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Meanness   Listen
noun
Meanness  n.  
1.
The condition, or quality, of being mean; want of excellence; poorness; lowness; baseness; sordidness; stinginess. "This figure is of a later date, by the meanness of the workmanship."
2.
A mean act; as, to be guilty of meanness.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Meanness" Quotes from Famous Books



... houses, where people could have bed-rooms and no questions were asked; and found one not far from my aunt's, although she lived in the best quarter of London. Just before Charlotte's day out, I went to my aunt, complained of my mother's meanness, and she gave me a sovereign. On my way home, I loitered a full hour in the street with the baudy house, marked it so as to know it in the day, and saw couples go in, as my knowing friend who had told said I should. The next day instead of going to college, and risking discovery, I waited ...
— My Secret Life, Volumes I. to III. - 1888 Edition • Anonymous

... how can you think me capable of such meanness? Would it not be more charitable to think I came to ...
— The Guinea Stamp - A Tale of Modern Glasgow • Annie S. Swan

... American born. It is not that there is no sizzling or crackling radiator, no tropic-breathing register; but that the grate in most of the houses that the traveler sees, the public-houses namely, seems to have shrunken to a most sordid meanness of size. In Exeter, for example, where there is such a beautiful cathedral, one found a bedroom grate of the capacity of a quart pot, and the heating capabilities of a glowworm. I might say the same of the Plymouth grate, but not quite the same of the grates of Bath or Southampton; ...
— London Films • W.D. Howells

... both see all that, or is it that they don't want to see? And they are pleased, pleased! And to think that this is only the first blossoming, and that the real fruits are to come! But what really matters is not the stinginess, is not the meanness, but the tone of the whole thing. For that will be the tone after marriage, it's a foretaste of it. And mother too, why should she be so lavish? What will she have by the time she gets to Petersburg? Three silver ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... diminutive of his second or gentile name, borne by his father, according to the fashion of the time, as slave to some member of the noble Horatian family. A slave the father unquestionably had been: meanness of origin was a taunt often levelled against his son, and encountered by him with magnanimous indifference; but long before Horace's birth the older Horatius had obtained his freedom, had gained sufficient money to retire from business, and to become owner of the small estate at Venusia on the ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell

... was at least one generation ahead of the colored heads of our people. We may, if we please, refuse to emigrate, and crouch like spaniels, to lick the hand that beats us; but children's children at the farthest, will have outgrown such pitiful meanness, and will dare to do all that others have dared and done for the sake of freedom and independence. Then all this cowardly cant about the unhealthy climate, the voracious beasts, and venomous reptiles of Africa, will be at a discount, ...
— Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party • Martin Robinson Delany

... understood by their class. For this purpose the senior lieutenant of each regiment was the chief of the regimental club, and there was a general chief for the whole army. Offenses against good manners, faults of meanness, or oddity of behavior, were discouraged by admonitions, given privately by the chief, or publicly in the convivial meetings of the club. Moral pressure might be carried so far in an aggravated case, as to ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... fifteen, between them. She spoke with a sort of throaty quaver in her voice which had a soothing effect, though what she said was anything but soothing. She pointed out the exceeding folly, not to say meanness, of Pluffles' conduct, and the smallness of his views. Then he stammered something about "trusting to his own judgment as a man of the world;" and this paved the way for what she wanted to say next. It would have withered up Pluffles had it come from any other woman; but in the soft ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... a man-child, goes triumphing to meet the sordidness of death, so was there in Rainham's rapid acceptance of his fruitless and ineffectual love a distinct sense of victory, in which pain expired—victory over the meanness and triviality of modern life, which could never seem quite mean and trivial again, since he had proved it to be capable of such moments; had looked once—and could so sing his "Nunc Dimittis"—upon the face of love. And it all happened in a second, and in a further ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... on the subject, referring the civil servant to her uncle, to Squire Carruthers, and to her solicitor, Mr. Coristine. The lawyer was disposed to be liberal in politics, although his friend Wilkinson was a strong Conservative; but the contemptible meanness of a Government department attempting to retire property deeded and paid for in order to gain a few hundred dollars or a new constituent, aroused his vehement indignation, and his determination to fight Lamb and his masters to the bitter ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... something like twenty days. He had foundered six teams of horses and worn his two men and his scouts well-nigh threadbare with night and day travel. But the doctor had proved invincible, as had the Yellow-Knife scout on his skewbald pony, which, for all its meanness of shape and size, had stood ...
— The Heart of Unaga • Ridgwell Cullum

... hitherto all my life a stranger to courts, for which I was unqualified by the meanness of my condition. I had indeed heard and read enough of the dispositions of great princes and ministers, but never expected to have found such terrible effects of them in so remote a country, governed, ...
— Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World • Jonathan Swift

... and the Model superiour to either of those incomparable Poems of Chevy Chase, or The Children in the Wood. The Design was undoubtedly to recommend Virtue, and to shew that however any one may labour under the Disadvantages of Stature or Deformity, or the Meanness of Parentage, yet if his Mind and Actions are above the ordinary Level, those very Disadvantages that seem to depress him, shall add a Lustre to ...
— Parodies of Ballad Criticism (1711-1787) • William Wagstaffe

... government approve of, and no others. It is now just twenty-six years since I first well understood how this matter was managed; and, from that moment to this, I have never been in an English play-house. Besides this, the meanness, the abject servility, of the players, and the slavish conduct of the audience, are sufficient to corrupt and debase the heart of any young man who is a frequent beholder of them. Homage is here paid to every one clothed with power, be he who or what ...
— Advice to Young Men • William Cobbett

... dialogue. He is full of bourgeois ideas. He execrates Racine, and treats him as a sorry sort of man. On this point he is quite mad. His wife he has thrown over for J——; and gives for such conduct reasons of signal meanness (she bore him too many children; notice that J—— has borne him none). In fine, there is more good than bad in him. Although the good traits are an outcome of pride, and although in everything he is a deeply calculating man, he is amiable on the whole, and, besides, ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... of the fulcrum and lever. We commonly keep the departments of experience distinct; we think that different principles hold in each and that the dignity of spirit is inconsistent with the explanation of it by physical analogy, and the meanness of matter unworthy of being an illustration of moral truths. Love must not be classed under physical cravings, nor faith under hypnotization. When, therefore, an original mind overleaps these boundaries, and recasts its categories, mixing up our old classifications, ...
— The Sense of Beauty - Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory • George Santayana

... also, to show you Satan's meanness, and his evil works, for ever since you came out of the garden, he has not ceased, no, not one day, from doing you some harm. But I have not given him power ...
— First Book of Adam and Eve • Rutherford Platt

