ULYSSES. All these things, Circe, I believe that I
have learned and well remember. But I would willingly ask thee, whether thou hast any Grecians here,
which being men thou hast transformed into wolves and
CIRCE. Very many, dearest Ulysses, but wherefore do
you ask the question?
ULYSSES. Because in good truth I am of opinion I
should gain a high reputation among the Greeks, if by
thy favor I could restore these men to human shape again,
and not suffer them through any negligence of mine to
wax old in the bodies of beasts, where they lead a miserable and ignominious life.
CIRCE. Surely, this man, fool as he is, believes it requisite that his ambition should be unfortunate not only to
himself and his friends, but to those that nothing belong
ULYSSES. Thou art now jumbling and mixing another
villanous potion of twittle twattle, and wouldst plainly
turn me into a beast too, if thou couldst make me believe
that it were a misfortune to be transformed from a beast
to a man.
CIRCE. What hast thou made thyself better than a
beast, who, forsaking an immortal life, free from the miseries of old age, with me, art making such haste through
a thousand threatening calamities to a mortal and (as
I may say) old wife, pursuing an empty good and a shadow
instead of real truth, and all this, thinking to be more conspicuous and famous than thou art.
ULYSSES. Well, Circe, let it be as thou sayest; for
why should we be always contending about the same
thing? However, do me the favor to restore these men,
and give them into my custody.
CIRCE. By Hecate, not so fast neither; these are no
ordinary fellows. But ask them first whether they are
willing. If they refuse, do you, being such an eloquent
gentleman, discourse them and persuade them; if you
cannot persuade them, being too hard for ye at your own
weapon, then let it suffice ye that you have ill consulted
your own and the good of your friends.
ULYSSES. Blessed woman, wherefore dost thou mock
me thus? For how can they either talk or hear reason,
so long as they are asses, hogs, and lions?
CIRCE. Be of good comfort, most ambitious of men; I
will so order the business, that they shall both understand
and discourse; or rather, let one suffice to hear and return
answers instead of all the rest. Look ye, here is one at
hand; pray talk to him.
ULYSSES. Prithee, Circe, by what name shall we call
him? Who is this fellow of all the men in the world?
CIRCE. What's this to the purpose? Call him Gryllus,
if you please; and for my part, I'll leave ye together,
that ye may not suspect him for speaking contrary to his
mind to please me.