“For the golden haired Niobe asked for her food,

Though her twelve noble children lay welt’ring in blood;

Six daughters, fair emblems of virtue and truth,

And six sons, the chief flower of the Lydian youth.”

(123) And then, speaking boldly to some one who seemed inclined to become a purchaser, and who asked him the question, “What do you know?” he replied, “I know how to govern men:” his soul from within, as it appears, prompting his free, and noble, and naturally royal spirit. And then he at once, with his natural indifference and serenity, turned to facetious discourse, at which all the rest, who were all full of despondency were annoyed. (124) Accordingly it is said that, seeing one of the intended purchasers afflicted with the female disease, as he did not even look like a man, he went up to him, and said, “Do you buy me, for you appear to me to be in want of a husband;” so that he, being grieved and downcast by reason of the infirmities of which he was conscious, slunk away, while all the rest admired the ready wit and happy courage of the philosopher. Shall we then say that such a man as this was in a state of slavery, and not rather in a state of freedom, only without any irresponsible authority? (125) And there was also a man of the name of Choereas, a man of considerable education, who was a zealous imitator of Diogenes’s freedom of speech; for he, being an inhabitant of Alexandria in Egypt, on one occasion, when Ptolemy was offended with him, and was uttering no slight threats against him, thinking that the freedom which was implanted in his nature was in no respect inferior to the royal authority of the other, replied–

“Rule your Egyptian slaves; but as for me,

I neither care for you, nor fear your wrath

And angry Threats.”{16}{this is a parody on Hom. Il. 1.180, where Agamemnon speaks to Achilles.}

(126) For noble souls have something authoritative within them, and do not allow their brilliancy to be obscured by the injustice of fortune, but their spirit encourages them to contend on equal terms with those who are very high in rank and very proud, pitting their freedom of spirit against the insolence of the others. (127) It is said that Theodorus, who was surnamed the Atheist, when he was banished from Athens, and had come to the court of Lysimachus, when one of those in power there reproached him with his banishment, mentioning the cause of it too, namely, that he had been expelled because he had been condemned for atheism and for corrupting the youth, replied, “I have not been banished, but the same thing has befallen me which befell Hercules, the son of Jupiter; (128) for he also was put ashore by the Argonauts, without having done anything wrong, but only because as he himself was both crew and ballast enough for a vessel, so that he burdened the ship, and caused fear to his fellow voyagers lest the vessel should become water-logged; and I too have been driven from my country because the bulk of the citizens at Athens were unable to keep pace with the loftiness and greatness of my mind, and therefore I was envied by them.” (129) And when, after this reply, Lysimachus asked him, “Were you also banished from your native land through envy?” he replied a second time, “Not indeed through envy, but because of the exceedingly high qualities of my nature, which my country could not contain; (130) for as when Semele, at the time that she was pregnant with Bacchus, was unable to bear her offspring until the appointed time for her delivery, Jupiter pitied her, and saved from the flames the offspring which she bore in her womb, being as yet imperfect, and granted it equal honours with the heavenly deities, so also some deity, or some god, has made me leave my country by reason of its being too narrow to contain the ample burden of a philosophic mind, and decided on transporting me to a place more fortunate than Athens, and settling me there.”