Aristotle's geographical speculations anticipated by almost two thousand years the rationale behind Columbus' voyage. Ferdinand Columbus suggested that his father was familiar with the following passage: "Again, our observations of the stars make it evident, not only that the earth is circular, but also that it is a circle of no great size. For quite a small change of position to south or north causes a manifest alteration of the horizon. There is much change, I mean, in the stars which are overhead, and the stars seen are different, as one moves northward or southward. . . . All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but that it is a sphere of no great size: for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be so quickly apparent. Hence, one should not be too sure of the incredibility of the view of those who conceive that there is a continuity between the parts about the pillars of Hercules [the strait of Gibraltar] and the parts about India, and that in this way the ocean is one."
By the time we are women, fear is as familiar to us as air; it is our element. We live in it, we inhale it, we exhale it, and most of the time we do not even notice it. Instead of "I am afraid," we say, "I don't want to," or "I don't know how," or "I can't."
There must be deviations from the rules in order to express almost anything....However, only the man who is familiar with the rules may sometimes violate them, for he alone can know that, in certain cases, the rule is not enough.
PLAGUE, n. In ancient times a general punishment of the innocent for admonition of their ruler, as in the familiar instance of Pharaoh the Immune. The plague today . . . is merely Nature's fortuitous manifestation of her purposeless objectionableness.
PALM, n. A species of tree . . . of which the familiar "itching palm" ("Palma hominis") is most widely distributed . . . . This noble vegetable exudes a kind of invisible gum, which may be detected by applying to the bark a piece of gold or silver.