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Incompetent   /ɪnkˈɑmpətənt/   Listen
Incompetent

noun
1.
Someone who is not competent to take effective action.  Synonym: incompetent person.



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"Incompetent" Quotes from Famous Books



... was somewhat near in the Queen's affinity, and had likewise no incompetent issue; for he had also William, his eldest son, and since Earl of Banbury, Sir Thomas, Sir Robert, and Sir Francis, if I be not a little mistaken in their names and marshalling; and there was also the Lady Lettice, a sister ...
— Travels in England and Fragmenta Regalia • Paul Hentzner and Sir Robert Naunton

... return he conducts negotiations with other groups and administers justice in accordance with the customs handed down from bygone ages. Upon his death he is succeeded by his eldest son, unless the old men of the group should consider him incompetent, in which case they will ...
— The Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao - The R. F. Cummings Philippine Expedition • Fay-Cooper Cole

... who does not feel the want which the scheme is intended to supply; any one who throws it over as a mere theoretical subtlety or crotchet, tending to no valuable purpose, and unworthy of the attention of practical men, may be pronounced an incompetent statesman, unequal to the politics of the future. I mean, unless he is a minister or aspires to become one: for we are quite accustomed to a minister continuing to profess unqualified hostility to an improvement almost to the very day when his conscience or his interest induces him to take it ...
— Autobiography • John Stuart Mill

... lieutenant-governor does not exist. The chief object of electing this officer seems to be to provide a suitable person to fill the vacancy in the office of governor in case the latter should die, resign, be removed, or otherwise become incompetent. ...
— The Government Class Book • Andrew W. Young

... for the most part been fashioned after the universities of Europe, but they have in all cases been inadequately endowed, and without the internal police which is necessary to their vigorous administration. Nine-tenths of the professors are incompetent, and quite one half of them, in any thing worthy the name of university could claim admission only to the class of freshmen; while those who are capable of a reputable performance of their duties—so uncertain are the revenues of the institutions to which ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... daughter and son-in-law and holding a watching brief on the Assembly proceedings? I ask you, what would the League staff say of one of their members of which this should be revealed? Would he be regarded as a fit incumbent of the office he holds? Wouldn't he be dismissed, kicked out as incompetent—as unscrupulous, I mean," Henry amended quickly. His voice had risen in a shrill and trembling ...
— Mystery at Geneva - An Improbable Tale of Singular Happenings • Rose Macaulay

... by the by), let us take it. And as to where an untried child goes, whether to join the assembly of its elders who have borne the heat of the day,—fire-purified martyrs and torment-sifted confessors,—what know we? We promise heaven, methinks, too cheaply, and assign large revenues to minors incompetent to manage them. Epitaphs run upon this topic of consolation till the very frequency induces a cheapness. Tickets for admission into paradise are sculptured out a penny a letter, twopence a syllable, etc. It is all a mystery; and the more I try to express my meaning (having none that is clear), ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... this conduct to disaffection, but only suppose that his zeal for kirk and state had been lulled asleep by the opportunity of charging a stranger with double horse-hire; that, however, feeling himself incompetent to decide singly upon the conduct of a person of such importance, he should reserve it for consideration of the next quarter-sessions. Now our history for the present saith no more of him of the Candlestick, who wended dolorous and malcontent ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... petitioner desires that it may please you, inasmuch as the foregoing facts sufficiently prove the insanity and incompetency of the Marquis d'Espard herein described with his titles and residence, to order that, to the end that he may be declared incompetent by law, this petition and the documents in evidence may be laid before the King's public prosecutor; and that you will charge one of the judges of this Court to make his report to you on any day you may be pleased to name, and thereupon ...
— The Commission in Lunacy • Honore de Balzac

... seventeenth century, women in England, as well as France, suffered much in childbirth from the ignorance and superstition of incompetent midwives, owing to the prevailing conceptions of modesty, which rendered it impossible (as it is still, to some extent, in some semi-civilized lands) for male physicians to attend them. Dr. Willoughby, of Derby, tells how, in 1658, he had to ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... "You miserable and incompetent fools! Don't expect me to tell you your business. Why do I pay you? Why indeed? Nothing you have done has been of the very slightest use; on the contrary, through your beastly mismanagement I have been dragged into this degrading position, held ...
— The Passenger from Calais • Arthur Griffiths

