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Idleness   /ˈaɪdəlnəs/   Listen
Idleness

noun
1.
Having no employment.  Synonyms: idling, loafing.
2.
The quality of lacking substance or value.  Synonym: groundlessness.
3.
The trait of being idle out of a reluctance to work.  Synonym: faineance.



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"Idleness" Quotes from Famous Books



... sometimes drink maybe a glass too much—who does not? you can drink a glass yourself, Sir; drink more, and show it less than I maybe; and you listen to every damned slander that any villain, to whose vices and idleness you pander with what you call your alms, may be pleased to invent, and you deem yourself charitable; save us from such charity! Charitable, and you refuse to deliver my miserable ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... in parenthesis, to say that one of the chief causes of that preference for the demi-monde which you daily and hourly discover more and more, is the indulgence it shows to idleness. Because your lives are so intense now, and always at high pressure—for that very reason are you more indolent also in little things. It bores you to dress; it bores you to talk; it bores you to be polite. Sir Charles Grandison might find ecstasy in elaborating a bow, a wig, or a speech; you like ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... authority on this point. Your opinion, when you state it publicly, will, I assure you, make a profound sensation. For the rest it would be strange, certainly, if the race did not show an improvement. In your day, riches debauched one class with idleness of mind and body, while poverty sapped the vitality of the masses by overwork, bad food, and pestilent homes. The labor required of children, and the burdens laid on women, enfeebled the very springs of life. Instead of these maleficent circumstances, all now enjoy the most ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... at once recalls the harem, the zenana, but nothing of that kind would do. The wives would have to live separately, as the Mormons do, each in her own home, with her own circle of interests and duties, her own lifework. No one ought to live in idleness, which is the cause of all sorts of discord and trouble. Every woman should work at something, and to help someone. I'm not thinking now, of course, of happily married and contented women, but of the thousands leading ...
— Modern marriage and how to bear it • Maud Churton Braby

... the importance of attentive application to business; for that affords certain consolation, and is a security against lassitude, and the vices which idleness creates.... ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851 • Various

... water fell plashing on the pavements. The Spanish besieging army encompassed the city like an iron wall. Each individual felt that he was a fellow-prisoner of his neighbor, and drew closer to companions of his own rank and opinions. Business was stagnant, idleness and anxiety weighed like lead on the minds of all, and whoever wished to make time pass rapidly and relieve his oppressed soul, went to the tavern to give utterance to his own hopes and fears, and hear what others were thinking and feeling in ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... guilty to drunkenness and dissipation," he exclaimed, again in a startling, almost frenzied, voice, "to idleness and debauchery. I meant to become an honest man for good, just at the moment when I was struck down by fate. But I am not guilty of the death of that old man, my enemy and my father. No, no, I am not guilty of robbing him! I could not be. Dmitri Karamazov ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... terrible statute, has recanted gypsyism, and is turned pedlaress. So marches he all over England, with his bag and baggage; his conversation is irreprovable, for he is always mending. He observes truly the statutes, and therefore had rather steal than beg. He is so strong an enemy of idleness, that in mending one hole he would rather make three than want work; and when he hath done, he throws the wallet of his faults behind him. His tongue is very voluble, which, with canting, proves him a linguist. He is entertained in every place, ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... a debating society adhering to an executive (and this is no inapt description of a congress under a presidential constitution) is not an object to stir a noble ambition, and is a position to encourage idleness. The members of a parliament excluded from office can never be comparable, much less equal, to those of a parliament not excluded from office. The presidential government by its nature divides political life into two halves, ...
— Lord Elgin • John George Bourinot

... sneer Behind my back at me; Of course the village girls, Who envy me my curls And gowns and idleness, Take comfort in a jeer; Of course the ladies guess Just so much of my history As points the emphatic stress With which they laud my Lady; The gentlemen who catch A casual glimpse of me And turn again to see, Their valets on the watch To speak ...
— Poems • Christina G. Rossetti

... The father of Sir Joshua Reynolds reproached him frequently in his boyish days for his constant attention to drawing, and wrote on the back of one of his sketches the condemnatory words, "Done by Joshua out of pure idleness." Mignard distressed his father the surgeon, by sketching the expressive faces of his patients instead of attending to their diseases; and our own Opie, when a boy, and working with his father at his business ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... time diverted their attention. They watched their progress with solicitude, looking upon them as a means either of obtaining relief, or of abandoning the island. Aware that repining and discontented men should never be left in idleness, Don Bartholomew kept them continually in movement; and indeed a state of constant activity was congenial to his own vigorous spirit. About this time messengers arrived from Behechio, cacique of Xaragua, informing him that he had large quantities ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... upon the shingles over one's head, but in the present instance the music was anything but welcome to Jack and Fred. It meant that there could be no hunting on the morrow, and probably not for several days. Their time in Wyoming was so limited that they begrudged an hour of enforced idleness. ...
— Two Boys in Wyoming - A Tale of Adventure (Northwest Series, No. 3) • Edward S. Ellis

... history, or romance, of philosophy—have probably, for the most part, come to the conclusion of their task, with the profound impression of the futility of the study of metaphysics, which, full of labour, is yet fruitless as idleness. L'art de s'egarer avec methode—such it has been wittily defined, and such our Teutonic neighbours have been resolved to demonstrate it. Yet, this is not altogether the impression, we think, which such a course of study ought ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847 • Various

... the beer saloon and the cheap book-store, to the cheaper cook shop and uncertain lodging house. There the great American institution, the wondrous monarch whom the country supports—the tramp—basks in superior comfort and contented, unmolested indolence. Idleness and labor, poverty and opulence, the honest, law-abiding workingman, and the reckless, restless anarchist, jostle side by side, and brush each other's elbows in terms of equality as they do ...
— Violets and Other Tales • Alice Ruth Moore

... not require my attendance on the public worship, and were I to visit your different places and huts, I fear I should find some of you spending the hours appointed for divine service in cultivating your gardens and grounds, others indulging themselves in mere sloth and idleness, others engaged in the most profane and unclean conversation, and others committing abominations, which it would defile my pen to describe. Now what must be the end of these courses? God says, Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. But the language, both of your hearts and actions, is, "We ...
— An Address to the Inhabitants of the Colonies, Established in New South Wales and Norfolk Island. • Richard Johnson

... man is bounden by the commandment and counsel of the wise man to eschew sloth and idleness, which is mother and nourisher of vices, and ought to put myself unto virtuous occupation and business, then I, having no great charge of occupation, following the said counsel took a French book, and read therein many strange and marvellous histories, wherein I had great pleasure and delight, ...
— Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse • Various

