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Mediocrity   /mˌidiˈɑkrəti/   Listen
Mediocrity

noun
1.
Ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding.  Synonym: averageness.
2.
A person of second-rate ability or value.  Synonym: second-rater.  "Shone among the mediocrities who surrounded him"






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"Mediocrity" Quotes from Famous Books



... trotting along. Many families often contained, among numerous children, some hot-headed, imaginative youth, some independent nature rebellious in advance, in short, a refractory spirit, unwilling or incapable of being disciplined; a regular life, mediocrity, even the certainty of getting ahead, were distasteful to him; he would abandon the hereditary homestead or purchased office to the docile elder brother, son-in-law or nephew, by which the domain or the ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... being envious, where shabby class rivalry is unknown, where each man endeavours to rise by his own intelligence, worth, and energy, but where no one desires to drag others down to the level of his own idleness or mediocrity. ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... attempt to establish unlimited polygyny always provokes, not from the best people, but from the mediocrities and the inferiors. If we could get rid of our inferiors and screw up our average quality until mediocrity ceased to be a reproach, thus making every man reasonably eligible as a father and every woman reasonably desirable as a mother, polygyny and polyandry would immediately fall into sincere disrepute, because monogamy is so much more convenient and economical that nobody would want to share ...
— Getting Married • George Bernard Shaw

... disappointment. There is one consolation even for the wretched waiters on solicitors' favours, and that is, that the men who have never had to work their way seldom rise to eminence or to any position but respectable mediocrity. They never knew hope, and will never know what it is to despair, or to nibble the short herbage of the common ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... was provoked beyond bearing at the courage and independent spirit of his retainer. There was not a tenant upon his estate, or at least not one of Hawkins's mediocrity of fortune, whom the general policy of landowners, and still more the arbitrary and uncontrollable temper of Mr. Tyrrel, did not effectually restrain from acts ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... of either. Talent is often to be envied, and genius very commonly to be pitied. It stands twice the chance of the other of dying in hospital, in jail, in debt, in bad repute. It is a perpetual insult to mediocrity; its every word is a trespass against somebody's vested ideas,—blasphemy against somebody's ...
— The Professor at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

... case if he should have sense sufficient to allow you to guide him in important matters." Say also: "I hope you will not have the romantic folly to wait for what the French call 'une grande passion.' My good girl, 'une grande passion' is 'une grande folie.' Mediocrity in all things is wisdom; mediocrity in the sensations is superlative wisdom." Say to her: "When you are as old as I am (I am sixty at least, being your grandmother), you will find that the majority of those worldly precepts, ...
— Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle • Clement K. Shorter

... distinction is better not known at all than learned at the expense of better things, not to speak of its being a burden to the mind which gradually will lose the ability to judge excellence, and so, becoming accustomed to mediocrity, will be unable to attempt anything higher. There is no more useful motto for a man in quest of solid learning than Grotius' line: "Not to know some things is ...
— An Essay on True and Apparent Beauty in which from Settled Principles is Rendered the Grounds for Choosing and Rejecting Epigrams • Pierre Nicole

... of other countries was less good than hers, but the minds of the people of those countries had not risen above their condition. France had become conscious that her government did not correspond to her degree of civilization. The fact was emphasized in the national mind by the mediocrity of Louis XV. as a sovereign and by the utter incompetence of his well-meaning successor. In hands so feeble, the smallest excess of expenditure over income was important as a symptom of weakness, and ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... our show-card. The rapidity with which he would fill the blackboard, in solving difficult problems in quadratics, was almost bewildering. It was not every teacher even that could follow him in his quick but exact evolutions of complex algebraical formulae. In Greek and Latin he hardly attained to mediocrity, being always behind his class, while in mathematics he was superior, not only to every boy in school, but to any boy of the same age that I have ever had in any school. But this boy received from the ...
— In the School-Room - Chapters in the Philosophy of Education • John S. Hart

... every act and thought of her life, inspiring a love and desire of humiliation which secured for those who tried her, the warmest gratitude of her heart, and the most devoted of her services. Not satisfied with mediocrity in any virtue, she carried mortification to an absorbing love of the cross; charity, to the sacrifice of every natural feeling; obedience, to child-like submission, spiritualized by faith; reverence for the rule, to most minute observance of its least prescription. She also attained an eminent ...
— The Life of the Venerable Mother Mary of the Incarnation • "A Religious of the Ursuline Community"

... but the hand of a very simple, undistinguished country gentleman—quite, quite unworthy of her? What have I to offer Sir Philip Hastings as an alliance worthy of even his consideration?—A good, unstained name; but no rank, and a fortune not above mediocrity. Marry! a fitting match for the heiress of the Hastings and ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... drawing, and mere degrading still, the binding art, as it were, apprenticed to manufacture in such Schools of Design; connecting, in more than idea, the drawer of patterns with the painter of pictures. Hence has arisen, and must necessarily arise, an inundation of mediocrity, the aim of the painter being to reach some low-prize mark, an unnatural competition, inferior minds brought into the profession, a sort of painting-made-easy school, and pictures, like other articles ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... that of other poets whose career has been less placid, we may say that he was perhaps not less excitable than they, but that it was his constant endeavour to avoid all excitement, save of the purely poetic kind; and that the outward circumstances of his life,—his mediocrity of fortune, happy and early marriage, and absence of striking personal charm,—made it easy for him to adhere to a method of life which was, in the truest sense of the term, stoic—stoic alike in its practical abstinences and in its calm and grave ideal. Purely poetic excitement, however, ...
— Wordsworth • F. W. H. Myers

