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Littleness   Listen
noun
Littleness  n.  The state or quality of being little; as, littleness of size, thought, duration, power, etc.
Synonyms: Smallness; slightness; inconsiderableness; narrowness; insignificance; meanness; penuriousness.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Littleness" Quotes from Famous Books



... sweeping tempests driven, Swarm following swarm, o'ershading earth and heaven, Roll back her outrage, and indignant shed The world's wide vengeance on her sevenfold head. Then dwindling back to littleness and shade Man soon forgets the gorgeous glare he made, Sinks to a savage serf or monkish drone, Roves in rude hordes or counts his beads alone, Wars with his arts, obliterates his lore, And burns the books that rear'd ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... assented another, "but littleness isn't everything! It won't keep you from growing big and stupid except ...
— Lilith • George MacDonald

... for us or what punishments may be reserved, but if there were no other it would be no light punishment for one who deliberately wrongs another to have to live forever in the company of the person wronged and have his littleness and ...
— In His Image • William Jennings Bryan

... least, with the "infinite" which is therefore in consciousness, just as it is impossible to talk of "spaces" without presupposing the one space of which given "spaces" are parts. That we are oppressed with our own littleness, that we "look before and after and sigh for what is not," that we are conscious of finiteness, means that we partake in some way of an infinite which reveals itself in us by an inherent necessity of self-consciousness. ...
— Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries • Rufus M. Jones

... Briton, and has cheated them of the very ground beneath his feet. And if sermons may be found in bricks as well as stones, one has a thought while looking at them about Christianity itself. Certainly there is often pitiful littleness and short-comings in the individual believer, just as each separate brick of these millions is stained or worn or fractured; and yet the Christian Church, august and significant, still towers before men; even as these old blocks of clay compile vastly and undeniably in ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... wanted an apology to themselves.—There is a temper in some men which seeks a pretense for submission. Like a ship disabled in action, and unfitted to continue it, it waits the approach of a still larger one to strike to, and feels relief at the opportunity. Whether this is greatness or littleness of mind, I am not enquiring into. I should suppose it to be the latter, because it proceeds from the want of knowing how to bear misfortune in its ...
— A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal, on the Affairs of North America, in Which the Mistakes in the Abbe's Account of the Revolution of America Are Corrected and Cleared Up • Thomas Paine

... that this was interpreted by some of the saints,—for I heard Mary Grace say so to Miss Marks—as meaning that my Father was resentful because some of them attended the service at the Wesleyan chapel on Thursday evenings. But my Father was utterly incapable of such littleness as this, and when he talked of 'jealousy' he meant a lofty solicitude, a careful watchfulness. He meant that their spiritual honour was a matter of anxiety to him. No doubt when he used to tell me to ...
— Father and Son • Edmund Gosse

... the word nation, it is proper that we attach to that other word, patriotism, a significance broader and loftier than has been conceived till now. By so much as the idea that we represent is great, by so much are we, in comparison with it, inevitably chargeable with littleness and short-comings. For we are of the same flesh and blood as our neighbors; it is only our opportunities and our responsibilities that are fairer and weightier than theirs. Circumstances afford every excuse to them, but none to ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... never was one." "Oh, is that so? When are you going to be great?" "When I am elected to some political office." Young man, won't you learn a lesson in the primer of politics that it is a prima facie evidence of littleness to hold office under our form of government? Great men get into office sometimes, but what this country needs is men that will do what we tell them to do. This nation—where the people rule—is governed by the people, for the people, ...
— Acres of Diamonds • Russell H. Conwell

... was easy for her to see that Mr Harrel was bent upon using every method he could devise, to entangle her into some engagement with Sir Robert, and though she could not imagine the meaning of such a scheme, the littleness of his behaviour excited her contempt, and the long-continued error of the baronet gave her the utmost uneasiness. She again determined to seek an explanation with him herself, and immovably to refuse joining the ...
— Cecilia Volume 1 • Frances Burney

... character—in the later years it might be truly said "clarum et venerabile nomen"—exercised on all with whom he was connected. If indeed he had a fault, it was that his standard of action was so high, his nature so absolutely above the littleness of ordinary life, that he attributed to inferior men far purer and more unselfish objects than those that really moved them. "Vixit enim tanquam in Platonis politeia, non ...
— John Keble's Parishes • Charlotte M Yonge

... made this the climax to his praise of a woman. And yet, we fear, he saw only too truly. What unexpected failures have we seen, literally, in this respect! How often did the Martha blur the Mary out of the face of a lovely woman at the sound of a crash amid glass and porcelain! What sad littleness in all the department thus represented! Obtrusion of the mop and duster on the tranquil meditation of a husband and brother. Impatience if the carpet be defaced by the ...
— Woman in the Ninteenth Century - and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition - and Duties, of Woman. • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... false notion of "mathematical infinitude." Their infinite universe, after all, is not an "absolute," but a "relative" infinite; that is, the indefinite. "The universe must extend indefinitely in time and space, in the infinite greatness, and in the infinite littleness of its parts—in the infinite variety of its species, of its forms, and of its degrees of existence. The finite can not express the infinite but by being multiplied infinitely. The finite, so far as it is finite, is not in any reasonable relation, or in any intelligible proportion to ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... opens for us a volume that no eye but God's and ours can read;—memories of neglect, of sin, of deep secrets that our hearts have hidden in their innermost folds. Such experiences sometimes there are when we muse upon the external universe; when we reflect upon the vastness of creation, the littleness of human effort, the transciency of human relations; when our souls are drawn away from all ordinary communions, and we feel that we are drifting before an almighty will, bound to an inevitable destiny, hemmed in by irresistible forces. Then, with every tie of association shrinking ...
— The Crown of Thorns - A Token for the Sorrowing • E. H. Chapin

... Book Co., Columbus, Ohio. Bourke had an eager, disciplined mind, at once scientific and humanistic; he had imagination and loyalty to truth and justice; he had a strong body and joyed in frontier exploring. He was a captain in the army but had nothing of the littleness of the army mind exhibited by Generals Nelson Miles and O. O. Howard in their egocentric reminiscences. I rank his book as the meatiest and richest of all books dealing with campaigns against Indians. In its amplitude it includes the whole frontier. General George Crook was a wise, ...
— Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest • J. Frank Dobie

... were here far from being at home. Jerusalem was then nearly what it is to-day, a city of pedantry, acrimony, disputes, hatreds, and littleness of mind. Its fanaticism was extreme, and religious seditions very frequent. The Pharisees were dominant; the study of the Law, pushed to the most insignificant minutiae, and reduced to questions of casuistry, was the only study. This exclusively theological and ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... groups of souls as darkened, as derivative as my own; with the passage of years I understand more and more clearly the quality of the motives that urge me and urge them to do whatever we do.... Yet that is not all I see, and I am not altogether bounded by my littleness. Ever and again, contrasting with this immediate vision, come glimpses of a comprehensive scheme, in which these personalities float, the scheme of a synthetic wider being, the great State, mankind, in which we all move and go, like blood corpuscles, like ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... Welby, drawn to its utmost height, towered above the man he accused. Fenwick sat, struck dumb. Welby's increasing stoop, which of late had marred his natural dignity of gait; the slight touches of affectation, of the petit-maitre, which were now often perceptible; the occasional note of littleness, or malice, such as his youth had never known:—all these defects, physical and moral, had been burnt out of the man, as he spoke these words, by the flame of his only, his inextinguishable passion. For his dear mistress—in the purest, loftiest sense ...
— Fenwick's Career • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... stewed since George III. The worst of it is, as the House gets more and more divided (like the French Chambers) into sets, it also becomes more and more incapable of getting through its business, and the littleness of the individual members ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Vol. 2 • Stephen Gwynn

