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Muddle   Listen
verb
Muddle  v. i.  
1.
To dabble in mud. (Obs.)
2.
To think and act in a confused, aimless way.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Muddle" Quotes from Famous Books



... of manner to Staupitz in his affair, but neither Staupitz nor himself trusted the Italian when out of sight. If Caietan should use force against him, he would publish the written reply he gave him. Caietan might call himself a Thomist, but he was a muddle-headed, ignorant theologian and Christian, and as clumsy in giving judgment in the matter as a donkey with a harp. Luther added further that an appeal would be drawn up for him in the form best fitted to the occasion. He further ...
— Life of Luther • Julius Koestlin

... war and tumults, and that he thought would never answer, inasmuch as he did not really know who was the enemy from which he would be delivered. It was hard to decide against Ethelyn and still harder to decide against "Dick," and so with his brains all in a muddle Andy concluded to take the prayer "for all sorts and conditions of men," speaking very low and earnestly when he asked that all "who were distressed in mind, body, or estate, might be comforted and relieved according ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... first session in despair, "I shall not go again. Monsieur Bongrand is right, you could never bear the sight. Everything is ticketed. All the town is coming and going just as in the street; the handsome furniture is being ruined, they even stand upon it; the whole place is such a muddle that a hen couldn't find her chicks. You'd think there had been a fire. Lots of things are in the courtyard; the closets are all open, and nothing in them. Oh! the poor dear man, it's well he died, the sight would have ...
— Ursula • Honore de Balzac

... muddle up the pair of them, bedevil them completely, and Amphitryon's whole household, too, and keep it up till my father has his fill of her whom he loves: then all shall know the truth, but not before. ...
— Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi • Plautus Titus Maccius

... platitudes of the muddle-headed multitude are surely the only people for whom they are true. It is they alone who are the materialists, confusing as they do the spirit of romance with its worn-out garments of bygone fashions. Such people are so clearly out of court as not to be worth controverting, ...
— Vanishing Roads and Other Essays • Richard Le Gallienne

... beddings, furniture, provisions for four months, etc., and the boat's people have been more than civil, really kind and attentive to us; but a bad dahabieh would have cost forty, so I am greatly the gainer. Nothing can exceed the muddle, uncertainty and carelessness of the 'administration' at Cairo: no coals at the depots, boats announced to sail and dawdling on three weeks, no order and no care for anybody's convenience but the Pasha's own. But the subordinates on board the boats do their work perfectly well. We go only ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... without any definite symbols, just a muddle of tea-leaves, is useless for the purpose of divination, beyond giving an indication of the state of the consultant's mind, so vague and undecided in its character that it obscures everything. Tell ...
— Telling Fortunes By Tea Leaves • Cicely Kent

... are right there. The house is all in a muddle from the wedding, and we are to have a sort of nondescript meal at eight. Herrick, old fellow, I want you to put me up for a couple of nights. You are coming down to Staplegrove on Tuesday, so I told Dinah that we might as well ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... around for some one on whom to cast the blame for the Cretan muddle. The present idea is that England is the guilty party. This last report may not have any more truth in it than that about Russia, but it is now, said that England is bent upon conquering the Transvaal, and securing South Africa for herself, and that she has stirred up all this Cretan ...
— The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 20, March 25, 1897 - A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls • Various

... times. Look at Greece, and that whole shabby muddle. But I am not sorry to be alive and privileged to look on. If I were not a hermit I would go to the House every day and see those people scuffle over it and blether about the brotherhood of the human race. This has been a bitter year for English pride, and I don't like ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... digging and knowing all the time as them lads is breaking their necks over the cliff side. Never was in such a muddle as this before. Why didn't they say what ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... of business he approved of the advertised formula: "Business as Usual." He understood it to mean that the duty which England expected every man to do was to stay in the place he was most fitted for and to go where he was most wanted. Nothing but muddle and disaster could follow any departure from ...
— The Tree of Heaven • May Sinclair

... could have seen Eagle just once again," I heard myself thinking, as one hears the ticking of a watch under a pillow. But I felt a strange, throbbing eagerness to know quickly the great secret of what comes next after this world, with its seeming muddle of injustice and disappointment, its joys and broken aspirations. "Why! it was like this with me when we had our accident in the Golden Eagle!" I thought. And even as the remembrance flitted ghostlike through my brain, I saw tearing through the sky, far above the big bulk of the Zeppelin, ...
— Secret History Revealed By Lady Peggy O'Malley • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... to shed this habit of jumping impulsively to conclusions—and generally wrong conclusions—if you want to succeed in Scotland Yard. This letter of Hill's only strengthens my previous opinion that a damned muddle-headed jury let a cold-blooded murderer loose on the world when they acquitted Fred Birchill of the charge of shooting Sir Horace Fewbanks. Why, man alive, Holymead no more believes Hill is guilty than I do. He set himself to bamboozle the jury and he succeeded. If he had to defend Hill ...
— The Hampstead Mystery • John R. Watson

... was Edith Symmes, who sat almost directly before it. To the left of her was Marcia, pale and sad, and close beside her Horace Penfield. Heavens! He jumped impatiently to his feet. He was simply getting into a morbid muddle sitting here brooding over this matter. He must have action, action of some kind, and obeying a sudden impulse, he decided to see ...
— The Silver Butterfly • Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

... before. He showed me by calculations on paper, which Lord Kelvin, no doubt, or Professor Lodge, or Professor Karl Pearson, or any of those great scientific people might have understood, but which simply reduced me to a hopeless muddle, that not only was such a substance possible, but that it must satisfy certain conditions. It was an amazing piece of reasoning. Much as it amazed and exercised me at the time, it would be impossible to reproduce it here. "Yes," I said to it all, "yes; ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... these things if you really thought you were in a hopeless muddle. I have gone through it all this term, and I know. I have tried to laugh, and I have drunk until I didn't care what happened, but it is all no use. I have made a mess of everything, and there is no one to ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... with elegantly severe authority, "I will not have this talking over the work. Miss Toppings, this whole skirt is an unmitigated muddle. Head-tucks half an inch too near the bottom! No room for your flounce. If you can't keep to your measures, you'd better not undertake piece-work. Take that last welt out, and put it in over the top. And make no more blunders, if you please, unless you ...
— The Other Girls • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... marriage the perplexed girl had a talk with her father. Later she wondered if the hours alone with the sick man had not led to her decision to marry. The father talked of his life and advised the daughter to avoid being led into another such muddle. He abused Tom Willard, and that led Elizabeth to come to the clerk's defense. The sick man became excited and tried to get out of bed. When she would not let him walk about he began to complain. "I've never been let ...
— Winesburg, Ohio • Sherwood Anderson

