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Silliness   Listen
noun
Silliness  n.  The quality or state of being silly.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Silliness" Quotes from Famous Books



... conducted by experience. And besides, Mr. Fenwick, is not love a warfare? has it not rules? have not our fair antagonists their tactics, their weapons, their place of arms? and is there not a touch of—pardon me the word! of silliness in one who, having fought and having vanquished, sounds a parley, and capitulates to his own prisoner? Had the lady chosen, had the fortune of war been other, 'tis like she had been Mrs. Austin. Now!... You ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XV • Robert Louis Stevenson

... obscured his eyes. We shall never be able to claim any credit as a physiognomist again, for, after a careful scrutiny of this gentleman's countenance, we had come to the conclusion that it bespoke nothing but conceit and silliness, when our friend with the silver staff whispered in our ear that he was no other than a doctor of civil law, and heaven knows what besides. So of course we were mistaken, and he must be a very talented man. He conceals it so well though—perhaps with the merciful ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... the romance of the second, nor the solemnity of the last, could check for more than a few hours the steady development of the family characteristics of love, modesty, hate, frivolity, wisdom, and silliness. ...
— Post Haste • R.M. Ballantyne

... seen much, and known many great men, and gone through a vast variety of experience, she had always something to tell which was interesting. But how largely it was informed by egotism, and how narrowly at times it escaped the reproach of silliness, may be understood, I think, from ...
— Celebrated Women Travellers of the Nineteenth Century • W. H. Davenport Adams

... the nature of the country in which the sheep is straying; and also the nature of the sheep that is straying there. He knows the roughness of the mountain passes, and the silliness of the solitary truant sheep; he divines accordingly what track it will take. He conjectures beforehand, with a considerable measure of accuracy, the pit in which it will be found lying, or the thicket in which it will be ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... they had a large share of physical suffering to endure, but asserted that Nature, to preserve her balance, must have arranged their minds so as to render them incapable of suffering in any other way. Sentimentality, hysteria, and silliness, he said, were at the bottom of all their mental troubles, which did not, therefore, merit ...
— Ideala • Sarah Grand

... Fallians are above it. They pull all the hay to their side of the manger and forget that we, having never used such food, don't miss it now. It is a pity that we can't infuse more of the "God-honor-and-the-ladies" spirit into this depth of silliness out here. ...
— Letters of a Dakota Divorcee • Jane Burr

... thought more contemptuously of Mary Ann. Idealise her as he might, see all that was best in her as he tried to, she remained common and commonplace enough. Her ingenuousness, while from one point of view it was charming, from another was but a pleasant synonym for silliness. And it might not be ingenuousness—or silliness—after all! For, was Mary Ann as innocent as she looked? The guilelessness of the dove might very well cover the wisdom of the serpent. The instinct—the repugnance that made him sponge ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill

... woman; sensible, gracious and nice. Her position is a trying one which she supports with tact. So far she has been guilty of no error of taste and her manner with her husband is pleasant without bearing a trace of that silliness which the Senator's great age encouraged Washington to expect. No one has yet enjoyed any spiteful fun at Mrs. Depew's expense though many were on the qui ...
— The Onlooker, Volume 1, Part 2 • Various

... on the Timaeus is a wonderful monument of the silliness and prolixity of the Alexandrian Age. It extends to about thirty pages of the book, and is thirty times the length of the original. It is surprising that this voluminous work should have found a translator ...
— Timaeus • Plato

... she sat there in the rocky clearing amidst the litter of pine-tops and small undergrowth, contemplating her own silliness with ...
— In Old Kentucky • Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey

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

... placed at this minute. Leslie Goldthwaite and Dakie Thayne and the Josselyns half way up above there, in the Minster. Mr. Wharne and Miss Craydocke at the top. And I down here, where I belong. Impertinence! To think of the things I've said in my silliness to that woman, whose greatness I can no more measure! Why didn't somebody stop me? I don't answer for you, Frank, and I won't keep you; but I think I'll just stay where I am, and not spoil ...
— A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite's Life. • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... great deal to answer for as regards men, and every girl should do her best to be on the right side and to help a man to be at his best, by showing that she thinks silliness and vulgar chaff objectionable. Every girl sets the tone of those she talks with, for every one's conscience responds to the tacit appeal of a nice-minded girl's dislike of these things. If you do not respond, it checks such ...
— Stray Thoughts for Girls • Lucy H. M. Soulsby

... her back as she hung on him. Was it sheer silliness? Or had certain doors in her nature never been opened, even enough for her to know all that lay behind them? He pushed her off, holding her by both wrists: "Are you quite willing to marry Mr. Muller? Do you love him? ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Volume 11, No. 26, May, 1873 • Various

... police as a body are bribed by bookmakers or prostitutes—that, in fact, there exists a practical blackmail. These things were investigated and disproved at a Royal Commission some years ago. They are pure silliness. ...
— Scotland Yard - The methods and organisation of the Metropolitan Police • George Dilnot

... mathematical operations, that, though I was very fond of them in my college days, I have long ceased to occupy myself with these processes. I would add, by way of redeeming my dream-intelligence from a deserved charge of silliness, that I once performed a respectable intellectual feat when asleep. I put together the riddle, "What might a wooden ship say when her side was stove in? Tremendous!" (Tree-mend-us). I was aware of having tried to improve on the form of this pun. I am happy to say I am not given to punning during ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... present it to Cornelia on her birthday as a text-book for the "newly engaged" girl. And he hoped and prayed with all his heart that every individual letter would be printed with crimson ink on a violet-scented page and would fairly reek from date to signature with all the joyous, ecstatic silliness that graces either an old-fashioned novel ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... softest thing in nature, and the colour of it, when its colour was fixed enough to be told, was a shade of pink so faint and creamy that you would hardly dare to call it by its name. Her mouth was perfect, not small enough to give that expression of silliness which is so common, but almost divine, with the temptation of its full, rich, ruby lips. Her teeth, which she but seldom showed, were very even and very white, and there rested on her chin the dearest dimple that ever acted as a loadstar to mens's eyes. The fault ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... sort of luxury, carried beyond the ordinary and familiar uses of menial service, has a speedily enervating effect. Thinking being the most onerous of all, they have it done, also. They sink into silliness and moral and mental sloth. They pass the time at foolish purposeless games indoors and out; or they wander aimlessly about the earth chattering with similar mental decrepits, much like monkeys adrift in the boughs of a tropical forest. But Norman ...
— The Grain Of Dust - A Novel • David Graham Phillips

... head. And all ten have really seen it, so firmly are they convinced of the correctness of their swift judgment of expectation. Now, before we treat the witness to some reproach like untruth, inattention, silliness, or something equally nice, *we had better consider whether his story is not true, and whether the difficulty might not really lie in the imperfection of our own sensory processes. This involves partly what ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... friends out to see us this evening. My message said about the same thing, so now, you see, it was ridiculous in Eleanor to tease about it being a love-note. Had she been sensible I would have read it aloud to all, but because of her silliness, I made up my mind to keep ...
— Polly's Business Venture • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... without ammunition and powder when the Dutch came upon us; and how we have no courage now-a-days, but let our ships be taken out of our harbour. Here Creed did tell us the story of the duell last night, in Covent-garden, between Sir H. Bellasses and Tom Porter. It is worth remembering the silliness of the quarrel, and is a kind of emblem of the general complexion of this whole kingdom at present. They two dined yesterday at Sir Robert Carr's [M.P. Knight and Baronet, of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, and one of the proposed knights ...
— The Diary of Samuel Pepys • Samuel Pepys

