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Improvise   Listen
verb
Improvise  v. i.  To produce or render extemporaneous compositions, especially in verse or in music, without previous preparation; hence, to do anything offhand.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Improvise" Quotes from Famous Books



... experience in what he called "the war of America the Unready." His first message to Congress was a long and exhaustive paper, dealing with many matters of importance. But almost one-fifth of it was devoted to the army and the navy. "It is not possible," he said, "to improvise a navy after war breaks out. The ships must be built and the men trained long in advance." He urged that Congress forthwith provide for several additional battleships and heavy armored cruisers, together with the proportionate ...
— Theodore Roosevelt and His Times - A Chronicle of the Progressive Movement; Volume 47 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Harold Howland

... compositions being published under his name had really been written for him by his father, since it was evident from the face of them that no boy of his age could have composed so well. To counteract these charges poems were brought to him upon which he had to improvise and fit the music to the words in the presence of the audience. In 1769 he went to Italy, where, being now thirteen years of age and correspondingly mature as compared with his early appearances, he made a most astonishing success. In Bologna and in Rome as well as in Venice he was ...
— The Masters and their Music - A series of illustrative programs with biographical, - esthetical, and critical annotations • W. S. B. Mathews

... He was on his mettle now. Surely no cardinal could sing fuller, clearer, sweeter notes! He began at the very first, and rollicked through a story of adventure, colouring it with every wild, dashing, catchy note he could improvise. He followed that with a rippling song of the joy and fulness of spring, in notes as light and airy as the wind-blown soul of melody, and with swaying body kept time to his rhythmic measures. Then he glided into a song of love, and tenderly, pleadingly, passionately, told ...
— The Song of the Cardinal • Gene Stratton-Porter

... was a real trouble to him, and helped to spoil his enjoyable stay at the palace. He knew himself to be popular there and that his visit had given real pleasure. He had been asked to improvise upon the piano every evening, and had even sung once, saying gracefully to the Bishop's daughter, when she had concluded her very indifferent accompaniment to the song, 'An accompanist is born, not made!' He had preached one of his favourite sermons on Sunday, which had not only ...
— Peter and Jane - or The Missing Heir • S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

... I wish you to talk. I want to improvise to-night. The murmur of your conversation will ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... smiled. "Who doesn't go in for these things for fun?" they asked. "Is it likely that we improvise verses in real earnest? Why, if any one treated our verses as genuine verses, and took them outside this garden, people would have such a hearty laugh at our expense that their very ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... take us long to improvise a stretcher, and, with the willing help of two men and of the landlady, in about three hours we had Halley in his room. But a hideous walk it was down the canon, every step we made wringing a groan from the poor fellow except when he fainted ...
— Adventures in Many Lands • Various

... dreamer; somnambulist; rhapsodist &c (fanatic) 504; castle-buildier, fanciful projector. V. imagine, fancy, conceive; idealize, realize; dream, dream of, dream up; give to airy nothing a local habitation and a name [Midsummer Night's Dream]. create, originate, devise, invent, coin, fabricate; improvise, strike out something new. set one's wits to work; strain one's invention, crack one's invention; rack one's brains, ransack one's brains, cudgel one's brains; excogitate^; brainstorm. give play, give the reins, give a loose to the imagination, give fancy; indulge in reverie. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... his hearers, a bright violet or an audacious scarlet gown annoyed his taste; if the reflection of a ruby or a diamond vexed his eye, he would choose that instant to improvise a rustic idyl or to intone a hymn ...
— Delsarte System of Oratory • Various

... perform the most critical and serious operations, and this quickly and continuously. The battle ceasing, their labors continue. While other officers are sleeping, renewing their strength for further efforts, the medical are still toiling. They have to improvise hospitals from the rudest materials, are obliged to 'make bricks without straw,' to surmount seeming impossibilities. The work is unending both by day and night, the anxiety is constant, and the strain upon both the physical and mental ...
— Three Years in the Sixth Corps • George T. Stevens

... another side to it; we must resign ourselves to boil with anger, to roar with impatience, to freeze our feet in the mud, to be numbed, and roasted, and torn by false hopes. We must go, on the faith of a mere indication, to a vague object, miss our end, curse our luck, improvise to ourselves elegies, dithyrambics, exclaim idiotically before inoffensive pedestrians who observe us, knock over old apple-women and their baskets, run hither and thither, stand on guard beneath a window, make a thousand suppositions. But, after all, it is a chase, a hunt; a hunt in ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... would be to notify the master. So, after attending to Imp, he crept out of the cave and went over to the remains of the young master. He managed to carry him until he met some of the slaves, then had them improvise a stretcher to carry the body ...
— The Blue Birds' Winter Nest • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... losses, he was in a condition to destroy that army. Not all that Lincoln could say availed to persuade him to renew the attack upon the retreating foe. When Lee reached the Potomac he found the river so swollen as to be impassable. He could only wait for the waters to subside or for time to improvise a pontoon bridge. ...
— The Life of Abraham Lincoln • Henry Ketcham

... definitely asked Dick to telephone before coming. Why hadn't he telephoned? Perhaps something had happened to prevent it, or perhaps an idea had come to him by which their plan could be bettered without a telephone message. In either case, she and Dick might have to improvise and deftly catch cues tossed to each other, as experienced actors sometimes do without the audience ever knowing that a hiatus in the play has been ...
— Children of the Whirlwind • Leroy Scott

... who had not provided himself with an explanation, and was puzzled to improvise one. "I discharged him,—that is to say, I let him go. I forgot to mention it. He ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... city, it may have seemed to him that it would delay our progress; but as a large number of empty coal barges were lying at the town, it took our company of mechanics, under Captain Lane of the Eleventh Ohio, but a little while to improvise a good floating bridge, and part of the command passed through the town and camped beyond it. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. li. pt. i. p. 425.] One day was now given to the establishment of a depot of supplies ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V1 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... "does not live by bread alone," that fun is better than furniture, and a private resource of nature more prolific of enjoyment than financial investments. It is rare comfort, here, in the land of bustle and sunshine, to sit in a tempered light and hear a man sing or improvise stories over his work, to behold once more vagaries of costume, to let the eye rest upon pictorial fragments of Italy,—the "old familiar faces" of Roman models, the endeared outlines of Apennine hills, the contadina bodice and the brigand hat, until these objects revive ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 4, February, 1858 • Various

