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Wilfulness   Listen
noun
Wilfulness  n.  See Willfulness.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Wilfulness" Quotes from Famous Books



... taken on hearing of poor Steenie's misfortune, chased about the turkeys and poultry, cackled and screamed louder than they did, and ended by killing one-half too many. Miss Griselda made many wise reflections on the hot-headed wilfulness of her brother, who had occasioned such devastation, by suddenly bringing in upon them a papist nobleman. And she ventured to transmit to Mr. Blattergowl some hint of the unusual slaughter which had taken place in the basse-cour, which brought the honest clergyman to ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... of remorse for her wilfulness, which had occasioned Harald's accident, so grateful for his care for her, that every bitter feeling as well towards him as to Alette, had vanished from her heart. She felt now only a deep, almost painful necessity of showing her devotion ...
— Strife and Peace • Fredrika Bremer

... cultivation in word and tone which should lead to a sense of rhythm and obedience to law in all human expression. But an early development of rhythmic movement would prove most wholesome, and would remove much wilfulness, impropriety and coarseness from his life, movements, and action, and would secure for him harmony and moderation, and, later on, a higher appreciation of nature, music, poetry, and art" (Education ...
— The Child Under Eight • E.R. Murray and Henrietta Brown Smith

... with hesitation, almost with fear, that I began with Gwen; but even had I been able to foresee the endless series of exasperations through which she was destined to conduct me, still would I have undertaken my task. For the child, with all her wilfulness, her tempers and her pride, made me, as she did all others, ...
— The Sky Pilot • Ralph Connor

... at least see things in their true light? Why was it that she remained so blind to the real state of affairs? Either ignorance or wilfulness kept her from the light, and coldly bidding him good night, she ...
— Dawn • Mrs. Harriet A. Adams

... ephemeral violence of political feeling which, whether displayed on one side or the other, cannot be expected to reproduce its effect in the minds of comparatively passionless posterity. Extravagances, too, abound, as when in Kosciusko Freedom is made to look as if, in a fit of "wilfulness and sick despair," she had drained a mystic urn containing all the tears that had ever found "fit channel on a Patriot's furrowed cheek." The main difficulty of the metre, too—that of avoiding forced rhymes—is rarely surmounted. Even ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... the name of the city whence he was is Siuph. Now at the first the Egyptians despised Amasis and held him in no great regard, because he had been a man of the people and was of no distinguished family; but afterwards Amasis won them over to himself by wisdom and not wilfulness. Among innumerable other things of price which he had, there was a foot-basin of gold in which both Amasis himself and all his guests were wont always to wash their feet. This he broke up, and of it he caused to be made the image of ...
— The History Of Herodotus - Volume 1(of 2) • Herodotus

... and forgetfulness of what was told him, called forth reprimand and provoked chastisement. They were not due to wilfulness or frivolity, but to preoccupation of the mind. The boy had no natural taste for the labors of the field. He disliked them; for everything else he had eyes, save for that which pertained to the ...
— The Broom-Squire • S. (Sabine) Baring-Gould

... the thickness of his skull. Surely no person in hell was ever more unhappy than O'olo, and it is with grief one tells of him, for he was like a child, who, on being refused a mango throws away his banana in wilfulness—and with him, his banana was right conduct, and the respect of others, and the laws of God, leaving him ...
— Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas • Lloyd Osbourne

... sobered by the catastrophe, which he felt had been occasioned by his own wilfulness, ran aft to the taffrail; and when he saw the poor sailor struggling in the waves, impelled by his really fine nature, he darted overboard to save him; but he was not by any means a powerful swimmer, and, encumbered with ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... pride and wilfulness in it too,' said she; 'and look what a rebuke Heaven gives me! it is not I that rescue Andrew; it is Harry ...
— Andrew Golding - A Tale of the Great Plague • Anne E. Keeling

... brought before the Court of Justiciary, James himself being present. Fian now denied all the circumstances of the written confession which he had signed; whereupon the king, enraged at his "stubborn wilfulness," ordered him once more to the torture. His finger nails were riven out with pincers, and long needles thrust up to the eye into the quick; but he did not wince. He was then consigned again to the boots, in which, to quote a pamphlet published at the time,[30] he continued "so ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds • Charles Mackay

... views of life in general, and of mankind in particular, were orderly and rational. Such indulgence as her father had given her had served to strengthen her individuality rather than to confirm her temper; and, though she had a strong and stubborn will of her own, her tact was such that her wilfulness appeared to be the most natural as well as the most charming thing in the world. Moreover, she possessed in a remarkable degree that buoyancy of mind that is ...
— Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches • Joel Chandler Harris

... period shows Debussy developing freely and naturally. The independence of his thinking is unmistakable, but it does not run into wilfulness. There is no violent break with the past, but simply the quickening of certain French qualities by the infusion of a new personality. It seemed as if a new and charming miniaturist had appeared, who was doing both for piano and song what had never been done before. The style of the ...
— The World's Great Men of Music - Story-Lives of Master Musicians • Harriette Brower

... and they have to spend the night here, she and that poor, weak creature sobbing behind! What contempt she felt for her former friend! What contempt she felt for herself! Oh, she was well punished for her wilfulness! To think she should have presumed to hope she could help her to better ways, she, a little innocent, who never dreamed of such depths of duplicity as had been shown her that afternoon! Oh, to think of that loathsome Hicks person ...
— Cloudy Jewel • Grace Livingston Hill

... that looked read it, well enough. Yet with a man's wilfulness, drawing Wych Hazel into his arms and bending his face ...
— The Gold of Chickaree • Susan Warner

