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Motley   Listen
adjective
Motley  adj.  (compar. motlier; superl. motliest)  
1.
Variegated in color; consisting of different colors; dappled; party-colored; as, a motley coat.
2.
Wearing motley or party-colored clothing. See Motley, n., 1. "A motley fool."
3.
Composed of different or various parts; heterogeneously made or mixed up; discordantly composite; as, motley style.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Motley" Quotes from Famous Books



... below, a great fire of driftwood and some score or more of men gathered in the circle of light. The distance was too great for him to tell much about their faces, but Jeremy was sure that no English or Colonial sloop-of-war would be manned by such a motley company. Their clothes varied from the sea-boots and sailor's jerkin of the average mariner to slashed leather breeches of antique cut and red cloth skirts reaching from the girdle to the knees. Some of the group wore three-cornered ...
— The Black Buccaneer • Stephen W. Meader

... multitudes of little, skiffs, with a layer of coaldust on their pretentious, freshly-painted names, tied to the pier and rocking to the slightest motion of the water. From her windows Sidonie could see the restaurants on the beach, silent through the week, but filled to overflowing on Sunday with a motley, noisy crowd, whose shouts of laughter, mingled with the dull splash of oars, came from both banks to meet in midstream in that current of vague murmurs, shouts, calls, laughter, and singing that floats without ceasing up and down the Seine ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... "With Frederick the Great" is a tale of the Seven Years' War, and has twelve full-page illustrations by Wal. Paget; "A March on London" details some stirring scenes of the times when Wat Tyler's motley crew took possession of that city, and the illustrations are drawn by W. A. Margetson, while Wal. Paget has supplied the pictures for "With Moore at Corunna," in which the boy hero serves through the Peninsular ...
— Children's Books and Their Illustrators • Gleeson White

... immortal prize gained—or—lost! These possessors of the soil will, in a little time, be disinherited—these tenants of a day exchanged—the funeral pall will cover the most ambitious and the most active of them all, and the motley multitude be succeeded by others equally busy, equally anxious, equally thoughtless of another state of being—and ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II • Francis Augustus Cox

... may be better guessed than described when the return of Mudie's box was hastened that he might have Motley's Dutch Republic. She thought this studiousness mere affectation; but it was indisputable that Terry's soul was in books, and that he never was so happy as when turned loose into the library, dipping here ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... I were a foole, I am ambitious for a motley coat. Duke. Thou shalt haue one. Jag. It is my onely suite, Prouided that you weed your better judgements Of all opinion that growes ranke in them, That I am wise. I must haue liberty Wiithall, as large a Charter as the winde, To blow on whom I please, for ...
— Bacon is Shake-Speare • Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence

... John Motley, the great-grandfather of the subject of this Memoir, came in the earlier part of the last century from Belfast in Ireland to Falmouth, now Portland, in the District, now the State of Maine. He was twice married, and had ten children, four of ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... banks of the Rio Bravo del Norte—a mere rancheria, or hamlet. The quaint old church of Morisco-Italian style, with its cupola of motley japan, the residence of the cura, and the house of the alcalde, are the only stone structures in the place. These constitute three sides of the piazza, a somewhat spacious square. The remaining side is taken up with shops or dwellings of the common people. They are ...
— The War Trail - The Hunt of the Wild Horse • Mayne Reid

... mortal gaze to revel in the stars. Merman and mermaid, nereid and triton, were there, rejoicing in the sunbeams thus poured upon them through this subtle conduit of ocean, as do the motes of summer in her rays; but soon these disappeared, a motley crowd, confused and joyous, leaving the vision free to pierce the depths, glowing with golden light, in ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... large and substantial edifice, with a lofty steeple and spire. The Branch Bank of the United States occupies one of the corners: this is a substantial, and, compared with others in the town, is a handsome building; but, from an injudicious intermixture of brick, stone, and marble, it has a very motley appearance. Another corner of the street is occupied by the gaol and armory: the fourth corner has a large and substantial brick building, cased with plaster. The ground-floor of this building is appropriated to the courts of law: in the first story are most of the public offices; and the upper story ...
— Travels in North America, From Modern Writers • William Bingley

... carefully and strictly armed, in the buff coat plaited with steel, the well-quilted bonnet, the huge broadsword; Highlanders in their peculiar and graceful costume; even the stout farmers, who might also be found amongst this motley assemblage, wearing the iron hauberk and sharp sword beneath their apparently peaceful garb. Friars in their gray frocks and black cowls, and stately burghers and magistrates, in their velvet cloaks and gold chains, continually mingled their peaceful forms with their ...
— The Days of Bruce Vol 1 - A Story from Scottish History • Grace Aguilar

... long summer months—well, I should say not!—with eight small brothers and sisters at home, and a rather incompetent father, and sixteen dollars a month rent! The experiences of a score of shops, and the motley crew of people she had worked with in these busy years, Bessie in her careless, simple narrative had the power to invest with ...
— The Long Day - The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself • Dorothy Richardson

... disinterring the luggage from the van and dumping it down on the platform with a splendid disregard for the longevity of the various trunks and suit-cases they handled. Nan's attendant porter quickly extricated her baggage from the motley pile, and very soon she and Penelope were speeding away from the station as fast as their chauffeur—whose apparent recklessness was fortunately counter-balanced by consummate ...
— The Moon out of Reach • Margaret Pedler

... into bold relief the long rows of trees, which looked blue and hazy against their dazzling background. The town was snow-covered, too, and the frozen river, and wherever one went, the air was full of the gay jingle-jangle of countless sleighbells, while the streets were thronged with a motley collection of equipages, from the luxuriously upholstered double sleigh with its swaying robes and floating plumes, down to the shapeless home-made "pung" with its ragged, unlined buffalo skin snugly ...
— Half a Dozen Girls • Anna Chapin Ray

