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Agility   Listen
noun
Agility  n.  
1.
The quality of being agile; the power of moving the limbs quickly and easily; nimbleness; activity; quickness of motion; as, strength and agility of body. "They... trust to the agility of their wit." "Wheeling with the agility of a hawk."
2.
Activity; powerful agency. (Obs.) "The agility of the sun's fiery heat."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Agility" Quotes from Famous Books



... proportion to the other faculties and powers. A man in Boston a few years ago, by directing his attention exclusively for a long time to the single act of lifting, educated his body to the power of lifting enormous weights. But this power was gained at the expense of agility, grace, and many other bodily qualities quite as important as that of lifting weights. So the mental faculties may become one-sided by injudicious training. The memory may be inordinately developed at the expense of the reasoning power, the reason at the expense of the imagination, ...
— In the School-Room - Chapters in the Philosophy of Education • John S. Hart

... however, we saw him leap from the ground with the most marvellous agility and begin to dance about slapping at ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... rode down on the bull, took up his tail, and, wrapping the brush on the pommel of his saddle, turned his horse abruptly to the left, rolling the bull over like a hoop, and of course dismounting himself in the act. Then before the dazed animal could rise, with the agility of a panther the vaquero sprang astride his loins, and as he floundered, others leaped from their horses. Toro was pinioned, and dispatched with ...
— A Texas Matchmaker • Andy Adams

... seen. The reason is apparent,—not that they are smarter than white men, but they feel promoted; they feel as though their whole sphere of life was advanced and enlarged. They are willing, obedient, and cheerful; move with agility, and are full of music, which is almost a sine ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... going on. The riding was extremely pretty, as French military riding always is. Few of the mounts were thoroughbreds—the greater number, in fact, being local cart-horses barely broken to the saddle—but their agility and dash did the greater credit to their riders. The lancers, in particular, executed an effective "musical ride" about a central pennon, to the immense satisfaction of the fashionable public in the foreground and of the gallery on ...
— Fighting France - From Dunkerque to Belport • Edith Wharton

... the Prussian battalions had swarmed over into their own trench, paying no heed to the solitary figure in the black shadow as they passed him, and, marking the position of the gun, Dennis scrambled up in their wake with the agility of a cat, and darted into the gun emplacement single-handed, just as young Wetherby and Hawke saw him and gave ...
— With Haig on the Somme • D. H. Parry

... rapid, described in Kalevala as the scene where one of the heroes went swirling round and round; we watched women steering with marvellous agility and skill, and there, on the bank, we saw a stalwart Finn, with an artistic pink shirt, awaiting our arrival to pilot us down again, our host preferring to employ a pilot for the descent when he had any one ...
— Through Finland in Carts • Ethel Brilliana Alec-Tweedie

... as one who makes up his mind, bold, and throwing off his numbness—with the agility of a squirrel, or perhaps of an acrobat—he turned his back on the creek, and set himself to climb up the cliff. He escaladed the path, left it, returned to it, quick and venturous. He was hurrying landward, just as though he had a destination ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... year, and probably in the full meridian of his physical powers; but those powers became rather mellowed than decayed by time, for 'his age was like a lusty winter, frosty yet kindly;' and, up to his sixty-eighth year, he mounted a horse with surprising agility, and rode with the ease and gracefulness of his better days. His personal prowess, that elicited the admiration of a people who have nearly all passed from the stage of life, still serves as a model for the manhood of ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... raged at one extreme of the lists, the next at the other; and so well inured, from their very infancy, to the weight of mail were these redoubted champions, that the very wrestlers on the village green, nay, the naked gladiators of old, might have envied their lithe agility and supple quickness. ...
— The Last Of The Barons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... manage to live through the winter, and are fully grown in May. Amongst the wolf-spiders generally, we find a difference between the movements of the males and females. If hard pressed, the females escape by a succession of short runs, but the males can manage to jump from leaf to leaf with much agility. ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... we place near them any object whatever, they do not fail to catch on to it with surprising agility. A blade of grass, a bit of straw, the handle of my tweezers which I hold out to them: they accept anything in their eagerness to quit the provisional shelter of the flower. It is true that, after finding themselves on these inanimate objects, they soon recognize that they have gone astray, ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... him,—he seemed to have lost his steadiness and self-possession. Nevertheless he continued his upward course. But when he had gained the part of the rope which sloped upwards to the temple, and was about to exhibit some daring feat of agility, twice did he make the effort unsuccessfully, and then, in a third violent attempt, missed his foothold, and fell to the ground ...
— Amos Huntingdon • T.P. Wilson

