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Levity   Listen
noun
Levity  n.  
1.
The quality of weighing less than something else of equal bulk; relative lightness, especially as shown by rising through, or floating upon, a contiguous substance; buoyancy; opposed to gravity. "He gave the form of levity to that which ascended; to that which descended, the form of gravity." "This bubble by reason of its comparative levity to the fluidity that incloses it, would ascend to the top."
2.
Lack of gravity and earnestness in deportment or character; trifling gayety; frivolity; sportiveness; vanity. " A spirit of levity and libertinism." "He never employed his omnipotence out of levity."
3.
Lack of steadiness or constancy; disposition to change; fickleness; volatility. "The levity that is fatigued and disgusted with everything of which it is in possession."
Synonyms: Inconstancy; thoughtlessness; unsteadiness; inconsideration; volatility; flightiness. Levity, Volatility, Flightiness. All these words relate to outward conduct. Levity springs from a lightness of mind which produces a disregard of the proprieties of time and place.Volatility is a degree of levity which causes the thoughts to fly from one object to another, without resting on any for a moment. Flightiness is volatility carried to an extreme which often betrays its subject into gross impropriety or weakness. Levity of deportment, of conduct, of remark; volatility of temper, of spirits; flightiness of mind or disposition.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Levity" Quotes from Famous Books



... to introduce something akin to levity or badinage into an examination the seriousness of which we were all beginning to realize, produced an immediate revulsion of feeling toward the man who, in face of facts revealed and to be revealed, ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... the, quite real, friendship of John Charteris afforded an entry I found little that smacked of such antiquity. I had entered a world inhabited by people who amused themselves and apparently did nothing else; and I was at first troubled by their levity, and afterward envious of it, and in the end embarked upon sedulous attempt to imitate it. I continued to be very boyish; indeed, I found myself by this in much the position of an actor who has made such a success in one particular role that the public ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... duty which he now proclaimed as the sovereign law over all written or spoken words. But he was assailing the cherished beliefs of those before him, and of Christendom generally; not with hard or bitter words, not with sarcasm or levity, rather as one who felt himself charged with a message from the same divinity who had inspired the prophets and evangelists of old with whatever truth was in their messages. He might be wrong, but his words carried the evidence of his own serene, unshaken confidence ...
— Ralph Waldo Emerson • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... had the satisfaction and the glory of having cudgelled them till they were weary, with the vigorous performance of one heroic night. When I have observed any one to be vexed with me, I have not presently accused her levity, but have been in doubt, if I had not reason rather to complain of nature; she has doubtless used me ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... the liver and lungs too close to the diaphragm, because that damnable invention of Sir Isaac Newton's slumbers not nor sleeps, and all the vital organs droop and drop when we neglect deep breathing. Inertia is a vice. The gods cultivate levitation, which is a different thing from levity, meaning skyey gravitation, uplift, aspiration expressed in bodily attitude. When levitation lets go, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 12 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Scientists • Elbert Hubbard

... place. Neither yet is it moved, for what is moved must have a place and space in which to move. Moreover, what is moved either moves itself, or suffers motion from another. Now, that which is moved by itself has some bents and inclinations proceeding from its gravity or levity; and gravity and levity are either certain habits or faculties or differences of bodies. But the universe is not a body. It follows then of necessity, that the universe is neither, heavy nor light, and consequently, that it has not in itself any principle of motion. ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... had not that winning grace which gains the gaze and applause of the drawing-room assemblies. There was none of that light brilliancy which only exists in the heated atmosphere of a crowded apartment. Her blue eye was never lit up by the levity of the mind beneath. There was a melancholy charm about it which did not seem to arise from misfortune, but from some feeling within, that appeared to indicate a soul conscious of a brighter realm. Her step was not that light footing, which strays where'er a butterfly ...
— The Vampyre; A Tale • John William Polidori

... one, of the 'Times,' he breakfasted, by special invitation, with Baron Ricasoli, and had a long and most interesting conversation with him as to the conditions—of course political—on which he would consent to support Italian unity. These must have been done in pure levity; they were imaginative excursions, thrown off in the spirit of those fanciful variations great violinists will now and then indulge in, as though to say, "Is there a path too intricate for me to thread, is there a pinnacle too fine for ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... was some speech of marriage 215 Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off, Partly for that her promised proportions Came short of composition; but in chief, For that her reputation was disvalued In levity: since which time of five years 220 I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her, Upon my ...
— Measure for Measure - The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.] • William Shakespeare

... rose and began to walk up and down as he went on with a marked access of warmth. "But even the understanding we arrived at," he pursued, "I regret to say that my wife did n't see fit to adhere to in good faith. She treated it with what I must call levity." He faced round on his guest suddenly. "I mentioned a cat to ...
— Captain Dieppe • Anthony Hope

... friends would remark that evidently this little fellow Decoud connaissait la question a fond. An important Parisian review asked him for an article on the situation. It was composed in a serious tone and in a spirit of levity. Afterwards he ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... constructed a legend for the pair which is probably much worse than the reality, that reality is more than a little awkward. Mrs. Sterne was a Miss Lumley, of a good Yorkshire family, some, though small, fortune, and more friends who exerted themselves for her husband. By inexcusable levity, ignorance, misjudgment, or heartless cupidity their daughter Lydia published, after the death of both, letters some of which contain courtship of the most lackadaisical sentimentality and others later expressions ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... be so to triflers; to the true Christian it will ever be characterized by thoughtfulness and repose. The Parisian flies from the church to the railway station to join some picnic excursion, or to assist at the race-course, or he passes with a careless levity from St. Genevieve to the dance booths of the Champs Elysees. In New Orleans, the Creole who has just bent his knee before the altar repairs to the theatre to pass the evening; and the Cuban goes from the absolution of ...
— Due South or Cuba Past and Present • Maturin M. Ballou

... more than half a century ago, and this one of to-day. The differences are all in favor of the earlier opera. It was in a letter written by Lafcadio Hearn to me that he called attention to the fact that under the levity of Mrger's picturesque bohemianism there was apparent a serious philosophy, which had an elevating effect upon the characters of the romance. "They followed one principle faithfully,—so faithfully ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... gaiety and splendour to absolute solitude and comparative poverty; and the ideas and wishes which she chiefly fostered, respected great national events, and changes not to be brought round without both hazard and bloodshed, and therefore not to be thought of with levity. Her manner, consequently, was grave, though she readily contributed her talents to the amusement of society, and stood very high in the opinion of the old Baron, who used to sing along with her such French duets of Lindor and Cloris, &c., ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... Their bodies.—Ver. 240. The women of Cyprus were notorious for the levity of their character. We learn from Herodotus that they had recourse to prostitution to ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes - and Explanations • Publius Ovidius Naso

