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Playfulness   /plˈeɪfəlnəs/   Listen
Playfulness

noun
1.
A festive merry feeling.  Synonym: gaiety.
2.
A disposition to find (or make) causes for amusement.  Synonym: fun.  "He was fun to be with"
3.
Activities that are enjoyable or amusing.  Synonyms: fun, merriment.  "He is fun to have around"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Playfulness" Quotes from Famous Books



... mindedness" of More: but how are bibliomaniacs justly to appreciate the classical lore, and incessantly-active book-pursuits,[298] of this scholar and martyr! How he soared "above his compeers!" How richly, singularly, and curiously, was his mind furnished! Wit, playfulness, elevation, and force—all these are distinguishable in his writings, if we except his polemical compositions; which latter, to speak in the gentlest terms, are wholly unworthy of his name. When More's head ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... prettiness till it becomes vapid; and his "Criticism on Female Beauty," though it contains some extremely sensible remarks, also contains much which is suggestive of Mr. Tupman. Yet his miscellaneous writing has one great merit (besides its gentle playfulness and its untiring variety) which might procure pardon for worse faults. With no one perhaps are those literary memories which transform and vivify life so constantly present as with Leigh Hunt. Although the world was a perfectly real thing to him, and not by any means seen only through ...
— Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860 • George Saintsbury

... him for some time splashing about and puffing with all his might; a sort of playfulness which struck me as remarkable for so grave and sedate a character; and then a most unusual floundering, attended with a gurgling of ...
— The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan • James Morier

... at this letter, with its mingled playfulness and sincere patriotism. With all his fun, he was uncommonly intelligent, and understood and appreciated many things which far older boys might have failed to comprehend; and now his splendid blue eyes were raised to his father's face, flashing with real enthusiasm; ...
— Red, White, Blue Socks, Part First - Being the First Book • Sarah L Barrow

... and goodness of his heart. . . . In no place should I take it upon myself at this time to discourse of his books, of his refined knowledge of character, of his subtle acquaintance with the weaknesses of human nature, of his delightful playfulness as an essayist, of his quaint and touching ballads, of his mastery over the English language. . . . But before me lies all that he had written of his latest story . . . and the pain I have felt in perusing it has not been deeper than the conviction that ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... rid of some of the steam first, and you will get accustomed to their playfulness," he returned. "Here, Ormonde, haven't you a rug for Miss Liddell? It may come on ...
— A Crooked Path - A Novel • Mrs. Alexander

... of spite or wanton playfulness, or for the gratification of a whalish whim, the act had cost the huge leviathan no greater effort than might have been used in brushing off a fly; and after its accomplishment the old bull went bowling on after its frolicsome school, ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... Pythagoras throw some light on their capacity and intellect. Among such as these had been the mother of Cleonice, not long since dead, and her daughter inherited and equalled her accomplishments, while her virgin youth, her inborn playfulness of manner, her pure guilelessness, which the secluded habits of the unmarried women at Byzantium preserved from all contagion, gave to qualities and gifts so little published abroad, the effect as it were of a happy and wondrous inspiration ...
— Pausanias, the Spartan - The Haunted and the Haunters, An Unfinished Historical Romance • Lord Lytton

... among delightful English and French friends, long bright hours of perfect weather, long bright hours of genial and affectionate intercourse, English sobriety lightened with French esprit and playfulness-such reminiscences, however precious to the possessor, hardly form materials for a chapter. I pass on to say something about Autun itself, a town so rarely visited by my country-folk, that the principal hotels have not as yet set up a teapot. The people, however, ...
— The Roof of France • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... forces which Grant hurried to the Capitol. Mrs. Lincoln was outspoken to the same effect. The doughty little lady had also been under fire, her temper being every whit as bold as her husband's. When Stanton with a monumental playfulness proposed to have her portrait painted in a commanding attitude on the parapet of Fort Stevens, she gave him the freedom of her tongue, because of ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... "special knowledge." Beyond these things he had little pride except that he claimed to have read every novel by a woman writer that had ever entered the Union Library. This, however, he held to be remarkable rather than ennobling, and such boasts as he made of it were tinged with playfulness. Certainly he had a scholar's knowledge of the works of Miss Marie Corelli, Miss Braddon, Miss Elizabeth Glyn and Madame Sarah Grand that would have astonished and flattered those ladies enormously, and he loved nothing ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... All I'm afraid of is that I can't induce them to quit. They're liable to put this freight aboard The Bedford Castle, and then pull down the dock in a spirit of playfulness and pile it in Captain Peasley's cabin. There ain't no convulsion of nature that's equal to ...
— The Silver Horde • Rex Beach

... and playing the good hostess in all things. He smiled, and ate, and drank, and was gracious under her petting; but he had a weight on his bosom, knowing, as he did, that he must say that before long which would turn all her playfulness either to anger or to grief. "And who had ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... vessel was slow in getting alongside and making fast to the jetty—slow at least in the estimation of the impatient—for although she might leap and career grandly in wanton playfulness while on her native billows, in port a careless touch from her ponderous sides would have crushed part of the jetty into fragments. Miles therefore had ample time to look about him ...
— Blue Lights - Hot Work in the Soudan • R.M. Ballantyne

... playfulness, first glancing at the sleeping LADY OWBRIDGE.] And so all these good things are to befall me ...
— The Gay Lord Quex - A Comedy in Four Acts • Arthur W. Pinero

... expression. I have no god until I address him. This will be the most direct evidence of what is at least from my point of view a social relation. There can be no general definition of the form which this address will take. There may be as many special languages, as many attitudes, and as much playfulness and subtlety of symbolism as in human intercourse. But, on the other hand, there are certain utterances that are peculiarly appropriate to religion. In so far as he regards his object as endowed with both power and goodness the worshipper will use the language ...
— The Approach to Philosophy • Ralph Barton Perry

... Ezra, that there is no girl in the world whom I should like better to receive as my daughter-in-law. Ah, you rogue! you could come round her; you know you could." The old man poked his long bony finger In the direction of his son's ribs with grim playfulness. ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... enter with genial sympathy into any gaiety whatever, but, least of all, when the gaiety trespasses a little into the province of the extravagant. In such a case, not to sympathize is not to understand; and the playfulness, which is not relished, becomes flat and insipid, or absolutely without meaning. Fortunately, after all such churls have withdrawn from my audience in high displeasure, there remains a large majority who are loud in acknowledging the amusement which they have derived from a former paper of mine, ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... thou look'st upon!—The stare, Which on thy cradle beamed so brightly sweet, Were gods to the distempered playfulness Of thy untutored infancy: the trees, The grass, the clouds, the mountains, and ...
— Ancient and Modern Celebrated Freethinkers - Reprinted From an English Work, Entitled "Half-Hours With - The Freethinkers." • Charles Bradlaugh, A. Collins, and J. Watts

... remarkable that with such instability his moral nature should continue uncorrupted; but this I believe he owed chiefly to his love and admiration of his brother. For my part, I could not help liking him much. There was a half-plaintive playfulness about him, alternated with gloom, and occasionally with wild merriment, which made him interesting even when one felt most inclined to quarrel with him. The worst of him was that he considered himself a generally misunderstood, if not ill-used man, who could not only distinguish ...
— The Vicar's Daughter • George MacDonald