... Happened to Mary, and the Million Dollar Mystery, stretched on through reel after reel, week after week. Kathlyn had no especial adventures. Nothing in particular happened to Mary. The million dollar mystery was: why did the millionaires who owned such a magnificent instrument descend to such silliness and impose it on the people? Why cannot our weekly story be henceforth some great plan that is being worked out, whose history will delight us? For instance, every stage of the building of the Panama Canal was followed with the greatest interest in the films. But there was not enough of it to keep ...
— The Art Of The Moving Picture • Vachel Lindsay

... except in music, has not been very carefully attended to; and she knows about as much of the world as the Bishop of Autun (better known as Prince Talleyrand) knows of the Bible. If she were not so simple, she would be silly; but silliness is never simple,—always cunning; however, there is some cunning in her keeping her past Cameronian Chronicles so close. Perhaps I may know more about her in a short time, for I intend going to C——-, where my uncle once lived, in order to see if I can revive under the rose—since ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book V • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... elements ideal love, self-sacrifice, knightly devotion—Sunday-school Garden-of-Eden pictures with a mediaeval, romantic coloring. These day-dreams were always sexual, involving situations of extreme complexity and monumental silliness. Masturbation was always continued and usually with increased frequency. The end of these periods was always abrupt and much like awaking from a dream in which the dreamer has been behaving in a manner to arouse his own disgust. They ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... nothing of the kind. You're all upset, and you deserve a heap more than scolding.... But I like you." Hilda was always direct. "You're more or less of a little idiot, with your insane notions and your Joan of Arc silliness, but I like you. You're not fit to be left alone. I'm in charge.... So go and dabble cold water on your eyes, so you don't look like Nazimova in the last act, and come along with. me. We'll take a drive, and then I'm coming back to stay all night with you.... Yes, I am," she said, with decision, ...
— Youth Challenges • Clarence B Kelland

... it is the want of stupidity or silliness that makes trifling of that kind impossible to ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875 • Various

... celebrated and George Tanqueray was not. It was Tanqueray's belief in her that had kept her up. It consoled her with the thought that her celebrity was, after all, only a disgusting accident. For, through it all, in spite of the silliness of it, he did believe. He swore by her. He staked his own genius upon hers. As long as he believed in it she could not really doubt. But now for the first time since she was celebrated she ...
— The Creators - A Comedy • May Sinclair

... which seemed to him somewhat vain and strange; but that, when he communicated on that subject with learned men, he found that these things had a very massive and solid foundation, and that it is only silliness and ignorance which make us receive them with less reverence than the other doctrines of religion.' Hence he concludes that we must put ourselves wholly under the protection of ecclesiastical authority, or ...
— Shakspere And Montaigne • Jacob Feis

... servants to men, and will sometimes be builders for a reward, and sometimes will be shepherds; while others of them, like malefactors, are bound in a prison of brass. And what sober person is there who would not be provoked at such stories, and rebuke those that forged them, and condemn the great silliness of those that admit them for true? Nay, others there are that have advanced a certain timorousness and fear, as also madness and fraud, and any other of the vilest passions, into the nature and form of gods, and have persuaded whole cities to offer sacrifices to the better ...
— Against Apion • Flavius Josephus

... Sharp practise and double-dealing among the people find an outcrop in public affairs. Rogues in a community will have no trouble in finding rogue lawyers to do their bidding. In fact, rogue clients evolve rogue attorneys. Foolish patients evolve fool doctors. And superstition and silliness in the pew find a fitting ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen • Elbert Hubbard

... kill you, and they will ill-treat me so that never again shall I be able to look my husband in the eyes—his brave eyes; but now perhaps they are closed in death!" There was an older, harsh-featured woman who rated the mother for her silliness, and, while we ate our omelette, the room was filled with the clamour of them until a dog outside began to howl. Then the mother went and sat down in a chair by the fire and stopped crying, but every now and then moaned and clasped her baby strongly to her ...
— Adventures of a Despatch Rider • W. H. L. Watson

... who died early, himself an excellent Greek scholar, saw my negligence and folly with pain, instead of contempt. He came to call on me in George's Square, and pointed out in the strongest terms the silliness of the conduct I had adopted, told me I was distinguished by the name of the Greek Blockhead, and exhorted me to redeem my reputation while it was called to-day. My stubborn pride received this advice with sulky civility; the birth of my Mentor (whose name was Archibald, the ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... ready to break the laws of any land for the sake of a great ideal. Goodness knows what stuff they talked together. Mary said she would blush to think of it till her dying day, and I gathered that on her side it was a mixture of Launcelot Wake at his most pedantic and schoolgirl silliness. ...
— Mr. Standfast • John Buchan

... temper that you should set so sweet, so tender an air, as "Deil tak the wars," to the foolish old verses. You talk of the silliness of "Saw ye my father?"—By heavens! the odds is gold to brass! Besides, the old song, though now pretty well modernized into the Scottish language, is originally, and in the early editions, a bungling low imitation of the Scottish manner, by that genius Tom D'Urfey, so has no ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... take thy boasting and bragging," said his housewife, "and thou shouldst not utter such stuff and silliness to any one than thyself. As for me, I will willingly give Kari meat and other good things, which I know will be useful to him; but on Bjorn's hardihood, Kari, thou shalt not trust, for I am afraid that thou wilt find it quite otherwise ...
— Njal's Saga • Unknown Icelanders

... he had changed his mind since the wooden poke had been put on him, and somehow his running away seemed very foolish now. He wondered how he could ever have thought it any fun, and he was so disgusted that he couldn't keep his ears still, but moved them restlessly when he remembered his own silliness. ...
— Among the Farmyard People • Clara Dillingham Pierson

... different to the different as if it were also a necessity of thought. 'The so-called maxim of identity,' he wrote, 'is supposed to be accepted by the consciousness of every one. But the language which such a law demands, "a planet is a planet, magnetism is magnetism, mind is mind," deserves to be called silliness. No mind either speaks or thinks or forms conceptions in accordance with this law, and no existence of any kind whatever conforms to it. We must never view identity as abstract identity, to the exclusion of all difference. That is the touchstone for distinguishing ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... whom he hoped to succeed dying indeed of the fever that had seized him; so we lost our curate. But it seems he prated to his patron about the fair young lady he had hoped should share his preferment, lamenting her silliness in preferring a moonstruck Quaker youth; also he complained of Mrs. Golding for not discouraging such follies, and he even deplored Mr. Truelocke's obstinate ...
— Andrew Golding - A Tale of the Great Plague • Anne E. Keeling

... a most wonderfully strong and valiant spirit: she was once timid; now she tramples on all the evil spirits. She has put far away from herself all the littleness and silliness of women; she is singularly free from scruples, and ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... of all," said the woman, "and by my own silliness. But I seed my little Nan alive fust, and that was all I wanted. And I don't know who she was, nor what she was. She tole me she was a outcast and a tramp and a good-for-nothing. But there's never been anybody yet, be they who they may, as done for me what she done. She'd have give ...
— The Lowest Rung - Together with The Hand on the Latch, St. Luke's Summer and The Understudy • Mary Cholmondeley

... sleep. What silliness, to sleep! Mummy! Mummy! such a thing never happened to me before," she said, surprised and alarmed at the feeling she was aware of in herself. "And could we ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... mind and clouds thoughts, and so causes a feeling of carelessness and silliness that may ruin some military plan, or give the whole thing away to the enemy and with it the lives of ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... absurd," she said. "I know it's absurd. But, somehow, little things do worry me, even when I know they're silly. And there's just enough that's not silliness in this to let it ...
— Antony Gray,—Gardener • Leslie Moore