... looks like Merry Christmas all the year round. You should see him gaze at Sherm. Marian says it makes her want to cry, and Mother says it is the most wonderful manifestation of Providence she has ever known. It seems to me Providence would show more sense not to muddle things up so in the first place. Sherm is as pleased as can be to find he really is somebody, and he's awfully fond of the Captain, but you see he'd got so used to loving the Darts as his own folks that ...
— Chicken Little Jane on the Big John • Lily Munsell Ritchie

... war with Denmark was renewed. There was a general feeling of shame over Palmerston's bluster followed by a meek British inaction. The debate came on a vote of censure, July 8, in the course of which Derby characterized governmental policy as one of "meddle and muddle." The censure was carried in the Lords by nine votes, but was defeated in the Commons by a ministerial majority of eighteen. It was the sharpest political crisis of Palmerston's Ministry during the Civil War. ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... more words over that. Lars found everything all wrong somehow at Ovrebo. In the old days he used to do his work and sing songs after for the company at the house; now, it was all a mess and a muddle, and no sense in any way of doing things. Ploughing, indeed! ...
— Wanderers • Knut Hamsun

... profession. Beggary has long been a recognised profession, with its traditions, customs, and past-masters, and it is time that philanthropy should now be admitted to an equal status. There is no reason in the world why it should be left in the hands of amateurs, who muddle away funds by their lack of science and experience. Supposing a man sees his way to doing good—founding a home for incurables, or drunkards, or establishing a dispensary, or anything you please—why should he not make a living by it? What if he ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... had said. Look at her, in the warm vigour of her youth, most vigorous in decay! Look at the germs and dregs of nations, creeds, religions, fermenting together! As for the theory of self-government, it will muddle down here, as in the three great archetypes of the experiment, into ...
— Margret Howth, A Story of To-day • Rebecca Harding Davis

... when, spreading over a number of books, it pursues no order, and thus results in a muddle of faint impressions each blurring the rest. Books must be allowed to help one another; they must be skilfully called in to each other's aid. And that this may be accomplished some guiding principle is ...
— Literary Taste: How to Form It • Arnold Bennett

... unprivileged humanity. The mood of the evening was doubtless foolish, boyish, but it was none the less keen and convincing. He had never before had the inner, unknown elements of his nature so stirred; had never felt this blind, raging protest. It was a muddle of impressions: the picture of the poor soul with his clamor for a job; the satisfied, brutal egotism of Brome Porter, who lived as if life were a huge poker game; the overfed, red-cheeked Caspar, whom he remembered to have seen only once before, when the young polo captain ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... builds under the same eaves, in excessively populous colonies; and it is impossible to follow the labours of any single Mason, whose cells, distributed here and there, are soon covered up with the work of her neighbours. All is muddle and confusion in the individual ...
— Bramble-bees and Others • J. Henri Fabre

... the Melancolia viciously. The paint did not smudge quickly enough. She took a palette-knife and scraped, following each stroke with the wet duster. In five minutes the picture was a formless, scarred muddle of colours. She threw the paint-stained duster into the studio stove, stuck out her tongue at the sleeper, and whispered, 'Bilked!' as she turned to run down the staircase. She would never see Torpenhow any more, ...
— The Light That Failed • Rudyard Kipling

... And the day goes on and on, getting worse and worse you mislay your exercise-book, you drop your arithmetic in the mud, your pencil breaks, and when you open your knife to sharpen the pencil you split your nail. On such a day you jam your thumb in doors, and muddle the messages you are sent on by grown-ups. You upset your tea, and your bread-and-butter won't hold together for a moment. And when at last you get to bed usually in disgrace it is no comfort at all to you to know that not a single bit of ...
— The Enchanted Castle • E. Nesbit

... for town that very day. On the other hand, Sir Tancred was averse to going to the police; he knew what the provincial police were. What was excellent evidence to him would seem no evidence at all to them; and they would move too late, or, if they moved in time, would muddle the whole business, and let the Biggleswades know they were suspected. Besides, it hurt his self-love to seek aid from anyone. No, the proper game was to rob the robbers, and he had seven shillings ...
— The Admirable Tinker - Child of the World • Edgar Jepson

... on drainage which have been thus far published, there is a vagueness in the arguments on this branch of the subject, which betrays a want of definite conviction in the minds of the writers; and which tends quite as much to muddle as to enlighten the ideas of the reader. In so far as the directions are given, whether fortified by argument or not, they are clearly empirical, and are usually very much qualified by considerations which weigh with unequal ...
— Draining for Profit, and Draining for Health • George E. Waring

... fine nature had transmuted his disadvantages into gold. To him the lessons of such a childhood and boyhood as he had had, were energy, self-reliance, a determination to overcome all obstacles, to fight the battles of life, in all honour and rectitude, so as to win. From the muddle of his father's affairs he had taken away a lesson of method, order, and punctuality in business and other arrangements. "What is worth doing at all is worth doing well," was not only one of his favourite maxims—it was the rule of ...
— Life of Charles Dickens • Frank Marzials

... size of the needless muddle was apparent. Evasions were of no use; therefore Dunois admitted that there was no way to correct the blunder but to send the army all the way back to Blois, and let it begin over again and come up on the other side this time, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... continuing his cigar, 'that ar nigger's sassy enough for three legations. Pierce sent him here;—for what, no one about the establishment can tell. Anyhow, seeing it's you, I was about giving out an idea of what an interminable muddle Pierce would get everything into if he had but his own way; but, as there isn't time now, and as you won't join me in a cigar, suppose we send out and ...
— The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth • Timothy Templeton

... caused much alarm to the inhabitants of Esher proper. We do not use the expression "Esher proper" from any prudish reason, but merely because Little Esher, a mile down the road, might in the reader's mind become a factor to promote muddle if we did not take care to indicate ...
— Terribly Intimate Portraits • Noel Coward

... said this good lady; "why, you all seem to be following the advice of my grandfather Twynintuft,—which was, to let the mind muddle after dinner. He thought it strengthened the voice,—gave it timber, as he called it. But, ah, dear! in these days so little attention is paid to elocution that it's of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 72, October, 1863 • Various

... coming and going with them; and when I saw once the millions of books in the Rue de la Musee, I asked the keeper what use they were for, and he said, 'to make men wise, my dear.' But Bac the cobbler, who was with me,—it was a fete day—Bac, he said, 'Do you not believe that, Bebee? they only muddle folk's brains; for one book tells them one thing, and another book another, and so on, till they are dazed with all the contrary lying; and if you see a bookish man, be sure you see a very poor creature who could not hoe a patch, or kill a pig, or stitch ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... cried Trot indignantly, and turning to Cap'n Bill, she added, "I'm not goin' to leave you down here in all this mess, Cap'n, and don't you think it. If one of us gets out of the muddle we're in, we'll both get out, so don't you make any bargains with Zog ...
— The Sea Fairies • L. Frank Baum