... hundred times over. Alone, helpless, conscious of guilt, and abandoned by every better thought, my mind was one motley scene of terror, confusion, and remorse. A thousand expedients suggested themselves, and a thousand fears told me they would be vain: at last, in an agony of despair, I packed up a few clothes, took what money and trinkets were in the house, and set out for London, whither ...
— The Man of Feeling • Henry Mackenzie

... was no sooner concluded, than your worship burst into a horse-laugh, and stamping your foot on the floor, the room was instantly filled with as motley a group as ever giggled decorum out of countenance at a masquerade: among whom I recognized a zany, with a blue perriwig, bestriding a large goose, and brandishing a golden egg, whilst your worship was ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol I, No. 2, February 1810 • Samuel James Arnold

... after the Armada had ceased to threaten her throne. We now know that the common opinion on this subject, like the common opinion respecting some other crises, was all wrong, a delusion and a sham, and based on nothing but plausible lies. Mr. Motley has put men right on this point, as on some others; and it is impossible to read his brilliant and accurate narrative of the events of 1588 without coming to the conclusion that Elizabeth was in the summer of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... lyceum lecture, a moralizing discourse or sermon. For the clerical virus was strong in Emerson, and it was not for nothing that he was descended from eight generations of preachers. His concern was primarily with religion and ethics, not with the tragedy and comedy of personal lives, this motley face of things, das bunte Menschenleben. Anecdotes and testimonies abound to illustrate this. See him on his travels in Europe, least picturesque of tourists, hastening with almost comic precipitation past ...
— Four Americans - Roosevelt, Hawthorne, Emerson, Whitman • Henry A. Beers

... to the justice borne along, In sullen majesty they go; The place receives the motley throng, And echoes to their ...
— Translations of German Poetry in American Magazines 1741-1810 • Edward Ziegler Davis

... dramaturgic equipment, and just as Johnson wrote essays because essay-writing was popular and advantageous in spite of his deficiency in the ease and lightness which the essay demands, so Brougham and Motley and Froude adventured themselves in fiction. We may even doubt whether George Eliot was a born story-teller and whether she would not have been more successful in some other epoch when some other literary form than the novel had happened to be in fashion. In ...
— A Manual of the Art of Fiction • Clayton Hamilton

... of North America, John Quincy Adams was succeeded by Andrew Jackson. Calhoun was re-elected Vice-President. A motley crowd of backwoodsmen and mountaineers, who had supported Jackson, crushed into the White House shouting for "Old Hickory." For the first time the outgoing President absented himself from the inauguration of his successor. ...
— A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year - Volume Two (of Three) • Edwin Emerson

... recalls in 1890, "was at the funeral of Taylor, at Cedarcroft, a little more than ten years ago. We rode to the grave, on a hillside, and we rode back to the house. And now he has gone to the great majority!" Boker died in Philadelphia, January 2, 1890. "He takes place with Motley on our roll of well-known authors," George Parsons Lathrop has written, "and it is even more remarkable that he should have cultivated poetry in Philadelphia, where the conditions were unfavourable, than that Motley should have taken up history in Boston, where the ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Francesca da Rimini • George Henry Boker

... almost entirely. Phoenicians, Syrians, Egyptians, Cypriots, Cilicians, Lycians, Pamphylians, Carians, Greeks, equipped in the several costumes of their countries, served side by side in their respective contingents of ships, thereby giving the fleet nearly the same motley appearance which was presented by the army. In one respect alone did the navy exhibit superior uniformity to their sister service—the epibatae, or "marines," who formed the whole fighting force of the fleet while it kept the sea, was a nearly homogeneous body, consisting of three ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 5. (of 7): Persia • George Rawlinson

... upon the river was the occasion for a pandemonium of noise as the Indian dogs swept out upon the ice to greet them with barks, yaps, growls, whines, and howls. Never had the boy seen such a motley collection of dogs. Big dogs and little dogs, long tailed, short tailed, and bob tailed—white dogs and black dogs, and dogs of every colour and all colours between. In only two particulars was there any uniformity—they all ...
— Connie Morgan in the Fur Country • James B. Hendryx

... effectually guarded against, indeed, by the very rules and regulations of the society, as well as by its spirit. The individual is the creature of his feelings of all sorts, the sport of his vices and his virtues—like the fool in Shakespear, 'motley's his proper wear':—corporate bodies are dressed in a moral uniform; mixed motives do not operate there, frailty is made into a system, 'diseases are turned into commodities.' Only so much of any one's natural or genuine impulses can influence ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... several hours in the midst of this motley crowd, looking in at the windows of the rich and curious shops, the jewellery establishments glittering with quaint Japanese ornaments, the restaurants decked with streamers and banners, the tea-houses, where ...
— Around the World in 80 Days • Jules Verne

... of no less than two emperors, and the responsibility falling on captain, crew, red trousers, and gilt eagles—He bien, what then? Neither were they cunning with their dark warnings of outlawry and violence. Dreadfulest horrors might lurk in the motley Gulf town held by force against bloodthirsty Mexicans. But croaking like that only gave brighter promise of the ecstatic ...
— The Missourian • Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

