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Nocturnal   Listen
noun
Nocturnal  n.  An instrument formerly used for taking the altitude of the stars, etc., at sea.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Nocturnal" Quotes from Famous Books



... taken to dislodge Washington, whose cannon were frozen up and could not be moved. If Sir William Howe had marched out in the night he might have brought Washington to action, or if he had retreated, he must have left his sick, cannon, ammunition, and heavy baggage behind. A nocturnal attack on the Americans would have had this further good effect: it would have depressed the spirit of revolt, confirmed the wavering, and attached them to the British interest. It would have opened a passage for supplies ...
— Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 • John Frederick Schroeder and Benson John Lossing

... is being fortified and many Turks work every night on trenches, redoubts and entanglements. Not one single living soul has been seen, since the engagement of our Marines at the end of February, although each morning brings forth fresh evidences of nocturnal activity, in patches of freshly turned up soil. All landing places are now commanded by lines of trenches and are ranged by field guns and howitzers, which, thus far, cannot be located as our naval seaplanes are too heavy to rise out of rifle range. There has been a muddle about these seaplanes. ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... to her feet and threw a gorgeous robe about her. "Come along, Sally! Let's go down and make some chocolate! I've come to crave nocturnal nourishment, and much as I adore talking about myself I've really had enough of the topic for to-night. How many pupils have you now? And ...
— Jane Journeys On • Ruth Comfort Mitchell

... myriads of insects which find their home in the ground, the long grass, the foliage, and the bark of the trees, the chorus being swelled in the present instance by the cries of countless lizards—from the diminutive and harmless grass-lizard up to the alligator, the weird sounds uttered by the nocturnal birds which flitted on noiseless wing from bough to bough, and the rattling chirr of a whole army of frogs. And very soon, too, we discovered that we were in one of the favourite haunts of the mosquito, for the cabin lamp was ...
— The Rover's Secret - A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba • Harry Collingwood

... capacities I bear, of astrologer, civilian, and physician, I have with great application studied the public emolument: to this end serve all my lucubrations, speculations, and whatever other labours I undertake, whether nocturnal or diurnal. On this motive am I induced to publish a never-failing medicine for the spleen: my experience in this distemper came from a very remarkable cure on my ever worthy friend Tom Spindle,[454] who, through excessive gaiety, had exhausted that natural stock of wit ...
— The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899 • George A. Aitken

... wore on with ever-increasing heat, and as nothing happened I began to find my watchful waiting dull. Crusoe, worn out perhaps by some private nocturnal pig-hunt, slept heavily where the drip of the spring over the brim of old Heintz's kettle cooled the air. Aunt Jane's sobs had ceased, and only a low murmur of voices came from the cabin. I began to consider whether it would not be well to take a walk with ...
— Spanish Doubloons • Camilla Kenyon

... fall, of my recent malady. It is gone to the devil: I won't pay him so bad a compliment as to say it came from him;—he is too much of a gentleman. It was nothing but a slow fever, which quickened its pace towards the end of its journey. I had been bored with it some weeks—with nocturnal burnings and morning perspirations; but I am quite well again, which I attribute to having had neither medicine ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... those which are fertilized by moths requiring the double aid of conspicuousness in the dusk and of odor. So great is the economy of Nature, that most flowers which are fertilized by crepuscular or nocturnal insects emit their odor chiefly or exclusively in the evening." - ...
— Wild Flowers, An Aid to Knowledge of Our Wild Flowers and - Their Insect Visitors - - Title: Nature's Garden • Neltje Blanchan

... long—Andrea was growing tired and cross. In Elena's apartments, in the left wing of the palace, there was no light but that which came from outside. Was she coming? And if so, in what manner? Secretly? Under what pretext? Lord Heathfield was certainly in Rome—how would she explain her nocturnal absence? Once more the soul of the former lover was torn with curiosity; once more jealousy gnawed at his heart and carnal passion inflamed him. He thought of Musellaro's derisive suggestion about the husband, and he determined to have Elena again ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... theory all the more probable, images and symbols of the cat were dedicated to the moon, the moon being universally regarded as the quintessence of everything supernatural, the very cockpit, in fact, of mystery and spookism. The nocturnal habits of the cat, its love of prowling about during moonlight hours, and the spectacle of its two round, gleaming eyes, may, of course, as Plutarch seems to have thought, have suggested to the Egyptians human influence and analogy, and thus the presence of its effigy ...
— Animal Ghosts - Or, Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter • Elliott O'Donnell

... "here's Enough that she could affix no Meaning to, nor I neither, without your condescending to explayn it—Cycle, Epicycle, nocturnal Rhomb." ...
— Mary Powell & Deborah's Diary • Anne Manning

... Canadian wilderness. Over it the moon was rising, like a red pulsating ball, lighting up the vast white silence of the night in a shimmering glow. Not a sound broke the stillness of the desolation. It was too late for the life of day, too early for the nocturnal roamings and voices of the creatures of the night. Like the basin of a great amphitheater the frozen lake lay revealed in the light of the moon and a billion stars. Beyond it rose the spruce forest, black and forbidding. Along its nearer ...
— The Wolf Hunters - A Tale of Adventure in the Wilderness • James Oliver Curwood