... a woman fifty years of age, tall and lean, with a deeply lined face and a tendency to nervousness that was increasing with her years. She was a very clever teacher and a very incompetent business woman, so that her small school, of excellent standing and repute, proved difficult to finance. In character Miss Stearne was temperamental enough to have been a genius. She was kindly natured, ...
— Mary Louise • Edith van Dyne (one of L. Frank Baum's pen names)

... should have been exhausted by Napoleon's system of requisition, not to speak of the marauding to which the French soldiers were soon forced to resort. Ebstein says that the cause of the sad, the wretched condition concerning supplies was due to the fact that incompetent officers had been appointed as commissaries of the army; they held high military rank, were independent and could not be easily reached for their faults. It happened that soldiers were starving near well filled magazines, such magazines at Kowno, Wilna, Minsk, Orcha being not only well, but ...
— Napoleon's Campaign in Russia Anno 1812 • Achilles Rose

... this picture; and never did an anchorite pour fourth a more fervent orison to Heaven, than Romney when this labour was complete. He had a fine genius, with all its solitary feelings, but he was uneducated, and incompetent even to write a letter; yet on this occasion, relieved from his intense anxiety under so long a work, he wrote one of the most eloquent. It is a document in the history of genius, and reveals all ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... another General.' And they nominate another; nominate Broglio, the fat choleric Marshal, of Italian breed and physiognomy, whom we saw at Strasburg last year, when Friedrich was there. Broglio will quit Strasburg too soon, and come. A man fierce in fighting, skilled too in tactics; totally incompetent in strategy, or the art of LEADING armies, and managing campaigns;—defective in intelligence indeed, not wise to discern; dim of vision, violent of temper; subject to sudden cranks, a headlong, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... the same thing has always happened the world over under similar conditions. Our defeats were exactly such as any man might have foreseen, and there is nothing to be learned from the follies committed by incompetent commanders and untrained troops when in the presence of skilled officers having under them disciplined soldiers. The humiliating surrenders, abortive attacks, and panic routs of our armies can all be paralleled ...
— The Naval War of 1812 • Theodore Roosevelt

... said that you cite causes between two Romans, even against their will, before your tribunal. If you are conscious that this has been done by you, do not so presume in future, lest while seeking the office of Judge, for which you are incompetent, you wake up to find yourself a culprit. You, of all men, ought to be mindful of the Edictum, since you insist on its being followed by others. If not, if this rule is not observed by you, your whole power of decreeing shall be taken from you. Let the administration ...
— The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator • Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

... John—Mahony had reluctantly resigned himself to being beholden to Mary's relatives and Mary's friends to the end of the chapter. At best, living in other people's houses was for him more of a punishment than a pleasure; but for sheer discomfort this stay capped the climax. Under Zara's incompetent rule John's home had degenerated into a lawless and slovenly abode: the meals were unpalatable, the servants pert and lazy, while the children ran wild—you could hardly hear yourself speak for the racket. Whenever possible, Mahony fled the house. He lunched in town, ...
— Australia Felix • Henry Handel Richardson

... turned away one artist: the poor creature was utterly incompetent to depict the sublime, graceful, and pathetic personages and events with which this history will most assuredly abound, and I doubt whether even the designer engaged in his place can make such a portrait of Miss ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... note was the captain, Juan del Rio. Diego de Vera had had enough of the corsairs, and sailed away with the remainder of his force. Of what became of him or of them there is no record, but he must have been a singularly incompetent commander when he could not make head against a rabble of pirates and Moors with the army at his disposition. Sandoval does not attempt to minimise the defeat, which, of course, would have been impossible; he contents himself with the following ...
— Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean • E. Hamilton Currey

... callous husband, who never intended, but for the War, to come back from his big-game shooting, and who took no pains to arrange suitable guidance (there was a lawyer vaguely mentioned but he seems to have been singularly unobtrusive) for the obviously incompetent spouse whom he professes still to love? I am afraid it will not do. The one real point of weakness in the presentation was that Mr. EADIE could not modulate from the key of agreeable flippancy in which the comedy as a whole was set into that of the solemnly sentimental coda. Thus was the artistic ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug 29, 1917 • Various

... nothing for a moment. He was opposed to the use of force. Force, he believed, was the last resort of incompetence; he had said so frequently enough since this operation had begun. Of course, he was absolutely right, though not in the way he meant. Only the incompetent wait until the last extremity to use force, and by then, it is usually too late ...
— A Slave is a Slave • Henry Beam Piper

... beauty in the galleries and in the museums, and were simple enough to admire what they liked; young ladies of the present day can find nothing to admire except their own perspicacity in detecting faults in Raphael's drawing or Michael Angelo's colouring. This is the age of incompetent criticism in matters artistic, and no one is too ignorant to volunteer an opinion. It is sufficient to have visited half-a-dozen Italian towns, and to have read a few pages of fashionable aesthetic literature—no other education is needed to fit the intelligent young critic for his easy task. The ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... say most emphatically that the patient's chances of recovery are many times greater with proper non-surgical treatment than with an operation. Of course, patients have occasionally recovered, by accident, in the hands of most incompetent surgeons, but the death rate after appendicitis operations in the hands of incompetent ...
— Appendicitis: The Etiology, Hygenic and Dietetic Treatment • John H. Tilden, M.D.