... to pursue a policy of vindictiveness, then their choice was perfect, though it was a violation of all moral law. If, on the other hand, they were not aware of his unsuitableness, they showed either carelessness or incapacity which will rank them beneath mediocrity, and by their act they stamped the English name with ignominy. And yet there is a pathos at the end of it all when he was brought to see the cold, inanimate form of the dead monarch. He was seized with fear, smitten with the dread of retribution, ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... the room. The unconscious, expressive gesture, scornful and abrupt, with which she neglected them might have been terribly wounding to a young man more sensitive than Dayson. But Dayson, in his self-sufficient, good-natured mediocrity, had the hide of an alligator. He even judged her movement quite natural, for he was a flunkey born. Hilda gazed at her master with anxiety as he deposited his black walking-stick in the corner behind the door and loosed his white muffler and large overcoat (which ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... and, still more, as a lesson to genius, never to rest satisfied with imperfection or mediocrity, but to labour on till even failures are converted into triumphs, I shall here transcribe the third Act, in its original shape, as first ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... superiority of their own happy age to these degenerate days. Middle-aged matrons sat proudly watching their offspring as they flitted to and fro, and noted with much satisfaction the matchless beauty of their own daughters, and the mediocrity of the rest; or, were they so inclined, footed it, as of old, with equally middle-aged gallants. Sir Benedict a Woode soon retired from the scene, and taking advantage of his intimate knowledge of the building, he led a few convivial spirits, like himself, ...
— Heiress of Haddon • William E. Doubleday

... is entirely beyond reproach. M. Bazin did not get through his interview without giving some precise statistical information as to the vast sale of his novels. I suppose that M. Bazin, Academician and apostle of literary correctitude, is just the type of official mediocrity that the Alliance Francaise was fated to invite to London as representative of French letters. My only objection to the activities of M. Bazin is that, not content with a golden popularity, he cannot refrain from sneering at genuine artists. Thus, to the interviewer, he referred to ...
— Books and Persons - Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911 • Arnold Bennett

... own idols had better means and skill of measurement: I can never forget the pregnant expression of one of the ablest of that school and party—Lord Cockburn—who, when some glib youth chanced to echo in his hearing the consolatory tenet of local mediocrity, answered quietly: "I have the misfortune to think differently from you—in my humble opinion, Walter Scott's sense is a still more ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume V (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... time—my first impulse was to tear it in pieces, without reading it; the chances of rejection, after its perusal, being as ninety-nine to one; ... but summoning resolution to read it, I was equally surprised and gratified to find it above mediocrity, and so gave it a place in my journal.... As I was anxious to find out the writer, my post-rider, one day, divulged the secret, stating that he had dropped the letter in the manner described, and that it was written by a Quaker lad, named Whittier, who was daily at ...
— William Lloyd Garrison - The Abolitionist • Archibald H. Grimke

... consequence of this lawsuit, a certain Barot, an uncle of Mignon and his partner as well, got up a dispute with Urbain, but as he was a man below mediocrity, Urbain required in order to crush him only to let fall from the height of his superiority a few of those disdainful words which brand as deeply as a red-hot iron. This man, though totally wanting in parts, was very rich, and having no children was always surrounded ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... may be said to have justified itself in practice in a different field is that upon which is based Delsarte's famous art of expression. It has schooled some of the finest actors in the world, and raised others from mediocrity to distinction. The Delsarte system is founded upon the idea that man is a triplicity of physical, emotional, and intellectual qualities or attributes, and that the entire body and every part thereof conforms ...
— Architecture and Democracy • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... their misfortunes, managed with consummate craft. Their policy was to appear in the light of victims of persecution. There was to them no medium between reigning as despots or dying as martyrs. Mediocrity would have degraded them. Ricci, the general of the order, would not permit them to land in Italy, to which country they were sent by the king of Spain. Six thousand priests, in misery and poverty, were sent adrift upon the Mediterranean, and after six months ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... ideas of the French Revolution. When the King's refusal to yield on the question of Catholic emancipation (1801) compelled Pitt to resign, Canning went out of office with him. Addington, the stupid mediocrity who succeeded Pitt, provoked Canning's pen to fresh lampoons, some of them long remembered ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... till then considered Mrs. Ashleigh—if not as Mrs. Poyntz described her—"commonplace weak"—still of an intelligence somewhat below mediocrity. I now regarded her with respect as well as grateful tenderness; her plain sense had divined what all my boasted knowledge had failed to detect in my earlier intimacy with Margrave,—namely, that in him there was a something present, ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... opera on the stage may yet please at a chamber concert or in the drawing-room. There is one gratification an old author can afford a certain class of critics: that, namely, of comparing him as he is with what he was. It is a pleasure to mediocrity to have its superiors brought within range, so to speak; and if the ablest of them will only live long enough, and keep on writing, there is no pop-gun that cannot reach him. But I fear that this is an unamiable reflection, and I am at this time ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... light effects, for the light is equally diffused and everything is placed in relief without the contrast of shadow,—the stiffness of the legs of the bull, the crude coloring of the plants and animals in the background; the mediocrity of the shepherd's figure. But, for all this, Paul Potter's bull was crowned with glory as one of the noblest examples of art, and Europe considers it as the greatest work of the prince of animal-painters. An illustrious critic very rightly said that "Paul Potter with his ...
— Holland, v. 1 (of 2) • Edmondo de Amicis

... invidiously. The streets, narrow, tortuous, and dirty, have very wide cobble- stones; the houses for the most part are shabby, with- out local color. The look of things is neither modern nor antique, - a kind of mediocrity of middle age. There is an enormous number of blank walls, - walls of gardens, of courts, of private houses - that avert themselves from the street, as if in natural chagrin at there being so little to see. Round about is a dull, flat, featureless country, on which ...
— A Little Tour in France • Henry James

... was in the talking vein. As to clever people's hating each other, I think a LITTLE extra talent does sometimes make people jealous. They become irritated by perpetual attempts and failures, and it hurts their tempers and dispositions. Unpretending mediocrity is good, and genius is glorious; but a weak flavor of genius in an essentially common person is detestable. It spoils the grand neutrality of a commonplace character, as the rinsings of an unwashed wineglass spoil a draught of fair water. ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... about her. "It's only I who could feel it, so deeply as to go so far. All that I can say to you is this; my husband was a mediocre man, and a pretentious one. I once loved him. I was always sorry for him. I must guard him now. I cannot have him exposed. I cannot have his mediocrity and pretentiousness displayed to the people there are in the world who would see him as he was, and whose ...
— A Fountain Sealed • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... was the notion that a man was the better representative of the democratic principle who had contrived to push himself forward to popularity by whatever means, and who represented the average instead of the highest culture of the community, thus establishing an aristocracy of mediocrity, nay, even of vulgarity, in some less intelligent constituencies. The one great strength of democracy is, that it opens all the highways of power and station to the better man, that it gives every man the chance of rising to his natural level; and its great weakness is in its tendency ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... the time of my readers and my own if I strove to demonstrate how the general mediocrity of fortunes, the absence of superfluous wealth, the universal desire of comfort, and the constant efforts by which everyone attempts to procure it, make the taste for the useful predominate over the love of the beautiful in the heart of man. Democratic nations, amongst which all ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 2 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... that the great scientist "could not bear with superficial study: a man should give his whole life to the object he had undertaken to investigate. He felt that desultory, isolated, spasmodic working avails nothing, but curses with narrowness and mediocrity." This is exactly the view of one of our babies, already introduced, the little wise Lulla, who always knows her own mind and sticks to her ...
— Lotus Buds • Amy Carmichael

