In sawing through a bar pour on oil; for thus the sawing will go faster and with less noise. And if a sponge be tied to the saw and to the bar, the noise will be much less distinct.
Aeneas the Tactician, (Aeneas Tacticus), On the Defence of Fortified Positions, XIX, Loeb Classical Library, London, 1923, p.103.
TIME: 4th century B.C.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Footnote in book concerning the sponge: He probably means that the sponge should have been first soaked in oil. In that way it would feed oil steadily and uniformly. It might also mean that the sponge mutes the sound of sawing.