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The pits   /pɪts/   Listen
The pits

noun
1.
Any place of pain and turmoil.  Synonyms: hell, hell on earth, hellhole, inferno, snake pit.  "The inferno of the engine room" , "When you're alone Christmas is the pits"






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"The pits" Quotes from Famous Books



... from leakages. The sun beat down upon the place unshaded. Water escaped into all the pits the men were digging as they worked, so that they slopped around in mud above their ankles. Dave wore rubber boots and was apparently protected. As a matter of fact the boots promptly filled with water. Napoleon and Gettysburg made no effort to remain dry shod, but ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... Baggs saw that he was old and incredibly worn; his skin clung in dry yellow patches to his skull, the temples were bony caverns, and the pits of his eyes blank shadows. He felt forward with a siccated hand, on which veins were twisted like blue worsted over fleshless tendons, gripped Harry Baggs' shoulder, and lowered himself ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... distant roofs and spires of the good old market town—and had made for himself an archetypal home-farm, and had built himself a hunting-box, with stables and kennels of the most perfect kind; and this estate, with the Queen Anne house, and the pits, and the mine, was his very own to ...
— Vixen, Volume I. • M. E. Braddon

... main pipe, which collects the vapours from the retorts, is nearly a yard in diameter. One and a quarter million cubic feet of gas are manufactured at the works every day. Upwards of 1000 hands are employed. In the shale-pits adjoining, four hundred miners are regularly at work. The pits are conveniently near to the Addiewell Works, none of them being more than two miles off. A network of railway lines communicate with the various shale-pits, and five locomotives are regularly employed in the transit of minerals. A school, under Government inspection, is attached to the ...
— Western Worthies - A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West - of Scotland Celebrities • J. Stephen Jeans

... strata by past physical actions shows that these were similar to those which now obtain. Ancient beaches are met with whose pebbles are like those found on modern shores; the hardened sea-sands of the oldest epochs show ripple-marks, such as may now be found on every sandy coast; nay, more, the pits left by ancient rain-drops prove that even in the very earliest ages, the "bow in the clouds" must have adorned the palaeozoic firmament. So that if we could reverse the legend of the Seven Sleepers,—if ...
— Time and Life • Thomas H. Huxley

... the worm down to his place of watering, and the earth shook all about him, and he snorted forth venom on all the way before him as he went; but Sigurd neither trembled nor was adrad at the roaring of him. So whenas the worm crept over the pits, Sigurd thrust his sword under his left shoulder, so that it sank in up to the hilts; then up leapt Sigurd from the pit and drew the sword back again unto him, and therewith was his arm all bloody, up ...
— The Story of the Volsungs, (Volsunga Saga) - With Excerpts from the Poetic Edda • Anonymous

... little court below was bright with moonlight, and standing just on the edge of the shadow thrown by one of the cherry trees was McTeague. A bunch of half-ripe cherries was in his hand. He was eating them and throwing the pits at the window. As he caught sight of her, he made an eager sign for her to raise the sash. Reluctant and wondering, Trina obeyed, and the dentist came quickly forward. He was wearing a pair of blue overalls; ...
— McTeague • Frank Norris

... River, and so far as a surveyor's level can be relied on, the same may be said of the Cavern Pit and some others." The rivers of the Cave were unknown at the time of Mr. Lee's visit in 1835, but they are unquestionably lower than the bottom of the pits, and receive the water which flows from them. According to the statement of Lee, the bed of these rivers is lower than the bed of Green River at its junction with the Ohio, taking for granted that the report of the State engineers as to the extent of fall between a point above the Cave ...
— Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 - By a Visiter • Alexander Clark Bullitt

... provide To save his men from ambush and from train, Some troops of horse that lightly armed ride He sent to scour the woods and forests main, His pioneers their busy work applied To even the paths and make the highways plain, They filled the pits, and smoothed the rougher ground, And opened every strait they ...
— Jerusalem Delivered • Torquato Tasso

... located in the pit. The carriage has attached to it a flexible wire which can be connected to the shoe-hanger of the truck or to the end plug of the car, so that the cars can be moved around in the shops by means of their own motors. In the north bay, where the pits are very shallow, the conductor is carried overhead and consists of an 8-pound T-rail supported from ...
— The New York Subway - Its Construction and Equipment • Anonymous

... slavery under which these mines were worked—an atrocious system of forced labour which took no heed of Indian life, save as it might most cheaply extract a given quantity of gold or silver ore from the pits and adits beneath the ground. Thousands of peones were impressed into this forced labour; armed soldiers were stationed at the entrances of these labyrinths to see that each wretched serf deposited ...
— Mexico • Charles Reginald Enock

... thus recovered were given over to a squad of soldiers and each placed in a pine box without uncovering the faces. The boxes were forthwith placed in the pits prepared for them, and directly all but the memory of their offense passed from the ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... substance clinging to the latter, like green hair, and the rags of last year's handbills offering rewards for drowned men fluttering above high-water mark, led down through the ooze and slush to the ebb-tide. There was a story that one of the pits dug for the dead in the time of the Great Plague was hereabout; and a blighting influence seemed to have proceeded from it over the whole place. Or else it looked as if it had gradually decomposed into that ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... and fro; and the clatter of the working machinery was mixt up with the roar of waters, and with the various noises from the pounding and smelting-houses. The smoke of the coals however, the steam from the pits, and the black heaps of dross and slag piled up on high all around, gave the gloomy sequestered valley a still more dismal appearance; so that no one who travelled for the sake of seeking out and enjoying the beauties of nature, would have any ...
— The Old Man of the Mountain, The Lovecharm and Pietro of Abano - Tales from the German of Tieck • Ludwig Tieck

