It was 7:00 P.M., and the African night was turning blue-gray beneath the faint light of a crescent moon when the small ship entered the harbor of Tripoli. The two-masted ketch, driven by a light breeze, made a slow, two-and-a-half-hour journey through the cavernous harbor. Visible on deck were half a dozen men in Maltese costume; above them fluttered a British flag. In the distance, at the end of their journey, lay a forbidding stone castle, its ramparts several feet thick and bristling with 115 heavy cannons like needles on a porcupine.
- From The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power by Max Boot