... he was fully six feet tall, with a grand head set upon massive shoulders. A full suite of dark brown hair, worn rather long and considerably disordered, crowned and adorned his head. His face ... was pleasant and attractive though never exhibiting levity, and rarely, humor. The nose was large and somewhat Roman. The rather long side beard had not yet turned gray. His carriage was upright and dignified. I never saw him in a hurry. He was always approachable, but ...
— The University of Michigan • Wilfred Shaw

... see a man who drives, and is not run away with,—a man who, in prosecuting great designs, has an absolute command of the means of representing his ideas, and uses them only to express these; placing facts, placing men; amid the inconceivable levity of human beings, never for an instant warped from his erectness. There is for every man a statement possible of that truth which he is most unwilling to receive,—a statement possible, so broad and so pungent, that he cannot get away from it, but must either bend to it or die of it. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... up in the court of Catherine de Medici, in an atmosphere of duplicity and lax morals. She had the vices of the Stuarts,—an extravagant idea of the sacred prerogatives of kings, a disregard of popular rights, a willingness to break engagements. Her levity, even if it had been kept within bounds, would have been offensive to her Calvinistic subjects. She had at heart the restoration of the Catholic system. In Knox she found a vigilant and fearless antagonist, with so much ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... was needed to calculate Easter. With such an eager and impatient pupil as Charles, the other scholars were soon inspired to beset Alcuin with endless puzzling questions, and there are not wanting evidences that some of them were disposed to levity and even carped at his teachings. But he was indefatigable, rising with the sun to prepare for teaching. In one of his poetical exercises he says of himself that "as soon as the ruddy charioteer of the dawn suffuses the liquid deep with the new light of day, the old man rubs the sleep of night ...
— THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION • ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

... should object to this. He contentedly takes his place in a world that does not pretend to be genteel—a laughing, working, jeering world. He sees millions of animals carrying, with quite a dandified levity, the most monstrous shapes and appendages, the most preposterous horns, wings, and legs, when they are necessary to utility. He sees the good temper of the frog, the unaccountable happiness of the hippopotamus. He sees a whole universe which is ridiculous, from the animalcule, ...
— The Defendant • G.K. Chesterton

... beyond the pitch of something not much above a whisper. Of the rich vein of humor which runs through George Eliot's works there was comparatively little trace in her conversation, which seldom descended from the grave to the gay. But although she rarely indulged in conversational levity herself, she was most tolerant of it, and even encouraged its ebullition, in others, joining heartily in any mirth which might ...
— George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy • George Willis Cooke

... recovered from her surprise. She reflected a moment, then determined to meet the absurd youth with the spirit of levity which his audacity merited. "But, Reginald," she said in mock seriousness, "though your father was a duke, how about your mother? Was she not just an ordinary American girl, a sister of plain Mrs. J. Wilton ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... back to their own firesides, the infantry subs to turn in for another snooze, the cavalry to swallow a cup of coffee before going down to stables. Sanders hailed the lonely figure with characteristic levity. ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... shallowness of the present time. This prevailing frivolity and unscholarliness is something which the United is seeking to remedy, and we are thankful indeed for stories such as this, which expose modern levity in all its nauseousness. It is evident that Miss Sisson is emulating the appreciative Anne Carroll of 1834, rather than her obtuse and indifferent descendant. "The District School," by Edna R. Guilford, describes ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... such as he here conceived it, exists only as a fragment, "Passages from a Relinquished Work," though he doubtless used elsewhere the stories he intended to incorporate into it. In the young man as he is sketched in the opening passage there is, notwithstanding the affectation of levity, a ...
— Nathaniel Hawthorne • George E. Woodberry

... to silence, chess, books, and mischief, except when a treat of facetious small talk was got up for their benefit. Any attempt of the ladies to join in the conversation was replied to with a condescending levity that reduced Ethel to her girlhood's awkward sense of forwardness and presumption; Mary was less disconcerted, because her remarks were never so aspiring, and Harry's wristbands sufficed her; but the never-daunted Daisy rebelled openly, related ...
— The Trial - or, More Links of the Daisy Chain • Charlotte M. Yonge

... On the memorable night when Mr. Flood presented to the House the petition of the Convention, was made the grand effort which was to decide whether the will of the nation or that of the old faction should govern. The latter was victorious. The people, with the characteristic levity of their nation, repulsed in this great effort, for the present, at least, shrunk back from the contest. The victorious party, possessing means of the most extensive and corrupting influence, strained them to the utmost; and gaining ground from that moment on the sense ...
— The Causes of the Rebellion in Ireland Disclosed • Anonymous

... destroy the greater—the heroism, the devotion—to which the eye would most naturally have been riveted, so as to have seen little else, and to have been quite out of a condition to arithmetise the pettinesses of things. Such treatment would better suit the levity of the author of the "Pucelle" than the grave historian or the still more serious and impressive historical painter. It is very important that Mr Etty, if he is likely to be again selected to pronounce ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 385. November, 1847. • Various

... in his wit, his indifference to religion, to say the least, his satirical turn, his love of the world, and his contempt of all that was great and good, he strongly resembles his reputed son; whilst the levity of Lady Walpole's character, and Sir Robert's laxity and dissoluteness, do not furnish any reasonable doubt to the statement made by Lady Louisa Stuart, in the introduction to Lord Wharncliffe's 'Life of ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... hampering your future freedom by this step, and they know it. That is why it was planned. It was not necessary; nothing can be necessary so pregnant with evil. You might have made, you might yet make, a thousand excuses. It is a rite which hardly suits the levity of the hour, even with their feelings; but, with your view of its real character, it is sacrilege. What at is occurring tonight might furnish you with scruples?" And she looked up in ...
— Lothair • Benjamin Disraeli

... half so interesting. Some men shall be fortunate and others shall not; everything has to balance in some way. I am necessary to one side of the scales, as a weight." He spoke with a levity he by no ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... said to his brother, a pompous man, "You and I have reversed the natural course of things; you have risen by your gravity; I have sunk by my levity." ...
— The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; • Various

... the prince, who seemed blessed with a lively sense of the ludicrous, wan so struck with the extreme funniness of the young man's speech, that he relaxed into another paroxysm of levity, shriller and more unearthly, if possible, than any preceding one, and which left him so exhausted, that he was forced to sink into his chair and into silence through sheer fatigue. Seizing this, the first opportunity, Miranda, with a glance of displeased ...
— The Midnight Queen • May Agnes Fleming

