Step in, sir. Keep clear of the badger, for he bites. Ah, naughty, naughty; would you take a nip at the gentleman?” This to a stoat which thrust its wicked head and red eyes between the bars of its cage. “Don’t mind that, sir; it’s only a slowworm. It hain’t got no fangs, so I gives it the run o’ the room, for it keeps the beetles down.

Old Sherman in The Sign of the Four (Arthur Conan Doyle) »

The Spaniards that day sustained great loss and damage, having many of their shippes shot thorow and thorow, and they discharged likewise great store of ordnance against the English.

Sir Francis Drake’s ship was pierced with shot aboue forty times, and his very cabben was twice shot thorow, and about the conclusion of the fight the bed of a certaine gentleman lying weary thereupon, was taken quite from under him with the force of a bullet.

Likewise, as the Earle of Northumberland and Sir Charles Blunt were at dinner upon a time, the bullet of a demy-culvering brake thorow the middest of their cabben, touched their feet, and strooke downe two of the standers-by, with many such accidents befalling the English shippes, which it were tedious to rehearse.

ibid. »

They were so well stored of biscuit, that for the space of halfe a yeere they might allow each person in the whole fleete halfe a quintall every moneth, whereof the whole summe amounteth unto a hundreth thousand quintals.

Likewise of wine they had 147,000 pipes, sufficient also for halfe a yeere’s expedition. Of bacon, 6500 quintals. Of cheese, 3000 quintals. Besides fish, rise, beanes, pease, oile, vinegar, &c.

ibid. »

Their pieces of brazen ordinance were 1600, and of yron a 1000.

The bullets thereto belonging were 120,000.

Item of gun-poulder, 5600 quintals. Of matche, 1200 quintals. Of muskets and kaleivers, 7000. Of haleberts and partisans, 10,000.

Moreover they had great stores of canons, double-canons, culverings and field-pieces for land services.

ibid. »

The galliasses were of such bignesse, that they contained within them chambers, chapels, turrets, pulpits, and other commodities of great houses. The galliasses were rowed with great oares, there being in eche one of them 300 slaves for the same purpose, and were able to do great service with the force of their ordinance. All these, together with the residue aforenamed, were furnished and beautified with trumphets, streamers, banners, warlike ensignes, and other such like ornaments.

ibid. »

The galeons were 64 in number, being of an huge bignesse, and very flately built, being of marvelous force also, and so high that they resembled great castles, most fit to defend themselves and to withstand any assault, but in giving any other ships the encounter farr inferiour unto the English and Dutch ships, which can with great dexteritie wield and turne themselves at all assayes.

The upper worke of the saide galeons was of thicknesse and strength sufficient to beare off musket-shot. The lower worke and the timbers thereof were out of measures strong, being framed of plankes and ribs foure or five foote in thicknesse, insomuch that no bullets could pierce them but such as were discharged hard at hand, which afterward prooved true, for a great number of bullets were founde to sticke fast within the massie substance of those thicke plankes.

Great and well-pitched cables were twined about the masts of their shippes, to strengthen them against the battery of shot.

Edwin Creasy, The 15 Decisive Battles in the History of the World »

Now I cannot bear the barbarity of it; how can that unconscionable coachman talk so much bawdy to that lean horse? don’t you see, friend, the streets are so villainously narrow, that there is not room in all Paris to turn a wheel-barrow? In the grandest city of the whole world, it would not have been amiss, if they had been left a thought wider; nay were it only so much in every single street, as that a man might know (was it only for satisfaction) on which side of it he was walking.

Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy »

The number of mariners in the saide fleete were above 8000, of slaves 2088, of souldiers 20,000 (besides noblemen and gentlemen voluntaries), of great cast pieces 2600. The foresaid ships were of an huge and incredible capacitie and receipt, for the whole fleete was large enough to containe the burthen of 60,000 tunnes.

Edwin Creasy, The 15 Decisive Battles in the History of the World »

The shore is silent now, the tide far out: but six hours hence it will be hurling columns of rosy foam high into the sunlight, and sprinkling passengers, and cattle, and trim gardens which hardly know what snow and frost may be, but see the flowers of autumn meet the flowers of spring, and the old year linger smilingly to twine a garland for the new.