... returning home late. He was least known to those to whom he rendered most assistance. Rarely had he thanks for it, never halfpence, but not unfrequently blows and abuse. For the last he cared nothing; the former, owing to his great agility, seldom visited him with any directness. A certain reporter of humorous scandal, after his third tumbler, would occasionally give a graphic description of what, coming from a supper-party, he once saw about ...
— Sir Gibbie • George MacDonald

... staff in the machine-shop were Messrs. J. H. Vail and W. S. Andrews. Mr. Vail had charge of the dynamo-room. He had a good general knowledge of machinery, and very soon acquired such familiarity with the dynamos that he could skip about among them with astonishing agility to regulate their brushes or to throw rosin on the belts when they began to squeal. Later on he took an active part in the affairs and installations of the Edison Light Company. Mr. Andrews stayed ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... several times, according as the stick is advanced or depressed. Sometimes the emperor holds one end of the stick, and his first minister the other: sometimes the minister has it entirely to himself. Whoever performs his part with most agility, and holds out the longest in leaping and creeping, is rewarded with the blue-colored silk; the yellow is given to the next, and the green to the third, which they all wear girt twice about the middle; and you see few great persons round about this court who are not ...
— Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World • Jonathan Swift

... scrambled in with unusual agility for him, and again they were off, the gray taking them along with leaps and bounds, but the road was smooth, and the dust laid by frequent showers was like velvet under the horse's feet. Stiles drew himself up, clinging to the side of the buggy ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... of the bone Bwana Nyele's eyes lit up, he uttered an astonishing bellow of delight, and sprang forward with such agility for so large a man that he almost succeeded in snatching the talisman from Simba's hands. Acting precisely on his instructions the latter backed away, pointing over ...
— The Leopard Woman • Stewart Edward White et al

... Osgod was making a long step from one tuft to another the boy stooped and caught his foot, and with a roar of surprise and fury Osgod fell head-foremost into the morass. At the same moment the lad darted away with a yell of defiance, leaping from tuft to tuft with the agility of a hare. Several of the men started after him, but unaccustomed to the treacherous bog four or five were immersed in it to their waist before they had gone ...
— Wulf the Saxon - A Story of the Norman Conquest • G. A. Henty

... the girl aside and spoke rapidly in French to his companion. Then with mincing agility he stepped ...
— The Line of Love - Dizain des Mariages • James Branch Cabell

... the very top of an ancient castle of that name in the county of Cork in Ireland, extremely difficult of access; so that to have ascended to it, was considered as a proof of perseverance, courage, and agility, whereof many are supposed to claim the honour, who never atchieved the adventure: and to tip the blarney, is figuratively used telling a marvellous story, or falsity; and also sometimes to express ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... train was entering the station, and dropped her child onto the metals. She tried to jump after it but was held back, and Mary, who had just come up, jumped in her stead, and by a miracle of strength and agility was just able to clutch the child and get onto the six-foot way ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... animal—say the mechanical imitation of a tiger or a gazelle with the living original; the first a wonderfully moving piece of machinery, illustrating the limit of human constructive power; perfectly under control, the movements smooth, unvarying, rhythmical, charming, excelling in agility and power its living prototype—but still, scientific—to the discerning eye, artful. The other, something more than rhythmical, more than smooth, beyond the control of human agency, beyond the power of man ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... simplicity of character so remarkable in the domestic species; but that where they had been often fired at they were exceedingly wild, alarmed their companions on the approach of danger by a hissing noise, and scaled the rocks with a speed and agility that baffled pursuit." The mountain men of early days tell precisely the same thing of the sheep. Fifty or sixty years ago they were regarded as the gentlest and most unsuspicious animal of all the prairie, excepting, of course, the buffalo. They did not understand that the sound ...
— American Big Game in Its Haunts • Various