... author, in his composition, then suppose, that an air, made for the purpose of levity and ridicule, should be marked for such high destinies. In twenty years from that time, the national march—now universally recognized by the patriots—inspired the heroes of Bunker's Hill; and, in less than thirty, ...
— An Englishman's Travels in America - His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States • John Benwell

... Ruskin's warning against science as an interpreter of its own observations. How man's inner nature and the outer universe interpret one another. The Solfatara phenomenon. The super-physical character of Levity. ...
— Man or Matter • Ernst Lehrs

... amidships. All the same, I'd have given something to have heard him 'running' you, when all the while you had the biggest bulge on him, only neither of you knew it." He laughed again, until Randolph, amazed at his levity and indifference, ...
— Trent's Trust and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... 'to the strange mixture of indecent, and sometimes profane levity, which his conduct and language often exhibited,' and which so much shocks the tone of Pope, than the tone of the time. With the exception of the correspondence of Pope and his friends, not many private letters of the period have ...
— Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) • (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

... matter was that the difficulty in question had arisen not from any tendency in the lady to behave in the Lombard capital with more reprehensible levity than, it must unfortunately be admitted, she had been very well known to have behaved in other places and on other occasions; but from a change in her manners in a diametrically opposite direction. It was a change of tactics, which the strictest moralist must have admitted to involve an improvement ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... four, lives a gentleman who writes real stories about the real insides of people; and his name is Mr. Walter Besant. But he will insist upon treating his ghosts—he has published half a workshopful of them—with levity. He makes his ghost-seers talk familiarly, and, in some cases, flirt outrageously, with the phantoms. You may treat anything, from a Viceroy to a Vernacular Paper, with levity; but you must behave reverently toward a ghost, and particularly an ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... has been employed on contemplations suitable to its greatness, it is unnatural to run into sudden mirth or levity; but we must let the soul subside, as it rose, by proper degrees. My late considerations of the ancient heroes impressed a certain gravity upon my mind, which is much above the little gratification received from starts of humour and fancy, and threw ...
— Isaac Bickerstaff • Richard Steele

... I hadn't any business coming here," he added, "but the truth is I've wanted to see you again ever since that first afternoon. I got to wondering whether," he laughed in an embarrassed way, and added with an attempt at levity, "whether you would wear a ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... The emigration left her to confront alone the vengeance of the people. The terrific experience of October, when she saw death so near, and was made to feel so keenly the hatred she inspired, sobered in a moment the levity of her life, and brought out higher qualities. It was on that day that she began to remind those around her whose daughter she was. Ignorant as she was and passionate, she could never become a safe adviser. But she acquired decision, ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... which this volume is composed appeared originally in the columns of "FUN," when the wisdom of the Fables and the truth of the Tales tended to wholesomely diminish the levity of that jocund sheet. Their publication in a new form would seem to be a fitting occasion to say ...
— Cobwebs From an Empty Skull • Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)

... was little in a temper to brook this levity, and hastened to relieve the joint occupants of the chair from the ridicule of their situation. "Enough!" he exclaimed, "enough! All my friends are requested to resume the situation most agreeable to them; my purpose is answered." The prince was himself standing with all his household, ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... and other similar manifestations, the grotesque spirit is traceable through all the strength of the Venetian people. But again: it is necessary that we should carefully distinguish between it and the spirit of mere levity. I said, in the fifth chapter, that the Venetians were distinctively a serious people, serious, that is to say, in the sense in which the English are a more serious people than the French; though the habitual intercourse of our lower classes in London has a tone of humor in it which ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3) • John Ruskin

... under which Irving placed his tales of terror, indicates the mood in which he fashioned them. He regarded them much as he would regard the wonderful adventures of Baron Munchausen. They were to be taken, like one of Dr. Marigold's prescriptions, with a grain of salt. The idea of blending levity with horror, suggested perhaps by German influence, was very popular in England and France at this period. Balzac's L'Auberge Rouge and L'Elixir de la Longue Vie are ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... creatures, are unacquainted with the lax morals of the cheque-book; a pound is just twenty shillings to them, and each shilling is an entity, and each is spent with an indomitable aim to get the most out of it. How would my wife regard the definite disappearance of five thousand shillings? Not with levity, I knew; and I thought it best to say nothing of that guinea volume on the Tombs of the Etruscans. The Tombs of the Etruscans would have meant to her three pairs of boots; and I wished that I might conceal it in mine. A wise ...
— The Quest of the Simple Life • William J. Dawson

... used, therefore, all their interest to push matters to extremity against the Presbyterians, who had formerly been their most severe oppressors, and whom they now expected for their companions in affliction. The earl of Bristol, who, from conviction, or interest, or levity, or complaisance for the company with whom he lived, had changed his religion during the king's exile, was regarded as the head of ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part F. - From Charles II. to James II. • David Hume

... spoke plainly at last, without further reticence or concealment, so useless in the face of this indifference and levity, real or affected. ...
— My Little Lady • Eleanor Frances Poynter

... grandson ascribes to it; [ Memoires de Brandebourg (Preuss's Edition of OEuvres, Berlin, 1847 et seqq.), i. 112.] she died without epigram, and though in perfect simple courage, with the reverse of levity. ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. I. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Birth And Parentage.—1712. • Thomas Carlyle

... have understood the levity of mind that underlies changes of Cabinets, have not always understood the numerical pettiness of the voting power by which the change is effected. Just as every philosopher is born a Platonist or an Aristotelian, so, as Mr. Gilbert ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... ambition and vanity How sad these old memorics are in the autumn Never travel when the heart is troubled! Not more honest than necessary Poor France of Jeanne d'Arc and of Napoleon Redouble their boasting after each defeat Take their levity for heroism The leaves fall! the leaves fall! Universal suffrage, with its accustomed intelligence Were certain against ...
— Widger's Quotations from The Immortals of the French Academy • David Widger

... who is our home." To quarrel, then, with the class of minds that instinctively attack abuses, is not only profitless but senseless; to sneer at the sentiments which are the springs of all just and virtuous actions, is merely a display of unthinking levity, or of want of the ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... destinies of a nation. The men implicated in the French Panama Scandal and the case of the Banca Romana (Bank of Rome) are instances. When under a cloud of disgrace, instead of that insensibility, cynicism, or levity common to true criminals, they show deep sorrow, shame, and remorse, which not infrequently result in serious illness or death. Their natural affections ...
— Criminal Man - According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso • Gina Lombroso-Ferrero

