unearths some literary gems.
From The Eel Pie Murders, by David Frome:
The junior partner, who was at least sixty-five, looked so much like a maple leaf that has been for a century between the leaves of the family Bible that Bull thought it best to come to the point quickly, before a chance gust of wind might take him off before his very eyes.
[This solicitor also responds to everything, from information he's long been aware of to startling revelations, by calmly saying "Quite so."]
Inspector Bull began to feel a little of what an eighteenth-century writer would call "the gratifying glow of self-complacency."
[This is apparently general pastiche, as I find no evidence that any actual 18th-c. writer used that phrase in full. However, a Rev. John Trusler, writing in 1816, said that "There is a secret pleasure in doing good, which the benevolent man feels within himself, and which compensates for the value of the thing he parts with. If it tend to benefit or gratify the object on whom we bestow it, it communicates to our own bosom that glow of self-complacency that warms and invigorates the generous breast, and soothes the agitated spirit of a beneficent disposition." (A Warm Appeal against the Disturbers of Their Own Quiet, and That of Others)]
If Mr. Pinkerton was insignificant to the naked unprejudiced eye it was because naked eyes are proverbially unseeing.