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Act   /ækt/   Listen
Act

verb
(past & past part. acted; pres. part. acting)
1.
Perform an action, or work out or perform (an action).  Synonym: move.  "We must move quickly" , "The governor should act on the new energy bill" , "The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel"
2.
Behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself.  Synonyms: behave, do.  "Don't behave like a fool" , "What makes her do this way?" , "The dog acts ferocious, but he is really afraid of people"
3.
Play a role or part.  Synonyms: play, represent.  "She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role" , "She played the servant to her husband's master"
4.
Discharge one's duties.  "In what capacity are you acting?"
5.
Pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind.  Synonyms: act as, play.  "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
6.
Be suitable for theatrical performance.
7.
Have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected.  Synonym: work.  "How does your idea work in practice?" , "This method doesn't work" , "The breaks of my new car act quickly" , "The medicine works only if you take it with a lot of water"
8.
Be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure.
9.
Behave unnaturally or affectedly.  Synonyms: dissemble, pretend.
10.
Perform on a stage or theater.  Synonyms: play, playact, roleplay.  "He acted in 'Julius Caesar'" , "I played in 'A Christmas Carol'"



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"Act" Quotes from Famous Books



... that judgments of time are often based on rhythms; and everything that Meumann has said of a 'mental prius,' or a 'synthesizing activity' in the case of rhythms, may just as well be said in the case of any cooerdinated act. ...
— Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 • Various

... crying for water!" sighed Sir Richard, "Thirst is an agony, as we do know. Hark, he crieth yet! Twere act commendable to give drink to a dying ...
— Martin Conisby's Vengeance • Jeffery Farnol

... not that you should be a man, Ailsa, to be of very great service, and I will ask your help. You are no longer a child, and well do I know what wisdom there is in you. I would trust you in all things to act wisely." ...
— The Thirsty Sword • Robert Leighton

... stuff'll act quicker. We want it to get right up into our heads quick. We want the mad whirl of the ...
— The One-Way Trail - A story of the cattle country • Ridgwell Cullum

... light-ray, swung his hatchet, uttered his war-cry, and was swallowed up in darkness again. Out poured the multitude from the church, startled, excited, mystified, obscurely feeling that some decisive act was about to be done: and here are Adams and Hancock among them, cheering on that strange procession which passed down toward the wharfs swiftly, two by two, and seeming to increase in numbers as they passed. After them streamed the people, murmuring and questioning, through ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... uneasy about her. Shall I play to you a little, Mr. Sefton? It is getting too dark to read." Bessie made this overture as a sort of amends to Richard, and the friendly little act ...
— Our Bessie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... By an act of international courtesy, the director of the Imprimerie Nationale has allowed the beautifully cut hieroglyphic and cuneiform type used in the original to be employed in the English edition, and I take advantage of this opportunity ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... fame, and it is every day growing more difficult. Ah, Sir, that should make a man think of securing happiness in another world, which all who try sincerely for it may attain. In comparison of that, how little are all other things! The belief of immortality is impressed upon all men, and all men act under an impression of it, however they may talk, and though, perhaps, they may be scarcely sensible of it.' I said, it appeared to me that some people had not the least notion of immortality; and I mentioned a distinguished gentleman ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who then is YOUR neighbour? Even if ye act "for your neighbour"—ye still do ...
— Thus Spake Zarathustra - A Book for All and None • Friedrich Nietzsche

... all its faults, has, at all events, the redeeming quality of courage. He had long learnt to say the right thing, which effectually teaches men to do the right thing also. He saw some one running towards him, noiselessly, in rubber shoes. He had no time to think, and scarce a moment in which to act, for the man was but two steps away with an upraised arm, and in the lamplight there flashed the gleam ...
— Roden's Corner • Henry Seton Merriman

... represented Eros or divine Love with large wings having the strength of the eagle's wings, and the splendor of the peacocks, with his hair floating in the form of flame, and with a halo of light vapour round his head; which illuminates the painting; while he is in the act of springing forwards, and with his hands ...
— The Botanic Garden - A Poem in Two Parts. Part 1: The Economy of Vegetation • Erasmus Darwin

... son called Petrusha.[44] When Peter saw that his father had disappeared and left no trace behind, he took the matter greatly to heart for a time, he wept for awhile, he had a service performed for the repose of his father's soul, and he began to act as head of the family. One Sunday he went to church to pray to God. As he passed along the road a woman was pounding away in front of him. She walked and walked, stumbled over a stone, and began swearing at it, saying, "What devil ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... volition; and compare the incongruous idea with our previous knowledge of nature, and reject it. This operation of the mind has not yet acquired a specific name, though it is exerted every minute of our waking hours, unless it may be termed INTUITIVE ANALOGY. It is an act of reasoning of which we are unconscious except by its effects in preserving the congruity of our ideas; Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XVII. ...
— The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society - A Poem, with Philosophical Notes • Erasmus Darwin

... slaves in the United States, great difficulties prevented the Catholic Church from benefiting the slaves, especially in those parts where the Church had no adherents and no freedom to act. The Church had but a limited number of clergy and small means. The most of the South was predominantly Protestant and in some sections, penal laws were in force against Catholics. In many States laws were enacted against the instruction of ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 2, 1917 • Various