... our foreign policy, he says, that he has learnt what our journalists denounce as "the doctrine of the bully, of the materialist, of the man with gross ideals: a doctrine of diabolical evil." He frankly accepts that doctrine from us (as if our poor, honest muddle-heads had ever formulated anything so intellectual as a doctrine), and blames us for nothing but for allowing the United States to achieve their solidarity and become formidable to us when we might have divided them by backing ...
— New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1 - From the Beginning to March, 1915 With Index • Various

... of all this muddle? Why was she masquerading as an opera singer, when fortune and place ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... "I have made you rich; you shall be happy in your old age; but I will not let you muddle away my life any longer. Miserable wretch! I am hungry—where is my dinner? ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... subject of the criminal law, and passed in the next years a series of acts consolidating and mitigating the law, and repealing many old statutes. A measure of equal importance was his establishment in 1829 of the metropolitan police force, which at last put an end to the old chaotic muddle described by Colquhoun of parish officers and constables. Other significant legal changes marked the opening of a new era. Eldon was the very incarnation of the spirit of obstruction; and the Court of Chancery, over which he presided for a quarter of a century, was thought to be the typical stronghold ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... work will be carried out thoroughly without order and system. You see people who work all day and work hard, but never make any way, because they work in a muddle, and with no regular plan. At school the child is given the ...
— The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent • S. Baring-Gould

... gregariousness. They opened the new era of amalgamation by co-ordinating, on a vast scale, individual achievements, resources and labour, and directing them to a common end. The allied peoples were meanwhile content to muddle through in the old way. This difference explains much that seems puzzling in ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... muddle and confusion and slipshod thinking there arose one man with a purpose, one man who fixed his eyes on a single inevitable goal and walked straight at it, not minding what or whom he trod upon on the way. His purpose was the mass-production of crises, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, May 19, 1920 • Various

... children of the storm. The left flank swung forward and encircled the base of an imposing kopje. The men swarmed up with tiger-like activity, quickly, and in broken and irregular lines; but there was no confusion, no wretched tangle, no helpless muddle. They did not rush madly to the top and stand on the sky-line to be a mark for their foes. When they almost touched the summit they paused, formed their broken lines, and carefully and wisely topped the black brow; and as they did so the Boer rifles spoke from a ...
— Campaign Pictures of the War in South Africa (1899-1900) - Letters from the Front • A. G. Hales

... graduate of the second degree. Were I to enter into details, you would indeed have a laugh. 'I must needs,' he explained, 'have the company of two girls in my studies to enable me to read at all, and to keep likewise my brain clear. Otherwise, if left to myself, my head gets all in a muddle.' Time after time, he further expounded to his young attendants, how extremely honourable and extremely pure were the two words representing woman, that they are more valuable and precious than the auspicious ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... Muddle pushed the King's nose back and began spreading his cheek into place. Instead of hands and feet, the Middlings had gnarled and twisted roots which curled up in a perfectly terrifying manner. Their teeth were gold, and their eyes shone like ...
— The Royal Book of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... away! Why you do spuddle A'most so weak's a child. How you do muddle! Gi'e me the speaede a-bit. A pig would rout It out a'most so nimbly ...
— Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect • William Barnes

... which enjoins on the prudent dramatist strict economy in suicide. The third case, Zoe Blundell's leap to nothingness, in that harsh and ruthless masterpiece, Mid-Channel, is as inevitable as anything can well be in human destiny. Zoe has made a miserable and hopeless muddle of her life. In spite of her goodness of heart, she has no interests and no ideals, apart from the personal satisfactions which have now been poisoned at their source. She has intervened disastrously in the destinies of others. She is ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... trains undecided whether to go on or to go back, and general confusion. It certainly did not look as if our train could be extricated for hours, but it proved there was method in this apparent muddle, and we suffered no delay worth speaking of. The station was densely packed with Staff officers and soldiers. Presently someone elbowed a way through the crowd to make way for the General, just arrived from Bloemfontein. A momentary interest was roused as an elderly, soldierly ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... hateful of me, but really, Miss Pomeroy, she never put those things back as she found them, because I had that drawer looking very neat and now see the muddle it is in!" ...
— Tabitha at Ivy Hall • Ruth Alberta Brown

... his power to conciliate the different parties, but has now concluded that Paris must be conquered by the troops of Versailles. Every day there comes more disturbing news. How will it all end? When shall we get out of this muddle? En attendant, we live in a ...
— In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. • L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone

... father was, or is, seems very slight. So much the better, for one of your unconventional order is not the sort of person I should care to have know. 'Even though you were her father himself.' Humph! So he does me the doubtful honor to suppose I may be? It is a nasty muddle all through. I never dreamed of walking into such a net as this. But something must be done, and that is clear; no use trying to shirk it, for Seldon is sure to run across them sooner or later up here—sure. And if he took a hand in it—as ...
— That Girl Montana • Marah Ellis Ryan

... little master or as anything else took place when he reached home; Katie was busy at the washhouse, and he met no one amidst all the dreary litter of last night's festivities till he came on his mother in the back kitchen. The piled dresser showed a muddle of unwashed dishes, and the floor was gritty with mud. Annie looked, and was, dirty with exertion; and even the steam that wreathed upwards from the washbowl added a sense of uncleanness to the air. Ishmael was too young to be depressed by dirt, which he rather liked, but the greyness ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... muddle. The war had cost a great deal, so the new government began in debt and nearly every separate state was also in debt. But a clever man named Alexander Hamilton took hold of the money matters and ...
— This Country Of Ours • H. E. Marshall Author: Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

... was alone in the world. I had been reading, reading, reading; my brain was one dark and misty muddle of Kant, Schopenhauer, von Hartmann, and a few others. I read them one after another, as quickly as possible; the mixture had the same effect upon my mind as the indiscriminate contents of taffy-shop would have upon Sigmund's stomach—it ...
— The First Violin - A Novel • Jessie Fothergill

... into his head that I went below because I thought he was making a muddle of the speed. As a matter of fact, he knows every blessed thing I do about our motors, and Williamson is loyal ...
— The Submarine Boys and the Middies - The Prize Detail at Annapolis • Victor G. Durham

... of a muddle, but I'll try it," assented Sally finally. "And I suppose I could spare ...
— Jane Allen: Junior • Edith Bancroft