... two of the great nobles, Lord 'Innocent,' and Lord 'Will be Will,' with Mr. Conscience, the Recorder, and Lord Understanding, the Lord Mayor, came to the gate to see what he wanted. Lord 'Will be Will' plays a prominent part in the drama both for good and evil. He is neither Free Will, nor Wilfulness, nor Inclination, but the quality which metaphysicians and theologians agree in describing as 'the Will.' 'The Will' simply—a subtle something of great importance; but what it is they have never been ...
— Bunyan • James Anthony Froude

... "how very ungrateful women are. Your kind attention, in providing for the safety of the baroness by disposing of the horses, does not seem to have made the least impression on her. But so it is; a woman will often, from mere wilfulness, prefer that which is dangerous to that which is safe. Therefore, in my opinion, my dear baron, the best and easiest way is to leave them to their fancies, and allow them to act as they please, and then, if any mischief follows, why, at least, they ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... greater extent than the dead father whose hard, silent life had showed forth little of the proper attributes of fatherhood? Or did the sin for which he was now being punished lie in the fact that, in spite of her constant wilfulness and frequent stupidity, he still felt such affection for his pupil as made him unwilling, as he phrased it, to seek a wife elsewhere and thus thrust her from her place in the household. Bates had a certain latent contempt for women; wives he thought were easily found and not altogether desirable; ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... would first see what the earl intended doing—whether he would keep his force together or discharge his fleet. Sigurd Syr said, "It is for thee, king, to command; but," he adds, "I fear, from thy disposition and wilfulness, that thou wilt some day be betrayed by trusting to those great people, for they are accustomed of old to bid defiance to their sovereigns." There was no attack made, for it was soon seen that the earl's fleet was dispersing. Then King Olaf ransacked the ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... by the girl's firmness,—by that, and by her own true affection for the sinner. In her bosom, what remained of the softness of womanhood was struggling with the hardness of the religious martinet, and with the wilfulness of the domestic tyrant. She had promised to Steinmarc that she would be very stern. Steinmarc had pointed out to her that nothing but the hardest severity could be of avail. He, in telling his story, had taken it for granted that Linda had expected her lover, had remained at home on purpose ...
— Linda Tressel • Anthony Trollope

... at home said a word of blame to Gertrude. There was no need. They had heard the whole story and they only pitied her, and her grief was far greater than their own, they thought, for there was no self-blame, no shadow of deception, no regret of wilfulness in their sorrow. Even Conway felt unutterably tender towards this least dear of his sisters, when he came in from a fruitless errand, and found the proud, dark head resting on little Maud's high chair, while Gertrude's whole ...
— The Girls of St. Olave's • Mabel Mackintosh

... she said, in the same level way as before. 'Here is your patron, your master. He is willing to take you back, my dear, if you are sensible of the favour and choose to go. You can be, again, a foil to his pretty daughter, a slave to her pleasant wilfulness, and a toy in the house showing the goodness of the family. You can have your droll name again, playfully pointing you out and setting you apart, as it is right that you should be pointed out and set apart. (Your birth, you know; you must not forget your birth.) You can again be ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... and general principles—in fact, he is rather too fond of them—but his object is anything rather than mere arid deduction and codification. He has the aesthetic sense as thoroughly as Hazlitt and Lamb, but without the wilfulness of either, or at least with a different kind of wilfulness from that of either. Finally, in one of the numerous ways in which he shows that his subject is alive to him, he mixes it up with the queerest personalities and sudden zigzags, with all manner of digressions and side-flings. And ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... the events of 1849 prevented a rupture—so much seems certain—and he vented his spleen by making Elsa a stupid, shallow, faithless creature who feels no gratitude towards the hero who saved her from being burnt, but by maddening female pertinacity, wrong-headedness and wilfulness destroys her own and his happiness. As the reader will perceive later, I by no means defend Wagner in this domestic squabbling, but something must be said for him; I don't say, either, that he created Elsa to express his views about his wife, but I do say ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... I not?" asked she with a toss of her gold locks and a pout of her red lips which was childishness and wilfulness itself, but there went along with it a glance of her eyes which puzzled me, for suddenly a sterner and older spirit of resolve seemed to look out of them into mine. "Think you I am in my dotage, Master Wingfield, that I remember not the day?" ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... disliked when he was in frock and trousers, but with an intimate penetration, a revived consciousness of what he felt then, when it was so long from one Midsummer to another; what he felt when his school fellows shut him out of their game because he would pitch the ball wrong out of mere wilfulness; or on a rainy day in the holidays, when he didn't know how to amuse himself, and fell from idleness into mischief, from mischief into defiance, and from defiance into sulkiness; or when his mother absolutely refused to let him have a tailed coat that "half," although every other boy ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... up and rose. The pride and wilfulness of generations was indeed in his handsome face. And something else went with it. Around the mouth a grave tinge ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... whose knowledge of other women has been mainly immoral, her innocence and wilfulness, and her instinctive dislike of him, serve as a strong attraction. Though he becomes her husband by means of a cruel fraud, he never fully gains her trust, and the estrangement so tragically sealed in the last chapter of the novel comes almost as a relief ...
— Australian Writers • Desmond Byrne

... his books. There is no purity or grace or feeling or spotless charm in his verse which did not belong to the man. There was never an explanation to be offered for him; no allowance was necessary for the eccentricity or grotesqueness or wilfulness or humor of genius. Simple, modest, frank, manly, he was the good citizen, the self-respecting gentleman, the ...
— Literary and Social Essays • George William Curtis