... one case that will serve both as symbol and example: the case of color. We hear the realists (those sentimental fellows) talking about the gray streets and the gray lives of the poor. But whatever the poor streets are they are not gray; but motley, striped, spotted, piebald and patched like a quilt. Hoxton is not aesthetic enough to be monochrome; and there is nothing of the Celtic twilight about it. As a matter of fact, a London gutter-boy walks unscathed among furnaces ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... looked with evident interest at the twisted columns of the high altar, at the vast mosaics in the dome, at the red damask hangings of the nave, at the Swiss guards, the chamberlains in court dress and at all the mediaeval-looking, motley figures that moved about within the space kept ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... of Scientists, officially known as Conference No. 2, had been sitting, but not progressing, in the large lecture hall of the Smithsonian Institution, which probably had never before seen so motley a gathering. Each nation had sent three representatives, two professional scientists, and a lay delegate, the latter some writer or thinker renowned in his own country for his wide knowledge and powers of ...
— The Man Who Rocked the Earth • Arthur Train

... were not the most decisive, they were assuredly the most painful. It was a hard thing to re-commence life from the beginning, at the age of three and twenty. I could scarcely realise the possibility of my having to fight my way through the motley crowd of turbulent and ambitious persons. Timid as I am, I was ever tempted to select a plain and common-place career, which I might have ennobled inwardly. I had lost the desire to know, to scrutinise and to criticise; it seemed to me as if it ...
— Recollections of My Youth • Ernest Renan

... marriage or through years of long association, have become thoroughly identified with English society, but, unlike Lady Vernon-Harcourt, widow of the great leader of the Liberal party, and daughter of the famous historian Motley, they have never lost ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... one from the border of obscurity that surrounded a centre of almost intolerable brightness into which his mental images glided as into a brilliantly lighted chamber. Into this brightness a troop of hallucinations darted suddenly like a motley and ill-assorted company of players. He saw first a grotesque and indistinct figure, which he discerned presently to be the goblin his nurse had used to frighten him in his infancy; then the face of his uncle, the elder Jonathan Gay, ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... Sinnett move mysteriously in the performance of their wonders; and the wealthy tourist from America, the botanist from Berlin, and the casual peer from Great Britain, are not wanting to complete the motley crowd. There are no roads in Simla proper where it is possible to drive, excepting one narrow way, reserved when I was there, and probably still set apart, for the exclusive delectation of the Viceroy. Every one rides—man, woman, and child; and every variety of horseflesh may be seen in ...
— Mr. Isaacs • F. Marion Crawford

... Bolognese, and a doctor of the University. Brighella and Arlecchino are both of Bergamo. The one is a sharp and roguish servant, busy-body, and rascal; the other is dull and foolish, and always masked and dressed in motley—a gibe at the poverty of the Bergamasks among whom, moreover, the extremes of stupidity and cunning are most usually found, according to the ...
— Venetian Life • W. D. Howells

... with the embalmed dead, and felt within their dust the expectation of another life, mingled with cold and suffocating doubts—the children born of long delay. He has walked the ways of mighty Rome, has seen the great Caesar with his legions in the field, has stood with vast and motley throngs and watched the triumphs given to victorious men, followed by uncrowned kings, the captured hosts and all the spoils of ruthless war. He has heard the shout that shook the Coliseum's roofless walls when from the reeling gladiator's hand the short sword fell, while from ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... success, thinking anew of slaughter and untold spoil, such as they had known at William Henry and such as they might have had at Ticonderoga. The gigantic Tandakora, painted hideously, led them, and in all that motley array there was no soul more eager than ...
— The Sun Of Quebec - A Story of a Great Crisis • Joseph A. Altsheler

... prospect of success, had certainly given the lady's complexion a fine tint. Her dainty profile offered a striking contrast to the motley crew of negroid Arabs who surrounded her. And she came to meet them in a buoyant spirit, though the fierce sun was scorching her delicate skin through the ...
— The Wheel O' Fortune • Louis Tracy

... and present it to the people of Massachusetts. The Attorney-General, Sir Fitzroy Kelley, approved the plan, and said it would be an exceptional act of grace, a most interesting action, and that he heartily wished the success of the application. But the bishop refused. Again, in 1869, John Lothrop Motley, then minister to England, who had a great and deserved influence there, repeated the proposition, at the suggestion of that most accomplished scholar, Justin Winsor. But his appeal had the same fate. The bishop gave no encouragement, ...
— Bradford's History of 'Plimoth Plantation' • William Bradford

... express it; they develop lungs as they grow up, and yet keep their gills. I could tell you a thousand other particulars about these batrachians if I were to examine them all in succession; for it is a very motley family, in the bosom of which the transition from reptiles to fishes is in some imperceptible manner accomplished; from the frog, which the unanimous consent of mankind has always ranked among reptiles, ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... Motley, Dr. Howe, and many others, consider it as a triumph that the English Cabinet asked Mr. Gregory to postpone his motion for the recognition of the Southern Confederacy. Those gentlemen here are not deep, and are satisfied with a few small crumbs thrown them by the English aristocracy. Generally, ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... been sincere expressions—inside his motley garb he had a heart of tenderness. It went forth to all, even to the animal world—to the caged starling. Some may attribute the ebullitions of feeling in his works to affectation, but those who have read them attentively ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it[300].' He turned to the gentleman, 'Well, Sir, go to Dominicetti, and get thyself fumigated; but be sure that the steam be directed to thy head, for that is the peccant part'. This produced a triumphant roar of laughter from the motley assembly of philosophers, printers, and ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... gathered around the fire. Queen Awashonks, with the oldest men and women of the tribe, kneeling down in a circle, formed the first ring; next behind them came all the most distinguished warriors, armed and arrayed in all the gorgeous panoply of barbarian warfare; then came a motley multitude of the common mass ...
— King Philip - Makers of History • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... Virgil, Livy, and Tacitus; Dante, Tasso, and Petrarch; Cervantes; Thomas a Kempis; Goethe and Schiller; Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Bacon, Sir Thomas Browne, Bunyan, Addison, Gray, Scott, and Wordsworth; Hawthorne, Emerson, Motley, Longfellow, Bryant, Lowell, Holmes, and Whittier. He who reads these, and such as these, is not in serious danger of spending his time amiss. But not even such a list as this is to be received as a necessity by every reader. One may find Cowper ...
— Hold Up Your Heads, Girls! • Annie H. Ryder

