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First water   /fərst wˈɔtər/   Listen
First water

noun
1.
The highest quality gems.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"First water" Quotes from Famous Books



... the best hours of the day and night to the pleasures or duties of society, was best represented in our day by the Rev. William Harness and the Rev. Henry White. Mr. Harness was a diner-out of the first water; an author and a critic; perhaps the best Shakespearean scholar of his time; and a recognized and even dreaded authority on all matters connected with the art and literature of the drama. Mr. White, burdened only with the sinecure chaplaincies of ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... and finish of this portrait on vellum, done in crayons or body-colour, make it a gem of the first water. The drawing was done in black chalk, and the tints have been rubbed in with coloured crayons or given with the point where lines of colour were required. The work has the delicacy of a water-colour and the strength of ...
— Holbein • Beatrice Fortescue

... Charolois, because then she would have remained with her friends. Her father has given her several jewels. The King's present is superb. It consists of fourteen very large and fine diamonds, to each of which are fastened round pearls of the first water, and together they form a necklace. The Grand Duchess advised her niece well in telling her not to follow her example, but to endeavour to please her ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... keep my temper, and he cannot keep his. He has one advantage over most knaves, that he is not only a knave of the first water, but he is sometimes a fool, too. If it were only decent and right to take him into Downing's saloon, and give him just one more glass of whiskey than the blackguard would care to pay for, I could get at his ...
— The Brick Moon, et. al. • Edward Everett Hale

... the hurry and excitement of attending the festival at Mr. Rodman's house. Through the aperture the incendiary had stuffed the shavings, and dropped a card of lighted matches upon them, for he saw the remnants of it when he threw on the first water. Who had done this outrageous deed? Donald sprang upon the wharf as he recalled the shadowy form and the flapping sail he had seen. Leaping upon the pier, he rushed over to the other side, where he discovered a sail-boat slowly making her way, in the ...
— The Yacht Club - or The Young Boat-Builder • Oliver Optic

... to those old folk-songs, unfathered but deathless, which seem to have risen out of the very heart of the people. Good sense is a fund slowly and painfully accumulated by the labor of centuries. It is a jewel of the first water, whose value he alone understands who has lost it, or who observes the lives of others who have lost it. For my part, I think no price too great to pay for gaining it and keeping it, for the possession of eyes that see and a judgment that discerns. One takes good ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... thought so!" said Falloden wrathfully. "He is an impossible person. He wears a frilled shirt, scents himself, and recites his own poems when he hasn't been asked. And he curries favour—abominably—with the dons. He is a smug—of the first water. There is a movement going on in college to suppress him. I warn you I may not be able ...
— Lady Connie • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... to speak more respectfully, county visiting. It was Howel's pleasure that she should make it in point lace and diamonds. Not even to Owen was it whispered that the lace was a wonderfully good imitation, or that the diamonds, instead of being of the first water, were first-rate paste; and no one suspected the deception. The great millionnaire, Howel Jenkins, could well afford to give his pretty wife the real jewels and lace, and had the credit of so doing; and as no one, save himself and the jeweller, knew that ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... Herrera, the Corentin of Spain, as I suppose. This explains everything. The Spaniard is a demon of the first water, who has tried to make a fortune for that little young man by coining money out of a pretty baggage's bolster.—It is your lookout if you think you can measure your skill with a man who seems to me the very devil to ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac

... I don't believe you will make any mistake if you buy that diamond," said the jeweler to a young man who was inspecting a tray of pins, set with the sparkling stones. "It is of the first water, and without ...
— Tom Swift Among The Diamond Makers - or The Secret of Phantom Mountain • Victor Appleton

... The first water,—how much it means! Seven tenths of man himself is water. Seven tenths of the human race rained down but yesterday! It is much more probable that Alexander will flow out of a bung-hole than that any part of his ...
— Locusts and Wild Honey • John Burroughs

... alone—there was something ambiguous, something almost disreputable, in their jocund pliability, their readiness to lend themselves to improper uses. But Latin—ah, Latin was different! Even at his preparatory school, where he was known as a swot of the first water, he had displayed an unhealthy infatuation for that tongue; he loved its cold, lapidary construction; and while other boys played football or cricket, this withered little fellow used to lark about ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... and distinct alpine species from Carinthia. It proves perfectly hardy in this climate. For the rock garden it is a gem of the first water, its habit being dwarf, dense, and rigid; floriferous as many of the Bellflowers are, I know none to excel this one. As may be observed in the following description, there are not a few distinctive traits about it, which, more or less, go to make it a desirable subject ...
— Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers - Describing the Most Desirable Plants, for Borders, - Rockeries, and Shrubberies. • John Wood

... was as a helper in the great Pennsylvania Iron Trust's works that are owned by that old man, the self-styled philanthropist, Ephraim Barnaby, a hypocrite of the first water, who goes about the world asking people how he can best ...
— The Transgressors - Story of a Great Sin • Francis A. Adams

... to make the circulation of our paper 250,000 during the next six months. To accomplish which we will give absolutely free a genuine FIRST WATER Diamond Ring, and the Home Companion for one year, for only $2.00. Our reasons for making this unprecedented ...
— Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 1, January 5, 1884. - A Weekly Journal for the Farm, Orchard and Fireside • Various

... themselves, they were at the mercy of the knaves who were everywhere so ready to cheat them out of their honest earnings." They were a people who were too often despised on the one hand, and yet as often showing extraordinary traits of character on the other. There were gems of the first water among them; and now and then an individual, showing in one person the best attributes of both races, came to the front. It became more and more evident that the chief kind of aid which these people wanted was being taught how to help themselves. One of the mettle of Booker Washington could push ...
— From Slave to College President - Being the Life Story of Booker T. Washington • Godfrey Holden Pike