... intercourse with the President of the United States, whose views upon some points of national policy differed widely from those he (Webster) was well known to entertain;' when, as if his noble spirit became suddenly aware of the narrow meanness that had induced the question, he raised himself to his full hight, and looking firmly at his audience, with a pause, till he caught the eye of the inquirer, he continued: 'I hope to God, gentlemen, never to live to see the day when a Senator of the United States ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... they had got upon the nearer subject of their own grievances against Satchell, the Squire's bailiff, who played the part of steward so far as it was not performed by old Mr. Donnithorne himself, for that gentleman had the meanness to receive his own rents and make bargains about his own timber. This subject of conversation was an additional reason for not being loud, since Satchell himself might presently be walking up the paved road to the church door. And soon they became suddenly silent; for Mr. ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... as well as envy, in the same heart and towards the same person. The rivalry stops when the competitor tumbles; and, as I view it, we should look at these agreeable and disagreeable qualities of our humanity humbly alike. They are consequent and natural, and our kindness and meanness ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... was a member of the senior class, and monitor for the floor upon which he had his room. He had, perhaps, no positive meanness in him. Most of his unpleasantness was traceable to envy. Just at present he was cultivating a dislike for Joel because of the latter's enviable success at lessons and because a resident of Hampton House had taken him up. Sproule cared nothing for out-of-door amusements and hated lessons. ...
— The Half-Back • Ralph Henry Barbour

... mean and mechanical employments among strangers, than among those, who are acquainted with their birth and education. We shall be unknown, say they, where we go. No body will suspect from what family we are sprung. We shall be removed from all our friends and acquaintance, and our poverty and meanness will by that means sit more easy upon us. In examining these sentiments, I find they afford many very convincing arguments for my ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... then," said Dymock, "nay, I would gladly carry you on my back, rather than descend to the meanness of driving a bargain with a testy old fellow like that; by the bye, Shanty, what does ...
— Shanty the Blacksmith; A Tale of Other Times • Mrs. Sherwood [AKA: Mrs. Mary Martha Sherwood]

... when in a moment of insensate sparing I gave him the bare peseta to which he was officially entitled, instead of the two or three due his zeal and intelligence; and I strongly urge my readers to be on their guard against a mistaken meanness like mine. I can never repair that, for if I went back to the Royal Armory I should not know him by sight, and if I sought among the guides saying I was the stranger who had behaved in that shabby sort, how ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... the ex-butler narrates her ladyship's cantankerous ways, how she eternally fidgeted over a little harmless dust about the corners of the furniture, as if it was not the nature of dust to settle on furniture; how she would have window panes washed which had never been washed before; her meanness in inquiring about the consumption of oil and milk and firewood, matters which the saheb had never stooped to look into; and her unworthy and insulting practice of locking up stores, and doling them out day by day, not to mention having ...
— Behind the Bungalow • EHA

... the future. M. Courtois would give his daughter a million, and at his death there would be a great deal more. Should he let this chance slip? He cared little for Laurence, it was the dowry he wanted. He took no pains to conceal his meanness; he rather gloried in it, speaking of the marriage as simply a bargain, in which he gave his name and title in exchange for riches. Bertha stopped him with a look full ...
— The Mystery of Orcival • Emile Gaboriau

... a whole gallery of other drawings, usually of Irishmen, which have been the delight of innumerable readers. The striking alternation between two extremes of character and conduct, between tragedy and farce, between ridiculous meanness and pathetic unselfishness, is to be found in all his novels, though in his later and finer work it is controlled and tempered to more artistic proportions. But in the productions of his youth the darker tints so ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... direction of La Thuiliere, he would say to himself: "He is going to keep an appointment with Reine." Then a feeling of blind rage would overpower him; he felt tempted to leave his room and follow his rival secretly—a moment afterward he would be ashamed of his meanness. Was it not enough that he had once, although involuntarily, played the degrading part of a spy! What satisfaction could he derive from such a course? Would he be much benefited when he returned home with rage in his heart and ...
— A Woodland Queen, Complete • Andre Theuriet

... intelligence characteristic of children, in whom observation begins with naughtiness. Once she had let them loose upon their aunt, she allowed them to laugh at all her absurdities, her figure, her nose, her dresses, whose meanness, nevertheless, provided their own elegant attire. Thus incited and upheld, the little ones soon arrived at insolence. Mademoiselle de Varandeuil had the quick temper that accompanies kindness of heart. With her the hand, as well as the heart, had a ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... wretch worships with the tenacious devotion of the most frenzied fanatic. In the accumulation of a competency, against the odds and chances of advanced life, a man may be pardoned for a degree of economical prudence; but for parsimonious meanness, there is certainly no excuse. I have heard my father speak of an old miserly fellow, who owned a great many blocks of buildings in Philadelphia, as well as many excellent farms around there, and who, though rich as a Jew (worth $200,000), was so despicably and scandalously mean, as to go ...
— The Humors of Falconbridge - A Collection of Humorous and Every Day Scenes • Jonathan F. Kelley

... to Mackenzie's imagination to fix his identity, not bending to reveal his name. Hector Hall, Mackenzie knew him to be, on account of his pistols, on account of the cold meanness of his eyes which Dad Frazer had described as holding such a throat-cutting look. But armed as he was, severe and flash-tempered as he seemed, Mackenzie was not in any sort of a flurry to give ground before him. He looked up at him coolly, felt in his pocket ...
— The Flockmaster of Poison Creek • George W. Ogden

... that meanness is not a vice. For just as vice moderates great things, so does it moderate little things: wherefore both the liberal and the magnificent do little things. But magnificence is a virtue. Therefore likewise meanness is a virtue rather than ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... absent. And there, four years later, when he was satisfied that her Royal Highness's good opinion could be of no service to him, the crafty, self-seeking minister gave a still more splendid dinner to the husband whose vices he had professed to abhor, whose meanness of spirit he had declared the object of his contempt. "However," writes Lord Campbell, with much satiric humor, describing this alliance between the selfish voluptuary and the equally selfish lawyer, "he was much comforted by having the honor, ...
— A Book About Lawyers • John Cordy Jeaffreson

... "Francis," says Robertson, "notwithstanding the many errors conspicuous in his foreign policy and domestic administration, was nevertheless humane, beneficent, generous. He possessed dignity without pride, affability free from meanness, and courtesy exempt from deceit. All who had access to him, and no man of merit was ever denied that privilege, respected and loved him. Captivated with his personal qualities, his subjects forgot his defects as a monarch, and, admiring him as the most accomplished and amiable ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... himself baffled, departed in a fury for the whole crowd was laughing and jeering at him, and one of the spectators threatened to report his meanness to the Collector. ...
— The Bradys and the Girl Smuggler - or, Working for the Custom House • Francis W. Doughty