... names in letters, it was an age generally of contented dullness, well represented in the good-natured mediocrity of Queen Anne herself. During her reign the first daily newspaper (SS422, 443) appeared in England,—the Daily Courant (1703); it was a dingy, badly printed little sheet, not much bigger than a man's hand. The publisher said he made it so small "to save the Publick ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... the evidence of psychic research is not acceptable in his court. He typifies the perpetual official, ever ready to suppress new and evolutionary thought. After all, psychic science fares no worse than the physical sciences in the judgment of respectable mediocrity. The progress of science in the nineteenth century was one long conquest of territory in the land of the impossible. Inventors and inventions have met with incredulity and mockery. Railways, steamships, aeroplanes, telegraphy, telephony ...
— Mountain Meditations - and some subjects of the day and the war • L. Lind-af-Hageby

... the measure of his life, the comparatively short span of thirty-five years, had been crowded a wealth of incident and experience that seldom falls to the lot of the most fortunate men in this commercialized era whose tendency is to pull nations like individuals down to a common level of mediocrity, and seems bent upon extinguishing even their few remaining national traits ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... for which they were best fitted. It may well be understood, therefore, what a medley my classes presented, and how unlikely it was, in the face of all these drawbacks, that their acquirements should be above mediocrity. On the score of natural abilities, however—in quickness of perception, facility in generalization, readiness and coherence of expression, and clearness of head generally—it would not be at haphazard one could find an equal number of boys in any English school ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, September, 1878 • Various

... to want. If, finally, the utility of the product should increase, or else if its production should become less costly, the balance of exchange would turn to the advantage of the producer, whose condition would thus be raised from fatiguing mediocrity to idle opulence. This phenomenon of depreciation and enrichment is manifested under a thousand forms and by a thousand combinations; it is the essence of the passional and intriguing game of commerce and industry. And this ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... self-interest, and that needs no compulsion. If Gibraltar and Port Mahon and the rest were given up, the result would be "multitudes of places ... abolished, jobs and contracts effectually prevented, millions of money saved, universal industry encouraged, and the influence of the Crown reduced to that mediocrity it ought to have." Here is pure Manchesterism half-a-century before its time; and one can imagine the good Dean crustily explaining his notions to the merchants of Bristol who had just rejected Edmund Burke for advocating free ...
— Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham • Harold J. Laski

... and writers of that time were to return to life, I do not believe that gas, or steam, or chloroform, or the electric telegraph, would so much astonish them as the dulness of modern society, and the mediocrity of modern books.' ...
— Correspondence & Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834 to 1859, Vol. 2 • Alexis de Tocqueville

... or scholarship appointed by the Throne, and 100 selected members of Provincial Assemblies approved by the viceroys, was expected to prove a mere echo of the royal wishes. "It is evident that the government is to have a docile and submissive assembly. Mediocrity is the chief characteristic of the members chosen." So wrote one of the best informed Americans in China, some weeks before it assembled, October 3. Reuter's press agent in Peking predicted through his papers that a few pious resolutions would represent ...
— Where Half The World Is Waking Up • Clarence Poe

... middle-class prejudice. It was possible to choose one man out of a thousand, but, amongst three millions, discrimination becomes impossible, when all are moved by the same ambitions and attired in the same livery of mediocrity. No foresight will warn this victorious horde of that other terrible horde, soon to be arrayed against them in the peasant proprietors; in other words, twenty million acres of land, alive, stirring, arguing, deaf to reason, insatiable of appetite, obstructing progress, masters in their ...
— Letters of Two Brides • Honore de Balzac

... understand. I oughtn't to show it to you; but I can trust your honor. Here's Walker's idea. It isn't an idea at all, in fact, it's just the ordinary old stone viaduct, with the ordinary dangers, and the ordinary iron girders—nothing in any way new or original. It's respectable mediocrity. On an affair like that, and with this awkward curve, too, just behind taking-off point, the liability to accident is considerably greater than in a construction like Le Neve's, where nothing's left to chance, and where every source of evil, such as land-springs, or freshets, ...
— Michael's Crag • Grant Allen

... of Scotland cannot be expected to be often decorated with the splendours of ornamental erudition, but they obtain a mediocrity of knowledge, between learning and ignorance, not inadequate to the purposes of common life, which is, I believe, very widely diffused among them, and which countenanced in general by a national combination so invidious, that their ...
— A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland • Samuel Johnson

... form only one. I was also very much affected with the noble simplicity with which he entered upon the great interests of Europe, almost among the first words he addressed to me. I have always regarded, as a proof of mediocrity, that apprehension of treating serious questions, with which the best part of the sovereigns of Europe have been inspired; they are afraid to pronounce a word to which any real meaning can be attached. The emperor Alexander ...
— Ten Years' Exile • Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Baronne (Baroness) de Stael-Holstein

... justice was not only blind but went on crutches, and women were made to suffer because they were women and because they could not defend, by force, their own. Still, there is comfort in the fact that from this dead level of mediocrity and impotence, one woman, the great Countess of Tuscany, was able to rise up and show herself possessed of a great heart, a great mind, and a great soul; and in her fullness of achievement, there was rich promise ...
— Women of the Romance Countries • John R. Effinger

... feliciter, etsi nori summi—medii tamen obtinuit ducis famam."] character; as an orator he was more than respectable; and in other qualifications less interesting to the populace, he had that happy mediocrity of merit which was best fitted for his delicate and difficult situation—sufficient to do credit to the emperor's preference—sufficient to sustain the popular regard, but not brilliant enough to throw his patron into the shade. ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... a happy effort, and the debate, for a while revived by his interposition, continued to languish until this hour (nine o'clock), with successive relays of mediocrity, until it yielded its last gasp in the arms ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853 • Queen Victoria

