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Second-rate   Listen
adjective
Second-rate  adj.  Of the second size, rank, quality, or value; as, a second-rate ship; second-rate cloth; a second-rate champion.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Second-rate" Quotes from Famous Books



... People nowadays say that the real dignity and importance have perished out of the office, as they do, sooner or later, out of all earthly institutions, leaving only a painted and gilded shell like that of an Easter egg, and that it is only second-rate and third-rate men who now condescend to be ambitious of the Mayoralty. I felt a little grieved at this; for the original emigrants of New England had strong sympathies with the people of London, who were mostly Puritans in religion ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... master. That is to say, it is both sumptuous and boldly contrasted in the local hues, the sovereign unity of general tone not being attained by any sacrifice or attenuation, by any undue fusion of these, as in some of the second-rate Giorgionesques. Common to both is the use of a brilliant scarlet, which Giorgione successfully employs in the robe of the Trojan Aeneas, and Titian on a more extensive scale in that of one of the healing saints. These last are among ...
— The Earlier Work of Titian • Claude Phillips

... a cab for Paddington, and then had to wait above two hours before a train started for Birkenhead. Meanwhile I walked a little about the neighborhood, which is very dull and uninteresting; made up of crescents and terraces, and rows of houses that have no individuality, and second-rate shops,—in short, the outskirts of the vast city, when it begins to have a kind of village character but no rurality or sylvan aspect, as at Blackheath. My journey, when at last we started, was quite unmarked by incident, and extremely tedious; it being a slow train, which plods on without ...
— Passages From the English Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... immense possibilities for producers and writers of thoroughly good photoplay serials. Whereas in the past many serials were to be seen only in the second-rate houses, on account of the fact that their impossibly thrilling situations and weird plots appealed only to the juvenile and less intelligent spectators, now with the improvement in the stories of serial ...
— Writing the Photoplay • J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds

... Sires de Boisy and de Chievres, were still holding meetings at Montpellier, trying to come to an understanding about the execution of this treaty, when the death of Emperor Maximilian at Wels, in Austria, on the 12th of January, 1519, occurred to add the vacant throne of a great power to the two second-rate thrones already in dispute between two powerful princes. Three claimants, Charles of Austria, who was the new King of Spain, Francis I., and Henry VIII., King of England, aspired to this splendid heritage. ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume IV. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... as he passes. It is impossible to get up a revolution or a new religion, or a national awakening of any sort, without his turning up, putting himself at the head of it and collaring all the gate-receipts for himself. Even after his death he leaves a long trail of second-rate relations spattered over the front seats of fifty years ...
— Literary Lapses • Stephen Leacock

... and take the lower and spurious forms of it for the higher and nobler, who think of love as being what, alas! it often is, in our imperfect lives, a fierce desire to have for our very own the thing or person beloved. But that is a second-rate kind of love. God's love is an infinite desire to give Himself. If only we open our hearts—and nothing opens them so wide as longing—He will pour in, as surely as the atmosphere streams in through every chink and cranny, ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... relinquishment of the Lille plan. Brussels had had from the first a strong attraction for Charlotte; and the idea of going there, in preference to any other place, had only been given up in consequence of the information received of the second-rate character of its schools. In one of her letters reference has been made to Mrs. Jenkins, the wife of the chaplain of the British Embassy. At the request of his brother—a clergyman, living not many miles from Haworth, and an acquaintance of Mr. Bronte's—she made much inquiry, and at length, ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte - Volume 1 • Elizabeth Gaskell

... is my natural element. I need to be called out, and never think alone, without imagining some companion. Whether this be nature or the force of circumstances, I know not; it is my habit, and bespeaks a second-rate mind.' ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... the northern, southern, eastern, or western suburbs—we have reasons for not being particular—at the distance of two miles and three-quarters from the black dome of St Paul's. It consists of thirty genteel-looking second-rate houses, standing upon a veritable terrace, at least three feet above the level of the carriage-way, and having small gardens enclosed in iron palisades in front of them. The garden gates open upon a pavement of nine feet in width; the carriage-road is thirty feet across; and on the opposite ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 448 - Volume 18, New Series, July 31, 1852 • Various

... Only second-rate hearts and minds are melancholy. When we become like little children, our very playfulness tells that we are seeing deep, when we see that God is love in His works as well as in Himself, and we look at Nature as a baby does, as a beautiful mystery ...
— Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife • Charles Kingsley

... further than this spiritual attitude, for this woman was second-rate stuff. Her beauty was somehow shoddy, her purple gown the kind of garment that a clairvoyant might have worn, her movements had the used quality of photographers' poses. Publicity had not been able to change the substance of the precious metal ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... anything you pleased, for each was so much taken up with his own case that he only listened to you that he might establish a claim in turn on your attention. Here and there a noisy and confident personage got a larger audience by professing to have private information. A second-rate stockbroker assured quite a congregation that the assets of the bank included an estate in Australia, which would more than pay the whole debt, and advised them to see that it was not flung away; and a Government pensioner mentioned casually in his neighbourhood, on the authority of ...
— Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers • Ian Maclaren

