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mary forms, to live and act as reason directed, satisfied that the great general laws of being were enacted by a higher authority, and are of a more obligatory nature than the trivial rules of conventional etiquette, which ought always to be of optional observance. Agreeing with the great founder of his sect, he regarded riches as an object unworthy the pursuit of a really noble mind, being attended with a thousand paltry cares that are continually perplexing their possessor, and turning the soul from that high ethereal life which is the essence of its being, into a mere slave of matter and of sense—a lamentable result, which we in this commercial age have only to look around us to see exemplified in innumerable instances of prostituted talents, seared consciences and quenched spirits, shriveled by the degrading toil for gain to the exclusion of those noble exercises which demand and ought to receive at least a portion of the space allotted to us here, (if we may judge any thing from our own holy instincts, or read aught but falsehood from nature's volume,) rather for high enjoyment than base, confusing anxiety. By his frequent and bitterly expressed contempt for the follies with which he saw himself surrounded, he rapidly acquired a distinguished reputation among the sages of Athens; and to see the virulent castigator of the great and wise equally with the unlearned commonalty, became one of the principal objects of the pilgrimage performed by multitudes to that home of science and cradle of the arts, honored by his adoption as his residence and the seat of his instructions. The most eminent men of his cotemporaries felt it not beneath their dignity to visit the dweller in a tub, to hear his wisdom and to see his life. Even Alexander, the world-subduer, reserved time from the affairs of empire for appropriation to the more important study

of philosophy, and performed a journey to enjoy the privilege of speaking with one whose character is everywhere and at all times superior to that of sceptered monarchs—an independent thinker. When he approached the spot where the philosopher was reclining, surveying the beauties of surrounding nature or reflecting upon some profound abstraction, he was immediately and forcibly struck with his venerable appearance and perfect nonchalance; and after the first unheeded salutation, he inquired with benevolent impudence if the king of Macedonia could do aught for the beggar of Sinope. Mark the grandeur of the reply The wise old man was willing to teach the proud young prince an unlearned lesson. Slowly raising his head, he mildly requested the wondering monarch to stand aside and not obstruct the genial sunshine in which he was warming himself. Alexander was surprised at such an exhibition of contented magnanimity—an elevation of soul that raised a naked mendicant immeasurably above the first of men, first in the battle-field, first at the council-board, and first in the court of empires. He saw and felt now that fortuitous circumstances are not the man, that the burning spirit within is what gives true grace and dignity and glory to humanity. He shrunk abashed in the presence of higher powers, and after a protracted and intimate acquaintance with the immortal Stagirite in the palace of his royal father, he found upon a sandy bank of Corinth the masterspirit of the age. Filled with astonishment, he could only murmur to his courtier train, “Were I not Alexander I would be Diogenes.” Unmoved by the compliment, the cynic answered, “And were I not Diogenes I would be Alexander.” Happy had it been for the oriental conqueror if nature had changed their respective lots, and that destroying spirit, so justly termed by old Darius the “mad

boy of Macedonia,” had employed the clearness of his intellect and the ardor of his soul in the investigation of truth and the reprehension of error, instead of the sacking of opulent cities and the depopulation of flourishing provinces: then would his life have been peace, and not a drunken revel, and his death would have sent down the stream of time something else than a mere

“ Name at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral or adorn a tale.”

But fate had ordered otherwise; and when the world has grown so wise as to appreciate the grandeur of Diogenes, the fury of Alexander will be remembered only by its devastating effects, with the earthquake's cruel ravage and the tempest’s thoughtless desolation. We have seen Diogenes aweless before the impersonation of martial prowess. It might be supposed that before some other higher form of greatness his soul would feel its inferiority and bow with reverence. Doubtless, in the presence of a real superior, his, like any other generous nature, would have made obeisance. That superior could not readily be found. Perhaps his greatest cotemporary was the sublime trinitarian Plato, a teacher so blindly adored by his disciples that his slightest remark was to them a Delphian response. Such an implicit intellectual submission to any master, however exalted, is unworthy a mind made by its Creator free. Diogenes saw with pain many of the best minds of Athens thus servilely submitted to the dictatorship of one who, though God-like in reason, still was not a legitimate sovereign over other men's opinions. At least he dared to rebel : he saw some errors in Plato's system, and resolved, when opportunity presented, to break the spell and show his fellow-citizens that no human being is infallible ; that they ought, in listening to the instructions of the wisest men, still to keep in active exercise their own minds—to prove all things and hold fast only that which is good. It was not long after, that Plato, in lecturing on anthropology, attempted a definition of its subject. After examining those of others and pointing out their imperfections, he proposed as his own and a correct one, “an animal having two legs and no feathers.” This was at once applauded by his hearers as highly ingenious and entirely unobjectionable, and it at once became famous. Coming to the ears of Diogenes, he saw at a glance an assailable point and determined now to make his attack. Accordingly, stripping the plumage from a common barnfowl and concealing the unfortunate bird beneath his cloak, he went the next day to Plato's lecture-room and set at liberty his captive before the assembled audience and the venerated philosopher, exclaiming truly, “Here is Plato's man l’” The whole assembly, by an irresistible influence, burst into a hearty laugh and his task was accomplished. Turning deliberately to the confused lecturer, he added, “Thus do I trample on the pride of Plato,” and left the room. Thus, in a simple and pleasing manner, did he assail and vanquish the mightest logician of his age, and teach many young men to trust themselves rather than lean implicitly upon another. The lesson has not yet ceased to be valuable: we should do well ever to remember it. No spirit is less worthy of indulgence than that which prompts to captious and quibbling objections to whatever is presented, merely for the sake of controversy, or perhaps sometimes from a worse motive ; while, within proper bounds, the right of questioning our instructors and subjecting their dicta to the critical test of a strict examination is undoubted, and one which it is our sacred duty at all times to exercise. If we would advance in true knowsedge, and, what is of infinitely greater importance, if we would have our minds grow more strong as they grow more full, we must examine our intellectual aliment and swallow nothing but what our own reason pronounces truth ; else will the innutritious and undigested food work intellectual dsypepsia and general spiritual debility. Plato, as we have seen, gave such a definition of man as applied equally to a stripped bird. Diogenes, arguing with a modern poet, that “all are not men who wear the human form,” considered him only worthy the name who possessed all those noble attributes which sublime our humanity to an heroic approximation to the divine. Accordingly, soon after he had so successfully ridiculed his rival’s definition, he practically informed the Athenians what he understood by the word. The world was full then, as it is now, of human animals who, forgetful of their higher instincts and more exalted powers, lived merely for monohemerous pleasures of the lowest order, quite satisfied with the gratification of present sensual desire. As a striking reproof to such, who had ever supposed themselves men not only, but very respectable and worthy men, the caustic old cynic, with a lighted lantern to aid his search, went through the most frequented streets of the city at midday, intently examining every nook and corner, and staring with inquiring gaze into the face of every person he chanced to meet. Surprised to see him so singularly employed, many asked for what he sought. The invariable answer, not very complimentary to the questioner, was, “I seek a man;” and onward moved the seeker in his successless search, to be asked the same question by another, to return the same reproachful reply and still move on. Perhaps it is quite fortunate for us of this later generation,

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