Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects:
Whatever the poets pretend, it is plain they give immortality to none but themselves; it is Homer and Virgil we reverence and admire, not Achilles or Æneas. With historians it is quite the contrary; our thoughts are taken up with the actions, persons, and events we read, and we little regard the authors.
The expression in Apocrypha about Tobit and his dog following him I have often heard ridiculed, yet Homer has the same words of Telemachus more than once; and Virgil says something like it of Evander. And I take the book of Tobit to be partly poetical.
The Stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.
Augustus meeting an ass with a lucky name foretold himself good fortune. I meet many asses, but none of them have lucky names.