... The prince followed in great state, accompanied by a number of dependants and hangers-on who had succeeded, by means of presents or otherwise, in ingratiating themselves in his favour. The bribes, flatteries, and meanness of which these sycophants were guilty, either before the departure of the prince from Constantinople or after his arrival in Bucarest (which had been the capital of Wallachia since the close of the seventeenth century) or Jassy, have been described in vivid ...
— Roumania Past and Present • James Samuelson

... Haven't I marched and starved and shared my plans with you? If there had been any meanness in you, wouldn't I have found it out? What's more, Benson knows what really happened, and so does Colonel Challoner. How else could Clarke have put the screw ...
— The Intriguers • Harold Bindloss

... had a man to resent such meanness as that. I think that those who address God with slant arrows to wound others, as is often done at prayer-meeting, will stand in perdition beside the writers ...
— Bohemian Days - Three American Tales • Geo. Alfred Townsend

... seems constantly to be worse, as his labour is more. The effusions of passion which exigence forces out are for the most part striking and energetick; but whenever he solicits his invention, or strains his faculties, the offspring of his throes is tumour, meanness, ...
— Preface to Shakespeare • Samuel Johnson

... easiness which had beguiled him into standing idle while the brother's influence was creeping like strangling ivy over the girl's generous nature; while her best instincts were being withered by ridicule, her generosity abused by meanness, and her sense of right blunted by such acts of lawlessness as the seizure of the smuggling vessel. He feared, if he did not know, that things were going ill. He saw the blighting shadow of Asgill begin to darken the scene. He believed that The McMurrough, unable to raise money on the estate—since ...
— The Wild Geese • Stanley John Weyman

... treble are equally perfect; the mean and magnificent apartments feel no pleasure or pain from the comparison. Pope might ask the weed, why it was less than the oak? but the weed would never ask the question for itself. The base and treble differ only to the hearer, meanness and magnificence only to the inhabitant. There is no evil but must inhere in a conscious being, or be referred to it; that is, evil must be felt, before it is evil. Yet, even on this subject, many questions might be offered, which human understanding has not yet answered, and which the present ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... whirlwind does she raise in my soul by her proud contempts of me! Never, never, was mortal man's pride so mortified! How does she sink me, even in my own eyes!—'Her heart sincerely repulses me, she says, for my MEANNESS!'—Yet she intends to reap the benefit of what she calls so!—Curse upon her haughtiness, and her meanness, at the same time!—Her haughtiness to me, and her meanness to her own relations; more unworthy of kindred with her, than I can be, or ...
— Clarissa, Volume 7 • Samuel Richardson

... focus instantly destroyed the picture; and so vehement was the fall from glory into meanness, that it dislocated the machinery of clairvoyant vision. The inner perception clouded and grew dark. Outer and inner mingled in violent, inextricable confusion. The wrench seemed almost physical. It happened all at once, retreat and continuation for a moment ...
— Four Weird Tales • Algernon Blackwood

... translation, and this so much the more readily, since the girl carefully abstained from uttering any direct untruth; a homage she paid to the young man's known aversion to falsehood, which he deemed a meanness altogether unworthy of a white man's gifts. The offering of the two remaining elephants, and of the pistols already mentioned, one of which was all the worse for the recent accident, produced a lively sensation among the Hurons, generally, ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... meanness of a hideous kind, this latter move was one of treachery against the men of Freekirk Head. The worst part of it was that Nat had about a hundred quintals of splendid-looking cod (every pound he had caught) in his hold, and these he ...
— The Harbor of Doubt • Frank Williams

... company, and she knew how to be silent at times, to give the "other fellow" a chance. Her executive ability was extraordinary. Wonderfully tolerant, she could at the same time not easily forgive any meanness or injustice that seemed to her deliberate. Hers ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... up and joined Mr. Gibney on a pile of old hemp hawser coiled on the bulkhead. "Danged if I don't feel sorry for old Scraggsy, for all his meanness," he declared. "It's goin' to cost him five hundred dollars to patch up the old boiler an' keep the Maggie runnin' until he can ship a new boiler. The ol' fool don't know a thing about the job himself an' there's four men down there, without a foreman, soldierin' on him an' soakin' ...
— Captain Scraggs - or, The Green-Pea Pirates • Peter B. Kyne

... asked whether she recognized the tablets as her property; Paula, after convincing herself, replied with a flaming glance of scorn and aversion at Horapollo: "Yes, my lord. It is mine. That base old man has taken it with atrocious meanness from among my things." For an instant her voice failed her; then, turning to the judges, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... avarice. They measured every thing by the money-standard. They had no taste for literature, but they rewarded sculptors and painters, if they prostituted art to their vanity or passions. They had no reverence for religion, and ridiculed the gods. Their distinguishing vices were meanness and servility, the pursuit of money by every artifice, the absence ...
— The Old Roman World • John Lord

... above abysses of vacant lots, where two drunken soldiers are pummelling each other, towers the marvellous dome with its airy genius firmly planted above, like the ruins of Palmyra above contemporary meanness. Moving up the streets, in dust and mud-puddle, you see shabbily ambitious churches, with wooden towers; hotels, the curbs whereof are speckled with human blemishes, sustaining like hip-shotten caryatides the sandstone-wooden columns. Within there is a pandemonium of legs in the air, and an ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... bitterness or sneer. "I hope you will pardon my outburst. I have my moments of irascibility, for which I am heartily ashamed. But—poof! Like a summer cloud, they are gone as quickly as they come. Why should I care what they say of me. They betray their own meanness of soul in their envy of my success. We part here for the time. I must ride over onto the east slope—a little matter of some horses." Again he laughed: "In a few days I shall return—I give you fair warning—return ...
— The Gold Girl • James B. Hendryx

... disaster. George is a typical ranchman, and my husband used to point him out to visitors as what a man might be, who grew up, or old, where 'there was room enough.' Big-hearted, full of fun, tender as a woman, but intolerant of meanness and evil doing. It would be a dark day for Sobrante if ill ...
— Jessica, the Heiress • Evelyn Raymond

