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noun
Prodigality  n.  Extravagance in expenditure, particularly of money; excessive liberality; profusion; waste; opposed to frugality, economy, and parsimony."The prodigality of his wit."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Prodigality" Quotes from Famous Books



... wild and amazing prodigality of nature. The best-conducted hives will, as a rule, contain four to five hundred males. Weaker or degenerate ones will often have as many as four or five thousand; for the more a hive inclines to its ruin, the more ...
— The Life of the Bee • Maurice Maeterlinck

... own are involved, I am humbly content to get from place to place by the omnibus. Permit me to give an idea of my devotion to my aunt's interests by recording that, on this occasion, I committed the prodigality ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... useless expenditure. He insisted that the sewing woman, Carolina, who had only made five shirts in a week, not being sick, should make nine. He entered in his account "thread and needle, one penny," and used said thread and needle himself. All this closeness and contempt for shiftlessness and prodigality were perfectly consistent with a large and hospitable way of living; for during many years of his life he kept open house at Mt. Vernon. This frugal and prudent man knew exactly what it meant to devote his "life and fortune to the cause we are engaged in, if needful," as he wrote ...
— Four American Leaders • Charles William Eliot

... are forced to sing in chorus; 'Messe, messe, mackerida,' [how gaily we live among the whites], this only proves the care we take of the health of those men." This delicate attention reminds me of the description of an auto-da-fe in my possession. In that curious document a boast is made of the prodigality with which refreshments are distributed to the condemned, and of the staircase which the inquisitors have had erected in the interior of the pile for the accommodation of the relazados (the relapsed culprits.)) How great is the difference in the condition of the slave who serves in the house ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V3 • Alexander von Humboldt

... no less a sum than half a million dollars and flung it away in riotous giving. Possibly it was with a view to get out of sight of the silent big witness to his extravagance that he shortly afterward disposed of all his Grayville property that remained to him, turned his back upon the scene of his prodigality and went off across the sea in one of his own ships. But the gossips who got their inspiration most directly from Heaven declared that he went in search of a wife—a theory not easily reconciled with that of the village humorist, who solemnly ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. II: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians • Ambrose Bierce

... (their relation to the law). In other words, the vaunted principle of Aristotle, that virtue is the mean between two vices, is false. * For instance, suppose that good management is given as the mean between two vices, prodigality and avarice; then its origin as a virtue can neither be defined as the gradual diminution of the former vice (by saving), nor as the increase of the expenses of the miserly. These vices, in fact, cannot be viewed as if they, proceeding as it were in opposite directions, met together in good ...
— The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics • Immanuel Kant

... fortune, a hundred or a hundred and fifty thousand livres per annum, for which I shall be indebted to no one but myself; and which, instead of being given as you gave me those poor twelve thousand francs, with sour looks and reproaches for my prodigality, will be accompanied with acclamations, with bravos, and with flowers? And if I do not possess that talent, which your smiles prove to me you doubt, should I not still have that ardent love of independence, which will be a substitute for wealth, and which in ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... failed to reproach them, with all the bitterness of wit she was mistress of, with such malice, and ill-nature, that she was hated, not only by all the world, but by her own children and servants: The extremes of prodigality, and covetousness, of love, and hatred, of dotage, and fondness, met in her. A woman of this temper will be at no loss for the means of effecting any one's ruin, and having now conceived an aversion to our poetess, she was resolved to drive her ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Vol. IV • Theophilus Cibber

... The prodigality of the mass of indictments Louise launches against royalty as every-day occurrences, reminds one of the great Catharine Sforza, Duchess of Milan's clever mot. When the enemy captured her children she merely said, "I ...
— Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess • Henry W. Fischer

... she had misunderstood him in everything. She would never know that his prodigality with the salt had been due to the perversity of his heart in longing for what it would now never possess. Manfully he stuck to the thankless part he had to play, and admitted that ill-health had something to do ...
— A Lover in Homespun - And Other Stories • F. Clifford Smith

... VII., and sheathed for ever his sword, in the retirement of the country. The death of his maternal grandfather, Jean de Craon, in 1432, made him so enormously wealthy, that his revenues were estimated at 800,000 livres; nevertheless, in two years, by his excessive prodigality, he managed to lose a considerable portion of his inheritance. Maulon, S. Etienne de Malemort, Loroux-Botereau, Pornic, and Chantol, he sold to John V., Duke of Brittany, his kinsman, and other lands and seigneurial rights he ceded ...
— The Book of Were-Wolves • Sabine Baring-Gould

... barefoot, and wore no article of clothing made from the skins of animals. [127] He further imposed on himself a noviciate of five years silence. At the death of his father, he divided his patrimony equally with his brother; and, that brother having wasted his estate by prodigality, he again made an equal division with him of what remained. [128] He travelled to Babylon and Susa in pursuit of knowledge, and even among the Brachmans of India, and appears particularly to have addicted himself to the study of magic. [129] He was of a beautiful countenance ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... a part of the goods received in exchange for the coin exported, may be materials, tools, and provisions for the employment of an additional industry, a part also may be taken back in foreign wines, silks, &c. to be consumed by idle people who produce nothing; and so far the substitution promotes prodigality, increases expense and consumption, without increasing production. So far also, then, it lessens the capital of the nation. What may be the amount which the conversion of the part exchanged for productive goods, may add to the former productive mass, it is not easy to ascertain, ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... to you, YOUNG MEN!—All good men, all patriots, turn to watch your advance upon the stage, and to implore you to be worthy of yourselves, and of your revered ancestry. Oh! ye favored of Heaven! with a free land, a noble inheritance of wise laws, and a prodigality of wealth in prospect,—advance to your possessions!—May you settle down, as did Israel of old, a people of God in a promised and protected land;—true to yourselves, true to your country, and ...
— Twelve Causes of Dishonesty • Henry Ward Beecher

