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Flail   Listen
noun
Flail  n.  
1.
An instrument for threshing or beating grain from the ear by hand, consisting of a wooden staff or handle, at the end of which a stouter and shorter pole or club, called a swipe, is so hung as to swing freely. "His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn."
2.
An ancient military weapon, like the common flail, often having the striking part armed with rows of spikes, or loaded. "No citizen thought himself safe unless he carried under his coat a small flail, loaded with lead, to brain the Popish assassins."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Flail" Quotes from Famous Books



... tak' thae bonnie feathers o' mine, The feathers o' my tail: And gie to the lads o' Hamilton To be a barn-flail. ...
— Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories - A Book for Bairns and Big Folk • Robert Ford

... murmuring streams, 630 Rocked the charmed thought in more delightful dreams; Chasing those pleasant dreams, [180] the falling leaf Awoke a fainter sense [181] of moral grief; The measured echo of the distant flail Wound in more welcome cadence down the vale; 635 With more majestic course the water rolled, And ripening foliage shone with richer gold. [182] —But foes are gathering—Liberty must raise Red on the hills her beacon's far-seen blaze; Must bid the tocsin ring from tower ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth - Volume 1 of 8 • Edited by William Knight

... to have discovered urgent engagements elsewhere. There was little for the Mongol to collide with except empty tables and chairs. But he did manage to swipe one of the lumpy-faced men on the side of the head with one flail of his arms. The lumpy-faced man said "Yoop!" and went staggering away into Petkoff, who spun him around and threw him away in the general direction of the bandstand. The diversion provided Malone with just enough ...
— Supermind • Gordon Randall Garrett

... morning. She did not beat him once, and told the children to keep their hands off him. One was a girl, and Harry never could bear to strike a girl; and the other was a boy, whom he could easily have beat, but he always cried out, when Mrs. Pastoureau came sailing to the rescue with arms like a flail. She only washed Harry's face the day he went away; nor ever so much as once boxed his ears. She whimpered rather when the gentleman in black came for the boy; and old Mr. Pastoureau, as he gave the child his blessing, scowled over ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... you here, Christmas comes but once a year, But when it comes it brings good cheer, And when it's gone it's no longer near. May luck attend the milking-pail, Yule logs and cakes in plenty be, May each blow of the thrashing-flail Produce good frumenty. And let the Wassail Cup abound, Whene'er the mummers' time ...
— The Peace Egg and Other tales • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... chamber containing a rotating spindle with steel tines or hammers attached that repeatedly beats and tears materials into smaller and smaller pieces until they fall out through a bottom screen. Hammermills will flail almost anything to pieces without becoming dulled. Soft, green materials are beaten to shreds; hard, dry, brittle stuff is rapidly fractured into tiny chips. Changing the size of the discharge screen adjusts the size of ...
— Organic Gardener's Composting • Steve Solomon

... viscerae of the dead should not be removed far from her body. A beautiful microscopic hawk, which would have made a lovely watch-charm, was attached by a thread to a necklace of small plates of blue glass, to which was hung also a sort of amulet in the shape of a flail, made of turquoise-blue enamel. Some of the plates had become semi-opaque, no doubt owing to the heat of the boiling bitumen which had been poured over them, and then ...
— The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5 - The Romance of a Mummy and Egypt • Theophile Gautier

... corn, Colonel Crawford saw the Newars [Picture: Flail] using a kind of flail, an implement which I have never observed in India. Three pieces of Bamboo, about eighteen inches long, were fastened together in a parallel manner, at about a finger’s breadth asunder, and then fixed to a peg, which passed through a hole in ...
— An Account of The Kingdom of Nepal • Fancis Buchanan Hamilton

... memories began to emerge, rather ridiculously, theatrical lodgings, provincial theatres, the arcades at Birmingham. And a blue straw hat that he had bought for her long ago; and at last her name. Kitty Messenger, and her mother, a golden-haired actress with a tongue like a flail in one temper, like the honey-seeking proboscis of a bee ...
— Mummery - A Tale of Three Idealists • Gilbert Cannan

... crops which are now falling beneath the sickle; it has recalled to me the beautiful walks I took as a child through my native province, when the threshing-floors at the farmhouses resounded from every part with the sound of a flail, and when the carts, loaded with golden sheaves, came in by all the roads. I still remember the songs of the maidens, the cheerfulness of the old men, the open-hearted merriment of the laborers. There was, at that time, something ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... in dreams have I stood and watched them—the will of the people like a flail in their mighty hands—this vast army of machines—go thundering past, driving the uninspired and mechanical off the face of ...
— Crowds - A Moving-Picture of Democracy • Gerald Stanley Lee

... went the Volsung banners, and on went Sigmund before, And his sword was the flail of the tiller on the wheat of the wheat-thrashing floor, And his shield was rent from his arm, and his helm was sheared from his head: But who may draw nigh him to smite for the heap and the rampart of dead? White went his hair ...
— The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs • William Morris

... his conversation. If I had been even more prejudiced than I was, I could not have withstood that easy grace, that winning cordiality. Every one knew where he had stood during the war, and how he had wielded the flail of his "lashing hail" against the South and the Southern cause and "Southern sympathizers." But that warfare was over for him, and out of kindly regard for my feelings he made no allusion to the great quarrel, with two exceptions. Once, just before he left Baltimore, he was talking as no other ...
— The Creed of the Old South 1865-1915 • Basil L. Gildersleeve

... tone of boisterous and vulgar raillery with which Clifford and Leigh had assailed Dryden himself; and little resembles our poet's general style of controversy. He seems to have exchanged his satirical scourge for the clumsy flail of Shadwell, when he stooped to use such raillery as the following description of Settle: "In short, he is an animal of a most deplored understanding, without reading and conversation: his being is in a ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... very glad to see me. She first took me to the farmyard, and I peeped into the barn. There I saw a man thrashing, and as he beat the corn with his flail he made a great noise. Then I went to the pond where the ducks were swimming, and I saw the little wooden houses where the hens slept at night. The hens were feeding all over the yard, and the prettiest little chickens were feeding there ...
— Tell Me Another Story - The Book of Story Programs • Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