... make him conceited, nor condescending. And if he was concerned about the welfare of people who knew not Christ, he hid his concern in the politest manner. Edwin, after being momentarily impressed by him, was now convinced of his perfect mediocrity; the Vicar's views on literature had damned him eternally in the esteem of Edwin, who was still naive enough to be unable to comprehend how a man who had been to Cambridge could speak enthusiastically of "Uncle Tom's ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... whose theory or habit of expression may chance to differ from its own. Goethe was so apt to discover something good in poems which others dismissed as wholly worthless, that it was said of him, "his commendation is a brevet of mediocrity." Perhaps it was his "many-sidedness" that made him so accurate a ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... those of Institutions and Laws, as is now witnessed on all the eastern and southern coasts of the Mediterranean, and I was rather disappointed in finding the present Romans a race of fully average capacities, intellectual and physical. A face indicating mental imbecility, or even low mediocrity, is very rarely met in those streets where the greater portion of the Romans seem to work and live. The women are brown, plain, bare-headed, and rather careless of personal appearance, but ready at repartee, self-possessed, energetic, ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... narration, the purposeful irrelation of parts, the use of anecdote and episode, which to the stumbling reader reduce his books to collections of disconnected essays and instances, gave to German mediocrity a sanction to publish a mass of multifarious, unrelated, and nondescript thought and incident. It is to be noted that the spurious books such as the Koran, which Germany never clearly sundered from ...
— Laurence Sterne in Germany • Harvey Waterman Thayer

... is a political sectarian, of the slave-driving, Virginian, Jeffersonian school; principled against all improvement; with all the interests and passions and vices of slavery rooted in his moral and political constitution; with talents not above mediocrity, and a spirit incapable of expansion to the dimensions of the station on which he has been cast by the hand of Providence, unseen, through the apparent agency of chance. To that benign and healing hand of ...
— Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams. • Josiah Quincy

... and empirical in its nature, and, while I trust I am neither prejudiced nor intolerant in my attitude towards pianoforte education in its general aspect, I cannot help feeling that a great deal of natural taste is stifled and a great deal of mediocrity created by the persistent and unintelligent study of such things as an 'even scale' ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... Self-sought, 'midst careless acquiescence, seems Strange fate, e'en for a thing of schemes and dreams; But CAESAR's simulacrum, seen by day, Scarce envious CASCA's self would stoop to slay, And mounting mediocrity, once o'erthrown, Need fear—or hope—no dagger ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101. October 10, 1891 • Various

... drawings, we shall be told, would not permit such an arrangement; but as to the drawings, they are not in general to be admired as specimens of the art; and several of them, as we have been assured by eye-witnesses of the scenes which they describe, do not compensate for their mediocrity in point of execution, by any extraordinary fidelity of representation. Others, indeed, are more faithful, according to our informants. The true reason, however, for this costly mode of publication is in course to be found in a desire ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... decent folks, Consul Kroegers, the Kroeger family" ... And not infrequently he would think: "Well, why am I so peculiar and at outs with everything, at loggerheads with my teachers and a stranger among the boys? Look at them, the good pupils and those of honest mediocrity. They don't think the teachers funny, they write no verses, and they only think what others think and what you can say out loud. How proper they must feel, how satisfied with everything and everybody. That must be nice ... But what ails me, and ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... Gifted, Bright, Average, Dull, Normal, and Defective. In the past the helter-skelter crowding and over-crowding together of all classes of children of approximately the same age, produced only a dull leveling to mediocrity.(6) ...
— The Pivot of Civilization • Margaret Sanger

... FRIENDS, or those you imagine to be such; if this card comes near you, leave your plan and adopt another: seven of spades shows the loss of a most valuable, influential friend, whose death will plunge you in very great distress and poverty: the six of spades announces a mediocrity of fortune, and great uncertainty in your undertakings: the five of spades is rather doubtful as to success or a rise in life; but it promises luck in the choice of your companion for life, although it shows that your own temper is rather ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume II (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... sublime. It is said by Longinus of Euripides, that he forces himself sometimes into grandeur by violence of effort, as the lion kindles his fury by the lashes of his own tail. Whatever Prior obtains above mediocrity seems the effort of struggle and of toil. He has many vigorous, but few happy lines; he has everything by purchase, and nothing by gift; he had no NIGHTLY VISITATIONS of the Muse, no infusions of sentiment or felicities of fancy. His diction, however, is more his own than of any ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... had reason to mourn. God had blessed them with four children; children of whom they had just cause to be proud, for they early displayed talents which marked them as above mediocrity, but one after another, just after they had reached manhood and womanhood, they had fallen victims to that insidious disease, consumption, and the aged couple were left in their declining years, sad and lonely, ...
— From Wealth to Poverty • Austin Potter

... most cruelly her almighty power in the military state, where justice, punishments and rewards alone ought to be the base of it. Men conduct themselves from the view either of honor or interest; and there can be no emulation in a service where mediocrity of talents, intrigues, favor, and ...
— The Campaign of 1760 in Canada - A Narrative Attributed to Chevalier Johnstone • Chevalier Johnstone

... with certain tracks which have conducted me to considerations and maxims, of which I have formed a method that gives me the means, as I think, of gradually augmenting my knowledge, and of raising it by little and little to the highest point which the mediocrity of my talents and the brief duration of my life will permit me to reach. For I have already reaped from it such fruits that, although I have been accustomed to think lowly enough of myself, and although when I look with the eye of a philosopher at the varied courses ...
— A Discourse on Method • Rene Descartes

... eugenic problem in the human is not, and never will be, as simple as it is in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. If we want to strive after healthy, normal mediocrity, then the principles of animal eugenics become applicable to the human race. If, on the other hand, we want talent, if we want genius, if we want benefactors of the human race, then we must go very slow ...
— Woman - Her Sex and Love Life • William J. Robinson