... expected to meet Culpepper somewhere in her ramble, now that he came upon her suddenly, she felt disappointed and embarrassed. His manner, too, was more than usually grave and serious; and more than ever seemed to jar upon that audacious levity which was this giddy girl's power and security in a society where all feeling was dangerous. As he approached her she rose to her feet, but almost before she knew it he had taken her hand and drawn her to a seat beside him. This was not what Miss Jo had expected, ...
— Mrs. Skaggs's Husbands and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... notice or attention—thoroughly engrossed, as he appeared to be, with the terrible sanction of a portent of some coming retribution. His silence in some degree distressed me, as I thought he resented my levity in commenting upon his convictions; so it was with some relief that Dr. Rogers came in and sat down at the table, apparently to wait for a call to the bedroom. A man this of ostentatious gloom,—too grave to deign to be witty, too sanctified ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... Mrs. Leighton, flushing at her levity before the very portals of the church. "She's all right. I looked back, and saw her crossing ...
— Through stained glass • George Agnew Chamberlain

... there is also, I venture to think, a good deal that is undeniably untrue. I do not think it is unfair to say that in some respects Chesterton allows his cleverness to lead him to certain errors of judgment, and a certain levity in dealing with matters that are to a number of people so sacred that to reinterpret them is almost ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Patrick Braybrooke

... opening for their incompetence; just as forlorn widows and ignorant old maids thrown suddenly on their own resources open a school—no other means of livelihood seeming to be within their reach. Lowest of all are those whose esurient vanity, acting on a frivolous levity of mind, urges them to make Literature a plaything for display. To write for a livelihood, even on a complete misapprehension of our powers, is at least a respectable impulse. To play at Literature is altogether inexcusable: the motive ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... and Abe's grin relaxed for several inches, nor did it resume its normal width until some days later when Morris began to negotiate for his permanent mortgage loan. Once Morris remonstrated with him for his levity. ...
— Potash & Perlmutter - Their Copartnership Ventures and Adventures • Montague Glass

... "No levity where the King is concerned," he corrected poor me. "You know very well that for an act of this kind a royal ...
— Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess • Henry W. Fischer

... The presses that have no direct interest in the matter, would treat the affair with indifference or levity, while a few would mystify the truth. It is quite impossible for any man in a private station to make the truth available in any country, in a matter of public interest; and those in public stations seldom or never attempt it, unless they see a direct party end to be obtained. ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... a levity about your tone that I do not approve of, Armstrong," Frank Mallett said, reprovingly. "There were no women when we went out to the Crimea, at the time when you were a good little boy ...
— The Queen's Cup • G. A. Henty

... reputed a man of taste and discernment; and as a bigoted upholder of aristocratic opinions he was held up for a noble character. If by chance he slipped now and again into his old light-heartedness or levity, others were ready to discover an undercurrent of diplomatic intention beneath his inanity and silliness. "Oh! he only says exactly as much as he means to say," thought these ...
— A Woman of Thirty • Honore de Balzac

... was thought capable of a good deal of levity; but her levity had never gone so far as this. It moved her greatly, however, to hear Felix say that he was sure of something; so that, raising her eyes toward him, she tried intently, for some moments, ...
— The Europeans • Henry James

... I am sure that is the sharpest thing about me. You may think I can have no sense of my condition, that while I am thus wretched, I should offer at ridicule: but, Sir, people constituted like me, with a disproportioned levity of spirits, are always most merry when they are most miserable; and quicken like the eyes of the consumptive, which are always brightest the nearer the patient approaches his dissolution. However, Sir, to show you I am not lost to all reflection, I think myself poor ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, January 1844 - Volume 23, Number 1 • Various

... was different. There was no levity. Every man seemed to sense the situation and stood to his post of duty grimly conscious of the serious business upon which he had embarked. Through the minds of the lads flitted visions ...
— The Brighton Boys with the Submarine Fleet • James R. Driscoll

... the interests of his country and the habits of his countrymen, that he was far more fitted to rule than the scientific Worcester or the learned Scales. The Young Duke of Gloucester presented a marked contrast to the general levity of the court, in speaking of this powerful nobleman. He never named him but with respect, and was pointedly courteous to even the humblest member of the earl's family. In this he appeared to advantage by the side of Clarence, whose weakness of disposition made ...
— The Last Of The Barons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... a childlike feeling, or the levity of youth, that had induced him to give himself up to grace, and which made him feel elevated above so many? For had he not cast away the vanity of the world, was he not a son of ...
— The Ice-Maiden: and Other Tales. • Hans Christian Andersen

... Besides, to have it intimated, even in jest, that I would take advantage of my position in this family to pay my ridiculous addresses to Miss Sherwood—I do declare, Griffith, I never will again to you, or any other man, touch upon this subject, but in the same strain of unmeaning levity one is compelled to listen to, and imitate, in ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... But her levity in such a crisis only excited her lover the more. "Everybody at the station was laughing at you. To-night when you traipsed down the stairs, looking so pretty in your new dress, you had to spoil everything by saying: 'What a chahming pahty. ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... luxuries, the sole mark of multitudinous ambitions and desires. I doubt if you could find a man in Europe so bold as to attempt this piece of tact and government. And seemingly Tembinok' himself had trouble in the beginning. I hear of him shooting at a wife for some levity on board a schooner. Another, on some more serious offence, he slew outright; he exposed her body in an open box, and (to make the warning more memorable) suffered it to putrefy before the palace gate. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... siege; had taken part too many times in one of the most wretched spectacles in which a people can show vanity in adversity. He was heart broken to see his dear compatriots, his dear Parisians, redouble their boasting after each defeat and take their levity for heroism. If he admired the resignation of the poor women standing in line before the door of a butcher's shop, he was every day more sadly tormented by the bragging of his comrades, who thought themselves heroes ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... However feebly she may have tried to flee, she had nevertheless made the attempt. It was on account of my prayers that she remained; there was an obligation implied. I was under oath not to grieve her either by my jealousy or my levity; every thoughtless or mocking word that escaped me was a sin, every sorrowful glance from her was ...
— The Confession of a Child of The Century • Alfred de Musset

... son to me," cried his father, "you that have always been the favourite, to my shame be it spoken. Never a good hour have I gotten of you since you were born; no, never one good hour," and repeated it again the third time. Whether it was the Master's levity, or his insubordination, or Mr. Henry's word about the favourite son, that had so much disturbed my lord, I do not know: but I incline to think it was the last, for I have it by all accounts that Mr. Henry was more made up to from ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Dreadful it was. If Berthold would like to sit and hear—Ah! she is gone. A good girl! and of a levity only ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... which, as it savored of insanity, made him an object of commiseration with some, while it rendered him yet more obnoxious to others. The habit we allude to, was the indulgence of wild screaming laughter at times when all merriment should be checked; and when the exhibition of levity must proceed from utter disregard of human grief and suffering, or from ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... something like that silver, too; for though she was bright and pleasant and with a constant liking for fun, there was a great deal of gravity beneath her smile. No one could have treated her with familiar levity, though she was gentle and sweet-tempered; for no one who had seen her very rare expression of deep displeasure would care to provoke it. Of course I am chiefly speaking now of our girls, but I think other people—grown-up and important people—thought ...
— Miss Grantley's Girls - And the Stories She Told Them • Thomas Archer

