Luciani, Somnium Charon, Piscator Et de Luctu: With English Notes (Classic Reprint)

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FB&C Limited, Feb 5, 2018 - History - 188 pages
Excerpt from Luciani, Somnium Charon, Piscator Et De Luctu: With English Notes

The struggle and turmoil of their life how, blinded by ignorance and excited by a host of passions, wildly led on by fond hopes or depressed by unreasonable fears, they toil and fight, rob and swindle, buy land and build, marry and beget children, never giving a thought the while to the certain approach of death, nor heeding the inexorable Fates whose threads are surely spun to control the destinies of all. The higher men rise, the further have they to tumble: kings are no better off than cobblers what then should make them fear death, their best friend? Mankind, says old Charon, are even as the bubbles on a stream soon or late all must burst and pass away. He is deeply moved by the spectacle, and proposes to cry aloud and testify against this foolish world. But his guide warns him that it is useless to preach to those who will not hear, and to tell an old story to those who know. And such is the case with men. The philo Sopher has no choice but to withdraw in scorn from the thank less multitude 21) and contemplate life from without. Charon now with a natural inquisitiveness desires to see 22) the tombs in which men lay their dead. He is astounded at their funeral ceremonies and at the strange medley of inconsistent beliefs implied in them. Even the graves of Achilles and Aias are poor mounds of earth cities too, the greatest of ancient times, have either disappeared 23) already or are doomed soon to disappear. Spartans and Argives are fighting for a land which neither could though conquerors hold for long - but here we break off, with a parting comment from Charon and not a word about me This is in fact the keynote of the whole dialogue. Death and all that reminds us of death we set aside.

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