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The Complete Works Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies by Plutarch

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Zeno on the contrary made use of such an argument as this: "If he
who spake first has plainly proved his cause, the second is not to
be heard, for the question is at an end; and if he has not proved
it, it is the same case as if being cited he did not appear, or
appearing did nothing but wrangle; so that, whether he has proved
or not proved his cause, the second is not to be heard." And yet
he who made this dilemma has written against Plato's Commonweal,
dissolved sophisms, and exhorted his scholars to learn logic, as
enabling them to do the same. Now Plato has either proved or not
proved those things which he writ in his Commonweal; but in neither
case was it necessary to write against him, but wholly superfluous
and vain. The same may be said concerning sophisms.

Chrysippus is of opinion, that young students should first learn
logic, secondly, ethics, and after these, physics, and likewise in
this to meddle last of all with the disputes concerning the gods.
Now these things having been often said by him, it will suffice to
set down what is found in his Fourth Book of Lives, being thus word
for word: "First, then, it seems to me, according as it has been
rightly said by the ancients, that there are three kinds of
philosophical speculations, logical, ethical, and physical, and
that of these, the logical ought to be placed first, the ethical
second, and the physical third, and that of the physical, the
discourse concerning the gods ought to be the last; wherefore also
the traditions concerning this have been styled [Greek omitted], or
the ENDINGS." But that very discourse concerning the gods, which
he says ought to be placed the last, he usually places first and
sets before every moral question. For he is seen not to say
anything concerning the ends, or concerning justice, or concerning
good and evil, or concerning marriage and the education of
children, or concerning the law and the commonwealth; but, as those
who propose decrees to states set before them the words To Good
Fortune, so he also premises something of Jupiter, Fate,
Providence, and of the world's being one and finite and maintained
by one power. None of which any one can be persuaded to believe,
who has not penetrated deeply into the discourses of natural
philosophy. Hear what he says of this in his Third Book of the
Gods: "For there is not to be found any other beginning or any
other generation of Justice, but what is from Jupiter and common
Nature. From thence must every such thing have its beginning, if
we will say anything concerning good and evil." And again, in his
Natural Positions he says: "For one cannot otherwise or more
properly come to the discourse of good and evil, to the virtues, or
to felicity, than from common Nature and the administration of the
world." And going farther on, he adds: "For to these we must annex
the discourse concerning good and evil, there being no other better
beginning or relation thereof, and the speculation of Nature being
learned for nothing else, but to understand the difference between
good and evil." According to Chrysippus, therefore, the natural
science is both before and after the moral; or rather, it is an
inversion of order altogether absurd, if this must be put after
those things none of which can be comprehended without this;
and his contradicting himself is manifest, when he asserts the
discourse of Nature to be the beginning of that concerning good and
evil, and yet commands it to be delivered, not before, but
after it.

Now, if any one shall say that Chrysippus in his book concerning
the Use of Speech has written, that he who applies himself to logic
first needs not absolutely to abstain from the rest, but should
take as much of them as shall fall in his way, he will indeed say
the truth, but will withal confirm the fault. For he oppugns
himself, one while commanding that the science concerning God
should be taken last and for a conclusion, as being therefore also
called [Greek omitted], and again, another while saying that this
is to be learned together with the very first. For order is at an
end, if all things must be used at all times. But this is more,
that having made the science concerning the gods the beginning of
that concerning good and evil, he bids not those who apply
themselves to the ethics to begin with that; but learning these, to
take of that also as it shall come in their way, and then to go
from these to that, without which, he says, there is no beginning
or entrance upon these.

As for disputing on both sides, he says, that he does not
universally reject it, but exhorts us to use it with caution, as is
done in pleadings, not with the aim really to disprove, but to
dissolve their probability. "For to those," says he, "who endeavor
a suspension of assent concerning all things, it is convenient to
do this, and it co-operates to what they desire; but as for those
who would work and constitute in us a certain science according to
which we shall professedly live, they ought, on the contrary, to
state the first principles, and to direct their novices who are
entered from the beginning to the end; and where there is occasion
to make mention of contrary discourses, to dissolve their
probability, as is done in pleadings." For this he hath said in
express words. Now that it is absurd for philosophers to think
that they ought to set down the contrary opinion, not with all its
reasons, but like pleaders, disabling it, as if they contended not
for truth but victory, we have elsewhere spoken against him.
But that he himself has, not in one or two places in his
disputations, but frequently, confirmed the discourses which are
contrary to his own opinions, and that stoutly, and with so much
earnestness and contention that it was not for every one to
understand what he liked,--the Stoics themselves affirm, who admire
the man's acuteness, and think that Carneades said nothing of his
own, but that catching hold of those arguments which Chrysippus
alleged for the contrary opinion, he assaulted with them his
positions, and often cried out,

Wretch, thy own strength will thee undo,
("Iliad", vi. 407.)

as if Chrysippus had given great advantages against himself to
those who would disturb and calumniate his doctrines.

But of those things which he has written against Custom they are so
proud and boastful, that they fear not to affirm, that all the
sayings of all the Academics together, if they were collected into
one body, are not comparable to what Chrysippus has writ in
disparagement of the senses. Which is an evident sign of the
ignorance or self-love of the speakers; but this indeed is true,
that being afterwards desirous to defend custom and the senses, he
was inferior to himself, and the latter treatise was much weaker
than the former. So that he contradicts himself; for having always
directed the proposing of an adversary's opinions not with
approbation, but with a demonstration of their falsity, he has
showed himself more acute in opposing than defending his own
doctrines; and having admonished others to take heed of contrary
arguments, as withdrawing comprehension, he has been more sedulous
in framing such proofs as take away comprehension, than such as
confirm it. And yet he plainly shows that he himself feared this,
writing thus in his Fourth Book of Lives: "Repugnant arguments and
probabilities on the contrary side are not rashly to be proposed,
but with caution, lest the hearers distracted by them should let go
their conceptions, not being able sufficiently to apprehend the
solutions, but so weakly that their comprehensions may easily be
shaken. For even those who have, according to custom, preconceived
both sensible phenomena and other things depending on the senses
quickly forego them, being distracted by Megarian interrogatories
and by others more numerous and forcible." I would willingly
therefore ask the Stoics, whether they think these Megarian
interrogatories to be more forcible than those which Chrysippus has
written in six books against custom; or rather this should be asked
of Chrysippus himself. For observe what he has written about the
Megarian reason, in his book concerning the Use of Speech, thus:
"Some such things fell out in the discourse of Stilpo and
Menedemus; for, whereas they were renowned for wisdom, their
disputing has turned to their reproach, their arguments being part
clumsy, and the rest plainly sophistical." And yet, good sir, you
fear lest those arguments which you deride and term the disgrace of
their proposers, as having a manifest faultiness, should divert
some from comprehension. And did not you yourself, writing so many
books against custom, in which you have added whatever you could
invent, ambitiously striving to exceed Arcesilaus, expect that you
should perplex some of your readers? For neither does he use
slender arguments against custom; but as if he were pleading, he
with some passion in himself stirs up the affections of others,
telling his opponent that he talks foolishly and labors in vain.
And that he may leave no room to deny his speaking of
contradictions, he has in his Natural Positions written thus:
"It may be lawful for those who comprehend a thing to argue on the
contrary side, applying to it that kind of defence which the
subject itself affords; and sometimes, when they comprehend
neither, to discourse what is alleged for either." And having said
in his book concerning the Use of Speech, that we ought no more to
use the force of reason than of arms for such things as are not
fitting, he subjoins this: "For they are to be employed for the
finding out of truths and for the alliance of them, and not for the
contrary, though many men do it." By "many" perhaps he means those
who withhold their assent. But these teachers, understanding
neither, dispute on both sides, believing that, if anything is
comprehensible, thus only or chiefly does truth afford a
comprehension of itself. But you, who accuse them, and do yourself
write contrary to those things which you understood concerning
custom, and exhort others under your authority to do the same,
confess that you wantonly use the faculty of disputing, out of vain
ambition, even on useless and hurtful things.

They say, that a good deed is the command, and sin the prohibition
of the law; and therefore that the law forbids the wicked many
things, but commands them nothing, because they cannot do a good
deed. But who is ignorant that he who cannot do a good deed cannot
also sin? Therefore they make the law to contradict itself,
commanding men those things which they cannot perform, and
forbidding them those things from which they cannot abstain. For a
man who cannot be temperate cannot but act intemperately; and he
who cannot be wise cannot but act foolishly. And they themselves
affirm, that those who forbid say one thing, forbid another and
command another. For he who says "Thou shalt not steal" at the
same time that he says these words, "Thou shalt not steal, forbids
also to steal and directs not to steal. The law therefor bids the
wicked nothing, unless it also commands them something. And they
say, that the physician bids his disciple to cut and cauterize,
omitting to add these words, "seasonably and moderately"; and the
musician commands his scholar to play on the harp and sing,
omitting "tunably" and "keeping time." Wherefore also they punish
those who do these things unskilfully and faultily; for that they
were commanded to do them well, and they have done them ill.
If therefore a wise man commands his servant to say or do
something, and punishes him for doing it unseasonably or not as he
ought, is it not manifest that he commanded him to do a good action
and not an indifferent one? But if wise men command wicked ones
indifferent things, what hinders but the commands of the law may be
also such? Moreover, the impulse (called [Greek omitted]) is,
according to him, the reason of a man commanding him to do
something, as he has written in his book of the law. Is not
therefore also the aversion (called [Greek omitted]) a prohibiting
reason, and a disinclination, a disinclination agreeable to reason?
Caution therefore is also reason prohibiting a wise man; for to be
cautious is proper only to the wise, and not to the wicked.
If, then, the reason of a wise man is one thing and the law
another, wise men have caution contrary to the law; but if the law
is nothing else but the reason of a wise man, the law is found to
forbid wise men the doing of those things of which they
are cautious.

Chrysippus says, that nothing is profitable to the wicked, that the
wicked have neither use nor need of anything. Having said this in
his First Book of Good Deeds, he says again, that both
commodiousness and grace pertain to mean or indifferent things,
none of which according to them, is profitable. In the same place
he affirms, that there is nothing proper, nothing convenient for a
vicious man, in these words: "On the same principle we declare that
there is nothing foreign or strange to the good man, and nothing
proper or rightfully belonging to the bad man, since the one is
good and the other bad." Why, then, does he break our heads,
writing particularly in every one of his books, as well natural as
moral, that as soon as we are born we are appropriated to
ourselves, our parts, and our offspring? And why in his First Book
of Justice does he say that the very brutes, proportionably to the
necessity of their young, are appropriated to them, except fishes,
whose young are nourished by themselves? For neither have they
sense who have nothing sensible, nor they appropriation who have
nothing proper; for appropriation seems to be the sense and
perception of what is proper.