... always reflected some of his own happiness. It is not wit nor subtle humour, but a combination of pure mirth with the enthusiasm of warm friendship, that maintains one's interest in the simple life of the new Drumston. There is an abundance of farcical fun and playfulness which force laughter, and never approach an unkindness. The men avoid being smart at each other's expense; and if they cannot claim to be clever or heroic, they are at least good fellows, any one of whom might serve as ...
— Australian Writers • Desmond Byrne

... and the two minds of husband and wife are in that conjunction, and when that conjunction descends it presents the appearance of marriage love; for consorts are in mutual love, as their minds are. This is why in marriage love there is a playfulness like that of childhood and ...
— Heaven and its Wonders and Hell • Emanuel Swedenborg

... in sorrow I am beautiful, and my look is languid because of my love. Look into my pupil; I will narrow and widen it, and give it a peculiar glitter—the twinkling of a star at night, the playfulness of all precious stones—of diamonds, of green emeralds, of yellowish topaz, of blood-red rubies. Look into my eyes: It is I, the queen—I am crowning myself, and that which is glittering, burning and glowing—that robs you of your reason, your freedom and your life—it is poison. It ...
— The Crushed Flower and Other Stories • Leonid Andreyev

... if it could be had; if not, of solemn, specious nonsense, about something unconnected with the story; an essay on writing, a critique on Walter Scott, or the history of Bonaparte, or something that would form a contrast, and bring the reader with increased delight to the playfulness and epigrammatism of the ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... good means of softening social distances. A stiff, grave, man is always in danger of being feared too much. On the other hand, as the self-love of many people is suspicious in the extreme, you must expect that your most innocent playfulness will often be ...
— The Claims of Labour - an essay on the duties of the employers to the employed • Arthur Helps

... fraction towards the great purpose. Emily has confessed that she worked away a good deal of vague, weary depression, and sense of monotony into those Greek choruses: but to us she was always a sunbeam, with her ever ready attention, and the playfulness which resumed more of genuine mirth after the first effort and ...
— Chantry House • Charlotte M. Yonge

... himself and friends, all those intellectual faculties which have so eminently distinguished his long and useful life; who, suffering little short of martyrdom, from the frequent attacks of gout, still devotes hours and days to his favourite pursuit; uniting with his studies all the playfulness ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 13, No. 363, Saturday, March 28, 1829 • Various

... bewilderment had frozen on her face. Had not that something, akin to anger, which her nature had felt to be emanating from him remained so potently to oppress her, she could almost have thought the thing a joke—some freakish mood of playfulness after all the other moods he had shown. But no such thought was possible. The glitter in his eyes had been unmistakable. ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... influence in town and State, and was able to send two of his sons to Bowdoin College. I have mentioned Browne's parentage because his humor is so essentially American. Whether this consists in a peculiar gravity in the humorous attitude towards the subject, rather than playfulness, or in a tendency to exaggerated statement, or in a broad humanitarian standpoint, or in a certain flavor given by a blending of all these, it is very difficult to decide. Probably the peculiar standpoint is ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... agreement, he has probably never been excelled. His lucid arrangement of topics, his pure polished style, and his appearance of dispassionate conviction secured the pleased attention of his audience. The more tedious parts of his argument or narrative were from time to time relieved by touches of the playfulness which is more popular than humour; but the colleagues and opponents who thoroughly understood his object, knew that it was pursued with ...
— Memoirs of James Robert Hope-Scott, Volume 2 • Robert Ornsby

... rear, without troubling any one, for no one troubled himself any further about me. The company was excessively lively; there were dalliance and playfulness; trifles were sometimes discussed with an important tone, but oftener important matters with levity; and especially pleasantly flew the wit over absent friends and their circumstances. I was too strange to understand much of all this; too anxious and introverted to ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

... on more logs," she said softly. "Father Confessor, I've come to confess." There was something under the playfulness that touched Drew. "I told Connie that I wanted to talk to you about a plan of mine; well, so it is, but I want you to put the stamp of your sage ...
— Joyce of the North Woods • Harriet T. Comstock

... this venerable sinner threw out fresh shoots; and she became enamoured of the attentive and admired Englishman. Horace was susceptible of ridicule: there his somewhat icy heart was easily touched. Partly in vanity, partly in playfulness, he encouraged the sentimental-exaggeration of his correspondent; but, becoming afraid of the world's laughter, ended by reproving her warmth, and by chilling, under the refrigerating influence of his cautions, all the romance of ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 2 • Grace & Philip Wharton

... a French caricaturist of great fertility and playfulness of genius, born at Marseilles; became blind ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... says Moore, "as appears from the concurrent testimony of nurses, tutors, and all who were employed about him, a mixture of affectionate sweetness and playfulness, by which it was impossible not to be attached, and which rendered him then, as in his riper years, easily manageable by those who loved and understood him sufficiently to be at once gentle and firm ...
— My Recollections of Lord Byron • Teresa Guiccioli

... are advantageously distinguished amongst those of her blue-stocking contemporaries by happy turns of thought and expression, natural playfulness, and an abundant flow of idiomatic language. But her facility was a fatal gift, as it has proved to most female aspirants to poetic fame, who rarely stoop to the labour of the file. Although the first rule laid down by Goldsmith's connoisseur[1] is far from universally applicable ...
— Autobiography, Letters and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale) (2nd ed.) (2 vols.) • Mrs. Hester Lynch Piozzi

... attempting to chop, hay, and milk, he was given a dung-fork and set to work at a pile of manure. He writes about these details with a softening of the raw facts by elegancies of language, and much gentle fun, but from the start he shows a playfulness of disposition in regard to the whole affair, like a great boy on a vacation, as if the sense of it all being, so far as he was concerned, a surprising joke on a novel scale were in his mind and attitude all the time; and it is this humor, interlacing ...
— Nathaniel Hawthorne • George E. Woodberry

... away, the minister discovered, by the faintness which came over him, that the last few moments had been a crisis of terrible anxiety; although his mind had made an involuntary effort to relieve itself by a kind of lurid playfulness. ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... is, we have had a PERSONAL difficulty." He paused, glanced around him, and continued in a low, agitated voice: "Yesterday I came upon him as he was sitting leaning against the barrack wall. In a spirit of playfulness—mere playfulness, I assure you, sir—I poked him lightly in the shoulder with my stick, saying 'Boo!' He turned—and I shall never forget the look he ...
— New Burlesques • Bret Harte

... the infant in its innocence; childhood in its playfulness; youth in its beauty; manhood in his usefulness, and old age in its decrepitude. All, all fall alike before the withering breath ...
— Withered Leaves from Memory's Garland • Abigail Stanley Hanna

... for thee," she answered, with a mixture of arch sweetness and playfulness that he scarce knew whether to call childlike confidence or maiden trust. But the look in her eyes went to his heart, and was treasured there, like the memory of a sunbeam, for many long days ...
— The Lord of Dynevor • Evelyn Everett-Green

