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Frivolous   /frˈɪvələs/   Listen
Frivolous

adjective
1.
Not serious in content or attitude or behavior.  "A frivolous remark" , "A frivolous young woman"



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"Frivolous" Quotes from Famous Books



... her more averse to the trifling and playfulness, which, while she was younger, had sometimes brightened and softened her. And this was the girl whom her father had resolved upon sending to the selfish, inconsiderate, frivolous world of school-girls, just when the first opening had been made, the first real insight gained into her feelings, the first appearance of having touched her heart! Albinia felt baffled, disappointed, almost despairing. ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... felt that animals understand, feel, and reason just like people, so he painted them as happy, sad, gay, dignified, frivolous, rich, poor, and in all ways just like human beings. This appealed to the people, and he ...
— Stories Pictures Tell - Book Four • Flora L. Carpenter

... the stars," she said, "to just anybody—really I do. I never feel that one comes to Egypt for these hotel dances." This was meant for Margaret, to make her feel frivolous and vulgar. ...
— There was a King in Egypt • Norma Lorimer

... his friend, "I might have enjoyed that experience, but I was feeling depressed at the time; a lot of the depression went under the influence of frivolous talk, military music, and champagne. Yet, all the same, do these things really count for much? I felt just ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... be great men in this country and in Philadelphia." "Is that so? When?" "When there comes a great war, when we get into difficulty through watchful waiting in Mexico; when we get into war with England over some frivolous deed, or with Japan or China or New Jersey or some distant country. Then I will march up to the cannon's mouth; I will sweep up among the glistening bayonets; I will leap into the arena and tear down ...
— Acres of Diamonds • Russell H. Conwell

... However, to Vienna he went, and heard Zampa—many more times than he wished. He heard Strauss' waltzes and liked them; he saw Raymund's forgotten achievements and waxed eloquent about them too. He seems to have learnt nothing but a lively contempt for a frivolous people who had forgotten how lately Beethoven had died amongst them—only five years before; a people who danced and made merry and went philandering while every hour cholera was carrying off its tens and sometimes hundreds of ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... recommended to her in Paris," put in Caroline, more languidly. Her interest was only half engaged by this frivolous topic. ...
— That Affair Next Door • Anna Katharine Green

... and talked about Gwen—spoke with a hesitating deference, almost ceremoniously. Said he had had some conversation with Lady Gwendolen, and been impressed with her intelligence and wit. Most young ladies of her age were so frivolous. He was the more impressed that her beauty was undeniable. The brief glimpse he had had of her had greatly affected him artistically—it was an Aesthetic impression entirely. He ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... I have in making any one realize the snap, the vivacity and the quickness of the repartees. Things that seem frivolous when written down——separate from all their connections, with the personality dropped out of them——with the connection unbroken; with youth, friendship and love to join them together, and all the surroundings in keeping, were lively and ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... of Pastorals tis not so easy to give an account: For as to the end of Poetry in General: The Enemies of Poets run out into a large common place, and loudly tell us that Poetry is frivolous and unprofitable. Excellent men! that love profit perchance, but have no regard for Honesty and Goodness; who do not know that all excellent Arts ...
— De Carmine Pastorali (1684) • Rene Rapin

... revised by so austere a censor as John Newton, calls a fox-hunting squire Nimrod, and gives to a chaplain the disrespectful name of Smug. Congreve might with good effect have appealed to the public whether it might not be fairly presumed that, when such frivolous charges were made, there were no very serious charges to make. Instead of doing this, he pretended that he meant no allusion to the Bible by the name of Jehu, and no reflection by the name of Prig. Strange, that a man ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... thou wouldst do nothing this day, and I counsel thee to act as I tell thee by computation of the constellations." "By Allah," said I, "never did I see a barber who excelled in judicial astrology save thyself: but I think and I know that thou art most prodigal of frivolous talk. I sent for thee only to shave my head, but thou comest and pesterest me with this sorry prattle." "What more wouldst thou have?" replied he. "Allah hath bounteously bestowed on thee a Barber who is an astrologer, one learned in alchemy and white magic;[FN612] ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... best but very slender probabilities, and sometimes mere sophisms, which had no other foundation but the inaccuracy and ambiguity of common language. Speculative systems, have, in all ages of the world, been adopted for reasons too frivolous to have determined the judgment of any man of common sense, in a matter of the smallest pecuniary interest. Gross sophistry has scarce ever had any influence upon the opinions of mankind, except in matters of philosophy and speculation; and in these it has frequently had the greatest. The patrons ...
— An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations • Adam Smith

... sir. I will see that a copy is sent to your Majesty at once. It is, of course, work of a very light and frivolous kind—but it is popular and it does no harm." Then, as by an after-thought, the official countenance grew grave. "Was her Majesty also intending to ...
— King John of Jingalo - The Story of a Monarch in Difficulties • Laurence Housman

... countess, proudly. "Yes, he loved me as I did him, with the trust, the strength, the passion, that are characteristic of a first love. I was ambitious for him as well as for myself, and would have had him a monarch in deed as well as in name. I led him away from the frivolous regions of indolent enjoyment to the starry realms of poetry, art, and science; and, had Louis ever risen to the fame of Numa, I should have merited that of Egeria. But this conflicted with the ambition ...
— Prince Eugene and His Times • L. Muhlbach

... "How frivolous! How unfeeling!" No, nothing of the sort; how truly sad and human, for to be human is to be sad. That men and women should be so warped and twisted by the pressure of the years out of semblance to themselves; that circumstances should so wall in their lives with insurmountable cliffs of granite ...
— Amaryllis at the Fair • Richard Jefferies