... so eloquent of speech that those who listened to his words were fain to answer "Yes" or "No" as he thought fit. This child of grace and persuasion was a wonderful musician. The Duke of Milan sent for him to play upon his lute and improvise Italian canzoni. The lute he carried was of silver, fashioned like a horse's head, and tuned according to acoustic laws discovered by himself. Of the songs he sang to its accompaniment none have been preserved. Only ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... lofty, and fitted up with every regard to comfort as well as to appearance. In the old days it was Jan's room, and Lionel scarcely remembered to have been inside it since; but it looked very superior now to what it used to look then. Lady Verner had never troubled herself to improvise superfluous decorations for Jan. Lionel's chief attention was riveted on the bed, an Arabian, handsomely carved, mahogany bed, with white muslin hangings, lined with pink, matching with the window-curtains. The hangings were new; but ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... on my own part, but could not shirk without cowardice and shame. My subsequent fortune was various. Once, though I felt it to be a kind of imposture, I got a speech by heart, and doubtless it might have been a very pretty one, only I forgot every syllable at the moment of need, and had to improvise another as well as I could. I found it a better method to prearrange a few points in my mind, and trust to the spur of the occasion, and the kind aid of Providence, for enabling me to bring them to bear. The presence of any considerable proportion of personal friends ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... piano, and began to improvise something so yearning and melancholy that Anna was not sorry when her uncle came back and mentioned the tune ...
— The Long Vacation • Charlotte M. Yonge

... sunshine; to hear her voice was to listen to the very essence of laughter and happiness. She had a marvelous power of telling stories, and when she was happy she told them with such verve that all people within earshot hung on her words. Then she could improvise, and dance, and take off almost any character; in short, she was the life of every party who admitted her within ...
— The School Queens • L. T. Meade

... day in town, we have nothing but cars and stages at hand to carry us to our own doors. I see clearly there are great disadvantages in city life. If a friend and his wife drop in suddenly in the evening or to dine, it is monstrously inconvenient to have an oyster-shop round the corner whence to improvise a supper or a dinner. It would be so much better to have nothing but the village grocery a mile or two away. The advantages are conspicuous. I wonder the entire population of the city doesn't go out to ...
— From the Easy Chair, vol. 1 • George William Curtis

... Chamber for her husband; but precautions had been taken, and at that moment the Minister was on his legs addressing the Chamber. The lady racked her brains and replied to the note with such intellect as she could improvise. ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... for what you are pleased to call my falsehood, your majesty proves that I have spoken the truth," cried Voltaire, eagerly. "You wish to show me that the fruit of your muse ripens slowly, and you improvise a charming quatrain that Moliere himself would ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... songs current among the negroes of the district, and though of little poetic value, they interested me, as indicating the feelings of the slaves. The blacks are a musical race, and the readiness with which many of them improvise words and melody is wonderful; but I had met none who possessed the readiness of my new acquaintance. Several of the tunes he repeated several times, and each time with a new accompaniment of words. I will try to render the sentiment of a few of these songs ...
— Among the Pines - or, South in Secession Time • James R. Gilmore

... feminine La Bruyere, as Sainte-Beuve has styled her, we are introduced to the life at Sceaux. It was the habit of the guests to assemble at eight, listen to music or plays, improvise verses for popular airs, relate racy anecdotes, or amuse themselves with proverbs. "Write verses for me," said the insatiable duchess when ill; "I feel that verses only can give me relief." The quality does not seem to have been essential, provided they were sufficiently ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... it," said I. "I begin to have glimmerings. There's a little matter between myself and Maxton...." I found it a little difficult to improvise a plausible story. ...
— The Passionate Friends • Herbert George Wells

... life of the people depends on the grace of rain. Though the skies had been kind for several years, not a day passing without a gentle downpour, there had been in the past dry periods when even the hardiest vegetation all but perished. So it came about that the Marquesan was obliged to improvise a method of keeping breadfruit for a long time, and becoming habituated to sour food he learned to like it, as many Americans relish ill-smelling cheese and fish and meat, or drink with pleasure absinthe, ...
— White Shadows in the South Seas • Frederick O'Brien

... the first stupefaction, pressed hard and even angrily for an immediate assault on the whole Prussian line. Not they. It was on paper that the assault should be at daybreak to-morrow. Such leaders as they were cannot IMPROVISE. ...
— White Lies • Charles Reade

... the whole work of his reign, to suspend the operation of his whole political system. The Emperor and conqueror, who had been warring all his lifetime, had attempted, as the last act of his reign, to improvise a peace. But it was not so easy to arrange a pacification of Europe as dramatically as he desired, in order that he might gather his robes about him, and allow the curtain to fall upon his eventful history in a grand hush of decorum ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... exist. This was no new nation struggling for its birth, but an Old nation, as old as any of those who had assumed the responsibility of planning her future. The Belgian statesmen of 1830 had nothing to improvise. They had merely to pick up the threads broken through the vicissitudes of European struggle. Their new Constitution was based on the old Joyous Entry of Brabant, which Joseph II had vainly attempted to abolish, and whose memory forty years of French and Dutch centralization had not succeeded ...
— Belgium - From the Roman Invasion to the Present Day • Emile Cammaerts

... Delavigne's poem, "L'Ame du Purgatoire." "That should be spoken with music as an accompaniment," exclaimed Rossini when I came to an end. Every one approved this idea, and Walewski said; "Mademoiselle will begin again, and you could improvise, cher maitre." ...
— My Double Life - The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt • Sarah Bernhardt

... its counterpart in the English word "singsong," as it is beginning to be used now, with this exception: Romanys have few "fixed" songs. They have strains which are set, which every one knows, but a gillie shoon means that the performers improvise coninually; and in this sense it is a mystic ceremony, never held at an appointed time, except a "time of Mul-cerus," which really means a sort of religious wave of feeling, which strikes tribe after tribe, ...
— O Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919 • Various

... in their parts, when the Spirit of Summer, who had been chosen for the inoffensiveness of her extreme youth, was taken with mumps, and withdrawn by the doctor's orders. Mrs. Milray had now not only to improvise another Spirit of Summer, but had to choose her from a group of young ladies, with the chance of alienating and embittering those who were not chosen. In her calamity she asked her husband what she should do, with but the least ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... The Mee-wah-sin. We have a crew of five men, one on the steering-sweep and four to track, and in this wise we make our way for three hundred miles up the great river to Fort Vermilion. One day we improvise a sail and so make fifty miles in a favourable wind, but, with this exception, every other mile of the journey is by ...
— The New North • Agnes Deans Cameron

... the trenches at varying distances are the batteries. The gunners affect orchards and copses as affording good cover for their guns, and if none are to be found they improvise them. Hop-poles trailed with hops or cut saplings will do very well. Usually there is a delectable garden, which is the peculiar pride of the men. Turf emplacements are constructed for the six guns, and turfed dug-outs house the telephone-operator ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... Badge: A scout must know: The fireman's lift. How to drag an insensible man with ropes. How to improvise a stretcher. How to fling a life-line. The position of main arteries. How to stop bleeding from vein or artery, internal or external. How to improvise splints and to diagnose and bind fractured limb. The Schafer method of artificial respiration. How ...
— Outdoor Sports and Games • Claude H. Miller

