Part I: The Hearth and the Salamander

"We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at least one which makes the heart run over."

This is an allusion to the biography titled The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell.

“That favorite subject, Myself.”

This is an allusion to “Letter to Sir William Temple” by James Boswell.

[“]The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’[”]

This is an allusion to the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

He was eating a light supper at nine in the evening when the front door cried out in the hall and Mildred ran from the parlor like a native fleeing an eruption of Vesuvius.

This is an allusion to the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii in AD 79.

They were like a monstrous crystal chandelier tinkling in a thousand chimes, he saw their Cheshire cat smiles burning through the walls of the house, and now they were screaming at each other above the din.

This is an allusion to the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“Well,” he said to the men playing cards, “here comes a very strange beast which in all tongues is called a fool. . . . ‘Who are a little wise, the best fools be.’[”]

This is an allusion to the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

For these were the hands that had acted on their own, no part of him, here was where the conscience first manifested itself to snatch books, dart off with Job and Ruth and Willie Shakespeare, and now, in the firehouse, these hands seemed gloved with blood.


This quote contains an allusion to the English playwright William Shakespeare, and to two books in the Bible: the Book of Job and the Book of Ruth.

Part III: Burning Bright

Twenty million Montags running, running like an ancient flickery Keystone Comedy, cops, robbers, chasers and the chased, hunters and hunted, he had seen it a thousand times.

This is an allusion to the Keystone Cops, a series of silent films made in the 1910s featuring slapstick stories about policemen.

To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence and a time to speak.

This is an allusion to Ecclesiastes 3 from the Bible.

And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

This is an allusion to the Book of Revelation from the New Testament of the Bible.