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Excuse   /ɪkskjˈus/  /ɪkskjˈuz/   Listen
Excuse

verb
(past & past part. excused; pres. part. excusing)
1.
Accept an excuse for.  Synonym: pardon.
2.
Grant exemption or release to.  Synonyms: exempt, let off, relieve.
3.
Serve as a reason or cause or justification of.  Synonym: explain.  "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
4.
Defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning.  Synonyms: apologise, apologize, justify, rationalise, rationalize.  "He rationalized his lack of success"
5.
Ask for permission to be released from an engagement.  Synonym: beg off.
6.
Excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with.  Synonym: condone.  "She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities"



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"Excuse" Quotes from Famous Books



... I was somehow uneasy, for certain strange demands my companions made me had reminded me of the marks I had seen them making on the trees a while before, and my suspicions were aroused without my knowing exactly how to define them; therefore, with the excuse of writing, I determined to keep watch. Until about four o'clock in the morning I was able to resist the somnolence which weighed down my eyelids but at last, exhausted with so many hours' march, with the high tension to which ...
— My Friends the Savages - Notes and Observations of a Perak settler (Malay Peninsula) • Giovanni Battista Cerruti

... last by the moonlight, we had a distinct view of the Peak of Orizava, with his white nightcap on (excuse the simile, suggested by extreme sleepiness), the very sight enough to make ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon de la Barca

... caution. About daybreak, the salesman wanted me to go to our hotel and go to bed, but as I never drink and sleep at the same time, I declined. Finally he explained to me that he would have to be at the yards at eight o'clock, and begged me to excuse him. By this time he was several sheets in the wind, while I could walk a chalk line without a waver. Somehow we drifted around to the hotel where the outfit were supposed to be stopping, and lined up at the bar for a final drink. It was just daybreak, and between that ...
— A Texas Matchmaker • Andy Adams

... say that your Majesty wished in these remarks to have the temper of the House placed before your Majesty, and to find what your Majesty could not meet in newspapers. This is the Chancellor of the Exchequer's excuse for these rough notes, written on the field of battle, which he humbly offers to ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861 • Queen of Great Britain Victoria

... me, but I recollected to have read of the dire misfortune that befalls certain politicians in New York from trusting each other. As the Governor's shrewdness was well-known, I knew that he felt that if he could trust any one, it would be one of my profession, and therefore that excuse would not answer. It also occurred to me, that perhaps I was somewhat green and unwise in consenting to make this bargain in the presence of witnesses, but when I thought of all the sagacity and ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... maybe not ride that I should say somedings," complained he. "But if the law will not excuse me, I will say it, if it makes some more trouble ...
— Ashton-Kirk, Investigator • John T. McIntyre

... frequently the characters who have to do with the apparition of the late King Hamlet alternate between the theories that it is a ghost and that it is a devil which they have seen. The whole subject has such an important bearing upon any attempt to estimate the character of Hamlet, that no excuse need be offered for once again ...
— Elizabethan Demonology • Thomas Alfred Spalding

... help me 'to shuffle off this mortal coil' by dealing me, if they can, four by honours. Any time between nine and twelve to-night, or to-morrow night, you will find me at home; and if you are not better engaged, suppose you dine with me to-day—or rather dine opposite to me—and excuse my Spartan broth. You will meet (besides any two or three friends whom an impromptu invitation may find disengaged) my sister, with Beaufort and their daughter: they only arrived in town this morning, and are kind enough ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 5 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... solvency in consequence of the enormous sums which Baron Jeanrenaud and his mother were said to be receiving from him. And, indeed, these suspicions on the part of the tenants, the creditors, and the landlord had some excuse in the Marquis' extreme economy in housekeeping. He conducted it as a ruined man might. His servants always paid in ready money for the most trifling necessaries of life, and acted as not choosing to take credit; if now they had asked for anything on credit, it would ...
— The Commission in Lunacy • Honore de Balzac

... sighed M'ri. "I am afraid it's all she can do to keep a very small pot boiling. I am glad she sent the sorghum, so I could have an excuse for sending the eggs." ...
— David Dunne - A Romance of the Middle West • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... given another lease of life to the feud, and Billy had come back to Kay's with the fixed intention of smiting his auburn-haired foe hip and thigh at the earliest opportunity. Wren's attitude with respect to Kennedy gave him a decent excuse. He had no particular regard for Kennedy. The fact that he was a friend of his brother's was no recommendation. There existed between the two Silvers that feeling which generally exists between an elder ...
— The Head of Kay's • P. G. Wodehouse

... "Good-evening," he said. "Excuse my long intrusion. I shall be immensely obliged if you will let me have a wire reporting your safe arrival, and a letter, later on, with details as to Ronnie's state. I put my address on the paper I gave you just now, with the name of the man Mrs. ...
— The Upas Tree - A Christmas Story for all the Year • Florence L. Barclay

... his faculties, or the power of doing good; or, to use his own words, 'lingering over the dregs after the spirit had evaporated.' Indeed, the decay of his mental faculties seems to have been that which he most dreaded. He would sometimes complain of slowness of apprehension, and would then excuse it with a smile, saying, 'it could not be otherwise, the shadow must lengthen as the sun went down.' When seized with paralysis he was resigned to the event, anxious to soften any alarm to his family, and was thankful that his intellect was spared. But his invariable ...
— Smeaton and Lighthouses - A Popular Biography, with an Historical Introduction and Sequel • John Smeaton