... all this; despair gives way to a resigned quietism, to that "peace of God which passeth all understanding." Such is the ineffable insight of the artist, and no poetry is satisfying which does not spring from this source. Wagner in the letter I quoted before, speaks of the cheerful playfulness of Spanish poets after they had adopted the ascetic life. The philosophic pessimist is not a fretful and malignant caviller who sneers at the follies of others because he thinks himself so much wiser than they. Any one may note among the ...
— Wagner's Tristan und Isolde • George Ainslie Hight

... the clear, cold Ezla's breezy side, My hand amidst her ringlets wont to rove; She proffered now the lock, and now denied— With all the baby playfulness of love. ...
— The Actress in High Life - An Episode in Winter Quarters • Sue Petigru Bowen

... sir,' replied the lady in blue, with playfulness. And Mr. John Dounce eat one oyster, and then looked at the young lady, and then eat another, and then squeezed the young lady's hand as she was opening the third, and so forth, until he had devoured a dozen of those at eightpence in less than ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... playfulness with which his eyes twinkled was evidently caused by the sight of the nimble Jew, whose body seemed to be made of india rubber, and the two corkscrew curls behind his ears of a fiery red, seemed to dance to and ...
— An Obscure Apostle - A Dramatic Story • Eliza Orzeszko

... had said, in the evening, she looked much better, and there was even a touch of playfulness in her manner. He could not but hope some crisis had been passed. The money she had received for the ring had probably something to do with it. Perhaps she had not known how valuable the ring was. Thereupon in his conscientiousness he began to doubt whether he had given her its ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... mingling slowly with their native earth: There the broad beam of day, which feebly once Lighted the cheek of lean captivity With a pale and sickly glare, now freely shines On the pure smiles of infant playfulness: 495 No more the shuddering voice of hoarse despair Peals through the echoing vaults, but soothing notes Of ivy-fingered winds and gladsome birds And ...
— The Daemon of the World • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... girl, whose future gay audacity was already apparent under an air of timid playfulness, replied: "It is I who shall not dare to say ...
— Strong as Death • Guy de Maupassant

... arms about his neck and buried her fair face upon the pillow which afforded her such convenient shelter. As for the man, there was something like a lump in his throat, but he spoke with an effort at playfulness, though his voice wavered ...
— A Man and a Woman • Stanley Waterloo

... the men on the Star Circle Ranch. They were given to loud laughter, but he noticed that most of this laughter was at the misfortunes of others. And they were always playing jokes on one another and cutting up tricks; but beneath this playfulness there seemed to be a sort of fierceness—something like the ferocity that lurks beneath the play of ...
— Injun and Whitey to the Rescue • William S. Hart

... have a hard, dreary, and unfeminine expression of countenance, rather inconsistent with one's notions of the delicacy and tenderness of woman. Few of them are even passably well-looking. All the natural playfulness of the gentler sex seems to be crushed out of them; and while their manners are uncouth, their voices are the wildest and most unmusical that ever fell upon the ear from a feminine source. When dressed in their best attire they usually wear a profusion ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... greater mind, I am disposed to think, in the English nation. His intellect has the range of an Acton, his forthrightness is the match of Dr. Johnson's, and his wit, less biting though little less courageous than Voltaire's, has the illuminating quality, if not the divine playfulness, of ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... of that noble freedom of sentiment which is the best possession of man. Nor can it be denied, that he had many prejudices; which, however, frequently suggested many of his pointed sayings, that rather shew a playfulness of fancy than any settled malignity. He was steady and inflexible in maintaining the obligations of religion and morality; both from a regard for the order of society, and from a veneration for the GREAT SOURCE of all order; correct, nay stern in his taste; ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... horse is the finest of quadrupeds, we do not like him to lay his hoof playfully on our shoulder. Still, as we have noticed that the pointless puns and stupid jocularity of the boy may ultimately be developed into the epigrammatic brilliancy and polished playfulness of the man; as we believe that racy wit and chastened delicate humor are inevitably the results of invigorated and refined mental activity, we can also believe that Germany will, one day, yield a crop of ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... more descriptive than that he seems to me to have had something in common with the man whom Carlyle least appreciated. The society of Erasmus Darwin had, to my mind, much the same charm as the writings of Charles Lamb. There was the same kind of playfulness, the same lightness of touch, the same tenderness, perhaps the same limitations. On another side of his nature, I have often been reminded of him by the quaint, delicate humour, the superficial intolerance, ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I • Francis Darwin

... prosperities, and grew in prodigality step by step with their advancing fortunes. In time they became truly enormous. Aleck built a university or two per Sunday; also a hospital or two; also a Rowton hotel or so; also a batch of churches; now and then a cathedral; and once, with untimely and ill-chosen playfulness, Sally said, "It was a cold day when she didn't ship a cargo of missionaries to persuade unreflecting Chinamen to trade off twenty-four carat Confucianism ...
— The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... brave action. Neither his statue nor picture are extant, he never allowing them in his life, and utterly forbidding them to be made after his death. He is said to have been a little man, of a contemptible presence; but the goodness of his humor, and his constant cheerfulness and playfulness of temper, always free from anything of moroseness or haughtiness, made him more attractive, even to his old age, than the most beautiful and youthful men of the nation. Theophrastus writes, that the Ephors laid a fine upon Archidamus for ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... mere child, he said; and yet there was something more than childish grace in that light, but rounded form, where beauty was more than budding, but not quite blossomed, like a moss-rose in its loveliest state of loveliness. And her mind too; there was nothing childish in her thoughts except their playfulness. The morning dew-drops had not yet exhaled; but the day-star of the mind was ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... be told upon,' said Paula as she withdrew, with just enough playfulness to show that her ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... that no one else could say, and approach subjects that no one else could approach, simply by reason of the grave whimsical playfulness of his manner and the extraordinary malleableness of his evasive style. It is because his style can be as simple and clear as sunlight, and yet as airy and impalpable as the invisible wind, that he manages to achieve these results. He uses little words, ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... he trembles now, poor fellow," she said, with the most charming playfulness of manner. "Yes, monsieur, I have two characters to perform. I am the sister of the king, the sister-in-law of the king's wife. In this character ought I not to take an interest in these domestic intrigues? Come, tell ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... I assure you he did so only by compulsion; he would have come gladly if Uncle Sam had not ordered him off in another direction," Violet answered, with pretty playfulness ...
— Elsie at Nantucket • Martha Finley

... not gain and may even lose in weight. It no longer exhibits its usual energy and playfulness, but is either listless and indifferent or cross, fretful and irritable, and is apt to sleep poorly. It grows pale and anaemic and its tissues become soft and flabby. When the milk is scanty it will often nurse a long time at the breasts, sometimes three quarters ...
— The Care and Feeding of Children - A Catechism for the Use of Mothers and Children's Nurses • L. Emmett Holt

... Princess exhibited no signs of playfulness. It was pale, and her whole being seemed under the influence of ...
— The Youth of the Great Elector • L. Muhlbach