... authors. Good learning, integrity, and ability, are well compensated in all the professions. Some one remarked to Mr. Webster, "That the profession of the law was crowded."—"Yes," said he, "rather crowded below, but there is plenty of room above." Littleness and mediocrity always seek the paths worn by superior men; and the truly illustrious in literature and science are few in number compared with those who attempt to tread in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors; but none of these things ought to deter young ...
— Thoughts on Educational Topics and Institutions • George S. Boutwell

... enthusiastically received as the saviour of his country, and assumed the air of one who not only kept the king's conscience but controlled the royal will. The story of this famous tour exhibits alike the greatness of his powers and the littleness of his character.[121] The homage paid to him was not undeserved, for he was assuredly the foremost gladiator of the whig party, and had given proofs of more varied ability than any living politician or lawyer. But the dignified eloquence of which he was capable on rare ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... acquirements, the impotent conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so faint and broken of a superintending design, the blind evolution of what turn out to be great powers or truths, the progress of things, as if from unreasoning elements, not towards final causes, the greatness and littleness of man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration, the curtain hung over his futurity, the disappointments of life, the defeat of good, the success of evil, physical pain, mental anguish, the prevalence and ...
— Apologia Pro Vita Sua • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... the littleness of their surroundings; but he only is great who is great amid greatness. Lincoln had great associates,—Seward, the sagacious diplomatist; Chase, the eminent financier; Stanton, the incomparable Secretary of War; with illustrious ...
— Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday • Various

... present his credentials on the nineteenth of May, and was officially accredited. In that ceremony his pride was touched and his enthusiasm was abated. He found in the presence of Washington an atmosphere of dignity and greatness wholly unexpected, and thoroughly overpowering. He felt his littleness in the presence of that noble representative of the best men and the soundest principles of the American republic, and he returned from the audience abashed and subdued; for the genuine courtesy exhibited by the president, and the words of sincere friendship for the French nation ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... tradesman can furnish out numberless instances of small deceit. His conduct is marked with a littleness, which though allowed by general consent, is not strictly just. A person with whom I have long been connected in business, asked, if I had dealt with his relation, whom he had brought up, and who had lately entered into commercial life. I answered in the affirmative. ...
— An History of Birmingham (1783) • William Hutton

... at times. There were days when the sight of a book filled me with physical nausea, with contempt for the littleness, the narrow outlook, that seemed to me to characterise every written work. I was fiercely, but quite impotently, eager at such times to demonstrate the futility of all the philosophy ranged on the rough wooden shelves in my gloomy sitting-room. I would walk up and down and gesticulate, ...
— The Wonder • J. D. Beresford

... the eyes of some who have lost their faith, and are sorry and weary to have lost it. Whether the blame be outside yourselves, in the littleness of many of the prevailing aspects of religious life, and the crowding of our religious arenas with the pettiest of interests, or within yourselves, in your own mean and slovenly views of life, your indolence to extricate details and discriminate the ...
— Four Psalms • George Adam Smith

... friend; there was a pitiful and debasing weakness in his nature, which made him regard the lowest meanness as the subtlest wit. His mind too was not only degraded, but broken by his habits of life; a strange, idiotic folly, that made him love laughing at his own littleness, ran through his character. Houseman was young; he might amend; but Clarke had grey hairs and dim eyes; was old in constitution, if not years; and every thing in him was hopeless and confirmed; the leprosy was in the system. Time, in this, has made ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so faint and broken of a superintending design, the blind evolution of what turn out to be great powers or truths; the progress of things, as if from unreasoning elements, not towards final causes; the greatness and littleness of man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration, the curtain hung over his futurity; the disappointments of life, the defeat of good, the success of evil, the pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the dreary, hopeless irreligion, that condition ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891 • Various

... private soldier's uniform, enabled him with very peculiar dignity to declare that his present degradation, from the General's point of view, was a just punishment, and he did not crave to have it abated. She remarked that it must end soon. He made a dim allusion to the littleness of humanity. She laughed. "It's the language of an unfortunate lover," she said, and straightway, in some undistinguished sentence, brought the name of Countess Alessandra Ammiani tingling to his ears. She feared ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... proves its integrity by not seeking for anything, but simply trusting His grace. And so it is the very strength of a great faith, and gets a full answer. "Yet the dogs"—let that be your plea as you persevere for someone possibly possessed of the devil. Let not your littleness hinder you ...
— The Ministry of Intercession - A Plea for More Prayer • Andrew Murray

... originate, those caprices whence are born sanguinary wars, conquests, and treaties; you will hold in your hand the drop of water which swells into mighty torrents. It is only from high places that men can judge of human affairs; you must look from the mountaintop ere you can appreciate the littleness of those things which from ...
— Cinq Mars, Complete • Alfred de Vigny

... loved his neighbor with the great forest love of man for man. His neighbor was weak, and Anton was strong with the strength of a bull, so that when the hour came, it was Anton who had measured out vengeance. When Kent brought Anton in, the giant had laughed first at the littleness of his cell, then at the unsuspected strength of it, and after that he had laughed and sung great, roaring songs every day of the brief tenure of life that was given him. When he died, it was with the smiling glory in his face ...
— The Valley of Silent Men • James Oliver Curwood

... loquacious, quarreling trio as before, but they showed the effect of toil, of fight, of growth under the great movement and its spirit—the thing which great minds had embodied; and these laborers were no longer ordinary men. Something shone out of them. Neale saw it. He felt an inexplicable littleness in their presence. They had gone on; he had been left. They would toil and fight until they filled nameless graves. He, too, would find a nameless grave, he thought, but he would not lie in it as one of these. The moment was poignant for ...
— The U.P. Trail • Zane Grey

... sea, and the shores of Fife far far beyond it. It was a great and a grand sight; and made me turn from the looking at it into my own heart, causing me to think more and more of the glory of the Maker's handiworks, and less and less of the littleness of prideful man. But Tammie had gotten his drappikie, and the tongue of the body would not lie still a moment; so he blethered on from one thing to another, as we jogged along, till I was forced at the last to give up thinking, and begin ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - tailor in Dalkeith • D. M. Moir

... almost go so far as to say a spice of military genius; and had he had a knowledge of the profession of arms would probably have developed into a great general of the Cossack type. His hatred to Lizarraga led him into littleness and injustice. He chuckled at the idea of Lizarraga not being able to find the buried gun, as if that were any great triumph over him; and he sneered at the idea of Lizarraga, who was not able to take Oyarzun, meditating an attempt on Tolosa. I could thoroughly ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... career Balzac held this opinion of her: "She has none of the littleness of soul nor any of the base jealousies which obscure the brightness of so much contemporary talent. Dumas resembles her in this respect. George Sand is a very noble friend, and I would consult her with full confidence in my moments of doubt on the logical course to pursue in such or such a ...
— Women in the Life of Balzac • Juanita Helm Floyd