... has been relaxed. The orders of the sentry are stringent that neither of the ladies shall be allowed to set foot outside the door, but I do not think they have any orders to prevent others from going in and out had they some good excuse for ...
— The Lion of the North • G.A. Henty

... "that I should apologize for—for the things I've called you. My only excuse is that your mistake about my father helped ...
— Counsel for the Defense • Leroy Scott

... indication is given of an underlying allegory, and draw their own conclusions. But on the whole, the main interest of the first nine cantos of the Purgatory is more of a personal nature. Sordello alone may give an excuse for a good deal of historical research. For example, no one has yet explained Dante's reasons for so distinguishing a person who, from all the records that we have, does not seem to have made any great figure in ...
— Dante: His Times and His Work • Arthur John Butler

... book annoyed him. He hated a woman to get herself talked about—June, too, of all people. There was nothing new-fangled about June. Why, his mother loved her and she was so pretty and so fond of clothes and babies. There was really no excuse for her sprawling over his paper when she ought to have been moving discreetly through the social column like his other ...
— Balloons • Elizabeth Bibesco

... excuse me for this troubles I taking, though he is my caste and countryman much like not to do so, but his temperature is not good therefore liable to ...
— Modern India • William Eleroy Curtis

... the door eyed him with more curiosity than caution, and her protests that Mrs. Hilmer could see no one seemed rather tentative and perfunctory. Fred had a curious feeling that she was demanding a more or less conventional excuse for admitting him, and in the end he flung ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... in the very heart of a town under martial law. When I first set foot on Central American soil, however, my majority was still many months ahead of me, and I had not yet done with that period of puerile frivolity through which most youths have to pass. Thus I will offer no other excuse, but will merely relate ...
— Adventures in Many Lands • Various

... that he should be a famous actor, but how was he to convince any one else of this fact? From one actor to another, from one theater manager to another he went, but all told him that for one reason or another he was not fitted for the stage. Particularly did Andersen resent the excuse of one manager, who told him that he was too thin. This fault Andersen assured him that he was only too willing to remedy, if he would only give him a chance and a salary; but still ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V2 • Charles H. Sylvester

... those that haue not read the Story, That I may prompt them: and of such as haue, I humbly pray them to admit th' excuse Of time, of numbers, and due course of things, Which cannot in their huge and proper life, Be here presented. Now we beare the King Toward Callice: Graunt him there; there seene, Heaue him away vpon your winged thoughts, Athwart the ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... to meet you too," said Leopold. "I'm sure I didn't expect to see you out in this fog. But I'm the pilot of this yacht now and if you will excuse me, I will go forward, and ...
— The Coming Wave - The Hidden Treasure of High Rock • Oliver Optic

... tenderness," and he rose to enthusiasm in commending his translations, especially the scenes from Faust.[99] He has been accused of writing a Spirit of the Age which omitted to give an account of Shelley and Keats, but in the title of the book consists his excuse. As it was not his idea to anticipate the decision of posterity but only to sketch the personalities who were in control of the public attention, he passed over the finer poets who were still neglected, and wrote instead about ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... Bobazayo in the calf-kraal, and then to the members of his family. Upon two points I kept wondering: one was in connection with the skull—whose was it, and where had the witch-doctor obtained it? The other was the absence of Xolilizwe—where was he, and what excuse would he give for not being present when the great son of the Chief ...
— Kafir Stories - Seven Short Stories • William Charles Scully

... forbid liberty should have such charms to tempt me to the perpetration of so horrid a crime as murder! As to the poor evasion of committing it by other hands, it might be useful indeed to those who seek only the escape from temporal punishment, but can be of no service to excuse me to that Being whom I chiefly fear offending; nay, it would greatly aggravate my guilt by so impudent an endeavour to impose upon Him, and by so wickedly involving others in my crime. Give me, therefore, no more advice of this kind; for this is ...
— The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great • Henry Fielding

... seated in a chair just inside the big door of the shed, near a small stove in which was a fire to take off the chill of the big place. The guard had slept all day, and there was no excuse for him nodding in the ...
— Tom Swift in the Caves of Ice • Victor Appleton

... and just at present, when the passions of every man in the South are inflamed to the utmost, such an accusation will be most serious. In the present instance there does not seem that there is a shadow of excuse for your conduct. You simply heard cries of a slave being flogged. You deliberately leave the road and enter these people's plantation and interfere without, so far as I can see, the least reason for doing so. You did ...
— With Lee in Virginia - A Story of the American Civil War • G. A. Henty

... their mistress once in twenty-four hours. If the witch, said her persecutors, could be put naked upon a chair in the middle of the room and kept awake, the imps could not approach her. Herein lay the supposed reasonableness of the methods in vogue. And the authorities who were offering this excuse for their use of torture were not loth to go further. It was, they said, necessary to walk the creatures in order to keep them awake. It was soon discovered that the enforced sleeplessness and the walking ...
— A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 • Wallace Notestein

... and more the truth of his suspicions. But the communication of Prudence rankled in his mind, and though disposed to acquit the Assistant of treachery against himself, he could not forgive the treatment of the girl. He did not doubt her word, and yet desired to hear the Assistant's excuse, if he had any. He shrunk from the subject, and yet was drawn to it, like a ...
— The Knight of the Golden Melice - A Historical Romance • John Turvill Adams