... Weimar, when a young man came in, dressed in a short, green shooting-jacket, booted and spurred, and having a pair of brilliant, black, Italian eyes. He in turn offered to read; but finding probably the poetry of the Musen-Almanach of that year rather too insipid for him, he soon began to improvise the wildest and most fantastic poems imaginable, and in all possible forms and measures, all the while pretending to read from the book. 'That is either Goethe or the Devil,' said good old father Gleim to Wieland, who sat near him. To which the 'Great I ...
— Hyperion • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... Southern coasts made its power felt, and early in 1862 the inland waterways of the South were beginning to fall under the command of the Northern flotillas. Such a success needed, of course, the adoption of a decided policy from the outset; it needed great administrative ability to improvise a navy where hardly any existed, and where the conditions of its employment were in many respects novel; and it needed resourceful watching to meet the surprises of fresh naval invention by which the South, poor as were its possibilities ...
— Abraham Lincoln • Lord Charnwood

... drove the reflective shadows from her eyes. There had burst forth a whistle, clear, keen, inspiring. Only one person in her world was so lark-like, so jubilant, so joyous of nature as to improvise ...
— Penny of Top Hill Trail • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... that he played the organ every morning at the six o'clock mass in the Minorite church. For some years before and during this period he was busy trying his hand at musical composition, but nothing which he composed during his youth amounts to much. He could improvise in a marvelous manner and he attracted much attention by the exercise of this talent, becoming famous in this connection long before he was ...
— Beethoven • George Alexander Fischer

... Mr. Bennet," the plump man said. "I wish to beg your forgiveness, Mr. Dennison, for the violence to which you were subjected. We found out about your invention only at the last moment and therefore had to improvise. The bullets were meant only to frighten and delay you. Murder ...
— Forever • Robert Sheckley

... boxes in which their provisions have been carried. Such a packing box is easily made into a cupboard, and it is not difficult to improvise shelves, hinges, or even a rough lock for the ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... the vicinity of Ypres, while their own forces had been concentrated upon Dixmude, twelve miles to the north. This town had suffered severely before, but the allied forces using what shelter they could improvise, were doing considerable damage from this point. Therefore the Germans began to bombard ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII) - History of the European War from Official Sources • Various

... loves purely. But sensual love is formed of hatred, selfishness, and anger as much as of passion. Because I found you beautiful one night, on this sofa, I was assailed by a cloud of violent thoughts. I had come from the Albergo, where I had heard Miss Bell's cook improvise magnificently twelve hundred verses on Spring. I was inundated by a celestial joy which the sight of you made me lose. It must be that a profound truth is enclosed in the curse of Eve. For, near ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... the command of the sea worth what it is now. But the command of the sea is, after all, like military predominance on land, to be insured only by superiority of equipment in the hands of a certain type of man, a type of man that it becomes more and more impossible to improvise, that a country must live for through many years, and that no country on earth at present can be said to be doing its best ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... people on earth. And it's remarkable, that both they and the others—that is, both prostitutes and children—lie only to us—men—and grown-ups. Among themselves they don't lie—they only inspiredly improvise. But they lie to us because we ourselves demand this of them, because we clamber into their souls, altogether foreign to us, with our stupid tactics and questionings, because they regard us in secret as great fools and senseless dissemblers. But if you like, I shall right now count off on my fingers ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... played them through for him. Constanze fell in love with the fugues as soon as she had heard them; she doesn't want to hear anything but fugues, especially those of Handel and Bach. Having often heard me improvise fugues she asked me if I had never written any down, and when I said no, she gave me a good scolding, for not being willing to write the most beautiful things in music, and did not cease her begging until I had composed one for her, and so it came about. I purposely ...
— Mozart: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words • Friedrich Kerst and Henry Edward Krehbiel

... the real world. Barbaric musicians, singing and playing together more or less at random, are too much carried away by their performance to conceive its effect; they cry far too loud and too unceasingly to listen. A contagious tradition carries them along and controls them, in a way, as they improvise; the assembly is hardly an audience; all are performers, and the crowd is only a stimulus that keeps every one dancing and howling in emulation. This unconsidered flow of early art remains present, more or less, to the end. Instead of ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... rhetorical labours marked an epoch in the history of scholarship, was by nature a versifier, and a versifier of the people. He found nothing' easier than to throw aside his professor's mantle and to improvise ballate for women to chant as they danced their rounds upon the Piazza di S. Trinita. The frontispiece to an old edition of such lyrics represents Lorenzo surrounded with masquers in quaint dresses, leading the revel beneath the walls of the Palazzo. Another woodcut shows ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... el Fokara (assembly of the poor). Gama is the true word for Mosque—i.e., Meeting, which consists in a great circle of men seated thick on the ground, with two poets facing each other, who improvise religious verses. On this occasion the rule of the game was to end each stanza with a word having the sound of wahed (one), or el Had (the first). Thus one sung: 'Let a man take heed how he walks,' etc., etc.; and 'pray to God not to let him fall,' which ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... tea circles of Berlin, where ignorant or half-educated dilettanti affected an interest in art matters, that was over-strained and wanting in sincerity when it was not ridiculous. For what was there the man could not do? He wrote books about which all Germany was talking, he could improvise on the pianoforte, compose operas, sketch caricatures, and streams of wit gushed from him so soon as he opened his mouth. The homage showered upon him at these gatherings flattered Hoffmann's vanity for a time, but he soon saw the motives for which he was asked to be present—to amuse the guests ...
— Weird Tales, Vol. II. • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... blamed galoot, that ain't the step we took at rehearsal no more'n nuthin'. If you're going to improvise a new cow duet, I wish you wouldn't take the fore-quarters by surprise ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... appraise apprise (to inform) arise chastise circumcise comprise compromise demise devise disfranchise disguise emprise enfranchise enterprise exercise exorcise franchise improvise incise merchandise premise reprise revise ...
— Division of Words • Frederick W. Hamilton

... Against these natural limits to mobility are the compensating advantages of the power of infantry to move into and over almost any ground by day or by night, and the rapidity with which trained infantrymen can find or improvise cover. ...
— Lectures on Land Warfare; A tactical Manual for the Use of Infantry Officers • Anonymous