... She had enkindled the young man's enthusiasm till he was quite brimming with sentiment; while he from merely affording her a new form of idleness, had gone on to wake her serious solicitude. Why was this? ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... care to live amid the clouds on the mountain top. He was too busy for that. While the Mighty Folk were spending their time in idleness, drinking nectar and eating ambrosia, he was intent upon plans for making the world wiser and better than it had ever ...
— Old Greek Stories • James Baldwin

... almost flapped against the windows, or of the church where the railroad made the bells hum as the train rushed by above the roof, I recall a curious experience. On summer Sundays, in the gentle rain or the bright sunshine—either, deepening the idleness of the idle City—I have sat, in that singular silence which belongs to resting-places usually astir, in scores of buildings at the heart of the world's metropolis, unknown to far greater numbers of people speaking the English tongue, than the ancient edifices of the Eternal City, or the ...
— The Uncommercial Traveller • Charles Dickens

... vulgar-looking "frau." Yet there was not a word of truth in this story. The pony-carriage used by "Unser Fritz" during the closing days of his life is preserved as a species of sacred relic in the imperial coach-house at Potsdam, while the pony leads a life of ease, idleness and equine luxury, out of regard for the fact that it had the honor of drawing the moribund monarch around the grounds of Charlottenburg and Potsdam. Inasmuch as this precious story about Emperor William's selling the pony-carriage ...
— The Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe: William II, Germany; Francis Joseph, Austria-Hungary, Volume I. (of 2) • Mme. La Marquise de Fontenoy

... sat in apparent idleness, letting her thoughts play with a freedom which some people consider in itself blameworthy, though certainly no action and often no desire accompany the picture which the mind draws. She said to herself, "Supposing this ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... greatly interested in his young patient, and, that he should not weary in enforced idleness, sent to Bridgetown for Stuart's trunk and his portable typewriter. Day by day the boy practised, and then turned his hand to writing a story of his experiences with the "debbil-trees" which story, by the ...
— Plotting in Pirate Seas • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... niece, contemplating myself becoming a Sister of Charity, and only regret that I was not led in early life to do so—how many wasted days of idleness and frivolity I might have avoided." Miss Pemberton did not like to ...
— Clara Maynard - The True and the False - A Tale of the Times • W.H.G. Kingston

... endearingly as Chick, had a velvet coat and a pony and I think spurs, all luxuries we were without, and was cousin to boys, the De Coppets, whom we had come to know at our school of the previous winter and who somehow—doubtless partly as guests of the opulent Chick—hovered again about the field of idleness. ...
— A Small Boy and Others • Henry James

... disposing of McClellan, Pope and Burnside, Grant had remained in comparative idleness near Corinth, Mississippi. He had, it is true, been assigned to high command in the West when Halleck was ordered to Washington, but the battle of Shiloh had prejudiced the authorities against him and his troops were gradually transferred ...
— On the Trail of Grant and Lee • Frederick Trevor Hill

... money enough for an economical journey and a month or two of idleness afterwards; and as Mrs. Grubb believed everything in the universe was hers, if she only chose to claim it, the question of finances never greatly troubled her. They sailed for the golden West, then, ...
— Marm Lisa • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... Corsica declare war against the chestnut-trees for the encouragement they afford to a life of idleness, and M. de Beaumont does not scruple to assert, that a tempest which levelled them all with the ground would, in the end, prove a great blessing. There is some truth in these opinions, but humanity shudders ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... an ordinary wet day was doubled by the shade and drip of the leafage. Autumn, this year, was coming in with rains. Gazing, in her enforced idleness, from the one window of the living-room, she could see various small members of the animal community that lived unmolested there—creatures of hair, fluff, and scale, the toothed kind and the billed kind; underground ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... best he could,—awkwardly but cheerily,—and then he leaped to the corner where lay his traveling-cloak, untied it as before, and watched it unrolling itself—which it did rapidly, with a hearty good-will, as if quite tired of idleness. So was Prince Dolor—or felt as if he were. He jumped into the middle of it, said his charm, and was out through the ...
— The Little Lame Prince - And: The Invisible Prince; Prince Cherry; The Prince With The Nose - The Frog-Prince; Clever Alice • Miss Mulock—Pseudonym of Maria Dinah Craik

... and all the hours of the night. There are the freight trains; they go very slowly and very heavily; and there are the accommodation trains going on toward destruction, and they stop very often and let a man get out when he wants to. But genteel idleness is an express train; Satan is the stoker, and Death is the engineer; and though one may come out in front of it and swing the red flag of "danger," or the lantern of God's Word, it makes just one shot ...
— The Wedding Ring - A Series of Discourses for Husbands and Wives and Those - Contemplating Matrimony • T. De Witt Talmage

... began to get reconciled to such a state, and even to discover that it had certain advantages, the chief of which was that the tumult of my mind was over for a season, so that I craved for nothing very eagerly. My friends advised me to do no work; but not wishing to eat the bread of idleness—although the bread was little now, as I had little appetite—I made it a rule to go every morning to the workhouse, and occupy myself for two or three hours with some light, mechanical task which put no strain on me, physical or mental. Even this playing at work fatigued me. Then, after changing ...
— A Crystal Age • W. H. Hudson

... enabled her to stand where he might not watch her face without turning his head. He was content that such was her motive. To defeat her object, to show her that he had guessed it, he stepped back, too, also with that same idleness of air, so that he was once more in line with her. And then ...
— St. Martin's Summer • Rafael Sabatini

... Aug.-Nov., prepares a collection of his poems for the press His visit to Harrowgate Southwell private theatricals Prints a volume of his poems; but, at the entreaty of Mr. Becher commits the edition to the flames 1807. Publishes 'Hours of Idleness' List of historical writers whose works he had perused at the age of nineteen Reviews Wordsworth's Poems Begins 'Bosworth Field,' an epic. Writes part of a novel 1808. His early scepticism Effect produced on his mind by the critique on ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... luxuriously back among the couch cushions. "Yes," she said loftily. "I suppose you haven't the faintest idea what real, downright hard work is, and neither can you appreciate the joys of downright idleness. I shall try that as soon as I've finished ...
— Betty Wales Freshman • Edith K. Dunton

