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Idle   Listen
adjective
Idle  adj.  (compar. idler; superl. idlest)  
1.
Of no account; useless; vain; trifling; unprofitable; thoughtless; silly; barren. "Deserts idle." "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." "Down their idle weapons dropped." "This idle story became important."
2.
Not called into active service; not turned to appropriate use; unemployed; as, idle hours. "The idle spear and shield were high uphing."
3.
Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing; as, idle workmen. "Why stand ye here all the day idle?"
4.
Given rest and ease; averse to labor or employment; lazy; slothful; as, an idle fellow.
5.
Light-headed; foolish. (Obs.)
Idle pulley (Mach.), a pulley that rests upon a belt to tighten it; a pulley that only guides a belt and is not used to transmit power.
Idle wheel (Mach.), a gear wheel placed between two others, to transfer motion from one to the other without changing the direction of revolution.
In idle, in vain. (Obs.) "God saith, thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord God in idle."
Synonyms: Unoccupied; unemployed; vacant; inactive; indolent; sluggish; slothful; useless; ineffectual; futile; frivolous; vain; trifling; unprofitable; unimportant. Idle, Indolent, Lazy. A propensity to inaction is expressed by each of these words; they differ in the cause and degree of this characteristic. Indolent denotes an habitual love to ease, a settled dislike of movement or effort; idle is opposed to busy, and denotes a dislike of continuous exertion. Lazy is a stronger and more contemptuous term than indolent.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Idle" Quotes from Famous Books



... owned the lordship of the East-English King Raedwald. The shelter given by Raedwald to AElla's son Eadwine served as a pretext for a Northumbrian attack. Fortune however deserted AEthelfrith, and a snatch of northern song still tells of the day when the river Idle by Retford saw his defeat and fall. But the greatness of Northumbria survived its king. In 617 Eadwine was welcomed back by his own men of Deira; and his conquest of Bernicia maintained that union of the two realms which the Bernician conquest of Deira had first brought about. The greatness ...
— History of the English People, Volume I (of 8) - Early England, 449-1071; Foreign Kings, 1071-1204; The Charter, 1204-1216 • John Richard Green

... sight. He was a Russian refugee of mark. All Geneva knew his burly black-coated figure. At one time all Europe was aware of the story of his life written by himself and translated into seven or more languages. In his youth he had led an idle, dissolute life. Then a society girl he was about to marry died suddenly and thereupon he abandoned the world of fashion, and began to conspire in a spirit of repentance, and, after that, his native ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... you, or when, overcome by base usage, you take to drink. There is no hope for you; even if you were treated better and paid your wages there would be no hope. Those forty pounds even, if they were given to you, would bring you no good fortune. They would bring the idle loafer, who scorns you now as something too low for even his kisses, hanging about your heels and whispering in your ears. And his whispering would drive you mad, for your kind heart longs for kind words; ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... characterized Chesterfield's early pursuits. Desultory reading he abhorred. He looked on it as one of the resources of age, but as injurious to the young in the extreme. 'Throw away,' thus he writes to his son, 'none of your time upon those trivial, futile books, published by idle necessitous authors for the amusement of ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... than her companions, "but on the 14th of July you would have besieged and bombarded the city; and on the 6th of October you wanted to flee to the frontier." She answered, in the gentlest tone, that "these were idle stories, which they were wrong to believe; tales like these were what caused at once the misery of the people and that of the best of kings." Another woman addressed her in German. Marie Antoinette declared ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... were in view. They were a sight that couldn't fail to stimulate the funny bone. By comparison with real ants everything about them had been grossly exaggerated to achieve the proper effect. They walked on their two back legs but the four front apertures were far from idle. Some of them turned somersaults, others did complicated flips consisting of two or three spins in mid-air. Still others, doing a kind of animated cakewalk, carried toy ray guns which they fired at random into ...
— Martian V.F.W. • G.L. Vandenburg

... shouting at Mr. Easton's tavern all winter. Nay, they declare that all this country west of the mountains, too, will be broken off and set up into a republic, and allied with that most glorious of all republics, France. Believe me, the Jacobins have not been idle, and there have been strange-looking birds of French plumage dodging between the General's house at Clarksville ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... great deal too well pleased with himself to know how ill his friends were thinking of him, and was pursuing a very idle and pleasant, if unprofitable, life, without having the least notion of the hubbub he was creating, and the dreadful repute in which he was held by many good men. Coming out from a match at tennis with Mr. Batts, ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... multiplied examinations so as to make quite sure, at the end of each term or each year, that the pupils confided to them have done at least some work. This kind of forced labor may do some good to the incorrigibly idle, but it does the greatest harm to all the rest. If there is an examination at the end of each year, there can be no freedom left for any independent work. Both teachers and taught will be guided by the same pole-star—examinations; no deviation ...
— Chips From A German Workshop, Vol. V. • F. Max Mueller

... under her superintending eye. She must be the nurse of her children alike by day and by night, in sickness and in health; and with the attention which American ladies pay to their husbands, their married life is by no means an idle one. Under these circumstances, the early fading of their bloom is not to be wondered at, and I cannot but admire the manner in which many of them cheerfully conform to years of anxiety and comparative seclusion, after the homage and gaiety which seemed ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... of Bello Sguardo, and has paced the centuries continually since the coming of the friars. One might have asked of her the kindness of a fellow-feeling. She and he alike were so habited as to show the world that their life was aloof from its "idle business." By some such phrase, at least, the friar would assuredly have attempted to include her in any spiritual honours ascribed to him. Or one might have asked of her the condescension of forbearance. "Only fancy," said the Salvation Army girl, watching the friar out of sight, "only fancy ...
— The Colour of Life • Alice Meynell

... we have had in England during the last two hundred years than in some parts of Ireland at the present moment. Rather, much rather, would I have lived on the line of march of the Pretender's army in 1745 than in Tipperary now. It is idle to threaten us with civil war; for we have it already; and it is because we are resolved to put an end to it that we are called base, and brutal, and bloody. Such are the epithets which the honourable and learned Member ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... throughout the East and South, who looked upon the pioneers in general as renegades and vagabonds forming a "lawless rabble" on the outskirts of civilization. To them the first settlers were "lawless intruders" on the public domain, "land robbers," "fugitives from justice," and "idle and profligate characters." Squatters, they held, were those "who had gone beyond the settlement and were wholly reckless of the laws either of God or man." Nay more, they were "non-consumers of the country, performing no duties either civil or military." In short, gentlemen ...
— History of the Constitutions of Iowa • Benjamin F. Shambaugh

... found that the lowness of the tide would prevent their getting off for an hour, the Swancourts, having nothing else to do, allowed their eyes to idle upon men in blue jerseys performing mysterious mending operations with tar-twine; they turned to look at the dashes of lurid sunlight, like burnished copper stars afloat on the ripples, which danced into and tantalized their vision; or listened to the loud music ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... thinking such talk idle; and begged to know what manner of man this was who was coming. Was he—was he ...
— Rosin the Beau • Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards

... familiar and silent public, where the heavy clouds of tobacco smoke lulls disquietude, while the heavy beer dulls the mind and calms the heart. He almost lived there. He was scarcely up, before he went there to find people to occupy his looks and his thoughts, and soon, as he felt too idle to move, he took his meals there. About twelve o'clock he used to rap on the marble table, and the waiter quickly brought a plate, a glass, a table napkin, and his lunch when he had ordered it. When he had done, he slowly drank his cup of black coffee, with his eyes fixed on the decanter of brandy, ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... labour that is required of you. You are carefully rubbed down and washed, you have well-dressed corn, and fresh clean water. Your greatest business is to carry the merchant, our master, when he has any little journey to make, and were it not for that you would be perfectly idle. I am treated in a very different manner, and my condition is as deplorable as yours is fortunate. Daylight no sooner appears than I am fastened to a plough, and made to work till night, which so fatigues me, that sometimes my strength entirely fails. Besides, ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 1 • Anon.

... some of the circumstances to you it may bring back the memory," suggested the lieutenant. "Believe me, I do not do it out of mere idle curiosity, but you seemed in such distress at the time, and so uncertain of where you wanted to go, that I really wished after I had directed you that I had placed you in charge of the conductor of ...
— The Moving Picture Girls in War Plays - Or, The Sham Battles at Oak Farm • Laura Lee Hope

... variety of methods. The training of men for business callings increases the supply of entrepreneurs. Taxes on inheritances, excess profits, and the unearned increment of land will tend to force into productive work many capable men who now either idle away their lives, or retire from business prematurely. It is also important that the well-to-do classes be encouraged to rear larger families, since it is these classes which can best afford to give ...
— Problems in American Democracy • Thames Ross Williamson

... godlines. In our forefathers tyme, whan Papistrie, as a standyng poole, couered and ouerflowed all England, fewe bookes were read in our tong, sauyng certaine bookes of Cheualrie, as they sayd, for pastime and pleasure, which, as some say, were made in Monasteries, by idle Monkes, or wanton Chanons: as ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... pity," he reflected; "but we cannot alter the matter now. The poor girl will feel herself sadly out of place in this house, I fear; but perhaps it won't do her any harm. She may be a better woman all her life—the idle, selfish, self-indulgent life that she is bound by all her traditions and her upbringing to lead—for having seen for a few months what honest work is like. She is too handsome not to marry well: let us only hope that Alice won't secure a duke for her. She will ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... and adaptation. Too early and too much criticism spoils many a home. "One silent, both happy," is an old motto well worth observing. But often a single appreciative word will brighten the whole sky. One of Franklin's plain phrases has its wise lesson: "As we must account for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence." Frederika Bremer says: "Marriage has a morrow, and again a morrow." You will need to bear with each other, and to so act, each to the other, that every ...
— The Wedding Day - The Service—The Marriage Certificate—Words of Counsel • John Fletcher Hurst

... to learn that you have forgotten the protection that I always gave you. Do you think that I am no longer alive; or that I have a mind to stand idle, like those who have been here in my place? Or do you think that, if eight or ten hairs have been torn from my children's heads when I was absent, I cannot put ten handfuls of hair in the place of every one that was pulled out? You know that before I protected you the ravenous Iroquois dog ...
— Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV • Francis Parkman

... had in their employ as high as two thousand men at one time and worked under a contract that gave them a substantial bonus for all track laid in excess of two miles a day, as well as made them allowance for idle time occasioned by their being unable to work on account of the grade not being ready for them. Thus they were to receive eight hundred dollars per mile of track laid if two miles or less was laid in a day. If they laid ...
— The Story of the First Trans-Continental Railroad - Its Projectors, Construction and History • W. F. Bailey

... Our tongue from Lilly's writing then in use, Talking of stones, stars, plants, of fishes, flies, Playing with words and idle similies." ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... last week, warrants for the arrest of William and Ellen were issued by Judge Levi Woodbury, but no officer has yet been found ready or bold enough to serve them. In the meantime, the Vigilance Committee, appointed at the Faneuil Hall meeting, has not been idle. Their number has been increased to upwards of a hundred "good men and true," including some thirty or forty members of the bar; and they have been in constant session, devising every legal method to baffle the pursuing bloodhounds, and relieve ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... his spare time in taming birds and making cages for them, and in cutting models of vessels and boats, and manufacturing other articles; indeed, I believe he is never idle, and seems as contented and happy as if he had been prosperous all his life, and never met ...
— Norman Vallery - How to Overcome Evil with Good • W.H.G. Kingston

... operations, and had had the planking, which surrounded the building-yard on the side where the warehouses lay, pulled down in order to get room for the engines. He managed to get some order among the men who were handing the water, and drove the idle spectators up into the yard near the house. As he happened to pass Uncle Richard, the latter asked him, "Do you think ...
— Garman and Worse - A Norwegian Novel • Alexander Lange Kielland

... in the slightest observations of Lady Annabel, which, however sweet might be the voice in which they were uttered, scarcely encouraged their propriety to be canvassed. Now Venetia was far from desirous of being separated from her mother this morning. It was not a vain and idle curiosity, prompted by the receipt of the letter and its consequent effects, both in the emotion of her mother and the visit which it had rendered necessary, that swayed her breast. The native dignity ...
— Venetia • Benjamin Disraeli

... wins for Ex clear Wever and the Clist, Contributing their streams their mistress' fame to raise. As all assist the Ex, so Ex consumeth these; Like some unthrifty youth, depending on the court, To win an idle name, that keeps a needless port; And raising his old rent, exacts his farmers' store The landlord to enrich, the tenants wondrous poor: Who having lent him theirs, he then consumes his own, That with most vain expense upon the Prince is thrown: So ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... freezing deliberation, "that Miss Miranda Dows and her niece now represent the Drummond Company equally with myself, and that you cannot expect me to listen to any reflections upon the way they choose to administer their part in its affairs, either now, or to come. Still less do I care to discuss the idle gossip which can affect only the PRIVATE interests of these ladies, with which neither you nor I ...
— Sally Dows and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... darted into my soul, since I formed a scheme of reasonable felicity, have been squandered by my own fault. I have lost that which can never be restored; I have seen the sun rise and set for twenty months, an idle gazer on the light of heaven; in this time the birds have left the nest of their mother, and committed themselves to the woods and to the skies; the kid has forsaken the teat, and learned by degrees to climb the rocks ...
— Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia • Samuel Johnson

... to tell all that had happened to her, and when the mother heard how she had come by her riches, she was most anxious to secure the same luck for her own idle, ugly daughter; so she told her to sit at the well and spin. In order to make her spindle bloody, she stuck her hand into a hedge of thorns and pricked her finger. Then she threw the spindle into the well, and jumped in herself ...
— The Red Fairy Book • Various