... times at Sais, and here too, on your arrival and departure. You ask, my prince, whether you would be generally recognized? Certainly not. The foreign dress, the change in your hair and the coloring of your eyebrows have altered you wonderfully. But excuse me a moment, my old steward seems to have some ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... Ulua is to avenge that treacherous attack upon my fellow-countrymen, to exact ample compensation therefor and for all the loss and suffering attendant upon it, and to demand the release of those who fell into your hands upon that occasion. If you have aught to urge by way of excuse for, or justification of, your treachery, I am willing to hear it and give it ...
— The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer • Harry Collingwood

... an act of usurpation and tyranny. Those only who borrow their ideas of political justice from the despotic codes of Europe, and are more imbued with the spirit of METTERNICH and BOMBA than of JEFFERSON and MADISON, will attempt to justify, palliate, or excuse such violation of the sacred rights of the people. I have observed that often the noisiest champions of popular rights are the first to trample those rights under foot. The word "freedom" is continually on the tongues of gentlemen on the other side of the Chamber; and I believe the Senator ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... would say the primary character of the Koran is this of its genuineness, of its being a bona-fide book. Prideaux, I know, and others, have represented it as a mere bundle of juggleries; chapter after chapter got-up to excuse and varnish the author's successive sins, forward his ambitions and quackeries: but really it is time to dismiss all that. I do not assert Mohammed's continual sincerity: who is continually sincere? But I confess I can make ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... were bitterly condemned for their vote for the Wright bill. Incidentally, the writer has been roundly criticized for offering the excuse in their behalf that these two men indicated by their attitude on other measures throughout the session that they would have continued with the reform element in the matter of railroad regulation, had the anti-machine Senators been organized to give effective ...
— Story of the Session of the California Legislature of 1909 • Franklin Hichborn

... accomplished in a few minutes by the average American boy! Yet let one of these cadets be late at dinner formation, without an unquestionably good excuse, and he must pay the penalty in demerits. These demerits, according to their number, ...
— Dick Prescotts's Fourth Year at West Point - Ready to Drop the Gray for Shoulder Straps • H. Irving Hancock

... discharge their men at Lerwick. On rare occasions, when the ships have come in, and the masters have been anxious to get away again without waiting to attend at the Shipping Office, I may have written at their request a letter of excuse to the shipping master, but certainly never advised them to go away. It is quite true that when I have paid off men before the shipping master, who had accounts to settle, I have told them to go down ...
— Second Shetland Truck System Report • William Guthrie

... longs for it; and yet one struggles, combats, and resists. But, if an opportunity occurs, one is only too happy to seize it; then one has an excuse with which to silence ...
— The Widow Lerouge - The Lerouge Case • Emile Gaboriau

... accepted some pate sandwiches and iced champagne, and chatted and laughed with Her so industriously, and so much to the exclusion of all else, that the horses were at the starting-post before he was aware of it, and he had to excuse himself hurriedly and run to put up his money on Bugler, the second on his list. He decided that as he had won one hundred dollars on the first race he could afford to plunge on this one, so he counted out fifty ...
— Van Bibber and Others • Richard Harding Davis

... His excuse for attending these dinners, which indeed were relaxing and enjoyable, he found in the obvious duty of getting to know the most important members of his congregation. But invariably he came away from them with ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... excuse me; I thought prob'ly you were sore because he'd jollied you about this pacifist ...
— Ramsey Milholland • Booth Tarkington

... in learning to walk, long afterward we learned that its law guided earth and moon. And it is the presence of this law within us, and our own knowledge that we are conscious of it, that makes man without excuse. But conformity to that which is deepest in environment often, always, demands non-conformity to some of the most palpable of ...
— The Whence and the Whither of Man • John Mason Tyler

... correct one of the least of the abuses in our military machinery—if they lighten the toil of the humblest of our soldiers, or nerve anew the resolves of loyalty tempted to despair, the writer will have no reason to complain of labor lost. Great latitude of excuse for the existence of abuses must be allowed, when we consider the suddenness with which our volunteers sprang into ranks at the outset of the Rebellion. Now that the warfare is a system, there is less ...
— Red-Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals - As Seen From the Ranks During a Campaign in the Army of the Potomac • William H. Armstrong

