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volved in his own illustration, that ; a pig feeding himself on board a vessel in a storm was a true model of a wise man !" It is supposed that the conception of apathy, as the element of happiness, was drawn from the Gymnosophists of India, with whom he had conversed; but the best sketch of his puerile scheme is contained in the able remarks upon it, which we shall quote, by Montaigne :-“This situation," he says, "of their judgment receiving all objects without application or consent, leads them to their ataraxy, which is a peaceful condition of life, temperate and exempt from the agitations we receive, by the impression of opinion; and knowledge that we think we have of things ; whence spring fear, avarice, envy, immoderate desires; nay, and by that they are exempt from the jealousy of their discipline, for they debate after a very gentle manner, they fear no requital in their disputes ; when they affirm that heavy things descend, they would be sorry to be believed, and love to be contradicted, to engender doubt and suspense of judgmentwhich is their end, If you take their arguments, they will as readily maintain the contrary; ’tis all one to them, they have no choice. If
you maintain that snow is black, they will argue, on the contrary, that it is white ; if you say it is neither the one nor the other, they will maintain that it is both. If
hold of certain judgment that you know nothing, they will maintain that you do. Yea, and if by an affirmative axiom, you assure them that you doubt, they will argue against you that you doubt not, or that you cannot judge and determine that
you doubt. They make use of their reason to inquire and debate-but not to fix and determine. Whoever shall imagine a perpetual confusion of ignorance, a judgment without bias, propension, or inclination, upon any occasion whatever, conceives a true idea of Pyrrhonism. In a word, Scepticism, as regards its claim to be considered as a system of philosophy, has been well defined to be a 'fugitive and transient phenomenon.'"*
Epicurusthe place of whose birth is doubtful, whether Samos, or Gargettus near Athenswas born about the one hundred and ninth Olympiad, and was the son of Neocles, an Athenian, of good but impoverished family. An anecdote is told of his early life, that his mother was obliged to sell charms and lustrations from house to house, upon which occa
* Essays, 231, 232,
sions she was accompanied by her son, who repeated verses ; when at home, he assisted his father in the profession of a schoolmaster.
It was the boast of Epicurus, that he bac been a philosopher from his twelfth year, the earliest recorded proof of his thoughtful turn being the question by which he puzzled his teacher, as to who made chaos. He also asserted that he was self-taught, though he visited Athens at eighteen years of age, and might have enjoyed the instructions of Xenocrates or Aristotle. The indefatigable nature of his mind is evinced by the report that he wrote no less than three hundred volumes. After a brief visit to Athens, he proceeded to Lampsacus, Mitylene, and Colophon; and, upon his return to Athens, opened a school, over which he presided from his thirty-sixth year to his death, Olympiad 127.
His instructions being usually given in a famous garden at Athens, over the entrance the following inscription was placed : “ The keeper of this mansion—where you will find pleasure the highest good-will, in his hospitality, liberally afford
you cakes of barley, and water fresh from the spring ; the gardens will not stimulate your appetite by the dainties of art, but will
satisfy it with the supplies of nature: will you not be well entertained ?” So attractive were his manners, that many of his pupils followed him from a distance, and being formed into a community, had such constant opportunities of insight into the kindliness of the philosopher's disposition, that they loved rather than obeyed him: Meteodorus of Lampsacus never left him but once, and Epicurus recognised the claim of his friendship by providing for his pupil's children in his will.
At the outset, his principles, indeed, assumed somewhat of a sceptical character, by the disparagement he cast over the investigations of science ; his object in philosophy being, not as Plato taught, the discovery of truth, so much as the establishment of a right rule of living, of which the aim would be happiness, consisting in pleasure. This, every animal instinctively pursued-this, man should endeavour also to attain ; yet not such as consists of momentary gratification, but the enduring complacency of a whole life, wherein by the regularity of the emotions, and the moderation of impulse, memory should bring no remorse, and anticipation no anxiety. It is, indeed, to be regretted, that one wretched
dogma presents itself at this point, which vitiates the whole tenor of his system. He taught that death was not the end of misery only, but the utter destruction of existence; and the apparent quietude which the Epicurean proffers, is but a flimsy veil thrown over the real melancholy of a doctrine, which offers no consolation in the hope of a future state to the pains which human “flesh is heir to ;” and presents no incentive to cultivate virtue upon
earth. It was this which perverted the tenets of the philosopher to the grossest abuses, when the influence of his own moral example had passed away, in the perishableness of earthly things: "let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die," became the general motto of the sect; on the one hand, the body was used as the instrument of selfish and lawless libertinism on the other, the soul was materialized into atoms wholly irresponsible.
Considered generally, his psychology and physics were those of Democritus, since both concurred in the eternity of matter, and that bodies of the material universe were formed by the cohesion of infinite atoms, floating in a
This Atomic theory was productive of much difficulty to the Epicureans, which