FISHING FOR PHONIES
OR
THE PHILOSOPHERS' DAY OUT

Scene: A street in Athens. Lucian has just come face to face with a crowd of angry philosophers, heavily equipped with beards, sticks, and knapsacks. They advance threateningly towards him, and he starts backing away.

SOCRATES [to the other philosophers]: Go on, sling a few stones at him, the damned swine - lumps of earth - bits of broken tile - anything you can find ! Beat him up with your sticks! Mind he doesn't get away! Go on, Plato, have a shot at him ! You too, Chrysippus! And you!

[The philosophers set up a heavy barrage.]

Now let's all advance on him in a body,

'A serried mass of knapsacks, sticks, and beards,' 1

for he's our common enemy. There's not one of us he hasn't insulted. Come on, Diogenes! Now's the time, if ever, to use that stick of yours.

[Lucian starts running, and the philosophers gallop off in pursuit.]

After him, everyone! Let him have it for all the disgusting things he's been saying about us!

[Epicurus and Aristippus get out of breath and drop behind.]

What, tired already, you two? You've got no right to be.

'Be men, philosophers, and call to mind
Your ancient valour and heroic rage.' 2

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