... should deny the Pope's authority to absolve citizens from their allegiance and to grant spiritual absolution, and he forcefully insisted upon and secured the restriction that "the liberty of conscience hereby granted shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the safety of the State." The question of the naturalisation of foreigners renewed the contention. Jay's Huguenot blood was still hot, and again he exacted the limitation ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... spinsterhood, and the means whereby it may be made a blessing to self and to others. This must be said lest the reader should be deterred by the unquestionably true assertion that the individual is meant by Nature to be a parent, and has no excuse for existence in Nature's eyes except as a parent. If we are to regard the body as a trustee of the germ-plasm, it is evident that the body which carries the germ-plasm with itself to the grave—the "immortality of the germ-plasm" being only ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... saw the father and Phippen, and they wished he would not go again, because it would be said the prisoners were making confession. He said he had engaged to go again at five o'clock; but would not, if Phippen would excuse him to Joseph. Phippen engaged to do this, and to meet him at his office at five o'clock. Mr. Colman went to the office at the time, and waited; but, as Phippen was not there, he walked down street, and saw him coming from the jail. He met him, ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... "Excuse the question, but I cannot understand why a man so fond of domestic life has not taken to himself a companion. Neither your studio, your assistants, nor your dogs can give you the feeling of a home you are ...
— Without Dogma • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... then turning to us, "I am happy to see the gentlemen in Vienna." An officer immediately came up, who addressed us in fluent English. "You may speak in your native tongue," said the Inspector:—"excuse our neglect; from the facility with which you speak German, we supposed you were natives of Austria!" Our passports were signed at once and given us with a gracious bow, accompanied by the hope that we would visit Vienna again before ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... pleased with this assurance and this prospect as she might have been. Somehow, when she put her arms round Mrs Boffin's neck and said Good Night, she derived a sense of unworthiness from the still anxious face of that good woman and her obvious wish to excuse her husband. 'Why, what need to excuse him?' thought Bella, sitting down in her own room. 'What he said was very sensible, I am sure, and very true, I am sure. It is only what I often say to myself. Don't ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... message to his friends here in the country, among whom he reckons Gudmund Eyjolfson, Snorre Gode, Thorkel Eyjolfson, Skapte the lagman, and Thorstein Halson, and desires them by me to come to him on a friendly visit; and adds, that ye must not excuse yourselves, if you regard his friendship as worth anything." In their answer they thanked the king for his message and added, that they would afterwards give a reply to it by Thorarin when they had more closely considered the matter with their friends. The chiefs now weighed the matter among themselves, ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... of economic forces with moral aims assigned as their formal justification. Assuming that the narratives of the conquest of Canaan are true, what the Hebrews desired—these economists tell us—was the milk and the honey. They made their so-called advance in obedience to God an excuse for taking possession of the milk and the honey. Now, he would be blind indeed who would deny that economic values do play their part in wars of conquest; he would be foolish who would deny that wars always do justify themselves by appealing to lofty ...
— Understanding the Scriptures • Francis McConnell

... the name of the house where Lady Vale-Avon and her daughter were staying, and having learned it, I made an excuse to escape from ...
— The Car of Destiny • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... foundations of another on the Castle Hill. It appears, however, that the pace he set was rather too hot for his people; they raised a deal of trouble, and Bo[vr]ivoj had to call in the German King Arnulf to help in restoring order. This step did not bring unmixed blessings; it gave the Germans an excuse for interfering in Bohemian affairs. Now Arnulf was a Carolingian, of bastard blood indeed, but nevertheless under the "Holy Roman Empire" obsession, and therefore convinced of the German right to round up all Christian countries into that Empire. In this action of Bo[vr]ivoj ...
— From a Terrace in Prague • Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

... 17th of February, and the anxiety and alarm lest there should be no election, and anarchy ensue, a wonderful effect was produced on the mass of federalists who had not before come over. Those who had before become sensible of their error in the former change, and only wanted a decent excuse for coming back, seized that occasion for doing so. Another body, and a large one it is, who from timidity of constitution had gone with those who wished for a strong executive, were induced by the ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... am not trying to excuse things; I am only explaining how they happen. But how explain to others? We always talk of putting ourselves in our neighbours' place; idlest of phrases! since we cannot possibly avoid bringing our personal apparatus to ...
— Fountains In The Sand - Rambles Among The Oases Of Tunisia • Norman Douglas

... up and hurried indoors. A minute later her husband muttered an excuse, and followed. Old Jolyon was ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... crimsons Sybel's pale face as she welcomes me in, for simple and retired as her life is, she yet cherishes in her heart all the fondness for company and visiting inherent to her sex, and loves to enjoy them whenever opportunity permits. No excuse would be listened to,—I must stay dinner—my bonnet is untied, and placed upon the bed—Sybel has churned in the early cool of the morning, and she has now been working over the golden produce of her labours with a wooden ladle in a tray. With this ladle ...
— Sketches And Tales Illustrative Of Life In The Backwoods Of New Brunswick • Mrs. F. Beavan

... excuse me," said that lady, laughing. "I do not know why I am expected to voice the sentiments of ...
— Four Young Explorers - Sight-Seeing in the Tropics • Oliver Optic

... the terrible position in which he had placed himself, then and there determined to become an outlaw, as he could frame no excuse for his wicked deed. He therefore hid himself at once in the mountains, carrying with him, of course, the sack ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... excuse me," Billy gurgled, pumping the other's hand up and down. "But I just gotta laugh. Why, honest to God, I've woke up nights an' laughed an' gone to sleep again. Don't you recognize 'm, Saxon? He's the same identical ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... dare to come to me with a tale like that, you shameless rascal! Why, if it's legal to clear yourself that way, we should be stripping ladies of their jewellery on the public highways in broad daylight! And then when we were caught we'd excuse ourselves on the score that we were drunk, and did it out of love. Drink and love are altogether too cheap, if your drunken lover can do what he likes ...
— Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi • Plautus Titus Maccius

... continued Porphyrius, more and more at his ease, without ceasing to indulge in his little laugh, whilst continuing his perambulation about the room. "You may be right. God has given me a face which only arouses comical thoughts in others. I'm a buffoon. But excuse an old man's cackle. You, Rodion Romanovitch, you are in your prime, and, like all young people, you appreciate, above all things, human intelligence. Intellectual smartness and abstract rational deductions entice you. But, to return to the SPECIAL CASE we were talking about just now. ...
— The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations • Julian Hawthorne

... your address," Ned replied. "And even had I known where you were I should not have dared to write; for there was no saying into whose hands the letter might not fall. But, countess, excuse me if I turn to other matters, for the time presses sorely. You know that the city ...
— By Pike and Dyke: A Tale of the Rise of the Dutch Republic • G.A. Henty