... servant brings her intimate joys and sorrows to a good Herrschaft, and expects their sympathy. When a girl has bad luck and engages with a bad Herrschaft she is worse off than in England, partly because when German housekeeping is mean it sounds depths of meanness not unknown, but extremely rare here; and also because a German servant is more in the power of her employers and of the police than an English one. Anyone who has read Klara Viebig's remarkable novel, Das Taegliche Brot (a ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... spite of guards,' she said, with a gay little laugh. 'And now we have even more to be grateful to you for.' And then, simply and frankly, she told him of the pleasure 'Illusion' had given her, while, at her gracious words, Mark felt almost for the first time the full meanness of his fraud, and wished, as he had certainly never wished before, that he had indeed ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... quarrel is open. He makes no effort to conceal his disgust. 'I leave you,' he says, the 'indelible disgrace of abandoning the garrisons.' [Major-General Gordon to Sir E. Baring (telegraphic), received at Cairo April 16.] Such abandonment is, he declares, 'the climax of meanness.' [Ibid, despatched April 8.] He reiterates his determination to abide with the garrison of Khartoum. 'I will not leave these people after all they have gone through.' [Major-General Gordon to Sir E. Baring, Khartoum, July 30; received at ...
— The River War • Winston S. Churchill

... Thor had obtained a still larger vessel from Hymer the giant. It is very likely that the thief who stole King AEgir's kettle was none other than Loki the Mischief-maker; but, if this was so, he was not long unpunished for his meanness. ...
— The Story of Siegfried • James Baldwin

... consciousness which cried out fiercely for its proper life, which thirsted for sensation, and was full of lust and anger. The darkness was not only about him, but in him, and struggled there for mastery. It threw up forms of meanness and horrible temptations which clouded over his soul; their promise was forgetfulness; they seemed to say: "Satisfy us, and your infinite longing shall die away: to be of clay is very dull and comfortable; it is ...
— AE in the Irish Theosophist • George William Russell

... a pure emanation of the Spirit of the Age. Had he lived in any other period of the world, he would never have been heard of. As it is, he has some difficulty to contend with the hebetude of his intellect, and the meanness of his subject. With him "lowliness is young ambition's ladder:" but he finds it a toil to climb in this way the steep of Fame. His homely Muse can hardly raise her wing from the ground, nor spread her hidden glories to the sun. ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... earl of Pembroke had the meanness to solicit and accept the place of representative for Berkshire; and his example was imitated by two other peers, the earl of Salisbury and Lord Howard of Escrick, who sat for Lynn and Carlisle.—Journals, April 16, May 5 Sept. 18. ...
— The History of England from the First Invasion by the Romans - to the Accession of King George the Fifth - Volume 8 • John Lingard and Hilaire Belloc

... the meanness of slavery. There was so many degrees in slavery, and I belonged to a very nice man. He never sold but one man, fur's I can remember, and that was cousin Ben. Sold him South. Yes. My master was a nice old man. He ain't living ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States, From Interviews with Former Slaves - Virginia Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... girl can never have the dignity of a Phidian goddess, nor a gambling casino that of a cathedral, nor the music to Wilde's Salome that of Brahms' German Requiem, yet whatever of beauty there may be in the shapes will divert the attention from the meanness or vileness of the non-aesthetic suggestion. We do not remember the mercenary and libertine allegory embodied in Correggio's Danae, or else we reinterpret that sorry piece of mythology in terms of ...
— The Beautiful - An Introduction to Psychological Aesthetics • Vernon Lee

... descended to us from our brave and free ancestors, and I trust that we, too, shall have virtue and magnanimity enough to transmit it unimpaired to our posterity. We have laws, too, equal in their administration. We have a constitution where no lowness of birth—no meanness of origin—operate as an obstacle to preferment; in which the chief situations are open to competition, and for which the only qualifications are integrity and information. Our laws are here stigmatized as partial and corrupt. ...
— A Sketch of the Life of the late Henry Cooper - Barrister-at-Law, of the Norfolk Circuit; as also, of his Father • William Cooper

... the order and regularity with which his household both as Consul and Emperor was conducted. The great things he accomplished, and the savings he made, without even the imputation of avarice or meanness, with the sum comparatively inconsiderable of fifteen millions of francs a year, are marvellous, and expose his successors, and indeed all European Princes, to the reproach of negligence or incapacity. In this branch of his government ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... scenes of trolley-car or subway transit repeated at the highest social function in the land, with not even a hanging-strap to support their weariness, their weakness, or, if we must say it, their declining years? Would the glory of being part of a spectacle testifying in our time to the meanness and rudeness of the past be a compensation for the aching legs and breaking backs under the trailing robes and the nodding ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... something written in the human countenance—some single virtue, vice, or quality which dominates all petty characteristics. Most faces express weakness—the faces that pass one in the streets. Some are the incarnation of meanness, some pleasanter types verge on sensuality. The face of the man who sat watching Agar expressed indomitable, invincible determination, and nothing else. It was the face of one who was ready to sacrifice any one, even himself, to a single all-pervading purpose. In this respect he was a splendid ...
— From One Generation to Another • Henry Seton Merriman

... was looking for some palpable wrong, some distinctive time or cause. He was himself too simple-hearted to reflect that it is seldom a great fault which destroys liking for a person. A great fault can be forgiven. It is small personal offences constantly repeated; little acts of meanness, and, above all, the petty plans and provisions of a selfish nature. Besides which, the soul has often marvellous intuitions, unmasking men and things; premonitions, warnings, intelligences, that it cannot ...
— The Squire of Sandal-Side - A Pastoral Romance • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... His second wife was a veritable terror. She was always ready and anxious to whip a slave for the least misdemeanor. The master told Mary and her mother that before he would take the chance of them running away on account of her meanness he would leave her. As soon as he would leave the house this was a signal for his wife to start on a slave. One day, with a kettle of hot water in her hand, she chased Mary, who ran to another plantation and hid there until the good master ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - Florida Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... working hard. He still finds the fear of God useful: he puts it into everybody that goes up against his game. The fear of the Poor-House is with him yet, though he doesn't realize it. It's the mainspring of his religion. There's nothing so mean as fear; and Elias M.'s fear is back of all his meanness, his despotism in business, his tyranny as an employer. I tell you, Boss, if you ever saw a hellion in a cutaway coat, Elias M. Pierce is it, and you're going to smell sulphur when he gets here. Better let him do the talking, ...
— The Clarion • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... which shows this is that little John was sent to school. In those days learning, even learning to read and write, was not the just due of every one. It was only for the well-to- do. "But yet," says Bunyan himself, "notwithstanding the meanness and inconsiderableness of my parents, it pleased God to put it into their hearts to put me to school, to learn me both ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... surprised at our system," said Rafael, marking the evident bewilderment of his friend. "Confess you would call it meanness—my huckstering with yonder young fool. I call it simplicity. Why throw away a shilling without need? Our race never did. A shilling is four men's bread: shall I disdain to defile my fingers by holding them out relief in their necessity? It is you who are mean—you Normans—not we of the ancient ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... high, were perhaps even low, and though the terms they employed were usually common and popular and conveying no impression of refinement, by the mere harmony of their composition have attained dignity and elevation, and avoided the appearance of meanness. Such among many others are Philistus, Aristophanes occasionally, ...
— On the Sublime • Longinus