... tubby little China Coast steamer marched up Manila Bay, Trask stood under the bridge on the skimpy "promenade deck" and waited impatiently for the doctor's boat to come alongside. He was the only white passenger among a motley lot of Chinese merchants and half-castes of varied hues, and he was glad the ...
— Isle o' Dreams • Frederick F. Moore

... long as he and they lived, and was ever ready to show them acts of kindness. He for a considerable time used to visit the green room, and seemed to take delight in dissipating his gloom by mixing in the sprightly chit-chat of the motley circle then to be found there. But at last—as Mr. David Hume related to me from Mr. Garrick—he denied himself this amusement from considerations of ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... as Hamlet is, with lightning-quick intelligence and heavy heart, and these are the Hamlet qualities which were not brought into prominence in the youthful Romeo. Passages taken at haphazard will suffice to establish my contention. "Motley's the only wear," says Jaques, as if longing to assume the cap and bells, and Hamlet plays the fool's part with little better ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... train and carry forward its human freight to Superior City was filled to overflowing, I determined to take advantage of the construction train, and travel on it as far as it would take me. A very motley group of lumberers, navvies, and speculators assembled for breakfast at five o'clock a.m. at Tom's table, and although I cannot quite confirm the favourable opinion of my friend the express agent as to the quality of the viands which graced it, I can at least testify ...
— The Great Lone Land - A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America • W. F. Butler

... educated at Christ's Hospital, where his most famous schoolfellow was S. T. Coleridge. Brought up in the very heart of London, he had always a strong feeling for the greatness of the metropolis of the world. "I often shed tears," he said, "in the motley Strand, for fulness of joy at so much life." He was, indeed, a thorough Cockney and lover of London, as were also Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, and Lamb's friend Leigh Hunt. Entering the India House as a clerk in the year 1792, he remained there thirty-three years; and it was one ...
— A Brief History of the English Language and Literature, Vol. 2 (of 2) • John Miller Dow Meiklejohn

... 't is true I have gone here and there, And made myself a motley to the view, Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear, Made old offences of affections new; Most true it is that I have look'd on ...
— The Function Of The Poet And Other Essays • James Russell Lowell

... a man break down in his verbs than in his virtue? Would you not prefer a little inaccuracy in his declensions to a total forgetfulness of the decalogue? And, lastly of all, what man of real eminence could have masqueraded—for it is masquerading—for years in this motley, and come out, after all, with even a rag of ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... warm brick hearth, sits Aunt Betty Cofer. Her frail body stoops under the weight of four-score years but her bright eyes and alert mind are those of a woman thirty years younger. A blue-checked mob cap covers her grizzled hair. Her tiny frame, clothed in a motley collection of undergarments, dress, and sweaters, is adorned by a clean white apron. Although a little shy of her strange white visitors, her innate dignity, gentle courtesy, and complete self possession indicate long association ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States • Various

... existence of that type of roof-traveller who converts himself into a human fountain by expectorating playfully at selected intervals. Theatre audiences were on their several ways home, and as Paul passed by the entrance to a Tube station he found a considerable crowd seeking to force its way in, a motley crowd representative of every stratum of society from Whitechapel to Mayfair. Women wearing opera cloaks and shod in fragile dress-shoes stood shivering upon the gleaming pavement beside Jewesses from the East-End. Fur-collared coats were ...
— The Orchard of Tears • Sax Rohmer

... was retreating. This monarch kept a Fool to make his mirth, And loved him tenderly despite his worth. Prompted by what caprice I cannot say, He called the Fool before the throne one day And to that jester seriously said: "I'll abdicate, and you shall reign instead, While I, attired in motley, will make sport To ...
— Shapes of Clay • Ambrose Bierce

... so long in his memory. He stood with his hand resting on the rail of the gangway, and when presently it was raised to the side of the steamer, he still kept his position, so that he could instantly catch sight of his father as he passed down. I stood close behind him, and watched the motley procession of passengers; most of them had the dull colourless skin which bespeaks long residence in India, and a particularly yellow and peevish-looking old man was grumbling loudly as he slowly made ...
— Derrick Vaughan—Novelist • Edna Lyall

... materials that ever haunted a human brain, poor Bernardo was, in spite of himself, a man of note towards his latter days. Every body wondered what was in him; but something, certainly worth the perusal; oozed out of him in his various motley performances; and especially in his edition of Drunken Barnaby's Tour, which exhibited the rare spectacle of an accurate Latin (as well as English) text, by an individual who did not know the dative singular from the dative plural of hic, haec, hoc! Haslewood, however, "hit ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... they crossed the court, lackeys, with smoking dishes and, full jugs, passed and repassed continually, although it was long past midnight. On entering the hall, they found Sir Randal at the head of a vast table, surrounded by a fiercer and more motley collection of individuals than had congregated there even in the time of Sir Rollo. The lord of the castle had signified that "it was his royal pleasure to be drunk," and the gentlemen of his train had obsequiously followed ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... natural resort of all who visit Washington. The doors are always open to visitors at stated hours, and the President is easy of access to all who call at such hours. Formerly presidential receptions were open to all comers, and the result was a motley crowd, who formed in line and shook hands with the President, bowed to the attending ladies, passed into the great east room and gradually dispersed. In late years these receptions have become less frequent, and in their place we have had diplomatic, military and navy, and ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... the French nation and Latin church, were introduced into these transmarine colonies. According to the feudal jurisprudence, the principal states and subordinate baronies descended in the line of male and female succession: [123] but the children of the first conquerors, [124] a motley and degenerate race, were dissolved by the luxury of the climate; the arrival of new crusaders from Europe was a doubtful hope and a casual event. The service of the feudal tenures [125] was performed by six hundred ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci" also begins with a prologue, but it is spoken by one of the people of the play; whether in his character as Tonio of the tragedy or Pagliaccio of the comedy there is no telling. He speaks the sentiments of the one and wears the motley of the other. Text and music, however, are ingeniously contrived to serve as an index to the purposes of the poet and the method and material of the composer. In his speech the prologue tells us that the author of the play is fond of the ancient custom of such an introduction, ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... and courtiers were of as motley a character as his conduct; and seemed to waver, during this whole reign, between the ancient and the new religion. The queen, engaged by interest as well as inclination, favored the cause of the reformers: Cromwell, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... London. "I can assure your mightiness," wrote the State's Ambassador, Caron, "that no promulgation was ever received in London with more coolness—yes, with more sadness.... The people were admonished to make bonfires, but you may be very sure not a bonfire was to be seen."—Motley, "United Netherlands," iv, 223, 224. For payments made by the city chamberlain to heralds on the occasion of proclamation of the peace, see Repertory 26, pt. ii, ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume II • Reginald R. Sharpe