... said Kenelm, modestly. "But if I, who never before strung two rhymes together, can improvise so readily in the style of the present day, why should not a practical rhymester like yourself dash off at a sitting a volume or so in the same style; disguising completely the verbal elegances borrowed, adding to the ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... any new inkstones in the house, the fresh ink was prepared in these. Each member of the family then wrote poems. The adults composed verses, according to their ability, in praise of the Star-deities; and the children either wrote dictation or tried to improvise. Little folk too young to use the writing-brush without help had their small hands guided, by parent or elder sister or elder brother, so as to shape on a tanzaku the character of some single word or phrase relating to the festival,—such as "Amanogawa," ...
— The Romance of the Milky Way - And Other Studies & Stories • Lafcadio Hearn

... rumbling of the drums of distant "bailes" comes with indescribable weirdness. In some dances the participants engage in a monotonous chant, in others there are pauses in which the young men must quickly improvise verses on some subject suggested by one of the lassies. In the cities the dances begin at ten o'clock at night and last until the wee hours of morning, but in the country they begin at almost any time and occasionally ...
— Santo Domingo - A Country With A Future • Otto Schoenrich

... They improvise many more words as they sing. It is one of the strangest, most mournful things I ever heard. It is impossible to give any idea of the deep pathos ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... smiling, "that about describes it. And now I think it is about bed-time. Jim, my dear," she continued, as she took her bed-room candle, "as you have thought fit to improvise a ball, you had better take care that the young ladies have partners by asking three or four of the officers from Rockcliffe, if they will waive ceremony ...
— Belles and Ringers • Hawley Smart

... address for the Major, and on going over the next morning, we met some four or five hundred miners at the grocery store, who had assembled to listen to the orders sent for their removal. There being no boards or boxes into which to improvise a stand for the speaker, a whisky-barrel was introduced, from the head of which, after apologizing to the miners for the disagreeable duty that had been placed upon the Major, and in consequence of his suffering from a bad cold, we had taken the stand ...
— Autobiography of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, or Black Hawk • Black Hawk

... said. "They just might! You're fast. You've been taught to improvise. And there's something eating you. You're edgy as ...
— Legacy • James H Schmitz

... high up among the timbers of the ceiling. The organist informed me that he had noticed, time and again, that spiders were affected by music. Several days afterwards I went to the church for the special purpose of experiment; I seated myself at the organ and commenced to improvise on the swell organ with flute, viol d'amour, and tremulant stops out. In a few moments the spider let herself down from the ceiling and hung suspended before my eyes. So close was she that I could see her palpi ...
— The Dawn of Reason - or, Mental Traits in the Lower Animals • James Weir

... your million-and-one favorite melodies which nobody but that all-around musical amateur, the Auto-Comrade, can so exquisitely whistle, hum, strum, fiddle, blat, or roar. There is also a universe full of new ones for him to improvise. And he is the jolliest sort of fellow musician, because, when you play or sing a duet with him, you can combine with the exciting give-and-take and reciprocal stimulation of the duet, the god-like autocracy of the solo, its opportunity ...
— The Joyful Heart • Robert Haven Schauffler

... seriously than others. In India I heard a missionary speak of another person as having "no opinions—nothing but convictions"; while one of the enemies of Gladstone described him as being the only person he ever knew who "could improvise the convictions of a lifetime." Depth of conviction gives great force to an individual when he is going in the right direction, but he is difficult to change if he is going in the wrong direction. When I visited ...
— In His Image • William Jennings Bryan

... the nature of socialism, which is exclusively critical. M. Blanc, therefore, has given us the spectacle of a vivid imagination ready to confront an impossibility; he has believed in the divination of genius; but he must have perceived that science does not improvise itself, and that, be one's name Adolphe Boyer, Louis Blanc, or J. J. Rousseau, provided there is nothing in experience, there is nothing ...
— The Philosophy of Misery • Joseph-Pierre Proudhon

... excellent pantomimist; could perform all the parts in a comedy himself, and with the help of Fred Loring, or some other, would improvise a burlesque on almost any well-known play. It was after one of these performances that Whittier (who sat in his quiet corner enjoying it as much as an honest Quaker dared to) said to Mrs. Thaxter, "Celia, thou knowest I have never been to the theatre, but I think at last the ...
— Sketches from Concord and Appledore • Frank Preston Stearns

... improvise, using it as a theme. When all is said and done, you know far more than Giotto about Saint Peter. Holy blue! if you bring that back to Paris as a veritable likeness of the Chief Apostle you will be placed on the Index ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... rather a very delicately tuned musical instrument. If you know the scales and the common chords, you can improvise nice little airs and charming variations. She's a sort of—well, a penny whistle, and the music you get depends not on her at all, ...
— The Incomplete Amorist • E. Nesbit

... cold-pack method are shown assembled in Fig. 6. Chief among them is a sterilizer, or boiler, which consists of a large fiat-bottomed vessel fitted with a rack and a tight-fitting cover. A number of such devices are manufactured for canning by the cold-pack method, but it is possible to improvise one in the home. A wash boiler, a large pail, a large lard can, or, in fact, any large vessel with a flat bottom into which is fitted a rack of some kind to keep the jars 3/4 inch above the bottom can be used. Several layers of wire netting ...
— Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5 • Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

... in daydreams, can be detected also in many sleep dreams. There are dreams in {503} which we do big things—tell excruciatingly funny jokes, which turn out when recalled next day to be utterly flat; or improvise the most beautiful music, which we never can recall with any precision, but which probably amounted to nothing; or play the best sort of baseball. The gliding or flying dream, which many people have had, reminds one of the numerous toys and sports in which ...
— Psychology - A Study Of Mental Life • Robert S. Woodworth

... signal for the information of the punters. In a minute they arrived, bearing two grand strings of fish, only the strings that went through the gills of the bass were hazel twigs. Then there was washing of hands without soap, Mr. Bigglethorpe showing his companions how to improvise a substitute for Pears' by pulling up the pretty little water-lobelia and using the unctuous clay about its spreading roots for the purpose. All sat about the table-cloth, Mr. Perrowne said, "For what we are about to receive," ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... who gave me this translation, also furnished me with a copy of extempore French verses, given by a gentleman of Maestricht, who was celebrated as an improvisatore. They certainly are very superior. He was at a large party, and agreed to improvise upon any theme given him by five of those present in the way of Souvenir. The first person requested ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... zealous in his religious duties, and athirst for knowledge. His accomplishments were many; and when the guests assembled in the great hall to make the walls ring with their laughter over cups of mead and ale, he could take his turn with the harpers and minstrels to improvise one of those sturdy bold ballads that stir the blood to-day with their stately ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... measured the distance to the door. "I hope not!" he said. "I should hate nothing so much as to make an exhibition of myself. The dances I know—that is all very well—but to improvise—for the love of heaven help me to ...
— Rezanov • Gertrude Atherton