... apostolic and catholic Christianity, and if all three had conspired to draw together into one the various temperaments and tendencies of the German Americans in the unity of the Spirit with the bond of peace, may seem like an idle historical conjecture, but the question is not without practical interest to-day. Perhaps the Moravians would have been the better for being ballasted with the weighty theologies and the conservative temper of the state churches; it is very ...
— A History of American Christianity • Leonard Woolsey Bacon

... the country throws it up to New York a lot because of its Four Hundred, and that the ordinary small-town man gets so scornful when he talks of the idle and diamond-crusted rich, with their poodle-dog pastimes, that he lives in constant danger of stabbing his eyes with his nose. But I'm not that way; I'm interested. Nothing fascinates me so much as the stories in your papers ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... I never saw so many idle men and grown boys. Not a spot could be found so secluded that one or more did not soon make his appearance. Selecting the quiet yard of a summer cottage, a deserted-looking place not yet opened ...
— In Nesting Time • Olive Thorne Miller

... admit that there are certain strong points in their natural character which are anything but pleasing; and it is, I believe, these points coming to the notice of people who are not inclined to befriend them that have earned for them the character of an idle, ungrateful people. Many a time has it been said to me, "How can you waste your time working among those Indians? They will never get any better for all you can teach them or do for them." And yet I have continued labouring, and do still labour ...
— Missionary Work Among The Ojebway Indians • Edward Francis Wilson

... I got on board I saw five men flogged for not being smart enough at reefing topsails. I thought it very cruel, and it set me against the service. I did not inquire who the men were. I found afterwards that they were idle rascals who deserved punishment, and always went about their duty in a lazy, sluggish way. However, there was no doubt that our captain was a very taut hand. The ship had just come out of harbour. He had found out that the ...
— Will Weatherhelm - The Yarn of an Old Sailor • W.H.G. Kingston

... or his right, and no one should be presumed to submit to illegal acts of power, whether actual or contingent. (5.) But a main objection to this argument is, that it would render the whole constitutional provision idle and inoperative; and no explanatory words, if such words had been added in the Constitution, could have prevented this consequence. The law, it is said, is part of the contract; it cannot, therefore, impair the contract, because a contract cannot impair itself. Now, ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... my pastur fust, an' show you our cow—the best milker i' the county. An' see here at these backbuildins, how convenent the dairy is; I planned it ivery bit myself. An' here I've got my little carpenter's shop an' my blacksmith's shop; I do no end o' jobs here myself. I niver could bear to be idle, Mr. Tryan; I must al'ys be at somethin' or other. It was time for me to lay by business an mek room for younger folks. I'd got money enough, wi' only one daughter to leave it to, an' I says to myself, says I, it's time to leave off moitherin' myself wi' this world so much, an' give ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... chamber, who told me her business was chiefly for my advice about her husband's leaving off his trade, which though I wish enough, yet I did advise against, for he is a man will not know how to live idle, and employment he is fit for none. Thence anon carried her and Mrs. Pierce home, and so to the Duke of Albemarle, and mighty kind he to me still. So home late at my letters, and so to bed, being mightily troubled at the newes of the plague's being encreased, ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... and His righteousness be added to us over and above—or NOT as it may happen. Try for once the plan the Lord of heaven and earth advises, and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and see whether every thing else will not be added to you. Again, you need not be idle a moment more in Lent than at any other time. But I dare say, that none of you are so full of business that you have not a free ten minutes in the morning, and ten minutes at night, of which the best of uses may be made. What do I say? Why, of all men in the ...
— Twenty-Five Village Sermons • Charles Kingsley

... attempt of the Bolsheviki is on the eve of complete failure. The garrison is disaffected. The Ministries are idle, bread is lacking. All factions except a handful of Bolsheviki have left the Congress of Soviets. The Bolsheviki are alone! Abuses of all sorts, acts of vandalism and pillage, the bombardment of the Winter Palace, arbitrary ...
— Ten Days That Shook the World • John Reed

... which bound them together he was far too sensible to dream of separation. Nor, in his heart, did he think her guilty of anything but foolish, headstrong indiscretion,—of that and latterly of dissimulation. It was not that Caesar had been wronged, but that his wife had enabled idle tongues to suggest ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... states that "the American tonnage measurements, properly taken, never could give results for frigates varying largely from the English tonnage." But a statement like this is idle; for the answer to the "never could" is that they did. If Mr. Chiswell will turn to James' "Naval Occurrences," he will find the Chesapeake set down as 1,135 tons, and the Macedonian as of 1,081; but in the American Navy lists, which are those I followed, the Chesapeake ...
— The Naval War of 1812 • Theodore Roosevelt

... great dragon-fly came through on some mysterious journey, and paused for a palpitating bright second on a sunny rock. The woods all about were silent in the tense hush of the summer afternoon; even the horses were motionless, except for an occasional idle lipping of the underbrush. Now and then a breath of pine, incredibly sweet, ...
— Poor, Dear Margaret Kirby and Other Stories • Kathleen Norris

... Idleness.—If a boy should carry one hand in his pocket all the time, and use only the other hand and arm, the idle arm would become small and weak, while the other would grow large and strong. Any part of the body which is not used will after a time become weak. Little boys and girls who do not take plenty of exercise are likely to be pale and puny. ...
— First Book in Physiology and Hygiene • J.H. Kellogg

... 7.15 A.M. Early morning parades were being held by all corps. He watched some units at work and then went to the quarters prepared for him. After breakfast he at once began his inspection, and from that time until he left the camp, three days afterwards, there was practically not an idle moment. ...
— The Chronicles of a Gay Gordon • Jose Maria Gordon

... pleasant it was to humiliate himself and depreciate himself before her! How delightful it was to get such splendid opportunities of hinting that if his life had been sanctified by an object he might indeed have striven to be something better than an idle flaneur upon the smooth pathways that have no particular goal; that, blessed by the ties which would have given a solemn purpose to every hour of his existence, he might indeed have fought the battle earnestly ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... own native cactus, and he desired only peace and quiet while he throttled the snake of ignorance in his talons, which snake had been his worry ever since the Aztec hordes from the north had first caged him in. Beneath the Imperial arms was the motto, "Equidad en la Justicia," but it seemed an idle promise. ...
— The Missourian • Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

... soldiery, who took to flight and murdered one of their generals. The discouragement with which the nation heard of these reverses deepened into sullen indignation against the Court, as weeks and months passed by, and the forces lay idle on the frontier or met the enemy only in trifling skirmishes which left both sides where they were before. If at this crisis of the Revolution, with all the patriotism, all the bravery, all the military ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... an one would do well to succor a father's failings, to add hope to his despondency and love to the mitigation of his trials. But Mr. Keene was not despondent, nor were his trials of a sort which might not easily be tempered by something like industry on his own part. He was frankly idle. He loved better than simple work the precarious excitement of prospecting—an occupation which, except in isolated and accidental instances, cannot be pursued to any good save with the ...
— A Prairie Infanta • Eva Wilder Brodhead