... certain greatness to the representations of their national events. There is not, whatever other faults they may have, this of poverty, in the public pictures of Venice; they are at least of a magnificent ambition: they are far removed from the littleness of a show. We are utterly gone out of the way of the first principles of art in our national historical pictures. Yet was the great historical the whole subject of the Discourses—it was to be the only worthy aim of the student. If the advice and precepts of Sir Joshua Reynolds ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 53, No. 331, May, 1843 • Various

... one's heart is lifted up towards it in love and awe, till it seems near to one—ground on which one may freely tread, because one appreciates and admires; and so one forgets the distance between its grandeur and one's own littleness." ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume II. • Charles Kingsley

... D. Weld delivered lay sermons, so full of divine light and love, of precious lessons of contempt for all littleness, of patience with the weaknesses of our fellow-men, that few could listen without being inspired with higher and ...
— The Grimke Sisters - Sarah and Angelina Grimke: The First American Women Advocates of - Abolition and Woman's Rights • Catherine H. Birney

... Lord Treherne so pointedly paid his respectful devoirs; and there was as much pride and haughtiness in Gabrielle's heart as in theirs. Poor thing! she said truly, that "early shadows had darkened her soul," and what had she left but pride? Not an iota of woman's besetting littleness had my sister—noble, generous, self-denying, devoted where she loved; her sweetness had been poisoned, nor had she sought that fountain of living water which alone can purify such bitterness. Gentle in ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... such a draught As brings all Brobdignag before your thought. To compass this, his building is a town, His pond an ocean, his parterre a down: Who but must laugh, the master when he sees, A puny insect, shivering at a breeze! Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around! The whole a labour'd quarry above ground; 110 Two Cupids squirt before: a lake behind Improves the keenness of the northern wind. His gardens next your admiration call, On every side you look, behold the wall! No pleasing intricacies intervene, ...
— Poetical Works of Pope, Vol. II • Alexander Pope

... young,' said Mr. Bevan, strongly impressed with the littleness of the figure;' but she has been a Communicant for more than a year, and ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... art, like literature, like science, arose, shined, grew dim, and passed away, and left the world in night. Why was so bright a glory followed by so dismal a shame? What a comment is this on the greatness and littleness of man! ...
— The Old Roman World • John Lord

... agree with me, that we ought to meet it with a spirit worthy of these islands; that we ought to meet it with a conviction of the truth of this assertion—that the country which has achieved such greatness, has no retreat in littleness; that, if we should be content to abandon everything, we should find no safety in poverty, no security in abject submission; finally, that we ought to meet it with a firm determination to perish in the same grave with the honour and ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... this way to be absolutely vain and void." He then bade them go home and ask for God's blessing, and choose solely by the blessing and help of the Holy Ghost, looking not to king's, bishop's, nor any man's approval. "That is the only answer to return from my littleness. So go, and God's good angel be with you." They begged him to reconsider it, to see the king or the archbishop; but the prior was inflexible, and they left the Guest House in wonder not unmixed with delight. The king's man was not the pet boor they had taken him for, but single-eyed, a gentleman, ...
— Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln - A Short Story of One of the Makers of Mediaeval England • Charles L. Marson

... which, in fact, constitutes one of their grand characteristics—a principle that would fain abridge the scale to their own narrow capabilities—that would cut down the vastness of nature to suit the littleness of their own conceptions and desires, and convert it into one tame, uniform, mediocre good, which would be good but to themselves alone, ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 2 - Historical, Traditional, and Imaginative • Alexander Leighton

... mirrors, and the message of the laconic monosyllable "Hot" on silver taps, and the discretion of the lighting, all indicated that the architect and creator of these marvellous microcosms had "understood." The cosy virtue of littleness, and the entire absurdity of space for the sake of space, were strikingly proved, and the demonstration amounted, in Audrey's mind, to a new and ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... answered Countisbury, and Countisbury sent it on to Lynmouth hills, till it swept out of the gorge and died away upon the Severn sea? And then, does he not remember the pause, and the revulsion, and the feeling of sadness and littleness, almost of shame, as he looked up for the first time—one can pardon his not having done so before—and saw where he was, and the beauty of the hill-sides, with the lazy autumn clouds crawling ...
— Prose Idylls • Charles Kingsley

... clefts and abysses, the mighty cataract, the rushing waters, the frequent perils of avalanches and of tumbling rocks, the total absence of every soft feature of nature, were always reading an impressive lesson, and illustrating the littleness of man, and the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, - Issue 566, September 15, 1832 • Various

... littleness of heart and mind which had first shown itself in Grace at the meeting in the cottage, when Mercy told the sad story of her life, now revealed itself once more. The woman who in those past times had felt no impulse to take a suffering and a penitent fellow-creature ...
— The New Magdalen • Wilkie Collins

... of expensive luxuries and frivolous pleasures. He was not only incapable of a high thought himself, but was an unbeliever in the possibility of high thoughts or noble principles in the world he lived in. He measured the universe by that narrow scrap of tape which was the span of his own littleness. To him Caesar was an imperial brigand, Cicero a hypocritical agitator. To him all great warriors were greedy time-servers like John Churchill; all statesmen plausible placemen; all reformers self-seeking pretenders. Nor did Captain Paget wish that it should be otherwise. ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... being a man so conversant and inwardly familiar with the censures of great men that did discourse of these things daily amongst themselves. Again, a man so gracious and in high favour with the Emperor, as Augustus often called him his witty manling (for the littleness of his stature), and, if we may trust antiquity, had designed him for a secretary of estate, and invited him to the palace, which he ...
— Discoveries and Some Poems • Ben Jonson

... better, Sir, to send the men away,' said he to the Colonel, for he was a much privileged subaltern. He put his arms round the rag-bound horror as he spoke, and dropped him into a chair. It may not have been explained that the littleness of Mildred lay in his being six feet four and big in proportion. The Corporal, seeing that an officer was disposed to look after the capture, and that the Colonel's eye was beginning to blaze, promptly removed himself and his men. The mess was left alone with the carbine-thief, who laid his ...
— Soldier Stories • Rudyard Kipling

... They are covered with paintings and sculptures, the colors of which are wonderfully fresh and vivid. If, as seems probable, the great design of Egyptian architecture was to impress man with a feeling of his own littleness, to inspire a sense of overwhelming awe in the presence of the Deity, and at the same time to show that the monarch was a being of superhuman greatness, these edifices were well adapted to accomplish their purpose. The Egyptian beholder and worshiper was not to be attracted and charmed, ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... of these I deliver to him the thousand, his daughter's marriage settlement, and make him a free gift of the other thousand, that he may have reason to know my generosity and liberality and my greatness of spirit and the littleness of the world in my eyes. And for ten words he addresses to me I answer him two. Then back I go to my house, and if one come to me on the bride's part, I make him a present of money and throw on him a dress of honour; but if he bring me a gift, I give it back to him and ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... to me a lofty and inspiring view that Sylvia took. On the contrary, it exercised a choking effect upon me, by reason of what I regarded as its intense littleness and narrowness. The too often bitter and sordid realities of the struggle of life, as I saw it in London, had the effect upon me of making Sylvia's esoteric exclusiveness of interest seem so petty as to be an insult ...
— The Message • Alec John Dawson