... the calamities of war. And this translated the estimate of my guilt from the public jurisdiction to that of the individual, sometimes capricious and harsh, and carrying out the public award by means of legs that ranged through all gradations of weight and agility. One kick differed exceedingly from another kick in dynamic value; and, in some cases, this difference was so distressingly conspicuous as to imply special malice, unworthy, I conceive, ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... himself, for his master had been a bruiser in his youth, and neither his left hand nor his right arm had yet forgot their cunning so far as to leave him less than a heavy overmatch for one unskilled, whatever his strength or agility. ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... annoyed, however, at first, by leopards than any other animal. My cattle could not stray beyond the fences, nor could my laborers venture abroad at any time without weapons. I made use of spring-traps, pit-fall, and various expedients to purify the forest; but such was the cunning or agility of our nimble foes that they all escaped. The only mode by which I succeeded in freeing the homestead of their ravages, was by arming the muzzle of a musket with a slice of meat which was attached by a string to the trigger, so that the load ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... half-picked bird, ascended with eager agility, lined another projection of the floe with some object on the New Brunswick shore, seemed puzzled, looked more carefully, and then slowly descended, apparently sad ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... the unlocked garage doors. He had taken less approving note of the three guardian collies: Lad, still magnificent and formidable, in spite of his weight of years;—Bruce, gloriously beautiful and stately and aloof;—young Wolf, with the fire and fierce agility of a tiger-cat. All three had watched him, grimly. None had offered the slightest move to make friends with the smooth-spoken visitor. Dogs have a queerly occult sixth sense, sometimes, in regard to those who mean ...
— Further Adventures of Lad • Albert Payson Terhune

... reached for another. This he carefully cut at the end, lighting it with graceful, elegant deliberation. The Mexican was a distinguished-looking man above medium height. A little past forty years of age, he possessed all the agility of a boy of twenty. Frequently his sudden, agile movements indicated the possession of unusual strength. Dark, like most of his countrymen, constant exposure to the tropical sun had made his face almost the color of mahogany. His ...
— The Young Engineers in Mexico • H. Irving Hancock

... bounded from the ground with fury. What would have been our fate had he succeeded in shaking off or breaking the lassos! Fortunately, there was no danger of this. An Indian dismounted, and, with great agility, attached to the trunk of a solid tree the two lassos that retained the savage beast; then he gave the signal that his office was accomplished, and retired. Two hunters approached, threw their lassos over the animal, and fixed the ends to the ground with stakes; and now ...
— Adventures in the Philippine Islands • Paul P. de La Gironiere

... the reins go loose, and instantly the little horse went slowly, as if all his spirit and agility had suddenly ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... entered the field of operatic composition when it was hampered with a great variety of dry forms, and utterly without soul and poetic spirit. The object of composers seemed to be to show mere contrapuntal learning, or to furnish singers opportunity to display vocal agility. The opera, as a large and symmetrical expression of human emotions, suggested in the collisions of a dramatic story, was utterly an unknown quantity in art. Gluck's attention was early called to this radical inconsistency; ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... for the impenetrable armor and leveled lances of the King's colossal head. But they did not meet fairly. The black stranger was much too crafty for that. At the last moment he swerved nimbly aside, wheeled with an agility that was marvelous for a creature of his bulk, and thrust at the shoulders of the colossus with a fierce, rooting movement like the ...
— In the Morning of Time • Charles G. D. Roberts

... outside them. Okanagan passed his arms about his shoulders, and they rose with a jerk and stood swaying unevenly for a moment, while Seaforth wondered with a curious feeling of helplessness whether they would ever accomplish the journey to the canoe. It would have tested the agility of an unencumbered man, while he was almost worn out, and Alton ...
— Alton of Somasco • Harold Bindloss

... gathers before the restaurant, shouts, throws mud, and then lets fly a volley of stones; the grenadiers draw their sabers. Forthwith a shout is heard just in front of them, a nous les Marseillais! upon which the gang jump out of the windows with true southern agility, clamber across the ditches, fall upon the grenadiers with their swords, kill one and wound fifteen.—No debut could be more brilliant. The party at last possesses men of action;[2636] and they must be kept within reach! ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... circus, which for a time made me renounce all athletic exhibitions. Six horses were stationed side by side in the ring before a spring-board, and the whole company of gymnasts ran and turned somersaults from the spring over the horses, alighting on a mattress spread on the ground. The agility of one finely developed young fellow excited great applause every time he made the leap. He would shoot forward in the air like a javelin, and in his flight curl up and turn over directly above the mattress, dropping on his feet as lightly as a bird. This play went on for some minutes, and ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 5 • Various

... considerable time; and by observing this regimen for a few days thou wilt see the effects of my art." The first day Ogul was out of breath and thought he should have died with fatigue. The second he was less fatigued, slept better. In eight days he recovered all the strength, all the health, all the agility and cheerfulness ...
— International Short Stories: French • Various