... for Dewidale immediately after my breakfast. I have made arrangements for boarding in this house, which is a second-rate commercial inn. They have agreed to give me board and lodging for twenty shillings a week—the full amount of my stipend: so all that I gain by my researches in the affairs of the departed Matthew is food and ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... phraseology and intonation of its everyday professors, even those very tricks of bad logic at which he had been used to laugh. Ruth had always supposed, for example, that the presumption of instructing the Deity in appropriate conduct was impossible even to second-rate minds until by imitation slowly acquired as a habit. It was monstrous to her that he should so suddenly and all unconsciously be guilty of it. Indeed for the moment these small evidences of the change in him distressed her more than the change itself, which she had yet to realise; just as in company ...
— Lady Good-for-Nothing • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... make three assortments in fortune—first-rate, second-rate, and third-rate fortunes. I call those first-rate which are composed of treasures one possesses under one's hand, such as mines, lands, and funded property, in such states as France, Austria, and ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... and novel writing of second-rate order, somewhat spiced and stimulating, are sure to succeed, and carry 'of course' popularity with their success, by advertising the writer. Of this there is an instance in Coleridge's own works. The "Zapoyla," entitled a "Christmas Tale," (and which he never sat down to write, but dictated ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... what she got from the Gardner family, and she doesn't seem to have had the best of luck with it, either. I came across her by accident. She is staying at a flashy hotel, but it's in the wrong quarter—second-rate—quite second-rate." ...
— The Tempting of Tavernake • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... no longer be apparent. If the aim of European art had ever in serious examples been to deceive the eye, our painting would rank with legerdemain and Maskelyne's famous box trick; for it is to be doubted if it could ever so well have attained its end as even a second-rate conjurer can. I have cited a passage in which Reynolds confronts the work of great artists with the illusions of the camera obscura (see p. 237). The adept musical performer who reproduces the noises of a farmyard is the true parallel to the lesser Dutch artists; he deceives ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... chateaux had been philosophers. It was Louis who said that he would like to make all the politicians who caused wars into a salad, accompanying his threat with appropriate gestures; Charles who thought that once the "Boches" were properly pruned they might be acceptable second-rate members of international society; and Leon who wanted the Kaiser put to the plow in a coat of corduroy as the best cure for his conceit. That afternoon, when au revoirs were spoken and our cars wound in and out over the byroads of ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... to pick you up in case you fail. When you have demonstrated the suitability of apergy," he continued, "and the habitability of Jupiter and Saturn—,which, with their five and eight moons, respectively, and rings thrown in, must both be vastly superior to our little second-rate globe—we will see what can be done towards changing our orbit, and if we cannot swing a little nearer to our new world or worlds. Then we'll lower, or rather raise, the boats in the shape of numerous Callistos, and have a landing-party ready at each opposition, while a man or two can ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds • J. J. Astor

... from her own heart, as to her deficiency—but none were equal to counteract the persuasion of its being very disagreeable,—a waste of time—tiresome women—and all the horror of being in danger of falling in with the second-rate and third-rate of Highbury, who were calling on them for ever, and therefore she seldom went near them. But now she made the sudden resolution of not passing their door without going in—observing, as she proposed ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... from the way Clayton neglected the mistakes of the pets of his own eleven, and his constant and petty fault-finding with the three Lakerimmers, that he was determined to keep them from the varsity, even if he had to keep second-rate players on the team, and even if he imperiled the Academy's ...
— The Dozen from Lakerim • Rupert Hughes

... many voices of consciousness with the reply that there was undoubtedly a goal, but that it would need the most relentless energy to keep anywhere in its direction. Still, still, one goes on, the ticking seconds seemed to assure him, with dignity, with open eyes, with determination not to accept the second-rate, not to be tempted by the unworthy, not to yield, not to compromise. Twenty-five minutes past three were now marked upon the face of the watch. The world, he assured himself, since Katharine Hilbery was now half an hour behind her time, offers no happiness, no rest from ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... late variety, which is enormously productive of medium-sized berries. It is a great favorite in Missouri and some other regions. The berries carry well to market, but their flavor is second-rate. ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... Egypt, and thus we are indebted to the Ptolemies for preserving to our times all the best specimens of Greek literature which have come down to us. This encouragement of letters, however, called forth no great original genius; but a few eminent men of science, many second-rate and artificial poets, and a host of ...
— Handbook of Universal Literature - From The Best and Latest Authorities • Anne C. Lynch Botta

... if we are simians we have done well, considering: but if we are something else—fallen angels—we have indeed fallen far. Not being modest by instinct we invent artificial ideals, which are doubtless well-meaning but are inherently of course second-rate, so that even at our best we smell prudish. And as for our worst, when .we as we say let ourselves go, we dirty the life-force unspeakably, with chuckles and leers. But a race so indecent by nature ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day Jr.

... or more. And when the county-town lost its attraction for the Astleys, the Dunstans, the Waverhams, how could it be supposed that the Domvilles, the Bextons, and the Wildes would continue to go and winter there in their second-rate houses, and with their increased expenditure? So the grand old houses stood empty awhile; and then speculators ventured to purchase, and to turn the deserted mansions into many smaller dwellings, fitted for professional men, or even (bend your ear lower, lest the ...
— Ruth • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... Wilde was a pithecoid person of extraordinary sensuality and cowardice (funking the witness-box left him without a defender!) and that his wife was a highfalutin' pretentious creature whose pride was as extravagant as her reputation founded on second-rate verse-making.... Even when a young woman she used to keep her rooms in Merrion Square in semi-darkness; she laid the paint on too thick for any ordinary light, and she gave herself ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 1 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... of these people escaping charity by so narrow a margin had been second-rate actors and scene shifters, or artists—of both sexes—the men being either too old or otherwise ineligible for the army. This was their only square meal during twenty-four hours. They made at home such coffee as they could afford, and went without dinner more often than not. The ...
— The Living Present • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... of Autinous do not seem to me beautiful in themselves; and that heavy, downward look is repeated till I am more weary of it than of anything else in sculpture. We went up stairs and down stairs, and saw a good many beautiful things, but none, perhaps, of the very best and beautifullest; and second-rate statues, with the corroded surface of old marble that has been dozens of centuries under the ground, depress the spirits of the beholder. The bas-relief of Antinous has at least the merit of being almost as white and fresh, and ...
— Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Complete • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... this evening were Maurice de Courcy, a wild young Irishman, all noise and nonsense, a great favourite with his cousin, Mr. Edmonstone; two Miss Harpers, daughters of the late clergyman, good-natured, second-rate girls; Dr. Mayerne, Charles's kind old physician, the friend and much-loved counsellor at Hollywell, and the present vicar, Mr. Ross with ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... second-rate swordsman, my Lepidus. Nepimus, the lesser man, I have never seen before: but he is the son of one of the imperial fiscales, and brought up in a proper school; doubtless they will show sport, but I have no heart for the game; I cannot win back my money—I am undone. Curses on ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... townspeople to be in danger of losing their regard or respect, yet he would have been half pained and half amused if he had known how foolishly his plans, which came in time to be his ward's also, were smiled and frowned upon in the Oldfields houses. Conformity is the inspiration of much second-rate virtue. If we keep near a certain humble level of morality and achievement, our neighbors are willing to let us slip through life unchallenged. Those who anticipate the opinions and decisions of society must expect to be found ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... the American's whole-hearted admiration—almost infatuation—for him gave Harry the pleasure one feels in the frank devotion of a child. It touched him, even while he intended to make use of it, because it was his nature to make use of everything. It is an infallible sign of the second-rate in nature and intellect to make use of everything and every one. The genius is incapable of making use of people. It is for the second-rate clever people to make ...
— The Limit • Ada Leverson