... exhibiting in manners and character a certain degree of thoughtful gravity beyond his years, was, like all his countrymen, a dancer. Nor does the Circassian dance require, for the most part, any levity of disposition in the performer; some varieties of it being practised as a martial exercise, and with a decorum bordering on seriousness. In the war-dance the Lesghian, more particularly, is imperious in look as well as animated in action. He carries himself haughtily through all the evolutions, ...
— Life of Schamyl - And Narrative of the Circassian War of Independence Against Russia • John Milton Mackie

... What would be thought in Philadelphia or New York, in an austere and solemn Presbyterian church, to see the most noted beauty of the day handing round the plate? But such is one of the forms which French levity takes, even in the consecrated precincts ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume VII • John Lord

... his easy nonchalance there lurked more earnest and patriotic conviction than he ever cared to admit. 'I am sorry to hurt any man's feelings,' said Sydney Smith, 'and to brush aside the magnificent fabric of levity and gaiety he has reared; but I accuse our Minister of honesty and diligence.' Ridiculous rumours filled the air during the earliest years of her Majesty's reign concerning the supposed undue influence which Lord Melbourne exerted at Court. The more ...
— Lord John Russell • Stuart J. Reid

... That the survivor of us endeavour, after the death of either of us, to maintain the reputation and dignity of the deceased, by avoiding levity of behaviour, dissoluteness of life and disgraceful marriage; not only so, but that such survivor persevere in good offices to the children of the deceased, as a discreet, faithful, and honourable survivor ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 227, March 4, 1854 • Various

... W. M. Best, "is attributed to Moses by Josephus: 'Let the testimony of women not be received on account of the levity and audacity of their sex'; a law which looks apocryphal, but which, even if genuine, could not have been of universal application.... The law of ancient Rome, though admitting their testimony in general, refused it in certain cases. The civil canon ...
— Courts and Criminals • Arthur Train

... eye followed them forth of the apartment with a glance of contempt, a part of which his mind instantly transferred to himself, for having stooped to be even for a moment their familiar companion. "These are the associates, Amy"—it was thus he communed with himself—"to which thy cruel levity—thine unthinking and most unmerited falsehood, has condemned him of whom his friends once hoped far other things, and who now scorns himself, as he will be scorned by others, for the baseness he stoops to for the love of thee! But ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... lay hands on, to fortify him for the contest. The end, as you know, was extremely sad for him, but highly satisfactory to them, I fear. They have signified their resolution to attend his funeral; and Mordacks has said, with unbecoming levity, that if they never were drunk before—which seems to me an almost romantic supposition—that night they shall be drunk, and ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... to what may be called critical laughter is recorded where Abraham and Sarah were informed of the approaching birth of Isaac. Perhaps this laughter was mostly that of pleasure. Sarah denied that she laughed, and Abraham was not rebuked when guilty of the same levity.[4] ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 1 (of 2) - With an Introduction upon Ancient Humour • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... gay. This word, now applied to persons with a touch of levity, was formerly used both of things and persons in the sense of gay or neat. Compare the present and earlier uses of the word jolly, on which Pattison says:—"This is an instance of the disadvantage under which poetry in a living language ...
— Milton's Comus • John Milton

... and was silent awhile. There was no levity in him now. Slowly he resumed, "I guess as much as it's humanly possible for two men to know each other—down to the bedrock, it's surely Burke Slavin and I. Should too, the years we've been together. The good old beggar! . . . We ...
— The Luck of the Mounted - A Tale of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police • Ralph S. Kendall

... or carnal appetite, they would hop up and down, balancing, swaying, spreading their wings, and hopping again round about each other, as if bewitched. A few moments of this crazy performance, and then they would stalk sedately along the shore, as if ashamed of their ungainly levity; but at any moment the ecstasy might seize them and they would hop again, as if they simply could not help it. This occurred generally towards evening, when the birds had fed full and were ready for play or for stretching ...
— Wood Folk at School • William J. Long

... 1200, suppressed the safeguards theretofore required in any prosecution, especially the risk incurred by prosecutors of being punished for slander. Instead of these were established the dismal processes of Denunciation and Inquisition. The frightful levity of these latter methods is shown by Soldan. ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... empire over mankind, than when she subjected those nations of heroes to the refuse of the gaols of Europe, to wretches who possess the virtue neither of the countries they came from, nor of those they go to, and whose levity, brutality, and baseness so justly expose them to the contempt of the vanquished." And now, in 1776, in his Wealth of Nations he showed in a forcible manner (for he appealed to the interest of those concerned,) the dearness of ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... you when I drove with you and let you draw me out. So we're square, aren't we?" The term Francie used was a colloquialism generally associated with levity, but her face, as she spoke, was none the less deeply serious—serious even ...
— The Reverberator • Henry James

... have been bitterly disappointed, however much she might have tried to deceive herself. It was a pity, a thousand pities, the child could not have come to them without that smirch. But it had not touched her: there was no stain on her. Thinking upon Stella's mother she said to herself that no levity in the girl she had been had led to her downfall. Why, Shawn had said she was the simplest, whitest of creatures. It made ...
— Love of Brothers • Katharine Tynan

... Honor was balked by bestowing sympathy, and could only wonder whether this were reserve, levity, or resignation, and if she must accept it as a fact that in the one the attachment had been lost in the duties of his calling, in the other had died out for want of requital. For the present, in spite of herself, her feeling towards Robert verged more on distant rather piqued ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... saw the Colonel the latter had regained his wig, his natural complexion and his dignity, the last being so great that it was a perfect danger signal warning away all levity or even the slightest sign of it on ...
— The Hilltop Boys - A Story of School Life • Cyril Burleigh

... frankness, which the novelty of her situation excused, she confirmed the truth of what he had before heard, and addressing him by the name of fair Montague (love can sweeten a sour name), she begged him not to impute her easy yielding to levity or an unworthy mind, but that he must lay the fault of it (if it were a fault) upon the accident of the night which had so strangely discovered her thoughts. And she added, that though her behaviour to him might not be sufficiently prudent, measured ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... earth, coolly criticises the Universe, settles law, and measures his puny stature against that awful Unknown Force, deeply hidden, but majestically existent, which for want of ampler designation we call GOD—God, whom some of us will scarcely recognize, save with the mixture of doubt, levity, and general reluctance; God, whom we never obey unless obedience is enforced by calamity; God, whom we never truly love, because so many of us prefer to stake our chances of the future on ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... considered by the fishermen as indicating a want of Porpus. They are also very much chagrined with the Government for sending out to the fishing-banks a dispatch boat bearing the inappropriate name of "Frolic." There is a levity about this quite out of keeping with the serious character of the question, and it is doubtful whether the fishermen would not prefer a fight on ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, Issue 10 • Various