... gentleman is now downstairs. He lent me your candle for a minute or two, while I call upon my friend here. I hope you'll excuse the noise I make, but I find it very difficult ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... of a sick and almost heart-broken man," interposed Randall, with a smooth, deceitful softness of tone, that instantly reawakened La Salle's antipathies. "I beg you, however," he continued, "to excuse me, and to make yourself at home in your old quarters. I should like to talk with you about your strange cruise, but at St. John's we may have a better opportunity over ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... Franklin, with which I, his friend and fellow countryman, should have been acquainted, save that the sacrifices of the patriot are as common as mother's milk and cause little comment among us. The great orator was expected to display his talents, if there were any excuse for it, wherever he might be, so the ladies set up a demand for a toast. He spoke of ...
— In the Days of Poor Richard • Irving Bacheller

... the fruits of the cursed cupidity of those who call themselves Christians for the very little that these poor naked people have. Simon and his wife also do their best in the same way, although we spoke to them severely on the subject. They brought forward this excuse, that if they did not do it, others would, and then they would have the trouble and others the profit, but if they must have the trouble, they ought to have the profit; and so they all said, and for the most part falsely, for they all solicit the Indians as ...
— Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, 1679-1680 • Jasper Danckaerts

... rotating solid bodies, he pointed out that they could not maintain their position unless their weight were in some way unsymmetrically distributed; but made no attempt to determine the kind or amount of irregularity needed to secure this end. Some observations by Herschel gave astronomers an excuse for taking for granted the fulfilment of the condition thus vaguely postulated; and the question remained in abeyance until once more brought prominently forward by the discovery of the ...
— A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century - Fourth Edition • Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke

... conditional. Your hostess may wish to invite another couple; she must know who will be present that she may arrange her table accordingly. Nothing is so annoying to a hostess as to be obliged to rearrange her table because of some slight excuse on the part of a guest who has ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... have listened to you very patiently. If I owe you any excuse for having appeared to encourage any one of those thoughts of which you speak, here it is. I am like thousands of other women. I absolutely don't know until the time comes what sort of a creature I am, how I shall be moved to act under certain circumstances. I tried to think last night. I ...
— Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... seemed as cheerful as ever in her talk with others; him she kept apart from. He could not make up his mind to write. She had refused to accept such proof of his sincerity as it wag in his power to offer, and Wilfrid made this an excuse—idle as he knew it to be—for maintaining a dignified silence. Dignified, he allowed himself to name it; yet he knew perfectly well that his attitude had one very ignoble aspect, since he all but consciously counted upon Beatrice's love to bring ...
— A Life's Morning • George Gissing

... "You will excuse me," said Holmes blandly, "but I could not help overhearing the questions which you put to the salesman just now. I think that I could be of ...
— The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

... 'deed you must excuse me, Miss Claudia, because I wouldn't say a word, only I think how ...
— Self-Raised • Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

... Mr. Barradine, although still wincing, had recovered composure, and what he said now appeared to be an implied excuse for the sharpness of his protest. "When you get to my time of life, you'll ...
— The Devil's Garden • W. B. Maxwell

... speculations on life and human nature were so far off, that it would be just wasting your breath to try to set them right. He'd stay here in the study and smoke and maybe doze off a little, till they went away. Marise had known he had business figuring to do, and she would have a perfectly valid excuse to give them for his non-appearance. Not that he had any illusions as to anybody there ...
— The Brimming Cup • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... note how far the Ball would speed when properly spanked, but he thought there was no valid excuse for ...
— Ade's Fables • George Ade

... Sir Stamford Raffles governed Java in the spirit of a Christian statesman. The new Governor-General, Lord Moira, afterwards Marquis of Hastings, proved to be the most enlightened and powerful friend the mission had had. In these circumstances, after the charter of 1813 had removed the legislative excuse for intolerance, Dr. Carey was asked by the Lieutenant-Governor to send missionaries and Malay Bibles to the fifty thousand natives of Amboyna. The Governor-General repeated the request officially. Jabez Carey was baptised, ...
— The Life of William Carey • George Smith

... ag'in. I don't know what you'll have fer an excuse when she's gone, or what'll become of you either. I know one thing, though; I won't have you. But it'd be a heap sight better fer you if I would, ...
— Rosa's Quest - The Way to the Beautiful Land • Anna Potter Wright

... the statement with a cynical smile. It was too evidently not for him Kerr had been hunting, and after the first stammer of embarrassment, the Englishman made no attempt to conceal his real intentions. His words merely served him as an excuse not to retreat. ...
— The Coast of Chance • Esther Chamberlain

... or two of the possible reason) and he agreed to slip me off secretly at Ismailia. It was easy—middle of the night, you know—had the doctor isolate the ruffians on the starboard side while the ship anchored—some cooked-up excuse about quarantine—and kept 'em out of sight of what was happening until the ship went ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... are no rattlesnakes under the rose-bushes, or the milliner-shops, to see that no palmetto cockades are made. May I insist upon a seat for you? Not that chair," she added hastily and with heightened color as the captain was about to occupy the mutilated fauteuil: "excuse me, but that is a ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 99, March, 1876 • Various