... creditors,—grocers, butchers, and small-coal men, lingering round the door with their bills and jeering at him. Alas! for poor Dick Steele! For nobody else, of course. There is no man or woman in our time who makes fine projects and gives them up from idleness or want of means. When Duty calls upon us, we no doubt are always at home and ready to pay that grim tax-gatherer. When we are stricken with remorse and promise reform, we keep our promise, and are never angry, or idle, or extravagant ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... slowly formed theories had been set at naught, her whole philosophy turned upside down. Had these years of protest and rebellion done no more than lead her in a wide circle, past empty gain, and joyless mirth, and the dead sea fruit of riches and idleness, back to her mother's knees again? She had met brilliant women, rich women, courted women—but where among them was one whose face had ever shone as her mother's shone to-day? The overdressed, idle dowagers; the matrons, with their too-gay frocks, their too-full days, their ...
— Mother • Kathleen Norris

... own spirits, that she was sorry on her own account, as well as her mother's, when every possible order had been given, every box packed, and nothing was to be done, but to sit opposite to each other, on each side of the fire, in the idleness which precedes candle-light. Her mother leant back in silence, and she watched her with an anxious gaze. She feared to say anything of sympathy with what she supposed her feeling, lest she should make her weep. An indifferent speech would be out ...
— Henrietta's Wish • Charlotte M. Yonge

... shares, mining shares, building shares, bank shares, and stock of most kinds; and a great trouble they are to me. But these shares do not represent wealth actually in existence; they are a mortgage on the labor of unborn generations of laborers, who must work to keep me and mine in idleness and luxury. If I sold them, would the mortgage be cancelled and the unborn generations released from its thrall? No. It would only pass into the hands of some other capitalist, and the working class ...
— An Unsocial Socialist • George Bernard Shaw

... shivering on the shores of Lake Michigan. I exchanged the hot, fever-laden atmosphere of that city, for the cool and healthful air of Chicago. The activity, energy, and enterprise of Chicago, made a pleasing contrast to the idleness and gloom that pervaded Memphis. This was no place for me to exist in as an invalid. I found the saffron tint of my complexion rapidly disappearing, and my strength restored, under the influence of pure breezes and busy life. ...
— Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field • Thomas W. Knox

... Hawaii, was restless. Time hung heavy on his hands. Uneventful days of quiet had fallen upon the land. Adventure seemed to be in hiding, and no exploit invited to service this active youngster's shining spear or magic club. Idleness ...
— Legends of Wailuku • Charlotte Hapai

... own eyes the wonderfully deep personal devotion and affection of the Kafirs for the kindly English gentleman who for thirty years and more has been their real ruler and their wise and judicious friend. Not a friend to pamper their vices and give way to their great fault of idleness, but a true friend to protect their interests, and yet to labor incessantly for their social advancement and for their admission into the great field of civilized workers. The Kafirs know little and care less for all the imposing ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVII. No. 101. May, 1876. • Various

... Idleness.—Idleness among children, as among men, is the root of all evil, and leads to no other evil more ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... seems capable of a remedy, the laws may be armed against voluntary idleness, so as to prevent it, and a way may probably be found out to set those to work who are desirous to support themselves by their own labour; and if this could be brought about, it would not only put a stop to the course of that vice which ...
— Essays on Mankind and Political Arithmetic • Sir William Petty

... accomplishments. She was not inclined to study; and, with the exception of the abbe, her masters and mistresses were too courtly to be peremptory with an archduchess. Their favorable reports to the Empress-queen were indeed neutralized by the frankness with which their pupil herself confessed her idleness and failure to improve. But Maria Teresa was too much absorbed in politics to give much heed to the confession, or to insist on greater diligence; though at a later day Marie Antoinette herself repented of her neglect, and did her best to repair it, taking lessons in more than one accomplishment ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... Generally she has none. The average woman—I make this statement with complete confidence—hates compulsory work: she hates and loathes it. There are, it is true, some kinds of work which must be done by women. Well, there will always be enough for those occupations among women who prefer work to idleness. ...
— As We Are and As We May Be • Sir Walter Besant

... his can and crossed the bridge to Neuilly and its delights; the last peddler had slung his pack and tramped in the same direction; the gypsies, who since early morning had sprawled upon the common land, had shaken themselves free from their idleness into an assumption of activity, and had marched off almost in a body to take their share in the profits of the occasion by a little judicious horse-coping and fortune-telling. One of their number, indeed, they left behind in the great, gaudy, green-and-red caravan that stood ...
— The Duke's Motto - A Melodrama • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... are sold.) of the place. Accordingly all his obliging attentions to us ceased as soon as he heard that we had come merely to satisfy our curiosity; or as they express it in the Spanish colonies, those lands of idleness, para ver, no mas, to see, and nothing more. The waters of Mariara are used with success in rheumatic swellings, and affections of the skin. As the waters are but very feebly impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen, it is necessary to bathe at the spot where the springs issue. Farther on, ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V2 • Alexander von Humboldt

... her friend not to show her letter to the author. Mme. de Hautefort expresses her disapproval of a theory which drives honor and goodness out of the world. After many clever and well-turned criticisms, she says: "But the maxim which is quite new to me, and which I admire, is that idleness, languid as it is, destroys all the passions. It is true, and he had searched his heart well to find a sentiment so hidden, but so just... I think one ought, at present, to esteem idleness as the only virtue ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... charge more furious, and another repulse more bloody, finally convinced them that the attempt was useless, and we were left in possession of our victories of the previous day. After this, comparative quiet reigned for a few days, but they were not days of idleness; the captured lines had to be reversed and heavy picket duty to be done, and of these duties this regiment had its ...
— The Black Phalanx - African American soldiers in the War of Independence, the - War of 1812, and the Civil War • Joseph T. Wilson

... excitement. Dr. Kemp's visits were short, but the two learned to look for his coming and the sound of his deep, cheery voice, as to their morning's tonic that would strengthen the whole day. Naturally, as he was a stranger, Mrs. Levice in her idleness had analyzed and discussed aloud his qualities, both personal and professional, to her satisfaction. She had small ground for basing her judgments, but the doctor formed a good part of ...
— Other Things Being Equal • Emma Wolf

... San Pablo progressed and prospered until the pious founder thereof, like the infidel Alexander, might have wept that there were no more heathen worlds to conquer. But his ardent and enthusiastic spirit could not long brook an idleness that seemed begotten of sin; and one pleasant August morning, in the year of grace 1770, Father Jose issued from the outer court of the Mission building, equipped to explore the field for new ...
— Legends and Tales • Bret Harte

... end of my days as ruler of the Middle Kingdom there is nothing more to be done for my people. Better far that I should even now close my tired eyes for ever and mount up on high to be the guest of the dragon, than live on in idleness, giving to my children an example of ...
— A Chinese Wonder Book • Norman Hinsdale Pitman