... disciplined ferocity. She has shown an equally amazing failure to read the character of her foes aright. We now know what German Kultur means: but of the soul and spirit of England she knows nothing. Least of all does she understand that formidable and incorrigible levity which refuses to take hard knocks seriously. It will be our privilege to assist in educating our enemies on these and other points, even though, as Lord Kitchener thinks, it takes three years to do it. The Mad Dog of Europe is loose, ...
— Mr. Punch's History of the Great War • Punch

... without saying that I had read a part at least of the ill-fated young Russian's dairy. Yet in the presence of the grief-stricken face, outlined against the dark leather chair-back, I felt a pang of shame at a thought bordering on levity. There was indeed one likeness: both were the unexpurgated records of hearts laid ruthlessly bare; both were instinct with life: in every line one could feel ...
— A Village Ophelia and Other Stories • Anne Reeve Aldrich

... was kept boiling at the surface the heat would not penetrate sufficiently to begin melting ice at a depth of 3 inches in less than about two hours. As, therefore, the heated water cannot impart its heat to its neighboring particles, it remains expanded and rises by its levity, while colder portions come to be heated in turn, thus setting ...
— Steam, Its Generation and Use • Babcock & Wilcox Co.

... mode it is enclosed in a chamber more or less remote, commonly called a furnace, and made of brick, sheet-iron, or wood lined with tin. Into this chamber cold air is admitted from some source, and escapes by its own levity, usually through tin pipes, to the rooms where the heat is needed. Sometimes it is ...
— Homes And How To Make Them • Eugene Gardner

... mother thirty years ago; it became the question of a wrong done himself in casting him nameless upon the world, a thing of scorn to cruel, unjust humanity. Could Mistress Winthrop have guessed the bitter self-derision with which he had, in apparent levity, offered her his name, she might have felt some pity for him who had no ...
— The Lion's Skin • Rafael Sabatini

... observance of Sunday. 'It should be different,' he observed, 'from another day. People may walk, but not throw stones at birds. There may be relaxation, but there should be no levity.' ...
— The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. • James Boswell

... the siege of 1649 foreshadowed that of 1870. There were the same levity and anarchy, the same endurance and courage. Conde and Moltke both experienced similar difficulties in their attempts to subdue the French capital. Through the influence of De Retz negotiations were entered into with Spain, and a Spanish envoy arrived in Paris. ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11 • Various

... unscrupulous: he is partly angry with the popular Press for being popular. He is not only irritated with Limericks for causing a mean money-scramble; he is also partly irritated with Limericks for being Limericks. The enormous size of the levity gets on his nerves, like the glare and blare of Bank Holiday. Now this is a motive which, however human and natural, must be strictly kept out of the way. It takes all sorts to make a world; and it is not in the least necessary that everybody should have that love of subtle and ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... country. What we understand by flirtation is not encouraged, unless it is almost sure to lead to marriage; and what the Germans understand by flirtation is justly considered scandalous and reprehensible. For the Germans have taken the word into use, but taken away the levity and innocence of its meaning. They make it a term of serious reproach, and those who dislike us condemn the shocking prevalence of Flirt (they make a noun of the verb) in ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... which is not. This pertains to false swearing, which is chiefly called perjury, as stated above (Q. 98, A. 1, ad 3). For when a man swears to that which is false, his swearing is vain in itself, since it is not supported by the truth. On the other hand, when a man swears without judgment, through levity, if he swear to the truth, there is no vanity on the part of the oath itself, but only on the part of ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... with realities of life alone have humorists been saved from temptations to any dangerous levity; great humorists, as we have said, have generally been earnest men, very grave at heart, and much that they have written has been tragedy in the guise of irony. All readers cannot find this out. They cannot see the grief of ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 37, November, 1860 • Various

... manoeuvre for getting rid of himself; and he remembered his doubt whether a certain light in her eyes when she inquired concerning his sincerity were innocent earnestness or the reverse. As the possibility of levity crossed his brain, his face warmed; it pained him to think that a woman so interesting could condescend to a trick of even so mild a complexion as that. He wanted to think her the soul of all that was tender, and noble, and kind. ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... native union is afterwards regarded. It sometimes, indeed, happens, that some supervenient cause of discord may overpower this original amity; but it seems to me more frequently thrown away with levity, or lost by negligence, than destroyed by injury or violence. We tell the ladies that good wives make good husbands; I believe it is a more certain position that good ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... little creature and truly pious. She had married me in the full confidence that my levity was merely put on, and would at once give way before the influence she hoped to exert upon my mind. Poor little thing! she deceived herself. I allowed her, indeed, to do entirely as she pleased; but for myself, I carried my ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 4 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... government for not having kept a more stringent watch over his subordinate, were he to attach any importance to the fact of Alessandro's apostasy. But he hoped that by merely glancing at the event as one scarcely worth special notice, the Council of Florence would be led to treat it with equal levity. Nor was the embassador deceived in his calculation; and thus the accounts which reached Florence relative to Alessandro's renegadism—and which were not indeed communicated to the council until some months after the occurrence of the ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... immediately upon such a Misfortune a Convention is call'd, and proper Remedies are sought by the chief Men of the Nation against the present Mischiefs; Which we know has been done upon like Accidents. A King, either through Infirmities of Age, of Levity of Mind, may not only be missed by some covetous, rapacious or lustful Counsellor; may not only be seduced and depraved by debauch'd Youths of Quality, or of equal Age with himself; may be infatuated ...
— Franco-Gallia • Francis Hotoman

... never do for me to be paying visits upon ladies so soon after an affair of so deplorable a gravity. Besides I have to be buried at seven in the morning, and if I chanced not to be back in time, I should certainly acquire a reputation for levity, which since I am unknown in the county, I am unwilling to incur," and, leaving the butler stupefied in the hall, he ran out into the road. He heard no sound ...
— Ensign Knightley and Other Stories • A. E. W. Mason