... me alone there, and I sat with my head on my arms for a long time, I did not think of anything at all; I was too utterly done up with my struggles, and there was nothing to be thought about. I had grown to accept the meanness of things as if I had aged a great deal. I had seen men scratch each other's faces over coat buttons, old shoes—over Mercer's trousers. My own future did not interest me at this stage. I sat ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... reform. If not, let him sizzle in his fat. Nature and its rigorous Laws will rub the lesson home some day. But don't you stand their nonsense for want of moral backbone. And the "I am" in you shall revolt against any such meanness and smallness in yourself. Encourage it not. Revere God. Revere yourself. Revere others. Next, as to energy and aspiration—these two characteristics transmute your mind from a negative into a positive ...
— The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga • A. P. Mukerji

... heads. The strong as such had ever been against her and hers. The father came again; noted the boy's growth. Manliest of men, like Hercules in his cloak of lion's skin, he has after all but scant liking, feels, through a certain meanness of soul, scorn for the finer likeness of himself. Might this creature of an already vanishing world, who for all his hard rearing had a manifest distinction of character, one day become his rival, full of [175] loyalty as he was already to ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... their keenness and intensity. The largeness of brain with which Shakespeare endows his human devil, and the largeness of heart of which he does not seem to wish us to imagine him as in certain circumstances incapable, contrast sharply enough with the peasant meanness of Lisbeth. Indeed, Balzac, whose seldom erring instinct in fixing on the viler parts of human nature may have been somewhat too much dwelt on, but is undeniable, has here and elsewhere hit the fault of the ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... got over? There was of course the shadow of a possibility that I might get out of my difficulties, could I but fabricate a sufficiently ingenious string of falsehoods; but now that it actually came to the point, I could not bring myself to the depths of meanness and cowardice which this involved. I had learned at school the maxim that "liars never prosper," and my dear old father had taught me to avoid falsehood from much higher considerations than those of mere temporal prosperity. ...
— Under the Meteor Flag - Log of a Midshipman during the French Revolutionary War • Harry Collingwood

... that; I certainly should not ask for it. But you know that despite enormous benefactions, the Jews as a race bear the stigma of cupidity and meanness. It is wholly undeserved. The sums annually devoted to charitable purposes, by such a family as the Elschilds—my very good friends—are truly stupendous. But the Elschilds do not seek the limelight. Mr. Rohscheimer, Baron Hague, Sir Leopold Jesson, Mr. Hohsmann—and your father, ...
— The Sins of Severac Bablon • Sax Rohmer

... words, to indict the conspiracy of men that had driven her and her followers to revolt: the refusal to women of a generous education, of a living wage, of opportunities for professional distinction; the social habit of amused contempt at women's doings; the meanness that used a woman's capacity for mating and motherhood to bind her a slave either of the kitchen or of the streets. All these things Ellen knew to be true, because she was poor and had had to drink life with the chill on, but ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... series of imaginary epistles, supposed to be addressed by various Obscurantists to a poet named Ortuinus. They are written with consummate skill, in the degenerate Latin used by the priests in those days, and they are made to exhibit all the secret meanness, ignorance, and perversity of their ...
— The Story of the Innumerable Company, and Other Sketches • David Starr Jordan

... distinguished by manly but quiet zeal than any other graduate of his prominence in public life. He stood for scholarship, fine scholarship of course, but even above that he put honor, a gentleman's code of honor. He was unconditional in his contempt for hedging, for trickery, for meanness. Constantly he showed himself an idealist, as in his advocacy of an absolute honor system. But in all there was the play of a shrewd wit, the touch of sureness, lacking snobbery, of the man who knows where he stands, and a love ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... thought over the occurrences of the past few weeks—of Matthew's decided hostility, of his course at the party, and his sudden friendship since that time—of his treachery and meanness the night before, in getting him to call at Dr. Dutton's while intoxicated, and his deception in so suddenly leaving him at the door—he saw clearly that he had been made the victim of De Vere's mean ...
— Under Fire - A Tale of New England Village Life • Frank A. Munsey

... know all about economy." He thinks he does, but he does not. There are men who think that economy consists in saving cheese-parings and candle-ends, in cutting off two pence from the laundress' bill and doing all sorts of little, mean, dirty things. Economy is not meanness. The misfortune is, also, that this class of persons let their economy apply in only one direction. They fancy they are so wonderfully economical in saving a half-penny where they ought to spend twopence, that they think they can afford to ...
— The Art of Money Getting - or, Golden Rules for Making Money • P. T. Barnum

... another girl could not be quite pleasant! I could have screamed with laughter, if I had not been so angry; I felt dreadfully tempted to tell her of the Marquis's proposal to me, and why he was marrying her—only that would have been playing down to her level of meanness. So I said that the English idea of flirting and the French were different; that the Marquis seemed to me to be quite an agreeable Frenchman, and no doubt she would be very happy; and far from it grieving me, I was delighted ...
— The Visits of Elizabeth • Elinor Glyn

... and, for decoration, there hung upon the wall photographs of bridges and cathedrals and large, unprepossessing groups of insufficiently clothed young men, sitting in rows one above another upon stone steps. There was a look of meanness and shabbiness in the furniture and curtains, and nowhere any sign of luxury or even of a cultivated taste, unless the cheap classics in the book-case were a sign of an effort in that direction. The only object that threw any light upon the character ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... Shakespeare seems to have brooded on the fact that the common prudential virtues are sometimes due, not to virtue, but to some starvation of the nature. Chastity may proceed from a meanness in the mind, from coldness of the emotions, or from cowardice, at least as often as from manly and cleanly thinking. Two kinds of chastity are set at clash here. The one springs from a fire in the personality that causes Isabella to think death better than contamination, and ...
— William Shakespeare • John Masefield

... storm of ridicule and criticism of his policy of watchful waiting beat fiercely upon him, I often wondered if he felt the petty meanness which underlay it, or was disturbed or dispirited by it. As the unkind blows fell upon him, thick and fast from every quarter, he gave no evidence to those who were close to him of any irritation, or of the deep anger he must have felt at what appeared to be a lack ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... natural that I drink in inspiration of a worth-while kind. No war news to read, no records of tragedy, of man's passions, of man's meanness and man's selfishness. ...
— Evening Round Up - More Good Stuff Like Pep • William Crosbie Hunter