... they rebuild it. Not long since, the St. Simonians, despairing of their country which paid no heed to them, proudly shook the dust from their feet, and started for the Orient to fight the battle of free woman. Pride, wilfulness, mad selfishness! True charity, like true faith, does not worry, never despairs; it seeks neither its own glory, nor its interest, nor empire; it does every thing for all, speaks with indulgence to the reason and the will, and desires to conquer only by persuasion ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... fulfils this solemn obligation of which I have told you—and he must be honourable, dear Mrs Varden, or he is no son of mine—a fortune within his reach. He is of most expensive, ruinously expensive habits; and if, in a moment of caprice and wilfulness, he were to marry this young lady, and so deprive himself of the means of gratifying the tastes to which he has been so long accustomed, he would—my dear madam, he would break the gentle creature's heart. Mrs Varden, my good lady, my dear soul, I put it to you—is such ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... succession of documents—gives a series of contemporary instances to prove it. Then, having got that fixed in your head by blow after blow, he passes on to another phase of his character, his coldhearted amorousness, his power of work, his spoiled child wilfulness, or some other quality, and piles up his illustrations of that. Instead, for example, of saying that the Emperor had a marvellous memory for detail, we have the account of the head of Artillery laying the list of all the guns in France before ...
— Through the Magic Door • Arthur Conan Doyle

... himself comprehend it much more clearly. Some strange freak of wilfulness impelled him to pursue this unintelligible persecution. "I've said nothing about any offense," he declared, in a hard, deliberate voice. "It is your own word. All the same—I mention the name of a lady—a lady, mind you, whom I met under your own roof—and you strike attitudes and put ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... title of a novel by Smollett (1751). Peregrine Pickle is a savage, ungrateful spendthrift, fond of practical jokes, and suffering with evil temper the misfortunes brought on himself by his own wilfulness. ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... help in playing her part in the world; but no amount of self-confidence, no ability to fight, if once the fight be on, will serve to protect her from having quarrels thrust upon her—not necessarily in wilfulness by any individual antagonist but by mere force of circumstance. Considered from the standpoint of her own expediency, an alliance with Great Britain would give to the United States an absolute guarantee that for as many years as she pleased ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... moment comes nearer and nearer, dashing forward joyously at last as the door opens and the bathing woman's "Now, my dear," summons them to the quaint little box. One lingers over the sight as one lingers over a bed of flowers. There is all the fragrance, the colour, the sweet caprice, the wilfulness, the delight of childhood in the tiny figures that meet us on the return from their bath, with dancing eyes and flushed cheeks and hair streaming over their shoulders. What a hero the group finds in the urchin who never cries! With what ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... occurred that Jackson chose unfrequented roads, therefore narrow, therefore worse than other roads, to the end that his policy of utter secrecy might be the better served; but to the majority his course seemed sprung from a certain cold wilfulness, a harshness without object, unless his object were to wear out flesh and bone. The road, such as it was, was sheeted with ice. The wind blew steadily from the northwest, striking the face like a whip, and ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... and I am here tonight to make a final plea, so that they may escape the consequences of their wilfulness." ...
— The Blind Spot • Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint

... been concerned with Wyatt and Carew. Here also came John Daniel, in the service at one time of Lord Northampton, who, not being in parliament, was excluded from the more private consultations, but heard much of the general talk; "how they, with great wilfulness, as might be perceived by their behaviour, did sore mislike such Catholic proceedings as they saw the queen went about, and did intend to resist such matters as should be spoken of in the Parliament ...
— The Reign of Mary Tudor • James Anthony Froude

... understanding, have no impersonality to him. When he uses the words, he uses them as synonymes of his determinations, or as decorative terms into which it pleases him to translate the rough vernacular of his wilfulness and caprices. The "Constitution," also, a word constantly profaned by his lips, is not so much, as he uses it, the Constitution of the United States as the moral and mental constitution of Andrew Johnson, which, in his view, is the one primary fact to which all other ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... not understand my system, or any given part of it,—or by a determined act of wilfulness, you may, even though perceiving a ray of light, reject it in anger and disgust:—but this I will say,—that if you once master it, or any part of it, you cannot hesitate to acknowledge it as the truth. You ...
— Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T.Coleridge • Coleridge

... a thing that Adeline's wilfulness could never stand. It always made her either change the subject or revert to her original statement. ...
— Anne Severn and the Fieldings • May Sinclair

... with his preparations; taking very slight notice of the raillery of the young officers, answering Mrs. Evelyn with polite words, and silencing his mother as he came up with one of those looks out of his dark eyes to which she always forgave the wilfulness for the sake of the beauty and the winning power. She was completely conquered, and stepped back with ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... by the faithful. Nobody, in a book for children, would have the heart to tell the tale of the Prince's later years, of a moody, heart-broken, degraded exile. But, in the hills and the isles, bating a little wilfulness and foolhardiness, and the affair of the broken punch-bowl, Prince Charles is a model for princes and all men, brave, gay, much-enduring, good-humoured, kind, royally courteous, and considerate, even beyond what may be gathered from this part of ...
— The True Story Book • Andrew Lang

... there was an ecstasy in the conception, as if delight could be mingled with horror. I think, however, he struggled to master the fatality, and that his resolution to marry was dictated by an honourable desire to give hostages to society, against the wild wilfulness of his imagination. ...
— The Life of Lord Byron • John Galt

... rooted. Whatever heart she had not frivoled away in wilfulness had been caught and won by Forsythe, the first grown man who had ever dared to make real love to her. Her jealousy of Margaret was the most intense thing that had ever come into her life. To think of him looking at Margaret, talking ...
— A Voice in the Wilderness • Grace Livingston Hill

... and wilfulness possessed them, they took to marauding, surrounded by the sons of the lords of the men of Erin. Thrice fifty men had they as pupils when they (the pupils) were were-wolfing in the province of Connaught, until Maine Milscothach's swineherd ...
— The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga - With Introductions And Notes • Various

... at these words, but he knew well the wilfulness of young men, and he answered nothing. For fifteen days they rode on, and Gerames began to hope that Oberon had given up their pursuit, when suddenly ...
— The Red Romance Book • Various