... with dear, good, sweet, simple, real Americans again!" she burst out, heaping up her epithets with reckless prodigality. ...
— Madame de Treymes • Edith Wharton

... to his individual faculties and aptitude, to be industrious, sober and decorous, to fix on a well-regulated distribution of his time and work, to be economical without parsimony and liberal without prodigality, and generally to follow such rules of wisdom as tend to render life prosperous, and human conduct acceptable to society. All such rules are self-evident, and grow necessarily out of the general principle which demands of the ...
— A Guide for the Religious Instruction of Jewish Youth • Isaac Samuele Reggio

... before he was forced to earn it laboriously. He scattered his patrimony gaily and then when the last inherited cent was gone, turned with, equal gayety to earning, not only enough to support himself, but the wife and family that, with the royal and reckless prodigality of genius, he provided himself with at the very outset of ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... believe you are making an example of the grasshopper, but they will choose the ant . . . they will take the more pleasant part, which is a very natural thing." Another observer said: "As for me, I love neither grasshopper nor ant, neither avarice nor prodigality, neither the miserly people who lend nor the spendthrifts who borrow." These statements represent complex, analytic points of view which are probably outside the range of most children. They will see the grasshopper simply as a type of thorough shiftlessness and the ant as a type of forethought, ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... enemies. As generous as the day, he gave away with reckless profusion anything and everything that he could lay his hands upon. It was soon to appear that the great queen's most unlovely characteristic, her avarice; was a more blessed quality to the nation she ruled than the ridiculous prodigality ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... the course of the great emergency and after it was over, the Office of Works perhaps, upon the whole, took precedence over all rivals. Its prodigality was, to do it justice, tempered by extortion. Did the system of commandeering hotels and mammoth blocks of offices create new Departments of State? Or did the creation of new Departments of State precede the commandeering of the ...
— Experiences of a Dug-out, 1914-1918 • Charles Edward Callwell

... who was a native of Scotland, and a member of an ancient family who prided itself on its blood and lineage more than on its virtues and frugality, was early left to battle with the world through the prodigality of a parent, whose greatest pleasure was to keep the most hospitable board in his county, and whose greatest dread was to be stigmatised with (what was to him the acme of derogation) meanness and parsimony. Though the family, through the extravagance of its head, was reduced ...
— Fern Vale (Volume 1) - or the Queensland Squatter • Colin Munro

... as she spoke, "a regular apostle of the poor, named Lorenzo Dow. How I would like to have him here. He was a man who would let people know in trumpet tones, by day and by night, what he thought of wicked, wasteful prodigality, no matter how pleasant it might be, how easy it might be, or how proper in people who could afford it. Is there to be ...
— The Girl at Cobhurst • Frank Richard Stockton

... debts of honor to the dead, past, present and future. He is not obliged to take part in another festival of the kind unless another near relative dies. He pays off all old scores of hospitality and lays his friends under future obligations by his presents. He is often beggared by this prodigality, but he can be sure of welcome and entertainment wherever he goes, for he is a man who has discharged all his debts to society and is therefore deserving of honor for the rest of ...
— The Dance Festivals of the Alaskan Eskimo • Ernest William Hawkes

... to continue no longer in this Station, than till some other Person more agreeable could be fix'd upon; but in order to improve the Opportunity, I apply'd my self strenuously to the Avarice of the Squabbaws, and gave with Prodigality; for I bore in Mind my former Miscarriages. This had all its Effect; they had never met with a Person so fit for their Purpose, and by these Arguments they began to be convinc'd, that if another should be preferr'd to my Place, they would be ...
— A Voyage to Cacklogallinia - With a Description of the Religion, Policy, Customs and Manners of That Country • Captain Samuel Brunt

... done with yours, seeing that it has not made you a miser or a prodigal? For avarice dries up the heart, and prodigality drowns it—is ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... to the Greeks the doctrine of metempsychosis. It is difficult to reconcile with either of these notions their belief that the spirit dwelt in the body so long as the body could be rescued from decay, and the reason which they give for bestowing such prodigality of labor on their sepulchres—that the tomb was man's eternal home. The darkness of uninterpreted hieroglyphics still rests to a great extent on the religious creed and practices of the Egyptians. But three things we think we can discern from ...
— The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851 • Various

... be mad, I'le be mad with him, and tell him that I'le not spare him, his Father kept good Meat, good Drink, good Fellows, good Hawks, good Hounds, and bid his Neighbours welcome; kept him too, and supplied his prodigality, yet kept his state still; must we turn Tenants now, after we have lived under the race of Gentry, and maintained good Yeomantry, to some of the City, to a great shoulder of Mutton and a Custard, and have our state turned into Cabbidge ...
— Wit Without Money - The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher • Francis Beaumont

... Prince! on eight occasions prodigality is none— In the solemn sacrificing, at the wedding of a son, When the glittering treasure given makes the proud invader bleed, Or its lustre bringeth comfort to the people in their need, Or when kinsmen are to succour, or ...
— Indian Poetry • Edwin Arnold

... for his flock, the love of God for His creatures, should be so extraordinary as to provide the wondrous benefits which Christ in the Eucharist has wrought for us. We simply cannot grasp with our feeble minds the prodigality of such enduring love. But the Saviour knew His purpose with us, and He knew the needs of our souls. As guests destined for an eternal banquet, and as heirs to celestial thrones, it is needful for us, amid the rough ways and perils of life, to be constantly reminded of our royal destiny ...
— The Shepherd Of My Soul • Rev. Charles J. Callan