... anywhere it was possible for men to go, and accomplish anything it was permitted man to attempt. I had a cruise on board of her not long ago to Manu'a, and was delighted. The goodwill of all on board; the grim playfulness of[77] quarters, with the wounded falling down at the word; the ambulances hastening up and carrying them away; the Captain suddenly crying, "Fire in the ward-room!" and the squad hastening forward with ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the tender, "tell me, my dear boy, why you fancy you do not love me. You see, madam, that I encourage sincerity—and like, at all times, the truth to be spoken out. Why don't you love me, Ralph dear?" pinching my ear with a spiteful violence, that was meant for gracious playfulness in the eyes of the lady, and an intelligible hint for myself. I ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... friends upon whom he was calling happened to be just going out, he said, 'Leave me the baby and I shall be quite happy.' Several little fragments of letters with doggerel rhymes and anecdotes suited for children recall his playfulness with infants, and as we grew up, although we learnt to regard him with a certain awe, he conversed with us most freely, and discoursed upon politics, history, and literature, and his personal recollections, ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... slightest resemblance between them. All I am certain of in their personal relation to each other is that cruel pinch on the upper part of the arm. That I am sure I have seen! There could be no mistake. I was in a too idle mood to imagine such a gratuitous barbarity. It may have been playfulness, yet the girl jumped up as if she had been stung by a wasp. It may have been playfulness. Yet I saw plainly poor "dreamy innocence" rub gently the affected place as she filed off with the other performers ...
— Notes on My Books • Joseph Conrad

... brown eyes upon him, and was regarding him with such manifest unconsciousness of the drift of his speech, and, withal, a little vague impatience of his archness, that Mr. Carr was feebly alarmed. It had the effect of banishing his assumed playfulness, which made his serious explanation ...
— Devil's Ford • Bret Harte

... then, with a preliminary cough, lifted a voice as crude as hers, but powerful through much camp-meeting exercise, and roared a chorus which was remarkable chiefly for requiring that archness and playfulness in execution which he lacked. As the whole house seemed to dilate with the sound, and the wind outside to withhold its fury, Mr. Rylands felt that physical delight which children feel in personal outcry, and was grateful to his wife for the opportunity. ...
— Mr. Jack Hamlin's Mediation and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... love towards him,—towards this poor, forsaken man, who, if any mortal could, might have been pardoned for regarding himself as thrown aside, forgotten, and left to be the sport of some fiend, whose playfulness was an ecstasy ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... would smile, watching her play with a young bob-cat, which some trapper had brought her from the woods, and whose savage playfulness seemed to be held in leash under her small hands. The creature would mouth and fawn upon her, taking her cuffs and slaps, and follow her about ...
— The Maid of the Whispering Hills • Vingie E. Roe

... demented my unfortunate companion. At a period when such vagaries of thought most fully possessed me, and when we had been at work perhaps an hour and a half, we were again interrupted by the violent howlings of the dog. His uneasiness, in the first instance, had been, evidently, but the result of playfulness or caprice, but he now assumed a bitter and serious tone. Upon Jupiter's again attempting to muzzle him, he made furious resistance, and, leaping into the hole, tore up the mold frantically with his claws. In a few seconds he had ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... father of yours going to die?" asked the seventh, throwing her bouquet at Don Juan with bewitching playfulness. It was a childish girl who spoke, and the speaker was wont to make sport ...
— The Elixir of Life • Honore de Balzac

... no," she returned, and going to the mantelshelf, brought a box of matches, one of which she struck, holding it to the end of his cigar. When he had lighted it, he captured her wrist with elephantine playfulness. ...
— Enter Bridget • Thomas Cobb

... quite surprised," one of them began, "at the buoyant youthful spirit which you still retain, at your jovial animation, your lively poetical playfulness. All the rest of us have grown so old, and the weight of years presses so heavily upon us, while you are still jesting, and pleasure has lost none of its ...
— The Old Man of the Mountain, The Lovecharm and Pietro of Abano - Tales from the German of Tieck • Ludwig Tieck

... the boy and his mother were kindly welcomed by the king, and joyfully greeted by the Birchlegs, who were strong in that district. Little Haakon was then less than two years old, and it is said that the old loyalists, who were eager to have a king of the royal blood, used in playfulness to pull him between them by the arms and legs, to make ...
— Historical Tales, Vol. 9 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality. Scandinavian. • Charles Morris

... her surprise, her attempt at playfulness had no notable success. The intent of her remarks received from her aunt and Morrison the merest formal recognition of a hasty, dim smile, and with one accord they looked at once in another direction. "And after the ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

... some to be a "softy," and by others honored by the equally comprehensive and euphonious titles of "spooney" and "muff," there were few who were not won by his gentle good-nature, and the uniform good temper, and even playfulness, with which he bore the immoderate quizzing that fell to his lot, as a new boarder arrived in the middle of the half-year. If there were an errand to be run among the seniors, it was, "Louis Mortimer, will you get me this or that?" if a dunce wanted helping, Louis was sure to be applied to, with ...
— Louis' School Days - A Story for Boys • E. J. May

... anger, and in all likelihood he looks scowlingly or frowningly. He glowers. An added expression of sullenness or gloom comes into his look. He lowers. He throws off his dark spirit and looks slyly and playfully, let us say through a small opening. He peeks. Playfulness gives place to curiosity; he looks quickly and furtively, perhaps through some tiny aperture, and probably at something he has no business to see. He peeps. The while he looks his mouth falls open, as from ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... felt about Hetty softened a little his feeling towards Arthur. Surely his attentions to Hetty must have been of a slight kind; they were altogether wrong, and such as no man in Arthur's position ought to have allowed himself, but they must have had an air of playfulness about them, which had probably blinded him to their danger and had prevented them from laying any strong hold on Hetty's heart. As the new promise of happiness rose for Adam, his indignation and jealousy began to die ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... performances, such as his essays after the Spectator, hardly rise above mediocrity, and are neither better nor worse than other imitations of Addison. But in some of his lighter bagatelles there are a homely wisdom and a charming playfulness which have won them enduring favor. Such are his famous story of the Whistle, his Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout, his letters to Madame Helvetius, and his verses entitled Paper. The greater ...
— Initial Studies in American Letters • Henry A. Beers

... working men of the Middle West, that were just coming into fashionable approval. His soft hat was of a discreet dark brown, and from under it his clear eye flamed like a topaz. He stopped Anthony enthusiastically, slapping him on the arms more from a desire to keep himself warm than from playfulness, and, after his inevitable hand shake, ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... seven stone. Whenever I saw her carried, there was always draped about her a gaily coloured rug or large shawl; and she was for ever smiling, or actually laughing, or making some quaintly humorous little remark. I wondered sometimes if she had borrowed her playfulness in speech from her husband, or if he had borrowed from her. I do not think I ever met a ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... pretty love-stories perhaps the prettiest. Idyllic as Daphnis and Chloe, romantic as Romeo and Juliet, tender as Undine, remote as Cupid and Psyche, yet with perpetual touches of actual life, and words that raise pictures; and lightened all through with a dainty playfulness, as if Ariel himself had hovered near all the time of its writing, and Puck now and again ...
— Aucassin and Nicolette - translated from the Old French • Anonymous

