarily follows that 
the one is surprised behind, and the other before. 
Foi the obstruction begins on that side whence that 
which causes it first approaches. Now the moon comes 
upon the sun from the west, as striving in course with 


him and hastening after him ; but the shadow of the earth 
comes from the east, as that which has a contrary motion. 
The third argument is taken from the time and great- 
ness of the eclipses. For the moon, if she is eclipsed 
when she is on high in her apogee (or at her farthest dis- 
tance from the earth), continues but a little while in her 
defect or want of light ; but when she suffers the same 
accident being low and in her perigee (or near the earth), 
she is very much oppressed, and slowly gets out of the 
shadow ; and yet, when she is low, she moves swifter, and 
when high, slower. But the cause of the difference is in 
the shadow, which is, like pyramids, broadest at the bot- 
tom or basis ; and, growing still narrower by little and 
little, terminates in a sharp point at the top. Whence it 
comes, that when she is low, she is embarrassed within 
greater circles, traversing the bottom of the shadow and 
what is most obscure and dark ; but when she is high, be- 
ing through the narrowness of the shadow (as it were) but 
in a shallow puddle, by which she is sullied, she immedi- 
ately gets out again. I omit what was said particularly 
about the bases and disposition of parts, for these admit 
of a rational explanation, so far as this is possible ; but I 
return to the subject properly before us, which has its 
foundation in our senses. For we see that fire shines 
forth and appears brighter out of a dark and shady place, 
through the thickness of the caliginous air, which admits 
no effluxions or diffusions of the fire's virtue, but keeps in 
and contains its substance within itself. Or rather, — if 
this is a passion of the senses, — as hot things, when near 
to cold ones, are felt to be hotter, and pleasures immedi- 
ately after pains are found more vehement, so things 
that are bright appear better when they are near to such 
as are obscure, the imagination being more strained and 
extended by means of different passions. But there seems 
to be a greater appearance of probability in the first rea- 


son. For in the sun, all the nature of fire not only loses 
its faculty of illuminating, but is also rendered duller and 
more unapt to burn, because the heat of the sun dissipates 
and scatters all its force. 

If it were then true that the moon, being, as the Stoics 
say, a muddy and troubled star, has a weak and duskish 
fire, it would be meet that she should suffer none of these 
accidents which she is now seen to suffer, but altogether 
the contrary ; to wit, that she should be seen when she is 
hidden, and absconded when she appears ; that is, she 
should be concealed all the rest of the time, being obscured 
by the environing air, and again shine forth and become 
apparent and manifest for six months together, and after- 
wards disappear again five months, entering into the shadow 
of the earth. For of four hundred and sixty-five revolu- 
tions of ecliptic full moons, four hundred and four are of 
six months' duration, and the rest of five. The moon 
then should all this time appear shining in the shadow ; 
but on the contrary we see, that in the shadow she is 
eclipsed and loses her light, and recovers it again after 
she is escaped and got forth of the shadow. Nay, she ap- 
pears often in the daytime, so that she is rather any thing 
else than a fiery and starry body. 

21. As soon as Lucius had said these things, Pharnaces 
and Apollonides ran both together upon him, to oppugn 
and refute his discourse ; and then Apollonides giving him 
way, Pharnaces said : This it is that principally shows the 
moon to be a star and of a fiery nature, that in her eclip- 
ses she is not wholly obscured and disappearing, but 
shows herself with a certain coal-resembling color, terri- 
ble to the sight, yet such as is proper to her. 

As for Apollonides, he insisted much in opposition to 
the word shadow, saying, that the mathematicians always 
give that name to the place which is not enlightened, and 
that heaven admits no shadow. 


To this I thus answered : This instance is rather alleged 
obstinately against the name, than naturally or mathe- 
matically against the thing. For if one will not call the 
place obfuscated by the opposition of the earth a shadow, 
but a place deprived of light, yet be it what it will, you 
must of necessity confess that the moon being there be- 
comes obscure ; and every way, said I, it is a folly to deny 
that the shadow of the earth reaches thither from whence 
the shadow of the moon, falling upon our sight here on 
earth, causes the eclipse of the sun. And therefore I now 
address myself to you, Pharnaces ; for this coal-like and 
burnt color of the moon, which you affirm to be proper to 
her, belongs to a body that has thickness and depth. For 
there is not wont to remain any relic, mark, or print of 
flame in a body that is rare, nor can a coal be made where 
there is not a solid body which may receive into it the 
heat of the fire ; as Homer himself shows in a certain pas- 
sage, where he says. 

Then, when the languid flames at length subside, 
He strows a bed of glowing embers wide.* 

For the coal seems not properly a fire, but a body en- 
kindled and altered by the fire, which stays and remains 
in a solid firmly rooted mass ; and whereas flames are the 
setting on fire and fluxions of a nutriment and matter, 
which is of a rare substance, and by reason of its weakness 
quickly dissolved and consumed ; so that there could not 
be any more evident and plain argument to demonstrate 
that the moon is solid and earthly, than if her proper 
color were that of a coal. But it is not so, my friend 
Pharnaces ; but in her eclipses she diversely changes her 
colors, which the mathematicians, determining with respect 
•to the time and hour, thus distinguish. If she is eclipsed 
in the evening, she appears horribly black until the middle 
of the fourth hour of the night ; if about midnight, she 

♦ n. IX. 212. 


sends forth this reddish and fire-resembling color, and after 
the middle of the eighth hour, the redness disappears ; 
and finally, if about the dawning of the morning, she takes 
a blue or grayish color; which is the cause why she 
is by the poets, and particularly by Empedocles, called 

Since then they clearly see that the moon changes mto 
so many colors in the shadow, they do ill to attribute to 
her only that of a burning coal, which may be said to be 
less proper to her than any other, being only a small 
remnant and semblance of light, appearing and shining 
through a shadow, her own proper color being black and 
earthy. And since that here below, red and purple gar- 
ments, and rivers and lakes, which receive the rays of the 
sun, cause neighboring shady places to take the same 
appearances of colors and to be illuminated by them, cast- 
ing and sending back by reason of reflections several re- 
bated splendors ; what wonder is it if a copious flux of 
shadow, falling as it were into an immense celestial sea of 
light, not steady and quiet, but agitated by innumerable 
stars, and besides admitting several mixtures and mutations 
in itself, takes from the moon the impression sometimes 
of one color, sometimes of another, and sends them hither 
to us? For it is not to be denied but that a star of fire 
cannot appear in a shadow black, gray, or violet ; but 
there are seen upon hills, plains, and seas, several various 
resemblances of colors, caused by the reflection of the sun, 
which are the very tinctures that brightness mixed with 
shadows and mists, as if it were with painters' colors, 
brings upon them. And as for the tincture or colors of the 
sea, Homer has indeed in some sort endeavored to name 
and express them, when he sometimes terms the sea violet- 
colored or red as wine, at other times the waves purple, 
and again the sea blue, and the calm white. As for the 
diversities of tinctures and colors appearing upon the 


earth, he has, I suppose, omitted them, because they are 
in number infinite. Now it is not probable that the moon 
has but one superficies all plain and even, as the sea ; but 
rather that of its nature it principally resembles the earth, 
of which old Socrates in Plato seemed to mythologize at 
his pleasure ; whether it w^ere, that under covert and enig- 
matical speeches he meant it of the moon, or whether he 
spake it of some other. For it is neither incredible nor 
wonderful, if the moon, having in herself nothing corrupt 
or muddy, but enjoying a pure and clear light from heaven, 
and being full of heat, not of a burning and furious fire, 
but of such as is mild and harmless, has in her places 
admirably fair and pleasant, resplendent mountains, purple- 
colored cinctures or zones, and store of gold and silver, 
not dispersed here and there within her bowels, but flour- 
ishing in great abundance on the superficies of her plains, 
or spread all over her smooth hills and mountains. 

And if the sight of all these things comes to us through 
a shadow, sometimes in one manner and sometimes in an- 
other, by reason of the diversity and diff'erent change of 
the ambient air, the moon does not therefore lose the 
venerable persuasion that is had of her, or the reputation 
of divinity ; being esteemed by men a heavenly earth, or 
rather (as the Stoics say) a troubled, thick, and dreggish 
fire. For even the fire itself is honored with barbarian 
honors among the Assyrians and Medes, who through fear 
serve and adore such things as are hurtful, hallowing them 
even above such things as are of themselves indeed holy 
and honorable. But the very name of the earth is truly 
dear and venerable to every Greek, and there is through 
all Greece a custom received of adoring and revering it, 
as much as any of the Gods. And we are very far from 
thinking that the moon, which we hold to be a heavenly 
earth, is a body without soul and spirit, exempt and de- 
prived of all that is to be offered to the Gods. For both 


by law we yield her recompenses and thanksgiA^ngs, for 
that we receive of her and by nature we adore what we 
acknowledge to be of a more excellent virtue and a more 
honorable power ; and therefore we do not think that we 
offend in supposing the moon to be earth. 

Xow as to the face which appears in her, as this earth 
on which we are has in it many great sinuosities and val- 
leys, so it is probable that the moon also lies open, and is 
cleft with many deep caves and ruptures, in which there is 
water or very obscure air, to the bottom of which the sun 
cannot reach or penetrate, but failing there, sends back a 
dissipated reflection to us here below. 

22. Here Apollonides, taking up the discourse, said: 
Tell me then, I beseech you, good sir, even by the moon 
herself, do you think it possible that there should be there 
shadows of caves and chinks, and that the sight of them 
should come even to our eyes 1 Or do you not regard 
what will come of if? And must I tell you what it \s1 
But hearken to me, although you are not ignorant of it. 
The diameter of the moon, according to that bigness which 
appears to us when she is in her mean and ordinary dis- 
tances, is twelve digits, and every one of these black and 
shady spots is above half a digit, that is above the four 
and twentieth part of the diameter. Now if we suppose 
the circumference of the moon to be only thirty thousand 
stadia ; and the diameter according to that supposition to 
be ten thousand, every one of these shadowy marks within 
her will not be less than five hundred stadia. Consider 
then, first, whether there can possibly be in the moon such 
great gaps and such inequalities as may make such a 
shadow ? And then how is it possible that, being so great, 
they are not seen by us ? 

At this I, smiling upon him, said : You have done me a 
pleasure, dear iVpollonides, in having found out such a 
demonstration by which you will prove that you and I 


shall be bigger than those giant sons of Aloeus* — not 
indeed every hour of the day, but principally morning and 
evening, — if indeed you think that, when the sun makes 
our shadows so long, he suggests to our minds this goodly 
argument ; if that which is shadowed is great, that which 
shadows must of necessity be yet excessively greater. T 
know well that neither you nor I have ever been in Lem- 
nos ; yet we have often heard that Iambic verse, so frequent 
in every one's mouth : 

Mount Athos' shade shall hide the Lemnian cow. 

For the shadow of that mountain falls, as it seems, on 
the image of a brazen heifer which is in Lemnos, extend- 
ing itself in length over the sea not less than seven hun- 
dred stadia. ... The mountain which makes the shadow 
causes it, because the distance of the light renders the 
shadow of bodies manifoldly greater than the bodies them- 
selves. Consider then here, that when the moon is in the 
full, and shows us the form of a visage most expressly, by 
reason of the profundity of the shadow, it is then that she 
is most remote from the sun ; for it is the distance of the 
light that makes the shadow bigger, and not the greatness 
of the inequalities which are on the superficies of the 
moon. And you moreover see, that the brightness of the 
sun's beams suffers not the tops of the mountains to be dis- 
cerned in open day ; but on the contrary, the deep hollow 
and shadowy parts appear from afar. It is not therefore 
any way absurd or strange, if we cannot so exactly see 
how the illumination of the moon and her reception of 
the sunbeams take place, while yet the conjunction of 
things that are obscure and dark to such as are clear and 
shining is by reason of this diversity apparent to our 

23. But this, said I, seems rather to refute and check 

* Otus and Ephialtes. 


the reflection and reverberation which is said to rebound 
from the moon ; because those who are within retorted 
rays do not only see that which is enlightened, but also 
that which enlightens. For when, at the resulting of 
light from water upon a wall, the sight falls upon the 
place which is thus illuminated by the reflection, the eye 
there beholds three things, to wit, the ray or light that is 
driven back, the water which makes the reflection, and the 
sun himself, whose light, falling on the superficies of the 
water, is repulsed and sent back. This being confessed, 
as what is evidently seen, it is required of those who say 
that the earth is enlightened from the moon by the reflec- 
tions of the sun's rays upon it, that they show us by night 
the sun appearing upon the superficies of the moon, in the 
same manner as he may be seen by day appearing in the 
water on which he shines when there is the said reflection 
of his beams. But since the sun does not so appear, they 
thence infer that the moon receives her illumination by 
some other means, and not by reflection ; and if there is 
no reflection, the moon then is not earth. 

What answer then is to be made them, said Apollo- 
nides ? For the argument of this objection against reflec- 
tion is common also to us. 

It is indeed, answered I, in some sort common, and in 
some sort not. But first consider the comparison, how 
perversely and against the stream they take it. For the 
water is here below on the earth, and the moon there 
above in heaven. So that the reflected and reverberated 
rays make the form of their angles quite opposite one to 
the other, the one having their point upwards towards the 
superficies of the moon, and the other downwards toward 
the earth. Let them not then require that from every 
form of mirror, nor that from every distance and remote- 
ness, there should be a like and semblable r'^flection ; for 
so doing, they would repugn notorious and apparent evi- 


dence. And as for those who hold the moon to be a body 
not smooth, even, and subtile as the water, but solid, massy, 
and terrestrial, I cannot conceive why they should require 
to see the image of the sun in her as in a glass. For 
neither does milk itself render such peculiar images, nor 
cause reflection of the sight, by reason of the inequality 
and ruggedness of its parts. How then is it possible that 
the moon should send back the sight from her superficies, 
as mirrors do that are more polished ? And if in these 
also there is any scratch, filth, or dulness on their super- 
ficies whence the reflected sight is wont to receive a form, 
they are dimmed, and although the mirrors may be seen, 
they yield no counterlight. He then who requires that 
either the sun should appear in the moon, or else the moon 
should not reflect the sun's light to us, might as well require 
that the eye be the sun, the sight light, and man heaven. 
For it is probable, that the reflection of the sun's beams 
which is made upon the moon does, by reason of their 
vehemence and great brightness, rebound with a stroke 
upon us. But our sight being weak and slender, what 
wonder is it, if it neither give such a stroke as may re- 
bound, or if it rebounds, that it does not maintain its 
continuity, but is broken and fails, as not having such 
abundance of light that it should not disgregate and be 
dissipated within those inequalities and asperities ? For 
it is not impossible, that the reflection upon water or other 
sorts of mirrors, being yet strong, powerful, and near its 
origin, should from thence return upon the eye ; but though 
there may perhaps from the moon be some glimmerings, 
yet they still will be weak and obscure, and will fail in the 
way, by reason of so long a distance. For otherwise hol- 
low and concave mirrors send back the reverberated and 
reflected rays stronger than they came, so that they fre- 
quently burn and set on fke ; and those that are convex 
and embossed like a bowl, because they beat them not back 


on all sides, render them dark and feeble. You see for 
certain, when two rainbows appear together in the heaven, 
one cloud comprehending another, that the rainbow which 
outwardly environs the other yields dim colors, and such 
as are not sufficiently distinguished and expressed, because 
the exterior cloud, being more remote, makes not a strong 
and forcible reflection. And what needs there any more 
to be said, seeing that the very light of the sun, reverber- 
ated and sent back by the moon, loses all its heat ; and of 
his brightness, there comes to us with much ado but a 
small remainder, and that very languishing and weak ? Is 
it then possible, that our sight, turning the same course, 
should bring back any part of the solar image from the 
moon? I for my part think it is not. But consider, I 
said, yourselves, that if our sight were in one and the 
same manner affected and disposed towards the water and 
towards the moon, the full moon would of necessity repre- 
sent to us the images of the earth, plants, men, and stars, 
as is done by the water and all other sorts of mirrors. 
And if there is no such reflection of our sight as to bring 
us back these images, either by reason of our said sight's 
weakness, or through the rugged inequality of the moon's 
superficies, let us no longer require that it should rebound 
against the sun. 

24. We have then, said I, related, as far as our memory 
would carry it away, whatever was there said. It is now 
time to desire Sylla, or rather to exact of him, that he 
would make us his narration, as being on such condition 
admitted to hear all this discourse. If you think good 
therefore, let us give over walking, and sitting down on 
these seats, make him a quiet and settled audience. 

Every one approved this motion. And therefore, when 
we had seated ourselves, Theon thus began : I am indeed, 
O Lamprias, as desirous as any of you can be to hear 
what shall be said ; but T would gladly first understand 

VOL. V. 18 


something concerning those who are said to dwell in Ihe 
moon ; not whether there are any persons inhabiting it, 
but whether it is impossible there should be any ; for if it 
is not possible for the moon to be inhabited, it is also un- 
reasonable to say that she is earth ; otherwise she would 
have been created in vain and to no end, not bearing any 
fruits, not affording a place for the birth or education of 
any men, for which causes and ends this earth wherein we 
live was made and created, being (as Plato says) our nurse 
and true guardian, producing and distinguishing the day 
from the night. Now you know, that of this matter many 
things have been said, as well merrily and in jest as 
seriously and in earnest. For of those who dwell under 
the moon, it is said that she hangs over their heads, as if 
they were so many Tantaluses ; and on the contrary, of 
those who inhabit her, that being tied and bound to her, 
like a sort of Ixions, they are with violence turned and 
whirled about. Nor is the moon indeed moved by one 
only motion, but is, as they were wont to call her. Trivia, 
or Three-wayed ; performing her course together according 
to length, breadth, and depth in the Zodiac ; the first of 
which inotions mathematicians call a direct revolution, the 
second volutation, or an oblique winding and wheeling in 
and out ; and the third (I know not why) an inequality ; 
although they see that she has no motion uniform, settled, 
and certain, in all her circuits and reversions. Wherefore 
it is not greatly to be admired, if through violence of her 
motion there sometime fell a lion from her into Pelopon- 
nesus, but it is rather to be wondered, that we do not daily 
see ten thousand falls of men and women and shocks of 
other animals tumbling down thence with their heels up- 
wards on our heads ; for it would be a mockery to dispute 
about their habitation there, if they can have there neither 
birth nor existence. For seeing the Egyptians and the 
Troglodytes, over whose heads the sun directly stands only 


one moment of one day in the solstice, and then presently 
retires, can hardly escape being burnt, by reason of the 
air's excessive dryness ; is it credible that those who are 
in the moon can bear every year twelve solstices, the sun 
being once a month just in their zenith, when the moon is 
full ? As for winds, clouds, and showers, without which 
the plants can neither come up nor, when they are come 
up, be preserved, it cannot be so much as imagined there 
should be any, where the ambient air is so hot, dry, and 
subtile ; since even here below, the tops of mountains 
never feel those hard and bitter winters, but the air, being 
there pure and clear, without any agitation, by reason of 
its lightness, avoids all that thickness and concretion which 
is amongst us ; unless, by Jupiter, we will say that, as 
Minerva instilled nectar and ambrosia into the mouth of 
Achilles, when he received no other food, so the moon, 
which both is called and indeed is Minerva, nourishes men, 
producing for them and sending them every day ambrosia, 
with which, as old Pherecydes was wont to say, the Gods 
themselves are fed. For as touching that Indian root, 
which, as Megasthenes says, some people in those parts, 
who neither eat nor drink, but have pure mouths, burn 
and smoke, living on the smell of its perfume ; whence 
should they have any of it there, the moon not being 
watered or refreshed with rain? 

25. When Theon had spoken these things ; You have 
very dexterously and gently, said I to him, by this facetious- 
ness of yours smoothed as it were the brow, and taken off 
the chagrin and sourness of this discourse ; which encour- 
ages and emboldens us to return an answer, since, however 
we may chance to fail, we expect not any severe or rigorous 
chastisement. For, to speak the truth, they who are ex- 
tremely offended with these things and wholly discredit 
them, not being willing mildly to consider what probability 
and possibility there may be in them, are not much less in 


fault than those that are too excessively persuaded of them. 
First then, I say, it is not necessary that the moon must 
have been made in vain and to no end or purpose, if there 
are not men who dwell in it ; for we see that this very 
earth here is not all cultivated or inhabited, but that only 
a small part of it, like so many promontories or demi- 
islands arising out of the deep, engenders, brings forth, 
and breeds plants and animals ; the rest being through 
excessive cold or heat wholly desert and barren, or (which 
is indeed the greatest share of it) covered and plunged 
under the vast ocean. But you, who are always so great a 
lover and admirer of Aristarchus, give no ear to Crates 
when he reads in Homer, 

The sea, which gave to Gods and men their birth, 
Covers with waves the most part of the earth.* 

And yet those parts are far from having been made in vain. 
For the sea exhales and breathes out mild vapors ; and the 
snow, leisurely melting from the cold and uninhabited 
regions, sends forth and spreads over all our countries 
those gentle breezes which qualify the scorching heat of 
summer ; and in the midst, as Plato says, is placed the 
faithful guardian and operator of night and day. There is 
then nothing to hinder but that the moon may be withou*" 
living creatures, and yet give reflections to the light that is 
diffused about her, and afford a receptacle to the rajs of 
the stars, which have their confluence and temperature in 
her, for to digest the evaporation rising, from the earth and 
moderate the over-violent and fiery heat of the sun. And 
attributing much to ancient fame, we will say that she is 
styled Diana, as being a virgin and fruitless, but otherwise 
greatly salutary, helpful, and profitable to the world. 
Moreover, of all that has been said, my friend Theon, there 
is nothing which shows it impossible for the moon to be 

• See II. XIV. 246. The second of these verses is not found in the present text 
of the Iliad, but was probably defended by Crates against Aristarchus. (G.^ 


inhabited. For her turning about, being gentle, mild, and 
calm, dulcifies and polishes the ambient air, and distributes 
it in so good order about her, that there is no occasion to 
fear the falling or slipping out of those who live in her. 
And as to the diversity and multiplicity of her motion, it 
proceeds not from any inequality, error, or uncertainty, but 
the astrologers show in this an admirable order and course, 
enclosing her within circles, which are turned by other 
circles ; some supposing that she herself stirs not, others 
making her always move equally, smoothly, and with the 
same swiftness. For it is these ascensions of divers circles, 
with their turnings and habitudes, one towards another and 
with respect to us, which most exactly make those heights, 
depths, and depressions, that appear to us in her motion, 
and her digressions in latitude, all joined with the ordinary 
revolution she makes in longitude. As to the great heat 
and continual inflammation of the sun, you will cease to 
fear it, if first to the eleven estival conjunctions you oppose 
the full moons, and then to the excesses the continuity of 
change which permits them not to last long, reducing them 
to a proper and peculiar temperature, and taking from 
them both what is over much ; for the middle, or what is 
between them, it is probable, has a season most like to the 
spring. And, moreover, the sun sends his beams to us 
through a gross and troubled air, and casts on us an heat 
fed by exhalation ; whereas the air, being there subtile and 
transparent, dissipates and disperses his lustre, which has 
no nourishment nor body on which it may settle. Trees 
and fruits are here nourished by showers ; but elsewhere, as 
in the higher countries with you about Thebes and Syene, 
the earth drinking in not aerial but earth-bred water, and 
being assisted with refreshing winds and dew, will not 
(such is the virtue and temperature of the soil) yield the 
first place for fertility to the best watered land in the 
world. And the same sorts of trees which in our country^ 


having suffered a long and sharp winter, bring forth abun- 
dance of good fruit, are in Africa and with you in Egypt 
soon offended with cold and very fearful of the winter. 
And the provinces of Gedrosia and Troglodytis, which lie 
near the ocean sea, being by reason of drought barren and 
without any trees, there grow nevertheless in the adjacent 
sea trees of a wonderful height and bigness, and green 
even to the very bottom ; some of which they call olive- 
trees, others laurels, and others the hair of Isis. And 
those plants which are named anacampserotes, being 
hanged up after they are plucked out of the ground, not 
only live, but — which is more — bud and put forth green 
leaves. Some seeds are sown in winter ; and others in the 
heat of summer, like sesame and millet. And thyme or 
centaury, if it is sown in a rich and fat earth, and there 
well drenched and watered, degenerates from its natural 
quality and all its virtue, because it loves dryness and 
thrives in its own proper natural soil. Others cannot bear 
so much as the least dew, of which kind are the most part 
of the Arabian plants, and if they are but once wet, they 
wither, fade, and die. What wonder is it then, if there 
grow in the moon roots, seeds, and plants which have no 
need of rains or winter colds, and are appropriated to a 
dry and subtile air, such as is that of summer ? And why 
may it not be probable that the moon sends forth warm 
winds, and that her shaking and agitation, as she moves, is 
accompanied by comfortable breezes, fine dews, and gentle 
moistures, which are everywhere dispersed to furnish 
nutriment for the verdant plants ? — seeing she is not of 
her temperature ardent or parched with drought, but rather 
soft, moist, and engendering all humidity. For there come 
not from her to us any effects of dryness, but many of a 
feminine moisture and softness, such as are the growing of 
plants, the putrefaction of flesh, the changing and flatness 
of wines, the tenderness and rotting of wood, and the easy 


deliveries of child-bearing women. But because I am 
afraid of irritating again and provoking Pliarnaces — who 
all this while speaks not a word — if I should allege the 
flowing and ebbing of the great ocean (as they themselves 
say), and the increasings of the friths and straits, which 
swell and rise by the moon augmenting the moisture ; 
therefore I will rather turn myself to you, my friend 
Theon. For you, interpreting this verse of the poet 

Such things as dew, Jove's daughter and the moon's. 
Does nourish, 

tell us, that in this place he calls the air Jupiter, which, 
being moistened by the moon, is by Nature changed into 
dew. For she seems, my good friend, to be of a nature 
almost wholly contrary to the sun, not only in that she is 
wonted to moisten, dissolve, and soften what he thickens, 
dries, and hardens ; but moreover, in that she allays and 
cools his heat, when it lights upon her and is mingled with 

Those then who think the moon to be a fiery and burn- 
ing body are in an error ; and in like manner those who 
would have all such things to be necessary for the genera- 
tion, life, food, and entertainment of the animals dwelling 
there as are requisite to those that are here below, con- 
sider not the vast diversity and inequality there is in Na- 
ture ; in which there are found greater varieties and difi'er- 
ences between animals and animals, than there are between 
animals and other subjects that are not animated. There 
are surely not in the world any men of such pure mouths 
that they feed only on smells. . . . But that power of Na- 
ture which Ammonius himself has shown us, and which 
Hesiod has obscurely signified in these words. 

Nor how great virtue is in asphodels and mallows,* 

Epimenides has made plain to us in efi"ect, teaching us that 

* Hesiod^ Works and Days, 41. 


Nature sustains a living creature with very little food, and 
that, provided it has but the quantity of an olive, it stands 
in need of no other nourishment. Now, if any, those 
surely who dwell within the moon should be active, light, 
and easy to be nourished with any thing whatsoever ; since 
they affirm that the moon herself, as also the sun, which is 
a fiery animal, and manifoldly greater than the earth, is 
nourished and maintained by the moistures that come from 
the earth, as are also all the other stars, whose number is in 
a manner infinite ; such light and slender animals do they 
assign to the upper region, and with so small necessaries 
do they think them contented and satisfied. But we 
neither see these things, nor consider that a quite different 
region, nature, and temperature is accommodated to those 
lunar men. 

As therefore, if we were unable to come near and touch 
the sea, but could only see it at a distance, and had heard 
that its water is brackish, salt, and undrinkable, any one 
who should tell us that there are in its depths many and 
great animals of various forms and shapes, and that it is 
full of great and monstrous beasts who make the same 
use of the water as we do of the air, would be thought 
only to relate a parcel of strange and uncreditable stories, 
newly found out and invented for delight and amusement ; 
in the same manner we seem to be affected and disposed 
towards the moon, not believing that there are any who 
inhabit it. And I am of opinion, that they themselves do 
much more wonder, when they behold the earth, — which 
is, as it were, the dregs and mud of the universe, appear- 
ing to them through moist and foggy clouds and mists, a 
little place, a low, abject, and immovable thing without any 
brightness or light whatever, — how this pitiful inconsider- 
able thing should be able to produce, nourish, and maintain 
animals that have motion, respiration, and heat. And if 
peradventure they had ever heard these verses of Homer, 

and again, 


A filthy squalid place, abhorred even by 
The Gods themselves ; * 

Hell is as far beneath, as heaven above 

The earth ; t 

they would certainly think them to have been written of 
this place where we live, and that here is hell and Tar- 
tarus, and that the earth which is equally distant from 
heaven and hell is only the moon. 

26. I had not well ended my discourse, when Sylla in- 
terrupting me said : Forbear Lamprias, and put a stop to 
your discourse, lest running (as they say) the vessel of 
your story on ground, you confound and spoil all the play, 
which has at present another scene and disposition. I my- 
self therefore shall be the actor, but shall, before I enter 
upon my part, make known to you the poet or author ; 
beginning, if there is nothing to hinder, with that of 

An isle Ogygia lies in Ocean's arm8,t 

distant about five days' sail westward from Britain ; and 
before it there are three others, of an equal distance from 
one another and also from that, bearing north-west, where 
the sun sets in summer. In one of these the barbarians 
feign that Saturn is detained prisoner by Jupiter, who, as 
his son, having the guard or keeping of those islands and 
the adjacent sea, named the Saturnian, has his seat a little 
below ; and that the continent, by which the great sea is 
circularly environed, is distant from Ogygia about five 
thousand stadia, but from the others not so far, men using 
to row thither in galleys, the sea being there low and ebb. 
and difficult to be passed by great vessels because of the 
mud brought thither by a multitude of rivers, which, com- 
ing from the mainland, discharge themselves into it, and 
raise there great bars and shelves that choke up the river 

» II. XX. 65. t II. Vm. 16. } Odyss. VII. 244. 


and render it hardly navigable ; whence anciently there 
arose an opinion of its being frozen. Moreover, the 
coasts of this continent lying on the sea are inhabited by 
the Greeks about a bay not much smaller than the Maeo- 
tic, the mouth of which lies in a direct line over against 
that of the Caspian Sea. These name and esteem them- 
selves the inhabitants of the firm land, calling all us others 
islanders, as dwelling in a land encompassed round about 
and washed by the sea. And they think that those who 
heretofore came thither with Hercules and were left there 
by him, mixing themselves with the people of Saturn, 
raised up again the Greek nation, which was well near ex- 
tinguished, brought under and supplanted by the language, 
laws, and manners of the barbarians, and made it again 
flourish and recover its pristine vigor. And therefore in 
that place they give the first honor to Hercules, and the 
second to Saturn. Now when the star of Saturn, by us 
called Phaenon and by them Nycturus, comes to the sign 
of Taurus, as it does once in the time of thirty years, they, 
having been a long time preparing what is necessary for a 
solemn sacrifice and a long voyage or navigation, send forth 
those on whom the lots fall to row in that vast sea, and 
make their abode for a great while in foreign countries. 
These men then, being embarked and departed, meet with 
difl"erent adventures, some in one manner, others in an- 
other. Now such as have in safety passed the danger of 
the sea go first ashore in those opposite islands, which are 
inhabited by the Greeks, where they see that the sun is 
scarce hidden one. full hour during the space of thirty 
days, and that this is their night, of which the darkness is 
but small, as having a twilight from the going down of the 
sun not unlike the dawning of the day ; that having con- 
tinued there ninety days, during which they are highly 
caressed and honored, as being reputed and termed holy 
men, they are afterwards conducted by the winds, and 


transported into the isle of Saturn, where there are no 
other inhabitants but themselves and such as have been 
sent thither before them. For though it is lawful for 
them, after they have served Saturn thirty years, to return 
home to their own countries and houses, yet most of them 
choose rather to remain quietly there ; some, because they 
are ah'eady accustomed to the place ; others, because 
without any labor and trouble they have abundance of all 
things, as well for the offering of sacrifices and holding 
festival solemnities, as to support the ordinary expenses 
of those who are perpetually conversant in the study of 
learning and philosophy. For they affirm the nature of 
the island and the mildness of the air which environs 
it to be admirable ; and that there have been some 
persons who, intending to depart thence, have been hin- 
dered by the Divinity or Genius of the place showing 
himself to them, as to his familiar friends and acquaint- 
ance, not only in dreams and exterior signs, but also visibly 
appearing to them by the means of familiar spirits dis- 
coursing and conversing with them. For they say, that 
Saturn himself is personally there, lying asleep in the 
deep cave of an hollow rock, shining like fine gold, Jupi- 
ter having prepared sleep instead of fetters and shackles 
to keep him from stirring ; but that there are on the top 
of this rock certain birds, which fly down and carry him 
ambrosia ; that the whole island is filled with an admi- 
rable fragrancy and perfume, which is spread all over it, 
arising from this cave, as from an odoriferous fountain ; 
that these Daemons serve and minister to Saturn, having 
been his courtiers and nearest attendants when he held the 
empire and exercised regal authority over men and Gods ; 
and that having the science of divining future occurrences, 
they of themselves foretell many things ; but the greatest 
and of the highest importance, when they return from as- 
sisting Saturn, and reveal his dreams ; for whatever Jupi- 


ter premeditates, Saturn dreams ; but his awakenings are 
Titanical passions or perturbations of the soul in him, 
which sleep altogether controls, in order that the royal 
and divine nature may be pure and incontaminate in itself. 

This stranger then, having been brought thither, and 
there serving the God in repose and at his ease, attained 
to as great skill in astrology as it is possible for any one to 
do that has made the greatest progress in geometry ; as for 
the rest of philosophy, having given himself to that which 
is called natural, he was seized with an extraordinary de- 
sire and longing to visit and see the great island ; for so 
they call the continent inhabited by us. After therefore 
his thirty years were passed and his successors arrived, 
having taken leave of all his relations and friends, he put 
to sea, in other respects soberly and moderately equipped, 
but having good store of voyage-provision in vessels of 
gold. Now one day would not suffice to relate unto you 
in particular what adventures befell him, how many na- 
tions he visited, through how many countries he passed, 
how he searched into sacred writings, and was initiated in 
all holy confraternities and religious societies, as he him- 
self recounted it to us, exactly particularizing every thing. 
But give ear, I pray you, to what concerns the present 
dispute. For he continued no small time at Carthage, a 
city not a little also esteemed by us, where he found cer- 
tain sacred skins of parchment, which had been secretly 
conveyed thither when the old town was sacked, and had 
there long lain hidden under ground. Now he told me 
that, of all the Gods which appear to us in heaven, we 
ought chiefly to honor the Moon, and earnestly exhorted 
me to be diligent in venerating of her, as having the prin- 
cipal influence and dominion over our life. 

27. At these things when I was amazed, and entreated 
him to declare and explain them a little more fully to me, 
he said : The Greeks, O Sylla, deliver many things con- 


cerning the Gods, but they are not always in the right. 
For first, when they tell us that there is a Ceres and a 
Proserpine, they say well ; but not so well, when they put 
them both in one and the same place. For one, to wit 
Ceres, is on th,e earth, and the lady and mistress of all 
earthly things. The other, to wit Proserpine, is in the 
moon, and the mistress of all lunar things ; and she is 
called both Cora and Persephone ; Persephone, as being a 
bringer of light and brightness, and Cora, because the 
apple of the eye, in which the image of him who looks 
into it is represented, as the brightness of the sun appears 
in the moon, is by the Greeks called )(6q7]. And as to what 
they say concerning the wandering about of Ceres and 
Proserpine, and their mutual seeking of one another, there 
is in it somewhat of truth, for they long after each other, 
being separated, and often embrace in shadow. And that 
Cora is sometimes in heaven and light, and sometimes in 
darkness and night, is not untrue ; only there is some error 
in the computation of the time. For we see her not six 
whole months, but every sixth month, caught in the shadow 
by the earth, as by her mother; and this rarely happens 
within five months, because it is impossible she should for- 
sake Pluto (Hades), being herself the bound or limit of 
Hades ; which Homer also covertly but not unelegantly 
signified, when he said, 

Into th' Elysian fields, earth's utmost bounds, 
The Gods will bring thee ; * 

for he has there placed the end and boundary of the earth, 
where the shadow ceases and goes no farther. Now into 
that place no wicked or impure person can have access. 
But good folks, being after their decease carried thither, 
lead there indeed an easy and quiet, but yet not a blessed 
and divine life, till the second death. 

28. But what is that, O Sylla 1 said I. Ask me not, he 

* Odyss. IV. 663. 


replied, for I am of myself going to declare it to you. 
The common opinion, which most persons hold, is that 
man is a compound subject, and this they have reason to 
believe. But they are mistaken in thinking him to be 
compounded of two parts only. For they imagine that the 
understanding is a part of the soul, but they err in this no 
less than those who make the soul to be a part of the 
body ; for the understanding as far exceeds the soul, as the 
soul is better and diviner than the body. Now this com- 
position of the soul with the understanding makes reason ; 
and with the body, passion ; of which the one is the be- 
ginning or principle of pleasure and pain, and the other 
of virtue and vice. Of those three parts conjoined and 
compacted together, the earth has given the body, the moon 
the soul, and the sun the understanding to the generation 
of man, ... as therefore brightness to the moon. Now 
of the deaths we die, the one makes man two of three, 
and the other one of two. And the former indeed is in 
the region and jurisdiction of Ceres, whence the name 
given to her mysteries {tbIzIv) resembles that given to death 
{tslBindv). The Athenians also heretofore called the de- 
ceased sacred to Ceres. As for the other death, it is in the 
moon, or region of Proserpine. And as with the one the 
terrestrial, so with the other the celestial Mercury doth 
dwell. This suddenly and with force and violence jDlucks 
the soul from the body ; but Proserpine mildly and in a 
long time disjoins the understanding from the soul. And 
for this reason is she called Movoyer/^g, that is, only begotten, 
or rather, begetting one alone ; for the better part of man 
becomes alone when it is separated by her. Now both 
the one and the other happens thus according to Nature. 
It is ordained by Fate that every soul, whether with c 
without understanding, when gone out of the body, should 
wander for a time, though not all for the same, in the 
region lying be<:ween the earth and the moon. For those 


that have been unjust and dissolute suffer there the pun- 
ishments due to their offences ; but the good and virtuous 
are there detained till they are purified, and have by ex- 
piation purged out of them all the infections they might 
have contracted from the contagion of the body, as if from ' 
foul breath, living in the mildest part of the air, called 
the meadows of Pluto, where they must remain for a cer- 
tain perfixed and appointed time. And then, as if they 
were returning from a wandering pilgrimage or long exile 
into their country, they have a taste of joy, such as they 
principally receive who are initiated in sacred mysteries, 
mixed with trouble, admiration, and each one's proper and 
peculiar hope. For the moon drives and chases out many 
souls which already long after it. And some who are 
already come thither, and yet take pleasure in things be- 
low, are seen descending down as it were into an abyss. 
But those that are got on high, and are there securely 
seated, first go about as victors, crowned with garlands 
called the wings of constancy, because in their lives they 
restrained the unreasonable and passible part of their soul, 
rendering it subject and obedient to the curb of reason. 
Secondly, they are like to the rays of the sun in appear- 
ance, and like to fire in their soul, which is borne aloft by 
the clear air which is about the moon, — like fire here on 
the earth, — from which they gather strength and solidity, 
as iron and steel do by their being tempered and plunged 
in water. For that which was hitherto rare and loose is 
compacted and made firm, and becomes bright and trans- 
parent ; so that it is nourished with the least exhalation in 
the world. And this is what Heraclitus meant, when he 
said that the souls in Pluto's region have their smell ex- 
ceeding quick. 

29. Now they first see the moon's greatness, beauty, and 
nature, which is not simple nor unmixed, but a composi- 
tion as it were of earth and star. For as the earth mixed 


with wind and moisture becomes soft, and as the blood 
tempered with the flesh gives it sense ; so they say tliat the 
moon, being mingled with an ethereal quintessence even to 
the very bottom, is animated, becomes fruitful, and genera- 
tive, and is equally counterpoised with ponderosity and 
lightness. For even the world itself, being composed of 
some things naturally moving upwards and others by na- 
ture tending downwards, is exempt from all local motion 
or change of place. These things also Xenocrates seems 
by a certain divine reasoning to have understood, having 
taken his first light from Plato. For Plato it was who first 
affirmed that every star is compounded of fire and earth, 
by the means of certain intermediate natures given in pro- 
portion ; forasmuch as nothing can be an object of human 
sense which has not in some proportion a mixture of earth 
and light. Now Xenocrates says that the stars and the 
sun are composed of fire and the first or primitive solid ; 
the moon of the second solid and its own peculiar air ; 
and the earth, of water, fire, and the third solid. For 
neither is the solid alone by itself, nor the rare alone by 
itself, capable or susceptible of a soul. And let thus much 
suffice for the substance of the moon. 

Now as to her breadth and magnitude, it is not such as 
the geometricians deliver, but manifoldly greater. And 
she seldom measures the shadow of the earth by her 
greatness, not because she is small, but because she adds 
to her motion by heat, that she may quickly pass the shady 
place, carrying with her the souls of the blessed, which 
make haste and cry. For when they are in the shadow, 
they can no longer hear the harmony of the heavenly 
bodies. And withal, the souls of the damned are from 
below presented to them, lamenting and wailing through 
this shadow. Wherefore also in eclipses, many are wont 
to ring vessels of brass, and to make a noise and clatter- 
ing to be heard by these souls. Moreover, that which 


is called the face of the moon affrights them when they 
draw near it, seeming to them a dreadful and terrible 
sight ; whereas indeed it is not so. But as our earth has 
deep and great bays, one here running between Hercules's 
pillars into the land to us, and others without, as the 
Caspian, and those about the Red Sea ; so in the moon 
also there are hollows and great depths. Now of these, 
the greatest they call the gulf of Hecate, where the souls 
punish or are punished according to the evils they suffered 
or did whilst they were Daemons. The two others are 
long passages, through which the soul must go sometimes 
to that part of the moon which is towards heaven, and 
sometimes to that which is towards earth. Now that part 
of the moon which is towards heaven is called the Elysian 
fields ; and that which is towards the earth, the fields of 
Proserpine that is opposite to the earth. 

30. The Daemons do not always stay in the moon, but 
sometimes descend down here below, to have the care and 
superintendency of oracles. They are assistant also, and 
join in celebrating the sublimest ceremonies, having their 
eye upon misdeeds, which they punish, and preserving the 
good as well in perils of war as of the sea. And if in the 
performance of this charge they commit any fault, either 
through anger, envy, or any unjust grace or favor, they 
smart for it ; for they are again thrust down to the earth, 
and tied to human bodies. Now those who were about 
Saturn said, that themselves were some of the better of 
these Daemons ; as were formerly those that were hereto- 
fore in Crete called Dactyli Idaei, the Corybantes in 
Phrygia, and the Trophoniades in Lebadea, a city of 
Boeotia, and infinite others in several places of the habit- 
able earth, whose names, temples, and honors continue to 
this day. But the powers of some fail, being by a most 
happy change translated to another place ; which transla- 
tions some obtain sooner, others later, when the under- 

VOL. V. 19 


standing comes to be separated from the soul ; which 
separation is made by the love and desire to enjoy the 
image of the sun, in which and by which shines that 
divine, desirable, and happy beauty, which every other 
nature differently longs after and seeks, one after one 
manner, another after another. For the moon herself 
continually turns, through the desire she has to be joined 
with him. But the nature of the soul remains in the 
moon, retaining only some prints and dreams of life. And 
of this I think it to have been well and truly said, 

The soul, like to a dream, flies quick away ; * 

which it does not immediately, as soon as it is separated 
from the body, but afterwards, when it is alone and divided 
from the understanding. And of all that Homer ever 
writ, there is not any passage more divine than that in 
which, speaking of those who are departed this life, he 

Next these, I saw Alcides' image move ; 
Himself is with th' immortal Gods above.t 

For every one of us is neither courage, nor fear, nor desire, 
— no more than flesh or humors, — but the part by which 
we think and understand. And the soul being moulded 
and formed by the understanding, and itself moulding and 
forming the body, by embracing it on every side, receives 
from it an impression and form ; so that although it be 
separated both from the understanding and the body, it 
nevertheless so retains still its figure and semblance for a 
long time, that it may with good right be called its image. 
And of these souls (as I have already said) the moon is 
the element, because souls resolve into her, as the bodies 
of the deceased do into earth. Those indeed who have 
been virtuous and honest, living a quiet and philosophical 
life without embroiling themselves in troublesome affairs, 
are quickly resolved ; because being left by the understand- 

* Odyss. XL 221. t Odyss. XL 60L 


iiig, and no longer using corporeal passions, they incon- 
tinently vanish away. But the souls of the ambitious and 
such as have been busied in negotiations, of the amorous 
and such as have been addicted to corporeal pleasures, as 
also of the angry and revengeful, calling to mind the things 
they did in their lives, as dreams in theu* sleep, walk wan- 
dering about here and there, like that of Endymion ; be- 
cause their inconstancy and their being over-subject to 
passions transports them, and draws them out of the moon 
to another generation, not letting them rest, but alluring 
them and calling them away. For there is nothing small, 
staid, constant, and accordant, after that being forsaken by 
the understanding, they come to be seized by corporeal 
passions. x\nd of such souls, destitute of reason and suf- 
fering themselves to be carried away by the proud violence 
of passion, were bred the Tityi and Typhous ; and particu- 
larly that Typhon who, having by force and violence seized 
the city of Delphi, overturned the sanctuary of the oracle 
there. Nevertheless, after a long tract of time the moon 
receives those souls and recomposes them ; and the sun 
inspiring again and sowing understanding in them, the 
moon receives them by its vital power, and makes them 
new souls ; and the earth in the third place gives them a 
body. For she gives nothing . . . after death of all that 
she takes to generation. And the sun takes nothing, but 
reassembles and receives again the understanding which 
he gave. But the moon gives and receives, joins and dis- 
joins, unites and separates, according to divers faculties 
and powers ; of which the one is named Ilithyia or Lucina 
(to wit, that which joins), and the other Artemis or Diana 
(to wit, that which separates and divides). And of the 
three fatal Goddesses or Parcae, she which is called Atropos 
is placed in the sun, and gives the principle of generation ; 
and Clotho, being lodged in the moon, is she who joins, 
mingles, and unites ; and the last, named Lachesis, is on 


the earth, where she adds her helping hand, and with her 
does Fortune very much participate. For that which is 
without a soul is weak in itself and liable to be affected by 
others. The understanding is sovereign over all the rest, 
and cannot be made to suffer by any. Now the soul is a 
certain middle thing mixed of them both ; as the moon 
was by God made and created a composition and mixture 
of things high and low, having the same proportion to the 
sun as the earth has to her. 

This (said Sylla) is what I understood from this guest 
of mine, who was a stranger and a traveller ; and this he 
said he learned from the Daemons who served and minis- 
tered to Saturn. And you, O Lamprias, may take my 
relation in such part as you please. 

Of FATE.» 

I WILL endeavor, my dearest Piso, to send you my 
opinion concerning Fate, written with all the clearness 
and compendiousness I am capable of; since you, who are 
not ignorant how cautious I am of writing, have thought 
fit to make it the subject of your request. 

1. You are first then to know that this word Fate is 
spoken and understood two manner of ways ; the one as 
it is an energy, the other as it is a substance. First there- 
fore, as it is an action, Plato f has under a type described 
it, saying thus in his dialogue entitled Phaedrus : " And 
this is a sanction of Adrastea (or an inevitable ordinance), 
that whatever soul being an attendant on God," &c. And 
in his treatise called Timaeus: "The laws which God in 
the nature of the universe has established for immortal 
souls." And in his book of a Commonweal he calls Fate 
" the speech of the virgin Lachesis, who is the daughter 
of Necessity." By which sentences he not tragically but 
theologically shows us what his sentiments are in this 
matter. Now if any one, translating the fore-cited pas- 
sages, would have them expressed in more familiar terms, 
the description in Phaedrus may be thus explained : That 
Fate is a divine sentence, intransgressible because its cause 

* " This little Treatise is so pitiously tome, maimeJ, and disraembred thorowout, 
that a man may sooner divine and guess thereat (as I have done) than translate it. 
I beseech the readers therefore, to hold me excused, in case I neither please my 
Bfilfe, nor content them, in that which I have written." — Holland. 

t See Plato, Phaedrufl, p. 248 C ; Timaeus, p. 41 E ; Republic, X. p. 617 D. 