... three things: (a) it may lead to full agreement; (b) or it may itself be agreed upon, while the details are still objects of dispute. But in that case the large thought, having put the details in proper perspective, prevents unpleasant conflict by revealing their comparative littleness. Also, agreement on the large point convinces each disputant of the other's partial sanity, at least, and thus preserves harmony; (c) or, finally, the principle itself may become an object of dispute. Even then the ...
— How To Study and Teaching How To Study • F. M. McMurry

... Jane's nose to Jessica, and Jessica's hands to Joscelyn, and Joscelyn's chin to Joyce, and Joyce's hair to Jennifer, and Jennifer's eyebrows to Joan; but when he caught Joan he guessed her at once by her littleness. ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... probe it for tender points. "Oh, that was a dreadful thing to say," was a refrain that would keep her awake for hours, wriggling and giggling in her bed over the dreadfulness of it. She had too little egoism. The lack gave her face a look of littleness. A lack of altruism has the same outward effect. A complete face should be full of something, of gentleness, of vigour, of humour, of wickedness. The admirer's face was only half full of anything. All the same there was charm about her, the fact that she was an admirer was ...
— This Is the End • Stella Benson

... mighty hills! thy crown of snow Thou rearest in the clouds, as if to mock The littleness of human things below; The tempest cannot harm thee, and the shock Of the deep thunder falls upon thy head As the light footfalls of ...
— The Poetry of Wales • John Jenkins

... the pathetic; for they never attempted that comprehension and expanse of thought which at once fills the whole mind, and of which the first effect is sudden astonishment, and the second rational admiration. Sublimity is produced by aggregation, and littleness by dispersion. Great thoughts are always general, and consist in positions not limited by exceptions, and in descriptions not descending to minuteness. It is with great propriety that subtlety, which in its original import means ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... bleeding bird in the mud, is of the very essence of tragedy. But something like that is always happening in comedy. There is the same element of incongruity, without the tragic consequence. It is only the humorist who sees things truly because he sees both the greatness and the littleness of mortals; but even he may not know whether to laugh or to cry at what he sees. Those collisions and contrasts out of which the stuff of tragedy is woven, such as the clash between the higher and lower nature of ...
— The American Mind - The E. T. Earl Lectures • Bliss Perry

... hoary tower, awes the mind and touches the heart. And this partly because of its pitiful littleness. A handful of cracked and broken stones to tell of all that terrible harvest that Death reaped in the ruined village! But perhaps they tell it all as hosts of tombs could not do. One reads between the stones, then far out beyond them where mouldering bones are feeding the smiling fields; ...
— Virginia: The Old Dominion • Frank W. Hutchins and Cortelle Hutchins

... this field, too, you can be the mere money-getter who crowds down and ignores those who have helped him to amass his wealth; or you can be the profit-sharer and co-worker. It all rests with yourself. It will not be the fault of the task you choose but the littleness of your vision if you dwarf your life and find your ...
— The Story of Porcelain • Sara Ware Bassett

... mother's rapturous folly and gladness. She never kissed her baby. Some dark association made the thought of kisses an unholy thing and when, forgetting, she leaned to it sometimes, thoughtless, and delighting in littleness and sweetness, the dark memory of guilt would rise between its lips and hers, so that she would grow pale ...
— Amabel Channice • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... like the great painter, is he that can so embellish his subject as to make her more than human, whilst yet by a cunning art he has so based his apotheosis on the nature of the case that the woman can go on being a true woman, and give her character free play, and show littleness, or cherish spite, or be greedy of common pleasures, and he continue to worship without a thought of incongruity. To love a character is only the heroic way of understanding it. When we love, by some noble method of our own or some nobility of mien or nature in the other, ...
— Tales and Fantasies • Robert Louis Stevenson

... exchange his position as an ambassador, even to become a Lord-Lieutenant. Like most men who have passed their lives abroad, he grew to like the ways and habits of the Continent. He liked the easy indulgences in many things, he liked the cosmopolitanism that surrounds existence, and even in its littleness is not devoid of a certain breadth; and best of all he liked the vast interests at stake, the large questions at issue, the fortunes of states, the fate of dynasties! To come down from the great game, as played by kings ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... mongrel, merry place, this town of Boulogne; the little French fishermen's children are beautiful, and the little French soldiers, four feet high, red-breeched, with huge pompons on their caps, and brown faces, and clear sharp eyes, look, for all their littleness, far more military and more intelligent than the heavy louts one has seen swaggering about the garrison towns in England. Yonder go a crowd of bare-legged fishermen; there is the town idiot, mocking a woman who is screaming ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... she was in danger of drowning, notwithstanding the littleness of the brook; and I ran to the point from which I had heard her plunge into the water, expecting to have to draw her out on the bank; but I found only a place where the grass was wallowed down as she ...
— Vandemark's Folly • Herbert Quick

... hitherto manifested no repugnance—but in this instance with no effect. He could not obtain from her a decent acknowledgment in return. She rather seemed to resent his compliments. He could not set it down to caprice, for the lady had always shown herself above that littleness. When he ventured on the following day, finding her a little better humoured, to expostulate with her on her coldness of yesterday, she confessed, with her usual frankness, that she had no sort of dislike to his attentions; that she could even endure some high-flown compliments; that a young ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... typical man-about-town, with his whims and his foibles, his shallow aims and his lost opportunities, compare strangely with the larger souls of his generation. For the moment was one which called forth the greatness or the littleness of those who met it, and which heightened that contrast ...
— The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope v. I. • A. M. W. Stirling (compiler)

... and end—to its delight, and its desire, and its completion. Then he will see all that is high and holy taking a distinct and helping form for him. Grace and mercy will come to him through set and certain channels. His nature will be redeemed visibly from its weakness and from its littleness—redeemed, not in dreams or in fancy, but in fact. God Himself will be his brother and his father; he will be near akin to the Power that is always, and is everywhere. His love of virtue will be no longer ...
— Is Life Worth Living? • William Hurrell Mallock

... tales sometimes, but aw dooant tell all aw know. 'Ale sellers shouldn't be tale tellers.' But aw'm sooary to say at th' mooast ale sellers at' aw know are varry fond o' taletellin. Ther's nowt shows a chap's littleness as mich as to be allus talkin abaat his own or somdy else's private affairs; an' ther's nowt likely to produce moor bother nor that system o' tittle tattlin abaat other fowk's consarns. Ther's a deal o' ...
— Yorksher Puddin' - A Collection of the Most Popular Dialect Stories from the - Pen of John Hartley • John Hartley

... especial glory of Love, that it doth make unto all Sweetness and Greatness, and doth be a fire burning all Littleness; so that did all in this world to have met The Beloved, then did Wantonness be dead, and there to grow Gladness and Charity, ...
— The Night Land • William Hope Hodgson

... sunlight filtering through their branches two hundred and fifty feet above, one hears no sound save the tremendous diapason of the silence of the ages; here, more forcibly than elsewhere in the universe, is one reminded of the littleness of man and ...
— The Valley of the Giants • Peter B. Kyne

... was aboard with her child and Aunt Lois. Her presence, when first they came face to face, startled him; not the event, but the littleness of the great earth; that his hatred and her crime could not keep them farther apart. The Endicott in him rose up for a moment at the sight of her, and to his horror even sighed for her: this Endicott, who for a twelvemonth had been so submerged under the new personality that ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... account of his escape from the Battle of Worcester, and adventures a Boscobel, and in the "Royal Oak." He kept a very minute and amusing diary, in which he neglected not to enter the most trivial matters, even the purchase of a new wig, or a new riband for his wife. This very littleness of detail has made his Memoirs the most extraordinary picture we possess of the times. He appears to have been a coarse but shrewd man, and fully alive to the faults of ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... banish from our faith all its man made littleness, all its chaos of bickerings, all the fret of the conflicting opinions of those who, after all, are themselves but children searching after truth, and give to the growing girl, a growing religion, the God of the Universe ...
— The Girl and Her Religion • Margaret Slattery