... River. But at this juncture he placed two batteries on my right and began to mass troops behind them, and General Gilbert, fearing that my intrenched position on the heights might be carried, directed me to withdraw Hescock and his supports and return them to the pits. My recall was opportune, for I had no sooner got back to my original line than the Confederates attacked me furiously, advancing almost to my intrenchments, notwithstanding that a large part of the ground over which they had to move was swept by a heavy fire of canister from both my batteries. ...
— The Memoirs of General Philip H. Sheridan, Vol. I., Part 2 • P. H. Sheridan

... if, as he had desired, he had gone away, Susan would be spared. But Stephen was right; nothing could keep her from the pronouncement of the words that would free him and bind herself in intolerable ill. Her uprightness was terrible. It would take her fearful but determined into the pits of any hell. His hands slowly clenched, his muscles tightened, in a spasm of anguish. God, why hadn't he recognized the desperation in Essie's quivering face! It would have been already too late, he added in ...
— The Three Black Pennys - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... face of the belching cannon, raking the field right and left. Our sharpshooters gave the cannoneers a telling fire, and as the enemy's infantry in the fort rose above the parapets to deliver their volley, they were met by volleys from our sharpshooters in the pits, now in rear of the assaulting columns, and firing over their heads. When near the fort the troops found yet a more serious obstruction in the way of stout wires stretched across their line of approach. This, however, was overcome and passed, and the ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... sister, Ussel, and the others. Whereat they likewise took to their heels and went hither and thither, to hide themselves in the wood, while old Wolde returned calmly with Sidonia to the convent, and two of the hags got clear off, and were fed by their kinsfolk, I take it, for months in the pits and hollow trees where they had sheltered themselves, for never a trace could Ludecke get of them more, though he searched day and night in every village, and house, and nook, and corner. But Pug-nose, who was half-blind with fright, in place of running ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V2 • William Mienhold

... well-equipped couple of assassins, turning up their eyes in expectation. The wind is with our enemy, and his captive balloons have been disagreeably overhead all through the hot morning. His big guns have suddenly become nervously active. Then, a little murmur along the pits and trenches, and from somewhere over behind us, this air-shark drives up the sky. The enemy's balloons splutter a little, retract, and go rushing down, and we send a spray of bullets as they drop. Then against our aerostat, and with the wind driving them clean overhead of us, come the antagonistic ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... the bonfire could reach and bring their faces into relief. He watched the girl unfasten her mask and throw it on the grass. He drew a deep breath. Her face was pitifully ugly. It was covered with the pits and dents and scars that small-pox had left. The skin was coarse and rough and of a yellowish white. Her eyes were dim and red and bleared. Her eyebrows and lashes were gone. Her expression was like that of a furtive, crouching ...
— Where Deep Seas Moan • E. Gallienne-Robin

... full of miners, listening in dead silence to the baby-songs, and the English songs, and the Scotch songs she poured forth without stint, for she sang more for them than for her baby. No wonder they adored her. She was so bright, so gay, she brought light with her when she went into the camp, into the pits—for she went down to see the men work—or into a sick miner's shack; and many a man, lonely and sick for home or wife, or baby or mother, found in that back room cheer and comfort and courage, and to many a poor broken wretch that ...
— Black Rock • Ralph Connor

... contiguous to the Grand Portage, where the canoe route to Rainy River, so late as our own century, started from Lake Superior. According to the American Geologists the traces for a mile are found of an old copper mine on this Island. One of the pits opened showed that the excavation had been made in the solid rock to the depth of nine feet, the walls being perfectly smooth. A vein of native copper eighteen inches thick was discovered at the bottom. Here is found also, unless I am much mistaken, the mining location whence the Takawgamis ...
— The Mound Builders • George Bryce

... miles per day, the engines making on the average 57.5 revolutions per minute, while the Kovno did only 8.1 knots, or 194 miles per day, the engines making 55.5 revolutions. The coal used was ordinary South Yorkshire, just as it comes from the pits for bunker purposes. The indicated horse power in each case would average about 600. The total coal consumed was 326 tons in the Draco and 405 tons in the Kovno, or a saving of 19.5 per cent. over the ordinary compounds, with an increase of speed ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 492, June 6, 1885 • Various

... of hot rays down to the surface of the earth, and resisting their return: it may equally be so described on other grounds, inasmuch as the cold and heavy atmosphere will sink in the winter into the pits which lead to glacieres, and will refuse to be altogether displaced in summer by anything short of ...
— Ice-Caves of France and Switzerland • George Forrest Browne

... Brandon began to taste very bitterly the agonies of those who break out of straight paths, never having realised till then how thorny the wrong course was, and how deep the pits ...
— The Vast Abyss - The Story of Tom Blount, his Uncles and his Cousin Sam • George Manville Fenn

... Also, in summer, the pits are slack. Often, on bright sunny mornings, the men are seen trooping home again at ten, eleven, or twelve o'clock. No empty trucks stand at the pit-mouth. The women on the hillside look across as they shake the hearthrug against the fence, ...
— Sons and Lovers • David Herbert Lawrence

... position to another. Besides the advantage this would give us in the way of moving about, according as we wished to fire, it also meant that we should probably be able to mislead the enemy as to our numbers—which, by such shifting tactics might, for a time at least, be much exaggerated. The pits for fire to the north and south were nearly all so placed as to allow the occupants to fire at ground-level over the veldt. They were placed well among the bushes, only just sufficient scrub being cut away to allow a man to see all round, without exposing the position of his trench. On each ...
— The Defence of Duffer's Drift • Ernest Dunlop Swinton

