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of beasts, they abstain from the flesh of animals. It is thought that Pythagoras borrowed this doctrine from the brachmens. They continue whole days standing with their faces towards the sun, and that in the season when this planet darts its rays with the greatest violence. Persuaded that it is beneath the dignity of a man to wait calmly for death, when he finds himself oppressed by age or sickness, they hold it glorious to prevent their last hour, and burn themselves alive ; and indeed they pay no honours to those who die merely of old age ; and imagine they would põllute their funeral pile, and the fire that is to burn them to ashes should they go into it otherwse than full of life and vigour. Other brachmans, more judicious and humane than the former, live in cities, and associate with their own species ; and so far from considering self-murder as a virtuous or brave action, they look upon it as a weakness in man not to wait patiently the stroke of death, and as a crime to dare to anticipate the will of the gods.
Cicero admires, in his Tosculan questions, tire invincible patience, not only of the Indian sages, but also of the * wa men of that country, who used to contest for the honour of dying with their common husband. This privilege was reserved for that wife whom the husband had loved most af. fectionately, and was given in her favour by the sentence of persons appointed for that purpose, who never gave a judge ment till such time as they had made a strict examination, and heard the allegations on all sides. : The wife on whom the preference was bestowed, ran to meet death, and as. cended the funerał pile with incredible joy and patience ; Whilst the surviving wives withdrew in the deepest transports of affliction, and with their eyes bathed in tears.
The description which † Porphyrius has left us of these philosophers, resembles in many particulars thát given above. According to this author, the brachmans live on herbs, roots and fruits. They abstain from animals of every kind, and if they touch any they thereby render themselves' unclean. They spend the greatest part of the day and night in singing hymns in honour of their gods. They fast and pray per petually. The greatest part of them live alone, and in the deepest solitude, and neither marry nor profess any thing.
• Mulicres in India, com est cujusque earum vir mortuus, in ccftamco judiciumque veniunt, quam plurimum ille ditexerit; plores cnim singalis solcot esse nuptæ. Quæ est victrix, en læta, protequentibus suis, una cum viro in rogum ico ponitur ; illa vieta pasta discedit. Tusc. Quæst. 1. v. 0. 08..
f Lib. de Aberin, Animal
They wish for nothing so earnestly as death ; and considera ing this life as a burden, they wait impatiently for the mos ment when the soul will leave the body.
These philosophers exist still in India, where they are called bramins; and retain, in many points, the tradition and tenets of the ancient brachmans.
Alexander passing near a city wherein several of these bracbınans dwelt, was very desirous to converse with them, and, if possible, to prevall with some of them to follow him Being informed that these philosophers never made visits, but that those who had an inclination to see them must go to their houses, he concluded, that it would be beneath his dig, nity to go to them ; and not just, to force these sages to any thing contrary to their laws and usages. Onesicritus, who was a great philosopher, and had been a disciple of Dioge, nes the Cynic, was deputed to them. He met not far from the city, with fifteen brachmans, wlio from morning till ev. ening stood always naked, in the same posture in which they at first had placed themselves, and afterwards returned to the city at night. He addressed himself first to Calanus, and told him the occasion of his coming. The latter, gazing upon Onesicritus's clothes and shoes, could not forbear laughing ; after which he told him, " that anciently the " earth had been covered with barley and wheat, as it was “at that time with dust ; that besides water, the rivers used o to flow with milk, honey, oil, and wine. "That man's guilt " had occasioned a change of this happy condition ; and that " Jupiter, to punish their ingratitude, had sentenced them "to a long, painful labour. That their repentance after, "wards moving him to compassin, he restored them their “ former abundance; however, that by the course of things " they seemed to be returning to their ancient confusion."
This relation shows evidently, that these philosophers had some notion of the felicity of the first man; and of the evil to which he had been sentenced for his sios,
After this first conversation, Onesicritus spoke to Manda, nis, the chief, and as it were the superior of the band. This brachman said, “ that he thought Alexander worthy of ad“ miration, in seeking thus for wisdom in the midst of the
cares of his government :* that he was the first who had ever united in himself the two characters of conqueror and philosoper : that it were to be wished that the latter char. acter were the attribute of those who could inspire the
wisdoin which they themselves possessed, and command it " by their authority.” He added, that he could not conceive
* Monon gar idoi auton en oplois philosophaunta.
the motive which had prompted Alexander to undertake so long and laborious a journey, nor what he came in search of in so remote a country. • Onesicritus was very urgent with both of them to quit their austere way of life, and follow the fortune of Alexander, saying that they would find in him a generous master and 'benefactor, who would heap upon them honours ånd riches of all kinds. Then Madanis assuming a haughty, philosophical tone, answered, “ that he did not want Alexa
ander, and was the son of Jupiter as well as himself :: that “ he was exempted from want, desire, or fear ; that so « long as he should live, the earth would furnish him all “things necessary for his subsistence, and that death would a rid him of a troublesome companion, (meaning his body,)
and set him at full liberty."... Calanus appeared more wractable ; and not withstanding the opposition, and even the prohibition of his superior, who reproached him for his also ject spirit, in stooping so low as to serve another master besides God, he followed Onesicritus, and went to Alexander's court, who received him with great demonstrations of joy. . We find by history, that this people used often to employ parables and similitudes for conveying their thoughts, One day as he was discoursing with Alexander upon the maxims of wise policy and a prudent administration, he exhibited to that prince a sensible image, and a natural emblem of his empire. He laid upon the ground a great ox-hide, which was very dry and shrunk up, and then set his foot upon one end of it : the hide, being pressed so, gave way, and all the other ends flew up; going thus quite round the hide, and pressing the several ends of it, he made him observe, that whilst he lowered it on one side, all'the rest rose up, till treading at last upon the middle, the hide fell equally on all sides. By this image he hinted to him, that it would be proper for him to reside in the centre of his dominions, and not to undertake such long journeys. We shall soon show the reader the manner in which this philosopher ended his days.