... later he came back again, this time as king, with a motley army of mercenaries gathered to crush the two brothers De Lacy, who for the moment dominated all Ireland—the one, Hugo, being Earl of Ulster, and Viceroy; the other, Walter, Lord of the Palatinate ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... whose volume of sketches, "A Motley," is now in process of being reviewed, is just finishing another novel, which will no doubt be published in the autumn. That novels have to be finished is the great disadvantage of the novelist's career—otherwise, as every one knows, a bed of roses, ...
— Books and Persons - Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911 • Arnold Bennett

... my custom invites A stroll in old London for curious sights, I am likely to stray by a devious way Where goodies are spread in a motley array, The things which some eyes would appear to despise Impress me as pathos in homely disguise, And my battered waif-friend shall have pennies to spend, So long as I've got 'em (or chums that will lend); And the urchin shall share in my joy and declare That ...
— Songs and Other Verse • Eugene Field

... plain clothes, and so forth; during which contemplation the joke was uttered and laughed at, and Mr. M., resuming his professional duties, was tumbling over head and heels. Do not suppose I am going, sicut est mos, to indulge in moralities about buffoons, paint, motley, and mountebanking. Nay, Prime Ministers rehearse their jokes; Opposition leaders prepare and polish them; Tabernacle preachers must arrange them in their minds before they utter them. All I mean is, that I would like to know any one ...
— Roundabout Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... was so absorbed in his own affairs and hazards on Lake Ontario that he was not likely to give Perry any more men than could be spared. This reluctance caused Perry to send a spirited protest in which he said: "The men that came by Mr. Champlin are a motley set, blacks, soldiers, and boys. I cannot think you saw them ...
— The Fight for a Free Sea: A Chronicle of the War of 1812 - The Chronicles of America Series, Volume 17 • Ralph D. Paine

... thronged the sight to greet, And motley figures throng the spacious street; Majestical and calm through all they stride, Wearing the blanket with a monarch's pride; The gazers stare and shrug, but can't deny Their noble forms and blameless symmetry. If the Great Spirit ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... without a battle, of that he was certain, and with a wild whoop and a command to his followers, Achmet Zek put spurs to his horse and dashed down upon the Abyssinians, and after him, waving their long guns above their heads, yelling and cursing, came his motley horde ...
— Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... At the noise of his fall, the dying Powers sat up in their beds of pain; and stealthily advancing with furtive tread, the royal spiders made partition of Europe, and the purple of Caesar became the motley of Harlequin. ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... direction, and Europe flung itself upon Palestine. Men, women, and children, poured eastwards in that first crusade, and this mixed vanguard of the coming army of warriors was led by Peter the Hermit and Gaultier Sans-Avoir. This vanguard was "a motley assemblage of monks, prostitutes, artists, labourers, lazy tradesmen, merchants, boys, girls, slaves, malefactors, and profligate debauchees;" "it was principally composed of the lowest dregs of the multitude, who were animated solely by the prospect of spoil and plunder, ...
— The Freethinker's Text Book, Part II. - Christianity: Its Evidences, Its Origin, Its Morality, Its History • Annie Besant

... Achilles, AEneas, and Alexander, in their modern dress, were imported by French and Provencal knights, who, on their way to Jerusalem, came to stay at the castles of their German allies, the first poets who ventured to imitate these motley compositions were priests, not laymen. A few short extracts from Konrad's "Roland" and Lamprecht's "Alexander" are sufficient to mark this period of transition. Like Charlemagne, who had been changed into a legendary hero by French poets before he became ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... proceed up the lake; but, having no one to command the 'Niagara,' and only one commissioned lieutenant and two acting lieutenants, whatever my wishes may be, going out is out of the question. The men that came by Mr. Champlin are a motley set—blacks, soldiers, and boys. I cannot think you saw them after they were selected. I am, however, pleased to see any thing in ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... II I found a more motley throng, led by the collar-bone on the one hand and the tonsils on the other. And in Class III—but let me present ...
— A Book of Burlesques • H. L. Mencken

... a student at Goettingen, and the man of whom he spoke with warm affection all his life, was the American historian Motley. ...
— Germany and the Germans - From an American Point of View (1913) • Price Collier

... room was hung with flags and cedar boughs, and the benches down the long uncovered tables were crowded. The men's attire was motley—broadcloth and duck; white shirts, starched or limp, and blue ones; shoes with the creeper-spikes filed down, and long boots to the knees. There were women present also, and they wore anything from light print, ...
— The Greater Power • Harold Bindloss

