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Nothings   /nˈəθɪŋz/   Listen
Nothings

noun
1.
Inconsequential conversation.



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"Nothings" Quotes from Famous Books



... with easy carelessness, and that slow drawl of his, as if he were talking airy nothings in a London drawing-room, instead of recounting the most daring, most colossal piece of effrontery the adventurous ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... disturbed on the mere point of honour and praise. I told them that I could not do what others did, and what was expected of me. At first I had some difficulty in this, but it soon became both natural and pleasant to me to tell the truth. By these nothings,—and they are really nothings, and I am sufficiently nothing when such things could put me to so much pain,—and by little and little His Divine Majesty vouchsafed to supply me with strength. I was never good at the ...
— Santa Teresa - an Appreciation: with some of the best passages of the Saint's Writings • Alexander Whyte

... time, and umpires: let us try Who can compose the faster, you or I." Thank Heaven, that formed me of unfertile mind, My speech not copious, and my thoughts confined! But you, be like the bellows, if you choose, Still puffing, puffing, till the metal fuse, And vent your windy nothings with a sound That makes the depth they come from ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... prepared immunity (necessary to plans which this history will unfold), they ended at last in cutting "their wood," and stealing almost their entire livelihood. Pasturage for the cows and the abuses of gleaning were established as customs little by little. When the Tonsards and the do-nothings of the valley had tasted the sweets of these four rights (thus captured by rural paupers, and amounting to actual robbery) we can easily imagine they would never give them up unless compelled by a power greater ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... there were only ten of the female pupils at school, and poor Dora and Sophia both cried all church time. They thought their hasty measures had condemned their poor girls to be heathens and good-for-nothings ...
— The Carbonels • Charlotte M. Yonge

... wife did not long survive. Just long enough to leave him a son and a daughter, who grew up knowing little restraint, chumming around with all the good-for-nothings of the vicinity, plaguing all the neighbors, who on their part, were not slow to punish the rascals. Thus several years went by. The son became a notorious character, the daughter an impudent, cynical little runabout who, on certain occasions, would fill their rickety abode ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... imagination. If I were to ask a group of you whether you have good imaginations, many of you would probably at once fall to considering whether you are capable of taking wild flights into impossible realms of thought and evolving unrealities out of airy nothings. You would compare yourself with great imaginative writers, such as Stevenson, Poe, De Quincey, and judge your power of imagination by your ability to produce such tales ...
— The Mind and Its Education • George Herbert Betts

... that tall handsome man on horseback, who has just taken off his hat to her, he is a knight of the ... ribbon; and a well-known flutterer among the ladies, as well as a vast composer of pretty little nothings."—"Indeed! and pray, cousin, do you see that lady of quality, just driving in at the gate in a superb yellow vis-a-vis,—as you seem to know every body, who ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... were the means I used to 'subjugate' him. Sweet subjugation, both to him who subdues and to him who yields! The wild, unmannerly, and unmanageable colt, the fear of horsemen the country round, finding in you not an enemy, but a friend, receiving his daily food from you, and all those little 'nothings' which go as far with a horse as a woman, to win and retain affection, grows to look upon you as his protector and friend, and testifies in countless ways his fondness for you. So when I saw this horse, ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... that prejudice, that suspicion, and that atmosphere of unnaturalness without which no lasting comfort and good is ever done. For how can he live among the poor as one of the poor when at the same time he has to keep in the "good books" of the wealthy, who pay the pew rents, and the evil-minded "do-nothings," who are ever ready to declare that he is demeaning himself and their Church when he breaks down the barrier of caste and position in his efforts to live and suffer and work as do the men and women he wishes to make happier and better? He can do it, if he possesses the right personality, but it ...
— Over the Fireside with Silent Friends • Richard King

... not far, and talking of nothings the two strolled that way. There was much rejoicing over Philip's return, and much curiosity expressed as to where he had been and what he had been doing for a long time past. Finally, Mrs. Caruthers proposed that he should go ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... drove him at the Rev. Mr. Barmby until the latter jumped to the seat beside Nesta in her carriage, Mademoiselle de Seilles and Mr. Sowerby facing them. Lady Grace Halley, in the carriage behind, heard Nesta's laugh; which Mr. Barmby had thought vacuous, beseeming little girls, that laugh at nothings. She questioned Fenellan. ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... was really a summer idleness: for it was the interval between two of his important undertakings, there was no periodical yet to make demands on him, and only the task of finishing his Haunted Man for Christmas lay ahead. But he did even his nothings in a strenuous way, and on occasion could make gallant fight against the elements themselves. He reported himself, to my horror, thrice wet through on a single day, "dressed four times," and finding all sorts of great things, brought out by the rains, among the rocks ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... we do Is but half-nobly true; With our laborious hiving What men call treasure, and the gods call dross, Life seems a jest of Fate's contriving, 80 Only secure in every one's conniving, A long account of nothings paid with loss, Where we poor puppets, jerked by unseen wires, After our little hour of strut and rave, With all our pasteboard passions and desires, 85 Loves, hates, ambitions, and immortal fires, Are tossed pell-mell together ...
— The Vision of Sir Launfal - And Other Poems • James Russell Lowell

... so sad," said the Old Maid. "Sometimes it is the woman's fault, sometimes the man's; more often both. The little courtesies, the fond words, the tender nothings that mean so much to those that love—it would cost so little not to forget them, and they would make life so much ...
— Tea-table Talk • Jerome K. Jerome

... sensation. There was not a youth with any pretensions to manners or money, who did not determine, either of his own accord, or at the instigation of his family, to walk down the street with her, send her little notes, and whisper pleasant nothings in her ear. ...
— The Grandee • Armando Palacio Valds

... we will no more be racked With inward striving, and demand Of all the thousand nothings of the hour Their stupefying power; Ah! yes, and they benumb us at our call; Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn, From the soul's subterranean depth upborne, As from an infinitely distant land, ...
— Memories • Max Muller

... warm emotion. Her very finger-tips tingled; soft, wistful, delightful tears flooded her eyes. Her bosom seemed to lift as the tide lifts to the moon. She found herself murmuring inarticulate, melodious nothings. It was a moment of realization. She was learning what joys ...
— The Precipice • Elia Wilkinson Peattie

... down to lunch, their last in London, and then went direct to Mac's apartments in St. James' place. All the material for making fraudulent bills was there, and what could be burned was to be thrown into the grate, and the rest to first be filed into blank nothings and then thrown into the Thames. The three were there and they were happy. They had engineered a gigantic scheme, had struck for wealth and won. The short cut to fortune in defiance of fate had been traversed and now they set about ...
— Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison - Fifteen Years in Solitude • Austin Biron Bidwell