... last and, by far, severest blow, the separation of the synods which afterwards organized as the General Council, came as an aftermath of the admission of the Franckean Synod and the consequent withdrawal of the Pennsylvania delegation, in 1864, which the General Synod construed as the act of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania. However, since the Ministerium, reassured by the adoption of the York Amendment and Resolution, had already resolved to maintain its connection and to send a delegation to the next convention of the General Synod, ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 2: The United Lutheran Church (General Synod, General - Council, United Synod in the South) • Friedrich Bente

... Brihtnoth of East-Anglia fell in battle with a Norwegian force at Maldon, and the withdrawal of the pirates had to be bought by money. AEthelwine too died at this moment, and the death of the two ealdormen left AEthelred free to act as King. But his aim was rather to save the Crown from his nobles than England from the northmen. Handsome and pleasant of address, the young King's pride showed itself in a string of imperial titles, and his restless and self-confident temper drove him to push ...
— History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) - Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216 • John Richard Green

... yeere.] The same summer, a band of such Dutch or Germaine souldiers as had beene leuied in Germanie & sent ouer into Britaine to the aid of the Romans, attempted a great and woonderfull act, in sleaing their capteine, and such other of the Romane souldiers which were appointed to haue the training and leading of them, as officers and instructors to them in the feats of warre: and when they ...
— Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (4 of 8) - The Fovrth Booke Of The Historie Of England • Raphael Holinshed

... not more than three-pence a ton on all brine pumped at Northwich. This levy is to go to the compensation of those whose houses and property have suffered. But at present not a penny has been paid and in no case will a penny ever be paid for all the damage done before the passing of the Act. Such is the ...
— The Harmsworth Magazine, v. 1, 1898-1899, No. 2 • Various

... two days ago in the Royal Palace while in the act of stealing the diamond, has committed suicide by shooting himself through the head with a small revolver he had hidden in his clothes. His body is now lying in the mortuary chapel of the cemetery ...
— A Royal Prisoner • Pierre Souvestre

... the most charitable act I have ever heard of," replied Vandecar. "But you are straying from the case. Do I understand that you have taken up the ...
— From the Valley of the Missing • Grace Miller White

... think he will resort to violence. There is the law—even here in the wilderness. Slow to act, perhaps, because of the inaccessibility of the wild country; but once its machinery is in motion, as unbending and as indomitable as justice itself. You see, I have read of your ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... one time to see a piece that was greatly praised in the Whig and the Newsletter, and do you know they used the same scene in every act! I thought it was a poor miserly sort of a play. The bills said it was a London company, but I don't believe that was true. They were just letting on to be from London. They couldn't have had much money behind them ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... mistress of the zenana saw me directly an attendant told her I was there. She has always been kind to me. I said that you were going on a journey, and asked her if I might stay with her and act as an attendant until you returned, and she at once assented. She asked if I should see you before you left, and when I said yes, she asked if you could not give her some spell that would turn the Rajah's thoughts from this white girl. She fears that if she should become first favorite in the ...
— Rujub, the Juggler • G. A. Henty

... a little and see how they act when they are together. If he kisses her when he leaves, of course they ...
— Laddie • Gene Stratton Porter

... much of a hand to tote tales," said Slogan, "but I may as well give you a little bit of advice as to how you ort to act with the ol' woman while she is so wrought up. I wouldn't run up agin 'er right now ef I was you. She's tuck a funny sort o' notion that she don't want you at the funeral or the buryin'. She told me three times, as I was ...
— Westerfelt • Will N. Harben

... the Lord who Guided the mind of Mr. Lincoln in his extraordinary act of the Emancipation of the Slaves of America. The Lord had prepared it, and chose him as the means ...
— The Wonders of Prayer - A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer • Various

... from the earth and formally pronounced his pardon. The prelates and nobles who took part in this scene were compelled to guarantee with their own oaths the vows of obedience pronounced by Henry; so that in the very act of reconciliation a new insult was offered to him. After this Gregory said mass, and permitted Henry to communicate; and at the close of the day a banquet was served, at which the King sat down to meat with the Pope and ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... to act as a kind of comfort to Philip, who resumed his meal, but only to find out a new trouble directly after. "Where's my snake?" he exclaimed, jumping up, and looking at the end of the rough stick he had brought in with him. But nobody knew, so nobody replied to his question; the snake ...
— Hollowdell Grange - Holiday Hours in a Country Home • George Manville Fenn

... is a scene trifling in itself, and owing its impressiveness partly to that very quality. Take, for instance, in "Resurrection," Book II., chapter xxviiii., the scene in the theatre "during the second act of the eternal 'Dame aux Camelias,' in which a foreign actress once again, and in a novel manner, showed how women died of consumption." The General's wife, Mariette, smiles at Nekhludoff in the box, and, outside, in the street, another woman, the other "half-world," smiles at him, ...
— Plays, Acting and Music - A Book Of Theory • Arthur Symons

... "Couldn't get the drift for a minute, Gyp," he said, clapping me on the shoulder. "Nice work! Now I know why I get such a kick out of working for you!" He whirled on Maude Tinker. "And you, you foolish old biddy! How far do you think you would get with an act ...
— Tinker's Dam • Joseph Tinker

... army had, not very long before, crossed the Po and joined the Insubrians and Caenomanians; for, having heard that the consuls intended to act with their forces united, they wished to increase their own strength by this junction. But when information reached them that one of the consuls was ravaging the country of the Boians, a dispute instantly arose. The Boians demanded, that all, in conjunction, should carry succour ...
— History of Rome, Vol III • Titus Livius