... their hearts, but it was the memories of the old pioneer home in the wilderness; the rail-splitting, road-building days; the ancient rites of "raisings" and other neighborly ceremonies; when the farmer cut rye with a cradle, and threshed it out with his flail; when "butter and eggs were pin money" and wheat paid ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... easy dreams might have known it would be driven back—here and then here and then here. It has been fighting night and day. It has made the most splendid fight—and the most ineffectual fight.... You see the vast swing of the German flail through Belgium. And meanwhile we have been standing about talking of the use we ...
— Mr. Britling Sees It Through • H. G. Wells

... round. The public safety, I foresee, Henceforth depends alone on me; And while this vital breath I blow, Or from above or from below, I'll sputter, swagger, curse, and rail, The Tories' terror, scourge, and flail. M. Tim, you mistake the matter quite; The Tories! you are their delight; And should you act a different part, Be grave and wise, 'twould break their heart. Why, Tim, you have a taste you know, ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... flail of the monks,' he said abstractedly. 'They would have burned me and thousands more ...
— The Fifth Queen • Ford Madox Ford

... geese, the boy was in due course promoted to the rank of team-leader, and was also set to assist his father in the threshing barn. "John," his father used to say, "was weak but willing," and the good man made his son a flail proportioned to his strength. Exposure in the ill-drained fields round Helpstone brought on an attack of tertiary ague, from which the boy had scarcely rallied when he was again sent into the fields. Favourable weather having set in, he recovered his health, and was able that summer ...
— Life and Remains of John Clare - "The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet" • J. L. Cherry

... and raised them above the influence of danger and of corruption. It sometimes might lead them to pursue unwise ends, but never to choose unwise means. They went through the world, like Sir Artegal's iron man Talus with his flail, crushing and trampling down oppressors, mingling with human beings, but having neither part nor lot in human infirmities, insensible to fatigue, to pleasure, and to pain, not to be pierced by any weapon, nor to ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III • Various

... dribbling stern-gland, there came a sudden thump and a grinding shock. The turning shaft shook and chattered before my eyes, the propeller outside caught in something, shuddered, broke clear and beat like a flail. Then the ship lifted bodily and fell, bump, bump, bump. I stood there transfixed. What could it be? I looked along the dark tunnel to where the lights of the engine-room showed in a pale glint and I could have sworn I saw the whole bag of tricks move slowly up and subside as the ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... angle of the bank was not steep and the elephant's speed never slackened on the slope. Its right shoulder struck a sapling and the sapling splintered. It was crashing forward in full charge. Again it trumpeted, trunk extended like a flail ...
— This Crowded Earth • Robert Bloch

... rest prepare, Still the flail echoes through the frosty air, Nor stops till deepest shades of darkness come, Sending at length the weary laborer home. From him, with bed and nightly food supplied, Throughout the yard, hous'd round on every ...
— The Farmer's Boy - A Rural Poem • Robert Bloomfield

... were the whoppingest Whale, Brave boys! As ever whisked a ta-a-a-il; In the trough o' the sea It was Labouring free. And a lashin' the waves like a flail, Brave boys! A lashin' the waves like ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100. March 7, 1891. • Various

... him, seized him by the shirt collar, and pulled him bodily from the bunk. Then, smothering his protesting voice by a grip on his throat, slatted him from side to side as a farmer uses a flail, and threw him headlong against the after bulkhead and half-way into an empty bunk. Sampson had uttered no word, and Forsythe only muttered as he crawled back to his own bunk. But he found ...
— The Wreck of the Titan - or, Futility • Morgan Robertson

... in town but a few months before. I was quite ashamed of my bad memory. My sister Sarah shewed me all the beautiful places about grandmamma's house. She first took me into the farm-yard, and I peeped into the barn; there I saw a man thrashing, and as he beat the corn with his flail, he made such a dreadful noise that I was frightened and ran away: my sister persuaded me to return; she said Will Tasker was very good-natured: then I went back, and peeped at him again; but as I could not ...
— Books for Children - The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 3 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... exactly what "switching the tail" meant. I had thought of it as a slow sweeping from side to side, after the manner of the domestic cat. This lion's tail was whirling perpendicularly from right to left, and from left to right with the speed and energy of a flail actuated by a particularly instantaneous kind of machinery. I could see only the outline of the head and this vigorous tail; but I took instant aim and let drive. The whole ...
— The Land of Footprints • Stewart Edward White

... rigorous Quartermaster: the very Ostlers have stable-forks and flails. The rigorous Quartermaster, half-saddled, cuts out his way with the sword's edge, amid levelled bayonets, amid Patriot vociferations, adjurations, flail-strokes; and rides frantic; (Declaration de La Gache in Choiseul, p. 134.)—few or even none following him; the rest, so sweetly constrained consenting ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... the ruddy wheat, The thumping of the flail, The winnowing within the barn By whirling ...
— John Keble's Parishes • Charlotte M Yonge

... collar, spinning the dignity of the law round face down prone upon the log. "A'll not take my fist t' y' as A wud t' a Man! Ye dastard, drunken, poltroon, coward, whiskey sodden lout an' scum o' filth, an'," each word was emphasized by the thud of the empty whiskey bottle wielded as a flail. ...
— The Freebooters of the Wilderness • Agnes C. Laut

... bar,—so runs the ancient tale; 'T was hammered by an Antwerp smith, whose arm was like a flail; And now and then between the strokes, for fear his strength should fail, He wiped his brow and quaffed a cup ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... attack. Then his twinkling little eyes began to blaze, and he trumpeted shrilly with anger. The next moment, reaching over the fence, he brought down the trunk on Last Bull's hump with such a terrible flail-like blow that the great buffalo stumbled forward ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... crash upon the two or three Frenchmen nearest me. The force of the blow made my arm tingle to the elbow, but it swept the Frenchmen down as though it had been a scythe, and caused those behind to recoil in terror. Another flail-like sweep proved equally effective, the cutlasses raised to guard the blows being as useless as so many wands, and when I followed it up with a third it proved too much for the Frenchmen, who, seeing their comrades go down ...
— The Log of a Privateersman • Harry Collingwood

... was to plow a field near the house. In a few minutes he did something displeasing to the bull, which started him to running at a fearful speed. He dashed away towards the house, the plow flying and flapping about like the arms of a flail; tore through the flower-beds, ripping them to pieces; tore down all the choice young trees about the house; frightened the ladies and children nearly to death, and demoralized the whole farm. He was at last captured and affectionately cared for by ...
— Detailed Minutiae of Soldier life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 • Carlton McCarthy