... sent him to work in a coal-pit; people in these days will scarcely credit such a thing, but it is nevertheless true; nor was this an extraordinary case, for children of poor parents were commonly sent to work in the pits at that early age, when Abe was a child. The work which they did was not difficult; perhaps it might be the opening or shutting of a door in one of the drifts; but whatever it was our hearts revolt at the idea of sending a child of such tender years into a coal mine, ...
— Little Abe - Or, The Bishop of Berry Brow • F. Jewell

... 'Henry' and the 'Elizabeth', in June, 1834. They erected huts on shore for the whalers. The 'Henry' was wrecked; but the whales were plentiful, and yielded more oil than the casks would hold, so the men dug clay pits on shore, and poured the oil into them. The oil from forty-five whales was put into the pits, but the clay absorbed every spoonful of it, and nothing but bones was gained from so much slaughter. Before the 'Elizabeth' left Portland Bay, the Hentys, the first permanent settlers in Victoria, arrived in the schooner 'Thistle', on November ...
— The Book of the Bush • George Dunderdale

... embankment and from its height looked down upon the earth. A hundred yards away where the pits, holes, and mounds melted into the darkness of the night, a dim light was twinkling. Beyond it gleamed another light, beyond that a third, then a hundred paces away two red eyes glowed side by side— probably the windows of some hut—and a long series of such lights, ...
— Love and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... to dig the pits in a checkerboard plan, leaving alternate squares and placing a stake in each of them to form a wire entanglement, Fig. 16. One man can make 5 pits ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... the enemy having been finally driven out of the pits, a party was sent across to see what execution had been done. It was wonderfully little, considering the amount of ammunition and energy expended. In the first pit one man was found dead; a bullet had entered his forehead and come out at the back of his head. Moving him a little on one side ...
— Blue Lights - Hot Work in the Soudan • R.M. Ballantyne

... mile or so west of the town, Longstreet had been posted and he had dug trenches and gunpits. The crest of this ridge, called Marye's Hill, was bare, and here, in addition to the pits and trenches, Longstreet threw up breastworks. Down the slopes were ravines and much timber, making the whole position one of great strength. Harry gazed at it as he carried one of his messages from general to general, and he was enough of a soldier to know that an enemy who attacked ...
— The Star of Gettysburg - A Story of Southern High Tide • Joseph A. Altsheler

... Penselcoit, was reported in Somersetshire. Habitations sunk deep in the rock, with only a roof above ground. But the spade has cracked these archaeological theories like filberts, and has proved that the pits in the wolds were sunk after iron ore, or those in Somerset were burrowings for the extraction of chert. [Footnote: Atkinson, "Forty Years in a Moorland Parish." Lond. 1891, p. 161, et seq. Some pits ...
— Castles and Cave Dwellings of Europe • Sabine Baring-Gould

... unmoved. Not a bow was drawn till the impetuous squadrons, in full charge toward the flanks of the Scots, fell into the pits; then it was that the Highland archers on the hill launched their arrows; the plunging horses were instantly overwhelmed by others who could not be checked in their career. New showers of darts rained upon them, and, sticking into their ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... land and let it lie, as in such cases, much of the strength of the manure is lost. Young gardeners should be very careful in preparing and collecting manure, and also when they are moving it from the pits to the ground, they should take care and ...
— The Book of Sports: - Containing Out-door Sports, Amusements and Recreations, - Including Gymnastics, Gardening & Carpentering • William Martin

... increasing demand for iron gave an impetus to coal-mining, which in its turn stimulated inventors in their improvement of the power of the steam-engine; for the coal could not be worked quickly and advantageously unless the pits could be kept clear of water. Thus one invention stimulates another; and when the steam-engine had been perfected by Watt, and enabled powerful-blowing apparatus to be worked by its agency, we shall find that the production of iron by means of pit-coal being rendered cheap and expeditious, ...
— Industrial Biography - Iron Workers and Tool Makers • Samuel Smiles

... the smoke from the pits where the renegades were roasting mescal and judged the distance to the Apache camp at close to ten miles. His gaze swept toward the sunrise horizon and rested upon a cloud of dust. That probably meant a big herd of cattle crossing to the Pecos Valley on the Chisum Trail that led to ...
— A Man Four-Square • William MacLeod Raine

... the wonder, always, everywhere— Not that vast mutability which is event, The pits and pinnacles of change, But man's desire and valiance that range All circumstance, ...
— Abraham Lincoln • John Drinkwater

... east side of Mashongnavi. They project 6 or 8 inches above the ground, and have a depth of from 18 to 24 inches. The dbris scattered about the pits indicates the manner in which they are covered with slabs of stone and sealed with mud when in use. In all the oven, devices of the pueblos the interior is first thoroughly heated by a long continued fire within, the structure. When ...
— A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola • Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff

... The pits yielded us so abundant a supply during the night, that in the morning we found it unnecessary to take the animals to water at the channel we had succeeded in finding the evening before; but pursuing a westerly course we passed it, and struck deep into the reeds. ...
— Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, Complete • Charles Sturt

... Bechuanas of strange tribes causes the Bakalahari to choose their residences far from water; and they not unfrequently hide their supplies by filling the pits with sand and making a fire over the spot. When they wish to draw water for use, the women come with twenty or thirty of their water-vessels in a bag or net on their backs. These water-vessels consist of ostrich egg-shells, ...
— Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - Journeys and Researches in South Africa • David Livingstone

... once more rowed ashore with the pinnace, and having caused three pits to be dug he at last found fresh water forcing its way through the sand; we used our best endeavours to take in a stock of the same; about 400 paces north of the farthest of the pits that had been dug, they also found a small fresh-water lake, but the water that collected in the pits was found to be ...
— The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 • J. E. Heeres