... the Knight, taking her hand in affectionate playfulness, "I have done this marvellous deed—have rolled on the ocean for three days and three nights, with the deep green waves dashing by the side of my pillow, and but a thin plank to divide me ...
— The Abbot • Sir Walter Scott

... and multifarious"; but it did not state truly, that, "in all his essays, verse or prose, serious or comic, he never trespassed against decorum or sound morals," or that "the keenness of his wit was combined with such playfulness of fancy, good-humor, and kindness of natural sentiment, that his merits were ungrudgingly acknowledged even by those of politics most different from ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 90, April, 1865 • Various

... witty in its musical aptness as Mendelssohn's clown-theme in the Overture to the Midsummer Night's Dream; and in the ensuing dialogue their prophecy is verified. As with many other great artists, Bach's playfulness occasionally showed itself inconveniently where little things shock little minds. The hilarious aria, "Ermuntre dich," in the church cantata, Schmuecke dich, o liebe Seele, is one instance, and the quaint representation of the words ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... arose from an excess of every feeling—a continual running into extremes. Never were two sisters more fond of each other—it appeared as if the difference between their dispositions but added to their attachment. The serious character of the elder was roused to playfulness by the vivacity of the younger, and the extravagance of the younger was kept in due bounds by the prudence of the elder. As a child I liked Donna Emilia, but I was devotedly fond ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... all the appointments of wealth. The house was a huge cube, ornamented at its corners and cornices with all possible flowers of a rude architecture, reminding one of an elephant, that, in a fit of incontinent playfulness, had indulged in antics characteristic of its clumsy bulk and brawn. Outside were ample stables, a green-house, a Chinese pagoda that was called "the summer-house," an exquisite garden and trees, among which latter were carefully cherished the seven ancient oaks that ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... something; and that something, that theme for which he finds the form, is part of the world's spiritual heritage. Only the crudest works of plastic art, capricci and arabesques, have no intellectual content; and even these are good in so far as they convey the playfulness of fancy. ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... grew to be boisterous, I perceived that Em'ly's mission was approaching its end. They were too heavy for her, and their increasing scope of playfulness was not in her line. Once or twice they knocked her over, upon which she arose and pecked them severely, and they retired to a safe distance, and sitting in a circle, yapped at her. I think they began to suspect that she was ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... flippancy; perhaps Mr Arnold had silently learnt a lesson, perhaps the opportunities of regular essays in "three-decker" reviews—of a lay sermon to working men, of a speech at the greatest public school in the world—discouraged the playfulness which had seemed permissible in addressing a skittish young evening newspaper. But the unpracticalness—not in the Philistine but in the strictly scientific sense—is more glaring than ever, and there are other faults with ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... of that voice, that way of jesting, that schoolboy playfulness allied with that audacity, the quizzing expression of those eyes, and lastly that Christian name of Alexandre, which was not his name at all and which only one person used to give him, years ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... effort. The circumstance of their first meeting had been commonplace enough—a chance introduction at an afternoon tea. They were friends whilst yet utter strangers to each other, for a mutual personal magnetism had acted immediately. He understood that her playfulness did but conceal fine qualities of character that would have pleased even the aphoristic moralist, whose conception of the ideal woman she mercilessly outraged. That she had really understood and appreciated his work naturally counted a good deal in her favour. He knew her worth, but of course he ...
— Cleo The Magnificent - The Muse of the Real • Louis Zangwill

... more. His friends need no reminders of his innocent, sunny playfulness, or his abounding, sparkling—but never trenchant—wit. As one of them has said of another, 'What bright, graceful conceits often fell from his lips, his soft, dark eye smiling at his own unexpected thought!' And yet, such was ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... solemn, with which, on the deck of a Hudson River steamboat, as we were passing West Point, he indicated to me the Kosciuszko monument, saying briefly, "That's the place where Freedom shrieked." It was the quality of his temperament that made his playfulness delicious. Setchell was the mental descendant of Burton, as Burton was of Reeve and as Reeve was of Liston. Actors illustrate a kind of heredity. Each species is distinct and discernible. Lester Wallack maintained the lineage of Charles Kemble, William Lewis, Elliston, ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... perhaps an inevitable part, of his wide humanity. Pitt was slender, boyish, precise, punctilious in attire, his native composure only occasionally lightened by a flash of humor or sweetened by a show of playfulness, old beyond his years and young to the end of his short life, sternly self-restrained and self-commanded, gracious in a kind of melancholy, unconscious charm, a curiously unadorned, uncolored personality, that attracted where it did attract ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... threw himself into the task assigned to him, with his natural gallantry and a certain captivating playfulness which he still retained. Perhaps he was the more anxious to please in order that his companion might share some of his popularity, for it was undeniable that Miss Harcourt still seemed to excite only a constrained politeness among ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... countenance of yours would give you away even if your tongue didn't. I'd say you weren't a bit in love with Lynch, or any of the rest of the bunch, either. Likely you got a good reason, an' of course it ain't any of my business; but if that stunt with the red-hot branding-iron is a sample of their playfulness, I should think you'd drift. There must be plenty of peaceful jobs open ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... despite its playfulness, a delicate finality that told him plainly that she had no intention of pursuing the subject further, and, curiously, the man's heart smote him for a moment. He felt as if in some fashion wholly ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... hearts and minds are melancholy. When we become like little children, our very playfulness tells that we are seeing deep, when we see that God is love in His works as well as in Himself, and we look at Nature as a baby does, as a beautiful mystery which we scarcely wish to solve. And therefore deep things, which the intellect in vain struggles after, ...
— Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife • Charles Kingsley

... she was within a few weeks of eighty years of age, (which was in January, 1838,) she wrote to me in the following vein of playfulness: ...
— The Young Woman's Guide • William A. Alcott

... relaxation is of the very finest essence of conviviality, and a treat delicious to those who have the sense to comprehend it; but it implies a trust in the company not always to be risked." The truth is, that many, eminent for their genius, have been remarkable in society for a simplicity and playfulness almost infantine. Such was the gaiety of Hume, such the bonhomie of Fox; and one who had long lived in a circle of men of genius in the last age, was disposed to consider this infantine simplicity as ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... girl inclines to reveries; she seeks solitude; her mother surprises her in causeless tears; her teacher discovers an unwonted inattention to her studies, a less retentive memory, a disinclination to mental labor; her father misses her accustomed playfulness; he, perhaps, is annoyed by her listlessness and inertia. What does it all mean? What is the ...
— The Physical Life of Woman: - Advice to the Maiden, Wife and Mother • Dr. George H Napheys

... fundamental prejudices toward right and wrong which are the earliest acquisitions of a young soul. The other characteristics of the tale—the rhythmic, the grotesque, the weird, and the droll—are mere recreation, the abundant playfulness which children require to rest them from the dangers and terrors which ...
— A Study of Fairy Tales • Laura F. Kready