... arrival in Europe, he was entrusted with a command in Portugal, against the French then occupying that country. He was much embarrassed by his own government, and the wilfulness of the people to rescue whom was his mission. The convention of Cintra arrested his successes. The stupidity of his superiors defeated his schemes of conquest. "Yet, even as things stood, the success achieved ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... the joy of John-James, who had the bee-gift, and was never stung, being able to move a swarm in his bare hands unscathed. Afterwards they walked over part of the farmlands, and Ishmael's heart began to beat high with pride and joy. There is nothing more romantic than land—its wilfulness, its possibilities, its endless intimacies. Ishmael's land was to prove an exacting mistress, unlike the rich, sleek home counties, which only have to be stroked to smile and yield. On these granite heights the soil ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... and it would not do to be rude to a neighboring squire and a good customer; and Rose was the rich man's daughter and they poor cousins, so it would not do either to quarrel with her; and besides, the pretty maid, half by wilfulness, and half by her sweet winning tricks, generally contrived to get her own way wheresoever she went; and she herself had been wise enough to beg her aunt never to leave them alone,—for she "could not a-bear the ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... duty's sake, when it would be a great joy to us to be by ourselves; besides all the trifling untoward accidents of life; bodily pain and weakness long continued, and perplexing us often when it does not amount to illness; losing what we value, missing what we desire; disappointment in other persons, wilfulness, unkindness, ingratitude, folly, in cases ...
— Daily Strength for Daily Needs • Mary W. Tileston

... very hard to please. I ought to punish your wilfulness by some dreadful doom. Do not cry out again. I will not hear you. My decision is fixed. Mardonius shall bestow you in marriage to a man who is not even a Persian by birth, who one year since was a disobedient rebel against my power, who even now contemns and despises many of ...
— A Victor of Salamis • William Stearns Davis

... the window, he paced the floor with anguish keen as though she had gone from him for ever. What obstinacy, what unreasoning wilfulness—and what would come of it? He spent the long night brooding over his great sorrow, the root of which was the fear that his dear wife did not belong to Christ, for beloved her through all her unloveliness. "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ ...
— Divers Women • Pansy and Mrs. C.M. Livingston

... few are so) of such a course of conduct. Far different in its effects from the blind tenderness of infatuated passion is the noble blindness of Christian self-control. While the one warms into existence, or at least into open manifestation, all the selfishness and wilfulness of the fondled plaything, the other creates a thousand virtues that were not known before. Flowers spring up from the hardest rocks, the coldest, sternest natures are gradually softened into gentleness, the ...
— The Young Lady's Mentor - A Guide to the Formation of Character. In a Series of Letters to Her Unknown Friends • A Lady

... till my uncle lost all patience, shook himself clear of Rosalie, who fell fainting to the ground, knocked each of his adversaries down in turn, and walked home to his quarters, very much disgusted with the world in general, and the wilfulness of French young ladies in particular. Of course he knew perfectly well it was not to end here. He sent for Grape, then a brother subaltern, and placed his honour in that ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... forming the smaller letters of ancient tongues into a current script. "To Mistress Winifred Charteris," it ran. "Dear Lady: That I have offended you by the hastiness of my words and the unforgivable wilfulness of my actions, I know, but cannot forgive myself. Yet, knowing the kindness of your disposition, I have thought that you might be better disposed to pardon me than I myself. For I need not tell you, what ...
— The Lilac Sunbonnet • S.R. Crockett

... examination and candour which he had learnt too thoroughly to unlearn. Thereon came pain and an estrangement which was none the less profound for being mutually concealed. It seemed to my mother that he would not give up the wilfulness of his own opinions for her and for his Redeemer's sake. To him it seemed that he was ready to give up not only his mother but Christ Himself ...
— Selections from Previous Works - and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals • Samuel Butler

... you call them. Ask me to wear an orange-colored gown, or dance with the plainest, poorest man in the room, and I'll do it; for there never was a kinder aunt than mine in all the world," cried Debby, eager to atone for her seeming wilfulness, and really grateful for her escape from what seemed to her benighted ...
— A Modern Cinderella - or The Little Old Show and Other Stories • Louisa May Alcott

... done. As for the destruction of the papers, it was a point on which he (Father Cristoforo) hardly dared, he said, with a shrug of his shoulders, to touch. The base ingratitude, the unfaithfulness to the interests of the Church, the presumption, the pride, the wilfulness, manifested in that action, transcended all his powers of reprobation. The matter must be referred to a higher authority than his. And so forth. And every word he said was like a ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... had not looked at him all this while, now turned a comical face of remonstrance. "But you mustn't!" she said. "You mustn't give in to me like that! You must oppose my temper and my wilfulness, ...
— The Deaves Affair • Hulbert Footner

... to feed the heart upon. For strip the idea of its fair accessories, its delicate art, and what have we but the sad belief, drawn from the dark ages of the world, that the wrathful Creator of men, full of gloomy indignation at their perverseness and wilfulness, needs the constant intercession of the Eternal Son, who is too, in a sense, Himself, to appease the anger with which he regards the sheep of his hand. I cannot really in the depths of my heart echo that dark belief. ...
— The Thread of Gold • Arthur Christopher Benson

... of the law may be due to ignorance, to indifference or to wilfulness and viciousness. The effects will always be commensurate ...
— Nature Cure • Henry Lindlahr

... was no longer the stamp of the foot, no longer the flash from her eyes, no longer the wilfulness ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... education, and, besides modern languages, had at least a moderate acquaintance with the classics. She held herself gallantly in the dim, half-educated society of her husband's chapel, but reserved her friendships—sometimes with a touch of wilfulness—for those who represented whatever there was of sweetness and light in the wider society of the town. In one respect she was absolutely in harmony with my father, and that was in her sympathy with the poor and in quiet, unparaded determination to hold ...
— Memoirs of Sir Wemyss Reid 1842-1885 • Stuart J. Reid, ed.