... went down into that deep place, and dug many pits in it, and in one of the pits he lay hidden with his sword drawn. There he waited, and presently the earth began to shake with the weight of the Dragon as he crawled to the water. And a cloud of venom flew before him as he snorted and roared, so that it would have been death ...
— The Red Fairy Book • Various

... coomb, through which ran the streamlet coming from the wheat-fields under the road. As the coomb opened, the squire went along a hedge near but not quite to the top. Years ago the coomb had been quarried for chalk, and the pits were only partly concealed by the bushes: the yellow spikes of wild mignonette flourished on the very hedge, and even half way down the precipices. From the ledge above, the eye could see into these and into the recesses ...
— Field and Hedgerow • Richard Jefferies

... flames from cavernous throats; huge birds, enormous reptiles, flew or crawled in their appointed places. Two-headed men wielded clubs of stone; men with no heads at all, but one great eye in the centre of their breasts, glared malevolently from the pits wherein they had their habitation. The little company in the tavern parlour shivered with affright, and cast uneasy glances at the doorway. Then—wonderful Rob!—a sinewy, thumbless hand swept the air like an enchanter's wand, and lo! the scene was ...
— Sea-Dogs All! - A Tale of Forest and Sea • Tom Bevan

... answer, time after time. "The masters are rich and proud. They say they can afford to keep the pits, closed. And we're telling them, after every meeting, that we'll een starve, if needs must, before we'll gie in to them. I'm thinkin' it's to starvin' we'll come, the way things look. Hoo are ye, ...
— Between You and Me • Sir Harry Lauder

... they are for these discoveries: the other affords a description of a Vale in the Moon, compared with that of Hevelius and Ricciolo; where the Reader will find several curious and pleasant Annotations, about the Pits of the Moon, and the Hills and Coverings of the same; as also about the variations in the Moon, and its gravitating principle, together with the use, that may be made of this Instance of a gravity ...
— Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Vol 1 - 1666 • Various

... hot. Instead of butter, a gill of whiskey may be used, putting it in just before the peaches are taken up, and letting them stand covered until the spirit goes through them. So prepared, they are better cold than warm. The pits flavor the fruit so delicately they should never ...
— Dishes & Beverages of the Old South • Martha McCulloch Williams

... wish, if there are negroes enough remaining in the quarters, that you would start immediately a seedling orchard of white Rare-ripe peaches from my orchard here. I have permission to send the pits to you by the military post-rider who passes my house. I will send you twenty every day as my peaches ripen. Please prepare for planting. I hope your ...
— Special Messenger • Robert W. Chambers

... answered: "God forbid! For, sir, though men be evil, yet the deep They dread, and at the last will surely turn To Him, and He long-suffering will forgive. And chide the waters back to their abyss, To cover the pits where doleful creatures feed. Sir, I am much afraid: I would not hear Of riding on the waters: look you, sir, Better it were to die with you by hand Of them that hate us, than to live, ah me! Rolling among the furrows of the unquiet, ...
— Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Jean Ingelow

... worse than that), and one way he had of showing his "quareness" was that he did not even eat like other people. On this particular day the Watson children had for dinner, among other plainer things, a piece of wild cranberry pie, with the pits left in, for each child. Patsy's piece had gone at the first recess; Danny's did not get past the fireguard around the school; Tammy's disappeared before he had gone a hundred yards from the house (Tommy ...
— The Second Chance • Nellie L. McClung

... crew to get into it for additional cover, and the ammunition boxes may either be placed in this ditch or a magazine dug and sandbagged over when plenty of time is available. A couple of drainage holes may be required in heavy rains to empty the pits on each side. The circular parapet can be built up any thickness, as just said; it should then be sandbagged over till the required height. If in grassy ground, instead of sandbags put large sods of grass ...
— With the Naval Brigade in Natal (1899-1900) - Journal of Active Service • Charles Richard Newdigate Burne

... Scotia, from which it is separated by a strait only a mile broad. Its length is 100 miles, its breadth 60. A remarkable bed of coal runs horizontally, at from 6 to 8 feet only, below the surface through a large portion of the island: a fire was once accidentally kindled in one of the pits, which is now continually burning. Cape Breton has been termed the Key to Canada and is the principal protection, through the fine harbor of Louisburg, of all the ...
— The World of Waters - A Peaceful Progress o'er the Unpathed Sea • Mrs. David Osborne

... financial straits. His pits had been much troubled by water, which no existing machinery could pump out. He had hoped that the new engine would prove successful and sufficiently powerful in time to avert the drowning of the pits, but this hope had failed. His embarrassments were so pressing that he was unable to pay the cost of the engine patent, according to agreement, and Watt had to borrow the money for this from that never-failing friend, Professor Black. Long may his ...
— James Watt • Andrew Carnegie

... that is swallowed with the food. A crow tucks away many a discarded cud of that sort; and even the thrush, half an hour or so after a dainty fare of wild cherries, taken whole, drops from his bill to the ground the pits that have been squeezed out of the fruit by the digestive mill ...
— Bird Stories • Edith M. Patch

... wanted to fight Mr. Higginbotham with pistols, because that gentleman resented the idea of being taken for an Egyptian, through wearing a fez cap. I had a talk with Capt. Warren at Jerusalem, and descended one of the pits with a sergeant of engineers to see the marks of the Tyrian workmen on the foundation-stones of the Temple of Solomon. I visited the mosques of Stamboul with the Minister Resident of the United States, and the American Consul-General. I travelled over the Crimean battle-grounds ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... operations were greatly impeded by the piles which had been driven in, but still more by the attacks of the Spaniards, who burst with desperate courage through the thickest of the enemy, stabbed the pioneers in the pits where they were digging, and filled up again with dead bodies the cavities which the living had made. At last, however, when most of their officers were killed or wounded, and the number of the enemy constantly increasing, while fresh laborers were supplying the place of those who had been ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... absolutely nothing—just that seemingly endless stretch of sand, circled by the blazing sky, the wind sweeping its surface soundless, and hot, as though from the pits of hell; no stir, no motion, no movement of anything animate or inanimate to break the awful monotony. Death! it was death everywhere! his aching eyes rested on nothing but what was typical of death. Even the heat waves seemed fantastic, grotesque, assuming spectral forms, as ...
— Keith of the Border • Randall Parrish