... "hail to the man who can muddle questions. But to return to our peasant-woman. Not being satisfied, naturally, with Maitre Pigoult's reception of her news, she went into the market-square, and there by the help of a legal practitioner from her village, ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... sounds like the other end of nowhere, or (what is worse) of everywhere. It suggests a sort of derisive riddle; where does London End? As I came up through the vast vague suburbs, it was this sense of London as a shapeless and endless muddle that chiefly filled my mind. I seemed still to carry the cloud with me; and when I looked up, I almost expected to see the chimney-pots ...
— The New Jerusalem • G. K. Chesterton

... this very book, half-way out of this muddle. There are poems in it, just as strong as The Inn Album, but with the ineffable spirit of imaginative emotion and thought clasped together in them, so that the strong is stronger, and the humanity deeper than in the pieces he thought, being deceived by the Understanding, ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... sake don't hulloa till you're out of the wood!" he said; "they may catch up on you yet. Seventy-five isn't such a big score after all. If you don't look out you'll muddle your chance away, and ...
— The Willoughby Captains • Talbot Baines Reed

... platform, closes the eustachian tubes and keeps the neophyte perpetually swallowing, till his throat is grown so dry that he can swallow no longer. And for all these reasons—although I had a fine, dizzy, muddle-headed joy in my surroundings, and longed, and tried, and always failed, to lay hands on the fish that darted here and there about me, swift as humming-birds—yet I fancy I was rather relieved than otherwise when Bain brought me back to the ladder and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... he is! That's just it. My exotic flower of optimism withers at your feet. It's all exactly the muddle you say it is. Pray Heaven for a clear way out! Meantime thank whatever gods may ...
— The Incomplete Amorist • E. Nesbit

... go, Evan!" pleaded Gantry. "I haven't known half the time where I'm at in this latest muddle. Is this another little blind lead of ...
— The Honorable Senator Sage-Brush • Francis Lynde

... anything. Clemens attempted to work, but put in most of his time footing up on the margin of his manuscript the amount of his indebtedness, the expenses of his household, and the possibilities of his income. It was weary, hard, nerve-racking employment. About the muddle of June they closed Viviani. Susy Clemens went to Paris to cultivate her voice, a rare soprano, with a view to preparing for the operatic stage. Clemens took Mrs. Clemens, with little Jean, to Germany ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... War Council was, in spite of President Wilson's opposition to the plan, to continue the expedition and strengthen it as fast as possible. To the American soldier at this distance it looks as though the French and British, perhaps in all good faith, planned to muddle along till the American authorities could be shown the fitness or the necessity of supporting the expedition with proper forces. But this was playing with a handful of Americans and other Allied troops a great game of hazard. Only those who went through it can ...
— The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki - Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919 • Joel R. Moore

... use of thinking? My head's all in a muddle. It's bad, no matter how you look at it. I sold my very youth to one I cannot love, just for a piece of bread, and from one day to another he becomes more ...
— Plays • Alexander Ostrovsky

... this is a beastly muddle! Look here, George, promise me you won't do anything stupid for a day or so.... I have been so pestered by people ... I don't know which way to turn. Why not stay ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... family pride in his composition, he resolved not to muddle the blood of the Witheringtons by any cross from Cateaton Street or Mincing Lane; and after a proper degree of research, he selected the daughter of a Scotch earl, who went to London with a bevy of nine in a Leith smack to barter ...
— The Pirate and The Three Cutters • Frederick Marryat

... that pass. But you know that you've overdrawn at your bank, that you've overdrawn at your brokers, and that you can no more get out of the muddle you've got yourself into without one of the biggest public scandals there's been in ...
— Her Own Way - A Play in Four Acts • Clyde Fitch

... next to impossible to straighten out the muddle, and she came at length reluctantly to the conclusion that it was beyond her powers. Wondering what the Reverend Stephen would have said to such a crime, she abstracted a few shillings from her own purse and fraudulently made up the deficit that had ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... do now? Must we continue to muddle along in the old ruts, gazing rapturously at an impotent ideal, until the works of ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... last, Mr. Polwarth, a strange and very uncomfortable doubt has rushed in upon me, and I find myself altogether unfit to tackle it. I have no weapons—not a single argument of the least weight. I wonder if it be a law of nature that no sooner shall a man get into a muddle with one thing, than a thousand other muddles shall come pouring in upon him, as if Muddle itself were going to swallow him up! Here am I just beginning to get a little start in honester ways, when up ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... Caesar's Camp, might be taken at a blow by the Imperialists, the English, the Dutch, now masters of Valenciennes, the one important thing was to teach the Generals of the Republic to conquer or to die. To see yonder feeble-witted muddle-pated veteran losing himself under cross-examination among his maps as he had done before in the plains of Northern France, Gamelin longed to yell "death! death!" with the rest, and fled from the Hall of Audience to ...
— The Gods are Athirst • Anatole France

... her toy with the new-born rill, a mere thread of water, build a Lilliputian dam, and muddle the clear outflow as it broke, and then build again. He had the thought that she had suddenly become younger, more like a child, ...
— Westways • S. Weir Mitchell

... wasn't so horribly particular," said Avis, tidying her possessions ruefully a few days afterwards. "She says she's going to look at all our desks this afternoon, and give forfeits for any that are in a muddle. I haven't rummaged to the back of mine for ever so long. I scarcely know what's in it. Why, what's this? It's actually a box of fusees. I remember now, I brought them from home. I'd quite forgotten I ...
— The Nicest Girl in the School - A Story of School Life • Angela Brazil

... very well as far as it goes; but then it is equally true that M. M. —— actually obtained his wife, and that Mynheer Van Holland paid for her. I dare say all this can be reconciled with the eternal fitness of things; but I protest I don't see how it is to be done. It is "all a muddle," in my mind. I cannot even affirm that the banditti were ever hanged; and I am quite sure that the unlucky Dutch merchant, whose goods were so comically mixed up with this whole history, never had any poetical or material ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I., No. 3, January 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... the end of the first year in Earth time he had spent in the cabin. Watching it happen, he was suddenly overwhelmed again by the enormity of his solitude, and it looked as if it were going to turn into another of those periods when he sat with the gun in his hand, sobbing and swearing in a violent muddle of self-pity and helpless fury. He decided to knock off the lamenting and get good and drunk instead. And he would make it a drunk to top all drunks on this ...
— Gone Fishing • James H. Schmitz

... few yards ahead of the team, and they are all on top of him before one can say "knife"! Then one has to rush in with the whip—and everyone of the team of eleven jumps over the harness of the dog next to him, and the harnesses become a muddle that takes much patience to unravel, not to mention care lest the whole team should get away with the sledge and its load, and leave one behind.... I never did get left the whole of this depot journey, but I was often very near it, and several ...
— The Voyages of Captain Scott - Retold from 'The Voyage of the "Discovery"' and 'Scott's - Last Expedition' • Charles Turley