294 OF FATE. 

cannot be divested or hindered. And according to what 
he has said in his Timaeus, it is a law ensuing on the 
nature of the universe, according to which all things that 
are done are transacted. For this does Lachesis effect, 
who is indeed the daughter of Necessity, — as we have both 
already related, and shall yet better understand by that 
which will be said in the progress of our discourse. Thus 
you see what Fate is, when it is taken for an action. 

2. But as it is a substance, it seems to be the universal 
soul of the world, and admits of a threefold distribution ; 
the first destiny being that which errs not ; the second, 
that which is thought to err ; and the third that which, 
being under the heaven, is conversant about the earth. 
Of these, the highest is called Clotho, the next Atropos, 
and the lowest, Lachesis ; who, receiving the celestial in- 
fluences and efficacies of her sisters, transmits and fastens 
them to the terrestrial things which are under her govern- 
ment. Thus have we declared briefly what is to be said 
of Fate, taken as a substance ; what it is, what are its parts, 
after what manner it is, how it is ordained, and how it 
stands, both in respect to itself and to us. But as to the 
particularities of these things, there is another fable in his 
Commonweal, by which they are in some measure covertly 
insinuated, and we ourselves have, in the best manner we 
can, endeavored to explain them to you. 

3. But we now once again turn our discourse to Fate, as 
it is an energy. For concerning this it is that there are so 
many natural, moral, and logical questions. Having there- 
fore already in some sort sufficiently defined what it is, we 
are now in the next place to say something of its quality, 
although it may to many seem absurd. I say then that 
Fate, though comprehending as it were in a circle the in- 
finity of all those things which are and have been from 
infinite times and shall be to infinite ages, is not in itself 
infinite, but determinate and finite ; for neither law, reason, 

OF FATE. 295 

nor any other divine thing can be infinite. And this you 
will the better understand, if you consider the total revolu- 
tion and the whole time in which the revolutions of the 
eight circles (that is. of the eight spheres of the fixed stars, 
sun, moon, and five planets), having (asTimaeus* says) 
finished their course, return to one and the same point, 
being measured by the circle of the Same, which goes 
always after one manner. For in this order, which is 
finite and determinate, shall all things (which, as well in 
heaven as in earth, consist by necessity from above) be re- 
duced to the same situation, and restored again to their 
first beginning. Wherefore the habitude of heaven alone, 
being thus ordained in all things, as well in regard of itself 
as of the earth and all terrestrial matters, shall again (after 
long revolutions) one day return ; and those things that in 
order follow after, and being linked together in a continuity 
are maintained in their course, shall be present, every one 
of them by necessity bringing what is its own. But for 
the better clearing of this matter, let us understand that 
whatever is in us or about us is not wrought by the course 
of the heavens and heavenly influences, as being entirely 
the efficient cause both of my writing what I now write, 
and of your doing also what you at present do, and in the 
same manner as you do it. Hereafter then, when the same 
cause shall return, we shall do the same things we now do, 
and in the same manner, and shall again become the same 
men ; and so it will be with all others. And that which 
follows after shall also happen by the following cause ; and 
in brief, all things that shall happen in the whole and in 
every one of these universal revolutions shall again become 
the same. By this it appears (as we have said before) that 
Fate, being in some sort infinite, is nevertheless determinate 
and finite ; and it may be also in some sort seen and com- 
prehended, as we have farther said, that it is as it were a 

* Plato, Tim. p. 39 D. 

296 OF FATE. 

circle. For as a motion of a circle is a circle, and the time 
that measures it is also a circle ; so the order of things 
which are done and happen in a circle may be justly 
esteemed and called a circle. 

4. This therefore, though there should be nothing else, 
almost shows us what sort of thing Fate is ; but not par- 
ticularly or in every respect. What kind of thing then is 
it in its own form ? It is, as far as one can compare it, 
like to the civil or politic law. For first it commands the 
most part of things at least, if not all, conditionally ; and 
then it comprises (as far as is possible for it) all things that 
belong to the public in general ; and the better to make 
you understand both the one and the other, we must 
specify them by an example. The civil law speaks and 
ordains in general of a valiant man, and also of a deserter 
and a coward ; and in the same manner of others. Now 
this is not to make the law speak of this or that man in 
particular, but principally to propose such things as are 
universal or general, and consequently such as fall under 
them. For we may very well say, that it is legal to reward 
this man for having demeaned himself valiantly, and to 
punish that man for flying from his colors ; because the 
law has virtually — though not in express terms and par- 
ticularly yet in such general ones as they are compre- 
hended under, — so determined of them. As the law (if 
I may so speak) of physicians and masters of corporal 
exercises potentially comprehends particular and special 
things within the general ; so the law of Nature, determin- 
ing first and principally general matters, secondarily and 
consequently determines such as are particular. Thus, 
general things being decreed by Fate, particular and indi- 
vidual things may also in some sort be said to be so, be- 
cause they are so by consequence with the general. But 
perhaps some one of those who more accurately examine 
and more subtly search into these things may say, on the 

OF FATE. 297 

contrary, that particular and individual things precede the 
composition of general things, and that the general exist 
only for the particular, since that for which another thing 
is always goes before that which is for it. Nevertheless, 
this is not the proper place to treat of this difficulty, but 
it is to be remitted to another. However, that Fate com- 
prehends not all things clearly and expressly, but only such 
as are universal and general, let it pass for resolved on at 
present, as well for what we have already said a little be- 
fore, as for what we shall say hereafter. For that which 
is finite and determinate, agreeing properly with divine 
Providence, is seen more in universal and general things 
than in particular ; such therefore is the divine law, and 
also the civil ; but infinity consists in particulars and indi- 

After this we are to declare what this term " condition- 
ally " means ; for it is to be thought that Fate is also some 
such thing. That then is said to be conditionally, which 
is supposed to exist not of itself or absolutely, but as 
really dependent upon and joined to another ; which sig- 
nifies a suit and consequence. " And this is the sanction 
of Adrastea (or an inevitable ordinance), that whatever 
soul, being an attendant on God, shall see any thing of 
truth, shall till another revolution be exempt from punish- 
ment ; and if it is always able to do the same, it shall 
never sufi'er any damage." * This is said both condition- 
ally and also universally. Now that Fate is some such 
thing is clearly manifest, as well from its substance as 
from its name. For it is called EinaQulvri as being eiQOfisrri, 
that is, dependent and linked ; and it is a sanction or law, 
because things are therein ordained and disposed conse- 
quentially, as is usual in civil government. 

5. We ought in the next place to consider and treat of 

* This is the whole passage from Plato's Phaedrus, p. 248 C, of which part is 
quoted in § 1. (G.) 

298 OF FATE. 

mutual relation and affection ; that is, what reference and 
respect Fate has to divine Providence, what to Fortune, 
what also to " that which is in our power," what to contin- 
gent and other such like things ; and furthermore we are 
to determine, how far and in what it is true or false that 
all things happen and are done by and according to Fate. 
For if the meaning is, that all things are comprehended 
and contained in Fate, it must be granted that this propo- 
sition is true ; and if any would farther have it so under- 
stood, that all things which are done amongst men, on 
earth, and in heaven are placed in Fate, let this also pass 
as granted for the present. But if (as the expression seems 
rather to imply) the " being done according to Fate " sig- 
nifies not all things, but only that which is an immediate 
consequent of Fate, then it must not be said that all things 
happen and are done by and according to Fate, though all 
things are so according to Fate as to be comprised in it. 
For all things that the law comprehends and of which it 
speaks are not legal or according to law ; for it compre- 
hends treason, it treats of the cowardly running away from 
one's colors in time of battle, of adultery, and many other 
such like things, of which it cannot be said that any one 
of them is lawful. Neither indeed can I affirm of the per- 
forming a valorous act in war, the killing of a tyrant, or 
the doing any other virtuous deed, that it is legal ; be- 
cause that only is proper to be called legal, which is com- 
manded by the law. Now if the law commands these 
things, how can they avoid being rebels against the law 
and transgressors of it, who neither perform valiant feats 
of arms, kill tyrants, nor do any other such remarkable 
acts of virtue 1 And if they are transgressors of the law, 
why is it not just they should be pimished ? But if this 
is not reasonable, it must then be also confessed that these 
things are not legal or according to law ; but that legal 
and according to law is only that which is particularly pre- 

OF FATE. 299 

scribed and expressly commanded by the law, in any action 
whatsoever. In like manner, those things only are fatal 
and according to Fate, which are the consequences of 
causes preceding in the divine disposition. So that Fate 
indeed comprehends all things which are done ; yet many 
of those things that are comprehended in it, and almost all 
that precede, should not (to speak properly) be pronounced 
to be fatal or according to Fate. 

6. These things being so, we are next in order to show, 
how " that which is in our power " (or free will). Fortune, 
possible, contingent, and other like things which are placed 
among the antecedent causes, can consist with Fate, and 
Fate with them ; for Fate, as it seems, comprehends all 
things, and yet all these things will not happen by neces- 
sity, but every one of them according to the principle of its 
nature. Now the nature of the possible is to presubsist, 
as the genus, and to go before the contingent ; and the 
contingent, as the matter and subject, is to be presupposed 
to free will : and our free will ought as a master to make use 
of the contingent ; and Fortune comes in by the side of 
free will, through the property of the contingent of inclining 
to either part. Now you will more easily apprehend what 
has been said, if you shall consider that every thing which 
is generated, and the generation itself, is not done without 
a generative faculty or power, and the power is not with- 
out a substance. As for example, neither the generation 
of man, nor that which is generated, is without a power ; 
but this power is about man, and man himself is the sub- 
stance. Now the power or faculty is between the sub- 
stance, which is the powerful, and the generation and the 
thing generated, which are both possibles. There being 
then these three things, the power, the powerful, and the 
possible ; before the power can exist, the powerful must 
of necessity be presupposed as its subject, and the power 
must also necessarily subsist before the possible. By this 

300 OF FATE. 

deduction then may in some measure be understood what 
is meant by possible ; which may be grossly defined as 
" that which power is able to produce ; " or yet more 
exactly, if to this same there be added, " provided there 
be nothing from without to hinder or obstruct it." Now 
of possible things there are some which can never be 
hindered, as are those in heaven, to wit, the rising and 
setting of the stars, and the like to these ; but others may 
indeed be hindered, as are the most part of human things, 
and many also of those which are done in the air. The 
first, as being done by necessity, are called necessary ; the 
others, which may fall one way or other, are called con- 
tingent ; and they may both thus be described. The 
necessary possible is that whose contrary is impossible ; 
and the contingent possible is that whose contrary is also 
possible. For that the sun should set is a thing both 
necessary and possible, forasmuch as it is contrary to this 
that the sun should not set, which is impossible ; but that, 
when the sun is set, there should be rain or not rain, both 
the one and the other is possible and contingent. And 
then again of things contingent, some happen oftener, 
others rarely and not so often, others fall out equally or 
indiff"erently, as well the one way as the other, even as it 
happens. Now it is manifest that those are contrary to 
one another, — to wit, those which fall out oftener and 
those which happen but seldom, — and they both for the 
most part depend on Nature ; but that which happens 
equally, as much one way as another, depends on our- 
selves. For that under the Dog it should be either hot or 
cold, the one oftener, the other seldomer, are both things 
subject to Nature ; but to walk and not to walk, and all 
such things of which both the one and the other are sub- 
mitted to the free will of man, are said to be in us and our 
election ; but rather more generally to be in us. For there 
are two sorts of this "being in our power;" the one of 

OF FATE. 301 

which proceeds from some sudden passion and motion 
of the mind, as from anger or pleasure ; the other from 
the discourse and judgment of reason, which may properly 
be said to be in our election. And some reason there is 
to believe that this possible and contingent is the same 
thing with that which is said to be in us and according to 
our free will, although differently named. For in respect 
to the future, it is styled possible and contingent ; and in 
respect of the present, it is named " in our power " and 
" in our free will." So that these things may thus be de- 
fined : The contingent is that which is itself — as well 
as its contrary — possible; and "that which is in our 
power " is one part of the contingent, to wit, that which 
now takes place according to our will. Thus have we in 
a manner declared, that the possible in the order of Nature 
precedes the contingent, and that the contingent subsists 
before free will ; as also what each of them is, whence 
they are so named, and what are the qualities adjoined or 
appertaining to them. 

7. It now remains, that we treat of Fortune and casual 
adventure, and whatever else is to be considered with them. 
It is therefore certain that Fortune is a cause. Now of 
causes, some are causes by themselves, and others by acci- 
dent. Thus for example, the proper cause by itself of an 
house or a ship is the art of the mason, the carpenter, or 
the shipwright ; but causes by accident are music, geome- 
try, and whatever else may happen to be joined with the 
art of building houses or ships, in respect either of the 
body, the soul, or any exterior thing. Whence it appears, 
that the cause by itself must needs be determinate and 
one ; but the causes by accident are never one and the 
same, but infinite and undetermined. For many — nay, in- 
finite — accidents, wholly diff"erent one from the other, may 
be in one and the same subject. Now the cause by acci- 
dent, when it is found in a thing which not merely is done 

302 OF FATE. 

for some end but has in it free will and election, is then 
called Fortune ; as is the finding a treasure while one is 
digging a hole to plant a tree, or the doing or suffering 
some extraordinary thing whilst one is flying, following, or 
otherwise walking, or only turning about, provided it be 
not for the sake of that which happens, but for some other 
intention. Hence it is, that some of the ancients have de- 
clared Fortune to be a cause unknown, that cannot be fore- 
seen by the human reason. But according to the Platonics, 
who have approached yet nearer to the true reason of it, 
it is thus defined : Fortune is a cause by accident, in those 
things which are done for some end, and which are of our 
election. And afterwards they add, that it is unforeseen 
and unknown to the human reason ; although that which 
is rare and strange appears also by the same means to be 
in this kind of cause by accident. But what this is, if it 
is not sufficiently evidenced by the oppositions and dispu- 
tations made against it, will at least most clearly be seen 
by what is written in Plato's Phaedo, where you will find 
these words : 

Phaed. Have you not heard how and in what man- 
ner the judgment passed? Ech. Yes indeed; for there 
came one and told us of it. At which we wondered very 
much that, the judgment having been given long before, 
it seems that he died a great while after. And what, 
Phaedo, might be the cause of it ? Phaed. It was a for- 
tune which happened to him, Echecrates. For it chanced 
that, the day before the judgment, the stern of the galley 
which the Athenians send every year to the isle of Delos 
was crowned.* 

In which discourse it is to be observed, that the expres- 
sion happened to him is not simply to be understood by 
was done or cayne to pass, but it much rather regards 
what befell him through the concurrence of many causes 

* Plato, Phaedo, p. 68 A. 

OF FATE. 303 

together, one being done with regard to another. For the 
priest crowned the ship and adorned it with garlands for 
another end and intention, and not for the sake of Socra- 
tes ; and the judges also had for some other cause con- 
demned him. But the event was strange, and of such a 
nature that it might seem to have been effected by the 
providence of some human creature, or rather of some 
superior powers. And so much may suffice to show with 
what Fortune must of necessity subsist, and that there must 
be first some subject of such things as are in our free 
will : its effect is, moreover, like itself called Fortune. 

But chance or casual adventure is of a larger extent 
than Fortune ; which it comprehends, and also several 
other things which may of their own nature happen some- 
times one way, sometimes another. And this, as it ap- 
pears by the derivation of its name, which is in Greek 
avTonaxov, chance^ is that which happens of itself, when that 
which is ordinary happens not, but another thing in its 
place ; such as cold in the dog-days seems to be ; for it 
is sometimes then cold. . . . Once for all, as " that which 
is in our power " is a part of the contingent, so Fortune is 
a part of chance or casual adventure ; and both the two 
events are conjoined and dependent on the one and the 
other, to wit, chance on contingent, and Fortune on " that 
which is in our power," — and yet not on all, but on what 
is in our election, as we have already said. Wherefore 
chance is common to things inanimate, as well as to those 
which are animated ; whereas Fortune is proper to man 
only, who has his actions voluntary. And an argument of 
this is, that to be fortunate and to be happy are thought 
to be one and the same thing. Now happiness is a cer- 
tain well-doing, and well-doing is proper only to man, and 
to him perfect. 

8. These then are the things which are comprised in 
Fate, to wit, contingent, possible, election, " that which is 

304 OF FATE. 

in our power," Fortune, chance, and their adjuncts, as are 
the things signified by the words perhaps and peradven- 
ture ; all which indeed are contained in Fate, yet none of 
them is fatal. It now remains, that we discourse of di 
vine Providence, and show how it comprehends even Fate 

9. The supreme therefore and first Providence is the 
understanding or (if you had rather) the will of the first 
and sovereign God, doing good to every thing that is in 
the world, by which all divine things have universally and 
throughout been most excellently and most wisely or- 
dained and disposed. The second Providence is that of 
the second Gods, who go through the heaven, by which 
temporal and mortal things are orderly and regularly gen- 
erated, and which pertains to the continuation and preser- 
vation of every kind. The third may probably be called 
the Providence and procuration of the Daemons, which, be- 
ing placed on the earth, are the guardians and overseers 
of human actions. This threefold Providence therefore 
being seen, of which the first and supreme is chiefly and 
principally so named, we shall not be afraid to say, al- 
though we may in this seem to contradict the sentiments 
of some philosophers, that all things are done by Fate and 
by Providence, but not also by Nature. But some are done 
according to Providence, — these according to one, those 
according to another, — and some according to Fate ; and 
Fate is altogether according to Providence, while Providence 
is in no wise according to Fate. But let this discourse be 
understood of the first and supreme Providence. Now 
that which is done according to another, whatever it is, 
is always posterior to that according to which it is done ; 
as that which is according to the law is after the law, and 
that which is according to Nature is after Nature, so that 
which is according to Fate is after Fate, and must conse- 
quently be more new and modern. Wherefore supreme 

OF FATE. 305 

Providence is the most ancient of all things, except him 
whose will or understanding it is, to wit, the sover- 
eign author, maker, and father of all things. " Let us 
therefore," says Timaeus, " discourse for what cause the 
Creator made and framed this machine of the universe. 
He was good, and in him that is good there can never he 
imprinted or engendered any envy against any thing. Be- 
ing therefore wholly free from this, he desired that all 
things should, as far as it is possible, resemble himself. 
He therefore, who admits this to have been chiefly the 
principal original of the generation and creation of the 
world, as it has been delivered to us by wise men, receives 
that which is most right. For God, who desired that all 
things should be good, and nothing, as far as possibly might 
be, evil, taking thus all that was visible, — restless as it was, 
and moving rashly and confusedly, — reduced it from disor- 
der to order, esteeming the one to be altogether better than 
the other. For it neither was nor is convenient for him 
who is in all perfection good, to make any thing that 
should not be very excellent and beautiful." * This, there- 
fore, and all that follows, even to his disputation concern- 
ing human souls, is to be understood of the first Providence, 
which in the beginning constituted all things. Afterwards 
he speaks thus : " Having framed the universe, he or- 
dained souls equal in number to the stars, and distributed 
to each of them one ; and having set them, as it were, in 
a chariot, showed the nature of the universe, and appointed 
them the laws of Fate." f Who then will not believe, that 
by these words he expressly and manifestly declares Fate 
to be, as it were, a foundation and political constitution of 
laws, fitted for the souls of men? Of which he after- 
wards renders the cause. 

As for the second Providence, he thus in a manner ex- 
plains it, saying : " Having prescribed them all these laws, 

* Plato, Timaeus, p. 29 D. f Plato, Timaeus, p. 41 D. 

VOL. V. ao 

306 OF FATE. 

to the end that, if there should afterwards happen any 
fault, he might be exempt from being the cause of any of 
their evil, he dispersed some of them upon the earth, some 
into the moon, and some into the other instruments of 
time. And after this dispersion, he gave in charge to the 
young Gods the making of human bodies, and the making 
up and adding whatever was wanting and deficient in 
human souls ; and after they had perfected whatever is 
adherent and consequent to this, they should rule and 
govern, in the best manner they possibly could, this mortal 
creature, so far as it should not be the cause of its own 
e ils."* For by these words, "that he might be exempt 
from being the cause of any of their evil," he most clearly 
signifies the cause of Fate ; and the order and office of 
the young Gods manifests the second Providence ; and it 
seems also in some sort to have touched a little upon the 
third, if he therefore established laws and ordinances that 
he might be exempt from being the cause of any of their 
evil. For God, who is free from all evil, has no need of 
laws or Fate ; but every one of these petty Gods, drawn 
on by the providence of him who has engendered them, 
performs what belongs to his office. Now that this is true 
and agreeable to the opinion of Plato, these words of the 
lawgiver, spoken by him in his Book of Laws, seems to 
me to give sufficient testimony : " If there were any man 
so sufficient by Nature, being by divine Fortune happily 
engendered and born, that he could comprehend this, he 
would have no need of laws to command him. For there 
is not any law or ordinance more worthy and powerful 
than knowledge ; nor is it fitting that Mind, provided it 
be truly and really free by Nature, should be a subject or 
slave to any one, but it ought to command all."f 

10. I therefore do for mine own part thus understand 
and interpret this sentence of Plato. There being a three- 

♦ Plato, Timaeus, p. 42 D. t Plato, Laws, IX. p. 875 C. 

OF FATE. 307 

fold Providence, the first, as having engendered Fate, does 
in some sort comprehend it ; the second, having been en- 
gendered with Fate, is with it totally comprehended and 
embraced by the first ; the third, as having been engen- 
dered after Fate, is comprehended by it in the same manner 
as are free will and Fortune, as we have already said. 
" For they whom the assistance of a Daemon's power does 
aid in their intercourse with me " says Socrates, declaring 
to Theages what is the almost inevitable ordinance of 
Adrastea " are those whom you also mean ; for they grow 
and come forward with speed."* In which words, what 
he says of a Daemon's aiding some is to be ascribed to the 
third Providence, and the growing and coming forward 
with speed, to Fate. In brief, it is not obscure or doubtful 
but that this also is a kind of Fate. And perhaps it may 
be found much more probable that the second Providence 
is also comprehended under Fate, and indeed all things 
that are done ; since Fate, as a substance, has been rightly 
divided by us into three parts, and the fable of the chain 
comprehends the revolutions of the heavens in the number 
and rank of those things which happen conditionally. But 
concerning these things I will not much contend, to wit, 
whether they should be called conditional, or rather con- 
joined with Fate, the precedent cause and commander of 
Fate being also fatal. 

11. Our opinion then, to speak compendiously, is such. 
But the contrary sentiment does not only include all things 
in Fate, but afiirms them all to be done by and according 
to Fate. It accords indeed in all things to the other (the 
Stoic) doctrine ; and that which accords to it, 'tis clear, is 
the same thing with it. In this discourse therefore we 
have first spoken of the contingent ; secondly, of " that 
which is in our power ; " thirdly, of Fortune and chance, 
and whatever depends on them ; fourthly, of praise, blame, 

* Plato, Theages, p. 129 E. 

308 OF FATE. 

and ^vhatever depends on them ; the fifth and last of all 
may be said to be prayers to the Gods, with their services 
and ceremonies. 

For the rest, as to those which are called idle and reap- 
ing arguments, and that which is named the argument 
against destiny, they are indeed but vain subtleties and 
captious sophisms, according to this discourse. But accord- 
ing to the contrary opinion, the first and principal conclu- 
sion seems to be, that there is nothing done without a 
cause, but that all things depend upon antecedent causes ; 
the second, that the world is governed by Nature, and that 
it conspires, consents, and is compatible with itself; the 
third seems rather to be testimonies, — of which the first 
is divination, approved by all sorts of people, as being 
truly in God ; the second is the equanimity and patience 
of wise men, who take mildly and bear patiently whatever 
befalls, as happening by divine ordinance and as it ought ; 
the third is the speech so common and usual in every 
one's mouth, to wit, that every proposition is true or false. 
Thus have we contracted this discourse into a small num- 
ber of short articles, that we might in few words compre- 
hend the whole matter of Fate ; into which a scrutiny 
ought to be made, and the reasons of both opinions to be 
weighed with a most exact balance. But we shall here- 
after come to discuss particulars. 


1. Is there then, Favorinus, any first or prmcipal power 
or existence of cold, as fire is the principle of heat, by the 
presence and imparting of which all other things of the 
same nature become cold ? Or rather is not cold the priva- 
tion of heat, as they say darkness is the privation of light, 
and rest the privation of motion? In regard that cold 
seems to be firm and stable, and heat always in motion ; 
and for that the refrigeration of hot things is not caused 
by the presence of any active power, but by the departure 
of the heat. For we find the heat go off in great quan- 
tity, and then that which remains grows cold. Thus the 
vapor which boiling water sends forth ceases also when 
the heat is gone. Therefore refrigeration, expelling the 
heat, diminishes the quantity, while nothing supplies the 
place of it. 

2. First, we might question this way of arguing, as being 
that which would abolish several manifest faculties, as 
being neither qualities nor habits, but the privations of 
habits and qualities ; so as to make ponderosity the priva- 
tion of levity, hardness the privation of softness, black of 
white, bitter of sweet, and so with other things which are 
naturally opposed to each other in their power and not as 
a privation to a habit. Or else for this reason, because all 
privation is a thing altogether sluggish and without action, 
as blindness, deafness, silence, and death ; for they are the 


departure of forms, and the utter defacings of substances, 
not being natures nor substances of themselves ; but cold, 
wherever it resides, causes no less affections and alterations 
in bodies than heat. For many things are congealed by 
cold, many things thereby condensed. So that whatever 
is solid in it and difficult to be moved cannot be said to be 
sluggish and void of action, but firm and ponderous, as 
being supported by its own strength, which is endued with 
a power to preserve it in its proper station. Wherefore 
privation is the deficiency and departure of the opposite 
power, but many things are subject to be cold, though 
abounding with heat within themselves. And there are 
some things which cold the more condenses and consoli- 
dates the hotter they are, as iron quenched in water. The 
Stoics also affirm, that the spirit which is in the bodies of 
infants is quickened by refrigeration, and changing its 
Nature, turns to a soul. But this is a thing much to be 
disputed. Neither is it rational to believe that cold, which 
is the productive agent in many other things, can be a 

3. Besides, no privation is capable of more and less. Nei- 
ther can any man say, that one among those that cannot see is 
more blind than another, or that one among those that can- 
not speak is more silent than another, or that any thing is 
more dead than another among those things that never had 
life. But in cold things there is more and less, and excess 
and diminution to several degrees ; in a word, there is both 
intensity and remission as well as in hot things ; because 
the matter suffers in some things more violently, in others 
more languidly, and therefore some things are hotter, soiae 
things colder than others, according to the nature of the 
matter. For there is no mixture of habit with privation. 
Neither does any power admit of privation opposite to it, 
nor associate with it in the same subject, but it withstands 
it altogether. Hot things allow themselves to be mixed 


with cold things to a certain degree, as black with white, 
heavy with light, and sour with sweet, — this community 
and harmony of colors, sounds, medicaments, and sauces 
generating several tastes and pleasures grateful to the 
senses. But the opposition of privation and habit is an 
antipathy never to be reconciled ; the being of the one 
enforcing the destruction of the other. Which destruc- 
tion, if it fall out seasonably, according to the opposition 
of contrary powers, the arts make great use of, but chiefly 
Nature, not only in her other creations, but especially in 
the alterations of the air, and in all other things of which 
the Deity being the adorner and dispenser obtains the 
attribute of harmonical and musical. Not that those at- 
tributes are given him for the disposal of deep and shrill, 
black and white, so as to make them agree together ; but 
for his governing in the world the sympathies and antipa- 
thies of cold and heat in such a manner that they may 
unite and. separate again, and for reducing both to a decent 
order, by taking that which we called " the overmuch " 
from both. 

4. Then again, we find that there is the same sense and 
feeling of cold as of heat ; but privation is neither to be 
seen, heard, or felt, neither is it known to any of the other 
senses. For the object of sense is substance ; but where 
no substance appears, there we understand privation to 
be, — which is a negation of substance, as blindness of 
sight, silence of voice, and vacuity of corporeal substance. 
For there is no sense or perception of vacuity by feeling ; 
but where there is no body to be felt, there a vacuity is 
implied. Neither do we hear silence ; but where we do 
not hear any thing at all, there we imply silence. In 
like manner we have no perception of blindness, naked- 
ness, or being unarmed ; but we know them from the 
negation of our sense. Therefore if cold were a privation 
of heat, there would be no being sensible of cold ; but 


only where heat ceased to be, there cold would be implied 
But if, as heat is perceptible by the warmth and laxative 
softness of the flesb, so cold is no less perceptible by the 
contraction and condensation of it, it is from thence ap- 
parent, that there is some peculiar original and fountain of 
cold as well as heat. 

5. Further then, privation of every kind is something 
single and simply particular ; but in substances there are 
several differences and efficacies. For silence is a thing 
but of one sort ; but of sounds there are great variety, 
sometimes molesting, sometimes delightful to the sense. 
There are also the same differences in colors and figures, 
which vary as they occur to the senses. But that which is 
not to be felt, which is without color and void of quality, 
can never be distinguished, but is always like itself. 

6. Is cold therefore to be numbered among those priva- 
tions that are not distinguished in their action 1 Rather 
the contrary, in regard that pleasures very great and bene- 
ficial to our bodies arise from cold things ; as no less terri- 
ble mischiefs, pains, and stupefaction on the other side ; 
which the heat does not always avoid and give way to, but 
many times enclosed within the body, withstands and op- 
poses. Which contention of theirs is called quivering and 
shaking, at what time, if the cold overcome the heat, 
thence proceed numbness and stiffness of the limbs ; but 
if the cold be vanquished by the heat, there follow a 
pleasing warmth and opening of the skin, which Homer 
expresses by the word laivEa&ai. These things are past dis- 
pute ; and chiefly by these passive qualities it is, that we 
find cold to be opposite to heat, as substance to substance, or 
passive quality to passive quality, not as negation or priva- 
tion ; neither is it the destruction or abolishing of hot, but 
a kind of nature and power tending to its destruction. 
Otherwise we should exempt the winter out of the seasons, 
and the north winds out of the number of the winds, as 


being privations of the warmer seasons and the southern 
gales, and not having any proper original. 

7. Now in regard there are four first bodies in the uni- 
verse, which, by reason of their number, their being un 
compounded, and their efficacy, are allowed for the most 
part to be the principles and beginnings of all other, — 
that is to say, fire and water, air and earth, — is there not 
the same necessity that there should be as many first and 
uncompounded qualities? And what are they but heat 
and cold, drought and moisture, by virtue of which it 
comes to pass that all the principles act and suff'er? Thus, 
as there are in grammar lengthenings and shortenings of 
sounds, in music, deep and acute sounds, though not one 
of them is the privation of the other ; we must leave the 
dry opposed to the moist principles, and the hot to the 
cold, if we intend to have the effects answerable to reason 
and what is visible in Nature. Unless, as it was the 
opinion of the ancient Anaximenes, we will not allow 
either cold or hot to be in substance, but only to be com- 
mon passive qualities accompanying the alterations of the 
matter. For he affirms the contraction and condensation 
of the matter to be cold ; but the rarefication and laxation 
of it (for by that word he calls it) to be hot. Whence it 
may not be improperly said, that a man breathes hot and 
cold at once. For the breath grows cold being compressed 
and thickened by the lips, but coming out of the open 
mouth it is hot, as being rarefied by that emission. But for 
this, Aristotle convinces the same person of ignorance ; 
for that when Ave blow with the mouth open, we blow hot 
from our own bodies ; but when we blow with compressed 
lips, we do not breathe forth the air from ourselves, but the 
air that is before our mouths, being cold, is thrust forward, 
and lights upon what is next it. 

8. But if we must grant that both heat and cold are sub- 
stances, let us proceed a little farther in our discourse, and 


enquire what sort of substance is cold, and what is its first 
principle and nature. 

They then who affirm that there are certain irregular 
triangular figures in our body, and tell us also that shud- 
dering, trembling, and quivering, and whatever else we 
suflPer of the same nature, proceed from the roughness of 
those figures, if they mistake in the parts, nevertheless 
derive the beginning from whence they ought. For we 
ought to begin the question — as it were from Vesta — 
from the substance of all things. By which it chiefly ap- 
pears wherein a philosopher diff'ers from a physician, a 
husbandman, or a piper. For it is sufficient for these to 
contemplate the last causes. For if the consideration of 
the nearest causes of the aifection go no farther than to 
find that the cause of a fever is intenseness of heat, or the 
lighting of some humor where it ought not to be, that the 
cause of blasting is the scorching heat of the sun after 
rain, and that the cause why pipes give a bass sound is 
the inclination of the pipes or the bringing them near one 
to another ; this is enough for the artist to know in refer- 
ence to his business. But when a philosopher for con- 
templation's sake scrutinizes into the truth, the knowledge 
of remote causes is not the end but the beginning of his 
proceeding in search of the first and ultimate causes. 
Wherefore Plato and Democritus, enquiring after the cause 
of heat and gravity, did not stop at the consideration of 
earth and fire, but bringing things perceptible to sense to 
beginnings intelligible only by the mind, they went on 
even to the smallest, as it were the seeds of what they 
sought for. 

9. But it is much the better way for us in the first place 
to move forward upon those things which are perceptible 
to sense, wherein Empedocles, Strato, and the Stoics 
placed the substances of active qualities ; the Stoics 
ascribing primitive cold to the air, Empedocles and Strato 


to the water ; and perhaps there might be somebody else 
who might affirm the earth to be the substance of cold. 
But first let us consider the opinions of those already 

Seeing then that fire is both hot and bright, therefore 
there must be something opposite to fire which is cold and 
dark. For as dark is opposite to light, so is cold to hot. 
Besides, as dark confounds the sight, so cold confounds 
the feeling. But heat diffuses the sense of feeling, as 
light diffuses the sense of seeing. Therefore that which is 
first dark in nature is first cold. Now that the air is fii'st 
dark, was not unknown to the poets ; for that they call the 
air darkness : 

The thickened air the fleet with darkness covered, 
Nor could the moonlight be from heaven discovered.* 

And again : 

Then darkness scattered and the fog dispelled, 
The sun brake forth, and all the fight beheld.f 

They also call the air, when it is without light xvscpag, as 
being as it were xsvov (pdovg [void of light.) The air collected 
and condensed into a cloud is called vs'cpog, from its negation 
of light (vTJ-qidog). The words also d^Xig and 6[iixXi] (mist), 
and whatever else restrains the perception of light from the 
sense, are but distinctions of the air ; insomuch that the 
same part of it which is invisible and without color (dsidsg 
and axQcoGTov) is called Hades and Acheron. So that, as 
the air grows dark when the splendor of it fails, in like 
manner when heat fails, that which is left is no more than 
cold air, which by reason of its coldness is called Tartarus. 
And this Hesiod makes manifest, when he calls it TdgraQov 
TJegoEvra (or cloudy Tavtarus) ; and when a man quakes and 
shivers for cold, he is said to tartarize. And so much for 

* Odyss. IX. 144. t D. XVI. 649. 


10. But in regard corruption is the alteration of those 
things that are corrupted into that which is contrary to 
every one of them, let us consider whether it be a true 
saying, " The death of fire is the generation of air." For 
fire dies like a Hving creature, being quenched by force or 
going out of its own accord. Now quenching makes the 
alteration of it into air more conspicuous. For smoke is 
a sort of air, or, according to Pindar, a fuliginous vapor 
and exhalation, "lashing the air with steaming smoke."* 
On the other side, when fire goes out for want of fuel, as 
in candles, you shall observe a thick and cloudy air ascend- 
ing from the top of them. Moreover, the vapor steaming 
from our bodies upon the pouring of cold water after hot 
bathing or sweating sufficiently declares the alteration of 
extinguished heat into air, as being naturally opposite to 
air ; whence it follows that the air was at first dark and 

11. Then again, congelation, which is the most forcible 
and violent of all things that befall our bodies by reason 
of cold, is the aifection of water, but the action of air. 
For water of itself is easily diffused, loose in its parts, and 
not readily congealed together; but it is thickened and 
compressed by the air, by reason of the coldness of it. 
Which is the reason of the proverb : 

But if the southern wind provoke the north, 
Snow straight will cover all the earth. 

For the southern wind preparing the moisture as matter, 
presently the north wind receives and congeals it. And 
this is manifest from the consideration of snow ; for ere 
it falls, you shall observe a thin and sharp cold air breath- 
ing before it. Aristotle also tells us, that whetstones of 
lead p] will melt and run in the winter through excess of 
freezing cold, merely upon the setting of the water near 

* Find. Isthm. IV. 112. 


them. For it is probable that the air compresses and 
gripes the bodies so close together, that at length it breaks 
and crumbles them in pieces. 

12. x\nd therefore water drawn from a fountain soonest 
congeals ; for the more of cold in the air overcomes the 
less of cold in the water. Thus if a man takes cold 
water out of a well and puts it into a vessel, and then lets 
the vessel down again into the well, so that it may not 
touch the water but hang for some time in the air, the 
water will be much colder. Whence it is apparent, that 
the coldness of the water is not the first cause of coldness, 
but the coldness of the air. For you do not find that any 
of your great rivers are ever thoroughly frozen, by reason 
of their depth. For the air doth not pierce through the 
whole ; only so much as it can seize and embrace with its 
cold quality generally freezes, and no more. Therefore 
the barbarians never cross over frozen rivers till they have 
sent a fox before to try the depth of the ice. For if the 
ice be not very thick, but only superficial, the fox, perceiv- 
ing it by the noise of the water floating underneath, re- 
turns. And some there are that melt the ice with hot 
water to make way for their lines, when they go to catch 
fish in winter. So that nothing suffers from cold in the 
depth of the water. Nevertheless, so great has been the 
alteration of the upper parts of the water by congelation, 
that several vessels riding in the stream have been bruised 
and broken by the forcible compressure and griping of 
the congelation ; as we have heard from them who lately 
had their winter quarters with Caesar upon the Danube. 
And indeed, what happens to ourselves is sufiicient to de- 
monstrate the truth of this. For after hot bathings and 
sweatings, we are most sensible of cold, at what time, our 
bodies being open and the skin relaxed, we give a freer 
entrance to the cold together with the ambient air. And 
after the very same manner the water itself suffers. For 


it sooner freezes if it be first heated, as being thereby ren- 
dered more easy for the air to work upon. And therefore 
they who lade out scalding water, and let it fall again from 
a good height in the air, do it to no other purpose than to 
mix it with a great deal of air. And therefore, Favorinus, 
the arguments that attribute the first power of cold to the 
air are grounded upon these probabilities. 

13. Those that allow it to water lean upon principles 
of the same nature. And this was intimated by Empe- 
docles, where he says : 

Behold the sun, how warm he i8, 

And shining everywhere ; 
But rain and tempests cold and dark 

With horror fill the air. 

And thus opposing cold to heat, and dark to bright, he 
gives us to understand that black and cold are both of the 
same substance, as also are bright and hot. Now that 
black is proper to the water and not to the air, sense itself 
bears witness, nothing being darkened by the air, all things 
being clouded and blackened by water. So that if you 
throw the whitest wool that is, or a white garment into the 
water, it comes out black, and so remains, till the moisture 
be dried up again by the heat, or squeezed forth by presses 
or weights. Also when the ground is watered, the places 
that receive the drops grow black, the rest retaining their 
former color. And therefore the deepest waters, by rea- 
son of their quantity, always appear blackest, but the parts 
which are next the air afford a lovely and smiling bright- 
ness. But of all liquids, oil is the most transparent, be- 
cause of the great quantity of air that is in it. And of 
this, the lightness of it is an unquestionable proof; the 
reason why it swims above all things, as carried upward 
by the air. Being poured forth upon the waves, it will 
cause calmness upon the sea, not because it is so slippery 
that the winds can have no power over it, as Aristotle 


thought, but because the waves will fall and sink when 
smitten by any moist body. And this is also peculiar to 
oil, that it shines and causes a transparency at the bot- 
tom of the water, while the watery humors are dispersed 
by the air. For being spurted out of the mouth into the 
sea, not only by those that sail in the night, but also by 
those that dive for sponges to the bottom of the sea, it 
will cast a light in the water. Water therefore has more 
of blackness than the air, but less of cold. Oil therefore, 
partaking more of air than most liquid things, is least 
cold, nor will it easily or suddenly freeze ; for the air 
which is mixed with it will not suffer the congelation to 
grow hard. And therefore, as for needles, steel buckles, 
and such sort of small iron and steel wares, they never 
quench them in water but in oil, fearing lest the over-cold- 
ness of the water should make them too brittle. And 
indeed the truth is more truly enquired into from the con- 
sideration of these experiments, than those of colors. 
For hail, snow, and ice, as they are most transparent, so 
are most cold ; and pitch, as it is hotter, so it is blacker 
and darker than honey. 

14. This makes me admire at those who affirm the air 
to be cold because it is dark and obscure, unless it be be- 
cause they find others affirming it to be hot because it is 
light. For dark is not so proper and familiar to cold, as 
heavy and stable ; for many things that are void of heat 
partake of splendor and light, but there is nothing cold 
that is light, nimble, or apt to ascend upward. Even the 
clouds themselves, while they preserve the nature of air, 
tower aloft in the sky ; but changing into moisture, they 
presently fall down, and having admitted coldness, they 
lose their lightness as well as their heat. And so on the 
other side, having regained their heat, they again return 
to motion, their substance being carried upward as soon as 
it is changed into air. 


Neither is the argument produced from corruption true 
For nothing that perishes is corrupted into what is oppo- 
site, but hy what is opposite to it ; as fire extinguished by 
water changes into air. And therefore Aeschylus spake 
not merely like a tragedian but like a philosopher, when 
he said, 

The water curb, that punishment of fire. 

In like manner Homer opposed in battle Vulcan to the 
river, and Apollo to Neptune, more like a philosopher 
than a poet or mythologist. And Archilochus spoke not 
amiss of a woman whose thoughts were contrary to her 
words, when he said. 

She, weaving subtle trains and sly vagaries, 
Fire in one hand, in th* other water carries. 

Among the Persians there were several customs of suppli- 
cation, of which the chiefest, and that which would admit 
of no refusal, was when the suppliant, taking fire in his 
hand and entering into a river, threatened, if his suppli- 
cations were denied, to throw the fire into the water. But 
though his suit were granted him, yet he was punished for 
threatening, as being against the law and contrary to Na- 
ture. And this is a vulgar proverb in everybody's mouth, 
to mix fire with water, spoken of those that would attempt 
impossibilities ; to show that water is an enemy to fire, 
and being extinguished thereby, is destroyed and punished 
by it, — not by the air, which, upon the change and de- 
struction of it, receives and entertains the substance of it. 
For if that into which the thing destroyed is changed be 
contrary to it, why does fire seem contrary to air more than 
water"? For air changes into water by condensation, but 
into fire by dissipation ; as, on the other side, water is 
turned into air by separation, into earth by condensation. 
Which, in my opinion, happens by reason of the propri- 
ety and near afifinlty between both, not from any thing of 
contrariety and hostility one to another. Others there are, 


that, which way soever they maintain it, spoil the argu- 
ment. For it is most irrational to say that water is con- 
gealed by the air, when they never saw the air congealed 
iu their lives. For clouds, fogs, and mists are no congela- 
tions, but thickenings and condensations of the air moist 
and full of vapors ; but a dry air void of moisture never 
undergoes refrigeration to such a degree. For there are 
some mountains that never admit of a cloud, nor dew, nor 
mist, their tops being so high as to reach into an air that 
is pure and void of moisture. Whence it is manifest that 
it is the condensation and consistency below, which contri- 
butes that cold and moisture to the air which is mixed 
with it. 

15. Now that great rivers never freeze downwards is 
but consentaneous to reason. For those parts which are 
frozen above transmit no exhalation outward ; for this, 
being penned up within and forced downward, affords 
heat to the moisture at the bottom. A clear demonstra- 
tion of which is this, that when the ice is dissolved, you 
may observe a steam arising out of the water upwards in 
a very great quantity. And therefore the bodies of living 
creatures are warmest within in the winter, for that the 
heat is driven inward by the ambient cold. Now those 
upward exhalations and ascensions of the vapors deprive 
the waters not only of their heat but of their coolness. 
And therefore they that vehemently desire their drink to 
be cold never move the snow nor the moisture that is 
pressed out of it ; for motion would deprive them both of 
the virtue which is required from them. 

Now that this virtue is not the virtue of air, but of water, 
a man may collect by reasoning thus from the beginning. 
First, it is not probable that the air, which is next the sky, 
and touching the fiery substance is also touched by it, 
should be endued with a contrary virtue ; for otherwise it 
is not possible that the extremities of the one should touch 

VOL. V. 21 


and be contiguous to the extremities of the other. Nor is 
it agreeable to reason that Nature should constitute that 
which is corrupted next in order to that which corrupts, as 
if she were not the author of community and harmony but 
of combat and contention. For she makes use of con- 
trary things in sustaining the universe ; but she does not 
use them pure and unmixed, nor so that they will be in 
hostility ; but she uses such as have alternately a certain 
position and order which is not destructive, but which in- 
clines them to communicate and co-operate one with an- 
other, and to effect a harmony between the opposing 
qualities. And this is the nature of the air, being ex- 
panded under the fire above the water, contingent and 
adhering to both, neither hot in itself nor cold, but con- 
taining an intermixture and communion of hot and cold, 
harmlessly intermixed in herself; and lightly cherishing 
the contrary extremities. 

16. Therefore the air is of an equal temper in all 
places, but winter is not in all places alike nor equally 
cold ; but some parts of the habitable world are cold and 
moist, others hot and dry, not by chance, but because there 
is but one substance of heat and dryness. For the great- 
est part of Africa is hot and without water. But they 
that have travelled Scythia, Thrace, and the Pontic regions 
report them to be full of vast lakes, and large and deep 
rivers. And as for those regions lying between, those 
parts that join upon lakes and marshes are most cold by 
reason of the exhalations from the water. Posidonius 
therefore, affirming the freshness and moistness of the air 
of marshes to be the cause of its cold, has no way dis- 
turbed the probability of our argument, but rather added 
to the strength of it ; for the air would not always be 
the colder the fresher it is, unless cold has its original 
from moisture. And therefore Homer much more truly 
shows us the fountain of cold, when he says, 


Chill from the river blows the wind 
Before the coming morn.* 

Then again it raany times happens that our sense deceives 
us. So that when we feel cold garments or cold wool, we 
believe we feel them to be moist, by reason of the sub- 
stance which is common to both, and of their natures 
which are coherent and familiar one with another. But 
in climates where the cold is extreme, it oftentimes breaks 
and cracks both pots and vessels, whether made of earth 
or brass, — none empty, but all full, the cold giving force 
and might to the liquor within, — which made Theophras- 
tus say, that the air breaks those vessels, making use of 
the cold as of a hammer ; whether more eloquently or 
more truly spoken, I leave you to judge. For then ves- 
sels full of pitch or milk should be more subject to be 
broken by the air. 

But water seems to be cold of itself, and that primitively 
too ; for in respect of the coldness of it, it is opposite to 
the heat of the fire ; as to drought in respect of its moist- 
ure, and to ponderosity in regard of its lightness. Lastly, 
fire is altogether of a dissipating and dividing nature ; 
water, of a nature to fasten and contain, holding and join- 
ing together by virtue of its moisture. Which was the 
reason why Empedocles called fire " a pernicious conten- 
tion," but water a " tenacious friendship." For the nour- 
ishment of fire is that which changes into fire, and it 
changes that which is as it were of kin and familiar to it. 
What is contrary to it, as water, cannot be changed by it, 
or at least only with great difl3.culty. True it is, that as 
for itself, as I may so say, it cannot be burned ; but as for 
green wood and wet straw, it overcomes them with much 
struggling, while the heat and cold contending together, 
by reason of their moisture and their natural antipathy, 

* Odyss. V. 469. 


produce only a dull flame, clouded with smoke, that makes 
little progress upon the materials. 