... morning awoke from her sweet dream of bliss to find herself wedded to a drunkard! Only they who like her have experienced a similar awakening can know the bitterness of that hour, and yet methinks she was happier than the haughty Lina, for her love was no idle passion, and through weal and woe she clung to her husband, living oft on the remembrance of what he had been, and the hope of what he might be again, and when her little Willie was first laid upon her bosom, and she felt her husband's tears upon her cheek as he promised to reform for her ...
— Rosamond - or, The Youthful Error • Mary J. Holmes

... mesa, the clang and rattle of ore cars and the incessant grinding of quartz mills. Yes, it was decidedly pleasant to have a whole summer—if he wanted it—in which to go where he liked, do what he liked. One might do much worse, he reflected, than find some such spot as this and idle to one's heart's content. There would be trout, as like as not, in that stony brook back there; sunfish, probably, in that lazy stream crossing the open meadow yonder. It would be jolly to try one's luck on a day like this; jolly to lie back on the green bank ...
— The Lilac Girl • Ralph Henry Barbour

... foreign influence which reigned in her home. It might be told how in that spiritual atmosphere, shedding its sleepy indolence, her own spirit awoke and grew conscious and far-seeing, till impressions and hints which in the old days she would have set aside as idle, became for her pregnant with light and meaning. Then at last her eyes were opened, and understanding much and guessing more she began to watch. The attitude of the Colonel also could be studied, and how he grew first suspicious, then sarcastic, and at last thoroughly ...
— Stella Fregelius • H. Rider Haggard

... superior way, trembled before the stamp of his foot and the kindling flash of his eye. Some affair abroad had disturbed him and he came into the hall, when his sisters' voices were raised giddily as they played off an idle, ill-thought-of jest on grave, cold Nelly. "Queans and fools," he termed them, and bade them "end their steer" so harshly, that the free, thoughtful girls did not think of pouting or crying, but shrank back in affright. Nelly Carnegie, whom he had humbled to the ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... are audible to me, These idle flowers, that tremble in the wind, I understand their ...
— History of American Literature • Reuben Post Halleck

... through life in the old country in some exacting and ill-paid sedentary occupation, might have been benefited by emigration. The colonies have been inundated with ruined spendthrifts, gamblers, drunkards, idle good-for-nothings, who have been induced to emigrate in the belief that that alone was a panacea for their moral diseases. Very very few of them have reformed or done any good, so that colonists are naturally prejudiced against their class, and look upon gentleman-new-chums with great suspicion. ...
— Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) - or Settler and Maori in Northern New Zealand • William Delisle Hay

... father. "The wages here are so low that we can afford to hire men to do handwork. This gives many men work, and keeps them from being idle and discontented." ...
— Fil and Filippa - Story of Child Life in the Philippines • John Stuart Thomson

... It would be idle to assert that all women are suited to marriage, motherhood, and domestic life, although there is little doubt that early training may develop in some a suitability which would otherwise remain unsuspected. When, however, ...
— Vocational Guidance for Girls • Marguerite Stockman Dickson

... light-haired, ungainly youth, of about twenty, with a reputation for singing a comic song. It was understood that the Admiral designed him for College and Holy Orders, but meanwhile time was passing, and Sam sat "with idle hands at home," or more frequently, in the bar ...
— The Astonishing History of Troy Town • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... by Dominican capital and are not able to supply the local demand. In Santo Domingo City are the remains of a costly brewery erected by Americans with a view to supplying the West Indies; it was ruined, so local reports say, by bad management and has been idle for fifteen years. If the amount of soap used by a people is really an index of its degree of civilization, then the Dominicans can claim to be far advanced, for the consumption of soap manufactured in the country and imported, ...
— Santo Domingo - A Country With A Future • Otto Schoenrich

... for idle vanities," he said; "it's no time to indulge unreal modesties; and you have none of either if it were. God has laid His hand on us all, Rotha; yes, and our hearts are open without disguise before Him—and before each ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... and the revolting heinousness of which the records of our courts reveal; may be traced to his prescribing for himself, and practising, a lax standard of morals, is a statement which it would be idle to dispute. That the marriage tie exacts from him not the most onerous of interpretations, and that the scriptural basis for a sound morality, involved in the declaration, "and they twain shall be one flesh," not seldom escapes, in his case, its ...
— A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians • James Bovell Mackenzie

... and that his sacred image Was in thy soul engraven, when first his Spirit, The spring of life, did in thy limbs inspire it. For, as his beauties are past all compare, So is thy soul all beautiful and fair: As he's immortal, and is never idle, Thy soul's immortal, and can brook no bridle Of sloth, to curb her busy intellect: He ponders all; thou peizest[1] each effect: And thy mature and settled sapience Hath some alliance with his ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... possess a part of our own language, though they cannot speak it, and hence do not possess it so fully as we do. They cannot say "bread," "meat," or "water," but there are many that readily learn what ideas they ought to attach to these symbols when they are presented to them. It is idle to say that a cat does not know what the cat's-meat man means when he says "meat." The cat knows just as well, neither better nor worse than the cat's-meat man does, and a great deal better than I myself ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... tr-r-r-rum-ti-tum-tum! 'Tis the warning voice of the rolling drum. Through the awakened night air come The stern command and the busy hum Of hurried preparation. 'Tis no time now for idle strumming Of light guitars: in that loud drumming Is fearful meaning; the hour is coming That for some of us will be the summing Of all ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... years, his chief delight was in his books, which lost none of their power to interest him in advancing age; especially was this true of the Book of books. He was never idle. The active energy, which distinguished his youth, no less marked his advancing years. His mind was as clear, his judgment as sound, and his mental vision as keen at eighty-three, as they were at thirty-three. His was a long and happy old ...
— Among the Sioux - A Story of the Twin Cities and the Two Dakotas • R. J. Creswell

... did not greatly care whether I died or lived, while Hans drew his knife and stood over me, cursing them as he had cursed at Jana. By slow degrees they drew nearer and nearer. I watched them with a kind of idle curiosity, believing that the moment when they came within actual spear-thrust would be our last, but, as I have said, not greatly caring because of my mental ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... offered that majestic, silent figure some grotesque indignity: thrown a pillow at it, or hailed it in tones of mocking offence. He was profoundly and exquisitely ashamed even before he ceased to tell the story for his listeners' idle amusement. When he stopped doing so, and snubbed solicitation with the curt answer that everybody had heard that story, he was retrospectively ashamed; and mixed with the expectation of seeing the vision again was the formless wish to offer it some ...
— Questionable Shapes • William Dean Howells