... religious poetry on earth; yet they contain sallies that savour rankly of the man of blood. On the other hand, Alfred de Musset had a poisoned and a contorted nature; I am only quoting that generous and frivolous giant, old Dumas, when I accuse him of a bad heart; yet, when the impulse under which he wrote was purely creative, he could give us works like "Carmosine" or "Fantasio," in which the last note of the romantic comedy seems to have been found again to touch and please us. When Flaubert wrote ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... they went at it for centuries, always pretending, always driven to pretend, that a good story was not good enough to be worth telling for itself alone, but must convey a moral or a satire or an awful lesson, or anything that might separate it from the "just fiction" that only the immoral and the frivolous among their contemporaries read or wrote. Today we pay ...
— Definitions • Henry Seidel Canby

... into two categories—the frivolous and light, and the sad. Of deep successful love there is ominous silence, and in one of the oldest of these songs there is a depth of ...
— The Souls of Black Folk • W. E. B. Du Bois

... chair and breathed deeply, slowly—and Miss Sarah appeared that moment in the doorway, pinker of cheek and more tremulous of lip than her brother had ever seen her before. She dropped Allison an old-fashioned curtsy, which was an exceedingly frivolous performance for Sarah. ...
— Then I'll Come Back to You • Larry Evans

... folios so dear to the seventeenth century, from which, under favour be it spoken, we have distilled matter for our quartos and octavos, and which, once more subjected to the alembic, may, should our sons be yet more frivolous than ourselves, be still farther reduced into duodecimos and pamphlets. The collection was chiefly of the classics, as well foreign as ancient history, and, above all, divinity. It was in wretched order. ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... registries of all the states and universities under heaven, some may triumphantly exclaim, "Statistics are unworthy of trust." "To lie like statistics," "false as a fact," these are the stalest of witticisms. But the objection to which they give point is practically frivolous. Grant that statistics are to a certain degree doubtful, are they not the most trustworthy evidence we have? And in the question at issue, are they not the only evidence which has real force? And allowing their general defectiveness, how shall we explain, that, though gathered from ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 • Various

... at large always resembles frivolous children; they are impatient of thought, and wish to ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... Evelyn was to be made acquainted with my change of sentiment; and of my being once more destitute of any plan for my future guidance. It was necessary that he should not deem me a man of unsettled principles; frivolous in propensity, and fantastic in conduct. For, though perhaps my pride would have felt gratification at no longer considering myself a dependent on the favourable opinion or calculations which another might form concerning me, and my good or ill qualities, yet I could not endure ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... gloom, and no home beyond the gloom for the unhoused, startled, shivering soul,—ah! this indeed is terrible. The "confusions of a wasted youth" strew thick confusions of a dreary age. Where youth garners up only such power as beauty or strength may bestow, where youth is but the revel of physical or frivolous delight, where youth aspires only with paltry and ignoble ambitions, where youth presses the wine of life into the cup of variety, there indeed Age comes, a thrice unwelcome guest. Put him off. Thrust him back. Weep for the early days: ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... preponderant among the frivolous and weak-willed. This will be an unpopular statement to feminist sentiment; few women are honest in facing this question, though probably they do not know that they are dishonest. We women need to be ...
— Women's Wild Oats - Essays on the Re-fixing of Moral Standards • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... and your quiet consideration for your grandfather and for everyone else around you. I just want to add that I think you'll find an honest pleasure now in industry and frugality that wouldn't have come to you in a more frivolous career. The law is a jealous mistress and a stern ...
— The Magnificent Ambersons • Booth Tarkington

... all the rest, is certainly in these pictures. I comprehend "Field-People Reposing," "the Diggers," and "the Angelus" in this opinion. Some folks always think of the French as a small race, five or five and a half feet high, and ever frivolous and smirking. Nothing of the sort. The bulk of the personnel of France, before the revolution, was large-sized, serious, industrious as now, and simple. The revolution and Napoleon's wars dwarf'd the standard of human size, but it will come up again. If for nothing else, I should dwell on my brief ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... Intellectual Powers. It was the desire of Ellen to prove herself not unsettled but improved by love, and to become worthy of her ideal Griffith, never guessing that he would have been equally content with her if she had been as frivolous as the idlest girl who lingered amid ...
— Chantry House • Charlotte M. Yonge

... admitted by the most devoted and patriotic American that our civilization includes many elements that can truly be denominated frivolous, superficial, artificial, and inconsequential. As a people, we seek to be entertained, but fail to make a nice distinction between entertainment and amusement. War, it is true, has caused us to think more ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... imperial and much-beloved father, to inform those blessed with admission to the Muses' temple, for what it is that you have ordered this soldier to be this night admitted to a place so far above his rank in life? Permit me to say, we ought not to waste, in frivolous and silly jests, the time which is sacred to the welfare of the empire, as every moment of your ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... them saw Maria-Jose as she really was. Living with her day by day had served to efface the actual appearance of the faded old maid. For, in the minds of the mother and her daughters, who were moreover of a frivolous and indifferent sort, Zeze had grown to be the type, very vague, to be sure, but the eternal type of young girl of marriagable years who always should be well ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... The frivolous comment on Roy's lips was checked by the look in his partner's eyes. Impossible not to wonder if Lance had actually been engaged; ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... light, and so are inticed within the net. Adams immediately told them what happened, and desired them to hold the lanthorn to the face of the man on the ground, for he feared he had smote him fatally. But indeed his fears were frivolous; for the fellow, though he had been stunned by the last blow he received, had long since recovered his senses, and, finding himself quit of Adams, had listened attentively to the discourse between him and the young woman; for whose ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... the mere sameness of everything drove one almost to distraction, and when the heat and the little exasperations of our daily work kept the temper constantly on edge. One had to laugh at something; it was the only way to keep sane. So, if there should occasionally creep into these pages a somewhat frivolous tone, I crave your indulgence, for it was truly the atmosphere in which we, in common with other lonely outposts, lived and worked. It was fatal to take life too seriously; wherefore, as we had little else to laugh ...
— With Our Army in Palestine • Antony Bluett