17. Compare these arguments with theirs, and consider 
them well. But Chrysippus, believing the air to be the 
primitive cold, because it is dark, makes mention only of 
those that say the water lies at farther distance from the 
sky than the air. And being desirous to give some answer 
to them, " If so," says he, " we may as well affirm the 
earth to be primitively cold, because it is the farthest dis- 
tant from the sky ; " rejecting that, as altogether improb- 
able and absurd. But for my part, I am of opinion that 
there might be many probable and rational arguments 
brought for the earth ; beginning with that which Chrysip- 
pus chiefly makes use of for the air. What is this ? First, 
that it is dark. For if he, assuming these two contrari- 
eties of faculties, believes that the one follows the other of 
necessity, then there might be produced a thousand oppo- 
sitions and repugnances of the earth in respect of the sky, 
which would of necessity follow upon this which we have 
mentioned. For it is not to be opposed only as heavy to 
light, or as that which tends downward to that which 
moves upward, or as slow and stable to swift and full 
of motion ; but as that which is heaviest to that which 
is most thin, or lastly, as that which is immovable of itself 
to that which moves spontaneously, and as possessing the 
middle space to that which is in a perpetual circular mo- 
tion. Would it not be absurd to aver that the opposition 
of heat to cold is accompanied with so many and such 
remarkable contrarieties ? But fire is bright, the earth is 
dark, nay, the very darkest and most void of light of 
all things. The air first of all participates of light, is 
soonest altered, and being replenished with radiancy, dif- 
fuses the splendor of it far and near, and shows itself 
a vast body of light. For the sun rising, as one of the 
dithyrambic authors writes, 


Presently doth fill 
The spacious house of the air-prancing winds. 

From thence the descending air disposes a part of her 
brightness to the sea and lakes, and the hidden depths of 
profound rivers laugh and smile so far as the air penetrates 
into them. Only the earth of all bodies remains without 
liglit, and impenetrable to the beams of the sun and moon. 
But it is cherished and comforted by them, and suffers a 
small part of it to be warmed and softened by entrance of 
the heat. But the solidness of it will not admit the bright- 
ness of light, only the surface of it is enlightened ; but the 
innermost parts of it are called by the names of Darkness, 
Chaos, and Hades ; and Erebus is nothing else but that 
same perpetual darkness and horror in the body of the 
earth. Besides, the mythologists tell us that Night was the 
daughter of the Earth ; and the mathematicians show that 
it is the shadow of the earth eclipsing the body of the sun. 
For the air is filled with darkness by the earth, as with 
light by the sun ; and that part of the air which is void 
of all light is that same length of the night which is 
caused by the shadow of the earth. And therefore both 
men and many beasts make use of the exterior air, and 
ramble in the dark, guided only by some footsteps of light 
and certain effluxes of a dim twinkling that are scattered 
through it ; but he that keeps house and shuts himself up 
in his chamber, as being encompassed by the earth, re- 
mains altogether blind and without light. Also the hides 
and horns of beasts will not admit of light by reason of 
their solidness ; but being burnished and shaved, they be- 
come transparent, the air being intermixed with them. 
Moreover, I am of opinion that the earth is everywhere 
by the poets said to be black, by reason of the darkness 
of it and want of light. So that the antithesis of light 
and darkness is much more remarkable in reference to the 
earth, than in respect of the air. 


18. But this is nothing to the question. For we have 
shown that there are many cold things which are bright 
and transparent, and many hot things which are obscure 
and dark. But ponderosity, stabiHty, density, and immu- 
tability are qualities more properly belonging to cold, of 
none of which the air partakes, but of all of which the 
earth has a far greater share than the water. And yet in 
all these things cold, by the judgment of sense itself, 
appears to be hard, to cause hardness, and to make resist- 
ance. For Theophrastus tells us of fish that have been 
frozen by extremity of cold, when they have chanced to 
bounce ashore, that their bodies have been broken and 
crumbled to pieces like a vessel of glass or potter's clay. 
You yourself have heard at Delphi, how that certain per- 
sons ascending to the top of Parnassus to succor the Thy- 
ades that were overtaken with a violent storm of wind and 
hail, their coats were frozen so hard and into a substance 
so like wood, that being spread upon the ground they 
broke and crumbled to pieces. It also stiffens the nerves 
and deprives the tongue of motion, congealing the moist 
and softer parts of the body. 

19. This being obvious to sight, let us consider the 
effect. Every faculty, wherever it prevails, changes into 
itself whatever it overcomes. Thus whatever is overcome 
by heat is set on fire ; that which is vanquished by wind is 
changed into air. That which falls into water becomes 
well moistened, unless quickly saved. Of necessity, there- 
fore, those things which are violently affected by cold must 
be changed into the primitive cold. For freezing is an 
excess of refrigeration; which congelation ends in altera- 
tion and petrifaction, when the cold, prevailing every way, 
congeals the liquid substance and presses forth the heat ; 
so that the bottom of the earth is, as it were, a kind of 
congelation, and altogether ice. For there the cold in- 
habits simple and unmixed, and removed hard and rigid at 


the greatest distance from the sky. But as for those 
thnigs which are conspicuous, as rocks and precipices, 
Empedocles believes them to be thrust forth and supported 
by the fire that burns in the bottom of the earth. Which 
appears the more, in regard that, wherever the heat is 
pressed forth and vanishes away, all those things are con- 
gealed or stiffened by the cold ; and therefore congelations 
are called ndyoi (stiffened). And the extremities of many 
things where heat fails, growing black, make them look 
like brands when the fire is out. For cold congeals some 
things more, some things less ; more especially such things 
wherein it is primitively existent. For as, if it be the 
nature of hot to render light, that which is hottest is light- 
est ; if of moist to soften, that which is moistest is softest ; 
so if it be the nature of cold to congeal, of necessity that 
which is coldest must be most congealed, — that is to say 
the earth, — and that which is most cold must be that 
which is by nature and primitively cold, which is no more 
than what is apparent to sense. For mud is colder than 
water, and earth being thrown upon fire puts it out. Your 
smiths also, when their iron is melted and red hot, strew 
upon it the dust of marble to cool it and stop the running 
of it too fluidly. Dust also cools the bodies of the wres- 
tlers, and dries up their sweat. 

20. To go no farther, what means our own yearly prac- 
tice to alter our lodgings and habitations, while we remove 
in the winter so far as we can into the upper parts of our 
buildings, but in the summer descend again and seek con- 
venient refuge in the lower edifices, sometimes enjoying 
ourselves under ground in the very arms of the earth? 
Do we not do it, as being guided by our senses for cool- 
ness's sake to the earth, and thereby acknowledging that 
to De the seat of primitive cold ? And certainly our covet- 
ing to live near the sea in winter may be thought to be a 
kind of flight from the earth, since we seem to forsake it, 


as far as we can, by reason of the nipping frosts, and run 
to encircle themselves with the air of the sea for warmth's 
sake ; and then again in the summer, by reason of the 
scorching heat, we desire the earth-born upland air, not 
because it is cold of itself, but because it had its original 
and blossomed from the primitive natural cold, and is im- 
bued with that power which is in the earth, as iron is 
imbued with the virtue of the water wherein it is quenched. 
Then again, of river waters we find those are the coldest 
that riow upon gravel and stones and fall down from moun- 
tains ; and. of well-waters, those which are in the deepest 
wells. For with these the exterior air is no longer mixed, 
by reason of the depth of the wells, and the other arise 
out of the pure and unmixed earth ; like the river that 
falls from the mountain Taenarum, which they call the 
water of Styx, rising out of a rock with a parsimonious 
spring, but so cold that no other vessel except the hoof of 
an ass will hold it ; for all other sorts of vessels it breaks 
and cracks to pieces. 

21. The physicians also tell us that the nature of all 
sorts of earth is binding and restrictive ; and they number 
up several sorts of metals which are made use of in phy- 
sic by reason of their styptic and binding qualities. For 
the element of earth is fit neither to cut nor to move, 
neither has it any points, neither is it subject to be soft- 
ened or melted, but is firm and stable like a cube ; and 
therefore it has both ponderosity and coldness, and the 
faculty to thicken and condense moist things ; and it causes 
tremblings and quiverings in bodies by reason of its ine- 
quality ; and. if it get the better by the utter expulsion and 
extinguishing of the heat, it occasions a frozen and deadly 
habit of body. Therefore earth either does not consume 
by burning, or else burns with a very slow and difficult 
progress. But the air many times darts forth flame from 
itself; and being once set on fire, it grows fluid and flashes 


out in lightning. Heat also feeds upon moisture ; for it is 
not the solid part of the wood, but the moist and oily part, 
that is combustible ; which being consumed, the solid and 
dry is left behind in the ashes. Neither do they arrive at 
their mark, who, pretending to burn the ashes also, sprinkle 
them with oil and grease ; for when the liquid is consumed, 
the earthy part remains, do what they can. Therefore, 
because the earth is not only of a nature not to be moved 
from its station, but also unalterable in its substance and 
always abiding in the habitation of the Gods, the ancients 
well called it Hestia or Vesta (from standing), by reason 
of its immobility and concretion ; of which cold is the 
bond or ligament, as Archelaus the philosopher termed it, 
which nothing is able to unloosen or soften, as not being 
capable of heat and warmth. 

As for those who say they have been sensible of the 
cold of air and water, but never felt the earth so cold, they 
consider only the surface of the earth, which is a mixture 
of air, water, sun, and heat. They are no better than 
people who deny the aether to be naturally and primi- 
tively hot, but believe it to be either scalding water or red 
hot iron, because they feel and handle the one, but are not 
sensible of the pure and celestial fire. In like manner, 
neither do they see the earth which lies concealed at the 
bottom, though that be what is chiefly to be taken for the 
earth, separated from all other things. We may see some 
token of this lower earth in these rocks here about us, 
which from their depths send forth a cold vapor so sharp 
and vehement that it is hard to be endured. They also 
that desire cool drink throw small flint stones into water. 
For it becomes denser and quicker to the taste, through 
the cold which is carried upward fresh and unmixed from 
the stones. 

22. Therefore it was the opinion of the ancient philoso 
phers and learned men, that terrestrial and celestial things 


were not to be mixed together, not so much out of a local 
consideration of uppermost and lowermost, in respect of 
place, but with a respect to the difference of faculties, 
attributing hot and splendent, swift and light to the immor- 
tal and sempiternal Nature, but believing dark and cold 
and slow to be the unhappy portion of the dead under the 
shackles of corruption. Since the body of a living creat- 
ure, while it breathes and flourishes (as the poets say), 
enjoys both heat and life ; but being deprived of these, 
and only the terrestrial parts remaining, presently cold and 
stiffness take place, as if heat were naturally existent in 
every thing else but only the earth. 

23. These things, dear Favorinus, compare with what 
has been said by others ; and if they neither come too 
short of probability nor too much exceed it, bid all their 
opinions farewell, as believing it much more becoming a 
philosopher to pause in dubious matters, rather than over 
hastily to side with any one particular party. 



1. " Water is the best of things, but gold is like burning 
fire," says Pindar.* Therefore he positively assigns the 
second place to fire ; with whom Hesiod agrees, where he 

First of all Chaos being had.t 

For most believe that by the word chaos he meant water, 
from %vGig, signifying diffusion. But the balance of argu- 
ment as to this point seems to be equal. For there are 
some who will have it that fire is the principle of all 
things, and that like sperm it begets all things out of itself, 
and resolves all things again by conflagration. Therefore, 
not to mention the persons, let us consider the arguments 
on both sides, which are to us the most convincing. 

2. Now then, is not that the most useful to us, which in 
all places and always and most of all we stand in need of, 
— like a piece of household-stuff or a tool, nay, like a 
friend that is ready at all hours and seasons ? But fire is 
not always useful; for sometimes it is a prejudice tons 
and we avoid it if we can. But water is useful, winter 
and summer, to the healthy and sick, night and day ; 
neither indeed is there any time but that a man has need 
of it. Therefore it is that the dead are called alihantes, 
as being without moisture (h^dg) and by that means de- 
prived of life ; and man may be without fire, but never 

» Pindar, Olymp. I. 1. t Hesiod, Theog. 116. 


was any man without water. Besides, that which was 
existent from the beginning and with the first creation of 
man must be thought more useful than what was afterwards 
invented. From whence it is apparent, that Nature be- 
stowed the one upon us as a thing absohitely necessary, 
the other fortune and art found out for superfluity of uses. 
Nor was the time ever known when man lived without 
water, nor was it an invention of any of the Gods or 
heroes ; for it was present almost at their generation, and 
it made their creation possible. But the use of fire was a 
late invention of Prometheus, at what time life was without 
fire, but not without water. And that this is no poetical 
fiction is demonstrable from this, that there are many sorts 
of people that live without fire, without houses, and with- 
out hearths, in the open air. And Diogenes the Cynic 
made no use of fire ; so that after he had swallowed a raw 
fish, " This hazard," said he, " do I run for your sakes." 
But without water no man ever thought it convenient or 
possible to live. 

3. But why do I so meanly confine my discourse to the 
nature of men, seeing there are many, nay, infinite sorts of 
creatures'? The race of man is almost the only one that 
knows the use of fire ; the others live and feed without 
fire. Indeed, beasts, birds, and creeping things live upon 
roots, fruits, and raw flesh, without Are ; but without water 
neither fish nor fowl nor land animals can subsist. For 
all beasts that feed upon flesh, of which there are some 
(as Aristotle reports) that never drink, nevertheless sup- 
port life and being merely by moisture. So that of neces- 
sity that must be most profitable without which no sort of 
life can subsist or endure. 

4. Let us therefore make a step from animals that eat 
to things that we ourselves make use of, such are plants 
and fruits ; of which some are altogether void of heat, 
others enjoy it but imperfectly and obscurely. But moist- 



ure causes all things to germinate, increase, and bring 
forth. Why should I stand to reckon up wine and oil, 
milk and honey, and whatever else we reap and bring forth 
and see before our eyes, when wheat itself, which is looked 
upon as a dry nourishment, grows by alteration, putrefac- 
tion, and corruption of the moist matter ? 

5. Then again, that is most useful which is no way 
detrimental. Now fire easily becomes most pernicious, 
but the nature of water is never prejudicial. In the next 
place, that is most useful which affords the benefit which 
it brings with least expense, and without any preparation. 
But the benefit of fire requires cost and materials, and 
therefore the rich make more use of it than the poor, and 
princes than private persons ; but water has that kindness 
for mankind, that it freely offers itself to all alike, a benefit 
perfect in itself, indigent of nothing, and wanting neither 
tools nor implements. 

6. Moreover, that which by augmentation loses its bene 
fit is of least use. Such is fire, which like a devouring 
beast ravages all before it, useful rather by art and skilful 
moderation, than of its own nature. But from water there 
is nothing to be feared. Furthermore, that is most useful 
which may be joined with another. But fire will not 
admit of water, neither is it any way profitable by conjunc- 
tion with it. But water becomes profitable by joining 
with fire ; and therefore hot waters are wholesome, and 
sensibly cure several diseases. Neither shall you ever find 
moist fire ; but water both cold and hot is profitable for 
the body of man. 

7. Then again, there being four elements, water pro- 
duces a fifth out of itself, which is the sea, no less bene- 
ficial than the rest, as well for commerce as for many other 
things. So that it may be said, this element united and 
perfected our manner of living, which before was wild 
and unsociable, correcting it by mutual assistance, and 


creating community of friendship by reciprocal exchanges 
of one good turn for another. And as Heraclitus said, If 
there were no sun, it would be perpetual night ; so may 
we say, If there were no sea, man would be the most 
savage and shameless of all creature. But the sea brought 
the vine from India into Greece, and out of Greece transmit- 
ted the use of corn to foreign parts ; from Phoenicia translated 
the knowledge of letters, the memorials that prevent ob- 
livion. ; furnished the world with wine and fruit, and pre- 
vented the greatest part of mankind from being illiterate 
and void of education. How is it possible then but that 
water should be the most useful, when it thus furnishes us 
with an entirely new element ^ 

8. Or can any man speak as follows in defence of the 
contrary ? We say then that God, as a master workman, 
had before him the four elements, to complete the fabric 
of the universe ; and these again were different one from 
another. But earth and water were placed at the founda- 
tion, like matter, to be formed and fashioned, participating 
of form and order and of power to procreate and bring 
forth, so far as they are assisted by air and fire, — the great 
artificers that mould them into various shapes, — and 
lying dead till roused by them to act and generate. Of 
these two latter, fire is the ruling agent. This is manifest 
by induction. For earth without warmth and heat is al- 
together barren and unfruitful ; but fire, by virtue of its 
rousing and inflaming quality, renders it diff"usive, and 
swells it into generation. Nor can any man find out any 
other cause why rocks and the dry tops of mountains are 
not productive, but because they participate either nothing 
at all or very little of fire. 

9. Then generally for water, it is so far from being suffi- 
cient of itself for the generation and preservation of other 
things, that it is itself destroyed for want of fire. But fire is 
that which upholds every thing in its proper being, and 


preserves it in its proper substance, as well water itself as 
all other things ; so that when fire leaves it, water will 
stink, and it may be said that the want of fire is the death 
and destruction of water. And thus we find in regard to 
pools and all manner of standing waters, and such as are 
settled in pits and holes without issue, what an ofi'ensive 
and dead stench they send forth, and all for want of mo- 
tion ; for this kindles and preserves heat in all things, and 
more especially in running waters and swift streams, which 
being thus agitated and enlivened by heat, we commonly 
say such waters " live." Why then should not that be ac- 
counted the most useful of the two, that affords to the 
other the cause of its being, as fire does to water ? More- 
over, that is the most useful, of which if an animal be 
wholly deprived, it must perish ; for it is evident, that any- 
thing without which an animal cannot live affords the 
reason and cause why it exists. There is moisture also 
in things after they are dead, nor are they altogether 
dried up ; for otherwise moist bodies would never putrefy ; 
since putrefaction is the alteration of dry into moist, or 
rather the corruption of moisture in flesh. Neither is death 
any other than an absolute defect and want of heat, and 
therefore dead carcasses are the coldest of all ; so that if 
you do but touch them with a razor, they will blunt the 
edge of it through excess of coldness. Also in living 
creatures, those parts that least partake of heat are most 
insensible, as the bones and hair, and those parts which 
are most distant from the heart. Nay, to some of the 
most important things the absence of fire and the presence 
of water are destructive. For plants and fruits are not 
produced by moisture, but by the warmth of the moisture ; 
and cold waters are most certainly either less productive, 
or altogether barren. For if water were fruitful in itself, 
it would always, and that spontaneously too, bear fruit. 
But the contrary is apparent, and it is rather baneful to 


10. Let US begin anew. As to the use of fire, con- 
sidered as fire, we have no need of water. Rather the 
contrary is to be made out ; for water extinguishes fire. 
And as for water, there is no use to be made of it in most 
things without fire. For water heated becomes more use- 
ful, whereas otherwise it is prejudicial. So that, of the 
two, that is to be accounted best which is profitable of it- 
self without the assistance of another. Besides, water is 
beneficial only to the feeling, when you either wash with 
it or touch it ; but fire is profitable to all the senses, being 
not only felt, but also seen at a distance ; so that you may 
add this to the rest of the virtues of it, that its uses are 

11. Then to say that man did once subsist without fire 
is a mistake, it being impossible that man should be with- 
out it. But we must acknowledge there are differences in 
this kind, as well as in other things. Thus heat has ren- 
dered the sea more beneficial, as having a greater portion 
of heat in it than other waters, from which it otherwise 
diff'ers not -at all. And as for those that have no need of 
outward fire, they do not avoid it because they do not want 
it, but because they abound in heat within themselves. So 
that the use of fire seems to be more excellent in this, that 
water is never in such a condition as not to want external 
aids, but fire, endued with manifold virtues, contents itself 
with its own sufficiency. Therefore, as he is the best 
commander who so manages the afi'airs of his city as not 
to have any need of foreign assistance, so that element 
excels that supplies us in such a manner as to want the 
least of other helps from without. And this is to be said 
of other creatures that have no need of external heat. 

Now, to argue on the other side, a man may say thus, 
that whatever we singly and alone make use of is more 
profitable, since we are by our reason best fitted to choose 
what is best. For what is more useful and beneficial to us 


than reason ? . . . And yet brute animals want fire. What 
then'? Is it the less profitable, because found out by fore- 
sight of a higher power ? 

12. And since our discourse has brought us to it, what 
is more beneficial to life than art? Yet fire invented and 
preserves all manner of arts. And therefore Vulcan is 
feigned to be the prince of all artificers. Man has allowed 
him but a little time to live; and as Aristo said, sleep, like 
a toll-gatherer, deprives him of the one-half of that too. 
I would rather say that the darkness does this ; for a man 
may watch all night. But he would have no benefit of his 
watchfulness unless fire aff"orded him all the benefit of the 
light of day, and removed the difference between night and 
day. Since then there is nothing more beneficial to man 
than life, and this is prolonged by fire, why should not fire 
be accounted the most beneficial of all things ? 

13. Lastly, that is to be thought most profitable, of 
which the temperament of the senses participates most. 
Now do you find that there is any of the senses, which of 
itself makes use of moisture without an intermixture of air 
and fire ? But every sense partakes of fire, as being that 
which quickens the vital faculty ; more especially the sight, 
which is the most acute of all the senses in the body, being 
a certain fiery efflux, that gave us our first light into the 
belief of a Deity, and by virtue of which we are able, as 
Plato says, to conform our souls to the motions of the 
celestial bodies. 



1. CoLOTEs, whom Epicurus was wont diminutively and 
by way of familiarity or fondness, to call Colotaras and 
Colotarion, composed, O Saturninus, and published a little 
book which he entitled, " That according to the opinions 
of the other philosophers one cannot so much as live." 
This he dedicated to King Ptolemy. Now I suppose that 
it will not be unpleasant for you to read, when set down in 
writing, what came into my mind to speak against this 
Colotes, since I know you to be a lover of all elegant and 
honest treatises, and particularly of such as regard the 
science of antiquity, and to esteem the bearing in memory 
and having (as much as possible may be) in hand the dis- 
courses of the ancient sages to be the most royal of all 
studies and exercises. 

2. Not long since therefore, as this book was reading, 
Aristodemus of Aegium, a familiar friend of ours (whom 
you well know to be one of the Academy, and not a mere 
thyrsus-bearer, but one of the most frantic celebrators of 
Plato's orgies),* did, I know not how, keep himself con 
trary to his custom very still all the while, and patiently 
gave ear to it even to the end. But the reading was scarce 
well over, when he said : Well then, whom shall we cause 

* See Plato, Phaed. p. 69 C, and Stallbaum's note. Here the proverb occurs, — 
NapdTiiiO(p6poi /m> noXTuol, Banxoc de re itavpoL, the thrysus-bearers are many, but the trv4 
priests of Bacchus are few. ( G.) 


to rise up and fight against this man, in defence of the 
philosophers? For I am not of Nestor's opinion, who, 
when the most valiant of those nine warriors that pre- 
sented themselves to enter into combat was to be chosen, 
committed the election to the fortune of a lot. 

Yet, answered I, you see he so disposed himself in 
reference to the lot, that the choice might pass according 
to the arbitrament of the wisest man ; 

And th' lot drawn from the helmet, as they wished, 
On Ajax fell. 

But yet since you command me to make the election, 

How can I think a better choice to make 
Than the divine Ulysses 1 * 

Consider therefore, and be well advised, in what manner 
you will chastise this man. 

But you know, replied Aristodemus, that Plato, when 
highly offended with his boy that waited on him, would 
not himself beat him, but requested Speusippus to do it 
for him, saying that he himself was angry. As much 
therefore may I say to you ; Take this fellow to you, and 
treat him as you please ; for I am in a fit of choler. 

When therefore all the rest of the company desired me 
to undertake this office ; I must then, said I, speak, since 
it is your pleasure. But I am afraid that I also shall 
seem more vehemently transported than is fitting against 
this book, in the defending and maintaining Socrates 
against the rudeness, scurrility, and insolence of this man ; 
who, because Socrates affirmed himself to know nothing 
certainly, instead of bread (as one would say) presents 
him hay, as if he were a beast, and asks him why he puts 
meat into his mouth and not into his ear. And yet per- 
haps some would make but a laughing matter of this, con- 
sidering the mildness and gentleness of Socrates ; " but 

* B. VII. 182; X. 243. 


for the whole host of the Greeks," that is, of the other 
philosophers, amongst which are Democritus, Plato, Stilpo, 
Empedocles, Parmenides, and Melissus, who have been 
basely traduced and reviled by him, it were not only a 
shame to be silent, but even a sacrilege in the least point 
to forbear or recede from freedom of speech in their 
behalf, who have advanced philosophy to that honor and 
reputation it has gotten. 

And our parents indeed have, with the assistance of the 
Gods, given us our life ; but to live well comes to us from 
reason, which we have learned from the philosophers, which 
favors law and justice, and restrains our concupiscence. 
Now to live well is to live sociably, friendly, temperately, 
and justly ; of all which conditions they leave us not one, 
who cry out that man's sovereign good lies in his belly, 
and that they would not purchase all the virtues together 
at the expense of a cracked farthing, if pleasure were 
totally and on every side removed from them. And in 
their discourses concerning the soul and the Gods, they 
hold that the soul perishes when it is separated from the 
body, and that the Gods concern not themselves in our 
affairs. Thus the Epicureans reproach the other philoso- 
phers, that by their wisdom they bereave man of his life ; 
whilst the others on the contrary accuse them of teaching 
men to live degenerately and like beasts. 

3. Now these things are scattered here and there in the 
writings of Epicurus, and dispersed through all his phil- 
osophy. But this Colotes, by having extracted from them 
certain pieces and fragments of discourses, destitute of any 
arguments whatever to render them credible and intelligi- 
ble, has composed his book, being like a shop or cabinet 
of monsters and prodigies ; as you better know than any one 
else, because you have always in your hands the works of 
the ancients. But he seems to me, like the Lydian, to 
open not only one gate against himself, but to involve 


Epicurus also in many and those the greatest doubts and 
difficulties. For he begins with Democritus, who receives 
of him an excellent and worthy reward for his instruction ; 
it being certain that Epicurus for a long time called him- 
self a Democritean, which as well others affirm, as Leon- 
teus, a principal disciple of Epicurus, who in a letter 
which he writ to Lycophron says, that Epicurus honored 
Democritus, because he first attained, though a little at a 
distance, the right and sound understanding of the truth, 
and that in general all the treatise concerning natural 
things was called Democritean, because Democritus was 
the first who happened upon the principles and met with 
the primitive foundations of Nature. And Metrodorus 
says openly of philosophy. If Democritus had not gone 
before and taught the way, Epicurus had never attained 
to wisdom. Now if it be true, as Colotes holds, that to 
live according to the opinions of Democritus is not to 
live, Epicurus was then a fool in following Democritus, 
who led him to a doctrine which taught him not to live. 

4. Now the first thing he lays to his charge is, that, by 
supposing every thing to be no more of one nature than an- 
other, he wholly confounds human life. But Democritus 
was so far from having been of this opinion, that he op- 
posed Protagoras the philosopher who asserted it, and 
writ many excellent arguments concluding against him, 
which this fine fellow Colotes never saw nor read, nor yet 
so much as dreamed of; but deceived himself by misun- 
derstanding a passage which is in his works, where he de- 
termines that TO dtv is no more than to [ii^dsv, naming in that 
place the body by dsv, and the void by fiTjde'v, and meeiiing 
that the void has its own proper nature and subsistence, 
as well as the body. 

But he who is of opinion that nothing is more of one 
nature than another makes use of a sentence of Epicurus, 
in which he says that all the apprehensions and imagina- 


tions given us by the senses are true. For if of two say- 
ing, the one, that the wine is sour, and the other, that it 
is sweet, neither of them shall be deceived by his sense, 
how shall the wine be more sour than sweet 1 xlnd we 
may often see that some men using one and the same 
bath find it to be hot, and others find it to be cold ; 
because those order cold water to be put into it, as these 
do hot. It is said that, a certain lady going to visit Bere- 
nice, wife to King Deiotarus, as soon as ever they ap- 
proached each other, they both immediately turned their 
backs, the one, as it seemed, not being able to bear the 
smell of perfume, nor the other of butter. If then the 
sense of one is no truer than the sense of another, it is 
also probable, that water is no more cold than hot, nor 
sweet ointment or butter better or worse scented one than 
the other. For if any one shall say that it seems the one 
to one, and the other to another, he will, before he is 
aware, afiirm that they are both the one and the other. 

5. And as for these symmetries and proportions of the 
pores, or little passages in the organs of the senses, about 
which they talk so much, and those different mixtures 
of seeds, which, they say, being dispersed through all sa- 
vors, odors, and colors, move the senses of different per- 
sons to perceive different qualities, do they not manifestly 
drive them to this, that things are no more of one quality 
than another ? For to pacify those who think the sense is 
deceived and lies because they see contrary events and 
passions in such as use the same objects, and to solve this 
objection, they teach, — that all things being mixed and 
confounded together, and yet one nevertheless being more 
suitable and fitting to one, and another to another, it is not 
possible that there should in all cases be a contact and 
comprehension of one and the same quality, nor does the 
object equally affect all with all its parts, every one meet- 
ing only those to which it has its sense commensurate and 


proportioned ; so that they are to blame so obstinately to 
insist that a thing is either good or bad, white or not white, 
thinking to establish their own senses by destroying those 
of others ; whereas they ought neither to combat the 
senses, — because they all touch some quality, each one 
drawing from this confused mixture, as from a living and 
large fountain, what is suitable and convenient, — nor to 
pronounce of the whole, by touching only the parts, nor 
to think that all ought to be affected after one and the 
same manner by the same thing, seeing that one is affected 
by one quality and faculty of it, and another by another. 
Let us then seek who those men are which bring in this 
opinion that things are not more of one quality than an- 
other, if they are not those who hold that every sensible 
thing is a mixture, composed of all sorts of qualities, like 
a mixture of new wine fermenting, and who confess that 
all their rules are lost and their faculty of judging quite 
gone, if they admit any sensible object that is pure and 
simple, and do not make each one thing to be many? 

6. See now to this purpose, what discourse and debate 
Epicurus makes Polyaenus to have with him in his Ban- 
quet concerning the heat of wine. For when he asked, 
" Do you, Epicurus, say, that wine does not heat 1 " some 
one answered, " It is not universally to be affirmed that 
wine heats." And a little after : " For wine seems not to 
be universally a heater ; but such a quantity may be said 
to heat such a person." And again subjoining the cause, 
to wit, the compressions and disseminations of the atoms, 
and having alleged their commixtures and conjunctions 
with others when the wine comes to be mingled in the 
body, he adds this conclusion : " It is not universally to be 
said that wine is endued with a faculty of heating ; but 
that such a quantity may heat such a nature and one so 
disposed, while such a quantity to such a nature is cooling. 
For in such a mass there are such natures and complex- 


ions of which cold might be composed, and which, joined 
with others in proper measure, would yield a refrigerative 
virtue. Wherefore some are deceived, who say that wine 
is universally a heater ; and others, who say that it is uni- 
versally a cooler." He then who says that most men are 
deceived and err, in holding that which is hot to be heat- 
ing and that which is cold to be cooling, is himself in an 
error, unless he should believe that his assertion leads to 
the doctrine that one thing is not more of one nature than 
another. He farther adds afterwards, that oftentimes 
wine entering into a body brings with it thither neither a 
calefying nor refrigerating virtue, but, the mass of the 
body being agitated and disturbed, and a transposition 
made of the parts, the heat-effecting atoms being assem- 
bled together do by their multitude cause a heat and in- 
flammation in the body, and sometimes on the contrary 
disassembling themselves cause a refrigeration. 

7. But it is moreover wholly evident, that we may ap- 
ply this argument to all those things which are called and 
esteemed bitter, sweet, purging, dormitive, and luminous, 
not any one of them having an entire and perfect quality 
to produce such effects, nor to do rather than to suffer 
when they are in the bodies, but being there susceptible of 
various temperatures and differences. For Epicurus him- 
self, in his Second Book against Theophrastus, affirming 
that colors are not connatural to bodies, but are engen 
dered there according to certain situations and positions 
with respect to the sight of man, says : " For this reason a 
body is no more colored than destitute of color." And a 
little above he writes thus, word for word : " But apart 
from this, I know not how a man may say that those bodies 
which are in the dark have color ; although very often, an 
air equally dark being spread about them, some distinguish 
diversities of colors, others perceive them not through the 
weakness of their sight. And moreover, going into a 


dark house or room, we at our first entrance see no color, 
but after we have stayed there awhile, we do. Where- 
fore we are to say that every body is not more colored than 
not colored. Now, if color is relative and has its being 
in regard to something else, so also then is white, and so 
likewise blue ; and if colors are so, so also are sweet and 
bitter. So that it may truly be affirmed of every quality, 
that it cannot more properly be said to be than not to be. 
For to those who are in a certain manner disposed, they 
will be ; but to those who are not so disposed, they will 
not be." Colotes therefore has bedashed and bespattered 
himself and his master with that dirt, in which he says 
those lie who maintain that things are not more of one 
quality than another. 

8. But is it in this alone, that this excellent man shows 

To others a physician, whilst himself 
Is full of ulcers ? * 

No indeed ; but yet much farther in his second reprehen- 
sion, without any way minding it, he drives Epicurus and 
Democritus out of this life. For he affirms that the say- 
ing of Democritus — that the atoms are to the senses 
color by a certain law or ordinance, that they are by the 
same law sweetness, and by the same law concretion f — is 
at war with our senses, and that he who uses this reason 
and persists in this opinion cannot himself imagine whether 
he is living or dead. I know not how to contradict this 
discourse; but this I can boldly affirm, that this is as in- 
separable from the sentences and doctrines of Epicurus 
as they say figure and weight are from atoms. For what 
is it that Democritus says ? " There are substances, in 
number infinite, called atoms (because they cannot be 
divided), without difference, without quality, and impas- 
sible, which move, being dispersed here and there, in the 

* Euripides, Frag. 1071. t The text is corrupt here. (G.) 


infinite voidness ; and that when they approach one 
another, or meet and are conjoined, of such masses thus 
heaped together, one appears water, another fire, another 
a plant, another a man ; and that all things are thus really 
atoms (as he called them), and that there is nothing else ; 
for there can be no generation from what is not ; and of 
those things which are nothing can be generated, because 
these atoms are so firm, that they can neither change, alter, 
nor suff"er ; wherefore there cannot be made color of those 
things which are without color, nor nature or soul of 
those things which are without quality and impassible." 
Democritus then is to be blamed, not for confessing those 
things that happen upon his principles, but for supposing 
principles upon which such things happen. For he should 
not have supposed immutable principles ; or having sup- 
posed them, he ought to have seen that the generation of 
all quality is taken away ; but having seen the absurdity, 
to deny it is most impudent. But Epicurus says, that he 
supposes the same principles with Democritus, but that he 
says not that color, sweet, white, and other qualities, are 
by law and ordinance. If therefore not to say is merely 
not to confess, he does merely what he is wont to do. For 
it is as when, taking away divine Providence, he neverthe- 
less says that he leaves piety and devotion towards the 
Gods ; and when, choosing friendship for the sake of 
pleasure, that he sufi"ers most grievous pains for his friends ; 
and supposing the universe to be infinite, that he never- 
theless takes not away high and low. . . . Indeed having 
taken the cup, one may drink what he pleases, and return 
the rest. But in reasoning one ought chiefly to remember 
this wise apophthegm, that where the principles are not 
necessary, the ends and consequences are necessary. It 
was not then necessary for him to suppose or (to say bet- 
ter) to steal from Democritus, that atoms are the principles 
of the universe ; but having supposed this doctrine, and 


having pleased and glorified himself in the first probable 
and specious appearances of it, he must afterwards also 
swallow that which is troublesome in it, or must show how 
bodies which have not any quality can bring all sorts of 
qualities to others only by their meetings and joining 
together. As — to take that which comes next to hand — 
whence does that which we call heat proceed, and how is 
it engendered in the atoms, if they neither had heat when 
they came, nor are become hot after their being joined 
together ? For the one presupposes that they had some 
quality, and the other that theyvvere fit to receive it. And 
you afiirm, that neither the one nor the other must be said 
to belong to atoms, because they are incorruptible. 

9. How then? Do not Plato, Aristotle, and Xenocrates 
produce gold from that which is not gold, and stone from 
that which is not stone, and many other things from the 
four simple first bodies ? Yes indeed ; but with those 
bodies immediately concur also the principles for the gen- 
eration of every thing, bringing with them great contribu- 
tions, that is, the first qualities which are in them ; then, 
when they come to assemble and join in one the dry with 
the moist, the cold with the hot, and the solid with the 
soft, — that is active bodies with such as are fit to suff'er 
and receive every alteration and change, — then is genera- 
tion wrought by passing from one temperature to another. 
Whereas the atom, being alone, is deprived and destitute 
of all quality and generative faculty, and when it comes to 
meet with the others, it can make only a noise and sound 
because of its hardness and firmness, but nothing else. 
For they always strike and are stricken, not being able by 
this means to compose or make an animal, a soul, or a 
nature, nay, not so much as a mass or heap of themselves ; 
for that as they beat upon one another, so they fly back 
again asunder. 

10. But Colotes, as if he were speaking to some igno* 


rant and unlettered king, again attacks Empedocles for 
breathing forth the same thought : 

I've one thing more to say. 'Mongst mortals there 

No Nature is ; nor that grim thing men fear 

So much, called death. There only happens first 

A mixture, and mixt things asunder burst 

Again, when them disunion does befall. 

And this is that which men do Nature call. 

For my part, I do not see how this is repugnant and con- 
trary to life or living, especially amongst those who hold 
that there is no generation of that which is not, nor cor- 
ruption of that which is, but that the assembling and 
union of the things which are is called generation, and 
their dissolution and disunion named corruption and death. 
For that he took Nature for generation, and that this is 
his meaning, he has himself declared, when he opposed 
Nature to death. And if they neither live nor can live 
who place generation in union and death in disunion, 
what else do these Epicureans ? Yet Empedocles, gluing, 
(as it were) and conjoining the elements together by heats, 
softnesses, and humidities, gives them in some sort a mix- 
tion and unitive composition ; but these men who hunt 
and drive together the atoms, which they affirm to be im- 
mutable and impassible, compose nothing proceeding from 
them, but indeed make many and continual percussions 
of them. 

For the interlacement, hindering the dissolution, more 
and more augments the collision and concussion ; so that 
there is neither mixtion nor adhesion and conglutination, 
but only a confusion and combat, which according to them 
is called generation. And if the atoms do now recoil for 
a moment by reason of the shock they have given, and 
then return again after the blow is past, they are above 
double the time absent from one another, without either 
touching or approaching, so as nothing can be made of 
them, not even so much as a body without a soul. But as 


for sense, soul, understanding, and prudence, there is not 
any man who can in the least conceive or imagine how it 
is possible they should be made in a voidness, and of atoms 
which neither when separate and apart have any quality, 
nor any passion or alteration when they are assembled and 
joined together, especially seeing this their meeting to- 
gether is not an incorporation or congress, making a mixt- 
ure or coalition, but rather percussions and repercussions. 
So that, according to the doctrine of these people, life is 
taken away, and the being of an animal denied, since they 
suppose principles void, impassible, godless, and soulless, 
and such as cannot admit or receive any mixture or incor- 
poration whatever. 

11. How then is it, that they admit and allow Nature, 
soul, and living creature? Even in the same manner as 
they do an oath, prayer, and sacrifice, and the adoration 
of the Gods. Thus they adore by word and mouth, only 
naming and feigning that which by their principles they 
totally take away and abolish. If now they call that which 
is born Nature, and that which is engendered generation, 

— as those who ordinarily call the wood itself wood-work 
and the voices that accord and sound together symphony, 

— whence came it into his mind to object these words 
against Empedocles ? " Why," says he, " do we tire our- 
selves in taking such care of ourselves, in desiring and 
longing after certain things, and shunning and avoiding 
others ? For we neither are ourselves, nor do we live by 
making use of others." But be of good cheer, my dear 
little Colotes, may one perhaps say to him : there is none 
who hinders you from taking care of yourself by teaching 
that the nature of Colotes is nothing else but Colotes him- 
self, or who forbids you to make use of things (now things 
with you are pleasures) by showing that there is no nature 
of tarts and marchpanes, of sweet odors, or of venereal 
delights, but that there are tarts, marchpanes, perfumes, 


and women. For neither does the grammarian who says 
that " the strength of Hercules " is Hercules himself deny 
the being of Hercules ; nor do those who say that sym- 
phonies and roofings are but bare derivations affirm that 
there are neither sounds nor timbers ; since also there are 
some who, taking away the soul and prudence, do not yet 
seem to take away either living or being prudent. 

And when Epicurus says that the nature of things con 
sists in bodies and their place, do we so comprehend him 
as if he meant that Nature were something else than the 
things which are, or as if he insinuated that it is simply 
the things which are, and nothing else? — as, to wit, he 
is wont to call voidness itself the nature of voidness, and 
the universe, by Jupiter, the nature of the universe. And 
if any one should thus question him ; What sayst thou, 
Epicurus, that this is voidness, and that the nature of 
voidness? No, by Jupiter, would he answer; but this 
community of names is in use by law and custom. I 
grant it is. Now what has Empedocles done else, but 
taught that Nature is nothing else save that which is born, 
and death no other thing but that which dies 1 But as the 
poets very often, forming as it were an image, say thus in 
figurative language. 

Strife, tumult, noise, placed by some angry God, 
Mischief, and malice there had their abode ; * 

so do most men attribute generation and corruption to 
things that are contracted together and dissolved. But so 
far has he been from stirring and taking away that which 
is, or contradicting that which evidently appears, that he 
casts not so much as one single word out of the accustomed 
use ; but taking away all figurative fraud that might hurt 
or endamage things, he again restored the ordinary and 
useful signification to words in these verses: 

* L. XVIII. 535. 


When from mixed elements we sometimes see 
A man produced, sometimes a beast, a tree, 
Or bird, this birtli and geniture we name ; 
But death, when tliis so well compacted frame 
And juncture is dissolved. This use I do approve. 

And yet I myself say that Colotes, though he alleged these 
verses, did not understand that Empedocles took not away 
men, beasts, trees, or birds, which he affirmed to be com- 
posed of the elements mixed together; and that, by teach- 
ing how much they are deceived who call this composition 
Nature and life, and this dissolution unhappy destruction 
and miserable death, he did not abrogate the using of the 
customary expressions in this respect. 

12. And it seems to me, indeed, that Empedocles did not 
aim in this place at the disturbing the common form of 
expression, but that he really, as it has been said, had 
a controversy about generation from things that have no 
being, which some call Nature. Which he manifestly 
shows by these verses : 

Fools, and of little thought, we well may deem 
Those, who so silly are as to esteem 
That what ne'er was may now engendered be. 
And that what is may perish utterly. 

For these are the words of one who cries loud enough to 
those which have ears, that he takes not away generation, 
but procreation from nothing ; nor corruption, but total 
destruction, that is, reduction to nothing. For to him 
who would not so savagely and foolishly but more gently 
calumniate, the following verses might give a colorable 
occasion of charging Empedocles with the contrary, when 
he says : 

No prudent man can e'er into his mind 
Admit that, whilst men living here on earth 
(Which only life they call) both fortunes find, 
They being have, but that before the birth 
They nothing were, nor shall be when once dead. 

For these are not the expressions of a man who denies 
those that are born to be, but rather of him who holds 


those to be that are not yet born or that are ah'eady dead. 
And Colotes also does not altogether accuse him of this, 
but says that according to his opinion we shall never be 
sick, never wounded. But how is it possible, that he who 
affirms men to have being both before their life and after 
their death, and during their life to find both fortunes (or 
to be accompanied both by good and evil), should not leave 
them the power to suffer? Who then are they, O Colotes, 
that are endued with this privilege never to be wounded, 
never to be sick? Even you yourselves, who are composed 
of atoms and voidness, neither of which, you say, has any 
sense. Now there is no great hurt in this ; but the worst 
is, you have nothing left that can cause you pleasure, see- 
ing an atom is not capable to receive those things which 
are to effect it, and voidness cannot be affected by them. 

13. But because Colotes would, immediately after Demo- 
critus, seem to inter and bury Parmenides, and I have 
passed over and a little postponed his defence, to bring in 
between them that of Empedocles, as seeming to be more 
coherent and consequent to the first reprehensions, let us 
now return to Parmenides. Him then does Colotes accuse 
of having broached and set abroad certain shameful and 
villanous sophistries ; and yet by these his sophisms he 
has neither rendered friendship less honorable, nor volup- 
tuousness or the desire of pleasures more audacious and 
unbridled. He has not taken from honesty its attractive 
property or its being venerable or recommendable of itself, 
nor has he disturbed the opinions we ought to have of the 
Gods. And I do not see how, by saying that the All (or 
the universe) is one, he hinders or obstructs our living. 
For when Epicurus himself says that the All is infinite, that 
it is neither engendered nor perishable, that it can neither 
increase nor be diminished, he speaks of the universe as 
of one only thing. And having in the beginning of his 
treatise concerning this matter said, that the nature of those 


things which have being consists of bodies and of void- 
ness, he makes a division (as it were) of one thing into 
two parts, one of which has in reality no subsistence, 
being, as you yourselves term it, impalpable, void, and 
incorporeal ; so that by this means, even with you also, all 
comes to be one ; unless you desire, in speaking of void- 
iiess, to use words void of sense, and to combat the an- 
cients, as if you were fighting against a shadow. 

Bui these atomical bodies, you will say, are, according 
to the opinion of Epicurus, infinite in number, and every 
thing which appears to us is composed of them. See 
now, therefore, what principles of generation you suppose, 
infinity and voidness ; one of which, to wit, voidness, is 
inactive, impassible, and incorporeal ; the other, to wit, 
infinity, is disorderly, unreasonable, and incomprehensible, 
dissolving and confounding itself, because it cannot for its 
multitude be contained, circumscribed, or limited. But 
Parmenides has neither taken away fire, nor water, nor 
rocks and precipices, nor yet cities (as Colotes says) which 
are built and inhabited as well in Europe as in x\sia; since 
he has both made an order of the world, and mixing the 
elements, to wit, light and dark, does of them and by them 
compose and finish all things that are to be seen in the 
world. For he has written very largely of the earth, 
heaven, sun, moon, and stars, and has spoken of the gene- 
ration of man ; and being, as he was, an ancient author in 
physiology, and one who in writing sought to deliver his 
own and not to destroy another's doctrine, he has passed 
over none of the principal things in Nature. Moreover, 
Plato, and before him Socrates himself, understood that in 
Nature there is one part subject to opinion, and another 
subject to intelligence. As for that which is subject to 
opinion, it is always unconstant, wandering, and carried 
away with several passions and changes, liable to diminu- 
tion and increase, and to be variously disposed to various 

VOL. V. 23 


men, and not always appearing after one manner even to 
the same person. But as to the intelligible part, it is quite 
of another kind, 

Constant, entire, and still engenerable, 

as himself says, always like to itself, and perdurable in if 9 

Here Colotes, sycophant-like, catching at his expres- 
sions and drawing the discourse from things to words, 
flatly affirms that Parmenides in one word takes away the 
existence of all things by supposing ejis (or that which is) 
to be one. But, on the contrary, he takes away neither 
the one nor the other part of Nature ; but rendering to 
each of them what belongs to it and is convenient for it, 
he places the intelligible in the idea of one and of " that 
which is," calling it ens because it is eternal and incorrupt- 
ible, and one because it is always like itself and admits no 
diversity. And as for that part which is sensible, he places 
it in the rank of uncertain, disorderly, and always mov- 
ing. Of which two parts, we may see the distinct judg- 
ment : 

One certain truth and sincere knowledge is, 

as regarding that which is intelligible, and always alike 
and of the same sort ; 

The other does on men's opinions rest. 
Which breed no true belief within our breast, 

because it is conversant in things which receive all sorts 
of changes, passions, and inequalities. Now how he could 
have left sense and opinion, if he had not also left any 
thing sensible and opinable, it is impossible for any man to 
say. But because to that which truly is it appertains to 
continue in its being, and because sensible things some- 
times are, sometimes are not, continually passing from one 
being to another and perpetually changing their state, he 
thought they required some other name than that of entia, 


or things which always are. This speech therefore con- 
cerning ens (or that which is), that it should be but one, 
is not to take away the plurality of sensible things, but 
to show how they differ from that which is intelligible. 
Which difference Plato in his discourse of Ideas more fully 
declaring, has thereby afforded Colotes an opportunity of' 

14. Therefore it seems not unreasonable to me to take 
next into our consideration, as it were all in a train, what 
he has also said against him. But first let us contemplate 
a little the diligence — together with the manifold and 
profound knowledge — of this our philosopher, who says, 
that Aristotle, Xenocrates, Theophrastus, and all the 
Peripatetics have followed these doctrines of Plato. For 
in what corner of the uninhabitable world have you, O 
Colotes, written your book, that, composing all these accu- 
sations against such personages, you never have lighted upon 
their works, nor have taken into your hands the books of 
Aristotle concerning Heaven and the Soul, nor those of 
Theophrastus against the [N^aturalists, nor the Zoroaster 
of Horaclides, nor his books of Hell, nor that of Natural 
Doubts and Difficulties, nor the book of Dicaearchus con- 
cerning the Soul ; in all which books they are in the high- 
est degree contradictory and repugnant to Plato about the 
principal and greatest points of natural philosophy 1 Nay, 
Strato himself, the very head and prince of the other Peri- 
patetics, agrees not in many things with Aristotle, and 
holds opinions altogether contrary to Plato, concerning 
motion, the understanding, the soul, and generation. In 
fine, he says that the world is not an animal, and that 
what is according to Nature follows what is according to 
Fortune ; for that Chance gave the beginning, and so every 
one of the natural effects was afterwards finished. 

