Galileo's views, although erroneous, since he held comets to be mere atmospheric emanations reflecting sunlight after the evanescent fashion of a halo or a rainbow, were expressed with such triumphant vigour, and embellished with such telling sarcasms, that his opponent did not venture upon a reply.
Here he took vengeance for the bitter sarcasms of the inhabitants against himself and his mother by ordering a general massacre of the youths capable of bearing arms. In 216 he ravaged Mesopotamia because Artabanus, the Parthian king, refused to give him his daughter in marriage.
He was assailed in parliament by the eloquence of Gladstone, the sarcasms of Disraeli, and the animosity of the Manchester Radicals, but the country was with him.
His pungent sarcasms were soon carried to the persons of whom they were uttered, and his pen was not less bitter than his tongue.
Frederick had excited the envy of surrounding sovereigns, and had embittered them against him by stinging sarcasms. Not only France, therefore, but Russia, Saxony and ultimately Sweden, willingly came to terms with Austria, and the aim of their union was nothing short of the partition of Prussia.