... the opening song in a very charming comic opera I once committed. But it was too good for the present frivolous age, and so I have to perform ...
— Pearl of Pearl Island • John Oxenham

... 'I opine with Sir Isaac Newton, Knight, and umwhile master of his Majesty's mint, that the (pretended) science of astrology is altogether vain, frivolous, and unsatisfactory.' And here ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... lots," Patty returned. "She's a frivolous little thing, but thoroughly sweet and dear. ...
— Patty and Azalea • Carolyn Wells

... flatterers, poets, and painters always overstep the truth. Her portrait has deceived me: its large blue eyes bear assuredly some resemblance to those of Papillette, but they bespeak an ardent and feeling heart, while hers is frivolous, volatile, and incapable of love. Her smile would be charming, but for its satirical irony. And what is the value of the loveliest lips in the world, if they open ...
— The Fairy Book - The Best Popular Stories Selected and Rendered Anew • Dinah Maria Mulock (AKA Miss Mulock)

... her from the worst temptations of such a life, but to the lesser ones she yielded, growing selfish, frivolous, and vain,—intent on her own advancement, and careless by what means she reached it. She had no thought now beyond her art, no desire beyond the commendation of those whose opinion was serviceable, no care for ...
— Work: A Story of Experience • Louisa May Alcott

... remained undischarged at his death. But Charles V, his son and successor, finding this peace very disadvantageous to France, though he had himself been a party to it, and had sworn to observe its conditions, broke it on very frivolous grounds. He declared war against Edward, and in a very few years recovered all that had been ceded to England by the treaty of Bretigny, except Calais, Bayonne, Bourdeaux, and part of Guienne. This second war was interrupted by a truce, which ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 2 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... violently: she remembered that her severe master would have been very pleased to find her frivolous a few evenings ago in the summerhouse. A sharp retort was on the tip of her tongue, but forcibly suppressing it, she started to take up a white porcelain soup-tureen, and, in a violent struggle with her natural fearlessness, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. IX - Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig • Various

... the two I have just narrated went far to convince me that even the refining and elevating influences of foreign travel, when prosecuted under the most agreeable and congenial of auspices, might not suffice in all instances to curb the naturally frivolous and unheeding tendencies of growing young persons of the opposite sex, between the given ages ...
— Fibble, D. D. • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... illustrate the peculiarities of Gounod's musical temperament, which sways in such fascinating contrast between the voluptuous and the spiritual. But whether his accents belong to the one or the other, they bespeak a mood flushed with earnestness and fervor, and a mind which recoils from the frivolous, ...
— Great Italian and French Composers • George T. Ferris

... Warwick Hall had been a school! Blue eyes and brown, laughing faces and wistful ones, girls in gorgeous full dress, pluming themselves for some evening entertainment, girls in dainty undress and unbound hair, exchanging bed-time confidences as they prepared for the night, ambitious little saints and frivolous little sinners—they were all there, somewhere in the dim background of the mirror, and because of them there was a subtle charm about the room to Mary, which she would not have felt if she had been ...
— The Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware • Annie Fellows Johnston

... was not to bring any books. If I only had some frivolous intrigue to amuse myself with for four days. [Goes out through ...
— Plays • Alexander Ostrovsky

... polished off—I mean, he slew—the King of the Golden Mines and the beautiful, though frivolous, Princess Frutilla. All that the friendly Mermaid could do for them was to turn them into a pair of beautiful trees which intertwine their branches. Not much use in that, sir! And nothing was done to the scoundrel. He may be going on still; and, with your leave, I'll go and try a sword-thrust ...
— Prince Ricardo of Pantouflia - being the adventures of Prince Prigio's son • Andrew Lang

... human life, as it has been in all ages, giving us sterner and yet more loving, more human, and more divine thoughts about ourselves, and our business here, and the fate of those who are gone, and awakening us out of the luxurious, frivolous, and unreal dream (full nevertheless of hard judgments) in which we have been living so long, to trust in a living Father who is really and practically governing this world and all worlds, and who willeth that none ...
— Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife • Charles Kingsley

... they were plying their trade on the skirts of the Carnival. In the entirely deserted place he alone knelt for religion, and as I sat respectfully by it seemed to me I could hear in the perfect silence the far-away uproar of the maskers. It was my late impression of these frivolous people, I suppose, joined with the extraordinary gravity of the young priest's face- -his pious fatigue, his droning prayer and his isolation—that gave me just then and there a supreme vision of the religious passion, its privations ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... in a somewhat disapproving sense. A liberal and intelligent eagerness about the things of the mind may be meant by a foreigner when he speaks of curiosity, but with us the word always conveys a certain notion of frivolous and unedifying activity. In the Quarterly Review, some little time ago, was an estimate of the celebrated French critic, M. Sainte-Beuve, and a very inadequate estimate of it in my judgment it was. And its inadequacy consisted chiefly in this: that ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... minister Anthony de la Faye, and embraced him two or three times, repeating to him the words already quoted, "I have made myself anathema for the sake of all, like Moses and St. Paul." A painful mixture of the frivolous and the serious, of sincerity and captious reservations, of resolution and weakness, at which nobody has any right to be shocked who is not determined to be pitiless towards human nature, and to make no allowance in the case of the best men for complication of the facts, ideas, sentiments, and duties, ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... which they bring from the two kinds of discourse, one of which is mental, the other like the gift of Mercury expressed in words or interpretative of the former, are so frivolous, that they are best answered by laughter or silence; and we may quote the old saying, "I knew this before Theognis arose." However, thus much shall be added, that the end of them both is friendship,—in the first case with ourselves, in the second with another. For he ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... lieutenant, and commenced an examination into the charges preferred. They were very numerous, and dated back almost to the very day that he had joined the ship. There were twelve in all. I shall not trouble the reader with the whole of them, as many were very frivolous. The ...
— Peter Simple and The Three Cutters, Vol. 1-2 • Frederick Marryat

