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first cleans out his pupils' minds, and then refreshes their memory by long repose ; after which they learn number to be the fundamental principle of all things, and the doctrine of the transmigration of the soul from one body to another. The next lot is Diogenes, the Cynic, who calls himself the physician of the passions, and the prophet of truth and liberty ; his mode of life being to frequent the crowded haunts of men as a brute and a savage, pretending to be happier than a king, and insulting every person he meets. Then a Cyrenaic, a devotee of luxury and enjoyment, is found to be unsaleable ; and Democritus and Heraclitus are offered as a pair, one of whom is always laughing, and the other crying. Socrates is now introduced, and asked about his model republic, and his theory of ideals. When he has been sold, Epicurus, a pleasant fellow, and fond of good eating, is called up; and, after him, a Stoic, and a Peripatetic, and, last of all, a Sceptic, each of whom is questioned respecting his tenets, and, as in the preceding cases, jests are freely mingled with allusions to the popular fallacies of the day.
In a sketch entitled “The Resuscitated Professors,' the author represents himself as pursued by the irate philosophers of all sects, who have obtained a day's leave from the Shades to avenge themselves on their libeller. Socrates shouts, pelt the wretch; another, let him be impaled ; another, gouge him ; another, scourge him well; and another, cut out his tongue. The victim begs to be heard in his own defence, and he will prove that he is the champion and patron of true Philosophy; but where is she to be found? While Plato is agreeing with him that her door is not open to all idle comers, they meet her walking with Virtue and other companions, and it is agreed to refer the charge against the defendant to them. The court is held in the temple of Minerva, and, Plato having declined the office of accuser, Diogenes undertakes it, and asks for a severe sentence on the profane libeller. Lucian protests that he has only attacked the asses in lions' skins,' and that it is they who bring philosophy into contempt, the result being that he is triumphantly acquitted. At his suggestion the pretenders are summoned before the same court; but
they take to flight, and various expedients are adopted to secure them. Some, who are disowned by their pretended masters, are thrown headlong from the Acropolis, and others, whose profession is a mere cloak for selfish ends, are followed through the city, to be branded on the forehead with the imprint of a fox or an ape.
Another humorous attack upon the schools of philosophy is a dialogue named 'The Banquet,' a wedding feast to which representatives of the different sects have been invited. As the wine went round their tongues were loosened, and the guests were getting excited, when the slave of a Stoic, who had not received an invitation, arrived, and read an angry remonstrance from his master. He disliked and despised such sensual gratifications, he declared, but he would not put up with marked neglect, and he challenged the pretenders who had been preferred to him to solve a problem which he enclosed. Lucian, who was present, felt quite awkward when he heard such mean and unworthy language from a man of his hoary hairs and grave demeanour, and all the professors began abusing one another, and throwing wine in each other's faces. How little, observes Lucian, does scholastic learning improve or dignify the intercourse of daily life! Can it be that stuffing their heads with other people's ideas makes them lose their common sense? A Platonist endeavoured to quiet the uproar by suggesting a discussion on marriage, and advanced the idea of having wives in common. As they were leaving, they quarrelled again over the delicacies provided by the host for them to carry away with them, and, the lamp having been extinguished in the scuffle, they were left in the dark. When a fresh light was brought, the Peripatetic was discovered making love to a music girl, while the Epicurean was concealing a gold cup under his robe; and the company generally were led home by their attendant slaves, wounded and disfigured, the Stoic, with a bruised eye and his nose bleeding, still maintaining that 'pain is no real evil.'
In Hermotimus' the theories of the philosophers are discussed in a more serious vein ; and the following striking passage occurs :
-Riches and glory, and all the pleasures
of the body, are stripped off and left below, and the man ascends, like Hercules, throwing off all that was mortal, all that he had inherited from his earthly mother, and bearing with him that which was divine, now purified by fire, and cleansed from all dross, soaring upwards to the gods. And so they who are purified by philosophy from the love of those things which men in their ignorance hold in admiration, attain to and enjoy all happiness, remembering no more either riches, or glory, or pleasure, and smiling at those who still believe in them.'
