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102
LUCIAN


and again gets beaten as a thief by the gardener (p. 585). After many adventures with the bandits, he attempts to run away, but is caught. A council is held, and he is condemned to die together with a captive girl who 'had essayed to escape on his back. Suddenly, however, soldiers appear, and the bandits are arrested (p. 59 5). Again the ass escapes “ to the great and populous city of Beroea in Macedonia ” (p.6o3). Here he is sold to a strolling conjurer, afterwards to a market-gardener; and both experiences are alike painful. Again he passes into the possession of a cook, where he gets fat and sleek on food more suited to his concealed humanity than the hard fare he has of late lived upon (p.614). At last, during an exhibition in the theatre, he sees some roses being carried past, and, making a successful rush to devour them, he recovers his former shape. “ I am Lucius, ” he exclaims to the wondering president of the exhibition, “ and my brother's name is Caius. It was a Thessalian witch that changed me into a donkey.” Thus all ends well, and he returns safe to his country.

The treatise On the Syrian Goddess (Mylitta, the moon-goddess, the Semitic Aphrodite) is written in the Ionic dialect in imitation perhaps of the style of Herodotus, though the resemblance is by no means close. The writer professes to be an Assyrian (p. 4 52), and to describe the wonders in the various temples of Palestine and Syria; he descants on the eunuchs of Syria and the origin of the self-imposed privation of manhood professed and practised by the Galli. The account of the temples, altars and sacrifices is curious, if really authentic; after the manner of Pausanias it is little more than a list, with the reasons in most cases added, or the origin of the custom explained. De M arte Peregrini is a narrative of one Proteus, a Cynic, who after professing various doctrines, and among them those of Christianity, ended his own life by ascending a burning pyre (see PEREGRINUS Pnoraus). .

Bis accusatus (“ Twice Accused ”) is a dialogue beginning with a satire on the folly of the popular notion that the gods alone are happy. Zeus is represented as disproving this by enumerating the duties that fall to their lot in the government of the world, and Hermes remarks on the vast crowds of philosophers of rival sects, by whose influence the respect and worship formerly paid to the gods have seriously declined. A trial is supposed to be held under the presidency of the goddess Ai/cn, between the Academy, the Porch, the schools of the Cynics and Epicureans, and Pleasure, Revelry, Virtue, Luxury, &c., as variously impugned or defended by them. Then Conversation and Rhetoric come before the court, each having an action for defamation to bring against Syrus the essayist, who of course is Lucian himself (p.823). His defence is heard, and in both cases he is triumphantly acquitted. This essay is brilliant from its clever parodies of Plato and Demosthenes, and the satire on the Socratic method of arguing by short questions and answers. The Lover of Lying (o¢e19611s) discusses the reason Why some persons seem to take pleasure in falsehood for its own sake. Under the category of lying all mythology (e.g. that of Homer and Hesiod) is included, and the question is asked, why the hearers of such stories are amused by them? Quack remedies, charms and miraculous cures are included among the most popular kinds of falsehood; witchcraft, spiritualism, exorcism, expulsion of devils, spectres, are discussed in turn, and a good ghost story is told in p. 57. An anecdote is given of Democritus, who, to show his disbelief in ghosts, had shut himself up in a tomb, and when some young men, dressed up with death's heads, came to frighten him at night, he did not even look up, but called out to them, “Stop your joking ” (p. 59). This treatise, a very interesting one, concludes with the reflection that truth and sound reason are the only remedies for vain and superstitious terrors.