... the hands of Eugenie. Had she withdrawn to Tours or to Bourges, summoned the Assembly to meet there, and called around her the partisans of the Empire, she might have saved the heritage of her son. But her essentially feminine and frivolous nature was not fitted for deeds of high resolve or for heroic determinations. A morbid dread of following in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette had pursued her in the later years of her prosperity. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, August, 1878 • Various

... referred to Madame de Berny. "My character," he said, "is the most singular one I have ever come across. I study myself as I might another person. I comprise in my five feet two every incoherence, every contrast possible; and those who think me vain, prodigal, headstrong, frivolous, inconsistent, foppish, careless, idle, unstable, giddy, wavering, talkative, tactless, ill-bred, impolite, crotchety, humoursome, will be just as right as those who might affirm me to be thrifty, modest, plucky, tenacious, energetic, hardworking, constant, taciturn, cute, polite, ...
— Balzac • Frederick Lawton

... so much to her as this African tune played by an enamoured gardener. Queer and uncouth as it was, distorted with ornaments and tricked out with abrupt runs, exquisitely unnecessary grace notes, and sudden twitterings prolonged till a strange and frivolous Eternity tripped in to banish Time, it grasped Domini's fancy and laid a spell upon her imagination. For it sounded as naively sincere as the song of a bird, and as if the heart from which it flowed were like the heart of a child, a place ...
— The Garden Of Allah • Robert Hichens

... early in the course of this rather one-sided discussion that their hostess was making no effort to take part in it, whether from lack of interest or because of its frivolous nature he was, of course, unable to determine. Later, he was struck by the curious pallor of her face, and the lack-lustre expression of her eyes. She seldom removed her gaze from Wrandall's face, and yet there persisted ...
— The Hollow of Her Hand • George Barr McCutcheon

... the exception of an old man called Zander, and McKelvie, who had for a long time been suffering from dysentery, were awoke by soldiers coming into their quarters and ordering them to go at once to the Emperor. They were all ushered into a small tent, and many frivolous charges made against them. They were not allowed to leave that night; even a large bundle of chains was brought in; but on some of the chiefs representing to his Majesty that without their labour ...
— A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia - With Some Account of the Late Emperor Theodore, - His Country and People • Henry Blanc

... not like to hear you saying what you did not mean, to Miss Nugent,' said Freda, as if she were obliged to make a confession; 'and I think it beneath a man like you to pay frivolous compliments to a girl ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... gin-shops receive those who might be entertaining themselves with the works of art in a public gallery. The whole animal portion of our being is fostered at the expense of the spiritual. We become brutalized, because we are morbidly afraid of being frivolous and of wasting our time. The devil keeps possession of an Englishman's heart, through the instrumentality of his carnal passions, because he is too proud and too stupid to ...
— The trade, domestic and foreign • Henry Charles Carey

... General Pico related the festivities at Monterey, on the occasion of the visit of Sir George Simpson early in the present century, of which he was an eyewitness, with great precision of detail. Don Juan Estudillo was comparatively frivolous, with anecdotes of Louis Philippe, whom he had seen in Paris. Far-seeing Pedro Guitierrez was gloomily impressed with a Mongolian invasion of California by the Chinese, in which the prevailing religion would be supplanted ...
— Maruja • Bret Harte

... It sounded like a riddle, but it was obvious that Mr. Jarvis's motive in putting the question was not frivolous. He really wished ...
— The Prince and Betty - (American edition) • P. G. Wodehouse

... have drawn it. What could come, on the other hand, of the ideal systems of education which have fascinated the imagination of this age, could they ever take effect, and whether they would not produce a generation frivolous, narrow-minded, and resourceless, intellectually considered, is a fair subject for debate; but so far is certain, that the universities and scholastic establishments, to which I refer, and which did little more than bring together first boys and ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... this is hell, nor am I out of it: Think'st thou that I, that saw the face of God, And tasted the eternal joys of heaven, Am not tormented with ten thousand hells, In being depriv'd of everlasting bliss? O, Faustus, leave these frivolous demands, Which strike [36] a terror to ...
— Dr. Faustus • Christopher Marlowe

... flexile, virginal. Doctor Crosson mopped his brow at the atrocity of his thoughts this morning. The springtime air was to blame. The windows were open for the first time. The breeze that lolled through the church had no right there. It was irreverent and frivolous. It was amused at the people. It rippled with laughter at the preacher's heavy effort to start a jealousy between the pangs of the flesh and the pangs ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... significance in most of our eyes, was patent even to mine. A little longer, and the shaggy Boer was in our midst upon his shaggy pony, with a half-scared, half-incredulous look in his deep-set eyes. He was on his way to our lines with some missive, and had little enough to say to us, though frivolous and flippant questions were showered upon him from ...
— Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... satisfaction of those who do not possess it. How many, not altogether stupid men, think the scientific study of languages useless, think ancient literature useless, all erudition useless, logic and metaphysics useless, poetry and the fine arts idle and frivolous, political economy purely mischievous? Even history has been pronounced useless and mischievous by able men. Nothing but that acquaintance with external nature, empirically acquired, which serves directly for the production of objects necessary to existence or agreeable to the senses, would ...
— Considerations on Representative Government • John Stuart Mill

