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Gnat

noun
1.
Any of various small biting flies: midges; biting midges; black flies; sand flies.
2.
(British usage) mosquito.



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"Gnat" Quotes from Famous Books



... for its handling. Very little animal life is found in this brine, and none of vegetable; in fact, at every point where the water touches the shore vegetation vanishes utterly. The animal life is that of a very small gnat which, mosquito-like, lays its eggs on the surface of the water. The larvae, when driven shoreward, collect in such quantities as to cause a strong, unpleasant odor observable for miles to the leeward. Myriads of seagulls ...
— Trail Tales • James David Gillilan

... challenged a Bull to a trial of strength, all the People came to see the combat. Then {said} the Gnat: "'Tis enough that you have come to meet me in combat; for {though} little in my own idea, I am great in your judgment," {and so saying}, he took himself off on light wing through the air, and duped the multitude, and eluded the threats of the Bull. ...
— The Fables of Phdrus - Literally translated into English prose with notes • Phaedrus

... never told that the dancing shops of all kinds are on the same road with all the drinking saloons and other places of a like character. No, the same parents told their sons that the drinking saloon is next door to hell, and these are the ones we read about in the Bible, who "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." That is to say, in those days when Christ was on earth, there were some people so peculiarly constituted that they strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel; but we live in an age of ...
— There is No Harm in Dancing • W. E. Penn

... Little girls seem to like him. One of them, after listening to some of his tales, remarked to her mother, "Wouldn't it be lovely if what he says were true!" Here you have Woman! The charming creatures will neither strain at a camel nor swallow a gnat. Not publicly. These operations, without which the world they have such a large share in could not go on for ten minutes, are left to us—men. And then we are chided for being coarse. This is a refined objection but ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... massive open gates into the Duke's park. A massive man with a cockade saluted me—hearteningly—from the door of the lodge. The park seemed endless. I came, at length, to a long straight avenue of elms that were almost blatantly immemorial. At the end of it was—well, I felt like a gnat going to stay in a ...
— Seven Men • Max Beerbohm

... As men are—bound upon this wheel of change, Knowing the former and the after lives. For so our scriptures truly seem to teach, That—once, and wheresoe'er, and whence begun— Life runs its rounds of living, climbing up From mote, and gnat, and worm, reptile, and fish, Bird and shagged beast, man, demon, Deva, God, To clod and mote again; so are we kin To all that is; and thus, if one might save Man from his curse, the whole wide world should share The lightened horror of this ignorance Whose shadow is chill fear, ...
— The Light of Asia • Sir Edwin Arnold

... more than once. He sat at the window without stirring, and, as it were, listened to the current of the quiet life surrounding him, to the few sounds of the country solitude. Something from behind the nettles chirps with a shrill, shrill little note; a gnat seems to answer it. Now it has ceased, but still the gnat keeps up its sharp whirr; across the pleasant, persistent, fretful buzz of the flies sounds the hum of a big bee, constantly knocking its head against the ceiling; ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... and pain that took me in every part, till at length I sprang up and cursed in my agony. At first I was at a loss to know what occasioned this torment, till I perceived that the air was alive with gnat-like insects which made a singing noise, and then settling on my flesh, sucked blood and spat poison into the wound at one and the same time. These dreadful insects the Spaniards name mosquitoes. Nor were they the only flies, for hundreds of other creatures, no bigger than ...
— Montezuma's Daughter • H. Rider Haggard

... far is the trunk of the mosquito-gnat, and of all the detestable troop of blood-sucking flies. It is always a tube; but this tube is no longer a simple straw, but a sheath furnished with stilettos of such exquisite delicacy and temper, that nothing is comparable ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... indignant. One man laid his tunic down and a mule ate a great bit out of it. Another cannot get his arm straight "after lifting thae bales." A still, small voice asserts that a man has as much chance of doing what the R.E. wants, as a gnat has of fighting a —— aeroplane. The sergeant numbers them off. There is of course one missing; but the officer, being certain that he is either a mangled corpse among the mules, or far more probably triumphantly asleep on a stack of tibbin, declines to search ...
— The Fifth Battalion Highland Light Infantry in the War 1914-1918 • F.L. Morrison

... bein' so mad at the Nation for makin' such dretful hard work partakin' of a gnat, and then swallerin' down Barnum's hull circus, ...
— Samantha at the World's Fair • Marietta Holley

... you would understand me, go to the heights or water-shore; The nearest gnat is an explanation, and a drop or motion of waves a key: The maul, the oar, ...
— Whitman - A Study • John Burroughs

... water with the hook down, and looked at from beneath, against the light, only the little black spot will be noticeable. This I believe represents some of the order Coleoptera (beetles) and also the small black gnat (Empidae). I know if no other ways to tie the Black Gnat small enough to represent the natural insect, and even on the very smallest hook, the artificial is usually many times larger than the natural. The small black centre of the furnace saddle hackle ...
— How to Tie Flies • E. C. Gregg

... revelers by night! Stealthy companions of the downy moth— Diana's motes, that flit in her pale light, Shunners of sunbeams in diurnal sloth;— These be the feasters on night's silver cloth;— The gnat with shrilly trump is their convener, Forth from their flowery chambers, nothing loth, With lulling tunes to charm the air serener, Or dance upon the grass to ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... the boy; "but one ought to tell a friend as far as he can see him. The Active carries a longer and a lower gaff, than any other cutter in the navy, which is the way we all tell her from the Gnat, the cutter ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... where the lion plays a part, usually the chief part, the child pretends to be the lion, and when he has to preside over some distribution of good things, he takes care to keep everything for himself; but when the lion is overthrown by the gnat, the child is the gnat. He learns how to sting to death those whom ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... mind, how canst thou say, I am He with whom are filled all the vast stores of this universe in its entirety? Collect thy faculties calmly in thy heart and consider thine own power; can a host of fierce world-supporting elephants enter into the belly of a gnat? ...
— The Tattva-Muktavali • Purnananda Chakravartin

... and kill. How is that any fault of mine? He could see the thing she was. If he will fling his soul away upon a creature lighter than thistle-down, viler than a rattlesnake's poison, poorer and quicker to pass than the breath of a gnat—whose blame is that except his own? There was a sculptor once, you know, that fell to lascivious worship of the marble image he had made; well,—poets are not even so far wise as that. They make an image out of the gossamer rainbow stuff of their own dreams, and ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... the Little Colorado, near San Francisco Mountains, and there they built houses up and down the river. They also made long ditches to carry the water from the river to their gardens. After living there a long while they began to be plagued with swarms of a kind of gnat called the sand-fly, which bit the children, causing them to swell up and die. The place becoming unendurable, they were forced again to resume their travels. Before starting, one of the Rain-women, who was big with child, was made comfortable ...
— A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola • Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff

... keep it long, I reckon, ma'am," said Tucker, in his pleasant manner; "and I must say it seems to me that Bill Fletcher is straining at a gnat. Why, he has near two thousand acres, hasn't he? And what under heaven does he want with that old field the sheep have nibbled bare? There's ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... above all else, had theretofore been left untouched by the central power, and subject to the independent jurisdiction of each individual State. The South had eagerly swallowed a camel, and when it asked the country to strain at a gnat it found nobody to listen. Our public men, and our leaders of opinion, frequently and earnestly express their concern over the decline of importance in our State governments, the lessened vigor of the State spirit. The sentiment is not ...
— What Prohibition Has Done to America • Fabian Franklin

... was "yes" then it was decidedly a pity that he had not stayed in the church. It was ridiculous to strain at the cathedral gnat and then swallow ...
— Soul of a Bishop • H. G. Wells

... suspicions; and I must be at Manneville by dawn or else be hanged. Therefore I dare stake all upon one throw; and you must either save or hang me with unwashed hands. As surely as God reigns, my future rests with you. And as I am perfectly aware, you could not live comfortably with a gnat's death upon your conscience. Eh, am I not ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... the object upon which it rests. There are still other differences that clearly differentiate the malarial from the common mosquito, but the one given ordinarily serves to distinguish between them. The malarial mosquito is pre-eminently a house-gnat, being scarcely ever seen in the woods or open, but may be found—oftentimes in great numbers—in all malarial localities, lying quietly during the day in dark corners of rooms or stables. This mosquito practically never bites in the day, but will ...
— Health on the Farm - A Manual of Rural Sanitation and Hygiene • H. F. Harris

... June in sunshine down the slope of the year, and Eve, pursuing her pleasures, might almost have forgotten that an image-boy existed, had Luigi allowed her to forget. But he was omnipresent as a gnat. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... if it were only a gnat dancing in a sunbeam, has a right to have its well-being considered as an end of God's dealings. But no creature is so isolated or great as that it has a right to have its well-being regarded as the sole end of God's dealings. That is true about all His blessings and gifts; it is eminently true ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... country or its agents repudiated such abomination of abominations? If for political purposes you submit to this latter, while for commercial purposes you refuse to tolerate the former, surely you are straining at a black gnat while swallowing a beastly camel. Such, good people of the Foreign-office, is my decided view of the case; and if you profit by the hint, you will do what I believe no public body ever did yet. Perhaps, therefore, the idea of setting the fashion may possibly induce you to reconsider and ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... his departure he had sat on the edge of his bed, the sunlight streaming through the early mist, the house-martens scratching the back of the ceiling over his head as they scrambled out from the roof for their day's gnat-chasing, the thrushes cracking snails on the garden stones outside with the noisiness of little smiths at work on little anvils. The sun, in sending its rods of yellow fire into his room, sent, as he suddenly thought, mental illumination with it. For the first time, as he sat there, ...
— Two on a Tower • Thomas Hardy

... tell him that fairies are benevolent or mischievous, and tradition, borrowing from literature, will confirm it. The proposition is ridiculous. It would be as wise to say that a gnat is mischievous when it stings you, or a bee benevolent because he cannot prevent you stealing his honey. There would be less talk of benevolent bees if the gloves were off. That is the pathetic fallacy ...
— Lore of Proserpine • Maurice Hewlett

... enjoyed adventures and visited strange countries and have gathered learning, till I think I am the wisest man upon the Nile, at the side of one whom I loved and holding nothing at risk, except my own life which mattered no more than that of a gnat dancing in the sun. Now all is changed. I have a wife whom I love also, more than I can tell you," and he sighed, "but who still must be looked after and obeyed—yes, obeyed. Further, soon I shall have a people ...
— The Ancient Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... universal history, history from the point of view of geological periods, geology from the point of view of astronomy. When the duration of a man's life or of a people's life appears to us as microscopic as that of a fly and inversely, the life of a gnat as infinite as that of a celestial body, with all its dust of nations, we feel ourselves at once very small and very great, and we are able, as it were, to survey from the height of the spheres our own existence, and the ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... little whirling Dun, the early bright Brown, the whitish Dun, the Thorn-tree fly, the blue Dun, the little black Gnat, the ...
— The School of Recreation (1696 edition) • Robert Howlett

... out, the sky to spy, A naughty gnat flew in his eye; But Tom knew not it was a gnat— He thought, at ...
— Rinkitink in Oz • L. Frank Baum

... fathers were content to bury themselves in a hole, he expects me to do the same. Why, what should I do? The place is over-doctored already. Every third person is a pet patient sending for him for a gnat-bite, gratis, taking the bread out of Wright's mouth. No wonder Henry Ward kicked! If I came here, I must practise on the lap-dogs! Here's my father, stronger than any of us, with fifteen good years' work in him at the least! He would be ...
— The Trial - or, More Links of the Daisy Chain • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Elias, Yahy or John the Baptist, Zacharias, Job, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and Mohammed,[FN350] the peace of Allah and His blessing be on them all! Moreover, nine flying things are mentioned in the Koran, namely, the gnat, the bee, the fly, the ant, the hoopoe, the crow, the locust, the swallow and the bird of Jesus[FN351] (on whom be peace!), to wit, the bat." Q "Which is the most excellent chapter of the Koran?" "That of The Cow.[FN352]" ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... every petty disregard of principle, any wrong heretofore silently, perhaps sadly, ignored, each unobserved or disregarded innovation of the past, is magnified into a precedent justifying anything and everything in the future. If we formerly on some occasion swallowed a gnat, why now, is it asked, strain at a camel? Truths once accepted as "self-evident," since become awkward of acceptance, were ever thus pettifogged out of the path, and fundamental principles have in this way prescriptively been tampered with. It is now nearly a century and a quarter ago, when ...
— "Imperialism" and "The Tracks of Our Forefathers" • Charles Francis Adams

... eggs: In these, in those the life is stay'd. The mantles from the golden pegs Droop sleepily: no sound is made, Not even of a gnat that sings. More like a picture seemeth all Than those old portraits of old kings, That watch the sleepers from ...
— The Early Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson • Tennyson

... you, from the President downwards, may date his downfall from that moment; for any printed lie that any notorious villain pens, although it militate directly against the character and conduct of a life, appeals at once to your distrust, and is believed. You will strain at a gnat in the way of trustfulness and confidence, however fairly won and well deserved; but you will swallow a whole caravan of camels, if they be laden with unworthy doubts and mean suspicions. Is this well, think you, or likely to elevate the character of the governors ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... heard, and a hum and buzz of winged creatures, which filled the air with a ceaseless sound like that of a bee-hive and the infinite murmur of the sea. All around Renee, and near to her, there seemed to be a great living peace, in which everything was being swayed—the gnat in the air, the leaf on the branch, the shadows on the bark of the trees, the tops of the trees against the sky, and the wild oats on each side of the paths. Then from this murmur came the sighing ...
— Rene Mauperin • Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt

... Quill Gnat" are the only other flies that need be mentioned. The former has a great reputation on the river, but we ourselves have ...
— A Cotswold Village • J. Arthur Gibbs

... their studies. When they have done well during the week, I invite them to breakfast and dine with me on the Sabbath. The proof that they are in good health is that they have grown much. Napoleon had one eye slightly inflamed yesterday from the sting of a gnat. He was not, however, on that account, less well than usual. To-day it is no longer manifest. It would not be worth mentioning, were we not in the habit of rendering you an exact account of every thing which ...
— Hortense, Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... to stamp it with absurdity and everlasting contempt, according to the gentlemen who oppose me; but when found in the Bible the story assumes another phase entirely. It is as the Saviour said of the Pharisees, "Ye strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." My opponent strains at a gnat, when found in the Book of Mormon, but if camels are discovered in the Bible he swallows them by the herd. I cannot see why a big story, told in the Bible, should be believed any more ...
— The Mormon Menace - The Confessions of John Doyle Lee, Danite • John Doyle Lee

... GNAT. Good Heav'ns! how much one man excels another! What diff'rence 'twixt a wise man and a fool! What just now happen'd proves it: coming hither I met with an old countryman, a man Of my own place and order, like myself, No scurvy fellow, who, like me, ...
— The Comedies of Terence • Publius Terentius Afer

... world, we commence with the buttercup, and trace all the various kinds and sizes of plants that exist, up to the pine (Norwegian), and down again to the hautboy (Cormack's Princesses); if, among the lower animals, we begin with a gnat and go up to an elephant, or select from the human species a Lord John Russell, and place him beside a professor Whewell, we shall see that nature provides an endless variety of all sorts of everything. Now, to render ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, September 18, 1841 • Various

... stay where he is. What gnat has bitten you to-day? Do you not know that you are touching, with lay hands, the very holiest inwards of philosophy, where madness dwells? Ay, Otto, madness; for in the serene temples of the wise, the inmost shrine, which we carefully ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... sealskin jacket because her heart was set on it. I won an eighty-guinea jacket for ten guineas. You see how ignoble my motives were, also how unworthy the results. I did worse even than that— for I will out with the truth to you, Nancy— I revenged myself still further upon that spiteful little gnat, Rosalind, and raised the price of her coveted coral to such an extent that I know by her face she is pounds in debt for it. Now, my dear, what have you to say to me? Nothing good, I know that. Let me read Aristotle for the next hour just to ...
— A Sweet Girl Graduate • Mrs. L.T. Meade

... Why not? All things were possible in this wonder-house of a world. Even that waltz tune, floating away, would find some melody to wed, and twine with, and produce a fresh chord that might float in turn to catch the hum of a gnat or fly, and breed again. Queer—how everything sought to entwine with something else! On one of the pinkish blooms of the hydrangea he noted a bee—of all things, in this hidden-away garden of tiles and gravel and plants in tubs! The little ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... More nearly with the lesson of their creed! Those yellow Lamas who at Meerut pray By wind and water power, and love to say 'He who forgiveth not shall, unforgiven, Fail of the rest of Buddha,' and who even Spare the black gnat that stings them, vex my ears With the poor hates and jealousies and fears Nursed in their human hives. That lean, fierce priest Of thy own people, (be his heart increased By Allah's love!) his black ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... transformed, and the maiden rose into the air as a puff of wind, and the prince sported in the breeze like a gnat. The mighty host of spirits swept over them like a tempest, and returned some time afterwards, as they could neither find the rose-bush nor anything else remarkable. But they were hardly gone before the youth and the maiden resumed their ...
— The Hero of Esthonia and Other Studies in the Romantic Literature of That Country • William Forsell Kirby

... morning with his flocks to the woodland glades whose charms the poet describes at length in a rather imitative rhapsody. The shepherd then falls asleep; a serpent approaches and is about to strike him when a gnat, seeing the danger, stings him in time to save him. But—such is the fatalism of cynical fable-lore—the shepherd, still in a stupor, crushes the gnat that has saved his life. At night the gnat's ghost returns to rebuke the shepherd for his innocent ingratitude, ...
— Vergil - A Biography • Tenney Frank

... fond imaginations, let him by all means avoid it; 'tis a bosom enemy, 'tis delightsome melancholy, a friend in show, but a secret devil, a sweet poison, it will in the end be his undoing; let him go presently, task or set himself a work, get some good company. If he proceed, as a gnat flies about a candle, so long till at length he burn his bodv, so in the end he will undo himself: if it be any harsh object, ill company, let him presently go from it. If by his own default, through ill diet, bad air, want of exercise, &c., let him now begin to reform himself. ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... to a hot, stuffy little grove by the side of a disconsolate stream where mosquitoes hummed and tiny gnat creatures were vulgarly familiar. Joe carried the baskets down a steep and rocky path to the very edge of the brook, scratching his face with stinging briars and tough, elastic little switches from ubiquitous bushes. The two young men in the back seat ostentatiously assisted ...
— Stubble • George Looms

... step into the office to inquire after my comrades. One of the whey-faced clerks said with the supercilious asperity characteristic of gnat-brained headquarters attaches: ...
— Andersonville, complete • John McElroy

... before us on the Thames, are the just resemblance of his Wit. You may observe how near the water they stoop! how many proffers they make to dip, and yet how seldom they touch it! and when they do, 'tis but the surface! they skim over it, but to catch a gnat, and then mount in the air and ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... Indians to be unclean food; as also ravens, crows, bats, buzzards and every species of owl. They believe that swallowing gnats, flies and the like, always breed sickness. To this that divine sarcasm alludes 'swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat.'" Their purifications for their Priests, and for having touched a dead body or other unclean thing, according to Mr. Adair, are quite Levitical. He acknowledges however, that they have no traces of circumcision; but he supposes that they lost this rite in their wanderings, ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... also see in the air swarms of small, gnat-like insects. They belong to this order and live beneath the bark of freshly fallen beech and other logs. On warm, sunny days they go forth in numbers for a sort of rhythmical courtship; their movements while in the air being peculiar in that they ...
— A Book of Natural History - Young Folks' Library Volume XIV. • Various

... Hans, "it is yours. Also I stole it from your ear as I passed you in the dark. Don't you remember that you thought a gnat had tickled you and hit ...
— Allan and the Holy Flower • H. Rider Haggard