... come to it, thousands go from it. Porters grow gray-headed beneath its roof. Buns, once fresh and tender, become hard and misanthropic in its refreshment rooms, and look as if they had seen the littleness of existence and were disillusioned. But there the station stands, year after year, wrapped in a discreet gloom, always the same, always baffling and inscrutable. Not even the porters understand it. "I couldn't ...
— Love Among the Chickens - A Story of the Haps and Mishaps on an English Chicken Farm • P. G. Wodehouse

... how to express the hero's greatness in word, but by making him bethump the stage with tempestuous verbiage; which, to be sure, is not the style of greatness at all, but only of one trying to be great, and trying to be so, because he is not so. For to talk big is the instinct of ambitious littleness. But Tamburlaine is also represented in act as a most magnanimous prodigy: amidst his haughtiest strides of conquest, we have strains of gentleness mingling with his iron sternness; and he everywhere appears lifted high with generous passions and impulses: if he regards ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... takes place at the apostle Peter's denunciation of the sanguinary filth of the court of Rome—all these sublimities, and many more, make us not know whether to be more astonished at the greatness of the poet or the raging littleness of the man. Grievous is it to be forced to bring two such opposites together; and I wish, for the honour and glory of poetry, I did not feel compelled to do so. But the swarthy Florentine had not the healthy temperament of his brethren, and he fell upon evil times. Compared with ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Volume 1 • Leigh Hunt

... by the river-bank down to these marshes, and as far on as possible till the open water was visible. Not that I did not like inland scenery: nobody could like it more, but the sea was a corrective to the littleness all round me. With the ships on it sailing to the other end of the earth it seemed to connect me with the great world outside the parochialism of the ...
— The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford • Mark Rutherford

... This complicated system of despotism, this Protean diversified institution of beggars and tyrants, this strange contradiction of glory in debasement and debasement in glory (type of the greatness and littleness of man), was not then matured, but was resplendent with virtues which extort esteem,—chastity, poverty, and obedience, devotion to the miserable, a lofty faith which spurned the finite, an unbounded ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV • John Lord

... again who of you are going to be great? Says a young man: "I am going to be great" "When are you going to be great?" "When I am elected to some political office," Won't you learn the lesson, young man; that it is prima facie evidence of littleness to hold public office under our form of government? Think of it. This is a government of the people, and by the people, and for the people, and not for the office-holder, and if the people in this country rule as they always should rule, an ...
— Russell H. Conwell • Agnes Rush Burr

... he may be. But I added, I have another brother who is a slaveholder in Tennessee, and with which one, I asked, in the name of all that is good, were they going to place me. I wondered if these "honorable" men, who sought by such littleness to defeat me, did not find out whether I did not have some other relatives,—women, perhaps, who believed in things unearthly and spiritual,—whose opinions they could quote to defeat me. Shame on such tactics, I said, and the crowd answered by loud cheering. I then went on to ...
— Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State • Stephen Field; George C. Gorham

... my father was on me. You do not know what may lie before you. No girl like you should have such responsibility. If you will come with me or follow me, you and Hamish, I can do much for you. You could learn to do anything, Shenac, and Hamish is very clever. There are places where his littleness and his lameness would not be against him, as they must be on the land. Let my father take Dan, as he wished, and let Hughie go to the elder's for a while. The land can lie here safe enough till Allister comes home, if that is what ...
— Shenac's Work at Home • Margaret Murray Robertson

... draught As brings all Brobdingnag before your thought. To compass this, his building is a town, His pond an ocean, his parterre a down: Who but must laugh, the master when he sees, A puny insect, shivering at a breeze! Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around! The whole, a laboured quarry above ground; Two Cupids squirt before; a lake behind Improves the keenness of the northern wind. His gardens next your admiration call, On every side you look, behold the wall! No pleasing intricacies intervene, No artful wildness to perplex the scene; ...
— Essay on Man - Moral Essays and Satires • Alexander Pope

... From the littleness, and meanness, and niggardliness forced upon us by circumstances, what a relief to turn aside to the exceeding plenty of Nature! There are no bounds to it, there is no comparison to parallel it, so great is this generosity. No physical reason exists ...
— The Life of the Fields • Richard Jefferies

... leave untaught and then kill is cruelty; not to give warning and to expect things to be done is tyranny; to give careless orders and be strict when the day comes is robbery; to be stingy in rewarding men is littleness. ...
— The Sayings Of Confucius • Confucius

... up his share in the profits of the expedition. I was one of the witnesses who signed this instrument, in which Pedrarias released and assigned over all his interest in Peru to Almagro and his associates, - by this act deserting the enterprise, and, by his littleness of soul, for feiting the rich treasures which it is well known he might have acquired from the golden empire of ...
— The History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William H. Prescott

... of joy in his breast: he had said that Happiness was God! And some people thought this stupendous Energy could know—us? Absurd! "Might as well say a man could know an ant." Yet, just because Inconceivable Greatness was great, mightn't it know Inconceivable Littleness? "The smaller I am—the nastier, the meaner, the more contemptible—the greater It would have to be to know me? To say I was too little for It to know about, would be to set a limit to Its greatness." How foolish Reason looks, limping along behind such an intuition—Intuition, ...
— The Vehement Flame • Margaret Wade Campbell Deland

... give place to a second sun, thereby producing the intolerable and glaring continuity of perpetual day. Those who would be the agents of Providence must observe the workings of Providence, and be content to work also in that way, and by those means, which Almighty wisdom appoints. There is infinite littleness in despising small things. It seems paradoxical to say that there are no small things; our littleness and our aspiration make things appear small. There are, morally speaking, no small duties. Nothing that influences human virtue and happiness can be really ...
— The Young Lady's Mentor - A Guide to the Formation of Character. In a Series of Letters to Her Unknown Friends • A Lady

... as of the "fifth wheel" style, there is little to say about Dumas, though the littleness is in neither respect damaging. They are both adequate to the situation and the composition. Can you say much more of him or of anybody? If it were worth while to go into detail at all, this adequacy ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... himself a house at Athens, being asked by one that observed the littleness of the design why a man so eminent would not have an abode more suitable to his dignity, he replied that he should think himself sufficiently accommodated if he could see that narrow ...
— For Auld Lang Syne • Ray Woodward

... countenance of yours. I say with inward satisfaction, because, with my usual candour, I don't mind admitting that I am shivering in my shoes. The shadow of the august presence is already falling on me, and as the hour draws near I feel my littleness, my utter insignificance, with an acuteness which almost compels me to ask you to let me get down and make my way back to London as ...
— At Love's Cost • Charles Garvice

