GRYLLUS. Have at ye then, sir. But it behooves us
to begin first with those virtues which you so presumptuously
assume to yourselves, and for which you so highly advance
yourselves before the beasts, such as justice, prudence,
fortitude, &c. Now answer me, thou the wisest among
mortals; for I have heard thee telling a story to Circe of
the territory of the Cyclops, that being neither ploughed
nor planted by any person, it is so fertile and generously
productive, that it bears all sorts of fruits and herbs spontaneously Now which do you prefer, this country, or
your own goat-feeding stony Ithaca, which being cultivated
with great labor and hardship, yet answers the expectations of the husbandmen with only a mean and scanty
return? Now take it not amiss that I forewarn ye lest
your love to your country sway ye to give an answer contrary to truth.
ULYSSES. No, no, I will not lie for the matter; I must
confess I love and honor my own country more; but I
applaud and admire theirs far beyond it.
GRYLLUS. Hence we must conclude that it is so as the
wisest of men has affirmed; that there are some things to
be praised and approved, others to be preferred by choice
and affection. And I suppose you believe the same concerning the soul. For the same reasons hold in reference
to the soul as to the ground; that such a soul should be
the best, that produces virtue like spontaneous fruit, without labor and toil.
ULYSSES. Grant all this.
GRYLLUS. Then you confess that the souls of beasts are
the more perfect, and more fertilely endued for the production of virtue; seeing that without any command or instruction—as it were without sowing or ploughing—it
produces and increases that virtue which is requisite for
ULYSSES. Prithee, Gryllus, don't rave, but tell me what
those virtues are that beasts partake of?