'The new Icarus’ is supposed to be an account given by the Cynic, Menippus, of a journey which he accomplished with wings to the ærial regions, in order to learn the true theory of the universe, which none of the philosophers were able to expound intelligibly. Looking down upon the earth he observed one professor forswearing himself for a bribe, another quarrelling with his pupils about fees, and a third using very bad language. He also saw the Egyptians cultivating their fields, the Phænician ships on their trading voyages, the Spartans whipping their children, and the Athenians, as usual, in the law courts. The jumble of the world generally reminded him of a swarm of ants, who, no doubt, have their architects, and leaders, and philosophers, just the same as mankind. As he was leaving the moon, she begged him to carry a petition from her to Jupiter, complaining of the absurd notions of the philosophers about her size, and shape, and borrowed light, whilst they forgot what she could tell of their goings-on at night. On reaching Olympus he is complimented on his courage by Jupiter, who is anxious to hear the price of wheat, and what mortals really think about him. There was a time, he remarks, when he was looked up to by all, and sacrifices were so general that he could hardly see for the smoke; but now there are so many new deities that he is considered old fashioned and decrepit. He then shows Menippus how prayers come up to him through holes with covers to them, so that he can shut off the foolish petitions, and listen only to those that are reasonable. After supping with the gods, and hearing Apollo play the harp, and the Muses recite some poetry, he is conducted back to earth by Mercury, and hurries off to warn the philosphers of the rod in pickle for them at the bidding of her lunar majesty.
In his Satires on Society Lucian has borrowed most of his ideas from Terence and Horace, and, at the same time, imitated the style of Socrates and Plato in his arguments. Thus, in the 'Parasite,' he defines the vocation of earning a dinner by a combination of effrontery and toadyism as a system of approved rules, co-operating to a certain end useful to society. It is not a gift of nature, but an art, and, whereas most arts are acquired only by toil and discipline, this one can be studied most pleasantly, without payment and without a master. All the wise men of old bore testimony to its value, and Homer says in praise of it,
• Find me a joy to human heart more dear,
Methinks that nothing can more lovely be.' In a letter upon ‘Hired Companions' he warns a friend against the humiliation and indignities to which a man is subjected who accepts such a position in a rich man's household. Not only is his salary ridiculously small, but he is expected to abstain from all the dainties at table, to be content with inferior wine, to accustom himself to be treated with disrespect by the servants, and to be held in less esteem than the musicians and singers. In travelling he has to ride with the cook and lady's maid, with his patroness's pet dog in his lap. Equally distasteful does he find the duty of listening to and applauding his patron's compositions, or of reading aloud for his amusement. man will so far lose his self-respect as to thus sacrifice his independence, let him remember the words of Plato, * Heaven is blameless, the fault lies in our own choice.'
Lucian's severest satires are against the new superstitions imported from the East, and the general craving for marvellous and improbable stories. Some of these were of ghosts and haunted houses ; of a statue stepping down from its pedestal to take a bath ; a wife appearing to her husband several months after her death, to fetch a slipper that had not been burned with her; and an Egyptian who could convert a broom or a pestle into a living servant, and back
again to what it was, at will. The author also refers to the casting out of evil spirits by a Syrian from Palestine, whom all men knew, and who is supposed to have been one of the men mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles who pretended to practise the art for money.
Among Lucian's works are three short romances, which indicate that he possessed considerable powers of imagination as well as satirical humour. In the preface to the first of them he says, many writers have imitated Homer by relating what they pretend to be their travels and adventures, under the delusion that people would not discover that they were mere inventions of their fancy. Не, however, freely confesses that there is not a word of truth in his stories, and warns his readers that they must, on no account, believe them; so he calls this one · The Veracious History A whirlwind carries his travellers' ship into the moon, from which the earth looked like a moon to thema rather shrewd astronomical guess. Then the ship is swallowed by a sea-monster, in whose inside they lived for more than a year, and at last effected their escape by lighting a fire which caused him to die of internal inflammation. After this, they made their way to the Islands of the Blest, in which the streets are of gold and the walls of emeralds and amythests, where there is no day or night, but a perpetual luminous half-light, with the south wind always blowing, and vines ripening their fruit every month. Here were most of the celebrated heroes of old, and the genuine philosophers, except Plato, who preferred living in his own republic, and the Stoics who had not yet arrived, but were expected. As they were leaving, Ulysses entrusted them with a note for Calypso, which they duly delivered; and when she inquired whether Penelope was really so very lovely and virtuous, they replied as they thought would please her best. “Lucius; or, the Ass,' the title of the second tale, is an amusing description of the hero's transformation and adventures as a quadruped, while retaining his human faculties; but is supposed not to be original. The third, called The Cock and the Cobbler,' is in the form of a dialogue, in which the bird, like Achilles' horse, is gifted with a human voice, and declares that he