Demonax | Hellenic Library
Buy me a cup of coffee
In logic then you fall short: but have you reached perfection in other subjects? Are you proof against deceit in regard to money? If you see a pretty girl, do you resist the impression? If your neighbour comes in for an inheritance, do you not feel a twinge? Do you lack nothing now but security of judgement? Unhappy man, even while you are learning this lesson you are in an agony of terror lest some one should think scorn of you, and you ask whether any one is talking about you! And if some one comes and tells you, 'We were discussing who was the best philosopher, and one who was there said, “There is only one philosopher, So-and-so (naming you)”', straightway your poor little four-inch soul shoots up to two cubits! Then if another who is by says, 'Nonsense! It is not worth while to listen to So-and-so: what does he know? He has the first rudiments, nothing more', you are beside yourself, and grow pale and cry out at once, 'I will show him the man I am, he shall see I am a great philosopher.' Why, the facts themselves are evidence; why do you want to show it by something else? Do you not know that Diogenes pointed out one of the sophists thus, making a vulgar gesture? Then, when the man was furious, 'That is So-and-so,' said he, 'I have shown him to you.' A man is not indeed like a stone or a log, that you can show what he is by just pointing a finger, but you show what he is as a man, when you show what are his judgements.
Source: The Discourses of Epictetus, tr. by P.E Matheson,