... had once been a marvel of beauty and convenience for a mountain cabin; but time had played strange pranks with it, till now it was uneven and sloped off in a jerky fashion toward the back door. On one wall was fastened a rude set of shelves, on which was perched a motley collection of pickle bottles and tin cans. Stretched along one wall stood a crude, home-made table, and in one corner stood the remains of a little, old-fashioned stove. A wooden chest stood under the shelves, ...
— Buffalo Roost • F. H. Cheley

... boyish mind a bundle made of scores of different sorts of black pieces rolled together is anything but expressive. On first opening it, Donald looked hopelessly at the motley heap; but the kind woman helped him somewhat by rapidly throwing piece after piece aside, with, "That can't be it—that's like little Tom's trousers;" "Nor that,—that's what I wore for poor mother;" "Nor that—that's to mend my John's ...
— Donald and Dorothy • Mary Mapes Dodge

... who were younger and lighter of foot than we sober married folks, ran on before; so that when the blanket, that served the purpose of a door, was unfastened, we found a motley group of the dark skins and the pale faces reposing on the blankets and skins that were spread round ...
— The Backwoods of Canada • Catharine Parr Traill

... importance—Richard, Elizabeth, Mary—to the pure coinage of imagination—Dandy Dinmont, Dugald Dalgetty, Dominie Sampson, Rebecca, Lucy, Di Vernon and Jeanie—how the names begin to throng and what a motley yet welcome company is assembled in the assizes where this romancer sits to mete out fate to those within the wide bailiwick of his imagination! This central gift he possessed with the princes of story-making. It is also probable that of the imaginative writers of English ...
— Masters of the English Novel - A Study Of Principles And Personalities • Richard Burton

... loafers drinking at the bar glanced in the direction of his clear young voice. We went on reading and enjoying the notices, some of which were very quaint. Suddenly the door burst open to admit a big man followed closely by a motley rabble. The leader was a red-faced, burly, whiskered individual, with a red beard and matted hair. As he turned I saw a star-shaped blue scar ...
— Gold • Stewart White

... Boldness, drollery, dramatic spirit, force, and spontaneous satire characterize both artists. He does not mount a pulpit and speak to the erring masses with sanctimonious self-righteousness; but he enters the Ship himself to lead the babbling folk in motley to the land of wisdom. His own folly is that of the student, and he ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... that the planetoid was doomed. His supposedly impregnable screen was failing in spite of its utmost measure of energy, and, that defense down, the citadel would not last a minute. Therefore he summoned a chosen few of his motley crew of renegade scientists and issued brief instructions. For minutes a host of robots toiled mightily, then a portion of the shield bulged out, extended into a tube beyond the attacking layers of force, and from it there erupted a beam of violence incredible. A beam behind which was every ...
— Triplanetary • Edward Elmer Smith

... be expected that our older cities,—those whose seeds were planted by Puritans, Dutch traders, Catholic fugitives, Quakers, Cavalier spendthrifts and rogues, Huguenot exiles, and in general the motley crowd that sought the land of milk and honey in the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth centuries,—it was to be expected that these cities would have historians ad nauseam. The very nature of the early colonization of America, the elements of romance and ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 5, May, 1884 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... Misc., vol. iii., p. 200. "Printed at Middleborough, Anno 1584." The above account is taken from a rare publication, in the British Museum Library. Motley's account of Gerard's torment includes elements of horror not ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... he asked, looking over the crowd with an air of superiority and waving his hand with an inclusive gesture. The motley throng of loafers sidled up to the bar with a deprecatory and automatic movement. They took their glasses, clinked them, nodded to their entertainer, muttered incoherent toasts and drank his health. The delighted landlord, feeling it incumbent ...
— The Redemption of David Corson • Charles Frederic Goss

... been given to genealogical investigation, the name Van Dyke might have recalled to this descendant of many hidalgos that foggy battle-field in the Netherlands on which her ancestor and his took pot-shots at each other with the primitive cross-bow. Motley records that on that day far-gone Holland laid low the Spaniard. The present historian is forced to chronicle the final triumph of Spain. The only bow used in this last encounter was in the hands of a mythological person whose existence ...
— Stanford Stories - Tales of a Young University • Charles K. Field

... made hereditary. This is the most effectual of all forms to preclude knowledge. Neither could the high democratical mind have voluntarily yielded itself to be governed by children and idiots, and all the motley insignificance of character, which attends such a mere animal system, the disgrace and the reproach of reason and ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... hanging at either end of it, off he marched, uttering aloud his cries to attract customers. I called him back; I felt inclined to rush after him—to seize him—to force the information from him; but he would not listen, and he was soon lost among the motley crowd I have described. I felt almost sure that he would come back the next day but in the meantime I was left in a state of the most cruel anxiety. Here was the best clue I had yet met with almost within my grasp, to guide me in my search for Eva and Mrs Clayton, and I was not allowed ...
— Mark Seaworth • William H.G. Kingston

... voltigeurs of the best blood of the North African Moors, Tartar bowmen, Negro wrestlers, Indian divers, and Turks, who generally accompanied the Cardinal on his hunting expeditions. When he was overtaken by an early death (1535), this motley band carried the corpse on their shoulders from Itri to Rome, and mingled with the general mourning for the open-handed Cardinal their medley of tongues and ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... rear of the Box Street tenement looked out upon the river. It was lifted high: the activities of the broad stream and of the motley world of the other shore went silently; the petty noises of life—the creak and puff and rumble of its labouring machinery,—straying upward from the fussy places below, were lost ...
— The Mother • Norman Duncan