And this opinion is consequent to their principal ones. It is
moreover manifest that Chrysippus, though he has also written many
things to the contrary, lays this for a position, that there is not
any vice greater or any sin more grievous than another, nor any
virtue more excellent or any good deed better than another; so that
he says in his Third Book of Nature: "As it well beseems Jupiter to
glory in himself and his life, to magnify himself, and (if we may
so say) to bear up his head, have an high conceit of himself, and
speak big, for that he leads a life worthy of lofty speech; so the
same things do not misbeseem all good men, since they are in
nothing exceeded by Jupiter." And yet himself, in his Third Book
of Justice, says, that they who make pleasure the end destroy
justice, but they who say it is only a good do not destroy it.
These are his very words: "For perhaps, if we leave this to
pleasure, that it is a good but not the end, and that honesty is
one of those things which are eligible for themselves, we may
preserve justice, making the honest and the just a greater good
than pleasure." But if that only is good which is honest, he who
affirms pleasure to be a good is in an error, but he errs less than
he who makes it also the end; for the one destroys justice, the
other preserves it; and by the one human society is overthrown, but
the other leaves a place to goodness and humanity. Now I let pass
his saying farther in his book concerning Jupiter, that the virtues
increase and go on, lest I may seem to catch at words;
though Chrysippus is indeed in this kind very sharp upon Plato and
others. But when he forbids the praising of everything that is
done according to virtue, he shows that there is some difference
between good deeds. Now he says thus in his book concerning
Jupiter: "For since each virtue has its own proper effects, there
are some of these that are to be praised more highly than others;
for he would show himself to be very frigid, that should undertake
to praise and extol any man for holding out the finger stoutly, for
abstaining continently from an old woman ready to drop into the
grave, and patiently hearing it said that three are not exactly
four." What he says in his Third Book of the Gods is not unlike to
this: "For I moreover think that the praises of such things as to
abstain from an old woman who has one foot in the grave, and to
endure the sting of a fly, though proceeding from virtue, would be
very impertinent." What other reprehender of his doctrines does
this man then expect? For if he who praises such things is frigid,
he who asserts every one of them to be a great--nay, a very great
good deed--is much more frigid. For if to endure a fly is equal to
being valiant, and to abstain from an old woman now at the edge of
the grave is equal to being temperate, there is, I think, no
difference whether a virtuous man is prized for these or for those.
Moreover, in his Second Book of Friendship, teaching that
friendships are not for every fault to be dissolved, he has these
very expressions: "For it is meet that some faults should be wholly
passed by, others lightly reprehended, others more severely, and
others deemed worthy a total dissolution of friendship." And which
is more, he says in the same book, that we will converse with some
more and some less, so that some shall be more and some less
friends; and this diversity extending very far, some are worthy of
such an amity, others of a greater; and these will deserve to be so
far trusted, those not so far, and the like. For what else has he
done in these places, but shown the great diversity there is
between these things? Moreover, in his book concerning Honesty, to
demonstrate that only to be good which is honest, he uses these
words: "What is good is eligible; what is eligible is acceptable;
what is acceptable is laudable; and what is laudable is honest."
And again: "What is good is joyous; what is joyous is venerable;
what is venerable is honest." But these speeches are repugnant to
himself; for either all good is commendable, and then the
abstaining chastely from an old woman is also commendable; or all
good is neither venerable nor joyous, and his reasoning falls to
the ground. For how can it possibly be frigid in others to praise
any for such things, and not ridiculous for him to rejoice and
glory in them?

Such indeed he frequently is; but in his disputations against
others he takes not the least care of speaking things contrary and
dissonant to himself. For in his books of Exhorting, reprehending
Plato, who said, that to him who has neither learned nor knows how
to live it is profitable not to live, he speaks in this manner:
"For this speech is both repugnant to itself, and not at all
conclusive. For first insinuating that it is best for us not to
live, and in a sort counselling us to die, he will excite us rather
to anything else than to be philosophers; for neither can he who
does not live philosophize, nor he who shall live long wickedly and
ignorantly become wise." And going on, he says that it is
convenient for the wicked also to continue in life. And afterwards
thus, word for word: "First, as virtue, barely taken, has nothing
towards our living, so neither has vice anything to oblige us to
depart." Nor is it necessary to turn over other books, that we may
show Chrysippus's contradictoriness to himself; but in these same,
he sometimes with commendation brings forth this saying of
Antisthenes, that either understanding or a halter is to be
provided, as also that of Tyrtaeus,

Come nigh the bounds of virtue or of death.

Now what else will this show, but that to wicked men and fools not
to live is more profitable than to live? And sometimes correcting
Theognis, he says, that the poet should not have written,

From poverty to fly;--

but rather thus,

From wickedness to fly, into the deep
Throw thyself, Cyrnus, or from rocks so steep.
(See "Theognis," vs. 175.)

What therefore else does he seem to do, but to set down himself
those things and doctrines which, when others write them, he
expunges; condemning, indeed, Plato for showing that not to live is
better than to live viciously and ignorantly; and yet advising
Theognis to let a man break his neck or throw himself into the sea,
that he may avoid vice? For having praised Antisthenes for
directing fools to an halter, he again blames him, saying that vice
has nothing that should oblige us to depart out of life.

Moreover, in his books against the same Plato, concerning Justice,
he immediately at the very beginning leaps into a discourse
touching the gods, and says, that Cephalus did not rightly avert
men from injustice by the fear of the gods, and that his teaching
is easily refuted, and that it affords to the contrary many
arguments and probabilities impugning the discourse concerning
divine punishments, as nothing differing from the tales of Acco and
Alphito (or Raw-Head and Bloody-Bones), with which women are wont
to frighten little children from their unlucky pranks. Having thus
traduced Plato, he in other places again praises him, and often
alleges this saying of Euripides:--

Howe'er you may deride it, there's a Jove,
With other gods, who sees men's ills above.

And likewise, in his First Book of Justice citing these verses
of Hesiod,

Then Jove from heaven punishments did send,
And plague and famine brought them to their end,
("Works and Days," 242.)

he says, the gods do these things, that the wicked being punished,
others admonished by these examples may less dare to attempt the
doing of such things.

Again, in his book of Justice, subjoining, that it is possible for
those who make pleasure a good but not the end to preserve also
justice, he said in express terms: "For perhaps if we leave this to
pleasure, that it is a good but not the end, and that honesty is
one of those things which are eligible for themselves, we may
preserve justice, making the honest and the just a greater good
than pleasure." So much he says in this place concerning pleasure.
But in his book against Plato, accusing him for seeming to make
health a good, he says, that not only justice, but also
magnanimity, temperance, and all the other virtues will be taken
away, if we make pleasure, health, or anything else which is not
honest, to be a good. What therefore is to be said for Plato, we
have elsewhere written against him. But here his contradicting
himself is manifest, when he says in one place, that if a man
supposes that with honesty pleasure also is a good, justice is
preserved, and in another, accuses those who make anything besides
honesty to be a good of taking away all the virtues. But that he
may not leave any means of making an apology for his
contradictions, writing against Aristotle concerning justice, he
affirms him not to have spoken rightly when he said, that pleasure
being made the end, justice is taken away, and together with
justice, every one also of the other virtues. For justice (he
says) will indeed be taken away; but there is nothing to hinder the
other virtues from remaining and being, though not eligible for
themselves, yet good and virtues. Then he reckons up every one of
them by name. But it will be better to set down his own words.
"For pleasure," says he, "appearing according to this discourse to
be made the end, yet all this seems not to me to be contained in
it. Wherefore we must say, that neither any of the virtues is
eligible nor any of the vices to be avoided for itself, but that
all these things are to be referred to the proposed scope.
Yet nothing, according to their opinion, will hinder but that
fortitude, prudence, continence, and patience may be good, and
their contraries to be avoided." Has there ever then been any man
more peevish in his disputes than he, who has blamed two of the
principal philosophers, the one for taking away all virtue, by not
making that only to be good which is honest, and the other for not
thinking all the virtues except justice to be preserved, though
pleasure is made the end? For it is a wonderful licentiousness
that, discoursing of the same matters, he should when accusing
Plato take away again those very things which himself sets down
when reprehending Aristotle. Moreover, in his demonstrations
concerning justice, he says expressly, that every good deed is both
a lawful action and a just operation; but that everything which is
done according to continence, patience, prudence, or fortitude is a
good deed, and therefore also a just operation. Why, then, does he
not also leave justice to them to whom he leaves prudence,
fortitude, and continence; since whatever they do well according to
the said virtue, they do also justly?

Moreover, Plato having said, that injustice, as being the
corruption and sedition of the soul, loses not its power even in
those who have it within them, but sets the wicked man against
himself, and molests and disturbs him; Chrysippus, blaming this,
affirms that it is absurdly said, "A man injures himself"; for that
injustice is to another, and not to one's self. But forgetting
this, he again says, in his demonstrations concerning justice, that
the unjust man is injured by himself and injures himself when he
injures another, becoming to himself the cause of transgressing,
and undeservedly hurting himself. In his books indeed against
Plato, contending that we cannot talk of injustice against one's
self, but as concerns another, he has these words: "For men cannot
be unjust by themselves; injustice requires several on different
sides, speaking contrary one unto another and the injustice must be
taken in different ways. But no such thing extends to one alone,
except inasmuch as he is affected towards his neighbor." But in
his demonstrations he has such discourses as these, concerning the
unjust man's being injurious also to himself: "The law forbids the
being any way the author of transgression, and to act unjustly will
be transgression. He therefore who is to himself the author of
acting unjustly transgresses against himself. Now he that
transgresses against any one also injures him; therefore he who is
injurious to any one whomsoever is injurious also to himself."
Again: "Sin is a hurt, and every one who sins sins against himself;
every one therefore who sins hurts himself undeservedly, and if so,
is also unjust to himself." And farther thus: "He who is hurt by
another hurts himself, and that undeservedly. Now that is to be
unjust. Every one therefore that is injured, by whomsoever it is,
is unjust also to himself."

He says, that the doctrine concerning good and evil which himself
introduces and approves is most agreeable to life, and does most of
all reach the inbred prenotions; for this he has affirmed in his
Third Book of Exhortations. But in his First Book he says, that
this doctrine takes a man off from all other things, as being
nothing to us, nor co-operating anything towards felicity.
See, now, how consonant he is to himself, when he asserts a
doctrine which takes us off from life, health, indolence, and
integrity of the senses, and says that those things we beg of the
gods are nothing to us, though most agreeable to life and to the
common presumptions. But that there may be no denial of his
speaking contradictions, in his Third Book of Justice he has said
thus: "Wherefore also, from the excellence of their greatness and
beauty, we seem to speak things like to fictions, and not according
to man or human nature." Is it then possible that any one can more
plainly confess his speaking things contrary to himself than this
man does, who affirms those things which (he says) for their
excellency seem to be fictions and to be spoken above man and human
nature, to be agreeable to life, and most of all to reach the
inbred prenotions?

In every one of his natural and ethical books, he asserts vice to
be the very essence of unhappiness; writing and contending that to
live viciously is the same thing as to live unhappily. But in his
Third Book of Nature, having said that it is profitable for a fool
to live rather than to die, though he is never to become wise, he
subjoins: "For such is the nature of good things among mortals,
that evil things are in some sort chosen before indifferent ones."
I let pass therefore, that having elsewhere said that nothing is
profitable to fools, he here says that to live foolishly is
profitable to them. Now those things being by them called
indifferent which are neither bad nor good, when he says that bad
things precede them, he says nothing else but that evil things
precede those that are not evil, and that to be unhappy is more
profitable than not to be unhappy; and if so, he esteems not to be
unhappy to be more unprofitable--and if more unprofitable, more
hurtful--than to be unhappy. Desiring therefore to mitigate this
absurdity, he adds concerning evils: "But it is not these evils
that have precedence, but reason; with which it is more convenient
to live, though we shall be fools." First therefore he says that
vice and things participating of vice are evil, and that nothing
else is so. Now vice is something reasonable, or rather depraved
reason. For those therefore who are fools to live with reason, is
nothing else but to live with vice. Thence to live being fools is
to live being unhappy. In what then is this to be preferred to
indifferent things? For he surely will not say that with regard to
happiness unhappiness is to be preferred. But neither, say they,
does Chrysippus altogether think that the remaining in life is to
be reckoned amongst good things, or the going out of it amongst
bad; but both of them amongst indifferent ones, according to
Nature. Wherefore also it sometimes becomes meet for the happy to
make themselves away, and again for the unhappy to continue in
life. Now what greater repugnance can there be than this in the
choice and avoiding of things, if it is convenient for those who
are in the highest degree happy to forsake those good things that
are present, for the want of some one indifferent thing? And yet
they esteem none of the indifferent things either desirable or to
be avoided; but only good desirable, and only evil to be avoided.
So that it comes to pass, according to them, that the reasoning
about actions regards neither things desirable nor things
refusable; but that aiming at other things, which they neither shun
nor choose, they make life and death to depend on these.