... down a bent which the road climbed, and with them were three men, their drovers, and they drew nigh him as he was amidst of the sheep, so that he could scarce see the way. Each of these three had a weapon; one a pole-axe, another a long spear, and the third a flail jointed and bound with iron, and an anlace hanging at his girdle. So they stood in the way and hailed him when the sheep were gone past; and the man with the spear asked him whither away. "I am turned toward Higham-on-the-Way," quoth ...
— The Well at the World's End • William Morris

... flail the follies of his time, he makes his chief characters, in spite of his realistic purpose, extreme and distorted 'humors,' each, in spite of individual traits, the embodiment of some one abstract vice—cowardice, sensualism, hypocrisy, or what ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... heat was intense. She felt as if she were sitting in a tank of steaming vapour. The oppression of the atmosphere was like a physical weight. And ever the rain beat down, rattling, incessant, upon the tin roof above her head. She thought of Nemesis again, Nemesis wielding an iron flail that never missed its mark. There was something terrible to her in this perpetual beating of rain. She had never ...
— The Lamp in the Desert • Ethel M. Dell

... Uxmoor dragged by the tail and compelled to follow in preposterous, giant strides, barely touching the ground with the point of his toe, pounded the creature's ribs with such blows as Zoe had never dreamed possible. They sounded like flail on wooden floor, and each blow was accompanied with a loud jubilant shout. Presently, being a five's player, and ambidexter, he shifted his hand, and the tremendous whacks resounded on the bull's left side. The bull, thus belabored, ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... vacant, the mows empty, the sunlight sifting in through the high shadowy spaces. How much his life had been in that barn! How he had stifled and scrambled mowing hay in those lofts! On the floor he had hulled heaps of corn, thrashed oats with a flail—a noble occupation—and many a rainy day had played there with girls and boys who could not now exactly describe the games or well recall what exciting fun they were. There were the racks where he put the fodder for cattle and ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... the historical Jock Howison asked and got from our gay James the Fifth, "the gudeman o' Ballengiech," as a reward for the services of his flail when the King had the worst of it at Cramond Brig with the gipsies. The farm is unchanged in size from that time, and still in the unbroken line of the ready and victorious thrasher. Braehead is held on the condition of the possessor being ready to present the King ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... to be made from (1) arthritis deformans, in which the movements are less restricted, and are attended with grating and cracking; (2) paralysis involving the deltoid and scapular muscles—by the absence of pain, and the flail-like character of the movements; (3) disease in the sub-deltoid bursa—by the absence of rigidity and other evidence of implication of the articular surfaces; and (4) sarcoma of the upper end of the humerus—by the history of the case, ...
— Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. • Alexander Miles

... all racquet sports, the racquet should do the work. The ball willingly goes where the racquet head directs it. Do not flail or attempt to push your shots. Hit them crisply with the snap of your cocked wrist, and at all times attempt ...
— Squash Tennis • Richard C. Squires

... "in earnest" like Carlyle. While the genius of that great writer is indisputable, I submit that one Carlyle in a generation is enough; another is impossible. That rugged Titan did his appointed work with fidelity. But is every author to lay about him with an iron flail? Is there no place for playful satirists of manners, for essayists who dissolve philosophy and science, who teach truth, manliness, and courtesy by epigram, and who make life beautiful with the glow of ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... porridge, he was to go into the barn to thrash. He took one of the rafters from the roof and made a flail out of it, and when the roof was about to fall in, he took a big pine tree with branches and all and put it up instead of the rafter. So he went on thrashing the grain and the straw and the hay all together. This was doing more damage than good, for the ...
— Folk Tales Every Child Should Know • Various

... was threshing some of this corn with a flail. I heard of it with astonishment. "A flail?" "Yes," he said; "my old dad put me to it when I was seventeen, so I had to learn." He seemed to think little of it. But to me threshing by hand was so obsolete and ...
— Change in the Village • (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt

... look from the isle, o'er its billows of green, To the billows of foam-crested blue, Yon bark, that afar in the distance is seen, Half dreaming, my eyes will pursue: Now dark in the shadow, she scatters the spray As the chaff in the stroke of the flail; Now white as the sea-gull, she flies on her way, The sun gleaming bright on ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... in this way in South America. The Sulphur Tyrant-bird picks up a young snake by the tail, and, flying to a branch or stone, uses it like a flail until its life ...
— The Industries of Animals • Frederic Houssay

... of farm-hands has been markedly improved of late years. They have now a shorter day, higher wages, better food, and superior house accommodation. Mechanical appliances have made farm-work lighter and more agreeable. The drudgery of the threshing flail is now unknown; the hook and the scythe have given way to the reaping-machine: in every way hand labour has been lightened. But it is precisely this machinery that lessens the need for large numbers of agricultural labourers. It is also notorious that ...
— Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland • Daniel Turner Holmes

... Mongach of the Sea, rose up, and all the armies rose up along with him. "Stop here, Men of the World," he said, "for it is not you but myself that has to go and ask satisfaction for the bodies of my brothers." So he went on shore; and it is the way he was, with a strong iron flail in his hand having seven balls of pure iron on it, and fifty iron chains, and fifty apples on every chain, and fifty deadly thorns on every apple. And he made a rush through the Fianna to break them up entirely and to tear them into strings, and they gave way before him. And great shame came ...
— Gods and Fighting Men • Lady I. A. Gregory

... guess the struggle of feeling to which this honest young fellow fell a prey when we read the letter that he now indited, in which every stroke of the flail which scourged his conscience will be found ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... intelligently thrusting all their weight on the breast-collars, heaving and straining to get their load over a nasty place. These were the days, too, when the heat whipped off the rocks in waves and the sun's rays beat upon the back like strokes from a flail; when it was impossible to march during the noontide hours and one crawled under the limbers for shelter; and when a man looked longingly at his water-bottle, even though the water therein was ...
— With Our Army in Palestine • Antony Bluett

... found the usual village sights and life. We moved along a narrow, crooked lane which had been paved in the Middle Ages. A strapping, ruddy girl was beating flax or some such stuff in a little bit of a good-box of a barn, and she swung her flail with a will—if it was a flail; I was not farmer enough to know what she was at; a frowsy, barelegged girl was herding half a dozen geese with a stick—driving them along the lane and keeping them out of the dwellings; a cooper was at work in a shop which I know ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... to their feet and responded. Their cheers rang out. One of them, moved to enthusiasm, seized his oar and beat the water with the flat of the blade. Like a man with a flail he raised the oar high and brought it down with loud smacks on the water, splashing up sparkling drops, rocking the boat in which he stood. He was not a native of Salissa, not a subject of the Queen, but his action expressed ...
— The Island Mystery • George A. Birmingham

