Demonax | Hellenic Library
Buy me a cup of coffee
Diogenes the Cynic, on the other hand, with boorishness and downright discourtesy was wont to rail at Fortune, claiming that, though she shot many shafts with him as her target, she could not hit him. I cannot endure a philosopher's behaving so brazenly. Do not lie about Fortune, Diogenes, for the reason why she does not shoot you is that she has no wish to do so; on the contrary, if Fortune did wish it, she could easily hit you wherever you might be. While I do not use those “pithy laconic expressions” — slaves to the Persians, Dionysius at Corinth, Socrates' condemnation, Xenophon's exile, Pherecydes' death, luck of Anaxarchus — still, let me ask you, with how many shafts has she hit this difficult mark itself? She made you an exile; she brought you to Athens; she introduced you to Antisthenes; she sold you into Crete. But if staff and wallet and a meagre, simple mode of living serve you as a cloak of affectation, you have Fortune to thank even for these things, for it is by grace of Fortune that you practise philosophy.
Source: Discourses by Dio Chrysostom published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1932. The text is in the public domain.