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Dionysius. But why dost thou return? Hast thou no fear of leath? Is it not the character of a madman to seek it thus voluntarily?'
Pythias. I return to suffer, though I have not deserved death. Every principle of honour and goodness, forbids me to allow my friend to die for
Dionysius, Dost thou, then, love him better than thyself?
Pythios. No; I love him as myself. But I am persuaded that h ought to suffer death, rather than my friend; since it was Pythias whom thou hadst decreed tri die,
It were not just that Damon should suffer, to delivrs me from the death which was designed, not for him, but for me only.
Dionysius. But thou supposest, that it is as unjust to indici death upon thee, as upon thy friend.
Pythias. Very true; we are both perfectly innocent; apd it is equally unjust to make either of us suffer.
Dionysius. Why dost thou then assert, that it were injustice to put him to death, instead of thee.
Pythias. 'It is unjust, in the salse degree, in inflict death either on Damon or on myself; but Pythias were highly culpable to let Damon suffer that death, which the tyrant had prepared for Pythias only.
Dionysius. Dost thou then return hither, on the day appointed, with no other view, than to save the life of a friend, by losing thy own?
Pythias. I return, in regard to thee, to suffer an act of injustice while it is common for tyrants to ina Bict; and, with respect to Damon, to perform my duty, by rescuing him from the danger he incurred by his generosity to me.
Dionysius. And now, Dąmon, let me address my. self to thee. Didst thou not really fear, that Pythius would never return; and that thou wouldst be puc to death on his account?
Damon. I was but too well assured, that Pythias would punctually return; and that he would be more solicitous to keep his promise, than to preserve his life. Would to heaven, that his relations and friends had
forcibly detained him! He would then have lived for the comfort and benefit of good men ; and I should have the satisfaction of dying for him.
Dionysius. What! Does life displease thee?
Damon. Yes; it displeases me when I see and feel the power of a tyrant.
Dionysius. It is well! Thou shalt see him no more. I will order thee to be put to death immediately.
Pythias. Pardon the feelings of a man who sympathizes with bis dying friend. But remember it was Pythias who was devoted by thee to destruction. I come to submit to it, that I may redeem my friend. Do not refuse me this consolation in my last hour.
Dionysius, I cannot endure men, who despise death, and set my power at defiance,
Damon. Thou canst not, then, endure virtue.
Dionysius. No: I cannot endure that proud, dis. dainful virtue, which contemos life; which dreads no punishment, and which is iosensible to the charms of riches and pleasure.
Damon. 'Thou seest, however, that it is a virtue, which is not insensible to the dictates of honour, justice, and friendship.
Dionysius Guards, take Pộthias to execution. We shall see whether Damon will continue to despise ay authority.
Damoa. Pythias, by returning to submit himself to thy pleasure, has merited his life, and deserved thy favour; but I have excited thy indignation, by resigning myself to thy power, in order to save him; be satisfied, then, with this sacrifice, and put me to death.
Pythias. Hold, Dionysius! remember it was Pythjas alone wlio offended thee : Damon could not
Dionysius, Alas! what do I see and hear! where am I! How miserable; a:.l how worthy to be so! I have hitherto known nothing of true virtue. I have spent my life in darkness and error. power and honours are insufficient to produce love. I cannot boast of having acquired a single friend, in the course of a reign of thirty sears. And yet these two persons, in a private condition, lovə one another ten. derly, unreservediy confide in each other,are mutually appy, and ready to die for each other's preservation,
Pythias. How couldst thou, who hast never loved any person, expect to have friends : If thou hadst loved and respected men, thou wouldst have secured their love and respect. Thou hast feared mankind ; and they fear thee; they detest thee.
Dionysius. Damon, Pythias, condescend to admit me as a third friend; in a connexion so perfect. I give you your lives ; and I will load you with riches.
Damon. We have no desire to be enriched by thee; and, in regard to thy frieadship, we cannot accept or enjoy it, till thou become good and just. · Without these qualities, thou canst be connected with bone but trembling slaves, and base flatterers. To be loved and esteemed by men of free and generous minds, thou must be virtuous, affectiorate, disinterested, beneficent: and know how to live in a sort of equality with those who share and deserve thy friendship.
Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray
Locke and Bayle. Christianity defended against the cavils of scepticism.
Bayle. Yes, we both were philosophers; but my philosophy was the deepest. You dogmatized; I doubted.
Locke. Do you make doubting a proof of depth in philosophy ? It may be a good beginning of it; but it is a bad end.
Bayle. No:--the more profound our researches are into the nature of things, the more uncertainty ve shall find; and the most subtle minds see objections and difficulties in every system, which are overlooked or undiscoverable by ordinary understandinge.
Locke. It would be better then to be no philosopher, and to continue in the vulgar heard of mankind, that one may have the convenience of thinking that one knows something. I find that the eyes which nature bas given me, see many things very clearly, though some are out of their reach, or discerned but dimly.
What opinion ought I to have of a physician, who should offer me an eye-water, the use of which would at first so sharpen my sight, as to carry it farther than ordinary vision; but would in the end put them out ? Your philosophy is to the eyes of the mind, what I have supposed the doctor's nostrum to be to those of the body. It actually brought your own excellent understanding, which was by nature quick-sighted, and rendered more so by art and subtilty of logic peculiar to yourself-it brought, I say, your very acute understanding to see nothing clearly; and enveloped all the great truths of reason and religion in the moists of doubt.
Dayle. I own it did;--but your comparison is not just. I did not see well, before I used my philosophic eye-water: I only supposed I saw well; but I was in error with all the rest of mankind. The blindness was real, the perceptions were imaginary. I cured myselt first of those false imaginations, and then I laudably endeavored to cure other pen.
Locke. A great cure indeed!mand do not you think that, in return for the service you did then, they ought to erect you a statue ?
Bayle. Yes, it is good for human nature to know its own weakness. When we arrogaotly presume on a strength we have not, we are always in great danger of hurting ourselves, or at least of deserving ridicule and contempt by vain and idle efforts.
Locke. I agree with you, that human nature should know its own weakness; but it should also feel its strength, and try to improve it. This was my employ. ment as a philosopher. I endeavoured to discover the real powers of the mind, to see what it could do, and wlat it could not; to restrain it from efforts beyond its ability: but to teach it how to advance as far as the faculties given to it by nature, with the utoost exertion and most proper culture of them, would allow it to go. In the vast ocean of philosophy, I had the line and the plummet always in my hands. Many of its depths I found myself unable to fathom ; but, by caution in sounding, and the careful observations I made in the course of my voyage, I found out some thruths of so
much use to mankind, that they acknowledged me to have been their benefactor.
Bayle. Their igeorance makes them :hink so.... Some other philosopher will come hereafter, and show those truths to be falsehoods. He will pretend to discover other truths of equal importance..A later sage will arise, perhaps among meo barbarous and unlearned, whose sagaciuus discove. ries will discredit the opioions of his admired. pre. decessor. In philosophy, as in nature, all changes its form, aod one thiog exists by the destruction of another,
* Locke. Opinions taken up without a patient investigation, depending on terms ont accurately defi. ped, and principles begged without proof, like theories to explain the phenomina of nature, built on suppositions instead of experiments. must perpetu. ally change and destroy one another. But some opioions there are, even in matters not obvious to the common sense of mankiod, which the mind has received on such rational grounds of assent, that they are as immov.ble as the pillars of heaven; or (to speak philosophically) as the great laws of Na. ture, by which, under God, the universe is tained. Can you seriously think, that, because the hypothesis of your countryman Descartes, which was nothing but an ingenious, well-imagined ro. mance has been lately exploded, the system of New. ton, which is built on experiments and geometry, the most certain methods of discovering truth, will ever fail; or that, because the wbims of faparics and the divinity of the schoolmen, caonot now be supported, the doctrines of that religion, wbich I, the declared enemy of all cothusiasm and false reasoniog, firmly believed and maintained, will ever be shakeo?
Boyle. If you had asked Descartes, while he was in the height of his vogue, whether his system would ever be confused by any other philosophers