... noise, and a canary's pipe is the most piercing and persistent of noises, welcome to that large majority of mankind which prefers sound of any kind to silence. Moreover, a cage presents just the degree of hindrance to tempt a cat's agility. That Puss habitually refrains from ridding the household of canaries is proof of her innate reasonableness, of her readiness to submit her finer judgment and more delicate instincts to the ...
— Americans and Others • Agnes Repplier

... The flag had been run up, it being Empire Day, and, marshalling us beneath it, Graham taught boys and girls how to "hurrah." He was in his element. Afterwards he gave the boys a lesson in skipping, and quite surprised me by his agility. One or two tried and much enjoyed it, but the rest were too shy. Later on William came to ask for another rope, and looking out of the passage window I saw a group of boys watching big Ben the crippled man who was skipping with intense enjoyment, and leaping about ...
— Three Years in Tristan da Cunha • K. M. Barrow

... legs, felt now but little apprehension of the dogs, though a new source of alarm presented itself by the time the Chippewa was barely able to sustain his weight on his feet, and long before he could use them with anything like his former agility. The manner in which the savages came together in the hut, and the gestures made by their chief, announced pretty plainly that a watch was about to be set for the night. As it was probable that the sentinel would take his station near the prisoner, the bee-hunter was at a loss to decide ...
— Oak Openings • James Fenimore Cooper

... convey the debris to the pit-head. Few words were spoken, except when a warning shout was given, when some loose rubble poured down from the great gaping cavern in the roof, and then men jumped and sprang to safety with the agility of desperation, to wait till the rumbling had ceased, only to leap back again into the yawning hell, tearing at the stones, and trying to work their way into the place where they knew Geordie and the boy were lying. It ...
— The Underworld - The Story of Robert Sinclair, Miner • James C. Welsh

... all, the living runner. The duty of the latter consisted in carrying messages to or from exposed positions when no other means would do. Usually a volunteer from any branch, he was selected because of courage, agility and ability to get through somehow, no matter how great the opposing odds. I was present in an Observation Post near Jolney talking to Colonel Lewis, when a runner came rushing across No Man's Land through a leaden hail, saluted, handed a message to Captain Payne, ...
— The Greater Love • George T. McCarthy

... waters were hissing, and embracing, and swirling back, and trying to leap the cliffs, and feeling with all their awful strength and agility for some channel through which they might reach and ...
— My New Curate • P.A. Sheehan

... the larger males until they are strong enough to protect themselves, feeding in the mean time upon fish and flesh of every description. In the water they move with agility, but on land their long bodies and short legs prevent rapid motion. They migrate during droughts from one slough or bayou to another, crossing the intervening upland. When discovered on these journeys by man, the alligator feigns death, or at least appears to be in an unconscious state; ...
— Four Months in a Sneak-Box • Nathaniel H. Bishop

... said, without vanity, that I was an apt pupil, and in the course of half a dozen lessons I had arrived at very considerable agility in the waltzing line, and could twirl round the room with him at such a pace as made the old gentleman pant again, and hardly left him breath enough to puff out a compliment to his pupil. I may say, that in a single week I became an expert waltzer; but as I wished, when I came out publicly in ...
— The Fitz-Boodle Papers • William Makepeace Thackeray

... a long day, the air fine. We enjoyed the advantages of vigour of mind, and strength and agility of body, and everything else essential to those engaged in such an undertaking, and so had no other difficulties to face than those of the region itself.' ... 'At first, owing to the unaccustomed quality ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... gathered and broke upon them. They braved it till it became a drenching down-pour; then they leaped from their machines and fled to any shelter they could find, under trees and in doorways. The men used their greater agility to get the best places, and kept them; the women made no appeal for them by word or look, but took the rain in the open as if they expected ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... horrible, terrible! Was ever poor gentleman so scar'd out of his seven senses? A bear? Nay, sure it cannot be a bear, but some devil in a bear's doublet; for a bear could never have had that agility to have frighted me. Well, I'll see my father hanged before I'll serve his horse any more. Well, I'll carry home my bottle of hay, and for once make my father's horse turn Puritan, and observe fasting-days, for he gets not a bit. But soft! this way she followed me; therefore ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VII (4th edition) • Various