... with the philosophers have come the inventors, who between them are the glory of mankind. Unamuno despises inventors, but in this case it is his misfortune. It is far easier for a nation which is destitute of a tradition of culture to improvise an histologist or a physicist, than a philosopher or ...
— Youth and Egolatry • Pio Baroja

... now, the situation is full of hope, and grace, and tender sentiment. If I had in the least poetic gift, I know I could improvise under such an inspiration (each girl nudges her sweetheart) something worthy to—to—Is there no poet among us? [Each youth turns solemnly his back upon the other, and raises his hands in benediction ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... intend to make Paris the most beautiful capital of the world: I wish that in ten years it should number two millions of inhabitants." "But," replied his Minister of the Interior, "one cannot improvise population; ... as it is, Paris would scarcely support one million"; and he instanced the want of good drinking water. "What are your plans for giving water to Paris?" Chaptal gave two alternatives—artesian ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... of comparative leisure before the enemy trenches. But for mechanical transport there is no peace, save such as comes when back axles break, and the big land ship is dragged into the bush to be repaired. Hot and sweating men striving to renew some part or improvise, by bullock hide "reims," a temporary road repair that will bring them limping back to the advance base. Here the company workshop waits to repair these derelicts of the road. Burning with malaria, when ...
— Sketches of the East Africa Campaign • Robert Valentine Dolbey

... acquaintance with the various methods of rhyming verse, and with the manner of fitting appropriate music to it. One who had partially mastered the Tabulatur was termed a "scholar;" the one who had thoroughly learned it, a "schoolman;" the one who could improvise verses, a "poet;" and the one who could set music to his verses, a "mastersinger." In the test there were thirty-three faults to be guarded against; and whenever the marker had chalked up seven against the candidate, he was declared ...
— The Standard Operas (12th edition) • George P. Upton

... led back to the instrument. The moon shone brightly in through the window and lit up his glorious rugged head and massive figure. "I will improvise a sonata to the moonlight!" looking up thoughtfully to the sky and stars—then his hands dropped on the keys, and he began playing a sad and infinitely lovely movement, which crept gently over the instrument ...
— The Canadian Elocutionist • Anna Kelsey Howard

... the poets, the wits, the punsters, the jesters, preferred to drink their port out of tumblers. After dinner Hook gave one of his songs which satirized successively, and successfully, each person present. He was then challenged to improvise on any given subject, and by way of one as far distant from poetry as could be, cocoa-nut oil was fixed upon. Theodore accepted the challenge; and after a moment's consideration began his lay with a description of the Mauritius, which he knew so well, the negroes dancing ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 2 • Grace & Philip Wharton

... she will opine that it is all your fault, dearest, and that I have behaved admirably. Between you I shall stand exonerated. And now, since it is too cold for walking, since it is late, since it is far to Lyvern and farther to London, I must improvise ...
— An Unsocial Socialist • George Bernard Shaw

... improvise, to make bricks without straw. Her war on a front of two thousand versts long had to be waged with whatever materials happened to be available. Japan—who, I have little doubt, will be found at the close of the great struggle to have ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... scored a hit in farce comedy. Unfortunately there was no audience present to appreciate it here, and the prompter forgot to ring down the curtain just then, so that Patsy stood helpless, forced to go on hearing all that Marjorie and her leading man wished to improvise in ...
— Seven Miles to Arden • Ruth Sawyer

... but odd sentences from one, who though he lived ages ago, never saw, scarcely heard of Alma. And mark me, my lord, this time I improvise nothing. What I have recited, Is here. Mohi, this book is more marvelous than the prophecies. My lord, that a mere man, and a heathen, in that most heathenish time, should give utterance to such heavenly wisdom, seems more wonderful than that an in-spired prophet should reveal it. And is ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. II (of 2) • Herman Melville

... and imagine some rosy flecks here and there on her. Imagine her robed in the garments that Godiva wore, that is, nothing but her hair of flowing sunbeams, and so on, and so on." Frederick began to improvise poetry. ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann

... temperament. Her pose, if one wished to be critical, was just a little too elaborately careless. She wore some excellently set rubies with that indefinable air of having more at home that is so difficult to improvise. Francesca was distinctly ...
— The Unbearable Bassington • Saki

... vain they tried to dissuade her. Although she was obliged to almost improvise a lantern in many of its parts, it was but a few minutes before she was ready to set out. Realizing then that her mission was one of peril, and that she might not again look upon those dear faces, she kissed each of them affectionately, ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... army; we have conjured a navy out of nothing so rapidly that pines the jay screamed in last summer may be even now listening for the hum of the hostile shot from Sumter; why not give another rub at our Aladdin's lamp and improvise a ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 50, December, 1861 • Various

... the earliest traces of music are those in the Homeric poems, which are thought to have been composed about 1000 B.C. In these we find the minstrel everywhere a central figure, an honored guest, ready at call to entertain the company with some ballad of the ancient times, or to improvise a new one appropriate to the case in hand. The heroes themselves were not loth to take part in these exercises. Ulysses, the Odyssey tells us, occasionally took the lyre in his own hand and sang a rhapsody of his own adventures. Several centuries ...
— A Popular History of the Art of Music - From the Earliest Times Until the Present • W. S. B. Mathews

... knots securely, yet so as to cause him the least suffering, and then proceeded to improvise a gag. At this point his calmness disappeared, and for a short time he looked both surprised ...
— My Sword's My Fortune - A Story of Old France • Herbert Hayens

... posted but 100 yards off, was silenced after the ninth round. What a curious instance of our Western ways this incident affords; the Chinese firing upon our own people with the latest artillery made by ourselves, while they are left to improvise a gun from a relic found in ...
— Our Sailors - Gallant Deeds of the British Navy during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... then returned to Lundu, and reached Sarawak in the yacht Fanny, after an absence of ten days. We had a visit from H.M.S. Scout about this time, and one day sat down sixteen to dinner in the mission-house, some of the officers having come up to spend the day. It is difficult to improvise a dinner in a country where no joints of meat are to be had, unless you kill an ox for the purpose. Sheep there are none. A capon or goose, or a sucking pig, are the only big dishes, and not always to be had. However, we did very well, and our ...
— Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak • Harriette McDougall

... prepared novelties the Allies have had to improvise, and on the whole the improvisation has kept pace with the demands made upon it. They have brought their military science up to date, and to-day the disparity in science and equipment between the antagonists has greatly diminished. There has been no escaping Bloch after ...
— What is Coming? • H. G. Wells