... "the latter end of his Commonwealth forgets the beginning," it is all the same to him, his purpose being only to beguile the anguish of supposed bereavement. It has been well said that "Gonzalo is so occupied with duty, in which alone he finds pleasure, that he scarce notices the gnat-stings of wit with which his opponents pursue him; or, if he observes, ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... Intelligences be the agents, but it is God who knows and answers. Nothing can be so small as not to affect that delicate omnipresent consciousness, nothing so vast as to transcend it. We are so limited that the very idea of such an all-embracing consciousness staggers and confounds us; yet perhaps a gnat might be as hard bestead if he tried to measure the consciousness of Pythagoras. Professor Huxley, in a remarkable passage, has imagined the possibility of the existence of beings rising higher and higher in intelligence, the consciousness ever expanding, ...
— Esoteric Christianity, or The Lesser Mysteries • Annie Besant

... stamp the foot at poor human nature, here is an object for your contempt, your sarcasm, your abuse, your punishment; drag her away by the hair of her head. But stay, take care you do not "strain at a gnat and swallow a camel;" examine yourselves a little first. She has confessed, perhaps you have not. Remember, no one knew it; no one guessed it. It is she herself has lifted up the lantern into the dark ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348 • Various

... the lake had been swallowed like a gnat in the water. Within the great Iya he was looking skyward. So deep was the water in the Eater's stomach that the surface of the swallowed lake almost touched ...
— Old Indian Legends • Zitkala-Sa

... no need to mention these trivialities, but that they actually influenced many lives, as trifles will in the world, where a gnat often plays a greater part than an elephant, and a mole-hill, as we know in King William's case, can upset an empire. When Tusher in his courtly way (at which Harry Esmond always chafed and spoke scornfully) ...
— The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. • W. M. Thackeray

... to him; he could no longer feel savage indignation at their little hypocrisies and malignancies. Their voices uttering calumny, and morality, and futility had become like the thin shrill angry note of a gnat on a summer evening; he had his own thoughts and his own life, and ...
— The Hill of Dreams • Arthur Machen

... not a mosquito, or gnat, or other pest in the woods, the cool nights having already cut them off. The trout were sufficiently abundant, and afforded us a few hours' sport daily to supply our wants. The only drawback was, that they were out of season, and only palatable ...
— In the Catskills • John Burroughs

... not called the "Little Tanner," or "Tanner" alone; Harry Smith, being a swarthy, dark-haired fellow, was "Blacksmith;" and I, Nathaniel Herrick, was dubbed the first day "Poet"—I, who had never made a line in my life— and later on, as I was rather diminutive, the "Gnat." ...
— Blue Jackets - The Log of the Teaser • George Manville Fenn

... you, brother Civet, and Master Weathercock, do but bail me, and let me have my marriage money paid me, and we'll ride down, and there your own eyes shall see, how my poor tenants there will welcome me. You shall but bail me, you shall do no more, and, you greedy gnat, their bail will serve. ...
— The London Prodigal • William Shakespeare [Apocrypha]

... feel: but Dr. Hyde derives it from the Arabic, Khamush, which signifies gnats, (though in the particular dialect of the tribe Hodail) supposing it to have been an astronomical talisman in the figure of a gnat:—and Le Clerc, who takes this idol for the Sun, from Comosha, a root, in the same tongue, signifying to be swift. There is the same variety of sentiment about Silenus, the companion of Bacchus. ...
— A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume I. • Jacob Bryant

... urged her against it, and yet at the time she had wondered why such a small thing should be so against the grain when others so much more important were unconsidered. It was very like the proverbial "straining at a gnat to swallow a camel." Be this as it might, she had replaced the ring where she found it and ...
— East of the Shadows • Mrs. Hubert Barclay

... masters, allow an old man to mediate between you. I am not shortsighted in such matters—The mother of mischief is no bigger than a gnat's wing; and I have known fifty instances in my own day, when, as ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... field-mice from their burrows, as we should for rabbits. They are the most pitiable set of savages that can be imagined; so emaciated, that they have no visible posteriors; they look as though they had been planed off, and their long thin legs and arms give them a peculiar gnat-like appearance. At night they crouch close to the fires, lying in the smoke to escape the clouds of mosquitoes. At this season the country is a vast swamp, the only dry spots being the white ant-hills; in such places the natives herd like wild ...
— The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile • Sir Samuel White Baker

... having thrown back the gnat gauze, was seated upon the edge of her couch, her eyes fixed upon my face, while her fingers played with ...
— Cleopatra • H. Rider Haggard

... domestic animals of a summer day is by no means a safe guide as to what befell their ancestors in the abysses of geologic time. It is true that Nature may be read in the little as well as in the big,—Natura in minimis existat,—in the gnat as well as in the elephant; but she cannot be read in our yearly calendars as she can in the calendars of the geologic strata. Species go out and species come in; the book of natural revelation opens and closes at chance places, and rarely do we get a continuous record—in no ...
— The Last Harvest • John Burroughs

... to do with it. In fact, I shall do everything in my power to discountenance and discourage the trapping." Lapierre cleared his throat sharply—coughed—cleared it again. Discourage trapping—north of sixty! Had he heard aright? He swallowed hard, mumbled an apology anent the inhalation of a gnat, ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... therein, Sees body and soul, and soul and body; When you came to the Simorg, Three therein appeared to you, And, had fifty of you come, So had you seen yourselves as many. Him has none of us yet seen. Ants see not the Pleiades. Can the gnat grasp with his teeth The body of the elephant? What you see is He not; What you hear is He not. The valleys which you traverse, The actions which you perform, They lie under our treatment And among ...
— Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and Salaman and Absal • Omar Khayyam and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... only vampires which infest our wooded lands. The "punkeys" and "midgets" can outstrip them for voracity and the painful character of the wound which they inflict. The "punkey," or "black-fly," as it is called, is a small, black gnat, about the size of a garden ant, and the bite of the insect often results very seriously. The midget is a minute little creature, and is the most everlastingly sticky and exasperating pest in the catalogue of human torments. They fly in swarms of thousands, and go for their victim "en masse" ...
— Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making • William Hamilton Gibson

... and therefore bolder than a Trout; for he will rise twenty times at a fly, if you miss him, and yet rise again. He has been taken with a fly made of the red feathers of a paroquet, a strange outlandish bird; and he will rise at a fly not unlike a gnat, or a small moth, or, indeed, at most flies that are not too big. He is a fish that lurks close all Winter, but is very pleasant and jolly after mid-April, and in May, and in the hot months. He is of a very fine shape, his flesh is white, his teeth, those little ones that he has, ...
— The Complete Angler • Izaak Walton