... ingratitude to my indolence, and yet I felt my heart so little culpable that, had it been in my power to do M. le Blond the least service, even unknown to himself, I am certain he would not have found me idle. But indolence, negligence and delay in little duties to be fulfilled have been more prejudicial to me than great vices. My greatest faults have been omissions: I have seldom done what I ought not to have done, and unfortunately ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... wanted to make a good impression with that lesson. After a while, when she was sure she could spell them all correctly, she began to listen and look around her. She always "got" her spelling in less time than was allowed the class, and usually sat idle, looking out of the window until that study period was over. But now the moment she stopped staring at the board and moving her lips as she spelled to herself the teacher said, just as though she had been watching her every minute instead of ...
— Understood Betsy • Dorothy Canfield

... my veins And fills with sleep the droning times, Like sluggish dreams among my brains, There runs the drollest sort of rhymes, Idle as clouds that stray through heaven And vague as if they were a myth, But in these rhymes is always given A ...
— Songs, Merry and Sad • John Charles McNeill

... Constance. I am going to Garibaldi. He wants soldiers. I must not live an idle life any longer.—We ...
— Stephen Archer and Other Tales • George MacDonald

... never ceased asking, What is piety? what is impiety? what is noble? what is base? what is just? what is unjust? what is temperance? what is madness?"[912] And these questions were not asked in the Sophistic spirit, as a dialectic exercise, or from idle curiosity. He was a perfect contrast to the Sophists. They had slighted Truth, he made her the mistress of his soul. They had turned away from her, he longed for more perfect communion with her. ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... public nuisances. Their maintenance directly tends to corrupt and debase public morals, to promote vice, and to encourage dissolute and idle habits, and the suppression of nuisances of this character and having this tendency, is one of the important ...
— Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls - War on the White Slave Trade • Various

... we are both idle, and if we continue so, may have ennui and may quarrel. After three days I will not pay for your breakfasts, and every day in which you do not breakfast with me, paying for yourself, I will give you no dinner. Remember it, Suzette, for ...
— Bohemian Days - Three American Tales • Geo. Alfred Townsend

... a moment did Olaf think of allowing his Uncle Sigurd to take the punishment for his crime. He knew that Sigurd had made no idle offer when he had said that he would give up his life for his sake; but Sigurd was guiltless, and it would be a coward's act to allow him to make this sacrifice. With all his newborn hopes burning within him, it was a hard thing for Olaf to think ...
— Olaf the Glorious - A Story of the Viking Age • Robert Leighton

... published in facsimile by Mr. F. W. Bourdillon at Oxford in 1896. Indeed, few poems, old or new, have in the last few years been more reprinted, translated, and discussed, than "Aucassins," yet the discussion lacks interest to the idle tourist, and tells him little. Nothing is known of the author or his date. The second line alone offers a hint, but nothing more. "Caitif" means in the first place a captive, and secondly any unfortunate or wretched man. Critics ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... did as well as we could expect, I suppose. The children did need the "gad" occasionally and the father indulged in a few idle, surly, drinking days; but, convinced that the man was honestly trying, I found that a little tact and kindness always brought him around to renewed endeavor. To expect immediate reform and unvaried well-doing would be asking too much of such ...
— Driven Back to Eden • E. P. Roe

... La Masque, in a tone so strangely sad that it touched Leoline, "do not be angry with me. It is no idle curiosity that sent me here at this hour to ask impertinent questions, but a claim that I have upon you, stronger than that of any ...
— The Midnight Queen • May Agnes Fleming

... combination shown in Fig. 20. This consists of a train-arm T revolving about the vertical axis OO of the fixed wheel A, which is equal in diameter to F, which receives its motion by the intervention of one idle wheel carried by a stud S fixed in the arm. The second train-arm T' is fixed to the shaft of F and turns with it; A' is secured to the arm T, and F' is actuated by A' also through a single idler carried ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 441, June 14, 1884. • Various

... plans. We don't mean to say much about them yet, because we are such very new brooms, but we don't intend to be idle. I'm going into business with a devotion that shall delight Grandfather, and prove to him that I'm not spoiled. I need something of the sort to keep me steady. I'm tired of dawdling, and mean to work ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... of the deputation did honour to the prophetess, as well as showed the king's anxiety as to the matter in hand. Jeremiah and Zephaniah were both living at this time, and we do not know why Huldah was preferred. Perhaps she was more accessible. But conjecture is idle. Enough that she was recognised as having, and declared herself to have, direct authoritative communications ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... When he got out at 12.30 the sun seemed to pour right through his skin, into the drab chamber of his soul, gilding it. He hurried over his macaroon tart and cup of coffee, and then had three-quarters of an hour left to idle in the square. ...
— The Trimming of Goosie • James Hopper

... a snake to me. I threw away the glass he had drunk from. And yet—was it idle curiosity, or was it fear of being shut away in the valley outside Papeite by the quarantine officers, that made her ask me that question about ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... are to go having bad dreams about me—who am like a stalled ox—browsing in idle comfort—in fact, idle is no word for it. Sloth is the right epithet. I can't get myself to do anything but potter in the ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 3 • Leonard Huxley

... obtained, and so much encouragement was given by Government to settlers, that many of the half-pay officers and soldiers who had gone to New Brunswick found their way here, as well as many of the idle, discontented, dissipated, vicious and worthless of the United States. But at the Settler's Home all were made welcome; the meals, victuals and night's lodging were freely given to all, and for years after, to my recollection, during ...
— The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 2 of 2 - From 1620-1816 • Edgerton Ryerson

... tell Vaudrey that an old friend, Claire Dujarrier, was on intimate terms with a certain Adolphe Gochard, who upon the endorsement of a responsible person, would certainly advance a hundred thousand francs that he had at this moment lying idle. Gochard only needed a bill of exchange in his favor for one hundred thousand francs at three months' date, plus interest at five per cent. This Gochard was a very straightforward capitalist, who did not make it a business to lend ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... Raya we saw great flocks of sheep and alpacas, numerous corrals, and the thatched-roofed huts of herdsmen. The Quichua women are never idle. One often sees them engaged in the manufacture of textiles—shawls, girdles, ponchos, and blankets—on hand looms fastened to stakes driven into the ground. When tending flocks or walking along the road they are always winding or spinning ...
— Inca Land - Explorations in the Highlands of Peru • Hiram Bingham

... letters, they too much talk of government affairs. It is our duty to take care of the Smyrna trade, as well as all other, and it never has yet been neglected; but Great Britain, extensive as her navy is, cannot afford to have one ship lay idle. Be assured, my dear Sir Sidney, of my perfect esteem and regard, and do not let any one persuade you to the contrary: but my character is, that I will not suffer the smallest tittle of my command to be taken from me. But, with pleasure, I give way to my friends; among ...
— The Life of the Right Honourable Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson, Vol. II (of 2) • James Harrison

... rowed out to the clipper. The wind had shifted to the southeast, but still there was not enough of a sea to give them any trouble; and in a few minutes they were under the bows of The Southern Cross. Dan hailed a seaman who was leaning over the gunwale and watching them with idle curiosity. If the man replied in French, it was in a variety of that tongue that Tom's limited attainments did not understand, and, annoyed by the incomprehensible replies, he asked for "le captaine". At length,—possibly attracted ...
— The Inn at the Red Oak • Latta Griswold