... have been in the case of European troops, and the Nawab and his soldiers alike would have scouted the idea of obtaining supplies otherwise than from the country traversed, but weapons for the men and transport for the guns, and ammunition for both, were necessaries difficult to improvise on the spur of the moment. The Habshiabadis took the field at last, in a state that would have made a European commander tear his hair, and Gerrard hustled them on, blooding them by a smart little engagement with a ...
— The Path to Honour • Sydney C. Grier

... to which it is intended a group of children shall dance and improvise pantomime led by ...
— The Congo and Other Poems • Vachel Lindsay

... cheered," he began, but the note of sarcasm in his voice was too apparent for him to permit himself to proceed. He caught up the lyre, and drawing up a diphros—a double seat of fine woods—rested against it and began to improvise with an assumption of carelessness. Ta-meri sank back in her chair and regarded him from under dreamy lids—her senses charmed, her light heart won by his comeliness and talent. Kenkenes became conscious of her inspection, at last, and looked up at her. His eyes were still bright ...
— The Yoke - A Romance of the Days when the Lord Redeemed the Children - of Israel from the Bondage of Egypt • Elizabeth Miller

... I tell you! a proud, high-spirited, wild beauty of the mountains—a thing of fire and majesty—a glorious woman, full of song and sentiment and ambition—a genius, I tell you—who can improvise like Corinne, and, by the way, continually reminds one of that glorious creature. In Italy, she would have ...
— Charlemont • W. Gilmore Simms

... June 22nd—for since then we have had rain every night, and a fair amount in the daytime as well, and when it rains out here there is no compromise about it. Without tents we have had a "dooce" of a time. Of course, we have to improvise shelters with our blankets. Our place is known as "The Moated Grange,"—a trench having been dug round it for reasons not wholly connected with Jupiter Pluvius. Others are, or would be, known to the postman, ...
— A Yeoman's Letters - Third Edition • P. T. Ross

... those tears of his moments of inspiration and emotion, which had flowed over a countenance all illumined with joy! They had seen him, in such moments, take up two bits of wood, and, accompanying himself with this rustic violin, improvise French songs in which he would pour out the ...
— Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Paul Sabatier

... of her father's house in George Street, Edinburgh (now the Northern Club), listening to the performance of a passing piper. There was another episode which he recalled with humorous satisfaction. Fired by his father's tales of the jungle, Yule (then about six years old) proceeded to improvise an elephant pit in the back garden, only too successfully, for soon, with mingled terror and delight, he saw his uncle John[9] fall headlong into the snare. He lost his mother before he was eight, and almost his only remembrance of ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... his instrument. When, as he expressed it, he was in the mood, few men could improvise more exquisitely, with a technique more Chopinesque, than this man whose orchestral work was so tremendous: so filled with the rolling grandeur, the passion, the energy, the gigantic climaxes, the seething, troubled depths, of a nature ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... characters, chipping in from manifold quarters of a wholesale discussion, and querying and exaggerating, agreeing and controverting, till the dishes she was washing would clash and clang excitedly in the general badinage. Loaded with a pyramid of glistening cups and saucers, she would improvise a gallant line of march from the kitchen table to the pantry, heading an imaginary procession, and whistling a fife-tune that would stir your blood. Then she would trippingly return, rippling her rosy fingers up and down the keys of ...
— Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley • James Whitcomb Riley

... of all nations, and whose critical and rhetorical labours marked an epoch in the history of scholarship, was by temperament a poet, and a poet of the people. Nothing was easier for him than to throw aside his professor's mantle, and to improvise 'Ballate' for the girls to sing as they danced their 'Carola' upon the Piazza di Santa Trinita in summer evenings. The peculiarity of this lyric is that it starts with a couplet, which also serves as refrain, supplying the rhyme to each successive stanza. The stanza itself is identical ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series • John Addington Symonds

... time of a speech is saved, and the members are in possession beforehand of the precise arguments to be used. The debate is in this way advanced an important step without any speaking; opponents can prepare for, instead of having to improvise their reply, and every one is at the outset a good way towards ...
— Practical Essays • Alexander Bain

... said his host, laughing. "But I will improvise a piece of music for you." He took his violin, and stood up before the broken pier-glass. Then he laid the bow over the strings and struck a chord. "What is that?" ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... with any small raid that happened to get through the meshes of our navy, and perhaps to police the empire. That was all, no more. But now we have to assist neighbors becoming the victims of a power with millions of warriors at its command, and we have to improvise a great army, and gallantly have our men flocked to the standard. [Cheers.] We have raised the largest voluntary army that has been enrolled in any country or any century—the largest voluntary army, and it is going ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... beauty produced in London alone by the mere failure to prevent a few million chimneys from belching soot on the great city and choking all the activities of the vastest focus of activity in the world. Find the official whose inefficiency is responsible for this neglect, improvise a court to try him, and with all the deliberate solemnity and pageantry you can devise put him to death in the presence of all officialdom. And then picture the marvellous efficiency of his successor! In a few years' time where would you find one smut of soot in London? Or, again, think of our complicated ...
— Impressions And Comments • Havelock Ellis

... had that humble dwelling seen so abundant a meal as that which Bibi had managed to improvise for their young guest, and when it was over the honest Canadian produced the promised rifle and accoutrements, and his wife and Amoahmeh did their best to add to them such trifles as might be useful in a campaign. Then, after many a hearty grasp of the hand and many a warm expression ...
— The King's Warrant - A Story of Old and New France • Alfred H. Engelbach

... John Brown to me, the other man, "Singing Johnson," was more so. He was a small, dark-brown, one-eyed man, with a clear, strong, high-pitched voice, a leader of singing, a maker of songs, a man who could improvise at the moment lines to fit the occasion. Not so striking a figure as John Brown, but, at "big meetings," equally important. It is indispensable to the success of the singing, when the congregation is a large one made up of people from different communities, to have someone ...
— The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man • James Weldon Johnson

... Europe. His violin made him the most popular person on the ship. He had a facile talent and a good memory, which enabled him to play almost any kind of music; and when he could not remember he could improvise. The second officer, a short, stout man, with a pointed black beard, and a secret passion for the fine arts, conceived a great fancy for the young American. When they reached Bordeaux he took Richard to his favourite ...
— The Unknown Quantity - A Book of Romance and Some Half-Told Tales • Henry van Dyke

