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him closes a period in which the true spirit of inquiry instituted by Plato continued to animate the system. The evolution of philosophy in the new Academy belongs to a later age, of which we shall hereafter treat ; but even at this early date from his death, there was presented a very debased contrast to the bright ideal of Plato, and a vast discrepancy between the characteristics of his disciples, and the expectation cherished by the founder.

CHAPTER VIII.

ARISTOTLE AND THE PERIPATETICS.

ARISTOTLE—distinguished by Plato as the "mind of his school," and of whom, as compared with Xenocrates, it was usually remarked, that the “ latter required the spur, and the former the bit"-was born at Stagira, a city of the Thracian Chersonese, B.C. 384. He was the son of Nicomachus, physician to Amyntas, king of Macedonia ; and being deprived of his father in early life, was placed under the care of Proxenus the Atarnean, by whom he was instructed in physical science until the age of seventeen, when he became the disciple of Plato.

Various accounts are given of his subsequent course ; he is said, by some, to have dissipated his patrimony, then to have supported himselt by selling drugs ; but, after his entrance upon philosophical study, he redeemed his neglect by such indefatigable industry, as to obtain for himself the appellation of " The Reader.” In later life, some disagreement between himself and his master has been made the basis of much unfounded calumny against both. It is certain, however, that he continued with Plato for twenty years, until that philosopher's death; but the latter is reported to have been displeased by his captious irony, and at an attempt which he made to usurp the presidentship in the Academy, upon which occasion he compared his rebellious disciple to the foal that kicked its mother." The only ground for this charge lies in an estrangement from the ideal theory of Plato, and in the faults which the Stagirite perpetually finds with him in his works. On quitting Athens, he retired to the court of Hermias, a fellow-disciple, who had obtained the sovereignty of Atarneus, and whose sister, or niece, he subsequently married.

At this time, he was summoned by Philip of Macedon to superintend the education of his son Alexander, then about fourteen years of age ; and indeed, from a letter extant from Philip to Aristotle, it is more probable that the prince was consigned to his charge almost from birth ; since the Macedonian monarch in

his epistle, announces that a son is born to him for whose birth he is less grateful, than for its occurrence at a time when he might enjoy the instructions of Aristotle. So fully did he merit this compliment, that Alexander himself confessed that, if he were indebted to his father for life, he was no less indebted to Aristotle for having taught him to live well.

Subsequent events, and the discrepancy between his pupil's military life and his own relish for philosophical repose, induced an alienation between them, and Aristotle returned to Athens, where, for thirteen years, he taught in the Lyceum, in which he had established a school. It does not appear that Alexander withdrew his patronage from his former preceptor, notwithstanding an attempt was made to mix up his name in a conspiracy against the king's life, and he is even said to have sent a poison called Stygian water, in the hoof of a mule, the only medium impassible to its effects; which drug being administered through Antipater, occasioned the king's death. The story is disproved, not only by the real circumstances of Alexander's decease, but by the fact, that to his patronage alone was the forbearance of the Athenian people towards Aristotle's tenets attributable, their rancour breaking out against him the instant that death had deprived him of his powerful protector.

The same accusation of impiety, and of the introduction of novel deities into Greece, which had constituted the calumnious charge against Socrates, was brought forward afresh against the Stagirite, who did not, however, meet it as the former had done. Aware that at no place were the scales of justice held so unevenly as at Athens, and that innocence formed there but a slight defence against political and personal rancour, he was unwilling, he said, to afford the Athenians a second opportunity of sinning against philosophy, and, therefore, avoided the coming storm by retiring to Chalcis, in Euboea, where he shortly afterwards died, in his sixtythird year. It was doubtful who should succeed him in the Lyceum, whether Theophrastus of Lesbos, or Menedemus of Rhodes; but, on his death-bed, Aristotle intimated his own wish in the matter, by asking for two cups of Lesbian and Rhodian wine, and, tasting both, observed that " the Lesbian was the sweeter."

The restless activity of his mind is portrayed by the term “Peripatetic," applied to him from a constant habit of walking about while giving

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