... Arthur Pendennis at first comported himself with a modesty and equanimity which obtained his friend Warrington's praises, though Arthur's uncle was a little inclined to quarrel with his nephew's meanness of spirit, for not assuming greater state and pretensions now that he had entered on the enjoyment of his kingdom. He would have had Arthur installed in handsome quarters, and riding on showy park hacks, or in well-built ...
— The History of Pendennis, Vol. 2 - His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy • William Makepeace Thackeray

... profess to abhor servility, they adulate the peerage—while they tell you they care not a rush for the minister, they move heaven and earth for an invitation from the minister's wife. There is not another court in Europe where such systematized meanness is carried on,—where they will even believe you, when you assert that it exists. Abroad, you can smile at the vanity of one class, and the flattery of another: the first, is too well bred to affront, the latter, too graceful to disgust; but here, the pride of ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... "establishing," but was so cold that it took him a good while to warm up to the general temperature of the meeting. But he did at length; and talked with the Widow Wheeler, and saw all her well-managed children, and felt ashamed of his meanness only ten days before. Deacon Willberate saw his son Ned dancing with Squire Allen's rosy daughter, Matilda,—for the young people cared more for each other than for all the allusions to slavery in all the prayers ...
— Two Christmas Celebrations • Theodore Parker

... or Otgerus) gets what belonged to Holger (Holge), the Helga of "Beowulf's Lay". The caprices of the Fates, where one corrects or spoils the others' endowments, are seen in Saxo, when beauty, bounty, and meanness are given together. They sometimes meet heroes, as they met Helgi in the Eddic Lay (Helgi and Sigrun Lay), and help or begift them; they prepare the magic broth for Balder, are charmed with Hother's lute-playing, and bestow on him a belt of victory and a girdle of ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... selfish, over-fed, over-pampered, and revoltingly idle landowner, whose sole mental and physical resources were confined to the dinner and card tables, had been capable of a genuine friendship for Malcourt. Self-centred, cautious to the verge of meanness in everything which did not directly concern his own comfort and well-being, he, nevertheless, was totally dependent upon his friends for a full enjoyment of his two amusements; for he hated to dine ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... patron and friend of men of letters, and himself skilled in the "gay science" of the troubadour. But of the political capacity which was the characteristic of his house he had little or none. Profuse, changeable, false from sheer meanness of spirit, impulsive alike in good and ill, unbridled in temper and tongue, reckless in insult and wit, Henry's delight was in the display of an empty and prodigal magnificence, his one notion of government was a dream of arbitrary power. But frivolous as the king's mood was, he clung with ...
— History of the English People, Volume II (of 8) - The Charter, 1216-1307; The Parliament, 1307-1400 • John Richard Green

... poor knight constantly hoped that, beyond the turn of one of these cut-throats' haunts, "they" would leap from the shadow and fall on his back. I warrant you, "they" would have been warmly received, though; but, alack! by reason of some nasty meanness of destiny, never indeed did Tartarin of Tarascon enjoy the luck to meet any ugly customers—not so much as a dog or ...
— Tartarin of Tarascon • Alphonse Daudet

... history a revolution more destructive, or attended with a more complete subjection of the ancient inhabitants. Contumely seems even to have been wantonly added to oppression; and the natives were universally reduced to such a state of meanness and poverty, that the English name became a term of reproach; and several generations elapsed before one family of Saxon pedigree was raised to any considerable honours, or could so much as obtain the rank of baron of the realm."—Yet the English ...
— A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America • S. A. Ferrall

... did not know the Apostles' Creed, and what was even more unusual in a prospective clergyman, had never heard of the Thirty-nine Articles. He was struck with the architecture of the colleges, and much surprised at the meanness of the houses that surrounded them. He heretically calls the Isis 'a mere moat,' the Cherwell 'a ditch.' The brilliant dare-devil from Italy despised alike the raw, limitary, reputable, priggish undergraduates and the dull, snuffling, ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... utterly disgusted with this cool, indifferent way of regarding the matter, that he almost regretted having spoken. He had been condemning himself so severely during the latter part of his journey, and the meanness of his conduct as well as its wickedness had been growing so dark in colour, that Bevan's unexpected levity took him aback, and for a few seconds ...
— Twice Bought • R.M. Ballantyne

... essays on friendship, love, generosity, jealousy, integrity, laziness, hope, charity, punctuality, scholarship, meanness. On youth, old age, marriage, courtship, engagement, housekeeping, housework, the happiness of childhood, the sorrows of childhood, truth, falsehood, religion, missionary work, the poor, the duties ...
— Miss Ashton's New Pupil - A School Girl's Story • Mrs. S. S. Robbins

... schoolboy, was not an inapt description of Fetters, man—mortgage shark, labour contractor and political boss. Bill, seeking official favour, had reported to the Professor of that date some boyish escapade in which his schoolfellows had taken part, and it was in revenge for this meanness that the colonel had chased him ignominiously down Main Street and pilloried him upon the schoolhouse wall. Fetters the man, a Goliath whom no David had yet opposed, had fastened himself upon a weak and disorganised community, during a period of great ...
— The Colonel's Dream • Charles W. Chesnutt

... did find, as he talked on, a sense of shame from another side creep towards him and begin to enclose him. Shame at the smallness, meanness, emptiness of the things that ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Various

... So, too, when Montsurry first tells her of the suspicions which Monsieur has excited in him, she protests with artfully calculated indignation against the charge of wrong-doing with this "serpent." But the brutal and deliberate violence of her husband when he knows the truth, and the perfidious meanness with which he makes her the reluctant instrument of her lover's ruin, win back for her much of our alienated sympathy. Yet at the close her position is curiously equivocal. It is at her prayer that Bussy has spared Montsurry when "he hath him down" in the final struggle; but when her ...
— Bussy D'Ambois and The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois • George Chapman