... which Dowie immediately demanded from all who came to him, some of them even pouring their entire fortunes into the coffers of the new Elias. The ranks of his recruits were further swelled by crowds of hypochondriacs, and by the superstitious, the idle, and the curious, who filled his temple to such an extent that soon he was obliged to hire a large hall for his Sunday meetings, at which he was wont to appear in great magnificence with the cortege of ...
— Modern Saints and Seers • Jean Finot

... fire on the forts at Pharos Point and Ras-el-Tin. The Egyptians were standing at their guns, and instantly replied to the fire. The gunboats were lying in a second line behind the line of battle-ships, but the sailors who manned them were not content to remain idle, and, though without orders to engage, the Cygnet soon crept in close enough to use her guns. The Condor steamed away to the west, and engaged alone and unsupported the Marabout Fort. The admiral, seeing the disproportion ...
— Our Sailors - Gallant Deeds of the British Navy during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... new things, and told me that I was among a thoughtful and sensible people. To the ship-repairing dock I went, and saw the same wise prudence. The carpenters struck where they aimed, and the calkers wasted no blows in idle flourishes of the mallet. I learned that men went from New Bedford to Baltimore, and bought old ships, and brought them here to repair, and made them better and more valuable than they ever were before. Men talked here of going whaling on a four years' voyage ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... I am afraid you must really make up your mind to get up to-day. I know quite well how delightful it is to be thoroughly idle, for when my husband and I were King and Queen we did nothing at all from morning to night, and I sincerely hope that it will not be long before those happy days will come again for us. But at present we have not reached them, nor have you, and you know from what the Fairy said that perhaps ...
— The Green Fairy Book • Various

... professor lowered the guard he had built up before his holy places, relaxed the vigilance of his watch upon them lest they should be invaded by the careless feet of those that did not comprehend. Scott Brenton did comprehend. To him, experimenting was an act of reverence, not a deed of idle curiosity. The world-laws were, to him, full of purpose, albeit only half revealed; and blessed was he who should assist ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... question of drinking raised again by the "hootch," it is perhaps possible that, having so little else to do, they were ready to eat the more; it is also true that, busy or idle, the human body requires more nourishment in the North than it does in ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... 1% of the atmospheric nitrogen proved to be argon. The new element is characterized by having no affinity for other elements. Even under the most favorable conditions it has not been made to combine with any other element. On this account it was given the name argon, signifying lazy or idle. Like nitrogen, it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It has been liquefied and solidified. Its boiling point ...
— An Elementary Study of Chemistry • William McPherson

... Robert Hart. Of course the change gave rise to much discussion, and Sherard Osborne went frankly to Hart and told him how ill-natured people were hinting that he had intrigued against Lay. The malignity of idle gossip, however, could not turn him back. Knowing that he had worked as loyally for his chief as for himself, he simply replied that if the public looked at it in that way, instead of refusing he would certainly accept the post. I wonder if any instinct told him that the great day of his life ...
— Sir Robert Hart - The Romance of a Great Career, 2nd Edition • Juliet Bredon

... poor people long to waste themselves in idle lamentations. The problem of the future was forced upon Mrs. Ramsay for solution. If they had been able only to live comfortably on the earnings of the dead husband, what should they do now when the strong arm that delved for them was silent in the cold embrace of death? They must all work now; ...
— The Yacht Club - or The Young Boat-Builder • Oliver Optic

... moments the old man-of-wars man stood staring up at his wounded flag, idle with wrath and astonishment. He then in a voice of thunder shouted: "Plum—Robins—Tuck! D' ye see what that there fired little tailor's been and done? Why, junk me if he ha' n't shot our colour through! Boys, load with ball; d' ye hear? Suffocate ...
— The Honour of the Flag • W. Clark Russell

... half of the first dog watch, Shuffles began to be excited. He was too much of a politician to be idle while any voting was going on? and so far as his duty would permit, he had watched the receivers since the balloting commenced. He had seen seven or eight vote of whose membership in the Chain he had no previous knowledge. He saw that Pelham had made more initiates ...
— Outward Bound - Or, Young America Afloat • Oliver Optic

... worst from the older-established countries. And again, at the end of the week, he most unexpectedly found himself seated on a country-club verandah, having a very good time, indeed, with some charming specimens of the idle rich. He talked polo, golf, tennis and horses; he dined at several most elaborate "cottages"; he rode forth on glossy, bang-tailed horses, perfectly appointed; he drove in marvellously conceived traps ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... learned to think more of the Japanese. I studied Takahashi very earnestly and I grew to like him. The Orientals are mystics and hard to understand. But any one could see that here was a Japanese who was a real man. I never saw him idle. He resented being told what to do, and after my first offense in this regard I never gave him another order. He was a wonderful cook. It pleased his vanity to see how good an appetite I always had. When I would hail him: "George, what you got to eat?" he would grin and reply: "Aw, ...
— Tales of lonely trails • Zane Grey

... the excursion boat could be carrying, stepped forward in idle curiosity to look down the hatch. Suddenly he became aware that the young men were circling behind him. Before he could so much as turn around, he was seized from each side and a hand clapped over his mouth. With a concerted rush they swept him into the hole in ...
— The Deaves Affair • Hulbert Footner

... skin are frequently caused by ill-fitting harness or saddles. When a horse has been resting from steady work for some time, particularly after being idle in a stable on a scanty allowance of grain, as in winter, he is soft and tender and sweats easily when put to work again. In this condition he is liable to sweat and chafe under the harness, especially if it is hard and poorly fitted. This chafing is likely to ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... wisdom as well as in stature, and no longer sought the bubble reputation in official visits to the headmaster's study. In short, Jack had improved with his surroundings. He and Valentine, in addition to their fretwork, had taken up carpentry; and on wet afternoons, when idle hands were steeped in mischief, they were always to be found in the shed which had been set apart for the boys to use as a sort of workshop. As far as the Fifth Form was concerned, only one incident happened ...
— Soldiers of the Queen • Harold Avery

... you," said the deacon, shocked. "Pigs are only brute animals. They have no souls. Would you be willing to give up your immortal soul for the sake of bein' idle, and ...
— The Young Outlaw - or, Adrift in the Streets • Horatio Alger

... know it will be just two weeks now till we go up to the lake for all the summer. Why didn't I think to have you plant stuff in our back garden? Then you could have all the garden you liked right there handy—we always do hate to leave the ground idle." ...
— Mary Jane's City Home • Clara Ingram Judson

... stress as were now present in the colony, when exceptionally large sums had to be raised, and great sacrifices and sufferings endured, and when little less than the actual existence of the province might be thought to be at stake, it certainly seemed that the rich and idle proprietaries might stand on the same footing with their poor and laboring subjects. They lived comfortably in England upon revenues estimated to amount to the then enormous sum of L20,000 sterling; while the ...
— Benjamin Franklin • John Torrey Morse, Jr.

