*******  Biting Back  ********

A fantasy about the life of Diogenes the Cynic
through the eyes of various contemporaries.

© Gavin Wraith 8/8/03

******* Onesicratus *******

Philiscus to Onesicratus

 Dear Father
   Androsthenes and I are well and staying at Phocion's
   house in the city. Phocion says that there is plenty of room
   for you too; in fact he urges you to come and join us, and
   then all four of us can attend Diogenes' lectures
   Androsthenes sends his apologies for not writing to you
   earlier, and hopes that he has not caused you or mother 
   to worry about him. In fact, I suspect that he was hoping that 
   you would send me too, to see what my brother was getting up to.
   You know that we have always been devoted sons, especially
   when it comes to spending your money or teasing you about your
   homilies on the superiority of Aeginetan common sense over 
   Athenian. So you may be surprised to hear that neither 
   of us are in need of funds at present, which you may credit 
   to Phocion's hospitality and Diogenes' ideas on self-reliance.
   Much of what Diogenes is teaching seems to agree with your 
   paternal sermons. If you find all this hard to believe, then 
   I suggest you get on the next ferry and come and see
   for yourself. By the way, neither of us intends to live in a jar.
 Your loving son 
Onesicratus to Diogenes

   It seems, Diogenes, that you have seduced not only
   my two sons, but their father also, with your teaching and with
   your character. Sending Androsthenes to find an education
   in Athens has turned out fortunately for our family, for we
   have all become your students. 

   I know that respect for the dangers of wealth is by no means
   the same as contempt for the wealthy, for if it were you would
   not have treated us with the friendliness that in fact you have. 
   It would please us all if you would come to Aegina and stay with
   us for as long as would suit you. As you know, our family has its
   roots on this island, and there are many things that we would like
   to show you. If you plan to return to Sinope, then you must 
   certainly come here first. I have made a standing arrangement with 
   the ferry    for your transport, in case you decide to come.


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