So I'm currently reading Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander, which is awesome for many reasons. Among other things, I'm pretty sure he invented the "Overheard" meme on p. 296.
First peasant: Do you see those heretics walking along so pleased with themselves? The red-haired one is descended from Judas Iscariot, no doubt. Second peasant: Wherever the English walk the ewes miscarry and abort; they are all the same; I wish their bowels may gush out. Where are they going? Where do they come from? First peasant: They are going to see the navetta and the taula d'en Xatart: they come from the disguised two-masted vessel opposite Bep Ventura's warehouse. They are sailing at dawn on Tuesday to cruise on the coast from Castellon up to Cape Creus, for six weeks. They have been paying four dollars a score for hogs. I, too, wish their bowels may gush out.--Somewhere near ancient druid monuments, Minorca
Overheard by: Stephen Maturin