... section of country probably, at the first, merely in derision; or it may possibly have been applied to it, as I have heard, because some one of its earlier inhabitants had been guilty of the petty meanness of stealing a hoe—or taking a hoe that did not belong to him. Eastern Shore men usually pronounce the word took, as tuck; Took-a-hoe, therefore, is, in Maryland parlance, Tuckahoe. But, whatever may ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... give offence; Nay, men of real worth can scarcely bear, So nice is jealousy, a rival there. Be wicked as thou wilt; do all that's base; Proclaim thyself the monster of thy race: Let vice and folly thy black soul divide; Be proud with meanness, and be mean with pride. 10 Deaf to the voice of Faith and Honour, fall From side to side, yet be of none at all: Spurn all those charities, those sacred ties, Which Nature, in her bounty, good as wise, To work our safety, and ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... which condemned Moreau were not all like Thuriot and Hemart. History has recorded an honourable contrast to the general meanness of the period in the reply given by M. Clavier, when urged by Hemart to vote for the condemnation of Moreau. "Ah, Monsieur, if we condemn him, how shall we be able to acquit ourselves?" I have, besides, the best reason ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... was accepted; but Almeric returned to Jerusalem only to die. His life had lasted only five years longer than that of his predecessor Baldwin; but it had been long enough to win for him a reputation for consummate avarice and meanness. His son and successor, Baldwin IV, was a leper, and his disease made such rapid strides as to make it necessary to delegate his authority to another. His first choice fell on Guy of Lusignan, the husband of his sister Sibylla, but either the ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume VI. • Various

... do not make me deem myself mean, and the cause of meanness. For mine! Am I not your daughter—the descendant of men who ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... on the ground that an elective king had never been received on terms of equality by an emperor of Germany: and, when this unworthy plea was overruled by the honest indignation of the Duke of Lorraine, the meeting of the two monarchs was formal and embarrassed: and Sobieski, disgusted at the meanness and arrogance of the prince who owed to him the preservation of his capital and throne, hastily cut short the conference, by deputing to his chancellor Zaluski the task of showing to Leopold the troops who ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 334, August 1843 • Various

... by selling it, you will find some over the way. It is as I suspected," continued the host, when the man had departed on his errand, "they are Andalusians, and are about to make what they call gaspacho, on which they will all sup. Oh, the meanness of these Andalusians! they are come here to suck the vitals of Galicia, and yet envy the poor innkeeper the gain of a cuarto in the oil which they require for their gaspacho. I tell you one thing, master, when that fellow returns, and demands bread and ...
— The Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... low, and low as the earth; and this is also the sense which humilis always bears in classical Latin, though Christianity (which first recognised humility as a virtue, instead of stigmatising it as a meanness) attached to it the sense which its derivatives in all modern Romance languages, with the exception of Italian, ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 227, March 4, 1854 • Various

... called him the young wolf of the Temple. He treated him as the young of wild animals are treated when taken from the mother and reduced to captivity,—at once intimidated by blows and enervated by taming. He punished for sensibility; he rewarded meanness; he encouraged vice; he made the child wait on him at table, sometimes striking him on the face with a knotted towel, sometimes raising the poker and threatening to strike him ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... long ago but had forgotten. I knew that I could expect nothing but meanness, deceit, envy, intrigue, and ingratitude—the ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... they were met by Mr. Sprugeon and Mr. Sprout, who, with many apologies for the meanness of such entertainment, took them up to the George and Vulture, which was supposed for the nonce to be the Conservative hotel in the town. Here they were met by other men of importance in the borough, and among them by Mr. Du Boung. Now Mr. Sprout and Mr. Sprugeon were Conservatives, ...
— The Duke's Children • Anthony Trollope

... with a multitude of embarrassments, any one of which would be enough to spoil our temper. From morning till night, wherever we go, the people we meet are hurried, worried, preoccupied. Some have spilt their good blood in the miserable conflicts of petty politics: others are disheartened by the meanness and jealousy they have encountered in the world of literature or art. Commercial competition troubles the sleep of not a few. The crowded curricula of study and the exigencies of their opening careers, spoil life for young men. The working classes suffer the consequences of a ceaseless ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... a fair count; but then it shows his insatiable vanity. Vanity is one of the capital sins; it is hard to tell into what meanness it may not lead a man.' With this sententious denunciation, the Mexican, who had clearly misinterpreted my indignant ejaculation, raised his hat, with an air of extreme ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... distance like marble is found to be stucco and plaster. Behind Chowringhee are a number of wide streets with similar, but generally smaller houses, each apart, with offices and servants' houses in the enclosure. When entering the city one sees that strange combination of meanness and dirt with grandeur with which travellers in Eastern lands are so familiar. In the neighbourhood of Government House there are a number of shops in the European fashion, but a very large proportion ...
— Life and Work in Benares and Kumaon, 1839-1877 • James Kennedy

... that time the Reformation was an accomplished fact, and the fiercest controversies lay behind him. Disgusted as he was with the scandals invented against the virgin queen, he did not shrink from exposing the duplicity and meanness which tarnish the lustre of her imperishable renown. Like Knox, he was insensible to the charms of Mary Stuart, and that is a deficiency hard to forgive in a man. Yet who can deny that Elizabeth only did to Mary as Mary would have done to her? The morality ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... so sharp and chill,— My soul to meanness pined and shrank, Forth went my cry in accent shrill, "My Lord, have I no grace to thank?" Its echo dying, lingered, sank, "My Lord, have I no ...
— Hymns from the East - Being Centos and Suggestions from the Office Books of the - Holy Eastern Church • John Brownlie

... "solitary disposition," whose life had been joined to savages, and who had for years had "neither servants, clothes nor fare which did not savor more of meanness than of ostentation," and who was of such natural timidity that it took him a week "to make up his mind to go to an audience" with Monseigneur de Conti, is summoned to an ...
— The French in the Heart of America • John Finley

... he gives us credit for understanding it. He has nothing of that paltry meanness or strange density of so many of his colleagues, who put us down as aimless iconoclasts or moral anarchists. He admits that we are waging a thankless war for what we take to be Truth and Progress. He is doing the same. But why, in the name of all that ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... covered with the blooms of the honey-suckle. Under the porch was seated a man of a most venerable countenance. He was muffled in a gray coat of the coarsest texture, and his legs being crossed, a worsted stocking and a slipper of untanned leather betrayed the meanness of his under garments. His hair, brilliant with a whiteness like that of milk, was parted in the centre of the forehead, and fell over his shoulders in those negligent curls called oreilles de chien, which ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... Christian morality. All the people on Bora Bora were Christians. But he was a heathen, the only unbeliever on the island, a gross materialist who believed that when he died he was dead. He believed merely in fair play and square-dealing. Petty meanness, in his code, was almost as serious as wanton homicide, and I am sure that he respected a murderer more than a man given to small practices. Concerning me, personally, he objected to my doing anything ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... dark for Florence and favorable for her persecutor, there was one circumstance that threatened failure to the latter's plans. Orton Campbell was a mean man, and his meanness in this instance worked against him. He had promised his confederate, Jones, a thousand dollars as the price of his information and co-operation, but intended all the while to avoid paying it if it were a possible thing. Of this sum seven hundred dollars were still due, ...
— Ben's Nugget - A Boy's Search For Fortune • Horatio, Jr. Alger