... contemptuous of ideas. And then suddenly, almost overnight, this terrified people finds itself at war with a nation ruled and disciplined' by modern experts, scientists and technicians. The awful muddle that was in England during the first two years of the war has not yet been told in print; but thousands know it, and some day it will be written, and it will finish forever the prestige of the British ruling caste. They ...
— The Profits of Religion, Fifth Edition • Upton Sinclair

... war. He had little enthusiasm for the Premier, probably less for most of his colleagues. So far as he had been able to survey Ottawa, he considered it an administrative mess. His direct ways of doing business were menaced by a sense of muddle and officialdom. He missed the breezy, open ways of "the Peg" and the sensation of being general manager of the biggest commercial concern west of the lakes, the Grain Growers' Grain Co. Crerar could not business-manage Ottawa. ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... in a muddle to-day all round. At Morning Sitting didn't get Supply which everybody expected would be order of day; didn't proceed with Allotments Bill, which was first on Orders. At night, PROVAND on first with Dried Currants; MCLAREN to follow with Woman's Suffrage, neither turned up, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, May 3, 1890. • Various

... to Cobhurst to-day," she said to herself, "but I do not propose to go with him. I shall get there first and see how the land lies, before he comes to muddle up things with his sordid anxieties about his future ...
— The Girl at Cobhurst • Frank Richard Stockton

... had put a letter of his sister's in the band of the hat, I mused. How like her kid brother! It seemed that more or less families had Toddy-One-Boys to look after. Pshaw! what a muddle because a man couldn't keep ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VIII (of X) • Various

... letter this morning from that stupid banker, Henriquez. He has made a muddle of buying those three pictures we wanted, and that Englishman who was so crazy about them will get the lot after all, unless ...
— Mabel's Mistake • Ann S. Stephens

... and all day long, to help her with the work. Yet the house was always in confusion. Mrs. Gourlay had asked for another servant, but Gourlay would not allow that; "one's enough," said he, and what he once laid down he never went back on. Mrs. Gourlay had to muddle along as best she could, and having no strength either of mind or body, she let things drift, and took refuge ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... and over again, and nothing has come of it. For my part, I don't care which way it goes. After the muddle that was made of it thirty years ago it does not seem to me more likely that we shall get rid of the Hanoverians now. Besides, the hangings and slaughterings then, would, I should think, make the nobles and the heads of clans think twice ere they ...
— Bonnie Prince Charlie - A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden • G. A. Henty

... know, this combination of pitiful helplessness with the threatening cries was so killing that even the gloomy Simeon started laughing ... Well, now, apropos of Simeon ... I say, that life dumfounds, with its wondrous muddle and farrago, makes one stand aghast. You can utter a thousand sonorous words against souteneurs, but just such a Simeon you will never think up. So diverse and motley is life! Or else take Anna Markovna, the proprietress of this ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... Street, a weaving turmoil of farmers' wagons, buggies, delivery carts, about a noisy, fuming centre of motor vehicles. High in the centre would be the motor truck of Trimble Cushman, loaded with cases and nursed through the muddle by a cool, clear-eyed youth, who sat with delicate, sure hands on a potent wheel. Never did he kill or maim either citizen or child, to the secret chagrin of Judge Penniman. Traffic jams to him were a ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... meet. It was the largest yet seen in the New World. There were 6,000 British regulars and 9,000 American militia, with plenty of guns and all the other arms and stores required. Its general, Abercromby, was its chief weakness. He was a muddle-headed man, whom Pitt had not yet been able to replace by a better. But Lord Howe, whom Wolfe and Pitt both thought 'a perfect model of military virtue,' was second-in-command and the real head. He was young, as full of calm wisdom as of fiery courage, and the idol of Americans ...
— The Passing of New France - A Chronicle of Montcalm • William Wood

... dusting, clearing away breakfast things, folding, starching, and ironing the fine things. With a little management much can be accomplished, provided the mistress be industrious, energetic, and willing to lend a helping hand. Let washing-week be not the excuse for having everything in a muddle; and although "things" cannot be cleaned so thoroughly, and so much time spent upon them, as ordinarily, yet the house may be kept tidy and clear from litter without a great deal of exertion either on the part of the mistress or servant. ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... Sidhe wrong no one. Their message to you was true; but their messengers were women, and you were a warrior. That is why the mischance came, for it is ever the way with a woman to become foolish over a warrior, and then there is always a muddle. And when Emer comes—," he checked his indiscreet utterance by pretending to have a difficulty in restraining the horses, and then added confusedly: "Besides, I'd rather be in your plight than ...
— AE in the Irish Theosophist • George William Russell

... looked like he wanted to show me a good time, so I went, and that's what started it." Now that she had begun, she babbled on with her story, at times incoherently; full of excuses, made to herself more than to Ariel, pitifully endeavoring to convince herself that the responsibility for the muddle she had made ...
— The Conquest of Canaan • Booth Tarkington

... to see the rough way in which some people allow themselves to be served, and the muddle in which they prefer to live rather than do anything themselves that they consider menial; as if an untidy house, slovenly servants, badly cooked and coarsely served food, are not likely to do much more to lower their self-respect than any amount of so-called drudgery. 'A gentlewoman,' it has ...
— The Skilful Cook - A Practical Manual of Modern Experience • Mary Harrison

... nothing since worth mentioning in the same breath with his two first works; and if his writings have been by comparison watery, unlike water, they have never risen by inherent quality to their original level. Of his latest book, called Sylvie and Bruno, I can make neither head nor tale. It seems a muddle of all sorts, including a little bit of Bible thrown in. It will be bought, because LEWIS CARROLL'S name is to it, and it will be enjoyed for the sake of Mr. FURNISS'S excellent illustrations, but for no other reason, that I can see. I feel inclined to carol to CARROLL, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari Volume 98, January 4, 1890 • Various

... an instant; then set off sharply, so that now and again she had to run a few paces to keep up with him. He took her round by the back of the theatre and into a muddle of streets that led thence. The quiet of the night closed about them; Truda was embarked upon ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... things over herself, don't you think so, ma'am? No one went in there to murder her. But how came she to have those clothes on. She was dressed quite different when I let her in. I say it's all a muddle, ma'am, and it will be a smart man as ...
— That Affair Next Door • Anna Katharine Green

... shouldn't," answered Madame promptly. "What do you make the proper total, my dear, of that account Miss Rabbit made a muddle of?" ...
— Love at Paddington • W. Pett Ridge

... up to him, with a voice that betrays excitement). Paul, do not listen to that nonsense out there! Don't let them muddle your head! ...
— The German Classics, v. 20 - Masterpieces of German Literature • Various

