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Arrian's Discourses of Epictetus
That when we cannot fulfil that which the character of a man promises, we assume the character of a philosopher.
What is the matter on which a good man should be employed, and in what we ought chiefly to practise ourselves.
1 “To set up a palm tree.” He does not mean a real palm tree, but something high and upright. The climbers of palm trees are mentioned by Lucian, de Dea Syria (c. 29). Schweigh. has given the true interpretation when he says that on certain feast days in the country a high piece of wood is fixed in the earth and climbed by the most active youths by using only their hands and feet. In England we know what this is. It is said that Diogenes used to embrace statues when they were covered with snow for the purpose of exercising himself. I suppose bronze statues, not marble which might be easily broken. The man would not remain long in the embrace of a metal statue in winter. But perhaps the story is not true. I have heard of a general, not an English general, setting a soldier on a cold cannon; but it was as a punishment.
6 See i. 26, 18, and iii. 2, 5.
7 Polybius vi. 36.
8 Schweighaeuser refers to Arrian's Expedition of Alexander (vi. 26) for such an instance of Alexander's abstinence. There was an Apollonius of Tyana, whose life was written by Philostratus: but it may be that this is not the man who is mentioned here.
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