... deep in the slaty white rock. On the opposite hill, across the marshy hollow, at a distance of two hundred yards, was a line of wooden targets, painted white with black circles. Poised at intervals on the forward edge of the pits were a number of automatic rifles of the type used by the French army. An American soldier and a French soldier attended each one, the former in the firing position and the ...
— "And they thought we wouldn't fight" • Floyd Gibbons

... from the direction of our march that they were taking me to Phutra. Once there I did not need much of an imagination to picture what my fate would be. It was the arena and a wild thag or fierce tarag for me—unless the Mahars elected to take me to the pits. ...
— Pellucidar • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... With the earth-tint yet so freshly embrowned; Born, no doubt, like insects which breed on The very fruit they are meant to feed on. {360} For the earth—not a use to which they don't turn it, The ore that grows in the mountain's womb, Or the sand in the pits like a honeycomb, They sift and soften it, bake it and burn it— Whether they weld you, for instance, a snaffle With side-bars never a brute can baffle; Or a lock that's a puzzle of wards within wards; Or, if your colt's fore foot inclines to curve ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... hands in his excitement—"God, if that's so, what a chance there's in Barbie! It has been a dead town for twenty year, and twenty to the end o't. A verra little would buy the hauf o't. But property 'ull rise in value like a puddock stool at dark, serr, if the pits come round it! It will that. If I was only sure o' your suspeecion, Weelyum, I'd invest every bawbee I have in't. You're going home ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... something after the fashion of stop-nets for ground game in covert-shooting in England. This wall, with a slippery groundwork, prevented the insects from proceeding. As they never turn back, they were obliged to search sideways for a passage, and were thus led into the pits in millions, where they were destroyed by burying the masses beneath heaps of earth. If a few gallons of petroleum were sprinkled over them, and fire applied, much trouble would be saved. This is a crude method of insect destruction which could be improved upon, but great praise is due ...
— Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 • Sir Samuel W. Baker

... more shells were in our pits we took our dead geese to the camp and returned with a new supply of ammunition. We remained in the pits during the entire day. When the sun had gone behind the mountains we summed up our kill and it amounted ...
— Our Vanishing Wild Life - Its Extermination and Preservation • William T. Hornaday

... or completeness of an object is a blemish, whether original, as squinting eyes, or the result of accident or disease, etc., as the pits of smallpox. A blemish is superficial; a flaw or taint is in structure or substance. In the moral sense, we speak of a blot or stain upon reputation; a flaw or taint in character. A defect is the want or lack of something; fault, primarily a failing, is something ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... "O Lord of my Ships that go From the Persian Gulf to the Pits of Snow, Inquire for men unknown to man!" Said Sultan ...
— Forty-Two Poems • James Elroy Flecker

... the bazar, and mutton is cheap, especially when the Bedawin are near; a fine large sheep being dear at ten shillings. Water is exceptionally abundant, even without the condenser's aid. The poorer classes and animals are watered at the pits and the two regular wells near the valley's mouth, half an hour's trudge from the town. The wealthy are supplied by the inland fort, which we shall presently visit: the distance going and coming would be about four slow hours, and the skinful costs five ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 2 • Richard Burton

... had not been built for such harmless spectacles as those first described. The fierce Romans wanted to be excited and feel themselves strongly stirred; and, presently, the doors of the pits and dens round the arena were thrown open, and absolutely savage beasts were let loose upon one another—rhinoceroses and tigers, bulls and lions, leopards and wild boars—while the people watched with savage curiosity to see the various kinds of attack and defense; or, if the animals ...
— A Book of Golden Deeds • Charlotte M. Yonge

... people had taken to defend themselves against the invaders, had been to dig deep holes, at the bottom of which sharp-pointed stakes were fixed, the pits being then carefully covered over with branches and grass, so as completely to conceal them. Similar pitfalls are used in many parts of Africa for entrapping the giraffe ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... chaffering going on; a little courting, and some cheating. Meynell recognized some of his parishioners, spoke to a farmer or two, exchanged greeting with a sub-agent of the miners' union, and gave some advice to a lad of his choir who had turned against the pits and come to "hire" himself ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And they saw him afar off, and before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, An evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand; and said, Let us not take his life. And ...
— Select Masterpieces of Biblical Literature • Various

... all-fours from the wood into a field covered with underbrush, and lie there in the dark for hours, waiting for a shot. Then our men took to the rifle-pits—pits ten or twelve feet long by four or five deep, with the loose earth banked up a few inches high on the exposed sides. All the pits bore names, more or less felicitous, by which they were known to their transient tenants. One was called "The Pepper-Box," another "Uncle Sam's Well," another "The Reb-Trap," and another, I am constrained to say, ...
— Quite So • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... Jersey and Fifth Vermont regiments leaped into the boats, quickly crossed, and, rushing from the bank, charged upon the pits. The rebels were now, for the first time offered an opportunity for flight; for while the artillery was filling the whole plain with bursting shells, there remained no alternative but to hug the earth behind the rifle pits; now that the artillery ceased, they scattered ...
— Three Years in the Sixth Corps • George T. Stevens