... discussed her projects quietly, affecting to consider them merely temporary, but with no indication of dissatisfaction or resistance. In truth she was not sorry that Jacqueline, whose companionship became more and more embarrassing every day, had cut the knot of a difficult position by a piece of wilfulness and perversity which seemed to put her in the wrong. The necessity she would have been under of crushing such a girl, who was now eighteen, would have been distasteful and unprofitable; she was very glad to get rid of her stepdaughter, always provided it ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... said. "It is less than three miles to Muller's, but the homestead-boys would make you a prisoner if you went there. Can't you see that would be horrible for Flo and me? It was my wilfulness that made ...
— The Cattle-Baron's Daughter • Harold Bindloss

... remonstrance; but the slightest insinuation of a difference of opinion was sufficient to fan the embers of Henrietta's distemperature into a conflagration. The blaze was not strong, indeed; for the lady had always been accustomed to find a fit of wilfulness, or of affected despondency, more available and becoming than one of hasty anger. But she was tolerably expert in those piquant flippancies of speech which harass the enemy like a straggling fire; and could contrive, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 19. Issue 548 - 26 May 1832 • Various

... albeit he should joy in heart At death so holy, and is certified That called to bliss above is Brandimart; For he heaven opened to the knight described; Through human wilfulness — which aye takes part With our weak senses — hardly can abide The loss of one, above a brother dear, Nor can refrain from many a ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... and reason demanded. Jeanie had sense enough to see that a sudden and severe curb upon her sister's hitherto unrestrained freedom might be rather productive of harm than good, and that Effie, in the headstrong wilfulness of youth, was likely to make what might be overstrained in her father's precepts an excuse to herself for neglecting them altogether. In the higher classes, a damsel, however giddy, is still under the dominion of etiquette, and subject to the surveillance ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... fashion, and often says ptoe-ptoe, pt-pt, and verlapp, also dla-dla, without meaning, no matter what was the form of the word pronounced to him. In such practice there often appears likewise a wilfulness, showing itself in inarticulate sounds and the shaking of the head, even when it is merely the repetition of easy like-syllabled words that is desired. Hence, in the case of new words, it is more difficult than before, or is even impossible to determine whether the child will ...
— The Mind of the Child, Part II • W. Preyer

... not introduced me to Folly, whom I encouraged, although I despised her—the explosion would never have taken place, I should have suffered no shame and loss. I am willing to bear the consequences of my own wilfulness and presumption. I should blush to wear the crown of Success, which I feel that I do not merit. Let me see it on your brow, dear Nelly; its proper place is there. Next to the pleasure of winning it myself, is that of knowing that it belongs to one ...
— The Crown of Success • Charlotte Maria Tucker

... an hour John lolled on the porch, pondering over Alma's disappearance, the abjectedness of Mrs. Sprockett's husband and the spectacle of Mrs. Sprockett's wilfulness. Had Mr. and Mrs. Sprockett ever, ever been deeply in love, exulting in the happiness before them in married life? How miserable it was that Sprockett had to whisper to him "not to ...
— Spring Street - A Story of Los Angeles • James H. Richardson

... read the dark, young face in the light of the dancing flames, noting every feature—the intellectual brow, the kind, bright eyes, the mouth, still boyish, and showing some wilfulness and impatience of rule; the resolute chin. A good face, the man concluded, with rare possibilities. But he was convinced before the conversation closed that its owner was not a follower of the meek ...
— The Silver Maple • Marian Keith

... induced her to cultivate to the utmost degree her intellectual faculties, and several of her books are illustrations of a mind even masculine in its power and activity; but the constitutional feebleness, waywardness, and wilfulness of woman is nevertheless not unfrequently evinced by her, and as she grows older the infirmities of her nature are more and more conspicuous; vexed with neglect, without the kindly influences of home or friendship, without the consolations or hopes of religion, she seems now ambitious of attention ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... trying in vain to make his pupils continue their studies, and putting up with a great amount of disobedience on their part, he began to reproach them in his mild way. He was one of the gentlest and most amiable of men, but the wilfulness of the boys had at length compelled him ...
— The King's Sons • George Manville Fenn

... delighted in her. It was she who had inherited all her father's gayety and spirit. Jose had none of them, and, being slow and simple, had always found her a wonder and a strange pleasure. She had, indeed, been the one bright thing in his life, and even her wilfulness had a charm for him. He always gave way to it and was content. Had she not even once defied the uncle when no one else would have dared to do it? holding her little head up and confronting him in such a burst of pretty rage that ...
— The Pretty Sister Of Jose - 1889 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... offends thee, or the thought of this; For I did fright thee when I fleck'd a kiss With too much heat. I should have bow'd to thee, And left unsaid the word, deception-free, Which, like a flash, illumed the love within, My wilfulness was much to blame therein; But thou wilt shrive me, Sweet! of mine offence If passion-pangs be ...
— A Lover's Litanies • Eric Mackay

... utter confusion. 'I—I—did not know you were here, sir!' she began. 'I was out for a little walk.' She could get no further; her eyes filled with tears. That spice of wilfulness, even hardness, which characterized her in Jim's company, magically disappeared in the presence of ...
— The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid • Thomas Hardy

... might temporarily be caused, in the end Louisiana was certain to fall into the grasp of the United States. [Footnote: Livingston to Madison, Sept. 1, 1802. Later Livingston himself became uneasy, fearing lest Napoleon's wilfulness might plunge him into an undertaking which, though certain to end disastrously to the French, might meanwhile cause great ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Four - Louisiana and the Northwest, 1791-1807 • Theodore Roosevelt