... With red battle before him and the fever in his blood running high, Harry now forgot all about wounds and death. He had eye and thought only for the tremendous panorama passing before him, where everything was clear and visible, as if it were an act in some old ...
— The Star of Gettysburg - A Story of Southern High Tide • Joseph A. Altsheler

... person by vertue of his othe, to doe effectually and with good wil (as farre forth as him shall complie) all and euery such act and acts, deede and deeds, as shalbe to him or them from time to time commanded, committed and enioyned (during the voyage) by the Captain generall, with the assent of the Counsell and assistants, as well in and ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, • Richard Hakluyt

... soon followed. In 1365 a fresh statute of praemunire was drawn up on the initiative of the crown, enacting that all who obtained citations, offices, or benefices from the Roman court should incur the penalties prescribed by the act of 1353. The prelates dissociated themselves from so stringent a law, but did not actively oppose it. When in 1366, Edward requested the guidance of the estates as to how he was to deal with the demand ...
— The History of England - From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377) • T.F. Tout

... will serve the purpose. The smaller mouth of the jar is closed by a perforated cork provided with a clipped tube after the manner of a burette (see fig. 44c). In the jar, just over the cork, put a plug of loose asbestos or glass wool, or a piece of sponge to act as a filter; a layer of broken glass, coarse at the bottom and fine at the top, will serve the same purpose. On this, place the charge of ore to be extracted. Prepare a solution of cyanide of potassium in water, with 5 or 10 grams of the ...
— A Textbook of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines. • Cornelius Beringer and John Jacob Beringer

... form is to him ere he utters it; in a word, what the consciousness of God is in either case, all we can say is, that our consciousness in the resembling conditions must, afar off, resemble his. But when we come to consider the acts embodying the Divine thought (if indeed thought and act be not with him one and the same), then we enter a region of large difference. We discover at once, for instance, that where a man would make a machine, or a picture, or a book, God makes the man that makes the book, or the picture, or the machine. Would God give us a drama? ...
— A Dish Of Orts • George MacDonald

... lend us their aid to increase our circulation. There is not one of our readers who may not influence one or two more, and there is in every town in the loyal States some active person whose time might be profitably employed in procuring subscribers to our work. To encourage such to act for us we offer ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... said that he was at first overcome, and that when he had recovered himself, he told them that hitherto he had availed himself of Cardinal Fleury's counsels; but he relied upon it that they would so act, that they would not need to place any one between them and him. If this answer is faithfully reported," adds the advocate Barbier, "it is sufficiently in the high style to let it be understood that there will be ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume VI. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... Question, the, events leading to the Crimean War Lord Palmerston's policy Gladstone on Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, the Edinburgh Edinburgh University Education, Lord Russell and Education Bill Mr. Forster's Act Elba, Napoleon in, Lord John Russell's account Eliot, George "Adam Bede," Lady Russell on, Elliot, Charles [Lady Russell's brother] Elliot, George [Lady Russell's brother] Elliot, George [uncle of Lady Russell] Elliot, Gilbert ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... Heaven knows I have been a sufficing failure hitherto, a sorrow to myself and my friends. But you, Tom Martin, have inspired me to attempt a notable good action—perhaps the noblest of my life. So good-bye, Tom; let me hasten to perform the best act I ever did!" ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... soldiers. The crackers and beef were a present from the Federal troops near, who, knowing the famishing condition of the surrounded army, had contributed their day's rations for its relief. All honor to them. It was a soldierly act which ...
— Detailed Minutiae of Soldier life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 • Carlton McCarthy

... His next act was to go to the fags' room, where, as he had expected, he found his friend of the train. Luck continued to be with him. The unknown ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... heard enough. He stole away silently. The time had come to act, if he were going to act ... if no woeful story were to be carried to old Nahum Pound concerning his daughter. He might even be too late.... The lure of great cities and foreign shores might have done its work, and Farley Curtis's eloquence ...
— Scattergood Baines • Clarence Budington Kelland

... it gently over the wounded man, and he was in the act of bending down to hear what he whispered by way of thanks, when there was a sharp report close ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... when the mood of passionate affection would give place to a chill aversion that seemed almost like hate. Perhaps it had been good for her, so she told herself in after years, her lonely, unguided childhood. It had forced her to think and act for herself. At school she reaped the benefit. Self-reliant, confident, original, leadership was granted to her as a natural prerogative. Nature had helped her. Nowhere does a young girl rule more supremely by reason of ...
— All Roads Lead to Calvary • Jerome K. Jerome

... were obliged to take the certificate to the registrar themselves, and by twelve o'clock the formalities were completed. Two hours went by, no word came from the Count nor from the Baron; nobody appeared to act for them, and Rastignac had already been obliged to pay the priest. Sylvie asked ten francs for sewing the old man in his winding-sheet and making him ready for the grave, and Eugene and Bianchon calculated that they had scarcely ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... held up his hand. "Under both the sacred and the profane law, ignorance is no excuse for nonperformance of one's duties. Indeed, ignorance can be punished as an act of willful neglect, based upon the Total Personal Responsibility Act of '23, to say nothing of the Lesser Codicil." He smiled again. "However, there is no question of chastisement for ...
— The Status Civilization • Robert Sheckley

... way; though sometimes defeated and compelled to retreat, they again returned, establishing forts and towns on the banks of the river, till they finally obtained a firm footing in the land. They hesitated at no act, however atrocious, to secure their conquests by ...
— The Western World - Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North - and South America • W.H.G. Kingston

