The courses of theVictory were absorbed into the main, then her topsails went, and then her top-gallants. She was now no more than a dead fly's wing on a sheet of spider's web; and even this fragment diminished. Anne could hardly bear to see the end, and yet she resolved not to flinch. The admiral's flag sank behind the watery line, and in a minute the very trunk of the last main-mast stole away. The Victory was gone.
Describing the aged maltster in Far from the Madding Crowd: Indeed, he seemed to approach the grave as a hyperbolic curve approaches a straight line - less directly as he got nearer, till it was doubtful if he would ever reach it at all.