... travestying Ruth into 'the lovely young Lavinia;' so whenever Jessie treated me to any of her quotations, I criticised him without mercy, and at last I said, by great good luck, that the only use of him was to serve as an imposition for young ladies at second-rate boarding schools. It was a capital hit, for Alex found out that it was the way she learnt so much of him, and since that time I have heard no more of 'Jemmy Thomson! ...
— Henrietta's Wish • Charlotte M. Yonge

... not to read his sermon. So he began to repeat it, with sweeps of the hands, pointings of the fingers, and other such tricks of second-rate actors, to aid the self-delusion of his hearers that it was a genuine present outburst from the soul of Murdoch Malison. For they all knew as well as he did, that his sermon was only "cauld kail het again." But some family dishes—Irish stew, for example, or ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... set down as savoir-faire and dash. A cheap wit was held to be brilliancy and conversational finish. And somehow we had all fallen into the way of humouring the brigadier. I never told him, for instance, that his son was a very second-rate doctor and a nervous operator. I never hinted that many of the cures which had been placed to his credit were the work of Fitz—that the men had no confidence in Charlie, and that they were somewhat ...
— Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories • Henry Seton Merriman

... Kilkhampton Church that it prompted his once famous Meditations among the Tombs. The work and others of its author's, such as Theron and Aspasio, may still be met with occasionally on old-fashioned bookshelves, or on the second-hand stalls; and they forcibly remind us of the style of second-rate reflection which, in a different dress, is still dear to the average sober-minded individual. But Hervey is not at all bad, of his sort, and our great-grandfathers thought him profound. Probably, however, ...
— The Cornwall Coast • Arthur L. Salmon

... there is a considerable difference of calibre between them. I should say now that LONGFELLOW was a first-rate artist with a second-rate imagination, and that PIERPONT was only a second-rate artist with a first-rate fancy. There ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, June 1844 - Volume 23, Number 6 • Various

... man said that he was to take them to Harker's Hotel. It's a second-rate hotel not far from the ...
— With Lee in Virginia - A Story of the American Civil War • G. A. Henty

... and would have nothing to do with it. At last they made arrangements, and I was transported to the establishment from which I now write you. I write you from the bosom of a Parisian menage—from the depths of a second-rate boarding-house. ...
— A Bundle of Letters • Henry James

... professional person disguised as a waiter. But don't think you can trifle with me. I am a lady's maid; and I know the ladies' maids and valets of all the aristocracies of Europe and all the millionaires of America. When I expose your hotel as the second-rate little hole it is, not a soul above the rank of a curate with a large family will be seen entering it. I shake its dust off my feet. Order the luggage to ...
— The Inca of Perusalem • George Bernard Shaw

... out-spoken about both Philip and Mr. Clinton than she had probably intended to be. That Philip began things hotly, and that his zeal cooled before they were accomplished—that his imperiousness laid him open to flattery, and the necessity of playing first-fiddle betrayed him into second-rate friendships, which were thrown after the discarded hobbies—that Mr. Clinton was ill-bred, and with that vulgarity of mind which would make him rather proud than ashamed of getting the best of a bargain with his friend—these ...
— A Great Emergency and Other Tales - A Great Emergency; A Very Ill-Tempered Family; Our Field; Madam Liberality • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... produce abortions!" cried Roderick with ire. "Preach that to others. Production with me must be either pleasure or nothing. As I said just now, I must either stay in the saddle or not go at all. I won't do second-rate work; I can't if I would. I have no cleverness, apart from inspiration. I am not a Gloriani! You are right," he added after a while; "this is unprofitable talk, and it makes my head ache. I shall take a nap and see if I can dream of ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... board the canal packet, that the Indian referred to, was not the notorious chief of that name, but a second-rate warrior, who, having headed a band of marauders, ***med the soubriquet. How far this may be the fact, I cannot determine. I, however, frequently heard Poe's name mentioned as a brave defender of the hearths and homes of the early settlers in the remote districts ...
— An Englishman's Travels in America - His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States • John Benwell