... that Fabian hath gathered amisse in the account of the reignes of the British kings: for it appeareth by Beda and others, that Edwin was slaine in the yeere of our Lord 634. [Sidenote: 634.] And where Fabian (as before is said) attributeth that act & diuers other vnto Cadwan the father of this Cadwallo: yet both Gal. Mon. and Beda with the most part of all other writers signifie that it was done by Cadwallo. Harding assigneth but 13 yeeres to the reigne of Cadwan, and declareth that he died in the ...
— Chronicles 1 (of 6): The Historie of England 5 (of 8) - The Fift Booke of the Historie of England. • Raphael Holinshed

... lighted chapel made what had been an evening scene when he looked away from the landscape night itself on looking back; but he could see enough to discover that a brougham had driven up to the side-door used by the young water-bearers, and that a lady in white-and-black half-mourning was in the act of alighting, followed by what appeared to be a waiting-woman carrying wraps. They entered the vestry-room of the chapel, and the door was shut. The service went on as before till at a certain moment the door between vestry and chapel was opened, when a woman came out ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... know. Some of 'em act as if they had. When I came into the kitchen a spell ago I found my wife and Gertie dancin' like ...
— Cap'n Dan's Daughter • Joseph C. Lincoln

... had been at King George's Sound this was the first act of petty theft, or indeed of theft of any kind, committed by the natives; there had on several occasions been as many as two hundred in the settlement who had no means of subsistence but a chance job from the colonists, and the spontaneous productions of the earth, yet during that ...
— Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 2 (of 2) • George Grey

... He inveighs in his correspondence with Cromwell against Bassenet, Dean of St. Patrick's, Castele, Prior of Christ's Church, and generally against all the clergy. Of the twenty-eight secular priests in Dublin, but three could be induced to act with him; the regular orders he found equally intractable—more especially the Observantins, whose name he endeavoured to change to Conventuals. "The spirituality," as he calls them, refused to take the oaths of abjuration ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... one can get married if one is really bent on the act," said Curtis, discussing the point as coolly as if it were a question as to where they would lunch. "At any rate, we shall settle that difficulty to your complete satisfaction. I expect Steingall here in less than ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... they call him, face to face. He is as shy as a woodchuck. I believe there are people here that would give a hundred dollars to find out who he is, and where he came from, and what he is here for, and why he does n't act like other folks. I wonder why some of those newspaper men don't come up here and get hold of this story. It would be just the ...
— A Mortal Antipathy • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... debater has no right to strain or twist the meaning of the proposition so as to gain any advantage for himself. In the first place, this practice is dishonest, and an honorable debater does not wish to win by trickery or fraud. Secondly, such an act almost always brings defeat. The fact that a debate is being held, presupposes a subject about which reasonable men may differ. If a debater interprets the proposition so that only one reasonable side exists, manifestly he must be in error, and upon the exposure of this error he is sure ...
— Practical Argumentation • George K. Pattee

... young doctor in their corner. He was beginning to feel uncomfortably stranded in the middle of the long room, when Dr. Lindsay crossed to his side. The talk at dinner had not put the distinguished specialist in a sympathetic light, but the younger man felt grateful for this act of cordiality. They chatted about St. Isidore's, about the medical schools in Chicago, and the medical societies. At last Dr. Lindsay suggested casually, ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... Whatever happened her service and loyalty was in support of her early benefactors, and no act of hers ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... one was really going to move, and Maru had still some fifty yards to cover before he would be directly above the other's head. Our nerves were in such a state that we felt inclined to scream out to the patient stalker. If we could grab the scout we could probably induce him by gentle persuasion to act as guide, but if he escaped us, we pictured ourselves stumbling over precipices and through dark caverns with the same lack of results as had marked our trip ...
— The White Waterfall • James Francis Dwyer

... that my daughter has not mentioned the subject to me, and I will undertake that she does not induce your son to act contrary to ...
— Washed Ashore - The Tower of Stormount Bay • W.H.G. Kingston

... SCENE is the same as Act I. Eighteen months have elapsed. All the windows are wide open. It is a glorious summer day. Alterations in the furniture are noted at the end of the play. At the table L. EVANGELINE is seated when the CURTAIN rises, typewriting slowly but firmly. There are a lot of papers strewn ...
— I'll Leave It To You - A Light Comedy In Three Acts • Noel Coward

... be enough. Pick out that number of strong fellows, whom you can rely upon. Let them all take off their aprons, and tear up this black silk handkerchief and, as we leave the cellar, let each man put a piece over his face, to act as a mask. There is a private door leading to the ...
— No Surrender! - A Tale of the Rising in La Vendee • G. A. Henty

... ancient wisdom, act in the desert a great androsphinx, image of mystery and silence, staring from under level brows across the arid sands of the sea-way. The Greeks borrowed and debased the image, turning the inscrutable into a semi-woman who asked ...
— The Roadmender • Michael Fairless

... friendship the Emperor disburdened his mind of the chagrin, that the refusal of his services by the committee occasioned him. "Those people," said he to M. de Bassano, "are blinded by their avidity of enjoying power, and continuing to act the sovereign. They feel, that, if they replaced me at the head of the army, they would be no longer any thing more than my shadow; and they are sacrificing me and their country to their pride, to their vanity. They ...
— Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. II • Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon

... own country. As it was essential to have one or two men who were thoroughly versed in the processes of the manufacture, Mr. Chaloner induced some of the Pope's workmen by heavy bribes to come to England. The risks attending this overt act were terrible, for the alum works brought in a large revenue to His Holiness, and the discovery of such a design would have meant capital punishment to the offender. The workmen were therefore induced to get into large casks, ...
— Yorkshire Painted And Described • Gordon Home

... one phenomenon to the necessity of another as its cause or its effect, and thus form those particular causal chains and causal nets in whose arranged representation natural science consists. But that those qualities and forces exist and act precisely thus, and not otherwise, and why, we are no longer able to explain. We can only say: the material and the apparent is no longer their cause, but their effect; therefore, the cause of that which comes into existence lies beyond the phenomenon—i.e., ...
— The Theories of Darwin and Their Relation to Philosophy, Religion, and Morality • Rudolf Schmid

... grace and graciousness, was conscious and even self-conscious. But this was only another way of saying that he had a mind which mirrored everything, including himself; and that, whatever else he did, he did not act blindly or in the dark. He was sometimes quite wrong; but his errors were purely patriotic; both in the narrow sense of nationalism and in the larger sense of loyalty ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... editions have no division in the first folio, and some that are divided in the folio have no division in the preceding copies. The settled mode of the theatre requires four intervals in the play, but few, if any, of our authour's compositions can be properly distributed in that manner. An act is so much of the drama as passes without intervention of time or change of place. A pause makes a new act. In every real, and therefore in every imitative action, the intervals may be more or fewer, the restriction of five acts being accidental and arbitrary. This Shakespeare knew, and this ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... of his own construction, partially scooped out of a rock—was never known to have suffered a visitor within its walls—to have spoken a kind word, or done a kind action. Once, indeed, he performed an act which, in a less ominous being, would have been lauded as the extreme of heroism. In a dreadfully stormy morning, a fishing-boat was seen in great distress, making for the shore—there were a father and two sons in it. The danger became imminent, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, - Issue 286, December 8, 1827 • Various

... so we should have been knaves, but we should have been fools as well. For surely nobody can believe that the forces antagonistic to Germany would have ceased to act if we had left Austria ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... there was no real danger. Best of it was that the plate caught the bull right in the act of charging! I've got a print up at the house. Show ...
— The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1915, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C., by ...
— Washington's Masonic Correspondence - As Found among the Washington Papers in the Library of Congress • Julius F. Sachse

... process of the ulna; or a bony process may be separated, as, for example, the tuberosity of the calcaneus, the coracoid process of the scapula, or the larger tubercle (great tuberosity) of the humerus. Long bones also may be broken by muscular action. The clavicle has snapped across during the act of swinging a stick, the humerus in throwing a stone, and the femur when a kick has missed its object. Fractures of ribs have occurred during fits of coughing and in the violent ...
— Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. • Alexander Miles

... enter. Mr Murray's crew was mostly composed of convicts; and having no officer in whom he could place entire confidence, I lent to him Mr Denis Lacy, one of my young gentlemen acquainted with the management of a time keeper, to act as his chief mate. ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis • Matthew Flinders

... as any other piece of folk-lore. In the centre of the Australian desert Mr. Carnegie saw a native make a derisive gesture which he thought had only been known to English schoolboys. {88a} Again, indecent pantomimic dances, said to be intended to act as "object lessons" in things not to be done, are common in Australian Mysteries. Further, we do not know Baubo, or a counterpart of her, in the ritual of Isis, and the clay figurines of such a figure, in Egypt, are of the Greek, the Ptolemaic period. ...
— The Homeric Hymns - A New Prose Translation; and Essays, Literary and Mythological • Andrew Lang

... that, instead of the Mermaid having to act for some months as jackal to the eastern division of the fleet, as had been intended when we were commissioned, we were now ordered to pass up the Mediterranean and proceed on through to the Red Sea, the cruiser which we had been hurriedly despatched to relieve on account ...
— Young Tom Bowling - The Boys of the British Navy • J.C. Hutcheson

... Mr. Grantham,'—and I could detect a lurking sneer, 'I expect at least that when you have lick'd the prize you will make my loyalty stand a little higher than it seems to be at this moment, for I guess, puttin' the dollars out of the question, it's a right loyal act I ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... been frequently repeated since the days of Constantine; so that history fairly proves that Christianity does its peculiar work more effectually when it is dissociated from all human sanctions, and left to act solely by its intrinsic force. This is true not only of the Church at large, but of individuals. Paul, Luther, a Kempis drew their inspiration from the simple words of Christ, and owed next to nothing to the opinions ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... to these three great parties, there are minor parties and groups which sometimes act with one party and sometimes with another, the National Liberals, for example, and the Progressives. Since the war certain members of the National Liberal party were most bitter in assailing President Wilson and the United States. In the demand for ruthless submarine ...
— My Four Years in Germany • James W. Gerard

... mean? How did he act? My, I never saw such a man. Wouldn't open his head all night—wouldn't drink, but just sat and smoked like your friend there. Anything the ...
— The Seiners • James B. (James Brendan) Connolly

... however, the stage-book probably reappears in the afterpiece. In how many dramatic works figures this useful property—the "book of the play"? Shakespeare has by no means disdained its use. Imogen is discovered reading in her bed in the second act of "Cymbeline." She inquires the hour of the ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... by the way, grows in Alaska in great thickets ten feet high. The man was perfectly serious, for he meant that his mind was beginning to act in ways that were not normal. Nowhere is the strain of life in the far north better described than in the ...
— The Red Man's Continent - A Chronicle of Aboriginal America, Volume 1 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Ellsworth Huntington