... lost paradise; waiting only for his word of command to apply their giant energies to the task, but as yet struggling blindly and aimlessly, giving ever and anon gentle hints, in the way of earthquake, fire, and flood, that they are weary of idleness, and would fain be set at work. Looking down, as I now do, upon these huge brick workshops, I have thought of poor Etzler, and wondered whether he would admit, were he with me, that his mechanical forces ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... Scar had disappeared, and then he slowly and sorrowfully resumed his task, and sighed with a feeling of regret for the time when he too was a boy, and indulged in unlimited idleness and endless quarrels ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... said, Mary; but we must go in, and practice the new air for the guitar which Henry brought us from Montreal. We promised him that we would. Here comes Alfred to spend his idleness upon us." ...
— The Settlers in Canada • Frederick Marryat

... now, with self-conviction, Jane Her idleness confessed, And ere her aunt could come again, ...
— Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1 • Edward William Cole

... the conduct of Omai to that which was expected! Abandoning his European dress, he quickly sank into idleness, barbarously employing his firearms either to assist the chief in his wars or to shoot those of his countrymen who had offended him. In three years he died, despised even by the savages it was supposed that he would ...
— Notable Voyagers - From Columbus to Nordenskiold • W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

... Then, by way of idleness, he bred some of the half-bred mares. The three-quarter cross proved to be ideal. They were gentle, easily broken, and to the eye differed in no particular from their pure-blooded brothers. So, ever since, the Captain has been raising these most excellent polo ponies to his ...
— The Killer • Stewart Edward White

... American that he is apt to become their prey, being recognized through his national peculiarities, and beset by them in the streets. The English smile at him, and say that there are ample public arrangements for every pauper's possible need, that street-charity promotes idleness and vice, and that yonder personification of misery on the pavement will lay up a good day's profit, besides supping more luxuriously than the dupe who gives him a shilling. By-and-by the stranger adopts their theory and begins to ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. July, 1863, No. LXIX. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... Rochambeau prepared to set his army in motion. The first step was to join Washington on the Hudson and at any rate alarm Clinton as to an imminent attack on New York and hold him to that spot. After nearly a year of idleness the French soldiers were delighted that now at last there was to be an active movement. The long march from Newport to New York began. In glowing June, amid the beauties of nature, now overcome by intense heat and obliged to march at two o'clock in the morning, now drenched by heavy rains, ...
— Washington and his Comrades in Arms - A Chronicle of the War of Independence • George Wrong

... tax, however, was to be exacted from property-owners who contributed by their personal efforts to the general welfare of the community. The object of the tax was not revenue, but the prevention of idleness with its attendant evil consequences to ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2 - "Chicago, University of" to "Chiton" • Various

... rivers and lakes of the boundless interior. They were coeval with the coureurs des bois, or rangers of the woods, already noticed, and, like them, in the intervals of their long, arduous, and laborious expeditions, were prone to pass their time in idleness and revelry about the trading posts or settlements; squandering their hard earnings in heedless conviviality, and rivaling their neighbors, the Indians, in indolent indulgence and an ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... after its arrival that Cecil's chronic discontent reached an acute stage. She appeared at breakfast with a clouded face, grumbled incessantly throughout the meal, and snapped at everything Claire said, until the latter was provoked into snapping in return. In the old days of idleness Claire had been noted for the sunny sweetness of her disposition, but she was already discovering that teaching lays a severe strain on the nerves, and at the end of a week's work endurance seemed at its lowest ebb. So, when her soft answers met rebuff after rebuff, she began to grumble ...
— The Independence of Claire • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... Huerlin was gone, he was the eldest of the Sun-Brothers. He made himself quite at home, and had never in his life found himself so much in harmony with his environment, whose secure though not luxurious peace and idleness left him time to stretch himself easily and to contemplate himself as a respectable and not altogether useless member of society—of the town, and of the ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... hour does the youth confer with Francois Ribaut. The priest is dependent on his patron. The Church fabric is swept away, for Church and state went down together. With only one friend in the State, Valois must now quit his place of enforced idleness. ...
— The Little Lady of Lagunitas • Richard Henry Savage

... meant, sat for a moment or two with wrinkled forehead. There was no reason why he should not stay there so long as Mr. and Mrs. Acton desired his company, but it did not seem fitting that he should spend those summer days in luxurious idleness while Laura Waynefleet toiled late and early at the lonely ranch. Again, he seemed to see her steady eyes with the quiet courage in them, and the gleam of her red-gold hair. Even then she was, he reflected, in all probability occupied with some severe drudgery. It was a thing ...
— The Greater Power • Harold Bindloss

... meant to say that we ought not to count any employment unjust or dishonourable, if we can make any advantage of it. This, however, was far from the thoughts of Socrates; but, as he had always taught that employment and business are useful and honourable to men, and that idleness is an evil, he concluded that they who busy themselves about anything that is good are indeed employed; but that gamesters and debauched persons, and all who have no occupations, but such as are hurtful and wicked, are idle. ...
— The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates • Xenophon

... three years after his return from Cathay. The Venetians were beaten ignominiously, and 7,000 of them were taken prisoners and carried to Genoa. It was a lucky thing for the world that Marco Polo was thus put into enforced idleness, and that he had for a companion in confinement an educated gentleman, one Rusticiano, of Pisa. Otherwise, most likely we never would have heard of the travels of Marco Polo, whom some of the later chroniclers have likened to ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8 • Various

... broken away from the traditions of the past, and yet found nothing to take their place. One result is empty churches, and the race for wealth, display, position, and power. Increased idleness begets dissipation, Paresis and Insanity increase, while wasted opportunity both ...
— The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul - The Findings of Natural Science Reduced to Practical Studies - in Psychology • Jirah D. Buck

... this duty before her she would not even think of as a burden. There are some women who never know what love is, who marry a man because they respect and like him, and are good wives their life long. She would be even as one of these. Suppose love to be something she had outgrown; the idleness of girls. Now was the season of her womanhood, and the realities of life left no room ...
— Thyrza • George Gissing

... neighbor from the city, who was seeking for a servant in her summer vacation; "if you hadn't daughters of your own, may be I would; but my girls are not going to work so that your girls may live in idleness." ...
— The American Woman's Home • Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe

... "Give us this day our daily bread," mean that we are to do nothing to secure our bread, lest we show no faith in God, and simply wait in idleness for God to repeat the miracle of sending it by a raven? or, does it mean that with thankful hearts to God for the ability he has given us to work, that we go forth diligently fulfilling our task in the use of all appropriate means to secure that which his loving bounty ...
— The Wonders of Prayer - A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer • Various