Now as to the ideas, — for which he quarrels with Plato, 
— Aristotle, by moving this matter at every turn, and alleg- 


ing all manner of doubts concerning them, in his Ethics, 
in his Physics, and in his Exoterical Dialogues seems to 
some rather obstinately than philosophically to have dis- 
puted against these doctrines, as having proposed to him- 
self the debasing and undervaluing of Plato's philosophy ; 
so far he was from following it. What an impudent rash- 
ness then is this, that having neither seen nor understood 
what these persons have written and what were their opin- 
ions, he should go and devise such things as they never 
imagined ; and persuading himself that he reprehends and 
refutes others, he should produce a proof, written with his 
own hand, arguing and convincing himself of ignorance, 
licentiousness, and shameful impudence, in saying that 
those who contradict Plato agree with him, and that those 
who oppose him follow him ? 

15. Plato, says he, writes that horses are in vain by us 
esteemed horses, and men men. And in which of Plato's 
commentaries has he found this hidden? For as to us, 
we read in all his books, that horses are horses, that men 
are men, and that fire is by him esteemed fire, because he 
holds that every one of these things is sensible and sub- 
ject to opinion. But this fine fellow Colotes, as if he were 
not a hair's breadth removed from perfect wisdom, appre- 
hends it to be one and the same thing to say, " Man is 
not " and " Man is a 7ion ens'' 

Now to Plato there seems to be a wonderful great differ- 
ence between not being at all and being a non ens ; be- 
cause the first imports an annihilation and abolishment of 
all substance, and the other shows the diversity there is 
between that which is participated and that which partici- 
pates. Which diversity those who came after distinguished 
only into the difference of genus and species, and certain 
common and proper qualities or accidents, as they are 
called, but ascended no higher, falling into more logical 
doubts and difficulties. Now there is the same proportion 


between that which is participated and that which partici- 
pates, as there is between the cause and the matter, the 
original and the image, the faculty and the effect. Where- 
in that which is by itself and always the same principally 
differs from that which is by another and never abides in 
one and the same manner ; because the one never was 
nor ever shall be non-existent, and is therefore totally and 
essc^ntially an ens ; but to the other that very being, which 
it has not of itself but happens to take by participation 
from another, does not remain firm and constant, but it 
goes out of it by its imbecility, — the matter always glid- 
ing and sliding about the form, and receiving several affec- 
tions and changes in the image of the substance, so that it 
is continually moving and shaking. As therefore he who 
says that the image of Plato is riot Plato takes not away 
the sense and substance of the image, but shows the dif- 
ference of that which exists of itself from that which ex- 
ists only in regard to some other ; so neither do they take 
away the nature, use, or sense of men, who affirm that 
every one of us, by participating in a certain common sub- 
stance, that is, by the idea, is become the image of that 
which afforded the likeness for our generation. For 
neither does he who says that a red-hot iron is not fire, or 
that the moon is not the sun, but, as Parmenides has it, 

A torch which round the earth by night 
Does bear about a borrowed light, 

take away therefore the use of iron, or the nature of the 
moon. But if he should deny it to be a body, or affirm 
that it is not illuminated, he would then contradict the 
senses, as one who admitted neither body, animal, genera- 
tion, nor sense. But he who by his opinion imagines that 
these things subsist only by participation, and considers 
how far remote and distant they are from that which al- 
ways is and which communicates to them their being, does 
not reject the sensible, but affirms that the intelligible is ; 


nor does he take away and abolish the effects which are 
wrought and appear in us ; but he shows to those who 
follow him that there are other things, firmer and more 
stable than these in respect of their essence, because they 
are neither engendered, nor perish, nor suffer any thing; 
and he teaches them, more purely touching the difference, 
to express it by names, calling these ona or entia (things 
that have being), and those yiyvofism or Jientia (things en- 
gendered). And the same also usually befalls the moderns ; 
for they deprive many — and those great things — of the 
appellation of ens or being ; such as are voidness, time, 
place, and simply the entire genus of things spoken, in 
which are comprised all things true. For these things, 
they say, are not entia but some things; and they per- 
petually make use of them in their lives and in their 
philosophy, as of things having subsistence and existence. 

16. But I would willingly ask this our fault-finder, 
whether themselves do not in their affairs perceive this 
difference, by which some things are permanent and im- 
mutable in their substances, — as they say of their atoms, 
that they are at all times and continually after one and the 
same manner, because of their impassibility and hardness, 
— but that all compounded things are fluxible, changeable, 
generated, and perishing ; forasmuch as infinite images 
are always departing and going from them, and infinite 
others, as it is probable, repair to them from the ambient 
air, filling up what was diminished from the mass, which is 
much diversified and transvasated, as it were, by this 
change, since those atoms which are in the very bottom of 
the said mass can never cease stirring and reciprocally 
beating upon one another ; as they themselves affirm. 
There is then in things such a diversity of substance 
But Epicurus is in this wiser and more learned than Plato, 
that he calls them all equally entia, — to wit, the impal 
pable voidness, the solid and resisting body, the principles, 


and the things composed of them, — and thinks that the 
eternal participates of the common substance with that 
which is generated, the immortal with the corruptible, and 
the natures that are impassible, perdurable, unchangeable, 
and that can never fall from their being, with those which 
have their essence in suffering and changing, and can 
never continue in one and the same state. But though 
Plato had with all the justness imaginable deserved to be 
condemned for having offended in this, yet should he have 
been sentenced by these gentlemen, who speak Greek 
more elegantly and discourse more correctly than he, only 
as having confounded the terms, and not as having taken 
away the things and driven life from us, because he named 
them Jientia (or things engendered), and not entia (things 
that have being), as these men do. 

17. But because we have passed over Socrates, who 
should have come next after Parmenides, we must now 
turn back our discourse to him. Him therefore has Colo- 
tes begun at the very first to remove, as the common prov- 
erb has it, from the sacred line ; and having mentioned 
how Chaerephon brought from Delphi an oracle, v»^ell 
known to us all, concerning Socrates, he says thus : *' Now 
as to this narration of Chaerephon's, because it is odious 
and absolutely sophistical, we will overpass it." Plato then, 
that we may say nothing of others, is also odious, who has 
committed it to writing ; and the Lacedaemonians are yet 
more odious, who reserve the oracle of Lycurgus amongst 
their most ancient and most authentic inscriptions. The 
oracle also of Themistocles, by which he persuaded the 
Athenians to quit their town, and in a naval fight defeated 
the barbarous Xerxes, was a sophistical fiction. Odious 
also were all the ancient legislators and founders of Greece, 
who established the most part of their temples, sacrifices, 
and solemn festivals by the answer of the Pythian Oracle. 
But if the oracle brought from Delphi concerning Socrates, 


a man ravished with a divine zeal to virtue, by which he is 
styled and declared wise, is odious, fictitious, and sophisti- 
cal, by what name shall we call your cries, noises, and 
shouts, your applauses, adorations and canonizations, with 
which you extol and celebrate him who incites and exhorts 
you to frequent and continual pleasures 1 For thus has he 
written in his epistle to Anaxarchus : " I for my part in 
cite and call you to continual pleasures, and not to vain and 
empty virtues, which have nothing but turbulent hopes of 
uncertain fruits." And yet Metrodorus, writing to Timar- 
chus, says : '• Let us do some extraordinarily excellent 
thing, not suffering ourselves to be plunged in reciprocal 
aflections, but retiring from this low and terrestrial life, and 
elevating ourselves to the truly holy and divinely revealed 
ceremonies and mysteries of Epicurus." And even Colotes 
himself, hearing one day Epicurus discoursing of natural 
things, fell suddenly at his feet and embraced his knees, as 
Epicurus himself, glorying in it, thus writes : " For as if 
you had adored what we were then saying, you were sud- 
denly taken with a desire, proceeding not from any natural 
cause, to come to us, prostrate yourself on the ground, em 
brace our knees, and use all those gestures to us which are 
ordinarily practised by those who adore and pray to the 
Gods. So that you made us also," says he, " reciprocally 
sanctify and adore you." Those, by Jupiter, well deserve 
to be pardoned, who say, they would willingly give any 
money for a picture in which should be presented to the 
life this fine story of one lying prostrate at the knees and 
embracing the legs of another, who mutually again adores 
him and makes his devout prayers to him. Nevertheless 
this devout service, how well soever it was ordered and 
composed by Colotes, received not the condign fruit he ex- 
pected ; for he was not declared wise ; but it was only said 
to him : Go thy ways, and walk immortal ; and understand 
that we also are in like manner immortal. 


18. These men, knowing well in their consciences that 
they have used such fooUsh speeches, have had such 
motions, and such passions, dare nevertheless call others 
odious. And Colotes, having shown us these fine first- 
fruits and wise positions touching the natural senses, — that 
we eat meat, and not hay or forage ; and that when rivers 
are deep and great, we pass them in boats, but when shal- 
low and easily fordable, on foot, — cries out, "You use 
vain and arrogant speeches, O Socrates ; you say one thing 
to those who come to discourse with you, and practise an- 
other." Now I would fain know what these vain and 
arrogant speeches of Socrates were, since he ordinarily 
said that he knew nothing, that he was always learning, 
and that he went enquiring and searching after the truth. 
But if, O Colotes, you had happened on such expressions 
of Socrates as are those which Epicurus writ to Idomeneus, 
" Send me then the first-fruits for the entertainment of our 
sacred body, for ourself and for our children : for so it 
comes upon me to speak ; " what more arrogant and inso- 
lent words could you have used ] And yet that Socrates 
spake otherwise than he lived, you have wonderful proofs 
in his gests at Delium, at Potidaea, in his behavior during 
the time of the Thirty Tyrants, towards Archelaus, towards 
the people of Athens, in his poverty, and in his death. 
For are not these things beseeming and answerable to the 
doctrine of Socrates ? They would indeed, good sir, have 
been indubitable testimonies to show that he acted other- 
wise than he taught, if, having proposed pleasure for the 
end of life, he had led such a life as this. 

19. Thus much for the calumnies he has uttered against 
Socrates. Colotes besides perceives not that he is himself 
found guilty of the same offences in regard to proofs which 
he objects against Socrates. For this is one of the senten- 
ces and propositions of Epicurus, that none but the wise 
man ought irrevocably and unchangeably to be persuaded 


of any thing. Since then Colotes, even after those adora- 
tions he performed to Epicurus, became not one of the 
sages, let him first make these questions and interrogatories 
his own : How is it that being hungry he eats meat and 
not hay, and that he puts a robe about his body and not 
about a pillar, since he is not indubitably persuaded either 
that a robe is a robe or that meat is meat 1 But if he not 
only does these things, but also passes not over rivers, 
when they are great and high, on foot, and flies from 
wolves and serpents, not being irrevocably persuaded that 
any of these things is such as it appears, but yet doing 
every thing according to what appears to him ; so likewise 
the opinion of Socrates concerning the senses was no obsta- 
cle to him, but that he might in like manner make use of 
things as they appeared to him. For it is not likely that 
bread appeared bread and hay hay to Colotes, because he 
had read those holy rules of Epicurus wliich came down 
from heaven, while Socrates through his vanity took a 
fancy that hay was bread and bread hay. For these wise 
men use better opinions and reasons than we ; but to have 
sense, and to receive an impression from things as they ap- 
pear, is common as well to the ignorant as to the wise, as 
proceeding from causes where there needs not the dis- 
course of reason. And the proposition which affirms that 
the natural senses are not perfect, nor certain enough to 
cause an entire belief, hinders not that every thing may ap- 
pear to us ; but leaving us to make use of our senses in 
our actions according to that which appears, it permits us 
not so to give credit to them as if they were exactly true 
and without error. For it is sufficient that in what is 
necessary and commodious for use there is nothing better. 
But as for the science and knowledge which the soul of a 
philosopher desires to have concerning every thing, the 
senses have it not. 

20. But as to this. Colotes will farther give us occasion 


to speak of it hereafter, for he brings this objection against 
several others. Furthermore, whereas he profusely derides 
and despises Socrates for asking what man is, and in a 
youthful bravery (as he terms it) affirming that he was 
ignorant of it, it is manifest that he himself, who scoffs at 
it, never so much as thought of this matter ; but Heraclitus 
on the contrary, as having done some great and worthy 
thing, said, I have been seeking myself. And of the 
sentences that were written in Apollo's temple at Delphi, 
the most excellent and most divine seems to have been this, 
Know thyself. And this it was which gave Socrates an 
occasion and beginning of doubting and enquiring into it, 
as Aristotle says in his Platonics. And yet this appears to 
Colotes ridiculous and fit to be scoffed at. And I wonder 
that he derides not also his master himself, who does as 
much whenever he writes concerning the substance of the 
soul and the origin of man. For if that which is com- 
pounded of both, as they themselves hold, — of the body, 
to wit, and the soul, — is man, he who searches into the 
nature of the soul consequently also searches into the na- 
ture of man, beginning from his chiefest principle. Now 
that the soul is very difficult to be comprehended by rea- 
son, and altogether incomprehensible by the exterior senses, 
let us not learn from Socrates, who is a vain-glorious and 
sophistical disputer, but let us take it from these wise men, 
who, having forged and framed the substance of the soul 
of somewhat hot, spiritual, and aerial, as far as to her 
faculties about the flesh, by which she gives heat, softness 
and strength to the body, proceed not to that which is the 
principal, but give over faint and tired by the way. For 
that by which she judges, remembers, loves, hates, — in 
a word, that which is prudent and rational, is, — say they, 
made afterwards of I know not what nameless quality. 
Now we well know, that this nameless thing is a confession 
of their shameful ignorance, whilst they pretend they can- 


not name what they are not able to understand or compre- 
hend. But let this, as they say, be pardoned them. For 
it seems not to be a light and easy matter, which every one 
can at the first attempt find out and attain to, but has re- 
tired itself to the bottom of some very remote place, and 
there lies obscurely concealed. So that there is not, 
amongst so many words and terms as are in use, any one 
that can explain or show it. Socrates therefore was not a 
fool or blockhead for seeking and searching what himself 
was ; but they are rather to be thought shallow coxcombs, 
who enquire after any other thing before this, the knowl- 
edge of which is so necessary and so hard to find. For 
how could he hope to gain the knowledge of other things, 
who has not been able to comprehend the principal part 
even of himself? 

21. But granting a little to Colotes, that there is nothing 
so vain, useless, and odious as the seeking into one's self, 
let us ask him, what confusion of human life is in this, 
and how it is that a man cannot continue to live, when he 
comes once thus to reason and discourse in himself: " Go 
to now, what am 1 1 Am I a composition, made up of 
soul and body ; or rather a soul, serving itself and making 
use of the body, as an horseman using his horse is not a 
subject composed of horse and man? Or is every one of 
us the principal part of the soul, by which we understand, 
reason, and act ; and are all the other parts, both of soul 
and body, only organs and utensils of this power? Or, to 
conclude, is there no proper substance of the soul at all 
apart, but is only the temperature and complexion of the 
body so disposed, that it has force and power to understand 
and live ? " But Socrates does not by these questions over- 
throw human life, since all natural philosophers treat of 
the same matter. But those perhaps are the monstrous 
questions and enquiries that turn every thing upside down, 
which are in Phaedrus,* where he says, that every one 

* Plato, Phaedrus, p. 230 A. 


ought to examine and consider himself, whether he is a 
savage beast, more cautelous, outrageous, and furious than 
ever was the monster Typhon ; or on the contrary, an 
animal more mild and gentle, partaking by Nature of a 
certain divine portion, and such as is free from pride. 
Now by these discourses and reasonings he overturns not 
the life of man, but drives from it presumption and arro- 
gance, and those haughty and extravagant opinions and 
conceits he has of himself. For this is that monster 
Typhon, which your teacher and master has made to be 
so great in you by his warring against the Gods and divine 

22. Having done with Socrates and Plato, he next at- 
tacks Stilpo. Now as for those his true doctrines and good 
discourses, by which he managed and governed himself, 
his country, his friends, and such kings and princes as 
loved him and esteemed him, he has not written a word ; 
nor yet what prudence and magnanimity was in his heart, 
accompanied with meekness, moderation, and modesty. 
But having made mention of one of those little sentences 
he was wont in mirth and raillery to object against the 
sophisters, he does, without alleging any reason against it 
or solving the subtlety of the objection, stir up a terrible 
tragedy against Stilpo, saying that the life of man is sub- 
verted by him, inasmuch as he affirms that one thing can- 
not be predicated of another. '• For how," says he, " shall 
we live, if we cannot style a man good, nor a man a cap- 
tain, but must separately name a man a man, good good, 
and a captain a captain ; nor can say ten thousand horse- 
men, or a fortified town, but only call horsemen horsemen, 
and ten thousand ten thousand, and so of the rest 1 " Now 
what man ever was there that lived the worse for this ? 
Or who is there that, hearing this discourse, does not im- 
mediately perceive and understand it to be the speech of a 
man who rallies gallantly, and proposes to others this 


logical question for the exercise of their wits ? It is not, 
O Colotes, a great and dangerous scandal not to call man 
good, or not to say ten thousand horsemen ; but not to call 
God God, and not to believe him to be God, — as you and 
the rest do, who will not confess that there is a Jupiter 
presiding over generation, or a Ceres giving laws, or a 
Neptune fostering the plants, — it is this separation of 
names that is pernicious, and fills our life with audacious- 
ness and an atheistical contempt of the Gods. When you 
pluck from the Gods the names and appellations that are 
tied to them, you abolish also the sacrifices, mysteries, 
processions, and feasts. For to whom shall we offer the 
sacrifices preceding the tilling of the ground 1 To whom 
those for the obtaining of preservation? Plow shall we 
celebrate the Phosphoria, or torch-festivals, the Bacchanals, 
and the ceremonies that go before marriage, if we admit 
neither Bacchantes, Gods of light, Gods who protect the 
sown field, nor preservers of the state ? For this it is that 
touches the principal and greatest points, being an error 
in things, — not in words, in the structure of proposi- 
tions, or use of terms. 

Now if these are the things that disturb and subvert 
human life, who are there that more offend and fail in 
language than you ? For you take utterly away the whole 
class of namable things, which constitute the essence of 
language ; and leave only words and their accidental ob- 
jects, while you take away in the mean time the things 
particularly signified by them, by which are wrought dis- 
ciplines, doctrines, preconceptions, intelligences, inclina- 
tion, and assent, which you hold to be nothing at all. 

23. But as for Stilpo, thus his argument stands. " If 
of a man we predicate good, and of an horse running, the 
predicate or thing predicated is not the same with the sub- 
ject or that of which it is predicated, but the essential 
definition of man is one, and of good another. And again, 


to be a horse differs from to be running. For being asked 
the definition of the one and of the other, we do not give 
the same for them both ; and therefore those err who 
predicate the one of the other. For if good is the same 
with man, and to run the same with a horse, how is good 
affirmed also of food and medicine, and again (by Jupiter) 
to run of a Hon and a dog "? But if the predicate is differ- 
ent, then we do not rightly say that a man is good, and 
a horse runs." Now if Stilpo is in this exorbitant and 
grossly mistaken, not admitting any copulation of such 
things as are in the subject, or affirmed of the subject, 
with the subject itself; but holding that every one of them, 
if it is not absolutely one and the same thing with that to 
which it happens or of which it is spoken, ought not to be 
spoken or affirmed of it, — no, not even as an accident ; it 
is nevertheless manifest, that he was only offended with 
some words, and opposed the usual and accustomed manner 
of speaking, and not that he overthrew man's life, and 
turned his affairs upside down. 

24. Colotes then, having got rid of the old philosophers, 
turns to those of his own time, but without naming any 
of them ; though he would have done better either to have 
reproved by name these moderns, as he did the ancients, 
or else to have named neither of them. But he who has 
so often employed his pen against Socrates, Plato, and 
Parmenides, evidently demonstrates that it is through 
cowardice he dares not attack the living, and not for any 
modesty or reverence, of which he showed not the least 
sign to those who were far more excellent than these. 
But his meaning is, as I suspect, to assault the Cyrenaics 
first, and afterwards the Academics, who are followers of 
Arcesilaus. For it was these who doubted of all things ; 
but those, placing the passions and imaginations in them- 
selves, were of opinion that the belief proceeding from 
Ihem is not sufficient for the assuring and affirming of 


things ; but, as if it were in the siege of a town, abandon- 
ing what is without, they have shut themselves up in the 
passions, using only it seems, and not asserting it is, of 
things without. And therefore they cannot, as Colotes 
says of them, live or have the use of things. And then 
speaking comically of them, he adds : " These deny that 
there is a man, a horse, a wall ; but say that they them- 
selves (as it were) become walls, horses, men," or " are im- 
pressed with the images of walls, horses, or men." In 
which he first maliciously abuses the terms, as calumniators 
are usually wont to do. For though these things follow 
from the sayings of the Cyrenaics, yet he ought to have 
declared the fact as they themselves teach it. For they 
affirm that things then become sweet, bitter, lightsome, or 
dark, when each thing has in itself the natural unhindered 
efficacy of one of these impressions. But if honey is said 
to be sweet, an olive-branch bitter, hail cold, wine hot, and 
the nocturnal air dark, there are many beasts, things, and 
men that testify the contrary. For some have an aversion 
for honey, others feed on the branches of the olive-tree ; 
some are scorched by hail, others cooled with wine ; and 
there are some whose sight is dim in the sun but Avho see 
well by night. Wherefore opinion, containing itself with- 
in these impressions, remains safe and free from error ; 
but when it goes forth and attempts to be curious in judg- 
ing and pronouncing concerning exterior things, it often 
deceives itself, and opposes others, who from the same 
objects receive contrary impressions and different imagina- 

25. And Colotes seems properly to resemble those young 
children who are but beginning to learn their letters. For, 
being accustomed to learn them where thev see them in 
their own horn-books and primers, when they see them writ- 
ten anywhere else, they doubt and are troubled ; so those 
very discourses, which he praises and approves in the writ- 


ings of Epicurus, he neither understands nor knows again, 
when they are spoken by others. For those who say that 
the sense is truly informed and moulded when there is 
presented one image round and another broken, but nev- 
ertheless permit us not to pronounce that the tower is 
round and the oar broken, confirm their own passions and 
imaginations, but they will not acknowledge and confess 
that the things without are so affected. But as the Cyre- 
naics must say that they are imprinted with the figure of a 
horse or of a wall, but do not speak of the horse or tlie 
wall ; so also it is necessary to say that the sight is im- 
printed with a figure round or with three unequal sides, 
and not that the tower is in that manner triangular or 
round. For the image by which the sight is aff'ected is 
broken ; but the oar whence that image proceeds is not 
broken. Since then there is a diff"erence between the im- 
pression and the external subject, the belief must either 
remain in the impression, or else — if it maintains the 
being in addition to the appearing — be reproved and con 
vinced of untruth. And whereas they cry out and are 
offended in behalf of the sense, because the Cyrenaics say 
not that the thing without is hot, but that the impression 
made on the sense is such ; is it not the same with what is 
said touching the taste, when they say that the thing with- 
out is not sweet, but that some impression and motion 
about the sense is such 1 And for him who says that he 
has received the apprehension of an human form, but per- 
ceives not whether it is a man, whence has he taken occa- 
sion so to say ? Is it not from those who affirm that they 
receive an apprehension of a bowed figure and form, but 
that the sight pronounces not that the thing which was 
seen is bowed or round, but that a certain effigies of it is 
such 1 Yes, by Jupiter, will some one say ; but I, going 
near the tower or touching the oar, will pronounce and 
affirm that the one is straight and the other has many an- 

voL. V. 24 


gles and faces ; but he, when he comes near it, will con- 
fess that it seems and appears so to him, and no more. 
Yes certainly, good sir, and more than this, when he sees 
and observes the consequence, that every imagination is 
equally worthy of belief for itself, and none for another ; but 
that they are all in like condition. But this your opinion 
is quite lost, that all the imaginations are true and none 
false or to be disbelieved, if you think that these ought to 
pronounce positively of that which is without, but those 
you credit no farther than that they are so affected. For 
if they are in equal condition as to their being believed, 
when they are near or when they are far off, it is just that 
either upon all of them, or else not upon these, should fol- 
low the judgment pronouncing that a thing is. But if 
there is a difference in the being affected between those 
that are near and those that are far off, it is then false 
that one sense and imagination is not more express and 
evident than another. Therefore those which they call tes- 
timonies and counter-testimonies are nothing to the sense, 
but are concerned only with opinion. So, if they would 
have us following these to pronounce concerning exterior 
things, making being a judgment of opinion, and what ap- 
pears an affection of sense, they transfer the judicature 
from that which is totally true to that which often fails. 

26. But how full of trouble and contradiction in respect 
of one another these things are, what need is there to say 
at present'? But the reputation of Arcesilaus, who was 
the best beloved and most esteemed of all the philosophers 
in his time, seems to have been no small eyesore to Epi 
curus ; who says of him that, delivering nothing peculiai 
to himself or of his own invention, he imprinted in illiter- 
ate men an opinion and esteem of his being very knowing 
and learned. Now Arcesilaus was so far from desiring 
any glory by being a bringer-in of new opinions, and from 
arrogating to himself those of the ancients, that the so- 


phisters of that time blamed him for attributing to So- 
crates, Plato, Parmenides, and Heraclitus the doctrines 
concerning the retention of assent, and the incomprehen- 
sibility of things ; having no need so to do, but only that 
he might strengthen them and render them recommendable 
by ascribing them to such illustrious personages. For this 
therefore thanks to Colotes, and to every one who declares 
that the Academic doctrine was from higher times derived 
to Arcesilaus. Now as for the retention of assent and the 
doubting of all things, not even those who have much la- 
bored in the matter, and strained themselves to compose 
great books and large treatises concerning it, were ever able 
to stir it; but bringing at last out of the Stoa itself the 
cessation from all actions, as the Gorgon to frighten away 
the objections that came against them, they were at last 
quite tired and gave over. For they could not, what at- 
tempts and stirs soever they made, obtain so much from 
the instinct by which the appetite is moved to act, as to 
suffer itself to be called an assent, or to acknowledge sense 
for the origin and principle of its propension, but it ap- 
peared of its own accord to present itself to act, as hav- 
ing no need to be joined with any thing else. For against 
such adversaries the combat and dispute is lawful and 
just. And 

Such words as you have spoke, the like you may 
Expect to hear.* 

For to speak to Colotes of instinct and consent is, I sup- 
pose, all one as to play on the harp before an ass. But to 
those who can give ear and conceive, it is said that there 
are in the soul three sorts of motions, — the imaginative, 
the appetitive, and the consenting. As to the imagina- 
tive or the apprehension, it cannot oe taken away, though 
one would. For one cannot, when things approach, avoid 
being informed and (as it were) moulded by them, and re- 

• n. XX. 260. 


ceiving an impression from them. The appetite, being 
stirred up by the imaginative, effectually moves man to 
that which is proper and agreeable to his nature, just as 
when there is made a propension and inclination in the 
principal and reasonable part. Now those who withhold 
their assent and doubt of all things take not away this, 
but make use of the appetition or instinct naturally con- 
ducting every man to that which seems convenient for 
him. AVhat then is the only thing that they shun ? That 
in which is bred falsehood and deceit, — that is, opining, 
and precipitation in giving consent, — which is a yielding 
through weakness to that which appears, and has not any 
true utility. For action stands in need of two things, to 
wit, the apprehension or imagination of what is agreeable 
to Nature, and the instinct or appetition driving to that 
which is so imagined ; of which, neither the one nor the 
other is repugnant to the retention of assent. For reason 
withdraws us from opinion, and not from appetition or 
imagination. When therefore that which is delectable 
seems to us to be proper for us, there is no need of opinion 
to move and carry us to it, but appetition immediately ex- 
erts itself, which is nothing else but the motion and incli- 
nation of the soul. 

27. It is their own saying, that a man must only have 
sense and be flesh and blood, and pleasure will appear 
to be good. Wherefore also it will seem good to him who 
withholds his assent. For he also participates of sense, 
and is made of flesh and blood, and as soon as he has con- 
ceived an imagination of good, desires it and does all 
things that it may not escape from him ; but as much as 
possibly he can, he will keep himself with that which is 
agreeable to his nature, being drawn by natural and not by 
geometrical constraints. For these goodly, gentle, and 
tickling motions of the flesh are, without any teacher, 
attractive enough of themselves — even as these men for- 


get not to say — to draw even him who will not in the 
least acknowledge and confess that he is softened and ren- 
dered pliable by them. " But how comes it to pass," per- 
haps you will say, " that he who is thus doubtful and 
withholds his assent hastens not away to the mountain, 
instead of going to the bath ] Or that, rising up to go 
foitti into the market-place, he runs not his head against 
the wall, but takes his way directly to the door?" Do you 
ask this, who hold all the senses to be infallible, and the 
apprehensions of the imagination certain and true ? It is 
because the bath appears to him not a mountain, but a 
bath ; and the door seems not a wall, but a door ; and the 
same is to be said of every other thing. For the doctrine 
of retention does not pervert the sense, nor by absurd 
passions and motions work in it an alteration disturbing 
the imaginative faculty ; but it only takes away opinions, 
and for the rest, makes use of other things according to 
their nature. 

But it is impossible, you will say, not to consent to 
things that are evident ; for to deny such things as are 
believed is more absurd than neither to deny nor affirm. 
Who then are they that call in question things believed, 
and contend against things that are evident? They who 
overthrow and take away divination, who say that there is 
not any government of Divine Providence, who deny the 
sun and the moon — to whom all men offer sacrifices and 
whom they honor and adore — to be animated. And do 
not you take away that which is apparent to all the world, 
that the young are contained in the nature of their parents ? 
Do you not, contrary to the sense of all men, affirm that 
there is no medium between pleasure and pain, saying that 
not to be in pain is to be in the fruition of pleasure, 
that not to do is to suffer, and that not to rejoice is to be 
grieved ? 

28. But to let pass all the rest, what is more evident 


and more generally believed by all men, than that those 
who are seized with melancholy distempers, and whose 
brain is troubled and whose wits are distracted, do, when 
the fit is on them and their understanding altered and 
transported, imagine that they see and hear things which 
they neither see nor hear? Whence they frequently cry 

Women in black arrayed bear in their hands, 
To burn mine eyes, torches and fiery brands. 

And again : 

See, in her arms she holds my mother dear.* 

These, and many other illusions more strange and tragical 
than these, — resembling those mormos and bugbears 
which they themselves laugh at and deride, as they are 
described by Empedocles to be, " with winding feet and 
undivided hands, bodied like ox and faced like man," — 
with certain other prodigious and unnatural phantoms, 
these men have gathered together out of dreams and the 
alienations of distracted minds, and affirm that none of 
them is a deception of the sight, a falsity, or inconsistence ; 
but that all these imaginations are true, being bodies and 
figures that come from the ambient air. What thing then 
is there so impossible in Nature as to be doubted of, if it 
is possible to believe such reveries as these 1 For these 
men, supposing that such things as never any mask-maker, 
potter, carver of wonderful images, or skilful and all-daring 
painter durst join together, to deceive or make sport for 
the beholders, are seriously and in good earnest existent, — 
nay, which is more, affirming that, if they are not really 
so, all firmness of belief, all certainty of judgment and 
truth, is for ever gone, — do by these their suppositions 
and affirmations cast all things into obscurity, and bring 
fears into our judgments, and suspicions into our actions, 
— if the things which we apprehend, do, are familiarly 

* Eurip. Iph, Taur. 289. 


acquainted with, and have at hand are grounded on the 
same imagination and belief with these furious, absurd, 
and extravagant fancies. For the equality which they 
suppose to be in all apprehensions rather derogates from 
the credit of such as are usual and rational, than adds any 
belief to those that are unusual and repugnant to reason. 
Wherefore we know many philosophers who would rather 
and more willingly grant that no imagination is true than 
that all are so, and that would rather simply disbelieve all 
the men they never had conversed with, all the things they 
had not experimented, and all the speeches they had not 
heard with their own ears, than persuade themselves that 
any one of these imaginations, conceived by these frantic, 
fanatical, and dreaming persons, is true. Since then there 
are some imaginations which may, and others which may 
not be rejected, it is lawful for us to retain our assent con- 
cerning them, though there were no other cause but this 
discordance, which is sufficient to work in us a suspicion 
of things, as having nothing certain and assured, but being 
altogether full of obscurity and perturbation. For in the 
dissensions about the infinity of worlds and the nature of 
atoms and individuums and their inclinations, although 
they trouble and disturb very many, there is yet this com- 
fort, that none of all these things that are in question is 
near us, but rather every one of them is far remote from 
sense. But as to this diffidence, perplexity, and ignorance 
concerning sensible things and imaginations (whether these 
be true or false), found even in our eyes, our ears, and our 
hands, what opinion does it not shock? What consent 
does it not turn upside down ? For if men neither drunk, 
intoxicated, nor otherwise disturbed in their senses, but 
sober, sound in mind, and professedly writing of the truth 
and of the canons and rules by which to judge it, do in 
the most evident passions and motions of the senses set 
down either that which has no existence for true, or that 


which is existent for false, it is not to be wondered that a 
man should be silent about all things, but rather that he 
should give his assent to any thing ; nor is it incredible 
that he should have no judgment about things which ap- 
pear, but rather that he should have contrary judgments. 
For it is less to be wondered, that a man should neither 
affirm the one nor the other but keep himself in a mean 
between two opposite things, than that he should set down 
things repugnant and contrary to one another. For he 
that neither affirms nor denies, but keeps himself quiet, is 
less repugnant to him who affirms an opinion than he who 
denies it, and to him who denies an opinion than he who 
affirms it. Now if it is possible to withhold one's assent 
concerning these things, it is not impossible also concern- 
ing others, at least according to your opinion, who say that 
one sense does not exceed another, nor one imagination 

29. The doctrine then of retaining the assent is not. as 
Colotes thinks, a fable or an invention of rash and light- 
headed young men who please themselves in babbling 
and prating ; but a certain habit and disposition of men 
who desire to keep themselves from falling into error, not 
leaving the judgment at a venture to such suspected and 
inconstant senses, nor suffering themselves to be deceived 
by those who hold that in uncertain matters things which 
do not appear are credible and ought to be believed, when 
they see so great obscurity and uncertainty in things which 
appear. But the infinity you assert is a fable, and so indeed 
are the images you dream of; and he breeds in young men 
rashness and self-conceitedness, who writ of Pythocles, not 
yet eighteen years of age, that there was not in all Greece 
a better or more excellent nature, that he admirably well 
expressed his conceptions, and that he was in other re- 
spects like a woman, — praying that all these extraordinary 
endowments of the young man might not work him hatred 


and envy. But these are sophisters and arrogant, who 
write so impudently and proudly against great and excel- 
lent personages. I confess indeed, that Plato, Aristotle, 
Theophrastus, and Democritus contradicted those who 
went before them ; but never durst any man besides 
Colotes set forth with such an insolent title as this against 
all at once. 

30. Whence it comes to pass that, like to such as have 
offended some Divinity, confessing his fault, he says thus 
towards the end of his book : " Those who have estab- 
lished laws and ordinances and instituted monarchies and 
other governments in towns and cities, have placed human 
life in great repose and security and delivered it from 
many troubles ; and if any one should go about to take 
this away, we should lead the life of savage beasts, and 
should be every one ready to eat up one another as we 
meet." For these are the very words of Colotes, though 
neither justly nor truly spoken. For if any one, taking 
away the laws, should leave us nevertheless the doctrines 
of Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, and Heraclitus, we should 
be far from mutually devouring one another and leading 
the life of beasts. For we should fear dishonest things, 
and should for honesty alone venerate justice, the Gods, 
our superiors, and magistrates, believing that we have 
spirits and Daemons who are the guardians and superin- 
tendents of human life, esteeming all the gold that is upon 
and within the earth not to be equivalent to virtue ; and 
doing that willingly by reason, as Xenocrates says, which 
we now do by force and through fear of the law. When 
then will our life become savage, unsocial, and bestial? 
When, the laws being taken away, there shall be left doc- 
trines inciting men to pleasure ; when the world shall be 
thought not to be ruled and governed by Divine Provi- 
dence ; when those men shall be esteemed wise who spit 
at honesty if it is not joined with pleasure ; and when such 


discourses and sentences as these shall be scoffed at and 
derided : 

For Justice has an eye which all things sees ; 

and again : 

God near us stands, and views whate'er we do ; 

and once more : " God, as antiquity has delivered to us, 
holding the beginning, middle, and end of the universe, 
makes a direct line, walking according to Nature. After 
him follows Justice, a punisher of those who have been 
deficient in their duties by transgressing the divine law." 

For they who contemn these things as if they were 
fables, and think that the sovereign good of man consists 
about the belly, and in those other avenues by which 
pleasure is admitted, are such as stand in need of the law, 
and fear, and stripes, and some king, prince, or magistrate, 
having in his hand the sword of justice ; to the end that 
they may not devour their neighbors through their glut- 
tony, rendered confident by their atheistical impiety. For 
this is the life of brutes, because brute beasts know nothing 
better nor more honest than pleasure, understand not the 
justice of the Gods, nor revere the beauty of virtue ; but 
if Nature has bestowed on them any point of courage, 
subtlety, or activity, they make use of it for the satisfaction 
of their fleshly pleasure and the accomplishment of their 
lusts. And the wise Metrodorus believes that this should 
be so, for he says : " All the fine, subtle, and ingenious in- 
ventions of the soul have been found out for the pleasure 
and delight of the flesh, or for the hopes of attaining to it 
and enjoying it, and every act which tends not to this end is 
vain and unprofitable." The laws being by such discourses 
and philosophical reasons as these taken away, there wants 
nothing to a beast-like life but lions' paws, wolves' teeth, 
oxen's paunches, and camels' necks ; and these passions 
and doctrines do the beasts themselves, for want of speech 


and letters, express by their bellowings, neigliiugs, and bray- 
ings, all their voice being for their belly and the pleasure 
of their flesh, which they embrace and rejoice in either 
present or future ; unless it be perhaps some animal which 
naturally takes delight in chattering and garrulity. 

31. No sufficient praise therefore or equivalent to their 
deserts can be given those who, for the restraining of such 
bestial passions, have set down laws, established policy and 
government of state, instituted magistrates and ordained 
good and wholesome laws. But who are they that utterly 
confound and abolish this ? Are they not those who withdraw 
themselves and their followers from all part in the govern- 
ment ? Are they not those who say that the garland of tran- 
quillity and a repos6d life are far more valuable than all the 
kingdoms and principalities in the world] Are they not those 
who declare that reigning and being a king is a mistaking 
the path and straying from the right way of felicity ? And 
they write in express terms : " We are to treat how a man 
may best keep and preserve the end of Nature, and how 
he may from the very beginning avoid entering of his own 
free will and voluntarily upon offices of magistracy, and 
government over the people." And yet again, these other 
words are theirs : " There is no need at all that a man 
should tire out his mind and body to preserve the Greeks, 
and to obtain from them a crown of wisdom ; but to eat 
and drink well, O Timocrates, without prejudicing, but 
rather pleasing the flesh." And yet in the constitution of 
laws and policy, which Colotes so much praises, the first 
and most important article is the belief and persuasion of 
the Gods. Wherefore also Lycurgus heretofore sancti- 
fied the Lacedaemonians, Numa the Romans, the ancient 
Ion the Athenians, and Deucalion universally all the 
Greeks, through prayers, oaths, oracles, and omens, render- 
ing them devout and affectionate to the Gods by means 
of hopes and fears at once, xlnd if you will take the 


pains to travel through the world, you may find towns and 
cities without walls, without letters, without kings, without 
houses, without wealth, without money, without theatres 
and places of exercise ; but there was never seen nor shall 
be seen by man any city without temples and Gods, or 
without making use of prayers, oaths, divinations, and sac- 
rifices for the obtaining of blessings and benefits, and the 
averting of curses and calamities. Nay, I am of opinion, 
that a city might sooner be built without any ground to fix 
it on, than a commonweal be constituted altogether void 
of any religion and opinion of the Gods, — or being consti- 
tuted, be preserved. But this, which is the foundation 
and ground of all laws, do these men, not going circularly 
about, nor secretly and by enigmatical speeches, but attack- 
ing it with the first of their most principal opinions, di- 
rectly subvert and overthrow ; and then afterwards, as if 
they were haunted by the Furies, they come and confess 
that they have grievously ofi"ended in thus taking away the 
laws, and confounding the ordinances of justice and policy, 
that they may not be capable of pardon. For to err in 
opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least 
human ; but to impute to others the errors and ofi"ences 
they commit themselves, how can any one declare what it 
is, if he forbears to give it the name it deserves ? 

32. For if, in writing against Antidorus or Bion the 
sophister, he had made mention of laws, policy, order, and 
justice, might not either of them have said to him, as 
Electra did to her mad brother Orestes : 

Lie still at ease, poor wretch ; keep in thy bed,* 

and there cherish thy bit of flesh, leaving those to expostu- 
late and find fault with me who have themselves lived a 
civil and domestic life 1 Now such are all those whom 
Colotes has reviled and railed at in his book. Amongst 

♦ Eurip. Orest. 258. 


whom, Democritus in his writings advises and exhorts to 
the learning of political science, as being the greatest of 
all, and to the accustoming one's self to bear fatigues, by 
which men attain to great wealth and honor. And as for 
Parmenides, he beautified and adorned his native country 
with most excellent laws which he there established, so 
that even to this day the officers every year, when they 
enter first on the exercise of their charges, are obliged to 
swear that they will observe the laws and ordinances of 
Parmenides. Empedocles brought to justice some of the 
principal of his city, and caused them to be condemned for 
their insolent behavior and embezzling of the public treas- 
ure, and also delivered his country from sterility and the 
plague — to which calamities it was before subject — by 
immuring and stopping up the holes of certain mountains, 
whence there issued an hot south wind, which overspread 
all the plain country and blasted it. And Socrates, after 
he was condemned, when his friends offered him, if he 
pleased, an opportunity of making his escape, absolutely 
refused to make use of it, that he might maintain the au- 
thority of the laws, choosing rather to die unjustly than to 
save himself by disobeying the laws of his country. Melis- 
sus, being captain general of his country, vanquished the 
Athenians in a battle at sea. Plato left in his writinsfs ex- 
cellent discourses concerning the laws, government, and 
policy of a commonweal ; and yet he imprinted much bet- 
ter in the hearts and minds of his disciples and familiars, 
which caused Sicily to be delivered by Dion, and Thrace 
to be set at liberty by Pytho and Heraclides, who slew 
C( tys. Chabrias also and Phocion, those two great gener- 
als of the Athenians, came out of the Academy. As for 
Epicurus, he indeed sent certain persons into Asia to chide 
Timocrates, and had him removed out of the king's palace, 
because he had offended his brother Metrodorus ; and this 
is written in their own books. But Plato sent of his disci- 


pies and friends, Aristonymus to the Arcadians, to set in 
order their commonweal, Phormio to the Eleans, and 
Menedemus to the Pyrrhaeans. Eudoxus gave laws to the 
Cnidians, and Aristotle to the Stagirites, who Avere both of 
them the intimates of Plato. And Alexander the Great 
demanded of Xenocrates rules and precepts for reigning 
well. And he who was sent to the same Alexander by the 
Grecians dwelling in Asia, and who most of all inflamed 
and stimulated him to embrace and undertake the war 
against the barbarian king of Persia, was Delius the 
Ephesian. one of Plato's familiars. Zeno, the disciple of 
Parmenides, having attempted to kill the tyrant Demylus, 
and failing in his design, maintained the doctrine of Par 
menides, like pure and fine gold tried in the fire, that there 
is nothing which a magnanimous man ought to dread but 
dishonor, and that there are none but children and women, 
or eff'eminate and women-hearted men, who fear pain. 
For, having with his own teeth bitten ofi" his tongue, he 
spit it in the tyrant's face. 

33. But out of the school of Epicurus, and from among 
those who follow bis doctrine, I will not ask what tyrant- 
killer has proceeded, nor yet what man valiant and victori- 
ous in feats of arms, what lawgiver, what prince, what 
counsellor, or what governor of the people ; neither will I 
demand, who of them has been tormented or has died for 
supporting right and justice. But which of all these sages 
has for the benefit and service of his country undertaken 
so much as one voyage at sea, gone of an embassy, or ex- 
pended a sum of money "? What record is there extant of 
one civil action in matter of government, performed by any 
of you ? And yet, because Metrodorus went down one day 
from the city as far as the haven of Piraeus, taking a 
journey of forty stadia to assist Mithres a Syrian, one of 
the king of Persia's court who had been arrested and 
taken prisoner, he writ of it to every one and in all his 


letters, Epicurus also highly magnifying and extolling this 
wonderful voyage. What value then, think you, would 
they have put upon it, if they had done such an act as 
Aristotle did, who procured the restoration and rebuilding 
of Stagira, the town of his nativity, after it had been de- 
stroyed by King Philip ? Or as Theophrastus, who twice 
delivered his city, when possessed and held by tyrants'? 
Would not the river Nile sooner have given over to bear 
the paper-reed, than they have been weary of writing their 
brave exploits? 