... experience in their relations with each other. It may be useful to state the principal causes of this unhappiness, and to give some definite directions in the way of remedy. Absence of love, absence of reason, absence of justice, absence of taste, in other words, harshness and neglect, silliness and frivolity, vice and crime, vulgarity and slovenliness, are the leading and inevitable creators of alienation, dislike, and misery in marriage. Whatever tends to increase these tends to multiply separations and ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... Silliness is the daughter of wit. Therefore it is not a paradox to say that the French would be wiser if they ...
— Widger's Quotations from The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova • David Widger

... young retriever dog—or rather an overgrown pup, a big, foolish, four-footed mate, who was always slobbering round them and lashing their legs with his heavy tail that swung round like a stock-whip. Most of his head was usually a red, idiotic, slobbering grin of appreciation of his own silliness. He seemed to take life, the world, his two-legged mates, and his own instinct as a huge joke. He'd retrieve anything: he carted back most of the camp rubbish that Andy threw away. They had a cat that died in hot weather, and Andy threw it a good distance away ...
— Joe Wilson and His Mates • Henry Lawson

... over-stimulated every activity of the body, and spent our lives doing all kinds of things in which there was no sense. Think of reading one or two morning and evening papers every day. To be sure we said there was nothing in them, but we used up our eyesight over them, and let a stream of silliness and scandal dribble through our minds. As to the things ...
— The Master-Knot of Human Fate • Ellis Meredith

... life, no distinct atmosphere of the period. It might just as well be of the eighteenth or nineteenth century. The character of Chiappino may be found in any provincial town. This compound of envy, self-conceit, superficial cleverness and real silliness is one of our universal plagues, and not uncommon among the demagogues of any country. And he contrasts him with Ogniben, the Pope's legate, another type, well known in governments, skilled in affairs, half mocking, half tolerant of the "foolish people," the alluring destroyer ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... and to walk to Fleet Street by way of Great Queen Street and Lincoln's Inn Fields, and upon this he would subsist till the day came. He could make no longer excursions because of his lameness. All this may sound very much like simple silliness to most people, but those who have not been bound to a wheel do not know what thoughts come into the head of the strongest man who is extended on it. Clark sat side by side in his gallery with other young men of rather a degraded type, and the confinement bred in them a filthy grossness with which ...
— Mark Rutherford's Deliverance • Mark Rutherford

... scapegraces. Don't, like Sam, get it into your heads that you are destined to get into scrapes, and that therefore it is no use trying to keep out of them. That would be a proof of nothing but your silliness. I can't tell you how it was Sam's stone always broke the window, or why the master's eye always fell on him when there was a row going on; but I can tell you this, that if Sam hadn't thrown the stone, the window would not have been broken; and that if he had behaved well ...
— Parkhurst Boys - And Other Stories of School Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... if anything in life were worth all this. All sound and fury; all pompous silliness like this storm. Presently there will not be an echo or a trace ...
— Sacrifice • Stephen French Whitman

... he might have walked right in, and said to the butler: "Here's a month's wages. Hook it." But he was a peculiar fellow, verging sometimes on silliness. He merely turned away. The vertiginous rapidity of his wife's developments, manoeuvres and transformations had dazed him into a sort of numbed idiocy. In two days, in a day, with no warning to him of her extraordinary precipitancy, she ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... your secret, my dear, even if you're too stubborn to tell. This setback is your own fault. You've let other notions become more important to you than the idea of getting well. And you've no excuse for it. After I had to warn you a month ago, I expected that silliness ...
— The Straw • Eugene O'Neill

... unreasonableness natural to lifelong acquaintance. The only difference was that now, when she and Blair squabbled, they made up again in new ways; Blair, with gusts of what Elizabeth, annoyed and a little disgusted, called "silliness"; Elizabeth, with strange, half-scared, wholly joyous moments of conscious power. But the "making-up" was far less personal than the fallings-out; these, at least, meant individual antagonisms, whereas the reconciliations ...
— The Iron Woman • Margaret Deland

... monstrous vanity is confined to tremendous fools; but although the greatest intellectual self-conceit I have ever seen has been in blockheads of the greatest density and ignorance; and although the greatest self-conceit of personal attractions has been in men and women of unutterable silliness; still, it must be admitted that very great and illustrious members of the human race have been remarkable for their vanity. I have met very clever men, as well as very great fools, who would willingly ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... ventured to give us some advice on (A) Food, (B) Education, (C) Intercourse. He sat down in a pure whirlwind of folly, without saying a word about the feelings that were in all hearts, including his own, just then. But I was delighted to find that marriage had not taken away an inch of his incurable silliness. ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... of the inhuman sophism that, because it is silly in my neighbour to break his egg at the broad end when the Squire and the Vicar have declared their predilection for the narrow end, therefore it is right for the Squire and the Vicar to hang and quarter him for his silliness:—for it comes to that. ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... whispered, clasping her hands tight against her breast. "I'll have a chance to show them that I'm really sorry for my silliness. I'll do something, I'll have something ready for them when they come back that will prove I'm done with sentimental nonsense ...
— Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge • Pemberton Ginther

... iron-gray hair, falling naturally like that of the Christ in art, added to his ecstatic air a certain solemnity which was absolutely deceptive as to his real nature; for he was capable of committing any silliness with the most exemplary gravity. His clothes were a necessary envelope, to which he paid not the slightest attention, for his eyes looked too high among the clouds to concern themselves with such materialities. This great unknown artist belonged to the kindly class of the self-forgetting, who give ...
— A Daughter of Eve • Honore de Balzac

... to produce incipient nausea; and I cannot but regard it as the normal and inevitable outcome of the {298} intoxication, if sufficiently prolonged. A pessimistic fatalism, depth within depth of impotence and indifference, reason and silliness united, not in a higher synthesis, but in the fact that whichever you choose it is all one,—this is the upshot of a revelation that began ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... a very natural oath. Then he looked at his informant and saw in her face only silliness and truth. For the good woman had indeed persuaded herself of the verity of her fancy. Mr. Stocks had told her that he had her father's consent and good wishes, and misinterpreting the girl's manner she had considered the ...
— The Half-Hearted • John Buchan

... was very foolish to let him see that I cared," she thought, "for it can never be, and by and by he will forget me, or if he does think of me, it will be to recall me as one of his summer girls who had a fit of silliness." ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... the next day in renewed spirits, and I had Eustace on my hands in a very strange state, not choosing or deigning to suppose himself rejected, and yet exceedingly, angry with all young ladies for their silliness and caprices, while he lauded Lady Diana up to the skies, and abused Dermot, who, I think, had laughed at him visibly enough to be at least suspected by himself. And, oddly enough, Dora was equally cross, and had a fit of untowardness unequalled since the combats at her first arrival, ...
— My Young Alcides - A Faded Photograph • Charlotte M. Yonge