... these, as though to show that under the ashes of his old democratic enthusiasm still lived its wonted fires, and that the inspiration of a popular cause was only needed to reanimate them, we find, with less of the youthful lightness of touch and agility of movement, a very near approach to the vigour of his early journalistic days. Whatever may be thought of the historic value of the parallel which he institutes between the struggle of the Low Countries ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... recently dropped into several London theatres and halls of variety I have been struck by the numerical strength, agility and apparently abounding vitality of the young men forming the chorus. These gallant fellows sing and caper with the utmost spirit throughout the whole evening, both in musical comedy or revue; and in London alone, where revues are now being ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 7, 1914 • Various

... this time. He appeared again in about an hour, when sixteen or seventeen Indians swam off and encompassed him; and, by continually tormenting him, drove, him insensibly ashore. On grounding, the force with which he struck the ground with his fins is not to be expressed, neither can I describe the agility with which the Indians strove to dispatch him, lest the surf should set him again afloat, which they at length accomplished with the help of a dagger lent them by Mr Randal. They then cut him into pieces, which were distributed among all who stood by. This fish, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 • Robert Kerr

... the agility of a gazelle, rushed again to the door, and clung with both hands to ...
— The Merchant of Berlin - An Historical Novel • L. Muhlbach

... cries had filled us with dread; but the ferocious beast, having heard a noise near the little hill where it was, made a leap over his head, and disappeared in the woods. He returned, a little frightened at the boldness and agility of the creature, and gave up the pursuit till the following night. On the evening of the following day, he caused some negroes to come from the island of Babaguey, whom he joined with his own, and putting himself at their head, he thought he would ...
— Perils and Captivity • Charlotte-Adelaide [nee Picard] Dard

... turned away towards his cabin, while his ship fellows continued to talk among themselves of this new example of his great agility. ...
— Olaf the Glorious - A Story of the Viking Age • Robert Leighton

... alone," he thought, and without further hesitation leaped up the side of the schooner with the agility of ...
— The Rover Boys on the Great Lakes • Arthur M. Winfield

... Ruhle sprang forward with the agility of a panther. The imitation Malacca cane descended with a dull thud upon the lad's head, and like a felled ox Vernon fell ...
— The Submarine Hunters - A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War • Percy F. Westerman

... flung down his tools, which clattered loudly on the hard rock, as he leaped from his perch with the agility of one whose muscles are all in full ...
— Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines • R.M. Ballantyne

... missed the boat and fell into the sea, but the child immediately leaped overboard, and diving after it, brought it up again. To reward his performance, we dropped some more beads to him, which so tempted a number of men and women, that they amused us with amazing feats of agility in the water, and not only fetched up several beads scattered at once, but likewise large nails, which, on account of their weight, descended quickly to a considerable depth. Some of them continued a long while under water, and the velocity with which we ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 • Robert Kerr

... when he reached the little station of Winton and left the train, a tall, sturdy boy, the superior of many a man in size, strength and agility. His saddle bags over his arm, he went at once to the liveryman with whom he had left his horse on his journey to Charleston, and asked for another, his best, for the return ride to Pendleton. The liveryman stared at him a moment or two and then burst ...
— The Guns of Bull Run - A Story of the Civil War's Eve • Joseph A. Altsheler

... fifteenth had it become general. The Aragonese brought it to Naples, and the Borgias to Rome. Hitherto the only thing of the sort which had been seen was the bull-baiting in the Piazza Navona or on the Testaccio. Caesar was fond of displaying his agility and strength in this barbarous sport. During the jubilee year he excited the wonder of all Rome by decapitating a bull with a single stroke in one of these contests. On January 2d he and nine other Spaniards, who probably were ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... and Charley with difficulty reined him in a few paces away. The snake with a broken neck lay lifeless on the ground, while Walter, sobbing dryly, had sunk into the arms of the captain, who had flung himself from his horse with surprising agility for a man ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... to Jane's companionship. She was still a good little girl: but there was something automatic and formal in her goodness, as though it were a kind of moral calisthenics that she went through for the sake of showing her agility. An early consciousness of virtue had moreover constituted her the natural guardian and adviser of her elders. Before she was fifteen she had set about reforming the household. She took Mrs. Lethbury in hand first; then she extended ...
— The Descent of Man and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... the platform with the agility of an elephant and working himself into a passion for a set tirade against the Emperor Napoleon, when those accurst feet of mine—no, poor feet, I can not blame you for drumming then, nay, I could not have blamed you had your dumb instinct thus ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VIII (of X) - Continental Europe II. • Various