... of Equals in Graustark. To-morrow morning I shall have the Committee of Ten seized and shot in the public square. We cannot harbour dynamiters and assassins of that type. There are two-score or more of anarchist sympathisers here. We will cheerfully shoot all of them—an act that you should have performed many days ago, my astute friend. It might have saved trouble. They are a dangerous element in any town. Those whom I do not kill I shall transport to the United States in exchange for the Americans who have managed to lose themselves over ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... find joy in kissing lips that answer nothing, a cheek from which the blood flows in affright and shame? Is it an achievement to feed as cattle feed? Listen to me, Monsieur Doltaire. No, do not try to speak till I have done, if your morality—of manners—is not all dead. Through this cowardly act of yours, the last vestige of your power over me is gone. I sometimes think that, with you, in the past, I have remained true and virtuous at the expense of the best of me; but now all that is over, and there is no temptation—I feel beyond it: by this hour here, ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... called in our country Blanche Bruyn, a nun of the convent under the invocation of Mount Carmel, there named Sister Clare, and suspected to be the false appearance of a woman under which is concealed a demon, has in our presence made act of religion and thus recognised the ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... house, uninvited; he proposes to marry my daughter—a man whom I've never seen! You have your answer, Marques de Casa Triana, if you need an answer. It is, no. Pray accept it quietly, and cease to persecute us, otherwise I must ask the Duke to act for me, as I have no husband or ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... resistant, than men like Robinson and Bradford, were not prepared to renounce the land of their birth without a struggle. They wished rather to get control of the Government in order that their own ideas might prevail, and were more disposed to purify a corrupt society by act of Parliament than by ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... standing, with "arms akimbo," looking on, until, with an insulting leer, she remarked, "It seems to me ye're taking great liberties for an honest woman." Paralyzed with surprise and indignation, I knew not how to act. Just then the surgeon in charge of the ward, who had ...
— Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War • Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers

... to act in those days. Scotty and I had often talked of what we would do in case of a sudden attack, and we forthwith proceeded to carry out the plan we ...
— An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody) • Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)

... be presented in case of war. The passage of the bill would not entail a dollar's expense upon the Government at this time or in the future until war comes. But if war comes the methods therein directed are in accordance with the best military judgment as to what they ought to be, and the act would prevent the necessity for a discussion of any legislation and the delays incident to its consideration and adoption. ...
— State of the Union Addresses of William H. Taft • William H. Taft

... to do a kind act of some kind. I know of one boy who looked after the baby so that his mother could go out for awhile. Another rescued a poor little kitten from some cruel boys who were teasing it. When I write my story with ...
— Rod of the Lone Patrol • H. A. Cody

... act of war. You were carrying a message for the enemy. We were wholly within our rights when we forced you to disclose ...
— The Lords of the Wild - A Story of the Old New York Border • Joseph A. Altsheler

... for the first time in his life, that he ought, in this extremity, to pray to God for help. He was, as we have said, a straightforward man, prompt to act as well as ready to conceive. He fell on his knees at once, humbly confessed his sin in depending so entirely on himself in time past, and earnestly asked help and guidance for the future. His prayer ...
— Jarwin and Cuffy • R.M. Ballantyne

... or framework of the body, is a structure which is movable as a whole and in most of its parts. It preserves the form of the body, protects important organs, and supplies the mechanical devices, or machines, upon which the muscles act in the production of motion. The skeleton is adapted to its purposes through the number and properties of the bones, and through the cartilage and connective tissue associated with the bones. The places where the different bones connect one with another are known as ...
— Physiology and Hygiene for Secondary Schools • Francis M. Walters, A.M.

... the words his wife was just in the act of pouring some cream into my cup; it did not surprise me that the pretty silver jug and the cream all fell together. Lance ...
— The Tragedy of the Chain Pier - Everyday Life Library No. 3 • Charlotte M. Braeme

... is so often taken for granted that it ceases to be noticeable until in an unlooked-for hazard it shines forth in some act of quick heroism or tireless faithfulness worthy of a greater tribute than has ...
— Jim Waring of Sonora-Town - Tang of Life • Knibbs, Henry Herbert

... in the church, which has not only conformed to, but has even demanded, similar ordinances from princes." He at the same time opposed the constraint put upon the new converts to oblige them to go to mass, without requiring from them any other act ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... the sole witness of this impulsive and emotional act, Major John Decies, never to mention his "damned theatrical folly" to any living soul, and to excuse him on the score of an ancient sword-cut on the head and ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... missionary-preachers because you ain't suited with the way the Bible was wrote. It looks to me as if you ought to get old enough sometime to realize 'at you ain't nothin' but a child. Your father is willin' to give you a fair show; he don't ask you to act like a girl, all he wants is for you to ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... of YOURSELF first!" he broke out passionately. "Why you fled from me, and why I now find you here, by the merest chance, without a word of summons from yourself, Yerba? Tell me who is with you? Are you free and your own mistress—free to act for yourself and me? Speak, darling—don't be cruel! Since that night I have longed for you, sought for you, and suffered for you every day and hour. Tell me if I find you the same Yerba ...
— A Ward of the Golden Gate • Bret Harte

