prodigious multitudes
Note by J H Fowler on The Choice Of Hercules by Joseph Addison

In the essay that immediately precedes this in the Tatler Isaac Bickerstaff, the imaginary writer of all the Tatler papers, had affirmed the startling proposition that

"every worthless man is a dead man. In the number of the dead," he said, "I comprehend all persons, of what title or dignity soever, who bestow most of their time in eating and drinking, to support that imaginary existence of theirs which they call life."

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