... reply, something fell with a heavy flop from the yard over their heads right in among the men, and vanished with a shriek. It was Jacko, who, in his nocturnal rambles in the rigging, had been shaken off the yard on which he was perched, by a sudden lurch of the vessel as the tide began to move her about. At any time such an event would have been startling, but at such a time as this ...
— The Red Eric • R.M. Ballantyne

... overstepped the bounds of decorum in his speech was said to have flared up; he who had paid visits too repeated to the gin-shop, and got damaged in consequence, had flared up. To put one's-self into a passion; to stroll out on a nocturnal frolic, and alarm a neighbourhood, or to create a disturbance in any shape, was to flare up. A lovers' quarrel was a fare up; so was a boxing-match between two blackguards in the streets, and the preachers of sedition ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... this point her thoughts refused to travel. A superstitious feeling arose at this point, to usurp the office of reason, and she accounted for the strangeness of Miss Halliday's illness as she might have done had she lived in the sixteenth century, and been liable to the suspicion of nocturnal careerings on broomsticks. ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... curtly. He was growing restive under these interrogations, the drift of which was plain enough to be disagreeable. Moreover, Mr. Perkins had insensibly assumed the tone and air of a counsel cross-examining a witness on the other side. This nocturnal cruise, whose direction and duration were known only to young Shackford, struck Lawyer Perkins unpleasantly. He meditated a moment ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... the year, when the birds are most musical. The grand concert of the feathered tribe takes place during the hour between dawn and sunrise. During the remainder of the day they sing less in concert, though many species are very musical at noonday, and seem, like the nocturnal birds, to prefer the hour when others are silent. At sunset there is an apparent attempt to unite once more in chorus, but this is far from being so loud or so general as in the morning. The little birds which I have classed in the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various

... and Peckham. But playing a one-stringed violin at fairs and public-houses could not be more than a relaxation to a man of Peace's active temper, who had once tasted what many of those who have practised it, describe as the fascination of that particular form of nocturnal adventure known by the unsympathetic name of burglary. Among the exponents of the art Peace was at this time known as a "portico-thief," that is to say one who contrived to get himself on to the portico of a house and from that point ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... the Sabbath was held is specified in very few cases; it appears to have been a nocturnal assembly, beginning about midnight and lasting till early dawn or cockcrow. 'Le coq s'oyt par fois es sabbats sonnat ...
— The Witch-cult in Western Europe - A Study in Anthropology • Margaret Alice Murray

... that all bookshops that are open in the evening are busy in the after-supper hours. Is it that the true book-lovers are nocturnal gentry, only venturing forth when darkness and silence and the gleam of hooded lights irresistibly suggest reading? Certainly night-time has a mystic affinity for literature, and it is strange that the Esquimaux have created no great books. Surely, for most of us, an arctic ...
— The Haunted Bookshop • Christopher Morley

... cushions and luxuriously pass the three quarters of an hour before breakfast reclining back, putting the finishing touches to the evening's work. It is a very beautiful spot, the V. A green. On three sides it is flanked with buildings; on the fourth is a low wall, which is used as an exit for nocturnal expeditions. It was under the V. A class-room that Gordon and Tester put their chairs. Opposite them was the grey library; beyond rose the Abbey, solemn and austere; on the left was the chapel and the long cloister leading to big school. In the early morning a great hush pervaded ...
— The Loom of Youth • Alec Waugh

... the idols to whom the islanders pay public worship represent goblins which appear to them in the darkness, leading them into foolish errors; for they make images, in the forms of seated figures, out of plaited cotton, tightly stuffed inside, to represent these nocturnal goblins and which resemble those our artists ...
— De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) - The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera • Trans. by Francis Augustus MacNutt

... counterpart to those vipers and skytalae[93] so much talked of, by presenting the visible and the front parts formidable and terrific, with spears, and bows, and horses, but in the rear of the phalanx, terminating in harlots, and rattling cymbals, and lute-playing, and nocturnal revels with women. Rustius, indeed, merits blame, but the Parthians were shameless in finding fault with the Milesian stories; for many of the kings who have reigned over them, as Arsakidae, have been the sons of Milesian ...
— Plutarch's Lives Volume III. • Plutarch

... the chief into the room where Helen sat, like some fairy specter of the night; her long hair, disordered by the winds of a nocturnal storm, mingling with the gray folds of the mantle which enveloped her. Wallace hastened forward—she now no longer flitted away, scared from his approach by the frowning glances of her step-mother. He had once attempted to express his grateful ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... night after night, irritated his nerves, and preyed upon his quiet. He thought to break through the spell by inviting a party of living guests. They came, to the number of thirty or forty; but not for their presence did the invisible revellers intermit their nocturnal visit. All heard the approach of the carriage, the steps ascending the staircase, the sounds of revelry in the hall. And all, when the opened door disclosed, as wont, but darkness and silence, turned away with a shudder,—and to the subsequent invitation of their host to ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865 • Various