... so at the expense of its masculine qualities, its originality, its spontaneity, its vigour, its natural grace. It has disciplined it, but it has emasculated. impoverished and rigidified it. It sees in taste, not a sense of the beautiful, but a certain type of correctness, an elegant form of mediocrity. It has substituted pomp for grandeur, school routine for individual inspiration, elaborateness for simplicity, fadeur and the monotony of literary orthodoxy for variety, the source and spring of intellectual life; and in the works produced under its auspices we discover ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... Long He would Love Her" George Etherege To Aenone Robert Herrick To Anthea, who may Command him Anything Robert Herrick The Bracelet: To Julia Robert Herrick To the Western Wind Robert Herrick To my Inconstant Mistress Thomas Carew Persuasions to Enjoy Thomas Carew Mediocrity in Love Rejected Thomas Carew The Message Thomas Heywood "How Can the Heart forget Her" Francis Davison To Roses in the Bosom of Castara William Habington To Flavia Edmund Waller "Love not Me for Comely Grace" Unknown "When, Dearest, I but Think of Thee" Suckling or Felltham A Doubt of Martyrdom ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 1 (of 4) • Various

... experience there would have been a more gracious outcome to her trip. Miss Roosevelt Scovel was recently dining at Sherry's. She wore an exquisite white frock but is not herself a pretty girl though her grace uplifts somewhat her mediocrity ...
— The Onlooker, Volume 1, Part 2 • Various

... feelings by the sacrifice of security of surface and durability of hue. The walls of our galleries are for the most part divided between pictures whose dead coating of consistent paint, laid on with a heavy hand and a cold heart, secures for them the stability of dullness and the safety of mediocrity; and pictures whose reckless and experimental brilliancy, unequal in its result as lawless in its means, is as evanescent as the dust of an insect's wing, and presents in its chief perfections so many subjects of ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... it, any more than the absurd plot of Home's tragedy of Alonzo. Mr. Goldsmith, correct your arrogance, reduce your vanity, and endeavor to believe, as a man, you are of the plainest sort; and as an author, but a mortal piece of mediocrity. ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... I remember one week, traveling through the Mississippi Valley, stopping every night in some town that had something which was advertised as the biggest in the world. On Friday I reached a sleepy little village which seemed the picture of contented mediocrity. Here, thought I, I shall find no bigness to molest me or make me afraid. But when I sat down to write a letter on the hotel stationery I was confronted with the statement, "This is the biggest little ...
— Humanly Speaking • Samuel McChord Crothers

... humility, that possibly her qualities stood on a higher level than Peter's powers of appreciation. Yet it is certain that people can only admire intelligently what is good within their comprehension; and their highest flights of imagination may sometimes scarcely touch mediocrity. ...
— Peter's Mother • Mrs. Henry De La Pasture

... concupiscent; as mese to nete, in respect of the irascible; insomuch as it depresses and heightens,—and in fine makes a harmony,—by abating what is too much and by not suffering them to flatten and grow dull. For what is moderate and symmetrous is defined by mediocrity. Still more is it the end of the rational faculty to bring the passions to moderation, which is called sacred, as making a harmony of the extremes with reason, and through reason with each other. For in chariots the best of the team is not ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... to all the first performances at the theatre and then is loud in his abuse, declaring that authors ought to represent only ideal women, and so on. You have omitted to consider also that a good gynaecologist cannot be a stupid man or a mediocrity. Intellect has a brighter lustre than baldness, but you have noticed the baldness and emphasized it—and have flung the intellect overboard. You have noticed, too, and emphasized that a fat man—brrr!— exudes ...
— Letters of Anton Chekhov • Anton Chekhov

... poetry has innumerable licenses which make it easy to figure in the Tuscan Parnassus, and where anyone who can string together rime or versi sciolti is dignified with the appellation of a poet; whereas from French poetry, a mediocrity is and must be of necessity banished. Neither is it sufficient for an author to have sublime ideas; these must be filed and pruned. Inspiration can make a poet of a German, an Italian or an Englishman, because he may revel in unbounded ...
— After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 • Major W. E Frye

... literary and scientific society of Edinburgh, says: 'I think the epithet most in vogue concerning it was "commonplace."' He adds, however, that one of the most eminent of that society was of a different opinion, who, when some glib youth chanced to echo in his hearing the consolatory tenet of local mediocrity, answered quietly, "I have the misfortune to think differently from you—in my humble opinion Walter Scott's sense is a still more wonderful thing than his genius."—Lockhart's Life of Scott, vol. ...
— Memoir of Jane Austen • James Edward Austen-Leigh

... intellect," it appeared, was a sort of "lusus naturae," a luckless accident, a thing for which there was neither place nor use in creation, wanted neither as wife nor worker. Beauty anticipated her in the first office. He believed in his soul that lovely, placid, and passive feminine mediocrity was the only pillow on which manly thought and sense could find rest for its aching temples; and as to work, male mind alone could work to any good ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... With an Introduction by Augustus Thomas. Dramatic Museum of Columbia University. New York, 1914. Papers on Play-making. II. Series I. (This is also reprinted in the Memorial Volume mentioned below.) "The Literary Value of Mediocrity." (In the Memorial Volume, see Howard's address: "Trash on the Stage and the Lost Dramatists of ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: - Introduction and Bibliography • Montrose J. Moses

... Parliament as others do for the bar, and that he will probably be considered in the House for some time merely as a political adventurer. But if he has the talent and prudence requisite to ensure distinction in the line of his profession, the mediocrity of his original condition will reflect honour on his success, should he hereafter acquire influence and consideration as a statesman. Of his literary talents I know you do not think very highly, nor am I inclined to rank the powers of his mind much beyond those of any common well-educated English ...
— The Ayrshire Legatees • John Galt

... strength. The Roman ruins which are scattered over modern Algeria humiliate ourselves by their pomp—us who flatter ourselves that we are resuming the work of the Empire and continuing its tradition. They are a permanent reproach to our mediocrity, a continual incitement to grandeur and beauty. Of course, the Roman architecture could not have had on Augustin, this still unformed young African, the same effect as it has to-day on a Frenchman or a man from Northern Europe. But it is certain that it formed, without his knowledge, his thought ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... much and so universally adored this ariston metron, "excellent mediocrity,"[780-1] of ancient times, and who have concluded the most moderate measure the most perfect, shall I pretend to an unreasonable ...
— Familiar Quotations • John Bartlett