... indulgently, I had infinitely rather hear of thoughtless old age, and the indulgence due to that. When a man has done his work, and nothing can any way be materially altered in his fate, let him forget his toil, and jest with his fate, if he will; but what excuse can you find for wilfulness of thought, at the very time when every crisis of future fortune hangs on your decisions? A youth thoughtless! when all the happiness of his home for ever depends on the chances, or the passions, of an hour! A youth thoughtless! ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... division in the love of which he had ever been the idol and sole object. And such a man, too! so good! so generous! If it was jealousy that roused the young man's heart to his father, the better part of love was also revived in it. He thought of old days: of his father's forbearance, his own wilfulness. He looked on himself, and what he had done, with the eyes of such a man. He determined to do all he could to ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... divers of their towns, and deliver them to the King of Spain. All such untruths contained matter so improbable, that it was most, strange that any person; having any sense, could imagine them correct. Having thus slightly animadverted upon their wilfulness, unthankfulness, and bad government, and having, in very plain English, given them the lie, eight distinct and separate times upon a single page, she proceeded to inform them that she had recalled her cousin Leicester, having great cause to use his services in England, and not seeing ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... went to sleep that night he made up his mind that it was his duty as a clergyman and a Christian to look over Phillis's wilfulness, and to befriend to the utmost of his power the strangers, widow and fatherless, that Providence had placed at ...
— Not Like Other Girls • Rosa N. Carey

... side-entrance, and made her way to it, meaning to search until she found the front. She got into the house, and her spirit being roused, marched boldly through corridors and into rooms she had never seen before, and being so mere a child, notwithstanding her strange wilfulness and daring, the novelty of the things she saw so far distracted her mind from the cause of her anger that she stopped more than once to stare up at a portrait on a wall, or to take in her hand ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... way in which the sculptor looks at the ideal, the type, not only distinguish them among contemporary works, which are so largely personal expressions, but give them an eminent individuality as well. Like the Greek sculpture, they are plainly the production of culture, which in restraining wilfulness, however happily inspired, and imposing measure and poise, nevertheless acutely stimulates and develops the faculties themselves. The skeptic who may very plausibly inquire the distinction between that vague entity, "the ideal," and the personal idea of the artist concerned ...
— French Art - Classic and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture • W. C. Brownell

... an interpretation of "A Narrow Vessel," has left us in prose a description of human weakness and wilfulness reluctant of its true bliss. The following passage is an excellent commentary on the "Hound of Heaven." "Though God," he says, "asks of the soul but to love Him what it may, and is ready to give an ...
— The Hound of Heaven • Francis Thompson

... this state of disunion and weakness. And men are striving in different, and in some cases opposite ways, to bring about re-union. But when we begin to ask, What is the remedy? we find that we are facing a mighty problem. God's loving purpose for the salvation of the world has been marred by man's wilfulness. His Kingdom, which might have been irresistible and have won the whole world for Christ, has been split up into many portions, which have been opposing and weakening one another, instead of fighting His enemies. How can these portions, after centuries ...
— The Kingdom of Heaven; What is it? • Edward Burbidge

... There he sits—he is thinking, perhaps, of the girl who is out in the night with her drunken cousin, the girl whom he has warned, protected, thought for in a hundred ways—who had planned this day out of mere wilfulness—who cannot possibly have made any honest mistake as to ...
— Helbeck of Bannisdale, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... impatient of the men, and so were quite unable to control Randall and other restless spirits. Randall, arguing that no one could see him, would pop up his head, others imitated, and so on the whole a fine example of discipline our platoon made. But David, lost in wonder at such wilfulness, never raised his ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... you are, with your red hair, and your blue eyes that look black now, and your face with the color painted out by the white moonshine! Let me hold you under my chin, to see whether I love blood, you tiger-lily!" Then he laughed Gearson's laugh, and released her, scared and giddy. Within her wilfulness she had been frightened by a sense of subtler force in him, and mystically mastered as she had ...
— Different Girls • Various

... the honest shortsightedness of partisanship; but when I find his defining sentences full of subtle entanglement and reserve—and that reserve held throughout his treatment of this particular subject,—I cannot, whether I utter the suspicion or not, keep the sense of wilfulness in the misrepresentation from remaining in my mind. And if there be indeed ground for this blame, and Mr. Mill, for fear of fostering political agitation,[A] has disguised what he knows to be the facts about rent, I would ask him as one of the leading ...
— Time and Tide by Weare and Tyne - Twenty-five Letters to a Working Man of Sunderland on the Laws of Work • John Ruskin

... how wicked she was. She knew, now, the wilfulness of her sins, and the merciful interposition of the river's inviolable strength. Her sight of the mission boat had awakened in her soul the knowledge that she must go out and talk to the good man on board, confess her naughtiness, and beg the Prophet ...
— The River Prophet • Raymond S. Spears

... those entrusted with its administration, may through mistake or wilfulness do injustice to some of its subjects. It has often done so in the past and the future is not free from the danger. The very possession of power excites a desire to use it, and it is an admitted characteristic of our human nature that those vested ...
— Concerning Justice • Lucilius A. Emery

... duty" is an assumption, not very probable with regard to any body, and much less so in a fiery Italian of twenty-six; but the addition of the epithets, "calm and cold," gives it a sort of horror. A reader of this article, evidently the production of a man of ability but of great wilfulness, is tempted to express the disappointment it has given him in plainer terms than might be wished, in consequence of the extraordinary license which its writer does not scruple to allow to his own fancies, in expressing his opinion of what he is pleased ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Volume 1 • Leigh Hunt

... being allowed to say "I won't" when he was quite a little boy. His mother thought he looked pretty when he was pouting, and that wilfulness gave him an air which distinguished him from other people's children. And when she found out that his lower lip was becoming so big that it spoilt his beauty, and that his wilfulness gained his way twice ...
— Old-Fashioned Fairy Tales • Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing

... therefore, the more easily believe that God has sent me a physician, and that I shall be cured by him. I can believe in a future emancipation from these tendencies to vanity, sensuality, indolence, anger, wilfulness, impatience, obstinacy—tendencies which are, in me, not crime, but disease; and I can see how to say with Paul, "Now, then, it is no more I that do it, but SIN THAT ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... showed any profound grief for the death of a child who had always been very much secluded, and but little appreciated. But Mrs. Brooke's sorrow was mingled with some self-reproach that she had not been to her departed child all that a mother should have been, and she suffered now for the wilfulness which, when deprived of one blessing, had turned petulantly from another. Lucy constantly missed her little favourite, and her sorrow for the loss of her father, never quite removed, seemed revived anew by her cousin's death. But she could feel that Amy was infinitely happier in her ...
— Lucy Raymond - Or, The Children's Watchword • Agnes Maule Machar

... prudent girl, sheltered herself as much as possible by the presence of Goody Jellicot. Then, indeed, it is true the Independent, or whatever he was, used to follow her with his addresses to very little purpose; for Phoebe seemed as deaf, through wilfulness, as the old matron by natural infirmity. This indifference highly incensed her new lover, and induced him anxiously to watch for a time and place, in which he might plead his suit with an energy that should command attention. Fortune, that malicious goddess, who so often ruins us by ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... in a subdued voice; for, in spite of her will and wilfulness, this square-faced boy of mine was more than a match for her. "Very well, you will believe me another day, and now I will ask you to go, ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... could not doubt, but she was so zealous to hide all traces of it from him that he never detected them. He only missed her gay wilfulness and the sunshine of her smile. She responded to his tenderness even more readily than usual, but she did not open her heart to him. There seemed to be a barrier intervening that she could not bring herself ...
— The Rocks of Valpre • Ethel May Dell

... he entered. No workmen appeared to be present, and he walked from sunny window to sunny window of the empty rooms, with a sense of seclusion which might have been very pleasant but for the antecedent knowledge that his almost paternal care of Lucy Savile was to be thrown away by her wilfulness. Footsteps echoed through an adjoining room; and bending his eyes in that direction, he perceived Mr. Jones, the architect. He had come to look over the building before giving the contractor his final certificate. They walked over the house ...
— Wessex Tales • Thomas Hardy

... unalloyed terror, which a perfect knowledge of his disposition, and of his preceding history, too well authorised her to entertain. Whatever was in other respects the nobleness of his disposition, he had never been known to resist the wilfulness of passion,—he walked in the house, and in the country of his fathers, like a tamed lion, whom no one dared to contradict, lest they should awaken his natural vehemence of passion. So many years had elapsed since he had experienced contradiction, or even expostulation, that ...
— A Legend of Montrose • Sir Walter Scott

... ceaseless vitality, that is true. The world as it now is cannot grow old. But a nation may grow old, may decay, and die. And the youth of a nation—its young people—carry with them its destinies. If there is in these more of wilfulness, of selfishness, of slothful and luxurious bias—less of energy, of gentleness, of kindness, of manliness, of purity—than there was in those who were young twenty—thirty years ago, then decrepitude is growing upon the nation. It is ...
— Is The Young Man Absalom Safe? • David Wright

... of the devil, but in secret each esteemed in the other a manly worth. Again and again they fell into dissension, even in writing, but again and again Luther prayed warmly for his neighbor's soul. The reckless wilfulness of Henry VIII. of England, on the other hand, offended the German reformer to the depths of his soul; he reviled him horribly and without cessation; and even in his last years he treated the hot-headed ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... was neither date nor signature. It was the cry of warning which a spirited, self-contained creature gives when brought to bay. It made even me recoil, though I had known from the first that her pretty wilfulness was but the tossing foam floating above the soundless depths of cold resolve ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... weakness of her disused body. She also surrendered to the weakness of self-pity, that craven mocker of self-respect. She was not a will-less girl, but life had brought her small chance to develop that will which masters, while wilfulness, that will which demands selfishly for self, grew out of the soil so largely of her mother's preparing. This wilfulness, first asserted in small ...
— Our Nervous Friends - Illustrating the Mastery of Nervousness • Robert S. Carroll

... To what desperate extremities has she been reduced by her unfortunate wilfulness. Gerard, will you tell me frankly your own ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... magistrate, who (as they can tell that knew him) was a man very well learned and grave, but somewhat sour and of no plausible utterance: the gentleman's chance was to say: 'My lord, the simple woman is not so much to blame as her leud abettors, who by violent persuasions have led her into this wilfulness.' Quoth the Judge; 'What need such eloquent terms in this place?' The gentleman replied, 'Doth your lordship mislike the term (violent)? and methinks I speak it to great purpose; for I am sure she would never have done it, but by force of ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... crime, but for fighting the battles of their country; others, late at night, were relating their adventures to a new prisoner; others, lamenting their aberrations from rectitude, and disobedience to parents, and headstrong wilfulness, that drove them to sea, contrary to their parents' wish; while others, of the younger class, were sobbing out their lamentations at the thoughts of what their mothers and sisters suffered after knowing of their imprisonment. Not unfrequently the whole night ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 2 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... Dieu! Mon, Dieu!" and then a dismayed: "What can Monsieur expect me to do?" But I had to appear insensible to her distress and that not altogether because, in fact, I had no option but to go away. I remember also a distinct wilfulness in my attitude and something half-contemptuous in my words as I laid my hand on the ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... the approach and contemplation of death might bring men to a sense of reason and self-knowledge. On the contrary, it seems only to deprive them of the little wit they had, and to make them even more the sport of their wilfulness and shortsightedness. Some men think that because they are going to be hanged, they are fully authorised to declare a future state of rewards and punishments. All either indulge their caprices or cling to their prejudices. They make ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... length the controversy comes round, as controversies often do, to the point whence it started, and the "party of order" repeat their charge against the rebel, that he is sacrificing the feelings of others to the gratification of his own wilfulness, he replies once for all that they cheat themselves by misstatements. He accuses them of being so despotic, that, not content with being masters over their own ways and habits, they would be masters over ...
— Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects - Everyman's Library • Herbert Spencer

