great moments in literary history

from Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver:

The Dutch Ambassador rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homunculus squatting on the floor muttering, "masticate masticate masticate."

for a book that, for the most part, deals with semi-serious matters, like cromwell and the royal society (men like hooke, wren, and newton), it manages to have some very entertaining bits.