The dialogue N ar/iginm sen Vota (“The Ship or the Wishes ”) gives an apparently authentic account of the measurements and fittings of an Egyptian ship which has arrived with a cargo of corn at the Peiraeus, driven out of its course to Italy by adverse winds. The full length is 180 ft., the breadth nearly 50, the depth from deck to the bottom of the hold 43 ft. The “ wishes ” turn on a party of friends, who have been to see the ship, declaring what they would most desire to possess. One would have the ship filled with gold, another a fine house with gold plate; a third would be a “tyrant ” with a large force devoted to his interests; a fourth would like to make himself invisible, enter any house that he pleased, and be transported through the air to the objects of his affection. After hearing them all, the first speaker, Lycinus (Lucian), says that he is content with the privilege of laughing heartily at the vanity of human wishes, especially when they are those of professed philosophers.

The dialogue between Philo and Lycinus, Con'/in/ium seu Lapithae, is a very amusing description of a banquet, at which a party of dignified philosophers quarrelled over their viands at a marriage feast, and came to blows. The style is a good imitation of Plato, and the scene reminds one of the “ clients dinner ” in the fifth satire of Juvenal. Matters come to a climax by the attempt of one of the guests, Zenothemis, to secure for himself a fatter fowl which had been served to his next neighbour Hermon. Each seizes his bird and hits the other with itin the face, at the same time pulling his beard. Then a general fight ensues. The story is a satire on philosophy, the favourite topic of a writer who believed neither in gods nor in men.

The Piscalor (“ Fisherman ”), a dialogue between Lucian, Socrates, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Plato and others, commences with a general attack on the author as the enemy of philosophy. Socrates proposes that the culprit should be tried, and that Philosophia should assist in the prosecution. Lucian declares that he does not know where such a person lives, long as he has been looking for her (11). She is found at last, but declares Lucian has never disparaged her, but only impostors and pretenders under her name (15). He makes a long defence (pp. 598-6o6), abusing the philosophers in the sort of language in which some schools of theologians abuse the monks of the middle ages (34). The trial is held in the Acropolis of Athens, and the sham philosophers, dreading a verdict against them, throw themselves from the rock. A Cynic flings away his scrip in the hurry, and on examination it is found to contain, not books or loaves of bread, but gold coins, dice and fragrant essences (44). At the end Lucian baits his hook with a fig and a gold coin, and catches gluttonous strollers in the city while seated on the wall of the Acropolis.

The Voyage Home <KGTé.Tx0US) opens with the complaint that Charon's boat is kept waiting for Hermes, who soon appears with his troop of ghosts. Among them is a Topaz/vos, one Megapenthes, who, as his name is intended to express, mourns greatly over the life he has just left. Amusing appeals are made by other souls for leave to return to life, and even bribes are offered to the presiding goddess of destiny, but Clotho is inexorable. The moral of the piece is closely like that of the parable of Dives and Lazarus: the rich and prosperous bewail their fate, while the poor and afliicted find rest from their troubles, and have no desire to return to them. The Tlipar/1/os here is the man clothed in purple and fine linen, and Lucian shows the same bitter dislike of tyrants which Plato and the tragic writers display. The heavy penalty is adjudged to Megapenthes that he may ever remember in the other world the misdeeds done in life.

The Sales of Lives is an auction held by Zeus to see what price the lives of philosophers of the rival sects will bring. A Pythagorean, who speaks in the Ionic dialect, first undergoes an examination as to what he can teach, and this contains an enumeration of the doctrines usually ascribed to that sect, including metempsychosis. He is valued at 7s. 6d., and is succeeded by Diogenes, who avows himself the champion of truth, a cosmopolitan (8), and the enemy of pleasure. Socrates brings two talents, and is purchased by Dion, tyrant of Syracuse (19). Chrysippus, who gives some specimens of his clever quibbles,[1] is bought for fifty pounds, Aristotle for nearly a hundred, while Pyrrho the sceptic (or one of his school), who professes to “ know

  1. 1 E.g. “ A stone is a body; a living creature is a body; you are a living creature; therefore you are a stone.” Again: “ Is every body possessed of life? " “ No. " “ ls a stone possessed of life ?" “ No.” “Are you - a body?" “ Yes.” “ A living body ?" " Yes.” “ Then, if a living body, you are not a stone."