... just so much originality of mind as gave him an excuse for being "his own party" in religion, or what he himself called being "no party man;" and just so little that he was ever mistaking shams for truths, and converting pompous nothings into oracles. He was oracular in his manner, denounced parties and party-spirit, and thought to avoid the one and the other by eschewing all persons, and holding all opinions. He had a great idea of the via media being the truth; and to obtain it, thought it enough to ...
— Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert • John Henry Newman

... garrison, you ask! Yes, and I can tell you. It's where you might expect a gang of dad blasted jabbering French good-for-nothings to be, off high-gannicking around shooting buffaloes instead of staying here and defending their wives, children, homes and country, damn their everlasting souls! The few I have in the fort will sneak ...
— Alice of Old Vincennes • Maurice Thompson

... of being the more useless. We wished to attach no importance to anything, to have strong views about nothing, to aim at nothing; we wanted to take no thought for the morrow, and desired no more than to recline comfortably like good-for-nothings on the threshold of the ...
— On the Future of our Educational Institutions • Friedrich Nietzsche

... down to get something to eat,' she apprised him, when he had growled out soft nothings to poetesses, paragraphists, publicists, positivists, penny-a-liners, and other pale persons. 'Whom shall it be?—Ashton! What ...
— A Great Man - A Frolic • Arnold Bennett

... were, I got the idea—I can't tell how—that the Bourbons were horse-dealers established at Waterloo. The Captain, who never interrupted his talk except for the purpose of pouring out wine, furthermore made charges against a number of dirty scoundrels, blackguards, and good-for-nothings whom I did not know anything about, but whom I hated from the bottom of my heart. At dessert I thought I heard the Captain say my father was a man who could be led anywhere by the nose; but I am not quite sure that I understood him. I had a ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... intends to do. The next, he will probably give to his home attractions—his anxious wife, sat musingly round the tea-table—his favourite son George (so like his father)—and all the nine hundred and ninety-nine pretty nothings we hear of, after a brief absence. These will send his heart a long way from the coach, and therefore keep him in the full enjoyment of wakefulness. But this train of delectable musing is by no means exhaustless. The roll of the wheels gradually becomes naturalized ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 266, July 28, 1827 • Various

... the cellar with cement, don't you? Well, the soil of a city is cemented all over, one may say, with certain qualifications of course. A first-rate city house is a regular sanatorium. The only trouble is, that the little good-for-nothings that come of utterly used-up and worn-out stock, and ought to die, can't die, to save their lives. So they grow up to dilute the vigor of the race with skim-milk vitality. They would have died, like good children, ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... gave him a tap with the toe of her shoe and said: "Go away, then, you good-for-nothing; you are one as bad as the other, all good-for-nothings." And as she turned away from him, Reinhard went slowly up the steps ...
— Immensee • Theodore W. Storm

... thousands of those who have no particular classical pretensions, further than can be recognized in a certain penchant for such jubilees, contracted by attending them for years as hangers-on. On this devoted day these noisy do-nothings collect with mummers, monkeys, bears, and rope-dancers, and hold their revels just beneath the windows of the tabernacle where ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... would blaze! and what rubbish throw out! A volcano of nonsense in active display; While Vane, as a butt, amidst laughter, would spout The hot nothings he's full of, all ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... tables yet resound with the rattle and clash of dice. Yet the greater part of the company are not doing anything. They walk about, or yawn tremendously, or pause as they pass each other to exchange idle nothings. Will the weather be fair to-morrow? Are the preparations for the games complete? Do the laws of the Circus in Antioch differ from the laws of the Circus in Rome? Truth is, the young fellows are suffering from ennui. Their heavy work is done; that is, we would find their tablets, could we look ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... begin professionalism and, with the mere momentum of their vitality, make it attractive. Because they are great men and really accomplished, they can say nothing with a grand air; and these grand nothings of theirs allure us just because they are nothings and make no demands upon our intelligence. That is art indeed, we cry: and we intoxicate ourselves with it because it is merely art. "The quality of mercy is not strained" is far more popular than Lear's speech, "No, no, no! Come, let's away to ...
— Essays on Art • A. Clutton-Brock

... do not hope to pacify love with airy nothings. Give me something to clasp, something that can last longer than pleasure, that can ...
— Chitra - A Play in One Act • Rabindranath Tagore

... Miss Mitford, "that I merely passed through London that season, and, being detained by some of the thousand and one nothings which are so apt to detain women in the great city, I arrived at the exhibition, in company with a still younger friend, so near the period of closing, that more punctual visitors were moving out, and the doorkeeper actually turned us and our money back. I persisted, however, assuring him that ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... thou dost not what we exact of thee, be not surprised to find thyself stretched out a bit, and to be laid up for three weeks, as well as the good-for-nothings who are ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... that, (1.) In that the Holy Ghost scorns that things that are here should once be compared with them; hence all things here are called vanities, nothings, less than nothings (Isa 40:15-17). Now, if the things, all the things that are here, are so contemptuously considered, when compared with the things that are to be hereafter, and yet these things so great in the carnal man's esteem, ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... highly significant nothings which are only the barrier behind which go on the eager questionings and unspoken answers of youth and love. They had known each other for years, had exchanged the same give and take of neighborhood talk when they met as now. To-day nothing was ...
— The Breaking Point • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... rather than any dishonour should grow by her, "I myself will take up arms and be your general, judge and rewarder of all your virtues." That is all very pretty, and sounds pre-Napoleonic, but we cannot all swallow sweet, cantish little nothings in place of food and wages. Better would it have been had Elizabeth shown some practical evidence of "devotion" to her "people" by granting supplies and food to her starving sailors who fought and won in the most deadly naval encounter ...
— The Shellback's Progress - In the Nineteenth Century • Walter Runciman

... were of the most delicate and insinuating kind; and Mrs. Wilson several times turned away in displeasure at herself, for listening with too much satisfaction to nothings, uttered in an agreeable manner, or, what was worse, false sentiments supported with the gloss of language and a fascinating deportment. The anxiety of this lady on behalf of Emily kept her ever on the alert, when chance, or any chain of circumstances, ...
— Precaution • James Fenimore Cooper

... shall I begin? Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first? At half after seven yesterday morning Henry saw us into our own carriage, and we drove away from the Bath Hotel; which, by-the-bye, had been found most uncomfortable quarters—very dirty, very noisy, and ...
— Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters - A Family Record • William Austen-Leigh and Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh

... gift He boasts, which other birds must shift Without, and grope as best they can." No, freely I would praise the man,— Nor one whit more, if he contended That gift of his, from God descended. Ah friend, what gift of man's does not? No nearer something, by a jot, Rise an infinity of nothings Than one: take Euclid for your teacher: Distinguish kinds: do crownings, clothings, Make that creator which was creature? Multiply gifts upon man's head, And what, when all's done, shall be said But—the more gifted he, I ween! That one's made Christ, this ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... bliss! Who can estimate your worth? One of you will outweigh a life, such as the dull round of common place nothings can yield. ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... just begin to think right well of him. I have no respect for some of those effeminate butterflies down stairs, who say only silly nothings, because, forsooth, they think we can appreciate nothing better, or because they have ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... about the number or the character of their party. When he talked it was usually with Lady Dalrymple and Minnie: and with these the conversation turned always upon glittering generalities, and the airy nothings of pleasant gossip. All this, then, will very easily account for the fact that Hawbury, though visiting there constantly, never once saw Ethel, never heard her name mentioned, and had not the faintest idea that she was so near. She, on the other hand, feeling ...
— The American Baron • James De Mille

... old words to fame have made pretence, Ancients in phrase, mere moderns in their sense; 325 Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style, Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned smile. Unlucky, as Fungoso in the play, } These sparks with awkward vanity display } What the fine gentleman wore yesterday; } 330 And ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... acted as a polished man of the world, as if eight-dollar opera-hats were mere nothings. He held it out for Kitty to inspect, smiling. Then he crushed it under his arm (where the broken spring behaved like an unlatched jack-in-the-box) and led the way ...
— The Voice in the Fog • Harold MacGrath

... light, Ben followed him into his room and busied himself in doing little nothings about the stove and wash-stand. "Let me unbutton your straps, sir," said he, stooping down and commencing on the buttons, which he was rather long in unclosing. "I know, sir, dat you Southern gentlemen ain't ...
— The Garies and Their Friends • Frank J. Webb

... After talking over the nothings of the day, and after having given two or three CUTS at the society of Dublin, with two or three compliments to individuals, who, she knew, were favourites with his lordship, she suddenly turned ...
— The Absentee • Maria Edgeworth

... invariably a sufferer on these occasions. They declared themselves, the next morning, far too weary to put in a single stitch; and occupied themselves chiefly in looking out of the window and exchanging airy nothings with customers. But when Clement came in the afternoon with an invitation to a dance at his mother's house, their exhausted energies rallied surprisingly, and they were quite able to go, though the same farce was played over again on ...
— The White Lady of Hazelwood - A Tale of the Fourteenth Century • Emily Sarah Holt

... paragraph in a little weekly sort of Society rag published in Billsbury. It says:—"Mr. PATTLE has prolonged his stay in Billsbury for some time. Can it all be politics? I say nothing. But others have been heard to whisper nothings which are sweet. What price bonnets?" I suppose the idiot means to hint that there's something between me and Miss PENFOLD? Hope MARY won't hear of ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101. July 4, 1891 • Various

... saying that this means of communication is also found in the home of almost every well-to-do family. The invention of a telephone is a great blessing to mankind; it enables friends to talk to each other at a distance without the trouble of calling.[1] Sweethearts can exchange their sweet nothings, and even proposals of marriage have been made and accepted through the telephone. However, one is subjected to frequent annoyances from wrong connections at the Central Office, and sometimes grave errors are made. Once, through a serious blunder, or a ...
— America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat • Wu Tingfang

... took with him to these places certain majestic and sweeping gestures and well-sounding habits of speech which had long corresponded to no inner reality, but on the strength of which he still enjoyed a standing among the good-for-nothings ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... this pressure, and the looks accompanying it, that made Edith Sudbury conscious that the hunter loved her. She would have been an exception to her sex had she not suspected this before. The thousand and one acts, and little, airy nothings, had given her a suspicion of the truth long since, but she had never ...
— The Riflemen of the Miami • Edward S. Ellis

... would very willingly take an interest in many subjects if they knew how. It is a melancholy thing to see a man retired from business with literally nothing to do but fritter away his time on nothings when he might be employed at something absorbing and useful. But they hesitate to act because, as is the rule in life, they see everything from its most difficult and repulsive side. There is no man who ...
— The Mystic Will • Charles Godfrey Leland

... thus Death laughs,—it is sad merriment, But still it is so; and with such example Why should not Life be equally content With his Superior, in a smile to trample Upon the nothings which are daily spent Like bubbles on an Ocean much less ample Than the Eternal Deluge, which devours Suns as rays—worlds like atoms—years ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... Brummel. Ven I am with the ladies, I talk to dem vit soft words; I whisper sweet nothings, but you, you rummy you, you don't know how to make ...
— Writing for Vaudeville • Brett Page

... the tow wigs, the low jokes, the monkey-claws! There were some who had merit, no doubt, like that boy who was all over scratches, from head to foot, through training cats; but the rest, almost all of them, were a pack of good-for-nothings who copied their betters: amateurs, jossers all; and they had more work than she, who had taken such pains and who had made a fortune for her Pa. Oh, if that wasn't enough to make her chuck everything and see life, in her turn. She had only ...
— The Bill-Toppers • Andre Castaigne

... indeed, the sexes seem to have usurped the other's rights. Young Spanish swells, in colored velvet breeches and tastefully embroidered leggings, scarlet silk sash around the loins, and irreproachable linen, with, here and there, one with the far-famed guitar, improvising amorous nothings for the ear of some susceptible damsel, abandon themselves to the luxury of the ...
— In Eastern Seas - The Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83 • J. J. Smith

... church into an inn, and it is a worse sacrilege to me to permit the profanation of the sanctuary which has been consecrated by Love and Death. I do not know what might happen to me if I were to leave. I have been what I am through shadowy nothings which other people despise. To me they are realities and a law. I shall stay where I am. "A villa," forsooth, on the outskirts of the town! My existence would be fractured: it will at least preserve its continuity here. Across the square I can see ...
— Pages from a Journal with Other Papers • Mark Rutherford

... or getting a living, there is going to be a crash sometime. Then a sense of emptiness after the crash which will call us to our senses. The specialist's view of the world logically narrows itself down to a race of nonentities for nothings. And even if a thing is a thing, it is a nothing to a nonentity. And if it is the one business of the specialist to obtain results, and we are all browbeaten into being specialists, but one result is going to be possible. It is obvious that the man who is willing to sacrifice the most is going ...
— The Lost Art of Reading • Gerald Stanley Lee