* Alexander being determined to continue the war as long as he should meet with new nations, and to look upon them as enemies whilst they should fire independent of him, was meditating about passing the Hyphasus. He was told that after passing that river he must travel eleven days through deserts, and that then he would arrive at the Ganges, the
Q. Curt. I, ix. C. I.-9. Arriao, I. v. p. 221, 234. et l.vi.p. 255-259. Plut. in Alex. p. 699, 701. Diod, 1. svii. p. 559 570. Jussin, l. xii, C, 9, 10,
greatest river in all India. That farther in the country liv, ed the Gangaridæ and the Prasii, whose king was preparing to oppose his entering his dominions, at thc head of 20,000 horse, and 200,000 foot, reinforced by 2000 charicts; and (which struck a greater terror) with 3000 elephants. A report of this being spread through the army, surprised all the soldiers, and raised a general murmur. 'The Macedonians, who, after having travellect through so many countries, and being grown grey in the field, were incessantly directing their eyes and wishes towards tlieir dear native country, made loud complaints, that 'Alexander should every day heap war upon war, and danger on danger. They had uria, dergone, but just before, inexpressible fatigues, having been exposed to'rain, accompanied with storms and thunder, for, above two months. Some bewailed their calamities in such terms as raised compassion ; others insolently cried aloud that they would march no farther.
Alexander being informed of this tumult, and that secret assemblies were formed in his camp, to prevent the ill consequences of them, sent for the officers into his tent, and commanding them to call the soldiers together, he made the following speech : "I am not ignorant, soldiers, that the “ Indians have published several things purposely to terri, “ fy us ; but such discourses and artifices are not anusual to
Thus the Persians described the straits of Cilicia, the vast plains of Mesopotantia, the rivers Tigris and Eu+6 phrates, as :so mariy insurmountable difficulties, and yet
your bravery conquered them. Do you repent that you « have followed me thus far! As your glorious deeds have “ subdued for you a multitude of provinces ; as you have « extended your conquests beyond the Ixartlies and mount " Caucasus ; as you see the rivers of India How through the « midst of your empire, why are you afraid of crossing the " Hyphasus, and of setting up your trophies on the banks of writ, as on those of the Hydaspes ? What! can the elephants 6 whose number is so falsely augmented, terrify you to such “ a degree? But has not experience tauglit you, that they « were more destructive to their own' masters than to the "enemy?' Endeavours are used to intimidate you by the << Oréadful idea of innumerable enemies : but are they more s numerous
than tliose of Darius ? It is sure very late for s you to count the legions of the enemy; after your victories
have made-Asta a desert. It was when you crossed the 56 Hellespont that you ought to have reflected on the smail' 66 number of your fórces But now the Scythians form part, " of our army ; the Bactrians, the Sogdians, and the Daha" * are with us, and fight for our glory. I, however, do 296
" depend on these barbarians. It is on you only that I re-
any occasion to count the number of my troops, nor that of
as mean as the enemy will be judged formidable, for you • are sensible that in war reputation is every thing. It is in • my power to make use of authority, and yet I employ en"treaties only. Do not abandon, I conjure you, I do not “ say your king and master, but your pupil and companion a in battles. Do not break to pieces in my hand that gloria ous palm, which will soon, unless envy rob me of so great
a glory, equal me to Hercules and to Bacchus." 'As the soldiers stood with their eyes cast upon the ground, and did not once open their lips" what 1". continued hé, “do I “then speak to the deaf? Will no one listen to me, nor con“ descend to answer ? Alas! I am abandoned, I am betray
ed, I am delivered up to the enemy. But I will advance • still farther, though I go alone. The Scythians and Bact
rians, more faithful than you, will follow me whithersoer. “ er I lead them. Return then to your country, and boast,
ye deserters of your king that you have abandoned him. « As for myself, I will here moet either with the victory you
despair of, or with a glorious death, which henceforwards ought to be the sole object of my wishes: "?
Notwithstanding this lively pathetic speech, the soldiers still kept a profound silence. They waited in expectation to the king, tiąt their affection was as strong as ever, but of hearing their commanders and chief officers remonstrate that their bodies were covered with wounds, and worn out with toils, it would be impossible for them to continue the
However not one of them, presumed to address him in their favour. The examples of Clitus, and that of Callisthenes, were still recent. The officers who were then with him, had an hundred times ventured their lives in battle for their prince, but they had not the courage to hazard the loosing of their fortunes by telling him the truth. Whilst therefore, the soldiers, as well as officers, continued dumb, without once daring to lift up their eyes,there rose on a sudden a murmur, which increasing by insensible degrees, broke into such deep groans and floods of tears, that the