... down such words as those, about litter and wolvets, for the perusal and meditation of the grand jury? If the whole corporation of Stratford had not unanimously given it against thee, still his tongue would catch thee, as the evet catcheth a gnat. Know, sirrah, the reverend Sir Silas, albeit ill appointed for riding, and not over-fond of it, goeth to every house wherein is a venison feast for thirty miles round. Not a buck's hoof on any stable-door but it awakeneth his recollections like ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

... spider approached—touched him—and he felt the large, cold, and hairy paws of the monster encircle him. He thought himself dead, but suddenly he heard a kind of humming noise, clear and acute, and saw a little golden gnat, which had a kind of sting as fine and brilliant as a diamond needle, flying round the spider in a furious manner, and a voice (when I say voice, just imagine the voice of a gnat!)-a voice said to him, 'Poor little fly! you have saved flies; ...
— Mysteries of Paris, V3 • Eugene Sue

... gnat that vext thy pillow! Had I been by, I would have spoil'd his horn. My girl, ...
— Queen Mary and Harold • Alfred Lord Tennyson

... diminution Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle; Nay, followed him till he had melted from The smallness of a gnat to air; and then Have turned mine ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 39, January, 1861 • Various

... to"—which is certainly longer, but does not appear to possess any other advantage over "on." It is not easy to understand why Mr. Darwin should have strained at such a gnat as "on," though feeling no discomfort in such an expression as ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... all the furies! my lord," he cried, "what gnat has bitten your highness? Why this sudden ...
— A Romance of the West Indies • Eugene Sue

... and admired blackee, it unfortunately happened that a mosquito flew into blackee's nostrils, which were much larger and more inviting—to a gnat—than ours. The aboriginal sneezed, and over went ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... scene!" said Shirley to Caroline. "What a fool I was! To revenge on poor Donne his silly spite at Yorkshire is something like crushing a gnat for attacking the hide of a rhinoceros. Had I been a gentleman, I believe I should have helped him off the premises by dint of physical force. I am glad now I only employed the moral weapon. But he must come ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... priceless treasure of a respectability which is a little higher than the tram and financially not quite equal to the cab. Then, at that magic touch of the west wind the house-fly retires to his own peculiar Inferno, wherever that may be, the mosquito and the gnat pause in their work of darkness and blood to concert fresh and more bloodthirsty deeds, and even the joyous and wicked flea tires of the war dance and lays down his weary head to snatch a hard-earned nap. July ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... I, "he may remember me, and come back, but he will find my prison empty, or occupied by some other guest—no friend perhaps to spiders—and thus meet with an awkward reception. His fine woven house, and his gnat-feasts will all ...
— My Ten Years' Imprisonment • Silvio Pellico

... absolutely perfect, and moved without a hitch in all its bearings. They don't see that every existing institution just bristles with difficulties—and that the difficulties are met or got over somehow. Often enough while they swallow the camel of existing abuses they strain at some gnat which they fancy they see flying in at the window of Utopia or of the Millennium. "If your reform were carried," they say in effect, "we should, doubtless, get rid of such and such flagrant evils; but the streets in November ...
— Post-Prandial Philosophy • Grant Allen

... search, to expect very much; and yet at a glance I saw that my basket of glass lay in fragments at my feet. No ingots or dollars were here, to crown me the little Monte Cristo of a week. Outside, the distant horn had ceased its gnat-song, the gold was paling to primrose, and everything was lonely and still. Within, my confident little castles were tumbling down like card-houses, leaving me stripped of estate, both real and personal, and dominated ...
— The Golden Age • Kenneth Grahame

... Sprinkle out of flower bells Mortal sense entrapping spells; Make no sound On the ground; Strew and lap and lay around. Gnat nor snail Here assail, Beetle, slug, nor spider here, Now descend, Nor depend, Off from any ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... caught a momentary glimpse of his real significance. "I am only a gnat, a speck in the sun, a youth facing the millions of great and wise and wealthy!" He leaped up in a frenzy. "Oh, I mustn't stay here! I must get back to my studies. Life is slipping by me, and I am doing ...
— Other Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... The cover of the wings of grasshoppers; The traces of the smallest spider's web; The collars of the moonshine's watery beams; Her whip of cricket's bone; the lash of film; Her waggoner, a small grey coated gnat, Not half so big as a round little worm, Prickt from the lazy finger of a maid. Her chariot is an empty hazel nut, Made by the joiner squirril, old grub, Time out of mind the fairies' coachmakers: And in this state she gallops night by night, Thro' lovers' brains, ...
— Thaumaturgia • An Oxonian

... Division," says gnat-voice and clicks me off. Another voice carries on the good work. Upstairs the shells burst playfully on the parapet, and under the starlit sky a gas cloud drifts slowly across the fields, almost hiding the cattle who are grazing peacefully there ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, July 25, 1917 • Various

... the ruby humming-bird Drones with the humming bee; And every gnat and butterfly Soars ...
— Laura Secord, the heroine of 1812. - A Drama. And Other Poems. • Sarah Anne Curzon

... was too brief to make any reputations, though it was long enough to ruin several. The man who gained most glory in that conflict was "Fighting Joe" Wheeler, veteran of Shiloh, of Murfreesboro, of Chickamauga, dashing like a gnat against Sherman's flanks, and annoying him mightily on that march to the sea; a southerner of the southerners, and yet with a great patriotism which sent him to the front in 1898, and a hard experience which enabled ...
— American Men of Action • Burton E. Stevenson

... disapprobation. In her heart, she could not help respecting the patience and painstaking of the good lady,—for a 'lady' Miss Eyre was in the best sense of the word, though in Hollingford she only took rank as a shopkeeper's daughter. Yet Betty buzzed about her with the teasing pertinacity of a gnat, always ready to find fault, if not to bite. Miss Eyre's only defence came from the quarter whence it might least have been expected—from her pupil; on whose fancied behalf, as an oppressed little personage, Betty always based her ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... in alternate strophes, these niceties seem a little out of place. After swallowing such a camel of an anachronism as is contained in the following lines, it is ridiculous to pride oneself upon straining at a gnat:— ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... replaced with the same regularity and indifference as fresh snuff is put into a snuff-box, or fresh flowers are set out upon the epergne. Nobody misses him. The machine goes on without perceiving that the blue-bottle or the gnat has fallen ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19, Issue 547, May 19, 1832 • Various

... and the Grasshopper's Feasts Excited the spleen of the Birds and the Beasts: For their mirth and good cheer—of the Bee was the theme, And the Gnat blew his horn, as he danced in the beam; 'Twas humm'd by the Beetle, 'twas buzz'd by the Fly, And sung by the myriads that sport through the sky. The Quadrupeds listen'd with sullen displeasure, But the tenants of Air were enraged ...
— The Peacock 'At Home' AND The Butterfly's Ball AND The Fancy Fair • Catherine Ann Dorset