... and howled with increasing violence around the granary where Arthur lay tossing upon his hard bed. It seized the door and rattled it in wanton playfulness, as if to deceive the sick man with the hope that a friend's hand was on the latch, and then raced blustering and screaming down to the meadows below. The fanning mill and piles of grain bags made fantastic shadows on ...
— Sowing Seeds in Danny • Nellie L. McClung

... he said, 'broke out of Dover Gaol. I 'appen to know what he's in for—nicked a four-pound cake, he did, off of a counter at a pastrycook's—Jenner's it was, in the High Street—part hunger, part playfulness. But even if I wasn't to know what he was lagged for, do you think I'd put the coppers on to him? Not me. Give a fellow a chance is what I say. But don't you grizzle about them there Tommies. P'raps it'll ...
— Oswald Bastable and Others • Edith Nesbit

... mind. He spoke first of the weird tricks of the Alaskan waters, and of strange forces deep down under the surface which he had never had explained to him, and of how he had lost a cask once upon a time, and a week later had run upon it well upon its way to Japan. He emphasized the hide-and-seek playfulness of the undertows and the treachery ...
— The Alaskan • James Oliver Curwood

... ruddily from the sea; it came with a south-wind playfulness, which tossed the girl's glistening hair with free touch and kissed the glowing face into ...
— Janet of the Dunes • Harriet T. Comstock

... In contrast with so many princesses who weary their companions and are wearied by them, she amused herself and others. Entering a family celebrated by its legendary catastrophes, she had lost nothing of the playfulness which was the essence of her nature. The Tuileries, the scene of such terrible dramas, did not inspire her as it did the Duchess of Angouleme, with sad reflections. When she heard Mass in the Chapel of the Chateau, she did ...
— The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... leave us?" she went on with a gentle playfulness, though the tears were in her own eyes. "Whatever made you think of getting work out of Weircombe? Oh, you dissatisfied old boy! I thought you were ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... young man steadily in the face for about thirty seconds. His countenance was as calm as that of a reposing infant. I think it was simplicity, rather than mischief, with perhaps a youthful playfulness, that led him to this outbreak. I have often noticed that even quiet horses, on a sharp November morning, when their coats are just beginning to get the winter roughness, will give little sportive demi-kicks, with slight sudden elevation ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... on the cellar-door. They belonged to the same class in school, and besides were "cronies" in all respects. There was Tom Miller, the minister's son, who intended to be a minister himself, and Jimmy Jackson, the shoemaker's boy, as full of fun and playfulness as a kitten, and poor Will Sampson, who stammered, and Harry Wilson, the son of a wealthy banker, and a brave boy too, and John Harlan, the widow's son, pale and slender, the pet of all, and great, stout Hans Schlegal, who bade fair to be a great scholar. These ...
— Queer Stories for Boys and Girls • Edward Eggleston

... are told, had a strong personal resemblance to Benjamin Franklin. Sagacity, benevolence, and playfulness were expressed in both physiognomies. Bentham, however, differed from the man whose intellect presents many points of likeness, in that he was not a man of the market-place or the office. Bentham was in many respects a child through life:[350] a ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... published in the Popular Science Monthly an essay on Human Instincts, characterized by a vigorous common sense and close observation. When he asserts (contrary to the old metaphysics) the existence of such instincts as fear, acquisitiveness, constructiveness, play (or, properly, playfulness), curiosity, sociability, shyness, secretiveness, cleanliness, modesty, shame, love, coyness or personal isolation, jealousy, parental love, etc., he shows the spirit of science. But is it not self-evident, Mr. James, to a man of your fine intelligence, that all strong ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, October 1887 - Volume 1, Number 9 • Various

... She begins to read Burns with youthful delight, dilates upon his exhaustless imagination, his versatility, and then she suggests a very just criticism. 'Does it not appear' she says, 'that versatility is the true and rare characteristic of that rare thing called genius—versatility and playfulness;' then she goes on to speak of two highly-reputed novels just come out and ascribed to Lady Morley, 'Pride and ...
— Our Village • Mary Russell Mitford

... and two dimples appeared at the corners of her mouth and altered her face from a mask of tragic suffering to the sweetest playfulness. ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... strong as ours, but so much interrupted by playfulness that it is impossible to measure their exact strength. Lydia's 'amour propre' was wounded in an incurable manner by that revelation of her own peculiarity. Certain incidents of her American life recurred to her, which she comprehended more clearly. She recalled the portrait of her grandmother, ...
— Cosmopolis, Complete • Paul Bourget

... forbid it! No matter how I am compromised, no matter how I am misjudged,—I am still willing to take you as my lawful wife Froeken Thelma,—but," and here he shook his forefinger at her with a pretended playfulness, "I will permit no more converse with Sir Philip Errington; no, no! I cannot allow it! . . ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... has a beauty which is like that of some lovely, stately, placid, well-behaved blond wife. She is conventional and correct. You always know where to find her. The lower river is a temperamental mistress. At one moment she is all sweetness, smiles and playfulness; at the next vivid and passionate. Even when she is at her loveliest there is always the possibility of sudden fury: of her rising in a rage, breaking the furniture, wrecking the house—yes, and perhaps winding her wicked cold arms about you in a ...
— American Adventures - A Second Trip 'Abroad at home' • Julian Street

... free of his embrace with a violence that staggered him. He saw that she was taking his effort at playfulness ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... Henrietta, pardon my levity. I spoke in the merest playfulness. Nay,' he continued, for she seemed really hurt, 'say ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... severe thought and unflagging attention, have scarcely had their due weight with the general reader, nor secured their just meed of admiration. He was singularly careless, writes his editor, in distributing his pleasing illustrations of playfulness, or pathos, or epigrammatic expression. His 'mission' he considered to be that of an instructor and improver; and the flowers which, equally with more substantial things, were the produce of his vigorous intellect, he looked upon as scarcely worthy of passing ...
— Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, March 1844 - Volume 23, Number 3 • Various

... health and conduct, more or less marked of course in each case. A cold may appear periodically at the end of each month, an increase of irritability and waywardness may be observed, or, on the contrary, a decrease of the regular restless playfulness. The ghost of sex begins ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... whispered. 'Are you mad? You may enrage him. Do not touch the rope! Do not touch it again!' Oh, the recklessness, the unthinking playfulness of woman! How can we guard against it? How can we be safe ...
— John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein • Frank R. Stockton

... the little Tamunus; some of which, in beauty of colours, in playfulness of disposition, and other amiable qualities, need not yield either to the Saimiris or Ouistitis. They are equally prized as pets; and among their Creole owners have equally applied to them ...
— Quadrupeds, What They Are and Where Found - A Book of Zoology for Boys • Mayne Reid

... as a rule the calm and controlled people who have this attractiveness for others; it is rather those who unite with an enchanting kind of playfulness an instinct to confide in and to depend upon protective affection. Very probably there is some deep- seated sexual impulse involved, however remotely and unconsciously, in this species of charm. It is the appeal of the child that exults in happiness, claims it as a right, uses it with ...
— Escape and Other Essays • Arthur Christopher Benson