... upon her now was certain, for the thoughts that possessed her seemed bowing her person forward. She stooped heavily toward the fire, with her long, flail-like arms clasped around her knees, not rocking back and forth as seemed most natural to the position, but immovable as the andiron upon which her feet rested, and sombre as the storm that shook the windows and howled down ...
— The Old Homestead • Ann S. Stephens

... which she had not done; and so she found, for three or four days, her pile of corn doubled. One night she determined to watch and see who did it, and carrying her intention into practice, she saw a little pixey come into the barn with a tiny flail, with which he set to work so vigorously that he soon threshed a large quantity. ...
— Notes and Queries, Issue No. 61, December 28, 1850 • Various

... Duck, could o'er the Queen prevail; The proverb says, No fence against a flail; >From threshing corn, he turns to thresh his brains, For which her Majesty allow him grains; Though 'tis confest, that those who ever saw His poems, think them all not worth a straw. Thrice happy Duck! employ'd in threshing stubble, ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... country. That he had something of his father's progressiveness {3} is shown by the fact that he was the first farmer in the neighbourhood to set up a threshing machine in his barn, to take the place of the old-time flail. It was his liberal views that gave the first bent to his son's sympathies; and he was, as we shall see, progressive enough to give the brilliant lad the education needed for professional success, and far-seeing and broad-minded ...
— The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier - A Chronicle of Our Own Time • Oscar D. Skelton

... now, feeling her power and her strength again, followed close. And like blows of a flail, the sputtering, flaring flame beat down upon ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... flail slay fray nail bait frail vain mail gray clay paid dray bray main wail pray raise saint stray snail faint staid away paint faith train gayly spray chain plain maid stain strain waist braid drain grain praise strait twain claim sway sprain ...
— The Beacon Second Reader • James H. Fassett

... to the spicy nut-brown ale, With stories told of many a feat, How faery Mab the junkets eat; She was pinch'd and pull'd, she said; And he, by friar's lantern led, Tells how the drudging Goblin sweat To earn his cream-bowl duly set, When in one night, ere glimpse of morn, His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn That ten day-labourers could not end; Then lies him down the lubber fiend, And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length, Basks at the fire his hairy strength; And crop-full out of doors he flings, Ere the first ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... unjust as it would be to compare the best baker in London with Robinson Crusoe, who, before he could bake a single loaf, had to make his plough and his harrow, his fences and his scarecrows, his sickle and his flail, his ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... of the church were called up by the Japanese, who stepped down and ran his fingers along the floor. "Look at this dust," he said. Ordering the two men to sit down on the floor, he beat them with a flail, ...
— Korea's Fight for Freedom • F.A. McKenzie

... was all cut, Henry commenced to beat it with a flail which he found at hand. This ...
— Old French Fairy Tales • Comtesse de Segur

... to a lonely barn on the tymor's estate, where his business was to thresh out grain with a flail. One day while he was at this labor the tymor came to the barn. He was in a very bad humor, and when he saw Smith he began to offer him every insult. This made the young soldier very angry. He looked around him. No one was in sight, and ...
— The New McGuffey Fourth Reader • William H. McGuffey

... Streaming, gleaming, I will goad them to my glory and my fame. Bring me gnarly limbs of live-oak, aid me in my frenzied fight; Strips of iron-wood, scaly blue-gum, writhing redly in my hold; With my lunge of lurid lances, with my whips that flail the night, They will burgeon into beauty, they will foliate in gold. Let me star the dim sierras, stab with light the inland seas; Roaming wind and roaring darkness! seek no mercy at my hands; I ...
— Rhymes of a Rolling Stone • Robert W. Service

... cried Blaize, transported with rage. "If I am only a porter, while you pretend to be a major, I will let you see I am the better man of the two." And taking the goose by the neck, he swung it round his head like a flail, and began to batter Pillichody about the face ...
— Old Saint Paul's - A Tale of the Plague and the Fire • William Harrison Ainsworth

... besides, Sir, You are not like the thresher that doth stand With a huge flail, watching a heap of corn, And, hungry, dares not taste the smallest grain, But feeds on mallows, and such bitter herbs; Nor like the merchant, who hath filled his vaults With Romagnia, and rich Candian ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 215, December 10, 1853 • Various

... trial—a threshing floor where, under the "tribulation" of want, the wheat was beaten from the straw. Of this older view much still survives, and much that is ennobling. Nor is there any need to say goodby to it. Even if poverty were gone, the flail could still beat hard enough upon the ...
— The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice • Stephen Leacock

... harvesting should begin when three fourths of the leaves have fallen and most of the pods are ripe. Do not wait, however, until the pods are so dry that they have begun to split and drop their seeds. A slight amount of dampness on the plants aids the cutting. The threshing may be done with a flail, with pea-hullers, or with ...
— Agriculture for Beginners - Revised Edition • Charles William Burkett

... he vaulteth, Fresh as when he first began; All in coat of bright vermilion, 'Quipped as Shaw, the Lifeguardsman; Right and left his whizzing broadsword, Like a sturdy flail, he throws; Cutting out a path unto thee ...
— The Bon Gaultier Ballads • William Edmonstoune Aytoun

... of many a feat, How fairy MAB the junkets eat. She was pinched, and pulled, she said: And he, by friar's lanthern led, Tells how the drudging Goblin sweat To earn his cream-bowl duly set; When, in one night, ere glimpse of morn, His shadowy Flail hath threshed the corn That ten day-labourers could not end. Then lies him down the lubbar Fiend; And, stretched out all the chimney's length, Basks at the fire his hairy strength: And, crop-full, out of door he flings Ere the first cock ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... strode to the window and raised big hands toward the spear-points of the aloof stars. "Master of us all!" he cried; "O Father of us all! the Hammer of the Scots am I! the Scourge of France, the conqueror of Llewellyn and of Leicester, and the flail of the accursed race that slew Thine only Son! the King of England am I, who have made of England an imperial nation, and have given to Thy Englishmen new laws! And to-night I crave my hire. Never, O my Father, have I had of ...
— Chivalry • James Branch Cabell

... ceaseless turmoil seething, As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, A mighty fountain momently was forced: Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail: And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river. Five miles meandering with a mazy motion Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Then reached the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean: And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from ...
— Lyra Heroica - A Book of Verse for Boys • Various