... difficult things in the world is the levity with which people talk about "obtaining information." As if information were as easy to pick up as stones! "It ain't so hard to nuss the sick," said a hired nurse, "as some people might think; the most of 'em doesn't want ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... delicate shoulders of the Reverend Mother, and the heavy figure of Mother Philippa. "Even in their backs they are like themselves," she thought. She smiled at her descriptive style, "like themselves," and then, seeing that Mass had begun, she resolutely repressed all levity, and began her prayers. She had not felt especially pious till that moment, and to rouse herself she remembered Monsignor's words, "That at the height of her artistic career she should have been awakened to a sense of her own exceeding sinfulness was a miracle ...
— Evelyn Innes • George Moore

... gibbered, and eyeballs of distraction: for a Fear, too—most cold and dreadful—had its hand of ice upon my heart, I being so alone in that place, face to face with the Ineffable: but still with a giddy levity, and a fatal joy, and a blind hilarity, on I sped, ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... perceive the superiority of the Catholic religion to all other forms of worship that ever existed. But to be present at the death hour of a Christian is a privilege which Protestants and unbelievers seldom or never enjoy; their levity and want of devotion, with their impiety and irreverence, being sufficiently powerful obstacles to their admittance into such sacred places as the chamber in which the sacred offices of religion are administered to the "departing soul." It is only the true believers, and not "those outside," who ...
— The Cross and the Shamrock • Hugh Quigley

... led a disconsolate life, and deserves, perhaps, pity for her misfortunes, more than our censure for a behaviour to which the artifices of her aunt very probably contributed, and to which very young women are often rendered too liable by that blameable levity in the education of ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... Into such levity I could not possibly enter; I resolved to wait the morrow, and the succeeding days of our convention at Chickle University, for opportunities to exert upon this impressionable ...
— How Doth the Simple Spelling Bee • Owen Wister

... numbers," answered the Seigneur whimsically—to the Cure's pain, for levity seemed improper ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... broke out and said, 'Hinney, you are to blame, you are to blame. You won't let Mr. Barker alone: he would be silent if you would allow him: you are too bad.' He repeated his terrible rebuke of my levity, and I began to explain. I told him what had passed between his wife and me before he came in. I told him all that I thought about his way of proceeding towards me in those matters, and he, poor fellow, was completely ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... Tapley and to see the humorous aspect of the most depressing situation. The "luxurious hotel," to which we were consigned according "to the best and most noble traditions of German honour," moved me to unrestrained mirth, when once I had taken in our surroundings. My levity fell like a cold water douche upon my companions, while the guards frowned menacingly. But to me it was impossible to refrain from an outburst of merriment. It was quite in accordance with German promises, which are composed of the two ingredients—uncompromising ...
— Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons - Wesel, Sennelager, Klingelputz, Ruhleben • Henry Charles Mahoney

... almost like madmen, and all with a delightful glee which became contagious, first in the clerical body, and then among the spectators. The aged Dean of the Chapter, Protonotary of his Holiness, held up his purple skirt a little higher, and stepping from the ranks with an amazing levity, as if suddenly relieved of his burden of eighty years, tossed the ball with his foot to the venerable capitular Homilist, equal to the occasion. And then, unable to stand inactive any longer, the laity carried on the game among ...
— Imaginary Portraits • Walter Horatio Pater

... I will not give the conversation which followed. It was very brief. The result was, that each of us turned ourselves to prayer, and prayed as we had never prayed before. Had we even been more disposed to levity than we were, we could not but have felt the earnestness of the appeal made to us—the importance of the subject—the awful truths uttered by our companion. Darker grew the night—the sea-birds screamed above us—the distant cliffs grew ...
— A Voyage round the World - A book for boys • W.H.G. Kingston

... became stern, and dropping the tone of levity which he had employed, he opened the letter Sam had forged, and suddenly handing it ...
— Jim Cummings • Frank Pinkerton

... indifference, that she had so well assumed for a few days, and which might perhaps have effected her design, she had not the patience to persevere in, without calling levity to their aid. She visited repeatedly without saying where, or with whom—kept later hours than usual—appeared in the highest spirits—sung, laughed, and never heaved a ...
— A Simple Story • Mrs. Inchbald

... inclination. He never thought of resuming again the pursuit of knowledge, 'till the fine address of his governor, Dr. Balfour, won him in his travels, by degrees, to those charms of study, which he had through youthful levity forsaken, and being seconded by reason, now more strong, and a more mature taste of the pleasure of learning, which the Dr. took care to place in the most agreeable and advantageous light, he became enamoured ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume II • Theophilus Cibber

... to be followed by a popular audience with that slight degree of intellectual exertion which is a pleasure. His style is not brilliant; but it is pure, transparently clear, and equally free from the levity and from the stiffness which disfigure the sermons of some eminent divines of the seventeenth century. He is always serious: yet there is about his manner a certain graceful ease which marks him as a man who knows the world, who has lived in populous cities and in splendid courts, and who has conversed, ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... means of bringing peace to Ireland the debate was absolutely futile. But it enabled Mr. DEVLIN to fire off one of his tragical-comical orations, and Sir H. GREENWOOD to disclaim the accusation that he had treated the Irish problem with levity. "There is nothing light and airy about me," he declared; and no one who has heard his pronunciation of the word ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, August 4th, 1920 • Various

... said, "Well, I resign myself to your levity. And after all, it doesn't much matter, for no one ...
— The Meaning of Good—A Dialogue • G. Lowes Dickinson

... quote if I thought that any boy would chance to read them and so have one of the pleasures of his young life destroyed. As for "Don Quixote," which its author persisted in regarding with such misplaced levity, it has passed through many bewildering vicissitudes. It has figured bravely as a satire on the Duke of Lerma, on Charles V., on Philip II., on Ignatius Loyola-Cervantes was the most devout of Catholics—and on the Inquisition, which, fortunately, did ...
— Masterpieces Of American Wit And Humor • Thomas L. Masson (Editor)

... Some writer has connected this difference with their preference for the open prairie country in contrast to the endless and sombre forests where were the homes of the Iroquois. Their history abounds in great men, whose ambitious plans were foiled by the levity of their allies and their want of persistence. They it was who under King Philip fought the Puritan fathers; who at the instigation of Pontiac doomed to death every white trespasser on their soil; who led by Tecumseh and Black Hawk gathered the clans ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... subsided, I could not help correcting, in gentle terms, (though I was otherwise glad to see even an English footman so far from English land) a man in his station for speaking of people of high rank with so much indecent levity, and then told him, that there was no such person living as the Duchess of Kingston, but that it was probable the Lady he thought he had seen might be Lady Bristol; that there was not however, the least resemblance between the person of her Ladyship and the other Lady ...
— A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, Volume II (of 2) • Philip Thicknesse