... the loftier flights of eloquence. The buoyancy of Wirt's spirits is exhibited in his admirable letters published in the memoir of Mr. Kennedy; and his gentle courtesy and generous nature are yet freshly remembered in our city. As a proof of his playfulness, I have heard Mrs. Tazewell say that when Wirt would call at her house, on his way to court, he would beg her for a bundle of newspapers to stuff in his green bag, to make a show of business as he passed ...
— Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell • Hugh Blair Grigsby

... refresh himself with a pipe of bang in the most natural and civilised fashion imaginable; and young Obo—for so Yohama called him—entered upon a series of gymnastic exercises with his father—for such Kambira was— which partook of the playfulness of the kitten, mingled with the eccentricity and mischief ...
— Black Ivory • R.M. Ballantyne

... wrestling match, and when his victory in the good-natured encounter provoked Jack to unfair play, Abe shook him as a terrier shakes a rat. Then he made peace with him, drew out the better quality in him; and the two reigned "like friendly Caesars" over the village crowd, Abe tempering Jack's playfulness when it got too rough, and winning ...
— The Negro and the Nation - A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement • George S. Merriam

... the features of the spirit are seen to be distorted with anguish. To this class of individuals belonged Widow White. Oh, how she felt as she trod to and fro within that dim-lit room! Her son—her only son, in the endearing playfulness of whose infantile smiles she had so often exulted; upon whose boyish accents she had so frequently hung with transport, and for whom she had pictured out such a bright and glorious future, was a condemned felon, and the morrow would open its great eye upon him for the last time. ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848 • Various

... can't play pool! I can't—and I beat you four straight games. You better toddle your little trotters off to bed." The words alone might have been mere playfulness; glance and tone made plain the ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... there was not so much of constitutional benignity in the looks of Bentham, nor was he ever so grave and thoughtful as Franklin is generally represented in his portraitures; but he was fuller of shrewdness and playfulness,—of downright drollery, indeed,—of boyish fun,—and, above all, of a warm-hearted, unquestioning sympathy for everything alive, man or beast, that he called "virtuous," like the "virtuous deer" and the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865 • Various

... Miss Hood?' she asked, with a touch of her ingenue manner, though the playfulness of ...
— A Life's Morning • George Gissing

... a minute he looked as if he were about to take up the matter seriously and argue it with her; but the next moment he smiled and tossed his head with jaunty playfulness—Bertram, to tell the truth, had now had quite enough of what he privately termed "scenes" and "heroics"; and, manlike, he was very ardently longing for the old easy-going friendliness, with all unpleasantness ...
— Miss Billy Married • Eleanor H. Porter

... have such bright and tender eyes, and such smooth horns of ivory, as this one. And the bull ran little races, and capered sportively around the child; so that she quite forgot how big and strong he was, and, from the gentleness and playfulness of his actions, soon came to consider him as innocent a creature ...
— Tanglewood Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... took much part in society, and only displayed in the closest intimacy the shrewdness of his observation and the playfulness of his wit. Every where he kept back much of what was in him, and while the keenest intelligence, mingled with a strong tinge of satire, animated his brisk countenance, it seemed to amuse him to be but half understood. ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... who is leaning with one hand upon her chair is beginning to understand that the situation is graver than he thought. He has done all he can to get the quarrel, so trivial in its origin, adjusted and forgotten; he has talked reason, he has tried playfulness; he has besought forgiveness, and humbled himself—perhaps more than he intended—but all in vain. Nothing avails to arouse her out of the listless mood ...
— Tales of Two Countries • Alexander Kielland

... left London at the latter end of January, on a visit to her father's house, in Leicestershire, and Lord Byron was in a short time to follow her. They had parted in the utmost kindness,—she wrote him a letter full of playfulness and affection, on the road; and immediately on her arrival at Kirkby Mallory, her father wrote to acquaint Lord Byron that she would return to him no more.' In my observations upon this statement, I shall, as far as possible, avoid touching ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... the mind; the bosom is a stranger to misery, the tongue to deceit, the eye glows with all the luxuriance of pleasure, and the whole countenance presents an animated picture of health and intelligence illumined with delight. The playfulness or incaution of youth may demand correction, or produce momentary pain; but the tears of 23 infancy fall like the summer dew upon the verdant slope, which the first gleam of the returning sun kisses away, and leaves the face of nature tinged with a blush of exquisite brilliancy, but with ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... may well be believed much more characteristic, instance of his playfulness has also been transmitted; one illustrative too of his deep fund of kindliness which was shown in many acts, often of large pecuniary liberality, and tinged especially with a certain distinct service coloring, with sympathy for the naval ...
— Types of Naval Officers - Drawn from the History of the British Navy • A. T. Mahan

... Amenities of Literature, there is an excellent article upon Skelton, which contains many acute and original observations. Speaking of the Skeltonical Verse, D'Israeli says, "In the quick-returning rhymes, the playfulness of the diction, and the pungency of New Words, usually ludicrous, often expressive, and sometimes felicitous, there is a stirring spirit, which will be best felt in an audible reading. The velocity of his verse has a carol of its own. The chimes ...
— Bibliomania; or Book-Madness - A Bibliographical Romance • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... he, with assumed playfulness; "she's not a girl to take the first that offers. She has a mind of her own,—with her the more haste the less speed. I know what I'm about; I have my top eye open, and when there's a good chance, you won't find me ...
— The Story Of Kennett • Bayard Taylor

... is, as the term implies, the playful, jocose movement of a symphony, but in the case of sublime geniuses like Beethoven and Schumann, who blend profound melancholy with wild humor, the playfulness is sometimes of a kind which invites us to thoughtfulness instead of merriment. This is true also of some Russian composers, whose scherzos have the desperate gayety which speaks from the music of a sad people whose merrymaking is not a spontaneous expression of exuberant ...
— How to Listen to Music, 7th ed. - Hints and Suggestions to Untaught Lovers of the Art • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... lambs on the lea Are in playfulness bounding, And the voice of the sea Is in harmony sounding; And the streamlet on high In the morning beam dances, For all Nature is joy As sweet ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... his thoughtfulness, and bade him "good-night," without a responsive gleam of playfulness. Her heart was weighed down with sick horror. The almost certainty of which he spoke with professional coolness, was to her, who had never within her recollection stood beside a death-bed, a thing too ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... Stone Face, then, was a work of Nature in her mood of majestic playfulness, formed on the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense rocks, which had been thrown together in such a position as, when viewed at a proper distance, precisely to resemble the features of the human countenance. It seemed as if an enormous giant, or a Titan, had sculptured ...
— Bible Stories and Religious Classics • Philip P. Wells

... few more touches to the portraiture of Chopin which has been in progress in the preceding pages. The insinuating affectionateness and winning playfulness had hitherto not been brought out so distinctly. There was then, and there remained to the end of his life, something of a woman and of a boy in this man. The sentimental element is almost wholly absent from Chopin's ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... playfulness, Mr. Burke, in exposing that wretched fiction, by which the Great Seal was converted into the Third Branch of the Legislature, and the assent of the King forged to a Bill, in which his incapacity to ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Vol 2 • Thomas Moore