... of ice Melted in many a quaint device, And sees, above the city's din, Afar its silent Alpine kin: I track thee over carpets deep To wealth's and beauty's inmost keep; Across the sand of bar-room floors Mid the stale reek of boosing boors; Where browse the hay-field's fragrant heats, Or the flail-heart of Autumn beats; 80 I dog thee through the market's throngs To where the sea with myriad tongues Laps the green edges of the pier, And the tall ships that eastward steer, Curtsy their farewells to the town, O'er the ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... blast frae East to Wast, An' the rein catched the grey mear's tail, An' her heels to save her hin'er en' Gaed lashin' like a flail. An' the haill apotheck lay in spails, As the grey mear warsled free; An' when auld Jock Smairt saw the fashion o' his cairt: "Wha's seekin' ...
— The Auld Doctor and other Poems and Songs in Scots • David Rorie

... The whip fell flail-like, with absolute precision and regularity. It spared no part of him. His coat was nearly torn off. In one place, on the shoulder, the white shirt was exposed, and this also was streaked ...
— The Swindler and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... despised. The man who weds the sacred Muse, Disdains all mercenary views, 920 And he, who Virtue's throne would rear Laughs at the phantoms raised by Fear. Though Folly, robed in purple, shines, Though Vice exhausts Peruvian mines, Yet shall they tremble, and turn pale, When Satire wields her mighty flail; Or should they, of rebuke afraid, With Melcombe[239] seek hell's deepest shade, Satire, still mindful of her aim, Shall bring the cowards back to shame. 930 Hated by many, loved by few, Above each little private view, Honest, though poor, (and who shall dare To ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... my swivel chair and swung my left arm like a flail just below this rattler's raised head. He struck at me, but late, and missed. The swipe I took at him should have swept him over, but he got his coils around me. When I heaved back up straight before my desk, he was as neatly wrapped around my forearm ...
— Vigorish • Gordon Randall Garrett

... Tam; it's niver no good a threshin' other folk's corn; ye allays gits the flail agin i' ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... knew that, so handicapped, she could never reach them, and with shaking, fumbling fingers she set herself to unfasten the straps that bound the skis. It took her a long, long time—all the longer for her fevered haste. And still that awful, flail-like sound went on and on, though all sound of voices had ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... great lunge at me with his fist. But the sword of Gideon missed its aim, and skinned its knuckles on the stone wall. I saw now to my great comfort that the man was beside himself with fury, and was swinging his arms wildly like a flail. Three or four times I avoided his rushes, noting with satisfaction that one of the countrymen had got hold of the shrieking Isobel. Then my chance came, for as he lunged I struck from the side with all my force on his jaw. I am left-handed, and the blow was unlocked ...
— Salute to Adventurers • John Buchan

... through the gate and to the entrance of the alley. The boys were so intent upon their game that they never noticed his approach until he was close upon them. Then they sprang up with wild yells, but the lash descended on them like a well-aimed flail; they rolled over and over in a writhing heap. After the heap had broken up and its shrieking units scattered, the irate priest calmly pocketed the marbles and, whip in hand, stalked back ...
— Reminiscences of a South African Pioneer • W. C. Scully

... is with you. But what can be done? Can a poor village, a poor commune, struggle with any chance of success against a rich company and a government? Can a stalk of wheat resist the sickle? Can an ear of wheat resist the threshing-flail? I have told you the story of Don Quixote della Mancha. Would you fight ...
— The Waters of Edera • Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida

... cried, as his breath came and went in gusts,—"there I sat, a poor barrow-back't creature, and heard that old savvorless loon spit his spite at my lass. I'm none of a brave man, Ralph: no, I must be a coward, but I went nigh to snatching up yon flail of his and striking him—aye, killing him!—but no, it must be ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... the little fields were broken with wooden ploughs, followed by the limb of a tree for harrow, and the sickle, the scythe, and the flail to do their office in due course; and if the man were well-to-do, he swung the cradle in his rye and wheat, rejoicing in the sweep of the knife and the fulness of the swathe. Then, too, there was the driving of the rivers, when the young ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... of white hickory shavings, are whittling out with keen Barlow jack-knives implements for home use: ox-bows and bow-pins, axe-helves, rakestales, forkstales, handles for spades and billhooks, wooden shovels, flail staff and swingle, swingling knives, or pokes and hog yokes for unruly cattle and swine. The more ingenious, perhaps, are fashioning buckets or powdering tubs, or weaving skeps, baskets or snowshoes. Some, it may be, sit astride the wooden ...
— The Old Coast Road - From Boston to Plymouth • Agnes Rothery

... expressed my meaning quite plainly, (reads) "Farmer Flail, I'm instructed by lord Austencourt, your landlord, to inform you, by word of letter, that if you can't afford to pay the additional rent for your farm, you must turn out." I think that's clear enough. "As to your putting in the plea of a large ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol I, No. 2, February 1810 • Samuel James Arnold

... light shade for the leaves when laid In their noonday dreams. From my wings are shaken the dews that waken The sweet buds every one, When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, As she dances about the sun. I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And whiten the green plains under; And then again I dissolve it in rain, And laugh as ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... gold; and the Merchant, whom the same inexorable hand tears away from his ships and his merchandise;—the storm-tossed ship, with Death snapping the mast;—a Count, dressed in the extreme of courtly splendor, who recognizes Death in the disguise of a peasant who has flung down his flail to seize his lordship's emblazoned shield and dash it to pieces;—a Duchess, whom one skeleton drags rudely from her canopied bed, while another scrapes upon a violin;—a Peddler;—a Ploughman, of whose four-horse team Death is the driver;—Gamblers, Drunkards, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 17, March, 1859 • Various

... beggar a man. The Drunkard, says Solomon, shall come to poverty. {49b} Many that have begun the world with Plenty, have gone out of it in Rags; through drunkenness. Yea, many Children that have been born to good Estates, have yet been brought to a Flail & a Rake, through this beastly ...
— The Life and Death of Mr. Badman • John Bunyan

... the laying of the foundation stone I had the pleasure of witnessing a rough-and-tumble fight between two of the most powerful men in Coolgardie. The excitement was intense as one seized his antagonist, and, using him as a flail, proceeded to clear the room with him; he retaliated by overpowering the other man, and finally breaking his leg as they fell heavily together out through the door on to the hard street beyond. How much ill-feeling this little incident engendered ...
— Spinifex and Sand - Five Years' Pioneering and Exploration in Western Australia • David W Carnegie