... "whose name is rarely mentioned in connection with the early days of Punch and the 'Illustrated London News.' I refer to John Oxenford. He did much good work in his day, and his contributions to Punch assisted greatly to increase its reputation. He was a wit of the first water." ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... attend to him himself, is a good deal of an expert in diamonds—he's a jeweller as well as a pawnbroker, and he saw at once that the diamond in this ring was well worth all of a thousand pounds—a gem of the first water! He was therefore considerably astonished when his customer asked for a loan of ten pounds on it—still more so when the fellow suggested that Pelver should buy it outright for twenty-five. Pelver asked him some questions as to his property in the ring—he made some excuses about its ...
— The Middle of Things • J. S. Fletcher

... annual ball of the Polo Club, and that was a social function of the first water—in the eyes ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... Decidedly they received attention. Possibly they were plucked and darkened—life had made him skeptical of "points." However, Clavering was no lover of unamended nature, holding nature, except in rare moments of inspiration, a bungler of the first water. ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... two handfuls of Rosemary Flowers, half an ounce of Mace, half an ounce of Cloves, half an ounce of Nutmegs, all bruised, steep these together four days in an earthen Pot, and covered very close, distil them in an ordinary Still well pasted, and do it with a very slow fire; save the first water by it self, and the small by it self, to give to Children; when you have occasion to use it, take a spoonful thereof, sweetned with Loaf-Sugar; this Water is good to drive out any Infection from the heart, and to ...
— The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet • Hannah Wolley

... the Fosse Way, it only just touches the valley of the Thames. It crosses the line of the river in a high embankment a mile or so below its traditional source at Thames head, but above the point where the first water is seen. A small culvert running under that embankment takes the flood water in winter down the hollow, but no longer covers a ...
— The Historic Thames • Hilaire Belloc

... noted the faultlessness of detail which characterised his attire, and had an instant perception that Ned Talbot would look rough and countrified by his side, and even Jim himself suffer from the contrast. Evidently this was a dandy of the first water; yet, despite his languid bearing, his face was full of intelligence, and decision of character was proclaimed in the large nose ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... of the turnip had no time for archaeology on his great tour, or he would have discovered that Nevers possesses more than one architectural gem of the first water. The cathedral certainly, alike without and within, must take rank after those of Chartres, Le Mans, Reims, and how many others! but the exquisite little church of St. Etienne and the Ducal Palace, are both perfect in their way, and will enchant ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... Poetry goes by quality, not by bulk. My poems are mere Cairngorms, wrought up, perhaps, with a cunning hand, and may pass well in the market as long as Cairngorms are the fashion; but they are mere Scotch pebbles, after all. Now, Tom Campbell's are real diamonds, and diamonds of the first water.'" ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... a ring from his finger.) Accept this, it is of the first water, worth two hundred ...
— The Lawyers, A Drama in Five Acts • Augustus William Iffland

... had not been a week in St. Petersburg before he had gained the regard of one, William Glen, who, in 1825, had been engaged by the Bible Society to translate the Old Testament into Persian. The clever Scot, of whom Borrow was informed by a competent judge that he was 'a Persian scholar of the first water,' was probably too heretical for the Society which recalled him, much to his chagrin. 'He is a very learned man, but of very simple and unassuming manners,' wrote Borrow to Jowett.[100] His version of the Psalms appeared in ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... whiskerandos, originally peasants, trained since boyhood in victorious armies, and accustomed to move among subject and trembling populations, could ill brook their change of circumstance. There was one man of the name of Goguelat, a brute of the first water, who had enjoyed no touch of civilisation beyond the military discipline, and had risen by an extreme heroism of bravery to a grade for which he was otherwise unfitted—that of marechal des logis in the ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... you and I were at Ipswich school together. There, sit down at this table. I suppose you are hungry. I hope you are. Try and think—there's a good fellow—and remember that they have the best cook in Paris here. Their morals ain't of the first water, but their cook is without match. Yes, you have changed a good deal, ...
— The Last Hope • Henry Seton Merriman

... are placed on the table, see that the water is boiling hard at the time you put in the eggs. When they have been in about four or five minutes, take them out, pour off the water, and replace it by some more that is boiling hard; as, from the coldness of the eggs having chilled the first water, they will not otherwise be done enough. The boiler may then be placed on the table, (keeping the lid closed,) and in a few minutes more they will be sufficiently ...
— Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches • Eliza Leslie

... ... others mere bawlers, who by dint of repeating year after year the same set of stereotyped declamations against the Government of the day have sneaked into the reputation of revolutionists of the first water. After the 18th of March some such men turned up, and in some cases contrived to play preeminent parts. As far as their power went, they hampered the real action of the working class, exactly as men of that sort have hampered the full development ...
— Violence and the Labor Movement • Robert Hunter

... an egotist and the very incarnation of selfishness, was a prig of the first water. He had been reared altogether in convention. Home life and Eton and Christchurch had taught him many things, wise as well as foolish; but had tended to fix his conviction that affairs of the heart ...
— The Man • Bram Stoker

... was installed from that time forward in the minds of Bella and the rest as a heroine of the first water. Katy, however, knew better; and the first time she caught Rose alone she attacked ...
— What Katy Did At School • Susan Coolidge

... tradition, the traveller's enthusiasm, the poet's fancy, and the painter's sleight have done for the beauties of the Bosphorus, the Bay of Naples, the harbor of Rhodes, and other "fine old ports" and "gems of the first water," I know of few more picturesque effects, whether of color or of grouping, than that which the North-River ferry-boat affords its passengers as midway in the stream they look up the broad palisaded river, or down the islanded bay, or across on either side ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, November 1885 • Various