... I do not remember that I ever met a very handsome man or woman, who was not as vain and shallow as a peacock. I recently met a magnificent woman of middle age at a railroad station. She was surrounded by all those indescribable somethings and nothings which mark the rich and well-bred traveller, and her face was queenly—not sweet and pretty like a doll's face—but handsome and stylish, and strikingly impressive, so that no man could look at her once without turning to look again; yet I had not been in her presence a minute, before I ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... human heart, from Eve downwards, that we all, in our old Adam state, fancy things forbidden sweetest. So Mary dwelt upon and enjoyed the idea of some day becoming a lady, and doing all the elegant nothings appertaining to ladyhood. It was a comfort to her, when scolded by Miss Simmonds, to think of the day when she would drive up to the door in her own carriage, to order her gowns from the hasty-tempered yet kind dressmaker. It was a pleasure to her to hear the general admiration of the ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... word borrowed from the life. Mark three or four persons standing idly at the point where one street bisects at right angles another, and discussing there the idle nothings of the day; there you have the living explanation of 'trivial,' 'trivialities,' such as no explanation not rooting itself in the etymology would ever give you, or enable you to give to others. You have there the 'tres viae,' the 'trivium'; and 'trivialities' properly mean such talk as is holden ...
— On the Study of Words • Richard C Trench

... your hearts ... but know that God's works are not like men's; He does not always take the wise, the learned, the rich of the world to manifest Himself in, and through them to others, but He chooses the despised, the unlearned, the poor, the nothings of the world, and fills them with the good tidings of Himself, whereas He sends the others empty away." He further apprehends that his view, that "the curse that was declared to Adam was temporary," and that ultimately the curse shall be removed off the whole Creation, ...
— The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth • Lewis H. Berens

... of immutable and eternal truth was certainly not contained in the inane and empty formula, "that numbers are real existences, the causes of all other existences!" If the fame of Pythagoras had rested on such "airy nothings," it would have melted away before the time ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... which tendency the men themselves keep pace, helps both men and women very effectually to good conversation. "It is more important," says Stevenson again, "that a person should be a good gossip and talk pleasantly and smartly of common friends and the thousand and one nothings of the day and hour, than speak with the tongues of men and angels.... Talk is the creature of the street and market-place, feeding on gossip; and its last resort is still in a discussion on morals. That is the heroic form of gossip; heroic in virtue of its high pretensions; ...
— Conversation - What to Say and How to Say it • Mary Greer Conklin

... man and his beloved, they dwelt apart in an ephemeral world where only the prosaic hours when they were separated were unreal. Their realities were smiles, sighs, glances,—the thousand and one nothings that make up the joys and agonies of a lover's ...
— The Wall Between • Sara Ware Bassett

... only pretend to be doing something. All action and story, all individuality of persons, objects, and events, is merged in a pervading atmosphere of tranquil, sunny repose,—as of a holiday-afternoon. It may seem to us an idle lubberland, a paradise of do-nothings;—Mr. Ruskin sees in it only a "dim, stupid, serene, leguminous enjoyment." But whoever knows Rome will at least recognize in Claude's pictures some reflex of that enchantment that still hangs over the wondrous city, and draws to it generation ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864 • Various

... party from which there is no escape when one's mind is out of tune for society of any description. The idea that for so many hours the conventional smile must be upon our brow, and the conventional nothings upon our lips, is depressing in the extreme. It may be injudicious, but it is certainly allowable, to look sad when the bank that holds our all suddenly falls; but for a woman to acknowledge in her face that the bank of her affections is broke is ...
— Belles and Ringers • Hawley Smart

... her mother retorted. "You know it wouldn't do at all. It isn't a question of his poverty; your father has money enough: it's a question of his social quality, and of all those little nothings that make up the whole of happiness in marriage. He would be different enough, being merely a man; but being a man born and reared in as different a world from yours as if it were another planet—I want you to think over all the girls you know—all the people you know—and ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... himself, the Risaldar tongue-lashed the servant with harsh, tooth-rasping words that brought him up to attention. Whether he interpreted or not the exact meaning of what Cunningham had said, he at least produced the desired effect; the servant mumbled apologetic nothings and slunk off the veranda backward—to go away and hold his sides with laughter at the back of the dak-bungalow. There Mahommed Gunga found him afterward and administered a thrashing—not, as he was careful ...
— Rung Ho! • Talbot Mundy

... effort to do so. There were also in evidence, barbers, joiners, plumbers, grocers, fruit-sellers, bakers and venders of small wares, and there was the largest and most splendidly recruited army of do-nothings that the sun ever shone upon. These forever-out-of-workers, leaning against every lamp post, fence picket, corner house, and barber pole in the vicinity, were all male, but they were mostly mated to women fully worthy ...
— The Girl and the Kingdom - Learning to Teach • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... high-sounding descriptions and specious promises of vast profits, these men find little difficulty in conjuring money out of the pockets of the unsophisticated and gullible, who rush to become stockholders in concerns that have "airy nothings" for a foundation, and that collapse quickly when the bubble ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... them with a thousand devices to put an end to it. By questioning the young man as to the material exercise of his art, and as to his studies, Adelaide and her mother emboldened him to talk. The indefinable nothings of their chat, animated by kind feeling, naturally led Hippolyte to flash forth remarks or reflections which showed the character of his habits and of his mind. Trouble had prematurely faded the old lady's face, ...
— The Purse • Honore de Balzac

... clear out,' muttered the old woman. 'You're a pack of good-for-nothings, who can't even respect God. It's shameful, it's unheard of, for girls to roll about on the floor in church like beasts in a meadow—— What are you doing there, La Rousse? If I see you pinching any one, you'll have to deal with me! Oh, yes, you may put ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... Personally I am not a bubbling fount of gay nothings when I find myself alone with a comparative stranger. My drawbridge goes up as if by magic, my postern is closed, and I peer cautiously through the narrow slits of my turret to estimate the chances of peril. Nor was Mr Brindley offensively affable. ...
— The Grim Smile of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... of linguistic manicuring tends to make students who try to write ultra-fastidiously, seeking an over-refined elaboration of petty trifles, as if the less the content the greater the triumph of form alone could be. These petty but pretty nothings are like German confectionery, that appeals to the eye but has little for taste and is worse than nothing for the digestion. It is like straining work on an empty stomach. For youth this embroidery of details ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... will be all shut fast zere. No, my dear friend, you sall come sleep at my hotel, and you sall have nothings to pay. It will be all right. I would die for to help ...
— Roger Ingleton, Minor • Talbot Baines Reed

... degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it, 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, 'all men are created equal, except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.' When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... fact, it was through him that I ultimately became noticed by the higher powers. His name was Shir Ali, in rank a Beg, and a Shirazi by birth. Although natives of the two rival cities of Persia, yet without any particular previous cause, and by a combination of those nothings which give rise to most friendships, we became inseparable companions. He had given me a piece of watermelon one hot day when I was thirsty; I had lighted his pipe for him on another occasion: he had bled me with ...
— The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan • James Morier

