THE DREAM
OR
A CHAPTER OF MY LIFE
(A talk given by Lucian on revisiting his home-town)WHEN I was a teenager and had just left school, my father started consulting his friends about my further education. Most of them thought that an academic training took too much time and effort, besides being expensive and requiring considerable capital — whereas we had very little, and needed a quick return for our money. But if I was taught some ordinary trade, I could earn my keep right away, as a boy of my age ought to do, instead of living on my family. And before very long my father would have the benefit of my wages.So the next question was, which trade was it to be? It had to be something respectable and easy to learn, that didn't require too much equipment and would bring in an adequate income. Various suggestions were made, prompted by personal taste or experience, but as my uncle was there - my maternal uncle, that is, who was supposed to be an excellent sculptor - my father turned to him and said:
'With your example before us, there's no doubt what we must choose. Do take this young man' (indicating me) 'as your apprentice, and turn him into an expert stonemason and sculptor. I'm sure he's capable of it, for as you know, he has quite a gift for that sort of thing.'

He was thinking of how I'd played with wax when I was a child. The moment I was let out of school, I used to scrape all the wax off my writing-tablet, and model it into the shape of a cow or a horse or even a human being - and according to my father the results were quite lifelike. I was always getting into trouble with the teachers about it, but now it was taken as a sign of natural genius, and these early experiments of mine

-23-

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Satirical Sketches
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Lucian - Satirical Sketches *
  • Contents *
  • Introduction *
  • Talks *
  • The Dream or a Chapter of My Life 23
  • Zeuxis or Centaurs and Elephants *
  • Sketches *
  • Conversations in Low Society *
  • Mother Knows Best or a Young Girl's Guide to Success *
  • The Language of True Love 41
  • The Results of Shooting a Line 43
  • Conversations in High Society *
  • The New Sleeping Partner *
  • Zeus is Indisposed 51
  • The Reluctant Parent 53
  • A Beauty Competition 55
  • Conversations in the Underworld *
  • No Baggage Allowance *
  • Menippus Gets Away with It 72
  • A Slight Change of Sex 74
  • How to Enjoy Life after Seventy 75
  • Charon Sees Life *
  • Menippus Goes to Hell *
  • Icaromenippus or Up in the Clouds *
  • An Interview with Hesiod *
  • Some Awkward Questions for Zeus *
  • Philosophies Going Cheap *
  • Fishing for Phonies or the Philosophers' Day out *
  • The Pathological Liar or the Unbeliever *
  • Stories *
  • Alexander or the Bogus Oracle *
  • The True History *
  • Notes and Glossary *
  • Notes *
  • Glossary *
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