... agreeably and with great spirit." The Friends of Reading Meeting even noted that he was "facetious in conversation," and there is a tradition of a venerable Friend who spoke of him "as having naturally an excess of levity of spirit for a grave minister." A handsome, graceful, and even a merry gentleman it was who ...
— William Penn • George Hodges

... in them a lark's song,— but a spiritual lark's song, floating and running in the golden glories of the Spiritual Sun; a song whose verve carries us openly up into the realms of pure spirit; a wonderful radiance and sweetness of dawn, of dawn in its fresh purity, its holiness,—haunted with no levity or boisterousness of youth, but with a wisdom gay and ancient,—eternal, laughter-laden, triumphant,—at once hoary and young,—like the sparkle of snows on Himalaya, like the amber glow in the eastern sky. Here almost alone in literature we get long draughts of the Golden ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... all his regard for the rights and welfare of the apprentices, showed a great and inexcusable partiality for the masters. The patience and consideration with which he heard the complaints of the latter, the levity with which he regarded the defence of the former, the summary manner in which he despatched the cases, and the character of some of his decisions, manifested no small degree ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... 15, or that stated with no less earnestness in pp. 197, 198. I trust that I shall not be thought to magnify a mere slip of the pen. Both passages—though, as far as I can see, self-contradictory—appear to be written with the same absence of levity. Fontenelle, I own, speaks of Greeks, not Semites, as being originally savages. But I pointed out {124} that he considered it safer to 'hedge' by making an exception of the Israelites. There is really nothing in Genesis against the contention that the naked, tool-less, mean, ...
— Modern Mythology • Andrew Lang

... Ray's voice harshened, possessing a certain quality of grim levity. "I guess old Hiram's brother hasn't come to life ...
— The Sky Line of Spruce • Edison Marshall

... Excuse my seeming levity. You have flattered my cheerfulness by commending it, and must, therefore, indulge me in the exercise of it. I cannot conveniently be at the pains of restraining its sallies when I write ...
— The Coquette - The History of Eliza Wharton • Hannah Webster Foster

... very explosive in its rhetoric, much like that which he had devoted in the same periodical to Darwin. The bishop declared that the work tended "toward infidelity, if not to atheism"; that the writers had been "guilty of criminal levity"; that, with the exception of the essay by Dr. Temple, their writings were "full of sophistries and scepticisms." He was especially bitter against Prof. Jowett's dictum, "Interpret the Scripture like any ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... accusing look on the Spectre's face. I don't know what put it into my head, and I had no sooner said it than I was sorry for my levity, but the figure with the sad garments there in the matchless and triumphant spring day affected me with a curious, sharp impatience. Had any one the right to look out so dolefully upon such a day and such a scene of simple happiness as ...
— The Friendly Road - New Adventures in Contentment • (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker

... passions, but of passion past: The pride, but not the fire, of early days, Coldness of mien, and carelessness of praise; 70 A high demeanour, and a glance that took Their thoughts from others by a single look; And that sarcastic levity of tongue, The stinging of a heart the world hath stung, That darts in seeming playfulness around, And makes those feel that will not own the wound; All these seemed his, and something more beneath Than glance could well reveal, or accent breathe. Ambition, Glory, Love, the ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7) • Lord Byron

... faculties, which should have prevented them, were entirely occupied by the ideal. In some of these paroxysms of fancy, Miss Walton did not fail to be introduced; and the picture which had been drawn amidst the surrounding objects of unnoticed levity was now singled out to be viewed through the medium of romantic imagination: it was improved of course, and esteem was a word inexpressive of the ...
— The Man of Feeling • Henry Mackenzie

... solemnity; I dare say, even in sleep he looked a wag. This was the way in which everything appeared to him first, and often last too, with a serious enough middle saw him not long before his death, when he was of great age and knew he was dying; there was no levity in his manner, or thoughtlessness about his state; he was kind, and shrewd as ever; but how he flashed out with utter merriment when he got hold of a joke, or rather when it got hold of him, and shook him, not an inch of his body was free of its power—it possessed him, not he it. ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... feature of our civilization is the daily paper. It scatters crime, bad manners, and a pernicious levity as a wind scatters fire. Crime feeds upon crime, and the newspapers make sure that every criminally inclined reader shall have enough to feed upon, shall have his vicious nature aroused and stimulated. Is it ...
— The Last Harvest • John Burroughs

... i.e. a man ready of wit and immediate of action, as opposed to his name Al-Atwash — one notable for levity ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... with nothing when you are not pleased with your wife. One of the "Spectators" is very just that says, "A man ought always to be upon his guard against spleen and a too severe philosophy; a woman, against levity and coquetry." If we go to Naples, I will make no acquaintance there of any kind, and you will be in a place where a variety of agreeable objects will dispose you to be ever pleased. If such a thing is possible, this will secure ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IV (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland II • Various

... That delicate-minded, intellectual old maid, Miss Thornton, used to remark with silent horror on what she called Mary's levity of behaviour with men, but more especially with honest Tom Troubridge. Many a time, when the old lady was sitting darning (she was always darning; she used to begin darning the things before they were a week out of the draper's shop), ...
— The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn • Henry Kingsley

... in my levity, however, and said with feeling, "Thank the good Lord you are here!" and down in my heart I echoed his prayer ...
— Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico • E. L. Kolb

... a fighting religion, which languished in peaceful fair weather, but flamed high in the storm. The throng of loafers and light-minded worldlings of both sexes, with their jeering interruptions and lewd levity of conduct, brought upon the scene a kind of visible personal devil, with whom the chosen could do battle face to face. The daylight services became more and more perfunctory, as the sojourn in the woods ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... changed; his levity had suddenly given place to a gravity most unusual to him, and instead of his wonted jollity his face wore an expression of the greatest seriousness. He, after a casual glance at Lawrence, suddenly insisted that it was necessary to exchange a cartel, ...
— "George Washington's" Last Duel - 1891 • Thomas Nelson Page

... concerning Mr. Hotchkiss only confirmed his own impressions of the alleged lover,—a serious-minded, practically abstracted man, abstentive of youthful society, and the last man apparently capable of levity of the affections or serious flirtation. The Colonel was mystified, but determined of purpose, whatever ...
— Openings in the Old Trail • Bret Harte

... the open air. The place is quite a solitude, and the surrounding scenery very striking. How much is it to be regretted that, instead of writing such poems as the 'Holy Fair,' and others in which the religious observances of his country are treated with so much levity, and too often with indecency, Burns had not employed his genius in describing religion under the serious and affecting aspects it must ...
— The Prose Works of William Wordsworth • William Wordsworth



Words linked to "Levity" :   playfulness, frivolity, jocoseness, merriness, gravity, feeling, frivolousness, jocosity, flippancy, gaiety



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