Life Of Aristotle -- By: Edwards A. Park

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:2 (May 1844)
Article: Life Of Aristotle
Author: Edwards A. Park


Life Of Aristotle

Edwards A. Park

Concluded from No. I. p. 84.

Disturbance Of The Friendly Relations Between Aristotle And Alexander.

It is a decree of heaven, that no man shall pass a life of uninterrupted prosperity, and that suffering shall often follow the highest of our joys. In the former part of oar philosopher’s residence at the Lyceum, he had attained the zenith of his fame; in the latter part of that residence he began to descend from the height of his popularity, and to experience the vicissitudes which are inseparable from the imperfect state of our race. His royal pupil, who had honored him as a father, became alienated from him; not indeed to so great a degree as some have pretended, but yet to a greater degree than suits the taste of one who, like the Stagirite, sees an unwonted beauty in the permanence of old friendships. He had lived for several years at a distance from his illustrious scholar, and the readers of his Mcomachean Ethics need not be told how strenuously he there insists on frequent intercourse, on living together and acting together, as the means of preserving mutual confidence. Had he continued to hold daily interviews with Alexander, he would probably have stifled the disaffection of the king, even if he had not altogether precluded its existence, by his wise exhibitions of faithfulness and love.

But instead of residing himself in the companionship of the monarch, he was represented there by his nephew Callisthenes. This young man was the son of Demotinus of Olynthus; was but little older than Alexander, and had been, as we have seen, a fellow-pupil, but never, as Seneca reports, a teacher of the king. He was an intimate friend of Theophrastus, and enjoyed in an uncommon degree the reverence of the good. He exhibited great seriousness and strictness of life; abhorred flattery, and loved to utter the truth in a plain, blunt way. He had never learned how to clothe a reprimand in the most inoffensive dress; he had a contempt for going circuitously at an object when he could reach the same in a straight line. He was therefore not precisely the man for a king’s counsellor. A reprover must go round a throne rather than at it. In an especial manner was he unfit to become

a favorite of Alexander, who like himself was young, and needed therefore the advice of older men; who was flushed with unexampled victories, surrounded with a crowd of suitors, and unable, with all his inborn philosophy, to rise above the adulations that were lavished upon him.

At the first, Alexander treated his adviser and historian with deference. He was bound to him by the remembrance of their former union in the school and of their common teacher. But the flatt...

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