... pleasure in an activity for which he is particularly well-equipped, and therefore often exercises it without any object. Further, if he is an acrobat or a dancer, not only does he take leaps which other people cannot execute, but he also betrays rare elasticity and agility in those easier steps which others can also perform, and even in ordinary walking. In the same way a man of superior mind will not only produce thoughts and works which could never have come from another; it will not be here alone that he will ...
— The Art of Literature • Arthur Schopenhauer

... aforesaid. I always wondered how I caught her every day; and when I had tied her head to one post and her heels to another, I wiped the sweat from my brow, and thought I was paying dear for the eccentricities of genius. A genius she certainly was, for besides her surprising agility, she had other talents equally extraordinary. There was no fence that she could not take down; nowhere that she could not go. She took the pickets off the garden fence at her pleasure, using her horns as handily as I could use a ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... delay was most vexatious. Every moment lost to the pursuit was more than a minute gained by the pursued. Lighter by far and trained to mountain climbing, the Apache covers ground with agility almost goatlike. It was long after seven, said Stannard's watch, and not a glimpse had they caught of Indian other than their own. It was just half past the hour, and Stannard with an impatient snap of the watch-case was about thrusting it back in his pocket, when, ...
— Tonio, Son of the Sierras - A Story of the Apache War • Charles King

... seat of the carriage, while my father sat on the other. I can see Mr Hall descending at a blacksmith's shop to re-light his pipe, making his way directly to the forge, and jumping aside with unwonted agility, when a huge dog growled at him. I can recall his look, when rallied on his agility, after his return to the carriage. 'You seemed afraid of the dog, sir,' said my father. 'Apostolic advice, sir—Beware of dogs,' rejoined Mr Hall." Dr Leifchild, in another part of ...
— Heads and Tales • Various

... "As to his agility and the strength of his body," said the Spaniard, as if he were thinking of certain allegories which were to mark the archduke's triumphal entry, "they are so deficient as to leave him unfit for arms. I consider him incapable ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... animal spirits when alone. Why else should he be dancing? The shadow from the next room evidently showed that he was. Again and again his thin form crossed the window, his arms waved, and a gaunt leg was kicked up with surprising agility. He seemed to be barefooted, and the floor must be well laid, for no sound betrayed his movements. Sagfoerer Herr Anders Jensen, dancing at ten o'clock at night in a hotel bedroom, seemed a fitting subject for a historical painting in the grand style; ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... Adams always wore the cassock; but he did not read AEschylus. Mr. Vandyke was at least sixty; yet if a colt, a pig, or any other quadruped entered his paddock, he sprang from his seat with more than youthful agility, and vociferously chased the intruder from his domain. I could not but smile to behold the parson running after a pig and mingling his cries with those of ...
— Report Of Commemorative Services With The Sermons And Addresses At The Seabury Centenary, 1883-1885. • Diocese Of Connecticut

... the fast-arriving pails of water came into capital play. They had to be used economically, of course, but they did the work as effectually as if they had been the streams of a steam fire-engine. Hard work for Ham and Dab, and now and then the strength and weight and agility of the former were put to pretty severe tests, as Dab danced around under the scorching heat or slipped ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11 • Various

... becoming state of trustworthy unconcern. That night in my own upper chamber I spent many hours in testing my powers and studying more remarkable attitudes of locust flight, and I even found to be within myself some new attainments of life-like agility, such as feigning the continuous note of defiance with which the insect meets his adversary, as remaining poised in the air for an appreciable moment at the summit of each leap, and of conveying to the body a sudden and disconcerting sideway movement in the course of its ascent. So immersed ...
— The Mirror of Kong Ho • Ernest Bramah

... lessons in gymnastics, of which science a certain Colonel Amoros was the apostle. This worthy colonel gave prizes to everybody, so as to make his classes popular. These prizes took the form of collars, inscribed in large painted letters with the particular merit of the pupil rewarded, such as agility, courage, strength, &c. One pupil was given a prize for "hidden virtue." After the gymnastic lessons came riding lessons, for which we were taken to the Cirque Olympique, I and my two elder brothers being always put in the charge of a single ...
— Memoirs • Prince De Joinville