... avidity of a needy spendthrift, rather than with the ceaseless longings of a miser. In short, the motive that urged them both so soon to go against the Hurons, was an habitual contempt of their enemy, acting on the unceasing cupidity of prodigality. The additional chances of success, however, had their place in the formation of the second enterprise. It was known that a large portion of the warriors-perhaps all—were encamped for the night abreast of the castle, and it was hoped that the scalps ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... their familiar channels, nor dreamed of ever shifting their regular tide. The wonders of the Yosemite and Calaveras were as yet unrecorded. The Holy Fathers noted little of the landscape beyond the barbaric prodigality with which the quick soil repaid the sowing. A new conversion, the advent of a Saint's day, or the baptism of an Indian baby, was at once the chronicle and marvel of ...
— Legends and Tales • Bret Harte

... of city property and necessitated a ruinous outlay in the reconstruction of entire streets. To this was added the shutting up of the Exchequer by Charles II., and the seizure of the charter when the City refused any longer to provide the means for his selfish and disgraceful prodigality. A better era, however, was inaugurated by the accession of William and Mary, in the fifth and sixth of whose reign an Act was passed for raising what was called an "Orphans' Fund." The estates of the Corporation were charged with the annual payment of 8,000 pounds towards the liquidation ...
— The Corporation of London: Its Rights and Privileges • William Ferneley Allen

... all of Cambridge, and chiefly Doctor Bamberge, Doctor Howlsworth, Broanbricke, Walley, and Mickelthite, and Sanderson, with many others. We lived in great plenty and hospitality, but no lavishness in the least, nor prodigality, and, I believe, my father never drank six glasses of wine in ...
— Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe • Lady Fanshawe

... have existed without odor, and fruit without flavor. When I have journeyed through forests, where ten thousand shrubs and vines exist without apparent use; through prairies, whose undulations exhibit sheets of flowers innumerable, and absolutely dazzling the eye with their prodigality of beauty—beauty, not a tithe of which is ever seen by man—I have said, it is plain that God is himself passionately fond of beauty, and the earth is his garden, as an acre is man's. God has made us like Himself, to be pleased by the universal beauty of the world. He has made provision ...
— Choice Specimens of American Literature, And Literary Reader - Being Selections from the Chief American Writers • Benj. N. Martin

... nowhere in Europe save under the strong hand of a monarch in Russia. These climatic differences produced the frugal Northerner, who had to provide in advance for the winter season, and the hospitable planter of the South, in whom prodigality was induced by the very lavishness of nature about him. It was not strange that by contrast, and seen through the haze of distance, the frugality of the North should appear to be avarice to the South; while the hospitality upon which that section ...
— The United States of America Part I • Ediwn Erle Sparks

... Under Madame de Pompadour's direction the king, had he been only as bold and determined as his mistress, would have become a greater king than ever. The cardinal was miserly and avaricious, the marchioness liberal to prodigality; she always said, and justly too, that money ought to flow freely from the throne like a generous stream, fertilizing and humanizing the entire State. The cardinal had been hostile to Austria, and favorable to Prussia; the marchioness made war with Frederick to humor Marie-Therese. The battle ...
— International Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science, Vol. 1, - No. 3, Oct. 1, 1850 • Various

... dressing-boxes to grace their dame's tables, embryo dukes for their co-fags, and tastes that already knew to a nicety the worth of the champagnes at Christopher's. The old, old story—how it repeats itself! Boys grow up amidst profuse prodigality, and are launched into a world where they can no more arrest themselves, than the feather-weight can pull in the lightning-stride of the two-year-old, who defies all check, and takes the flat as he chooses. They are brought ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... to press after the first week flew away. We had a long discussion, in which each hurled at the other reproaches on the spendthrift prodigality with which we threw away our money. The discussion ended in our agreeing, that, the moment the next instalment of our income should be received, I should keep a severe account of our expenses, in order that no more quarrels should disturb the harmony ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... improvidence, prodigality, waste; preposterousness, enormity, exorbitance, immoderation. Antonyms: economy, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... from the gloomy darkness of many portions of the buildings. It is also noteworthy that the expenditure of materials and labour is greater in proportion to the effect attained than in any other style. The pyramids are the most conspicuous example of this prodigality. Before condemning this as a defect in the style, it must be remembered that a stability which should defy enemies, earthquakes, and the tooth of time, was far more aimed at than architectural character; and that, had any mode of construction less lavish ...
— Architecture - Classic and Early Christian • Thomas Roger Smith

... thickly-strewn turf with shades of reddish-brown. We are nearing the end of the fine weather; the coloring is the coloring of late autumn; there is no need now to keep out of the sun. Everything is soberer, more measured, more fugitive, less emphatic. Energy is gone, youth is past, prodigality at an end, the summer over. The year is on the wane and tends toward winter; it is once more in harmony with my own age and position, and next Sunday it will keep my birthday. All these different consonances ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... mercenary hands. In most cases he is unable to do it: he too deeply in debt, having appropriated to his creditors a certain portion of his land, a certain branch of his income. For centuries, the nobles are involved through their luxury, their prodigality, their carelessness, and through that false sense of honor, which consists in looking upon attention to accounts as the occupation of an accountant. They take pride in their negligence, regarding it, as they say, living nobly.[1347] "Monsieur the archbishop," said Louis XVI. ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... fellow's prodigality," said Bakkus. "He had a whole Archdeaconry to his hand for nothing. I've lately spent a couple of months with him in Westmorland, ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... tyranny, and with whom he wished to enjoy the security of the present time. He very frequently invited them to familiar entertainments, the frugality of which was ridiculed by those who remembered and regretted the luxurious prodigality of Commodus. [49] ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... style, with livery servants, etc., and his own brother working for him at 1s. 8d. a day as a common labourer, although his fall in life had been entirely caused by misfortune and not by his prodigality or mismanagement; such a circumstance could not have existed in France; the peasants would have hooted the rich brother every time he showed his face. The French people are too apt to take those affairs in their own hands, and express their indignation in no unmeasured terms. ...
— How to Enjoy Paris in 1842 • F. Herve