... history of her times rises and lives around her. In her vivid description we see the new rugged country, over which she travelled from end to end; in her accounts of current literature we pick up stray bits of information as to new authors and new words. "Playfulness," for instance, is one which she stigmatizes as "silly in sound and significance," and declares that she does not read the new novels "with the exception of Walter Scott's." More interesting still to most ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... an intellectual composure in his manner, which may, in some passages, be said to approach to the reserved and prosaic; but he unbends from this graver strain of reflection to tenderness, and even to playfulness, with an ease and grace almost exclusively his own; and connects extensive views of the happiness and interests of society with pictures of life that touch the heart by their familiarity. He is no disciple ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... just now the famous description of the Prioresse as an illustration of Chaucer's poetical quality. The Professor has a long note upon the French of Stratford atte Bowe. Most of us have hitherto believed the passage to be an example, and a very pretty one, of Chaucer's playfulness. The Professor almost loses his temper over this: he speaks of it as a view "commonly adopted by newspaper-writers who know only this one line of Chaucer, and cannot forbear to use it in jest." "Even Tyrwhitt and Wright," ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... arm, but I snatched it from her, and would have run; the tall man, however, placed his arms round me and held me fast with an affectation of playfulness, but his grip was hard enough to hurt me a good deal. Being now thoroughly frightened, after an ineffectual struggle, during which I heard Madame say, 'You fool, Maud, weel you come with me? see wat you are doing,' I began to scream, shriek after shriek, which the man attempted ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... wandered through the crowd with Mrs. Jeremy. The collection of animals was remarkable; they varied in size from Adams's cart-horse to Jeremy's blight; in playfulness from the Vicar's kitten to Miss Trehearne's chrysalis; and in ability for performing tricks from the Major's poodle to Dr. Bunton's ...
— Once a Week • Alan Alexander Milne

... thought of as a humorist, and his poetry is devoid of playfulness. But in this letter to his mother, in which he announces his marriage with Frances Fairchild, we have evidence that Bryant had a strong ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... any good. If I had simply blundered straight at my work and written just what occurred to me in my own style, I should have done much better. I have a sense of humour. I deliberately stifled it. For it I substituted a grisly kind of playfulness. My hero called my heroine "little woman," and the concluding passage where he kissed her was written in a sly, roguish vein, for which I suppose I shall have to atone in the next world. Only the editor of the Colney Hatch Argus ...
— Not George Washington - An Autobiographical Novel • P. G. Wodehouse

... over balanced into the grass. Ansell, with unusual playfulness, held him prisoner. They lay there for few minutes, talking and ragging aimlessly. Then Rickie seized his opportunity and ...
— The Longest Journey • E. M. Forster

... standard, but vastly popular, are the songs of Hope Temple, of whose works "My Lady's Bower" and "In Sweet September" are probably familiar in many households. Edith Cooke has found a vein of dainty playfulness in "Two Marionettes" and other similar songs. The productions of Kate Lucy Ward are graceful and musicianly, while Katharine Ramsay has written some admirable children's songs. Without enumerating more, ...
— Woman's Work in Music • Arthur Elson

... added a new resource to his critical apparatus. He still pursued Lucidity, Courage, and Serenity; he still praised temperately and blamed humanely; but now he brought to the enforcement of his literary judgment the aid of a delicious playfulness. Cardinal Newman was not ashamed to talk of "chucking" a thing off, or getting into a "scrape." So perhaps a humble disciple may be permitted to say that Arnold pointed his ...
— Matthew Arnold • G. W. E. Russell

... the 79th—leaned forward and tried to put his hand upon the child's shoulder, not unkindly, but with a rough playfulness of the soldier. Gilian shrank back, his face flushing crimson, then he realised the stupidity of his shyness and tried to amend it by coming a little farther into the room and awkwardly attempting the salute in which the Sergeant More had tutored him. The company was amused at the courtesy, ...
— Gilian The Dreamer - His Fancy, His Love and Adventure • Neil Munro

... this terrifying fury and uproar should always be coming to nothing. God must be out yonder (he thought) and engaged in some mysterious form of play. He had heard a good deal about God from Miss Quiney, his governess; but this playfulness, as an attribute of the Almighty, was new to him and ...
— Lady Good-for-Nothing • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... New York. Writing of the parting he says: "A thousand affecting incidents of separation from my beloved family crowded upon my recollection. The unconscious gayety of my dear children as they frolicked in all their wonted playfulness, too young to sympathize in the pangs that agitated their distressed parents; their artless request to bring home some trifling toy; the parting kiss, not understood as meaning more than usual; the tears and sad farewells of father, mother, wife, sister, family, friends; the desolateness of every ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Samuel F. B. Morse

... back into the lovely face, where the underlying spirit of mockery was transmuted into an innocent playfulness like a child's. ...
— A Modern Mercenary • Kate Prichard and Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard

... although his attention appeared to be divided between the mother's story and the eager playfulness of the baby on ...
— Sylvia's Lovers, Vol. III • Elizabeth Gaskell

... belongs at any rate to the action of dreams, and to the transfigurings worked upon troubled remembrances by retrospects so vast as those of fifty years, was in this instance greatly aided to my own feelings by the alliance with the ancient phantom of the forest mountain in North Germany. The playfulness of the scene is the very evoker of the solemn remembrances that lie hidden below. The half-sportive interlusory revealings of the symbolic tend to the same effect. One part of the effect from the symbolic is dependent upon the great catholic principle of ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... led, by blind feminine instinct, to snub and tyrannize over poor Dobbin. The shabby miseries of life, the numbing and belittling influences of failure and poverty upon the most generous natures, are the tragic themes which Thackeray handles by preference. He has been called a cynic, but the boyish playfulness of his humor and his kindly spirit are incompatible with cynicism. Charlotte Bronte said that Fielding was the vulture and Thackeray the eagle. The comparison would have been truer if made between Swift and Thackeray. Swift was a cynic; his pen was driven ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... received me with the same artless demonstrations of affection. There was a mellowed softness in her countenance, and a tender languor in her eye, I had not remarked the preceding day. Then there was more of the vivacity and playfulness of the young girl; now, more of the deep fervour and the composed serenity of the thoughtful woman. This change was too consonant to my taste—too flattering to my self-love—not to be rejoiced in; and as I pressed her yielding form in silent rapture to my own, I more than ever felt she ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... was the milk-market of Mediaeval London. That good and wise man, Sir Thomas More, was born in this street. "The brightest man," says Fuller, with his usual quaint playfulness, "that ever shone in that via lactea." More, born in 1480, was the son of a judge of the King's Bench, and was educated at St. Anthony's School, in Threadneedle Street. He was afterwards placed in the ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury



Words linked to "Playfulness" :   sense of humour, levity, frolicsomeness, diversion, friskiness, frivolity, humour, whimsicality, sober, sportiveness, mischievousness, serious, impertinence, puckishness, sauciness, fun, pertness, facetiousness, humor, gaiety, recreation, sense of humor, archness, perkiness, playful, frivolousness, impishness, unplayful



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