... the idle curiosity of a spectator who had no share in the drama, for the end of Menko's odious argument: "I ...
— Prince Zilah, Complete • Jules Claretie

... in the request and representation; and having done so, it is idle to detail my arguments in favour of my own self-love and 'Poeshie;' but I protest. If the poem has poetry, it would stand; if not, fall; the rest is 'leather and prunello,' and has never yet affected any human production 'pro or con.' Dulness is the only annihilator in such cases. ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. IV - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... objects in your life, then, if you fritter away your interest on an idle acquaintance whom you will forget as soon as you are out of her sight, and, if you'll pardon me, who will forget you, except when something calls up your name, or a reminiscence of you." Even Edmonson as he stood staring at her drew his breath like one recovering ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2 • Various

... destruction: if he had not recognised the monarch from his resemblance with his portrait on the assignats—if he had not rode with all speed, and reached Varennes before the carriages, in two hours more the king and his family must have been saved. Drouet, this obscure son of a post-master, sauntering and idle that evening before the door of a cottage, decided the fate of a monarchy. He took the advice of no one but himself—he set off, saying, "I will arrest the king." But Drouet would not have had this decisive impulse if, ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... destroyed, and with the home the home-like virtues. It is the dis-homed multitude, nomadic, hungry that is rearing an undisciplined population, cursed from birth with hereditary weakness of body and hereditary faults of character. It is idle to hope to mend matters by taking the children and bundling them up in barracks. A child brought up in an institution is too often only half-human, having never known a mother's love and a father's care. To men and women who are without ...
— "In Darkest England and The Way Out" • General William Booth

... liberty which France recovered in 1814, the triumph of any particular school in philosophy or party in politics. Turbulent propensities, obstinate theories and imaginations, at the same time ardent and idle, were unable to find in it the gratification of their irregular and unbounded appetites. It was, in truth, social liberty, the practical and legalized enjoyment of rights, equally essential to the active life of the citizens and ...
— Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time - Volume 1 • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... of from thirty to fifty feet wide were effected in the walls. The Saxons had not been idle. Behind each of the threatened points they raised banks of earth ten feet high, and cut away the bank perpendicularly behind the shattered wall, so that the assailants as they poured in at the gaps would have to leap ...
— The Dragon and the Raven - or, The Days of King Alfred • G. A. Henty

... over the premises, from the corral to the office. He showed her the automobile lying idle because an important part was broken and the new one though ordered from ...
— Across the Mesa • Jarvis Hall

... is taking the pictures!" Paul went on, pointing to Russ, who, with a look of chagrin on his face, stood idle beside the camera. He did not want to take a film with this scene in it, for the whole plot of the story would have to be changed to make the ...
— The Moving Picture Girls at Rocky Ranch - Or, Great Days Among the Cowboys • Laura Lee Hope

... bridled! They never had a bit in their mouths. Before the war they ran wild, and now they ride rough-shod over decorum, decency, and Davis himself. But the dictator endures it like a philosopher. "He lets it pass," said Judge Ould to me, "like the idle wind, which ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... his winding stair, Into his dismal den, Within his little parlor—but She ne'er came out again! And now, dear little children Who may this story read, To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you, ne'er give heed: Unto an evil counsellor Close heart and ear and eye, And learn a lesson from this tale Of ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V3 • Charles H. Sylvester

... perhaps an idle speculation, how early in the long line of our progenitors the various expressive movements, now exhibited by man, were successively acquired. The following remarks will at least serve to recall some of the chief points discussed in this volume. We may confidently believe that laughter, as a sign ...
— The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals • Charles Darwin

... them went to St. Louis to see my prosecutors. He found they would do nothing unless they got all their money back. Of course I could not give them that," said he with a wink, "as I haven't it; and so my lawyer was unable to do anything for me. Shanks, however, has just been in, and he has not been idle during the five days he has been absent. He has made arrangements with a party to go my bail, provided I will advance a considerable sum as security. Nothing is needed now but security, and I think I can manage it. I can give them some money, and they will then manage to get me ...
— The Expressman and the Detective • Allan Pinkerton

... would have become even easier later, when Mr. Lloyd George enlarged his attack on the landlords definitely into an attack against the idle upper classes, who with their dependents he reckoned at two million persons. He accused this class of constituting an intolerable burden on the community, said that its existence was the symptom of the disease of society, and that only ...
— Socialism As It Is - A Survey of The World-Wide Revolutionary Movement • William English Walling

... salvages, or any other, be they never such idlers may turne, carry, and returne fish without shame or either great pain: hee is very idle that is past twelve years of age and cannot doe so much: and shee is very old that cannot spin a ...
— Home Life in Colonial Days • Alice Morse Earle

... prevents or deters investment in new or expanded production facilities. This lessens the opportunity for employment and chokes off new outlets for idle savings. Monopoly maintains prices at artificially high levels and reduces consumption which, with lower prices, would rise and support larger production and higher employment. Monopoly, not being subject to competitive pressure, is slow to take advantage of technical advances which would lower ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Harry S. Truman • Harry S. Truman

... idle and weary of every thing, was in a fair way to become a happy young girl, thanks to the attention she began to give to every thing she saw, and to the interest which the wonders around her excited in her mind. She was enchanted ...
— Piccolissima • Eliza Lee Follen

... text makes ruling common to both, over and beyond which the preaching elder labors in the word. 2. Doth not this interpretation allow a double honor to ministers that labor not so much as others in the word? And can we think that the laborious Paul intended to dignify, patronize, or encourage idle drones, lazy, sluggish, seldom preachers? Ministers must be exceeding instant and laborious in their ministry, 2 Tim. iv. 1-3. If this were the sense only to prefer the greater before the less labor in the ministry, the apostle would have used this order ...
— The Divine Right of Church Government • Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London

... naturally, and latterly on topics that might seem indifferent, we were both sweetly agitated. Too soon it was time for her to go; and we separated, as if by mutual consent, without shaking hands, for both knew that, between us, it was no idle ceremony. ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... hand, did every idea influence our actions, our condition would not be much mended. For such is the unsteadiness and activity of thought, that the images of every thing, especially of goods and evils, are always wandering in the mind; and were it moved by every idle conception of this kind, it would never enjoy a moment's peace ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... but these bees are born with business instincts, and they can't enjoy loafing; they don't know how to be idle. Being as busy as a busy bee must be ...
— The Spinner's Book of Fiction • Various