... English, who are always ready to confound what is rare with what is really admirable, are very successful in their curiosities of this kind. They collect them at a great expense, and employ skilful engravers to reproduce fac-similes for second-rate amateurs, whose whole fortune would not suffice for the acquisition ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... grooms. Sweethearts. After the performance they all went to homes. To brownstone fronts like the Grosbecks'. To cottages. To flats. With a snack to eat in the refrigerator or laid out on the dining-room table. Lamps burning and waiting. Nighties laid out and bedcovers turned back. And then—me. Second-rate hotels. That walk through the dark downtown streets. Passing men who address you through closed lips. The dingy lobby. There's no applause lasts long enough, Marcia, to reach over that moment when you unlock your hotel room ...
— The Vertical City • Fannie Hurst

... afterwards by numberless mediocrities who have nothing whatever to express? It is gravely set down about Haydn, for instance, that he "stereotyped" the symphony form, and "handed it on" to future generations. Now, I have observed that the men who do this kind of work are always the second-rate men: first come the inventors, the pioneers, and then the perfecters; it is always at the close of a school that the tip-top men arise. They claw in their material from everywhere around, and use it up so thoroughly as to leave nothing for the later comers to do with it ...
— Haydn • John F. Runciman

... These are the unhappy questions which beset the mature and reflective reader of Victor Hugo's works. To the young and enthusiastic one the case is different. For him it is easy to forget—or even not to observe—what there may be in that imposing figure that is unsatisfactory and second-rate. He may revel at will in the voluminous harmonies of that resounding voice; by turns thrilling with indignation, dreaming in ecstasy, plunging into abysses, and soaring upon unimaginable heights. Between youth and age who shall judge? Who decide between rapture and reflection, enthusiasm ...
— Landmarks in French Literature • G. Lytton Strachey

... be abandoned by your own party. And they are mean contests; struggles which leave you disenchanted, and wearied, and depraved, and all in pure waste; for it often happens that you put forth all your strength to win laurels for a man whom you despise, and maintain, in spite of yourself, that some second-rate writer ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... but the intolerable dulness which encumbers the depth of Wilhelm Meister, and the cruel reserve which conceals from all but the intensest readers the meaning of Faust, have made him, in a great degree, an evil influence in European literature; and Evil is always second-rate. ...
— Frondes Agrestes - Readings in 'Modern Painters' • John Ruskin

... hospitals. It takes a smart man nowadays to boom himself into notoriety. As in literature and law, so in the medical profession, it isn't the clever man who rises to the top of the tree. More often it is a second-rate man, who has private influence, and has gauged the exact worth of self-advertisement. This is an age of reputations quickly made, and just as rapidly lost. In the professional world a new man rises ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... watching her ripening beauty expand, three years were added to that age, Mr. Templeton was most deeply in love. Mary was indeed lovely,—her disposition naturally good and gentle, but her education worse than neglected. To the frivolities and meannesses of a second-rate fashion, inculcated into her till her father's death, had now succeeded the quackeries, the slavish subservience, the intolerant bigotries, of a transcendental superstition. In a change so abrupt and violent, the ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book X • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... Academy there are no pictures of merit; but sometimes a second-rate picture is as pleasing as the best, and one may pass an hour here very pleasantly. There is a room appropriated to Belgian artists, of which I never saw the like: they are, like all the rest of the things in this country, miserable imitations of the French school—great nude Venuses, ...
— Little Travels and Roadside Sketches • William Makepeace Thackeray

... wife; there was no one to take her place, she said. So, one day, when I was in my office alone, Lizzy came to me, looking like a dead body out of which the soul had been crushed. She had been hurt, I told you:—she came to me with an open letter in her hand. It was from the manager of one of the second-rate opera-troupes. The girl can sing, and has a curious dramatic talent, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. July, 1863, No. LXIX. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... excited our curiosity. She was not worse than many other girls, with plenty of inquisitiveness and sharp sense, and not too much refinement and feeling; whose accomplishments are learnt from the 'first masters,' and whose principles are left to be picked up from gossip, servants, and second-rate books; digested by ignorant, inquisitive, ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... Colet, Romola, Di Vernon, Margaret Hale, Shirley, Anne Elliot, The Angel in the House, The Gardener's Daughter, The Miller's Daughter, Sweet Susan Winstanley, and Beatrice. It is impossible to dwell on the mere passionate emotion of second-rate novels and sensuous poetry, without wiping some possibility of nobleness out of your own life. Every influence which you allow to pass through your mind colours it, but most of all, those which appeal to your feelings. You take pains to strengthen your minds, but you let ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... realized, and Megalopolis, instead of becoming 'the great city' of Arcadia, was only a mate to Tegea and Mantinea. Even thus, the work was by no means lost; a Spartan army, to reach Messenia, whose independence was to be secured, must pass through the territory of Megalopolis, and even a second-rate city would answer as a guard. But not even Epaminondas could make of Arcadia a first-class power, and a sufficient counterpoise to Sparta. Megalopolis is now wholly deserted, and represented only by the little village of Sinanu, half a mile distant, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. II. July, 1862. No. 1. • Various

... what was the sequel to this great literature, this literature of genius, as we may call it, stretching from Marlowe to Milton? What did it lead up to in English literature? To our provincial and second-rate literature of the eighteenth century. What, on the other hand, was the sequel to the literature of the French "great century," to this literature of intelligence, as by comparison with our Elizabethan literature we may call it; what did it lead up to? To the French literature of the eighteenth ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... interesting, though possessed of every virtue; but a pattern peasant or an immaculate manufacturing hero may talk as much twaddle as one of Mrs Ratcliffe's heroines, and still be listened to. Perhaps, however, Mr Sentiment's great attraction is in his second-rate characters. If his heroes and heroines walk upon stilts, as heroes and heroines, I fear, ever must, their attendant satellites are as natural as though one met them in the street: they walk and talk like men and women, and live among our friends a rattling, lively ...
— The Warden • Anthony Trollope