... the metal mirror which lay on her dressing table, she beheld herself for the first time in the glorious likeness of a queen, a new expression dawned on her features. It seemed as if a portion of her lord's pride were reflected there. The frivolous waiting-woman sank involuntarily on her knees, as her eyes, full of smiling admiration, met the radiant glance of Nitetis,—of the woman who was beloved by the ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... is morbid or fantastic"; but we do assert that there is a true and a false Symbolism, of which the true is not merely a legitimate, but a necessary mode of intuition; while the latter is at best a frivolous amusement, and ...
— Christian Mysticism • William Ralph Inge

... literary. Here I am among the Philistines, spending my mornings so pleasantly, as books, only books, can make them, and sitting at evening the silent spectator of card playing and dancing. The English here unite the spirit of commerce, with the frivolous amusements of high life. One of them who plays every night (Sundays are not excepted here) will tell you how closely he attends to profit. 'I never pay a porter for bringing a burthen till the next day,' says he, 'for while the fellow feels his back ache ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... who reappears in the role of an enthusiastic admirer of the English Queen and Court. The other personages in the drama are colourless, though Chapman succeeds in creating the general atmosphere of a frivolous and dissolute society. ...
— Bussy D'Ambois and The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois • George Chapman

... a watering-place?" interrupted Masterton; "to the haunt of the idle, the frivolous ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... man that spends his money in frivolous pursuits, or what would be called slightly criminal adventures, who lavishes the money which God has given him to do good with, upon himself, seeking only ...
— Effie Maurice - Or What do I Love Best • Fanny Forester

... her painted face, must be Gila's mother! Perhaps people talked about the daughter because of her mother, for she looked it fully! But then a girl couldn't help having a foolish mother! She was to be pitied more than blamed if she seemed silly and frivolous now ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... seen thirty. I may be the mother of three children, but I still have a hankering after personal power—and that comes to women through personal attractiveness, disquieting as it may be to have to admit it. We can't be big strong men and conquer through force, but our frivolous little bodies can house the triumphant weaknesses which make men ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... Lauriers. He was an engineer who owned a motor-factory for automobiles in the outskirts of Paris—a man about thirty-five, tall, rather heavy and silent, with a deliberate air as though he wished to see deeply into men and things. She was of a light, frivolous character, loving life for the satisfactions and pleasures which it brought her, appearing to accept with smiling conformity the silent and grave adoration of her husband. She could not well do less with a man of his merits. Besides, she had brought to the marriage ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... upon the reestablishment of [a fort at] Zamboanga, and all voted that this should be accomplished. The city was informed of this, as a command of his Majesty, in order that the citizens might aid the enterprise; but they were of a contrary opinion, for reasons which it is said, are frivolous. The truth is, according to report, that they do not like to be exiled [there]. The governor demanded the opinion of the Theatins, which they gave in accordance with that of the military council, very energetically demolishing the reasons adduced by the city. The whole matter, it seems, is ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898—Volume 39 of 55 • Various

... who could help her. All the knowledge that she had imbibed taught her that there was no God either to hear prayer, or succour the wronged. Her name would become a laughing-stock and a hissing, to be put on a par with Clodia's or that of any other frivolous woman, unless she not merely gave up the man she loved, but also threw herself into the arms of the man she utterly hated. The craving for any respite was intense. She was young; but for the moment, at least, life had lost every glamour. If death was an endless sleep, why not ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... only in a light, satirical, or mocking vein. Byron uses it frequently in his frivolous ...
— Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism • F. V. N. Painter

... disputation; and the same man who, in other circumstances, would have braved flames and tortures, is induced to change his sect from the smallest prospect of favor and advancement, or even from the frivolous hope of becoming more fashionable in his principles. If any exception can be admitted to this maxim of toleration, it will only be where a theology altogether new, nowise connected with the ancient religion of the state, is imported from foreign ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... which presently took wings, his long tramps over the thorny brakes of Paris, his breathless chases as a petitioner, his attempts to win over fools; the schemes laid only to fail through the influence of some frivolous woman; the meetings with men of business who expected their capital to bring them places and a peerage, as well as large interest. Then the hopes rising in a towering wave only to break in foam on the shoal; ...
— Z. Marcas • Honore de Balzac

... full sight. Both banks of the creek were rank with lush jungle; great, warped trees seemed to stagger, so gnarled were their trunks; while immense beards of moss depended from their hideous branches almost to the water. A sullen, ominous splash under the bank was sufficient warning against frivolous bathing. ...
— Gold Out of Celebes • Aylward Edward Dingle

... fares in this respect the same as the husband of a frivolous woman: all others know more of what concerns him most than ...
— The Son of Monte-Cristo, Volume I (of 2) • Alexandre Dumas pere

... to play their boston, a game which spread ideas of independence under a frivolous form over the whole of France; for it was first invented in honor of the American insurgents, its very terms applying to the struggle which Louis XVI. encouraged. While making their "independences" and "poverties," the players kept an eye on ...
— An Historical Mystery • Honore de Balzac

... she must regard, but the well-being of Spain, the good of Europe, and the interests of humanity. Would it not be better that the throne of Spain should be filled by a virtuous Englishwoman than by some frivolous Continental princess? Would it not be better that the Queen of Spain should emulate the domestic graces of a Victoria than the corrupt follies of an Isabella? Should she now, out of selfish private grief, deprive Spain of such an inestimable boon? Would Spain forgive ...
— A Castle in Spain - A Novel • James De Mille

