But a wise poet should behave
Like one who gives a splendid feast;
And so if he is wise should he
Seek the spectators to delight,
So that each one, when he departs,
May think that he has drunk and eaten
Exactly what he'd most have wish'd;
Not that there should have been but one
Dish for all sorts of appetites,
Or but one kind of writing for all tastes.
These, my good friend Timocrates, are the words of Astydamas the tragedian, in his satyric drama of Hercules. Come,
let us now proceed to mention what is consistent with what
we have said before, to show how great an eater Hercules
was. And this is a point in his character mentioned by
nearly all poets and historians. Epicharmus, in his Busiris,
For if you were to see him eat, you would
Be frighten'd e'en to death; his jaws do creak,
His throat with long deep-sounding thunder rolls,
His large teeth rattle, and his dog-teeth crash,
His nostrils hiss, his ears with hunger tremble.
And Ion, in his Omphale, having mentioned his voracity,
And then, excited by th' applause, he rose
And swallow'd all the logs and burning coals.
But Ion borrowed all this from Pindar, who said—
* * * * *
And they say that he was a man of such excessive voracity,
that they gave him the cormorant, amongst birds which should
be sacred to him, which is called the ox-eater, on account
of its voracity.