... reported to have been far more correct and careful in drawing than was Tintoret, while Veronese's prodigality of colour was a mellowed version of Tintoret's glare or deadness. One of Veronese's best pictures is the 'Marriage of Cana,' painted originally for the refectory of the convent of San Giorgio, Venice, and now in the Louvre. 'It is not less than ...
— The Old Masters and Their Pictures - For the Use of Schools and Learners in Art • Sarah Tytler

... strain. Peggy herself would have been first to laugh at the notion that her mother had had anything whatever to do with her falling in love with Andrew McCrae. She believed that it was by the sheer prodigality of the Fates that, besides being in love with her, romantically, as only a Scotchman can be, young Andrew McCrae was heir to one of the most substantial fortunes in all the north, and would succeed ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... Dr. Trench's disquisition regarding the latent union between covetousness and prodigality, involving a proof that the discourse about the rich man was applicable to the Pharisees who were not of prodigal habits, although very good in itself, is scarcely relevant; inasmuch as it is not the parable of the rich man, but the reproofs intervening between it and the unjust steward ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... had warmly grasped his hand with both of her own, which were imprisoned in tight new gloves, while her bonnet spoke of regardlessness of expense and recent prodigality. She fell ...
— The Disentanglers • Andrew Lang

... a good understanding, so that, if she be not corrupted, we have good hopes of her." Unfortunately her brilliant and commanding qualities were vitiated by an inordinate pride and egoism, which exhibited themselves in an utter contempt for public opinion, and a prodigality utterly regardless of the necessities of the state. She seemed to consider Swedish affairs as far too petty to occupy her full attention; while her unworthy treatment of the great chancellor was ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati" • Various

... are to come here before Nottingham. I have almost finished the last number of H. Spencer, and am astonished at its prodigality of original thought. But the reflection constantly recurred to me that each suggestion, to be of real value to science, would require years of work. It is also very unsatisfactory, the impossibility of conjecturing ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... provokes me is, that the demure monkey actually has a lover of her own, and that their mutual affection (for mutual I take it to be) has a great deal of complicated and romantic interest. She was once, you must know, a great heiress, but was ruined by the prodigality of her father, and the villainy of a horrid man in whom he confided. And one of the handsomest young gentlemen in the country is attached to her; but as he is heir to a great estate, she discourages his addresses on account of the ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... prodigality during the course of the great emergency and after it was over, the Office of Works perhaps, upon the whole, took precedence over all rivals. Its prodigality was, to do it justice, tempered by extortion. Did the system of commandeering ...
— Experiences of a Dug-out, 1914-1918 • Charles Edward Callwell

... was still in its unkempt and unplucked luxuriance; the courtyard before the stables alone showed marks of the late military occupancy, and was pulverized by the uneasy horse-hoofs of the waiting staff. But the mingled impress of barbaric prodigality with patriarchal simplicity was still there in the domestic arrangements of a race who lived on half equal familiarity with strangers and ...
— Clarence • Bret Harte

... to themselves: for by them oftentimes their masters are encouraged unto unlawful exactions of their tenants, their friends brought unto poverty by their rents enhanced, and they themselves brought to confusion by their own prodigality and errors, as men that, having not wherewith of their own to maintain their excesses, do search in highways, budgets, coffers, mails, and stables, which way to supply their wants. How divers of them also, coveting to bear an high sail, do insinuate ...
— Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series) • Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed

... were intoxicated with victory; and as the king happened to die in the midst of their transports, occasioned by the final conquest of Canada, their good humour garnished his character with a prodigality of encomiums. A thousand pens were drawn to paint the beauties and sublimity of his character, in poetry as well as prose. They extolled him above Alexander in courage and heroism, above Augustus in liberality, Titus in clemency, Antoninus in piety and benevolence, Solomon in wisdom, and ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... can be." This means suffering for the preacher as it meant suffering for the Lord. What can keep him in countenance among it all? Love and the passion of the vision. In these will he conquer ever! The prodigality of the younger son had long worn out the patience of the elder brother. Love kept the father waiting on and vision saw the lad's return while still he was far away. In this love and vision he went forth the door; in this love and vision he returned leading the late returning child ...
— The Message and the Man: - Some Essentials of Effective Preaching • J. Dodd Jackson

... was a powerful machine, and its coughing, open exhaust was adding to the din on the highway. It was trailing smoke in a dense, bluish cloud that meant they were burning up their lubricant with spendthrift prodigality. But the monster was ...
— A Husband by Proxy • Jack Steele

... anti-slavery leaders, statesmen, philosophers and philanthropists. By the terms of the Constitution the slave trade should cease in the year 1808. Sad to reflect that the inventive genius of man and the prodigality of nature in her gifts of cotton, sugar and rice to the old South should have produced a reaction in favor of slavery so great as to fasten it more strongly ...
— Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century - Great Deeds of Men and Nations and the Progress of the World • Various