Chrysippus confesses that good things are totally different from
bad; and it must of necessity be so, if these make them with whom
they are present miserable to the very utmost point, and those
render their possessors in the highest degree happy. Now he says,
that good and evil things are sensible, writing thus in his First
Book of the End: "That good and evil things are perceptible by
sense, we are by these reasons forced to say; for not only the
passions, with their species, as sorrow, fear, and such others, are
sensible; but we may also have a sense of theft, adultery, and the
like, and generally, of folly, cowardice, and other vices not a
few; and again, not only of joy, beneficence, and many other
dependences on good deeds, but also of prudence, fortitude, and the
other virtues." Let us pass by the other absurdities of these
things; but that they are repugnant to those things which are
delivered by him concerning "the wise man that knows nothing of his
being so," who does not confess? For good, when present, being
sensible and having a great difference from evil, is it not most
absurd, that he who is of bad become good should be ignorant of it,
and not perceive virtue when present, but think that vice is still
within him? For either none who has all virtues can be ignorant
and doubt of his having them; or the difference of virtue from
vice, of happiness from misery, and of a most honest life from a
most shameful one, is little and altogether difficult to be
discerned, if he who has taken the one in exchange for the other
does not perceive it.

He has written one volume of lives divided into four books; in the
fourth of these he says, that a wise man meddles with no business
but his own, and is employed about his own affairs. His words are
these: "For I am of opinion, that a prudent man shuns affairs,
meddles little, and at the same time minds his own occasions;
civil persons being both minders of their own affairs and meddlers
with little else." He has said almost the same in his book of
Things eligible for Themselves, in these very words: "For indeed a
quiet life seems to have in it a certain security and freedom from
danger, though there are not very many who can comprehend it."
It is manifest that he does not much dissent from Epicurus, who
takes away Providence that he may leave God in repose. But the
same Chrysippus in his First Book of Lives says, that a wise man
willingly takes upon him a kingdom, making his profit by it; and if
he cannot reign himself, will dwell with a king, and go to the wars
with a king like Hydanthyrsus the Scythian or Leucon the Pontic.
But I will here also set down his very discourse, that we may see
whether, as from the treble and the base strings there arises a
symphony in music, so the life of a man who chooses quietness and
meddling with little accords with him who, upon any necessity,
rides along with the Scythians and manages the affairs of the
tyrants in the Bosphorus: "For that a wise man will both go to the
wars and live with potentates, we will again consider this
hereafter; some indeed upon the like arguments not so much as
suspecting this, and we for semblable reasons admitting it." And a
little after: "Not only with those who have proceeded well, and are
become proficients in discipline and good manners, as with Leucon
and Hydanthyrsus."

Some there are who blame Callisthenes for sailing to Alexander in
hopes to obtain the rebuilding of Olynthus, as Aristotle had
procured that of Stagira; and commend Ephorus, Xenocrates, and
Menedemus, who rejected Alexander's solicitation. But Chrysippus
thrusts his wise man headforwards for the sake of gain, as far as
Panticapaeum and the desert of the Scythians. And that he does
this for the sake of profit and gain, he has showed before,
supposing three ways of gaining most suitable for a wise man,--the
first by a kingdom, the second by his friends, and the third,
besides these, by teaching philosophy. And yet he frequently even
tires us with his praises of this saying:--

What need have men of more than these two things?

And in his books of Nature he says, that a wise man, if he has lost
the greatest wealth imaginable, seems to have lost but a single
groat. But having there thus elevated and puffed him up, he again
here throws him down to mercenariness and sophistry; nay, to asking
money and even to receiving it beforehand, sometimes at the very
entrance of his scholar, and otherwhiles after some time past.
The last, he says indeed, is the more polite, but to receive
beforehand the more sure; delay allowing of injuries. Now he says
thus: "All who are well advised do not require their salary in the
same manner, but differently; a multitude of them, as opportunity
offers, not promising to make their scholars good men, and that
within a year, but to do this, as far as in them lies, within a
time agreed on." And again going on, he says: "But he will know
his opportunity, whether he ought to receive his recompense
presently at the very entrance (as many have done), or to give them
time, this manner being more liable to injuries, but withal,
seeming the more courteous." And how is the wise man a contemner
of wealth, who upon a contract delivers virtue for money, and if he
has not delivered it, yet requires his reward, as having done what
is in him? Or how is he above being endamaged, when he is so
cautious lest he be wronged of his recompense? For no man is
wronged who is not endamaged. Therefore, though he has elsewhere
asserted that a wise man cannot be injured, he here says, that this
manner of dealing is liable to injury.

In his book of a Commonweal he says, that his citizens will
neither act nor prepare anything for the sake of pleasure, and
praises Euripides for having uttered this sentence:--

What need have men of more than these two things,
The fruits of Ceres, and thirst-quenching springs?

And yet a little after this, going on, he commends Diogenes, who
forced his nature to pass from himself in public, and said to those
that were present: I wish I could in the same manner drive hunger
also out of my belly. What reason then is there to praise in the
same books him who rejects all pleasure, and withal, him who for
the sake of pleasure does such things, and proceeds to such a
degree of filthiness? Moreover, having in his book of Nature
written, that Nature has produced many creatures for the sake of
beauty, delighting in pulchritude and pleasing herself with
variety, and having added a most absurd expression, that the
peacock was made for the sake of his tail and for the beauty of it;
he has, in his treatise of a Commonweal, sharply reprehended those
who bred peacocks and nightingales, as if he were making laws
contrary to the lawgiver of the world, and deriding Nature for
pleasing herself in the beauty of animals to which a wise man would
not give a place in his city. For how can it but be absurd to
blame those who nourish these creatures, if he commends Providence
which created them? In his Fifth Book of Nature, having said, that
bugs profitably awaken us out of our sleep, that mice make us
cautious not to lay up everything negligently, and that it is
probable that Nature, rejoicing in variety, takes delight in the
production of fair creatures, he adds these words: "The evidence of
this is chiefly shown in the peacock's tail; for here she manifests
that this animal was made for the sake of his tail, and not the
contrary; so, the male being made, the female follows." In his
book of a Commonweal, having said that we are ready to paint even
dunghills, a little after he adds, that some beautify their
cornfields with vines climbing up trees, and myrtles set in rows,
and keep peacocks, doves, and partridges, that they may hear them
cry and coo, and nightingales. Now I would gladly ask him, what he
thinks of bees and honey? For it was of consequence, that he who
said bugs were created profitably should also say that bees were
created unprofitably. But if he allows these a place in his city,
why does he drive away his citizens from things that are pleasing
and delight the ear? To be brief,--as he would be very absurd who
should blame the guests for eating sweetmeats and other delicacies
and drinking of wine, and at the same time commend him who invited
them and prepared such things for them; so he that praises
Providence, which has afforded fishes, birds, honey, and wine, and
at the same time finds fault with those who reject not these
things, nor content themselves with

The fruits of Ceres and thirst-quenching springs,

which are present and sufficient to nourish us, seems to make no
scruple of speaking things contradictory to himself.

Moreover, having said in his book of Exhortations, that the having
carnal commerce with our mothers, daughters, or sisters, the eating
forbidden food, and the going from a woman's bed or a dead carcass
to the temple, have been without reason blamed, he affirms, that we
ought for these things to have a regard to the brute beasts, and
from what is done by them conclude that none of these is absurd or
contrary to Nature; for that the comparisons of other animals are
fitly made for this purpose, to show that neither their coupling,
bringing-forth, nor dying in the temples pollutes the Divinity.
Yet he again in his Fifth Book of Nature says, that Hesiod rightly
forbids urinating into rivers and fountains, and that we should
rather abstain from doing this against any altar, or statue of the
gods; and that it is not to be admitted for an argument, that dogs,
asses, and young children do it, who have no discretion or
consideration of such things. It is therefore absurd to say in one
place, that the savage example of irrational animals is fit to he
considered, and in another, that it is unreasonable to allege it.

To give a solution to the inclinations, when a man seems to be
necessitated by exterior causes, some philosophers place in the
principal faculty of the soul a certain adventitious motion, which
is chiefly manifested in things differing in no way from one
another. For when, with two things altogether alike and of equal
importance, there is a necessity to choose the one, there being no
cause inclining to either, for that neither of them differs from
the other, this adventitious power of the soul, seizing on its
inclination, determines the doubt. Chrysippus, discoursing against
these men, as offering violence to Nature by imagining an effect
without a cause, in many places alleges the die and the balance,
and several other things, which cannot fall or incline either one
way or the other without some cause or difference, either wholly
within them or coming to them from without; for that what is
causeless (he says) is wholly insubsistent, as also what is
fortuitous; and in those motions devised by some and called
adventitious, there occur certain obscure causes, which, being
concealed from us, move our inclinations to one side or other.
These are some of those things which are most evidently known to
have been frequently said by him; but what he has said contrary to
this, not lying so exposed to every one's sight, I will set down in
his own words. For in his book of Judging, having supposed two
running for a wager to have exactly finished their race together,
he examines what is fit for the judge in this case to do.
"Whether," says he, "may the judge give the palm to which of them
he will, since they both happen to be so familiar to him, that he
would in some sort appear to bestow on them somewhat of his own?
Or rather, since the palm is common to both, may it be, as if lots
had been cast, given to either, according to the inclination he
chances to have? I say the inclination he chances to have, as when
two groats, every way else alike, being presented to us, we incline
to one of them and take it." And in his Sixth Book of Duties,
having said that there are some things not worthy of much study or
attention, he thinks we ought, as if we had cast lots, to commit
the choice of those things to the casual inclination of the mind:
"As if," says he, "of those who try the same two drams in a certain
time, some should approve this and others that, and there being no
more cause for the taking of one than the other, we should leave
off making any farther investigation and take that which chances to
come first; thus casting the lot (as it were) according to some
uncertain principle, and being in danger of choosing the worse of
them." For in these passages, the casting of lots and the casual
inclining of the mind, which is without any cause, introduce the
choice of indifferent things.

In his Third Book of Dialectics, having said that Plato, Aristotle,
and those who came after them, even to Polemon and Straton, but
especially Socrates, diligently studied dialectics, and having
cried out that one would even choose to err with such and so great
men as these, he brings in these words: "For if they had spoken of
these things cursorily, one might perhaps have cavilled at this
place; but having treated of dialectic skill as one of the greatest
and most necessary faculties, it is not probable they should have
been so much mistaken, having been such in all the parts of
philosophy as we esteem them." Why, then (might some one say to
him), do you never cease to oppose and argue against such and so
great men, as if you thought them to err in the principal and
greatest matters? For it is not probable that they writ seriously
of dialectics, and only transitorily and in sport of the beginning,
end, gods, and justice, in which you affirm their discourse to be
blind and contradictory to itself, and to have a thousand
other faults.

In one place he says, that the vice called [Greek omitted], or the
rejoicing at other men's harms, has no being; since no good man
ever rejoiced at another's evils. But in his Second Book of Good,
having declared envy to be a sorrow at other men's good,--to wit,
in such as desire the depression of their neighbors that themselves
may excel, he joins to it this rejoicing at other men's harms,
saying thus: "To this is contiguous the rejoicing at other men's
harms, in such as for like causes desire to have their neighbors
low; but in those that are turned according to other natural
motions, is engendered mercy." For he manifestly admits the joy at
other men's harms to be subsistent, as well as envy and mercy;
though in other places he affirms it to have no subsistence; as he
does also the hatred of wickedness, and the desire of
dishonest gain.