... command that he should get to hell out of here, the more he do not get to hell out of here. He cry something towards me, and I demand what is his desire, but he do not explain. Oh, no, that arrives never. He does but shrug his head. What damn silliness! Is this amusing for me? You think I like it? I am not content with such folly. I think the poor mutt's loony. Je me fiche de ce type infect. C'est idiot de faire comme ca l'oiseau.... Allez-vous-en, ...
— Right Ho, Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... other, with plates of water in our hands, the bottom of one sooty, the other clean!—There we sat, face to face, alternately rubbing the bottoms of the plates, and stroking our physiognomies, in mockery of each other—Mr. Lark getting his face blacked like a sweep,—the youngsters laughing at his silliness!—Oh, that a little smut ...
— Christmas Comes but Once A Year - Showing What Mr. Brown Did, Thought, and Intended to Do, - during that Festive Season. • Luke Limner

... exception a month after when he understands it, and then be abused again into a reconcilement; and you cannot endear him more than by cozening him, and it is a temptation to those that would not. One discoverable in all silliness to all men but himself, and you may take any man's knowledge of him better than his own. He will promise the same thing to twenty, and rather than deny one break with all. One that has no power over himself, over his business, over his friends, but a prey and pity to all; and if ...
— Character Writings of the 17th Century • Various

... La Hontan explains the meaning of the word thus: "Calumet, in general, signifies a pipe, being a Norman word, derived from Chalumeau." The definition displays, in a remarkable degree, the silliness of that writer. The savages do not understand this word. "The Pipe of Peace is called, in the Iroquois language, Ganondaoe, and by the other savages, Poayem." ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 1 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... affection or possession. There are the elaborate pseudo-erudite notes which one has learnt to associate chiefly with Moore. The authoress boasts in her preface that she "has already written almost as many volumes as she has years," and that she has hardly ever corrected her proofs. Perhaps this silliness will make some think her not more an example of the savagery of contemporary ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... Sigismund? Thou fibbest; It was you yourselves that thus Sigismundized me and princed me: All the silliness and the boldness ...
— Life Is A Dream • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... discloses the abuses common among the slave-holders under Spanish rule, and the silliness of the belief that the masters for their own benefit would treat their human property well. This account refers to one Juan Palomeque, a rich landowner and promoter of mule-transports, who lived in Gage's parish of Mexico, near the actual capital of ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... a brave woman and help him," Thornton said, feeling the conventionality and silliness of any remark. "He mustn't be hounded out of here like a dog, but made to feel that he can make a decent future." She nodded. "It isn't the money," she said at last. "Though I can't see where it will come from. Nor the marriage, but the ...
— The Man Who Wins • Robert Herrick

... be ready for Monday. He had a great scorn for Miss Ingamells, who was a personable if somewhat heavy creature of twenty-eight, because she kept company with a young man. He had caught them arm-in-arm and practically hugging each other, one Sunday afternoon in the street. He could see naught but silliness in that kind ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... poem in the volume, entitled "The River," is a tale of disappointed love, terminating in the suicide of the lover. Poor and pointless as this performance is, it is by far the best in the book. As Mr Patmore advances, there is a marked increase of silliness and affectation in his effusions, which shows how sedulously he has cultivated the art of sinking in poetry; and that the same adage which has been applied to vice, may be applied also to folly, "Nemo repente fuit stultissimus." Never was there a richer offering laid on the shrine ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... year abdicated, had chosen foolishly to interfere with his son's government, he had called two boys and had them twist a cord of coconut around his father's neck so that thereafter he never breathed again. Because his favourite wife, mother of his eldest born, had dared out of silliness of affection to violate one of his kingly tamboos, he had had her killed and had himself selfishly and religiously eaten the last of her even to the marrow of her cracked joints, sharing no morsel ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... if you like the phrase better, commonplace, existence agreed with me, satisfied my natural tastes for changes and silliness. I lived on the boulevard, in theaters and cafes, always out of doors, always without a regular home, though I was comfortably housed. I was one of those thousands of beings who let themselves float like corks, through life, for whom the walls of Paris ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume IV (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... who would have been so entirely generous, so unaware even of the possibility of evil? He admired her for it, and wondered—if it was a little silly (which he had a kind of undisclosed suspicion that it was), yet what a heavenly silliness. There was nobody else who would have been so magnanimous, so confident in his ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... time Barnet could do nothing with him. The man was consumed by his tortured realisation of the evil silliness of war, the realisation which had come upon him in a flash with the bullet that had destroyed his skill and use as an artificer for ever. He was looking at the vestiges with a horror that made him impenetrable to any other idea. At last the poor wretch let Barnet tie up his bleeding stump and help ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... Suffering is the instant and obvious sign of some outrage done to human nature; without this natural recoil, actual or imminent, no morality would have any sanction, and no precept could be imperative. What silliness to command me to pursue pleasure or to avoid it, if in any case everything would be well! Save for some shadow of dire repentance looming in the distance, I am deeply free to walk as I will. The choice ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... cried. "You ain't so unprofessional as to remember all that silliness against me, are you? I was only a girl, and you couldn't expect me to love you—either of you. I'm a poor widow now," she sighed, "and I need work. And here you have been laying up grudges against me—the two of you—all these years! What ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... suddenly, he would see this person at his elbow. Looking behind, at the close of the colloquy with the landlord, he again saw the strange youth, or man. The being was nearly six feet high, and powerfully built, like a strong man of twenty-five. His face was childish even to the degree of silliness. The mouth opened like a flytrap; the eyes were small and intensely guileless. Only a few wrinkles, and a few hairs, which grew wide apart on his cheeks and chin, indicated his manhood. But the oddest feature ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... folly—not want of cunning and cleverness, but want of heart—want of feeling—what Solomon calls folly (Prov. i. 22-27), stupidity of soul, when he calls on the simple souls, How long ye simple ones will you love simplicity or silliness, and the scorners delight in their scorning (delight in laughing at what is good), and fools hate knowledge—hate to think earnestly or steadily about anything—the stupidity of the ass, who is too stubborn and thick-skinned to turn out of his way for any one—or the stupidity ...
— True Words for Brave Men • Charles Kingsley

... Potsdam in June, 1908, from continuing its activities among us now and henceforth; and we can prevent our school textbooks from playing into Germany's hand by teaching hate of England to our boys and girls. Beside the sickening silliness which still asks, "What has England done in the war?" is a silliness still more sickening which says, "Germany is beaten. Let us forgive and forget." That is not Christianity. There is nothing Christian about it. It is merely sentimental slush, sloppy shirking ...
— A Straight Deal - or The Ancient Grudge • Owen Wister

... this that its evident silliness would prevent any speaker from using such a form in serious argument. But recall that in the discussion of any idea a term may get its meaning slightly changed. In that slight change of meaning lurks the error illustrated here, ready to lead to false reasoning and weakening of the argument. ...
— Public Speaking • Clarence Stratton

... and a-castin' of sheep's eyes," said he. "We knows what that's the beginnings of! Well, well, youth's the season for silliness, but there's bounds—there's bounds. And all of a mornin' so early too. Lord above knows what it wouldn't be like of a evenin'." He shook his ...
— The Incomplete Amorist • E. Nesbit

... silliness is the childish fondness of the every-day children of the world! 'tis the unmeaning toying of the younglings of the fields and forests; but where Sentiment and Fancy unite their sweets, where Taste and Delicacy refine, where Wit adds the flavour, and ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... courage now a-days, but let our ships be taken out of our harbour. Here Creed did tell us the story of the dwell last night, in Coventgarden, between Sir H. Bellasses and Tom Porter. It is worth remembering the silliness of the quarrell, and is a kind of emblem of the general complexion of this whole kingdom at present. They two it seems dined yesterday at Sir Robert Carr's, where it seems people do drink high, all that come. It happened that these two, the greatest friends in ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... what he seemed to want, what he had feebly longed for. She was more than this. Her nature was the complement of his. A lack of shrewdness, of mental grasp, a certain silliness were absolutely essential to the maintenance of a lifelong devotion to him. Wentworth had found the right woman to give him what he wanted. Fay had found ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... accused as the only idle, uncontributing part in the whole body, while the rest were put to hardships and the expense of much labor to minister to its appetites. The stomach, however, merely ridiculed the silliness of the members, who appeared not to be aware that the stomach certainly does receive the general nourishment, but only to return it again, and redistribute it amongst the rest. Such is the case," he said, "citizens, between you and ...
— The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch - Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch • Plutarch