... had always been satisfied with any attire which kept him out of the hands of the police. There was something in presenting an academic-cum-capitalistic appearance even to the sordid sheep, as they looked up from nibbling their cotton-bush stumps, and to the frivolous galahs, sweeping in a changeably-tinted cloud over the plain, or studding the trees of the pine-ridge like large pink and silver-grey blossoms, set off by the rich green of the foliage. But outside ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... certain point the responsibility is more or less undeterminable. The outside characteristics—that is, the points furthest away from the mergings—are obvious to mostly anyone. A child knows a "strain of joy," from one of sorrow. Those a little older know the dignified from the frivolous—the Spring Song from the season in which the "melancholy days have come" (though is there not a glorious hope in autumn!). But where is the definite expression of late-spring against early-summer, of happiness ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... been deepening into Puritanism. He had come to view his own preaching as frivolous, Sadducean, pagan." He decided to preach one sermon which would show what changes had come, and the announcement of his intention brought together the usual throng of under-graduates, fellows and professors who looked for the usual entertainment. ...
— Anne Bradstreet and Her Time • Helen Campbell

... fray it was, with Matthew whistling and directing and pounding and having the time of his very frivolous life. ...
— The Golden Bird • Maria Thompson Daviess

... fiction at once arrested attention, and claimed for its author the eminence as a novelist which his previous performances had secured for him as a writer of tales. Its whole atmosphere and the qualities of its characters demanded for a creditable success very unusual capacities. The frivolous costume and brisk action of the story of fashionable life are easily depicted by the practised sketcher, but a work like The Scarlet Letter comes slowly upon the canvas, where passions are commingled and overlaid with the deliberate and masterly elaboration with which the grandest ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... prepared New England for greater efforts of melody than are to be found in the simple ballads supposed to originate with the plantation negro, who, in addition to his other burdens, is thus chosen to assume the onerous one of Northern song, as being the only creature frivolous enough to indulge in vain carolling. If we can scarcely affirm that the Americans are yet a musical people, that they would be is an undeniable fact, and one constantly evinced in their lavish support of artists, from the highest to the lowest ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 1 January 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... could not be excused upon the ground of any affronts which he might have received from the citizens of Antwerp—it might even now be possible to find a remedy for the past. He very bluntly told the envoy, however, that the frivolous excuses offered by the Duke caused more bitterness than if he had openly acknowledged his fault. It were better, he said, to express contrition, than to excuse himself by laying blame on those to whom no blame belonged, but who, on the contrary, had ever shown ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... fly into seclusion and meditation. Where can he indulge but in solitude the fine romances of his soul? where but in solitude can he occupy himself in useful dreams by night, and, when the morning rises, fly without interruption to his unfinished labours? Retirement to the frivolous is a vast desert, to the man of genius it is ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... through a mist of the temporary and boisterous Scotch humour of the day. The author occasionally stoops to a pun, and, like that which Hood made in the hearing of Thackeray, the pun is not good. Indeed the novel, in its view of the decay of the Border, the ruined Laird, the frivolous foolish society of the Well, taking the place of sturdy William of Deloraine, and farmers like Scott's grandfather, makes a picture of decadence as melancholy as "Redgauntlet." "Not here, O Apollo, ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... for the young mother to go with her fawn for a night's pleasure. It was a fashionable watering-place at this season among the deer; and the doe may have remembered, not without uneasiness, the moonlight meetings of a frivolous society there. But the buck did not come: he was very likely sleeping under one of the ledges on Tight Nippin. Was he alone? "I charge you, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not nor awake my love ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... fingers, a haunting, tender, world-sorrow, full of questionings—a dark mystery of moonless, starlit nature—exhales itself in nocturnes, in impromptus, in preludes—in mere waltzes and mazourkas even! But waltzes and mazourkas such as the most frivolous would never dream of dancing to. A capricious, charming sorrow—not too deep for tears, if one be at all inclined to shed them—so delicate, so fresh, and yet so distinguished, so ethereally civilized and worldly and well-bred that it has crystallized itself ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... He did meet Jesus at last, when Pilate sent him the Prisoner, as a piece of politeness, and in what mood?—childish pleasure at the chance of seeing a miracle. How did Jesus answer his torrent of frivolous questions? 'He answered him nothing.' That sad silence speaks Christ's knowledge that now even His words would be vain to create one ripple of interest on the Dead Sea of Herod's soul. By frivolity, lust, and neglect he had killed the germ of a better ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... with gray eyes are superficial, frivolous, given to embrace false idols, running down blind alleys, following false prophets, thoughtless, inconsiderate, wanting in sympathy, neurotic, unstable, not firm and ...
— News Writing - The Gathering , Handling and Writing of News Stories • M. Lyle Spencer

... Ursuline Convent in Montreal. It was my mother's dearest wish that I should take the vows of that order, but I fear I am far too frivolous for so serious a life. I love happy things too well, and the beautiful outside world of men and women. I ran away from the Sisters, and then my father and I voyaged to this country, where we might ...
— When Wilderness Was King - A Tale of the Illinois Country • Randall Parrish

... Gnu. Of course that's right, but then, It seems as if it should begin with N. I could select some other beast as well— Say, Goose or Grampus, Gadfly or Gazelle; But seems to me the Gnu is more attractive, He is so merry, frivolous, ...
— Boys and Girls Bookshelf; a Practical Plan of Character Building, Volume I (of 17) - Fun and Thought for Little Folk • Various

... place themselves in circumstances when they might easily have foreseen their strength of principle would be liable to be put to the severest test. They keep company in which it is nearly impossible that their moral feelings should not be defiled. They allow themselves to assort with the idle, the frivolous, with those who are given to foolish talking and jesting; they indulge idle thoughts, repeat amusing stories, read hooks and papers that do not gender to piety, etc. But he who is willing to go as far toward evil as he can with safety, has lost one of the greatest safe-guards of virtue. ...
— Food for the Lambs; or, Helps for Young Christians • Charles Ebert Orr