... a very happy charge to her and her good old governess, with some drawbacks, indeed, but not such as to distress her over much. The chief was at first Owen's nightly sorrows, his daily idleness over lessons, Lucilla's pride, and the exceeding daintiness of both children, which made their meals a constant vexation and trouble. But what was this compared with the charm of their dependence on her, and of hearing that newly-invented pet name, 'Sweet Honey,' invoked in every ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... here every man can sit under his own vine and fig-tree." "It seems to me," said Cortlandt, "that no paradise or heaven described in anything but the Bible compares with this. According to Virgil's description, the joys on the banks of his river Lethe must have been most sad and dreary, the general idleness and monotony apparently being broken only by wrestling matches between the children, while the rest strolled about with laurel wreaths or rested in the shade. The pilot Palinurus, who had been drowned ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds • J. J. Astor

... attractive. People marvelled at the extent of her acquaintance with current writing; in truth, she never read a book, but skimmed the pages just sufficiently for her amusement and her social credit. In the world of laborious idleness, Mrs. Toplady had a repute for erudition; she was often spoken of as a studious and learned woman; and this estimate of herself she inclined to accept. Having daily opportunity of observing the fathomless ignorance of polite persons, she made it her pride to keep abreast with the day's culture. ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... excuse could be accepted for his slip, there was none for inaction after its discovery. It was not to be supposed that the animals would set out to hunt him, nor that any knowledge could be gained of them by idleness. There were other men on duty, and he shouted at the top of his voice, in the hope of receiving a response, ...
— The Great Cattle Trail • Edward S. Ellis

... debauchery and luxury? and, at length, in national ruin. Thus it was at ROME, the mistress of the world; they became fond of the most vicious men, and such as meant to enslave them, who corrupted their hearts, by humouring and gratifying their follies, and encouraging, on all sides, idleness and dissolute manners, blinded by CAESAR's complaisance; from his almsmen, they became his bondmen; he charmed them in order to enslave them. When the tragedy of Tereus was acted at ROME, Cicero observed, what plaudits the ...
— A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, Volume II (of 2) • Philip Thicknesse

... the business ceased; I was no longer required to dispose of the bodies of the small superfluous, and there was no need of alluring dogs to their doom, for my father discarded them altogether, though they still had an honorable place in the name of the oil. So suddenly thrown into idleness, I might naturally have been expected to become vicious and dissolute, but I did not. The holy influence of my dear mother was ever about me to protect me from the temptations which beset youth, and my father was a deacon in a church. Alas, that through my fault these estimable persons ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 8 - Epigrams, On With the Dance, Negligible Tales • Ambrose Bierce

... his chief labors in the world being over, is said to have become very dissolute in his elder days, especially in the matter of women; the wretched old fool, led away by idleness and fulness of bread, which to all of us are well said to be the parents of mischief. Having absolute power, he got into the habit of openly plundering men's pretty daughters and wives from them, ...
— Early Kings of Norway • Thomas Carlyle

... to your ranks? It's because of how you've got to fight when your turn comes; like devils, to hold up, for all you may know, the butt end of the whole day's bloody business. That's why—and because of how you may have to wait, un-com-plain-ing, in rotting idleness for ...
— Kincaid's Battery • George W. Cable

... time in our society there has been a growing concern against immorality, against vice, against idleness; in short against those which can rightly be called social ills. Such a tendency is certainly good and satisfying; a sign of a notable social progress altho for the majority it is a cause of alarm and regret because of the seeming increase of such ills. Is there ...
— The Legacy of Ignorantism • T.H. Pardo de Tavera

... ambrosial sense of over-weariness falling into sleep,' would I often sit at the foot of the great crucifix, and would smoke the pipe of idleness, a little unmindful, perhaps, of the good London doctor's caution against the misuse of tobacco. It was here that I awoke to the fact one day that the man with the axe was absent. He had slipped away with no good-byes on either side, and I was blissfully alone again. The sweet peace of it, and ...
— Schwartz: A History - From "Schwartz" by David Christie Murray • David Christie Murray

... reckon shall In order, were painted on the wall, And more than I can make of mention. For soothly all the mount of Citheron, Where Venus hath her principal dwelling, Was showed on the wall in pourtraying, With all the garden, and the lustiness*. *pleasantness Nor was forgot the porter Idleness, Nor Narcissus the fair of *yore agone*, *olden times* Nor yet the folly of King Solomon, Nor yet the greate strength of Hercules, Th' enchantments of Medea and Circes, Nor of Turnus the hardy fierce courage, The rich Croesus *caitif in ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... the Army yet, but lately I was home on leave. At a time like that you don't really care about being demobilised just yet. After all, to earn—or let us say to be paid—several pounds for a fortnight's luxurious idleness is a far, far better thing than to receive about the same number of shillings for a like period of unremitting toil. There you have an indication of the financial prospects of my civvy career. None ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, April 16, 1919 • Various

... as quickly as she could, promising to be pleased if he called the day following. Tracy flew leaping to one of the great houses where he was tame cat. When Sir Purcell as they passed on spoke a contemptuous word of his soft habits and idleness, Emilia said: "He is one ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... studies; he saw himself idle among many who were apparently, and some who were really, employed; and what with the impulse of increasing health and the continual provocation of romantic scenes, he became tormented with the desire to work. He enjoyed a strenuous idleness full of visions, hearty meals, long, sweltering walks, mirth among companions; and still floating like music through his brain, foresights of great works that Shakespeare might be proud to have conceived, headless epics, glorious torsos of dramas, and words that were alive ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... order has been observed hitherto. Experience has shown that the carrying of this measure farther means the ruin of the country; for since the Indian sees that he can pay his tribute with ten reals, which he makes in one day's gain, all the rest of the year he makes merry and spends his time in idleness and leisure, drunkenness and magabalijas, which are his sources of income. Therefore they do not sow their fields, raise animals, or weave their cloth, or cultivate the fruits of the earth. On this account no rice is found, nor one ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume IX, 1593-1597 • E. H. Blair

... however, and knew not the meaning of the word in other than its parliamentary sense. A friend! Had he not always been sufficient to himself, and now, at fifty, was it likely that he should trust another? He was married, indeed, and had children, but what time had he for the soft idleness of conjugal felicity? His working days or term times were occupied from his time of rising to the late hour at which he went to rest, and even his vacations were more full of labour than the busiest days of other men. He never quarrelled with his wife, but he never talked to ...
— The Warden • Anthony Trollope