... "It is a muddle tempered by the ink-bottle, like every incipient government. We shall not see our way through it for another ten years—we who have to do the governing; but private enterprise has sharp eyes.—So I am sending you there to make ...
— Cousin Betty • Honore de Balzac

... 'It does not muddle me; it's against the Bible, and I'd rather go by that than by Eva,' said Vava; and that ...
— A City Schoolgirl - And Her Friends • May Baldwin

... have damn poor luck gettin' ye TO say anything. I dinna ask fra tears, nor faintin' like a woman. Be a mon, and let me into the secret of this muddle. There is a secret, and ye know it. What is it? Why are ye breaking the heart o' Mary Malone? Answer me, or 'fore God I'll wring the answer fra ...
— At the Foot of the Rainbow • Gene Stratton-Porter

... seems to avoid me," he said. "I wanted to explain to him; I was afraid you might think my father was severe, but he really didn't beli—he didn't suppose—that is, the young people we've known—" He stopped, looking awfully red and embarrassed, then ended up with, "I'm afraid I'm making an awful muddle of it, but I'm really very sorry; I hope you and your ...
— We Ten - Or, The Story of the Roses • Lyda Farrington Kraus

... catemeran!" cried Mr. Whitelaw savagely, "and a drunken old fool into the bargain.—Why do you let her muddle herself with the gin-bottle like that, Ellen? You ought to have more respect for my property. You don't call that taking care of your husband's house.—As for you, mother Tadman, if you treat me to any more of this nonsense, ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... that are likely to be put forward in the course of a war in order to excuse and ensure its continuation, are only excuses to gain time, put forward in hope that the chances of a further campaign may enable the government concerned to retrieve some apparent advantage out of the disastrous muddle through which they drifted into the first declaration of war. Having drawn the sword in a moment of embarrassment, they have now jolly well got to pretend that it was the right thing to do, and are not going ...
— The World in Chains - Some Aspects of War and Trade • John Mavrogordato

... here's something of a muddle, Josephine," he began with a deprecating smile. "Mallory, who was coming down here with his daughter, ...
— A Sappho of Green Springs • Bret Harte

... any kind, and should be very sorry to do so. I thought it was now generally admitted that the more work a man has to do, the less he can afford to muddle himself in any way. But as I have never tried the experiment in using either alcohol or tobacco, and cannot afford to do it, I have no comparative experience to offer. It might be beneficial; I do not believe it would, ...
— Study and Stimulants • A. Arthur Reade

... unpardonable sin. The suicide's punishment should be loss of immortality. Well, I found work to do, of all sorts, in America, and elsewhere. And a year ago—she died. I should have come straight home, only I was booked for that muddle on the frontier they called 'a war.' I got fever after Targai; was invalided home; and here I am recruiting and finishing my book. Now you can understand why loveliness in a woman, fills me with a sort of panic, even while a part of me still leaps ...
— The Mistress of Shenstone • Florence L. Barclay

... behind. With The Wild Duck fantasy comes back, but with a more precise and explicit symbolism, not yet disturbing the reality of things. Here the irony is more disinterested than even in Ghosts, for it turns back on the reformer and shows us how tragic a muddle we may bring about in the pursuit of truth and in the name of our ideals. In each of the plays which follows we see the return and encroachment of symbolism, the poetic impulse crying for satisfaction and ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... and on more than one occasion he had thought, with a queer, detached interest, of the relief which morphia might bring to his tormented nerves; but with the thought came another—the picture of Iris Wayne who had bidden him remember that this was not the way out of the tragic muddle into which his life had been ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... are no laws to prevent young women falling in love, or the world would not be in such a confounded muddle as it frequently is. Don't be downhearted, Pryme; you stick to her, and it will all come right; and look here, if they won't ask you to Shadonake, I ask you to Kynaston; drop me a line, and come whenever you like—as soon as you ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... hardly believe that we have this sense of self-importance only to get rid of it," I said. "It all seems to me a dreadful muddle—to shut up these lovely little things inside millions of stones, and then to give us the wish to break a couple, only that we may reflect that they were not meant for ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... The girls are so tiresome and have made such a muddle about the Krampuses for the staff. The money didn't come out right and Keller said that Markus had taken some but Markus said not taken only kept. Of course Markus complained to Frau Doktor and her father went to the ...
— A Young Girl's Diary • An Anonymous Young Girl

... it not be?" she rejoined, in a not very convincing tone. "Now I shall rely on you—and I am sure it will not be in vain—to respect my wishes. Things seem to be in a horrible muddle," she added with a rather dreary laugh, "but let's hope they will right themselves ...
— The Hunt Ball Mystery • Magnay, William

... men find themselves in fields of benevolent action to which they are very poorly adapted; and the world is full of these blunders; but an honestly-loving heart and an ordinarily clear brain, that nobody has been allowed to meddle with and muddle, will tell a man where he belongs and what he ought to do. If a man have a gift for ministering to the sick, let him do it. If he have a gift for dealing personally with the poor, let him do that. If he have a gift for making money, and none for properly ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... because he could see no prospect of peace or happiness for her at home. He very often in those days sighed deeply from a heavy heart, for his home was very different from what he had hoped it would be. It was true that things were more orderly, but the old careless joyousness, the muddle and confusion, seemed ...
— Kitty Trenire • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... there should be no sorrow or suffering," which of all sentiments was the most likely to appeal to Dick Dudley, for he is one of those who look upon sorrow and suffering as bad management on the part of some one, since the world is really such an awfully jolly place, if only people didn't make a muddle of their lives. He says it is all very well to talk of high ideals, you can't live up to them, the best you can do is to live up to the highest practical ideal. But then his standard of ideal is very much higher since he saw Pauline for the ...
— The Professional Aunt • Mary C.E. Wemyss

... most of it does seem to me to be dully conceived. In the absence of penetrating criticism, any impudent industrious person may set up as an "expert," organise and direct the confused good intentions at large, and muddle disastrously with the problem in hand. The "expert" quack and the bureaucratic intriguer increase and multiply in a dull-minded, uncritical, strenuous period as disease germs ...
— An Englishman Looks at the World • H. G. Wells

... hair,' calling themselves 'Saltiers,' may derive their name from the dance, 'Saltarello.' Gallimaufry is 'Galimathias,' a muddle, or hotch potch. (See ...
— Shakespeare and Music - With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries • Edward W. Naylor

... favourite jests of all peoples, from Iceland to Japan, from India to England, are the droll adventures and mishaps of the silly son, who contrives to muddle everything he is set to do. In vain does his poor mother try to direct him in "the way he should go": she gets him a wife, as a last resource; but a fool he is still, and a fool he will always be. His blunders and disasters ...
— The Book of Noodles - Stories Of Simpletons; Or, Fools And Their Follies • W. A. Clouston