... Girondists required, and yet, until then, a second-rate man, and almost unknown, had no fortune to hope for but as theirs culminated. His name would not give umbrage to their genius, and if he proved incompetent, or rebelled against their projects, they would remove him without fear, or crush him without pity. Brissot, the diplomatic oracle of the Gironde, was evidently to be the minister who was one day to control our foreign relations, ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... Being. God is individual, and man is His individualized idea. While material man and the physical senses receive no spiritual idea, and feel no sensation of divine Love, spiritual man and his spiritual senses are drinking in the nature and essence of the individual infinite. A sinful sense is incompetent to understand the realities of being,—that Life is God, and that man is in His image and likeness. A sinner can take no cognizance of the noumenon or the phenomena of Spirit; but leaving sin, sense rises to the fulness of the stature of ...
— No and Yes • Mary Baker Eddy

... Puritans demanded a stern enforcement of the penal laws. Complaints were made on both sides of the infringement of the cessation; but Munroe was the chief offender; and Owen O'Neill was summoned to consult with the Supreme Council in Kilkenny. Lord Castlehaven, who was utterly incompetent for such an appointment, was given the command of the army; and O'Neill, though he felt hurt at ...
— An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 • Mary Frances Cusack

... friends, and remembering every detail of their circumstances, opinions, and conduct. Concerning the latter, he did not fail to remind them of any failings he had taken note of. Those who were frauds, incompetent, or lazy, he never spared, and often such conversations were a source of much amusement to me. On the other hand, those who had been true to him, and had not veered round with the tide of public opinion after 1896, were ever remembered and rewarded. It was remarkable to note the various Dutch ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... this refer to the pause that expresses the unutterable? or to the ruin of the measure of the verse by an incompetent heroine?] ...
— The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A Study with the Text of the Folio of 1623 • George MacDonald

... have given no new life to agriculture, would not have stimulated trade, nor replenished the bankrupt fisc, nor incorporated the privileged classes with the bulk of the nation, nor done anything else to repair an organisation of which every single part had become incompetent for its proper function. It was the material misery and the political despair engendered by the reigning system, which brought willing listeners to the feet of the teachers who framed beneficent governments on the simple principles of reason and the natural ...
— On Compromise • John Morley

... representatives of the services, and to the dullest and smallest men in the whole assembly. It is obviously inconvenient—perhaps it is even perilous—that interests so grave and so gigantic should fall for their guardianship into hands so incompetent and so petty. It may be an inevitable accompaniment of our Parliamentary system that the naval debates should be so conducted; if so, one must put it down as one of the evils which must be taken as part of the price we pay for the excellences ...
— Sketches In The House (1893) • T. P. O'Connor

... Charles Goodyear, jun., patented in England a process for constructing a denture upon vulcanized caoutchouc as a base. Several modifications followed, each the subject of patented improvements. Though the cheapness and simplicity of the vulcanite base has led to its abuse in incompetent hands, it has on the whole been productive of much benefit. It has been used with great success as a means of attaching porcelain teeth to metallic bases of gold, silver and aluminium. It is extensively used also in ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... to have words repeated which they had failed to get; and New York claimed that Boston was one of the worst offenders. It was a rather hard position for me, for if I took the report without breaking, it would prove the previous Boston operator incompetent. The results made the operator have some hard feelings against me. He was put back on the wire, and did much better after that. It seems that the office boy was down on this man. One night he asked me if I could tell him how to fix a key so that it would not 'break,' even if the ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... a tight spot in the operating room, it could be a real test of skill to get him—and his patient—out of it, even on a relatively simple procedure. But organ-transplantation, with the delicate vascular surgery and micro-surgery that it entailed, was never simple. In incompetent hands, it ...
— Star Surgeon • Alan Nourse

