My favorite of Davie’s critical forays? A Gathered Church: The Literature of the English Dissenting Interest 1700-1930 (RKP, 1978).
Diogenes of Sinope (404 – 323 or 314 BCE):
Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings?
A. I am Alexander the Great.
B. I am Diogenes, the dog.
A. The dog?
B. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy, and bite louts.
A. What can I do for you?
B. Stand out of my light.
In the rich man’s house there is no place to spit but in his face.
I’ve seen Plato’s cups and table, but not his cupness and tableness.
I pissed on the man who called me a dog. Why was he so surprised?
Beggars get handouts before philosophers because people have some idea of what it’s like to be blind and lame.
I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough.
(trans. Guy Davenport)