HODOI ELEKTRONIKAI
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DION CHRYSOSTOME, Au peuple d'Alexandrie (discours 32; traduction anglaise)

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Texte grec :

[32,10] τῶν δὲ εἰς ὑμᾶς παρϊόντων ὡς πεπαιδευμένων οἱ μὲν ἐπιδεικτικοὺς λόγους καὶ τοὺς ἀμαθεῖς, οἱ δὲ ποιήματα συνθέντες ᾄδουσιν, ὡς πάνυ φιλῳδῶν ὑμῶν κατεγνωκότες. οὗτοι δ´ εἰ μέν εἰσι ποιηταὶ καὶ ῥήτορες, οὐδὲν ἴσως δεινόν· εἰ δ´ ὡς φιλόσοφοι ταῦτα πράττουσι κέρδους ἕνεκεν καὶ δόξης τῆς ἑαυτῶν, οὐ τῆς ὑμετέρας ὠφελείας, τοῦτο δ´ ἤδη δεινόν. ὅμοιον γὰρ ὥσπερ εἴ τις ἰατρὸς ἐπὶ κάμνοντας ἀνθρώπους εἰσιὼν τῆς μὲν σωτηρίας αὐτῶν καὶ τῆς θεραπείας ἀμελήσειε, στεφάνους δὲ καὶ ἑταίρας καὶ μύρον αὐτοῖς εἰσφέροι. τινὲς δὲ ὀλίγοι παρρησίαν ἀγηόχασι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, καὶ ταύτην ἐνδεῶς, οὐδ´ ὡς ἐμπλῆσαι τὰς ἀκοὰς ὑμῶν οὐδ´ ὥστε διατελέσαι λέγοντες, ἀλλὰ ἓν ἢ δύο ῥήματα εἰπόντες, καὶ λοιδορήσαντες μᾶλλον ἢ διδάξαντες ὑμᾶς, κατὰ σπουδὴν ἀπίασιν, εὐλαβούμενοι μὴ μεταξὺ θορυβήσητε καὶ παραπέμψητε αὐτούς, ὥσπερ οἱ χειμῶνος ἀποτολμῶντες εἰς τὴν θάλατταν βραχύν τινα καὶ σύντομον πλοῦν. ἄνδρα δὲ λαβεῖν καθαρῶς καὶ ἀδόλως παρρησιαζόμενον, καὶ μήτε δόξης χάριν μήτ´ ἐπ´ ἀργυρίῳ προσποιούμενον, ἀλλ´ ἐπὶ εὐνοίᾳ καὶ κηδεμονίᾳ τῶν ἄλλων ἕτοιμον, εἰ δέοι, καὶ καταγελᾶσθαι, καὶ ἀταξίαν πλήθους ἐνεγκεῖν καὶ θόρυβον, οὐ ῥᾴδιον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάνυ εὐτυχοῦς πόλεως, ἐν τοσαύτῃ σπάνει γενναίων καὶ ἐλευθέρων ἀνδρῶν, ἀφθονίᾳ δὲ κολάκων καὶ γοήτων καὶ σοφιστῶν. ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ἀπ´ ἐμαυτοῦ μοι δοκῶ προελέσθαι τοῦτο, ἀλλ´ ὑπὸ δαιμονίου τινὸς γνώμης. ὧν γὰρ οἱ θεοὶ προνοοῦσιν, ἐκείνοις παρασκευάζουσι καὶ συμβούλους ἀγαθοὺς αὐτομάτους καὶ λόγους ἐπιτηδείους καὶ ξυμφέροντας εἰρῆσθαι. καὶ τοῦτο ἥκιστα ὑμᾶς ἀπιστεῖν χρή, παρ´ οἷς μάλιστα μὲν τιμᾶται τὸ δαιμόνιον, μάλιστα δὲ αὐτὸ δείκνυσι τὴν αὑτοῦ δύναμιν καὶ μόνον οὐ καθ´ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν διά τε χρησμῶν καὶ δι´ ὀνειράτων. μὴ οὖν οἴεσθε κοιμωμένων μόνον ἐπιμελεῖσθαι τὸν θεόν, {καὶ} κατ´ ἰδίαν ἑκάστῳ μηνύοντα τὸ συμφέρον, ἐγρηγορότων δὲ ἀμελεῖν καὶ κοινῇ καὶ ἀθρόοις μηδὲν ἂν δεῖξαι τῶν χρησίμων. πολλάκις γὰρ ἤδη καὶ ὕπαρ ὤνησε καὶ μεθ´ ἡμέραν ἐναργῶς προεῖπεν. ἴστε δήπου τὰς τοῦ Ἄπιδος φήμας ἐνθάδε ἐν Μέμφει πλησίον ὑμῶν, ὅτι παῖδες ἀπαγγέλλουσι παίζοντες τὸ δοκοῦν τῷ θεῷ, καὶ τοῦτο ἀψευδὲς πέφηνεν. ὁ δὲ ὑμέτερος θεὸς οἶμαι, τελειότερος ὤν, δι´ ἀνδρῶν ὑμᾶς καὶ μετὰ σπουδῆς βούλεται ὠφελεῖν, οὐ δι´ ὀλίγων ῥημάτων, ἀλλ´ ἰσχυρᾷ καὶ πλήρει κληδόνι καὶ λόγῳ σαφεῖ, διδάσκοντι περὶ τῶν ἀναγκαιοτάτων, ἂν ὑπομένητε, μετὰ γνώμης καὶ πειθοῦς. καὶ πρῶτόν γε ἁπάντων, ἵνα, ὅθενπερ ἐχρῆν, ἐγγύθεν ἄρξωμαι, τοῦτο πείσθητε βεβαίως, ὅτι τὰ συμβαίνοντα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἐπ´ ἀγαθῷ πάνθ´ ὁμοίως ἐστὶ δαιμόνια, κἂν πλέων τις ἐμπείρου τύχῃ κυβερνήτου κἂν ἔθνος ἢ πόλις χρηστῶν ἡγεμόνων, κἂν ἰατρὸς ἐν καιρῷ παραγένηται τῷ κάμνοντι, καὶ τοῦτον ἡγεῖσθαι χρὴ βοηθὸν ἥκειν παρὰ θεοῦ, κἂν λόγων τις ἀκούσῃ φρονίμων, ἐκεῖθεν ἐπιπεμφθῆναι.