... sister had been expelled from Charleston, S. C., where he had gone at the risk of his life to defend Massachusetts colored sailors who were imprisoned there, and appealed to them not to give the people of South Carolina the right to excuse their own conduct by citing the example of Massachusetts. There were shouts from the crowd: "Will he promise to leave Worcester and never come back?" Butman, who was inside, terribly frightened, said he would promise never to come to Worcester again as long as he lived. I did not, however, ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... Hoby says of his translation of The Courtier, "I have endeavored myself to follow the very meaning and words of the author, without being misled by fantasy or leaving out any parcel one or other, whereof I know not how some interpreters of this book into other languages can excuse themselves, and the more they be conferred, the more it will perchance appear."[271] On the whole, however, the comment confines itself to general statements like that of Grimald, who in translating Cicero is endeavoring "to do likewise for my countrymen as Italians, ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... hand,[FN261] for that he had no jot of spending money. But he was ashamed to say, 'No,' after he had made suit to her; so he went on before her, bethinking him how he should rid himself of her and casting about for an excuse which he might put off on her, and gave not over going from street to street, till he entered one that had no issue and saw, at the farther end, a door, whereon ...
— Tales from the Arabic Volumes 1-3 • John Payne

... afraid to say what I would not accept, for your father's sake. I feel as if I would consent to anything not wrong or sinful that could save him. And remember, we must be just. As things are, Lady Myrtle knows nothing of us except that we are poor. And there is every excuse for her deep-seated prepossessions against her brother Bernard's family. Pride must not blind ...
— Robin Redbreast - A Story for Girls • Mary Louisa Molesworth

... defective, of his not being able to bring his actions under the control of his will, or of some other sad handicap existing, was never contemplated. His crime was looked upon as a desperate act, for the committal of which he was absolutely without any excuse. The consequence was that an elaborate system of torture was devised in order to deal with him. Readers who are familiar with such books as Marcus Clark's "For the term of his natural life," and Charles Reade's "It is never too late to mend," ...
— A Plea for the Criminal • James Leslie Allan Kayll

... game which had once won him a million dollars from just such plungers as Wiley, and if he also smiled as he tucked away the note it was not without excuse. There had been a time when this boy's father had sat in the game with Blount and now he was engaged in raising cattle on a ranch far back in the hills. And Colonel Huff, that prince of royal plungers, had surrendered at last to the bank. It was twelve per cent, compounded ...
— Shadow Mountain • Dane Coolidge

... at my visit, I know, my charming Angelique. But you must excuse my thus appearing so unexpectedly before you. The truth is, I found it impossible to leave Paris without seeing you ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... have but half-an-hour between me and, it may be, ruin. Excuse, therefore, my abruptness. You have, I perceive, a pair of scissors in your workbag. Oblige me, if you please, by ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... the government afforded an excuse for postponing action upon the newly discovered French Decree. It permitted also time for reflection. Just before Perceval's death, Russell had noted a firm determination to maintain the Orders in Council, conditioned only by the late Declaration of April 21; but at the same time ...
— Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 - Volume 1 • Alfred Thayer Mahan

... that must necessarily be recognized in its reality, and faced by these men who will presently emerge to rule the world; men who will have neither the plea of ignorance, nor moral stupidity, nor dogmatic revelation to excuse such elaborate cruelty. ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... the only thing to be done, and the sooner the ceremony should be over the better. Lent would come on in a few short weeks; that would be the excuse to hasten matters, and this idea was all Tamara was conscious of as ...
— His Hour • Elinor Glyn

... "Q. Excuse me, mademoiselle,—if you will allow me, I will ask you some questions and you will answer them. That will fatigue you less than making ...
— The Mystery of the Yellow Room • Gaston Leroux

... BE SUBSTANTIVE, but more than being its own excuse for being, it lights up the land it depicts, shows people what is significant, cherishable in their own lives and environments. Thus Peter Hurd of New Mexico has revealed windmills, Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri has elevated mules. Nature ...
— Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest • J. Frank Dobie

... much as sea breakfasts generally do—that is to say, the company ate heartily: even Isabella, who had sufficient excuse for low spirits and want of appetite, yielded to the demands of hunger the most unromantic, and, in vulgar language, "spoilt the looks" of the broiled fowl before her. The meal was drawing to a close, when the steward came below with information, that Mr. Walker had seen, ...
— An Old Sailor's Yarns • Nathaniel Ames

... proper comment on the sound of their name. "Yes. That is no!" had been Chad's reply; but he had immediately added that their English was the most charming in the world, so that if Strether were wanting an excuse for not getting on with them he wouldn't in the least find one. Never in fact had Strether—in the mood into which the place had quickly launched him—felt, for himself, less the need of an excuse. Those he might have found would have been, at the worst, all for the others, the people before him, ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... his reach, could not even imagine circumstances in which they might be reconciled. To a Celt the summit of wrong is a slight, but apology is correspondingly potent with him. Mistress Conal, however, had not the excuse of ...
— What's Mine's Mine • George MacDonald

... from the dining-room with a bottle of champagne). Excuse me for being so long; but I had to go to the cellar. (Puts the bottle down on ...
— Ghosts - A Domestic Tragedy in Three Acts • Henrik Ibsen

... visited several Etruscan tombs, and saw their red and black scrawled pictures. One of the sepulchres was a well-jointed vault of stone with no wall-paintings. The rest had been scooped out of the living tufa. This was the excuse for some pleasant hours spent in walking and driving through the country. Chiusi means for me the mingling of grey olives and green oaks in limpid sunlight; deep leafy lanes; warm sandstone banks; copses with nightingales and cyclamens and cuckoos; glimpses of ...
— New Italian sketches • John Addington Symonds