... you lookin' at her," went on his grandfather, "as if you was kind of wonderin' whether to laugh at her or pity her. You needn't do either. She's kind-hearted and that makes her put up with Rachel's silliness. Then, besides, Rachel herself is common sense and practical nine-tenths of the time. It's always a good idea, son, to sail one v'yage along with a person before you decide whether to class 'em as A. B. ...
— The Portygee • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... "The silliness of that statement will occur to you in a while," he said dryly. "And truth is a defense against a claim of libel. But to get back to purpose. Our second purpose tonight is to get it through your thick head, Mr. Robertson, that ...
— Card Trick • Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett

... You may see the picture at Hampton Court. She must have been difficult to please, for she insisted upon being painted without shadow. "Glorious Gloriana" was to be the sun of female beauty. She is quite as well as some in "The Book." For modern "beauty" manufacturers make beauty to consist in silliness ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... as old as the hills and as old as the crude coquetries of boys and girls. May was the soppiest girl in Holloway. Yet the boys liked her for her plump face and arms and legs, and her red cheeks, and her self-conscious laugh, and her eyes that held guilt and evil and general silliness and vanity. The boys liked May. They did not like Sally. She was too small and sandy; too obviously critical and contemptuous in face of their small stock of talk, and too greedy of their poor and pompously-displayed schemes for economical entertainment. Sally's teeth ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... said these words to comfort him. Sakuni said, O son of the Kuru race, you have just heard what Kama hath said. His words are, indeed fraught with wisdom. Why wouldst thou abandoning from foolishness the high prosperity that I won for thee, cast off thy life today, O king, yielding to silliness? It seemeth to me to-day that thou hast never waited upon the old. He that cannot control sudden accession of joy or grief, is lost even though he may have obtained prosperity, like an unburnt earthen vessel in water. That king who is entirely destitute of courage, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... the first to grow tired of it, and, dealing frankly with the subject, demonstrated how artificial and limping it was, the silliness of its incidents, and the absurdity of the disclosures made ...
— Bouvard and Pecuchet - A Tragi-comic Novel of Bourgeois Life • Gustave Flaubert

... continued; for, accepting what the girl had said, he regarded the still sweetness of Diamond's face as a sign of silliness, and wished to be kind to ...
— At the Back of the North Wind • George MacDonald

... very few excisions in this book is made in the midst of it. Dryden, so adult and so far from simplicity, bears himself like a child who, having said something fine, caps it with something foolish. The suppressed part of the ode is silly with a silliness which Dryden's age chose to dodder in when it would. The deplorable "rattling bones" of the closing section has ...
— Flower of the Mind • Alice Meynell

... manner, the curtness of her laugh, her way of speaking, puzzled Stane, and moved him to press for an answer. "Never mind the silliness," he ...
— A Mating in the Wilds • Ottwell Binns

... character, there was nothing of the frivolous about her. In the frequent informal social gatherings she was always the life of the occasion, but never did her merriment get down to the level of silliness. Without a suspicion of prudishness there was always with her the natural ...
— The Romance and Tragedy • William Ingraham Russell

... jurisprudence. The highly educated and efficient officers' mess will rise mechanically and drink to the Monarch, and sit down to go on discussing the New Republic's growth. I do not see, indeed, why an intelligent monarch himself, in these days, should not waive any silliness about Divine Right, and all the ill-bred pretensions that sit so heavily on a gentlemanly King, and come into the movement with these others. When the growing conception touches, as in America it has already touched, the legacy-leaving class, ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... finally bring him to ruin!" He refrained, however, from replying to the Emperor Francis's letter. "It were undignified for me to say to a prince, 'You don't know what you say;' but that is what I find myself compelled to say, since his letter is founded upon an error." "Leave vain repetitions and silliness to the Austrians," he wrote to Champagny. At the same time he reviewed his troops, and hurried the movements of the reinforcements which were arriving. The Emperor Alexander had received Austria's promise to make a speedy settlement, refusing to take part in the negotiations, and ...
— Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 • M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

... Ellenora laughed riotously. The silliness of the situation burned her sense of the incongruous. There she stood opposite the mirror with her tears hardly dry, and yet she was thinking of the man she had deserted! It was absurd after all, this hurly-burly of men and women. Then she began to wonder when ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker

... by music. Do they think that gesture associates itself very happily with music? If only they would try to root up this great fiction, which has bothered us for the last three centuries; if only they would open their eyes and see—what great men like Rousseau and Tolstoy saw so clearly—the silliness of opera; if only they would see the anomalies of the Bayreuth show. In the second act of Tristan there is a celebrated passage, where Ysolde, burning with desire, is waiting for Tristan; she sees him come at last, and from afar she waves her scarf to the accompaniment of a phrase repeated ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... nations flow to enhance the conjectures of a few infatuated dreamers? If it is difficult to cure theologians of their madness and the people of their prejudices, it is at least easy to prevent the extravagancies of one party, and the silliness of the other from producing pernicious effects. Let every one be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking. Were the rulers of nations more just and rational, theological opinions would not affect the public tranquillity, ...
— Good Sense - 1772 • Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach

... to artists. She dresses for a few hours, and the care she has taken is not lost. We must, like her, ornament life without thinking of the future. To paint, carve, or write for posterity is only the silliness of conceit." ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... he. "She has outgrown all such pretty silliness. A wife cannot remain a child. Still, if she had belonged to me—" The thought choked even his inward, unspoken utterance. He turned away, paused a moment under the leafless boughs of the great willow still dipping into the brook, and ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... form of silliness with which Mrs. Clowes was in full sympathy. In her world, to be young and pretty gave a woman a claim on Fate to provide her with pretty dresses and the admiration of men. As for Yvonne, till she married Jack Bendish ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... it), to our views of Art, and to those men whom we honor and back up. (I can tell you more about this by word of mouth.) If Panofka calls that "persuasion and design," I give him my compliments...on his silliness.— ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome: - Years of Travel as a Virtuoso" • Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

... worked so hard with me toward building up our fortune, that, at the moment when we are about to reap the fruits of our labours, it would be a ridiculous piece of silliness in you to allow yourself to be controlled by Aramis, whose cunning you know—a cunning which, we may say between ourselves, is not always without egotism; or by Athos, a noble and disinterested man, but blase, who, desiring nothing ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... familiarity, which is akin to fondness, as we are told by the poets that pity is akin to love, was much the foolish fashion of the day. Men of the highest rank, and doubtless of the haughtiest arrogance, were called Tom, and Dick, and Harry; and this silliness was the language of high life, until the French Revolution and the democratic war at home taught them, that if they adopted the phraseology of their own footmen, their footmen would probably take possession of their title-deeds. The hollowness ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... One, "The five worst infirmities that afflict the female are indocility, discontent, slander, jealousy, and silliness. The worst of them all, and the parent of the other four, is silliness. "Does that not sound familiar to thine ears? Life is serious here in thine ancestral home since we have taken to ourselves a daughter-in-law. The written word for trouble is two women beneath one rooftree, and I greatly ...
— My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard • Elizabeth Cooper