Having in many places said, that those who have a long time been
happy are nothing more so, but equally and in like manner with
those who have but a moment been partakers of felicity, he has
again in many other places affirmed, that it is not fit to stretch
out so much as a finger for the obtaining momentary prudence, which
flies away like a flash of lightning. It will be sufficient to set
down what is to this purpose written by him in his Sixth Book of
Moral Questions. For having said, that neither does every good
thing equally cause joy, nor every good deed the like glorying, he
subjoins these words: "For if a man should have wisdom only for a
moment of time or the final minute of life, he ought not so much as
to stretch out his finger for such a shortlived prudence." And yet
men are neither more happy for being longer so, nor is eternal
felicity more eligible than that which lasts but a moment. If he
had indeed held prudence to be a good, producing felicity, as
Epicurus thought, one should have blamed only the absurdity and the
paradoxicalness of this opinion; but since prudence of itself is
not another thing differing from felicity, but felicity itself, how
is it not a contradiction to say, that momentary happiness is
equally desirable with eternal, and yet that momentary happiness is
nothing worth?

Chrysippus also says, that the virtues follow one another, and that
not only he who has one has all, but also that he who acts
according to any one of them acts according to them all; and he
affirms, that there is not any man perfect who is not possessed of
all the virtues, nor any action perfect to the doing of which all
the virtues do not concur. But yet in his Sixth Book of Moral
Questions he says, that a good man does not always act valiantly,
nor a vicious man always fearfully; for certain objects being
presented to the fancies, the one must persist in his judgments,
and the other depart from them; and he says that it is not probable
a wicked man should be always indulging his lust. If then to act
valiantly is the same thing as to use fortitude; and to act
timorously as to yield to fear, they cannot but speak
contradictions who say, that he who is possessed of either virtue
or vice acts at she same time according to all the virtues or all
the vices, and yet that a valiant man does not always act valiantly
nor a vicious man timorously.

He defines Rhetoric to be an art concerning the ornament and the ordering of a discourse that is pronounced. And farther in his First Book he has written thus: "And I am of opinion not only that a regard ought to be had to a liberal and simple adorning of words, but also that care is to be taken for proper delivery, as regards the right elevation of the voice and the compositions of the countenance and hands." Yet he, who is in this place so curious and exact, again in the same book, speaking of the collision of the vowels, says: "We ought not only to let these things pass, minding somewhat that is better, but also to neglect certain obscurities and defects, nay, solecisms also, of which others, and those not a few, would be ashamed." Certainly, in one place to allow those who would speak eloquently so carefully to dispose their speech as even to observe a decorum in the very composition of their mouth and hands, and in another place to forbid the taking care of defects and inelegancies, and the being ashamed even of committing solecisms, is the property of a man who little cares what he says, but rashly utters whatever comes first into his mouth.

Moreover, in his Natural Positions having warned us not to trouble
ourselves but to be at quiet about such things as require
experience and scientific investigation, he says: "Let us not think
after the same manner with Plato, that liquid nourishment is
conveyed to the lungs, and dry to the stomach; nor let us embrace
other errors like to these." Now it is my opinion, that to
reprehend others, and then not to keep one's self from falling into
those things which one has reprehended, is the greatest of
contradictions and shamefullest of errors. But he says, that the
connections made by ten axioms amount to above a million in number,
having neither searched diligently into it by himself nor attained
to the truth by men experienced in it. Yet Plato had to testify
for him the most renowned of the physicians, Hippocrates,
Philistion, and Dioxippus the disciple of Hippocrates; and of the
poets, Euripides, Aleaeus, Eupolis, and Eratosthenes, who all say
that the drink passes through the lungs. But all the
arithmeticians refute Chrysippus, amongst whom also is Hipparchus,
demonstrating that the error of his computation is very great;
since the affirmative makes of the ten axioms one hundred and three
thousand forty and nine connections, and the negative three hundred
and ten thousand nine hundred fifty and two.

Some of the ancients have said, that the same befell Zeno which
befalls him who has sour wine which he can sell neither for vinegar
nor wine; for his "things preferable," as he called them, cannot be
disposed of, either as good or as indifferent. But Chrysippus has
made the matter yet far more intricate; for he sometimes says, that
they are mad who make no account of riches, health, freedom from
pain, and integrity of the body, nor take any care to attain them;
and having cited that sentence of Hesiod,

Work hard, O God-born Perses,
("Works and Days," 299.)

he cries out, that it would be a madness to advise the contrary
and say,

Work not, O God-born Perses.

And in his book of Lives he affirms, that a wise man will for the
sake of gain live with kings, and teach for money, receiving from
some of his scholars his reward beforehand, and making contract
with others of them; and in his Seventh Book of Duties he says,
that he will not scruple to turn his heels thrice over his head, if
for so doing he may have a talent. In his First Book of Good
Things, he yields and grants to those that desire it to call these
preferable things good and their contraries evil, in these very
words: "Any one who likes, according to these permutations, may
call one thing good and another evil, if he has a regard to the
things themselves, not wandering elsewhere, not failing in the
understanding of the thing signified, and in the rest accommodating
himself to custom in the denomination." Having thus in this place
set his things preferable so near to good, and mixed them
therewith, he again says, that none of these things belongs at all
to us, but that reason withdraws and averts us from all such
things; for he has written thus in his First Book of Exhortations.
And in his Third Book of Nature he says, that some esteem those
happy who reign and are rich, which is all one as if those should
be reputed happy who make water in golden chamber-pots and wear
golden fringes; but to a good man the losing of his whole estate is
but as the losing of one groat, and the being sick no more than if
he had stumbled. Wherefore he has not filled virtue only, but
Providence also, with these contradictions. For virtue would seem
to the utmost degree sordid and foolish, if it should busy itself
about such matters, and enjoin a wise man for their sake to sail to
Bosphorus or tumble with his heels over his head. And Jupiter
would be very ridiculous to be styled Ctesius, Epicarpius, and
Charitodotes, because forsooth he gives the wicked golden chamber-
pots and golden fringes, and the good such things as are hardly
worth a groat, when through Jupiter's providence they become rich.
And yet much more ridiculous is Apollo, if he sits to give oracles
concerning golden fringes and chamber-pots and the recovering of
a stumble.

But they make this repugnancy yet more evident by their
demonstration. For they say, that what may be used both well and
ill, the same is neither good nor bad; but fools make an ill use of
riches, health, and strength of body; therefore none of these is
good. If therefore God gives not virtue to men,--but honesty is
eligible of itself,--and yet bestows on them riches and health
without virtue, he confers them on those who can use them not well
but ill, that is hurtfully, shamefully, and perniciously. Now, if
the gods can bestow virtue and do not, they are not good; but if
they cannot make men good, neither can they help them, for outside
of virtue nothing is good and advantageous. Now to judge those who
are otherwise made good according to virtue and strength ... is
nothing to the purpose, for good men also judge the gods according
to virtue and strength; so that they do no more aid men than they
are aided by them.

Now Chrysippus neither professes himself nor any one of his
disciples and teachers to be virtuous. What then do they think of
others, but those things which they say,--that they are all mad
fools, impious, transgressors of laws, and in the most degree of
misery and unhappiness? And yet they say that our affairs, though
we act thus miserably, are governed by the providence of the gods.
Now if the gods, changing their minds, should desire to hurt,
afflict, overthrow, and quite crush us, they could not put us in a
worse condition than we already are; as Chrysippus demonstrates
that life can admit only one degree either of misery or of
unhappiness; so that if it had a voice, it would pronounce these
words of Hercules:

I am so full of miseries, there is
No place to stow them in.
(Euripides, "Hercules Furens," 1245.)

Now who can imagine any assertions more repugnant to one another
than chat of Chrysippus concerning the gods and that concerning
men; when he says, that the gods do in the best manner possible
provide for men, and yet men are in the worst condition imaginable?

Some of the Pythagoreans blame him for having in his book of
Justice written concerning cocks, that they are usefully
procreated, because they awaken us from our sleep, hunt out
scorpions, and animate us to battle, breeding in us a certain
emulation to show courage; and yet that we must eat them, lest the
number of chickens should be greater than were expedient. But he
so derides those who blame him for this, that he has written thus
concerning Jupiter the Saviour and Creator, the father of justice,
equity, and peace, in his Third Book of the Gods: "As cities
overcharged with too great a number of citizens send forth colonies
into other places and make war upon some, so does God give the
beginnings of corruption." And he brings in Euripides for a
witness, with others who say that the Trojan war was caused by the
gods, to exhaust the multitude of men.

But letting pass their other absurdities (for our design is not to
inquire what they have said amiss, but only what they have said
dissonantly to themselves), consider how he always attributes to
the gods specious and kind appellations, but at the same time
cruel, barbarous, and Galatian deeds. For those so great
slaughters and earnages, as were the productions of the Trojan war
and again of the Persian and Peloponnesian, were no way like to
colonies unless these men know of some cities built in hell and
under the earth. But Chrysippus makes God like to Deiotarus, the
Galatian king, who having many sons, and being desirous to leave
his kingdom and house to one of them, killed all the rest; as he
that cuts and prunes away all the other branches from the vine,
that one which he leaves remaining may grow strong and great.
And yet the vine-dresser does this, the sprigs being slender and
weak; and we, to favor a bitch, take from her many of her new-born
puppies, whilst they are yet blind. But Jupiter, having not only
suffered and seen men to grow up, but having also both created and
increased them, plagues them afterwards, devising occasions of
their destruction and corruption; whereas he should rather not have
given them any causes and beginnings of generation.

However, this is but a small matter; but that which follows is
greater. For there is no war amongst men without vice.
But sometimes the love of pleasure, sometimes the love of money,
and sometimes the love of glory and rule is the cause of it.
If therefore God is the author of wars, he must be also of sins,
provoking and perverting men. And yet himself says in his treatise
of Judgment and his Second Book of the Gods, that it is no way
rational to say that the Divinity is in any respect the cause of
dishonesty. For as the law can in no way be the cause of
transgression, so neither can the gods of being impious;
therefore neither is it rational that they should be the causes of
anything that is filthy. What therefore can be more filthy to men
than the mutual killing of one another?--to which Chrysippus says
that God gives beginnings. But some one perhaps will say, that he
elsewhere praises Euripides for saying,

If gods do aught dishonest, they're no gods;

and again,

'Tis a most easy thing t' accuse the gods;
(From the "Bellerophontes" of Euripides, Frag. 294;
and the "Archelaus," Frag. 256.)

as if we were now doing anything else than setting down such words
and sentences of his as are repugnant to one another. Yet that very
thing which is now praised may be objected, not once or twice or
thrice, but even ten thousand times, against Chrysippus:--

'Tis a most easy thing t' accuse the gods.

For first having in his book of Nature compared the eternity of
motion to a drink made of divers species confusedly mixed together,
turning and jumbling the things that are made, some this way,
others that way, he goes on thus: "Now the administration of the
universe proceeding in this manner, it is of necessity we should be
in the condition we are, whether contrary to our own nature we are
sick or maimed, or whether we are grammarians or musicians."
And again a little after, "According to this reason we shall say
the like of our virtue and vice, and generally of arts or the
ignorance of arts, as I have said." And a little after, taking
away all ambiguity, he says: "For no particular thing, not even the
least, can be otherwise than according to common Nature and its
reason." But that common Nature and the common reason of Nature
are with him Fate and Providence and Jupiter, is not unknown even
to the antipodes. For these things are everywhere inculcated in
the Stoic system; and Chrysippus affirms that Homer said very well,

Jove's purposes were ripening,
("Iliad," i. 5.)

having respect to Fate and the Nature of the universe, according to
which everything is governed. How then do these agree, both that
God is no way the cause of any dishonest thing, and again, that not
even the least thing imaginable can be otherwise done than
according to common Nature and its reason? For amongst all things
that are done, there must of necessity be also evil things
attributed to the gods. And though Epicurus indeed turns himself
every way, and studies artifices, devising how to deliver and set
loose our voluntary free will from this eternal motion, that he may
not leave vice irreprehensible; yet Chrysippus gives vice a most
absolute liberty, as being done not only of necessity or according
to Fate, but also according to the reason of God and best Nature.
And these things are yet farther seen in what he says afterwards,
being thus word for word: "For common Nature extending to all
things, it will be of necessity that everything, howsoever done in
the whole or in any one soever of its parts, must be done according
to this common Nature and its reason, proceeding on regularly
without any impediment. For there is nothing without that can
hinder the administration, nor is there any of the parts that can
be moved or habituated otherwise than according to common Nature."
What, then, are these habits and motions of the parts? It is
manifest, that the habits are vices and diseases, covetousness,
luxury, ambition, cowardice, injustice; and that the motions are
adulteries, thefts, treasons, murders, parricides. Of these
Chrysippus thinks, that no one, either little or great, is contrary
to the reason of Jupiter, or to his law, justice, and providence;
so neither is the transgressing of the law done against the law,
nor the acting unjustly against justice, nor the committing of sin
against Providence.