... Liliputian, chit, pigwidgeon[obs3], urchin, elf; atomy[obs3], dandiprat[obs3]; doll, puppet; Tom Thumb, Hop-o'-my- thumb[obs3]; manikin, mannikin; homunculus, dapperling[obs3], cock-sparrow. animalcule, monad, mite, insect, emmet[obs3], fly, midge, gnat, shrimp, minnow, worm, maggot, entozoon[obs3]; bacteria; infusoria[obs3]; microzoa[Microbiol]; phytozoaria[obs3]; microbe; grub; tit, tomtit, runt, mouse, small fry; millet seed, mustard seed; barleycorn; pebble, grain of sand; molehill, button, bubble. point; atom &c. (small quantity) 32; fragment ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... of Rhun the son of Nwython, and Llwyddeu, the son of Nwython, and Gwydre the son of Llwyddeu, (Gwenabwy the daughter of [Kaw] was his mother, Hueil his uncle stabbed him, and hatred was between Hueil and Arthur because of the wound). Drem the son of Dremidyd, (when the gnat arose in the morning with the sun, he could see it from Gelli Wic in Cornwall, as far off as Pen Blathaon in North Britain). And Eidyol the son of Ner, and Glwyddyn Saer, (who constructed Ehangwen, Arthur's Hall). Kynyr Keinvarvawc, (when he was told he had a son born, {74c} he said ...
— The Mabinogion Vol. 2 (of 3) • Owen M. Edwards

... that revealed to us the ghostly unity of all existence, that reestablished all ethics upon an immutable and eternal foundation,—the mind that could expound with equal lucidity, and by the same universal formula, the history of a gnat or the history of a sun—confessed itself, before the Riddle of Existence, scarcely less helpless than ...
— The Romance of the Milky Way - And Other Studies & Stories • Lafcadio Hearn

... in Anne's bedroom, and she herself came forward to shut the casement, with the candle in her hand. The light shone out upon the broad and deep mill-head, illuminating to a distinct individuality every moth and gnat that entered the quivering chain of radiance stretching across the water towards him, and every bubble or atom of froth that floated into its width. She stood for some time looking out, little thinking what ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... tho' you peck at my dress, I will not get angry at that; I know you would gobble me up if you could, As quick as a worm or a gnat." ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... lever towards the realisation of his own far-reaching ambitions. He brought with him from the United States, in addition to his elegant wife, two dry, pale children, whose contours were less Raphaelesque than gnat-like, and the acuteness of whose critical faculty was very much more in evidence than that of their affections. These bright little results of modernity and applied science—in the shape of the incubator—took their place in the social movement, at the ages of three and five respectively, ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... of finances between your father and me will not be a very desperate one. A gnat attacking a tiger. I shall scarcely interest him. I am ...
— The Pride of Palomar • Peter B. Kyne

... days, but with more comfort, since either Catherine or Mary—Mary I think it must have been—made a curtain for my window, which kept out that burning eye of the western sun, and also fashioned a gnat veil to overspread my pallet, so the flies could not get at me. I knew there were others in prison, but knew not that three of them were led forth to be hung, which might have been my fate, had I been a free man, nor knew that another was ...
— The Heart's Highway - A Romance of Virginia in the Seventeeth Century • Mary E. Wilkins

... femora, I observe build their mud nests in houses. The rarity of Lepidoptera, except perhaps some nocturnal moths, is curious; Coleoptera are more common, but inconspicuous. Ants are abundant in the mud walls. A small gnat with large noiseless wings, is very annoying, and the bite very painful and irritating. Doves, and wild pigeons are tolerably common, as also crested larks, and swifts. Abundance of lizards; a venomous snake of brown colour, having an ...
— Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and The - Neighbouring Countries • William Griffith

... friend," said Procrustes, "I pray you to lie down and take your ease; for I know that you have traveled far and are faint from want of rest and sleep. Lie down, and while sweet slumber overtakes you, I will have a care that no unseemly noise, nor buzzing fly, nor vexing gnat disturbs ...
— Old Greek Stories • James Baldwin

... paper. "The Metamorphoses of this group (Insects) have always seemed to me one of the greatest difficulties of the Darwinian theory...I feel great difficulty in conceiving by what natural process an insect with a suctorial mouth, like that of a gnat or butterfly, could be developed from a powerfully mandibulate type like the orthoptera, or even from the neuroptera...A clue to the difficulty may, I think, be found in the distinction between the developmental and adaptive changes to which I called the ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume I (of II) • Charles Darwin

... importance and, by some, small-minded. It was to show this political insignificance in humorous contrast to his bombastic audacity that I represented him as a midget; but the idea was also suggested from time to time by his opponents in debate. Did not Mr. Gladstone once call him a gnat? and do we not find the following lines under Punch's Fancy Portraits, No. 47, drawn by ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... doubt' hec'a tomb wreathe vict'uals re scind' sci'o list wreath scis'sors gneis'sose co a lesce' rhomb schot'tish be nign' ap'a thegm gnat g'no'mon cam paign' di'a phragm rogue' for'eign ar raign' psy'chic al gnaw dough'ty op pugn' sac'cha rine gnash haugh'ty re sign' rheu mat'ic gnarl chron'ic de light' rhap'so dy gnome daugh'ter ex pugn' rhet'o ric phlegm ghast'ly af fright' ...
— McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book • W. H. McGuffey

... such, and so great, have before been manifested—and it may perhaps be recorded of us with wonder rather than respect, that we pierced mountains and excavated valleys, only to emulate the activity of the gnat and the swiftness of the swallow. Our discoveries in science, however accelerated or comprehensive, are but the necessary development of the more wonderful reachings into vacancy of past centuries; and they who struck the piles of the bridge ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... viscid secretion, suffices to induce movement; but, on the other hand, one or two momentary, although rude, touches with a hard object produce no effect, although a repeated touch or the slightest pressure, such as that of a gnat's foot, prolonged for a short time, causes bending. The seat of the movement is wholly or nearly confined to a portion of the lower part of the tentacle, above the base, where local irritation produces not the slightest effect. The movement takes place only in response to some impression ...
— Darwiniana - Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism • Asa Gray

... tormented poor little innocent children all over the world, came from Adam's sinning six thousand years ago, and yet that it is unfair to say that one little child's fever came from his parents' keeping a filthy house a month ago? That is swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat—that God should be just in punishing all mankind for Adam's sin, and yet unjust in punishing one little child for its parents' sin. If the one is just the other must be just too, I think. If you believe the one, why not believe ...
— Sermons on National Subjects • Charles Kingsley