... valuable, but at present I want you on the dance-floor where I can find you. There are certain men I want to have you meet and I don't like finding you in some corner of the conservatory exchanging silliness with ...
— This Side of Paradise • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... decrying its want of thought, as in his Essay "De Miseria Humanae Conditionis": "we must at times recollect," says he, "that we are men, silly and shallow in our nature":—"aliquando nos esse homines meminerimus, hoc est, imbecillis fragilisque naturae" (p. 130); or, "I admit the silliness of mankind to be great": "fateor—magnam esse humani generis imbecillitatem" (p. 90); or, "Knowledge is cultivated by a few on account of the general stupidity": "quoniam communi stultitia a paucis virtus colitur" (p. 9l): pretty ...
— Tacitus and Bracciolini - The Annals Forged in the XVth Century • John Wilson Ross

... stones reconciled me. As I groped about thus, I shook off my visionary folly. What so easily explained as that I should have strayed from the path in the darkness? This brought me back to common existence, as if I had been shaken by a wise hand out of all the silliness of superstition. How silly it was, after all! What did it matter which path I took? I laughed again, this time with better heart, when suddenly, in a moment, the blood was chilled in my veins, a shiver stole ...
— The Open Door, and the Portrait. - Stories of the Seen and the Unseen. • Margaret O. (Wilson) Oliphant

... like a caged tiger, muttered and swore to himself, and finally went off to his club. There seemed to be no way in which he could drown his anger, disappointment, and sense of loss, except by a debauch, and he was brought home by his faithful Phipps at the stage of confidential silliness. ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... first sight with both of them; more than that, it was first love at first sight! We have profound sympathy with young people thus circumstanced, especially when they are reticent, and don't give way to sentimental silliness. A good manly and womanly case of this sort of love, in which the parties concerned take a serious header and go deep down, without the smallest intention of ever coming up again, is pleasant to ...
— Jeff Benson, or the Young Coastguardsman • R.M. Ballantyne

... these performers most delicately handled. They are a very young, inexperienced (almost childish), and quarrelsome couple. Frivolity so extreme as they were required to represent demands the utmost nicety of colouring to rescue it from silliness and inanity. But the actors kept their portraits well up to a pleasing standard, and made them both quite spirituels (more French—that Morning Post will be the ruin of us), as well as in a ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, November 27, 1841 • Various

... intelligence (verses at seven years old, and the like) as he betrayed were trumpeted as prodigies. He was spoilt so long before he was ripe that it is a marvel he ever ripened at all. Many years must pass before vanity could be replaced in him by manly ambition; a vein of silliness is traceable through his career almost to the end. He expatiated in the falsetto key; almost never do we hear in his voice that hearty bass note so dear to plain humanity. In his pilgrimage toward freedom he had to wrestle not only with ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... very silly in me, dear, to be so easily startled; but it is not altogether silliness; it is I am so weak that every little noise gives me quite a fright. I shall be better, love, please God, when I come back from Southport. I am so glad you've got the order, for you've taken a deal of pains about it." ...
— The Grey Woman and other Tales • Mrs. (Elizabeth) Gaskell

... low, and said, 'What is this dread of Rukrooth my mother which weigheth on thee but silliness! For she saw thee willing to do well by her; and thou with thy Jewel, O Bhanavar, do thou but well by thyself, and there will be no woman such as thou in power and excellence of endowments, as there is ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... know as that is any improvement, so long as it goes and makes itself up into mud. Look at the mud on my dress! That tent we were looking at first would have been ever so much the best, but after Ruth's silliness I really hadn't the face to suggest a change—I thought we had given trouble enough. She makes a mistake; she thinks this is a great hotel, where people are bound to get all the money they can and give as little return, instead of its being a place where people ...
— Four Girls at Chautauqua • Pansy

... didn't come simply from sheer bravado, as you might think, and for the sake of doing what I'd been told not to do. I—I felt as though I must be out in the air, and in motion. I didn't sleep last night, and I didn't eat any breakfast this morning, which may partly account for this silliness of mine, perhaps. I thought I should feel better out of doors, but it seems that nothing in the world can do me any good. Everything I attempt must always end in disaster, and—oh, Mr. Stanton, I am so very, very ...
— The House by the Lock • C. N. Williamson

... see, guv'nor? We're trying to get that cheese out o' th' water!" The exciseman couldn't see any cheese, but he could see the image of the full moon on the surface of the canal, and, bursting into a roar of laughter at the silliness of the men, he rode off on his way home. But it was now the rustics' turn to laugh as they hauled the kegs out of the canal and carried them away in triumph on their shoulders. The gentleman who told the story fairly "brought down the house" when he added, "So you see, gentlemen, ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... it. At "this present writing," there are in the next room three ladies, and I have stolen away to write this grumbling letter.—I don't know that I sha'n't end with insanity, for I find a want of method in arranging my thoughts that perplexes me strangely; but this looks more like silliness than madness, as Scrope Davies would facetiously remark in his consoling manner. I must try the hartshorn of your company; and a session of Parliament would suit me well,—any thing to cure me of conjugating ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... His folly was not so sublime As to merit that term. If I blamed him just now, It was not for the sin, but the silliness. ...
— Lucile • Owen Meredith

... italics;" "Catholicism is naive Christianity; Protestantism is sentimental." The sheer whimsicality of phrase seems to be at times its own excuse for being, as in an explanation of certain elegiac poems as "the sensation of misery in the contemplation of the silliness of the relations of banality to craziness;" but there are many sentences which go deep below the surface—none better remembered, perhaps, than the dictum, "The French Revolution, Fichte's Doctrine of Science, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IV • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... she said, "was that you should think for an instant that I would let father ask me to leave you, or that he would ask such a thing. He only came to tell me to be good to you, and help you, and trust you; and not worry you with my silliness and—and—jealousy. And I don't ever mean to. And I know he will be good friends with you yet. He praised you for working so hard;"—she pushed it a little beyond the bare fact;—"he always did ...
— A Modern Instance • William Dean Howells

... sigh—as he so frequently has to—over the vision of so much more truth than he can use. What on earth is the need to "invent," in the midst of tragedy and comedy that never cease? Why, with the subject itself, all round, so inimitable, condemn the picture to the silliness of trying not to be aware of it? The charming lonely girls, carrying so simply their great name and fallen fortunes, the despoiled decaduta house, the unfailing Italian grace, the space so out of scale with actual needs, ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... myself would have held. I wished to heaven she would shrink and give me a chance to step in between her and a man who might love her, as Marcia said, but who loved drink and drugs better, or he would not have been talking between silliness and sobriety, as he was that night. And I was so busy wishing it that Marcia spoke to me three times before I ...
— The La Chance Mine Mystery • Susan Carleton Jones

... cried. 'It might be the last bottle of some rotten vintage or other. The master of this house may be quite proud of it. Don't you see there's something sacred in the silliness ...
— Manalive • G. K. Chesterton

... meaning the majority of our politicians, thinkers, and writers, get to realizing that bolshevism isn't a Red Terror with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other, but a state of society surpassing even their own in points of weakness and abnormal silliness, they'll start arresting everybody who isn't a bolshevist. Capital will put up a fight, but capital is already doomed in this country. It isn't respected for its strength, vision, and creative powers. It is tolerated ...
— Erik Dorn • Ben Hecht