And yet he says, that God punishes vice, and does many things for
the chastising of the wicked. And in his Second Book of the Gods
he says, that many adversities sometimes befall the good, not as
they do the wicked, for punishment, but according to another
dispensation, as it is in cities. And again in these words:
"First we are to understand of evils in like manner as has been
said before: then that these things are distributed according to
the reason of Jupiter, whether for punishment, or according to some
other dispensation, having in some sort respect to the universe."
This therefore is indeed severe, that wickedness is both done and
punished according to the reason of Jupiter. But he aggravates
this contradiction in his Second Book of Nature, writing thus:
"Vice in reference to grievous accidents, has a certain reason of
its own. For it is also in some sort according to the reason of
Nature, and, as I may so say, is not wholly useless in respect of
the universe. For otherwise also there would not be any good."
Thus does he reprehend those that dispute indifferently on both
sides, who, out of a desire to say something wholly singular and
more exquisite concerning everything, affirms, that men do not
unprofitably cut purses, calumniate, and play madmen, and that it
is not unprofitable there should be unprofitable, hurtful, and
unhappy persons. What manner of god then is Jupiter,--I mean
Chrysippus's Jupiter,--who punishes an act done neither willingly
nor unprofitably? For vice is indeed, according to Chrysippus's
discourse, wholly reprehensible; but Jupiter is to be blamed,
whether he has made vice which is an unprofitable thing, or, having
made it not unprofitable, punishes it.

Again, in his First Book of Justice, having spoken of the gods as
resisting the injustices of some, he says: "But wholly to take away
vice is neither possible nor expedient." Whether it were not
better that law-breaking, injustice, and folly should be taken
away, is not the design of this present discourse to inquire.
But he himself, as much as in him lies, by his philosophy taking
away vice, which it is not expedient to take away, does something
repugnant both to reason and God. Besides this, saying that God
resists some injustices, he again makes plain the impiety of sins.

Having often written that there is nothing reprehensible, nothing
to be complained of in the world, all things being finished
according to a most excellent nature, he again elsewhere leaves
certain negligences to be reprehended, and those not concerning
small or base matters. For having in his Third Book of Substance
related that some such things befall honest and good men, he says:
"May it not be that some things are not regarded, as in great
families some bran--yea, and some grains of corn also--are
scattered, the generality being nevertheless well ordered; or maybe
there are evil Genii set over those things in which there are real
and faulty negligence?" And he also affirms that there is much
necessity intermixed. I let pass, how inconsiderate it is to
compare such accidents befalling honest and good men, as were the
condemnation of Socrates, the burning of Pythagoras, whilst he was
yet living, by the Cyloneans, the putting to death--and that with
torture--of Zeno by the tyrant Demylus, and of Antiphon by
Dionysius, with the letting of bran fall. But that there should be
evil Genii placed by Providence over such charges,--how can it but
be a reproach to God, as it would be to a king, to commit the
administration of his provinces to evil and rash governors and
captains, and suffer the best of his subjects to be despised and
ill-treated by them? And furthermore, if there is much necessity
mixed amongst affairs, then God has not power over them all, nor
are they all administered according to his reason.

He contends much against Epicurus and those that take away
providence from the conceptions we have of the gods, whom we esteem
beneficial and gracious to men. And these things being frequently
said by them, there is no necessity of setting down the words.
Yet all do not conceive the gods to be good and favorable to us.
For see what the Jews and Syrians think of the gods; consider also
with how much superstition the poets are filled. But there is not
any one, in a manner to speak of, that imagines God to be
corruptible or to have been born. And to omit all others,
Antipater the Tarsian, in his book of the gods writes thus, word
for word: "At the opening of our discourse we will briefly repeat
the opinion we have concerning God. We understand therefore God to
be an animal, blessed and incorruptible, and beneficial to men."
And then expounding every one of these terms he says: "And indeed
all men esteem the gods to be incorruptible." Chrysippus therefore
is, according to Antipater, not one of "all men"; for he thinks
none of the gods, except Fire, to be incorruptible, but that they
all equally were born and will die. These things are, in a manner,
everywhere said by him. But I will set down his words out of his
Third Book of the Gods: "It is otherwise with the gods. For some
of them are born and corruptible, but others not born. And to
demonstrate these things from the beginning will be more fit for a
treatise of Nature. For the Sun, the Moon, and other gods who are
of a like nature, were begotten; but Jupiter is eternal."
And again going on: "But the like will be said concerning dying and
being born, both concerning the other gods and Jupiter. For they
indeed are corruptible, but his past incorruptible." With these I
compare a few of the things said by Antipater: "Whosoever they are
that take away from the gods beneficence, they affect in some part
our conception of them; and according to the same reason they also
do this, who think they participate of generation and corruption."
If, then, he who esteems the gods corruptible is equally absurd
with him who thinks them not to be provident and gracious to men,
Chrysippus is no less in an error than Epicurus. For one of them
deprives the gods of beneficence, the other of incorruptibility.
============
And moreover, Chrysippus, in his Third Book of the Gods treating of
the other gods being nourished, says thus: "The other gods indeed
use nourishment, being equally sustained by it; but Jupiter and the
World are maintained after another manner from those who are
consumed and were engendered by fire." Here indeed he declares,
that all the other gods are nourished except the World and Jupiter;
but in his First Book of Providence he says: "Jupiter increases
till he has consumed all things into himself. For since death is
the separation of the soul from the body, and the soul of the World
is not indeed separated, but increases continually till it has
consumed all matter into itself, it is not to be said that the
World dies." Who can therefore appear to speak things more
contradictory to himself than he who says that the same god is now
nourished and again not nourished? Nor is there any need of
gathering this by argument: for himself has plainly written in the
same place: "But the World alone is said to be self-sufficient,
because it alone has in itself all things it stands in need of, and
is nourished and augmented of itself, the other parts being
mutually changed into one another." He is then repugnant to
himself, not only by declaring in one place that all the gods are
nourished except the World and Jupiter, and saying in another, that
the World also is nourished; but much more, when he affirms that
the World increases by nourishing itself. Now the contrary had
been much more probable, to wit, that the World alone does not
increase, having its own destruction for its food; but that
addition and increase are incident to the other gods, who are
nourished from without, and the World is rather consumed into them,
if so it is that the World feeds on itself, and they always receive
something and are nourished from that.

Secondly, the conception of the gods contains in it felicity,
blessedness, and self-perfection. Wherefore also Euripides is
commanded for saying:--

For God, if truly God, does nothing want,
So all these speeches are the poets' cant.
("Hercules Furens," 1345.)

But Chrysippus in the places I have alleged says, that the World
only is self-sufficient, because this alone has in itself all
things it needs. What then follows from this, that the World alone
is self-sufficient? That neither the Sun, Moon, nor any other of
the gods is self-sufficient, and not being self-sufficient, they
cannot be happy or blessed.

He says, that the infant in the womb is nourished by Nature, like a
plant; but when it is brought forth, being cooled and hardened by
the air, it changes its spirit and becomes an animal; whence the
soul is not unfitly named Psyche because of this refrigeration
[Greek omitted]. But again he esteems the soul the more subtile
and fine spirit of Nature, therein contradicting himself; for how
can a subtile thing be made of a gross one, and be rarefied by
refrigeration and condensation? And what is more, how does he,
declaring an animal to be made by refrigeration, think the sun to
be animated, which is of fire and made of an exhalation changed
into fire? For he says in his Third Book of Nature: "Now the
change of fire is such, that it is turned by the air into water;
and the earth subsiding from this, the air exhales; the air being
subtilized, the ether is produced round about it; and the stars
are, with the sun, kindled from the sea." Now what is more
contrary to kindling than refrigeration, or to rarefaction than
condensation? For the one makes water and earth of fire and air,
and the other changes that which is moist and earthy into fire and
air. But yet in one place he makes kindling, in another cooling,
to be the beginning of animation. And he moreover says, that when
the inflammation is throughout, it lives and is an animal, but
being again extinct and thickened, it is turned into water and
earth and corporeity. Now in his First Book of Providence he says:
"For the world, indeed, being wholly set on fire, is presently also
the soul and guide of itself; but when it is changed into moisture,
and has altered the soul remaining within it by some method into a
body and soul, so as to consist of these two it exists then after
another manner." Here, forsooth, he plainly says, that the
inanimate parts of the world are by inflammation turned into an
animated thing, and that again by extinction the soul is relaxed
and moistened, being changed into corporeity. He seems therefore
very absurd, one while by refrigeration making animals of senseless
things, and again, by the same changing the greatest part of the
world's soul into senseless and inanimate things.

But besides this, his discourse concerning the generation of the
soul has a demonstration contrary to his own opinion; or he says,
that the soul is generated when the infant is already brought
forth, the spirit being changed by refrigeration, as by hardening.
Now for the soul's being engendered, and that after the birth, he
chiefly uses this demonstration, that the children are for the most
part in manners and inclinations like to their parents. Now the
repugnancy of these things is evident. For it is not possible that
the soul, which is not generated till after the birth, should have
its inclination before the birth; or it will fall out that the soul
is like before it is generated; that is, it will be in likeness,
and yet not be, because it is not yet generated. But if any one
says that, the likeness being bred in the tempers of the bodies,
the souls are changed when they are generated, he destroys the
argument of the soul's being generated. For thus it may come to
pass, that the soul, though not generated, may at its entrance into
the body be changed by the mixture of likeness.

He says sometimes, that the air is light and mounts upwards, and
sometimes, that it is neither heavy nor light. For in his Second
Book of Motion he says, that the fire, being without gravity,
ascends upwards, and the air like to that; the water approaching
more to the earth, and the air to the fire. But in his Physical
Arts he inclines to the other opinion, that the air of itself has
neither gravity nor levity.

He says that the air is by nature dark, and uses this as an
argument of its being also the first cold; for that its darkness is
opposite to the brightness, and its coldness to the heat of fire.
Moving this in his First Book of Natural Questions, he again in his
treatise of Habits says, that habits are nothing else but airs;
for bodies are contained by these, and the cause that every one of
the bodies contained in any habit is such as it is, is the
containing air, which they call in iron hardness, in stone
solidness, in silver whiteness. These words have in them much
absurdity and contradiction. For if the air remains such as it is
of its own nature, how comes black, in that which is not white, to
be made whiteness; and soft, in that which is not hard, to be made
hardness; and rare, in that which is not thick, to be made
thickness? But if, being mixed with these, it is altered and made
like to them, how is it a habit or power or cause of these things
by which it is subdued? For such a change, by which it loses its
own qualities, is the property of a patient, not of an agent, and
not of a thing containing, but of a thing languishing. Yet they
everywhere affirm, that matter, being of its own nature idle and
motionless, is subjected to qualities, and that the qualities are
spirits, which, being also aerial tensions, give a form and figure
to every part of matter to which they adhere. These things they
cannot rationally say, supposing the air to be such as they affirm
it. For if it is a habit and tension, it will assimilate every
body to itself, so that it shall be black and soft. But if by the
mixture with these things it receives forms contrary to those it
has, it will be in some sort the matter, and not the cause or power
of matter.