... N. mean, average; median, mode; balance, medium, mediocrity, generality; golden mean &c. (mid-course) 628; middle &c. 68; compromise &c. 774; middle course, middle state; neutrality. mediocrity, least common denominator. V. split the difference; take the ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... are poor are poor authors. Good learning, integrity, and ability, are well compensated in all the professions. Some one remarked to Mr. Webster, "That the profession of the law was crowded."—"Yes," said he, "rather crowded below, but there is plenty of room above." Littleness and mediocrity always seek the paths worn by superior men; and the truly illustrious in literature and science are few in number compared with those who attempt to tread in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors; but none of these things ought to deter young men of ability, industry, and integrity, ...
— Thoughts on Educational Topics and Institutions • George S. Boutwell

... that case, why didn't you get him a pauper's funeral? There would have been something poetic in that. You have an unerring instinct for mediocrity." ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... prevent their total separation from Great Britain. He pleaded for union, too, not merely for the salvation of the Colonies to the mother country, but even more for the salvation of the Colonies to themselves. Separation merely meant mediocrity for Great Britain, but for the Colonies it meant ruin. There would no longer be any check on the spirit of rancorous and virulent faction which was always inseparable from small democracies. The coercive power of the mother country had hitherto prevented ...
— Life of Adam Smith • John Rae

... competence to live on—is that enough for one like you? is the well-balanced good-breeding of common politeness enough to fill a heart that should be fed on passionate devotion? You may link yourself to mediocrity, but can you humble your nature to resemble it. Do you believe you can plod on the dreary road of life without an impulse or an ambition, or blend your thoughts with those of a man ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... Thurlow, who was kept over from Lord North's ministry. Burke was made paymaster of the forces, but had no seat in the cabinet. In this curiously constructed cabinet, the prime minister, Lord Rockingham, counted for little. Though a good party leader, he was below mediocrity as a statesman, and his health was failing, so that he could not attend to business. The master spirits were the two secretaries of state, Fox and Shelburne, and they wrangled perpetually, while Thurlow carried the news of all their quarrels to the king, and in cabinet ...
— The Critical Period of American History • John Fiske

... human race.' I think that there is exaggeration in that: there is incomparably more good than evil in the life of men, as there are incomparably more houses than prisons. With regard to virtue and vice, a certain mediocrity prevails. Machiavelli has already observed that there are few very wicked and very good men, and that this causes the failure of many great enterprises. I find it a great fault in historians that they keep their mind on the evil more than on the [217] good. The chief end of history, ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz

... pillaged, trodden under foot by Goths and Vandals, rebuked by Providence, deserted by emperors, abandoned to decay and ruin,—some expedient or new claim to precedency was demanded to prevent the Roman bishops from sinking into mediocrity. It was at this crisis that the pontificate of Leo began, in the year 440. It was a gloomy period, not only for Rome, but for civilization. The queen of cities had been repeatedly sacked, and her treasures destroyed ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV • John Lord

... avarice? Nor is there any greater danger that these precepts should be too rigidly observed, than that the bulk of mankind should injure themselves by too abstemious a temperance. All that can be expected from human weakness, even after working from the most perfect model, is barely to arrive at mediocrity; and, were the model less perfect, or the duties less severe, there is the greatest reason to think, that even that mediocrity would never be attained. Examine the conduct of those who are placed at a distance from all labour and fatigue, and you will ...
— The History of Sandford and Merton • Thomas Day

... promontories of no particular character, had the uninspiring, glittering quality of a very fresh oleograph. Razumov turned his back on it with contempt. He thought it odious—oppressively odious—in its unsuggestive finish: the very perfection of mediocrity attained at last after centuries of toil and culture. And turning his back on it, he faced the entrance to the grounds of ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... struggle with uniform unfavorable conditions" that fixes the type he admires. When there are no more enemies, "the bond and constraint of the old discipline severs," and a rapid decay sets in; which leads inevitably, after a chaos of individualism, to a period of mediocrity such as the present. In other words, so soon as its political and social activities are confined to "lording it," the aristocracy loses its vigor, and falls an easy prey to democratic or other propagandists who want something and ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... invidiously. The streets, narrow, tortuous, and dirty, have very wide cobble-stones; the houses for the most part are shabby, without local colour. The look of things is neither modern nor antique—a kind of mediocrity of middle age. There is an enormous number of blank walls—walls of gardens, of courts, of private houses—that avert themselves from the street as if in natural chagrin at there being so little to ...
— A Little Tour in France • Henry James

... as to his unrivalled fitness for the post. Yet all ended in nothing. The race was not to the swift. The first favourite was beaten, and more than one outsider has carried ofil the prize for which he strove in vain. Did any mortal ever dream, during his days of mediocrity at the bar, or his time of respectability as a Baron of the Exchequer, that Sir R. M. Rolfe was the future Chancellor? Probably there is no sphere in which there is more of disappointment and heartburning than the army. It must be supremely mortifying to a grey-headed veteran, who has ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... same injustice which presided over her own education. "Preaching down a daughter's heart," the beautiful phrase of Tennyson, becomes the duty of every woman who finds in her daughter saliency of intellect and individuality of will. Mediocrity is the standard! "Seek not, my child, to go beyond it. Thou hast thy little allotments. The French must be thy classics, the house accounts thy mathematics. Patchwork, cooking, and sweeping thy mechanics; dress and embroidery thy fine arts. See how small the spheres. ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... the weakness of their policies, stood forth in sharp contradiction, every limitation appeared more striking, every discord more violent, and every achievement more astonishing. This State could apparently produce everything that was strange and unusual, but could not endure one thing—peaceful mediocrity, which elsewhere may be so ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... reflection and analysis. And the first thing he saw now was Minks, his friendly, ridiculous little confidential secretary. From all the crowds of men and women he knew, respected, and enjoyed in London, as from the vast deluge of human mediocrity which for him was London, he picked out suddenly—little Minks—Herbert Montmorency Minks. His mind, that is, darting forward in swift, comprehensive survey, and searching automatically for some means whereby it might continue the happiness and sweetness ...
— A Prisoner in Fairyland • Algernon Blackwood

... holds them long in bondage. At the least, it speedily gives place to another formulation of the mutinous freedom its very acceptance creates. And the conformity that each of them in succession imposes on mediocrity is always varied and relieved by the frequent incarnations in masterful personalities of the natural national traits—of which, I think, the architectonic spirit is one of the most conspicuous. Painting will ...
— French Art - Classic and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture • W. C. Brownell

