Not Telling Too Much
“They are most distressingly affected in their heels with a species of running itch.” It seems that this malady of their heels, operates on these sound-headed and honest-hearted creatures, very much like the cork-leg, in the comic song, did on its owner; which, when he had once got started on it, the more he tried to stop it, the more it would run away. At the hazard of wearing this point thread bare. I will relate an anecdote, which seems too strikingly in point to be omitted. A witty Irish soldier, who was always boasting of his bravery, when no danger was near, but who invariably retreated without orders at the first charge of an engagement, being asked by his Captain why he did so, replied: ‘Captain, I have as brave a heart as Julius Caesar ever had; but some how or other, whenever danger approaches, my cowardly legs will run away with it.'”
Alexander McClure, Lincoln’s Own Yarns and Stories, p. 50.