BOOK IX. CONTAINING TWELVE HOURS.
5. Chapter v. An apology for all heroes...
An apology for all heroes who have good stomachs, with a description
of a battle of the amorous kind.
Heroes, notwithstanding the high ideas which, by the means of
flatterers, they may entertain of themselves, or the world may
conceive of them, have certainly more of mortal than divine about
them. However elevated their minds may be, their bodies at least
(which is much the major part of most) are liable to the worst
infirmities, and subject to the vilest offices of human nature. Among
these latter, the act of eating, which hath by several wise men been
considered as extremely mean and derogatory from the philosophic
dignity, must be in some measure performed by the greatest prince,
heroe, or philosopher upon earth; nay, sometimes Nature hath been so
frolicsome as to exact of these dignified characters a much more
exorbitant share of this office than she hath obliged those of the
lowest order to perform.
To say the truth, as no known inhabitant of this globe is really more
than man, so none need be ashamed of submitting to what the
necessities of man demand; but when those great personages I have just
mentioned condescend to aim at confining such low offices to
themselves--as when, by hoarding or destroying, they seem desirous to
prevent any others from eating--then they surely become very low and
Now, after this short preface, we think it no disparagement to our
heroe to mention the immoderate ardour with which he laid about him at
this season. Indeed, it may be doubted whether Ulysses, who by the way
seems to have had the best stomach of all the heroes in that eating
poem of the Odyssey, ever made a better meal. Three pounds at least of
that flesh which formerly had contributed to the composition of an ox
was now honoured with becoming part of the individual Mr Jones.
This particular we thought ourselves obliged to mention, as it may
account for our heroe's temporary neglect of his fair companion, who
eat but very little, and was indeed employed in considerations of a
very different nature, which passed unobserved by Jones, till he had
entirely satisfied that appetite which a fast of twenty-four hours had
procured him; but his dinner was no sooner ended than his attention to
other matters revived; with these matters therefore we shall now
proceed to acquaint the reader.