Complete Works of Virginia Woolf: The Voyage Out
He seemed to come from the humming oily centre of the machine where the polished rods are sliding, and the pistons thumping; he grasped things so firmly but so loosely; he made the others appear like old maids cheapening remnants.
a part of an engine that consists of a short cylinder that fits inside a tube and moves up and down or backwards and forwards to make other parts of the engine move.
1. to fall on or hit a surface hard, with a loud dull sound;
2. to beat strongly;
3. to his sb/sth hard, especially with your closed hand;