... consistency of cream, and spread on the glass, work as before (using short straight strokes 1-1/2 or 2 in.) until the holes in the glass left by the grain emery are ground out; next use the finer grades until the pits left by each coarser grade are ground out. When the two last grades are used shorten the strokes to less than 2 in. When done the glass should be semi-transparent, and ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... appeared up in the air and a white magnesium cluster descended slowly, lighting up all the trenches in a sudden blaze which made the pioneers look like ghosts peering over the black brink of the pits. Then the light went out, and the eyes trying in vain to pierce the darkness saw nothing but glittering fiery red circles. The Japanese batteries on the other side opened fire. The air-ship had entirely disappeared, and no one knew whether the uncanny ...
— Banzai! • Ferdinand Heinrich Grautoff

... came in. The enemy had first driven in the pickets in front of Fort Sanders, and had then attacked our line which was also obliged to fall back. The Rebels in our front, however, did not advance beyond the pits which our men had just vacated, and a new line was at once established by Captain Buffum, our brigade officer of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... bones, and ordure, indescribable; and, variously kneaded into, sticking to, or fluttering foully here and there over all these,—remnants broadcast, of every manner of newspaper, advertisement or big-lettered bill, festering and flaunting out their last publicity in the pits of ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... the tenor of the article was a protest against the maltreatment of the tramp. Cutting the taxpayers to the pits of their purses threw them open to sentiment, and then in I tossed the sentiment, lumps and chunks of it. Trust me, it was excellently done, and the rhetoric—say! Just listen to the tail ...
— Moon-Face and Other Stories • Jack London

... said Dinass, with a laugh; "you don't call this deep? Why, it's nothing to some of the pits out Saint Just ...
— Sappers and Miners - The Flood beneath the Sea • George Manville Fenn

... thanks to the excavation of tombs which has gone on in Egypt during the last few years; and it is also easy to see that he, in common with many other Coptic writers, misunderstood the purport of them. The outer darkness, i.e., the blackest place of all in the underworld, the river of fire, the pits of fire, the snake and the scorpion, and such like things, all have their counterparts, or rather originals, in the scenes which accompany the texts which describe the passage of the sun through the underworld during the hours of the night. Having once misunderstood the ...
— Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life • E. A. Wallis Budge

... the first gun was fired; and, for an hour and a half, the camp was swept with shell, shrapnel, and Maxim bullets. Most of the Baggara were lying in the pits. Many, however, walked about calmly, as if in contempt of the fire. More than half of the wretched men bound to the ...
— With Kitchener in the Soudan - A Story of Atbara and Omdurman • G. A. Henty

... of food scattered about camp soon produce bad odors and draw flies. Therefore do your part toward keeping the camp free from disease by carefully depositing such refuse in the pits or cans used ...
— Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry • War Department

... thin, it's a bargain," said Ellish; "an' at the end o' the year, if we're spared, we'll see what we'll see. We'll have among ourselves a little sup o' tay, plase goodness, an' we'll be comfortable. Now, Barny, go an' draw home thim phaties from the pits while the day's fine; and Katty, a colleen, bring in some wather, till we get the pig killed and scalded—it'll hardly have time to be good bacon for the big markets at Christmas. I don't wish," she continued, "to keep it back from them that we have a thrifle o' money. One always does betther when ...
— Phil Purcel, The Pig-Driver; The Geography Of An Irish Oath; The Lianhan Shee • William Carleton

... is important that they be given good drainage from below. In the summer-time, after the sash are stripped, the old beds may be used for the growing of various delicate crops, as melons or half-hardy flowers. In this position, the plants can be protected in the fall. As already suggested, the pits should be cleaned out in the fall and filled with litter to facilitate the work of making the new bed in the ...
— Manual of Gardening (Second Edition) • L. H. Bailey

... warmth, however, may be proven by the fact that when a warm rain comes some night in February or March, thawing out the crust of the earth, the next morning reveals in our dooryards the mouths of hundreds of the pits or burrows of these primitive tillers of the soil, each surrounded by a little pile of pellets, the castings of the active artisans of the pits during the ...
— A Book of Natural History - Young Folks' Library Volume XIV. • Various

... three pendants, so they show the mandarin was a gentleman of the third class under the emperor. They have been in Mr. Tang's family's possession for generations. You will notice this one of carved beads is made of beads which are formed from the pits of the Chinese olive. There are two hundred beads and on each is carved some figure or scene which in all represent ...
— A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago • Ben Hecht

... fowls to be slain; she sent for vegetables, and the sober, slow-thinking gardener, nigh as old as she, sweated for it; she took spices, and milk, and onion, with little fish from the brooks—anon limes for sherbets, fat quails from the pits, then chicken-livers upon a skewer, with sliced ...
— Kim • Rudyard Kipling

... impossible to possess some men with the worth of their souls until they are utterly and everlastingly lost. 'What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?' That is, men when their souls are lost, and shut down under the hatches in the pits and hells in endless perdition and destruction, then they will see the worth of their souls, then they will consider what they have lost, and truly not till then. This is plain, not only to sense, but by the natural scope of the words, 'What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?' Or ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... spirit of revolt. His influence grew, and he became the acknowledged leader of the strike which followed. The result was disastrous. After weeks of misery from cold and hunger the infuriated workmen attempted to destroy one of the pits, and were fired upon by soldiers sent to guard it. Many were killed, and the survivors, with their spirits crushed, returned to work. But worse was yet to come. Souvarine, an Anarchist, disgusted with the ineffectual struggle, brought about an inundation of ...
— A Zola Dictionary • J. G. Patterson