... declaration. He recalled her apparent disinclination for correspondence, and now thought it due to indifference, rather than an indolent shrinking from effort. The surprise she had given him seemed a little thing—an act due possibly to vanity—compared with the sisterly accounts she might have written of her improvement. She had achieved the wonder without aid from him, and so of course had not felt the need of his help in any way. In remembrance of the past he felt that he had not deserved to ...
— A Young Girl's Wooing • E. P. Roe

... can answer that question," said the Lion. "For my part, Toto, I consider this affair none of my business, so you must act as ...
— The Lost Princess of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... forward. You have been charged with an act of mutiny, and with an attempt, for some unknown cause, to force your way, with arms in your hand, into the tent of the commanding general. We are convened for your trial—we have examined the testimony; and as you are a stranger in our ranks, no feelings of prejudice ...
— She Would Be a Soldier - The Plains of Chippewa • Mordecai Manuel Noah

... It is the barrage—the barrage which those whom we saw have gone to fight, hand to hand. A thunderbolt falls just at the opening, it casts a bright light on all of us, and reveals the last emotion of all, the belief that all was ended! One man is grimacing like a malefactor caught in the act; another is opening strange, disappointed eyes; another is swinging his doleful head, enslaved by the love of sleep, and another, squatting with his head in his hands, makes a lurid entanglement. We have seen each other—upright, sitting ...
— Light • Henri Barbusse

... Ben included, were ordered out of the hospital, and Coristine, much to his disgust, sent for. His hands were useless for writing, but, as he had a good memory, he could help in the examination. So Mr. Errol was called in to act as clerk, Mr. Perrowne refusing to do so, on the ground that all confessions made in the presence of a clergyman are sacred. Little by little the hardened old sinner revealed Rawdon's business, its centre and methods, his accomplices and victims. Then the whole story of the plot which ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... men as could grasp the two oars laid hold of them, and bent their backs till the strong wood cracked again. Gradually the raft neared the opening. As it did so the ground-swell began to act on it. By degrees the towering billows—which seemed to rise out of a calm sea and rush to their destruction like walls of liquid glass—caught it, dragged it on a little, and then let it slip. At last one great wave began to curl in hissing foam underneath, caught ...
— Philosopher Jack • R.M. Ballantyne

... Whether the mere act of hearing, without making any profession of faith, or joining in any part of worship, be a religious act; and, consequently, whether their being obliged to hear, may not consist with ...
— The Querist • George Berkeley

... beautiful, frivolous, unscrupulous woman, who immolates all that is truly feminine in her character upon the shrine of swollen vanity; and whose career from cradle to grave is as utterly aimless and useless as that of some gaudy, flaunting ephemeron of the tropics. Such women act as extinguishers upon the feeble, flickering flame of chivalry, which modern degeneracy in manners and morals has ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... determined, if he could possibly arrange it, to marry her. He was the spider, and Madame Midas the fly; but as the spider knew the fly he had to inveigle into his web was a very crafty one, he determined to act with great caution; so, having ascertained when Madame Midas would be in Melbourne, he awaited her arrival before doing anything, and trusted in some way to get rid of Kitty before she came. It was a difficult game, for M. Vandeloup knew that should Kitty find out his intention she would at once ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... of miners. All were stout, hardy looking men, with an air that bespoke familiarity with hardships and adventure. They had just struck camp, and were evidently preparing for departure. One, who seemed to act as their leader, was directing operations, and apparently exercised a degree of authority unusual among men of this class. He was a stout, broad-shouldered man, with a good natured expression of countenance, ...
— Seven and Nine years Among the Camanches and Apaches - An Autobiography • Edwin Eastman

... The second act of the play was fairly well under way when Orlando, in the "green room," remarked to ...
— The Daughter of Anderson Crow • George Barr McCutcheon

... Intercession, we have not only the truth set forth in such expressions as "I will pray the Father," but we have the actual exercise of the great act of priestly Intercession, as recorded in the seventeenth chapter of the Fourth Gospel. If we look to words only (which the author of "Supernatural Religion" too often does), then, of course, we allow that the epithet ...
— The Lost Gospel and Its Contents - Or, The Author of "Supernatural Religion" Refuted by Himself • Michael F. Sadler

... December 1, and did not know that the Canadian government had declined to accept it or pay over the purchase-money until assured that peace and good order prevailed. The advices from Ottawa to McDougall were delayed, and he felt himself {164} obliged to act without definite knowledge of the ...
— The Fathers of Confederation - A Chronicle of the Birth of the Dominion • A. H. U. Colquhoun

... beyond a doubt, those of a man." Her husband immediately rejected her suspicions, and rebuked her severely for the indignity offered to her daughter-in-law. He became so angry, that seizing the first thing that came to hand, which happened to be his pipe stem, he beat her unmercifully. This act requiring to be explained to the spectators, the mock bride immediately rose up, and assuming an air of offended dignity, told the Red Head that after receiving so gross an insult from his relatives he could not ...
— The Myth of Hiawatha, and Other Oral Legends, Mythologic and Allegoric, of the North American Indians • Henry R. Schoolcraft