And it is not the greatest indignity, that, of so many 
sects of philosophers as have been extant, they alone 
should enjoy the benefits that are in cities, without hav'ng 
ever contributed to them any thing of their own ; but far 
worse is it that, while there are not even any tragical or 
comical poets who do not always endeavor to do or say 
some good thing or other in defence of the laws and policy, 
these men, if peradventure they write, write of policy, that 
we may not concern ourselves in the government of the 
commonweal, — of rhetoric, that we may not perform an 
act of eloquence, — and of royalty, that we may shun the 
living and conversing with kings. Nor do they ever name 
any of those great personages who have intermeddled in 
civil aifairs, but only to scoff at them and abolish their 
glory. Thus they say that Epaminondas had something of 
good, but that very little, or iiiH>t6v, for that is the very word 
they use. They moreover call him iron-hearted, and ask 
what ailed him that he went marching his army through 
all Peloponnesus, and why he did not rather keep himself 
quiet at home with a night-cap on his head, employed only 
in cherishing and making much of his belly. But methinks 
I ought not in this place to omit what Metrodorus writ in 
his book of Philosophy, when, utterly abjuring all meddling 
in the management of the state, he said thus : " Some, 
through an abundance of vanity and arrogance, have so 


deep an insight into the business of it, that in treating 
about the precepts of good life and virtue, they suffer them- 
selves to be carried away with the very same desires as 
were Lycurgus and Solon." What is this ? Was it then 
vanity and abundance of vanity, to set free the city of 
Athens, to render Sparta well-policied and governed by 
wholesome laws, that young men might do nothing licen- 
tiously, nor get children upon common courtesans and 
whores, and that riches, delights, intemperance, and dis- 
solution might no longer bear sway and have command in 
cities, but law and justice? For these were the desires of 
Solon. To this Metrodorus, by way of scorn and con- 
tumely, adds this conclusion : " It is then very well be- 
seeming a free-born gentleman to laugh heartily, as at other 
men, so especially at these Solons and Lycurguses." But 
such a one, O Metrodorus, is not a gentleman, but a servile 
and dissolute person, and deserves to be scourged, not with 
that whip which is for free-born persons, but with that 
scourge strung with ankle-bones, with which those gelded 
sacrificers called Galli were wont to be chastised, when 
they failed of performing their duty in the ceremonies and 
sacrifices of the Goddess Cybele, the great Mother of the 

34. But that they made war not against the lawgivers 
but against the laws themselves, one may hear and under- 
stand from Epicurus. For in his questions, he asks him- 
self, whether a wise man, being assured that it will not bo 
known, will do any thing that the laws forbid. To which 
he answers : " That is not so easy to determine simply," — 
that is, " I will do it indeed, but I am not willing to con- 
fess it." And again, I suppose, writing to Idomeneus, he 
exhorts him not to make his life a slave to the laws or to 
the opinions of men, unless it be to avoid the trouble they 
prepare, by the scourge and chastisement, so near at hand. 
If then those who abolish the laws, governments, and 


policies of men subvert and destroy human life, and if 
Metrodorus and Epicurus do this, by dehorting and with- 
drawing their friends from concerning themselves in public 
affairs, by hating those who intermeddle in them, by revil- 
ing the first most wise lawgivers, and by advising con- 
tempt of the laws provided there is no fear and danger of 
the whip and punishment, I do not see that Colotes has 
brought so many false accusations against the other phi- 
losophers as he has alleged and advanced true ones against 
the writings and doctrines of Epicurus. 

vox. V. 25 



L As for the messenger you despatched to tell me of 
the death of my little daughter, it seems he missed his 
way as he was going to Athens. But when I came to 
Tanagra, I heard of it by my niece. I suppose by this 
time the funeral is over. I wish that whatever has been 
done may create you no dissatisfaction, as well now as 
hereafter. But if you have designedly let any thing alone, 
depending upon my judgment, thinking better to deter- 
mine the point if I were with you, I pray let it be without 
ceremony and timorous superstition, which I know are far 
from you. 

2. Only, dear wife, let you and me bear our affliction 
with patience. I know very well and do comprehend what 
loss we have had ; but if I should find you grieve beyond 
measure, this would trouble me more than the thing itself. 
For I had my birth neither from a stock nor a stone ; * and 
you know it full well, I having been assistant to you in the 
education of so many children, which we brought up at 
home under our own care. This daughter was born after 
four sons, when you were longing to bear a daughter ; 
which made me call her by your own name. Therefore I 
know she was particularly dear to you. And grief must 
have a peculiar pungency in a mind tenderly affectionate 
to children, when you call to mind how naturally witty and 

* See II. XXTT. 126. 


innocent she was, void of anger, and not querulous. She 
was naturally mild, and compassionate to a miracle. And 
her gratitude and kindness not only gave us delight, but 
also manifested her generous nature ; for she would pray 
her nurse to give suck, not only to other children, but to 
her very playthings, as it were courteously inviting them 
to her table, and making the best cheer for them she 

3. Now, my dear wife, I see no reason why these and 
the like things, which delighted us so much when she 
was alive, should upon remembrance of them afflict us 
when she is dead. But I also fear lest, while we cease 
from sorrowing, we should forget her ; as Clymene said, 

I hate the handy horned bow, 

And banish youthful pastimes now ; 

because she would not be put in mind of her son by the 
exercises he had been used to. For Nature always shuns 
such things as are troublesome. But since our little 
daughter afforded all our senses the sweetest and most 
charming pleasure ; so ought we to cherish her memory, 
which will conduce many ways — or rather many fold — 
more to our joy than our grief. And it is but just, that 
the same arguments which we have oft-times used to others 
should prevail upon ourselves at this so seasonable a time, 
and that we should not supinely sit down and overwhelm 
the joys which we have tasted with a multiplicity of new 

4. Moreover, they who were present at the funeral re- 
port this with admiration, that you neither put on mourn- 
ing, nor disfigured yourself or any of your maids ; neither 
were there any costly preparations nor magnificent pomp ; 
but all things were managed with silence and modera- 
tion in the presence of our relatives alone. And it 
seemed not strange to me that you, who never used richly 


to dress yourself for the theatre or other public solemni- 
ties, esteeming such magnificence vain and useless even 
in matters of delight, have now practised frugality on 
this sad occasion. For a virtuous woman ought not only 
to preserve her purity in riotous feasts, but also to think 
thus with herself, that the tempest of the mind in violent 
grief must be calmed by patience, which does not intrench 
on the natural love of parents towards their children, as 
many think, but only struggles against the disorderly and 
irregular passions of the mind. For we allow this love 
of children to discover itself in lamenting, wishing for, 
and longing after them when they are dead. But the ex- 
cessive inclination to grief, which carries people on to 
unseemly exclamations and furious behavior, is no less 
culpable than luxurious intemperance. Yet reason seems 
to plead in its excuse ; because, instead of pleasure, grief 
and sorrow are ingredients of the crime. What can be 
more irrational, I pray, than to check excessive laughter 
and joy, and yet to give a free course to rivers of tears 
and sighs, which flow from the same fountain'? Or, as 
some do, quarrel with their wives for using artificial helps 
to beauty, and in the mean time suffer them to shave theii 
heads, wear the mournful black, sit disconsolate, and lie in 
pain? And, which is worst of all, if their wives at any 
time chastise their servants or maids immoderately, they 
will interpose and hinder them, but at the same time suf- 
fering them to torment and punish themselves most 
cruelly, in a case which peculiarly requires their great- 
est tenderness and humanity ? 

5. But between us, dear wife, there never was any 
occasion for such contests, nor, I think, will there ever 
be. For there is no philosopher of our acquaintance 
who is not in love with your frugality, both in apparel and 
diet ; nor a citizen, to whom the simplicity and plainness 
of your dress is not conspicuous, both at religious sacrifices 


and public shows in the theatre. Formerly also you dis- 
covered on the like occasion a great constancy of mind, 
when you lost your eldest son ; and again, when the 
lovely Chaeron left us. For I remember, when the news 
was brought me of my son's death, as I was returning 
home with some friends and guests who accomjDanied me 
to my house, when they beheld all things in order, and 
observed a profound silence everywhere, — as they after- 
wards declared to others, — they thought no such calamity 
had happened, but that the report was false. So discreetly 
had you settled the affairs of the house at that time, when 
no small confusion and disorder might have been expected. 
And yet you gave this son suck yourself, and endured the 
lancing of your breast, to prevent the ill effects of a contu- 
sion. These are things worthy of a generous woman, and 
one that loves her children. 

6. Whereas, we see most other women receive their 
children in their hands as playthings with a feminine 
mirth and jollity ; and afterwards, if they chance to die, 
they will drench themselves in the most vain and exces- 
sive sorrow. Not that this is any effect of their love, for 
that gentle passion acts regularly and discreetly ; but it 
rather proceeds from a desire of vain-glory, mixed with 
a little natural affection, which renders their mourning bar- 
barous, brutish, and extravagant. Which thing Aesop 
knew very well, when he told the story of Jupiter's giving 
honors to the Gods ; for, it seems, Grief also made her de- 
mands, and it was granted that she should be honored, but 
only by those who were willing of their own accord to do 
it. And indeed, this is the beginning of sorrow. Every- 
body first gives her free access ; and after she is once rooted 
and settled and become familiar, she will not be forced 
thence with their best endeavors. Therefore she must be 
resisted at her first approach ; nor must we surrender the 
fort to her by any exterior signs, whether of apparel, or 


shaving the hair, or any other such like symptoms of 
mournful weakness ; which happening daily, and wound- 
ing us by degrees with a kind of foolish bashfulness, at 
length do so enervate the mind, and reduce her to such 
straits, that quite dejected and besieged with grief, the 
poor timorous wretch dare not be merry, or see the light, 
or eat and drink in company. This inconvenience is ac- 
companied by a neglect of the body, carelessness of anoint- 
ing and bathing, with whatsoever else relates to the 
elegancy of human life. Whereas, on the contrary, the 
soul, when it is disordered, ought to receive aid from 
the vigor of a healthful body. For the sharpest edge of the 
soul's grief is rebated and slacked, when the body is in 
tranquillity and ease, like the sea in a calm. But where, 
from an ill course of diet, the body becomes dry and hot, 
so that it cannot supply the soul with commodious and 
serene spirits, but only breathes forth melancholy vapors 
and exhalations, which perpetually annoy her with grief 
and sadness ; there it is difficult for a man (though never so 
willing and desirous) to recover the tranquillity of his 
mind, after it has been disturbed with so many evil 

7. But that which is most to be dreaded in this case does 
not at all affrighten me, to wit, the visits of foolish women, 
and their accompanying you in your tears and lamenta- 
tions ; by which they sharpen your grief, not suffering it 
either of itself or by the help of others to fade and vanish 
away. For I am not ignorant how great a combat you 
lately entered, when you assisted the sister of Theon, and 
opposed the women who came running in with horrid cries 
and lamentations, bringing fuel as it were to her passion. 
Assuredly, when men see their neighbor's house on fire, 
every one contributes his utmost to quench it ; but when 
they see the mind inflamed with furious passion, they bring 
fuel to nourish and increase the flame. When a man's 


eye is in pain, he is not suffered to touch it, though the 
inflammation provoke him to it, nor will they that are near 
him meddle with it. But he who is galled with grief sits 
and exposes his distemper to every one, like waters that 
all may poach in ; and so that which at fkst seemed a light 
itching or trivial smart, by much fretting and provoking, 
becomes a great and almost incurable disease. But I 
know very well that you will arm yourself against these 

8. Moreover, I would have you endeavor to call often to 
mind that time when our daughter was not as yet born to 
us, and when we had no cause to complain of Fortune. 
Then, joining that time with this, argue thus with your- 
self, that we are now in the same condition as then. 
Otherwise, dear wife, we shall seem discontented at the 
bhth of our little daughter, if we own that our circum- 
stances were better before her birth. But the two years 
of her life are by no means to be forgotten by us, but to 
be numbered amongst our blessings, in that they afforded 
us an agreeable pleasure. Nor must we esteem a small 
good for a great evil ; nor ungratefully complain against 
Fortune for what she has actually given us, because she 
has not added what we wished for. Certainly, to speak 
reverently of the Gods, and to bear our lot with an even 
mind Avithout accusing Fortune, always brings with it a 
fair reward. But he who in such a case calls prosperous 
things to mind, and turning his thoughts from dark and 
melancholy objects, fixes them on bright and cheerful ones, 
will either quite extinguish his grief, or by allaying it with 
contrary sentiments, will render it weak and feeble. For, 
as perfumes bring delight to the nose, and arm it against 
ill scents, so the remembrance of happiness gives necessary 
assistance in adversity to those who avoid not the recollec- 
tion of their past prosperity nor complain at all against 
Fortune. For certainly it would little become us to accuse 


our life, if like a book it hath but one little blot in it, 
though all the rest be fair and clean. 

9. For you have oftentimes heard, that true happiness 
consists in the right discourses and counsels of the mind, 
tending to its own constant establishment, and that the 
changes of Fortune are of no great importance to the feli- 
city of our life. But even if we must also be governed by 
exterior things, and with the common sort of people have 
a regard to casualties, and suffer any kind of men to be 
judges of our happiness, however, do not you take notice 
of the tears and moans of such as visit you at present, 
condoling your misfortunes ; for their tears and sighs are 
but of course. But rather, do you consider how happy 
every one of them esteems you for the children you have, 
the house you keep, and the life you lead. For it would 
be an ill thing, while others covet your fortune, though 
sullied with this affliction, that you should exclaim against 
what you enjoy, and not be sensible, from the taste of 
affliction, how grateful you ought to be for the happiness 
which remains untouched. Or, like some who, collecting 
all the defective verses of Homer, pass over at the same 
time so many excellent parts of his poems, so shall we 
peevishly complain of and reckon up the inconveniences 
of our life, neglecting at the same time promiscuously the 
benefits thereof? Or, shall we imitate covetous and sordid 
misers, who, having heaped together much riches, never 
enjoy what they have in possession, but bewail it if it 
chance to be lost? 

But if you lament the poor girl because she died unmar- 
ried and without offspring, you have wherewithal to com- 
fort yourself, in that you are defective in none of these 
things, having had your share. And these are not to be 
esteemed at once great evils where they are wanted, and 
small benefits where they are enjoyed. But so long as she 
is gone to a place where she feels no pain, what need is 


there of our grief? For what harm can befall us from 
her, when she is free from all hurt ? And surely the loss 
of even great things abates the grief, when it is come to 
this, that we have no need or use of them. But thy 
Timoxena was deprived but of small matter ; for she had 
no knowledge but of such, neither took she delight but in 
such small things. But for that which she never was sen- 
sible of, and which did not so much as once enter into her 
thoughts, how can you say it is taken from her? 

10. As for what you hear others say, who persuade the 
vulgar that the soul, when once freed from the body, suf- 
fers no inconvenience or evil nor is sensible at all, I know 
that you are better grounded in the doctrines delivered 
down to us from our ancestors, as also in the sacred mys- 
teries of Bacchus, than to believe such stories ; for the 
religious symbols are well known to us who are of the 
fraternity. Therefore be assured, that the soul, being in- 
capable of death, is affected in the same manner as birds 
that are kept in a cage. For if she has been a long time 
educated and cherished in the body, and by long custom 
has been made familiar with most things of this life, she 
will (though separable) return again, and at length enter 
the body ; nor ceaseth it by new births now and then to be 
entangled in the chances and events of this life. For do 
not think that old age is therefore evil spoken of and 
blamed, because it is accompanied with wrinkles, gray 
hairs, and weakness of body. Bat this is the most trouble- 
some thing in old age, that it maketh the soul weak in its 
remembrance of divine things, and too earnest for things 
relating to the body ; thus it bendeth and boweth, retain- 
ing that form which it took of the body. But that which 
is taken away in youth, being more soft and tractable, soon 
returns to its native vigor and beauty. Just as fire that is 
quenched, if it be forthwith kindled again, sparkles and 
burns out immediately. ... So most speedily 


'Twere good to pass the gates of death,* 

before too great a love of bodily and earthly things be en- 
gendered in the soul, and it become soft and tender by 
being used to the body, and (as it were) by charms and 
potions incorporated with it. 

11. But the truth of this will appear in the laws and 
traditions received from our ancestors. For when children 
die, no libations nor sacrifices are made for them, nor any 
other of those ceremonies which are wont to be performed 
for the dead. For infants have no part of earth or earthly 
affections. Nor do we hover or tarry about their sepulchres 
or monuments, or sit by when their dead bodies are ex- 
posed. The laws of our country forbid this, and teach us 
that it is an impious thing to lament for those whose souls 
pass immediately into a better and more divine state. 
Wherefore, since it is safer to give credit to our tradi- 
tions than to call them in question, let us comply with the 
custom ia outward and public behavior, and let our inte- 
rior be more unpolluted, pure, and holy. ... 

* See H. V. 646 ; XXHI. 71. 


1. As I was considering with myself to bring forth and 
propose to the judgment of this worthy company the dis- 
course I held yesterday in your presence, methought I 
heard political virtue — not in the illusion of a dream, but 
in a true and real vision — say thus to me : 

A golden ground is laid for sacred songs. 

We have already laid the foundation of the discourse by 
persuading and exhorting persons to concern themselves 
in managing the affairs of the commonweal, and now we 
proceed to build upon it the doctrine which is due after 
such an exhortation. For after a man has received an 
admonition and exhortation to deal in the affairs of the 
state, there ought consequently to be given him the pre- 
cepts of government, following and observing which, he 
may, as much as it is possible for a man to do, profit the 
public, and in the mean time honestly prosecute his own 
affairs with such safety and honor as shall be meet for 

There is first then one point to be discoursed, which, as 
it is precedent to what we have hereafter to say, so depends 
on what we have said before. Now this is, what sort of 
policy and government is best? For as there are many 
.sorts of lives in particular men, so also are there in people 
and states ; and the life of a people or state is its policy 
and government. It is therefore necessary to declare which 


is the best, that a statesman may choose it from among the 
rest, or, if that is not possible for him to do, he may at 
least take that which has the nearest resemblance to the 

2. Now there is one signification of this word policy 
{jtolmia) which imports as much as hurg ess-ship, that is, 
a participation in the rights and privileges belonging to a 
town, city, or borough ; as when we say that the Mega- 
rians, by an edict of their city, presented Alexander the 
Great with iheu policy, that is, their hurgess-ship, and that, 
Alexander laughing at the offer they made him of it, they 
answered him, that they had never decreed that honor to 
any but Hercules and now to himself. This he wondering 
to hear accepted their present, thinking it honorable inas- 
much as it was rare. The life also of a political person, 
who is concerned in the government of the commonweal, 
is called policy, as when we praise the policy of Pericles 
or Bias, that is, the manner of their government, and on 
the contrary, blame that of Hyperbolus and Cleon. Some 
moreover there are, who call a great and memorable action 
performed in the administration of a commonweal a policy, 
such as is the distribution of money, the suppressing of a 
war, the introduction of some notable decree worthy to be 
kept in perpetual memory. In which signification it is a 
common manner of speaking to say. This man to-day has 
done a policy, if he has peradventure effected some re- 
markable matter in the government of the state. 

3. Besides all these significations there is yet another, 
that is, the order and state by which a commonweal is 
governed, and by which affairs are managed and adminis- 
tered. According to which we say that there are three 
sorts of policy or public government, — to wit. Monarchy, 
which is regality or kingship. Oligarchy, which is the gov- 
ernment by peers and nobles, and Democracy, which is a 
popular or (as we term it) a free state. Now all these are 


mentioned by Herodotus in his Third Book * where he 
compares them one with another. And these seem to be 
the most general of all ; for all other sorts are, as it were, 
the depravation and corruption of these, either by defect 
01 excess ; as it is in the first consonances of music, when 
the strings are either too straight or too slack. 

Now these three sorts of government have been distrib- 
uted amongst the nations that have had the mightiest and 
the greatest empke. Thus the Persians enjoyed regality 
or kingship, because their king had full absolute power in 
all things, without being liable to render an account to any 
one. The Spartans had a council consisting of a small 
number, and those the best and most considerable persons 
in the city, who despatched all affairs. The Athenians 
maintained popular government free and exempt from any 
other mixture. In which administration when there are 
any faults, their transgressions and exorbitances are styled 
tyrannies, oppressions of the stronger, unbridled licentious- 
ness of the multitude. That is, when the prince who has 
the royalty permits himself to outrage whomever he 
pleases, and will not suffer any remonstrance to be made 
him concerning it, he becomes a tyrant ; when a few lords 
or senators in whose hands the government is arrive at 
that arrogance as to contemn all others, they turn oppres- 
sors ; and when a popular state breaks forth into disobe- 
dience and levelling, it runs into anarchy and unmeasurable 
liberty : and in a word, all of them together will be rash- 
ness and folly. 

4. Even then as a skilful musician will make use of all 
sorts of instruments, and play on every one of them, ac- 
commodating himself in such manner as its quality can 
bear and as shall be fit to make it yield the sweetest sound, 
but yet, if he will follow Plato's counsel, will lay aside 
fiddles, many-stringed virginals, psalteries, and harps, pre- 

* Herod. IH. 82. 


ferring before all other the lute and bandore ; in like 
manner, an able statesman will dexterously manage the 
Laconic and Lycurgian seignory or oligarchy, fitting and 
accommodating his companions who are of equal authority 
with him, and by little and little drawing and reducing 
them to be managed by himself. He will also carry him- 
self discreetly in a popular state, as if he had to deal with 
an instrument of many and differently sounding strings, 
one while letting down and remitting some things, and 
again extending others, as he shall see his opportunity and 
find it most convenient for the government, to which he 
will vigorously apply himself, well knowing when and how 
he ought to resist and contradict ; but yet, if he might be 
permitted to make his choice from amongst all sorts of 
government, as from so many musical instruments, he 
would not, if Plato's advice might be taken, choose any 
other but monarchy or regal authority, as being that which 
is indeed alone able to support that most perfect and most 
lofty note of virtue, without suffering him either by force 
or by grace and favor, to frame himself for advantage and 
gain. For all other sorts of governments do in a manner 
as much rule a statesman as he does them, no less carrying 
him than they are carried by him ; forasmuch as he has 
no certain power over those from whom he has his author- 
ity, but is very often constrained to cry out in these words 
of the poet Aeschylus, which King Demetrius, surnamed 
the Town-taker, often alleged against Fortune, after he had 
lost his kingdom : 

Thou mad'st me first, and now undoest me quite. 


1. . . . These things he rightly spoke to the comman 
ders that accompanied him, to whom he opened the way 
for future performances, while he expelled the barbarians 
and restored Greece to her ancient liberty. And the same 
thing may be said to those that magnify themselves for 
their writings. For if there were none to act, there would 
be none to write. Take away the political government of 
Pericles, and the naval trophies of Phormio at Rhium, and 
the brave achievements of Nicias at Cythera, Megara, and 
Corinth, Demosthenes's Pylos, and the four hundred cap- 
tives taken by Cleon, Tolmides sailing round the Pelo- 
ponnesus, and Myronidas vanquishing the Boeotians at 
Oenophyta : and you murder Thucydides. Take away the 
daring braveries of Alcibiades in the Hellespont, and of 
Thrasyllus near Lesbos ; the dissolution of the oligarchy 
by Theramenes ; Thrasybulus, Archippus, and the seventy 
that from Phylae ventured to attack the Lacedaemonian 
tyranny ; and Conon again enforcing Athens to take the 
sea : and then there is an end of Cratippus. For as for 
Xenophon, he was his own historian, relating the exploits 
of the army under his command, but saying that Them- 
istogenes the Syracusan had written the history of them ; 
dedicating the honor of his writing to another, that writ- 
ing of himself as of another, he might gain the more 
credit. But all the other historians, as the Clinodemi, 


Diyli, Philochorus, Philarchus, were but the actors of 
other men's deeds, as of so many plays, while they com- 
piled the acts of kings and great generals, and thrusting 
themselves into the memory of their fame, partake of a 
kind of- lustre and light from them. For there is a certain 
shadow of glory which reflects from those that act to those 
that write, while the actions of another appear in the dis 
course as in a mirror. 

2. But this city was the mother and charitable nurse of 
many other arts and sciences ; some of which she first in- 
vented and illustrated, to others she gave both efficacy, 
honor, and increase. More especially to her is painting 
beholden for its first invention, and the perfection to 
which it has attained. For Apollodorus the painter, who 
first invented the mixing of colors and the softening of 
shadows, was an Athenian. Over whose works there is 
this inscription : 

' Tis no hard thing to reprehend me ; 
But let the men that blame me mend me. 

Then for Euphranor, Nicias, Asclepiodorus, and Plistay 
netus the brother of Phidias, some of them painted the 
victories, others the battles of great generals, and some of 
them heroes themselves. Thus Euphranor, comparing his 
own Theseus with another drawn by Parrhasius, said, that 
Parrhasius's Theseus ate roses, but his fed upon beef. For 
Parrhasius's piece was daintily painted, and perhaps it might 
be something like the original. But he that beheld Eu- 
phranor's Theseus might well exclaim, 

Race of Erechtheus bold and stout, 
Whom Pallas bred.* 

Euphranor also painted with great spirit the battle of 
Mantinea, fought by the cavalry between the Athenians 
and Epaminondas. The story was thus. The Theban 

* II. II. 547. 


Epaminondas, puffed up with his victory at Leuctra, and 
designing to insult and trample over fallen Sparta and 
the glory of that city, with an army of seventy thousand 
men invaded and laid waste the Lacedaemonian territory, 
stirred up the subject people to revolt, and not far from 
Mantinea provoked the Spartans to battle ; but they neither 
being willing nor indeed daring to encounter him, being in 
expectation of a reinforcement from Athens, Epaminondas 
dislodged in the night-time, and with all the secrecy imagin- 
able fell into the Lacedaemonian territory ; and missed but 
little of taking Sparta itself, being destitute of men to de- 
fend it. But the allies of the Lacedaemonians made haste 
to its relief; whereupon Epaminondas made a show as if 
he would again return to spoiling and laying waste the 
country ; and by this means deceiving and amusing his 
enemies, he retreats out of Laconia by night, and with 
swift marches coming upon the Mantineans unexpectedly, 
at what time they were deliberating to send relief to 
Sparta, presently commanded the Thebans to prepare to 
storm the town. Immediately the Thebans, who had a 
great conceit of their warlike courage, took their several 
posts, and began to surround the city. This put the Man- 
tineans into a dismal consternation, and filled the whole 
city with dreadful outcries and hurly-burly, as being neither 
able to withstand such a torrent of armed men ready to 
rush in upon them, nor having any hopes of succor. 

But at the same time, and by good fortune, the Atheni- 
ans came down from the hills into the plains of Mantinea, 
not knowing any thing of the critical moment that required 
more speedv haste, but marching leisurely along. How- 
ever, so soon as they were informed of the danger of their 
allies, by one that scouted out from the rest, though but few 
in respect of the number of their enemies, single of them- 
selves, and tired with their march, yet they presently drew 
up into order of battle ; and the cavalry charging up to 

VOL. V. 26 


the very gates of Mantinea, there happened a terrible ba tie 
betweeen the horse on both sides ; wherein the Atheni- 
ans got the better, and so saved Mantinea out of Eparai- 
nondas's hands. This conflict was painted by Euphranor, 
and you see in the picture with what strength, what fury 
and vigor they fought. And yet I do not believe that any 
one will compare the skill of the painter with that of the 
general ; or would endure that any one should prefer tlio 
picture before the trophy, or the imitation before the truth 

3. Though indeed Simonides calls painting silent poetry, 
and poetry speaking painting. For those actions which 
painters set forth as they were doing, those history relates 
when they were done. And what the one sets forth in 
colors and figures, the other relates in words and sentences ; 
only they differ in the materials and manner of imitation. 
However, both aim at the same end, and he is accounted 
the best historian, who can make the most lively descrip- 
tions both of persons and passions. Therefore Thucydides 
always drives at this perspicuity, to make the hearer (as it 
were) a spectator, and to inculcate the same passions and 
perturbations of mind into his readers as they were in who 
beheld the causes of those effects. For Demosthenes em- 
battling the Athenians near the rocky shore of Pylos ; 
Brasidas hastening the pilot to run the ship aground, then 
going to the rowers' seats, then wounded and fainting, sink- 
ing down in that part of the vessel where the oars could 
not trouble him ; the land fight of the Spartans from the 
sea, and the sea engagement of the Athenians from the 
land ; then again in the Sicilian war, both a land fight and 
sea engagement, so fought that neither had the better,* 
... So that if we may not compare painters with gen- 
erals, neither must we equal historians to them. 

* The text of several lines which follow here is hopelessly cornipt, but it is evi- 
dent that Plutarch refers to the description in Thucyd. VII. 71. (G.) 


Thersippiis of Eroeadae brought the first news of the 
victory at Marathon, as Heraclides of Pontus relates. 
But most report that Eucles, running armed with his 
wounds reeking from the fight, and falling through the 
door into the first house he met, expired with only these 
words in his mouth, " God save ye, we are well." Now 
this man brought the news himself of the success of a 
fight wherein he was present in person. But suppose that 
any of the goat-keepers or herd-men had beheld the com- 
bat from some high hill at a distance, and seeing the suc- 
cess of that great achievement, greater than by words can 
be expressed, should have come to the city without any 
wound or blood about him, and should have claimed the 
honors done to Cynaegirus, Callimachus, and Polyzelus, 
for giving an account of their wounds, their bravery and 
deaths, wouldst thou not have thought him impudent above 
impudence itself; seeing that the Lacedaemonians gave the 
messenger that brought the news of the victory at Manti- 
nea* no other reward than a quantity of victuals from the 
public mess? But historians are (as it were) well-voiced 
relators of the actions of great men, who add grace and 
beauty and dint of wit to their relations, and to whom they 
that first light upon them and read them are indebted for 
their pleasing tidings. And being read, they are applauded 
for transmitting to posterity the actions of those that do 
bravely. For words do not make actions, though we give 
them the hearing. 

4. But there is a certain grace and glory of the poetic 
art, when it resembles the grandeur of the actions them- 
selves ; according to that of Homer, 

And many falsities he did unfold, 

That looked like truth, so smoothly were they told, f 

It is reported also, that when one of his familiar friends 
said to Menander, The feasts of Bacchus are at hand, and 

* Thuycd. V. 73. t Odyss. XIX. 203. 


thou liast made ne'er a comedy ; he made him this answer : 
By all the Gods, I have made a comedy, for I have laid my 
plot ; and there remains only to make the verses and 
measures to it. So that the poets themselves believe the 
actions to be more necessary than the words, and the first 
things to be considered. Corinna likewise, when Pindar 
was but a young man and made too daring a use of his 
eloquence, gave him this admonition, that he was no poet, 
for that he never composed any fables, which was the 
chiefest office of poetry ; in regard that strange words, 
figures, metaphors, songs, and measures were invented to 
give a sweetness to things. Which admonition Pindar 
laying up in his mind, wrote a certain ode which thus 
begins : 

Shall I Ismenu3 sing, 
Or Melia, that from spindles all of gold 

Her twisted yarn unwinds, 
Or Cadmus, tliat most ancient king. 
Or else the sacred race of Sparti bold, 
Or Hercules, that far in strength transcends. 

Which when he showed to Corinna, she with a smile re- 
plied : When you sow, you must scatter the seed with your 
hand, not empty the whole sack at once. And indeed we 
find that Pindar intermixes in his poetic numbers a collec- 
tion of all sorts of fables. Now that poetry employs itself 
in mythology is agreed by Plato likewise. For a fable is 
the relation of a false story resembling truth, and therefore 
very remote from real actions ; for relation is the image of 
action, as fable is the image of relation. And therefore 
they that feign actions fall as far behind historians as they 
that speak differ from those that act. 

5. Athens therefore never bred up any true artist in 
epic or lyric verse. For Cinesias was a troublesome writer 
of dithyrambics, a person of mean parentage and of no 
repute ; and being jeered and derided by the comedians, 
proved very unfortunate in the pursuit of fame. 


Now for the dramatic poets, the Athenians looked upon 
comedy to be so ignoble and troublesome, that they pub- 
lished a law that no Areopagite should make any comedies. 
But tragedy flourished and was cried up, and with wonder 
and admiration heard and beheld by all people in those 
days, deceiving them with fables and the display of various 
passions ; whereby, as Gorgias says, he that deceived was 
more just than he that deceived not, and he that was de- 
ceived was wiser than he who was not deceived. He that 
deceived was more just, because it was no more than what 
he pretended to do ; and he that was deceived was wiser, 
for that he must be a man of no sense that is not taken 
with the sweetness of words. And yet what benefit did 
those fine tragedies procure the Athenians ? But the 
shrewdness and cunning of Themistocles walled the city, 
the industry of Pericles adorned their citadel, and Cimon 
advanced them to command their neighbors. But as for 
the wisdom of Euripides, the eloquence of Sophocles, the 
lofty style of Aeschylus, what calamity did they avert from 
the city ; or what renown or fame did they bring to the 
Athenians ? Is it fitting then that dramatic poems should 
be compared with trophies, the stage with the generals' 
office, or lists of dramas with noble achievements ? 

6. Would ye that we should introduce the men them- 
selves carrying before them the marks and signals of their 
own actions, permitting them to enter in order, like the 
actors upon the stage? But then poets must go before 
them, with flutes and lyres, saying and singing : 

Far from our choirs who in this lore's unskilled. 
Or does not cherish pure and holy thoughts. 
Nor views nor joins the Muses' generous rites. 
Nor is perfected in the Bacchic tongue, 
With which Cratinus bull-devourer sang.* 

And then there must be scenes, and vizards, and altars, 
and versatile machines. There must be also the tragedy- 

* Aristophanes, Frogs, 354. 


actors, the Nicostrati, Callippidae. Menisci, Theodori, Poli, 
the dressers, and sedan-men of tragedy, — like those of 
some sumptuously apparelled lady, or rather like the pain- 
ters, gilders, and colorers of statues, — together with a 
costly preparation of vessels, vizards, purple coats, and 
machines, attended by an unruly rabble of dancers and 
guards ; and let all the preparation be exceeding costly 
and magnificent. A Lacedaemonian once, beholding all 
this, not improperly said : How strangely are the Athenians 
mistaken, consuming so much cost and labor upon ridicu- 
lous trifles ; that is to say, wasting the expenses of navies 
and of victualling whole armies upon the stage. For if 
you compute the cost of those dramatic preparations, you 
will find that the Athenians spent more upon their Bacchae, 
Oedipuses, and Antigone, and the woes of Medea and Elec- 
tra, than in their wars against the barbarians for liberty and 
extending their empire. For their general oft-times led 
forth the soldiers to battle, commanding them to make 
provisions only of such food as needed not the tedious 
preparation of fire. And indeed their admirals and cap- 
tains of their ships went aboard without any other pro- 
vision than meal, onions, and cheese. Whereas the masters 
of the choruses, feeding their dancers with eels, lettuce, the 
kernels of garlic, and marrow, feasted them for a long 
time, exercising their voices and pleasing their palates by 
turns. And as for these captains, if they were overcome, 
it was their misfortune to be contemned and hissed at ; 
and if they were victors, there was neither tripod, nor con- 
secrated ornament of victory, as Demetrius says, but a life 
prolonged among cables, and an empty house for a tomb. 
For this is the tribute of poetry, and there is nothing more 
splendid to be expected from it. 

7. Now then let us consider the great generals as they 
approach, to whom, as they pass by, all those must rise up 
and pay their salutations who have never been famous for 


any great action, military or civil, and were never furnished 
with daring boldness nor purity of wisdom for such enter- 
prises, nor initiated by the hand of Miltiades that over- 
threw the Medes, or of Themistocles that vanquished the 
Persians. This is the martial gang, at once combating 
with phalanxes by land, and engaging with navies by sea, 
and laden with the spoils of both. Give ear, Alala, daugh- 
ter of War, to this same prologue of swords and spears. 

Hasten to death, when for your country vowed, 

as Epaminondas said, — for your country, your sepulchres, 
and your altars, throwing yourselves into most noble and 
illustrious combats. Their victories methinks I see ap- 
proaching toward me, not dragging after them a goat or 
ox for a reward, nor crowned with ivy and smelling of the 
dregs of wine. But whole cities, islands, continents, and 
colonies well peopled are their rewards, being surrounded 
with trophies and spoils of all sorts. Whose statues and 
symbols of honor are Parthenons, a hundred feet in length. 
South-walls, houses for ships, the Propylaea, the Cherso- 
nesus, and Araphipolis. Marathon displays the victory of 
Miltiades, and Salamis the glory of Themistocles, triumph- 
ing over the ruins of a thousand vessels. The victory of 
Cimon brings away a hundred Phoenician galleys from the 
Eurymedon. And the victory of Cleon and Demosthenes 
brings away the shield of Brasidas, and the captive soldiers 
in chains from Sphacteria. The victory of Conon and 
Thrasybulus walls the city, and brings the people back at 
liberty from Phylae. The victory of Alcibiades near Sicily 
restores the languishing condition of the city ; and Greece 
beheld Ionia raised again by the victories of Neleus and 
Androclus in Lydia and Caria. 

If you ask what benefit every one of the rest procured 
to the city ; one will answer Lesbos, another Samos, an- 
other Cyprus, another the Pontus Euxinus, another five 


hundred galleys with three banks of oars, and another 
ten thousand talents, the rewards of fame and trophies 
won. For these victories the city observes public anni- 
versary festivals, for these victories she sacrifices to the 
Gods ; not for the victories of Aeschylus and Sophocles, 
not because Carcinus was victorious * with his Aerope, or 
Astydamas with his Hector. But upon the sixth of Sep- 
tember, even to this day, the Athenians celebrate a festival 
in memory of the fight at Marathon. Upon the sixteenth 
of the same month libations are poured in remembrance 
of the naval victory won by Chabrias near Naxos. Upon 
the twelfth they offer thanksgiving sacrifices for the recov- 
ery of their liberty. For upon that day they returned 
back from Phylae. The third of the same month they 
won the battle of Plataea. The sixteenth of April was 
consecrated to Diana, when the moon appeared in the full 
to the Greeks victorious at Salamis. The twelfth of June 
was made sacred by the battle of Mantinea, wherein the 
Athenians, when their confederates were routed and fled, 
alone by themselves obtained the victory and triumph over 
their victorious enemies. Such actions as these procured 
honor and veneration and grandeur to the city ; for these 
acts it was that Pindar called Athens the support of Greece ; 
not because she had set the fortune of the Greeks upright 
by the tragedies of Phrynichus and Thespis, but because 
(as he says) " near Artemisium the Athenian youth laid 
the first glorious foundation of freedom ; " and afterwards 
fixing it upon the adamantine pillars of Salamis, Mycale, 
and Plataea, they multiplied their felicity to others. 

8. But as for the writings of the poets, they are mere 
bubbles. But rhetoricians and orators indeed have some- 
thing in them that renders them in some measure fit to be 
compared with great captains. For which reason, Aes- 

* I follow Baelir's emendation (or rather substitution) hUa for avv^v, which is 
demanded by the obvious sense of the whole passage. (G.) 


chines in derision reports of Demosthenes, that he said he 
was bringing a suit in behalf of the orator's stand against 
the generals' office.* But for all that, do you think it 
proper to prefer the Plataic oration of Hyperides to the 
Plataic victory of Aristides ? Or the oration of Lysias 
against the Thirty Tyrants, to the acts of Thrasybulus and 
Archias that put them to death? Or that of Aeschines 
against Timarchus for unchastity, to the relieving of Byzan- 
tium by Phocion, by which he prevented the sons of the 
confederates from being the scorn and derision of the Ma- 
cedonians ? Or shall we set before the public crowns 
which Demosthenes received for setting Greece at liberty, 
his oration on the Crown, wherein the rhetorician has 
behaved himself most splendidly and learnedly, swearing 
by their progenitors that ventured their lives at Marathon 
for the liberty of Greece,t rather than by those that in- 
structed youth in the schools 1 And therefore the city buried 
these heroes at the expense of the public, honoring the 
sacred relics of their bodies, not men like Isocrates, Anti- 
phon, and Isaeus, and the orator has translated them into 
the number of the Gods ; and by these it was that he 
chose to swear, though he did not follow their example. 
Isocrates also was wont to say, that they who ventured 
their lives at Marathon fought as if they had been inspired 
with other souls than their own ; and extolling their daring 
boldness and contempt of life, to one that asked him 
(being at that time very aged) how he did, — As well, said 
he, as one who, being now above fourscore and ten years 
old, esteems death to be the worst of evils. For neither 
did he spend his years to old age in whetting his sword, in 
grinding and sharpening his spear, in scouring and polish- 
ing his helmet, in commanding navies and armies, but in 
knitting and joining together antithetical and equally bal- 

* See Aeschines against Ctesiphon, § 146. 
t Demosthenes on the Crown, p. 297, 11. 


anced clauses, and words of similar endings, all but smooth- 
ing and adapting his periods and sentences with files, 
planes, or chisels. How would that man have been 
affrighted at the clattering of weapons or the routing of a 
phalanx, who was so afraid of suffering one vowel to clash 
with another, or to pronounce a sentence where but one 
syllable was wanting ! 

Miltiades, the very next day after the battle of Mara- 
thon, returned a victor to the city with his army. And 
Pericles, having subdued the Samians in nine months, 
derided Agamemnon that was ten years taking of Troy. 
But Iso crates was nearly three Olympiads (or twelve years) 
in writing his Panegyric ; in all which time he had neither 
been a general nor an ambassador, neither built a city, nor 
been an admiral, notwithstanding the many wars that har- 
assed Greece within that time. But while Timotheus 
freed Euboea from slavery, while Chabrias vanquished the 
enemy near Naxos, while Iphicrates defeated and cut to 
pieces a whole battalion of the Lacedaemonians near 
Lechaeum, while the Athenians, having shaken off the 
Spartan yoke, set the rest of Greece at liberty, with as 
ample privileges as they had themselves ; he sits poring at 
home in his study, seeking out proper phrases and choice 
words for his oration, as long a time as Pericles spent in 
erecting the Propylaea and the Parthenon. Though the 
comic poet Cratinus seems to deride even Pericles himself 
as one that was none of the quickest, where he says of 
the middle wall : 

In words the mighty Pericles 

Has rais'd us up a wall ; 
But 'tis a wall in only words. 

For we see none at all. 

Consider now the poor spirit of this great orator, who 
spent the ninth part of his life in compiling one single 
oration. But to say no more of him, is it rational to com- 


pare the harangues of Demosthenes the orator with the 
martial exploits of Demosthenes the great leader? For 
example, the oration against Conon for an assault, with the 
trophies which the other erected before Pylos ? Or the 
declamation against Amathusius concerning slaves, with 
the noble service which the other performed in bringing 
home the Spartan captives 1 Neither can it be said, that 
Demosthenes for his oration in regard to foreigners . . . 
deserved as much honor as Alcibiades, who joined the 
Mantineans and Eleans as confederates with the Athe- 
nians against the Lacedaemonians. And yet we must 
acknowledge that the public orations of Demosthenes de- 
serve this praise, that in his Philippics he bravely en- 
courages the Athenians to take arms, and he extols the 
enterprise of Leptines. . . . 


1. Plato in his Laws* permits not any one to go and 
draw water from his neighbor's well, who has not first 
digged and sunk a pit in his own ground till he is come to 
a vein of clay, and has by his sounding experimented that 
the place will not yield a spring. For the clay or potter's 
earth, being of its own nature fatty, solid, and strong, 
retains the moisture it receives, and will not let it soak or 
pierce through. But it must be lawful for them to take 
water from another's ground, when there is no way or 
means for them to find any in their own ; for the law ought 
to provide for men's necessity, but not favor their laziness. 
Should there not be the like ordinance also concerning 
money ; that none should be allowed to borrow upon 
usury, nor to go and dive into other men's purses, — as 
it were into their wells and fountains, — before they have 
first searched at home and sounded every means for the 
obtaining it ; having collected (as it were) and gathered 
together all the gutters and springs, to try if they can 
draw from them what may suflS.ce to supply their most 
necessary occasions ? But on the contrary, many there 
are who, to defray their idle expenses and to satisfy their 
extravagant and superfluous delights, make not use of 
their own, but have recourse to others, running themselves 
deeply into debt without any necessity. Now this may 

* Plato, Laws, VIII. p. 844 B. 


easily be judged, if one does but consider that usurers do 
not ordinarily lend to those which are in distress, but only 
to such as desire to obtain somewhat that is superfluous 
and of which they stand not in need. So that the credit 
given by the lender is a testimony sufficiently proving 
that the borrower has of his own ; whereas on the con- 
trary, since he has of his own, he ought to keep himself 
from borrowing. 

2. Why shouldst thou go and make thy court to a 
banker or a merchant ? Borrow from thine own table. 
Thou hast tankards, dishes, and basins of silver. Make 
use of them for thy necessity, and when they are gone to sup 
ply thy wants, the pleasant town of Aulis or isle of Tenedos 
will again refurnish thy board with fair vessels of earth, far 
more cleanly and neat than those of silver. For they are 
not scented with the strong and unpleasant smell of usury, 
which, like rust, daily more and more sullies and tarnishes 
the lustre of thy sumptuous magnificence. They will not be 
every day putting thee in mind of the Kalends and 
new moons, which, being of themselves the most holy 
and sacred days of the months, are by reason of usuries 
rendered the most odious and accursed. For as to those 
who choose rather to carry their goods to the brokers and 
there lay them in pawn for money taken upon usury than 
to sell them outright, I do not believe that Jupiter Ctesius 
himself can preserve them from beggary. They are 
ashamed forsooth to receive the full price and value of 
their goods ; but they are not ashamed to pay use for 
the money they have borrowed on them. And yet the 
great and wise Pericles caused that costly ornament of 
fine gold, weighing about forty talents, with which Mi- 
nerva's statue was adorned, to be made in such a manner 
that he could take it off and on at his pleasure ; to the 
end (said he) that when we shall stand in need of money 
to support the charges of war, we may take it and make 


use of it, putting afterwards in its place another of no less 
value. Thus we ought in our affairs, as in a besieged 
town, never to admit or receive the hostile garrison of a 
usurer, nor to endure before our eyes the delivering up 
of our goods into perpetual servitude ; but rather to cut 
off from our table what is neither necessary nor profitable, 
and in like manner from our beds, our couches, and our 
ordinary expenses, and so to keep ourselves free and at lib- 
erty, in hopes to restore again what we shall have re- 
trenched, if Fortune shall hereafter smile upon us. 

3. The Roman ladies heretofore willingly parted with 
their jewels and ornaments of gold, for the making a cup 
to be sent as an offering to the temple of Apollo Pythius 
in the city of Delphi. And the Carthaginian matrons did 
with their own hands cut the hair from their heads, to 
make cords for the managing of their warlike engines and 
instruments, in defence of their besieged city. But we, as 
if we were ashamed of being able to stand on our own 
legs without being supported by the assistance of others, 
go and enslave ourselves by engagements and obligations ; 
whereas it were much better that, restraining our ambition 
and confining it to what is profitable for us, we should of 
our useless and superfluous plate, which we should either 
melt or sell, build a temple of Liberty for ourselves, our 
wives, and our children. The Goddess Diana in the city 
of Ephesus gives to such debtors as can fly into her temple 
freedom and protection against their creditors ; but the 
sanctuary of parsimony and moderation in expenses, in- 
to which no usurer can enter to pluck thence and carry 
away any debtor prisoner, is always open for the prudent, 
and affords them a long and large space of joyful and 
honorable repose. For as the prophetess which gave 
oracles in the temple of the Pythian Apollo, about the 
time of the Persian wars, answered the Athenians, that 
God had for their safety given them a wall of wood, upon 


which, forsaking their lands, their city, their houses, and 
all their goods, they had recourse to their ships for the 
preservation of their liberty ; so God gives us a table of 
wood, vessels of earth, and garments of coarse cloth, if 
we desire to live and continue in freedom. 

Aim not at gilded coaches, steeds of price, 

And harness, richly wrought with quaint device ; 

for how swiftly soever they may run, yet will usuries over- 
take them and outrun them. 

Take rather the first ass thou shalt meet or the first pack- 
horse that shall come in thy way, and fly from that cruel and 
tyrannical enemy the usurer, who asks thee not earth and 
water, as heretofore did the barbarous king of Persia, but 
— which is worse — touches thy liberty, and wounds thy 
honor by proscriptions. If thou payest him not, he troubles 
thee ; if thou hast wherewithal to satisfy him, he will not 
receive it, unless it be his pleasure. If thou sellest, he will 
have thy goods for nothing, or at a very under rate ; and 
if thou wilt not sell, he will force thee to it ; if thou suest 
him, he speaks to thee of an accommodation ; if thou 
swearest to give him content, he will domineer over thee ; 
if thou goest to his house to discourse with him, he shuts 
his door against thee ; if thou stayest at home, he is always 
knocking at thy door and will never stir from thee. 

