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DIOGENES THE CYNIC.
Diogenes, the son of Isecius, a banker, was born at Sinope, a city of Pontus, in the third year of the ninetyfirst Olympiad, 419 years before Jesus Christ. Accused, with his father, of making counterfeit money, he resolved to withdraw himself from Athens. "The Sinopeans," said he on this subject, "have compelled me to quit their dirty city, and I condemn them to remain there." Upon his arrival at Athens, he went to Antisthenes, the founder of the sect of cynics, and asked him permission to become his disciple. This Antisthenes, who had determined no longer to keep a school, refused.—He, however, persisted in his request. Antisthenes, enraged, raised his stick over him. "Strike," said Diogenes, "but you will never find a stick strong enough to dismiss me, while you have any thing to teach." Antisthenes at length acquiesced. The disciple very soon surpassed his master. He was desirous only of repelling the passions; the other undertook to destroy them. The learned author of the "Voyage, du Jeune Anacharsis," has thus analyzed the philosophy of Diogenes. "The sage, to be happy in his opinion, ought to make himself independent of fortune, of mortals, and of himself: of fortune, in braving her favours and caprice; of men, in bearing up against prejudice, customs, and even the laws, when they are not conformable to reason; of himself, in endeavouring to harden his body against the rigour of seasons, and his soul against the attraction of pleasure."
It will be seen that the conduct of Diogenes was conformable to his principles. His only article of furniture was a wooden cup, which he demolished on seeing a boy drink from the hollow of his hand. Having requested a corner in a house to retire to at night, upon some difficulties being started, he obtained a tub, in which he took up his abode. This he rolled before him wherever he went. In this singular dwelling he received, at Corinth, the visit of Alexander. "What shall I do for thee," said the monarch. "Step a little on one side," replied the cynic, "you are between me and the sun." Alexander admired this reply, and said, " If I were not Alexander, I should desire to be Diogenes." In summer, Diogenes rolled himself in burning sand. In winter he walked with naked feet on snow, and embraced statues of marble and bronze. He was desirous of accustoming himself to eat raw flesh; but this he could not accomplish. The desire of signalizing himself, entered certainly into all he said or did. Of this Plato was not the dupe. One day, perceiving Diogenes with his cloaths over his shoulders while it rained, whose situation was lamented by the populace; "If you wish," said Plato, " to render him truly unhappy, go your way, and do not regard him." Another day Diogenes went into the house of Plato, and beholding a rich carpet, he affected to trample it under foot. "I tread," said he, "on the ostentation of Plato." "True," said the philosopher, "but it is through pride of a different kind." Plato had defined man—an animal without feathers on two legs. Diogenes stripped a cock; and carrying it under his cloak, threw it in the middle of the academy, saying, "behold Plato's Man." This was attacking a bad definition by a pleasantry still worse. Diogenes was at times infinitely more happy in his bon mots. He was ready and pointed in repartee; but his . asperity was extreme. Regardless of decency and propriety; braving, and even exposing himself to injury and ill treatment, he attacked, without distinction, all who Gbebce.] DIOGENES THE CYNIC
came before him, from the monarch to the meanest citizen. We shall notice some of his most ingenious sallies, after having terminated the short recital of his life. Taking an excursion by sea, he was captured by some pirates, who carried him into Crete, and offered him to sale in the public market place. He performed, himself, the office of cryer, and said, " Who is willing to buy a Master." A person named Xeniades stepping forward to make the purchase, asked him what he could do ?" I can command man," was his reply. When Xeniades had bought him, he said to him, "Now that you are my master, be prepared to obey me." Xeniades, however, made him preceptor to his children, and what will appear extraordinary, he acquitted himself extremely well in this employ. He strengthened the bodies of his pupils by regimen and exercise; inculcated in their minds the principles of the purest morality, and improved their understanding by making them commit to memory the finest passages of the Greek poets. The only thing that seemed reprehensible in his system of education, was that he permitted his disciples to dress themselves almost as negligently as himself. In other respects they greatly esteemed him, and incessantly applauded him before their parents. Some of his friends were disposed to remove him out of slavery. "You are wanting in sense," said he to them, "do you not know that the lion is not the slave of those who feed him, but that they are the vassals of the lion and persisted in remaining with Xeniades. It is imagined that he continued in this condition till a late period of life, and died in the first year of the 104th Olympiad, aged about ninety.
The cause of his death is uncertain. Some believe that he voluntarily suffocated himself, by retaining his breath. He was found enveloped in his mantle, in the attitude of