... sex the subject of cartoons and witticisms; the stage dared to spread the contemptible misinformation; women either smiled or remained indifferent. The impression became general and fixed that women were gallinaceous, that a hen-like philosophy characterised the sex; that they were, at best, second-rate humans, tagging rather gratefully at the heels of the Lords of Creation, unconcerned with the greater and vital ...
— The Gay Rebellion • Robert W. Chambers

... first of the moderns,' though he shows himself in many descriptions of pictures quite awake to the beauty manufactured by man, has in no way anticipated the modern discovery that nature is beautiful. To readers who have had enough of the pathetic fallacy, and of the second-rate novelist's local colour, Lucian's tacit assumption that there is nothing but man is refreshing. That he was a close enough observer of human nature, any one can satisfy himself by glancing at the Feast of Lapithae, the Dialogues of the Hetaerae, some of the Dialogues ...
— Works, V1 • Lucian of Samosata

... Goldsmith made his philosophical Chinaman visit Vauxhall, the other members of the party consisting of the man in black, a pawnbroker's widow, and Mr. Tibbs, the second-rate beau, and his wife. The Chinaman was delighted, and, by a strange coincidence, Addison's metaphor crops up once more in his rapturous description. "The illuminations began before we arrived, and I must confess that, ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... are generally very good customers, from the fact of their either having large families, all engaged in the same work, or else several females or males working under them, and living at their house. The parties becoming securities thus not only greatly increase their trade, but furnish a second-rate article at a first-rate price. It is useless to complain of the bad quality or high price of the articles supplied by the securities, for the shopkeepers know, as well as the workpeople, that it is impossible ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... Nick pronounced, "those are thoroughly second-rate ideas, the result of a perfectly superficial view. Excuse my possibly priggish tone, but they really attribute to my dear detached friend a part he's quite incapable of playing. He can neither make trouble nor take trouble; no trouble could ever either have come out of him or have ...
— The Tragic Muse • Henry James

... of hills, sloping down towards the sea, and presenting therefore the fairest mark to the fire of hostile ships. But where is the capital exactly so situated that we are ever likely to attack? And as to the destruction of a few second-rate towns, even when practicable, it is a mean, unworthy species of warfare, by which nothing was ever gained. The severe loss sustained before Algiers must also be taken into account, because it was ...
— Elements of Military Art and Science • Henry Wager Halleck

... feelings in this respect. Harcourt had formed a very false idea of Miss Waddington;—had led himself to imagine that she was second-rate and unattractive. In the first place, he had his own ideas about Littlebath, and conceived that it was not the place in which the highest beauty of England should be looked for; and in the next place, he knew George Bertram, and regarded him as a man peculiarly liable ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... "Yes, every thing second-rate—poor goods, scamped work. But that pleases, and he pleases, and he is well content with that. Well, then, bravo!—But I am not angry. I and that cantata, we are both old fools! I feel a little ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... Beatrice. It is Beatrice's intention to do nothing rashly, but to take as much time as she can get for making up her mind, and then to do exactly as she pleases. She perfectly appreciates her own position and knows that she can either marry a rich man of second-rate family, or a poor man of good blood, a younger son or a half ruined gentleman at large like San Miniato, and she hesitates. She is not quite sure of the value of money yet. It might be delightful to be even much richer than she is, because there are so many delightful ...
— The Children of the King • F. Marion Crawford

... persons of distinction were also in the town at the time. Carriages and other conveyances were arriving every minute from London and elsewhere; and when among the rest a shabby stage-coach came in by a by-route along the coast from Havenpool, and drew up at a second-rate tavern, ...
— A Changed Man and Other Tales • Thomas Hardy

... said he, with a perplexed look. "These Indians cannot return to Moose, having received orders, I find, to journey in a different direction. Our own men know the way, but I cannot spare the good ones among them, and the second-rate cannot be depended on ...
— Ungava • R.M. Ballantyne

... the pages of "Mr. Soapy Sponge," and Surtees's other novels, assuredly it was no theme for the great and generous spirit of Sir Walter. The worst kind of manners always prevail among people whom moderns call "the second-rate smart," and these are drawn in "St. Ronan's Well." But we may believe that, even there, manners are no longer quite so hideous as in the little Tweedside watering-place. The extinction of duelling has destroyed, or ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... imploy;[14] Fer the silver spoon born in Dermocracy's mouth Is a kind of a scringe thet they hev to the South; Their masters can cuss 'em an' kick 'em an' wale 'em, An' they notice it less 'an the ass did to Balaam; In this way they screw into second-rate offices Wich the slaveholder thinks 'ould substract too much off his ease; The file-leaders, I mean, du, fer they, by their wiles, Unlike the old viper, grow fat on their files. Wal, the Wigs hev been tryin' to grab all this prey frum 'em An' to hook this nice ...
— The Biglow Papers • James Russell Lowell

... caught and fixed in the Maenad statue—the one enduring work of a ruined talent, now to be found in the Luxembourg by anyone who cares to look for it. Her beauty was less original; it had taken throughout the second-rate Parisian stamp; she had the townswoman's pallor, as compared with the moorland red and white of her youth; and round the eyes and mouth in a full daylight were already to be seen the lines which grave the history of passionate ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... that sad-eyed, dyspeptic family made up of those you see dining in second-rate restaurants, their paper propped up against the bowl of oyster crackers, munching solemnly and with indifference to the stare of the passer-by surveying them through the ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... about his wife People had said how extraordinarily Aylmer must have been in love to have married that uninteresting girl, no-one in particular, not pretty and a little second-rate. As a matter of fact the marriage had happened entirely by accident. It had occurred through a misunderstanding during a game of consequences in a country house. She was terribly literal. Having taken some joke of his seriously, she had sent him a ...
— Tenterhooks • Ada Leverson