... huts of a savage town, there are but a few, sometimes none. So many are built in the fields and threshed there "to rights," as the bailiff would say. It is not needful to have them near home or keep them, now the threshing-machine has stayed the flail and emptied the barns. Perhaps these are the only two losses to those who look at things and mete them with the eye—the corn-ricks and the barns. The corn-ricks were very characteristic, but even now you may see plenty if you look directly after harvest. The barns ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... that naturally follows,' said Mr. Grewgious. 'Let's talk. Mr. Bazzard's father, being a Norfolk farmer, would have furiously laid about him with a flail, a pitch-fork, and every agricultural implement available for assaulting purposes, on the slightest hint of his son's having written a play. So the son, bringing to me the father's rent (which I receive), imparted his secret, and pointed out that he was determined to pursue his ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... band into a knot in the center of the inclosure. Then the brazen sun looked down upon a Homeric struggle. Bulger, brawny warrior of the iron hook, swung his musket like a flail, every now and again shooting forth his more sinister weapon with terrible effect. Desmond, slim and athletic, dashed in upon the enemy with his half pike as they recoiled before Bulger's whirling musket. The rest, now a bare dozen, Bengalis ...
— In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India • Herbert Strang

... through the leaves of Plug Street Wood at No Man's Land between the lines, where every creature had been killed by the sweeping flail of machine-guns and shrapnel. Along the harvest-fields there were many barren territories like that, and up by Hooge, along the edge of the fatal crater, and behind the stripped trees of Zouave Wood there was no other gleaning to be had but that of broken shells and shrapnel ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... girdle and a kingly crown, Whilst crowns and orbs and sceptres starred his breast. All gleamed compact and green with scale on scale, But special burnishment adorned his mail And special terror weighed upon his frown; 20 His punier brethren quaked before his tail, Broad as a rafter, potent as a flail. So he grew lord and master of his kin: But who shall tell the tale of all their woes? An execrable appetite arose, He battened on them, crunched, and sucked them in. He knew no law, he feared no ...
— Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems • Christina Rossetti

... the husbandman's equipment for centuries—completed the list. With these the farmer cultivated his lands and gathered his crops. With two stout hickory poles, joined together at the end with tough leather thongs, a flail was made with which he threshed out his grain on the ...
— History of Farming in Ontario • C. C. James

... started to go upstairs, but there was a man up there threshing, and goody! how he knocked me down with his flail!" ...
— English Fairy Tales • Flora Annie Steel

... with his modern flail He threatens ruin with his ponderous tail. ... Their fixed jav'lins in his side he wears, And on his back a grove of pikes appears." —WALLER'S BATTLE OF ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... this board Burke's, Goldsmith's knees Were often thrust—so runs the tale— 'Twas here the Doctor took his ease And wielded speech that like a flail Threshed out the golden truth. All hail, Great souls! that met on nights like these Till morning made the candles pale, And revellers ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... farina from the blossoms on the male plants (the female plants do not blossom) has generally fallen, pull up the male plants, leaving only the females to mature. Cut the seed-plants after the first hard frost, and carry in wet, so as to avoid loss by shelling. Seed is easily separated by a common flail. After the seeds are thrashed out, they should be spread thin, and thoroughly dried, or their vegetative power will be destroyed by heat or decay. They should be spread to be kept for the next spring's planting, and not be kept in large ...
— Soil Culture • J. H. Walden

... Montagu like a flail in the face, wiping away his anger, his astonishment at the boy's uncanny knowledge, even his astonishment that the word was able ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1919 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... drudging goblin swet, To earn the cream-bowl, duly set; When, in one night, ere glimpse of morn, His shadowy flail had thresh'd the corn, That ten day-lab'rers could not end; Then lies him down the lubbar fiend, And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length, Basks at the fire his hairy strength; And, crop-full, out of doors he flings, E'er the first cock his ...
— Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3) • Walter Scott

... wearied appetites so revolt! Mary never thought of such a thing as self-indulgence;—this daughter of the Puritans had her seed within her. Aerial in her delicacy, as the blue-eyed flax-flower with which they sowed their fields, she had yet its strong fibre, which no stroke of the flail could break; bruising and hackling only made it fitter for uses of homely utility. Mary, therefore, opened the kitchen-door at dawn, and, after standing one moment to breathe the freshness, began spreading the cloth for an early breakfast. Mrs. Scudder, the mean while, was kneading the bread that ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... the fire. Part sat like rocks: part reeled but kept their seats: Part rolled on the earth and rose again and drew: Part stumbled mixt with floundering horses. Down From those two bulks at Arac's side, and down From Arac's arm, as from a giant's flail, The large blows rained, as here and everywhere He rode the mellay, lord of the ringing lists, And all the plain,—brand, mace, and shaft, and shield— Shocked, like an iron-clanging anvil banged With hammers; till I thought, can this be he From Gama's dwarfish loins? if ...
— The Princess • Alfred Lord Tennyson

... shot through the body. He was in an agony of pain, and it was impossible for him to restrain his groans. When the ambulance started, it went anywhere but in a good road, and as it bumped over logs and boulders, my broken leg would thresh about like the mauler of a flail. I found it necessary to keep it in place by putting the other one over it. At last we stopped and were unloaded. It was still dark, but in due time light broke in the East, and a little later I could roll my head and take ...
— Personal Recollections of the War of 1861 • Charles Augustus Fuller

... and with a swift movement discarded robe and yashmak, and stood before him, in the clinging draperies of an ancient queen, wearing the leopard skin and the uraeus, and carrying the flail of royal Egypt! ...
— Brood of the Witch-Queen • Sax Rohmer

... Parliament I was Prester John. Devout was my intent; I haunted meetings, Used zealous greetings, Crept full of devotion; Smectymnuus won me first, then holy Nye prevail, (111) Then Captain Kiffin (112) slops me with John of Leyden's tail, Then Fox and Naylor bangs me with Jacob Beamond's flail. (113) ...
— Cavalier Songs and Ballads of England from 1642 to 1684 • Charles Mackay