... too hard to take? Or have you taken amiss some words I said to you, which, I give you my word, were nothing but a purely friendly proceeding on my part? Whatever it may be, I don't want any explanations in writing, and only send you these few lines to intimate that your nocturnal flight was not a very agreeable surprise to me, and that you would have done better in every way to hear the "Fuite en Egypte" and the "Fantaisie sur ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome: - Years of Travel as a Virtuoso" • Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

... put out her candle, and arrayed herself for bed in the costume with which she was wont to make her nocturnal visits. She had perceived that her father had something on his mind which it would be necessary that he should tell. She was soon summoned, and having seated herself on the bed, began the conversation: "I knew you would want ...
— Mr. Scarborough's Family • Anthony Trollope

... remarked, "it seems to me that the residential side of the hotel is admirably suited to the nocturnal adjustment ...
— The Lost Ambassador - The Search For The Missing Delora • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... under unfavourable circumstances. He temporized and succeeded in tiring out Narvaez and his troops, who retired to Zempoalla. Then Cortes, having taken his measures with consummate prudence, and the surprise and terror of a nocturnal attack which he organized compensating for the inferiority of his troops, he made prisoners of his enemy and all his soldiers, his own loss amounting to but two men. The conqueror treated the vanquished well, and gave them the ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... sphecocephala.[N] About twenty-five species of this genus of sphaeriaceous fungi have been described as parasitic on insects. Five species are recorded in South Carolina, one in Pennsylvania, found on the larvae of the May-bug, and one other North American species on Nocturnal Lepidoptera, one in Cayenne, one in Brazil, on the larva of a Cicada, and one on a species of ant, two in the West Indies, one in New Guinea on a species of Coccus, and one on a species of Vespa in Senegal. In Australia two species ...
— Fungi: Their Nature and Uses • Mordecai Cubitt Cooke

... Nocturnal animals supply us with equally good illustrations. Mice, rats, bats, and moles possess the least conspicuous of hues, and must be quite invisible at times when any light colour would be instantly seen. Owls and goatsuckers are of those dark mottled ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - The Naturalist as Interpreter and Seer • Various

... divine serpents, essentially benign in character, protective, prophetic, linked with gods of health, life, and healing, we do find in all mythologies a gigantic serpent, who personifies a hostile and nocturnal power, a wicked principle, material ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... a noise of opening windows, and the nocturnal head-dresses of Rockland flowered out of them like so many developments of the Nightblooming Cereus. White cotton caps and red bandanna handkerchiefs were the prevailing forms of efflorescence. The main point was that the village was waked up. The ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... Lateral Halls were, on both sides, full of tablets and scrolls, the number of which he could not in one moment ascertain. He however discriminated in numerous places the inscriptions: The Board of Lustful Love; the Board of contracted grudges; The Board of Matutinal sobs; the Board of nocturnal tears; the Board of vernal affections; and ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... our little son was born, we left him in my sister's care, and secretly returned to Paris. A few days later, in the early morning, having kept our nocturnal vigil of prayer unknown to all in a certain church, we were united there in the benediction of wedlock, her uncle and a few friends of his and mine being present. We departed forthwith stealthily and by separate ways, nor thereafter did we see each other save rarely and in ...
— Historia Calamitatum • Peter Abelard

... progress of affairs in Paris, Bernard, upon whom the burden of exile sat none the more lightly as the days went on, turned out of the Strand into one of the theatres. He had been gloomily pushing his way through the various London densities—the November fog, the nocturnal darkness, the jostling crowd. He was too restless to do anything but walk, and he had been saying to himself, for the thousandth time, that if he had been guilty of a misdemeanor in succumbing to the attractions of the admirable girl who showed to such advantage in letters ...
— Confidence • Henry James

... with me in fate, So were I equalled with them in renown, Blind Thamyris and blind Maeonides, And Tiresias and Phineus, prophets old: Then feed on thoughts that voluntary move Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird Sings darkling, and, in shadiest covert hid, Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year Seasons return; but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud instead ...
— National Epics • Kate Milner Rabb

... occupant of the truckle-bed. But why, with bedrooms enough and to spare, should he occupy that cold and comfortless situation at night? Why should he sleep on guard outside his master's door? Was there some nocturnal danger in the house of which the admiral was afraid? The question seemed absurd, and yet the position of the bed forced it irresistibly on ...
— No Name • Wilkie Collins

... a motor-car stop outside. No one, however, thought it worth while to discontinue his labours for long enough to look out and see who this nocturnal visitor might be. In a very short time, however, these labours were disturbed. From room to room, Julian, with Catherine and the Bishop, for whom they had called on the way, passed with a brief message. No one made any difficulty about coming to the ...
— The Devil's Paw • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... to the Church to inflict excommunication, both on men and women who have recourse to charms, and who believe they go in the night to nocturnal assemblies, there to pay homage to the devil. The Capitularies of the kings[141] recommend the pastors to instruct the faithful on the subject of what is termed the Sabbath; at any rate they do not command that these persons should receive corporeal punishment, but only that ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... deserted rabbit burrows and in all probability often excavates its own burrows. It also nests among the cliffs placing its eggs among the rocks in any crevice or tunnel which may offer a dark retreat during the day for they are nocturnal in their habits. The single egg which they lay is dull white in color, the inside of the shell being a pale green, which color can only be seen by holding the egg to the light. They are generally slightly nest stained. Size 1.80 x ...
— The Bird Book • Chester A. Reed