... to call every evening till satisfied. At last the fortunate event took place: a "weekly departure," which by-the-by had occurred once every fortnight or so, was in order for the next day. I hurried to the office, but did not reach it till past noon—the hour of idleness. A little dark gentleman, so formed and dressed as exactly to resemble a liver-and-tan bull-terrier, who with his heels on the table was dozing, cigar in mouth, over the last Galignani, positively refused after a time,—for ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7 • Various

... though not as my Lorna had expected, at the first few drops of rain) it was all so soaked and sodden, and as we call it, "mucksy," that to meddle with it in any way was to do more harm than good. Nevertheless, there was yard work, and house work, and tendence of stock, enough to save any man from idleness. ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... looking disconsolate and sad. Their hands were ready to labor; their skill was ready to produce all that their trade demanded. They were as honest and industrious as any man in this assembly, but no man hired them. They were in a state of involuntary idleness, and were driving fast to the point of pauperism. I have seen their wives, too, with three or four children about them—one in the cradle, one at the breast. I have seen their countenances, and I have seen the signs of their sufferings. I have seen the emblems and symbols of affliction such as ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... Napoleon of the woman's rights movement. Parker Pillsbury, the fiery abolitionist from New Hampshire, broad-shouldered, dark-bearded, with blazing eyes and almost fanatical zeal, had become her devoted friend. He liked nothing better than to tease her about her idleness and pretend to be in search of more ...
— Susan B. Anthony - Rebel, Crusader, Humanitarian • Alma Lutz

... landlord's bill with a generous eye, and pay him the amount we owe. If anything is left, we will divide it equally," and with that he waved his hand to them, departing amidst a round of cheers, for the active youths were tired of idleness. ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... sort of small stiletto with which they commonly wrote on tablets. The ancient world becomes very near when we read, side by side with the election notices, a line from Virgil or Ovid scrawled in a moment of idleness, or a piece of abuse of a neighbouring and rival town—such as "bad luck to the Nucerians"—or a pretty sentiment, such as "no one is a gentleman who has not been in love," or an advertisement to the effect that there are "To let, from July ...
— Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul • T. G. Tucker

... people, fastened the shutters. At intervals trams and buses, choked with passengers from the city, laboured heavily past. Groups of men still loitered on the footpaths, careless of the late hour, for to-morrow was Sunday, the day of idleness, when they could lie a-bed and read the paper. And they gossiped tranquilly, no longer harassed by the thought of the relentless toil, the inexorable need for bread, that dragged them from their warm beds while the rest ...
— Jonah • Louis Stone

... conducted themselves otherwise than well. Stoutenburg, who now dwelt in his house with his mother, was of a dark, revengeful, turbulent disposition. In the career of arms he had a right to look forward to success, but thus condemned to brood in idleness on the cruel wrongs to himself and his house it was not improbable that he might ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... dare assume that the East without me must rest in idleness! I sing, not to hear the echo repeat, a shade fainter, my song! I think of light and not of glory! Singing is my fashion of waging war and bearing witness. And if my song is the proudest of songs, it is that I sing clearly to ...
— Chantecler - Play in Four Acts • Edmond Rostand

... of glory still, under the banner of the Maid, when, after many months of idleness, the springtide again awoke the world, and she sallied forth strong in the assurance of victory, whilst fortress after fortress fell before her, as in the days of yore. Oh, how joyous were our hearts! Now did we believe truly that the tide had turned, and ...
— A Heroine of France • Evelyn Everett-Green

... ten or twenty wersti from Tiflis, and offered to accompany me there; but I had not much inclination to do so, more particularly as I had heard everywhere that the settlers had already much degenerated, and that idleness, fraud, dirt, drunkenness, etc., was not less frequent among them than in the ...
— A Woman's Journey Round the World • Ida Pfeiffer

... could not claim a single superlative quality, had played any part at all in that first impression; yet the thought of her had gradually come to be the hourly companion of his solitude. And now, for the first time in his life he found himself luxuriating, not only in solitude, but in idleness. ...
— A Venetian June • Anna Fuller

... heart, bent on mischief, is never contented in idleness, but, like the volcanic fires, its passions and thirst for revenge, when not in open eruption, are actively at work in secret and darkness, preparing for new outbursts, bearing death along their path, and leaving devastation, ...
— Ellen Walton - The Villain and His Victims • Alvin Addison

... indeed, but worn, fatigued, nervous. Harassed by a need of production, outrun by their costly fantasies, worn out by devouring genius, hungry for pleasure, the artists of Paris would all regain by excessive labor what they have lost by idleness, and vainly seek to reconcile the world and glory, money and art. To begin with, the artist is ceaselessly panting under his creditors; his necessities beget his debts, and his debts require of him his nights. After his labor, his ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... history, or even to read the few poor spent thoughts that flicker in his brain. His father—some city merchant—died last year, and left him a man of leisure, with a fortune on his hands to spend in idleness and dissipation. This is the first anniversary of the old gentleman's decease and departure to another and better world, and the hopeful heir of his bank-stock and buildings has, as a matter of etiquette, come out here from the city this morning to pass an hour of solemn meditation—as he calls ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 6, Issue 35, September, 1860 • Various

... red quarries and whitewash for one's private surroundings, to delight in no splendor but what has open doors for the whole nation, and to glory in having no privileges except such as nature insists on; and noblemen have been known to run away from elaborate ease and the option of idleness, that they might bind themselves for small pay to hard-handed labor. But Daniel's tastes were altogether in keeping with his nurture: his disposition was one in which everyday scenes and habits beget not ennui or rebellion, but delight, affection, aptitudes; and now the lad had been stung ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... Many people affirm that they cannot be regular, that regularity numbs them. I think this is true of a very few people, and that in the rest the objection to regularity is merely an attempt to excuse idleness. I am inclined to think that you personally are capable of regularity. And I am sure that if you firmly and constantly devote certain specific hours on certain specific days of the week to this business of forming your literary taste, you will arrive at the goal much sooner. ...
— LITERARY TASTE • ARNOLD BENNETT

... was in the blues? First, He used a very commonplace remedy. He put him to sleep. He let him rest. Rest is a very religious thing for a tired man. Now, a man who has overworked himself needs to rest from his work. A lot of blue people need rest from idleness. One big reason they are blue is because they have nothing else to do. God gave this man a rest. ...
— Sermons on Biblical Characters • Clovis G. Chappell