... Stafford, ecclesiastics like Archbishop Plunkett, and commoners like Langhorne and Pickering, were dragged to death on the testimony of the vilest of the vile, without a voice being raised in their behalf; or how it could be considered a patriotic act on the part of an English Protestant to carry a flail loaded with lead beneath his cloak as a menace against his harmless neighbours who differed from him on points of doctrine. It was a long madness which has now happily passed off, or at least shows itself in a milder ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... niver no good a threshin' other folks' corn; ye allays gits the flail agin' i' yer own ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... infernal liar!" cried Spurlock, striking at the arm. But the free arm of the stranger hit him a flail-like blow on the chest and sent him sprawling into the yielding sand. Berserker, Spurlock rose, head down, ...
— The Ragged Edge • Harold MacGrath

... days religion, while offering abundant pictures of an after world of punishment, "the flagstone of pain," "the cauldron that is boiling for ever," the fire the least flame of which is "bigger than fifteen hundred of turf," so that Oisin listening to St. Patrick demands a familiar weapon, an iron flail, to beat down such familiar terrors, has left Heaven itself far off, mysterious, intangible, without earthly similes or foreshadowings. I think it is perhaps because of this that the country poets of to-day and yesterday have put their dream, ...
— The Kiltartan Poetry Book • Lady Gregory

... that Mary Hesketh could administer to her repentant Job was that of the tongue. In her early matrimonial life she had wielded this like a flail, and Job had winced before the blows which she delivered. But in course of time she had come to realise that her husband's passion for the chase was incurable, and, like a wise woman, she accepted it as part of her ...
— Tales of the Ridings • F. W. Moorman

... the heavy sail: "God be our help!" he only cried, As the roaring gale, like the stroke of a flail, Smote the boat on its starboard side. The Shoalsmen looked, but saw alone Dark films of rain-cloud slantwise blown, Wild rocks lit up by the lightning's glare, The strife and torment ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 78, April, 1864 • Various

... passionate and frail, Doris drives an earnest quill, Athanasia takes the veil: Wiser Phyllis o'er her pail, At the heart of all romance Reading, sings to Strephon's flail:- 'Fate's ...
— Poems by William Ernest Henley • William Ernest Henley

... who, instead of amusing himself with conjectural speculations, should find means of persuading the peer to inspect his steward's accounts, or repair the rural mansion of his ancestors; who could replace the tradesman behind his counter, and send back the farmer to the mattock and the flail. ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... "I 'll fight Beelzebub if he be aught I can hit; but these same boggarts, they say, a blow falls on 'em like rain-drops on a mist, or like beating the wind with a corn-flail. I cannot fight with naught, as ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... with its plaintive whistle, And pecks by the witch-hazel, whilst aloud From cottage roofs the warbling blue-bird sings; And merrily, with oft-repeated stroke, Sounds from the threshing-floor the busy flail. ...
— The Grateful Indian - And other Stories • W.H.G. Kingston

... dreary hollo off the moor above. And then another, and another. My friends may trust it; for the clod of these parts delights in the chase like any bare-legged Paddy, and casts away flail and fork wildly, to run, shout, assist, and interfere in all possible ways, out of pure love. The descendant of many generations of broom-squires and deer-stealers, the instinct of sport is strong within him still, though no more of the king's deer are to be shot in the winter turnip-fields, ...
— Prose Idylls • Charles Kingsley

... apostolic constancy and fortitude, "I know that I must die once, and therefore, as Christ said to Judas, What thou doest do quickly. You shall know that I will not recant the truth, for I am corn and not chaff. I will neither be blown away by the wind nor burst with the flail, but ...
— Ringan Gilhaize - or The Covenanters • John Galt

... to do, he lifted his arm and brought his crop hard down on the mare's quarters, so that she leaped forward, and the next moment he was sending her along as fast as she could gallop, while his arm rose and fell like a flail, thrashing her unmercifully. They fled past Ann at racing speed, and she watched, dumb with amazement, while Brett steered a huge semicircular course on the downs, keeping the animal he rode at full stretch the whole time. When at last they came back and pulled up, the mare's breath was sobbing ...
— The Vision of Desire • Margaret Pedler

... ended, Luke (for so the Son was named) And his old Father both betook themselves To such convenient work as might employ 105 Their hands by the fireside; perhaps to card Wool for the Housewife's spindle, or repair Some injury done to sickle, flail, or scythe, Or other ...
— Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson • William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson

... more than his lady as to be entirely exonerated from all but puzzle-headedness. The young man's farmer life qualified him to be highly popular at the Holt. He was curious about English husbandry, talked to the labourers, and tried their tools with no unpractised hand, even the flail which Honor's hatred of steam still kept as the winter's employment in the barn; he appreciated the bullocks, criticized the sheep, and admired the pigs, till the farming men agreed 'there had not been such an one about the ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... on that last Article of yours in the 'Flail.' Awfully smart, and will make some of them 'sit up' a bit!" i.e., Most malicious thing I ever read, and will make ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, April 12, 1890 • Various

... 'The drunkard,' says Solomon, 'shall come to poverty' (Prov 23:21). Many that have begun the world with plenty, have gone out of it in rags, through drunkenness. Yea, many children that have been born to good estates, have yet been brought to a flail and a rake, through this beastly sin of their parents. 2. This sin of drunkenness it bringeth upon the body many, great, and incurable diseases, by which men do, in little time, come to their end, and none can help them. So, because they are overmuch ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... his hand on the shoulder of the dwarf. In an instant Jennings had swung his flail-like arms, and before the tramp understood what was happening he was lying flat on his back, as much to ...
— Driven From Home - Carl Crawford's Experience • Horatio Alger

... perfected threshing machine was very similar. Fifty years ago, the flail was an implement of common use upon the barn floor. Then came the invention called the "cylinder"; this was systematically studded with "teeth" and these, in the rapid revolutions of the cylinder, passed between corresponding ...
— Rural Life and the Rural School • Joseph Kennedy

... would have implied a "make- believe" hammer and a "make-believe" curtain. No!—hammer away, like Charles Martel; "fillip me with a three-man beetle;" be to me a malleus hereticorum; come like Spenser's Talus—an iron man with an iron flail, and thresh out the straw of my logic; rack me; put me to the question; get me down; jump upon me; kick me; throttle me; put an end to me in any way ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... table before him, serene and beautiful, stood the target of his madness. The little man ran at it, swinging his murderous weapon like a flail. ...
— Bob, Son of Battle • Alfred Ollivant