... the time he had become a valuable house servant he had grown to be an invaluable servant of the Lord. He had a good, clear voice that could lead a hymn out of all the labyrinthian wanderings of an ignorant congregation, even when he had to improvise both words and music; and he was a mighty man of prayer. It was thus he met Martha. Martha was brown and buxom and comely, and her rich contralto voice was loud and high on the sisters' side in meeting time. It was the voices that did it ...
— The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... mental sanctum to which we retire at times, locking the door behind us; and there we think of high and beautiful things, and hold commune with our Maker; or count our money, or improvise that repartee the gods withheld last night, and shake hands with ourselves for our wit; or caress the thought of some darling, secret wickedness or vice; or revel in dreams of some hidden hate, or some love we mustn't own; and curse those we have to be civil ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... scenes before my eyes and such sounds in my ears, as I lie lazily in the boat, is mingled the song of my gondolier who sings to the music of his oars. It is not quite as romantic as his brother of the Lido might improvise, but my Yankee "Giuseppe" has the advantage of earnestness and energy, and gives a graphic description of the terrors of the past week and of noble deeds of self-sacrifice and devotion, occasionally pointing out a balcony from which some ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... to the water, where I floated them, lashing them together with vines. Just before sunset my raft was complete and freighted with my outer clothing, boots and pistol. Having shipped the last article, I returned into the brake, seeking something from which to improvise a paddle. While peering about I heard a sharp metallic click—the cocking of a rifle! ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce • Ambrose Bierce

... ever listened to. I write merely to disabuse your mind of the common impression which we are all apt to form of these singular geniuses; and very strongly recommend you not only to hear him play, but privately test him (as I have done) in any way you like. Improvise to him as difficult or elaborate or out-of-the-way piece as you please, and he will instantly reproduce it. Now, this is no common gift; and therefore you and I, and all who know any thing of music, should use our best efforts to let the public know, that, so far from ...
— Music and Some Highly Musical People • James M. Trotter

... reached a climax in the middle of the seventeenth century. Then it declined for lack of competent actors. It was the realism of everyday life. It tended always back again to the mountebanks, jugglers, rope dancers, etc.[2141] The lazzi were "business" which gave the actors time to improvise. In the sixteenth century Italian comedians began to play at Paris in Italian. The Italian actresses undressed on the stage much and often, so that "Italian comedy" came to mean vulgar and licentious comedy. The Parlement ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... irregularities, so small as to be undiscoverable without the most accurate measurements by delicate micrometers, would cause stoppages and the breaking of different small parts. And, at that time, spare parts were almost unknown, so it required the utmost ingenuity on the part of the gunners to improvise, with what materials could be found on the spot, and with the very few tools at hand, many of the small but all-important parts that go to make up the interior ...
— The Emma Gees • Herbert Wes McBride

... celebrated of painters, whom he brought to Rome. He always lived in the greatest splendour, doing honour to himself; and in the rank to which his merits had raised him, what he possessed was nothing to what he would have been able to spend. He delighted in poetry, and loved to improvise upon the lyre, or to hear others doing this: and he composed some sonnets, if not as polished as we now demand them, at least weighty and without faults. He was much esteemed by the prelates, and was received by an endless ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 04 (of 10), Filippino Lippi to Domenico Puligo • Giorgio Vasari

... listened to his interrogations with a distraught air. He could come back again; just now they were taken up with the announcement that another hospital train was on the way. The great battle was still going on near Paris. They had to improvise lodgings for the new consignment of mutilated humanity. In order to pass away the time until his return, Desnoyers went back to the garden near the grotto. He was planning to return to Pau that night; there was evidently nothing more ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... general care of all the hospitals at Old Point, and added to these, these mammoth floating hospitals, which are coming in from day to day with their precious cargoes. Without any previous notice, they anchor, and send to him for supplies, which it would be extremely difficult to improvise, even in our large cities, and quite impossible at Old Point. 'No bakeries, no stores, except small sutlers.' The bread had all to be baked; the boat rationed for two days; eight ...
— Woman's Work in the Civil War - A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience • Linus Pierpont Brockett

... a night when the clerk of the weather will be polite enough to give moon and stars and soft southern breezes. Then cover the surface of the roof with rugs or else stretch a matting over the tin. Improvise couches upon boxes covered with rugs, or bring up a couple of cots and pile ...
— Social Life - or, The Manners and Customs of Polite Society • Maud C. Cooke

... acting—often beginning breakfast with a "stunt." The Madame sang well, and her little impromptu arias pleased her thin little lover immensely and he would improvise and answer in kind, and then take the part of an audience and applaud, calling loudly, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... being able to obey him in his one request. But in regard to your pursuits, dear, while I am at work in my studio, you can use the grand piano in the drawing-room when you please, as well as the little one in your own room; and you can improvise on the chapel organ as much as ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... dead duck." The "Lachesis" quivered as the port turrets belched flame. "That leaves nineteen torpedoes," he said. "In Cth we're safe enough but we're helpless without a probe. Yet we can only get into attack position from Cth. That leaves us only one thing to do—improvise a probe." ...
— A Question of Courage • Jesse Franklin Bone

... applied to the smooth brilliance of the Potocka valse. There runs a story regarding this composition that George Sand had a little dog that used to chase its own tail around in a circle, and that one evening, she said to Chopin, "If I had your talent, I would improvise a valse for that dog," whereupon the composer promptly seated himself at the pianoforte and dashed off this fascinating little improvisation. It is Parisian in its grace and coquetry and ends with a rapid run, the last note ...
— The Pianolist - A Guide for Pianola Players • Gustav Kobb

... had a great deal of natural wit, a liveliness peculiar to the native of the faubourgs, all the impudence of the street arab, and a veritable talent of mimicry. She was a good housewife, active, industrious and most clever in turning everything to account. With a mere nothing she could improvise a dress or a hat and give it a certain style. She was always most skilful with her fingers, a typical Parisian work-girl, a daughter of the street and a child of the people. In our times she would be styled ...
— George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings • Rene Doumic

... useless to think of scudding before the gale; our only hope of living through what was impending depended upon our ability to keep the boat riding bows-on to the sea, and to do this it became necessary for us to improvise a sea anchor again. This was easily done by lashing together six of our eight oars in a bundle, three of the blades at one end and three at the other, with the boat anchor lashed amidships to sink the oars somewhat in the water and give them a grip of it. A span, made by doubling a suitable ...
— A Pirate of the Caribbees • Harry Collingwood

... rivaled by the sweeter, dearer, not less heavenly voice of little Julia, calling an imaginary dog, counting her mother's eyes, or singing to herself an original improvise upon the exalted subject of two brown bugs. And a moment later, came the sound of rapturous kissing, and Carol was awake. And before the smile of content left his face, she stood in the doorway, her face flushed with sleep, her hair tumbling about her face, a warm bath robe drawn about ...
— Sunny Slopes • Ethel Hueston