... bring the poor fellow to life again," I said with a sigh. "We must act, and act promptly, in order to discover the identity of the murderer and the motive of the crime. That there is a motive is certain; yet it is indeed strange that anyone should actually kill a man suffering from a disease which, in a few months at most, must prove fatal. The motive was therefore ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... dilemma at a glance, and quietly beckoned the gray-haired sexton to come up and act as a substitute. But Sylvan Haught, with a twinkle of fun in his eyes, turned his head and ...
— For Woman's Love • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... between Sir William and the precipice above; by strange good fortune, and thanks to the steadiness of Sir William's horse, no harm was done; but for the moment Fleeming saw his friend hurled into the sea, and almost by his own act: it was a memory ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... name some third person to act as an arbitrator or umpire in any case or cases on which they may themselves differ in opinion. If they should not be able to agree upon the name of such third person, they shall each name a person, and it shall be determined ...
— Canada and the States • Edward William Watkin

... ancient, older than the slender beeches that formed a semicircle to the rear and left. Beyond the door, thick with deep green shade on this midsummer morning, towered a single giant beech which appeared to have moved out a few yards from its forest shelter to act as a sentinel ...
— The Girl Scouts in Beechwood Forest • Margaret Vandercook

... disease determined the surgeons to open the body, and they found, in his chest, part of the leaden syringe with which decoctions had, as was usual, been injected into the part in a state of suppuration. The surgeon, who committed this act of negligence, took care not to boast of his feat, and his patient was the victim. This incident was much talked of by the King, who related it, I believe, not less than thirty times, according to his custom; but what occasioned still more conversation ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 1 • Madame du Hausset, and of an Unknown English Girl and the Princess Lamballe

... the act of throwing one leg over the bowsprit, and half turned away; but Fitz caught ...
— Fitz the Filibuster • George Manville Fenn

... have some long connected lines of thought and feeling, together with a wide range of differences, often irreconcilable, these people were smoothly and firmly agreed on most of the basic principles of their life; and not only agreed in principle, but accustomed for these sixty-odd generations to act ...
— Herland • Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman

... with staring wax figures and bid it to join the feast. There is no exclusion act in art, no passport bureau, ...
— Redemption and Two Other Plays • Leo Tolstoy et al

... hand which has five fingers. Thou must so act that no one may suspect that Thou art for war, but every cook in the heir's kitchen must want war, every barber of his must want war, all the bath men, and litter-bearers, scribes, officers, charioteers must want war with Assyria; the heir should hear war from ...
— The Pharaoh and the Priest - An Historical Novel of Ancient Egypt • Boleslaw Prus

... slaves in the District. Upon the day of their emancipation they assembled in churches and gave thanks to God. In June slavery in the Territories—that bone of contention through so many years—was forever prohibited. In July an act was passed freeing rebels' slaves coming under the Government's protection, and authorizing ...
— History of the United States, Volume 4 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... There is so much wretchedness in the world, that we may safely take the word of any mortal professing to need our assistance; and even should we be deceived, still the good to ourselves resulting from a kind act is worth more than the trifle by which we purchase it. It is desirable, I think, that such persons should be permitted to roam through our land of plenty, scattering the seeds of tenderness and charity, as birds of passage bear the seeds ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... which must often occur. Two persons, both of feeble will, act together: one as superior, the other as inferior. The superior is very kind; the inferior is grateful. Circumstances occur to break this relation. The inferior comes under a superior of strong will, who is not, however, as tolerant and patient as his predecessor. But this second ...
— Friends in Council (First Series) • Sir Arthur Helps

... mind was filled with the common idea, that something was wrong. And now, to be called on to drive Mrs. Allen to Boston, secretly, and under cover of the night, seemed so much like becoming a party to some act of folly or crime, that he gave way to hesitation, and began to seek for reasons that would justify his playing the lady false. Then came up the image of her sweet, reverent face, as she said so earnestly, ...
— The Allen House - or Twenty Years Ago and Now • T. S. Arthur

... Lesson 28 that in saying Washington captured we do not fully express the act performed. Adding Cornwallis, we complete the predicate by naming the one that receives the act that passes over from the doer. Transitive means passing over, and so all verbs that represent an act as passing over ...
— Higher Lessons in English • Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg

... itself is only a shining ornament in the depth of the waves (Siegfried's Death, Act III, Sc. i), but it possesses another power, which only he who renounces love can succeed in drawing from it. (Here you have the plasmic motive up to Siegfried's Death. Think of all its pregnant consequences.) The capture ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... half laughed. I've guessed it then; Come tell me, I'll be secret. Nay, if you mock me, I must be very angry till you speak. Now this is silly; some of these young boys Have dressed the cushions with her clothes in sport. 'Tis very like her. I could make this image Act all her greetings; she shall bow her head: 'Good-morrow, mother'; and her smiling face Falls on my neck.—Oh, heaven, 'tis she indeed! I ...
— Books and Characters - French and English • Lytton Strachey

... violence" were used. (3) The Trent, when stopped was not "searched" in the "ordinary way," but "certain Passengers" were demanded and taken by force. (4) No charge was made that the Trent was violating neutrality, and no authority for his act was offered by Captain Wilkes. (5) No force ought to be used against an "unresisting Neutral Ship" except just so much as is necessary to bring her before a prize court. (6) In the present case the British vessel had done nothing, and intended nothing, warranting even an inquiry by a prize ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... distinct from Self-love. When this Self-liking is excessive, and so openly shewn as to give Offence to others, I know very well it is counted a Vice and call'd Pride: But when it is kept out of Sight, or is so well disguis'd as not to appear in its own Colours, it has no Name, tho' Men act from ...
— An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour, and the Usefulness of Christianity in War • Bernard Mandeville



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