There is no more steely barb than that of the Infinite.
Despots play their part in the works of thinkers.
Fettered words are terrible words. The writer doubles and trebles the power of his writing when a ruler imposes silence on the people. Something emerges from that enforced silence, a mysterious fullness which filters through and becomes steely in the thought. Repression in history leads to conciseness in the historian, and the rocklike hardness of much celebrated prose is due to the tempering of the tyrant.
[Children] are fascinated with snakes.
They haven't got that steely thing that you end up either fearing or hating or despising or loathing them in some way. They are interested.