... extrication, are pointed out with irresistible vehemence and shrewd intelligence. The author declares, and truly enough, that there are resources in this land, did we only draw on them, which would close this war with the closing of this year. The futile and frivolous objections which have been urged against this great scheme of warfare for the present, and of national progress in future, are most ably refuted; while through all runs the same vein of satire, wit, scholarship and manly sincerity. It is, ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol I, Issue I, January 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... slaughter was awful. To see all your comrades shot down around you and then to lie helpless on the field—minutes seemed ages. And decisions were registered in heaven which we can never get away from." This boy had been gay and frivolous at home, with two automobiles at his command and plenty of money to use as he wished. He had never been forced to the serious consideration of the problems of his soul-life until he squarely faced those problems on the field ...
— The Fight for the Argonne - Personal Experiences of a 'Y' Man • William Benjamin West

... so frivolous and locoed by the electric lights and the noises of the phonographs and the second-story railroads that I forgot one of the crying needs of my Western system of natural requirements. I never was no hand to deny myself the pleasures ...
— Sixes and Sevens • O. Henry

... an incoherent and self-contradictory mythological poem, and denied the existence of a personal God and the immortality of the soul—was duly elected professor of Christian dogmatics and ethics in the University of Zurich, by the party then in power, which consisted mostly of demagogues and frivolous infidels." ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 12, December, 1880 • Various

... unprovided with chair or table, and whose only furniture consisted of two rude bedsteads of undressed slabs, that bore atop two blankets a-piece, and a heap of straw. Sabbath-walking in parties, and especially in the neighbourhood of our large towns, is always a frivolous, and often a very bad thing; but lonely Sabbath-walks in a rural district—walks such as the poet Graham describes—are not necessarily bad; and the Sabbatarians who urge that in all cases, men, when not in church on the Sabbath, ought to be ...
— My Schools and Schoolmasters - or The Story of my Education. • Hugh Miller

... with that marked favor light and frivolous minds bestow on every novelty that comes in their way. De Wardes, who had been absent for a month, was like fresh fruit to him. To treat him with marked kindness was an infidelity to old friends, and there is ...
— Louise de la Valliere • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... altogether white nor quite black, a cross between profane piety and pious laity. This Chapter, filled up exclusively from the ranks of rich and high-born women, while the Abbess, nominated by the Sovereign, assumed the title of Princess of Nivelles, led a devout and frivolous life, passing strange. Not only might these semi-nuns go out walking whenever they thought fit, they had a right to live at home for a certain part of their time, and might even marry after obtaining the consent ...
— The Cathedral • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... that I am. Moreover, our experience of the dangerous sex is so much greater than that of mere boys like Harry and Arthur and Tom here, that we know how to make ourselves much more welcome. You talk to them about frivolous things, mere chit chat, while we explain grave and ...
— The Shades of the Wilderness • Joseph A. Altsheler

... Germans after fifty-four days' fighting. It was taken literally from house to house, the French engineers sapping and mining the Germans out of every stronghold, destroying every single house, incidentally forever upsetting my own one-time idea that the French are a frivolous people. So determined were they to retake this town that they fought in the streets with artillery at a distance of twenty-one feet, probably the shortest range artillery duel in ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... rebuild; it probably will; but those who have known that peculiar city by the Golden Gate, have caught its flavor of the Arabian Nights, feel that it can never be the same. It is as though a pretty, frivolous woman had passed through a great tragedy. She survives, but she is sobered and different. If it rises out of the ashes it must be a modern city, much like other cities and without its ...
— The City That Was - A Requiem of Old San Francisco • Will Irwin

... The desire to do something worthy of a good son turned his attention to matters above his sphere; and thinking of great things, he had come to talk great things. It was not a bad fault, after all. Boys need not necessarily be frivolous. Play is a good thing, an excellent thing, in its place, and is as much a part of the boy's education as his grammar and arithmetic. It not only develops his muscles, but enlarges his mental capacity; it not only fills with excitement the idle hours ...
— Now or Never - The Adventures of Bobby Bright • Oliver Optic

... always warm me a little, not with laughing, but with the soft glow of life, for I live mostly with "la mort dans l'ame." (It is curious that the French, whom one thinks of as slight and frivolous, have this true and deep expression for the forms of sorrow that kill, as opposed to those that discipline and strengthen.) And your words and thoughts just soften ...
— Hortus Inclusus - Messages from the Wood to the Garden, Sent in Happy Days - to the Sister Ladies of the Thwaite, Coniston • John Ruskin

... the Child reproachfully. He was always troubled when Uncle Andy displayed anything like a frivolous strain. ...
— Children of the Wild • Charles G. D. Roberts

... to Chili, Mr. Pendleton, has returned to the United States without having effected an adjustment in the second claim of the Macedonian, which is delayed on grounds altogether frivolous and untenable. Mr. Pendleton's successor has been directed to urge the claim in the strongest terms, and, in the event of a failure to obtain a prompt adjustment, to report the fact to the Executive at as early a day as possible, ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Tyler - Section 2 (of 3) of Volume 4: John Tyler • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... there were strong intellectual tastes, and much and varied knowledge, which gave flavour to the otherwise rather insipid conversation. Margaret saw glimpses in him of a slight contempt for his brother and sister-in-law, and for their mode of life, which he seemed to consider as frivolous and purposeless. He once or twice spoke to his brother, in Margaret's presence, in a pretty sharp tone of enquiry, as to whether he meant entirely to relinquish his profession; and on Captain Lennox's reply, that he had ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... convention, expressly called to frame a new constitution; those who wished such a convention merely to amend the existing charter-constitution; and those, until 1800, predominately in the majority, who were convinced that whether the state had a constitution or not was a most frivolous and baneful question, mooted only by "visionary theorists," or by those who were desirous of a change, no matter how disastrous it might be to good government. The conservative party held that, since the charter had been ...
— The Development of Religious Liberty in Connecticut • M. Louise Greene, Ph. D.