... selues. Bea. yea and ye may be sure they wold gladly with al theyr harts i their bodies make suche lawes yf they coulde mayntayne them or were of power to se them executed, and they myght haue some thynge to laye for theyr excuse if they could proclayme opyn warre before they fell to robbynge. Boni. But who gaue that pryuylege rather to a horseman then to a foteman, or more to a gentylman the to a good yeman. Bea. The fauoure that is ...
— Two Dyaloges (c. 1549) • Desiderius Erasmus

... considerable profit indeed," said I; "and you ought to be abundantly thankful. We shall talk this matter over at another time, Mr Sawley, but just now I must beg you to excuse me. I have a particular engagement this morning with my broker—rather a heavy transaction ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845 • Various

... her so much, her constant remembrances in having him on to visit us on different occasions. It was a lesson to me, for I should probably never have thought of it myself; and of course when one does not do what one ought to, the excuse that one erred from thoughtlessness instead of wrong ...
— Letters to His Children • Theodore Roosevelt

... the letters which appear in the following collection. His motives for publishing this monument of his official life are sufficiently set forth in the two prefaces, one prefixed to the First Book and the other to the Eleventh. Much emphasis is laid on the entreaties of his friends, the regular excuse, in the sixth century as in the nineteenth, for an author or a politician doing the very thing which most pleases his own vanity. A worthier reason probably existed in the author's natural desire to vindicate his own consistency, by showing that the influence which ...
— The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator • Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

... wrong to say that, sir," replied Ready: "excuse me, Mr Seagrave, for being so bold; but the fact is, that if I was in command of that vessel, I should do just as they have done. The gale rises fast, and it would be very dangerous for them to remain where they now are. It does not at all prove that they intend ...
— Masterman Ready - The Wreck of the "Pacific" • Captain Frederick Marryat

... of hunger, or the request of friends, was the excuse for the printing of sorry books in Pope's time; and it has not become obsolete yet. The writer of the book, the title of which we have given above, pleads the latter alternative as the occasion of this publication. He says it was "a few ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various

... island. Sir Hudson got it into his malevolent brain that he had pinned them at last. He affirmed that their reason for not signing what they pretended was their Emperor's and their own degradation was to give an excuse for being "sent off." Whereupon, as soon as the Governor's crafty insinuations became known, they all signed except Santini, who refused to have Napoleon described by any other term than ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... moderate and dull as well as the refined and reasoning classes. Alone it was impotent against the solid clay of the English apathetic nature. But give this fiery element a body of decent-looking earth; give it an excuse for breaking out on an occasion, when the decent, the cultivated, and aristocratic classes could join with it, and they would conquer by means of it, and it could be ...
— The English Constitution • Walter Bagehot

... him up, long ago, as incorrigible,' Martin replied. 'He takes his own way, Tom. You would excuse him, Miss Pinch, if you ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... birds perform to a more hostile audience than the owl. I say advisedly "the owl," since the vast majority of people make no distinction whatever between our three resident kinds of owl, not to mention at least half a dozen more visitors. Some excuse for such carelessness might perhaps be found in the similar flight and habits of different owls, but it might have been thought that greater measure of individual recognition on their own merits would have been conceded ...
— Birds in the Calendar • Frederick G. Aflalo

... incorrectly used. It may be argued that to refer to the remote ancestors and their descendants equally as "Greeks and Romans," is an anachronism as marked as would be the calling of the ancient Keltic Gauls, or the Insubres, Frenchmen. As a matter of fact this is true. But, besides the very plausible excuse that the names used were embodied in a private letter, written as usual in great haste, and which was hardly worthy of the honour of being quoted verbatim with all its imperfections, there may perhaps exist still weightier objections to calling ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... in the country; but has a sword at his a—- here in town. 'Tis a poor little short wretch, but will do best in a gown, and we will make Lord Keeper give him a living. Lord Bolingbroke writ to Lord Treasurer to excuse me to-day; so I dined with the former, and Monteleon, the Spanish Ambassador, who made me many compliments. I stayed till nine, and now it is past ten, and my man has locked me up, and I have just ...
— The Journal to Stella • Jonathan Swift

... appointment for Bro. Wm. Tandy. Bro. Jacob Hugley was to come on the first of the week, and join me in a protracted meeting. Something prevented him from coming. I soon ran out of sermons, the supply on hand being small. In the meantime a fine interest had sprung up, and I had no excuse for quitting. So I had either to face the music, prepare and preach two sermons a day, or ingloriously surrender. The meeting continued two weeks, with some eighteen or twenty additions. During the same trip I held a meeting at a church ...
— Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel - and Selections from his Writings • Frank G. Allen

... though it was forbidden to drink or sip beer, it was not forbidden to eat it. When this was in turn prohibited, the Soaker gave up any pretence, and brewed and drank unabashed, telling the angry king that he was celebrating his approaching funeral with due respect, which excuse led to the repeal of the obnoxious decree. A good Rabelaisian tale, that must not have been wide-spread among the Danish topers, whose powers both Saxo and Shakespeare have celebrated, from actual ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... from Louisiana is a lawyer, and he knows very well that under such circumstances, a mother with a nursing infant, that fact being made known to the court would be excused; that would be a sufficient excuse. He knows himself, and he has seen it done a hundred times, that for trivial excuses compared to that men have been excused from service ...
— Debate On Woman Suffrage In The Senate Of The United States, - 2d Session, 49th Congress, December 8, 1886, And January 25, 1887 • Henry W. Blair, J.E. Brown, J.N. Dolph, G.G. Vest, Geo. F. Hoar.