... the world. She ought to be more adequately surrounded than this. What was Mrs. Leyburn—what were the Elsmeres about? He rebelled against the thought of her living perpetually among her inferiors, the centre of a vulgar publicity, queen of the second-rate. ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... a penny for you. Jacob, farewell—we meet again;" and away he went, taking three of the stone steps at each spring. This gentleman's name was, as I afterwards found out, Tinfoil, an actor of second-rate merit on the London boards. The Haymarket Theatre was where he principally performed, and, as we became better acquainted, he offered to procure me orders to see the play when I should ...
— Jacob Faithful • Captain Frederick Marryat

... whiskey. He is not averse to receiving a treat, and it should be mentioned to his credit that he is always ready to treat his friends to his favorite drink when he is in funds. When hungry, he "asks" for food. He is fond of visiting the second-rate theatres at the expense of somebody else, and hangs around them, hoping some one will give him a check before the performance is over. In mild weather, he will sleep almost anywhere, in or around a market house, or in an empty wagon. The hay-barges ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... we, and they know it—I'll do them that justice—and they wonder why we should care for them. When we are polite to them, they think the less of us; there are plenty of people like that. Mamma thinks so much of them simply because they are foreigners. If I could tell you all the dull, stupid, second-rate people I have had to talk to, for no better reason than that they were de leur pays!— Germans, French, Italians, Turks, everything. When I complain, mamma always says that at any rate it's practice in the language. And she makes so much of the English, too; I ...
— The Pension Beaurepas • Henry James

... trade, and colonial matters, and that he is therefore a very great and irreparable loss. It is nevertheless remarkable that it is only within the last five or six years that he acquired the great reputation which he latterly enjoyed. I do not think he was looked upon as more than a second-rate man till his speeches on the silk trade and the shipping interest; but when he became President of the Board of Trade he devoted himself with indefatigable application to the maturing and reducing to practice those commercial improvements with ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... or she is willing to give their best for that object. But that is all. I am fearless to confess that I would enroll for a colleague in the clinics, which hold in their hands the lives of my friends, a man who is facile princeps in the art of surgery rather than a second-rate surgeon who can subscribe to the very same intellectual ...
— What the Church Means to Me - A Frank Confession and a Friendly Estimate by an Insider • Wilfred T. Grenfell

... the very highest prizes of human affairs, it is, I believe, admitted on all hands, that these generally fall to second-rate men. Civilized nations have found it convenient entirely to give up the hallucination that the monarch is the greatest, wisest, and best man in his dominions. Nobody supposes that. And in the case of hereditary dynasties, such an end ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... human life. He deals gravely and sincerely with men. He has none of that shallow irony by which small men who have got wrong with the world seek a shabby revenge. He tells us the whole truth. He is not of those second-rate sages who keep their own secrets, externally complying with all the conventions of speech and demeanour, while privately nourishing unbridled freedom of opinion in the inner sanctuary of the mind. He handles soberly, faithfully, ...
— Studies in Literature • John Morley

... record all the acts of spoliation committed by second-rate ambitious aspirants who hoped to come in for their share in the division of the Continent: The Emperor's lieutenants regarded Europe as a twelfthcake, but none of them ventured to dispute the best bit ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... imprudently detached under the orders of Captain Allemand, Villeneuve left Cadiz in company with Admiral Gravina and some Spanish vessels. The latter were large and heavy, difficult to manoeuvre, and fitted with very second-rate crews. The squadron of battle, commanded by Admiral Villeneuve and the Spanish Vice- Admiral Alava, numbered twenty-one vessels. The squadron of reserve, composed of twelve vessels, had been placed under the orders ...
— Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 • M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

... uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that ...
— The Picture of Dorian Gray • Oscar Wilde

... young and healthy enough to sauce with appetite the dishes he thoughtfully selected. You perceived in him the imperfect epicure. His club had no culinary fame; the dinner was merely tolerable; but Rolfe's unfinished palate flattered the second-rate cook. He knew nothing of vintages; it sufficed him to distinguish between Bordeaux and Burgundy; yet one saw him raise his glass and peer at the liquor with eye of connoisseur. All unaffectedly; for he was conscious of his shortcoming in the art of delicate ...
— The Whirlpool • George Gissing

... super-excellence at no point, he was really great at many. And, behind this extraordinary combination of remarkable, though not transcendent, powers was an intense conviction, a deadly earnestness, a consuming passion, that made second-rate qualities sublime. The most revealing paragraph in the book occurs towards the end. It is a quotation from Mr. Spurgeon himself. 'Leaving home early in the morning,' he says, 'I went to the vestry and sat there all day ...
— A Handful of Stars - Texts That Have Moved Great Minds • Frank W. Boreham

... where hotels are found, and where the English congregate. There in the "Corso," and in one or two streets leading out of it, there are foot-pavements, lamps at night, and windows to the shops. A fair sprinkling of second-rate equipages roll by you, bearing the Roman ladies, with their gaudy dresses, ill-assorted colours, and their heavy, handsome, sensual features. The young Italian nobles, with their English-cut attire, saunter past you listlessly. The peasants are few in number now, but the soldiers and priests ...
— Rome in 1860 • Edward Dicey

... her that slow sleepy smile which was Manuel. "Just," he said,—"and it is that which humiliates. Yes, you and I are second-rate persons, Alianora, and we have found each other out. It is a pity. But we will always keep our secret from the rest of the world, and our secret will always be ...
— Figures of Earth • James Branch Cabell

