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Peer Gynt, Act IV, by Henrik Ibsen

Peer: Well, now; in the first place, to travel. That's why I took you aboard at Gibraltar, as travelling-companions. I wanted a corps de ballet of friends to dance around my Golden Calf.
Von Eberkopf: Wittily said!
Cotton: But no one ever hoisted sail for the sake of sailing. You have purpose, it seems to me. What is it?
Peer: To be an emperor.
Gentlemen: What?
Peer: [nodding] Emperor.
All four: Where?
Peer: Of the whole world!

Peer Gynt, Act IV, by Henrik Ibsen

Peer: We Northerners understand the need to fight our way through! The key to life is a simple one: to shut one's ears to the invitation of the serpent.
Cotton: What kind of serpent is that, dear friend?
Peer: A small one, but full of wiles to make a man commit himself.

Illustration by Theodor Kittelsen for the Norwegian folktale The Golden Bird from 1883.

"Have you seen anyone go by with a lovely maiden, and a horse with a golden bridle, and a golden bird, and a gilded linden tree?" the Trolls shrieked to the fox who stood there preaching.

"Yes, I’ve heard from my grandmother’s grandmother that such a party passed this way. But that was in the good old times when my grandmother’s grandmother baked cakes and sold them two for a penny, and gave back the penny into the bargain!"

At this story all the Trolls burst into a fit of laughter: “Ha, ha, ha, ha!” they said, holding onto each other. “If we’ve been asleep that long, we might as well turn right back and go to sleep again,” they said, and then they went back the same way.

From The Golden Bird as written by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by Pat Shaw and Carl Norman.

Christ’s face engraved in a single spiral line: Claude Mellan, “The Sudarium, or Veil of St Veronica,” engraving, France, 1649.

In a single line and starting from the tip of Jesus’ nose, Mellan has engraved the entire face, the folded veil, and the lettering below. The modulations in direction, from thick to thin, model the image in chiaroscuro (light and dark). Thus the shapes and volume of the engraving are achieved. [text via British Museum]

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