... Jeanne that her heart was getting bigger, becoming full of whisperings like this clear evening, and of a thousand wandering desires like these nocturnal insects whose quivering life surrounded her. An unconscious sympathy drew her towards this living poetry and she felt that joy and happiness were floating towards her through the soft white night, and she ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... nothing about my nocturnal visitor, not wishing to begin the day by furnishing fresh instances of what might seem like crass stupidity on my part. While occupied with these matters I began to hear people moving about and talking on the terrace, and peeping out, I beheld a curious and interesting ...
— A Crystal Age • W. H. Hudson

... these adventures were very diverting and naturally pleasing, but others involved so many dangers and such hardships that it is indeed surprising that the Caliph should ever again have ventured on these nocturnal ramblings. ...
— Tales of the Caliph • H. N. Crellin

... trough all the missing bands will be found. Apologizing for the little interruption, it is satisfactory things are all arranged without damage, and hope all will go agreeably when the rough edge is worn off. Trusting these nocturnal visits will be ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... heightened the terror and amazement; whilst the person to be admitted, overwhelmed with dread, and sweating through fear, heard, trembling, the mysterious volumes read to him, if in such a condition he was capable of hearing at all. These nocturnal rites gave birth to many disorders, which the severe law of silence, imposed on the persons initiated, prevented from coming to light, as St. Gregory Nazianzen observes.(65) What cannot superstition effect upon the mind of man, when once his imagination is heated? The president ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... animal found in Ceylon is the little loris[1], which, from its sluggish movements, nocturnal habits, and consequent inaction during the day, has acquired the ...
— Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon • J. Emerson Tennent

... have looked forward to this night of all the year on the chance of meeting, at last, in a fervent embrace under the friendly beeches. These same stern men (they are always men) declare that such nocturnal festivals are a disgrace to civilization; that the Greek Comedy, long ago, reprobated them as disastrous to the morals of females—that they were condemned by the Council of Elvira, by Vigilantius of Marseilles and by the great Saint Jerome, who wrote that ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... from Ngati again. And for the rest of the night they followed him in silence along ravines, over rugged patches of mountain side, with the great fronds of the tree-ferns brushing their faces, and nocturnal birds rushing away from them as their steps invaded the solitudes where they indulged in their ...
— The Adventures of Don Lavington - Nolens Volens • George Manville Fenn

... with the chill of frost clinging in it, next tingled his skin, and the one word, "Come," was breathed in his ear. He sat up carefully and listened. The hundreds of wolf-dogs in the camp had lifted their nocturnal song, but under the volume of it, close at hand, he could distinguish the light, regular breathing ...
— Smoke Bellew • Jack London

... college joke, but he referred to it in all seriousness—of "Old Strangridge," who "was carried over Shelford Steeple upon a black Hogge and tore his breeches upon the weather-cock."[35] He believed that he had absolute proof of the "nocturnal conventicles" of witches.[36] He had, however, none of that instinct for scientific observation that had distinguished Scot, and his researches did not prevent his being easily duped. His observations are not by any means so entertaining as are his theories. His effort ...
— A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 • Wallace Notestein

... silence, and then it seemed to Capel, as he sat there, that the nocturnal visitor had made the table a starting-point for a fresh departure in the dark, and was going from him toward the back drawing-room, in the left hand corner of which the old lawyer had ...
— The Dark House - A Knot Unravelled • George Manville Fenn

... worshippers found the objects of their devotion prostrated and mutilated, and their rage knew no bounds. It was not long before the wool-carder was apprehended. His religious sentiments were no secret, and he had been seen returning from the scene of his nocturnal exploit. He promptly acknowledged his guilt, and was rescued from the infuriated populace only to undergo a more terrible doom at the hands of the public executioner (July 22, 1525). His right hand was cut off at the wrist, his arms, his nose, his breast were cruelly torn with pincers; but no ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... with affright. He sprang from his bed, and opened the window to inhale the fresh air. Before him lay the enormous Alps, whose tops were just gilded by the rising sun. He surveyed them for some time, and at last fell into a profound reverie. He trembled as he thought of his nocturnal vision, and was endeavouring to explain to himself its most prominent passages, when, falling anew into his cruel doubts, ...
— Faustus - his Life, Death, and Doom • Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger

... their nocturnal conversation was that Mr. Hersebom resolved to call upon the doctor, and ask him what they could do to make amends for the error of ...
— The Waif of the "Cynthia" • Andre Laurie and Jules Verne