It is often said by Chrysippus, that there is without the world an
infinite vacuum, and that this infinity has neither beginning,
middle, nor end. And by this the Stoics chiefly refute that
spontaneous motion of the atoms downward, which is taught by
Epicurus; there not being in infinity any difference according to
which one thing is thought to be above, another below. But in his
Fourth Book of Things Possible, having supposed a certain middle
place and middle region, he says that the world is situated there.
The words are these: "Wherefore, if it is to be said of the world
that it is corruptible, this seems to want proof; yet nevertheless
it rather appears to me to be so. However, its occupation of the
place wherein it stands cooperates very much towards its immunity
from corruption, because it is in the midst; since if it were
conceived to be anywhere else, corruption would absolutely happen
to it." And again, a little after: "For so also in a manner has
essence happened eternally to possess the middle place, being
immediately from the beginning such as it is; so that both by
another manner and through this chance it admits not any
corruption, and is therefore eternal." These words have one
apparent and visible contradiction, to wit, his admitting a certain
middle place and middle region infinity. They have also a second,
more obscure indeed, but withal more absurd than this.
For thinking that the world would not have remained incorruptible
if its situation had happened to have been in any other part of the
vacuum, he manifestly appears to have feared lest, the parts of
essence moving towards the middle, there should be a dissolution
and corruption of the world. Now this he would not have feared,
had he not thought that bodies do by nature tend from every place
towards the middle, not of essence, but of the region containing
essence; of which also he has frequently spoken, as of a thing
impossible and contrary to Nature; for that (as he says) there is
not in the vacuum any difference by which bodies are drawn rather
this way than that way, but the construction of the world is the
cause of motion, bodies inclining and being carried from every side
to the centre and middle of it. It is sufficient to this purpose,
to set down the text out of his Second Book of Motion; for having
discoursed, that the world indeed is a perfect body, but that the
parts of the world are not perfect, because they have in some sort
respect to the whole and are not of themselves; and going forward
concerning its motion, as having been framed by Nature to be moved
by all its parts towards compaction and cohesion, and not towards
dissolution and breaking, he says thus: "But the universe thus
tending and being moved to the same point, and the arts having the
same motion from the nature of the body, it is probable that all
bodies have this first motion according to Nature towards the
centre of the world,--the world being thus moved as concerns
itself, and the parts being moved as being its parts." What, then,
ailed you, good sir (might some one say to him), that you have so
far forgotten those words, as to affirm that the world, if it had
not casually possessed the middle place, would have been dissoluble
and corruptible? For if it is by nature so framed as always to
incline towards the middle, and its parts from every side tend to
the same, into what place soever of the vacuum it should have been
transposed,--thus containing and (as it were) embracing itself,--it
would have remained incorruptible and without danger of breaking.
For things that are broken and dissipated suffer this by the
separation and dissolution of their parts, every one of them
hasting to its own place from that which it had contrary to Nature.
But you, being of opinion that, if the world should have been
seated in any other place of the vacuum, it would have been wholly
liable to corruption, and affirming the same, and therefore
asserting a middle in that which naturally can have no middle,--to
wit, in that which is infinite,--have indeed dismissed these
tensions, coherences, and inclinations, as having nothing available
to its preservation, and attributed all the cause of its permanency
to the possession of place. And, as if you were ambitious to
confute yourself, to the things you have said before you join this
also: "In whatsoever manner every one of the parts moves, being
coherent to the rest, it is agreeable to reason that in the same
also the whole should move by itself; yea, though we should, for
argument's sake, imagine and suppose it to be in some vacuity of
this world; for as, being kept in on every side, it would move
towards the middle, so it would continue in the same motion, though
by way of disputation we should admit that there were on a sudden a
vacuum round about it." No part then whatsoever, though
encompassed by a vacuum, loses its inclination moving it towards
the middle of the world; but the world itself, if chance had not
prepared it a place in the middle, would have lost its containing
vigor, the parts of its essence being carried some one way,
some another.

And these things indeed contain great contradictions to natural
reason; but this is also repugnant to the doctrine concerning God
and Providence, that assigning to them the least causes, he takes
from them the most principal and greatest. For what is more
principal than the permanency of the world, or that its essence,
united in its parts, is contained in itself? But this, as
Chrysippus says, fell out casually. For if the possession of place
is the cause of incorruptibility, and this was the production of
chance, it is manifest that the preservation of the universe is a
work of chance, and not of Fate and Providence.

Now, as for his doctrine of possibles, how can it but be repugnant
to his doctrine of Fate? For if that is not possible which either
is true or shall be true, as Diodorus has it, but everything which
is capable of being, though it never shall be, is possible, there
will be many things possible which will never be according to
invincible, inviolable, and all-conquering Fate. And thus either
Fate will lose its power; or if that, as Chrysippus thinks, has
existence, that which is susceptible of being will often fall out
to be impossible. And everything indeed which is true will be
necessary, being comprehended by the principal of all necessities;
and everything that is false will be impossible, having the
greatest cause to oppose its ever being true. For how is it
possible that he should be susceptible of dying on the land, who is
destined to die at sea? And how is it possible for him who is at
Megara to come to Athens, if he is prohibited by Fate?

But moreover, the things that are boldly asserted by him concerning
fantasies or imaginations are very opposite to Fate. For desiring
to show that fantasy is not of itself a perfect cause of consent,
he says, that the Sages will prejudice us by imprinting false
imaginations in our minds, if fantasies do of themselves absolutely
cause consent; for wise men often make use of falsity against the
wicked, representing a probable imagination,--which is yet not the
cause of consent, for then it would be also a cause of false
apprehension and error. Any one therefore, transferring these
things from the wise man to Fate, may say, that consents are not
caused by Fate; for if they were, false consents and opinions and
deceptions would also be by Fate. Thus the reason which exempts
the wise man from doing hurt also demonstrates at the same time
that Fate is not the cause of all things. For if men neither opine
nor are prejudiced by Fate, it is manifest also that they neither
act rightly nor are wise nor remain firm in their sentiments nor
have utility by Fate, but that there is an end of Fate's being the
cause of all things. Now if any one shall say that Chrysippus
makes not Fate the absolute cause of all things, but only a
PROCATARCLICAL (or antecedent) one, he will again show that he is
contradictory to himself, since he excessively praises Homer for
saying of Jupiter,

Receive whatever good or ill
He sends to each of you;

as also Euripides for these words,

O Jove, how can I say that wretched we,
Poor mortals, aught do understand? On thee
We all depend, and nothing can transact,
But as thy sacred wisdom shall enact.
(Euripides, "Suppliants," 734.)

And himself writes many things agreeable to these. In fine, he
says that nothing, be it never so little, either rests or is moved
otherwise than according to the reason of Jupiter, which is the
same thing with Fate. Moreover, the antecedent cause is weaker
than the absolute one, and attains not to its effect when it is
subdued by others that rise up against it. But he himself
declaring Fate to be an invincible, unimpeachable, and inflexible
cause, calls it Atropos, (That is, Unchangeable.) Adrasteia, (That
is, Unavoidable.) Necessity, and Pepromene (as putting a limit to
all things). Whether then shall we say, that neither consents nor
virtues nor vices nor doing well nor doing ill is in our power? Or
shall we affirm, that Fate is deficient, that terminating destiny
is unable to determine, and that the motions and habits of Jupiter
cannot be effective? For the one of these two consequences will
follow from Fate's being an absolute, the other from its being only
an antecedent cause. For if it is an absolute cause, it takes away
our free will and leaves nothing in our control; and if it is only
antecedent, it loses its being unimpeachable and effectual.
For not once or ten times, but everywhere, especially in his
Physics, he has written, that there are many obstacles and
impediments to particular natures and motions, but none to that of
the universe. And how can the motion of the universe, extending as
it does to particular ones, be undisturbed and unimpeached, if
these are stopped and hindered? For neither can the nature of man
be free from impediment, if that of the foot or hand is not so;
nor can the motion of a ship but be hindered, if there are any
obstacles about the sails or the operation of the oars.

Besides all this, if the fantasies are not according to Fate,
neither are they causes of consents; but if, because it imprints
fantasies leading to consent, the consents are said to be according
to Fate, how is it not contrary to itself, imprinting in the
greatest matters different imaginations and such as draw the
understanding contrary ways? For (they say) those who adhere to
one of them, and withhold not their consent, do amiss: if they
yield to obscure things, they stumble; if to false, they are
deceived; if to such as are not commonly comprehended, they opine.
And yet one of these three is of necessity,--either that every
fantasy is not the work of Fate, or that every receipt and consent
of fantasy is faultless, or that Fate itself is not
irreprehensible. For I do not know how it can be blameless,
proposing to us such fantasies that not the resisting or going
against them, but the following and yielding to them, is blamable.
Moreover, both Chrysippus and Antipater, in their disputes against
the Academics, take not a little pains to prove that we neither act
nor are incited without consent, saying, that they build on
fictions and false suppositions who think that, a proper fantasy
being presented, we are presently incited, without having either
yielded or consented. Again, Chrysippus says, that God imprints in
us false imaginations, as does also the wise man; not that they
would have us consent or yield to them, but only that we should act
and be incited with regard to that which appears; but we, being
evil, do through infirmity consent to such fantasies. Now, the
perplexity and discrepancy of these discourses among themselves are
not very difficult to be discerned. For he that would not have men
consent but only act according to the fantasies which he offers
unto them--whether he be God or a wise man--knows that the
fantasies are sufficient for acting, and that consents are
superfluous. For if, knowing that the imagination gives us not an
instinct to work without consent, he ministers to us false and
probable fantasies, he is the voluntary cause of our falling and
erring by assenting to incomprehensible things.

END OF SEVEN-----------

THE EATING OF FLESH.

TRACT I.

You ask of me then for what reason it was that Pythagoras abstained
from eating of flesh. I for my part do much wonder in what humor,
with what soul or reason, the first man with his mouth touched
slaughter, and reached to his lips the flesh of a dead animal, and
having set before people courses of ghastly corpses and ghosts,
could give those parts the names of meat and victuals, that but a
little before lowed, cried, moved, and saw; how his sight could
endure the blood of slaughtered, flayed, and mangled bodies;
how his smell could bear their scent; and how the very nastiness
happened not to offend the taste, while it chewed the sores of
others, and participated of the saps and juices of deadly wounds.

Crept the raw hides, and with a bellowing sound
Roared the dead limbs; the burning entrails groaned.
("Odyssey," xii. 395.)

This indeed is but a fiction and fancy; but the fare itself is
truly monstrous and prodigious,--that a man should have a stomach
to creatures while they yet bellow, and that he should be giving
directions which of things yet alive and speaking is fittest to
make food of, and ordering the several kinds of the seasoning and
dressing them and serving them up to tables. You ought rather, in
my opinion, to have inquired who first began this practice, than
who of late times left it off.