... excuse Cyril, I'll take him with me," said Mr. Bruce quietly, continuing his sentence, just as if no ...
— An Australian Lassie • Lilian Turner

... a kindness," said Mr. Chase, "if you would forget Garnet's as now exhibited. You'll excuse the personality, but you seem to have collected a good deal of the professor's property coming ...
— Love Among the Chickens - A Story of the Haps and Mishaps on an English Chicken Farm • P. G. Wodehouse

... "Excuse me, Boss and Missis dear, for putting in my two cents, but you surely aren't thinking of sending all the furniture by freight, when vans are ...
— At Home with the Jardines • Lilian Bell

... observances of propriety which society imposes: for when, with her, passion spoke in accents either of anger or sympathy, nothing could any longer restrain her impulses. Madame approached Manicamp, who had sunk down upon a seat, as if his grief were a sufficiently powerful excuse for his infraction of one of the laws of etiquette. "Monsieur," she said, seizing him by the hand, ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... general impression that membership of the House of Commons is in itself a sufficient excuse for the avoidance of military service. This, it appears, is erroneous. Only those are exempt whom a Medical Board has declared unfit for general service; and even these, according to Mr. FORSTER, ...
— Punch, 1917.07.04, Vol. 153, Issue No. 1 • Various

... actor, had quarrelled about some fancied slight. So when Macready came to the city to play at the Astor Place Opera House, some friends of Forrest's gathered and sought to prevent his acting by shouting their disapproval. This was the excuse for an unruly mob to gather outside the theatre and storm the house with stones. Macready escaped by leaving the theatre by a rear door. Then a regiment of soldiers came and after using all peaceful measures to quell the disturbance, fired upon the mob ...
— The Story of Manhattan • Charles Hemstreet

... "Excuse me," replied Maxwell, in his blandest tones, "a few words of our conversation overheard might expose persons we wish ...
— Hatchie, the Guardian Slave; or, The Heiress of Bellevue • Warren T. Ashton

... those Fire-balls, and supernal and infernal prodigies, which, in the case of the Jewish Mysteries, have also more than once scared-back the Alien? Be this as it may, such failure on my part, after best efforts, must excuse the imperfection of this sketch; altogether incomplete, yet the completest I could give of a Sect too singular ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... left for it but to go into the kitchen, and look after the cooking; as for the lad outside, she couldn't get leave to ask him in, or to treat him either; but just as she was about spitting the pig in the kitchen, she made an excuse for running out into the yard, and then and there she gave Boots a pair of scissors, of such a kind that they cut of themselves out of the air the loveliest clothes any one ever saw, silk and satin, and all that ...
— Popular Tales from the Norse • Sir George Webbe Dasent

... enlisted in the sportsmen's battalion. He was wounded, and then the authorities discovered that he was likely to be of more use with a commission and drew him, in spite of considerable resistance, out of the firing line. To which he always returns whenever he can get a visitor to take with him as an excuse. He now stood up, fairly high and clear, explaining casually that the Germans were no longer firing, and showed me ...
— War and the Future • H. G. Wells

... endearments of our early days, Nor e'er the heart such fondness prove, As when it first began to love." Lloyd has kindly left me for a keep-sake, John Woolman. You have read it, he says, & like it. Will you excuse one short extract? I think it could not have escaped you:—"Small treasure to a resigned mind is sufficient. How happy is it to be content with a little, to live in humility, & feel that in us which ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... insufficient excuse. A blind ale-house, lane, or alley; an obscure, or little known or frequented ...
— 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue • Captain Grose et al.

... in the Italian language. Then he tries to explain it in Italian to us, which is more difficult still. He makes us read aloud to him, during which he folds his hands over his fat stomach and audibly goes to sleep. He will awake with a start and excuse himself, saying that he gets up at five o'clock in the morning for matines, and that naturally at eleven he is sleepy; but I think he only pretends to sleep and takes refuge behind his eyelids, in order to ponder over the Italian language as "she ...
— The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912 • Lillie DeHegermann-Lindencrone

... des faux Scavans is Father MALEBRANCHE; he is far more severe than Cornelius Agrippa, and he long preceded ROUSSEAU, so famous for his invective against the sciences. The seventh chapter of his fourth book is an inimitable satire. "The principal excuse," says he, "which engages men in false studies, is, that they have attached the idea of learned where they should not." Astronomy, antiquarianism, history, ancient poetry, and natural history, are all mowed down by his metaphysical scythe. When we become acquainted ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... Churchill, and one of these told him that a silver property in which he was interested over at Cobalt had turned out well and that his share in the sale was something over ten thousand dollars. He used this unexpected piece of good-fortune as an excuse to the inspector when he refused to re-enlist. A week after his arrival at Churchill Bucky Smith was dishonorably discharged from the Service. There were several near them when Bucky came up to him with a smile on his face and ...
— Isobel • James Oliver Curwood



Words linked to "Excuse" :   instance, palliate, representative, call for, example, free, defend, vindicate, mitigate, support, note, color, excusatory, absolve, line, colour, defense, extenuation, billet, defence, frank, extenuate, vindication, fend for, illustration, bespeak, mitigation, plead, request, short letter, gloss, quest, forgive



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