... awful loneliness, of the hopeless obscure insignificance of our globe lost in the splendid revelation of a glittering, soulless universe. I hate such skies. Daylight is friendly to man toiling under a sun which warms his heart; and cloudy soft nights are more kindly to our littleness. I nearly ran back again to my lighted parlour; Fyne fussing in a knicker-bocker suit before the hosts of heaven, on a shadowy earth, about a transient, phantom-like girl, seemed too ridiculous to associate ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... to receive and remember such marks of friendship with a proper degree of sensibility. I am pleased with your idea of paying whatever we owe to Spain. Their pride, perhaps, might forbid them to receive the money. But our pride has been so hurt by the littleness of their conduct, that I would in that case be for leaving it at the gate of the palace, and quit the country. At present such a step would not be expedient, though the time will come when prudence, instead of restraining, will urge us ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. VIII • Various

... Rome, when he abused his nephew Lionardo and hurt the feelings of his best and oldest friends, he discovered signs of a highly nervous and fretful temperament. It must be admitted that the dominant qualities of nobility and generosity in his nature were alloyed by suspicion bordering on littleness, and by petulant yieldings to the irritation of the moment which are incompatible with the calm ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... is there who has not revelled in the thought of something new, the eager desire to see something fresh? The country boy to see vast London with all its greatness and littleness, its splendour and its squalor, its many cares and too often false joys—the town boy to plunge into that home of mystery and wonder, the country. And though as a rule the country boy is disappointed, he of the town, ...
— The Ocean Cat's Paw - The Story of a Strange Cruise • George Manville Fenn

... slowly, and slowly the voter saw a wider world and the wonder of the sea. And the afternoon wore on, and the winter evening came, and the night fell, and all black grew the sea, and about the time that the stars come blinking out to look upon our littleness, the polling-booth ...
— A Dreamer's Tales • Lord Dunsany [Edward J. M. D. Plunkett]

... people's creed, he must have divorced himself from them outwardly as well as inwardly; that he travelled away into the world, and lived long, perhaps all his matured life, in exile. Everything about the book speaks of a person who had broken free from the narrow littleness of 'the peculiar people.' The language, as we said, is full of strange words. The hero of the poem is of strange land and parentage—a Gentile certainly, not a Jew. The life, the manners, the customs are of all ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... the crowds assembling on the beach, and on the bathers who stared up at us from the breaking surf, with an entirely agreeable exaltation. And Eastbourne, in the early morning sunshine, had all the brightly detailed littleness of a town viewed from high up on the ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... procuring materials, as well as workmen, for ship-building, that the navy of France might speedily retrieve its former importance. In the midst of these truly patriotic schemes, the court of Versailles betrayed a littleness of genius, and spirit of tyranny, joined to fanaticism, in quarreling with their parliament about superstitious forms of religion. The sacraments had been denied to a certain person on his death-bed, because he refused to subscribe to the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... men of lofty ambition I would recommend a balloon excursion. The higher you get, the smaller and more insignificant do earthly things appear. A balloon is the best pulpit imaginable from which to preach a sermon upon the littleness of mundane realities, first—because no one can hear you, and your congregation cannot therefore be held responsible for indifference to your teaching; and second—because at that height you are fully impressed with the truth of ...
— Punchinello, Vol. II., No. 33, November 12, 1870 • Various

... for the timber on Sucker Creek where the little old Missioner's cabin lay, and where he had dreamed that Nada would be waiting for him. And he saw no timber there but only the littleness and ...
— The Country Beyond - A Romance of the Wilderness • James Oliver Curwood

... might gain some inspiration on the subject which Marcus Aurelius in his coldness had denied to her. "From you, who have so nobly claimed for mankind the divine attributes of free action! From you, who have taught my mind to soar above the petty bonds which one man in his littleness contrives for the subjection of his brother. Mackinnon! you who are so great!" And she now looked up into his ...
— Mrs. General Talboys • Anthony Trollope

... was a field for expansion, and the other was mutual help. Their first necessity was to rid themselves of the French, who, by shutting them between the Alleghanies and the sea, would cramp them into perpetual littleness. With France on their backs, growing while they had no room to grow, they must remain in helpless wardship, dependent on England, whose aid they would always need; but with the West open before them, their future was their own. King and Parliament would respect perforce the will of a people ...
— Montcalm and Wolfe • Francis Parkman

... of littleness and impotence, twilight gloom, burnished night, bitter cold, unreality, phantasmagoria, [Footnote: Phantasmagoria: illusive images.] ghosts like those which surged about Aeneas, [Footnote: Ghosts about ...
— Short Stories and Selections for Use in the Secondary Schools • Emilie Kip Baker

... possible only in the famine years of the soul, when the great vital dogmas of honor, liberty, courage, the kinship of all life, faith that the unknown is greater than the known and is only the As Yet Unknown, and resolution to find a manly highway to it, have been forgotten in a paroxysm of littleness and terror in which nothing is active except concupiscence and the fear of death, playing on which any trader can filch a fortune, any blackguard gratify his cruelty, and any tyrant ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors • George Bernard Shaw

... operation around, that the feelings are irritated at the imagined audacity of the inanimate object, with the self-conceit of its impotence; and, finally, the eye is offended at its want of size. It does not, as might be at first supposed, enhance the sublimity of surrounding scenery by its littleness, for it provokes no comparison; and there must be proportion between objects, or they cannot be compared. If the Parthenon, or the Pyramid of Cheops, or St. Peter's, were placed in the same situation, the mind would ...
— The Poetry of Architecture • John Ruskin

... human foresight and strength can but little avail, and who find themselves, day after day, protected by an unseen influence, and ever and again snatched from the very jaws of destruction by a power which is not of this world, who can at all estimate the knowledge of one's own weakness and littleness, and the firm reliance and trust upon the goodness of the Creator which the human breast is capable of feeling. Like all other lessons which are of great and lasting benefit to man this one must be learnt ...
— Journals Of Two Expeditions Of Discovery In North-West And Western Australia, Vol. 1 (of 2) • George Grey

... sent out for him regularly. For the first time since her association with him she was tempted to compare him to Dick, and that not very favorably; but at the next instant she was reproaching herself with her littleness of vision. He was too great a man to gauge by the ordinary standards of life. Money meant nothing to him except that it was the insignificant means to the end of that Art, which ...
— Outside Inn • Ethel M. Kelley

... violation is much more conspicuous than the observance."—See Philosophy of Rhetoric, p. 190. It therefore falls in with my main purpose, to present to the public, in the following ample work, a condensed mass of special criticism, such as is not elsewhere to be found in any language. And, if the littleness of the particulars to which the learner's attention is called, be reckoned an objection, the author last quoted has furnished for me, as well as for himself, a good apology. "The elements which enter into the composition of ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... who solved the problem over which the world had hung perplexed and a little fearful for so many generations, the man who pressed the button that has changed peace and warfare and well-nigh every condition of human life and happiness. Never has that recurring wonder of the littleness of the scientific man in the face of the greatness of his science found such an amazing exemplification. Much concerning Filmer is, and must remain, profoundly obscure—Filmers attract no Boswells—but ...
— Twelve Stories and a Dream • H. G. Wells

... laughed at danger, laughed at the weaknesses and foibles of men, when he told of the political and social ambitions which stirred mankind in the outside world. But he knew that her merriment proceeded not from an ephemeral sense of the ludicrous, but from a righteous appraisal of the folly and littleness of those things for which the world ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... a willingness to please and to be pleased. Some men seem to think it beneath them, and a mark of littleness of mind, to wish or to try to please any body, and wrap themselves up in a cold superciliousness. Others seem determined never to be pleased with any thing or any person, but are always finding fault. They have no eye for, no perception of, merits or beauties, either external or internal, ...
— Advice to a Young Man upon First Going to Oxford - In Ten Letters, From an Uncle to His Nephew • Edward Berens