And truly, as for those people who first ventured upon eating of
flesh, it is very probable that the whole reason of their so doing
was scarcity and want of other food; for it is not likely that
their living together in lawless and extravagant lusts, or their
growing wanton and capricious through the excessive variety of
provisions then among them, brought them to such unsociable
pleasures as these, against Nature. Yea, had they at this instant
but their sense and voice restored to them, I am persuaded they
would express themselves to this purpose:

"Oh! happy you, and highly favored of the gods, who now live!
Into what an age of the world are you fallen, who share and enjoy
among you a plentiful portion of good things! What abundance of
things spring up for your use! What fruitful vineyards you enjoy!
What wealth you gather from the fields! What delicacies from trees
and plants, which you may gather! You may glut and fill yourselves
without being polluted. As for us, we fell upon the most dismal
and affrighting part of time, in which we were exposed by our
production to manifold and inextricable wants and necessities.
As yet the thickened air concealed the heaven from our view, and
the stars were as yet confused with a disorderly huddle of fire and
moisture and violent fluxions of winds. As yet the sun was not
fixed to a regular and certain course, so as to separate morning
and evening, nor did the seasons return in order crowned with
wreaths from the fruitful harvest. The land was also spoiled by
the inundations of disorderly rivers; and a great part of it was
deformed with marshes, and utterly wild by reason of deep
quagmires, unfertile forests, and woods. There was then no
production of tame fruits, nor any instruments of art or invention
of wit. And hunger gave no time, nor did seed-time then stay for
the yearly season. What wonder is it if we made use of the flesh
of beasts contrary to Nature, when mud was eaten and the bark of
wood, and when it was thought a happy thing to find either a
sprouting grass or a root of any plant! But when they had by
chance tasted of or eaten an acorn, they danced for very joy about
some oak or esculus, calling it by the names of life-giver, mother,
and nourisher. And this was the only festival that those times
were acquainted with; upon all other occasions, all things were
full of anguish and dismal sadness. But whence is it that a
certain ravenousness and frenzy drives you in these happy days to
pollute yourselves with blood, since you have such an abundance of
things necessary for your subsistence? Why do you belie the earth
as unable to maintain you? Why do you profane the lawgiver Ceres,
and shame the mild and gentle Bacchus, as not furnishing you with
sufficiency? Are you not ashamed to mix tame fruits with blood and
slaughter? You are indeed wont to call serpents, leopards, and
lions savage creatures; but yet yourselves are defiled with blood,
and come nothing behind them in cruelty. What they kill is their
ordinary nourishment, but what you kill is your better fare."

For we eat not lions and wolves by way of revenge; but we let those
go, and catch the harmless and tame sort, and such as have neither
stings nor teeth to bite with, and slay them; which, so may Jove
help us, Nature seems to us to have produced for their beauty and
comeliness only. [Just as if one seeing the river Nilus overflowing
its banks, and thereby filling the whole country with genial and
fertile moisture, should not at all admire that secret power in it
that produces plants and plenteousness of most sweet and useful
fruits, but beholding somewhere a crocodile swimming in it, or an
asp crawling along, or mice (savage and filthy creatures), should
presently affirm these to be the occasion of all that is amiss, or
of any want or defect that may happen. Or as if indeed one
contemplating this land or ground, how full it is of tame fruits,
and how heavy with ears of corn, should afterwards espy somewhere
in these same cornfields an ear of darnel or a wild vetch, and
thereupon neglect to reap and gather in the corn, and fall a
complaining of these. Such another thing it would be, if one--
listening to the harangue of some advocate at some bar or pleading,
swelling and enlarging and hastening towards the relief of some
impending danger, or else, by Jupiter, in the impeaching and
charging of certain audacious villanies or indictments, flowing and
rolling along, and that not in a simple and poor strain, but with
many sorts of passions all at once, or rather indeed with all
sorts, in one and the same manner, into the many and various and
differing minds of either hearers or judges that he is either to
turn and change, or else, by Jupiter, to soften, appease, and quiet
--should overlook all this business, and never consider or reckon
upon the labor or struggle he had undergone, but pick up certain
loose expressions, which the rapid motion of the discourse had
carried along with it, as by the current of its course, and so had
slipped and escaped the rest of the oration, and, hereupon
undervalue the orator.]

But we are nothing put out of countenance, either by the beauteous
gayety of the colors, or by the charmingness of the musical voices,
or by the rare sagacity of the intellects, or by the cleanliness
and neatness of diet, or by the rare discretion and prudence of
these poor unfortunate animals; but for the sake of some little
mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of
that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to
enjoy. And then we fancy that the voices it utters and screams
forth to us are nothing else but certain inarticulate sounds and
noises, and not the several deprecations, entreaties, and pleadings
of each of them, as it were saying thus to us: "I deprecate not
thy necessity (if such there be), but thy wantonness. Kill me for
thy feeding, but do not take me off for thy better feeding."
O horrible cruelty! It is truly an affecting sight to see the very
table of rich people laid before them, who keep them cooks and
caterers to furnish them with dead corpses for their daily fare;
but it is yet more affecting to see it taken away, for the mammocks
remaining are more than that which was eaten. These therefore were
slain to no purpose. Others there are, who are so offended by what
is set before them that they will not suffer it to be cut or
sliced; thus abstaining from them when dead, while they would not
spare them when alive.

Well, then, we understand that that sort of men are used to say,
that in eating of flesh they follow the conduct and direction of
Nature. But that it is not natural to mankind to feed on flesh, we
first of all demonstrate from the very shape and figure of the
body. For a human body no ways resembles those that were born for
ravenousness; it hath no hawk's bill, no sharp talon, no roughness
of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can
be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare.
But even from hence, that is, from the smoothness of the tongue,
and the slowness of the stomach to digest, Nature seems to disclaim
all pretence to fleshy victuals. But if you will contend that
yourself was born to an inclination to such food as you have now a
mind to eat, do you then yourself kill what you would eat. But do
it yourself, without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet, or axe,
--as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once.
Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb
or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do.
But if thou hadst rather stay until what thou greatest is become
dead, and if thou art loath to force a soul out of its body, why
then dost thou against Nature eat an animate thing? Nay, there is
nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing as
it is; but they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and
medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore
with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby
deceived may admit of such uncouth fare. It was indeed a witty
expression of a Lacedaemonian, who, having purchased a small fish
in a certain inn, delivered it to his landlord to be dressed;
and as he demanded cheese, and vinegar, and oil to make sauce, he
replied, if I had had those, I would not have bought the fish.
But we are grown so wanton in our bloody luxury, that we have
bestowed upon flesh the name of meat [Greek omitted], and then
require another seasoning [Greek omitted], to this same flesh,
mixing oil, wine, honey, pickle, and vinegar, with Syrian and
Arabian spices, as though we really meant to embalm it after its
disease. Indeed when things are dissolved and made thus tender and
soft, and are as it were turned into a sort of a carrionly
corruption, it must needs be a great difficulty for concoction to
master them, and when it hath mastered them, they must needs cause
grievous oppressions and qualmy indigestions.

Diogenes ventured once to eat a raw pourcontrel, that he might
disuse himself from meat dressed by fire; and as several priests
and other people stood round him, he wrapped his head in his
cassock, and so putting the fish to his mouth, he thus said unto
them: It is for your sake, sirs, that I undergo this danger, and
run this risk. A noble and gallant risk, by Jupiter! For far
otherwise than as Pelopidas ventured his life for the liberty of
the Thebans, and Harmodius and Aristogiton for that of the
Athenians, did this philosopher encounter with a raw pourcontrel,
to the end he might make human life more brutish. Moreover, these
same flesh-eatings not only are preternatural to men's bodies, but
also by clogging and cloying them, they render their very minds and
intellects gross. For it is well known to most, that wine and much
flesh-eating make the body indeed strong and lusty, but the mind
weak and feeble. And that I may not offend the wrestlers, I will
make use of examples out of my own country. The Athenians are wont
to call us Boeotians gross, senseless, and stupid fellows, for no
other reason but our over-much eating; by Pindar we are called
hogs, for the same reason. Menander the comedian calls us "fellows
with long jaws." It is observed also that, according to the saying
of Heraclitus, "the wisest soul is like a dry light."
Earthen jars, if you strike them, will sound; but if they be full,
they perceive not the strokes that are given them. Copper vessels
also that are thin communicate the sound round about them, unless
some one stop and dull the ambient stroke with his fingers.
Moreover, the eye, when seized with an over-great plenitude of
humors, grows dim and feeble for its ordinary work. When we behold
the sun through a humid air and a great quantity of gross and
indigested vapors, we see it not clear and bright, but obscure and
cloudy, and with glimmering beams. Just so in a muddy and clogged
body, that is swagged down with heavy and unnatural nourishments;
it must needs happen that the gayety and splendor of the mind be
confused and dulled, and that it ramble and roll after little and
scarce discernible objects, since it wants clearness and vigor for
higher things.

But to pass by these considerations, is not accustoming one's self
to mildness and a human temper of mind an admirable thing? For who
would wrong or injure a man that is so sweetly and humanly disposed
with respect to the ills of strangers that are not of his kind?
I remember that three days ago, as I was discoursing, I made
mention of a saying of Xenocrates, and how the Athenians gave
judgment upon a certain person who had flayed a living ram. For my
part I cannot think him a worse criminal that torments a poor
creature while living, than a man that shall take away its life and
murder it. But (as it seems) we are more sensible of what is done
against custom than against Nature. There, however, I discussed
these matters in a more popular style. But as for that grand and
mysterious principle which (as Plato speaks) is incredible to base
minds and to such as affect only mortal things, I as little care to
move it in this discourse as a pilot doth a ship in a storm, or a
comedian his machine while the scenes are moving; but perhaps it
would not be amiss, by way of introduction and preface, to repeat
certain verses of Empedocles. ... For in these, by way of allegory,
he hints at men's souls, as that they are tied to mortal bodies, to
be punished for murders, eating of flesh and of one another,
although this doctrine seems much, ancienter than his time.
For the fables that are storied and related about the discerption
of Bacchus, and the attempts of the Titans upon him, and of their
tasting of his slain body, and of their several punishments and
fulminations afterwards, are but a representation of the
regeneration. For what in us is unreasonable, disorderly, and
boisterous, being not divine but demoniac, the ancients termed
Titans, that is, TORMENTED and PUNISHED (from [Greek omitted]). ...

TRACT II.

Reason persuades us now to return with fresh cogitations and
dispositions to what we left cold yesterday of our discourse about
flesh-eating. It is indeed a hard and a difficult task to
undertake (as Cato once said) to dispute with men's bellies, that
have no ears; since most have already drunk that draught of custom,
which is like that of Ciree,

Of groans and frauds and sorcery replete.
("Odyssey," x. 234.)

And it is no easy task to pull out the hook of flesh-eating from
the jaws of such as have gorged themselves with luxury and are (as
it were) nailed down with it. It would indeed be a good action, if
as the Egyptians draw out the stomach of a dead body, and cut it
open and expose it to the sun, as the only cause of all its evil
actions, so we could, by cutting out our gluttony and blood-
shedding, purify and cleanse the remainder of our lives. For the
stomach itself is not guilty of bloodshed, but is involuntarily
polluted by our intemperance. But if this may not be, and we are
ashamed by reason of custom to live unblamably, let us at least sin
with discretion. Let us eat flesh; but let it be for hunger and
not for wantonness. Let us kill an animal; but let us do it with
sorrow and pity, and not abusing and tormenting it, as many
nowadays are used to do, while some run red-hot spits through the
bodies of swine, that by the tincture of the quenched iron the
blood may be to that degree mortified, that it may sweeten and
soften the flesh in its circulation; others jump and stamp upon the
udders of sows that are ready to pig, that so they may crush into
one mass (O Piacular Jupiter!) in the very pangs of delivery,
blood, milk, and the corruption of the mashed and mangled young
ones, and so eat the most inflamed part of the animal; others sew
up the eyes of cranes and swans, and so shut them up in darkness to
be fattened, and then souse up their flesh with certain monstrous
mixtures and pickles.