... left my bed to find my uncle (all disguise over) an avowed partner in a hell, and myself blasted alike in name, love, past, and future. And then, Philip—then I commenced that career which I have trodden since— the prince of good-fellows and good-for-nothings, with ten thousand aliases, and as many strings to my bow. Society cast me off when I was innocent. Egad, I have had my revenge on society ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 3 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... sir, you're free to follow them! Go forth, And I'll go too: so on your wilfulness Shall fall whate'er of evil may ensue. Is't fit you waste your choler on a burr? The nothings of the town; whose sport it is To break their villain jests on worthy men, The graver still the fitter! Fie for shame! Regard what such would say? So would not I, No more than ...
— The Hunchback • James Sheridan Knowles

... what is here, und set by mine furniture und talks. What do they know over takin' care on mine house? They ain't ladies. They is educated only on the front. Me, I was raised private und expensive in Russia; I was ladies. Und you ist ladies. You ist Krisht[79-1]—that is too bad—but that makes me nothings. I wants you shall ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... was all arrayed in pleasantness, A tender little love that sighed and smiled At little happy nothings, like a child, A dainty little ...
— Silhouettes • Arthur Symons

... thee," responded Roisia. "What does it matter, I should say, having thine own way in little nothings so long as thou art not to have it in the one thing for which thou really carest? Thou dost not mean to say that a velvet gown would console thee for ...
— A Forgotten Hero - Not for Him • Emily Sarah Holt

... thoughts, softening gradually, gave tone to the general tenor of her life and united all its parts in an indefinable harmony, expressed by the exquisite neatness, the exact symmetry of her room, the few flowers sent by Savinien, the dainty nothings of a young girl's life, the tranquillity which her quiet habits diffused about her, giving peace and composure to the little home. After breakfast and after mass she continued her studies and practiced; then she took her embroidery ...
— Ursula • Honore de Balzac

... what good-for-nothings you are! Why do you strut and turn up your noses as if you were the lords of creation? Well, I am going to give you orders. Go up and dress. Get some travelling money, and then come ...
— Plays by August Strindberg, Second series • August Strindberg

... a little stir among the "best people of the County"—a renewal of the chatter, high-pitched, pleasant nothings, and ...
— Red-Robin • Jane Abbott

... trial, and society is rid of him without all the expense of guarding and feeding him. What with getting up the case, summoning witnesses, paying their expenses, and carrying out the sentence, it costs a lot to go through all the proper formalities before you can get quit of one of these good-for-nothings, over and above the three thousand francs that you are going to have. There is a saving in time as well. One good thrust of the bayonet into Trompe-la-Mort's paunch will prevent scores of crimes, and save fifty scoundrels from following his example; ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... afternoon was given over to exciting sport, as the girls, and even Mrs. Brewster, tried to outride each other about the great enclosure. Polly made Noddy happy by mounting her silky little back and whispering fond nothings in the long ears. Anne was pleased to find her Chicago friends could ride so well on the restive western horses, and both Chicago girls were surprised to find what a magnificent rider Mrs. Brewster was. She was slowly rising in their private ...
— Polly of Pebbly Pit • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... and long to be married, that they may pry into Leila and Indiana: their French meanwhile, even if they wanted to know anything of French literature,—which is too absurd an idea,—serves them only to say nothing to uncertain hairy foreigners who haunt society, and to understand their nothings, in response. I am really touched for this Ariel, this tricksy sprite of speech when I know that it must do the bidding of those who can never fit its airy felicity to any worthy purpose. I have tried these accomplishel damsels who speak French and Italian as well as they do ...
— The Potiphar Papers • George William Curtis

... a greater space in my life than all the rest of my days. When I think of the past, it is there where my thoughts travel at once. How relate to you the particulars of our happiness? When destiny protects us, happiness is composed of a thousand charming nothings that the hearts of others cannot understand. During those three months I was entirely happy; I wished to live for ever in this charming retreat for him that I loved a thousand times more than myself. I wished to abandon the opera, that opera that the Count de Melun could not ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... indeed, he was quite as ineffectual as he had been in the midst of the glittering deviltry of The Pleiad.... Abased before realities; lost to the meaning of every excellence of his life-training; shattered by psychic revolts; his brain reflecting the strange mirages and singing the vague nothings of starvation—but enumeration only dulls the picture! In every plane of his nature, he was close to the end, forty-eight hours after his arrival at the Inn of ...
— Fate Knocks at the Door - A Novel • Will Levington Comfort

... word, not by his actions, but by the subtle nothings that, having no name, yet are, and go to make up the dreaded whole, has this thought been forced upon her. The cooling glance, the suppressed restlessness, the sudden lack of conversation, the kind but unloving touch, the total ...
— Molly Bawn • Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

... at them both, but with tears in her eyes, and in the renewed stress of parting which he thought he had put from him, March went on taking note, as with alien senses, of the scene before him, while they all talked on together, and repeated the nothings they had said already. ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... difference already between the Sylvie of to-day and the Sylvie of a few weeks ago. It was no longer a question of little nothings,—of how she should get people in and how she could get them out,—of what she should do and say to seem "nice all through," like Amy Sherrett. Mr. Sherrett had not come for a "mere call," as he said; and there was no mere "receiving." The llama lace and the gray silk and the small savoir ...
— The Other Girls • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... point out the spot where its trees stood, calling it by the name which consecrated and survived them. Rousseau has not been particularly fortunate in the preservation of the "local habitations" he has given to "airy nothings." The Prior of Great St. Bernard has cut down some of his woods for the sake of a few casks of wine, and Buonaparte has levelled part of the rocks of Meillerie in improving the road to the Simplon. The ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2 • George Gordon Byron

... anyway." He spoke feelingly, for he had very likely been weighed in Ruth's calm eyes sometime, and thoroughly scared by the little laugh that accompanied a puzzling reply to one of his conversational nothings. Such young gentlemen, at this time, did not come very distinctly into Ruth's horizon, except as ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 2. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... That is what she had taught him. They had sloughed off Chicago at the first, and from the day they arrived at Perota they had sunk into a gentle, solitary routine. Sommers had been content to smoke his pipe, to ruminate on nothings, to be idle with no strenuous summoning of his will. There had been no perplexity, no revolt, no decision. Even the storm of their love subdued itself to a settled warmth, like that of the insistent summer sun. They had little enough to do with, but they were not aware of their poverty. Alves ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... toward Slavery. The Creole Case. Giddings's Resolutions. Quincy Adams as an Abolitionist. The First Gag Law. Adams's Opposition. The Second and Third. Their Repeal. Pro-slavery Whigs. Submission to Slavocracy. Its Insolent Demands. Death of Whiggism. Americanism. The Know-Nothings. Revolt from the ...
— History of the United States, Volume 3 (of 6) • E. Benjamin Andrews

