Man's ways are chance and not sagacity.1Is it true also that man's ways are not justice either, or equality, or self-control, or decorum, but was it the result of chance and because of chance that Aristeides 2 persevered in his poverty when he could have made himself master of great wealth, and that Scipio, 3 having captured Carthage, neither took nor saw any of the spoil ? Was it the result of chance and because of chance that Philocrates,4 having received money from Philip, ‘proceeded to spend it on trulls and trout,’ and was it due to chance that Lasthenes and Euthycrates lost Olynthus, ‘measuring happiness by their bellies and the most shameless deeds’ ? 5 Was it the result of chance that Alexander,6 the son of Philip, forbore to touch the captive women himself and punished those who offered them insult, and, on the other hand, was it because the Alexander who was the son of Priam yielded to the dictates of an evil genius or of chance that he lay with the wife of his host, and by her abduction filled two of our three continents with war and woes ? For if these things happen because [p. 77] of chance, what is to hinder our saying that cats, goats, and apes because of chance are given over to greediness, lustfulness, and mischievous tricks ?
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1 From Chaeremon: Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag.p. 782. Cf. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, v. 9 (25).
2 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Aristides, chap. xxv. (p. 334 B).
3 Cf.Plutarch's Moralia 200 B.
4 Demosthenes, Or. xix. (De falsa legatione), 229 (p. 412). The money was the price of treason according to Demosthenes.
5 Demosthenes, Or. xviii. (De corona), 296 (p. 324). These men also Demosthenes puts in his list of traitors.
6 Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, chap. xxi. (p. 676 B ff.).