... leave the churn, for there was his little babe crawling about on the floor, and "if I leave it," he thought, "the child is sure to upset it." So he took the churn on his back, and went out with it; but then he thought he'd better first water the cow before he turned her out on the thatch; so he took up a bucket to draw water out of the well; but, as he stooped down at the well's brink, all the cream ran out of the churn over his shoulders, and ...
— Childhood's Favorites and Fairy Stories - The Young Folks Treasury, Volume 1 • Various

... were of china blue, and her lips rather full, but of the richest carmine. She was exquisitely dressed, her travelling costume evidently of Redfern's build, and one hand, from which she had removed the glove, was loaded with costly rings; diamonds and emeralds as large as nuts, and of the first water. ...
— At Love's Cost • Charles Garvice

... It is interesting to remember that Rossetti's first water-colour was an illustration of this poem, and has for subject and title the line, "Which is the poison to ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... what the Indians call 'Muchemunito Nek'—the Devil's Nest. It's a Free Trader's house. A man down in Montreal by the name of Lang owns a string of them, and his agent over at the Devil's Nest is a scoundrel of the first water. His name is Thoreau. There are a score of half-breeds and whites in his crowd, and not a one of them with an honest hair in his head. It's the one criminal rendezvous I know of in all this North country. Bad Indians who have lost credit at the ...
— God's Country—And the Woman • James Oliver Curwood

... of nothing, and dream of nothing else but you and your cousins until they have made your acquaintance. We have not much to excite us in the country, and to have the Court open again, with four young people to act as hosts, is a sensation of the first water. There will be a stream of callers after you have appeared in church on Sunday. You will have a busy time driving over the country returning their calls, and after these formalities are over the invitations will begin. I don't think you will find any ...
— The Fortunes of the Farrells • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... cover he showed Ernest and the rest some diamonds of the first water, that must have been worth ...
— Picked up at Sea - The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek • J.C. Hutcheson

... the case, Weishaupt—in view of the efficiency achieved by the Order—must have been a genius of the first water, and it is difficult to understand why so remarkable a man should not have distinguished himself on other lines, but have remained almost unknown to posterity. It would therefore appear possible that Weishaupt, although undoubtedly a man of immense organizing capacity and ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... refinement suggested by intimacy with a Grand Duke, so, in the same way, she had taken some casual remark by my father, had worked it up delicately, given it a 'turn,' a precious title, set in it the gem of a glance from her own eyes, a gem of the first water, blended of humility and gratitude; and so had given it back transformed into a jewel, a work of ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... the latest style—that is to say, a fool of the first water —looks out upon himself from this looking-glass," said he, laughing. "It would be an affront to my majesty if any one were to presume to suspect the emperor under this absurd disguise. I hope I shall be as successful in the ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... that money has made him snobbish toward his neighbours, he's a simple, honest, square-dealing (according to his lights) old Jasper. He's not snobbish toward me, because I've got something he admires but can't understand and never can acquire; but he's a snob of the first water when it comes to somebody like this old prince I'm working for—Graham—and his daughter. ...
— The Fortune Hunter • Louis Joseph Vance

... fields, and so strong was the impression that he at once laid down his gun and proceeded to rake the gravel over and to examine it. His search was rewarded by the discovery of several stones, which he conveyed home with him, and which proved, after being cleaned, to be gems of the first water. Elated at this success, he returned to the spot next day with a spade, and succeeded in obtaining many other specimens, and in convincing himself that the deposit stretched up and down for a long distance on both sides ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... nine-and-ninety times out of a hundred. You should never use them. That is positive enough, I hope? Though I cannot admire his style, I admire the man who wrote to me, 'Re Tennyson—your remarks anent his "In Memoriam" make me sick': for though re is not a preposition of the first water, and 'anent' has enjoyed its day, the finish crowned the work. But here are a few specimens far, very ...
— On the Art of Writing - Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914 • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... soldiers' camp, other tents of explorers and travellers being close around us. From this point the troops were to start on their journey to Winnipeg. First, forty miles of road had to be constructed, and boats and everything had to be carried on waggons till the first water in the chain of lakes and rivers was reached. This had to be done for the whole of the 700 miles to Winnipeg; wherever possible the troops went by boat, and where there was no water on the route, a road ...
— Missionary Work Among The Ojebway Indians • Edward Francis Wilson

... the trick. The wily Indian, perhaps knowing the habits of the race he had forsaken, had been prowling about among the sullen prisoners. He openly laughed at them for the plight in which he found them, taunting them as cowards of the first water. ...
— The Boy Ranchers Among the Indians - or, Trailing the Yaquis • Willard F. Baker

... listened, I was dangerously near admiring him. He was certainly exaggerating; but it couldn't all be brag. The life of this spy of the first water, of international fame, must be rather marvelous; to defy one's enemies with success, to journey calmly through their capitals, to stroll undetected among their agents of justice—were not things any fool could do. ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... and a brute, and a scamp of the first water," said John, glad of some way to get rid of his excitement; "but I do not think that even he would sell his wife and his child for money. I wouldn't do him so ...
— The Marriage of Elinor • Margaret Oliphant