... to a forest in the vicinity of the chateau de Tiffauges. With his servitors Henriet and Poitou, he remains on the verge of the wood into which the sorcerer penetrates. The night is heavy and there is no moon. Gilles becomes nervous, scrutinizing the shadows, listening to the muted sounds of the nocturnal landscape; his companions, terrified, huddle close together, trembling and whispering at the slightest stirring of the air. Suddenly a cry of anguish is raised. They hesitate, then they advance, groping in the darkness. In a sudden flare of light they perceive de la Riviere trembling ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... may be a very exact representation of what were then the nocturnal amusements of a brothel;—so different are the manners of former and present times, that I much question whether a similar exhibition is now to be seen in any tavern of the metropolis. That we are less licentious than our predecessors, I dare not affirm; ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... usual method of making it is, to gather the roses with their calyces, and put them into a still with nearly double their weight of pure spring water; which, when sufficiently distilled, will be highly scented with roses; this is then poured into shallow vessels and exposed to the nocturnal air. Next morning, the Atar, or essential oil of the flowers is found swimming in small congealed particles on the surface of the water; it is carefully collected and preserved in small glass bottles."[1] A hundred pounds of the flowers scarcely afford in India two drachms of essential oil. ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 12, No. 334 Saturday, October 4, 1828 • Various

... supply them with an unbounded quantity of provisions, in the quality of which they are not particularly chary. Nor are these roosting-places attractive to the Indians only, for the settlers near them also pay them nocturnal visits. They come with guns, clubs, pots of suffocating materials, and every other means of destruction that can well be imagined to be within their command, and procure immense quantities of the birds in a very short time. These they stuff ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 3. March 1848 • Various

... heath now moon-tide horrors hung, And night's dark pencil dim'd the tints of spring; The boding minstrel now harsh omens sung, And the bat spread his dark, nocturnal wing. ...
— Poetic Sketches • Thomas Gent

... accomplish certain ends. It will be seen that this is by no means the whole meaning of the term in later times. Nothing is yet said about the transformation of witches into other shapes, and there is no mention of a compact, implicit or otherwise, with the Devil; there is no allusion to the nocturnal meetings of the Devil's worshippers and to the orgies that took place upon those occasions; there is no elaborate and systematic theological explanation of human ...
— A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 • Wallace Notestein

... capital. Dark clouds of the enemy were seen throughout the day mustering along the heights, which by night were illumined with a hundred fires. Ferdinand's utmost vigilance was required for the protection of his camp against the ambuscades and nocturnal sallies of his wily foe. At length, however, El Zagal, having been foiled in a well-concerted attempt to surprise the Christian quarters by night, was driven across the mountains by the marquis of Cadiz, and compelled to retreat on his capital, ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V2 • William H. Prescott

... changed swiftly to her riding-togs, took up her little black emergency kit, which would lend an air of business urgency to her nocturnal ride with Norton, and ...
— The Bells of San Juan • Jackson Gregory

... tribes that spend their time in wordy war; And o'er the vast interminable deep Of knowledge, like conflicting tempests, sweep. For truth they never toil, but feed their pride With fuel by eternal strife supplied: No dragon of the wild with equal rage, Nor lions in nocturnal war, engage With hate so deadly, as the learn'd and wise, Who scan their own desert with partial eyes. Carneades, renown'd for logic skill, Who right or wrong, and true and false, at will Could turn ...
— The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch • Petrarch

... their throats swell as big as an hen's egg. I have known an owl of this species live a full year without any water. Perhaps the case may be the same with all birds of prey. When owls fly they stretch out their legs behind them as a balance to their large heavy heads; for as most nocturnal birds have large eyes and ears they must have large heads to contain them. Large eyes I presume are necessary to collect every ray of light, and large concave ears to command the smallest degree ...
— The Natural History of Selborne • Gilbert White

... During their nocturnal peregrinations, instinct leads the woodcock to follow ascending roads and open pathways, especially such as are completely exposed to the mild winds of the south and south-east only; they avoid walking through the ...
— Le Morvan, [A District of France,] Its Wild Sports, Vineyards and Forests; with Legends, Antiquities, Rural and Local Sketches • Henri de Crignelle

... he experienced even greater uneasiness, and, without explaining to himself his motive, he stared longingly toward the farmhouse. The same light, the same appearance as ever—but he imagined that he could make out in the nocturnal silence, new sounds, the echo of songs, Margalida's voice. There would be the odious Ironworker, and that poor devil of a Minstrel, and the rude, barbarous youths, with their ridiculous dress. Gran Dios! How was it possible that these ...
— The Dead Command - From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... was the condition of the besieged. While the garrison soldiers on guard were constantly compelled to face death in nocturnal sallies, or led a pitiable existence in damp huts, having inevitable surrender constantly before their eyes, and disarmament and imprisonment as the reward of all their struggles and exertions, the citizens in the towns, the women and children, were in constant danger of being shivered ...
— A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study - of the Events Culminating in The Great Conflict • Logan Marshall

