But for thee to complain that thou dost not dwell at
Sardis is no objection; for all the Athenians do not inhabit
Collytus, nor do all the men of Corinth live in the Cranium, nor all of Lacedaemon in Pitane.
Do you look upon those Athenians as strangers and banished persons who removed from Melite to Diomea,—whence they called the month Metageitnion, and the sacrifices they offered in memory of their removal Metageitnia,
being pleased with and cheerfully accepting this new
neighborhood to another people? Surely you will not say
so. What parts of the inhabited earth or of the whole
earth can be said to be far distant one from another, when
mathematicians demonstrate that the whole earth is to be
accounted as an indivisible point, compared with the heavens? But we, like pismires or bees, when we are cast out
of one ant-hill or hive, are in great anxiety, and take on as
if we were strangers and undone, not knowing how to
make and account all things our own, as indeed they are.
We shall certainly laugh at his folly who shall affirm there
was a better moon at Athens than at Corinth; and yet we
in a sort commit the same error, when being in a strange
country we look upon the earth, the sea, the air, the heavens doubtfully, as if they were not the same, but quite
different from those we have been accustomed to. Nature
in our first production sent us out free and loose; we bind
and straiten and pin up ourselves in houses, and reduce
ourselves into a scant and little room.
Moreover, we laugh at the kings of Persia, who (if the
story be true) will drink only the water of the River Choaspes, by this means making the rest of the habitable world
to be without water, as to themselves; but we, when we
remove to other countries, and retain our longings after
Cephissus and Eurotas, and are pleased with nothing so
much as the hills Taygetus and Parnassus, we make the
whole earth unhabitable to ourselves, and are without a
house or city where we can dwell.