Ten Questions ... & the Answers

Which are the most numerous, the living or the dead?

The living, because the dead are not at all.

Does the earth or the sea produce the largest beasts?

The earth, for the sea is but a part of it.

Which is the cunningest of beasts?

That which men have not yet found out.

What argument was used to Sabbas to make him revolt?

No other than that he should either live or die nobly.

Which is the eldest, night or day?

Day is eldest, by one day at least.

What should a man do to be exceedingly beloved?

He must be very powerful without making himself too much feared.

How might a man become a god?

By doing that which it is impossible for men to do.

Which is stronger, life or death?

Life, because it supports so many miseries.

How long is it decent for a man to live?

Till death appear more desirable than life.

Then Alexander turned to the tenth man and asked his judgment of these answers.

All I can determine, said he, is that they have every one answered worse than another.

said the king, then you shall die first, for giving such a sentence.

Not so, O king,
replied the gymnosophist, unless you said falsely that he should die first who made the worst answer.

In conclusion he gave them presents and dismissed them.

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