... Great of Russia. Here Bach's principal rival was a French virtuoso, Marchand, who, an exile from Paris, had delighted the king by the lightness and brilliancy of his execution. They were both to improvise on the same theme. Marchand heard Bach's performance, and signalized his own inferiority by declining to play, and secretly leaving the city of Dresden. Augustus sent Bach a hundred louis d'or, but this splendid douceur ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... too exceptional to be taken as representative, let us remember that throughout an entire important period in the history of the stage, it was customary for the actors to improvise the lines that they spoke before the audience. I refer to the period of the so-called commedia dell'arte, which flourished all over Italy throughout the sixteenth century. A synopsis of the play—partly narrative and partly expository—was posted up ...
— The Theory of the Theatre • Clayton Hamilton

... before my eyes and such sounds in my ears, as I lie lazily in the boat, is mingled the song of my gondolier, who sings to the music of his oars. It is not quite as romantic as his brother of the Lido might improvise, but my Yankee Giuseppe has the advantage of earnestness and energy, and gives a graphic description of the terrors of the past week and of noble deeds of self-sacrifice and devotion, occasionally pointing out a balcony from which some California Bianca or Laura had ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... wasn't ergzackly a dream," he began to improvise. "Because I was awake. And I heard a terrible plump and I said 'what can that be?' and then I was frightened ...
— The Altar Steps • Compton MacKenzie

... support to feet and belly of the devout in their long pilgrimages, sign manual of the pious intent of the bearer. He had taken a candle from his pocket, and, with small respect to the "six worlds" of its rings, used the spiked end to improvise a torch. Then an unexpected voice caught his ear; a sad, wailing cry which chilled the heart. Then followed low, rapid, disorderly speech, the meaning of which rendered indistinct by distance could ...
— Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 2 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... driven. New material was to occupy the place which had not yet been vacated by the old, and I began to grow obstinate. Thus they even drove me into hating music, which is now the delight and at the same time the support of my life. When I used to improvise on my violin at twilight in order to enjoy myself in my own way, they would take the instrument away from me, asserting that this ruined my fingering. They would also complain of the torture inflicted upon their ears and made me wait for the lesson, when ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... event proved, with but indifferent success. He comprehended, in a vague way, that the warriors were to do battle for the honor of their true loves, but, at the critical moment, the lines escaped him and he had to improvise. The lances were rake-handles, and, as this was not to be a fray a l'outrance, about the end of each formidable weapon was wadded and tied an empty ...
— A Man and a Woman • Stanley Waterloo

... bed-room window, at midnight, we would gaze on the silvery moon in the heavens, listening to the rippling notes of the water-spirits that to our fancy inhabited the sparkling stream that ran near the house. How beautifully would she improvise at times—for improvisations in truth were they, while she was quite unconscious of her gift. She never wrote a line of poetry, but when in such moods, every word she uttered was true, pure poetry. She had a most ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXII No. 2. February 1848 • Various

... problem which the revolutionists have and will eternally have to resolve. It is the rock of Sisyphus that will always fall back upon them. To exist a single instant, they are and always will be by fatality reduced to improvise a despotism without other reason of existence than necessity, and which, consequently, is violent and blind as Necessity. We escape from the harmonious monarchy of Reason, only to fall under the irregular dictatorship ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... they are of importance enough to have an influence on your work. You can paint without them, but you will work more easily for the having of them; and something of the sort, although not necessarily of the same kind, you must have. You may improvise something, in other words, to take the place of these, but you would be wiser to get those which are ...
— The Painter in Oil - A complete treatise on the principles and technique - necessary to the painting of pictures in oil colors • Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

... watch. The afternoon had sped with magical rapidity. He reflected that not only must he dine, but he must think over and rehearse the evening's performance with Prepimpin's part cut out. He dared not improvise before the public. He ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... to place his country at the height of other civilized nations, has known how to improvise, in less than three months, an astronomical commission, and send it to Japan to observe the transit of Venus, will he permit, I ask, the greatest discovery ever made in American archaeology, to remain lost ...
— The Mayas, the Sources of Their History / Dr. Le Plongeon in Yucatan, His Account of Discoveries • Stephen Salisbury, Jr.

... insinuated itself into my mind. I had my return-ticket in my waistcoat-pocket:—what if I slipped away presently to the station and went back to Paris by the next train, leaving my clever friend to improvise his way out of his own scrape as ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... ourselves as long as we did would have been comparatively easy if our population could have been left at work to turn out the stuff and services, the provision of which are implied by financing; but for us to have been able to do it and at the same time to improvise an army which is now consistently and regularly beating the Germans is an achievement which will inevitably raise the world's opinion of our economic strength, on which financial ...
— War-Time Financial Problems • Hartley Withers

... use the stomach bath by three different methods. How to improvise the Turkish Bath in your own home, without apparatus. How to use the wet sheet pack. How to care ...
— The Royal Road to Health • Chas. A. Tyrrell

... tasted elderberry once, but he knew no more of wine. The draught had relish fiery new, and it seemed to warm him everywhere at once. His mind grew exquisitely bright, and his thoughts were astonishingly vivid. He began to improvise verses, and they came with an ease which was quite startling. They seemed to unroll themselves before him, to reveal themselves line by line as if they had been in existence long ago, and some spell had suddenly ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... insufficiency, were placed too far from the palace to be occupied by even a portion of the Emperor's service. Consequently there was great embarrassment in the city, and much difficulty was experienced in quartering the Emperor's horses; since to improvise stables in a few days, almost in a moment, was impossible, and to build carriage-houses in the midst of courts would have had a ludicrous effect. But fortunately this difficult situation was ended by one of the quartermasters of the palace named ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... sleep we rose refreshed and eager to examine our two captives. Attached to Tomerl's cottage was a diminutive barn, from which we removed the door, and nailing strong laths across the aperture, managed to improvise a large and roomy cage. A couple of rabbits furnished a luxurious breakfast, which was devoured with extraordinary voracity. The hen-bird, as is the case with all birds of prey, was considerably larger and stronger than her brother, though the latter had the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... them. "She was in the last Russian ballet, and she is waiting now for the rest of the company to start again at Covent Garden. You see, it is Metzger who plays there. They improvise. Rather a wonderful performance, ...
— The Evil Shepherd • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... had been taken down the week before to make room for drills and the physical exercises of the Earthworms, so the three boys had to improvise a ring. They dragged four large tumbling mats together, spreading them side by side to form a square close to the size of an actual ring. Astro went to one of the small lockers under the balcony and returned with two ...
— Stand by for Mars! • Carey Rockwell



Words linked to "Improvise" :   contend, cope, manage, extemporise, execute, get by, do, extemporize, improvisation, perform, make do, grapple, deal



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