... who think they out-duke the dukes, and it's our business to humour 'em. You just duff all you want to, Lord Ernest, they'll swallow anything you do, like honey. Don't bother about a line of conduct: only be genial. Murmur soft nothings to the women; flirt but don't have favourites. Don't be too political with the men: work in plenty of ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... drop on one knee, as he tried to shelter himself behind the animal; but he was not quick enough, for Dickenson's rifle was resting upon a tuft of thorn, perfectly steady, as he covered his enemy. Crack! and another tiny puff of smoke. The noise and the greyish vapour were nothings out in that vast veldt, but they meant the exit of a man ...
— The Kopje Garrison - A Story of the Boer War • George Manville Fenn

... found by Swedenborg in such a state of fossil immutability: many had considerably developed their character, both for good and evil, in the other world; and this gave rise to some singular results. Some who had been heroes and saints on earth had there sunk into scamps and good-for-nothings; and there were examples, too, of a contrary transformation. For instance, the fumes of self-conceit mounted to Saint Anthony's head when he learned what immense veneration and adoration had been paid to him by all Christendom; ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... trembling in a reek, of the organ playing a prelude. Of the beadle who was passing. Of the box full of surprises which her handbag was, in which the indiscreet fingers of Pierre were rummaging. They had a very passion of amusing themselves with nothings. Neither one nor the other of these poor little creatures so much as considered the shadow of an idea of escaping from that destiny which must separate them. To make any resistance against the war, to brave the current of a nation: as well ...
— Pierre and Luce • Romain Rolland

... hear a murmur of conversation from the farther room, but it was not until I was standing beneath the curtained archway that I saw, to my amazement, Lossing and Monsieur Voisin at the farther side of the room, talking amiable nothings, as men of the world will when they meet. Both were in evening dress, and the Frenchman held in his hand a splendid ...
— Against Odds - A Detective Story • Lawrence L. Lynch

... you? Nineteen and the follies of one's youth! The mercy of God rather than any virtue in me kept these from being not only infinitely more numerous, but infinitely worse. Yet I had better confess them, such as they are, in this place. For it was some such nothings as those which follow that first brought Helene and me into one way of thinking, though by paths ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... you about all this row of bad passions and absurdities, with the summer moon (for here our winter is clearer than your dog-days), lighting the winding Arno, with all her buildings and bridges,—so quiet and still!—What nothings are we before the ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge and carried the election. The Whigs and the Know-nothings ...
— A School History of the United States • John Bach McMaster

... were still the order of the day in camp; and, in town, the activity increased rather than abated. There were few idlers about Richmond, even chronic "do-nothings" becoming impressed with the idea that in the universal ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... nothing wise, Which idle hands and minds supply; Those who all thought and toil despise, Mere nothings live, and nothings die. ...
— Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1 • Edward William Cole

... had thought that such things couldn't happen! She had thought that people's private belongings, like their persons, were inviolable. They all always talked, she had talked, about such things as if they were mere nothings. They had talked about the very taking of the Crew Idol as if it were a splendid joke! But she had not dreamed what such things were like when they were near. When they were held up to you naked they were like this! In the shame of it she could no more have faced ...
— The Coast of Chance • Esther Chamberlain

... life, their choice lies, for social position, for enjoyment, for occupation, for usefulness, in this narrow alternative—between a husband and nothing; and that, as Theodore Parker once said, is very often a choice between two nothings. These women may have literary culture and social polish; but, for want of an idea to light up their eyes and strengthen their souls, these things are only ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... only laughed; and there seemed some danger of a break in that kindliness of feeling which their father had vaunted, till Mrs. Landholm spoke. A word and a look of hers, to one and the other, made all smooth; and they went on again talking, of happy nothings, till it was time to separate for the night. It was only then that Mr. Landholm touched on any matter ...
— Hills of the Shatemuc • Susan Warner

... myself, Betty, will I let you undertake such a red-cross expedition as that. They'll have to wait. I came in to call on you and whisper sweet nothings to you in the ...
— Over Paradise Ridge - A Romance • Maria Thompson Daviess

... impression was one of disappointment. It looked so like a public dinner of middle-class people. There was no local character in costume or customs. Men and women sat politely bored, expectant, trifling with their napkins, yawning, muttering nothings about the weather or their neighbours. The frozen commonplaceness of the scene was made for me still more oppressive by Signora dell' Acqua. She was evidently satirical, and could not be happy unless continually laughing at or with somebody. 'What a stick the woman will think me!' I kept ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... with a view to ascertain the facts. It is only when the voice of the captain is heared from his state-room, that he conceives himself bound to be very particular, though such is the tact of all connected with ships, that they instinctively detect the "know nothings," who are uniformly treated with an indifference suited to their culpable ignorance. Even the "old salt" on the forecastle has an instinct for a brother tar, though a passenger, and a due respect is paid to Neptune in answering his inquiries, while ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... too. So it is that she differ from all other. Usually when the UnDead sleep at home," as he spoke he made a comprehensive sweep of his arm to designate what to a vampire was 'home', "their face show what they are, but this so sweet that was when she not UnDead she go back to the nothings of the common dead. There is no malign there, see, and so it make hard that I must ...
— Dracula • Bram Stoker

... ceremonious method of presenting a despatch, of folding a letter, of concluding it with this or that formula, he greeted as if he had helped on the happiness of the human race." Napoleon attached, or pretended to attach, great importance to the thousand nothings which up the life of courts. He established in the palace the same discipline as in the camps. Everything became a matter of rule. Courtiers studied formalities as officers studied the art of war. Regulations were as closely ...
— The Court of the Empress Josephine • Imbert de Saint-Amand

... Bois de Boulogne; he went with her to the play; and the little politician and great man of to-day spent a good deal of his life at that time in writing dainty notes. Eugene was scolded for little nothings from the first; he was in good spirits when Delphine was cheerful, and drooped when she felt low; he bore the weight of her confidences and her ailments; he gave up his time, the hours of his precious youth, to fill ...
— The Firm of Nucingen • Honore de Balzac

... Lady Henry's salon was held, by those especially who did not belong to it. Still, the mere knowledge of this outside estimate kept up a certain tension. At Lady Hubert's there was no tension, and the agreeable nobodies who found their way in were not made to blush for the agreeable nothings of their conversation. ...
— Lady Rose's Daughter • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... though so mournful and full of languor as Love is, yet can be gay with that caressing joy born of beautiful nothings, which makes the laughter of lovers the lightest-hearted laughter that ever ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... pencil. Much more skill was acquired in little notes to Launa Probana during school hours, passed furtively under the desks and benches or hidden in a book which I was suddenly anxious to borrow or lend. What nothings we wrote! With what pains and searchings of the brain for words! Still I filled my bit of paper while Launa wrote only three words, yet her name signed in the tiniest letters satisfied me. With that ...
— Confessions of Boyhood • John Albee