... Chaucer, and those who insist upon absolute continuity from Caedmon to Tennyson. There must surely be something between dismissing (as did the best historian of the subject in the last generation) Anglo-Saxon as "that nocturnal portion of our literature," between calling it "impossible to pronounce with certainty whether anything in it is artistically good or bad,"[88] and thinking it proper, as it has sometimes been thought, in ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... latter's "house in Bolt Court, and discussed subjects of polite literature." The expression used is, "We can imagine," &c. constituting a creation of the fancy rather than a positive portraiture. Certain it is that Johnson's dwelling was in the neighbourhood of Temple Bar at the time of the nocturnal perambulation alluded to; and that it was Savage (to whom he was so unaccountably attached, in spite of the "bastard's" frailties) who enticed the doctor from his bed to a midnight ramble. My primary mistake consists in transposing the date of the doctor's ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, - Issue 372, Saturday, May 30, 1829 • Various

... law, that those who introduce new or untried religions should be degraded, and if in the lower orders put to death. In like manner, it is enacted in one of Constantine's laws that the haruspices should not exercise their art in private; and there is a law of Valentinian's against nocturnal sacrifices or magic. It is more immediately to our purpose that Trajan had been so earnest in his resistance to hetaeriae or secret societies, that, when a fire had laid waste Nicomedia, and Pliny proposed to him to incorporate a body of a hundred and fifty firemen ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 03 • Various

... shows then exhibited, Quintus Pleminius, who, for the many crimes against gods and men committed by him at Locri, had been thrown into prison, procured men who were to set fire by night to several parts of the city at once, in order that, while the town was thrown into consternation by this nocturnal disturbance, the prison might be broken open. But this plot was disclosed by some of the accomplices, and the affair was laid before the senate. Pleminius was thrown into a lower dungeon, ...
— History of Rome, Vol III • Titus Livius

... and—so great is the madness of love—Biscari actually climbed the rope from the valley to the window of the cell, a distance of almost two hundred feet, with but three little craggy resting-places in all that height. For nearly a month these nocturnal visits were undiscovered, and Michele had almost completed his arrangements for carrying the girl from Sta. Catarina and away to Spain, when unfortunately one of the sisters, suspecting some mystery, from the changed face of Sister Maddelena, began investigating, and at length discovered ...
— Black Spirits and White - A Book of Ghost Stories • Ralph Adams Cram

... as I before observed to your highness, with this fit of melancholy, despatched Mesrour for his chief vizier, Giaffar Bermukki, who, not unaccustomed to this nocturnal summons, speedily presented himself before the commander of the faithful. "Father of true believers! descendant of the Prophet!" said the minister, with a profound obeisance, "thy slave waits but to hear, ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Captain Frederick Marryat

... speech was such that I felt keenly sorry for him. I was not in the least hurt. My sympathy enveloped him. The position was so difficult, and he had seemed so pathetic, sitting there alone on the pavement of the vast nocturnal boulevard, so weighed down by sadness, that I wanted to comfort him and soothe him, and to restore him to all the brilliancy of his first period. It appeared to me unjust and cruel that the wheels of life should have crushed him too. And ...
— Sacred And Profane Love • E. Arnold Bennett

... Evelyn's hedges, and was a giant of seven foot high! Many of you believe wolves prowl in the streets at night, and that among the highest society Nihilists stalk, disguised as heaven knows what! While the sudden disappearance of a member of any great or small family can be accounted for by a nocturnal visit of police, and a transportation in chains to Siberian mines! Is it not ...
— His Hour • Elinor Glyn

... rented it for a year from an old merchant's clerk, who had wearied of it because nocturnal prowlers used to steal his fowls and rabbits. On either side of the grass-plot a gravel path led to the steps. They took the path on the right. The ...
— A Mummer's Tale • Anatole France

... ceremony; mine, that is obscure and private, enjoys all natural dispensation; soldier and Gascon are also qualities a little subject to indiscretion; wherefore I shall say of this act of relieving nature, that it is desirable to refer it to certain prescribed and nocturnal hours, and compel one's self to this by custom, as I have done; but not to subject one's self, as I have done in my declining years, to a particular convenience of place and seat for that purpose, and make it troublesome by long sitting; and yet, in the fouler offices, is ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... seething swarm of thoughts as difficult to direct or drive away as a roomful of flies. I could scarcely keep them off the one white lily in my chamber, what wonder then that the stinking carrion brought from the nocturnal London parks was ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... subordinate functions, having especial reference to the poorer classes, pertained to the three night—or blood-masters (-tres viri nocturni- or -capitales-), first nominated in 465; they were entrusted with the duties of nocturnal police as regards fire and the public safety and with the superintendence of executions, with which a certain summary jurisdiction was very soon, perhaps even from the outset, associated.(11) Lastly from the increasing extent of the Roman community it became necessary, ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... herself to be pulled onward, but remembering Molly's previous encounter upon the same spot, was curious enough to demand an explanation of Rupert's nocturnal rambles when they had reached the haven of Sophia's bedroom. It was very simple, but it struck her as exceedingly pathetic and confirmed her in her opinion of the unreasonableness of her ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... a body of rebellious negroes still subsisted in places that were deemed inaccessible to regular forces; and from these they made nocturnal irruptions into the nearest plantations, where they acted with all the wantonness of barbarity: so that the people of Jamaica were obliged to conduct themselves with the utmost vigilance and circumspection; ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... profanation. It was impossible, unthinkable—and yet there, in the white glare of the electric light beneath us, was that dark figure with the bent grey head, and the twitching elbow. What inhuman hypocrisy, what hateful depth of malice against his successor must underlie these sinister nocturnal labours. It was painful to think of and dreadful to watch. Even I, who had none of the acute feelings of a virtuoso, could not bear to look on and see this deliberate mutilation of so ancient a relic. It was a relief to me when my companion tugged at my sleeve as a signal that I was to follow him ...
— Tales of Terror and Mystery • Arthur Conan Doyle