... end; and the musicians in the gallery had fallen to tuning their violins. The chairs arrayed along the walls were thinly occupied, and as yet the social temperature scarce rose to thawing-point. In fact, the second-rate people had arrived, and from the far end of the room were nervously watching the door for notables. Consequently my entrance drew a disquieting fire of observation. The mirrors, reflectors, and girandoles had eyes for me; and as I advanced up the ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... I shall go alone. It is only one of their deadly musical evenings, with about three second-rate professionals, and a sprinkling of local talent. The Misses Hillier play the harp and violin, with particularly red arms and bony elbows, their sister-in-law sings in a throaty contralto, and the ices run ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... the first ages after the rise of literature, the very want of that multitude of second-rate books we now possess, had the effect of compelling those who learned any thing to betake themselves to studies of a solid nature; and there was consequently less difference then, between the education of the two sexes, than now. The reader will immediately recollect the instances ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... human nature in this nonsense. An ambitious lawyer passes his nights in retouching stock pieces, from which he can reap neither fame nor profit. He gives his work to a second-rate illiterate actor, who adopts it as his own. Bacon is so enamoured of this method that he publishes 'Venus and Adonis' and 'Lucrece' under the name of his actor friend. Finally, he commits to the actor's care all his sonnets to the Queen, to Gloriana, and for years these manuscript ...
— The Valet's Tragedy and Other Stories • Andrew Lang

... to the effect that "it is intolerable absurdity to profess [who does?] to see Christianity through the spectacles of a number of second- or third-rate men who lived in Queen Elizabeth's time"—that time so fertile in nothing but the second-rate and the third. But it is followed a little later by the less disputable observation, "It is difficult to make out exactly at what [F.D.] Maurice is driving; perhaps he is always a little dim in his own ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... work of common quality, a painful idea comes into one's mind, and we wonder how people, compelled to see it night after night perhaps for half-a-year, can endure the strain. What, for instance, must be the sufferings of the conductor or of a member of the orchestra at a successful second-rate musical comedy; of a stage manager compelled for months, one after another, to direct a brainless farce? Of course the people lumped together in the technical term as "the front of the house" have a remedy, and after the first night or two only appear in the auditorium when the curtain is down, ...
— Our Stage and Its Critics • "E.F.S." of "The Westminster Gazette"

... is doubtful whether entire severance from American or European control would last a year, because some other Power, Asiatic or European, would seize the Colony. Sovereign independence would be but a fleeting vision without a navy superior in all respects to that of any second-rate naval Power, for if all the fighting-men of the Islands were armed to the teeth they could not effectively resist a simultaneous bombardment of their ports; nor could they, as inhabitants of an archipelago, become united in action ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... beat included Bloomsbury Square had their reasons for not liking Mrs. Pennycherry. Indeed it might have been difficult to discover any human being with reasons for liking that sharp-featured lady. Maybe the keeping of second-rate boarding houses in the neighbourhood of Bloomsbury does not tend to develop the virtues ...
— Passing of the Third Floor Back • Jerome K. Jerome

... Dryden probably conceiving that he had already done his part, only revised this additional book, and contributed about two hundred lines. The body of the poem was written by Nahum Tate, one of those second-rate bards, who, by dint of pleonasm and expletive can find smooth lines if any one will supply them with ideas. The Second Part of "Absalom and Achitophel" is, however, much beyond his usual pitch, and exhibits considerable marks of a careful revision by Dryden, especially in the satirical ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... man evinced qualities which, when tested, showed that he would make but a second-rate artist, the character-divers demonstrated that these youths possessed natural tendencies better fitting them ...
— Another World - Fragments from the Star City of Montalluyah • Benjamin Lumley (AKA Hermes)

... indeed a desperate one. Sir William Berkley and his ship, the Swiftsure, a second-rate, was taken, as was the ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... good prose; it is merely blank verse of an inferior quality, and we hope that Mr. Coleridge in his next novel will not ask us to accept second-rate poetry as musical prose. For, that Mr. Coleridge is a young writer of great ability and culture cannot be doubted and, indeed, in spite of the error we have pointed out, Demetrius remains one of the most fascinating and delightful novels that has ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... to follow the unhappy details of the unended dinner. Mr. Fyshe's one idea was to be gone: he was too true an artist to think that finance could be carried on over the table-cloth of a second-rate restaurant, or on an empty stomach in a deserted club. The thing must be done over again; he must wait his ...
— Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich • Stephen Leacock

... the editions of Steevens and Malone are to his. Yet, prompted by the "Dunciad," it is the fashion of literature to regard Theobald with compassion, as a block-head and empiric. Cibber escapes but little better, and yet he was a man of respectable talent, and played no second-rate part in the literary history ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... was not a claim to Maggie's admiration. As has been said before, she did not care for reading, and considered that the writing of books was a second-rate affair. The things that Mr. Magnus might have done with his life if he had not spent it in writing books! She regarded him with the kind indulgence of an elder who watches a child brick-building. ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... recognized. In the Hall of Science exhibitors do not get their work hung upon the line because it tickles the public taste, or because it is "uplifting," or because the jury is kindly and wishes to give the exhibitor a chance to earn a little second-rate reputation. The same standard is applied to everybody, and the jury is incorruptible. The exhibit is nothing if not true, or by way of becoming ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... progressive mind the wide sands are a stumbling-block. Silting up with the years, they have closed the river to navigation, and converted our once famous Roman city of Chester into a sleepy, second-rate market-town. The great flood of commerce from the New World sweeps contemptuously past our estuary, and finds its clearing-house under the eternal, assertive smoke clouds which camouflage the miles of throbbing docks and slums called Liverpool—little more than a ...
— A Labrador Doctor - The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