... the ruts which had been cut by the summer traffic of spike-wheeled carts. But the camels had almost finished their winter's work. In a few weeks they would leave the trail to ox and pony caravans and spend the hot months in idleness, storing quantities of fat ...
— Across Mongolian Plains - A Naturalist's Account of China's 'Great Northwest' • Roy Chapman Andrews

... grown up, thanks to the national system of education, in all but complete ignorance of their own country's history and literature, spend time on reading and study and in the practice of the old indigenous dances and music, which was formerly wasted in idleness or dissipation. Temperance and social harmony are irresistibly forwarded. Nor is it a question of a few able men imposing their will on the many, or of an artificial, State-aided process. Though the language has obtained a footing in more than a third of the State schools and in the ...
— The Framework of Home Rule • Erskine Childers

... secure site, of a large stone placed in close proximity to the sea-beach, where the bliss of idleness was being fully exemplified by a small party of holiday-makers, proved, on close examination, to be the cause of a literal revolution in lower life. Imagine a city to be totally unroofed, try to conceive of the sudden downfall of houses and buildings, and the consequent ...
— A Book of Natural History - Young Folks' Library Volume XIV. • Various

... assumed the cloak and hooked staff in order to live in idleness and sensuality; avaricious friars, selling their religion for money; cheating pardoners; covetous priests; ambitious bishops; lawyers who loved gain better than justice; "barons and burgesses, and bondmen ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... face betrayed his emotions so clearly that Theobald said he was determined "to learn the truth at once, and this time without days and days of falsehood" before he reached it. The melancholy fact was not long in coming out, namely, that the wretched Ernest added debt to the vices of idleness, falsehood and possibly—for it was ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... had been hoping for a place on the crew for many a day. The hope gave an excuse for idleness. Eliza Jane knew Billy's symptoms and was willing to countenance James B.'s indifference to other business propositions of a steady nature, while that possibility of the crew was apparent. However, there was ...
— Janet of the Dunes • Harriet T. Comstock

... its vices and its joys as sullen as its sorrows. Probably at the very moment that we can see nothing but a dull-faced man smoking and drinking heavily with his friend in a pot-house, the man himself is on his soul's holiday, crowned with the flowers of a passionate idleness, and far more like the Happy Peasant than the ...
— The Defendant • G.K. Chesterton

... were guarded. A man could travel from one part of the Empire to the other without fear of robbers or assassins. All these things are great blessings. Materially we have no higher civilization. But with peace and prosperity were idleness, luxury, gambling, dissipation, extravagance, and looseness of morals of which we have no conception, and which no subsequent age of the world has seen. It was the age of most scandalous monopolies, and disproportionate fortunes, and abandonment to the pleasures of ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV • John Lord

... this over-worked world, that stints itself to keep them in idleness, approves of the answer. "The flannelled fool," "The muddied oaf," is the pet of the people; their hero, ...
— The Angel and the Author - and Others • Jerome K. Jerome

... small lives filled with idleness, though some useful objects could oft be reached. Yours is largely among these. Yet I am pleased to state you could yet become a fine mind and life trainer by the age of forty, if wise enough to select your true helpers—good books. ...
— Cupology - How to Be Entertaining • Clara

... hockey, and Andre climbing trees with my young ruffians; it is killing young men by the million, altering the proportions of the sexes for a generation, bringing women into business and office and industry, destroying the accumulated wealth that kept so many of them in refined idleness, flooding the world with strange doubts and ...
— Mr. Britling Sees It Through • H. G. Wells

... so he sat down in the cleft of the rock beside the old hag, and laid his head on her knees, and she combed his hair all day while he lay there and gave himself up to idleness. ...
— The Red Fairy Book • Various

... present my friends may find it a hard thing to believe, it is true none the less, that for them living in freedom and idleness and comfort it is more easy to learn the lessons of humility than it is for me, who begin the day by going down on my knees and washing the floor of my cell. For prison life with its endless privations and restrictions makes one rebellious. The most terrible thing about it ...
— Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde - with a Preface by Robert Ross • Oscar Wilde

... a blessed relief to them at the end of their troubled week. Finding her father so much better, Mrs. Burton betook herself to bed at noon for the first real untroubled rest she had enjoyed for many days. The boys were stretched in luxurious idleness before the glowing fire in the kitchen, and Katherine was in charge of the sickroom. She was half-asleep herself; the place was so warm and her father lay in such a restful quiet. It had been so terrible all the week because no rest had seemed possible to him. But since ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... accomplish some of this discipline—though at what a cost!—in the hands of indifferent teachers. It is true that every other subject of the usual curriculum is much more obviously liable than they are to the dangers of idleness, unreality, false pretence; and that the scoffs, for instance, about "playing with test-tubes," "tracing maps," "dishing up history notes," are in fact too often deserved. But in the first place, ...
— Cambridge Essays on Education • Various

... enough, and you must not send me more, for though I enjoy looking at them MUCH, and it has been very useful to me, seeing so many different forms, it is idleness. For my object each species requires studying for days. I wish you had time to take up the group. I would give a good deal to know what the rostellum is, of which I have traced so many curious modifications. I suppose it cannot be one of the stigmas (It is a modification ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II • Francis Darwin

... the brotherhood men could in a few years become perfect even as their Father in Heaven was perfect, but he believed it and acted flatly and fearlessly on the belief: this is the type of the higher visionary. But all the insidious dangers of the vision; the idleness, the procrastination, the mere mental aestheticism, come in when the vision is indulged, as half our Socialistic conceptions are, as a mere humour or fairy-tale, with a consciousness, half-confessed, that it is beyond ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... stairs, earl and prince, pell mell, together, Cador, who was a merry man, saw the king before him. "Fair king," said the earl gaily, "for a great while the thought has disturbed me, that peace and soft living are rotting away the British bone. Idleness is the stepdame of virtue, as our preachers have often told us. Soft living makes a sluggard of the hardiest knight, and steals away his strength. She cradles him with dreams of woman, and is the mother ...
— Arthurian Chronicles: Roman de Brut • Wace

... with a boat-cloak to sleep in, a pair of pistols, a small quantity of gun-powder, and 50 cakes of portable soup. That any one who had been accustomed to the habits of civilised life should find charms in that led by the savages of this country, was unaccountable; for, admitting that idleness was the inducement, yet whoever associated with them must accompany them wherever they went, and they were generally on the move either by day or night. They were seldom provided with more food than was ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2 • David Collins