... throw[18] of the principal British naval depots; here were large towns and harbors, filled with the rich commerce of the world, offering the dazzling attraction of rich booty. The French navy was at this time utterly incompetent to their defence; while England supported a maritime force at an annual expense of near ninety millions of dollars. Her largest fleets were continually cruising within sight of these seaports, and not unfrequently attempting to cut out their shipping. "At this period," says ...
— Elements of Military Art and Science • Henry Wager Halleck

... over again that in no other civilised country in the world could so great an amount of property have passed through the hands of thieves without leaving some clue by which the police would have made their way to the truth. Major Mackintosh had been declared to be altogether incompetent, and all the Bunfits and Gagers of the force had been spoken of as drones and moles and ostriches. They were idle and blind, and so stupid as to think that, when they saw nothing, others saw less. The major, who was a broad-shouldered, ...
— The Eustace Diamonds • Anthony Trollope

... seated in Mrs. Majendie's drawing-room, she had no impulse to wound her mortally. Her instinct was rather to patronise and pity, to unfold the long result of a superior experience, to instruct this woman who was so incompetent to deal with men, who had spoiled, stupidly, her husband's life and her own. In that moment Sarah contemplated nothing more outrageous than a little straight ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... one's sails, scotch the snake, put a spoke in one's wheel; break the neck, break the back; unhinge, unfit; put out of gear. unman, unnerve, enervate; emasculate, castrate, geld, alter, neuter, sterilize, fix. shatter, exhaust, weaken &c. 160. Adj. powerless, impotent, unable, incapable, incompetent; inefficient, ineffective; inept; unfit, unfitted; unqualified, disqualified; unendowed; inapt, unapt; crippled, disabled &c. v.; armless[obs3]. harmless, unarmed, weaponless, defenseless, sine ictu[Lat], ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... renders even so keen an intellect as that of Karl Marx an unsafe guide, we must, when we read his description of conditions for which he sought remedy, confess that he had been less a man had he been less emotional. The man whom daily contact with remediable misery will not render incompetent to always write logically, I would not wish to know. But it is the mission of such men to arouse action and not to finally determine its scope. The advocate may not be the judge. My animus is that I heartily desire most if not all the ends proposed by abstract ...
— The Inhumanity of Socialism • Edward F. Adams

... mean to suggest for a moment that there was the slightest real danger to the public who patronise those highly popular and excellently-conducted vehicles, or that any actual driver was either intemperate or incompetent; and that, should such an impression have been unfortunately produced—which he hopes is impossible—no one would regret so unjust an aspersion more sincerely than ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, October 22, 1892 • Various

... in the dilemma—creation or nothing? It was obvious that hereafter the probability would be immensely greater, that the links of natural causation were hidden from our purblind eyes, than that natural causation should be incompetent to produce all the phenomena of nature. The only rational course for those who had no other object than the attainment of truth was to accept "Darwinism" as a working hypothesis and see what could ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... journal: Our pilot proved incompetent, and we narrowly escaped shipwreck in consequence at Martin Garcia Bar, a bad spot in the River Plate. A small schooner captain, observing that we needlessly followed in his track, and being anything but a sailor in principle, ...
— Voyage of the Liberdade • Captain Joshua Slocum

... one-third by disease. The Portuguese, who numbered nearly as many, were raw and untried troops, scarce a man of whom had seen fire, and little reliance could be placed upon them. In spite of Lord Wellington's judicious and reiterated warnings, the incompetent and conceited Spanish generals risked repeated engagements, in which their armies—numerous enough, but ill disciplined, ill armed, and half-starved—were crushed and exterminated. The French side of the medal presented a very different picture. Elated ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... the verdict in silence. After five minutes he turned round and his face gave some of them a shock. His kindly blue eyes had a painfully puzzled, incompetent look, which had often come across them in Barcelona and in London. But in Somarsh only ...
— The Grey Lady • Henry Seton Merriman

... aerial voyagers, finding this planet to be nothing but a howling wilderness, inhabited by us poor savages and wild beasts, shall take formal possession of it, in the name of his most gracious and philosophic excellency, the Man in the Moon. Finding however that their numbers are incompetent to hold it in complete subjection, on account of the ferocious barbarity of its inhabitants, they shall take our worthy President, the King of England, the Emperor of Hayti, the mighty Bonaparte, and the great King of Bantam, and, returning ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... head and ears in debt, that he never had a farthing of ready money, that his tenantry were worse off than any other in the country, that his agents and bailiffs and stewards were rogues who ground them and cheated him, that his farmers were careless and incompetent, and that the whole of his noble estate appeared to be going irretrievably to ruin; when the earl complaining one day bitterly of this state of things, for which he knew no remedy, she told him that she would find the remedy, and ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... "I am incompetent to give your father any advice. Our positions are dissimilar. I myself seek redress for personal injuries. Your father, the Duke of Orleans, ought to obey the dictates of his conscience as a prince, and the dictates of duty ...
— Louis Philippe - Makers of History Series • John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