4. Of what use to the Athenians was the decree of 
Solon, by which he ordained that the body should not be 
obliged for any public debt? For they who owe are in 
bondage to all bankers, and not to them alone (for then 
there would be no great hurt), but to their very slaves, 
who are proud, insolent, barbarous, and outrageous, and in 
a word exactly such as Plato describes the devils and 
fiery executioners to be, who in hell torment the souls 
of the wicked. For thus do these wretched usurers make 
the court where justice is administered a hell to the poor 


debtors, preying on some and gnawing them, vulture-like, 
to the very bones, and 

Piercing into their entrails with sharp beaks ; * 

and standing over others, who are, like so many Tantaluses, 
prohibited by them from tasting the corn and fruits of their 
own ground and drinking the wine of their own vintage. 
And as King Darius sent to the city of Athens his lieu- 
tenants Datis and Artaphernes with chains and cords, to 
bind the prisoners they should take ; so these usurers, bring- 
ing into Greece boxes full of schedules, bills, and obliga- 
tory contracts, as so many irons and fetters for the 
shackling of poor criminals, go through the cities, sow- 
ing in them, as they pass, not good and profitable seed, — 
as did heretofore Triptolemus, when he went through all 
places teaching the people to sow corn, — but roots and 
grains of debts, that produce infinite labors and intoler- 
able usuries, of which the end can never be found, and 
which, eating their way and spreading their sprouts round 
about, do in fine make cities bend under the burden, till 
they come to be suffocated. They say that hares at the 
same time suckle one young leveret, are ready to kindle 
and bring forth another, and conceive a third ; but the 
usuries of these barbarous and wicked usurers bring forth 
before they conceive. For at the very delivery of their 
money, they immediately ask it back, taking it up at the 
same moment they lay it down ; and they let out that 
again to interest which they take for the use of what they 
have before lent. 

5. It is a saying among the Messenians, 

Pylos before Pylos, and Pylos still you'll find ; 

but it may much better be said against the usurers, 

Use before use, and use still more you'll find. 

So that they laugh at those natural philosophers who hold 

* Odyss. XI. 578. 


that nothing can be made of nothing and of that which 
has no existence ; but with them usury is made, and en- 
gendered of that which neither is nor ever was. They 
think the taking to farm the customs and other public 
tributes, which the laws nevertheless permit, to be a 
shame and reproach ; and yet themselves on the contrary, 
in opposition to all the laws in the world, make men pay 
tribute for what they lend upon interest ; or rather, if 
truth may be spoken, do in the very letting out their 
money to use, basely deceive their debtor. For the poor 
debtor, who receives less than he acknowledges in his 
obligation, is falsely and dishonestly cheated. And the 
Persians indeed repute lying to be a sin only in a second 
degree, but to be in debt they repute to be in the first ; 
forasmuch as lying frequently attends those that owe. Now 
there are not in the whole world any people who are 
oftener guilty of lying than usurers, nor that practise more 
unfaithfulness in their day-books, in which they set down 
that they have delivered such a sum of money to such a 
person, to whom they have not given nigh so much. And 
the moving cause of their lying is pure avarice, not want 
or poverty, but an insatiable desire of always having more, 
the end of which is neither pleasurable nor profitable to 
themselves, but ruinous and destructive to those whom 
they injure. For they neither cultivate the lands of which 
they deprive their debtors, nor inhabit the houses out of 
which they eject them, nor eat at the tables which they 
take away from them, nor wear the clothes of which they 
strip them. But first one is destroyed, and then a second 
soon follows, being drawn on and allured by the former. 
For the mischief spreads like wildfire, still consuming, 
and yet still increasing by the destruction and ruin of those 
that fall into it, whom it devours one after another. And 
the usurer who maintains this fire, blowing and kindling it 
to the undoing of so many people, reaps no other advan- 

VOL. V. 27 


tage from it but only that he now and then takes his book 
of accounts, and reads in it how many poor debtors he has 
caused to sell what they had, how many he has dispos- 
sessed of their lands and livings, whence his money came 
which he is always turning, winding, and increasing. 

6. Think not that I speak this for any ill-will or enmity 
that I have borne against usurers ; 

For never did they drive away 
My horses or my kine.* 

But my only aim is to show those who are so ready to take 
up money upon use, how much shame and slavery there is 
in it, and how it proceeds only from extreme folly, sloth, 
and effeminacy of heart. For if thou hast of thy own, 
borrow not, since thou hast no need of it ; and if thou 
hast nothing, borrow not, because thou wilt not have any 
means to pay. But let us consider the one and the other 
apart. The elder Cato said to a certain old man, who 
behaved himself ill : My friend, seeing old age has of 
itself so many evils, why dost thou go about to add to 
them the reproach and shame of wickedness ? In like 
manner may we say to a man oppressed with poverty : 
Since poverty has of itself so many and so great miseries, 
do not heap upon them the anguishes of borrowing and 
being in debt. Take not from poverty the only good thing 
in which it is superior to riches, to wit, freedom from pen- 
sive care. Otherwise thou wilt subject thyself to the deri- 
sion of the common proverb, which says, 

A goat I cannot bear away, 
Therefore an ox upon me lay. 

Thou canst not bear poverty, and yet thou art going to load 
on thyself a usurer, which is a burden even to a rich man 

But you will say perhaps, how then would you have 
me tc livel Is this a question fit for thee to ask, who hast 

• n. 1. 154. 


hands, feet, and a voice, who in brief art a man, whose 
property it is to love and be beloved, to do and receive a 
courtesy ? Canst thou not teach, bring up young children, 
be a porter or doorkeeper, travel by sea, serve in a ship '? 
Tliere is in all these nothing more shameful or odious, than 
to be dunned with the importunate clamors of such as are 
always saying, Pay me, give me my money. 

T. Rutilius that rich Roman, coming one day to Muso- 
nius the philosopher, whispered him thus in his ear : 
Musonius, Jupiter the Savior, whom you philosophers 
profess to imitate and follow, takes not up money at in- 
terest. Musonius smiling presently answered him : Nor 
yet does he lend for use. For this Rutilius, who was him- 
self an usurer, upbraided the other with borrowing upon 
use. Now what a foolish stoical arrogance was this. For 
what need was there of bringing here Jupiter the Savior, 
when he might have given him the same admonition by 
things that were familiar and before his eyes? Swallows 
run not themselves into debt, ants borrow not upon inter- 
est ; and yet Nature has given them neither reason, hands, 
nor art. But she has endued men with such abundance of 
understanding, that they maintain not only themselves, but 
also horses, dogs, partridges, hares, and jays. Why then 
dost thou condemn thyself, as if thou wert less able to 
persuade than a jay, more dumb than a partridge, and 
more ungenerous than a dog, in that thou couldst not 
oblige any man to be assistant to thee, either by serving 
him, charming him, guarding him, or fighting in his de- 
fence ? Dost thou not see how many occasions the land, 
and how many the sea affords thee for thy maintenance ? 
Hear also what Crates says : 

Here I saw Miccylus the wool to card, 

Whilst his wife spun, that they by labor hard 
In these hard times might 'scape the hungry jaws 
Of famine. 

King Antigonus, when he had not for a long time seen 


Cleanthes the philosopher, said to him, Dost thou yet, O 
Cleanthes, continue to grind"? Yes, sir, repHed Cleanthes, 
I still grind, and that I do to gain my living and not to 
depart from philosophy. How great and generous was the 
courage of this man, who, coming from the mill and the 
kneadiLg-trough, did with the same hand which had been 
employed in turning the stone and moulding the dough, 
write of the nature of the Gods, moon, stars, and sun ! 
And yet we think these to be servile works. 

Therefore, forsooth, that we may be free, we take up 
money at interest, and to this purpose flatter base and ser- 
vile persons, wait on them, treat them, make them presents, 
and pay them pensions ; and this we do, not being com- 
pelled by poverty (for no usurer will lend a poor man 
money) but to gratify our prodigality. For if we would 
be content with such things as are necessary for human 
life, usurers would be no less rare in the world than Cen- 
taurs and Gorgons. But luxury and excess, as it produced 
goldsmiths, silversmiths, perfumers, and dyers of curious 
colors, so has it also brought forth usurers. For we run 
not into debt for bread and wine, but for the purchasing 
of stately seats, numerous slaves, fine mules, costly ban- 
queting halls, rich tables, and for all those foolish and 
superfluous expenses to which we frequently put ourselves 
for the exhibiting of plays to the people, or some such vain 
ambition, from which we frequently reap no other fruit 
but ingratitude. Now he that is once entangled in usury 
remains a debtor all his life, not unlike in this to the 
horse, who, having once taken the bridle into his mouth 
and the saddle on his back, receives one rider after an- 
other. Nor is there any means for these debtors to make 
their escape into those fair pastures and meadows which 
once they enjoyed, but they wander about, like those Dae- 
mons mentioned by Empedocles to have been driven out 
of heaven by the offended Gods : 


By the sky's force they're thrust into the main, 
Which to the earth soon spews them back again. 
Thence to bright Titan's orb they're forced to fly, 
And Titan soon remits them to the sky. 

In like manner do such men fall from the hand of one 
usurer or banker to another, sometimes of a Corinthian, 
sometimes of a Patrian, sometimes of an Athenian, till, 
having been deceived and cheated by all, they finally find 
themselves dissipated and torn in pieces by usury. For as 
he who is fallen into the dirt must either rise up and get 
out of it, or else lie still in the place into which he first 
fell, for that by tumbling, turning, and rolling about, he 
does but still more and more bemire himself; so also those 
who do but change their creditor, and cause their names to 
be transcribed from one usurer's book to another's, do by 
loading and embroiling themselves with new usuries be- 
come more and more oppressed. Now in this they proper- 
ly resemble persons distempered with cholera, who cannot 
receive any medicine sufficient to work a perfect cure, but 
continually vomit up all that is given them, and so make 
way for the choleric humor to gather more and more. For 
in the same manner these men are not willing to be cleansed 
at once, but do with grievous anguish and sorrow pay their 
use at every season of the year, and no sooner have they 
discharged one, but another drops and stills immediately 
after, which causes them both aching hearts and heads ; 
whereas they should have taken care to get wholly clear, 
that they might remain free and at liberty. 

8. For I now turn my speech to those who are more 
wealthy, and withal more nice and effeminate, and whose 
discourse is commonly in this manner : How shall I re- 
main then without servants, without fire, and without 
a house or place to which I may repair? Now this 
is the same thing as if one who is sick of a dropsy 
and puffed up as a barrel should say to a physician : 
How? Would you have me become slender, lean, and 


empty ? And why not, provided you thereby get your 
health] Thus it is better you should be without servants, 
than that you should yourself become a slave ; and that 
you should remain without possessions, than that you 
should be made the possession of another. Give ear a 
little to the discourse of the two vultures, as it is reported 
in the fable. One of them was taken with so strong a fit 
of vomiting, that he said : I believe I shall cast up my very 
bowels. Now to this his companion answered : What hurt 
will there be in it ? For thou wilt not indeed throw up 
thine own entrails, but those of the dead man which we 
devoured the other day. So he who is indebted sells not 
his own inheritance nor his own house, but that of the 
usurer who lent him the money, to whom by the law he 
has given the right and possession of them. Nay, by Ju- 
piter (will he say to me) ; but my father left me this estate. 
I believe it well, but he left thee also liberty and a good 
repute, of which thou oughtest to make more account and 
be more careful. He who begat thee made thy foot and 
thy hand, and nevertheless, if they happen to be mortified, 
thou wilt give money to the chirurgeon to cut them off. 
Calypso presented Ulysses with a robe breathing forth the 
sweet-scented odor of an immortal body, which she put on 
him, as a token and memorial of the love she had borne 
him. But when his ship was cast away and himself ready 
to sink to the bottom, not being able to keep above the 
water by reason of his wet robe, which weighed him down- 
wards, he put it off and threw it away, and having girt 
his naked breast with a broad swaddling band. 

Swam, gazing on the distant shore.* 

And afterwards, when the danger was over and he seen to 
be landed, he wanted neither food nor raiment. And is 
it not a true tempest, when the usurer after some time 

* Odyss. V. 439. 


comes to assault the miserable debtors with this word Pay ? 

This having said, the clouds grow thicJi, the sea 

Is troubled, and its raging waves beat high. 

Whilst east, south, west winds through the welkin fly.* 

These winds are use, and use upon use, which roll one 
after another ; and he that is overwhelmed by them and 
kept down by their weight cannot serve himself nor make 
his escape by swimming, but at last sinks down to the 
bottom, where he perishes, carrying with him his friends 
who were pledges and sureties for him. 

Crates, the Theban philosopher, acted far otherwise ; 
for owing nothing, and consequently not being pressed for 
payment by any creditor, but only tired with the cares and 
troubles of housekeeping and the solicitude requisite to 
the management of his estate, he left a patrimony of eight 
talents' value, and taking only his cloak and wallet, re- 
tired to philosophy and poverty. Anaxagoras also forsook 
his plentiful and well-stocked pastures. But what need 
is there of alleging these examples, seeing that the lyric 
poet Philoxenus, being one of those who were sent to peo- 
ple a new city and new land in Sicily, where there fell to 
his share a good house and great wealth with which he 
might have lived well at his ease, yet seeing that delights, 
pleasure, and idleness, without any exercise of good letters, 
reigned in those quarters, said : These goods, by all the 
Gods, shall not destroy me, but I will rather lose them. 
And immediately leaving to others the portion that was 
allotted to himself, he again took shipping, and returned to 
Athens. Whereas those who are in debt bear and suffer 
themselves to be sued, taxed, made slaves of, and cheated 
with false money, feeding like King Phineus certain winged 
harpies. For these usurers fly to them, and ravish out of 
cheir hands their very food. Neither yet have they pa- 
tience to stay and expect the season ; for they buy their 

* Odyss. V. 291, 295. 


debtors' corn before it is ready for harvest, bargain for the 
oil before the olives are ripe, and in like manner for their 
wines. I will have it, says the usurer, at such a price ; 
and immediately he gets the writing signed ; and yet the 
grapes are still hanging on the vine, expecting the rising 
of Arcturus. 



What is the Reason that God bade Soceates to act the Mm- 
wife's Part to Others, but charged Himself not to gen- 
erate ; AS he says in Theaetetus ? * 

\. For he would never have used the name of God in 
such a merry, jesting manner, though Plato in that book 
makes Socrates several times to talk with great boasting 
and arrogance, as he does now. " There are many, dear 
friend, so affected towards me, that they are ready even to 
bite me, when I offer to cure them of the least madness. 
For they will not be persuaded that I do it out of good- 
will, because they are ignorant that no God bears ill-will 
to man, and that therefore I wish ill to no man ; but I can- 
not allow myself either to stand in a lie or to stifle the 
truth." •(• Whether therefore did he style his own nature, 
which was of a very strong and pregnant wit, by the name 
of God, — as Menander says, " For our mind is God," and 
as Heraclitus, " Man's genius is a Deity"? Or did some 
divine cause or some Daemon or other impart this way of 
philosophizing to Socrates, whereby always interrogating 
others, he cleared them of pride, error, and ignorance, 
and of being troublesome both to themselves and to 
others ? For about that time there happened to be in 
Greece several sophisters ; to these some young men paid 
great sums of money, for which they purchased a strong 

* See Plato, Theaet. p. 149 B. t Theaet. p. 151 C. 


opinion of learning and wisdom, and of being stout dispu- 
tants ; but this sort of disputation spent much time in 
trifling squabblings, which were of no credit or profit. 
Now Socrates, using an argumentative discourse by way of 
a purgative remedy, procured belief and authority to what 
he said, because in refuting others he himself affirmed 
nothing ; and he the sooner gained upon people, because 
he seemed rather to be inquisitive after the truth as well 
as they, than to maintain his own opinion. 

2. Now, however useful a thing judgment is, it is might- 
ily impeached by the begetting of a man's own fancies. 
For the lover is blinded with the thing loved ; and nothing 
of a man's own is so beloved as is the opinion and dis- 
course which he has begotten. And the distribution of 
children, said to be the justest, in respect of discourses is 
the unjustest; for there a man must take his own, but 
here a man must choose the best, though it be another 
man's. Therefore he that has children of his own, is a 
worse judge of other men's ; it being true, as the sophister 
said well, " The Eleans would be the most proper judges 
of the Olympic games, were no Eleans gamesters." So he 
that would judge of disputations cannot be just, if he 
either seeks the bays for himself, or is himself antagonist 
to either of the antagonists. For as the Grecian captains, 
when they were to decide by their sufl'rages who had be- 
haved himself the best, every man of them voted for him- 
self; so there is not a philosopher of them all but would do 
the like, besides those that acknowledge, like Socrates, that 
they can say nothing that is their own ; and these only are 
the pure uncorrupt judges of the truth. For as the air in 
the ears, unless it be still and void of noise in itself, with 
out any sound or buzzing, does not exactly take sounds ; 
so the philosophical judgment in disputations, if it be dis- 
turbed and obstreperous within, is hardly comprehensive 
of what is said without. For our familiar and inbred 


opinion will not admit that which is at variance with itself, 
as the number of sects and parties proves, of which phil- 
osophy — if she deals with them in the best manner — 
must hold one to be right, and all the others to be at war 
with the truth in their opinions. 

3. Furthermore, if men can comprehend and know 
nothing, God did justly interdict Socrates the procreation 
of false and unstable discourses, which are like wind-eggs, 
and bid him convince others who were of any other 
opinion. And reasoning, which rids us of the greatest of 
evils, error and vanity of mind, is none of the least benefit 
to us; "For God has not granted this to the Esculapians."* 
Nor did Socrates give physic to the body ; indeed he 
purged the mind of secret corruption. But if there be 
any knowledge of the truth, and if the truth be one, he 
has as much that learns it of him that invented it, as the 
inventor himself. Now he the most easily attains the 
truth, that is persuaded he has it not ; and he chooses 
best, just as he that has no children of his own adopts the 
best. Mark this well, that poetry, mathematics, oratory, 
and sophistry, which are the things the Deity forbade Soc- 
rates to generate, are of no value ; and that of the sole 
wisdom about what is divine and intelligible (which Soc- 
rates called amiable and eligible for itself), there is neither 
generation nor invention by man, but reminiscence. 
Wherefore Socrates taught nothing, but suggesting prin- 
ciples of doubt, as birth-pains, to young men, he excited 
and at the same time confirmed the innate notions. This 
he called his Art of Midwifery, which did not (as others 
professed) extrinsically confer intelligence upon his audi- 
tors ; but demonstrated it to be innate, yet imperfect and 
confused, and in want of a nurse to feed and strengthen it. 

* Theognis, va. 432. 




ALL Things?* 

1. Is it because he is (as Homer calls him) of created 
Gods and men the Father, and of brutes and things that 
have no soul the maker? If Chrysippus may be credited, 
he is not properly styled the father of the afterbirth who 
supplied the seed, although it springs from the seed. Or 
has he figuratively called the maker of the world the 
father of if? In his Convivium he calls Phaedrus the 
father of the amatorious discourse which he had intro- 
duced ; and so in his Phaedrus "f he calls him " father of 
noble children," when he had been the occasion of many 
excellent discourses about philosophical matters. Or is 
there any difference between a father and a maker ? Or 
between procreation and making? For as what is pro- 
created is also made, but not the contrary ; so he that 
procreated did also make, for the procreation of an animal 
is the making of it. Now the work of a maker — as of 
a builder, a weaver, a musical-instrument maker, or a 
statuary — is altogether distinct and separate from its 
author ; but the principle and power of the procreator is 
implanted in the progeny, and contains his nature, the 
progeny being a piece pulled off the procreator. Since 
therefore the world is neither like a piece of potter's work 
nor joiner's work, but there is a great share of life and 
divinity in it, which God from himself communicated to 
and mixed with matter, God may properly be called Father 
of the world — since it has life in it — and also the maker 
of it. 

2. And since these things come very near to Plato's 
opinion, consider, I pray, whether there may not be some 

* Plato, Timaeus, p. 28 C. t Phaedrus, p. 261 A. 


probability in them. Whereas the world consists of two 
parts, body and soul, God indeed made not the body ; but 
matter being provided, he formed and fitted it, binding up 
and confining what was infinite within proper limits and 
figures. But the soul, partaking of mind, reason, and har- 
mony, was not only the work of God, but part of him ; 
not only made by him, but begot by him. 


In the Republic,* he supposes the universe, as one line, 
to be cut into two unequal sections ; again he cuts each 
of these sections in two after the same proportion, and 
supposes the two sections first made to constitute the two 
genera of things sensible and things intelligible in the 
universe. The first represents the genus of intelligibles, 
comprehending in the first subdivision the primitive forms 
or ideas, in the second the mathematics. Of sensibles, the 
first subdivision comprehends solid bodies, the second 
comprehends the images and representations of them. 
Moreover, to every one of these four he has assigned its 
proper judicatory faculty; — to the first, reason; to the 
mathematics, the understanding; to sensibles, belief; to 
images and likenesses, conjecture. 

But what does he mean by Dividing the Universe into Un 
EQUAL Parts ? And which of the Sections, the Intelli- 
gible OR THE Sensible, is the greater? For in this he 
has not explained himself. 

1. At first sight it will appear that the sensible is the 
greater portion. For the essence of intelligibles being 
indivisible, and in the same respect ever the same, is con- 
tracted int, a little, and pure ; but an essence divisible and 
pervading bodies constitutes the sensible part. Now what 

* Republic, VI. pp. 509 D — 511 E. 


is immaterial is limited ; but body in respect of matter is 
infinite and unlimited, and it becomes sensible only when 
it is defined by partaking of the intelligible. Besides, as 
every sensible has many images, shadows, and representa- 
tions, and from one and the same original several copies 
may be taken both by nature and art ; so the latter must 
needs exceed the former in number, according to Plato, 
who makes things intelligible to be patterns or ideas of 
things sensible, like the originals of images and reflections. 
Further, Plato derives the knowledge of ideas from body 
by abstraction and cutting away, leading us by various 
steps in mathematical discipline from arithmetic to geome- 
try, thence to astronomy, and setting harmony above them 
all. For things become geometrical by the accession of 
magnitude to quantity ; solid, by the accession of profun- 
dity to magnitude ; astronomical, by the accession of motion 
to solidity ; harmonical, by the accession of sound to mo- 
tion. Abstract then sound from moving bodies, motion 
from solids, profundity from superficies, magnitude from 
quantity, we are then come to pure intelligible ideas, which 
have no distinction among themselves in respect of the 
one single intelligible essence. For unity makes no num- 
ber, unless joined by the infinite binary ; then it makes a 
number. And thence we proceed to points, thence to 
lines, from them to superficies, and profundities, and 
bodies, and to the qualities of the bodies so and so quali- 
fied. Now the reason is the only judicatory faculty of 
intelligibles ; and the understanding is the reason in the 
mathematics, where intelligibles appear as by reflection in 
mirrors. But as to the knowledge of bodies, because of 
their multitude, Nature has given us five powers or distinc- 
tions of senses ; nor are all bodies discerned by them, 
many escaping sense by reason of then* smallness. And 
though every one of us consists of a body and soul, yet 
the hegemonic and intellectual faculty is small, being hid 


in the huge mass of flesh. And the case is the same in 
the universe, as to sensible and intelligible. For intelli- 
gibles are the principles of bodily things, but every thing 
is greater than the principle whence it came. 

2. Yet, on the contrary, some will say that, by compar- 
ing sensibles with intelligibles, we match things mortal 
with divine, in some measure ; for God is in intelligibles. 
Besides, the thing contained is ever less than the contain- 
ing, and the nature of the universe contains the sensible 
in the intelligible. For God, having placed the soul in 
the middle, hath extended it through all, and hath covered 
it all round with bodies. The soul is invisible, and cannot 
be perceived by any of the senses, as Plato says in his 
Book of Laws ; therefore every man must die, but the 
world shall never die. For mortality and dissolution sur- 
round every one of our vital faculties. The case is quite 
otherwise in the world ; for the corporeal part, contained 
in the middle by the more noble and unalterable principle, 
is ever preserved. And a body is said to be without parts 
and indivisible for its minuteness ; but what is incorporeal 
and intelligible is so, as being simple and sincere, and void 
of all firmness and diflerence. Besides, it were folly to 
think to judge of incorporeal things by corporeal. The 
present, or now, is said to be without parts and indivisible, 
since it is everywhere and no part of the world is void of 
it. But all affections and actions, and all corruptions and 
generations in the world, are contained by this now. But 
the mind is judge only of what is intelligible, as the sight 
is of light, by reason of its simplicity and similitude. But 
bodies, having several differences and diversities, are com- 
prehended, some by one judicatory faculty, others by 
another, as by several organs. Yet they do not well who 
despise the intelligible and intelligent faculty in us ; for 
being great, it comprehends all sensibles, and attains to 
things divine. The most important thing he himself 


teaches in his Banquet, where he shows us how we 
should use amatorious matters, turning our minds from 
sensible goods to things discernible only by the reason, 
that we ought not to be enslaved by the beauty of any 
body, study, or learning, but laying aside such pusillanim- 
ity, should turn to the vast ocean of beauty.* 


What is the Reason that, though Plato always says that 
THE Soul is Ancienter than the Body, and that it is the 
Cause and Principle of its Rise, yet he likewise says, 
that neither could the Soul exist without the Body, nor 
the Reason without the Soul, but the Soul in the Body 
AND the Reason in the Soul ? For so the Body will seem 
to be and not to be, because it both exists with the Soul, 
and is begot by the Soul. 

Perhaps what we have often said is true ; viz., that the 
soul without reason and the body without form did mutually 
ever coexist, and neither of them had generation or begin- 
ning. But after the soul did partake of reason and har- 
mony, and being through consent made wise, it wrought a 
change in matter, and being stronger than the other's mo- 
tions, it drew and converted these motions to itself. So 
the body of the world drew its original from the soul, and 
became conformable and like to it. For the soul did not 
make the Nature of the body out of itself, or out of noth- 
ing ; but it wrought an orderly and pliable body out of one 
disorderly and formless. Just as if a man should say that 
the virtue of the seed is with the body, and yet that the 
body of the fig-tree or olive-tree was made of the seed, he 
would not be much out ; for the body, its innate motion 
and mutation proceeding from the seed, grew up and be- 
came what it is. So, when formless and indefinite matter 
was once formed by the inbeing soul, it received such a 
form and disposition. 

* See Plato's Symposium, p. 210 D. 



Why, since Bodies and Figures are contained partly by Rec- 
ttlinears and partly by circles, does he make isosceles 
Triangles and Triangles op Unequal Sides the Principles 
OP Rectilinears ; op which the Isosceles Triangle forms 
THE Cube, the Element op the Earth ; and a Scalene Tri- 
angle FORMS the Pyramid which is the Seed of Fire, the 
Octahedron which is the Seed op Air, and the Icosahedron 
WHICH IS the Seed of Water; — while he does not meddle 
WITH Circulars, though he does mention the Globe, where 


A Round Body that encloses it into Equal Parts.* 

1. Is their opinion true who think that he ascribed a 
dodecahedron to the globe, when he says that God made 
use of it in dehneating the universe ? For upon account 
of the multitude of its bases and the obtuseness of its 
angles, avoiding all rectitude, it is flexible, and by circum- 
tension, like globes made of twelve skins, it becomes circu- 
lar and comprehensive. For it has twenty solid angles, 
each of which is contained by three obtuse planes, and 
each of these contains one and the fifth part of a right 
angle. Now it is made up of twelve equilateral and 
equangular quinquangles (or pentagons), each of which 
consists of thirty of the first scalene triangles. Therefore 
it seems to resemble both the Zodiac and the year, it being 
divided into the same number of parts as these. 

2. Or is a right line in Nature prior to circumference ; 
or is circumference but an accident of rectilinear ? For a 
right line is said to bend ; and a circle is described by a 
centre and distance, which is the place of a right line by 
which a cu'cumference is measured, this being everywhere 
equally distant from the middle. And a cone and a cylin- 
der are made by rectilinears ; a cone by keeping one side 
of a triangle fixed and carrying another round with the 

* See Timaeus, pp. 53-56. 
TOL. V, 28 


base, — a cylinder, by doing tlie like with a parallelogram. 
Further, that is nearest to principle which is less ; but a 
right is the least of all lines, as it is simple ; whereas in a 
circumference one part is convex without, another concave 
within. Besides, numbers are before figures, as unity is 
before a point, which is unity in position. But indeed 
unity is triangular ; for every triangular number * taken 
eight times, by adding unity, becomes quadrate ; and this 
happens to unity. Therefore a triangle is before a circle, 
whence a right line is before a circumference. Besides, 
no element is divided into things compounded of itself; 
indeed there is a dissolution of all other things into the 
elements. Now a triangle is divided into no circumference, 
but two diameters cut a chcle into four triangles ; there- 
fore a rectilinear figure is before a circular, and has more 
of the nature of an element. And Plato himself shows 
that a rectilinear is in the first place, and a circular is only 
consequential and accidental. For when he says the earth 
consists of cubes, each of which is contained with rectilin- 
ear superficies, he says the earth is spherical and round. 
Therefore there was no need of making a peculiar element 
for round things, since rectilinears, fitted after a certain 
manner among themselves, do make up this figure. 

3. Besides, a right line, whether great or little, preserves 
the same rectitude ; but as to the circumference of a circle, 
the less it is, the crookeder it is ; the larger, the straighter. 
Therefore if a convex superficies stands on a plane, it 
sometimes touches the subject plane in a point, some- 
times in a line. So that a man may imagine that a circum- 
ference is made up of little right lines. 

4. But observe whether this be not true, that no circle 

* Triangular numbers are those , • . ' . 

of which equilateral triangles can be • • • ... 

formed in this way : — .. ... .... 

Such are 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28, 36, 45, &c. ; that is, numbers formed by adding the 
digits in regular order. (G.) 


or sphere in this world is .exact ; but since by the tension 
and circumtension of the right lines, or by the minuteness 
of the parts, the difference disappears, the figure seems 
circular and round. Therefore no corruptible body moves 
circularly, but altogether in a right line. To be truly 
spherical is not in a sensible body, but is the element of 
the soul and mind, to which he has given circular motion, 
as being agreeable to their nature. 



Nature op a Wing, by which ant thing that is Heavy is 


Is it because the discourse is of love, and love is of 
beauty inherent in a body ? Now beauty, by similitude to 
things divine, moves and reminds the soul. Or it may be 
(without too much curiosity) he may be understood in plain 
meaning, to wit, that the several faculties of the soul being 
employed about bodies, the power of reasoning and under- 
standing partakes most about divine and heavenly things ; 
which he did not impertinently call a wing, it raising the 
soul from mean and mortal things to things above. 


In WHAT Sense does Plato sat, that the Antiperistasis (or 
Reaction) op Motion — by Reason there is no Vacuum — is 
THE Cause op the Effects in Physicians' Cupping-Glasses, in 
Swallowing, in Throwing op Weights, in the Running op 
Water, in Thunder, in the Attraction op the Loadstone, 
and in the Harmony op Sounds ?t 

1. For it seems unreasonable to ascribe the reason of 
such different effects to the selfsame cause. 

2. How respiration is made by the reaction of the air, 

* See Phaedrus, p. 246 D. t See Timaeus, pp. 79-81. 


he has sufficiently shown. But the rest, he says, seem to 
be done miraculously, but really the bodies thrust each 
other aside and change places with one another ; while he 
has left for us to determine how each is particularly done. 

3. As to cupping-glasses, the case is thus : the air next 
to the flesh being comprehended and inflamed by the heat, 
and being made more rare than the pores of the brass, does 
not go into a vacuum (for there is no such thing), but into 
the air that is without the cupping-glass, and has an im- 
pulse upon it. This air drives that before it ; and each, as 
it gives way, strives to succeed into the place which was 
vacuated by the cession of the first.. And so the air ap- 
proaching the flesh comprehended by the cupping-glass, 
and exciting it, draws the humors into the cupping-glass. 

4. Swallowing takes place in the same way. For the 
cavities about the mouth and stomach are full of air ; when 
therefore the meat is squeezed down by the tongue and 
tonsils, the elided air follows what gives way, and also 
forces down the meat. 

5. Weights also thrown cleave the air and dissipate it, 
as they fall with force ; the air recoiling back, according 
to its natural tendency to rush in and fill the vacuity, fol- 
lows the impulse, and accelerates the motion. 

6. The fall also of thunderbolts is like to darting any 
thing. For by the blow in the cloud, the fiery matter ex- 
ploded breaks into the air ; and it being broken gives way, 
and again being contracted above, by main force it presses 
the thunderbolt downwards contrary to Nature. 

7. And neither amber nor the loadstone draws any thing 
to it which is near, nor does any thing spontaneously ap- 
proach them. But this stone emits strong exhalations, by 
which the adjoining air being impelled forceth that which 
is before it ; and this being carried round in the circle, and 
returning into the vacuated place, forcibly draws the iron 
in the same direction. In amber there is a flammeous and 


spirituous nature, and this by rubbing on the surface is 
emitted by recluse passages, and does the same that the 
loadstone does. It also draws the lightest and driest of 
adjacent bodies, by reason of their tenuity and weakness ; 
for it is not so strong nor so endued with weight and 
strength as to force much air and to act with violence and 
to have power over great bodies, as the magnet has. But 
what is the reason the air never draws a stone, nor wood, 
but iron only, to the loadstone ? This is a common ques- 
tion both by them who think the coition of these bodies is 
made by the attraction of the loadstone, and by such as 
think it done by the incitement of the iron. Iron is neither 
so rare as wood, nor altogether so solid as gold or a stone ; 
but has certain pores and asperities, which in regard of 
the inequality are proportionable to the air ; and the air 
being received in certain seats, and having (as it were) cer- 
tain stays to cling to, does not slip away ; but when it is 
carried up to the stone and strikes against it, it draws the 
iron by force along with it to the stone. Such then may 
be the reason of this. 

8. But the manner of fhe waters running over the 
earth is not so evident. But it is observable that the waters 
of lakes and ponds stand immovable, because the air about 
them stagnates immovable and admits of no vacuity. For 
the water on the surface of lakes and seas is troubled and 
fluctuates as the air is moved, it following the motion of 
the air, and moving as it is moved. For the force from 
below causes the hollowness of the wave, and from above 
the swelling thereof; until the air ambient and containing 
the water is still. Therefore the flux of such waters as 
follow the motion of the retreating air, and are impelled 
by that which presses behind, is continued without end. 
And this is the reason that the stream increases with the 
waters, and is slow where the water is weak, the aii* not 
giving way, and therefore sufl'ering less reaction. So the 


water of fountains must needs flow upwards, the extrinsic 
air succeeding into the vacuity and throwing the water 
out. In a close house, that keeps in the air and wind, the 
floor sprinkled with water causes an air or wind, because, 
as the sprinkled water falls, the air gives way. For it is 
so provided by Nature that air and water force one an- 
other and give way to one another ; because there is no 
vacuity in which one can be settled without feeling the 
change and alteration in the other. 

9. Concerning symphony, he shows how sounds har- 
monize. A quick sound is acute, a slow is grave. There- 
fore acute sounds move the senses the quicker ; and these 
dying and grave sounds supervening, what arises from the 
contemperation of one with the other causes pleasure to 
the ear, which we call harmony. And by what has been 
said, it may easily be understood that air is the instrument 
of these things. For sound is the stroke upon the sense 
of the hearer, caused by the air ; and the air strikes as it 
is struck by the thing moving, — if violent, acutely, — if 
languid, softly. The violent stroke comes quick to the 
ear ; then the circumambient air receiving a slower, it afiects 
and carries the sense along with it. 


What means Timaeus,* avhen he says that Souls are dispersed 
INTO the Earth, the Moon, and into other Instruments op 

1. Does the earth move like the sun, moon, and five 
planets, which for their motions he calls organs or instru- 
ments of time ? Or is the earth fixed to the axis of the 
universe ; yet not so built as to remain immovable, but to 
turn and wheel about, as Aristarchus and Seleucus have 

• See Timaeus, p. 42 D. 


shown since ; Aristarclius only supposing it, Seleucus posi- 
tively asserting if? Theophrastus writes how that Plato, 
when he grew old, repented him that he had placed the 
earth in the middle of the universe, which was not its 

2. Or is this contradictory to Plato's opinion elsewhere, 
and in the Greek instead of xqovov should it be written pf^oVo), 
taking the dative case instead of the genitive, so that the 
stars will not be said to be instruments, but the bodies of 
animals ? So Aristotle has defined the soul to be " the 
actual being of a natural organic body, having the power 
of life."* The sense then must be this, that souls are 
dispersed into meet organical bodies in time. But this is 
far besides his opinion. For it is not once, but several 
times, that he calls the stars instruments of time ; as when 
he says, the sun was made, as well as other planets, for 
the distinction and conservation of the numbers of time. 

3. It is therefore most proper to understand the earth to 
be here an instrument of time ; not that the earth is moved, 
as the stars are ; but that, they being carried about it, it 
standing still makes sunset and sunrising, by which the 
first measures of time, nights and days, are circumscribed. 
Wherefore he called it the infallible guard and artificer of 
night and day. For the gnomons of dials are instruments 
and measures of time, not in being moved with the shad- 
ows, but in standing still ; they being like the earth in 
intercepting the light of the sun when it is down, — as 
Empedocles says that the earth makes night by intercept- 
ing light. This therefore may be Plato's meaning. 

4. And so much the rather might we consider whether 
the sun is not absurdly and without probability said to 
be made for the distinction of time, with the moon and the 
rest of the planets. For as in other respects the dignity 

• See Aristotle on the Soul, 11. 1, with Trendelenburg's note. (G.) 


of the sun is great ; so by Plato in his Republic * the sun 
is called the king and lord of the whole sensible nature, 
as the Chief Good is of the intelligible. For it is said to 
be the offspring of Good, it giving both generation and 
appearance to things visible ; as it is from Good that things 
intelligible both are and are understood. But that this 
God, having such a nature and so great power, should be 
only an instrument of time, and a sure measure of the dif- 
ference that happens among the eight orbs, as they are 
slow or swift in motion, seems neither decent nor highly 
rational. It must therefore be said to such as are startled 
at these things, that it is their ignorance to think that time 
is the measure of motion in respect of sooner or later, as 
Aristotle calls it ; or quantity in motion, as Speusippus ; 
or an interval of motion and nothing more, as some of the 
Stoics define it, by an accident, not comprehending its 
essence and power, which Pindar has not ineptly expressed 
in these words : Time, who surpasses all in the seats of the 
blest. Pythagoras also, when he was asked what time was, 
answered, it was the soul of this world. For time is no 
affection or accident of motion, but the cause, power, and 
principle of that symmetry and order that confines all cre- 
ated beings, by which the animated nature of the universe 
is moved. Or rather, this order and symmetry itself — so 
far as it is motion — is called time. For this, 

Walking by still and silent ways, 
Mortal affairs with justice guides.f 

According to the ancients, the essence of the soul is a 
number moving itself. Therefore Plato says that time and 
heaven were coexistent, but that motion was before heaven 
had being. But time was not. For then there neither was 
order, nor measure, nor determination ; but indefinite mo- 
tion, as it were, the formless and rude matter of time. 

* Plato, Republic, VI. pp. 508, 509. t Euripides, Troad. 887. 


. . . But when matter was informed with figures, and 
motion with circuitions, from that came the world, from 
this time. Both are representations of God ; the world, 
of his essence ; time, of his eternity in the form of mo- 
tion, as the world is God in creation. Therefore they say 
heaven and motion, being bred together, will perish to- 
gether, if ever they do perish. For nothing is generated 
without time, nor is any thing intelligible without eternity ; 
if this is to endure for ever, and that never to die when 
once bred. Time therefore, having a necessary connection 
and affinity with heaven, cannot be called simple motion, 
but (as it were) motion in order having terms and periods ; 
whereof since the sun is prefect and overseer, to deter- 
mine, moderate, produce, and observe changes and seasons, 
which (according to Heraclitus) produce all things, he is 
coadjutor to the governing and chief God, not in trivial 
things, but in the greatest and most momentous affairs. 


Since Plato in his Commonwealth, discoursing of thfc 
faculties of the soul, has very well compared the symphony 
of reason and of the irascible and the concupiscent facul- 
ties to the harmony of the middle, lowest, and highest 
chord,* some men may properly ask this question : — 

Did Plato pla.ce the Rational or the Irascible Facultt nr 
THE Middle? For he is not Clear in the Point. 

1. Indeed, according to the natural order of the parts, 
the place of the irascible faculty must be in the middle, 
and of the rational in the highest, which the Greeks call 
hypate. For they of old called the chief and supreme 
vnaxog. So Xeiiocrates calls Jove, in respect of immutable 
things, vnarog (or highest), in respect of sublunary things 

♦ See Republic, IV. p. 443 D. 


vmrog (or lowest.) And long before him, Homer calls the 
chief God imaxog HQeiovrcov, Highest of Rulers. And Na- 
ture has of due given the highest place to what is most 
excellent, having placed reason as a steersman in the head, 
and the concupiscent faculty at a distance, last of all and 
lowest. And the lowest place they call vmrq, as the names 
of the dead, vsqtsqoi and hzQoi^ do show. And some say, that 
the south wind, inasmuch as it blows from a low and ob- 
scure place, is called voTog. Now since the concupiscent 
faculty stands in the same opposition to reason in which 
the lowest stands to the highest and the last to the first, 
it is not possible for the reason to be uppermost and first, 
and yet for any other part to be the one called vnaxog (or 
highest). For they that ascribe the power of the middle 
to it, as the ruling power, are ignorant how they deprive 
it of a higher power, namely, of the highest, which is 
eompetible neither to the irascible nor to the concupiscent 
faculty ; since it is the nature of them both to be governed 
by and obsequious to reason, and the nature of neither of 
them to govern and lead it. And the most natural place 
of the irascible faculty seems to be in the middle of the 
other two. For it is the nature of reason to govern, and 
of the irascible faculty both to govern and be governed, 
since it is obsequious to reason, and commands the concu 
piscent faculty when this is disobedient to reason. And as 
in letters the semi-vowels are middling between mutes and 
vowels, having something more than those and less than 
these ; so in the soul of man, the irascible faculty is not 
purely passive, but hath often an imagination of good 
mixed with the irrational appetite of revenge. Plato him- 
self, after he had compared the soul to a pair of horses 
and a charioteer, likened (as every one knows) the rational 
faculty to the charioteer, and the concupiscent to one of 
the horses, which was resty and unmanageable altogether, 
bristly about the ears, deaf and disobedient both to whip 


and spur ; and the irascible he makes for the most part 
very obsequious to the bridle of reason, and assistant to it. 
As therefore in a chariot, the middling one in virtue and 
power is not the charioteer, but that one of the horses which 
is worse than his guider and yet better than his fellow ; 
so in the soul, Plato gives the middle place not to the 
principal part, but to that faculty which has less of reason 
than the principal part and more than the third. This 
order also observes the analogy of the symphonies, i.e. the 
relation of the irascible to the rational (which is placed 
as hypate) forming the diatessaron (or fourth), that of the 
irascible to the concupiscent (or nete) forming the dia- 
pente (or fifth), and that of the rational to the concupis- 
cent (as hypate to nete) forming an octave or diapason. 
But should you place the rational in the middle, you would 
make the irascible farther from the concupiscent ; though 
some of the philosophers have taken the irascible and 
the concupiscent faculty for the selfsame, by reason of 
their likeness. 

2. But it may be ridiculous to describe the first, middle, 
and last by their place ; since we see hypate highest in 
the harp, lowest in the pipe ; and wheresoever you place 
the mese in the harp, provided it is tunable, it sounds more 
acute than hypate, and more grave than nete. Nor does 
the eye possess the same place in all animals ; but where- 
ever it is placed, it is natural for it to see. So a pedagogue, 
though he goes not foremost but follows behind, is said to 
lead (ayeiv), as the general of the Trojan army, 

Now in the front, now in the rear was seen, 
And kept command ; * 

but wherever he was, he was first and chief in power. 
So the faculties of the soul are not to be ranged by mere 
force in order of place or name, but according to theii 

• D. XI. 64. 


power and analogy. For that in the body of man reason 
is in the highest place, is accidental. But it holds the 
chief and highest power, as mese to hypate, in respect of 
the concupiscent ; as mese to nete, in respect of the iras- 
cible ; insomuch as it depresses and heightens, — and in 
fine makes a harmony, — by abating what is too much and 
by not suffering them to flatten and grow dull. For what 
is moderate and symmetrous is defined by mediocrity. Still 
more is it the object of the rational faculty to reduce the 
passions to moderation, which is called sacred, as effecting 
a harmony of the extremes with reason, and through rea- 
son with each other. For in chariots the best of the beasts 
is not in the middle ; nor is the skill of driving to be placed 
as an extreme, but it is a mediocrity between the ine- 
quality of the swiftness and the slowness of the horses. 
So the force of reason takes up the passions irrationally 
moved, and reducing them to measure, constitutes a medi- 
ocrity betwixt too much and too little. 


Why said Plato, that Speech was composed op Nouns and 

Verbs ? * 

1. For he seems to make no other parts of speech but 
them. But Homer in a sportive humor has comprehended 
them all in one verse : 

kvrbg luv K?umrivds rd abv yepac, o(pp' ei eldyQ.f 

For in it there is pronoun, participle, noun, preposition, 
article, conjunction, adverb, and verb, the particle -ds being 
put instead of the preposition sig ; for xXmrjvds, to the tent, is 
said in the same sense as I4dtjvd^e, to Athens. What then 
shall we say for Plato % 

* Plato's Sophist, p. 262 A. t II. L 186. 


Is it that at first the ancients called that Xoyog, or speech, 
which once was called protasis and now is called axiom or 
proposition, — which as soon as a man speaks, he speaks 
either true or false ? This consists of a noun and verb, 
which logicians call the subject and predicate. For when 
we hear this said, " Socrates philosophizeth" or " Socrates 
is changed," requiring nothing more, we say the one is 
true, the other false. For very likely in the beginning 
men wanted speech and articulate voice, to enable them to 
express clearly at once the passions and the patients, the 
actions and the agents. Now, since actions and affections 
are sufficiently expressed by verbs, and they that act and 
are affected by nouns, as he says, these seem to signify. 
And one may say, the rest signify not. For instance, the 
groans and shrieks of stage-players, and even their smiles 
and reticence, make their discourse more emphatic. But 
they have no necessary power to signify any thing, as a 
noun and verb have, but only an ascititious power to vary 
speech ; just as they vary letters who mark spirits and 
quantities upon letters, these being the accidents and dif- 
ferences of letters. This the ancients have made mani- 
fest, whom sixteen letters sufficed to speak and write any 

2. Besides, we must not neglect to observe, that Plato 
says that speech is composed of these, not by these ; nor 
must we blame Plato for leaving out conjunctions, prepo- 
sitions, and the like, any more than we should cavil at a 
man who should say such a medicine is composed of wax 
and galbanum, because fire and utensils are omitted, with- 
out which it cannot be made. For speech is not composed 
of these ; yet by their means, and not without them, speech 
must be composed. As, if a man pronounce heats or is 
beaten, and put Socrates and Pythagoras to the same, he 
offers us something to conceive and understand. But if 
a man pronounce indeed or for or about^ and no more. 


none can conceive any notion of a body or matter ; and 
unless such words as these be uttered with verbs and 
nouns, they are but empty noise and chattering. For 
neither alone nor joined one with another do they signify 
any thing. And join and confound together conjunctions, 
articles, and prepositions, supposing you would make 
something of them ; yet you will be taken to babble, and 
not to speak sense. But when there is a verb in construc- 
tion with a noun, the result is speech and sense. There- 
fore some do with good reason make only these two parts 
of speech ; and perhaps Homer is willing to declare him- 
self of this mind, when he says so often, 

"ETTOf t" e(paT' en r' ovofia^ev. 

For by sTtog he usually means a verb, as in these verses . 

'Q yvvat, fj fiula tovto iirog •&vfidkyeg ienz£(, 


'X.alpe, ■narep, o ^elve, etco^ (5* elirep ti JiXeKTai 
^uvbv, a(pap to ^epoiev avapna^aaai ueXkai.* 

For neither conjunction, article, nor preposition could 
be called ^mov (terrible) or d-vfiaXysg (soul-grieving), but 
only a verb expressing a base action or a foolish passion 
of the mind. Therefore, when we would praise or dis- 
praise poets or writers, we are wont to say, such a man 
uses Attic nouns and good verbs, or else common nouns 
and verbs ; but none can say that Thucydides or Euripides 
used Attic or good or common articles. 