... the moon to be turned into blood?' Is not fire the next grand cyclic consummation of all things here below? But I come fully prepared to answer such objections. Your argument betrays a narrow mind, circumscribed in its orbit, and shallow in its depth. 'Tis the common thought of mediocrity. You have read books too much, and studied nature too little. Let me give you a lesson today in the workshop of Omnipotence. Take a stroll with me into the limitless confines of space, and let us observe together some of the scenes transpiring at this very instant around ...
— The Case of Summerfield • William Henry Rhodes

... prevail, but to prevail not by force, but by the power of influence. The politicians talk about the soundness of the instincts of the people Something more than instinct is wanted in a democracy. Instincts are not progressive. Individualism, the pleasure of the moment, and mediocrity are represented too much by instincts and in every expression of the mere will of the majority. People in the mass are governed too much by impulse. Conduct and purpose are too discontinuous and fragmentary; or perhaps we had better say that the stimuli of ...
— The Psychology of Nations - A Contribution to the Philosophy of History • G.E. Partridge

... commonplace as the rest of the world seem so strong as among men of letters. Perhaps it is out of consideration for the rest of the world; but, whatever the reason, immobility of expression and general mediocrity of style are more characteristic of them at present than even ...
— Prose Fancies (Second Series) • Richard Le Gallienne

... faculty, the using of which would give delight and success, yet passes it by, to use a weaker faculty, is doomed to mediocrity and heart-breaking failure. The eagle has powerful muscles under the wings, but slender and feeble legs; the fawn lacks the weight of the draught horse, but has limbs for swiftness. Now, if an eagle should become a competitor in a walking race and if the fawn should ...
— A Man's Value to Society - Studies in Self Culture and Character • Newell Dwight Hillis

... constituted his father's one escape from the impenetrable element of mediocrity which had always hemmed him in. To a man so enamoured of beauty, and so little qualified to add to its sum total, it was a wonderful privilege to have bestowed on the world such a being. Ronald's resemblance to Mr. Grew's early conception of what he himself would have liked ...
— Tales Of Men And Ghosts • Edith Wharton

... celebrities that have won their first renown at the concours of the Conservatoire there is always some other pupil of immense promise, who does as well as, if not better than, the future star at the moment of the competition, but who afterward disappears into the mists of mediocrity or of oblivion. Thus, in the year in which the elder Coquelin obtained his prize the public loudly protested against the award of the jury, declaring that the most gifted pupil of the class was a certain M. Malard, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... little practice." The poor fellow did not know how poor a fiddler he really was. Well did Strickland Gillilan, America's great poet-humorist, say, "Egotism is the opiate that Nature administers to deaden the pains of mediocrity." ...
— The University of Hard Knocks • Ralph Parlette

... house was good, modern and commonplace. Walter Wheeler and his wife were like the house. Just as here and there among the furniture there was a fine thing, an antique highboy, a Sheraton sideboard or some old cut glass, so they had, with a certain mediocrity their own outstanding virtues. They liked music, believed in the home as the unit of the nation, put happiness before undue ambition, and had devoted their ...
— The Breaking Point • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... disciples. Poor fallen God! I, who hold nought else pitiful, pity Thee, Thy bleeding face and hands and feet, Thy hanging body; Thou at least art picturesque, and in a way beautiful in the midst of the sombre mediocrity, towards which Thou hast drifted for two thousand years, a flag; and in which Thou shalt find Thy doom as I mine, I, who will not adore Thee and cannot curse Thee now. For verily Thy life and Thy fate has been greater, stranger ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... still be seen, and which represent different episodes in the history of Florence—combats, and captures of cities, the whole being a travesty of antiquity, an intermingling of allegories. These frescos, painted with an intrepid and learned mediocrity, display the commonplace tones, swelling muscles and anatomical tricks in use at ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 7 - Italy, Sicily, and Greece (Part One) • Various

... for simplicity in art. Our art and our literature are reserved for the privileged few of education and fortune. But do not misunderstand me. I do not ask poets, novelists, and painters to descend from the heights and walk along the mountain-sides, finding their satisfaction in mediocrity; but, on the contrary, to mount higher. The truly popular is not that which appeals to a certain class of society ordinarily called the common people; the truly popular is what is common to all classes and unites them. The sources of inspiration from which ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... Paris. His only important prose work is his 'Auto-biography' begun in 1790 and ended in the year of his death, 1803. Although he wrote several comedies and a number of sonnets and satires,—which do not often rise above mediocrity,—it is as a tragic poet that he is known to fame. Before him—though Goldoni had successfully imitated Moliere in comedy, and Metastasio had become enormously popular as the poet of love and the opera—no tragedies had been written ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... placed above the wheel." It seems more reasonable to conclude that the youthful discoverer of the law of gravitation intended by the combination of these opposite attractions to produce a balanced movement. It is consoling to the average mediocrity of the race to perceive in these sportive assays, that the mind of Newton passed through the stage of boyhood. But emerging from boyhood, what a bound it made, as from earth to heaven! Hardly commencing bachelor of arts, at the age of twenty-four, he untwisted the golden and silver threads ...
— The Uses of Astronomy - An Oration Delivered at Albany on the 28th of July, 1856 • Edward Everett

... in modern times we have seen endowed with a similar spirit of self-control, have attracted our admiration by their honesty rather than their intellect; and the skeptic in human virtue has ascribed the purity of Washington as much to the mediocrity of his genius as to the sincerity of his patriotism:—the coarseness of vulgar ambition can sympathize but little with those who refuse a throne. But in Solon there is no disparity between the mental and the moral, nor can we account for the moderation of his ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... not have been real. Profound error! Those men were our brothers; they were of our stature, felt and thought as we do. But the breath of God was free in them; with us, it is restrained by the iron bonds of a mean society, and condemned to an irremediable mediocrity. ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... construction (1520); the carve-work is quite like lace, so minutely elaborate. The interior possesses several interesting objects in architecture, and some inconsistencies, the pulpit is extremely curious, and its effect is very striking. There are also some pictures above mediocrity, principally by French artists of the past school. The tower of this church is famed from the desperate resistance which was made from it by a few young men in ...
— How to Enjoy Paris in 1842 • F. Herve

