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Cotta speaking in behalf of the New Academy controverts these views. Be these your gods, Epicurus, as well say there are no gods at all. What reverence, what love, or what fear can men have of beings who neither wish them, nor can work them, good or ill? Is idleness the divinest life?

I wish, said I, you would try your eloquence upon so extraordinary a topic, and make a speech for Epicurus, which might satisfy, not the mob of Athens, if you will allow that ancient and polite city to have contained any mob, but the more philosophical part of his audience, such as might be supposed capable of comprehending his arguments.

For such persons perform their works with contempt of God, just as Epicurus does not believe that God cares for him, or that he is regarded or heard by God. This contempt vitiates works seemingly virtuous, because God judges the heart.

"I might," says Origen, "have recourse to the authority of Aristotle, and the Peripatetics, to make the Pythoness much suspected. I might extract from the writings of Epicurus and his sectators an abundance of things to discredit oracles; and I might shew that the Greeks themselves made no great account of them."

There is no man so great a coward, that had not rather once fall than to be always falling." I should have found this counsel conformable enough to the Stoical roughness: but it appears the more strange, for being borrowed from Epicurus, who writes the same thing upon the like occasion to Idomeneus.

We shall then put in the first group such well-known seers and poets as Epicurus, Lucretius, Horace, Goethe, Shelley, Byron, Walter Pater, Walt Whitman; we shall think of the Greek gods, of the Renaissance artists, the English cavaliers. We shall think of the motto, "Carpe diem," and "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may"; and perhaps of Stevenson's

At supper, amongst all sorts of things that were discoursed of, but more particularly Greece and the philosophers there, Cineas, by accident, had occasion to speak of Epicurus, and explained the opinions his followers hold about the gods and the commonwealth, and the object of life, who place the chief happiness of man in pleasure, and decline public affairs as an injury and disturbance of a happy life, and remove the gods afar off both from kindness or anger, or any concern for us at all, to a life wholly without business and flowing in pleasures.

And as to other things, do not Epicurus and the rest of the philosophers seem sufficiently prepared? Who is there who does not dread poverty? And yet no true philosopher ever can dread it. XXXII. But with how little is this man himself satisfied! No one has said more on frugality.

He tells us that the account of Epicurus living in his garden upon a halfpenny a day, and considering a little cheese on his bread as a great treat, filled him with admiration, and he began forthwith to live on bread and tea alone, in order to get money for his books.

The vulgar religious tales, which represented them in this character, were untrue and insulting as regards the gods themselves, and pregnant with perversion and misery as regards the hopes and fears of mankind. Epicurus believed sincerely in the gods; reverenced them as beings at once perfectly happy, immortal, and unchangeable; and took delight in the public religious festivals and ceremonies.