... entire history of the growth of the Christian doctrine in those disordered early centuries is a history of theology by committee; a history of furious wrangling, of hasty compromises, and still more hasty attempts to clinch matters by anathema. When the muddle was at its very worst, the church was confronted by enormous political opportunities. In order that it should seize these one chief thing appeared imperative: doctrinal uniformity. The emperor himself, ...
— God The Invisible King • Herbert George Wells

... confounded Miss West, and made a greater muddle of her former and her present identities ...
— Girlhood and Womanhood - The Story of some Fortunes and Misfortunes • Sarah Tytler

... road. Never again shall I return to that life. I have saved my wages this summer and am going back into the world to begin life all over again. This time, with God's help, I shall not make such a muddle of ...
— The Alchemist's Secret • Isabel Cecilia Williams

... I'm lookin' for is some big business stuff; maybe a straight tip on how this new shift in Europe is going to affect foreign exchange, or a hunch as to what the administration means to put over in regard to the railroad muddle. He's a solemn-faced, owl-eyed old party, this Mesaba Matt. Looks like he was thinkin' wise and deep about weighty matters. You know. One of these slow-movin', heavy-lidded, double-chinned old pelicans who never mention any sum less than seven figures. So I'm putting ...
— Torchy As A Pa • Sewell Ford

... be busy all the morning over my accounts; they've got into the most disgraceful muddle, and I want to put them straight. I shall be in the drawing room, for I keep all my household books in the davenport there. I mean to give you a holiday, Judy, but perhaps you won't mind reading some of your history to yourself, and doing a few ...
— A Young Mutineer • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... a short-sport!" she burst forth. "Any fellow that'll go on making debts when he can't pay his old ones, that'll get things in a muddle and run off and let somebody else face the ...
— Calvary Alley • Alice Hegan Rice

... volunteers will find it easy to work in unison and keep in touch with each other. If only the Jacobin bayonets do not get in the way; if only the self-styled "scientific" theorists do not thrust themselves in to darken counsel! Or rather let them expound their muddle-headed theories as much as they like, provided they have no authority, no power! And that admirable spirit of organization inherent in the people, above all in every social grade of the French nation, but which they have so seldom been allowed to exercise, will initiate, ...
— The Conquest of Bread • Peter Kropotkin

... game plentiful. Then the men of the settlement seem to have but a hazy notion about its bein' a place of happiness, but they can't tell why or wherefore in a very comprehensible sort o' way, and, as far as I can see, they're in no hurry to get there. It seems in a muddle somehow, an' that's a thing that surprises me, for the works o' the Almighty—hereaway in the mountains—are plain and onderstandable, so as a child might read 'em; but man's brains don't seem to be ...
— Over the Rocky Mountains - Wandering Will in the Land of the Redskin • R.M. Ballantyne

... There was a further muddle of words, then, "I think my motor's going to conk out. Shall I backtrack, FHQ? Come ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... long since overdrawn our account. Our successes in the past, sometimes the result of fortuitous circumstances, more often of the blunders of our rivals, inspire a presumptuous confidence in successes for the future and a conviction that come what may we are destined to muddle through. A special providence is watching over us—a cousin German to the Kaiser's "good old God." In truth we are tempting Fate, postulating an exception to the law of cause and effect, and looking for Hebrew miracles in the ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... me. We went pig-sticking together once—years ago, and I chanced to head off Piggie at a critical moment for young Akbar. On the strength of that, he wants me to go and be his political adviser for a few months. It seems the State is in rather a muddle. His father was a shocking old shuffler, and there are plenty of budmashes about, if report says true. But this young Rajah is anxious to get things straightened out, and the Commissioner wants a report made and so on. Altogether," Nick paused with a smile on his yellow face, "they ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... Member of Parliament, "I mean to put my shoulder to the wheel, and do the very best that can be done. I cannot believe but what a man in earnest will find out the truth. Politics are not such a hopeless muddle but what some gleam of light may be made ...
— The Landleaguers • Anthony Trollope

... punishment as I or any could desire. I think with you this estate business should some way be settled, and if it is to be his, I have no mind to leave the thing in doubt, and if it be mine or my father's, I for one do not want it. I have enough, and no wish to muddle away my life as ...
— Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker • S. Weir Mitchell

... this he failed. The jury, muddle-headed, obstinate country folk, had made up their minds that Lord Loudwater was the kind of man to be murdered, and that, therefore, he had been murdered. They brought in the verdict that Lord Loudwater had been murdered by some ...
— The Loudwater Mystery • Edgar Jepson

... the theatres have got up a plot," continued the manager; "they will even hiss the piece, but I have made arrangements to defeat their kind intentions. I have squared the men in their pay; they will make a muddle of it. A couple of city men yonder have taken a hundred tickets apiece to secure a triumph for Florine and Coralie, and given them to acquaintances able and ready to act as chuckers out. The fellows, having been paid twice, will go quietly, and a scene of that sort always ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... one by one—and re-formed in the center of the cops' muddle. Malone saw one cop raise his billy and swing it at Mike. Mike watched it come down and vanished at the last instant. The cop's billy descended on the head of another cop, standing just ...
— The Impossibles • Gordon Randall Garrett

... then she threw the book down in disgust. "What's the use of cramming?" she said to herself. "If I keep on I won't even be able to remember that 'the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.' I'm in a muddle over these triangles now. I'll find the girls and get them to go to the woods with me. I really ought to collect a few more ...
— Grace Harlowe's Sophomore Year at High School • Jessie Graham Flower

... hardly be given him for first using, so effectively too, the professional sea-life of his country: a motive so richly productive since through Marryat down to Dana, Herman Melville, Clark Russell and many other favorite writers, both British and American. In Smollett's hands, it is a strange muddle of religion, farce and smut, but set forth with a vivid particularity and a gusto f high spirits which carry the reader along, willy-nilly. Such a book might be described by the advertisement of an old inn: "Here is entertainment for man and beast." As to characterization, if ...
— Masters of the English Novel - A Study Of Principles And Personalities • Richard Burton