... ye've tholed the span," cried Matthew; "I'd nivver strain lang at sic a wee gnat ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... says Sir John Herschel, "ask for demonstration when told that a gnat's wing, in its ordinary flight, beats many hundred times in a second? or that there exist animated and regularly organised beings many thousands of whose bodies laid close together would not extend to an inch? But what are these to the astonishing truths which modern optical inquiries ...
— Unconscious Memory • Samuel Butler

... this characteristic call-note, with drooping jerking tail, trembling wings, and uplifted parti-colored bill, he looks unnerved and limp by the effort it has cost him. But in the next instant a gnat flies past. How quickly the bird recovers itself, and charges full-tilt at his passing dinner! The sharp click of his little bill proves that he has not missed his aim; and after careering about in the air another minute ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... the weight of a hair in front o' me an' that devil—that rovin' mad dog—an' I'll kill you as I would a stingin' gnat! I won't bed with no woman with that sort o' pride. You've got to stand by me. I'll kill 'im if it takes twenty years. I'll keep my nose to his track like a bloodhound till I look in his eye, an' then, if he had a ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... referred to in these pages my brother Nathan is meant. One of his noms de plume was Gnat Q. Hale, because G and Q ...
— The Brick Moon, et. al. • Edward Everett Hale

... of mankind have agreed in supposing it possessed nothing remarkable but dulness and obstinacy. Lucian exercised his genius on a fly; and Erasmus has dignified Folly in his Encomium Moriae, which, for the sake of the pun, he inscribed to Sir Thomas More. The subject of Michael Psellus is a Gnat; Antonius Majoragius took for his theme Clay; Julius Scaliger wrote concerning a Goose; Janus Dousa on a Shadow; and Heinsius (horresco referens) eulogized a Louse. This last animal elicited some fine ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep: Her wagon spokes made of long spinner's legs: The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers; The traces, of the smallest spider's web; The collars of the moonshine's watery beams; Her whip of cricket's bone, the lash, of film; Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat, Not half so big as a round little worm, Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid: Her chariot is an empty hazel nut, Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub, Time out of mind the fairies' coachmakers. And in this state she gallops night by night, Through lovers' ...
— The Children's Garland from the Best Poets • Various

... works have in common: absence of the light touch of humor demanded by the early scenes in both dramas. However, this is a characteristic not of Puccini alone, but all the composers in the Young Italian School. They know no way to kill a gnat dancing in the sunlight except to blow it up with a broadside of trombones. Puccini's music in "La Bohme" also seems lacking in the element of characterization, an element which is much more essential ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... time came for the war to begin, the willow-wren sent out spies to discover who was the enemy's commander-in-chief. The gnat, who was the most crafty, flew into the forest where the enemy was assembled, and hid herself beneath a leaf of the tree where the watchword was to be given. There stood the bear, and he called the fox before him and said, "Fox, thou ...
— Household Tales by Brothers Grimm • Grimm Brothers

... against their painful stings. The clothes commonly worn are not sufficient, for they are perforated by the long sting of the larger species, particularly of the much-dreaded huir-pasimi-sancudo (Lip-gnat). Regularly every evening at twilight fresh swarms of these ...
— Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests • J. J. von Tschudi

... In straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, aristocratic Virginia was far outdone by democratic Pennsylvania. Hamilton, her governor, had laid before the Assembly a circular letter from the Earl of Holdernesse directing him, in common with other governors, to call on his province for means to repel any invasion ...
— Montcalm and Wolfe • Francis Parkman

... the poem can only have been the idea that the gnat could not rest in Hades, and therefore asked the shepherd whose life it had saved, for a decent burial. But this very motive, without which the whole poem loses its consistency, is wanting in the extant Culex."— Teuffel, R. ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... wonder if it would be very reasonable for a moth that flits about the light, or a gnat that dances its hour in the sunbeam, to be proud because it had longer wings, or prettier markings on them, than some of its fellows? Is it much more reasonable for us to plume ourselves on, and set much store by, anything that ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... Phoebe agreed. Her conscience smote her for the deception she was practicing on the dear white-capped woman. "But what's the use of straining at every little gnat of a falsehood," she thought, "when ...
— Patchwork - A Story of 'The Plain People' • Anna Balmer Myers

... hundred million Brahmanic and Buddhist believers hold that all the gods, men, demons, and various grades of animal life occupying this immeasurable array of worlds compose one cosmic family. The totality of animated beings, from a detestable gnat to ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... entreated God to know who this stranger was; and learning by revelation that he was the great Macarius, embraced him, thanked him for his edifying visit, and desired him to return to his desert, and there offer up his prayers for them.[3] Our saint happened one day inadvertently to kill a gnat that was biting him in his cell; reflecting that he had lost the opportunity of suffering that mortification, he hastened from his cell for the marshes of Scete, which abound with great flies, ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... the customary sentences as to his manfully fighting against sin, the world, and the devil, and being a faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end. She duly went on with the Lord's Prayer, the children lisping it after her in a thin gnat-like wail, till, at the conclusion, raising their voices to clerk's pitch, they again piped into ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... hand, some of these survivals may mean no more than that the soul itself has already an animal form, in which it would naturally be seen after death. In Celtic folk-belief the soul is seen leaving the body in sleep as a bee, butterfly, gnat, mouse, or mannikin.[1229] Such a belief is found among most savage races, and might easily be mistaken for transmigration, or also assist the formation of the idea of transmigration. Though the folk-survivals ...
— The Religion of the Ancient Celts • J. A. MacCulloch

... swear to God what my people swears, I deemed it no bigger than a fly, or a gnat, or ...
— The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga - With Introductions And Notes • Various

... were they, one and all, to have such for their support, and everybody, high and low, took to planting cactus and breeding the cochineal. The female insect is in form like a bug, but white; the male turns into something like a gnat, and soon dies. The insects are shut up in boxes to lay their eggs on bits of linen, which are pinned to the cactus plants by one of their own thorns. In six months after planting the cactus, the harvest ...
— My First Voyage to Southern Seas • W.H.G. Kingston

... said Fouquet; "you do not place this gnat bite, as it were, among the number of menaces which may compromise my fortunes and ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... watched it slowly develop has said that it seemed as if some hand was tracing the outlines of the tiny vertebrae, and then building up around it. Think for a moment of the development of the germ within the egg of the humming-bird, or the ant, or the gnat, or the eagle. Every second a change may be noticed. The germ cell draws to itself nourishment from the other part of the egg, and then it grows and reproduces another cell. Then both cells divide—then ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... sometimes quite ferocious towards grass and flowers. One of the tenderest republicans of those days was heard to assert that the best of human beings was cruel to something. But the kindly Alain!—he, who like my uncle Toby, wouldn't crush a gnat till it had stung him twenty times,—that sweet soul to have been ...
— The Brotherhood of Consolation • Honore de Balzac