... occasions when the mistress of Storm sat idle in her eyrie, her household—children, negroes, even the motley assortment of dogs that claimed her for their own—had learned to go their ways softly. The morning after Mag's affair, three collies, a hound or so, and several curs ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... certain implements would effect, answered with characteristic conservatism. "What," said he, "would you have us do? Our only concern is to fill our bellies, to get good clothes and houses, to say to one slave, 'Do this,' and to another, 'Do that,' and to sit idle ourselves and be waited upon. As to our tillage, or building, or planting, our forefathers did so and so and were satisfied, and why should not we do the same? The English want us to use their ploughs instead of our heavy wooden ones, and recommend other implements ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... Confederate method of counting their effectives, which should be increased nearly one-fifth to compare properly with our reports. In addition to these Stuart had the principal part of the Confederate cavalry on this line, and they were not idle spectators. Parts of Lee's and Hampton's brigades were certainly there, and probably the whole of Lee's. [Footnote: Id., p. 819.] With less than half the numerical strength which was opposed to it, therefore, the Kanawha division ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V1 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... Sabbath, he was not compelled to move a muscle. The Boer burgher could eat, sleep, or fight whenever he wished, and inasmuch as he was a law unto himself, there was no one who could compel him to change his habits. It was an ideal idle-man's mode of living and the foreign volunteers who had leaves of absence from their own armies made the most of their holiday, but in that respect they did not surpass their companion, ...
— With the Boer Forces • Howard C. Hillegas

... father who was a scholar and knew Greek." A week or two before his death Browning told an American friend, Mrs. Corson, in reply to a statement of hers that no one could accuse him of letting his talents lie idle: "It would have been quite unpardonable in my case not to have done my best. My dear father put me in a condition most favourable for the best work I was capable of. When I think of the many authors who have had to fight their way through all sorts of difficulties, ...
— Life of Robert Browning • William Sharp

... fair to see God yearned to have unto Himself the joy she brought to me; And bid your winds sing soft and low the song of other days, When, hand in hand and heart to heart, we went our pleasant ways— Ah me! but could I sing again that song of long ago, Instead of this poor idle ...
— Songs and Other Verse • Eugene Field

... red-hot iron, its cascades of sparks, and the melodious clank of the heavy hammer as it falls upon the impressionable metal. In all pursuits which entail the use of an open fire at night, its fascination attracts both busy and idle villagers, and more especially in winter it becomes a centre for local gossip. At that season the time-honoured gossip corner, close to the Manor gate, was deserted for the warmth and action of the forge. Blacksmiths, like other specialists, vary, ...
— Grain and Chaff from an English Manor • Arthur H. Savory

... was for a moment interested by what was to her so new a scene. "I had thought it magical art," she said, "but poor Tressilian taught me to judge of such things as they are. Great God! and may not these idle splendours resemble my own hoped-for happiness—a single spark, which is instantly swallowed up by surrounding darkness—a precarious glow, which rises but for a brief space into the air, that its fall may be the ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... Unitarian chapel and found certain Unitarian charities, in the heart of what was even then one of the densest and most poverty-stricken of London parishes. For a long time, however, chapel and charities seemed likely to rank as one of the idle freaks of religious wealth and nothing more. Unitarianism of the old sort is perhaps the most illogical creed that exists, and certainly it has never been the creed of the poor. In old days it required the presence of a certain arid ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... De Laleu, all the household of Marie de Medicis, with the exception of Chanteloupe and one or two others, began to anticipate a speedy return to France. The concessions which she had made were indeed so important and so unforeseen, that it seemed idle to apprehend any further opposition on the part either of the King himself, or of his still more obdurate minister. Great, therefore, was their dismay when they discovered that their unhappy mistress had sacrificed her pride in vain, and that she still remained ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... felt like I wanted to hit something, and hit hard. It wa'n't any idle impulse, either. That tooth was jumpin' so I could almost feel my heels leave the floor, and I had emotions that it would take more than language to express proper. So I peels off for it, down to a sleeveless jersey and a pair of flannel pants, and starts ...
— Odd Numbers - Being Further Chronicles of Shorty McCabe • Sewell Ford

... the last time, he made Penn the offer of a pistol. There was no leisure for idle arguments on the subject. The weapon was accepted. The two wrung each other's hands in silence: there were tears in the eyes of both. Then Stackridge gave Dobbin a resounding slap, and the horse bounded away, bearing his rider swiftly out of ...
— Cudjo's Cave • J. T. Trowbridge

... he cut his finger, as chemists are apt to do, and, again as chemists are apt to do, he dissolved some guncotton in ether-alcohol and swabbed it on the wound. At this point, however, his conduct diverges from the ordinary, for instead of standing idle, impatiently waving his hand in the air to dry the film as most people, including chemists, are apt to do, he put his mind on it and it occurred to him that this sticky stuff, slowly hardening to an elastic mass, might be ...
— Creative Chemistry - Descriptive of Recent Achievements in the Chemical Industries • Edwin E. Slosson

... danger signals have gone up. Already the corrosive process has begun. And every diminution of our tolerance, each new act of enforced conformity, each idle accusation, each demonstration of hysteria-each new restrictive law—is one more sign that we can lose the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Harry S. Truman • Harry S. Truman

... and sooner than confess that she could not understand the work, Winona was silent. She never mentioned the long hours she spent poring over her books in Aunt Harriet's dining-room. After all, it was better to be thought idle than stupid. But it was humiliating to feel that she was counted among the slackers of the Form, while Garnet was already winning laurels. The contrast between the two scholarship holders could not fail ...
— The Luckiest Girl in the School • Angela Brazil

... adage, that "when the devil finds a man idle, he sets him to work;" when love finds a heart unoccupied, he soon finds it a tenant, for it always has been, is now, and always ...
— An Old Sailor's Yarns • Nathaniel Ames

... and in the civil service of the Company. I returned to England last year, on inheriting the fortune of an uncle, among whose possessions was the house in question. I found it shut up and uninhabited. I was told that it was haunted, that no one would inhabit it. I smiled at what seemed to me so idle a story. I spent some money in repairing it, added to its old-fashioned furniture a few modern articles,—advertised it, and obtained a lodger for a year. He was a colonel on half-pay. He came in with his family, a son and a daughter, and four or five servants: they all left the house the next ...
— Haunted and the Haunters • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... the harrow," said Mr. Brandon. "The king and ministry are determined to crush the life out of us. All business has stopped. Grass is growing in the streets. Ship-carpenters, joiners, blacksmiths, ropemakers, are idle; no one has any work for them. Thousands have already left town, and others are going. Nobody can earn a penny, and we are all growing poorer. We should starve in a short time were it not for the kindness ...
— Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times - 1769 - 1776 A Historical Romance • Charles Carleton Coffin

... spite of the strong love, which had opened new vistas of thought and emotion for him during the past year, his feeling for Desmond was, and always would be, the master-force of his life. That he should be condemned to play the woman's part and sit with idle hands while his friend risked life and limb in the wild mountain country across the Border, seemed for the moment more than he could ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver



Words linked to "Idle" :   moon around, work, ineffectual, lounge about, arse about, slug, loaf, moon, loll around, out of work, idleness, lackadaisical, idle pulley, lie around, inactive, unemployed, ineffective, uneffective, unused, bone-lazy, tick over, otiose, lie about, laze, idle talk, jobless, busy, loll, bum around, slothful, wild, warm the bench, idler, fuck off, run



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