... connection with these wage figures the statistics for unemployment. The proportion of idleness to work ranges from one-third in mining industries to one-fifth in other industries. In Massachusetts, 1908, manufacturers were unemployed twelve per cent of the working time. Professor Streightoff estimated three years ago that the average annual ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... classes, we nowhere see women giving themselves up so persistently to domestic affairs that we should fear to distract their attention; and a really serious occupation or interest would take them less away than the frivolous pleasures to which idleness, a want of object in life, and an ...
— The First Essay on the Political Rights of Women • Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet

... the crowd. The drama was still rich in genius, its most distinguished names being those of Ford, Massinger, and Shirley; but here depravity had taken a deeper root than elsewhere, and it was a blessing that, soon after the breaking out of the war, the theatres were closed, and the poets left to idleness ...
— Handbook of Universal Literature - From The Best and Latest Authorities • Anne C. Lynch Botta

... disgrace in looking after my own business, I guess! To please Ena, I've made a sort of secret of it, that's all. I never 'promised.' I only let her and other folks it didn't concern suppose I lived in idleness, like the lords they admire so much. No harm in that! As for you, you're welcome to know what I do with my time when I go to New York. But it's none of your business, all the same, and you'd better keep still about it, or you'll regret your meddling. Who told you? That's what ...
— Winnie Childs - The Shop Girl • C. N. Williamson

... not know how lovely vacations are," was the way Esther expressed it as she sat one day on the side porch, hands folded lightly in her lap, and an air of delicious idleness about her entire person. It was her week of absolute leisure, which she had earned by a season of hard work. She is a public-school teacher, belonging to a section and grade where they work their teachers fourteen hours ...
— Stories Worth Rereading • Various

... heavy; and if those laid on by the Government were the only ones we had to pay, we might the more easily discharge them: but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our IDLENESS, three times as much by our PRIDE, and four times as much by our FOLLY: and from these taxes, the Commissioners cannot ease, or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us. GOD helps them that help themselves, ...
— An English Garner - Critical Essays & Literary Fragments • Edited by Professor Arber and Thomas Seccombe

... the lodgers followed him, all silent and shocked, except the inhuman wretch who owns the house and lives in idleness on the high rents he wrings from poor people ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... so on, and so on, run the piteous appeals which every successful author receives from the great unknown world of discouraged and perplexed young people who are mistaking the stir of youth or vanity, or the ennui of idleness, or the sting of poverty, for ...
— McClure's Magazine, March, 1896, Vol. VI., No. 4. • Various

... knights and ladies of Ariosto and Spenser think of them? What would they say, these romantic, dainty creatures, were they to meet Nausicaa with the washed linen piled on her waggon? Alas! they would take her for a laundress. For it is the terrible aristocratic idleness of the Middle Ages, their dreary delicacy, which hampers Boiardo, Ariosto, Tasso, Spenser, even in the midst of their most unblushing plagiarisms from Antiquity: their heroes and heroines have ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. I • Vernon Lee

... appreciably superior to that of England. It is that to which St. Paul refers when he says, "If a man will not work, neither shall he eat." American public sentiment is distinctly ahead of ours in recognising that a life of idleness is wrong in itself, and that the possibility of leading such a life acts most prejudicially on character. The American answer to the Englishman trying to define what he meant by "gentlemen of leisure" "Ah, we call them tramps in America"—is not merely ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... business men. Indeed, the history of literature all round has proved that the men who have been masters of words have also been masters of things—masters of the facts of life for which those words stand. Many writers have mismanaged their affairs from idleness and indifference, but few from incapacity. Leigh Hunt boasted that he could never master the multiplication-table. Perhaps that accounts for his comparative failure as a writer. Incompetence in one art is ...
— Prose Fancies (Second Series) • Richard Le Gallienne

... Russia is not simply material. It is also moral. In the language of a recent traveller, "they are the drunkenest people in Europe." The principal intoxicant is a sort of whisky called "vodka." With drunkenness exist also dirtiness, idleness, dishonesty, and untruthfulness. And as yet little has been done to ameliorate this degradation. Ignorance prevails everywhere. Even of the young people of the peasant class more than eighty per cent. can neither read nor write. There is no middle class. ...
— Up To Date Business - Home Study Circle Library Series (Volume II.) • Various

... another pauper demoralized by being fed in idleness, the plant now abandons honest toil, its roots from lack of exercise wither away, and for good and all it ceases to claim any independence whatever. Indeed, so deep is the dodder's degradation that if it cannot find a stem of flax, or hop, or other plant whereon to climb and thrive, it ...
— Little Masterpieces of Science: - The Naturalist as Interpreter and Seer • Various

... long day the Vigilantes lay in hiding, impatient at their idleness and wondering at the lack of effort made towards their discovery, not dreaming that McNamara had more cleverly hidden plans behind. When Cherry's note of warning came they gathered in the back room and ...
— The Spoilers • Rex Beach

... the reverse of the foregoing, and equally an enemy to generation, being caused by a cold quality abounding to excess, and proceeds from a too cold air, rest, idleness and cooling medicines. It may be known by an aversion to venery, and taking no pleasure in the act of copulation when the seed is spent; the terms are phlegmatic, thick and slimy, and do not flow as they should; the womb is windy and the seed crude and ...
— The Works of Aristotle the Famous Philosopher • Anonymous

... necessities in future. By acting as he did, he not only secured for the public the best exertions of all the existing corn- dealers of the place, but actually converted for the time a great many to that trade from other employments, or from idleness. A great many families, who had never traded before, employed their means in bringing a supply of grain, and converted their dwellings into corn shops, induced by the high profits and assurance of protection. During the ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... according to M. Krapf, the Suaheli of Eastern Africa wastes his morning hours in running from house to house, to his friends or superiors, ku amkia (as he calls it), to make his morning salutations. A worse than Asiatic idleness is the curse of ...
— First footsteps in East Africa • Richard F. Burton

... Agricola and Germania, had made a beginning on his more elaborate Histories and been enslaved to his genius. Pompeius Saturninus and his clever wife, Cornelia, were hoping for a little rustic idleness before beginning the summer entertaining at their place in Tuscany. The group under Pliny's roof was completed by Calpurnia's lovely aunt, Hispulla, and Fannia, whose famous ancestry was accentuated in her own distinguished character. Pliny's old schoolfellow, Caninus ...
— Roads from Rome • Anne C. E. Allinson

... and all the blessed labours of a hallowed world in which idleness was not known, nor any weariness in well-doing, a certain shadow met Barbara ...
— Smith and the Pharaohs, and Other Tales • Henry Rider Haggard



Words linked to "Idleness" :   idle, inactivity, idling, dolce far niente, ineptitude, loafing, worthlessness, indolence, love-in-idleness, faineance, groundlessness, laziness



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