... in this country, ma'am, don't understand what style is, or they would see the merits of our young one," he said to Mrs. Pendennis. "I call him ours, ma'am, for I bred him; and I am as proud of him as you are; and, bating a little wilfulness, and a little selfishness, and a little dandification, I don't know a more honest, or loyal, or gentle creature. His pen is wicked sometimes, but he is as kind as a young lady—as Miss Laura here—and I believe he would not do any ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of what we call "the soul" wherever the soul exists, feels no sort of shock or surprise when we appeal to its own "conscience," or when it appeals to the "conscience" of its child or its dog or even of its cat, or when it displays anger with its trees or its flowers for their apparent wilfulness ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... in a low tone; 'but all the same,' returning to his usual manner, 'it was premature and absurd to make such a statement. My mother has to do as I like,' throwing back his handsome head with a sort of wilfulness that Audrey thought very becoming, 'and I intend her to go out. Miss Ross, I am going to ask you a very odd question, but there is no other lady to whom I can put such an inquiry. Does it cost so very much—I mean, how ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... should care to, but I do," she replied, with charming and childlike wilfulness; so the three of them trudged up the slippery path to the operator's den on ...
— A Fool For Love • Francis Lynde

... temptation. Scurrilous discourse even among men he abhorred; and though he sometimes took pleasure in wit and mirth, yet that which was mixed with impurity he never could endure." A higher conception of duty coloured men's daily actions. To the Puritan the wilfulness of life, in which the men of the Renascence had revelled, seemed unworthy of life's character and end. His aim was to attain self-command, to be master of himself, of his thought and speech and acts. A certain gravity and reflectiveness gave its tone to the lightest details of his converse ...
— History of the English People, Volume V (of 8) - Puritan England, 1603-1660 • John Richard Green

... lapse of the ages since; by the almost universal change in our associations, modes of feeling and thought, and styles of speech; and by the gradual accretion and hardening of false doctrines and sectarian biases and wilfulness. As we examine the words of Christ to find their real meaning, there are four prominent considerations to be especially ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... my lady, thy wilfulness hath e'en now brought thee into dire perils and dangers. O ...
— Beltane The Smith • Jeffery Farnol

... duty—there would have been some consolation in it. But Nettie obstinately refused to be said to do her duty. She was doing her own will with an imperious distinctness and energy—having her own way—displaying no special virtue, but a determined wilfulness. Dr Rider was half disgusted with Nettie, to see how little disgust she showed of her companions. He was disappointed in her: he concluded to himself that she did not show that fine perception which he was disposed to expect from so dainty a little sprite. Yet, notwithstanding all these ...
— The Doctor's Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... stubborn wilfulness and unfeeling carelessness of consequences that characterized his temper, he plunged into all manner of vicious indulgences; but what seemed to attract him the most irresistibly, and fix him the most firmly, was a fondness for gambling. The "time-honored" black-legs ...
— An Old Sailor's Yarns • Nathaniel Ames

... not in the Oversoul. As a child, having thrust away the mother's guiding hand and hidden its face against the wall, may fancy itself alone and forgotten, until, turning with a cry, it finds around it the protecting mother-arms that were never but a handsbreadth away; so does man in his wilfulness push away the shielding arms of the divine Mother of the worlds, only to find, when he turns back his face, that he has never been outside their protecting shelter, and that wherever he may wander that guarding love ...
— Esoteric Christianity, or The Lesser Mysteries • Annie Besant

... thing in the conduct of public affairs, where they have been managed with rashness or wilfulness, corruption, ignorance or injustice; barely to relate the facts, at least, while they are fresh in memory, will as much reflect upon the persons concerned, as if we had told ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IX; • Jonathan Swift

... motive of what has come to be the only satisfying harmony in dramatic art. It takes the place, in our modern world, of the Necessity of the Greeks; and is not less impressive because it arises from the impulse and unreasoning wilfulness of man rather than from the implacable insistency of God. It is with perfect justice, both moral and artistic, that the fatal crisis, though mediately the result of accident, of error, is shown to be the consequence and the punishment of wrong. A tragedy resulting ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... he had gone about his wooing so lightly, thinking it a slight thing, whether or no he might be accepted. Now it was no longer a slight thing to him. I do not know that it was love that made him so eager; not good, honest, downright love. But he had set his heart upon the object, and with the wilfulness of a Dale was determined that it should be his. He had no remotest idea of giving up his cousin, but he had at last persuaded himself that she was not to be won without some toil, and perhaps also ...
— The Small House at Allington • Anthony Trollope

... second disclaimer, her parents were silent again, Sylvia looking down at her lap, picking at her fingers. Her expression was that of a naughty child—that is, with a considerable admixture of unhappiness in her wilfulness. ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... world. Our happiness was the happiness which comes of intense toil, with no fatigue to dog it, and from a consciousness of the vital issues which we were pursuing. But my companions had still intellectual faults and preferences, self-confidence, critical intolerance, boisterousness, wilfulness. Stranger still, I found coldness, anger, jealousy, still at work. Of course in the latter case reconciliation was easier, both in the light of common enthusiasm and, still more, because mental communication was so much swifter and easier than it had ...
— The Child of the Dawn • Arthur Christopher Benson



Words linked to "Wilfulness" :   willfulness, perverseness, fractiousness, perversity, wilful



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