Traduction française :

[32,10] Those, however, who do come before you as men of culture either declaim speeches intended for display, and stupid ones to boot, or else chant verses of their own composition, as if they had detected in you a weakness for poetry. To be sure, if they themselves are really poets or orators, perhaps there is nothing so shocking in that, but if in the guise of philosophers they do these things with a view to their own profit and reputation, and not to improve you, that indeed is shocking. For it is as if a physician when visiting patients should disregard their treatment and their restoration to health, and should bring them flowers and courtesans and perfume. But there are only a few who have displayed frankness in your presence, and that but sparingly, not in such a way as to fill your ears therewith nor for any length of time ; nay, they merely utter a phrase or two, and then, after berating rather than enlightening you, they make a hurried exit, anxious lest before they have finished you may raise an outcry and send them packing, behaving in very truth quite like men who in winter muster up courage for a brief and hurried voyage out to sea. But to find a man who in plain terms and without guile speaks his mind with frankness, and neither for the sake of reputation nor for gain makes false pretensions, but out of good will and concern for his fellow-men stands ready, if need be, to submit to ridicule and to the disorder and the uproar of the mob—to find such a man as that is not easy, but rather the good fortune of a very lucky city, so great is the dearth of noble, independent souls and such the abundance of toadies, mountebanks, and sophists. In my own case, for instance, I feel that I have chosen that rôle, not of my own volition, but by the will of some deity. For when divine providence is at work for men, the gods provide, not only good counsellors who need no urging, but also words that are appropriate and profitable to the listener. And this statement of mine should be questioned least of all by you, since here in Alexandria the deity is most in honour, and to you especially does he display his power through almost daily oracles and dreams. Think not, therefore, that the god exercises his watchful care only over sleeping men, disclosing to each in private what is for his good, but that he is indifferent toward them when they are awake and would not disclose to them, in public and collectively, anything beneficial; for often in the past he has given aid to men in their waking moments, and also in broad daylight he has clearly foretold the future. You are acquainted no doubt with the prophetic utterances of Apis here, in neighbouring Memphis, and you know that lads at play announce the purpose of the god, and that this form of divination has proved to be free from falsehood. But your deity, methinks, being more potent, wishes to confer his benefits upon you through the agency of men rather than boys, and in serious fashion, not by means of few words, but with strong, full utterance and in clear terms, instructing you regarding most vital matters—if you are patient with purpose and persuasiveness. And first of all—to begin, as I ought, with matters close at hand—rest assured of this, that all things which happen to men for their good are without exception of divine origin ; not only is this true if a voyager has the luck to find a pilot with experience, or a nation or a city to secure good leaders, but also if a physician arrives in time to save his patient, we must believe that he is a helper come from god, and if one hears words of wisdom, we must believe that they too were sent by god.





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Dernière mise à jour : 25/10/2007