... chronicler; his accidental stand-point was as impertinent as the painter's attitude before his canvas. But now the main question lies in the pose, not of the model, but of the artist. It will fare ill with the second-rate writer of fiction, unless he can give conclusive proof that he is well qualified in certain practical functions. And the public is very vigilant on this point. It has become wonderfully acute in discriminating true and false lore. The critic's office is gradually reduced to a search for inaccuracies. ...
— Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... herself for them, during their childhood, but naturally she had her own view of what constituted their "good." It did not consist in wasting one's youth and looks among the slums of the East End, or in deserting one's home to study music and mix in a set of second-rate people, in an out-of-the-way district of Paris. As for Hadria's conduct about little Martha, Mrs. Fullerton could scarcely bring herself to speak about it. It terrified her. She thought it indicated some taint of madness in her daughter's mind. Two charming children of her own and—but Mrs. ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... difference be, it is an inconvenience and an imperfection that ought to be palliated; but we aggravate it. The first-rate actor always does his best, because the audience expect it, and reward him with their applause; but no one cares for, or observes, the performer of second-rate talents: whether he be perfect in his part, and exert himself to the utmost, or be slovenly and negligent throughout, he is unpraised and unblamed. The general effect, therefore, of our tragedies, is very unsatisfactory; ...
— The Mirror Of Literature, Amusement, And Instruction, No. 391 - Vol. 14, No. 391, Saturday, September 26, 1829 • Various

... about the prospects for Saturday, and a wish expressed by his brother that Rollitt were not so unsociable and undependable. Everybody agreed it was utterly useless to ask him to play, and that they would have to get a second-rate man to fill the empty place, and so most probably lose ...
— The Cock-House at Fellsgarth • Talbot Baines Reed

... the hero of the following story a Yankee, but he will wager a sixpence that he was born in Pennsylvania. But no matter, it is a good joke:—"'What do you charge for board?' asked a tall Green Mountain boy, as he walked up to the bar of a second-rate hotel in New York—'what do you ask a week for board and lodging?' 'Five dollars.' 'Five dollars! that's too much; but I s'pose you'll allow for the times I am absent from dinner and supper?' 'Certainly; thirty-seven and a half cents each.' Here the ...
— The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; • Various

... London tomorrow, and intend to call at Albemarle Street.... I make no doubt that we shall be able to come to terms; I like not the idea of applying to second-rate people. I have been dreadfully unwell since I last heard from you—a regular nervous attack; at present I have a bad cough, caught by getting up at night in pursuit of poachers and thieves. A horrible neighbourhood this—not a magistrate that dares ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... which I heard on successive Saturday evenings from the senior mathematical master at a second-rate suburban school. For Saunders has had to earn a living in a way which other men might reckon less congenial than his old manner of life. I had mentioned by chance the name of Adrian Borlsover, and wondered ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... speak to Wolgemut about my brother, and to ask him whether he can give him work until I get back, or whether he can find employment with others. [Editor's note: Drer's brother was Hans Drer, who was fifteen at this date. He became a painter of second-rate ability, and afterwards helped Albrecht in the decoration of the Emperor Maximilian's prayer book]. I should like to have brought him with me to Venice, which would have been useful both to me and to ...
— Memoirs of Journeys to Venice and the Low Countries - [This is our volunteer's translation of the title] • Albrecht Durer

... myself; then handed over the task to one of stauncher resolution, with orders to communicate any fact that should be found to illuminate these pages. Not one was found; it was her only art to communicate by post second-rate sermons at second-hand; and such, I take it, was the correspondence in which my grandmother delighted. If I am right, that of Robert Stevenson, with his quaint smack of the contemporary "Sandford and Merton," ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Clarissa were worshipful people now. Uncle Barnet no longer invited them to his second-rate parties; Uncle Barnet was really proud to visit them in their own home. Sam Winnington was a discerning mortal; he had a faculty for discovering genius, especially that work-a-day genius which is in rising men; ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... works would in any way be suitable for such an occasion. I was not quite confident as to my Faust Overture because of its zephyr-like ending, which I presumed could only be appreciated by an audience already familiar with my methods. When, moreover, I learned that I should have only a second-rate orchestra—the Valentino from the Casino, Rue St. Honore—and, moreover, that there could be only one rehearsal, my only alternative lay between declining altogether, or making another trial with my Columbus Overture, the work composed in my early days at Magdeburg. ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... language, it has some right to look down on the mob of cities. I'll tell you, though, if you want to know it, what is the real offence of Boston. It drains a large water-shed of its intellect, and will not itself be drained. If it would only send away its first-rate men, instead of its second-rate ones, (no offence to the well-known exceptions, of which we are always proud,) we should be spared such epigrammatic remarks as that which the gentleman has quoted. There can never be a real metropolis in this country, until the biggest centre can drain the lesser ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 6, April, 1858 • Various

... the Malvern Hills, and some cargoes of corn and wool—this was all that the Empire had ever gained from her troublesome conquest. Even in the world of mind Britain had done nothing more than give birth to one second-rate heretic.[148] The curse of poverty and of barbarous insignificance was upon her, and would remain upon her till the end ...
— Theodoric the Goth - Barbarian Champion of Civilisation • Thomas Hodgkin

... homely pile of second-rate goods and made some light, frivolous remark about their beautiful home. She was ready to laugh off in such a manner all her serious thoughts. Nell said nothing. She was a girl of fourteen, with all of a girl's love of beautiful things. She wanted a pretty home, with dainty furnishings ...
— The Hero of Hill House • Mable Hale

... agreed with some hesitation. Lamh Laudher accompanied them into the town, and saw them safely in a decent second-rate inn, kept by a man named Luke Connor, after which he returned to his father's house, and without undressing, fell into a disturbed ...
— The Dead Boxer - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton



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