... in herds of hundreds. Being armed with powerful canine teeth and wolf-like jaws, they are formidable antagonists, and other animals do not dare to attack them. It is because of their natural weapons, their readiness to fight like fiends, and their combined agility and strength that the baboons have been able to live on the ground and survive and flourish in lands literally reeking with lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. The awful canine teeth of an old male baboon are quite as dangerous as those of any leopard, and even the leopard's ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... going through the various motions necessary to depict these actions the movement of the dance is kept up, the body bent forward in a crouching position, the feet leaving the ground alternately in rapid motion but never out of time with the music. Such agility and tirelessness one could scarcely find ...
— Negritos of Zambales • William Allan Reed

... immunity to poisons, yet did not care unnecessarily to suffer the laceration of fangs. Rather did he choose to rely upon the further protective gifts that nature had given him: length and strength, speed and agility, and a skin that blended elusively with the ground colors; therefore, revolving in these smaller circles, he seemed to make almost a continuous line, without beginning or end, and the rattler was at a loss to act. Now, profiting ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... all points where he has crossed the road. Here he has leisurely passed within rifle-range of the house, evidently reconnoitring the premises with an eye to the hen-roost. That clear, sharp track,—there is no mistaking it for the clumsy footprint of a little dog. All his wildness and agility are photographed in it. Here he has taken fright, or suddenly recollected an engagement, and in long, graceful leaps, barely touching the fence, has gone careering up the hill as fleet ...
— In the Catskills • John Burroughs

... time a slender pole, forty feet in height, had been erected by a set of native tumblers, who presently exhibited before us various feats of extraordinary agility and strength—some of these are almost too curious to be believed by those who are not aware of the flexibility and dexterity of the Hindoos. We were most surprised and amused by the exploits of a lady of forty, which is considered ...
— The Lieutenant and Commander - Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from - Fragments of Voyages and Travels • Basil Hall

... quickly, so skilfully, that the Wizard did not guess what had happened. He snatched at the image but when he had almost grasped it, it withdrew from him swiftly. When he pursued it, it darted now to this side, now to that, with marvelous agility, always seeming just within reach of his fingers, yet always just eluding them as they began to close upon it, and each time he failed he heard the laughter ...
— The Shadow Witch • Gertrude Crownfield

... possibly overhaul. Still we did not feel safe, and I suggested to Ngouta he should rise up and help; but he declined, stating he was a married man. Obanjo cheering the paddlers with inspiriting words sprang with the agility of a leopard on to the bamboo staging aft, standing there with his gun ready loaded and cocked to face the coming foe, looking like a statue put up to himself at the public expense. The worst of this was, however, that while Obanjo's face was to the coming foe, his back was to the crew, and they ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... next hoist, however, rent his garments, and lacerated a portion of his person which he had always considered especially sacred; but as the thrust heaved him upwards at the same time, and gave a fresh impulse to his agility, he succeeded in scrambling upon a bough that kept him just out of danger. No one may describe the pangs of despair by which he was assailed when he beheld the utter destruction of his only rifle. He threw his cap in the face of the bull, but he only lost ...
— The Bushman - Life in a New Country • Edward Wilson Landor

... had had time to cast aside her fur cloak, to fasten upon her slender, arched feet, clad in dainty, laced boots, a pair of steel skates, with tangent blades, and without either grooves or straps, and to dart out upon this miniature sheet of water with the agility of a person accustomed to skating on the great lakes ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... by the family likeness in their teeth.* For me, I'm going to pay a visit to the monkeys' house; I'm sure there to find some provision, always a matter of importance to a rat. The door is shut, but I'll not trouble the keeper to open it for me!" So saying, with wonderful agility he began to climb the building, and soon vanished through ...
— The Rambles of a Rat • A. L. O. E.

... Tunstall was before him, and was disposed to make an issue of the dropped boots. Only by his superior agility was Racey enabled to dodge all save a few drops of a full ...
— The Heart of the Range • William Patterson White

... slashed with orange-tawny, those ostrich plumes, blue, red, and yellow, those party-colored hose and pink shoon, became the noble baron wondrous well," Fatima acknowledged. "It must be confessed that, though middle-aged, he hath all the agility of youth. But alas, madam! The noble baron hath had ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... what do you mean?" says mamma; and Lady Kew, jumping up on her crooked stick with immense agility, tore the card out of Ethel's bosom, and very likely would have boxed her ears, but that her parents were present ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... go on to Zanzibar came, we were a completely trained picked body of men. In manoeuvring we could compete with any corps of Guards—naturally only in those exercises which give dexterity and agility in face of a foe, and not in the parade march and the military salutes. In these last respects we were and remained as ignorant as Hottentots. But we could, without serious inconvenience, march or sit in the saddle, with only brief halts, ...
— Freeland - A Social Anticipation • Theodor Hertzka