... we do not eat for the good of living, but because the meat is savory and the appetite is keen. The vegetable life does not content itself with casting from the flower or the tree a single seed, but it fills the air and earth with a prodigality of seeds, that, if thousands perish, thousands may plant themselves; that hundreds may come up, that tens may live to maturity; that at least one may replace the parent. All things betray the same calculated ...
— Essays, Second Series • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... choice. The golden mean between two extremes of excess and defect respectively has been already explained, and may be further shown by a review of the virtues. Besides fortitude and temperance, already described, liberality is a mean between prodigality and stinginess; magnificence between vulgar display and pettiness: magnanimity between vainglory and pusillanimity; truthfulness between exaggeration and dissimulation; friendship between complaisance, or flattery, and frowardness,—and so of the ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... and gather up whatever I can find." The comparison was singular, but it was apt; he was, indeed, the ragpicker of physiology. With a scavenger's sense of honour he endeavored to rob Sir Charles Bell of the credit for his discovery concerning the functions of the spinal nerves, by a prodigality of torment, from which the nobler nature of the English scientist instinctively recoiled. When there came to him an opportunity of experimenting on man, he embraced it with avidity, and again and again, while operating ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... suit depending before the senate, immediately got acquainted with Madam de Warrens, and with great reason on his side, since for those imaginary treasures that cost him nothing, and which he bestowed with the utmost prodigality, he gained, in exchange, the unfortunate crown pieces one by one out of her pocket. I did not like him, and he plainly perceived this, for with me it is not a very difficult discovery, nor did he spare any sort of meanness to gain my good will, and among other things proposed teaching ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... commands admiration, though the end to which it was applied was in itself detestable. Even in individual life (moral principle apart) there is something that diminishes the horror attendant on injustice and rapacity, when accompanied with courage and prodigality. ...
— An Inquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. • William Playfair

... overhanging three sides of it, was occupied. Waiters were scurrying up and down the wide stairway; the general hubbub was punctuated by the sound of exploding corks as the Klondike spendthrifts advertised their prosperity in a hilarious contest of prodigality. ...
— The Winds of Chance • Rex Beach

... With jaunty prodigality we have scattered these primary sources of wealth precisely as we scattered transportation and other franchises upon which dangerous private monopolies were built. The kind of mistakes that have been made with the franchises, we have in this generation come to see clearly. In the teeth of extreme ...
— The Conflict between Private Monopoly and Good Citizenship • John Graham Brooks

... precaution against his old habits of extravagance, to introduce a clause into the marriage-contract providing for the separation of property and settling the wife's fortune upon herself. In this way he gave security against any return to his old habits of prodigality. As for himself, it was his affair to obtain such empire over his wife by the power of sentiment that he could recover practically the marital power of which the ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... the present purveyor? The Llama, that denizen of the uplands, was not able to feed the Dung-beetles confined to the plains. In days of old, the foster-father was perhaps the monstrous Megatherium, a dung-factory of incomparable prodigality. ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... benevolence... He retreated, baffled from these speculative tilts, to the refuge of a comforting conviction that fortunately no man was thoroughly consistent. Perhaps therein lay the secret of Hilmer's puzzling prodigality—because, boiled down to hard facts, it was apparent that Hilmer was making Starratt & Co. a present of several hundred dollars a year. Sometimes, in a wild flight of conjecture, he used to wonder how far his argument with Hilmer regarding the ethics of ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... before, and ever since; all the marriages, deaths, births, elopements, law-suits, and casualties of her own times, her father's, grandfather's, great-grandfather's, nephews', and grandnephews', has she detailed with a minuteness, an accuracy, a prodigality of learning, a profuseness of proper names, a pedantry of locality, which would excite the envy of a county historian, a king-at-arms, or even ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... make any bones about it!' he interrupted. 'Of course it struck you! and let me tell you I was devilish lucky not to strike myself. When I entered this apartment I shone "with all the pomp and prodigality of brandy and water," as the poet Gray has in another place expressed it. Powerful bard, Gray! but a niminy- piminy creature, afraid of a petticoat and a bottle—not a man, sir, not a man! Excuse me for being so troublesome, but what the devil have I done with my fork? ...
— St Ives • Robert Louis Stevenson

... immensely underrated the difficulties of my idle trade; now I recognized that it demanded nothing short of my whole powers cultivated to the utmost, and exerted with the same prodigality as if I were speaking for a great party or for the nation at large on the floor of the Capitol. No talent or attainment could come amiss; everything, indeed, was requisite,— wide observation, varied ...
— Passages From a Relinquised Work (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... as at least plausible; but it is foolish as applied to the version in the folio, where the piece is found to be remarkable for nimbleness of invention, strength and variety of natural character, affluent prodigality of animal spirits, delicious quaintness, exhilarating merriment, a lovely pastoral tone, and many touches of the transcendent poetry of Shakespeare. Dennis probably repeated a piece of idle gossip that ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... The baron also offered ten counters to the old maids, but under the honest pretext of continuing the game. The miserly maidens accepted, not, however, without some pressing, as is the use and wont of maidens. But, before giving way to this vast prodigality the baron and the chevalier were required to have won; otherwise the offer would have been taken as ...
— Beatrix • Honore de Balzac

... and markets of a multitude of beings, who swarmed about us, but of such tenuity that they passed through our substance, and we through theirs, without the slightest disturbance of their continuity. All that we knew of Nature taught us that she was tireless in the prodigality of her creative force, and boundless in the diversity of her workmanship; and we now knew that what the ancients called spirit was simply an attenuated ...
— Caesar's Column • Ignatius Donnelly

... An union shall he throw,] i.e., a fine pearl. To swallow a pearl in a draught seems to have been equally common to royal and mercantile prodigality. It may be observed that pearls were supposed to possess an exhilarating quality. It was generally thrown into the drink as a compliment to some distinguished guest, and the King in this scene, under the pretence of throwing a pearl into the ...
— Hamlet • William Shakespeare

... of a visiting black boy, who split it open to feast on the pithy and insipid "apple" within its shell at the base of the sprout. This mischance ruined for the time being the prospect of a fine effect; but the perseverance and prodigality of Neptune none may estimate. He will certainly bring from distant domain another nut which may escape the observation of the never-to-be-satisfied black boys until the young plant itself has assimilated its concentrated food, and begins to spread its glossy fronds in the face of ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... we choose to call him, was the heir and representative of the family whose name he bore; but owing to the prodigality of his father, the estates descended to him in a very impaired condition. Urged by the restless spirit of youth, or more probably by a feeling of pride which could not submit to witness, in the paternal mansion, what he considered a humiliating alteration in the style and hospitality which up to ...
— The Purcell Papers - Volume I. (of III.) • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... Deen did nothing for a whole year but feast and make merry, wasting and consuming, with the utmost prodigality, the great wealth that his predecessors, and the good vizier his father, had with so much pains and care acquired ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 2 • Anon.