... is found in strata of different thickness, at the depth of about sixty feet below the surface of the ground. If worked much lower, it ceases to be good. It is brought up in square blocks, about nine feet wide, and two feet thick, by means of vertical wheels, placed at the mouths of the pits. When first dug from the quarry, its color is a pure and glossy white, and its texture very soft; but as it hardens it takes a browner hue, ...
— Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. II. (of 2) • Dawson Turner

... work of a man filled with epic memories and epic expectations who saw in the Civil War a clash of titanic principles, saw a nation being beaten out on a fearful anvil, saw splendor and heroism rising up from the pits of slaughter. And in spite of his fifteen years spent in discovering the other side of the American picture Mr. Sinclair in Jimmie Higgins, the story of a socialist who went to war against the Kaiser, showed traces still of a romantic pulse, settling ...
— Contemporary American Novelists (1900-1920) • Carl Van Doren

... horror in the infernal regions were all founded on those familiar to every one in the upper world; it was from the caldron of boiling pitch in the arsenal of Venice that he took his idea of one of the pits of Malebolge. But what a picture does he there exhibit! The writhing sinner plunged headlong into the boiling waves, rising to the surface, and a hundred demons, mocking his sufferings, and with outstretched hooks tearing his flesh till he dived again beneath the liquid fire! It is the reality ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845 • Various

... we in time found ourselves climbing the gentle acclivities which led up to Reno's old rifle-pits, now almost obliterated. The most noticeable feature of the spot is the number of blanched bones of horses which lie scattered about. A short distance from the pits—which are rather rounded, and follow the outline of the hills in shape—and in a slight hollow below them, are more bones of horses. This is where the wounded were taken, and the hospital established, and the horses kept. From the wavy summit line of the bluffs, the ground slopes in an irregular ...
— My Native Land • James Cox

... ashore. The dauntless Steller faced the situation with judgment and courage. He acted as doctor, nurse, and hunter, and daily brought in meat for the hungry and furs to cover the dying. Five pits sheltered the castaways. When examined in 1885 the walls of the pits were still intact—three feet of solid peat. Clothing of sea-otter skins of priceless value, which afterwards proved a fortune to those who survived, and food of the flesh of the great sea-cow, saved a remnant of the wretched crew. During most of the month of November the ...
— Pioneers of the Pacific Coast - A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters • Agnes C. Laut

... no harm. There are a great many things man may do that only make nature show her beauty the more. I have been thinking a good deal about it lately: it is the rubbish that makes all the difficulty—the refuse of the mills and the pits and the iron-works and the potteries that does ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... buffaloes seldom return to the river by the same path on two successive nights, they become so apprehensive of danger from this human art. An old elephant will walk in advance of the herd, and uncover the pits with his trunk, that the others may see the openings and tread on firm ground. Female elephants are generally the victims: more timid by nature than the males, and very motherly in their anxiety for their calves, they carry their trunks up, trying every breeze for fancied danger, ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... new Lagrange pit, and though I was much struck by the neatness of his person and apparel, I was more struck by the general absence of anything like the griminess which we commonly associate with mines and mining among his fellows, whom I found still at work around the pits. M. Guary told me that this is a characteristic trait of the Anzin miners. In the buildings attached to each pit there is a large hall, called the miner's hall, where the men meet when they go down to and come up from their underworld. There each man has a ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... pits or holes have been pecked in the rock as an aid in the more difficult places, and similar aids were often employed to afford access to storage and burial cists. Plate LVI shows a site in the lower part of the canyon where such means have been employed. The pits in the rock are so much worn by atmospheric erosion that the ascent now is very dangerous. The cove or ledge to which they lead is about halfway up the cliff, and on it are a number of cists, one of them still intact, with a doorway. ...
— The Cliff Ruins of Canyon de Chelly, Arizona • Cosmos Mindeleff

... must this same Peter Westcott, be, for here he was wishing—yes, almost wishing—that Stephen's happiness had not come to him. Always at the back of everything there had been the thought of Stephen Brant. Let all the pits in the world gape and yawn, there was one person in the world to whom Peter was precious. Now—in America—with a wife... some of the sunlight had gone out of the air and Peter's heart was suddenly ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole

... fallen, Iberia? Do we see The robber and the murderer weak as we? Thou that hast wasted earth, and dared despise Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies, Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid Low in the pits thine avarice has made. We come with joy from our eternal rest, To see the oppressor in his turn oppressed. Art thou the god, the thunder of whose hand Rolled over all our desolated land, Shook principalities and kingdoms down, And made ...
— Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber - Or The Influence of Romanism on Trade, Justice, and Knowledge • James Aitken Wylie

... the railroad bridge was blockaded, and a gun placed in position to defend the passage. Colonel Coleman, who was at home on furlough, gave it as his opinion that these precautions must be supplemented and supported by rifle-pits on the north side, or no successful defence could be made. The pits were hastily dug, but, when volunteers were called for, the extreme danger prevented a hearty response. None appeared except a few old soldiers and six or seven school-boys, whose ages ranged from fourteen to sixteen. The Yankees advanced in line, in an open plain, ...
— Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War • Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers

... collected in several parts, particularly at Kataun, Ayer-rammi, and Bencoolen. It is light and not esteemed very good; but I am informed that this is the case with all coal found near the surface of the earth, and, as the veins are observed to run in an inclined direction until the pits have some depth, the fossil must be of an indifferent quality. The little island of Pisang, near the foot of Mount Pugong, was supposed to be chiefly a bed of rock crystal, but upon examination of specimens taken from thence they ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... of time in transferring the ingots, after allowing for this loss, there remains a surplus, which goes into the brickwork of the soaking pits, so that this surplus of heat from successive ingots tends continually to keep the pits at the intense heat of the ingot itself. Thus, occasionally it happens that inadvertently an ingot is delayed so long on its way to the pit as to arrive there somewhat short of heat, its temperature will be raised by heat from the walls of the pit itself; the refractory mass wherein ...
— Scientific American Supplement No. 360, November 25, 1882 • Various