... we waited, the monotonous trench-life to accomplish the rapid nocturnal raids or the formidable exploits of the great days and weeks of offensive, required more than that brilliant quality of our fathers, the furia francese that was the synonym of overwhelming courage and the ardor which commands victory. Patience to wait, resignation ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... these singular bodies surpassed the light of our terrestrial moon, by reason of their closeness to the surface of Mars, while the more rapid motion of the inner satellite causes the most weird and beautiful changes of effect in the nocturnal glory they both lend ...
— The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars • L. P. Gratacap

... mischievous to the last. President Lincoln, in his first message, discussed, ably enough, the right of secession as a mere constitutional or legal right. Others have done the same before and since. The opinion of the lawyer is all very well, but it has no special potency to restrain the nocturnal activities of the burglar. All such discussions are, for the present behalf, utterly puerile. Secession, revolution, the bloody destruction and extinction of the whole nation, were for years before the war foregone determinations in the Southern mind, ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol IV, Issue VI, December 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... of insects can hardly be estimated at their true dreadfulness by persons unacquainted with the infamous habits of the nocturnal beetle of the tropics. Sluggish creatures in the temperate zone, in warm countries they develop the power of flying, and obstacles successfully interposed to their progress in countries where they merely crawl are ineffectual here. They had ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... were moved chiefly by the fears and sufferings of Gracchus. Cries of sympathy and defiance were raised in answer to his tears, and a large crowd escorted him to his house at nightfall and bade him be confident of their support on the following day. During his appeals he had hinted at the fear of a nocturnal attack by his foes: and this led many to form an encampment round his house and to remain as its vigilant defenders ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... L-M Big Bill was competent, hard working foreman. He still hoped for the impossible, he still obeyed orders and sought tirelessly to make Little Saxon all that Shandon could have done. Willie Dart, growing as time wore on hollow eyed from his nocturnal vigils, slept in a hay loft with a shot gun perilously near ...
— The Short Cut • Jackson Gregory

... Doctor was evidently a gentleman, there was no objection. Therefore, as soon as the Duke knew of Margaret's determination, he sallied forth, armed with her note, to find Mr. Barker. It was late, but the American was nocturnal in his habits, and was discovered by his friend in a huge cloud of tobacco smoke, examining his nails with that deep interest which in ...
— Doctor Claudius, A True Story • F. Marion Crawford

... the wind, and remembers, by way of amusement, between schools, pelting the body with stones. The old trunk has disappeared, but the spot is still haunted in the belief of the people of the neighborhood, and he is a bold man who dare risk a nocturnal encounter with the bloody Fagan, instead of avoiding the direct road, at the expense of half a mile's additional walk. No persuasion or force will induce a horse raised in the neighborhood to pass the fated spot at night, although he will ...
— The Old Bell Of Independence; Or, Philadelphia In 1776 • Henry C. Watson

... We struggle, we suffer alone. It is the nocturnal wrestling of Bethel, mysterious and solitary. The soul of Francis was great enough to endure this tragic duel. His friend had marvellously understood his part in this contest. He gave a few rare counsels, but much of the ...
— Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Paul Sabatier

... general council, to which the Arians themselves had been compelled to submit, inscribed on the banners of the orthodox party the mysterious characters of the word Homoousion, which essentially contributed, notwithstanding some obscure disputes, some nocturnal combats, to maintain and perpetuate the uniformity of faith, or at least of language. The Consubstantialists, who by their success have deserved and obtained the title of Catholics, gloried in the simplicity and steadiness ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... security of our vessel, which lay close to the shore, we were able to view these marvels without danger, but the natives remained in their huts, afraid to venture forth, so that nocturnal dances, or meetings at camp fires, were ...
— Adventures in Southern Seas - A Tale of the Sixteenth Century • George Forbes

... me, Sorrow! Why have you left me? It is by grief alone that man is great." This is worthy of Chateaubriand. The theme of melancholy is as follows: "The moon appeared. . . . What is the moon, and what is its nocturnal magic to me? One hour more or less is nothing to me." This might very well be Lamartine. We then have the malediction pronounced in face of impassible Nature: "Yes, I detested that radiant and magnificent Nature, for it was there before me in all its ...
— George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings • Rene Doumic

... the women folk had lavished a wealth of patient care. A bull in a china-shop could hardly create the havoc which the Baylor pup, with his one hundred and seventy-five pounds of animal spirits, wrought in our lawn. Next morning the lawn looked as if it had been honored with a nocturnal visitation from Burr Robbins' galaxy ...
— The House - An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife, Alice • Eugene Field