By all which it is most manifest, that it is not for nourishment,
or want, or any necessity, but for mere gluttony, wantonness, and
expensiveness, that they make a pleasure of villany. Just as it
happens in persons who cannot satiate their passion upon women, and
having made trial of everything else and falling into vagaries, at
last attempt things not to be mentioned; even so inordinateness in
feeding, when it hath once passed the bounds of nature and
necessity, studies at last to diversify the lusts of its
intemperate appetite by cruelty and villany. For the senses, when
they once quit their natural measures, sympathize with each other
in their distempers, and are enticed by each other to the same
consent and intemperance. Thus a distempered ear first debauched
music, the soft and effeminate notes of which provoke immodest
touches and lascivious tickling. These things first taught the eye
not to delight in Pyrrhic dances, gesticulations of hands, or
elegant pantomimes, nor in statues and fine paintings; but to
reckon the slaughtering and death of mankind and wounds and duels
the most sumptuous of shows and spectacles. Thus unlawful tables
are accompanied with intemperate copulations, with unmusicianlike
balls, and theatres become monstrous through shameful songs and
rehearsals; and barbarous and brutish shows are again accompanied
with an unrelenting temper and savage cruelty towards mankind.
Hence it was that the divine Lycurgus in his Three Books of Laws
gave orders that the doors and ridges of men's houses should be
made with a saw and an axe, and that no other instrument should so
much as be brought to any house. Not that he did hereby intend to
declare war against augers and planes and other instruments of
finer work; but because he very well knew that with such tools as
these you will never bring into your house a gilded couch, and that
you will never attempt to bring into a slender cottage either
silver tables, purple carpets, or costly stones; but that a plain
supper and a homely dinner must accompany such a house, couch
table, and cup. The beginning of a vicious diet is presently
followed by all sorts of luxury and expensiveness,

Ev'n as a mare is by her thirsty colt.
=============
And what meal is not expensive? One for which no animal is put to
death. Shall we reckon a soul to be a small expense? I will not
say perhaps of a mother, or a father, or of some friend, or child,
as Empedocles did; but one participating of feeling, of seeing, of
hearing, of imagination, and of intellection; which each animal
hath received from Nature for the acquiring of what is agreeable to
it, and the avoiding what is disagreeable. Do but consider this
with yourself now, which sort of philosophers render us most tame
and civil, they who bid people to feed on their children, friends,
fathers, and wives, when they are dead; or Pythagoras and
Empedocles, that accustom men to be just towards even the other
members of the creation. You laugh at a man that will not eat a
sheep: but we (they will say again)--when we see you cutting off
the parts of your dead father or mother, and sending it to your
absent friends, and calling upon and inviting your present friends
to eat the rest freely and heartily--shall we not smile?
Nay, peradventure we offend at this instant time while we touch
these books, without having first cleansed our hands, eyes, feet,
and ears; if it be not (by Jupiter) a sufficient purgation of them
to have discoursed of these matters in potable and fresh language
(as Plato speaketh), thereby washing off the brackishness of
hearing. Now if a man should set these books and discourses in
opposition to each other, he will find that the philosophy of the
one sort suits with the Seythians, Sogdians, and Melanchlaenians,
of whom Herodotus's relation is scarce believed; but the sentiments
of Pythagoras and Empedocles were the laws and customs of the
ancients Grecians.

Who, then, were the first authors of this opinion, that we owe no
justice to dumb animals?

Who first beat out accursed steel,
And made the lab'ring ox a knife to feel.

In the very same manner oppressors and tyrants begin first to shed
blood. For example, the first man that the Athenians ever put to
death was one of the basest of all knaves, who had the reputation
of deserving it; after him they put to death a second and a third.
After this, being now accustomed to blood, they patiently saw
Niceratus the son of Nicias, and their own general Theramenes, and
Polemarchus the philosopher suffer death. Even so, in the
beginning, some wild and mischievous beast was killed and eaten,
and then some little bird or fish was entrapped. And the desire of
slaughter, being first experimented and exercised in these, at last
passed even to the laboring ox, and the sheep that clothes us, and
to the poor cock that keeps the house; until by little and little,
unsatiableness, being strengthened by use, men came to the
slaughter of men, to bloodshed and wars. Now even if one cannot
demonstrate and make out, that souls in their regenerations make a
promiscuous use of all bodies, and that that which is now rational
will at another time be irrational, and that again tame which is
now wild,--for that Nature changes and transmutes everything,

With different fleshy coats new clothing all,--

this thing should be sufficient to change and show men, that it is
a savage and intemperate habit, that it brings sickness and
heaviness upon the body, and that it inclines the mind the more
brutishly to bloodshed and destruction, when we have once
accustomed ourselves neither to entertain a guest nor keep a
wedding nor to treat our friends without blood and slaughter.

And if what is argued about the return of souls into bodies is not
of force enough to beget faith, yet methinks the very uncertainty
of the thing should fill us with apprehension and fear.
Suppose, for instance, one should in some night-engagement run on
with his drawn sword upon one that had fallen down and covered his
body with his arms, and should in the meantime hear one say, that
he was not very sure, but that he fancied and believed, that the
party lying there was his own son, brother, father, or tent-
companion; which were more advisable, think you,--to hearken to a
false suggestion, and so to let go an enemy under the notion of a
friend, or to slight an authority not sufficient to beget faith,
and to slay a friend instead of a foe? This you will all say would
be insupportable. Do but consider the famous Merope in the
tragedy, who taking up a hatchet, and lifting it at her son's head,
whom she took for her son's murderer, speaks thus as she was ready
to give the fatal blow,

Villain, this holy blow shall cleave thy head;
(Euripides, "Cresphontes," Frag. 457.)

what a bustle she raises in the whole theatre while she raises
herself to give the blow, and what a fear they are all in, lest she
should prevent the old man that comes to stop her hand, and should
wound the youth. Now if another old man should stand by her and
say, "Strike, it is thy enemy," and this, "Hold, it is thy son";
which, think you, would be the greater injustice, to omit the
punishing of an enemy for the sake of one's child, or to suffer
one's self to be so carried away with anger at an enemy as to slay
one's child? Since then neither hatred nor wrath nor any revenge
nor fear for ourselves carries us to the slaughter of a beast, but
the poor sacrifice stands with an inclined neck, only to satisfy
thy lust and pleasure, and then one philosopher stands by and tells
thee, "Cut him down, it is but an unreasonable animal," and another
cries, "Hold, what if there should be the soul of some kinsman or
god enclosed in him?"--good gods! is there the like danger if I
refuse to eat flesh, as if I for want of faith murder my child or
some other friend?

The Stoics' way of reasoning upon this subject of flesh-eating is
no way equal nor consonant with themselves. Who is this that hath
so many mouths for his belly and the kitchen? Whence comes it to
pass, that they so very much womanize and reproach pleasure, as a
thing that they will not allow to be either good or preferable, or
so much as agreeable, and yet all on a sudden become so zealous
advocates for pleasures? It were indeed but a reasonable
consequence of their doctrine, that, since they banish perfumes and
cakes from their banquets, they should be much more averse to blood
and to flesh. But now, just as if they would reduce their
philosophy to their account-books, they lessen the expenses of
their suppers in certain unnecessary and needless matters, but the
untamed and murderous part of their expense they nothing boggle at.
"Well! What then?" say they. "We have nothing to do with brute
beasts." Nor have you any with perfumes, nor with foreign sauces,
may some one answer; therefore leave these out of your banquets, if
you are driving out everything that is both useless and needless.

Let us therefore in the next place consider, whether we owe any
justice to the brute beasts. Neither shall we handle this point
artificially, or like subtle sophisters, but by casting our eye
into our own breasts, and conversing with ourselves as men, we will
weigh and examine the whole matter. ...

END OF EIGHT-----------

CONCERNING FATE.
("This little Treatise is so pitiously torne, maimed, and
dismembred thorowout, that a man may sooner divine and guess
thereat (as I have done) than translate it."--HOLLAND.)

I will endeavor, my dearest Piso, to send you my opinion concerning
Fate, written with all the clearness and compendiousness I am
capable of; since you, who are not ignorant how cautious I am of
writing, have thought fit to make it the subject of your request.

You are first, then, to know that this word Fate is spoken and
understood two manner of ways; the one as it is an energy, the
other as it is a substance. First, therefore, as it is an action,
Plato (See Plato, "Phaedrus," p. 248 C; "Timaeus," p.41 E;
"Republic," x. p.617 D.) has under a type described it, saying thus
in his dialogue entitled Phaedrus: "And this is a sanction of
Adrastea (or an inevitable ordinance), that whatever soul being an
attendant on God," &c. And in his treatise called Timaeus:
"The laws which God in the nature of the universe has established
for immortal souls." And in his book of a Commonweal he entitles
Fate "the speech of the virgin Lachesis, who is the daughter of
Necessity." By which sentences he not tragically but theologically
shows us what his sentiments are in this matter. Now if any one,
paraphrasing the fore-cited passages, would have them expressed in
more familiar terms, the description in Phaedrus may be thus
explained: That Fate is a divine sentence, intransgressible since
its cause cannot be divested or hindered. And according to what he
has said in his Timaeus, it is a law ensuing on the nature of the
universe, according to which all things that are done are
transacted. For this does Lachesis effect, who is indeed the
daughter of Necessity,--as we have both already related, and shall
yet better understand by that which will be said in the progress of
our discourse. Thus you see what Fate is, when it is taken for
an action.

But as it is a substance, it seems to be the universal soul of the
world, and admits of a threefold distribution; the first destiny
being that which errs not; the second, that which is thought to
err; and the third that which, being under the heaven, is
conversant about the earth. Of these, the highest is called
Clotho, the next Atropos, and the lowest, Lachesis; who, receiving
the celestial influences and efficacies of her sisters, transmits
and fastens them to the terrestrial things which are under her
government. Thus have we declared briefly what is to be said of
Fate, taken as a substance; what it is, what are its parts, after
what manner it is, how it is ordained, and how it stands, both in
respect to itself and to us. But as to the particularities of
these things, there is another fable in his Commonweal, by which
they are in some measure covertly insinuated, and we ourselves
have, in the best manner we can, endeavored to explain them to you.

But we now once again turn our discourse to Fate, as it is an
energy. For concerning this it is that there are so many natural,
moral, and logical questions. Having therefore already in some
sort sufficiently defined what it is, we are now in the next place
to say something of its quality, although it may to many seem
absurd. I say then that Fate, though comprehending as it were in a
circle the infinity of all those things which are and have been
from infinite times and shall be to infinite ages, is not in itself
infinite, but determinate and finite; for neither law, reason, nor
any other divine thing can be infinite. And this you will the
better understand, if you consider the total revolution and the
total time in which the revolutions of the eight circles (that is,
of the eight spheres of the fixed stars, sun, moon, and five
planets), having (as Timaeus (Plato, "Timaeus," p.39 D.) says)
finished their course, return to one and the same point, being
measured by the circle of the Same, which goes always after one
manner. For in this order, which is finite and determinate, shall
all things (which, as well in heaven as in earth, consist by
necessity from above) be reduced to the same situation, and
restored again to their first beginning. Wherefore the habitude of
heaven alone, being thus ordained in all things, as well in regard
of itself as of the earth and all terrestrial matters, shall again
(after long revolutions) one day return; and those things that in
order follow after, and being linked together in a continuity are
maintained in their course, shall follow, every one of them by
necessity bringing what is its own. But for the better clearing of
this matter, let us understand that whatever is in us or about us
is not wrought by the course of the heavens and heavenly
influences, as being entirely the efficient cause both of my
writing what I now write, and of your doing also what you at
present do, and in the same manner as you do it. Hereafter, then,
when the same cause shall return, we shall do the same things we
now do and in the same manner, and shall again become the same men;
and so it will be with all others. And that which follows after
shall also happen by the following cause; and in brief, all things
that shall happen in the whole and in every one of these universal
revolutions shall again become the same. By this it appears (as we
have said before) that Fate, being in some sort infinite, is
nevertheless determinate and finite; and it may be also in some
sort seen and comprehended, as we have farther said, that it is as
it were a circle. For as a motion of a circle is a circle, and the

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