... meaningless word, and they were bathed in happiness; they had their good-byes in the evening on the dimly-lighted stairs, and their eyes would seek each other, divine each other through the half darkness, and the thrill of their hands as they touched, the trembling in their voices, all those little nothings that fed their memory at night, as they slept so lightly that the chiming of each hour would awake them, and their hearts would sing "I am loved," like the ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... gets to bed at one or two o'clock in the morning and sleeps until nine or ten o'clock the next day? Why, bless your soul, the street cleaner and the 'garbage gentleman' are worth a dozen good-for-nothings ...
— Crayon and Character: Truth Made Clear Through Eye and Ear - Or, Ten-Minute Talks with Colored Chalks • B.J. Griswold

... the door, Mrs. Heth gathered her daughter in a convulsive bear-hug, murmuring ecstatic nothings. Little she thought of Settlements or picayunish ...
— V. V.'s Eyes • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... English gentleman was leaning over the balcony, smoking a cigar, and being courted by a fair young lady. Her light-gray eyes dwelt on him in a way to magnetize a man, and she purred pretty nothings at his ear, in a soft tone she reserved for males. Her voice was clear, loud, and rather high-pitched whenever she spoke to a person of her own sex; a comely English blonde, with pale eyelashes; a keen, sensible girl, and not a downright wicked one; ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... besides a very pretty talent for filling in the ground of the Princess' worsted work after the flowers had been begun; he held her skeins of silk with infinite grace, entertained her with dubious nothings more or less transparently veiled. He was ignorant of painting, but he could copy a landscape, sketch a head in profile, or design a costume and color it. He had, in short, all the little talents that a man could turn to such ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... Roderick Anthony and Flora de Barral I could not deduct an ordinary marital quarrel beautifully matured in less than a year—could I. If you ask me what is an ordinary marital quarrel I will tell you, that it is a difference about nothing; I mean, these nothings which, as Mr Powell told us when we first met him, shore people are so prone to start a row about, and nurse into hatred from an idle sense of wrong, from perverted ambition, for spectacular reasons too. There are on earth no actors too humble and obscure not ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... from sixty to seventy we cast up what all our thinking comes to; and then, {15}what between our losses and our gains, our enjoyments and our inquietudes, even with the addition of old age, we can but strike this balance [Takes the board with cyphers]—These are a number of nothings, they are hieroglyphics of part of human kind; for in life, as well as in arithmetic, there are a number of nothings, which, like these cyphers, mean nothing in themselves, and are totally insignificant; but, by the addition of a single figure at their head, they ...
— A Lecture On Heads • Geo. Alex. Stevens

... full-blown variety; sublime, languid peers, needy placemen, hilarious foxhunters, brave tradesmen, aspiring mechanics, poor good-for-nothings; sober housewives, whose thoughts were still of their husbands' shirt-fronts and their hasty-puddings, and who never dreamt that they were impugning their sobriety by attending a play; and above all, fine ladies armed with their fans ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... wrote on his fanatic forehead fifty years ago, "Wit never comes, that comes to all." I should be as scandalised at a bon mot issuing from his oracle-looking mouth, as to see Cato go down a country-dance. God love you all. You are very good to submit to be pleased with reading my nothings. 'Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... nor friars, nor any religious." (He started as I spoke.) "But thou hast told me that hardly in these days may a poor man rise to be a lord: now I tell thee that in the days to come poor men shall be able to become lords and masters and do-nothings; and oft will it be seen that they shall do so; and it shall be even for that cause that their eyes shall be blinded to the robbing of themselves by others, because they shall hope in their souls that they may each live to rob others: and this shall be the very ...
— A Dream of John Ball, A King's Lesson • William Morris

... prophets speak of the gods of other nations as if they really existed, though for Israel Jehovah is the only god, but by degrees the advance is made to the position that these beings do not exist at all, and are simply "vanities" or "nothings." Instead of saying that Jehovah is the greatest among the gods, and that there is none like him, these preachers say that Jehovah alone is god, and that he is the author of all that exists and of all that takes place ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... as if he posait pour le torse. Ultimately the matter was reported to the police superintendent of the district, and it transpired that not less than ten or eleven little girls of the quarter had been thus led astray. From time to time he invited into the house a number of good-for-nothings of the same stamp as himself, and here this youthful Casanova organised pleasure-parties of a kind usually unknown to those of his age. The lad was bound over to come up for trial if called upon. Such cases as this are commoner than ...
— The Sexual Life of the Child • Albert Moll

... never knew them so out of hand. And then another rotten jog along the road to the next draw. Why on earth couldn't Bill get into the country and let them have a school at least, and get away from these damned motors? He was hoarse from shouting replies to Tishy's airy nothings, all winged with his name, and all, he felt, addressed as much to the public as to him. She looked stunning, of course, and he was glad he had given her those furs, but three miles trying to keep a suspicious ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... strength holds. I advise such a one never to seek for help from any one but himself, and never to try for any of the employments which are supposed to be "easy." Cool neglect, insulting compassion, lying promises, evasive and complimentary nothings—these will be his portion. If he cannot perform any skilled labour, let him run the risk of seeming degraded; and, if he has to push a trade in matches or flowers, let him rather do that than bear the more or less kindly flouts which meet the supplicant. To all who are young ...
— Side Lights • James Runciman

... Friedland, whose gentle face could be all criticism, eyed him quietly, and shook hands perfunctorily. A few nothings passed on the weather and the ...
— Helbeck of Bannisdale, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... contain all that even then I knew; and in the third, nominally treating of "Many Things," will be found the full expression of what I knew best; namely, that all "things," many or few, which we ought to paint, must be first distinguished boldly from the nothings which we ought not; and that a faithful realist, before he could question whether his art was representing anything truly, had first to ask whether it meant seriously to represent anything ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... Dalken were announced. Polly and Eleanor—the latter had realized that maybe her future, because of this disaster to the mine would not be as luxurious as she had dreamed of—anxiously welcomed the two men. Polly lost no time in polite nothings, but asked, at once, about ...
— Polly's Business Venture • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... thorny leaves whence the mother root threw Up its crown of rich purple, bejewelled with dew, These feathery nothings, barbed, sparsely, with seeds, Must struggle for life with the brambles ...
— Phemie Frost's Experiences • Ann S. Stephens

