This is the sergeantSergeant
Who like a good and hardy soldier fought
'Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend!
Say to the king the knowledge of the broil
As thou didst leave it.
As whence the sun 'gins his reflectionDUNCAN
Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break,
So from that spring whence comfort seem'd to come
Discomfort swells. Mark, king of Scotland, mark:
No sooner justice had with valour arm'd
Compell'd these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord surveying vantage,
With furbish'd arms and new supplies of men
Began a fresh assault.
Yes;From Macbeth, Act I Scene II, by William Shakespeare
As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report they were
As cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they
Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe:
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorise another Golgotha,
I cannot tell.
But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.
The callousness of this passage and the overflowing of praise for our villain-protagonist has never ceased amuse me. It would appear that Jonathan Stroud shares my feelings.
Great concussions in the city; half the suburbs were now alight. A small imp came bowling over the parapet at the end of the terrace, its tail aflame. It skidded to a halt beside us.
“Permission to report, sir. A number of savage afrits are fighting their way up to the castle. The charge is led by Honorius and Patterknife, Gladstone’s personal servants. They are very terrible, sir. Our troops have broken before them.”
It paused, looked at its smouldering tail. “Permission to find water, sir?”
From The Golem's Eye, Bartimaeus Trilogy #2 by Jonathan Stroud.