... were the officers of the Macedonian brutal; but the crew was made up of a motley class of human beings of every class of ...
— Sustained honor - The Age of Liberty Established • John R. Musick,

... Motley, in his "Rise of the Dutch Republic" (part 3, chap. 2), tells how Philip II of Spain—who declared that he would "never consent to be the sovereign of heretics"—sent the Duke of Alva to take over ...
— Our Day - In the Light of Prophecy • W. A. Spicer

... feel a certain glow of enthusiastic sympathy as the vanguard passes by—women earnest in aim and effort, artists, nursing-sisters, poetesses, doctors, wives, musicians, novelists, mathematicians, political economists, in somewhat motley uniform and ill-dressed ranks, but full of resolve, independence, and self-sacrifice. If we were fighting folk we confess we should be half inclined to shout for the rights of woman, and to fall manfully into the rank. As it is, we wait patiently for the army behind, for the main body—woman ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... week again—the mad blaspheming week of revelry and devilry. The streets were rainbow with motley wear and thunderous with the roar and laughter of the crowd, recruited by a vast inflow of strangers; from the windows and roofs, black with heads, frolicsome hands threw honey, dirty water, rotten eggs, and even ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... great landing lay beneath his glance, a vivid exposition of the vast, half-tamed valley's bounty, spoils, and promise; of its motley human life, scarcely yet to be called society, so lately and rudely transplanted from overseas; so bareboned, so valiantly preserved, so young yet already so titanic; so self-reliant, opinionated, and uncouth; so strenuous and materialistic in mind; so inflammable in emotions; so grotesque in ...
— Gideon's Band - A Tale of the Mississippi • George W. Cable

... momentary protection, for I think in the first mile the last one went overboard, all having their covers burnt off from the frames, when a general melee took place among the deck passengers, each whipping his neighbour to put out the fire. They presented a very motley appearance on arriving at the first station." Here, "a short stop was made, and a successful experiment tried to remedy the unpleasant jerks. A plan was soon hit upon and put into execution. The three links in the couplings ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... once wrote of the hand being subdued to what it works in. The man who wrote that surely never tramped along the Haworth road as the bell rang for twelve o'clock. From out the factories poured a motley mob of men, women and children, not only with hands dyed, but with clothing, faces and heads as well. Girls with bright-green hair, and lemon-colored faces, leered and jeered at me as they hastened pellmell with hats askew, and stockings down, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 2 of 14 - Little Journeys To the Homes of Famous Women • Elbert Hubbard

... tribunal of posterity for these atrocities, devised by members of its Cabinet and its Congress, directed by its Presidents, and executed by its armies and its courts. The cruelties of Alva in the Netherlands, which make the pen of Motley glow as with fire as he tells them, the dragonnades which scorched over the fairest regions of France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, have a certain excuse, as being instigated by a sincere, though misguided religious zeal. For Philip II. and Louis XIV. had, at ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... "Fret not thyself because of evil-doers" (Psa. 37:1) "Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased" (Psa. 49:16). But go thou into the sanctuary of thy God, read His Word, and understand the end of these men-(Mason). Often, as the motley reflexes of my experience move in long processions of manifold groups before me, the distinguished and world-honoured company of Christian mammonists appear to the eye of my imagination as a drove of camels heavily laden, yet all at ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... twofold change of system was necessary: in internal and in external affairs. To strengthen the state internally a complete revolution of its administration was begun under the auspices of Count F. W. Haugwitz (1700-1765); the motley system which had survived from the middle ages was gradually replaced by an administrative machinery uniformly organized and centralized; and the army especially, hitherto patched together from the quotas raised and maintained by the various diets and provincial estates, was withdrawn ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... set it down. I could not but fancy, if my Soul had at that Moment quitted my Body, and descended to the poetical Shades in the Posture it was then in, what a strange Figure it would have made among them. They would not have known what to have made of my motley Spectre, half Comick and half Tragick, all over resembling a ridiculous Face, that at the same time laughs on one side and cries o tother. The only Defence, I think, I have ever heard made for this, as it seems to me, most unnatural Tack of ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... and most unexpected quarter. An American adventurer, named Ward, a man of considerable military ability, organized a small force of foreigners, which he led to such purpose against the T'ai-p'ings, that he rapidly gathered into its ranks a large if motley crowd of foreigners and Chinese, all equally bent on plunder, and with that end in view submitting to the discipline necessary to success. A long run of victories gained for this force the title of the Ever Victorious Army; until at length Ward was killed in battle. ...
— China and the Manchus • Herbert A. Giles

... of the expressions that came from a motley assemblage of persons as they stood in a train shed in Hoboken, one June morning. Motley indeed was the gathering, and more than one traveler paused to give a second look at the little group. Perhaps a brief list of them may not be ...
— The Moving Picture Girls at Oak Farm - or, Queer Happenings While Taking Rural Plays • Laura Lee Hope

... procuring the attention of the critics of the day, and that was satirical writing. They could not tolerate that style—no, not for a moment; and many an author has had his cap and bells, aye, and the lining too, severed from the rest of his motley, simply because he would go and play with Satyrs instead of keeping company with plain ...
— Books Fatal to Their Authors • P. H. Ditchfield

... noisy bar-room. The dingy place reeked with tobacco smoke and the fumes of vile liquor. It was crowded with men. The lawlessness of the time and place was evident. Gaunt, red-faced frontiersmen reeled to and fro across the sawdust floor; hunters and fur-traders, raftsmen and farmers, swelled the motley crowd; young men, honest-faced, but flushed and wild with drink, hung over the bar; a group of sullen-visaged, serpent-eyed Indians held one corner. The black-bearded proprietor dealt out ...
— The Last Trail • Zane Grey