... irregularity; anomaly &c. (unconformity) 83; anarchy, anarchism; want of method; untidiness &c. adj.; disunion; discord &c. 24. confusion; confusedness &c. adj.; mishmash, mix; disarray, jumble, huddle, litter, lumber; cahotage[obs3]; farrago; mess, mash, muddle, muss [U. S.], hash, hodgepodge; hotch-potch[obs3], hotch-pot[obs3]; imbroglio, chaos, omnium gatherum[Lat], medley; mere mixture &c. 41; fortuitous concourse of atoms, disjecta membra[Lat], rudis indigestaque moles [Lat][Ovid]. complexity &c. 59a. turmoil; ferment &c. (agitation) ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... papa" had confined himself to scathing criticism of the incompetence of females who could not teach their menials to "cook a dinner which was not a disgrace to any decent household." When not virulently aspersing the mutton, he was expressing his opinion of muddle-headed weakness which would permit household bills to mount in a manner which could only bring ruin and disaster upon a minister of the gospel who throughout a protracted career of usefulness had sapped his intellectual manhood in the useless effort to support ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... arrive be such as you approve or as you disapprove, will nevertheless help to clear the course. In this and in all complicated matters we must remember a saying of Bacon, which may be freely translated thus: "Consistent error is very often vastly more useful than muddle-headed truth." At any rate, if there be any error in the conclusions I shall put before you, I will do my best to make the ...
— Science & Education • Thomas H. Huxley

... the Europeans looked upon the United States as a doomed country, thinking I, like some members of our wealthier classes, had come to escape disruption and dislocation at home. Only in England did I find the belief prevalent that the Americans would somehow muddle through because afterall theyre the same sort of chaps we are, ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... occurrence produced a terrible muddle, for there had not even been a copy taken of the plaint. The judge, that is to say, his secretary and the assistant debated for a long time upon such an unheard-of affair. Finally it was decided to write a report of the matter to the governor, as the investigation of the matter pertained more ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... if you are called to do a man's work, do not exact a woman's privileges—the privileges of inaccuracy, of weakness, of the muddle-head. Submit yourselves to the rules of business, as men do, by which alone you can make God's business succeed. For he has never said that he will give his blessing to sketchy, unfinished work. And I would especially guard young ...
— The True Woman • Justin D. Fulton

... been a long time before this consciousness of mismanagement became a general conviction, but as it was, the disorder was readily and naturally attributed to the stupid Germans, and everyone was convinced that a dangerous muddle had been occasioned by ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... hour he wouldn't talk at all; just sat there wooden-faced, smoking vile little cigars that made me think I was getting hay-fever. But I wouldn't give up; and after I had worn out all the commonplaces I began on the Trans-Western muddle. At that he woke up all at once, and before I knew it he was giving me an expert legal opinion on the case; meaty and sound and judicial. Miss Van Brock, that man is a lawyer, and an exceedingly able one, ...
— The Grafters • Francis Lynde

... answered Mat; "I don't suppose I should understand you if you could find 'em. If you want the picter put up again, I'll do it. And if you want the carpenter's muddle head punched, who put it up before, I shouldn't much mind doing that either," added Mat, looking at the hole from which the clamp had been torn with an expression of ...
— Hide and Seek • Wilkie Collins

... open secret that the men behind Mar are starving, and that the whole east and the city of Savannah were within a day of being deserted. How long is this disorganisation to go on? How long is that bloated bondholder to go prancing round on horseback, wall-eyed and muddle-headed, while his men are starved and butchered, and the forces of this great country are at the mercy of clever rogues like Potty, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... pounds' worth of property to set off against his vague colossal liabilities, and from first to last he must have had a controlling influence in the direction of nearly thirty millions. This irrational muddle of a community in which we live gave him that, paid him at that rate for sitting in a room and scheming and telling it lies. For he created nothing, he invented nothing, he economised nothing. I cannot claim that a single ...
— H. G. Wells • J. D. Beresford

... he shall do nothing of the kind," returned Mr. Liddell, in a weak, hoarse, impatient voice. "I saw him once, and I know him; he is an ignorant, addle-pated jackanapes. He shall not muddle my affairs; send him away; I can wait for Newton. I don't suppose I am ...
— A Crooked Path - A Novel • Mrs. Alexander

... Method. Without this, work cannot be got through satisfactorily either in offices, workshops, or households. By arranging work properly, by doing everything at the right time, with a view to the economy of labour, a large amount of business can be accomplished. Muddle flies before method; and hugger-mugger disappears. There is also a method in spending—in laying out money,—which is as valuable to the housewife, as method is in accomplishing her work. Money slips through the fingers ...
— Thrift • Samuel Smiles

... scouring, nor cleaning, nor repairing going on about me. That's the way I've got the ill name of Chancery. I don't mind. I go to see my noble and learned brother pretty well every day, when he sits in the Inn. He don't notice me, but I notice him. There's no great odds betwixt us. We both grub on in a muddle. Hi, Lady Jane!" ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... my friends that I should make a first-class job of it, that they all dropped in to discuss the plan with me, and to give me some advice, until—thanks to their thoughtful kindness—my head would have been in a muddle had the contemplated structure been a cheap barn instead of ...
— Romance of California Life • John Habberton

... logically, a Hydrographer is a ship. But a ship is never put into a witness-box, where it would be quite at sea, but in the dock, where it could be quite at home. "Truly," writes our Puzzled Correspondent, "there is a muddle somewhere." Q. E. D. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, January 7, 1893 • Various

... inquest think that Kit Rhodes did come back to do that shooting, and you know Conrad and the very smooth rat of the Charities Society are accountable for that opinion. The Mexican who dragged in Kit's name is one of Conrad's men; it all means something! It's a bad muddle, but Kit Rhodes and Cap Pike will wander back here some of these days, and I mean to have every bit of evidence for Kit to start in with. He suspected a lot, and all Granados combined to silence ...
— The Treasure Trail - A Romance of the Land of Gold and Sunshine • Marah Ellis Ryan

... endorsed Ingred, "and a most uncomfortable one, I should say. I went to his house once for a music lesson, and it looked in a fearful muddle. Good old Bantam! We must give her congrats! She'll soon get things into order there! I believe she adores little Kenneth. I've often seen her taking him about the town. She shall have ...
— A Popular Schoolgirl • Angela Brazil

... form new individuals (changes which would not have occurred if those germ-cells had perished!), but rather a correlation between the age of the parents and the quality of their offspring. How cleverly the biometricians have involved one muddle within another will be evident not only from considering the evident absurdity of supposing—as their argument, analyzed, necessarily supposes—that a man's body can be affected by the diverse fates of germ-cells that have left it, but also when we observe that one of the ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... care! You'll muddle all my papers. [Taking bills out of his hands, and closing down the writing-desk.] I want to have a little talk with Renie—you'd better join them at ...
— Dolly Reforming Herself - A Comedy in Four Acts • Henry Arthur Jones



Words linked to "Muddle" :   dog's dinner, puddle, rummage, pickle, mare's nest, addle, difficulty, disorderliness, jam, dog's breakfast, kettle of fish, jumble, welter, disorder, fuddle, roil, clutter, hole, mix up, smother, fix, confuse



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