The earliest method consisted in crushing the grain by hand between two stones, and from this crude device came the mortar and pestle. A little later millstones in the form of thick, heavy disks were brought into use for grinding grain. Two of these stones were placed so that their surfaces came together, the lower one being stationary and the upper one made to revolve.
The story above the basement held the millstones and the "smutting" machine, for cleaning dirty wheat. The next above that held the dressing machine, in which the bran was separated from the flour. In the next above that were the corn-bins. To the next above that the grain was drawn up from the basement in the first instance.
"The heart of a human creature is like the millstones: if corn be shaken thereon, it grindeth the corn, and maketh good meal; but if no corn be there, then it grindeth away itself." Luther tried the latter process all the first part of his life; but he got the corn at last, and a magnificent grist he made.
Lake's treacle-stick could cure by force or favor. One November evening, just after tea, Jan disappeared, and the yellow kitten also. When his bed-time came, Mrs. Lake sought him high and low, and Abel went carefully, mill-candlestick in hand, through every floor, from the millstones to the machinery, but in vain. Neither he nor the kitten was to be found.
She searched even behind the millstones, and in the dark sheds in which the stone-workers' tools were kept. Then she stood still a moment and clenched her hands; with a few light bounds she sprang into the shadow of the Gaul's house.
"The king loves not talk about what the king does. 'T is ill jesting with lions. Remember William Walker, hanged for saying his son should be heir to the crown." But here is my grave-visaged headman, who always contrives to pick up the last gossip astir, and has a deep eye into millstones. Why, ho, there!
Any man who comes between me and that cruel girl ah, she's as hard as one of her father's millstones; it's the misery of my life, it's the joy of my life, to love her I tell you, young sir, any man who comes between Cristel and me does it at his peril. Remember that."
Then, too, they must feast them with a dish of Indian cookery, which seemed ground maize broken by curiously arranged millstones, in which were put edible roots, fish, and strips of dried meat, that proved quite too much for miladi's delicate stomach. The child had grown accustomed to it, as Lalotte sometimes indulged in it, but she always shook her head in disdain and frowned on it.
We can barricade the lower doors, and hurl down the upper and nether millstones on the enemies' heads, set the mill going, and mow them down with the sails, and melt lead ready to pour down in ladlefuls to make them run from the scalding silver soup. A grand tower for practising all those old barbaric delights."
Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.