... hand, neo-classic stalwart good sense and the canons of decorum did not collapse easily, and the cultivation of the ballads had, as we have suggested, a certain aspect of silliness. It is well known that Addison's essays elicited the immediate objections of Dennis. The Spectator's "Design is to see how far he can lead his Reader by the Nose." He wants "to put Impotence and Imbecility upon us for Simplicity." ...
— Parodies of Ballad Criticism (1711-1787) • William Wagstaffe

... accomplish without being oppressed; and we always tried to make our progress more a pleasure than a toil. To hurry over the ground, abuse, and look ferocious at one's native companions, merely for the foolish vanity of boasting how quickly a distance was accomplished, is a combination of silliness with absurdity quite odious; while kindly consideration for the feelings of even blacks, the pleasure of observing scenery and everything new as one moves on at an ordinary pace, and the participation in the most delicious ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... temper that displays itself in kindness must not be confounded with softness or silliness. In its best form, it is not a merely passive but an active condition of being. It is not by any means indifferent, but largely sympathetic. It does not characterise the lowest and most gelatinous forms of human ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... made an affidavit that Bishop Kavanaugh had come to the Pacific Coast as a secret agent of the Southern Confederacy, to intrigue and recruit in its interest! Five minutes' inquiry would have satisfied General McDowell of the silliness of such a charge—but it was in war times, and he did not stop to make the inquiry. In Kentucky the good old Bishop had the freedom of the whole land, coming and going without hinderance; but the fact was, ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... well, does some one thing, perhaps a conspicuous thing, very poorly. You find it hard to give a man credit for being possessed of sense and talent, if you hear him make a speech at a public dinner, which speech approaches the idiotic for its silliness and confusion. And the vulgar mind readily concludes that he who does one thing extremely ill can do nothing well, and that he who is ignorant on one point is ignorant on all. A friend of mine, a country parson, on first going to his parish, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 49, November, 1861 • Various

... several. His excuse for not making more haste to provide help was, that no one could tell the direction in which the runaways had gone, and that to search for them in the north, when the animals might have strayed south, was sheer silliness. ...
— The Giraffe Hunters • Mayne Reid

... stenographers before, who refused their employers, and who invariably quit their positions immediately afterward. But Dede had not even hinted at such a thing. No matter how baffling she was, there was no nonsensical silliness about her. She was level headed. But, also, he had been level-headed and was partly responsible for this. He hadn't taken advantage of her in the office. True, he had twice overstepped the bounds, but he had not followed it up ...
— Burning Daylight • Jack London

... Mary to do now with Letty? She was little more than a baby yet, not silly from youth, but young from silliness. Children must learn to walk, but not by being turned out ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... him, and despairing respecting their own fate. He was a Calvinist, and the Lutherans had never warmly received him. The impotent monarch, instead of establishing himself in the affections of his subjects, by vigorously driving the invaders from his realms, with almost inconceivable silliness endeavored to win their popularity by balls and smiles, pleasant words and masquerades. In fact, Frederic, by his utter inefficiency, was a foe more to be ...
— The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power • John S. C. Abbott

... magnificent cry of life renders useless the efforts they make to galvanize and erect doctrines which cannot stand alone. The disapproval which attaches in our time to the word "internationalism" proves together the silliness and meanness of public opinion. Humanity is the living name of truth. Men are like each other as trees! They who rule well, rule by force and deceit; but ...
— Light • Henri Barbusse

... his dismissal broke the strain under which Stuart had been labouring for hours. It was ridiculous. He began to laugh at the silliness of the whole thing—what an idiotic performance anyhow—these lovers' quarrels! He saw the comedy of it, ate a hearty supper, and went to bed firm in the conviction that he would see Nan ...
— The Root of Evil • Thomas Dixon

... attention, and yet surely the door had always been there before?—at least—at least she thought it had. It was very queer that she could not quite remember. But she jumped out of bed—softly, not to wake her sisters, and though half laughing at her own silliness in imagining her tiny silver key could fit so large a lock, she yet could not help trying it. She had the key and the ribbon always with her, carefully wrapped up, and now she drew out the key and slipped it in, and, wonderful to tell, it fitted as if made ...
— The Boys and I • Mrs. Molesworth

... or practised chivalry, save in such select and exotic schools as the Casa Gioiosa under Vittorino da Feltre at Mantua. The oath of Arthur's knights would have seemed to them mere superfluity of silliness. Onore connoted credit, reputation, and prowess. Virtu, which may be roughly translated as mental ability combined with personal daring, set the standard and ruled opinion. 'Honour in the North was subjective: Onore in Italy objective.' Individual liberty, ...
— Machiavelli, Volume I - The Art of War; and The Prince • Niccolo Machiavelli

... time-when of that old passionate relation contained an implication that it was not unspeakable per se—although its threat had been that it would do its worst as a cupboard-skeleton—but only owing to the childish silliness of a mere calf-love, a reciprocal misapprehension soon forgotten. Treated with contempt, its pretensions to skeletonhood fell through. Moreover, that pending tea had helped to a pause; showing the speaker to be quite collected, and mistress ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... direct our feelings to a sense of the dignity or meanness, the innocence or corruption, the goodness or baseness of the acting personages; but to show us whether they act stupidly or wisely, adroitly or clumsily, with silliness or ability. ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... introduce, now, George Willison, her son, an extraordinary individual, apparently destined to be more notorious than his father, in so much as his character was composed of that mixture of simplicity, bordering on silliness, and shrewd sagacity in the ordinary affairs of life, which is often observed in people of Scotland. Though common, the character is nearly inexplicable to the analyst; for the individual seems conscious of the weaker ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume VI • Various

... vastly rich of humble origin. She was used to—and regarded as proper and elegant—the ordinary ostentations and crudities of the rich of conventional society. No more than you or I was she moved to ridicule or disdain by the silliness and the tawdry vulgarity of the life of palace and liveried lackey and empty ceremonial, by the tedious entertainments, by the displays of costly and poisonous food. But General Siddall's establishment presented a new phase to her—and she thought it unique ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... small committee was appointed, with Brander Matthews for managing director and spokesman. It issued a list of three hundred words, of average silliness as to spelling, and proposed new and sane spellings for these words. The President of the United States, unsolicited, adopted these simplified three hundred officially, and ordered that they be used in the official documents of the Government. It was now remarked, by all the educated and ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... your riverence. [He gets up, a little reassured. He is a callow, flaxen polled, smoothfaced, downy chinned lad, fully grown but not yet fully filled out, with blue eyes and an instinctively acquired air of helplessness and silliness, indicating, not his real character, but a cunning developed by his constant dread of a hostile dominance, which he habitually tries to disarm and tempt into unmasking by pretending to be a much greater fool than he really is. Englishmen think him half-witted, which is exactly what ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... accurate blades of grass are just as irrelevant as two million; it is the formal significance of a blade of grass or of a meadow with which the artist is concerned. The Pre-Raffaelite method is at best symbolism, at worst pure silliness. Had the Pre-Raffaelites been blessed with profoundly imaginative minds they might have recaptured the spirit of the Middle Ages instead of imitating its least significant manifestations. But had they been great artists they would not have wished to ...
— Art • Clive Bell

... weird smile upon its face, looking at its spread-out fingers, or stroking a piece of cloth for a quarter of an hour together as though the sensation yielded it a kind of pleasure. It would be almost endless to describe the various degrees of mental weakness; from the slight silliness down to the condition in which the child is, and remains all life long, below the level ...
— The Mother's Manual of Children's Diseases • Charles West, M.D.