... (to ward off strife) 5 For V—ker and for V—ker's Wife— She large and round beyond belief, A superfluity of beef! Her mind and body of a piece, And both composed of kitchen-grease. 10 In short, Dame Truth might safely dub her Vulgarity enshrin'd in blubber! He, meagre bit of littleness, All snuff, and musk, and politesse; So thin, that strip him of his clothing, 15 He'd totter on the edge of Nothing! In case of foe, he well might hide Snug in ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... conterplation by my people. On such occasions the mind is actyve, though the body seems lazy and listless. An open spot on a mountain side, where a wide look can be had at the heavens and the 'arth, is a most judicious place for a man to get a just idee of the power of the Manitou, and of his own littleness. At such times, there isn't any great disposition to find fault with little difficulties, in the way of comperhension, as there are so many big ones to hide them. Believin' comes easy enough to me at such times, and if the Lord made man first ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... contemplation of the vices and follies of mankind, and this misanthropic tone is also disfigured or brutalized by his obtrusion of physical dirt and coarseness. I think Gulliver's Travels the great work of Swift. In the voyages to Lilliput and Brobdingnag he displays the littleness and moral contemptibility of human nature; in that to the Houyhnhnms he represents the disgusting spectacle of man with the understanding only, without the reason or the moral feeling, and in his horse he ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... dismal, miserable, spectral desert; while I stood facing the fruitful, delicious, flowery Paradise of all the world. I thought of the difference in our lots, and my heart was in misery about him. Then I conquered my pride and my littleness and trumpery, and did what the gentle sweet Eve might have done. And never have I grieved for ...
— Erema - My Father's Sin • R. D. Blackmore

... debtor to pay him half a sovereign had driven him to commit suicide! So ran their bitter tongues. Backbiting is the curse of village life, and seems to keep people by its effects upon the mind far more effectually in the grip of poverty than the lowness of wages. They become so saturated with littleness that they cannot attempt anything, and have no enterprise. To transplant them to the freer atmosphere of a great city, or of the Far West, is the only means of cure. At this particular village they were exceptionally given to backbiting, perhaps because everybody was more than usually related ...
— Field and Hedgerow • Richard Jefferies

... For according even to them, it is not by nature imperceptible; nay, even Chrysippus in his books of the End expressly says that good is sensible, and demonstrates it also, as he maintains. It remains, then, that by its weakness and littleness it flies the sense, when being present it is unknown and concealed from the possessors. It were moreover absurd to imagine that the sight, perceiving those things which are but a little whitish or inclining to white, should not discern such as ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... Punctuation.—Idleness is the great fomenter of all corruptions in the human heart. The friend of order has made half his way to virtue. All finery is a sign of littleness. ...
— English Grammar in Familiar Lectures • Samuel Kirkham

... beauty of the place. The power of very exquisite beauty, which always and in all forms testifies to another world where its source and its realization are, came down upon her spirit, and hushed it as with a breath of balm; and the littleness of this life, of any one individual's life, in the midst of the efforts here made to deny it, stood forth in most impressive iteration. Betty was awed and quieted for a minute. Mr. and ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... condescends to provide our daily food, giving me a forenoon which closes at her convenience. During this indefinite period I look after my flowers and birds, sing and play a little, read a little, entertain a little, and thus reveal to you a general littleness. In the afternoon I take a nap, so that I may be wide awake enough to talk to a bright man like you in case he should appear. Now, are you not shocked and pained at ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... were conceited—and—selfish. We thought about ourselves mostly when we came here last September, but York Hill has made us despise our littleness and long to be bigger and broader; some of us didn't know how to use our bodies or our brains, but the School has taught us how to be true sports and how to think straight; some of us had mighty small ideals about what things really mattered; but York Hill has shown us how 'to play the game, ...
— Judy of York Hill • Ethel Hume Patterson Bennett

... great man and a hero, it would irresistibly excite our admiration; but the character of this prince leaves us in doubt whether this moderation ought to be ascribed to a noble self-command, or to the littleness of a weak mind, which even good fortune could not embolden, and liberty itself could not strip of its ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... us felt that we were ourselves uttering the same prayer. He never ornamented his petitions with any high sounding phrases. He was not so much a man carrying on in a loud voice before his Maker as he was a little boy with a sore toe and troubles appertaining to his littleness and inexperience, and faults and forgetfulness, all of which he let out with the emotion of a child to his father, and with such reality of detail that the whole congregation accompanied him with his lamentations ...
— A Circuit Rider's Wife • Corra Harris

... awful nebula whirled into the shape and bearing the name of the Dumb Bell, the Crab nebula, hanging over the infinitely remote space, a sprawling terror, every point holding millions of worlds, thinking of these all transcendent wonders, and then remembering his own inexpressible littleness, how that the visible existence of his whole race does not occupy a single tick of the great Sidereal Clock, will he not sink under helpless misgivings, will he not utterly despair of immortal notice and support from the King of all this? In a word, how does the solemn greatness of man, the ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... very small for her age, and everybody called her "little;" but she got very few privileges on account of her youth and littleness. In those days, and especially in a family like Josiah Thayer's, where there were so many children that each had to scratch for itself at an early age or go without, six years was considered comparatively mature, and the child who had lived that ...
— Young Lucretia and Other Stories • Mary E. Wilkins

... keep the earth's balance true." And I must have the personal conscious future, which is to right the wrongs of the ages, if I am to believe and preach the faithfulness of God. But we must guard against an impatience which is our littleness. In the immense times of the Almighty, every dark mystery of human being can move away, and leave the "sky of Providence at last, arching over the soul with not a cloud to dim its stars." For my present faith I hold it true ...
— Men in the Making • Ambrose Shepherd

... spring of the great impulse towards the altar, these little faces had separate wills, separate motions, separate knowledge, which rippled back in defiance of the tide, and laughed in triumph of their own very littleness. ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... all makes food and service for man's spirit. This prosaic civilization, he says, is prosaic only in itself, not when put in relation to its true end. So he first recognizes it with remorseless verity, depicts it in all its littleness and limitation; then strikes its connection with growth: and lo, the littleness becomes great in serving the greater; the harsh prosaicism begins to move in melodious measure; and out of that jarring, creaking mechanism of conventional ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 • Various

... footsteps and clash of voices! And must I be confounded in the crowd? Let me preserve my individuality in the desert! If I were not an insect, it might be different; but as I am no larger than other men, I will not daily measure myself by their standard; I will forget in solitude the littleness ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... does not hesitate to express the opinion very emphatically that "as it is, in no country do the people feel such an overwhelming sense of the littleness of the men in charge of public affairs" as in the United States. And in another place he dwells on the fact that "responsible government educates office-holders into a high and honourable sense of their accountability to the people," and makes "statesmanship a permanent pursuit followed ...
— Lord Elgin • John George Bourinot

... and prose writings neither take away from, nor add to his poetical reputation. There is, occasionally, a littleness of manner, and an unnecessary degree of caution. He appears anxious to say a good thing in every word, as well as every sentence. They, however, give a very favourable idea of his moral character in all respects; and his letters to Atterbury, in his disgrace ...
— Lectures on the English Poets - Delivered at the Surrey Institution • William Hazlitt

