Jonathan Swift

on spiders or bees (on modern or ancient ways)

"So that, in short, the question comes all to this; whether is the nobler being of the two, that which, by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into excrement and venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb; or that which, by a universal range, with long search, much study, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home honey and wax."

Jonathan Swift. "The Battle of the Books," In The Works of Jonathan Swift, vol. 2 (New York: P. O'Shea, 1865: pp. 367-90), p. 376.