But my choice and constant companions should be a set of my own immortal brotherhood; among whom, I would elect a dozen from the most ancient, down to my own contemporaries.
For although few men will avow their desires of being immortal, upon such hard conditions, yet in the two kingdoms before mentioned, of Balnibarbi and Japan, he observed that every man desired to put off death some time longer, let it approach ever so late: and he rarely heard of any man who died willingly, except he were incited by the extremity of grief or torture.
Otherwise, as avarice is the necessary consequence of old age, those immortals would in time become proprietors of the whole nation, and engross the civil power, which, for want of abilities to manage, must end in the ruin of the public.
But the soul which cannot be destroyed by an evil, whether inherent or external, must exist for ever, and if existing for ever, must be immortal?
Neither will they increase, for the increase of the immortal natures must come from something mortal, and all things would thus end in immortality.
The soul, I said, being, as is now proven, immortal, must be the fairest of compositions and cannot be compounded of many elements?
And ready- witted Prometheus he bound with inextricable bonds, cruel chains, and drove a shaft through his middle, and set on him a long- winged eagle, which used to eat his immortal liver; but by night the liver grew as much again everyway as the long-winged bird devoured in the whole day.
For nine nights did wise Zeus lie with her, entering her holy bed remote from the immortals. And when a year was passed and the seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympus.
Now after twelve days the immortal gods came back in a body to Olympus, and Jove led the way.
As he spoke the son of Saturn bowed his dark brows, and the ambrosial locks swayed on his immortal head, till vast Olympus reeled.
He bound his sandals on to his comely feet, girded his sword about his shoulders, and left his room looking like an immortal god.
There is an old immortal who lives under the sea hereabouts and whose name is Proteus.