... you so agreeable that I should have fretted had you gone away alone. Now I am honest with myself and you, Carus—this matter has sobered me into gravest reflection. I have the greatest curiosity concerning you—I had from the very first—spite of all that childish silliness we committed. I don't know what it is about you that I can not let you go until I learn more of you. Perhaps I shall—we have a week here before a flag goes north, have we not?" she ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... in the sun. His was a case of Handy- Andyism, as that intellectual disease may be named, after Mr. Lover's hero; like that of the Obeah-woman, when she tried to bribe the white gentleman with half a dozen of bottled beer; a case of muddle-headed craft and elaborate silliness, which keeps no proportion between the means and the end; so common in insane persons; frequent, too, among the lower Irish, such as Handy Andy; and very frequent, I am afraid, among the Negroes. But—as might have been expected—the poor boy's moral sense had ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... observed that she got on better with clever women than with silly ones like herself; the silly ones could never understand her wisdom, whereas the clever ones—the really clever ones—always understood her silliness. It appeared to her that, different as they were in appearance and general style, Isabel and she had somewhere a patch of common ground that they would set their feet upon at last. It was not very large, but it was firm, and they should both know it when once ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 2 (of 2) • Henry James

... champions of the enfranchisement of the sex have loudly protested against the hackneyed truisms, formerly so rife, which impute to women every imaginable form of silliness and frivolity; that they, like Alphonse Karr's typical woman, have nothing to do but "s'habiller, babiller et se deshabiller." But it will be well to remember the existence of another class of maxims of even greater weight, which dwell on the subtle influence ...
— Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... exercises. Since there was so much practising to do, it had been arranged that she should remain there from the night of the sermon until after she was graduated. If Mrs. Comstock decided to attend she was to drive in with the Sintons. When Elnora begged her to come she said she cared nothing about such silliness. ...
— A Girl Of The Limberlost • Gene Stratton Porter

... said Mrs. Fisher, now as cold as that stone she had got up from, "is the pose of the modern young woman. It seems to me pitiful, positively pitiful, in its silliness." ...
— The Enchanted April • Elizabeth von Arnim

... came over to talk, like he always does after Sunday-school is out, and I said, real quick, Mary giving signs of silliness: ...
— Mary Cary - "Frequently Martha" • Kate Langley Bosher

... this morning, and I could not feel as if I ought to be there till I had made a resolution to tell her all about it, though I should like it not to be till you are come home, and can tell her that I am not really like Dolores, as she will be sure to think me, for I really did it, not out of silliness and opposition, but because I knew how good they were, and I did tell you. Honestly, perhaps there was some opposition in the spirit of it; but I mean to make a fresh start when I come back, and you will be near at hand then, and that ...
— Beechcroft at Rockstone • Charlotte M. Yonge

... necessitated. Then I gave full vent to my despair. I was choking with rage as I remembered that my honesty had been suspected,—I, who for fourteen years had served the Emperor with a disinterestedness which was so scrupulous, and even carried to such a point that many persons called it silliness; I, who had never demanded anything of the Emperor, either for myself or my people! My brain reeled as I tried to explain to myself how the Emperor, who knew all this so well, could have allowed me to appear to a third person as a dishonorable man; the more I thought of it the ...
— The Private Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Constant

... Neville is another instance of perversion. Her silliness is exaggerated in order that she shall weary and disgust the blase aristocrat who has married her. Some of her chatter is more inconceivable than the 'coo-ee-ing' which Mr. Hornung's 'Bride from the Bush' employed to attract the attention of a colonial acquaintance ...
— Australian Writers • Desmond Byrne

... Juliet, with her principles, would be bound to believe we weren't, even if we were. We've only got to put it to her that way and she won't have a ghost of a grievance left. It's the simplest form of Christian Science. But in any case, whatever silliness Aunt Juliet may indulge in, we were simply bound to have the Tortoise today. It's a matter of duty. I don't see how you can get around that, Cousin Frank, no matter ...
— Priscilla's Spies 1912 • George A. Birmingham

... caesura in the middle, and is varied and terminated by songs from Custance's maids and others. Indeed the chief charm of the piece is the genuine and unforced merriment which pervades it. Although Merrygreek's practices on Ralph's silliness sometimes tend a little to tediousness, the action on the whole moves trippingly enough, and despite the strong flavour of the "stock part" in the characters they have considerable individuality. The play is, moreover, as a whole remarkably free from coarseness, and there is no difficulty ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... That's the kind of a fool answer a man makes when he either doesn't know, or does know and won't tell. Then he told me about a trick that Tommy Watson and himself played on William, only it didn't work out in the way they expected. It puzzles me to know how men find time to go into such silliness. Between them they wrote a letter, in a disguised hand, of course, and supposedly from a girl to William. He had been taking part in one of the amateur performances that Epstein arranged for the Children's Hospital, and the letter declared that the writer had been so touched by the ...
— William Adolphus Turnpike • William Banks

... the ancient Cossack hospitality. It's her old woman's silliness,' said the cornet, explaining and apparently correcting his wife's words. 'In Russia, I expect, it's not so much peaches as pineapple jam and preserves you have been accustomed ...
— The Cossacks • Leo Tolstoy

... very pretty. It is more gracious to begin with this declaration, instead of saying that, in the first place, she proved very silly. It took a long day to arrive at the end of her silliness, and the two ladies at Posilippo, even after a week had passed, suspected that they had only skirted its edges. Kate Theory had not spent half an hour in her company before she gave a little private sigh of relief; she felt that a situation which had promised to be embarrassing was ...
— Georgina's Reasons • Henry James

... is silly. I love you, but I will not be silly. I want only what will last. The love will last, but the silliness won't. We are going to be married, but I shall not want to sit on your knee all the time, and what is more, you will not want me to. Suppose we should live to be very old. Who ever saw a very old woman sitting on her ...
— 'Doc.' Gordon • Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman

... here—"What care I that some millions of wretched Israelites died under Pharaoh's lash? They died that I might have the Pyramids to look on"—and other remarks even more shocking and jejune. It was this accident which made him write ineffable silliness in this and other early volumes about "virtue" and "vice," assume a man-about-town's attitude toward women, and fill pages with maudlin phrases about marble, perfumes, palm-trees, blood, lingerie, and moonlight. These were the follies of his teachers, to be faithfully imitated. If he had first heard ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... of its waste, its boredom, its futility, its desolation. It is merely a destructive and dispersive instead of a constructive and accumulative industrialism. It is a gigantic, dusty, muddy, weedy, bloodstained silliness. It is the plain duty of every man to give his life and all that he has if by so doing he may help to end it. I hate Germany, which has thrust this experience upon mankind, as I hate some horrible infectious disease. ...
— War and the Future • H. G. Wells

... wonder what he's been up to. I do wonder. Perhaps he'd have told me but for my confounded habit of sarcasm, my way of repelling the amateur—repelling!" His arms flew out. "There's so much silliness beyond all bearing, credulity beyond all the patience of science. Table-turning women, feminine men! 'The spirits guide me, Professor, in every smallest action of my life!'—Wuff!—the charlatan battens and breeds. And the bile rises in one till Carlyle on his worst day might have hailed ...
— The Dweller on the Threshold • Robert Smythe Hichens



Words linked to "Silliness" :   silly, frivolity, frivolousness, fatuity, unwiseness, lightness, absurdity, foolishness, fatuousness, folly, lightsomeness



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