a splendid cave full of priceless treasures

He had not visited with the rascal since 1946, but supposed he could be found at his ancestral home, Grimm Road, not far from Parkington. It was a noble dream. His foot rocked, his gaze was inspired. It would cost me around six hundred. He suggested he take measurements right away, and make the first set before starting operations. My mouth was to him a splendid cave full of priceless treasures, but I denied him entrance.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

perforated pied shoes

A white-smocked, gray-haired man, with a crew cut and the big flat cheeks of a politician, Dr. Quilty perched on the corner of his desk, one foot dreamily and seductively rocking as he launched on a glorious long-range plan. He would first provide me with provisional plates until the gums settled. Then he would make me a permanent set. He would like to have a look at that mouth of mine. He wore perforated pied shoes.

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Nor white whale, nor man, nor fiend

“The ferrule has not stood, sir,” said the carpenter, now coming up; “I put good work into that leg.”

“But no bones broken, sir, I hope,” said Stubb with true concern.

“Aye! and all splintered to pieces, Stubb! — d’ye see it. — But even with a broken bone, old Ahab is untouched; and I account no living bone of mine one jot more me, than this dead one that’s lost. Nor white whale, nor man, nor fiend, can so much as graze old Ahab in his own proper and inaccessible being. Can any lead touch yonder floor, any mast scrape yonder roof?

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

the unconquerable captain in the soul

“Aloft there! which way?”
“Dead to leeward, sir.”
“Up helm, then; pile on the sail again, ship keepers! down the rest of the spare boats and rig them — Mr. Starbuck away, and muster the boat’s crews.”
“Let me first help thee towards the bulwarks, sir.”
“Oh, oh, oh! how this splinter gores me now! Accursed fate! that the unconquerable captain in the soul should have such a craven mate!” “Sir?”
“My body, man, not thee. Give me something for a cane — there, that shivered lance will do. Muster the men. Surely I have not seen him yet. By heaven it cannot be! — missing? — quick! call them all.”

the domain of literature

“Arnold Bennett’s definition of literature applies equally well to the song. He says: “That evening when you went for a walk with your faithful friend, the friend from whom you hid nothing—or almost nothing—you were, in truth, somewhat inclined to hide from him the particular matter which monopolized your mind that evening, but somehow you contrived to get on to it, drawn by an overpowering fascination. And as your faithful friend was sympathetic and discreet, and flattered you by a respectful curiosity, you proceeded further and further into the said matter, growing more and more confidential, until at last you cried out in a terrific whisper: ‘My boy she is simply miraculous:’ At that moment you were in the domain of literature.”

— David Alva Clippinger, The Head Voice and Other Problems