Diogenes the Wise Man by James Baldwin
At Cor-inth, in Greece, there lived a very wise man whose name was
Di-og´e-nes. Men came from all parts of the land to see him and hear
But wise as he was, he had some very queer ways. He did not believe
that any man ought to have more things than he re-al-ly needed; and he
said that no man needed much. And so he did not live in a house, but
slept in a tub or barrel, which he rolled about from place to place.
He spent his days sitting in the sun, and saying wise things to those
who were around him.
At noon one day, Di-og-e-nes was seen walking through the streets with
a lighted lantern, and looking all around as if in search of
"Why do you carry a lantern when the sun is shining?" some one said.
"I am looking for an honest man," answered Diogenes.
When Alexander the Great went to Cor-inth, all the fore-most men in
the city came out to see him and to praise him. But Diogenes did not
come; and he was the only man for whose o-pin-ions Alexander cared.
Diogenes and Alexander.
And so, since the wise man would not come to see the king, the king
went to see the wise man. He found Diogenes in an out-of-the-way
place, lying on the ground by his tub. He was en-joy-ing the heat and
the light of the sun.
When he saw the king and a great many people coming, he sat up and
looked at Alexander. Alexander greeted him and said,—
"Diogenes, I have heard a great deal about your wisdom. Is there
anything that I can do for you?"
"Yes," said Diogenes. "You can stand a little on one side, so as not
to keep the sunshine from me."
This answer was so dif-fer-ent from what he expected, that the king
was much sur-prised. But it did not make him angry; it only made him
admire the strange man all the more. When he turned to ride back, he
said to his officers,—
"Say what you will; if I were not Alexander, I would like to be