... derived little increase from this poetic activity among Jews. In the period under discussion a single Hebrew drama was produced which can lay claim to somewhat more praise than is the due of mediocrity. Asireh ha-Tikwah, "The Prisoners of Hope," printed in 1673, deserves notice because it was the first drama published in Hebrew, and its author, Joseph Pensa de la Vega, was the last of Spanish, as Antonio de Silva was the last of Portuguese, ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... the motto of the dilettante And idle dreamer; 'tis the poor excuse Of mediocrity. The truly great Know not the word, or know it but to scorn, Else had Joan of Arc a peasant died, Uncrowned by glory and by ...
— Custer, and Other Poems. • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... the noblest thing that any man can do or describe. There is a wide field for the courage, cheerfulness, energy, and dignity of human existence. Let therefore no Mason deem his life doomed to mediocrity or meanness, to vanity or unprofitable toil, or to any ends less than immortal. No one can truly say that the grand prizes of life are for others, and he can do nothing. No matter how magnificent ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... told us what he found the life of the camp. Luxurious and indolent living, neglected duties, discontented sighing after the delights of Paris, the exaltation of rank and mediocrity, an insolent contempt for merit; these were the characteristics of the men in high military place. The lower officers meantime were overwhelmed by an expenditure that the luxury of their superiors ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol 2 of 3) - Essay 1: Vauvenargues • John Morley

... politics; and unless a man could be a modern Pitt, I don't see the use of that kind of thing. Every young Englishman turns his face towards the House of Commons, as the sunflower turns to the sun-god; and see what a charming level of mediocrity we ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... of individuals." December 27, 1838, he looks upon the Senate and the House, "the cream of the land, the culled darlings of fifteen millions," and observes that "the remarkable phenomenon that they present is the level of intellect and of morals upon which they stand; and this universal mediocrity is the basis upon which the liberties of this nation repose." In July, 1840, ...
— John Quincy Adams - American Statesmen Series • John. T. Morse

... and progress; while they arrogate to themselves the right to point us to the path of duty, while they close the avenues of knowledge through public institutions, and monopolize the profits of labor, mediocrity and inferiority must be our portion. Shall we accept it, or ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... sufficient to occasion the overthrow of a dynasty if humour were the prerogative of the many instead of being that of the few. This masterpiece is signed, "By G. Belli, after F. Winterhalter"; and in this picture we get the mediocrity of Italy and Germany in quintessential strength. These pictures also help us to realise the private life of our Royal Family. It must have spent a great deal of time in being painted. The family ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... all men were created equal and left out the implied kicker that equality was in the sight of God and before the law. They wanted an equality with the greatest men without giving up their drive toward mediocrity, and they meant to have it. In a way, ...
— Badge of Infamy • Lester del Rey

... you loved him; and no doubt Lesbia possessed the same ideal goodness for him. Love throws its own glamour,' he went on, and his voice was unusually grave; 'it does not believe in commonplace mediocrity; it lifts up its idol to some fanciful pedestal, where the poor thing feels very uncomfortable and out of its element, and then persists in falling down and worshipping it. We humans are very droll, Ursula: we ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... history, had gone down before the practical strength of individuals, whose success tended, again, to call into activity other individuals, to the general exaltation of talent for the general oppression of mediocrity. In other words, that condition had been produced which is most favourable to genius, because everything between genius and brute strength had been reduced to slavery in the social scale. The power to take and hold, on the one hand, and the power to conceive ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... of it as a governing body. In that character it has been towards Ireland always ignorant and nearly always unfair. I am treating it simply as an assembly of men, and I say of it, it is a body where sooner or later every man finds his proper level, where mediocrity and insincerity will never permanently succeed, and where ability and honesty of purpose will ...
— John Redmond's Last Years • Stephen Gwynn

... mediocrity. How long ago the first belfry tower of Bruges was built is unknown, but this at least is certain, that in the year 1280 a fire, in which the ancient archives of the town perished, destroyed the greater ...
— Bruges and West Flanders • George W. T. Omond

... say that it is mediocre; for on the one hand, our happiness is never as great as we should like, and on the other hand, our misfortunes are never as great as our enemies would wish for us. It is this mediocrity of life which prevents it from being ...
— The Measurement of Intelligence • Lewis Madison Terman

... in politics, so it has brought forth a race of small men in the arts. Our modern politicians claim the colossal license of Caesar and the Superman, claim that they are too practical to be pure and too patriotic to be moral; but the upshot of it all is that a mediocrity is Chancellor of the Exchequer. Our new artistic philosophers call for the same moral license, for a freedom to wreck heaven and earth with their energy; but the upshot of it all is that a mediocrity is Poet Laureate. I do not say that there are ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... inward and dignified consciousness of my own security and independence, which constitutes, and is the only thing which does constitute, the proud and comfortable sentiment of freedom in the human breast. I know, too, and I bless God for my safe mediocrity; I know that if I possessed all the talents of the gentlemen on the side of the House I sit, and on the other, I cannot, by royal favour, or by popular delusion, or by oligarchical cabal, elevate myself above a certain very limited ...
— Thoughts on the Present Discontents - and Speeches • Edmund Burke

... Novissima," however, which lifts him above golden mediocrity. From the three thousand lines of Bernard of Cluny's poem, "De Contemptu Mundi," famous since the twelfth century, and made music with the mellowness of its own Latin rhyme, Mrs. Isabella G. Parker, the composer's mother, has translated 210 lines. The English is hardly more ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes

... people like De Tocqueville, profoundly uninteresting. We have been housekeeping; and why does the novelist always make his bow to the hero and heroine at the church-door, unless because he knows, that, if they are well off, nothing more is to be made of them? Prosperity is the forcing-house of mediocrity; and if we have ceased to produce great men, it is because we have not, since we became a nation, been forced to pay the terrible price at which alone they can be bought. Great men are excellent things for a nation to have had; but a ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... never reach a millennium, though we may considerably improve the value and dignity of human life. Democracy has a role in the world of great importance,—but the spread of education and opportunity to the mass may make it more difficult for the best ideals and customs to survive in the avalanche of mediocrity that becomes released by the agencies that profit by appealing to the mass. So, too, the rise of the woman and child bring us face to face with new problems, which I think are less difficult problems than those ...
— The Nervous Housewife • Abraham Myerson



Words linked to "Mediocrity" :   mediocre, mundaneness, someone, somebody, individual, ordinariness, soul, second-rater, person, mundanity, mortal, averageness



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