... exclaimed Lethbridge, holding out for inspection a crystal as large as a pigeon's egg; "what think you of that for a first find? And it is of the first water, too." ...
— The Log of the Flying Fish - A Story of Aerial and Submarine Peril and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... dropped in your letter, that the objection is founded not on the use of Arabic words, but on attempts at improving or adorning the simplicity of the Bible. However this may be, there can be no doubt that Mr. Glen is a Persian scholar of the first water. Mirza Achmed, a Persian gentleman now living at St. Petersburg, who resided some time at Astracan, informed me that he had seen the translation, and that the language was highly elegant; but whether or not the translation was ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... Though I can tell you we were as anxious for them as for Giovanni now. But when they had crossed the first water-mountains, and gone down into the water-valleys beyond, they were quite out of sight of the crowd on the deck of the ship, ...
— Miscellanea • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... remember many "jewels" on the way to Gloucester from Bath through Cold Aston and Stroud; but if I were properly up in history, no doubt I should have noted more than I did; yet Gloucester itself was a diamond of the first water. I feared to be disappointed in the Cathedral, so soon after exquisite Wells and the Abbey at Bath, which I loved. But as soon as I got inside it was quite otherwise, especially as I had Sir Lionel to show me things, and he knew Gloucester ...
— Set in Silver • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... poems. The subscriptions were to be left at Button's, and when Savage called there a few days later he found a sum of seventy guineas awaiting him. Hill may, as has been asserted, have been a bore of the first water, but that kindly deed may stand him in stead ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... household: almost as terrible a product as the typical spoilt child of a Bohemian household: that is, all her childish affectations of conscientious scruple and religious impulse have been applauded and deferred to until she has become an ethical snob of the first water. Her father's sense of humor and her mother's placid balance have done something to save her humanity; but her impetuous temper and energetic will, unrestrained by any touch of humor or scepticism, carry everything ...
— Getting Married • George Bernard Shaw

... volumes which the year has brought to our table this one stands out facile princeps—a gem of the first water, bearing upon every one of its pages the signet mark of genius.... All is told with such simplicity and perfect naturalness that the dream appears to be a solid reality. It is indeed a Little Pilgrim's Progress." ...
— Miss Ashton's New Pupil - A School Girl's Story • Mrs. S. S. Robbins

... getting the box of silver out of the house secretly, whilst all the family were up, and the servants were moving about, was so great that this part of the affair had to be carried on in a manner different from the usual programme of pirates of the first water. Even the boys had to admit this; and they yielded to old Balla's advice on this point, but made up for it by additional formality, ceremony, and secrecy in pointing out the spot where the box was to ...
— Two Little Confederates • Thomas Nelson Page

... to say what he may have done," answered the consul; "he is a villain of the first water, and would shoot his own father and mother if they ...
— The Three Lieutenants • W.H.G. Kingston

... an athlete, a musician, an acrobat, a Lothario, a grim fighter, a sport of the first water. All day long the cat loafs about the house, takes things easy, sleeps by the fire, and allows himself to be pestered by the attentions of our womenfolk and annoyed by our children. To pass the time away he sometimes watches a mouse-hole for an ...
— Three Elephant Power • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... Cambridge possessed charms for the fast ones. How else are we to explain Archbishop Stratford's stringent order in 1342 for the repression of the dandyism that prevailed among the young scholars? These young Cantabs of the fourteenth century were exquisites of the first water. Their fur- trimmed cloaks and their tippets; their shoes of all the colours of the rainbow; their dainty girdles, bejewelled and gilt, were a sight to see. And then their hair! positively curled and powdered, and growing over their shoulders, too; and when they passed their fingers ...
— The Coming of the Friars • Augustus Jessopp

... cried D'Artagnan, letting his arms fall as a conquered man gives up his sword; "ah! my friend, you are not only a herculean topographer, you are, still further, a dialectician of the first water." ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... in the highest style of fashion, and, though not more than nineteen, was evidently a 'blood' of 'the very first water.' The body servant was a good-looking quadroon, and sported an enormous diamond pin and a heavy gold watch chain. In his sleek beaver hat, and nicely-brushed suit of black broadcloth, he looked a much better-dressed gentleman than any one ...
— The Continental Monthly , Vol. 2 No. 5, November 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... the Sawtooth had on its pay roll men who were paid to kill and to leave no trace. So many heedless ones crossed the Sawtooth's path to riches! Fred Thurman had been one; a "bull-headed cuss" who had the temerity to fight back when the Sawtooth calmly laid claim to the first water rights to Granite Creek, having bought it, they said, with the placer claim of an old miner who had prospected along the headwaters of Granite at the ...
— Sawtooth Ranch • B. M. Bower

... author tells us somewhere, with the tone of a pedagogue, if you have not done anything worthy of being recorded, at least write something worthy of being read. It is a precept as beautiful as a diamond of the first water cut in England, but it cannot be applied to me, because I have not written either a novel, or the life of an illustrious character. Worthy or not, my life is my subject, and my subject is my life. I have lived ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... compositions to 2 Sonatas, the G major Fantasia (a Virgilian poem!), the splendid "Wanderer"-dithyramb (C major Fantasia), 2 books of Impromptus, Moments Musicals and all his Valses (among which there are gems of the first water). All this will be sent to you forthwith; and in ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 2: "From Rome to the End" • Franz Liszt; letters collected by La Mara and translated

... from a monk, a letter in which he signified to me that he had hardly seen me, when 'he conceived the sweet hope of becoming my confessor.' An exquisite of the first water, a fop of scents and euphuism, could not have employed phrases more melodramic, to demand whether ...
— The Priest, The Woman And The Confessional • Father Chiniquy

... Peregrine one evening engaged at play, and so successful, that he could not help informing his friend of his good luck. Godfrey, hearing the description of the loser, immediately recognized the person, whom he had known at Tunbridge; and, assuring Pickle that he was a sharper of the first water, cautioned him against any further connection with such a dangerous companion, who, he affirmed, had suffered him to win a small sum, that he might be encouraged to lose a much greater sum ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... gently touched up the newest stranger—the lion of the day, the gorgeous journeyman tailor from Quincy. He was a simpering coxcomb of the first water, and the "loudest" dressed man in the state. He was an inveterate woman-killer. Every week he wrote lushy "poetry" for the journal, about his newest conquest. His rhymes for my week were headed, "To MARY IN H—l," meaning to Mary in Hannibal, of course. But while ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... listening to Wolf with a sad face and drawing a garland on the paper that lay before him. Bay was a Liberal of the very first water. He held sacred the Liberal traditions of the sixth decade of this century, and if he ever overstepped the limits of strict neutrality it was always in the direction of Liberalism. So in this case; beside the fact that the swindling director, who was prosecuting ...
— Resurrection • Count Leo Tolstoy