... these shrubs a few stones were to be seen, blackened with fire and sprinkled with thin ashes; here the hearth had no doubt been, and the chimney in falling had covered it with rubbish. I stood for some time in silent admiration of the exuberance of nature and the littleness of man; and when I was obliged to leave that enchanting solitude, I exclaimed with melancholy, "Are ruins, then, ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... happily enough in that country if my littleness had not exposed me to several ridiculous and troublesome accidents; some of which I shall venture to relate. Glumdalclitch often carried me into the gardens of the court in a smaller box, and would sometimes take me out of it, and hold me in her ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5 • Charles Sylvester

... domestic architecture of a place that thus denied having been English for a hundred years; the porte-cocheres beside every house; the French names upon the doors, and the oddity of the bellpulls; the rough-paved, rattling streets; the shining roofs of tin, and the universal dormer-windows; the littleness of the private houses, and the greatness of the high-walled and garden-girdled convents; the breadths of weather-stained city wall, and the shaggy cliff beneath; the batteries, with their guns peacefully staring through ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... Mrs. Hamilton, and joined company, and were extremely happy, and wished for you and dear Honora. Sun shining, no wind. Presently we met the Solicitor-General: he started back, and made me such a bow as made me feel my own littleness; then shook my hands most cordially, and in a few moments told me more than most men could tell in an hour: just returned from Edinburgh—Mrs. Bushe and daughters too much fatigued to come ...
— The Life And Letters Of Maria Edgeworth, Vol. 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... mean either stolidity or lethargy; far otherwise. Nor does it mean sluggishness, apathy or phlegmatism; quite the contrary. It does mean depth as opposed to shallowness, bigness as opposed to littleness, and vision as opposed to spiritual myopia. It means dignity, poise, aplomb, balance. It means that there is sufficient ballast to hold the ship steady on its way, no matter how much sail it spreads. When we see serenity, we are quite aware of other ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... too strong for us when we speak of him: but if we, in point of fact, respond to appeals made to the flesh rather than appeals made to the spirit, we are becoming sensual. We may loathe and despise the character of the avaricious worldly man; we may see its littleness, and pettiness, and greed, and selfishness: but do our own hearts go out in response to any offer of gain more eagerly than they go out to Christian work or to the interests of Christ's kingdom? Then we are becoming worldly and avaricious; ...
— How to become like Christ • Marcus Dods

... out over the marsh. She wanted desperately to regain her rosebud-frock, and she knew that Elizabeth was starving for further wearing of her poppies. Perhaps the wide, serene plain below inspired her with a hatred of littleness. There would be no loss of dignity in making a proposal that her enemy, she felt sure, would accept: it merely showed a Christian spirit, and set an example to Elizabeth, to make the first move. ...
— Miss Mapp • Edward Frederic Benson

... pleasures which are very small are often obscured and overwhelmed. But that kind has not so many advantages of body, nor any which last so long, or are so great. Therefore, in those in which obscuration follows because of their littleness, it often happens that we confess that it makes no difference to us whether they exist at all or not; just as when the sun is out, as you yourself said, it is of no consequence to add the light of a candle, or to add a penny to the riches of Croesus. But in those matters ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... suddenly by the lightning of wrath. The reader will go on reading if the book pleases him and the critic will go on criticizing with that faculty of detachment born perhaps from a sense of infinite littleness and which is yet the only faculty that seems to assimilate man ...
— Notes on My Books • Joseph Conrad

... and took to the trail at a jog-trot. I knew my horse better and he was more used to me, which made it at least bearable to both of us. Before long the canyon widened out into the level forest land thickly studded with magnificent pines. I had again the feeling of awe and littleness. Everything was solemn and still. The morning air was cool, and dry as toast; the smell of pitch-pine choked my nostrils. We rode briskly down the broad brown aisles, across the sunny glades, under ...
— The Young Forester • Zane Grey

... selfishness, which is apt to creep insidiously into our lives. We should crown the man who has achieved distinction and advise him as to pitfalls. "No sadder proof," Carlisle has said, "can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men." There is no royal road to a lasting eminence but the toilsome pathway of diligence, self-denial and high moral rectitude; surely not by turning sharp corners to follow that "will-o'-the wisp" transient success, at the expense of upright conduct. Neither ...
— Shadow and Light - An Autobiography with Reminiscences of the Last and Present Century • Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

... Mr. Roach Smith always felt a little "touchy" about the satire on archaeology in Pickwick, in re "Bill Stumps, his mark." That, however, we took cum grano salis, because this gentleman, from his delightful conversation and frank manner, is evidently above any such littleness. He is, however, free to confess, that Dickens had not much love for Strood, but ...
— A Week's Tramp in Dickens-Land • William R. Hughes

... sometimes termed the scatalogical group, with the two subdivisions of urolagnia and Coprolagnia.[24] Inter faeces et urinam nascimur is an ancient text which has served the ascetic preachers of old for many discourses on the littleness of man and the meanness of that reproductive power which plays so large a part in man's life. "The stupid bungle of Nature," a correspondent writes, "whereby the generative organs serve as a means of relieving the bladder, is ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... back to my sister. She is a fair specimen of the quick, impulsive, frank class of women. She says she belongs to the genus irritabile. She is easily excited to every good emotion, and also to the nobler failings of anger, indignation, and pride. But she is so far above any meanness or littleness, that she don't know them when she sees them. They pass with her for what they are not, and she is spared the humiliation of knowing what her species is capable of. Kate's nature is very charming, but there is a gentler, calmer order of beings ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... beneficial discipline of education and early collision with their equals. There have been good and wise kings, but not many of them. Take them one with another they are of an inferior character, and this I believe to be one of the worst of the kind. The littleness of his character prevents his displaying the dangerous faults that belong to great minds, but with vices and weaknesses of the lowest and most contemptible order it would be difficult to find ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William - IV, Volume 1 (of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... arbiter. No one ever brought out so impressively the sense of the impenetrable and tremendous vastness of that amid which man plays his part. In such sermons as those on the "Intermediate State," the "Invisible World," the "Greatness and Littleness of Human Life," the "Individuality of the Soul," the "Mysteriousness of our Present Being," we may see exemplified the enormous irruption into the world of modern thought of the unknown and the unknowable, as much as in the writers who, with far different objects, set against it the clearness and ...
— Occasional Papers - Selected from The Guardian, The Times, and The Saturday Review, - 1846-1890 • R.W. Church

... human heart knows aught of littleness, Suspects no man, compares with no one's ways, Hath in one hour most glorious length of days, A recompense, a ...
— Leaves of Life - For Daily Inspiration • Margaret Bird Steinmetz

... Harry V. or Edward III mind whether it was a rich town or a fishing town, provided they did but take a town in France? We are as great as ever we were in the most barbarous ages, and you are asking mercantile Questions with all the littleness of soul that attends the improvements in modern politics! Well! my dear child, I smile, but I tremble-. and though it is pleasanter to tremble when one invades, than when one is invaded, I don't like to be at the eve even of an Agincourt. There ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole



Words linked to "Littleness" :   dwarfishness, minuteness, weeness, little, weakness, parsimony, tightness, largeness, bigness, pettiness, tightfistedness, smallness, petiteness, closeness, stuntedness, meanness, slightness, diminutiveness, tininess, size, runtiness, delicacy



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