From The Bibliophile Library of Literature, Art, & Rare Manuscripts, Volume I, compiled and arranged by Nathan Haskell Dole, Forrest Morgan, and Caroline Ticknor; The International Bibliophile Society, New York-London; 1904; pp. 169-170.
THE tyrant Dionysius asked the philosopher Aristippus why philosophers infest rich men’s houses, not rich men philosophers’ houses. Aristippus answered, “Because philosophers know what they need and rich men don’t.” The same sneer being uttered at another time, he answered, “Yes, and physicians infest sick men’s houses; but nobody would be the patient rather than the doctor.”
He once asked Dionysius for money. Dionysius replied, “I thought philosophers had no need of money.” Give,” said Aristippus, “and I will answer you.” Dionysius gave him some gold pieces. “Now,” said Aristippus, “I have no need of money.”
Being censured for wasting money on costly food, he answered, “If you could buy the same things for a dime, wouldn’t you do it?” “Yes,” was the reply. “Then,” he said, “it is that you are stingy, not I that am a gourmet.”
In a storm on shipboard, he showed such fright that another 179 passenger said to him, “We common people keep our heads; it takes you philosophers to play coward.” “That is because we risk losing something more than such worthless lives as yours,” was the reply.
Having vainly tried to gain Dionysius’ consent to a request, he at last threw himself at the tyrant’s feet, and was successful. On being reproached for so meanly humiliating himself, he replied, “It is not my fault, but that of Dionysius, who carries his ears in his feet.”
Some one asked him why people gave money to beggars and would not give it to philosophers. He replied, “Because they think they are much more likely to become beggars than philosophers themselves.”
He said he took his friends’ money, not so much to use it himself as to teach them how to use it.
He, too, was once overtaken by a storm on shipboard. Among his companions were some very bad characters, who began to call on the gods for help. Bias said, “Hold your tongues; don’t let them know you are on board!”
He said he would rather be umpire between his enemies than his friends: “For out of two friends I am sure to make one enemy, while out of two enemies I stand to make one friend.”
Being shown a temple where votive offerings were hung, from sailors who had been saved from shipwreck after prayers to the gods for help, he asked, “But where are the offerings from those who were drowned after praying for help?”