3. What then? may some say, do the rest of the parts 
conduce nothing to speech? I answer, They conduce, as 
salt does to victuals, or water to barley cakes. And Eue- 
nus calls fire the best sauce. Though sometimes there is 
neither occasion for fire to boil, nor for salt to season our 
food, which we have always occasion for. ]N^or has 
speech always occasion for articles. I think I may say 

• Odyss. XXin. 183; Vni. 408. 

Plutarch's platonic questions. 447 

this of the Latin tongue, which is now the universal lan- 
guage ; for it has taken away all prepositions, saving a 
few, nor does it use any articles, but leaves its noims (as 
it Avere) without skirts and borders. Nor is it any wonder, 
since Homer, who in fineness of epic surpasses all men, 
has put articles only to a few nouns, like handles to cans, 
or crests to helmets. Therefore these verses are remark- 
able wherein the articles are expressed : 

Al'avTL de fiaXiffTa 5at<ppovi dvjxbv 6pive 
T^ TeXafMuviddrj' * 


Uoleop '6(ppa rb ktjtos vweKTrpocpvydjv a\4aiTo' t 

and some few besides. But in a thousand others, the 
omission of the articles hinders neither perspicuity nor 
elegance of phrase. 

4. Now neither an animal nor an instrument nor arms 
nor any thing else is more fine, efficacious, or graceful, for 
the loss of a part. Yet speech, by taking away conjunc- 
tions, often becomes more persuasive, as here : 

One rear'd a dagger at a captive's breast ; 

One held a living foe, that freshly bled 

With new-made wounds ; another dragg'd a dead. X 

And this of Demosthenes : 

" A bully in an assault may do much which his victim 
cannot even describe to another person, — by his mien, 
his look, his voice, — when he stings by insult, when he 
attacks as an avowed enemy, when he smites with his 
fist, when he gives a blow on the face. These rouse a 
man ; these make a man beside himself who is unused to 
such foul abuse." 

And again : 

" Not so with Midias ; but from the very day, he talks, 
he abuses, he shouts. Is there an election of magistrates ? 

* II. XIV. 459. t II. XX. 147. J II. XVIII. 536. 


Midias the Anagyrrasian is nominated. He is the advocate 
of Plutarchus ; he knows state secrets ; the city cannot 
contain him." * 

Therefore the figure asyndeton, whereby conjunctions 
are omitted, is highly commended by writers of rhetoric. 
But such as keep overstrict to the law, and (according to 
custom) omit not a conjunction, rhetoricians blame for 
using a dull, flat, tedious style, without any variety in it. 
And inasmuch as logicians mightily want conjunctions for 
the joining together their axioms, as much as charioteers 
want yokes, and Ulysses wanted withs to tie Cyclop's 
sheep ; this shows they are not parts of speech, but a 
conjunctive instrument thereof, as the w^ord conjunction im- 
ports. Nor do conjunctions join all, but only such as are 
not spoken simply ; unless you will make a cord part of 
the burthen, glue a part of a book, or distribution of money 
part of the government. For Demades says, that money 
which is given to the people out of the exchequer for 
public shows is the glue of a democracy. Now what 
conjunction does so of several propositions make one, 
by knitting and joining them together, as marble joins iron 
that is melted with it in the fire ? Yet the marble neither 
is nor is said to be part of the iron ; although in this case 
the substances enter into the mixture and are melted to- 
gether, so as to form a common substance from many and 
to be mutually affected. But there be some who think 
that conjunctions do not make any thing one, but that this 
kind of discourse is merely an enumeration, as when 
magistrates or days are reckoned in order. 

5. Moreover, as to the other parts of speech, a pronoun 
is manifestly a sort of noun ; not only because it has cases 
like the noun, but because some pronouns, when they are 
applied to objects heretofore defined, by their mere utter- 
ance give the most distinct and proper designation of them. 

* Demosthenes against Midias, p. 537, 25, and p. 578, 29. 


Nor do I know whether he that says Socrates or he that 
says this one does more by name dedare the person. 

6. The thing we call a participle, being a mixture of a 
verb and noun, is nothing of itself, as are not the com- 
mon names of male and female qualities (i.e. adjectives), 
but in construction it is put with others, in regard of tenses 
belonging to verbs, in regard of cases to nouns. Logi- 
cians call them dvdx} iaroi, (i.e. reflected), — as (pQovav comes 
from cpQovtfiog, and amqjQovwv from amqjQovog, — having the force 
both of nouns and appellatives. 

7. And prepositions are like to the crests of a helmet, 
or footstools and pedestals, which (one may rather say) do 
belong to words than are words themselves. See whether 
they rather be not pieces and scraps of words, as they that 
are in haste write but dashes and pricks for letters. For 
it is plain that l^^Jjvai and Ix^r^vai are abbreviations of the 

whole words tnog §7jvai and luxog ^Jjvai, TtQoysv^adfu for TtQOTEQOP 

ysvs6dai, and aadl'Qav for xktw TCem As undoubtedly for haste 
and brevity's sake, instead of lidovg ^dlluv and toixovg oqvzthv 
men first said hdo^olm and rot/wov/sr?'. 

8. Therefore every one of these is of some use in 
speech ; but nothing is a part or element of speech (as 
has been said) except a noun and a verb, which make the 
first juncture admitting of truth or falsehood, which some 
call a proposition or protasis, others an axiom, and which 
Plato called speech. 



Most people are apt to take the histories of former 
times for mere forgeries and fables, because of many pas- 
sages in those relations that seem to be very extravagant. 
But yet, according to my observation, we have had as 
strange occurrences of a later date in the Roman times as 
any we have received from antiquity ; for proof whereof, 
I have here matched several stories of the ancients with 
modern instances, and cited my authorities. 

1. Datis, an eminent Persian commander, drew out 
three hundred thousand men to Marathon, a plain of At- 
tica, where he encamped and declared war against the in- 
habitants. The Athenians made no reckoning at all of 
so barbarous a rabble, but sent out nine thousand men 
against him, under the command of Cynaegirus, Polyzelus, 
Callimachus, and Miltiades. Upon the joining of battle, 
Polyzelus was struck blind at the sight of a wonderful ap- 

* It seems impossible to believe this treatise to be the work of Plutarch, and 
equally impossible to believe it to be the work of any full-grown man of sound mind. 
In this case, and in that of the next treatise, no satisfaction is gained by merely 
supposing the work spurious. One of these Parallel Histories is usually a well- 
known story, and the other is an absurd imitation of it. An instance may be seen 
in section 12, where the common story of Manlius Torquatus and his son is matched 
by an absurd one of Epaminondas and his son ; on which Wyttenbach remarks : 
" Romanum constat : Graecum non modo ementitum, sed stulte ementitum." We 
might almost suspect that many of them are some school-bo3''s compositions, half his- 
torical, and half imitations of well-known stories fortified by imaginary authorities 
Is it possible that this school-boy can have been Plutarch himself? (G.) 


parition ; Callimachus's body was struck through with a 
great many lances, continuing in an upright posture even 
when he was dead ; Cynaegirus had both his hands cut off 
upon laying hold of a Persian ship that was endeavoring 
to get away. 

King Asdrubal, having possessed himself of Sicily, pro- 
claimed war against the Romans. Metellus, who was ap- 
pointed by the Senate to command in chief, overcame him. 
L. Glauco, a patrician, laid hold of the vessel that Asdru- 
bal was in, and lost both his hands upon it. — Aristides 
Milesms gives this account in his First Booh of the Affairs 
of Sicily, and Dionysius Siculus had it from him, 

2. Xerxes came with an army of five millions of men to 
Artemisium, and declared war against the country. The 
Athenians, in a very great surprise, sent Agesilaus, the 
brother of Themistocles, to discover the motions of the ene- 
my, notwithstanding a dream of his father Neocles, that his 
son had lost both his hands. This Agesilaus put himself 
into a Persian habit, and entered the barbarians' camp ; 
where, taking Mardonius (an officer of the king's guards) for 
Xerxes himself, he killed him. Whereupon he was immedi- 
ately seized, bound, and carried to Xerxes, who was just 
then about to sacrifice an ox to the Sun. The fire was kin- 
dled upon the altar, and Agesilaus put his right hand into it, 
without so much as shrinking at the pain. He was ordered 
upon this to be untied ; and told the king that the Atheni- 
ans were all of the same resolution, and that, if he pleased, 
he should see him burn his left hand too. This gave 
Xerxes an apprehension of him, so that he caused him to 
be still kept in custody. — This I find in Agathar chides the 
Samian, in the Second Book of his Persian History. 

Porsena, a king of Tuscany, encamped himself beyond 
the Tiber, and made war upon the Romans, cutting off the 
supplies, till they were brought to great want of provi 


sions. The Senate were at their wits' end what to do, till 
Mucins, a nobleman, got leave of the consuls to take four 
hundred of his own quality to advise with upon the mat- 
ter. Mucins, upon this, put himself into the habit of a 
private man, and crossed the river ; where finding one of 
the king's officers giving orders for the distribution of ne- 
cessaries to the soldiers, and taking him for the king him- 
self, he slew him. He was taken immediately and carried 
to the king, where he put his right hand into a fire that 
was in the room, and with a smile in the middle of his 
torments, — Barbarian, says he, I can set myself at liber- 
ty without asking you leave ; and be it known to you, that 
I have left four hundred men in the camp as daring as my- 
self, that have sworn your death. This struck Porsena 
with such a terror, that he made peace with the Romans 
upon it. — Aristides Milesius is my author for this, in the 
Third Book of his History. 

3. There happened a dispute betwixt the Argives and 
Lacedaemonians about a claim to the possession of Thyreatis. 
The Amphictyons gave their opinion for a trial of it by 
battle, so many and so many of a side, and the possession 
to go to the victor. The Lacedaemonians made choice of 
Othryades for their captain, and the Argives of Thersander. 
The battle was fought, and the only two survivors that ap- 
peared were Agenor and Chromius, both Argives, who 
carried their city the news of the victory. In this interim, 
Othryades, who was not as yet quite dead, made a shift to 
raise himself by the help of broken lances, gathered the 
shields of the dead together, and erected a trophy with 
this inscription upon it in his own blood. " To Jupiter the 
Guardian of Trophies." The controversy still depended, 
till the Amphictyons, upon an ocular examination of the 
matter, gave it for the Lacedaemonians. — TJiis is accord- 
ing to Chrysermus, in his Third Book of the Peloponne- 
sian History. 


In a war that the Eomans had with the Samnites, they 
made Posthumius Albinus their general. He was sur- 
prised in the difficult pass called the Caudine Forks, where 
he was hemmed in and lost three legions, he himself -like- 
wise falling upon the place grievously wounded. In the 
dead of the night, finding himself near his end, he gath 
ered together the targets of his dead enemies, and raised 
a trophy with them, which he inscribed with his hand 
dipped in blood, " Erected by the Romans to Jupiter, 
Guardian of the Trophies, for a victory over the Samnites." 
But Fabius Gurges, that was despatched away with troops 
under his command, so soon as he came to the place and 
saw the trophy, took up an auspicious omen upon it, fought 
the enemy, and overcame them, took their king prisoner, 
and sent him to Rome. — This is in the Third Book of 
Aristides Milesius's Italian History. 

4. Upon the Persians falling into Greece with a body of 
five millions of men, the Spartans sent out Leonidas with 
a party of three hundred soldiers to secure the Pass of 
Thermopylae. As they were at dinner, the barbarians fell 
in upon them ; upon which, Leonidas bade them eat as if 
they were to sup in another world. Leonidas charged 
at the head of his men into the body of the barbarians ; 
and after many wounds received, got up to Xerxes him- 
self, and took his crown from his head. He lost his life in 
the attempt, and Xerxes causing him to be cut up when 
he was dead, found his heart all hairy. — Aristides^ in 
the First Book of his Persian History. 

In the Punic war the Romans sent out three hundred 
men under the command of Fabius Maximus, where they 
were all lost ; and he himself, after he had received a mor- 
tal wound, assaulting Hannibal, took his diadem from his 
head, and died in the action. According to Aristides 


5. There was a terrible earthquake, with a wonderful 
eruption of water, at Celaenae, a city of Phrygia, that 
swallowed up a great many houses, people and all. Midas 
upon this consults the oracle, which gave him for answer, 
that if he would cast into that gulf the most precious 
thing that he had in the world, the earth should close 
again. Whereupon he threw in a mass of gold and silver; 
but never the better. This put it in the head of Anchurus, 
the son of Midas, to consider, that the most precious thing 
in Nature is the life and soul of a man ; so that he went 
presently and embraced his father and his wife Timothea, 
mounted his horse, and leaped into the abyss. The earth 
closed upon it, and Midas raised a golden altar in the 
place, laid his hand upon it, and dedicated it TO JUPI- 
TER IDAEUS. This altar becomes stone at that time of 
the year when it was usual to have these eruptions ; and 
after that season was over, it is turned to gold again. — 
My author is Callisthenes, in his Second Book of Trans- 

The River Tiber, in its course over the Forum, opened 
a huge cavity in the ground, so that a great many houses 
were buried in it. This was looked upon as a judgment 
upon the place, from Jupiter Tarsius ; who, as the oracle 
told them, was not to be appeased without throwing into it 
what they held most valuable. So they threw a quantity 
of gold and silver into it. But Curtius, one of the bravest 
young men they had, gave a better guess at the mind of 
the oracle ; and reflecting upon it, that the life of a man 
was much more excellent than treasure, took his horse and 
plunged himself into the gulf, and so redeemed his 
country. — Aristides, in the Fortieth Book of his Italian 

6. As several great captains were making merry with 
Polynices, an eagle passing by made a stoop, and carried 


up into the air the lance of Amphiaraus, who was one of 
the company ; and then falling down, it stuck in the 
ground, and was turned into a laurel. The next day, when 
the armies were in action, the earth opened and swallowed 
up Amphiaraus with his chariot, in that very place where 
at present the city Harma stands, so called from that 
chariot. — This is in Trisimachuss Third Book of the 
Foundations of Cities. 

When the Romans made war upon Pyrrhus, the king 
of the Epirots, the oracle promised Aemilius Paulus the 
victory in case he should erect an altar in that place where 
he should see an eminent man with his chariot swallowed 
up into the ground. Some three days after, Valerius Con- 
atus, a man skilled in divining, was commanded in a dream 
to take the pontifical habit upon him. He did so, and led 
his men into the battle, where, after a prodigious slaughter 
of the enemy, the earth opened and swallowed him up. 
Aemilius built an altar here, obtained a great victory, and 
sent a hundred and sixty castle-bearing elephants to Rome. 
This altar delivers oracles about that season of the year in 
which Pyrrhus was overcome. — Critolaus has this in his 
Third Book of the History of the Epirots. 

7. Pyraechmes, king of the Euboeans, made war upon 
the Boeotians. Hercules, when he was yet a youth, over- 
came this king, had him drawn to pieces with horses, and 
threw away the carcass unburied. The place where this 
was done is called Pyraechmes's horses. It lies upon the 
River Heraclius, and there is heard a neighing whensoever 
any horse drinks of that river. — This is in the Third 
Book of Bivers. 

Tullus Hostilius, a king of the Romans, waged war 
against the Albans, whose king's name was Metius Fufe- 
tius ; and he many times kept off from fighting. He had 
the ill luck to be once worsted, upon which the Albans 


gave themselves up to drinking and making good cheer, till 
Tullus fell in upon them when they were in their cups, 
and tore their king to pieces betwixt two horses. — Alex- 
archus, in the Fourth Book of his Italian History. 

8. Philip had a design to sack Olynthus and Methone. 
and in trying to pass the River Sandanus, was shot in the 
eye with an arrow by one Aster, an Olynthian, with these 
words: It is Aster that sends Philip this mortal shaft. 
Philip upon this swam back again to his own people, and 
with the loss of an eye saved his life. — Callisthenes, in 
his Third Book of the Macedonics. 

Porsena made war upon the Romans, and pitched his 
camp on the further side of the Tiber, where he intercejDted 
all relief, till they were pinched with famine. Horatius 
Codes, being chosen general, took possession of the wood- 
en bridge, where he opposed himself to the enemy that 
were pressing to come over ; but finding himself over- 
powered with numbers, he commanded his people to cut 
down the bridge behind him, by which means he hindered 
them from coming over. But in the mean time receiving 
a wound in his eye, he threw himself into the river, and 
swam over to his own party. — So Theoiimus in the Second 
Book of his Italian History. 

9. Eratosthenes in Erigone tells a story of Icarius, that 
entertained Bacchus under his roof; and it runs thus. 
Saturn, having taken up his lodging with an husbandman 
who had a very beautiful daughter named Entoria, took 
her to his bed, and had several sons by her, Janus, Hym- 
nus, Faustus, and Felix. He taught his host Icarius the 
use of wine and the way of dressing his vines, with a 
charge that he should likewise instruct his neighbors in 
the mystery. His acquaintance, hereupon finding that this 
strange drink had cast them into a deeper sleep than ordi- 


nary, took a fancy that they were poisoned, and stoned 
Icarius in revenge ; whereupon his grandchildren hanged 
themselves for grief. 

Upon a time, when the plague was very hot in Rome, 
the Pythian oracle being consulted gave this answer, that 
upon the appeasing the wrath of Saturn, and the Manes of 
those that were unjustly killed, the pestilence would cease. 
Lutatius Catulus, a man of the first quality, caused a tem- 
ple upon this occasion to be erected near the Tarpeian 
Mount, which he dedicated to Saturn, placing an altar in 
it with four faces ; possibly with a respect to Saturn's four 
children, or to the four seasons of the year. He also in- 
stituted the month of January. But Saturn translated 
them all to heaven among the stars, some of which are 
called Protrygeteres, as forerunners of the vintage ; only 
Janus rises first, and has his place at the feet of the Vir- 
gin. — Critolaus^ in his Fourth Booh of Celestial Appear- 

10. In the time of the devastation of Greece by the 
Persians, Pausaaias, the Lacedaemonian commander, took 
a bribe of 500 talents of Xerxes, to betray Sparta. The 
treason being discovered, his father Agesilaus pressed him 
so hard, that he was fain to take sanctuary in the temple 
of Minerva, called Chalcioecos, where he caused the doors 
to be bricked up, and his son to be immured till he died 
of hunger ; and his mother after this would not suffer the 
body to be buried. — Chrysermus, in his Seco?id Book of 

The Komans, being in war with the Latins, made choice 
of P. Decius for their general. Now there was a certain 
patrician, a young man and poor (Cassius Brutus by name), 
who proposed for a certain reward to open the gates to the 
enemy ; but being detected, he fled to the temple of Mi- 
nerva Auxiliaria. But his father Cassius, an ensign-bearer, 


shut him up there till he died of famine, and his dead 
body was not allowed burial. — Clitonymus, in his Italian 

11. Darius, the Persian, had a battle with Alexander 
near the River Granicus, where he lost seven satraps, and 
five hundred and two chariots armed with scythes. And yet 
he would have tried the fortune of another battle the day 
following ; but his son Ariobarzanes, in favor of Alexan- 
der, undertook to betray his father into his hands. The 
father was so transported with passion at the indignity of 
the thing, that he cut off his son's head for it. — Aretades 
Cnidius, in the Third of his Macedonian History. 

Brutus, that was created consul by the unanimous vote 
of the citizens, forced away Tarquinius Superbus into 
banishment for his abominable tyranny. He fled to the 
Tuscans, and by their assistance made war upon the 
Komans. The sons were treating to betray the father ; 
the business was discovered, and they lost their heads for 
it. — Aristides Milesius, in his Italia?! Histoi^y. 

12. Epaminondas, a Theban general, managed a war 
against the Spartans. He went from the army to Thebes, 
to be present there at a public election of magistrates ; 
but first enjoined his son Stesimbrotus that he should not 
fight the enemy in his absence upon any terms. The 
Spartans being informed that Epaminondas was not with 
the army, reproached the young man with want of courage, 
and so far provoked him, that without any regard to his 
father's command he gave the Spartans battle, and over- 
came them. His father was so incensed against him for 
this action, that though he crowned him for the victory, 
he cut off his head for his disobedience. — Ctesiphon, in 
his Third Book of the Boeotian History. 

lu a war that the Romans had against the Samnites, 


they gave the command to Manlius, surnamed Imperiosus. 
He had occasion to go to Rome, to be present there at the 
choice of consuls, and gave his son in charge not to en- 
gage the enemy in the mean time. The Samnites, under- 
standing this, irritated the young man with opprobrious 
words, as if he declined fighting out of cowardice, and in 
the end provoked him to a battle ; upon which action he 
carried the day ; but his father caused his head to be 
struck off for breaking his order. — This is in Aristides 

13. Hercules made love to lole, but she gave him the 
repulse, and so he went and assaulted Oechalia. lole 
threw herself headlong down from the wall, but the 
whiffling of the wind under her garments broke tlie 
fall, and she had no hurt. — This story is in Nicias 

Valerius Torquatus was the Romans' general in the war 
they had with the Tuscans ; who, upon the sight of Clusia, 
the daughter of the Tuscan king, fell in love with her, and 
when he found he could do no good on't, laid siege to the 
city. Clusia, upon this, threw herself headlong from a 
tower ; but Venus was so careful of her, that by the play- 
ing of the wind in the folds of her garments, she was 
wafted safe to the ground. Torquatus, however, offered 
her violence, and for so doing he was banished by a public 
decree into the isle of Corsica. — Theophilus, in the Third 
Book of his Italian History. 

14. While the Carthaginians were treating an alliance 
with the Sicilians against the Romans, the Roman general 
Metellus was observed to omit sacrificing only to Vesta, 
who revenged herself upon him by sending a cross wind 
to the navy. But Caius Julius, a soothsayer, being con- 
sulted in the matter, gave answer, that this obstacle would 


be removed upon the general's sacrificing his daughter . 
so that he was forced to produce his daughter Metella foi 
a sacrifice. But Vesta had compassion for her, and so 
sent her away to Lamusium, substituting a heifer in her 
stead, and made a priestess of her to the dragon that is 
worshipped in that place. — So Pythocles, in the Third 
Book of his Italian History. 

Something like this happened to Iphigenia in Aulis, a 
city of Boeotia. — See Meryllus, in the First Book of his 
Boeotic History. 

15. Brennus, a king of the Gauls, after the wasting of 
Asia, came to Ephesus, and there fell in love with a coun- 
try girl, who promised him that for such a certain reward 
in bracelets and other curiosities of value he should have 
the use of her body, and that she would further undertake 
to deliver up Ephesus into his hands, Brennus ordered 
his soldiers to throw all the gold they had into the lap of 
this avaricious wretch, which they did, till she perished 
under the weight of it. — Clitophon in the First Book of 
his Gallican Histoi^y. 

Tarpeia, a virgin that was well born, and had the keep- 
ing of the Capitol in the war betwixt the Sabines and the 
Romans, passed a promise unto Tatius, that she would open 
him a passage into the Tarpeian Mount, provided that he 
would give lier all the jewels that the Sabines wore, for a 
reward. The Sabines hearing this crushed her to death — 
Arisiides's 3£ilesius, in his Italic History. 

16. After a long war betwixt two cities, Tegea and Phe- 
nea, they came to an agreement to refer the decision of the 
controversy, by combat, to three twin-brothers on each side, 
the sons of Reximachus for Tegea, and the sons of Damos- 
tratus for Phenea. Upon the encounter, two of the sons 
of Reximachus were slain ; but Critolaus, the third, had a 


fetch beyond his two brothers ; for, under a pretence of 
running away, he divided his enemies that pursued him, 
and so taking them one by one, he killed them all. The 
Tegeans upon his return went all overjoyed to gratulate 
the victor. Only his sister Demodice was not so well 
pleased ; for she was betrothed, it seems, to DemodicuSj 
one of the brothers, that was now slain. Which Critolaus 
took so ill that he killed his sister, and being afterwards 
indicted for murder at the instigation of his mother, he was 
acquitted. — Demaratus, in his Second Booh of the Ar'ca- 
dian History. 

In the heat of the war betwixt the Eomans and Albans, 
they came to this agreement, that the cause should be de- 
termined by a trial at arms betwixt three and three twins 
on each side, the Curiatii for the Albans, and the Horatii 
for the Romans. Upon the encounter, the Curiatii killed 
two of the others ; the third survivor, under the color of 
flying, destroyed his enemies one by one, as they followed 
him. All his friends came to joy him of his victory, save 
only his sister Horatia ; for one of the Curiatii, that her 
brother killed, was her sweetheart. Horatius for this 
killed his sister. — Aristides Milesius, in his Italian Com- 

17. The temple of Minerva in Ilium happened to be on 
fire. Ilus ran presently to save the Palladium (an image 
dropped from heaven) ; but upon the taking of it up, he 
was struck blind, it being a thing unlawful for any man to 
look upon. But upon appeasing the Deity, he was after- 
wards restored to his sight. — Dercyllus, in his First Book 
of Foundations. 

Metellus, an eminent man, as he was walking out of the 
city, was interrupted by ravens, that laid hold of him 
and kept a flapping of him with their wings. This 
omen surprised him, and back he went into the city again, 


where he found the temple of Vesta all in a flame. He 
went and took away the Palladmm, and fell blind upon't. 
But some time after, the Goddess being pacified gave him 
the use of his eyes again. — Aristides 31'desius, in his 
Italian History. 

18. Upon a time when the Thracians were engaged in 
a war against the Athenians, the oracle promised them 
victory if they would but save the life of Codrus. Codrus 
upon this puts himself in a coarse disguise, and away he 
goes into the enemies' camp with a scythe in his hand, 
where he killed one, and another killed him, so that the 
Athenians got the better on't. — Socrates, in his Second 
Book of his Thracian History. 

Publius Decius, a Koman, at a time when they were in 
war with the Albans, had a dream that his death would 
bring a great advantage to the Romans ; upon which con- 
sideration he charged into the middle of his enemies, where 
he killed many, and was slain himself: his son Decius did 
the like in the Gallic war, for the conservation of the 
Roman State. — Aristides Milesius is my author. 

19. There was one Cyanippus a Syracusan, that sacri- 
ficed to all the Gods but Bacchus ; who took the contempt 
so heinously that he made him drunk, in which fit Le got 
his daughter Cyane into a corner and lay with her. She 
in the mean time slipped his ring ofi" his finger, and gave it 
to her nurse to keep, as a circumstance that some time or 
other might come to be brought in evidence. There brake 
out a pestilence, and the Pythian oracle advised the sacri- 
ficing of an incestuous person to the Gods that are the 
averters of such calamities, as the only remedy. Cyane, 
that understood the meaning of the oracle better than 
other people, took her father by the hair of the head 
and dragged him forth, first stabbing him and then her- 


■^elf. — Dosilheus, in the Third Booh of his Sicilian 

In the time of celebrating the Bacchanalia at Rome. 
Aruntius, that had never drunk any wine since he was 
born, did not show such reverence for the power of the 
God as he ought to have done, so that Bacchus intoxicated 
him ; and in that freak, Aruntius ravished his daughter 
MeduUina. She came to know the ravisher by his ring, 
and an exploit came into her head, above what from her 
age could have been expected. She made her father drunk 
and set a garland upon his head, carrying him to the altar 
of Thunder, where Avith tears she killed him for robbing 
her so treacherously of her virginity. — Aristides, in the 
Third Book of his Italian History. 

20. Erechtheus was told in a war he had with Eumolpus, 
that he should have the better of his enemy if he would 
but sacrifice his daughter. He advised upon the matter 
with his wife Praxithea, and delivered up his daughter 
after the manner of a common sacrifice. — Euripides^ in his 

Marius, finding himself hard put to it in the Cimbrian 
war, had it revealed to him in a dream, that he should 
overcome his enemies if he would but sacrifice his daugh- 
ter Calpurnia. He did it, preferring the common safety 
before any private bond of Nature, and he got the victory. 
There are two altars in Germany, where about that time 
of the year may be heard the sound of trumpets. — Dovo- 
theus, in the Fourth Book of his Italian History. 

21. There was one Cyanippus, a Thessalian, who was a 
great lover of the chase and was often abroad a hunting. 
This same Cyanippus was newly married, and his staying 
out so long and so often in the woods gave his wife a 
jealousy of an intrigue there with some other woman ; in- 


somucli that she followed him one time, and got into a 
thicket to watch him. The rustling of the boughs in the 
place where she lay brought the dogs thither in expectation 
of some game, where they tore this tender-hearted woman 
to pieces, as if she had been a brute beast. Cyanippus 
was so surprised with so dismal and unthought-of a specta- 
cle, that he killed himself. — Parthenias the Poet. 

Sybaris is a city of Italy, where there was one Aemilius, 
a very handsome young man, and a lover of hunting. His 
wife (whom he had lately married) took up a suspicion 
that, under color of the chase, he carried on an assignation 
with some other woman. She traced him to the wood, and 
upon the noise of the boughs in her passage, the dogs ran 
presently to her and tore her to pieces ; and her husband 
stabbed himself immediately upon this miserable acci- 
dent. — Clitonymus^ in the Second Booh of his Syharitics. 

22. One Smyrna (to whom Venus owed a shame, it 
seems) fell passionately in love with her father Cinyras, and 
made the nurse her confidant. She goes craftily to work 
with her master, and tells him of a maid there in the 
neighborhood that loved him above all things in the world, 
but she could not in modesty appear publicly to him. So 
the father lay ignorantly with his own daughter. But 
some time after, having a great mind to see his mistress, 
he called for a light, and when he saw who it was, he 
pursued the incestuous wretch with his drawn sword ; but 
by the providence of Venus, she was rescued from that 
danger, and turned into a myrrh-tree. — Theodorus^ in 
his Transformations. 

One Valeria Tusculanaria (for whom Venus had no 
kindness) fell downright in love with her father Valerius. 
She told the nurse the secret, who ordered it so that she 
brought the father and the daughter together, telling him, 
that a maid there hard by was fallen desperately in love 


with him, but that she durst not lie with him for fear of 
being known. The father was got into his cups, and as 
lie was in bed with his daughter, called for a candle. The 
nurse waked Valeria, and away she goes wandering up and 
down the country with her great belly. She had at last 
a fall from a precipice, but escaped without so much as 
any miscarriage ; for she was delivered at her time, and 
the child's name was Sylvanus (or goat-footed Pan). Va- 
lerius, in the anxiety of his mind, threw himself from the 
same precipice. — Aristides Milesius, m the Third Book 
of his Italian History. 

23. Diomedes, after the destruction of Troy, was cast 
by stress of weather upon the coast of Libya, where Lycus 
the son of Mars was king, whose custom it was to sacrifice 
all strangers to his father; but his daughter Callirrhoe 
falling in love with Diomede, betrayed her father and set 
Diomede at liberty ; who presently went his way without 
any regard to his benefactress, and Callirrhoe hanged her- 
self upon it. — Juha, Booh the Third of his Libyan 

Calpurnius Crassus, a famous man bearing arms with 
Regulus, was sent to the Massyllians to attack the castle 
of Garaetius, being a very strong place. He was taken in 
the enterprise, and designed for a sacrifice to Saturn ; but 
Bisaltia, the king's daughter, out of a passionate kindness 
to Calpurnius, betrayed her father. Calpurnius left her, 
and after his departure Bisaltia cut her own throat. — He- 
sianaxs Third Book of African History. 

'24. When Priam found that Troy was given for lost, 
he sent his young son Polydore into Thrace with a vast 
sum of gold, and put all into the hands of Polymestor his 
kinsman. So soon as Troy was taken, Polymestor killed 
the child, and took the gold to himself. Plecuba, being 

VOL. V. 30 


driven upon that quarter, overreached Polymestor by craft, 
under pretence of giving him a great treasure, at which 
time she, w^ith the assistance of her fellow- prisoners, tore 
out his eyes with her nails. — Euripides the Tragedian. 

When Hannibal was ravaging the country of Campania, 
Lucius Thymbris deposited his son Rustius, with a vast 
sum of money, in the hands of Valerius Gestius his kins- 
man; who upon intelligence that the enemy carried all 
before him, out of pure avarice and without any regard to 
humanity or justice, killed the child. It so fell out that 
Thymbris, as he w^as walking about the fields, found the 
dead body of his son ; whereupon he called his kinsman 
under pretence of a treasure that he would show him. He 
took his opportunity, put out his eyes, and crucified him. 
— Aristidess Third Book of his Italic History. 

25. Aeacus had two sons by Psamathe, Phocus and 
Telamon, the former better beloved than the other. Tela- 
mon one day took out his brother a hunting ; and a boar 
presenting himself, he threw his lance in pretence at the 
boar, but in truth at his brother, whom he hated, and so 
killed him ; for which his father banished him. — Doro- 
theus's First Book of Transformations. 

Cains Maximus had two sons. Rhesus the one, by Ame- 
ria, . . . and the other Similius. The brothers were a 
hunting together, and Rhesus having killed the other, put 
it off — when he came home — that it was by chance, and 
far from any design of doing it. But his father, when he 
came in time to know the truth of it, banished the son. — 
Aristocles, in the Third Book of his Italian History. 

26. Mars is said to have begotten Meleager upon Al- 
thaea. — Euripides^ in his Meleager. 

Septimius Marcellus took to wife one Sylvia, and a great 
lover of hunting he was. Mars put himself in the habit 


of a shepherd, whored the new wife and got her with 
child ; which being done, he told her who he was, and 
gave her a spear, telling her that the fate of the child 
she went withal was wrapped up in the fate of that 
spear. . . . 

Septimius slew Tuscinus ; but Mamercus, in his sacrifi- 
cing to the Gods for a fruitful season, omitted only Ceres, 
who in revenge sent a wild boar into his grounds. Where 
upon getting a knot of huntsmen together, he killed him, 
and delivered the head and skin to his sweetheart ; but 
Scymbrates and Muthias, the maid's uncles, took them 
away from her. Mamercus in a rage killed them upon it, 
and the mother burned the spear. — Menyllus, in the Third 
Book of his Italian History, 

27. When Telamon, the son of Aeacus and Endeis, 
came to Euboea, he debauched Periboea the daughter of 
Alcathous, and fled away by night. The father under- 
standing this, and suspecting the villany to be done by 
some of the citizens, he delivered his daughter to one of 
the guards to be thrown into the sea. But the soldier, in 
compassion to the woman, rather sold her, and she watj 
carried away by sea to the island of Salamis, where Tela- 
mon bought her, and had by her Ajax. — Areiades Cni- 
dius, in his Second Book of Islands. 

Lucius Troscius had by Patris a daughter called Floren- 
tia, who, being corrupted by Calpurnius a Roman, was 
delivered by her father to a soldier, with a charge to throw 
her in the sea and drown her. The man had compassion 
of her, and rather sold her. And when good fortune 
brought the ship to Italy, Calpurnius bought her, and had 
Contruscus by her. . . . 

28. Aeolus, a great king of Etruria, had by Amphithea 
six daughters, and as manv sons. Macareus, the youngest 


of them, "had the carnal knowledge of one of his sisters, 
who was delivered of a boy. Her father sent her a sword 
to kill the child Avith ; but that was so impious, that she 
chose rather to kill herself. And Macareus laid violent 
hands upon himself too. — Sosiratus, in his Second Booh 
of Tuscan History. 

Papirius Tolucer married Julia Pulchra, by whom he 
had six sons and six daughters. Papirius Romanus, the 
eldest of the six, got Canulia his sister with child. When 
the father came to the knowledge of it, he sent his daugh- 
ter a sword, with which she killed herself; and Pomanus 
did the same. — Chrysippus, in his First Book of Italian 

29. Aristonymus, an Ephesian and the son of Demos- 
tratus, was a woman-hater ; but he had to do with an ass, 
which brought him forth in the ordinarv course of time a 
most beautiful daughter, which he called Onoscelis. — 
Aristotle s Second Book of Paradoxes. 

Fulvius Stellus had an aversion to women too ; but en- 
tertained himself to his satisfaction with a mare, by which 
he had a very handsome daughter, that he called Hippona ; 
and this is the goddess that has the care of the breed of 
horses. — According to Agesilaus, in the Third Book of 
his Italian History. 

30. The Sardians, being engaged in war with the Smyr- 
naeans, besieged Smyrna, and sent them word by their 
ambassadors, that they would never raise the siege till the 
Smyrnaeans should deliver up their wives to their embraces. 
The men of Smyrna would have been hard put to it upon 
this pinching necessity, if it had not been for the advice 
of a pretty wench that was a maid-servant to Phylarchus. 
Her counsel to her master was this ; that instead of send- 
ing free women, they should rather dress up the servants 


and send them. The Smyrnaeans followed their advice ; 
and when the Sardians had wearied themselves with their 
mistresses, the Smyrnaeans easily overcame them. From 
whence there is a festival day observed under the name of 
Eleutheria, which is celebrated among the Smyrnaeans 
with great solemnity ; the servants being dressed up with 
all the ornaments of the free women. — Dositheus, in the 
Third Book of his Lydian History. 

Atepomarus, a king of the Gauls, being in war with the 
Romans, made a public declaration, that he would never 
agree to a peace till the Romans should prostitute their 
wives to them. The Romans advised with the maid-ser- 
vants, and sent them, in the place of the free women ; the 
barbarians plied the work so hard, that they were soon 
tired and fell asleep. Retana (who was the authoress of 
the counsel) climbed a fig-tree, and so got on the wall ; and 
finding how it was, gave notice of it to the consuls. The 
Romans upon this made a sally and routed the enemy ; in 
memory whereof was instituted the Servants' Holiday, and 
this was the rise of it. — Aristides Milesius, in the First 
Book of his Italian History. 

31. In the war betwixt the Athenians and Eumolpus, 
provisions falling short, the commissary Pyrandrus, upon 
a point of prudence and good husbandry, made some small 
abatement in the soldiers' proportions. The citizens sus- 
pected treachery in the case, and stoned him to death. — 
Callisthenes, Third Book of his History of Thrace. 

The Romans being in war with the Gauls, and provi- 
sions for the belly being very scarce, Cinna contracted the 
soldiers' allowance to a less proportion than they had for- 
merly. The citizens interpreted this abatement to an am- 
bitious design he had upon the government, and so stoned 
him for it. — Aristides^ Book Third of his Italian His- 


32. In the time of the Peloponnesian war, Pisistratus an 
Orchomenian had a spite at the nobihty, and to make him- 
self popular, favored the common people. The Senate 
conspired against him, and treacherously killed him, cutting 
him into small gobbets which they carried away with them 
in their bosoms, and paring off the surface of the ground 
that no signs of the murder might appear. The common 
people, however, upon a jealousy of the matter, went 
tumultuously to the senate house ; but the king's younger 
son Telesimachus that was dipped in the conspiracy, 
diverted them with a sham story, telling them that he 
himself had seen his father in a form more than human, 
walking as lively as was possible up the Pisaean mountain. 
And so he imposed upon the people. — Theophilus8 
Second Booh of Peloponnesian Histories. 

The Senate of Rome, being hard put to it for the main- 
taining of a war with so many of their neighbors, thought 
it good husbandry to shorten the people's allowance of 
corn, which Romulus the king took very ill ; and not only 
did he restore it to the people, but several great men were 
punished for it. Upon this he was murdered in the Senate 
by a conspiracy of the nobles, who cut him all to pieces, 
and carried them severally away in the lappets of their 
garments. The Romans came to the senate house in a 
hurry, and brought fire with them to set all in a flame ; 
but Julius Proculus, one that was in the plot, told them 
that he saw Komulus upon a mountain, of a size larger 
than any man, and that he was translated into the number 
of the Gods. The Romans believed him, and quietly with- 
drew. — Aristohulus^ in the Third Book of his History 
of Italy. 

33. Pelops the son of Tantalus and Euryanassa, had 
two children, Atreus and Thyestes, by his wife Hippo- 
damia ; and by the Nymph Danais he had Chrysippus, 


whom he loved better than his lawful children. But Laius 
the Theban in the heat of his lust forcibly abused his 
body ; and being taken by Atreus and Thyestes, obtained 
his pardon from Pelops, in regard that love had provoked 
him to it. Hippodamia's advice to Atreus and Thyestes 
was, that they should kill Chrysippus, as one that would 
interpose between them and the crown. Upon their refu- 
sal to do so base a thing, she herself put her own hands to 
the work, and in the dead of the night took Laius's sword 
when he was asleep, wounded Chrysippus with it, and left 
the weapon in his body. This circumstance of Laius's 
sword brought him into suspicion of the murder, till he 
was cleared by Chrysippus himself, who, being as yet but 
half dead, gave his testimony to the truth. Pelops buried 
his son. and then banished his wife. — JDositheus, in his 

Ebius Toliex had two sons by his wife Nuceria, and a 
third called Firmus by an enfranchised woman, who was 
very handsome and better beloved by the father than those 
that were legitimate. Nuceria that hated this by-blow, 
advised her sons to despatch Firmus ; but upon their re- 
fusal, she did it herself; and in the dead of the night got 
the sword of him that guarded the body of Firmus, gave 
him a mortal wound, and left the weapon sticking in his 
body. The boy cleared his keeper by a particular account 
of the matter of fact ; the father buried his son, and sent 
away his wife into banishment. — Dositheus, Book Third 
of his Italian History. 

34. Theseus, the true son of Neptune, had Hippolytus 
by the Amazon Hippolyta, and afterward married Phaedra 
the daughter of Minos, who fell deep in love with Hip- 
polytus, and made use of the nurse's mediation to help 
forward the incest. But Hippolytus upon this left Athens 
and went away to Troezen, where he diverted himself with 


hunting. Now this lascivious woman, finding her design 
disappointed, forged several scandalous letters to the preju- 
dice of the chaste young man, and ended her days with a 
halter. Theseus gave credit to the slander, and Neptune 
having promised him a grant of any three things he would 
ask, he made it his request that he would destroy Hippoly- 
tus. So Neptune sent a bull to the coast where Hip poly tus 
was driving his chariot, which put his horses into such a 
fright, that they ran away with them, and overturning the 
chariot killed the master. 

Comminius Super, a Laurentine, had a son by the 
nymph Egeria, whom he called Comminius ; after which he 
married one Gidica, who fell passionately in love witli her 
son-in-law. And receiving a repulse, she framed slan- 
derous letters against him, which slie left behind her, and 
so hanged herself. Comminius, reflecting upon the crime 
and believing the calumny, applied himself to Neptune, 
who with a terrible bull frighted the horses so, while the 
youth was in the chariot, that they overturned all, and 
killed him with the fall. — Dositheus, Book Third of 
Italian Histories. 

35. In the time of a great plague in Lacedaemon, they 
were told by the oracle, that the pestilence would cease 
upon the sacrificing of a noble virgin every year. It fell 
one time by lot to Helena, who was brought out and 
dressed up ready for the sacrifice. An eagle at that time 
flying by took away the sword, and carrying it into a herd 
of cattle laid it down upon a heifer ; whereupon they 
spared the virgin. — Aristodemus, in his Third Collection 
of Fables. 

There was a dreadful plague in Falerii, which the oracle 
said would be removed upon the sacrificing of a virgin to 
Juno every year. While this superstition was in course, 
it fell to Valeria Luperca's lot to be the sacrifice. An 


eagle flew away with the drawn sword, but laid a stick 
upon the fuel prepared for the fire, with a little mallet 
fixed to it. The sword he threw upon a heifer feeding 
near the temple. The virgin perceiving this sacrificed 
the heifer ; and taking up the mallet, went about from house 
to house, and with a gentle knock called to those that 
were sick, bidding them be of good health. x\nd this 
was the rise of the ceremony which continues to this day. 
— Aristides, in his Nineteenth Book of Italian Histories. 

36. Philonome, the daughter of Nyctimus and Arcadia, 
went many times to the chase with Diana. Mars lay with 
her in the shape of a shepherd, and fetched up her belly. 
She was delivered in time of twins, which for fear of her 
father she threw into the river Erymanthus. By a strange 
fatality of providence they were driven safe into a hollow 
oak, which happening to be the kennel of a wolf, this 
wolf threw her whelps into the river, and suckled the 
children. Tyliphus a shepherd, that had seen this with 
his own eyes, took these children and brought them up as 
his own, calling one of them Lycastus, and the other Par- 
rasius, which reigned successively in Arcadia. — This is 
reported hy Zopyrus Byzantius, in the Third Book of his 

Amulius dealing very tyrannically with his brother 
Numitor, killed his son Aenitus as they were a hunting, 
and made his daughter Sylvia ... a priestess of Juno. 
Mars got her with child, and when she had laid her belly 
of twins, she confessed the truth to the tyrant ; which put 
him in such an apprehension, that he exposed them both 
on the side of the river Tiber, where they were carried 
by the stream to a place where a she-wolf had her whelps. 
The wolf cast away her own, and gave suck to these chil- 
dren. Faustus a shepherd, observing this, took the chil- 
dren to himself, and called them by the names of Romus 


and Romulus, which came afterwards to be the founders 
of Rome. — Aristidess Italian Histories. 

37. After the destruction of Troy, Agamemnon and 
Cassandra were killed ; but Orestes, that was brought up 
with Stropbius, revenged the death of his father. — Pyran- 
ders Fourth Book of Peloponnesian Histories. 

Fabius Fabricianus, a kinsman of Fabius Maximus, 
having taken Tuxium, the chief city of the Samnites, sent 
to Rome the image of Venus Victrix, which among them 
was held in great veneration. His wife Fabia was de- 
bauched by Petronius Valentinus, a handsome young man, 
and afterwards she treacherously murdered her husband ; 
but for her son Fabricianus who was yet in his infancy, 
she shifted him away to be privately brought up, and so 
provided for his security. When he was grown up, he 
destroyed both his mother and the adulterer, and was for- 
mally acquitted for it by a decree of the Senate. — Dost- 
theuss Third Book of Italian History. 

38. Busiris, the son of Neptune and Anippe the daugh- 
ter of Nilus, was used to invite strangers in to him under 
a pretence of hospitality, and then to murder them ; but 
divine vengeance met with him at last, for Hercules found 
out the villany, and killed him with his club. — Agatho 
the Samian. 

Hercules, as he was driving Geryon's oxen through 
Italy, took up his lodging with King Faunus there, the 
son of Mercury, whose custom it was to sacrifice strangers 
to his father. He set upon Hercules, and had his brains 
beaten out for his pains. — Dercylluss Third Book of 
Italian History. 

39. Phalaris of Agrigentum, a cruel tyrant, was wont to 
put strangers and travellers to the most exquisite torment. 


Perillus, a brass-founder, made a cow of brass, and pre- 
sented it to the king for a new invention, that he might 
burn strangers alive in it. Plialaris for this once was just, 
in making the first proof of it upon Perillus himself ; and 
the invention was so artificial, that upon putting it in exe- 
cution, the engine itself seemed to bellow. — Second Book 
of Questions or Causes. 

In Egesta, a city of Sicily, there was a certain tyrant 
called Aemilius Censorinus, who was so inhuman that he 
proposed rewards to the inventors of new tortures. There 
was one Aruntius Paterculus that had framed a brazen 
horse, and made a present of it to the tyrant to practise 
with it upon whom he pleased. It was the first piece of 
justice that ever the tyrant did, to make trial of the torment 
upon the author of it, that he might first feel himself the 
torments he had provided for others. He was afterwards 
thrown down from the Tarpeian Rock. It may be thought 
that unmerciful rulers are from this tyrant called Aemilii. 
— Aristides's Fourth Book of Italian History, 

40. Evenus, the son of Mars and Sterope, had a daugh- 
ter Marpessa by his wife Alcippe, the daughter of Oeno- 
maus ; and this girl he had a mind to keep a virgin. But 
Idas, the son of Aphareus, ran away with her from a choir. 
Evenus pursued him, and finding he could not overtake 
him, he threw himself into the river Lycormas, and became 
immortal. — Dositheus's First Book of Italian History. 