... embarrassed finances. They were men from the most distinguished of the nobility. Lafayette was one. In a letter to Washington he humorously remarked that "wicked people called them not-ables." Lafayette's part in the assembly consisted in making a bold protest against the prodigality of the crown. "All the millions given up to cupidity or depredation," he forcefully exclaimed to the noble gathering, "are the fruit of the sweat, the tears, and perhaps the blood, of the nation"; and he concluded by requesting that the King convoke a real National Assembly, made up of representatives ...
— The Spirit of Lafayette • James Mott Hallowell

... noted with alarm. The families did not commonly affiliate, and the circumstance boded ominously. It could surely not be without purpose. The Wilbur twin's alarm was that the Whipple family had regretted its prodigality of the day before and was about to demand its money back. He lurked ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... best regulated families," and so it chanced that, in the autumn of the same year, our bachelor met at the Springs a charming belle of Baltimore, to whom he lost his heart incontinently. His person and address were attractive, and though his prodigality had impaired his fortune, still a rich old maiden aunt, who doted on him, Miss Persimmon Verjuice, promised to do the handsome thing by him on condition of his marrying and settling quietly to the management of his estate. So, under these circumstances, he proposed, ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... conflicting forces and interests, and the conditions of success are so complex! If the seed fall here, it will not germinate; if there, it will be drowned or washed away; if yonder, it will find too sharp competition. There are only a few places where it will find all the conditions favorable. Hence the prodigality of Nature in seeds, scattering a thousand for one plant or tree. She is like a hunter shooting at random into every tree or bush, hoping to bring down his game, which he does if his ammunition holds out long ...
— Ways of Nature • John Burroughs

... these sums have a large and satisfying sound. Fifty dollars seems little enough for a month's work, but a thousand reals has the look of a most respectable salary. In Portugal, however, you can have all the delightful sensations of prodigality at a contemptible cost. You can pay, without serious damage to your purse, five thousand reis for ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... the French Revolution is a splendid creation. Its passion, energy, colour, and vast prodigality of ineffaceable pictures place it undoubtedly at the head of all the pictorial histories of modern times. And the dramatic rapidity of its action, and the inexhaustible contrasts of its scenes and tableaux—things ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... sanguine complexion, wholly bent upon his pleasures, and prodigal in his nature, he became engaged in great expenses. To supply these, the people were perpetually oppressed with illegal taxes and exactions; but that sort of avarice which arises from prodigality and vice, as it is always needy, so it is much more ravenous and violent than the other, which put the King and his evil instruments (among whom Ralph, Bishop of Durham, is of special infamy) upon ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... de Sanvitali came to Venice and soon carried her off. It was indeed difficult to resist this delightful marquis! His first present to the fair lady was a sum of one hundred thousand ducats, and, to prevent his being accused of weakness or of lavish prodigality, he loudly proclaimed that the present could scarcely make up for the insult Juliette had received from his wife—an insult, however, which the courtesan never admitted, as she felt that there would be humiliation in such an acknowledgment, and she always professed ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... third day the barons assembled in the hall in complete armor. When the King entered, they put aside their swords; but Henry, alarmed at their unusual appearance, exclaimed, "Am I then your prisoner?" "No, sire," replied Roger Bigod, "but by your partiality to foreigners, and your own prodigality, the realm is involved in misery. Wherefore we demand that the powers of government be delegated to a committee of barons and prelates, who may correct abuses and enact salutary laws." Some altercation ensued, and high words passed between the Earl of Leicester and William de ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume VI. • Various

... Varney, "I fear nothing. I know thou wilt not go a step farther to the devil than thou art justly considered for—thou wert paid to create illness, and wouldst esteem it thriftless prodigality to do murder at the same price. Come, let us each to our chamber we shall see ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... first half-hour or so, we had eyes for nothing but the varied beauties of nature which lay spread before us in such luxuriant prodigality. ...
— For Treasure Bound • Harry Collingwood

... innermost recesses of the library made over into a banquet hall, where that great functionary himself was pouring champagne into batteries of tumblers as if it were so much water, and distributing cuts of cold salmon and portions of terrapin with the prodigality of a charity committee serving ...
— Peter - A Novel of Which He is Not the Hero • F. Hopkinson Smith

... irrationally at times, but now and again with a startling coherence. His mind ran on that gift of a hundred pounds. He sent message after message to the little shop-girl for whom, with the senseless prodigality of such youth, he had proposed to fling away his future. Again and again he adjured his friend to tell his mother what a good little girl Kitty was, how she had stuck to him ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... when you have, you will find the Holy Church waiting for you. It does not matter when or how you come; only you must bring yourself wholly. It is not so very much we ask of you. And we give with so infinite a prodigality." ...
— The Loom of Youth • Alec Waugh

... maudlin tenderness, calling me "dearie" throughout the interview. Her little parlor was hung with chromo reproductions of great religious paintings, and the close atmosphere was redolent of the heavy perfume of lilies and stale tuberoses. Remarking the unusual prodigality of flowers, the good lady explained that the undertaker beneath was in the habit of showing his esteem by the daily tender of such funeral decorations as had served their purpose. Mrs. Cunningham's accommodations at four dollars per week were ...
— The Long Day - The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself • Dorothy Richardson