Charles Kingsley, Glaucus »

Happy, truly, is the naturalist. He has no time for melancholy dreams. The earth becomes to him transparent; everywhere he sees significancies, harmonies, laws, chains of cause and effect endlessly interlinked, which draw him out of the narrow sphere of self-interest and self-pleasing, into a pure and wholesome region of solemn joy and wonder.

Charles Kingsley, Glaucus (1855) (v. good) »

But when the artichoke flowers, and the chirping grass-hopper sits in a tree and pours down his shrill song continually from under his wings in the season of wearisome heat, then goats are plumpest and wine sweetest; women are most wanton, but men are feeblest, because Sirius parches head and knees and the skin is dry through heat.

But at that time let me have a shady rock and wine of Biblis, a clot of curds and milk of drained goats with the flesh of an heifer fed in the woods, that has never calved, and of firstling kids; then also let me drink bright wine, sitting in the shade, when my heart is satisfied with food, and so, turning my head to face the fresh Zephyr, from the everflowing spring which pours down unfouled thrice pour an offering of water, but make a fourth libation of wine.

Hesiod, Works and Days »

Avoid the month Lenaeon, wretched days, all of them fit to skin an ox, and the frosts which are cruel when Boreas blows over the earth. He blows across horse-breeding Thrace upon the wide sea and stirs it up, while earth and the forest howl. On many a high-leafed oak and thick pine he falls and brings them to the bounteous earth in mountain glens: then all the immense wood roars and the beasts shudder and put their tails between their legs, even those whose hide is covered with fur; for with his bitter blast he blows even through them although they are shaggy breasted. But through the fleeces of sheep, because their wool is abundant, the keen wind Boreas pierces not at all; but it makes the old man curved as a wheel.

And it does not blow through the tender maiden who stays indoors with her dear mother, unlearned as yet in the works of golden Aphrodite, and who washes her soft body and anoints herself with oil and lies down in an inner room within the house, on a winter’s day when the Boneless One gnaws his foot in his fireless house and wretched home; for the sun shows him no pastures to make for, but goes to and fro over the land and city of dusky men, and shines more sluggishly upon the whole race of the Hellenes.

Hesiod, Works and Days
Lenaeon: late January and early February
Boreas: the north wind
Boneless One: the octopus or cuttlefish »

Come, come, leave business to idlers, and wisdom to fools; they have need of ‘em.

Bellmour, in Congreve’s “The Old Bachelor” »

In this way your corn-ears will bow to the ground with fullness if the Olympian himself gives a good result at the last, and you will sweep the cobwebs from your bins and you will be glad, I ween, as you take of your garnered substance.

But if you plough the good ground at the solstice, you will reap sitting, grasping a thin crop in your hand, binding the sheaves awry, dust-covered, not glad at all; so you will bring all home in a basket and not many will admire you.

Hesiod, Works and Days »

Do not let a flaunting woman coax and cozen and deceive you: she is after your barn. The man who trusts womankind trusts deceivers.

Hesiod, Works and Days »

To you, foolish Perses, I will speak good sense. Badness can be got easily and in shoals: the road to her is smooth, and she lives very near us. But between us and Goodness the gods have placed the sweat of our brows: long and steep is the path that leads to her, and it is rough at the first; but when a man has reached the top, then is she easy to reach, though before that she was hard.

Hesiod, Works and Days »

Explain all that,” said the Mock Turtle.
“No, no! The adventures first,” said the Gryphon in an impatient tone: “explanations take such a dreadful time.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland »

…Like as the ink-fish, they say, eludeth his pursuers…

Samuel Warren, Ten Thousand A-Year »

Mr. Titmouse did, to a great degree, bedizen his back – at the expense of his belly; whereas, the Corinthian exquisite, too often taking advantage of station and influence, recklessly both pampers his luxurious appetite within, and decorates his person without, at the expense of innumerable heart-aching creditors. I do not mean, however, to claim any real merit for Mr. Titmouse on this score, because I am not sure how he would act if he were to become possessed of his magnificent rival’s means and opportunities for the perpetration of gentlemanly frauds on a splendid scale. -But we shall perhaps see by and by.

Samuel Warren, in Ten Thousand A-Year »

It’s a social disorder, it’s a conversational disorder, the fact that we can’t apply enough pressure to these ideas, that it’s taboo to do so. And there’s the fact that there is a core of truth to religion that we should be interested in. There’s the fact that people do have transformative experiences. If Jesus really was who they said he was, or Buddha likewise, it’s possible perhaps to be the Tiger Woods of compassion. »