... was the herald of the gods, and as such was represented as having winged ankles (Gk. ptenopedilos): his name is here used as a synonym both for agility ...
— Milton's Comus • John Milton

... of country. Their horsemanship was celebrated: they gallopped amidst the trees—now stooping, now leaning to the right or to the left; avoiding obstruction and escaping collision with wonderful agility. They lived a half savage life; were the reckless oppressors of the natives; often the accomplices of the bushrangers, and accused of many crimes. To brand the cattle, they were driven within an enclosure seven feet high, and when exhausted by hunger, one man armed ...
— The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2) • John West

... retained a seat in the saddle for an instant. Diablo, squealing, snorting, and grunting with effort, was dashing back and forth, flinging himself aloft, coming down on one stiff leg, doubling back with jackrabbit agility. ...
— Bull Hunter • Max Brand

... it was this way," said Roscoe after hie had scrambled with amazing agility up to his "perch" in a tree several hundred feet distant but in full view of the stream. Tom had climbed up after him and was looking with curious pleasure at the little kit of rations and other ...
— Tom Slade Motorcycle Dispatch Bearer • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... sheep upon his mare. They were now too far off to be overtaken; and our people, not being able to engage the enemy, amused themselves with a sham-fight in their return home. They displayed superior strength and agility in handling the lance, and great boldness in riding at full speed over rugged and rocky ground. In the exercise with the lance the rider endeavours to put the point of it upon the shoulder of his adversary, thus showing that his life is in his power. When the parties become heated, they ...
— Travels in Syria and the Holy Land • John Burckhardt

... of the elf had to expend themselves in the same way. As a child she had ever been as remarkable for surprising feats of agility as for fun, frolic, mischief, and diablerie. And every one of these traits augmented with her growth. Feats of agility became a passion with her—her airy spirit seemed only to find its full freedom in rapid ...
— The Missing Bride • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... that! You know, Gentlemen, that I have such a strange and natural Agility in turning—I shall whip about yet, and leave 'em all ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. II • Aphra Behn

... to-day did she perform feats of daring and agility that would have done credit to a flying fish. No one had eyes for her except an agitated mother and grandmother, who finally ordered her summarily out of the water and ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... but in a low voice all the time. When in the course of his investigation he found the side exit and the winding stair down which Wilfred had rushed to find his brother dead, Father Brown ran not down but up, with the agility of a monkey, and his clear voice came from an outer ...
— The Innocence of Father Brown • G. K. Chesterton

... became famous throughout the district, and many of the younger men made special trips to Bali to examine it. Arni would beam with joy and strut around with a knowing, self-satisfied expression on his face, and would tell of the patience, the agility, and the marksmanship he had to put into killing this monstrously clever fox. It certainly wasn't hard to kill all you wanted of these devils, if you just had the powder and shot and were willing to give your time to it, he would say, as ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... principle that God has spoken, not in order to make acute theologians, or to provide materials for controversy, but in order to help us to love. The whole of these latest letters of the Apostle breathe the mellow wisdom of old age, which has learned to rate brilliant intellectualism, agility, incontroversial fence and the like, far lower than homely goodness. And so, says Paul, 'the end of the commandment ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... that afternoon to "red up" a little for her, for her rheumatism had been very bad. With wonderful agility she rose and made ready for bed. First, however, she carefully examined the latch on her kitchen door. Now this latch had a bad habit of locking itself if the door was closed quickly. Mrs. McGuire tried it and found it would ...
— Sowing Seeds in Danny • Nellie L. McClung

... called a Cattamount. It has a tail like a Lyon, its legs are like Bears, its Claws like an Eagle, its Eyes like a Tyger. He is exceedingly ravenous and devours all sorts of Creatures that he can come near. Its agility is surprising. It will leap 30 feet at one jump notwithstanding it is but 3 months old. Whoever wishes to see this creature may come to the place aforesaid paying one shilling each shall be welcome for ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... have the gout in their toes or the rheumatism in their joints; some are stiff with age, some feeble with disease; some are so lean that their bones would rattle, and others of such ponderous size that their agility would crack the flagstones; but many, many have leaden feet because their hearts are far heavier than lead. It is a sad thought that I have chanced upon. What a company of dancers should we be! For I too am a ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne



Words linked to "Agility" :   agile, gracefulness, lightsomeness, nimbleness



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