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John Webster (1580?–1634).  The Duchess of Malfi.
 The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 FERD.  To drive six snails before me from this town to Moscow; neither use goad nor whip
   to them, but let them take their own time;—the patient’st man i’ th’ world match me for an
   experiment:—an I ’ll crawl after like a sheep-biter. 

Surely, of all creatures we eat, we are most brutal to snails. Helix optera is dug out of the earth where he has been peacefully enjoying his summer sleep, cracked like an egg, and eaten raw, presumably alive. Or boiled in oil. Or roasted in the hot ashes of a wood fire.... If God is a snail, Bosch’s depictions of Hell are going to look like a vicarage tea-party.

Angela Carter (1940–1992)

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