... Drummond, and many others, who no doubt are still remembered by the old-timers. There was a strong spirit of emulation between the companies, which added greatly to their efficiency, each striving to be first at the fire, as it was considered an honor to have first water on the same. At the tap of the fire alarm men could be seen running from all quarters to the engine-houses, as the first man at the engine-house had the honor of carrying the pipe into the fire, which was a ...
— Some Reminiscences of old Victoria • Edgar Fawcett

... stewed and cut in slices, and served in some of the liquor in which they are boiled, with toast cut in strips, something like onion porridge. Boil the leeks for five minutes, drain them off, and throw away the first water, and then stew them gently in some fresh water. In years back, in Wales, French plums were stewed with and added ...
— Cassell's Vegetarian Cookery - A Manual Of Cheap And Wholesome Diet • A. G. Payne

... said Josepha. "This evening, after dinner, I have only to speak. The Duke would marry me if I wished it, but I have his fortune, and I want something better—his esteem. He is a Duke of the first water. He is high-minded, as noble and great as Louis XIV. and Napoleon rolled into one, though he is a dwarf. Besides, I have done for him what la Schontz did for Rochefide; by taking my advice he ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... afterwards. To have painted the sordid facts of their lives, and they throughout invoking the death's head apparition of the family gentility to come and scare their benefactors, would have made Young John a satirist of the first water. ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... slapped his thigh, "Kaunitz! behold the key. Eh, eh, I have it now; not long ago the Empress despatched a special ambassador to Versailles,—one Anton Wenzel Kaunitz, a man I never heard of. Why, this Moravian count is a genius of the first water. He will combine France and Austria, implacable enemies since the Great Cardinal's time. Ah, I have it now, monsieur,—Frederick of Prussia has published verses against the Pompadour which she can never pardon—eh, against the ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... Dila, was the first water-course which indicated that we were now on the slopes toward the eastern coast. It contained no flowing water, but revealed in its banks what gave me great pleasure at the time—pieces of lignite, possibly indicating the existence of a mineral, namely, ...
— Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa - Journeys and Researches in South Africa • David Livingstone

... walk on ahead until he comes to some house, where oil and a wrench can be borrowed. Bob must drive his horses on at a walk, and halt at the first water he sees. It's an unlucky accident for us, and it seems strange that it should have happened ...
— Ralph Gurney's Oil Speculation • James Otis

... every day, and mixed with the social circles, which gathered in the evening in the drawing-rooms of the beautiful, witty Madame de Permont; and where men even of diverging political sentiments, aristocrats and ci-devants of the first water, were to be found. But Madame de Permont had forbidden all political discussion in her saloon; and General Bonaparte, now compelled to inactivity, dared no more show his anger against the Committee of Safety, or against the Convention, ...
— The Empress Josephine • Louise Muhlbach

... not nearly so nice a place as it sounds. But it is the first water north of the Santa Fe, and now and then a wayfarer of the desert leaves the main highway and turns that way, driven by necessity. It is a secluded spot, too unattractive to tempt people to linger; because of its very seclusion it therefore ...
— The Trail of the White Mule • B. M. Bower

... type does not usually pierce any impervious layer and thus reach a water-bearing stratum, otherwise inaccessible. The water is found almost at the surface, and the depth of the well is only that necessary to reach the first water layer. A very good example of this kind of well is to be found on the south shores of Long Island Sound, where a pipe can be driven into the sand at any point, and at a depth of a few feet an abundant and cheap supply of water may be secured. The amount of ...
— Rural Hygiene • Henry N. Ogden

... same post I wrote to Bob Cross, acquainting him with what had passed, and begging him to come round by the first water conveyance, and bring my chest and bedding with him. I then walked down to the dockyard to have a look at the Manilla, which was, as I had heard, a splendid vessel; went up again to order a mate's uniform, and returned to the hotel. It was useless going to the ship ...
— Percival Keene • Frederick Marryat

... a fine figure at court and gallantly distinguished himself in the Turkish wars against his former compatriots, his exploits winning for him the estate of Hidvar and the title of baron. His son again was a miser of the first water who could be enticed neither to court nor into the houses of his neighbours. He was continually scraping money together and was not over particular in the choice of his scraper. By adroit chicanery he ...
— The Poor Plutocrats • Maurus Jokai

... oftener folk who had failed in every other line of business, took up land long before even the road to the dam was finished. These people waited in a pitiful state of hardship five years for water. They blamed the Service and they fought for first water. ...
— Still Jim • Honore Willsie Morrow

... banker was off to America, taking with him his wife and his money, he would not, I say, in such a moment turn his head round to see which way they went;—Imagine, then, when in order to succeed you have made yourself out a cheat of the first water, and employed every possible subterfuge,—conceive what would be the extent of your anger and indignation, what your disgust,—when on arriving at your coveted Mare, at your oasis, at your paradise, ...
— Le Morvan, [A District of France,] Its Wild Sports, Vineyards and Forests; with Legends, Antiquities, Rural and Local Sketches • Henri de Crignelle

... shades of modern inelegance. One layer of the conglomerate was specially distasteful to Milly. That was the black-walnut "parlor set," covered with a faded green velvet, the contribution of Grandma Ridge from her Pennsylvania home. It still seemed to the little old lady of the first water as it had been when it adorned Judge Ridge's brick house in Euston, Pa. Milly naturally had other views of this treasure. Somewhere she had learned that the living room of a modern household was no longer called the "parlor," by those who ...
— One Woman's Life • Robert Herrick

