[Lucian], The Cynic

LCL 432: 408-409

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ἐπιθυμίαι. πάσχετε δὲ παραπλήσιόν τι ὅ φασι παθεῖν τινα ἐφ᾿ ἵππον ἀναβάντα μαινόμενον· ἁρπάσας γὰρ αὐτὸν ἔφερεν ἄρα ὁ ἵππος· ὁ δὲ οὐκέτι καταβῆναι τοῦ ἵππου θέοντος ἐδύνατο. καί τις ἀπαντήσας ἠρώτησεν αὐτὸν ποίαν ἄπεισιν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν, Ὅπου ἂν τούτῳ δοκῇ, δεικνὺς τὸν ἵππον. καὶ ὑμᾶς ἄν τις ἐρωτᾷ, ποῖ1 φέρεσθε; τἀληθὲς ἐθέλοντὲς λέγειν ἐρεῖτε ἀπλῶς μέν, ὅπουπερ2 ἂν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις δοκῇ, κατὰ μέρος δέ, ὅπουπερ2 ἂν τῇ ἡδονῇ δοκῇ, ποτὲ δέ, ὅπου τῇ δόξῃ, ποτὲ δὲ αὖ, τῇ φιλοκερδίᾳ· ποτὲ δὲ ὁ θυμός, ποτὲ δὲ ὁ φόβος, ποτὲ δὲ ἄλλο τι τοιοῦτον ὑμᾶς ἐκφέρειν φαίνεται·3 οὐ γὰρ ἐφ᾿ ἑνός, ἀλλ᾿ ἐπὶ πολλῶν ὑμεῖς γε ἵππων βεβηκότες ἄλλοτε ἄλλων,4 καὶ μαινομένων πάντων, φέρεσθε. τοιγαροῦν ἐκφέρουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς βάραθρα καὶ κρημνούς. ἴστε δ᾿ οὐδαμῶς πρὶν πεσεῖν ὅτι πείσεσθαι5 μέλλετε.

19. ὁ δὲ τρίβων οὗτος, οὗ καταγελᾶτε, καὶ ἡ κόμη καὶ τὸ σχῆμα τοὐμὸν τηλικαύτην ἔχει δύναμιν, ὥστε παρέχειν μοι ζῆν ἐφ᾿ ἡσυχίας καὶ πράττοντι ὅ τι βούλομαι καὶ συνόντι οἷς βούλομαι· τῶν γὰρ ἀμαθῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἀπαιδεύτων οὐδεὶς ἂν ἐθέλοι μοι προσιέναι διὰ τὸ σχῆμα, οἱ δὲ μαλακοὶ καὶ πάνυ πόρρωθεν ἐκτρέπονται· προσίασι δὲ οἱ κομψότατοι καὶ ἐπιεικέστατοι καὶ ἀρετῆς ἐπιθυμοῦντες. οὗτοι μάλιστά μοι προσίασι· τοῖς γὰρ τοιούτοις ἐγὼ χαίρω συνών. θύρας δὲ τῶν καλουμένων


The Cynic

wherever your appetities take you. Your situation is just like what they say happened to the man who mounted a mad horse. For it rushed off, carrying him with it; and he couldn’t dismount again because the horse kept running. Then someone who met them asked him where he was off to, and he replied, “Wherever this fellow decides,” indicating the horse. Now if anyone asks you where you’re heading for, if you wish to tell the truth, you will say simply that it’s where your appetites choose, or more specifically where pleasure chooses, or now where ambition, or now again where avarice chooses; and sometimes temper, sometimes fear, or sometimes something else of the sort seems to carry you off. For you are carried along on the back not of one but of many horses, and different ones at different times—but all of them mad. As a result they carry you away towards cliffs and chasms. But before you fall you are quite unaware of what is going to happen to you.

19. But this worn cloak which you mock, and my long hair and my dress are so effective that they enable me to live a quiet life doing what I want to do and keeping the company of my choice. For no ignorant or uneducated person would wish to associate with one that dresses as I do, while the fops turn away while they’re still a long way off. But my associates are the most intelligent and decent of men, and those with an appetite for virtue. These men are my particular associates, for I rejoice in the company of men like them. But I dance no attendance at the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.lucian-cynic.1967