... ignoble use! They help to spread the notion that a man may be a man of low morality and still a gentleman; that his gentlemanliness may be a mere varnish of culture and manners, a thin veneering having underneath it only meanness, or coarseness, or corruption; and that, notwithstanding this, he may still claim to be called a gentleman. Those who spread such doctrines are debasing the moral currency of English life. And it should be the mission of schools like this, and of those who grow up in them, to pour ...
— Sermons at Rugby • John Percival

... world might think of him. But with this perplexity Andrew could accord him very little sympathy indeed; for he could not take much interest in the buttressing of a reputation which he knew to be already quite undermined by widely-reported acts of petty meanness and selfishness. Nor was this fact much to be wondered at, if his principles were really those which he had so openly advocated. Indeed, Andrew knew well that it would be a bad day for poor Annie when she came under Bruce's roof, and therefore sincerely hoped that Auntie Meg might find some ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... and me, or he would not be average. It was Whitman who stamped a kind of Birmingham sacredness upon the latter phrase; but Whitman knew very well, and showed very nobly, that the average man was full of joys and full of poetry of his own. And this harping on life's dulness and man's meanness is a loud profession of incompetence; it is one of two things: the cry of the blind eye, I cannot see, or the complaint of the dumb tongue, I cannot utter. To draw a life without delights is to prove I have not realised it. To picture a man without some sort ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... high and strong but smooth features, light-brown hair, large blue eyes,—not brilliant, but beaming with a clear and steady light, as if a soul looked through them that knew no taint of vice or meanness,—and a countenance all glorious with a truth and courage, modest gentleness, and manly self-reliance; and as he thus lingers on that lonely mountain-height, glorified as it were with the fresh pure light of the newly risen sun, with head ...
— The Farmer Boy, and How He Became Commander-In-Chief • Morrison Heady

... Martial Affairs to the Kingdom of England;" the monarchical title our commonwealth men had not yet had time enough to obliterate from their colloquial style. This writer called himself, in his barbarous English, The Moderate! It would be hard to conceive the meanness and illiteracy to which the English language was reduced under the pens of the rabble-writers of these days, had we not witnessed in the present time a parallel to their compositions. "The Moderate!" was a title assumed on the principle on which Marat denominated himself "l'Ami du Peuple." ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... day-school of excessive size, which gathered its pupils into its class-rooms at nine o'clock in the morning and dispersed them to their homes at four. No boy was proud that he went to school at St. Eldred's, or was deterred from any meanness by the thought that it was a breach of the school's traditions. The school meant so many lessons in so many ...
— The Summons • A.E.W. Mason

... had not yet learned what terrible corrupters are the Hope and the Fear of immense Wealthy, even to men reputed the most honourable, if they have been reared and pampered in the belief that wealth is the Arch blessing of life. Rightly considered, in Philip Beaufort's solitary meanness lay the vast moral of this world's ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Shall we be demigods in our closets at the price of sinking below mortality in the world? No! it was from this deep sentiment of the unrealness of literary fame, of dissatisfaction at the fruits it produced, of fear for the meanness it engendered, that I resigned betimes all love for its career; and if, by the restless desire that haunts men who think much to write ever, I should be urged hereafter to literature, I will sternly teach myself to persevere in the indifference to ...
— The Pilgrims Of The Rhine • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... symbolized to her by the folds of the Tricolour or by the magic of that word, "La France!" which thrilled her soul, smirched by the traffic of the streets. The most money-loving bourgeois, who had counted every sou and cheated every other one, was lifted out of his meanness and materialism and did astounding things, without a murmur, abandoning his business to go back to the colours as a soldier of France, and regarding the ruin of a life's ambitions without a heartache so ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... was pale and slender. He was very quiet and studious, and had such a love of honesty and truth, and such detestation of meanness and wrong, that we boys had ...
— An Arrow in a Sunbeam - and Other Tales • Various

... sufficiency of self, it was a matter of indifference to her what people thought of her. She felt so infinitely above them, looking down like the aeronaut, from a colder, more rarefied atmosphere, upon objects lessened to meanness by her own elevation. ...
— Helen and Arthur - or, Miss Thusa's Spinning Wheel • Caroline Lee Hentz

... far entitled to exist, religion gives invaluable contentedness with their lot and condition, peace of heart, ennoblement of obedience, additional social happiness and sympathy, with something of transfiguration and embellishment, something of justification of all the commonplaceness, all the meanness, all the semi-animal poverty of their souls. Religion, together with the religious significance of life, sheds sunshine over such perpetually harassed men, and makes even their own aspect endurable to them, it operates upon them ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... affirmative reply to this question, she was doomed to disappointment. Disgusted with such paltry meanness, Clemence, who had pushed her plate away, unable to partake of the stale food, replied quietly, "I should say ...
— Clemence - The Schoolmistress of Waveland • Retta Babcock

... respect, as the sense for beauty, whereof this symmetry is an essential element, awakens and strengthens within him! what will not one day be his respect and desire for Greece and its symmetria prisca, when the scales drop from his eyes as he walks the London streets, and he sees such a lesson in meanness, as the Strand, for instance, in its true deformity! But here we are coming to our friend Mr. Ruskin's province, and I will not intrude upon it, for he ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... budding youth, asked his stepfather what that awful wickedness was against which he was so often warned, Corbario told him true stories of men who had betrayed their country and their friends, and of all sorts of treachery and meanness, to which misdeeds the boy did not feel himself at all inclined; so that he wondered why his mother seemed so very anxious lest he should go astray. Then he repeated to her what Corbario had told him, ...
— Whosoever Shall Offend • F. Marion Crawford

... skipper, and after knocking him about rather severely, held him under the force pump, and nearly drowned him. Only for the respect that the crew had for his wife, I really believe they would have killed him, for they were wrought up to a pitch of fury by his tyranny and meanness. The boatswain carried him below, locked him up in one of the state-rooms, and there he was kept in confinement till the barque reached Honolulu, twenty days later, the mate acting as skipper. At Honolulu, the mate and all ...
— The Call Of The South - 1908 • Louis Becke

... him that, if he wished to see how far the folly of men went, he had only to give orders for having it shown that nothing said against him was true, but that then he must change politics and come over to the Tory party. Lord Byron replied that he would prefer death and all kinds of tortures to such meanness. Hereupon the person in question said that he must suffer the consequences, which would be heavy, since his colleagues were determined on his ruin, out of party spirit and political hatred. It was at this time that, going one ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli



Words linked to "Meanness" :   malice, parsimony, malevolence, miserliness, littleness, smallness, malevolency, niggardness, parsimoniousness



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