... want it bluntly, because the young man now staying at Government House is no more the Marquis of Beckenham than I am. He is a fraud, an impostor, a cheat of the first water, put up to play his part by one of the ...
— A Bid for Fortune - or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta • Guy Boothby

... sparkling humour. But this Glossop, I regret to say, falls into neither class. In addition to looking like one of those things that come out of hollow trees, he is universally admitted to be a dumb brick of the first water. No soul. No conversation. In short, any girl who, having been rash enough to get engaged to him, has managed at the eleventh hour to slide out is justly entitled ...
— Right Ho, Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... fashion, particularly those houses which have been pressed into the service of trade in the Rue Richelieu. Champfleury smoked his short pipe and discussed with me the prospects of French politics. His father was, he told me, an old Bonapartist of the first water, but had been moved to exclaim, a short time before, after reading the papers day after day, 'Pourtant, avant de mourir je voudrais voir autre chose.' We parted very affectionately at ...
— My Life, Volume II • Richard Wagner

... supply useful "notes" to your readers, they shall have, in some future number, the remainder of the bridegroom's wardrobe. In whatever niggardly array the bride came to her lord's arms, he, at {131} least, was pranked and decked in all the apparel of a young gallant, an exquisite of the first water, for this was only one of several rich suits which he provided for his marriage outfit; and then follows a list of costly gloves and presents, and all the lavish outlay of ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 9, Saturday, December 29, 1849 • Various

... of trees; the one is called 'Sagatmener', the second 'Osmener', the third 'Pummuckner'. These kind of acorns they vse to drie vpon hurdles made of reeds with fire vnderneath almost after the maner as we dry malt in England. When they are to be vsed they first water them vntil they be soft & then being sod they make a good victuall, either to eate so simply, or els being also pounded, to make loaues or lumpes of bread. These be also the three kinds of which, I said before, the inhabitants vsed to ...
— A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land Of Virginia • Thomas Hariot

... on ascending the throne, became king. His first official act was to order dinner. "A nice, juicy steak," he is said to have called for,[4] "French fries, apple pie and a cup of coffee." It is probable that he really said "a coff of cuppee," however, as he was a wag of the first water and loved a joke as well as ...
— Love Conquers All • Robert C. Benchley

... are silver—but then that's nothin'—silver's so common even their frying-pans are made outo' that. But you ought to see their lamp-posts in the street. Their poles are built of ivory from the tusks of elephants of the first water; an' the glass on top is nothing ...
— Half-Past Seven Stories • Robert Gordon Anderson

... attracted their attention, the figurative crucifix of the heavens; while the "scorpion," itself, upreared its head aloft, surmounted by a brilliant diadem of stars that twinkled and scintillated in flashes of light, like a row of gems of the first water—the body of the fabled animal being marked out in fine curves, in which fancy could trace its general proportions, half-way down the heavens. In a more southerly direction, still, the parallel stars of the twin heroes Castor ...
— Fritz and Eric - The Brother Crusoes • John Conroy Hutcheson

... engaged a year or so, when one summer a belle of the first water made her appearance in the village-circle of Stamford. Kate Barclay was her name. She was a Southerner, and a reputed heiress. She had come rusticating, she said; and shrugging her pretty shoulders, she would declare in a bewitching, languid ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXII No. 2. February 1848 • Various

... had a passion for logic and order"; and adds, "he was a man without beliefs or illusions or scruples." He began by being a fop and ultra-extravagant; and was always, if we may believe accounts, a libertine of the first water. He was, of course, an epileptic. In short, there is nothing in history to give an absolutely sure clue to his real self. But there is that passage in Madame Blavatsky, which I have quoted before, to the effect that he was an agent of the dark ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... wandered, the whole day, for he had set out to seek his fortune: if he saw upon the ground a potsherd shining in the sunlight, he took care to pick it up, in the belief that he could change it into a diamond of the first water; if he saw in the distance the cupola of a Mosque sparkling like fire, or the sea glittering like a mirror, he would hasten up, fully persuaded that he had arrived at fairy-land. But ah! these phantoms vanished as he approached, ...
— The Oriental Story Book - A Collection of Tales • Wilhelm Hauff

... which properly belongs to the age before, is a phenomenon in the history of English literature. His pungent wit, his extraordinary ingenuity, and his command of words are rare endowments, but he has no poetic vein that yields jewels of the first water, and his place is not a high one in the path which leads upward to the ...
— Handbook of Universal Literature - From The Best and Latest Authorities • Anne C. Lynch Botta

... he does not perceive it. By and by, it may be, he finds that the discovery he had made of a friend, a brother of his soul, is, like so many of the visions of this world, hollow and fallacious. He grasped, as he thought, a jewel of the first water; and it turns out to be a vulgar pebble. No matter: he has gained something by the communication. He has heard from his own lips the imaginings of his mind shaped into articulate air; they grew more definite and distinct as he uttered them; they came by the very act to ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... two had been sparring with each other some little time, another of the boys ventured the advice that it would be easy to count the animals as they came out of the water; so the order went forward to let them hit the trail for the first water. We made a fine stream, watering early in the afternoon. As they grazed out from the creek we fed them through between two of the boys. The count showed no cattle short. In fact, the Val Verde boy's count was confirmed. It was then that our medicine man played his cards wrong. He still ...
— Cattle Brands - A Collection of Western Camp-fire Stories • Andy Adams