... had formerly been much used was evident from the piles of shells, and the pits in which, as I was informed, sweet potatoes used to be kept as a reserve. As there was no water on these hills, the defenders could never have anticipated a long siege, but only a hurried attack for plunder, against which the successive ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

... Nothing could stop it. Down went man and horse, line upon line of them swept to death by the pitiless English arrows, but still more rushed on. They fell in the pits that had been dug; they died beneath the shafts and the hoofs of those that followed, but still they struggled on, shouting: "Philip and St. Denis!" and waving their golden banner, the Oriflamme ...
— Red Eve • H. Rider Haggard

... to Willet, "but anyhow he's begun to show his age." He pointed the muzzle which had the run forward look of an old horse and to the pits above the eyes. The grooming was finished but neither Gething came to the stable from the big house nor the trench diggers from Break-Neck to say that ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 • Various

... considerably lighter than stone and cast iron. He felt a great respect for such persons of rank as professed to be supporters of the drama, trusting that they would keep the ceilings of the theatres from tumbling into the pits. He spent great part of his time in the Thames Tunnel, and if he ever felt a doubt respecting the ultimate success of that undertaking, he did justice to the enterprise and skill of its projector, that illustrious mole, and sincerely wished that zeal ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, - Issue 386, August 22, 1829 • Various

... coffin of plain deal: uncovered by any shroud or pall, and so slightly made, that the hoof of any wandering mule would have crushed it in: carelessly tumbled down, all on one side, on the door of one of the pits—and there left, by itself, in the wind and sunshine. 'How does it come to be left here?' I asked the man who showed me the place. 'It was brought here half an hour ago, Signore,' he said. I remembered to have met the procession, on its return: straggling away at a ...
— Pictures from Italy • Charles Dickens

... scrambled up the sides of the giant crater. From the pits on both sides of them the other sections were ...
— Fighting in France • Ross Kay

... the attention of the Board to the pits about Brampton. The seams are so thin that several of them have only two feet headway to all the working. They are worked altogether by boys from eight to twelve years of age, on all-fours, with a dog belt and ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... joined by their sides to each other. In Fistulina the tubes are free from each other though standing closely side by side. In Merulius distinct tubes are not present, but the surface is more or less irregularly pitted, the pits being separated from each other by folds which anastomose, forming a network. These pits ...
— Studies of American Fungi. Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, etc. • George Francis Atkinson

... to see, they use no shooes by reason of the rings of siluer and copper, which they weare on their toes. [Sidenote: Gold found.] Here at Patanaw they finde gold in this maner. They digge deepe pits in the earth, and wash the earth in great holies, and therein they finde the gold, and they make the pits round about with bricke, that the earth fall not in. Patenaw is a very long and a great towne. In times past it was a kingdom, but now it is vnder Zelabdim Echebar, the great Mogor. The men are tall and slender, ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, - and Discoveries of The English Nation, Volume 10 - Asia, Part III • Richard Hakluyt

... For on the first appearance of the distemper, the number of deaths set down was far below that which truth warranted, in order that the citizens might not be affrighted; and when it was at its height no exact account of those shifted from the dead-carts into the pits was taken. Moreover, many were buried by their friends in fields and gardens. Lord Clarendon, an excellent authority, states that though the weekly bills reckoned the number of deaths at about one hundred ...
— Royalty Restored - or, London under Charles II. • J. Fitzgerald Molloy

... the fresco of the Little Boy Blue gathering crocuses—an innocent figure to cover so grim a revelation—there came to light the walls of two deep pits, going right down, nearly 25 feet, to the virgin soil. The pits were lined with stone-work faced with smooth cement, and it seems most probable that these were the dungeons of the palace, in which we may imagine that the miserable captives brought back by the great King's fleet from its voyages of conquest and plunder, and the human tribute paid ...
— The Sea-Kings of Crete • James Baikie

... with David as a center, discredits the statements of De Zeltner in respect to the form illustrated in Fig. 4, and states that generally the graves do not differ greatly in shape and finish from the ordinary graves of to-day. He describes the pits as being oval and quadrangular and as having a depth ranging from a few feet to 18 feet. The paving or pack consists of earth and water worn stones, the latter pitched in without order and forming but a small percentage of the filling. He has never seen such stones used in facing the walls ...
— Ancient art of the province of Chiriqui, Colombia • William Henry Holmes

... ordinary fuel in some districts which were fortunate enough to possess large beds, and in the capital, which could easily be supplied by water carriage, It seems reasonable to believe that at least one half of the quantity then extracted from the pits was consumed in London. The consumption of London seemed to the writers of that age enormous, and was often mentioned by them as a proof of the greatness of the imperial city. They scarcely hoped ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the kings of the five towns had concentrated their troops in the vale of Siddim, and were there resolutely awaiting Kudur-lagamar. They were, however, completely routed, some of the fugitives being swallowed up in the pits of bitumen with which the soil abounded, while others with difficulty reached the mountains. Kudur-lagamar sacked Sodom and Gomorrah, re-established his dominion on all sides, and returned laden with booty, Hebrew tradition ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 4 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... scoundrels, the masters, they won't give in; but we're bound to beat 'em—bound to. If they don't come to our terms we mean to call the engine-men, and the hands they've got to keep the ways clear, out of the pits. That'll bring 'em to their senses quick enough. I've been for it ...
— Facing Death - The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of the Coal Mines • G. A. Henty



Words linked to "The pits" :   snake pit, part, hell, inferno, hell on earth, hellhole, region



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