... would be precisely equivalent to Silence. This, then, illustrates the famous fundamental aphorism of the Philosophy of Hegel: SOMETHING (equal to) NOTHING; and the seemingly absurd Hegelian affirmation that the real Something is the resultant of the conjunction of two Nothings. ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 5, No. 6, June, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... amenity of his diction; and the admirers of language will always consider Burke a nobler spirit than Fox, because of the grandeur of his sentences. How many wise sayings have been called jests because they were wittily uttered! How many nothings swelled their author into a sage, ay, a saint, because they were strung together by ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... cousin who had married a dear friend, if said dear cousin and dear friend had gone skipping away to Europe, and for one year and a half had flitted gayly from country to country, looking into each other's eyes and murmuring sweet nothings all the while that you had been earning your daily bread by telling daily untruths for a daily paper, if at the end of said period said cousin and friend, forced by a steadily diminishing bank account to return to the stern necessities of life, had written ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... appears in the newspapers, is such an extremely trivial thing and so completely devoted to the egotistical desire for profit that it seems undignified for the scientist to spend his time on such nothings and to shoot sparrows with his laboratory cannon-balls. But on the one side nothing can be unworthy of thorough study from a strictly theoretical point of view. The dirtiest chemical substance may become of greatest importance for chemistry, and the ugliest insect for zooelogy. On the other ...
— Psychology and Industrial Efficiency • Hugo Muensterberg

... demanded, "are you on the trail of that Eg Phillips? Do you really think you've got anything on him? Because if you have and you don't let me into the game I'll never forgive you. Of all the slick, smooth, stuck-up nothings that—— Say, ...
— Fair Harbor • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... influence of Shakespeare I had been walking all day in a complete delusion. I had surveyed the landscape through the prism of poetry, which tinged every object with the hues of the rainbow. I had been surrounded with fancied beings, with mere airy nothings conjured up by poetic power, yet which, to me, had all the charm of reality. I had heard Jaques soliloquize beneath his oak; had beheld the fair Rosalind and her companion adventuring through the woodlands; and, ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... the Honorable Frank P. Blair. Most of my neighbors had known me as an officer of the army with Whig proclivities. They had been on the same side, and, on the death of their party, many had become Know-Nothings, or members of the American party. There was a lodge near my new home, and I was invited to join it. I accepted the invitation; was initiated; attended a meeting just one week later, and never went to ...
— Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete • Ulysses S. Grant

... have taken this party for stupid, or for know-nothings, would have found themselves very much mistaken. Indeed they were far from being dull or sleepy on the subject of Slavery at any rate. They had considered pretty thoroughly how wrongfully they, with all others in similar circumstances, had been year ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... the victim of trifles,—which is the fate and the chief objection to traveling. Days are absorbed in precious nothings. But now that I am in some sort a citizen, of Manchester, and also of Liverpool (for there also I am to enter on lodgings tomorrow, at 56 Stafford Street, Islington), perhaps the social heart of this English world will include me also ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II. • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... a clash of pity and anger in Ian's breast. Pity for Milly's case, anger on account of her whom his inmost being recognized as another, whatever his rational self might say to the matter. He sat down beside his wife and uttered soothing nothings. But she turned upon him eyes of wild despair, the more tragic because it broke through a nature fitted only for the quietest commonplaces of life. She flung herself upon him, clutching him tight, hiding ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... of his two unmarried brothers, who as a rule tramped around the country and were probably good-for-nothings, would spend the winter with him. They always found a ready welcome and remained until the spring or hunger drove them away. He never turned them out. Small as his piece of bread might be he gladly divided it once again, but when he had nothing at all, then indeed he ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... to a gate, and there someone was waiting for him, and he was gently led into the shadow of a dark cedar tree. In the dim twilight he saw two bright eyes looking at him, and he understood their message. In the twilight a thousand meaningless nothings were whispered in the light of the stars, and the hours fled swiftly. When the East began to grow light, the Princess (for it was she) said it ...
— The Art of the Story-Teller • Marie L. Shedlock

... ease, My tub, like Saint Diogenes, Now serious am, now seek to please; Now love and hate in turn one sees; The motives now are those, now these; Now nothings, now realities. Thus roll I, never taking ease, My tub, ...
— The Poems of Goethe • Goethe

... from our purpose to attempt a detailed description of the thousand little nothings which go to make up the character of one of these great fashionable parties. Who ever came from one the wiser? Not one guest in ten, probably, is found engaged in a conversation in which the ordinary powers of the speaker are exercised. A forced glee ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... much comfort upon the royalties from the sale of his picture. Mrs. Carey looked around the table searchingly. Her quick wit was tickled by the curious incongruities of the scene; by Richard Lincoln talking small nothings to the Duchess of Bayswater across the rich American; by the genial and smirking Jawkins, seated between Sir John Dacre and that pink of fashion, Colonel Featherstone; by Lady Carringford, who was between the indifferent Colonel and the Duke; by the three members of the ...
— The King's Men - A Tale of To-morrow • Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T.

... unlike the capricious threads of spun glass), or the whirl of white water which the wind is driving like a luminous dust along the roofs, or the fitful disgorgements of the gutter-pipes, sparkling and foaming; in short, the thousand nothings to be admired and studied with delight by loungers, in spite of the porter's broom which pretends to be sweeping out the gateway. Then there's the talkative refugee, who complains and converses with the porter ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... Lady Joan Fitz-Warene, who was gratified by the devotion of the Cupid of May Fair. He uttered inconceivable nothings, and she replied to him in incomprehensible somethings. Her learned profundity and his vapid lightness effectively contrasted. Occasionally he caught her eye and conveyed to her the anguish of his soul in a ...
— Sybil - or the Two Nations • Benjamin Disraeli

... to prevent it from freezing. The cold is intense—a clear, brilliant, stimulating cold, so dry that even in my threadbare flannel riding dress I do not suffer from it. I must now take up my narrative of the nothings which have all the interest of SOMETHINGS to me. We all got up before daybreak on Tuesday, and breakfasted at seven. I have not seen the dawn for some time, with its amber fires deepening into red, and the snow peaks flushing one by one, and it seemed a new miracle. ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... this weakness was itself a sign of returning life, not of advancing death—of the dawn of a new and genuine strength! For he wept because, in the visions of his troubled brain, he saw once more the cottage of his father the shepherd, with all its store of lovely nothings round which the nimbus of sanctity had gathered while he thought not of them; wept over the memory of that moment of delight when his mother kissed him for parting with his willow whistle to the sister who cried for it: he cried now ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... other times, they regained instinctively their theeing and thouing of the sisters' school, those two women who for nearly twenty years had not addressed a word to each other. Why they detested each other, they hardly knew; so many times, it begins thus, with nothings, with jealousies, with childish rivalries, and then, at length, by dint of seeing each other every day without talking to each other, by dint of casting at each other evil looks, it ferments till it becomes implacable hatred.—Here they were, facing ...
— Ramuntcho • Pierre Loti



Words linked to "Nothings" :   conversation, sweet nothings, honeyed words



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