... decided that Constance should greet the Rodneys upon their arrival; the Medcrofts were not to appear until dinner time. Afterwards the entire party would attend the opera, which was then in the closing week. Brock, with splendid prodigality, had taken a box for the final performance of "Tristan and Isolde." It is not out of place to remark that Brock loathed the Wagnerian opera; he was of "The Mikado" cult. He took the seats with a definite purpose in mind to cast the burden of responsibility upon his ...
— The Husbands of Edith • George Barr McCutcheon

... and weather may defeat an army pursuing a wrong plan: not that I believe the sickness to have been so great as it has been reported; but there is a great deal of superfluous humiliation in this business, a perfect prodigality of disgrace. Some advantage, real or imaginary, must compensate to a great sovereign and to a great general for so immense a loss of reputation. Longwy, situated as it is, might (one should think) be evacuated without ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IV. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... fields and gardens. We have shown ourselves a wasteful people, and in the wake of our wastefulness have followed a dismal train of disasters, cold, hunger, and many another form of distress. Deplore and repent of our prodigality as we may, the effects abide to remind us of our decline from the high plane of industry, frugality, and conservation of leisure. Nor can we hope to avert a repetition of this crisis unless education comes in to guide our minds and ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... splendid slovens who served their audience with spiritual work in which the gods had mixed "so much of earth, so much of heaven, and such impetuous blood"—the generous and headlong purveyors who lavished on their daily provision of dramatic fare such wealth of fine material and such prodigality of superfluous grace—the foremost followers of Marlowe and of Shakespeare were too prone to follow the impetuous example of the first rather than the severe example of the second. There is perhaps not one of them—and Middleton assuredly is not one—whom we can reasonably imagine capable ...
— The Age of Shakespeare • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... several churches—rich, on the outside, with all the luxury of architecture,—withinside, gorgeous with painting, sculpture, and many-coloured marbles. The prodigality with which the most splendid and costly materials are lavished here is perfectly amazing: pillars of lapis-lazuli, columns of Egyptian porphyry, and pavements of mosaic, altars of alabaster ascended by steps incrusted with agate and jasper:—but to particularize ...
— The Diary of an Ennuyee • Anna Brownell Jameson

... dullest skies, so that when the sun shines every view seems freshly painted and blazing with colour. The freshness of the atmosphere, too, is seldom tainted with those peculiar odours that some French towns produce with such enormous prodigality, and Lisieux may therefore claim a further ...
— Normandy, Complete - The Scenery & Romance Of Its Ancient Towns • Gordon Home

... he was delivering one of his eloquent orations upon this engaging theme. His vituperative vocabulary seemed unlimited, inexhaustible, and cumulative. He raved, and ranted, and exuded epithets with the most lavish prodigality. It seemed to us that he didn't care much what he said, if he could only say it rapidly and forcibly. In the very midst of an eloquent period another match head would explode under his foot, and that ...
— Reveries of a Schoolmaster • Francis B. Pearson

... one is tempted to cry, is Nature! With what prodigality, in the march of generations, she employs human power, content to gather almost always little result from it, sometimes none! Look at Byron, that Byron whom the present generation of Englishmen are forgetting; Byron, ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... so," Simonides said, in a low voice; then louder, "Malluch, the curse of the time is prodigality. The poor make themselves poorer as apes of the rich, and the merely rich carry themselves like princes. Saw you signs of the weakness in the youth? Did he display moneys—coin ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... bar-room of the Grand Union Hotel, and snatching a hasty supper, we walk down to the river, its edges still encrusted with fragments of winter ice. It is an incomparable sunset, the light a veritable spilt spectrum, spreading itself with prodigality over the swift river. ...
— The New North • Agnes Deans Cameron

... hopes of winning. Were he a bankrupt in trade, he might have grown rich; but he has neither spirit to spend nor resolution to spare. He does not spend fast enough to have pleasure from it. He has the crime of prodigality, and the wretchedness of parsimony. If a man is killed in a duel, he is killed as many a one has been killed; but it is a sad thing for a man to lie down and die; to bleed to death, because he has not fortitude enough to sear the ...
— The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6 • Boswell

... door without getting a dollar, and some of them got twenty. For several years Clarkson and I had him on our minds because of this gentle and yielding disposition until at last we discovered that in one way or another, in spite of a reckless prodigality, he prospered. The bread which he cheerfully cast upon these unknown waters, almost always returned (sometimes from another direction) in loaves at least as large as biscuits. His fame steadily increased with his charity. ...
— A Daughter of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... long against Christian's famous speed. So long, so long that his love and admiration grew more and more boundless, and his grief and indignation therewith also. Whenever the track lay clear he ran, with such reckless prodigality of strength, that it soon was spent, and he dragged on heavily, till, sometimes on the ice of a mere, sometimes on a wind-swept place, all signs were lost; but, so undeviating had been their line that a course ...
— The Were-Wolf • Clemence Housman

... man with whom The gracious prodigality of nature, The balm, the bliss, the beauty, and the bloom, The bounteous providence in every feature, Recall the good Creator to his creature, Making all earth a fane, all heaven its dome! To HIS tuned spirit the wild heather-bells ...
— The Humourous Poetry of the English Language • James Parton