... me, Sir Boy," said Genvil; "nor shake your sword my way. I tell thee, Amelot, were my weapon to cross with yours, never flail sent abroad more chaff than I would make splinters of your hatched and gilded toasting-iron. Look you, there are gray- bearded men here that care not to be led about on any boy's humour. For me, I stand little upon that; and I care not whether one boy or another ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... said Titus, whisking the poker round his head like a flail in action. "My blood's up. Come on, Jack ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... for his men leapt after him like hounds. But he fought his way in the lead with a clubbed rifle, and stood over Kagig's body working the weapon like a flail. That was all I saw of that encounter, for Mahmoud decided to attempt escape by the upper way again, and it was I who captured him. I landed on him through the darkness with my clenched fist under the ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... crabtree for cart and for plow; Save step for a stile of the crotch of the bough; Save hazel for forks, save sallow for rake; Save hulver and thorn, whereof flail ...
— In a Green Shade - A Country Commentary • Maurice Hewlett

... my dog-trains, all the way to Norway House. I harnessed eight dogs to my plough, and ploughed up my little fields; and, after making a harrow, I harrowed in my wheat with the dogs. The first year I had thirty bushels of beautiful wheat. This I cut with a sickle, and then thrashed it with a flail. Mrs Young sewed several sheets together, and one day, when there was a steady, gentle breeze blowing, we winnowed the chaff from the wheat in the wind. There were no mills within hundreds of miles of us; so we merely cracked the wheat in a hand ...
— By Canoe and Dog-Train • Egerton Ryerson Young

... in the open air, upon a broad rock, or a smooth, dry plat of greensward; and it is occasionally done there yet, especially the threshing of the buckwheat crop, by a farmer who has not a good barn floor, or who cannot afford to hire the machine. The flail makes a louder thud in the fields than you would imagine; and in the splendid October weather it is a pleasing spectacle to behold the gathering of the ruddy crop, and three or four lithe figures beating out the grain with their flails in some sheltered nook, or some grassy ...
— In the Catskills • John Burroughs

... there cow over to Sam's, and if you dare bring her back agin, I'll hide yer with the flail till yer ...
— The Moccasin Maker • E. Pauline Johnson

... for her demon lover! And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, A mighty fountain momently was forced, Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail; And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river. Five miles meandering with a mazy motion Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Then reached the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean: And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 12 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... lack to any. But now, what a change had come! Instead of well-stored barns, he had only a little wheat, which he had contrived to conceal from the Arab invaders; and, instead of its being trodden out by plump oxen, he was glad to beat it with a stick, not possessing even the poor man's flail, and hiding in a winepress, where no one would expect to ...
— Little Folks - A Magazine for the Young (Date of issue unknown) • Various

... that was harried By iron, and to heaven laid bare; He shook the seed that he carried O'er that brown and bladeless place. He shook it, as God shakes hail Over a doomed land. When lightnings interlace The sky and the earth, and his wand Of love is a thunder-flail. Thus did that Sower sow; His seed was human blood, And tears of women and men. And I, who near him stood, Said: When the crop comes, then There will be sobbing and sighing, Weeping and wailing and crying, Flame, and ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... schools leaves our rural people educationally on a par with the days of cradling the grain and threshing it with a flail; of planting corn by hand and cultivating it with a hoe; of lighting the house with a tallow dip, and traveling ...
— New Ideals in Rural Schools • George Herbert Betts

... business of life grave and determined as if it left no hours for play! Gait, dress, domicile, furniture, throughout all his poetry, are Scottish as their dialect; and sometimes, in the pride of his heart, he rejoices by such nationality to provoke some alien's smile. The sickle, the scythe, and the flail, the spade, the mattock, and the hoe, have been taken up more cheerfully by many a toil-worn cottar, because of the poetry with which Burns has invested the very implements of labour. Now and then, too, here and there peals forth the clangour ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... circulates freely is an admirable place, since the natural temperature of the air is sufficient in the case of seeds to bring about good results. Usually in less than a week the tops will have become dry enough to be beaten out with a light flail or a rod. In this operation great care must be taken to avoid bruising or otherwise injuring the seed. The beating should therefore be done in a sheet spread upon a lawn or at least upon short grass. The force of the blows will thus ...
— Culinary Herbs: Their Cultivation Harvesting Curing and Uses • M. G. Kains

... costumes, and armed with all kinds of fire-arms, but chiefly the deadly rifle, which they knew so well bow to use. Old men, middle-aged men, young men, and often mere boys, like the "minute-men" of the old Revolution, they left the plough in the furrow, the flail on the half-threshed sheaves, the unfinished iron upon the anvil,—in short, dropped all their peculiar avocations, and with their leathern pouches full of bullets and their ox-horns full of powder, poured into the city by every highway and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... butter, and had seen the butter smeared all over the gate by a little green man with a queer cap who had been seen slipping under a culvert? Canon Atkinson told us of this lady who knew all these strange things, and of the Hart Hall "Hob" who worked so hard with his flail, and of many other curious folk who frequented the Yorkshire moors in olden days. The last witch had just died before he went to Danby, but he found the whole atmosphere of the folklore firmament so surcharged with the being and work of the witch, that he seemed able to trace her ...
— English Villages • P. H. Ditchfield

... scattered. When the followers of Christ saw Him powerless and dead they denied Him and fell back to their natural instinct of self-defence, and the first Church died with the death of Christ. It was like the green corn in the field smitten by a flail to the very root. The owner of the corn walks in the field and looks with despair on his perished corn. But it happens often that after a few days the field begins under the sunshine to flourish anew, and the corn grows beautifully and ...
— The Agony of the Church (1917) • Nikolaj Velimirovic

... is the fearful simplicity of the lightning, the battering-ram, the earthquake, forces whose achievements are terrible and whose inner existence a blank. Richard hammers his bloody way through life like the legendary Iron Man with his flail, awe-inspiring as a destructive agency, not as a ...
— An Introduction to Shakespeare • H. N. MacCracken

... bonnie feathers o' mine, The feathers o' my tail: And gie to the lads o' Hamilton To be a barn-flail. ...
— Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories - A Book for Bairns and Big Folk • Robert Ford

... to be roasted. Once more using his knife to cut down a sheaf of stems, he made a flail of these, and beat out the fire to windward. And as he worked on the one side of the little clearing the fire grew on the other side, and then raced along, leaving behind in the blackened area many separate fires, where masses of reeds had been ...
— In Search of the Okapi - A Story of Adventure in Central Africa • Ernest Glanville



Words linked to "Flail" :   bat, thresh, beat up, thrash, clobber, cream, lick, lam



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