... where I looked for cricketing groups, I found reproductions of such works as "Love and Death" and "The Blessed Damozel," in dusty frames and different parallels. The man might have been a minor poet instead of an athlete of the first water. But there had always been a fine streak of aestheticism in his complex composition; some of these very pictures I had myself dusted in his study at school; and they set me thinking of yet another of his many sides—and of the little incident to which ...
— The Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... you know it. The rest of you fellows better lie around and chew tobacco until water comes. We'll get an early start to-morrow to make up for lost time. Peters, you and Mundy see that somebody looks out for the men that are hurt. Take them to the tent. They get first water if the cook has any. If not, Ben, you take them with you to ...
— Under Handicap - A Novel • Jackson Gregory

... and Mr Flinders was, that, although the former was essentially cruel and a bully of the first water, he was yet physically brave and a cute, cautious man, who, when sober, knew how far he might venture in his harsh treatment of those under him; while the first-mate, on the contrary, was an utter coward at ...
— The Island Treasure • John Conroy Hutcheson

... use the words fire and water with different meanings, according to the ideas we wish to express. When we say "do not touch the fire," or "put your hand into the water," we are regarding fire and water as material things; when we say "the house is on fire," or speak of "a diamond of the first water," we are thinking of the condition or state of a burning body, or of a substance as transparent as water. When we say "put out the fire," or "his heart became as water," we are referring to the act of burning, or are using an image which likens the thing ...
— The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry • M. M. Pattison Muir

... were past-masters in the art of genteel scoundrelism. Adventurers of the very first water, they seldom, if ever, let me into their secrets until their plans were actually matured. Their reason for this reticence was that they believed I might show the white feather. They could not yet rely upon my audacity ...
— The Count's Chauffeur • William Le Queux

... Sue was a very easy, good-natured man, but had no learning, though he was reckoned a savan of the first water. Eugene knew this, and wickedly took advantage of it. His father—the doctor—was in the habit of delivering a course of botanical lectures to a circle of very select ladies, and Eugene suspected that his father, ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... of the value of diamonds, we distinguish them as "diamonds of the first water," meaning those which possess the greatest perfection and purity, which ought to be that of the clearest drop of water: when they fall short of this perfection, they are said to be "of the second or third water," and so ...
— A Catechism of Familiar Things; Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery • Benziger Brothers

... nearly all their ammunition, nor would they cease firing when I ordered them until they had exhausted their supply of 300 cartridges in all. Why were they firing? Because, said they, they had crossed the first water on their journey. ...
— Across Unknown South America • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... ease on the coach box. One, a tall young fellow, looks at a distance like a field-officer in a flashy uniform, but is only an English footman in a gaudy livery, who needs the training of a London winter or two, in a fashionable household, to make him a flunky of the first water. The other, an old man, with a severe countenance, is plainly dressed, but, with a less brilliant exterior, has a more respectable air than his companion. He, too, is the man in authority as, from time to time, he directs the party and urges them on ...
— The Actress in High Life - An Episode in Winter Quarters • Sue Petigru Bowen

... had been intimated in public that the ministers would do well not to appear at the polls. Of course, after that, we had to appear by self or proxy. Still, Naguadavick was not then a city, and this standing in a double queue at town-meeting several hours to vote was a bore of the first water; and so, when I found that there was but one Frederic Ingham on the list, and that one of us must give up, I staid at home and finished the letters, (which, indeed, procured for Fothergill his coveted appointment ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 23, September, 1859 • Various

... doesn't know I know he knows, and there isn't a disease in the dictionary that he hasn't treated me for since he's had me in hand. To do him justice, I believe he thinks me a hypochondriac of the first water; but that young man will go far if he keeps on the wicket. He has spent half his nights up ...
— Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... a prig of the first water, and there was no use arguing with him. I thought I had best meet him on his own ground, so I said, "Your clients, sir, are happy in having so resolute a guardian of their confidence. I am myself ...
— Dracula • Bram Stoker

... in the lotus. Japanese poetry asks of the dewdrop "why, having the heart of the lotus for its home, does it pretend to be a gem?" For a thousand years Riy[o]bu Buddhism was received as a pure brilliant of the first water, and then the scholarship of the Shint[o] revivalists of the eighteenth century exposed the fraudulent nature of the unrelated parts and declared that the jewel called Riy[o]bu was but a craftsman's doublet and should be split apart. Only a ...
— The Religions of Japan - From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji • William Elliot Griffis

... the production of this piece; out, from the appearance of the bills, we are led to infer that it arose from the indisposition of Mrs. Waylett to shine in the same hemisphere with that little brilliant, Mrs. Keeley, and "a gem of the first water" she proved herself to be on Wednesday night. It would be useless to enter into the detail of the plot of an ephemeron, that depends more upon its quips and cranks than dramatic construction for its success. It abounds in merry conceits, ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 1, July 17, 1841 • Various

... with great care. It was not to be wholly removed at the time of cleaning, and it was not to be walked on, or indented, or in any other way consolidated or destroyed. In fact, in some cases, the wasting of the first water after cleaning has been advocated, for the reason that not a sufficient amount of this organic film would be left on top of the sand to begin the filtration process properly ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. LXXII, June, 1911 • E. D. Hardy

... give him a bode for the Hessian boots, which having cuddy-heels and long silk tossels, were by far and away over grand for the like of a tailor, such as me, and fit for the Sunday's wear of some fashionable Don of the first water. However, not to part uncivilly, and be as good as my word, I brought ben Nanse's bottle, and gave him a cawker at the shop counter; and, after taking a thimbleful to myself, to drink a good journey to ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir

... unfortunately so usual in these cases, Cunningham had, by wandering in eccentric and contradictory courses, accelerated his fate, by rendering the work of the tracking party so much more tedious and difficult. Had he, on finding how absolutely he was astray, remained at the first water he reached, ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... peas and some carrots (scraped and shaped into cones) in separate pans. Then put them together in an earthenware close covered pan to simmer together in butter and gravy, the first water having been well drained from them. Season with pepper and salt and let them cook gently for ten or twelve minutes; do not uncover the pot to stir it, but shake it every now and then to prevent ...
— The Belgian Cookbook • various various

... diversion failed we had recourse to Sumner, where a sutler's bar and gambling games flourished. But the most romantic traveler to arrive or pass during the winter was Captain Burleson, late of the Confederacy. As a sportsman the captain was a gem of the first water, carrying with him, besides a herd of nearly a thousand cattle, three race-horses, several baskets of fighting chickens, and a pack of hounds. He had a large Mexican outfit in charge of his cattle, which were in bad condition on their arrival in March, he having drifted about ...
— Reed Anthony, Cowman • Andy Adams

... doubting Thomas of the first water," he said. "Stand behind me, you confounded unbeliever. Kink your back a little and look over that stone you set for a mark. Do you see anything ...
— Raw Gold - A Novel • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... have moved him, vanity perhaps; in any case there can be no comparison between them. Moryson is thorough, Coryat is not. Moryson is often dull, Coryat seldom. Moryson was a student, Coryat a cockscomb. Moryson was a plain man, Coryat a euphuist of the first water. I haven't the least doubt but that Shakespeare met him at the Mermaid—he called himself a friend of Ben Jonson's—and took the best of him. You will find him in Love's Labour's Lost as well as in All's Well. ...
— In a Green Shade - A Country Commentary • Maurice Hewlett

... great deal about St Mark." St Theodore sheltered the Republic in its infancy; but when it grew to greatness, it deemed it unbecoming its dignity to have only a subordinate for its tutelar deity. Accordingly, Venice sought and obtained a god of the first water. The Republic brought over the body of St Mark, enshrined it in a magnificent church, and left its former patron no alternative but to cross the Lagunes, or occupy a ...
— Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber - Or The Influence of Romanism on Trade, Justice, and Knowledge • James Aitken Wylie

... eyes shone like stars as she told of her engagement, and whose hand was icy cold as she held it up to the lamp-light to show the large diamond which flashed from the fourth finger as proof of what she said. The stone itself was of the first water, but the setting was old, so old that a connoisseur in such matters might wonder why Judge Markham had chosen such a ring as the seal of his betrothal. Ethelyn knew why, and the softest, kindliest feeling ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... in use in southern Mexico and Yucatan, prepared from the bark of a tree called by the Mayas baal-che. The whites speak of the drink as pitarilla. It is quite popular among the natives, and they still attribute to it a sacred character, calling it yax ha, the first water, the primal fluid. They say that it was the first liquid created by God, and when He returned to His heavenly home He left this beverage and its production in charge of the gods of the rains, ...
— Nagualism - A Study in Native American Folk-lore and History • Daniel G. Brinton

... Forty-eight Bloomsbury Square with the preconceived idea—where obtained from Heaven knows—that its seemingly commonplace, mean-minded, coarse-fibred occupants were in reality ladies and gentlemen of the first water; and time and observation had apparently only strengthened this absurd idea. The natural result was, Forty-eight Bloomsbury Square was coming round to the stranger's ...
— Passing of the Third Floor Back • Jerome K. Jerome

... soldiers display no sympathy for him whatever, apparently regarding an humble water-carrier as a person of small consequence anyhow, and they laugh heartily at seeing him trotting briskly back half a mile for another load. Had he taken the first water after a Ferenghi had drank from it and allowed his fellow-workmen to unwittingly partake of the same, it would probably have fared badly with the old fellow had they found ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... recognised the Count de Rivarol, a tall young man, an elegant of the first water, a curled darling of society, a professed lady-killer, whom I had met many a time in attendance on Madame de Marignan. He ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... 33; perfection &c 650; coup de maitre [Fr.]; masterpiece, chef d'ouvre [Fr.], prime, flower, cream, elite, pick, A 1, nonesuch, nonpareil, creme de la creme, flower of the flock, cock of the roost, salt of the earth; champion; prodigy. tidbit; gem, gem of the first water; bijou, precious stone, jewel, pearl, diamond, ruby, brilliant, treasure; good thing; rara avis [Lat.], one in a thousand. beneficence &c 906; good man &c 948. V. be beneficial &c adj.; produce good, do good &c 618; profit &c (be of use) 644; benefit; confer a ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... sometimes a step at a time, and then for several paces. Conscious that he could carry away only an infinitely small portion of the riches, Ashman found himself in the unparalleled situation of casting aside the smaller gems and taking only those that were large and of the first water. ...
— The Land of Mystery • Edward S. Ellis

... At the first water they reached the lads carefully washed and dressed the venison and resumed ...
— Two Boys in Wyoming - A Tale of Adventure (Northwest Series, No. 3) • Edward S. Ellis

... impression upon any of these essentially feminine hearts? But the criticism of his poems was as languid, affected, and undiscriminating as that of other work they had pretended to discuss. They admired him, oh vastly! He was amazing, a genius of the first water, the legitimate successor of Byron and Shelley, to say nothing of Keats; he might easily surpass them all in a few years. In short they rehearsed all the stock phrases which the critics had set in motion years ago and which had been drifting about ever since for the use of those unequal ...
— The Gorgeous Isle - A Romance; Scene: Nevis, B.W.I. 1842 • Gertrude Atherton

... Captain Palliser's story," Amabel Grantham argued. "Lucy and I are quite out of the running, but I honestly believe that he takes as much notice of us as he does of any of you. If he has intentions, he 'doesn't act the part,' which is pure New York of the first water." ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett



Words linked to "First water" :   superiority, high quality



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