June 13

ARE you free yourself, then? (it will be said). By heaven, I wish and pray for it. But I cannot yet face my masters. I still pay a regard to my body, and set a great value on keeping it whole, though at the same time it is not whole. But I can show you one who was free, that you may no longer seek an example. Diogenes was free. — "How so?" Not because he was of free parents, for he was not; but because he was so himself, because he had cast away all the handles of slavery, nor was there any way of getting at him, nor anywhere to lay hold on him to enslave him. Everything sat loose upon him, everything only just hung on. If you took hold on his possessions, he would rather let them go than follow you for them; if on his leg, he let go his leg; if his body, he let go his body; acquaintance, friends, country, just the same. For he knew whence he had them, and from whom and upon what conditions he received them. But he would never have forsaken his true parents the gods, and his real country, nor have suffered anyone to be more dutiful and obedient to them than he; nor would anyone have died more readily for his country than he.


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