... commerce, was during the last centuries of the Middle Ages approximately what London is to the world of to-day. It was, beside Venice, the actual world-mart of the Continent, a centre where Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Frenchmen, and High- and Low-Germans—a motley throng—congregated to exchange their goods. Thither the Hanseatic merchant transported wood and other forest products; building stones and iron, the latter being still forged in primitive forest smithies; and copper from the rich mines of Falun, the ore from which was usually sold ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume VI. • Various

... that Havana might be made a dangerous rival of Monte Carlo under the one-man power, exercising its despotism with benignant intelligence and spending its income honestly upon the development of both the city and the island. The motley populace would probably be none the worse for it. The Government could upon a liberal tariff collect not less than thirty-five millions of annual revenue. Twenty-five of these millions would suffice for its own support. ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... of it. He told me (but I am sure this is not known to any out of our own family) that as Dr. Lindhorst was returning home after his second long absence, he entered a small village near Turin, just as a detachment of 'The Army of Italy' were leaving it. The rear presented the usual motley collection of baggage-wagons, disabled soldiers, sutlers, camp-women, and hangers-on of all sorts, who attend in the steps of a victorious troop. As Paul Lindhorst stopped to view the spectacle, and while the wild strains of music could ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... a motley following of untrained bandits and nomads, could overthrow a Spanish army was a phenomenon which the Christian States now began to eye with considerable anxiety. From the possessor of a strong place or two on the coast, he had become nothing less than ...
— The Story of the Barbary Corsairs • Stanley Lane-Poole

... party of Spanish soldiers about three months before. The name of this chief was Orellana, and he belonged to a very powerful tribe, which had committed great ravages in the neighbourhood of Buenos Ayres. With this motley crew, all of them except the European sailors averse from the voyage, Pizarro set sail from Monte Video about the beginning of November 1745: and the native Spaniards, being no strangers to the dissatisfaction of their forced men, treated them, the English prisoners ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 • Robert Kerr

... and, as the fog broke away before the waving plume, he saw that the sun was rising. Issuing with its bright beams through the passes of the snowy mountains beyond, appeared a strange and motley crew. Instead of the dark and romantic visages of his last phantom train, the Father beheld with strange concern the blue eyes and flaxen hair of a Saxon race. In place of martial airs and musical utterance, there rose upon the ear a strange din of harsh gutturals ...
— Legends and Tales • Bret Harte

... the carriages started, Sylvie's light victoria leading, and the Princesse D'Agramont's landeau following. Half way back to Rome a picturesque little beggar, whose motley-coloured rags scarcely clothed his smooth brown limbs, suddenly sprang out of a corner where he had been in hiding with a great basket of violets, and threw the whole fragrant heap dexterously into Sylvie's ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... scene presented itself to his view, as he approached the grove. A motley company, composed of the settlers of every grade and condition for miles around, had collected there. Men, women, and children in various costume—the scarlet and crimson shirt, or tunic, carrying it high above all other fashions—were standing, or walking among ...
— Adele Dubois - A Story of the Lovely Miramichi Valley in New Brunswick • Mrs. William T. Savage

... It was a motley crowd, a fair specimen of the heterogeneous mass of humanity which floats hither and there all over our western States, and contained some ...
— Jim Cummings • Frank Pinkerton

... Altogether the motley procession presented a most interesting appearance, and Patty was glad when the guests had all arrived and she could leave her post and ...
— Patty in Paris • Carolyn Wells

... "'A motley crew' we are!" cheerfully announced Doctor George, and all the children radiantly clapped their hands at his joke. Even the White House baby, which had been carried to the feast, gurgled and crowed loudly on ...
— A Big Temptation • L. T. Meade

... things evil was visible to him. He had thought, felt, and suffered so much, that, as Leigh Hunt says, he literally had intolerance for nothing. Though he could see but little religion in many professing Christians, he nevertheless saw that the motley players, "made up of mimic laughter and tears, passing from the extremes of joy or woe at the prompter's call," were not so godless and impious as the world believed ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... And what a motley collection of stuff they did bring, to be sure! Beds and mattresses, bedding, chairs, tables, a big cook stove for the kitchen, pots and pans, china and glass, knives and forks—everything that was needed for ...
— The Camp Fire Girls on the March - Bessie King's Test of Friendship • Jane L. Stewart

... of these evening parties, while La Rousseil, recently converted, howled a hymn, Durtal, sitting in a corner having a quiet smoke, had been struck by the physiognomy and bearing of Des Hermies, who stood out sharply from the motley throng of defrocked priests and grubby poets packed into ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... how about practice? I am exasperated! there is the simple fact. And is it not enough? What a scene I have just witnessed! A motley crew of thousands of low people of all colors parading the streets with flags, torches, music, and all other accompaniments, shouting, screaming, exulting over the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg. The "Era" will call it an ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... actually succeeded, for Esteban's hut was too small to accommodate more than the highest officials of the Provisional Government, so the others were forced to wait outside in the gathering dusk. And those Ministers, those secretaries of departments, those generals and colonels, what a motley crowd they formed! There was scarcely a whole garment among them. They were sunburnt, wind-browned, earnest men, the old ones grayed and grizzled from worry, the younger ones wasted from hardships in the field. But out of ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... all round him rose in light, So that the Child and he were clothed in light, And presently thereafter followed calm, Loud bells, and song! "And this same Child," PUNCH said, "Twelve moons shall reign, nor will I part with him Till these be told." And saying this the Sage, The Modern MERLIN of the motley coat, Wizard of Wit and Seer of Sunny Mirth, Took up the wave-borne youngster in his arms, His nurse, his champion, his Mentor wise, And bare him shoreward out of wind and wet, Into his sanctum, where choice fare was spread, ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, Jan. 2, 1892 • Various



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