Anius, a king of the Tuscans, had a delicate, handsome 
daughter, whose name was Salia, and he took great care 
to keep her a virgin. But Cathetus, a man of quality, 
seeing her sporting herself, fell passionately in love with 
her, and carried her away to Rome. The father made 
after her, and when he saw there was no catching of her, 
he threw himself into a river that from him took the name 
of Anio. Cathetus begot Latinus and Salius upon the 


body of Salia, the root of a noble race. — Aristides MU 
lesiusy and Alexander Polyhistors Third Book of Ital- 
ian History. 

41. Hegesistratus an Ephesian committed a murder in 
his family, and fled to Delphi ; on consulting the oracle 
what place to settle in, the answer was, that when he 
should come to a place where he should see the country 
people dancing with garlands of olive-leaves, he should 
settle there. He travelled into a certain country of Asia, 
where he found as the oracle told him, and there built a 
city which he called Elaeus. — Pyihocles the Samian^ in 
the Third Book of his Georgics. 

Telegonus, the son of Ulysses by Circe, was sent to 
find out his father, and commanded by an oracle to erect 
a city where he should see the country people dancing 
with garlands. He came into a certain place of Italy, 
where he found the countrymen dancing with wreaths of ilex 
about their heads ; so that there he built a city, and called 
it Prinistum, for an ilex in Greek is TtQlvoi;. The Romans 
corruptly call this city Praeneste. — Aristocles, in the 
Third Book of his Italian History. 


I. Htdaspes. 

This is a river of India, which falls with an extraor- 
dinary swift stream into the Saronitic Syrtis. Chrysippe, 
by the impulse of Venus, whom she had offended, fell in 
love with her father Hydaspes, and not being able to curb 
her preternatural desires, by the help of her nurse, in the 
dead of the night got to his bed and received his caresses ; 
after which, the king proving unfortunate in his affairs, he 
buried alive the old bawd that had betrayed him, and cru- 
cified his daughter. Nevertheless such was the excess of 
his grief for the loss of Chrysippe, that he threw himself 
into the river Indus, which was afterwards called by his 
name Hydaspes. 

Moreover in this river there grows a stone, which is 
called lychnis, which resembles the color of oil, and is 
very bright in appearance. And when they are searching 
after it, which they do when the moon increases, the pipers 
play all the while. Nor is it to be worn by any but the 
richer sort. Also near that part of the river which is called 
Pylae, there grows an herb which is very like a heliotrope, 
with the juice of which the people anoint their skins to 
prevent sunburning, and to secure them against the scorch- 
ing of the excessive heat. 

* A very slight inspection of this strange treatise will convince the reader that it 
is justly placed among the Pseudoplutarchea. It is reprinted here merely because 
it was included in the original translation. (G.) 


The natives whenever they take their virgins tardy, nail 
them to a wooden cross, and fling them into this river, 
singing at the same time in their own language a hymn 
to Venus. Every year also they bury a condemned old 
woman near the top of the hill called Therogonos ; at 
which time an infinite multitude of creeping creatures 
come down from the top of the hill, and devour the 
insects that hover about the buried carcass. This Chry- 
sermus relates in his History of India, though Archelaus 
gives a more exact account of these things in his Treatise 
of Rivers. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Elephas, so called 
upon this occasion. When Alexander the Macedonian 
advanced with his army into India, and the natives were 
resolved to withstand him with all their force, the elephant 
upon which Porus, king of that region, was wont to ride, 
being of a sudden stung with a gad-bee, ran up to the top 
of the mountain of tbe sun, and there uttered these words 
distinctly in human speech : " O king, my lord, descended 
from the race of Gegasius, forbear to attempt any thing 
against Alexander, for he is descended from Jupiter." And 
having so said, he presently died. Which when Porus 
understood, afraid of Alexander, he fell at his feet and 
sued for peace. Which when he had obtained, he called 
the mountain Elephas ; — as Dercyllus testifies in his Third 
Book of Mountains. 



IsMENUs is a river of Boeotia, that washes the walls of 
Thebes. It was formerly called the foot of Cadmus, upon 
this occasion. When Cadmus had slain the dragon which 
kept the fountain of Mars, he was afraid to taste of the 
water, believing it was poisoned ; which forced him to 
wander about in search of another fountain to allay his 


thirst. At length, by the help of Minerva, he came to 
the Corycian den, where his right leg stuck deep in the 
mire. And from that hole it was that, after he had pulled 
his leg out again, sprung a fair river, which the hero, after 
the solemnity of his sacrifices performed, called by the 
name of Cadmus's foot. 

Some time after, Ismenus, the son of Amphion and Niobe, 
being wounded by Apollo and in great pain, threw him- 
self into the said river, which was then from his name 
called Ismenus ; — as Sostratus relates in his Second Book 
of Rivers. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Cithaeron, formerly 
called Asterion for this reason. Boeotus the son of Nep- 
tune was desirous, of two noble ladies, to marry her that 
should be most beneficial to him ; and while he tarried for 
both in the night-time upon the top of a certain name- 
less mountain, of a sudden a star fell from heaven upon 
the shoulders of Eurythemiste, and immediately vanished. 
Upon which Boeotus, understanding the meaning of the 
prodigy, married the virgin, and called the mountain Aste- 
rion from the accident that befell him. Afterwards it was 
called Cithaeron upon this occasion. Tisiphone, one of 
the Furies, falling in love with a most beautiful youth 
whose name was Cithaeron, and not being able to curb the 
impatience of her desires, declared her aff"ection to him in 
a letter, to which he would not return any answer. Where- 
upon the Fury, missing her design, pulled one of the ser- 
pents from her locks, and flung it upon the young lad as he 
was keeping his sheep on the top of the mountain Aste- 
rion ; where the serpent twining about his neck choked 
him to death. And thereupon by the will of the Gods 
the mountain was called Cithaeron ; — as Leo of Byzan- 
tium writes in his History of Boeotia. 

But Hermesianax of Cyprus tells the story quite other- 
wise. For he says, that Helicon and Cithaeron were two 


brothers, quite different in their dispositions. For Helicon 
was affable and mild, and cherished his aged parents. 
But Cithaeron, being covetous and greedily gaping after 
the estate, first killed his father, and then treacherously 
threw his brother doAvn from a steep precipice, but in 
striving together, fell himself along with him. Whence, 
by the providence of the Gods, the names of both the 
mountains were changed. Cithaeron, by reason of his im- 
piety, became the haunt of the Furies. Helicon, for the 
young man's love to his parents, became the habitation of 
the Muses. 

III. Hebrus. 

Hebrus is a river of Thrace, deriving its former name 
of Rhombus from the many gulfs and whirlpools in the 

Cassander, king of that region, having married Croto- 
nice, had by her a son whom he named Hebrus. But then 
being divorced from his first wife, he married Damasippe, 
the daughter of Atrax, and brought her home over his 
son's head ; with whom the mother-in-law falling in love, 
invited him by letters to her embraces. But he, avoiding 
his mother-in-law as a Fury, gave himself over to the sport 
of hunting. On the other side the impious woman, missing 
her purpose, belied the chaste youth, and accused him of 
attempting to ravish her. Upon this Cassander, raging 
with jealousy, flew to the wood in a wild fury, and with 
his sword drawn pursued his son, as one that treacherously 
sought to defile his father's bed. Upon which the son, 
finding he could no way escape his father's wrath, threw 
himself into the river Rhombus, which was afterwards 
called Hebrus from the name of the young man ; — as 
Timotheus testifies in his Eleventh Book of Rivers. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Pangaeus, so called 
upon this occasion. Pangaeus, the son of Mars and Crito- 


bule, by a mistake lay with his own daughter ; which per- 
plexed him to that degree that he fled to the Carmanian 
mountain, where, overwhelmed with a sorrow that he could 
not master, he drew his sword and slew himself. Whence, 
by the providence of the Gods, the place was called Pan- 

In the river before mentioned, grows an herb not much 
unlike to origanum ; the tops of which the Thracians crop- 
ping off burn upon a fire, and after they are filled with the 
fruits of Ceres, they hold their heads over the smoke, and 
snuff it up into their nostrils, letting it go down their 
throats, till at last they fall into a profound sleep. 

Also upon the mountain Pangaeus grows an herb, which 
is called the harp upon this occasion. The women that 
tore Orpheus in pieces cast his limbs into the river Hebrus ; 
and his head being changed, the whole body was turned 
into the shape of a dragon. But as for his harp, such was 
the will of Apollo, it remained in the same form. And 
from the streaming blood grew up the herb which was 
called the harp ; which, during the solemnity of the sacri- 
fices to Bacchus, sends forth a sound like that of an harp 
when played upon. At which time the natives, being 
covered with the skins of young hinds and waving their 
thyrsuses in their hands, sing a hymn, of which these are 
part of the words, 

When wisdom all in vain must be, 
Then be not wise at all ; — 

as Clitonymus reports, in his Third Book of Thracian 

IV. Ganges. 

Ganges is a river in India, so called for this reason. A 
certain Calaurian nymph had by Indus a son called Ganges, 
conspicuous for his beauty. Who growing up to manhood, 

VOL. V. 31 


being once desperately overcome with wine, in the heat of 
his intoxication lay with his mother. The next day he 
was informed by the nurse of what he had done ; and such 
was the excess of his sorrow, that he threw himself into a 
river called Chliarus, afterwards called Ganges from his 
own name. 

In this river grows an herb resembling bugloss, which 
the natives bruise, and keep the juice very charily. With 
this juice in the dead of the night they go and besprinkle 
the tigers' dens ; the virtue of which is such, that the 
tigers, not being able to stir forth by reason of the strong 
scent of the juice, are starved to death ; — as Callisthenes 
reports in his Third Book of Hunting. 

Upon the banks of this river lies the mountain called 
the Anatole for this reason. The Sun, beholding the 
nymph Anaxibia innocently spending her time in dancing, 
fell passionately in love with her, and not able to curb his 
loose amours, pursued her with a purpose to ravish her. 
She therefore, finding no other way to escape him, fled to 
the temple of Orthian Diana, which was seated upon the 
mountain called Coryphe, and there immediately vanished 
away. Upon which the Sun, that followed her close at 
the heels, not knowing what was become of his beloved, 
overwhelmed with grief, rose in that very place. And 
from this accident it was that the natives called the top of 
that mountain Anatole, or the rising of the Sun ; — as Cae- 
maron reports in his Tenth Book of the Affairs of India. 

V. Phasis. 

Phasis is a river of Scythia, running by a city of the 
same name. It was formerly called Arcturus, deriving its 
name from the situation of the cold regions through which 
it runs. But the name of it was altered upon this occa- 


Phasis, the child of the Sun and Ocyrrhoe daughter of 
Oceanus, slew his mother, whom he took in the very act 
of adultery. For which being tormented by the Furies ap- 
pearing to him, he threw himself into the river Arcturus, 
which was afterwards called by his own name Phasis. 

In this river grows a reed, which is called leucophyllus, 
or the reed with the white leaf. This reed is found at 
the dawning of the morning light, at what time the sacri- 
fices are offered to Hecate, at the time when the divinely 
inspired paean is chanted, at the beginning of the spring ; 
when they who are troubled with jealous heads gather this 
reed, and strew it in their wives' chambers to keep them 
chaste. And the nature of the reed is such, that if any 
wild extravagant person happens to come rashly in drink 
into the room where it lies, he presently becomes deprived 
of his rational thoughts, and immediately confesses what- 
ever he has wickedly done and intended to do. At what 
time they that are present to hear him lay hold of him, 
sew him up in a sack, and throw him into a hole called the 
Mouth of the Wicked, which is round like the mouth of a 
well. This after thirty days empties the body into the 
Lake Maeotis, that is full of worms ; where of a sudden 
the body is seized and torn to pieces by several vultures 
unseen before, nor is it known from whence they come ; — 
as Ctesippus relates in his Second Book of Scythian Rela- 

Near to this river lies the mountain Caucasus, which was 
before called Boreas's Bed, upon this occasion. Boreas in 
the heat of his amorous passion ravished away by force 
Chione, the daughter of Arcturus, and carried her to a 
certain hill which was called Niphantes, and upon her 
begot a son whom he called Hyrpax, who succeeded Heni- 
ochus in his kingdom. For which reason the mountain 
was first called Boreas's Bed ; but afterwards Caucasus 
upon this occasion. After the fight of the Giants, Saturn, 


to avoid the menaces of Jupiter, fled to the top of Boreas's 
Bed, and there being turned into a crocodile [lay concealed. 
But Prometheus] slew Caucasus one of the shepherds in- 
habiting that place ; and cutting him up and observing the 
disposition of his entrails, he foresaw that his enemies 
were not far off. Presently Jupiter appearing, and bind- 
ing his father with a woollen list, threw him down to hell. 
Then changing the name of the mountain in honor of the 
shepherd Caucasus, he chained Prometheus to it, and 
caused him to be tormented by an eagle that fed upon his 
entrails, because he was the first that found out the inspec- 
tion of bowels, which Jupiter deemed a great cruelty ; — 
as Cleanthes relates in his Third Book of the Wars of the 

Upon this mountain grows an herb which is called Pro- 
metheus, which Medea gathering and bruising made use 
of to protect Jason against her father's obstinacy. 

"VT. Arab. 

Arar is a river in Gallia Celtica, deriving the name from 
its being mixed with the river Rhone. For it falls into the 
Rhone within the country of the Allobroges. It was 
formerly called Brigulus, but afterwards changed its name 
upon this occasion. Arar, as he was a hunting, entering 
into the wood, and there finding his brother Celtiber torn 
in pieces by the wild beasts, mortally wounded himself for 
grief, and fell into the river Brigulus ; which from that 
accident was afterwards called by his own name Arar. 

In this river there breeds a certain large fish, which by 
the natives is called Clupaea. This fish during the increase 
of the moon is white ; but all the while the moon is in the 
wane, it is altogether black ; and when it grows over 
bulky, it is (as it were) stabbed by its own fins. In the 
head of it is found a stone like a corn of salt, which, being 


applied to the left parts of the body when the moon is in 
the wane, cures quartan agues ; — as CalUsthenes the 
Sybarite tells us in the Thirteenth Book of Gallic Rela- 
tions, from whom Timagenes the Syrian borrowed his 

Near to this river stands a mountain called Lugdunum, 
which changed its name upon this occasion. When Mo- 
morus and Atepomarus were dethroned by Seseroneus, in 
pursuance of the oracle's command they designed to build 
a city upon the top of the hill. But when they had laid 
the foundations, great numbers of crows with their wings 
expanded covered all the neighboring trees. Upon which 
Momorus, being a person well skilled in augury, called the 
city Lugdunum. For lugdon in their language signifies a 
crow, and dunum * any spacious hill. — This Clitophon 
reports, in his Thirteenth Book of the Building of Cities. 

VII. Pactolus. 

Pactolus is a river of Lydia, that washes the walls of 
Sardis, formerly called Chrysorrhoas. For Chrysorrhoas, 
the son of Apollo and Agathippe, being a mechanic artist, 
and one that only lived from hand to mouth upon his 
trade, one time in the middle of the night made bold to 
break open the treasury of Croesus ; and conveying thence 
a good quantity of gold, he made a distribution of it to his 
family. But being pursued by the king's officers, when he 
saw he must be taken, he threw himself into the river 
which was afterwards from his name called Chrysorrhoas, 
and afterwards changed into that of Pactolus upon this 

Pactolus, the son of . . . and Leucothea, during the 
performance of the mysteries sacred to Venus, ravished 
Demodice his own sister, not knowing who she was ; for 

♦ Whence probably our English word doion. 


which being overwhelmed with grief, he threw himself 
into the river Chrysorrhoas, which from that time forward 
was called Pactolus, from his own name. In this river is 
found a most pure gold sand, which the force of the stream 
carries into the bosom of the Happy Gulf. 

Also in this river is to be found a stone which is called 
the preserver of the fields, resembling the color of silver, 
very hard to be found, in regard of its being mixed with 
the gold sand. The virtue of which is such, that the more 
wealthy Lydians buy it and lay it at the doors of their 
treasuries, by which means they preserve their treasure, 
whatever it be, safe from the seizure of pilfering hands. 
For upon the approach of thieves or robbers, the stone 
sends forth a sound like that of a trumpet. Upon which 
the thieves surprised, and believing themselves appre- 
hended by officers, throw themselves headlong and break 
their necks ; insomuch that the place where the thieves 
thus frighted come by their violent deaths is called Pacto- 
lus's prison. 

In this river also there grows an herb that bears a pur- 
ple flower, and is called chrysopolis ; by which the inhab- 
itants of the neighboring cities try their purest gold. For 
just before they put their gold into the melting-pot, they 
touch it with this herb ; at what time, if it be pure and 
unmixed, the leaves of the herb will be tinctured with the 
gold and preserve the substance of the matter ; but if it 
be adulterated, they will not admit the discoloring moist- 
ure ; — as Chrysermus relates in his Third Book of 

Near to this river lies the mountain Tmolus, full of all 
manner of wild beasts, formerly called Carmanorion, from 
Carmanor the son of Bacchus and Alexirrhoea, who was 
killed by a wild boar as he was hunting ; but afterward 
Tmolus upon this occasion. 

Tmolus, the son of Mars and Theogone, king of Lydia, 


while he was a hunting upon Carmanorion, chanced to see 
the fair virgin Arrhippe that attended upon Diana, and fell 
passionately in love with her. And such was the heat of 
his love, that not being able to gain her by fair means, he 
resolved to vitiate her by force. She, seeing she could by 
no means escape his fury otherwise, fled to the temple of 
Diana, where the tyrant, contemning all religion, ravished 
her, — an infamy which the nymph not being able to sur- 
vive immediately hanged herself. But Diana would not 
pass by so great a crime ; and therefore, to be revenged 
upon the king for his irreligious insolence, she set a mad 
bull upon him, by which the king being tossed up in the 
air, and falling down upon stakes and stones, ended his 
days in torment. But Theoclymenus his son, so soon as 
he had buried his father, altered the name of the moun- 
tain, and called it Tmolus after his father's name. 

Upon this mountain grows a stone not unlike a pumice- 
stone, which is very rare to be found. This stone changes 
its color four times a day ; and is to be seen only by vir- 
gins that are not arrived at the years of understanding. 
But if marriageable virgins happen to see it, they can 
never receive any injury from those that attempt their 
chastity ; — as Clitophon reports. 

VIII. Ltcobmas. 

Lycormas is a river of Aetolia, formerly called Evenus 
for this reason. Idas the son of Aphareus, after he had 
ravished away by violence Marpessa, with whom he was 
passionately in love, carried her away to Pleuron, a city of 
Aetolia. This rape of his daughter Evenus could by no 
means endure, and therefore pursued after the treacherous 
ravisher, till he came to the river Lycormas But then 
despairing to overtake the fugitive, he threw himself for 
madness into the river, which from his own name was 
called Evenus. 


Tn this river grows an herb which is called sarissa, bo- 
cause it resembles a spear, of excellent use for those that 
are troubled with dim sight ; — as Archelaus relates in his 
First Book of Rivers. 

Near to this river lies Myenus, from Myenus the son of 
Telestor and Alphesiboea ; who, being beloved by his 
mother-in-law and unwilling to defile his father's bed, re- 
tired himself to the mountain Alphius. But Telestor, 
being made jealous of his wife, pursued his son into the 
wilderness ; and followed him so close, that Myenus, not 
being able to escape, flung himself headlong from the top 
of the mountain, which for that reason was afterwards 
called Myenus. 

Upon this mountain grows a flower called the white vio- 
let, which, if you do but name the word step-dame, presently 
dies away ; — as Dercyllus reports in his Third Book of 

IX. Maeander. 

Maeander is a river of Asia, formerly called the Re- 
turner. For of all rivers in the world it is the only stream 
which, taking its rise from its own fountain, seems to run 
back to its own head. 

It is called Maeander from Maeander, the son of Cerca- 
phus and Anaxibia, who, waging war with the Pessinun- 
tines, made a vow to the Mother of the Gods, that if he 
obtained the victory, he would sacrifice the first that came 
to congratulate him for his good success. Now it hap- 
pened that the first that met him were his son Archelaus, 
his mother, and his sister. All which, though so nearly 
related to him, he ofl"ered in sacrifice to the satisfaction of 
his vow. But then no less grieved for what he had done, 
he cast himself into the river, which from this accident 
was afterwards called by his own name Maeander ; — as 
Timolaus tells us in his First Book of Phrygian Relations. 


Agathocles the Samian also makes mention of this story, 
in his Commonwealth of Pessinus. 

But Demostratus of Apamea relates the story thus: 
Maeander being a second time elected general against the 
Pessinuntines, and obtaining the victory quite contrary to 
his expectation, gave to his soldiers the offerings due to 
the Mother of the Gods. At which the Goddess being 
offended, she deprived him of his reason to that degree, 
that in the height of his madness he slew both his wife 
and his son. But coming somewhat to himself and re- 
penting of what he had done, he threw himself into the 
river, which by his name was called Maeander. 

In this river there is a certain stone, which by Antiphra- 
sis is called sophron, or the sober-stone ; which if you 
drop into the bosom of any man, it presently makes him 
mad to that degree as to murder his nearest relations, but 
having once atoned the Mother of the Gods, he is present- 
ly restored to his wits ; — as Damaratus testifies in his 
Third Book of Rivers. And Archelaus makes mention of 
the same in his First Book of Stones. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Sipylus, so called 
from Sipylus the son of Agenor and Dioxippe. For he 
having killed his mother by mistake, and being haunted 
by the Furies, retired to the Ceraunian mountain, and 
there hanged himself for grief. After which, by the 
providence of the Gods, the mountain was called Si- 

In this mountain grows a stone that resembles a cylin- 
der, which when children that are obedient to their 
parents find, they lay it up in the temple of the Mother 
of the Gods. Nor do they ever transgress out of impiety ; 
but reverence their parents, and are obedient to their 
superior relations ; — as Agatharchides the Samian relates 
in his Fourth Book of Stones, and Demaratus in his 
Fourth Book of Phrygia. 


X. Marstas. 

Marsyas is a river of Phrygia, flowing by the city 
Celaenae, and formerly called the fountain of Midas for 
this reason. Midas, king of Phrygia, travelling in the 
remoter parts of the country, and wanting water, stamped 
upon the ground ; and there presently appeared a golden 
fountain. But the water proving gold, and both he and 
his soldiers being ready to perish for thirst, he invoked the 
compassion of Bacchus, who listening to his prayers sup- 
plied him with water. The Phrygians having by this 
means quenched their thirst, Midas named the river that 
issued from the spring the Fountain of Midas. Afterwards 
it was called Marsyas, upon this occasion. 

Marsyas being overcome and flayed by Apollo, certain 
Satyrs are said to have sprung from the stream of his 
blood ; as also a river bearing the name of Marsyas ; — as 
Alexander Cornelius recites in his Third Book of Phrygian 

But Euemeridas the Cnidian tells the story after this 
manner. It happened that the wine-bag which was made 
of Marsyas's skin, being corroded by time and carried 
away negligently by the wind, fell at last from the land 
into Midas's well ; and driving along with the stream, was 
taken up by a fisherman. At what time Pisistratus the 
Lacedaemonian, being commanded by the oracle to build 
near the place where the relics of the Satyr were found, 
reflected upon the accident, and in obedience to the oracle 
having built a fair city, called it Noricum, which in the 
Phrygian language signifies a wine-bag. 

In this river grows an herb called the pipe, which being 
moved in the wind yields a melodious sound ; — as Dercyl- 
lus reports in his First Book of Satyrics. 

Near to this river also lies the mountain Berecyntus, 
deriving its name from Berecyntus, the first priest to the 


Mother of the Gods. Upon this mountain is found a 
stone which is called machaera, very much resembling 
iron ; which if any one happens to light upon while the 
solemnities of the Mother of the Gods are performing, he 
presently runs mad ; — as Agatharchides reports in bis 
Phrygian Relations. 

XL Strtmon. 

Strymon is a river of Thrace, that flows along by the 
city Edonis. It was formerly called Palaestinus, from 
Palaestinus the son of Neptune. For he being at war 
with his neighbors, and seized with a violent sickness, 
sent his son Haliacmon to be general of his army ; who, 
rashly giving battle to his enemies, was slain in the fight. 
The tidings of which misfortune being brought to Palae- 
stinus, he privately withdrew himself from his guards, and 
in the desperation of his grief flung himself into the 
River Conozus, which from that accident was afterwards 
called Palaestinus. But as for Strymon, he was the son of 
Mars and Helice ; and hearing that his son Rhesus was 
slain, he flung himself into the river Palaestinus, which 
was after that called Strymon, by his own name. 

In this river grows a stone which is called pausilypus, 
or the grief-easing stone. This stone if any one find who 
is oppressed with grief, he shall presently be eased of his 
sorrow ; — as Jason of Byzantium relates in his Thracian 

Near to this river lie the mountains Rhodope and Hae- 
mus. These being brother and sister, and both falling in 
love with each other, the one was so presumptuous as to 
call his sister his Juno, the other to call her brother her 
Jupiter ; which so off'ended the Deities, that they changed 
them into mountains bearing their own names. 

In these two mountains grow certain stones, which are 

492 or THE NAMES 

called philadelphi, or the loving brethren. These stones 
are of a crow-color, and resembling human shape, and if 
they chance to be named when they are separated one 
from another, they presently and separately, as they lie, 
dissolve and waste away ; — as Thrasyllus the Mendesiau 
testifies in his Third Book of Stones, but more accurately 
in his Thracian Histories. 

XII. Sagaris. 

Sagaris is a river of Phrygia, formerly called Xerobates 
because in the summer time it was generally dry. But it 
was called Sagaris for this reason : Sagaris, the son of 
Myndon and Alexirrhoe, contemning and slighting the 
mysteries of the Mother of the Gods, frequently affronted and 
derided her priests the Galli. At which the Goddess hei- 
nously offended, struck him with madness to that degree, 
that in one of his raging fits he flung himself into the 
river Xerobates, which from that time forward was called 

In this river grows a stone, which is called autoglyphus, 
that is, naturally engraved ; for it is found with the Mother 
of the Gods by nature engraved upon it. This stone, 
which is rarely to be found, if any of the Galli or gelded 
priests happen to light upon, he makes no wonder at it, 
but undauntedly brooks the sight of a preternatural ac- 
tion ; — as Aretazes reports in his Phrygian Relations. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Ballenaeus, which 
in the Phrygian language signifies royal ; so called from 
Ballenaeus, the son of Ganymede and Medesigiste, who 
perceiving his father almost wasted with a consumption, 
instituted the Ballenaean festival, observed among the na- 
tives to this day. 

In this river is to be found a stone called aster, which 
from the latter end of autumn shines at midnight like fire. 


It is called in the language of the natives h alien, which 
being interpreted signifies a king ; — as Hermesianax the 
Cyprian affirms in his Second Book of his Phrygian Re- 


ScAMANDER is a river of Troas, which was formerly called 
Xanthus, but changed its name upon this occasion. Sca- 
mander, the son of Corybas and Demodice, having sudden- 
ly beheld the ceremonies while the mysteries of Rhea were 
solemnizing, immediately ran mad, and being hurried away 
by his own fury to the River Xanthus, flung himself into 
the stream, which from thence was called Scamander. 

In this river grows an herb like a vetch, that bears a 
cod with berries rattling in it when they are ripe ; whence 
it derived the name of sistrum, or the rattle ; whoever 
has this herb in possession fears no apparition nor the 
sight of any God ; — as Demostratus writes in his Second 
Book of Rivers. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Ida, formerly Gar- 
garus ; on the top of which stand the altars of Jupiter 
and of the Mother of the Gods. But it was called Ida 
upon this occasion. Aegesthius, who descended from Ju- 
piter, falling passionately in love with the nymph Ida, ob- 
tained her good-will, and begat the Idaean Dactyli, or 
priests of the Mother of the Gods. After which, Ida 
running mad in the temple of Rhea, Aegesthius, in remem- 
brance of the love which he bare her, called the moun- 
tain by her name. 

In this mountain grows a stone called cryphius, as be- 
ing never to be found but when the mysteries of the Gods 
are solemnizing ; — as Heraclitus the Sicyonian writes ia 
his Second Book of Stones. 


XIV. Tanais. 

Tanais is a river of Scythia, formerly called the Ama- 
zonian river, because the Amazons bathed themselves 
therein ; but it altered its name upon this occasion. Ta- 
nais, the son of Berossus and Lysippe, one of the Ama- 
zons, became a vehement hater of the female sex, and 
looking upon marriage as ignominious and dishonorable, 
applied himself wholly to martial affairs. This so offended 
Venus, that she caused him to fall passionately in love 
with his own mother. True it is, at first he withstood the 
force of his passion ; but finding he could not vanquish the 
fatal necessity of yielding to divine impulse, and yet desir- 
ous to preserve his respect and piety towards his mother, 
he flung himself into the Amazonian river, which was af- 
terwards called Tanais, from the name of the young man. 

In this river grows a plant which is called halinda, re- 
sembling a colewort ; which the inhabitants bruising, and 
anointing their bodies with the juice of it, find themselves 
in a condition better able to endure the extremity of the 
cold ; and for that reason, in their own language they call 
it Berossus's oil. 

In this river grows a stone not unlike to crystal, resem- 
bling the shape of a man with a crown upon his head. 
Whoever finds the stone when the king dies, and has it 
ready against the time that the people meet upon the 
banks of the river to choose a new sovereign, is presently 
elected king, and receives the sceptre of the deceased 
prince ; — as Ctesiphon relates in his Third Book of 
Plants ; and Aristobulus gives us the same account in his 
First Book of Stones. 

Near to this river also lies a mountain, in the language 
of the natives called Brixaba, which signifies the forehead 
of a ram. And it was so called upon this occasion. 
Phryxus having lost his sister Helle near the Euxine Sea, 


and, as Nature in justice required, being extremely trou- 
bled for his loss, retired to the top of a certain hill to dis- 
burden himself of his sorrow. At which time certain 
barbarians espying him, and mounting up the hill with 
their arms in their hands, a gold-fleeced ram leaping out 
of a thicket, and seeing the multitude coming, with articu- 
late language and the voice of a man, awakened Phryxus, 
who was fast asleep, and taking him upon his back, car- 
ried him to Colchis. From this accident it was that the 
mountainous promontory was called the ram's forehead. 

In this mountain grows an herb, by the barbarians called 
phryxa (which being interpreted signifies hating the 
wicked)^ not unlike our common rue. If the son of a for- 
mer mother have it in his possession, he can never be in- 
jured by his step-dame. It chiefly grows near the place 
which is called Boreas's Den, and being gathered, is colder 
than snow. But if any step-dame be forming a design 
against her son-in-law, it sets itself on fire and sends forth 
a bright flame. By which means they who are thus warned 
avoid the danger they are in ; — as Agatho the Samian 
testifies in his Second Book of Scythian Relations. 

XV. Thermodon. 

Thermodon is a river of Scythia, deriving its name from 
this accident. It was formerly called Crystallus, as being 
often frozen in the summer, the situation of the place pro- 
ducing this effect. But that name was altered upon this 
occasion. . . . 

XVI. Nile. 

The Nile is a river in Egypt, that runs by the city of 
Alexandria. It was formerly called Melas, from Melas the 
son of Neptune ; but afterwards it was called Aegyptus 
upon this occasion. Aegyptus, the son of Vulcan and 


Leucippe, was formerly king of the country, between 
whom and his own subjects happened a civil war; on 
which account the river Nile not increasing, the Egyptians 
were oppressed with famine. Upon which the oracle made 
answer, that the land should be again blessed with plenty, 
if the king would sacrifice his daughter to atone the 
anger of the Gods. Upon which the king, though greatly 
afflicted in his mind, gave way to the public good, and suf- 
fered his daughter to be led to the altar. But so soon as 
she was sacrificed, the king, not able to support the burden 
of his grief, threw himself into the river Melas, which 
after that was called Aegyptus. But then it was called 
Nilus upon this occasion. 

Garmathone, queen of Egypt, having lost her son Chry- 
sochoas while he was yet very young, with all her servants 
and friends most bitterly bemoaned her loss. At what 
time Isis appearing to her, she surceased her sorrow for a 
while, and putting on the countenance of a feigned grati- 
tude, kindly entertained the goddess. She, willing to make 
a suitable return to the queen for the piety which she 
expressed in her reception, persuaded Osiris to bring back 
her son from the subterranean regions. When Osiris un- 
dertook to do this, at the importunity of his wife, Cerberus 
— whom some call the Terrible — barked so loud, that 
Nilus, Garmathone's husband, struck with a sudden frenzy, 
threw himself into the river Aegyptus, which from thence 
was afterwards called Nilus. 

In this river grows a stone, not unlike to a bean, which 
so soon as any dog happens to see, he ceases to bark. It 
also expels the evil spirit out of those that are possessed, 
if held to the nostrils of the party afflicted. 

There are other stones which are found in this river, 
called koUotes, which the swallows picking up against the 
time that Nilus overflows, build up the wall which is called 
the Chelidonian wall, which restrains the inundation of 


the water and will not suffer the country to be injured 
by the fury of the flood ; — as Thrasyllus tells us in his 
Relation of Egypt. 

Upon this river lies the mountain Argyllus, so called for 
this reason. 

Jupiter in the heat of his amorous desires ravished away 
the ^ymph Arge from Lyctus, a city of Crete, and then 
carried her to a mountain of Egypt called Argillus, and 
there begat a son, whom he named Dionysus (or Bacchus) ; 
who, growing up to years of manhood, in honor of his 
mother called the hill Argillus ; and then mustering to- 
gether an army of Pans and Satyrs, first conquered the 
Indians, and then subduing Spain, left Pan behind him 
there, the chief commander and governor of those places. 
Pan by his own name called that country Pania, which was . 
afterward by his posterity called Spania ; — as Sosthenes 
relates in the Thirteenth Book of Iberian Relations. 


HiMERUS, the son of the Nymph Taygete and Lacedae- 
mon, through the anger of offended Venus, at a revelling 
that lasted all night, deflowered his sister Cleodice, not 
knowing what he did. But the next day being informed 
of the truth of the matter, he laid it so to heart, that 
through excess of grief he flung himself into the river 
Marathon, which from thence was called liimeros ; but 
after that Eurotas, upon this occasion. 

The Lacedaemonians being at war with the Athenians, 
and staying for the full moon, Eurotas their captain-gene- 
ral, despising all religion, would needs fight his enemies, 
though at the same time he was warned by thunder and 
lightning. However, having lost his army, the ignominy 
of his loss so incessantly perplexed him, that he flung him- 
self into the river Himerus, which from that accident was 
afterwards called Eurotas. 


Tu this river grows a stone which is shaped like a hel- 
met, called thrasydeilos, or rash and timorous. For if it 
hears a trumpet sound, it leaps toward the bank of the 
river ; but if you do but name the Athenians, it presently 
sinks to the bottom of the water. Of these stones there 
are not a few which are consecrated and laid up in the 
temple of Minerva of the Brazen House ; — as Nicanor 
the Samian relates in his Second Book of Rivers. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Taygetus, deriving 
its name from the nymph Taygete, who, after Jupiter had 
deflowered her, being overcome by grief, ended her days 
by hanging at the summit of the mountain Amyclaeus, 
which from thence was called Taygetus. 

Upon this mountain grows a plant called Charisia, which 
.the women at the beginning of the spring tied about their 
necks, to make themselves more passionately beloved by 
men ; — as Cleanthes reports in his First Book of Moun- 
tains. But Sosthenes the Cnidian is more accurate in the 
relation of these things, from whom Hermogenes borrowed 
the subject of his writing. 

XVin. Inachus. 

Inachus is a river in the territories of Argos, formerly 
called Carmanor. Afterwards Haliacmon, for this reason. 

Haliacmon, a Tirynthian by birth, while he kept sheep 
upon the mountain Coccygium, happened against his will 
to see Jupiter and Rhea sporting together ; for wliich 
being struck mad, and hurried by the violence of the fren- 
zy, he flung himself into the river Carmanor, which after 
that was called Haliacmon. Afterwards it was called Ina- 
chus upon this occasion. 

Inachus, the son of Oceanus, after that Jupiter had de- 
flowered his daughter lo, pursued the Deity close at the 
heels, abusing and cursing him all the way as he went. 


Which so offended Jupiter, that he sent Tisiphone, one of 
the Furies, who haunted and plagued him to that degree, 
that he flung himself into the river Haliacmon, afterwards 
called by his own name Inachus. 

In this river grows an herb called cynura, not unlike 
our common rue, which the women that desire to mis- 
carry without any danger lay upon their navels, being fii-st 
steeped in wine. 

There is also found in this river a certain stone, not 
unlike a beryl, which in the hands of those who intend to 
bear false witness will grow black. Of these stones there 
are many laid up in the temple of Juno Prosymnaea ; — as 
Timotheus relates in his Argolica, and Agatho the Samian 
in his Second Book of Rivers. 

Agathocles the Milesian, in his History of E-ivers, also 
adds, that Inachus for his impiety was thunderstruck by 
Jupiter, and so the river dried up. 

Near to this river lie the mountains Mycenae, Ape- 
santus, Coccygium, and Athenaeum ; so called for these 
reasons. Apesantus was first called Selenaeus. For Juno, 
resolving to be revenged upon Hercules, called the moon 
(Selene) to her assistance, who by the help of her magical 
charms filled a large chest full of foam and froth, out of 
which sprang an immense lion ; which Iris binding with 
her own girdle carried to the mountain Opheltium, where 
the lion killed and tore in pieces Apesantus, one of the 
shepherds belonging to that place. And from that acci- 
dent, by the will of the Gods, the hill was called Apesan- 
tus ; — as Demodocus writes in his First Book of the His- 
tory of Hercules. 

In this river grows an herb called selene, with the froth 
of which, being gathered in the spring, the shepherds 
anoint their feet, and keep them from being bit or stung 
by any creeping vermin. 

Mycenae was formerly called Argion, from the many-eyed 


Argos ; but afterwards the name was changed upon this 

When Perseus had slain Medusa, Stheno and Euryale, 
sisters to her that was killed, pursued him as a murderer. 
But coming to this hill and despairing to overtake him, out 
of that extreme love which they had for their sister they 
made such a bellowing {nvAtidnog), that the natives from 
thence called the top of the mountain Mycenae ; — as Ctesias 
the Ephesian relates in his First Book of the Acts of Per- 
seus. But Chrysermus the Corinthian relates the story 
thus in the First Book of his Peloponnesiacs. For he says 
that, when Perseus was carried aloft in the air and lit upon 
this mountain, he lost the chape of his scabbard. At what 
time this same Gorgophonos (or Gorgon-slayer), king of 
the Epidaurians, being expelled his kingdom, received this 
answer upon his consulting the oracle, that he should visit 
all the cities of the Argolic territory, and that where he 
found the chape of a scabbard (called in Greek ftvx^s,-), he 
should build a city. Thereupon coming to the mountain 
Argium, and finding there an ivory scabbard, he built a 
city, and from the accident called it Mycenae. 

In this mountain there is found a stone, which is called 
coiybas, of a crow-color, which he that finds and wears 
about him shall never be afraid of any monstrous appari 
tions. As for the mountain Apesantus, this may be added, 
that Apesantus, the son of Acrisius, as he was a hunting 
in that place, chanced to tread upon a venomous serpent, 
which occasioned his death. Whom when his father had 
buried, in memory of his son he named the hill Apesantus, 
which before was called Selinuntius. 

The mountain Coccygium derived its name from this 
accident. Jupiter falling desperately in love with his sis- 
ter Juno, and having vanquished her by his importunity, 
begat a male child. From whence the mountain, before 
called Lyrceum, was named Coccygium ; — as Agathonymus 
relates in his Persis. 


In this mountain grows a tree, which is called paliurus ; 
upon the boughs of which whatever fowl happens to perch, 
it is presently entangled as it were with bird-lime, and can- 
not stir ; only the cuckoo it lets go free, without any harm ; 
— as Ctesiphon testifies in his First Book of Trees. 

As for the mountain Athenaeum, it derives its name 
from Minerva. For after the destruction of Troy, Dio- 
mede returning to Argos, ascended the mountain Ceraunius, 
and there erecting a temple to Minerva, called the moun- 
tain Athenaeum from her name Athena. 

Upon the top of this mountain grows a root like to that 
of rue, which if any woman unwarily taste of, she presently 
runs mad. This root is called Adrastea ; — as Plesimachus 
writes in his Second Book of the E-eturns of the Heroes. 

XIX. Alpheus. 

Alpheus is a river of Arcadia, running by the walls of 
Pisa, a city of Olympia. It was formerly called Stymphelus, 
from Stymphelus the son of Mars and Dormothea ; who, 
having lost his brother Alcmaeon, threw himself for grief 
into the river Nyctimus, for that reason called Stymphelus. 
Afterwards it was called Alpheus upon this occasion. 

Alpheus, one of those that derive their descent from the 
Sun, contending with his brother Cercaphus about the 
kingdom, slew him. For which being chased away and 
pursued by the Furies, he flung himself into the river 
Nyctimus, which after that was called Alpheus. 

In this river grows a plant which is called cenchritis, 
resembling a honey-comb, the decoction of which, being 
given by the physicians to those that are mad, cures them 
of their frenzy ; — as Ctesias relates in his First Book of 

Near to this river lies the mountain Cronium, so called 
upon this occasion. After the Giants' war, Saturn, to avoid 


the threats of Jupiter, fled to the mountain Cturus, and 
called it Cronium from his own name. Where after he 
had absconded for some time, he took his opportunity, and 
retired to Caucasus in Scythia. 

In this mountain is found a stone, which is called the 
cylinder, upon this occasion. For as oft as Jupiter either 
thunders or lightens, so often this stone through fear rolls 
down from the top of the mountain ; — as Dercyllus writes 
in his First Book of Stones. 

XX. Euphrates. 

Euphrates is a river of Parthia, washing the walls of 
Babylon, formerly called Medus from Medus the son of 
Artaxerxes. He, in the heat of his lust, having ravished 
away and deflowered Hoxane, and finding he was sought 
after by the king, in order to be brought to punishment, 
threw himself into the river Xaranda, which from thence- 
forward was called by his name Medus. Afterwards it 
was called Euphrates upon this occasion. 

Euphrates the son of Arandacus, finding his son Axurta 
abed with his mother, and thinking him to be some one of 
the citizens, provoked by his jealousy, drew his sword and 
nailed him to the bed. But perceiving himself the author 
of what could not be recalled, he flung himself for grief 
into the river Medus, which from that time forward was 
called by his name Euphrates. 

In this river grows a stone called aetites, which mid- 
wives applying to the navels of women that are in hard 
labor, it causes them to bring forth with little pain. 

In the same river also there grows an herb which is 
called axalla, which signifies heat. This herb they that 
are troubled with quartan-agues apply to their breasts, 
and are presently delivered from the fit; — as Cbrysermus 
writes in his Thirteenth Book of Rivers. 


Near this river lies the mountain Drimylus, where grows 
a stone not unlike a sardonyx, worn by kings and princes 
upon their diadems, and greatly available against dimness 
of sight ; — as Nicias Mallotes writes in his Book of 

XXI. Caicus. 

Caicus is a river of Mysia, formerly called Astraeus, 
from Astraeus the son of Neptune. For he, in the height 
of Minerva's nocturnal solemnities having deflowered his 
sister by a mistake, took a ring at the same time from her 
finger ; by which when he understood the next day the 
error which he had committed, for grief he threw himself 
headlong into the river Adurus, which from thence was 
called Astraeus. Afterwards it came to be called Caicus 
upon this occasion. 

Caicus, the son of Hermes and Ocyrrhoe the Nymph, 
having slain Timander one of the noblemen of the country, 
and fearing the revenge of his relations, flung himself into 
the river Astraeus, which from that accident was called 

In this river grows a sort of poppy, which instead of 
fruit bears stones. Of these there are some which are 
black and shaped like harps, which the Mysians throw 
upon their ploughed lands ; and if the stones lie still in- 
the place where they are thrown, it is a sign of a barren 
year ; but if they fly away like so many locusts, they prog- 
nosticate a plentiful harvest. 

In the same river also grows an herb which is called 
elipharmacus, which the physicians apply to such as are 
troubled with immoderate fluxes of blood, as having a 
peculiar virtue to stop the orifices of the veins ; — accord- 
ing to the relation of Timagoras in his First Book of 

Adjoining to the banks of this river lies the mountain 


Teuthras, so called from Teuthras king of the Mysians ; 
who in pursuance of his sport, as he was a hunting, ascend- 
ing the hill Thrasyllus and seeing a monstrous wild boar, 
followed him close with the rest of his train. On the other 
side, the boar, to prevent the hunters, like a suppliant fled 
to the temple of Orthosian Diana, into which when the 
hunters were about to force their entrance, the boar in 
articulate words cried out. Spare, O king, the nursling of 
the Goddess. However, Teuthras, exalted with his good 
success, killed the poor boar. At which Diana was so 
highly offended, that she restored the boar to life, but 
struck the offender with scurf and madness. Which af- 
fliction the king not enduring betook himself to the tops 
of the mountains. But his mother Leucippe, understand- 
ing what had befallen her son, ran to the forest, taking 
along with her the soothsayer Polyidus, the son of Coer- 
anus ; by whom being informed of all the several circum- 
stances of the matter, by many sacrifices she at last atoned 
the anger of the Goddess, and having quite recovered and 
cured her son, erected an altar to Orthosian Diana, and 
caused a golden boar to be made with a man's face. 
Which to this day, if pursued by the hunters, enters the 
temple, and speaks with the voice of a man the word 
" spare." Thus Teuthras, being restored to his former 
health, called the mountain by his own name Teuthras. 

In this mountain grows a stone called antipathes (or the 
resister), which is of excellent virtue to cure scabs and 
leprosies, being powdered and mixed with wine ; — as 
Ctesias the Cnidian tells us in his Second Book of Moun- 


AcHELOus is a river of Aetolia, formerly called Thestius. 
This Thestius was the son of Mars and Pisidice, who upon 
some domestic discontent travelled as far as Sicyon, where 


after he had resided for some time, he returned to his 
native home. But finding there his son Calydon and his 
mother both upon the bed together, believing him to be an 
adulterer, he slew his own child by a mistake. But when 
he beheld the unfortunate and unexpected fact he had 
committed, he threw himself into the river Axenos, which 
from thence was afterwards called Thestius. And after 
that, it was called Achelous upon this occasion. 

Achelous, the son of Oceanus and the Nymph Nais, 
having deflowered his daughter Cletoria by mistake, flung 
himself for grief into the river Thestius, which then by 
his own name was called Achelous. 

In this river grows an herb, which they call zaclon, very 
much resembling wool ; this if you bruise and cast into 
wine, it becomes water, and preserves the smell but not 
the virtues of the wine. 

In the same river also is found a certain stone of a 
mixed black and lead color, called linurgus from the 
effect ; for if you throw it upon a linen cloth, by a certain 
affectionate union it assumes the form of the linen, and 
turns white ; — as Antisthenes relates in the Third Book 
of his Meleagris, though Diodes the Rhodian more accu- 
rately tells us the same thing in his Aetolics. 

Near to this river lies the mountain Calydon, so called 
from Calydon, the son of Mars and Astynome ; for that 
he, by an accident having seen Diana bathing herself, was 
transformed into a rock ; and the mountain which before 
was named Gyrus was afterwards by the providence of the 
Gods called Calydon. 

Upon this mountain grows an herb called myops. This 
if any one steep in water and wash his face with it, he 
shall lose his sight, but upon his atoning Diana, he shall 
recover it again ; — as Dercyllus writes in his Third Book 
of Aetolics. 


XXIII. Araxes. 

Araxes is a river in Armenia, so called from Araxus the 
son of Pylus. For he, contending with his grandfather Ar- 
belus for the empire, shot him with an arrow. For which 
being haunted by the Furies, he threw himself into the 
river Bactros, for that reason called Araxes ; — as Ctesi- 
phon testifies in his First Book of the Persian Affairs. 
Araxes, king of the Armenians, being at war with his 
neighbors the Persians, before they came to a battle, was 
told by the oracle that he should win the victory if he 
sacrificed to the Gods