... may safely infer that the poison secreted by insects so closely allied would not differ much in nature; yet this slight difference is sufficient to induce widely different results. In some few cases the same species of gall-gnat produces on distinct species of willows galls which cannot be distinguished; the Cynips fecundatrix, also, has been known to produce on the Turkish oak, to which it is not properly attached, exactly the same kind of gall as on the European oak.[707] These latter facts apparently prove that ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2) • Charles Darwin

... of gnat-like gasolene launches, gay with flags, pushed off to flutter about both cruisers until they came to anchor. From one of the quays signal guns were fired, and the brazen and inordinate bangings of his Royal ...
— Westward with the Prince of Wales • W. Douglas Newton

... family some measure of propitiatory sacrifice. We read in the li chao chuan,[6] or Divine Panorama, that "every living being, no matter whether it be a man or an animal, a bird or a quadruped, a gnat or a midge, a worm or an insect, having legs or not, few or many, all are called gwei ...
— The Fulfilment of a Dream of Pastor Hsi's - The Story of the Work in Hwochow • A. Mildred Cable

... its excessively delicate feet on the glands of the outermost tentacles, and these were already beginning to curve inwards, though not a single gland had as yet touched the body of the insect. Had I not interfered, this minute gnat would [page 17] assuredly have been carried to the centre of the leaf and been securely clasped on all sides. We shall hereafter see what excessively small doses of certain organic fluids and saline solutions ...
— Insectivorous Plants • Charles Darwin

... other scriptural texts also distinctly declare, 'When a man lying in deep sleep sees no dream whatever, he becomes one with that prana alone;—from that Self the pranas proceed, each towards its place' (Kau. Up. 111,3); 'Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion or a wolf or a boar or a gnat or a mosquito, that they become again' (Ch. Up. VI, 9, 3).—Hence the term 'Sat' denotes the highest Brahman, the all-knowing highest Lord, the highest Person. Thus the Vrittikara also says, 'Then he becomes united with the Sat—this is ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... then is the horror, how great the peril of a bishop, if he permits the Gospel to be kept quiet, and nothing but the noise of indulgences to be spread among his people![9] Will not Christ say to them, "straining at a gnat and swallowing ...
— Works of Martin Luther - With Introductions and Notes (Volume I) • Martin Luther

... of this life, my friend, which often disturb a mental balance which is always poised to receive great shocks. The gnat-bites and mosquito buzzings are sometimes harder to bear than an operation with a ...
— Abroad with the Jimmies • Lilian Bell

... noon, when the heat puts it down for a little. But this period of rest strengthens it for a renewal of war during the remainder of the day and night. In form the mosquito very much resembles the gnat, but is somewhat larger. This instrument of torture is his nose, which is quite as long as his body, and sharper than the finest needle. Being unable to rest because of the mosquitoes, Heywood resolved to ...
— Away in the Wilderness • R.M. Ballantyne

... at least, in our estimation, and we concluded he was putting on airs. We thought we would do him a valuable service by taking him down a little, so we asked him if he had ever seen a singular kind of gnat, which we described. He had not. We proposed to show him a fine lot—a big nest of them. We affirmed that they were nice, harmless things to play with. So we went forth to see the gnats. We got him to the nest and stirred them up, and in a few minutes the innocent, ...
— Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel - and Selections from his Writings • Frank G. Allen

... commend us to the lovely sex! Their methods have a finesse, a suppleness, a universal adaptability, that does them infinite credit; and man, with all his strength, and all his majesty, and his commanding talent, is about as well off as a buffalo or a bison against a tiny, rainbow-winged gnat or mosquito, who bites, sings, and stings everywhere at once, with an ...
— Pink and White Tyranny - A Society Novel • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... lover's eye, A gnat, a mote, a shadow thou wouldst spy. Come, follow me; she cannot be so far, But I shall ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) • Various

... not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" (Zech. iii. 2). Of Titus it is said that he was unclean in the Temple, and with a blow of his sword rent the veil, which flowed with blood. To punish him a gnat was sent into his brain, which grew as large as a dove. When his skull was opened, the gnat was found to have a mouth of copper, ...
— Hebrew Literature

... here. 'Catholic' he spells 'Carthlick'; 'Loups'—the Indians—he calls 'Loos.' He spells 'gnat' 'knat,' or spells 'mosquito' 'musquitr,' and calls the 'tow rope' the 'toe rope'—as indeed Lewis did also. He spells 'squaw' as 'squar' always; and 'Sioux' he wrote down as 'Cuouex'—which makes ...
— The Young Alaskans on the Missouri • Emerson Hough

... an indescribable delight in the cool night, when, in the perfect certainty of fine weather, we could rest in the open air with the clear bright starlit sky above us. There were no mosquitoes, neither were there any of the insect plagues of the tropics; the air was too dry for the gnat tribe, and the moment of sunset was the signal for perfect enjoyment, free from the usual drawbacks of African travel. As the river pools were the only drinking-places for birds and game, the gun supplied not only my own party, ...
— The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia • Samuel W. Baker

... mortal chaste!' 'Find'st thou me worthy, then, by day and night, But of this fond indignity, delight?' 'Little, bold Femininity, That darest blame Heaven, what would'st thou have or be?' 'Shall I, the gnat which dances in thy ray, Dare to be reverent? Therefore dare I say, I cannot guess the good that I desire; But this I know, I spurn the gifts which Hell Can mock till which is which 'tis hard to tell. I love thee, God; ...
— The Unknown Eros • Coventry Patmore

... was a smartish woodcock. I never saw the beggar till he all but flew into my face, and then away he went, like a streak of greased lightning. I let him have both barrels; but I might as well have shot at a gnat. Still, I fancy I tickled him up with ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, October 29, 1892 • Various

... periodical compotations to work these materials into something like a readable shape; and hebdomadal journals, by means of which their choice productions are issued to a wondering world. Now, though a single gnat can give you very little annoyance in the course of a summer's night, the evil becomes serious when you are surrounded with whole scores of these diminutive vermin, singing in your ears, buzzing in your hair, and lighting incessantly on your face. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 358, August 1845 • Various



Words linked to "Gnat" :   punkey, dipteran, black fly, no-see-um, two-winged insects, buffalo gnat, sand fly, mosquito, Phlebotomus papatasii, dipterous insect, gall gnat, blackfly, sandfly, psychodid, punkie, punky, dipteron, fungus gnat, biting midge, midge



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