... woman as its nurse; every living creature, when deprived of the society of animals of its species, seeks companionship in its solitude. This fundamental characteristic of the social instinct renders intolerable and even hateful the friendship of frivolous persons, liable to be infatuated with every new face, accommodating to all whether good or bad, and ready to sacrifice, for a passing liaison, the oldest and most honorable affections. The fault of such beings is not in the heart—it ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... Impression of a thing which at first fell into Contempt with us for want of Consideration. The real Use of a certain Qualification (which the wiser Part of Mankind look upon as at best an indifferent thing, and generally a frivolous Circumstance) shews the ill Consequence of such Prepossessions. What I mean, is the Art, Skill, Accomplishment, or whatever you will call it, of Dancing. I knew a Gentleman of great Abilities, who bewail'd the Want of ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... detain the reader longer, listening to those honest kindly voices, which have, perhaps, spoken quite as much as he is willing to give ear to. Let us hope, that in consideration of their kindness and simplicity, he may pardon what appeared frivolous—seeing that humanity beat under all, and kindness—like the gentle word ...
— The Last of the Foresters • John Esten Cooke

... and indifferent sorts, too, for that matter. It would be a hopeless and endless task to try to classify their various species accurately; and this paper isn't meant for scientific readers, who are hereby solemnly warned off frivolous ground; so let us just mark out the field into three broad divisions—the Public, the Semi-Public and the Private Ball—and take a look at ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... was at once recognised as heir to the throne. Lancaster, however, regained his influence over his doting father. Alice Perrers and Lord Latimer found their way back to court. The Speaker of the House of Commons was thrown into prison. Frivolous charges were brought against Wykeham, who was deprived of his temporalities and banished from the court. In 1377 a new Parliament, elected under Lancaster's influence, reversed all the proceedings of the Good Parliament, ...
— A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3) - From the earliest times to the Death of King Edward VII • Samuel Rawson Gardiner

... them.... You will forgive me," he added earnestly, "for speaking in this gay manner upon an important philosophical subject, but long hours of work at the earning of my living force me to some relaxation towards the end of the day, and I cannot restrain a frivolous spirit even in the discussion of such fundamental things.... No, do not, as you put it, 'stop living.' It hurts, and no one has the least conception of whether it is a remedy. What is more, the life in front of you will prove, after a few years, as entertaining ...
— On Nothing & Kindred Subjects • Hilaire Belloc

... the proceedings in profound secrecy forever. Had it been otherwise, had that been known to the contemporary public which has only been revealed more than two centuries later, had a portion only of the calm and austere eloquence been heard in which the Advocate set forth his defence, had the frivolous and ignoble nature of the attack been comprehended, it might have moved the very stones in the streets to mutiny. Hateful as the statesman had been made by an organized system of calumny, which was continued ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... thirty. I'll admit she don't look it, 'specially under the pink-shaded counter light when she's had a henna treatment lately and been careful to spread the make-up artistic. The jet ear danglers helps some, too. Then there are them misbehavin' eyes. Also when it comes to light and frivolous chat Mirabelle is right there with the zippy patter. Oh my, yes! Try shootin' anything fresh across when she's wrappin' a pound of mixed chocolates and you'll get a quick one back from Mirabelle. Probably a quizzin', twisty smile, ...
— Torchy and Vee • Sewell Ford

... July 1914 the Austro-Hungarian Government (wherein far more influence was exerted by Count Tisza, the wealthy and incorruptible, the vastly ambitious Magyar Prime Minister, than by the Foreign Minister, Count Berchtold, the courteous, somewhat frivolous man of the world who was doomed to execute reluctantly the orders of Berlin and be swept away by the resulting storm, while the brave and brutal Tisza, fighting for the glory of the Habsburgs and the greater glory ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 1 • Henry Baerlein

... and the houses, it could be supposed, deserted, or their inmates secluded in an abandonment to misery. And, taking another glance at him, I thought it probable, from the frank regard of the blue and frivolous eye which met mine, that he would have recognized timidity in a lady at a distance, and would have passed her without seeing her. Uncertain whether his guess in stopping me was lucky, he began pulling nervously ...
— London River • H. M. Tomlinson

... the fulfilment of their daily duties, were models of deportment; in their hours of ease, the elder's cold dignity was rather apt to turn to peevishness, while the younger sister, relieved from the restraints of the showroom, betrayed a lively and even frivolous disposition. ...
— The Tinted Venus - A Farcical Romance • F. Anstey

... county; one side brought forward his treatment of her, and his conduct elsewhere, and said that he was so bad that honest people should not know him. The other party laid the blame upon her, and declared that Lady Clara was a languid, silly, weak, frivolous creature; always crying out of season; who had notoriously taken Sir Barnes for his money and who as certainly had had an attachment elsewhere. Yes, the accusations were true on both sides. A bad, selfish husband had married a woman for her rank: a weak, thoughtless ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Jewish kingdom has come to an end. The frivolous levity, which fed itself on illusions and would not be sobered by facts, has been finally crushed out of the wretched people. The dreary succession of incompetent kings—now a puppet set up by Egypt, now another puppet set up by Babylon, has ended with the weak Zedekiah. The throne ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... is the besetting sin of exalted and independent intellect. Under all circumstances it is an unwise experiment to transgress established rules; and in a woman, however rarely she may be gifted, it is a rash and hazardous thing to defy public opinion. Wearying and frivolous as many of society's conventionalities are, there is much wisdom in them; they are indispensible links in the chain binding together "all sorts of people," and she who breaks them knowingly, sins against one of ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848 • Various



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