... than to deceive others, and ended sometimes in deceiving themselves; and that this magic, now so much vaunted, is only a chimera. Perhaps even it would be giving one's self superfluous trouble to undertake to show that everything related of those nocturnal hypogryphes,[672] of those pretended journeys through the air, of those assemblies and feasts of sorcerers, is only idle and imaginary; because those fables being done away with would not prevent that an infinite number ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... 'That he understood the exercise of a gentleman's weapon, may be inferred from the use made of it in that rash encounter which is related in his life.' The dexterity here alluded to was, that Savage, in a nocturnal fit of drunkenness, stabbed a man at a coffee-house, and killed him; for which he was tried at the Old-Bailey, and found ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... him well taken. The Ambassador kept a desk also in his bedroom, and here his most important correspondence was attended to. Page's all-night self-communings before his wood fire have already been described, and he had another nocturnal occupation that was similarly absorbing. Many a night, after returning late from his office or from dinner, he would put on his dressing gown, sit at his bedroom desk, and start pouring forth his inmost thoughts ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume II • Burton J. Hendrick

... circumstances of his escape were still wrapped in mystery: he could only conjecture that the Duchess, foreseeing the course events would take, had planned with Cantapresto to save him in spite of himself. His nocturnal flight down the river had carried him to Ponte di Po, the point where the Piana flows into the Po, the latter river forming for a few miles the southern frontier of the duchy. Here his passport had taken him safely past ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... and mount to the tree-tops which he loves, and his gleaming red coat betrays him to the poised hawk as to a distant sharpshooter; in the barn near by an owl is waiting to do his night marketing at various tender-meat stalls; and, above all, the eye and heart of man are his diurnal and nocturnal foe. What wonder if he is so shy, so rare, so secluded, this flame-colored prisoner in dark-green chambers, who has only to be seen or heard and Death adjusts an arrow. No vast Southern swamps or forest of pine here into which he may plunge. ...
— A Kentucky Cardinal • James Lane Allen

... night spent among the woods, and dark as it was beneath the overarching trees, he was able to discern objects around him, and kept along in his regular stride as surely and almost as noiselessly as a wild beast; but the four years spent in the Roman town had impaired Beric's nocturnal vision; and though he had done much hunting since his return home, he was far from being able to use his eyes as his companion did, and he more than once stumbled over the roots that crossed ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... a hooded couple in every patch of shadow falling from the house walls. Certain places, the Aire Saint-Mittre, for instance, are full of these dark "dominoes" brushing past one another, gliding softly in the warm nocturnal air. One might imagine they were guests invited to some mysterious ball given by the stars to lowly lovers. When the weather is very warm and the girls do not wear cloaks, they simply turn up their over-skirts. And in the winter the more passionate lovers make light of the frosts. Thus, Miette ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... butterflies and of some moths are specially arranged for display, so that they may be readily seen. During the night colours are not visible, and there can be no doubt that the nocturnal moths, taken as a body, are much less gaily decorated than butterflies, all of which are diurnal in their habits. But the moths of certain families, such as the Zygaenidae, several Sphingidae, Uraniidae, ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... who served as Nero's personal guard brought down with their javelins four hundred bears and three hundred lions. On the same occasion thirty knights belonging to the military fought in the arena. The emperor sanctioned such proceedings openly. Secretly, however, he carried on nocturnal revels throughout the length and breadth of the city, insulting the women, practicing lewdness on boys, stripping those whom he encountered, striking, wounding, murdering. He had an idea that his incognito was impenetrable, for he used all sorts of ...
— Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211) • Cassius Dio

... delight to listen to him. There was a man called Piloto, a goldsmith, very able in his art, who, together with myself, joined Buonarroti upon these occasions." In like manner, the young Michelangelo probably attended those nocturnal gatherings upon the steps of the Duomo which have been so graphically described by Doni: "The Florentines seem to me to take more pleasure in summer airings than any other folk; for they have, in the square of S. Liberata, ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... hills can protect them, and near rivers whose marshes produce a thick growth of vegetation to conceal them from their most dreaded enemy—man. The prowling, restless elephant, for instance, though rarely seen, leaves indications of his nocturnal excursions in every wilderness, by wantonly knocking down the forest-trees. The morose rhinoceros, though less numerous, are found in every thick jungle. So is the savage buffalo, especially delighting in dark places, where he can wallow in the mud and slake his ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... sight-seers for the day call around near midnight, some time after I have retired to sleep; they awaken me with their garrulous observations concerning the bicycle, which they are critically examining close to my head with a classic lamp; but I readily forgive them their nocturnal intrusion, since they awaken me to the first opportunity of hearing women wailing for the dead. A dozen or so of women are wailing forth their lamentations in the silent night but a short distance from the khan; I can look out of a small opening in the ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... at the scene, at the nocturnal prowlers and promenaders, at the solitary veiled and seated figure, and he smiled. In all his agony ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair



Words linked to "Nocturnal" :   nocturnal emission, diurnal, night



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