... sharping author, fastening on those in upper life who honour him with a little notice of him or his works. Indeed, the situation of poets is generally such, to a proverb, as may, in some measure, palliate that prostitution of heart and talents they have at times been guilty of. I do not think that prodigality is, by any means, a necessary concomitant of a poetic turn, but I believe a careless, indolent inattention to economy is almost inseparable from it; then there must be in the heart of every bard of nature's making a certain modest sensibility, mixed with a kind of pride, which ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... the shouts of vodka-stirred men, sheepish that they, too, were part custodians of the miracle of life—through it all Sara Turkletaub lay back against her coarse bed, so rich—so rich that the coves of her arms trembled each of its burden and held tighter for fear somehow God might repent of his prodigality. ...
— The Vertical City • Fannie Hurst

... complying speeches. The poet of the faubourg Saint-Germain, who did not choose to bow before this social dictum, was made before long to feel that an insulting provincial indifference had succeeded to the dazed fascination of the earlier evenings. The prodigality of his wit and wisdom had produced upon these worthy souls somewhat the effect which a shopful of glass-ware produces on the eye; in other words, the fire and brilliancy of Canalis's eloquence soon wearied people who, to use their own words, ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... occasions for their coming into direct collision are neither few nor far between. They divided the vestry fourteen times on a motion for heating the church with warm water instead of coals: and made speeches about liberty and expenditure, and prodigality and hot water, which threw the whole parish into a state of excitement. Then the captain, when he was on the visiting committee, and his opponent overseer, brought forward certain distinct and specific charges ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... whatever it was, had preceded him hours before. Andrew McBain had hid out, the idle women were all a-twitter; but Mary Roget Fortune was calm. She had heard the news from the very first moment, when L. W. had dropped in on McBain; but the more she heard of his riotous prodigality the more it left her cold. His return to town reminded her painfully of that other time when he had come. She had watched for him then, her knight from the desert, worn and ragged but with his sack full of gold; but he had passed ...
— Rimrock Jones • Dane Coolidge

... without the blush. That night she saw one of the new spectacles which have lately become the rage, and run for hundreds of nights, dazzling, exciting, and demoralizing the spectator by every allurement French ingenuity can invent, and American prodigality execute. Never mind what its name was, it was very gorgeous, very vulgar, and very fashionable; so, of course, it was much admired, and every one went to see it. At first, Polly thought she had got into fairy-land, and saw only the sparkling creatures ...
— An Old-fashioned Girl • Louisa May Alcott

... wealth will not make society tolerant. But his freedom of manner bore, to most observers, the appearance of generous heartiness, and he soon gained the good will of the neighborhood by the careless prodigality of his life. He was tall, elegantly formed, and quite well-looking; and though he is said to have borne, a few years later, a sinister and dishonest look, it is probable that most of this was attributable ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... did not prevent me from acknowledging the beauty of the earth. On the contrary, social injustice intensified nature's prodigality. I said, "Yes, the landscape is beautiful, but how much of its beauty penetrates to the heart of the men who are in the midst of it and battling with it? How much of consolation does the worn and weary renter find ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... presenting'—such and such a gay Farce, to as many of you as remain alive! which was received with gay clapping of hands: admirable to the Universe, at least to the Parisian UNIVERS and oneself. Such a prodigality of light daring is in these French gentlemen, skilfully tickled by the Marechal; who uses this Playwright, among other implements, for keeping them at the proper pitch. Was there ever seen such radiancy of valor? Very radiant indeed;—yet, it seems to me, gone somewhat ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVI. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Ten Years of Peace.—1746-1756. • Thomas Carlyle

... cheat is pardonable, and then you lay by farthing by farthing, refusing yourselves not only all the enjoyments of life, but even the most necessary comforts.... You brag of your threadbare clothes; but surely this extreme parsimony is a thousand times more blamable than the opposite prodigality of those of your comrades who spend their time among gipsies, and their money in feasting. You boast of your ignorance, because you do not know what civilization is. Civilization, according to your notions, consists in shorter laps of a coat, foreign furniture, bronzes, and champagne—in ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... the truth of this particular. Lousteau paid the cabman, giving him three francs—a piece of prodigality following upon such impecuniosity astonishing Lucien more than a little. Then the two friends entered the Wooden Galleries, where fashionable literature, as it is called, used to ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... considerations, to her determination to get on; and, having obtained a hold on Carry Fisher, she was astute enough to perceive the wisdom of committing herself entirely to that lady's guidance. Everything, accordingly, was well done, for there was no limit to Mrs. Fisher's prodigality when she was not spending her own money, and as she remarked to her pupil, a good cook was the best introduction to society. If the company was not as select as the CUISINE, the Welly Brys at least had the satisfaction of figuring ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... clothes and curious buildings came into this island, as he notes in his annals, not so many years since; non sine dispendio hospitalitatis to the decay of hospitality. Howbeit many times that word is mistaken, and under the name of bounty and hospitality, is shrouded riot and prodigality, and that which is commendable in itself well used, hath been mistaken heretofore, is become by his abuse, the bane and utter ruin of many a noble family. For some men live like the rich glutton, consuming themselves and their substance by continual feasting and invitations, ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... reached a city; on entering which, a beggar accosted them, crying out, "Worthy believers, disburse your alms and ye shall be rewarded ten-fold." Upon this, Abou Neeut gave him a sherif; when his companion, enraged at what he thought prodigality, demanded back his money, which was given him, and he marched off leaving his new friend without any thing. Abou Neeut, resigned to his fate, and relying on Providence, proceeded to a mosque to pay his devotions, hoping to meet some charitable person who would relieve his necessities; but ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 4 • Anon.

... requires he should give to be saved; is not this an extravagant one? 'Be astonished, O ye heavens! at this, and be horribly afraid!' (Jer 2:9-12). Yea, let all the angels stand amazed at the unaccountable prodigality of such an one. ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan



Words linked to "Prodigality" :   wastefulness, dissipation, shortsightedness, extravagance, profligacy, improvidence, waste, prodigal, highlife



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