... quite incompetent myself, from lack of medical knowledge, to dilate on this point satisfactorily, were it not that during a visit of a week to the place, I made the acquaintance of an English physician there of high repute, Doctor S. Edwin Solly, who went there years ago to seek relief himself ...
— The Truth About America • Edward Money

... me, is marriage to be merely a contract—something entered into for a time, and then broken again—or is the true marriage permanent? One resolution read by Mrs. Stanton said that, as men are incompetent to select partners in business, teachers for their children, ministers of their religion, or makers, adjudicators, or administrators of their laws, and as the same weakness and blindness must attend in the selection of matrimonial partners, the latter and most important ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... infecting our parliamentary system have grown still graver; when a democratic House, more and more broken up into small groups, more and more governed by sectional and interested motives, shall have shown itself evidently incompetent to conduct the business of the country with honour, efficiency, and safety; when the public has learned more fully the enormous danger to national prosperity as well as individual happiness of dissociating power from property and giving the many an unlimited ...
— Proportional Representation Applied To Party Government • T. R. Ashworth and H. P. C. Ashworth

... her figure from their point of view; and, finding it essentially embraceable, asked for nothing more. It might have been her bright complexion or it might have been the bold luster of her eyes (as the women considered it), that dazzled the lords of creation generally, and made them all alike incompetent to discover her faults. Still, she had compensating attractions which no severity of criticism could dispute. Her smile, beginning at her lips, flowed brightly and instantly over her whole face. A delicious atmosphere of health, freshness, and good humor seemed ...
— My Lady's Money • Wilkie Collins

... governed by incompetent men, became a mighty power for evil. Strikes and lockouts were common, and were followed by loss of wages and consequent suffering, while the bitterness of feeling between the two classes constantly increased. To meet the rising power of the labor organizations, the employers felt obliged ...
— Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World • James Cowan

... They were conscious, too, that the North, the sluggish North, which had been so long in putting forth its full strength, was now preparing for an effort far greater than any that had gone before. The incompetent generals, the tricksters and the sluggards were gone, and battle-tried armies led by real generals were coming in numbers that ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... not instituted a Committee of Public Safety for fun. It will enquire into Custine's conduct. Incompetent or traitor, he will be superseded by a General resolved to win the ...
— The Gods are Athirst • Anatole France

... good plan, and make ample arrangements for the supply of funds, but if he does not know how to choose, or where to find good builders, his scheme will come to a miserable end. He may choose builders that are competent but dishonest, or they may be honest but incompetent, or they may be subject to some other radical defect; in either of which cases the house will be badly built, and the scheme will ...
— Peter the Great • Jacob Abbott

... the evidence is decisive. The reading [Symbol: Alpha] is Alexandrian, adopted by B[Symbol: Aleph], and is bad Greek into the bargain, [Greek: enedreuontes thereusai] being very rough, and being probably due to incompetent acquaintance with the Greek language. If [Symbol: alpha] was the original, it is hard to see how [Symbol: beta] could have come from it. That the figurative language of [Symbol: alpha] was replaced in [Symbol: beta] by ...
— The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels • John Burgon

... Maddison. "The contractor for the conservatory undertook to erect it in a week, and my only satisfaction is that he is now paying me a forfeit of 500 dollars a day. As for the electricians in this country, sir, they are not incompetent men, but they must be taught to hustle if they are to work under American orders; and I don't quite see how they are to find a job ...
— Count Bunker • J. Storer Clouston

... themselves, are the best material for rulers. It is a kind of compromise between their modesty and self-love: not burthening them with the trials and responsibilities of positions for which they feel incompetent, but soothing their vanity by the contemplation of office-holders not at all their superiors. Below a certain (or uncertain) grade, therefore, political stations are usually filled by men of very moderate abilities: and their elevation ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... western man, much older than I, to examine some properties for some mining men. They were all experienced miners, old hands at the business, and they regarded me, a young graduate from an eastern mining school, with no practical knowledge that they knew of, as totally incompetent to advise them, and, I think, invited me more out of courtesy than anything else; perhaps also, out of benevolent intention to give me an opportunity ...
— The Award of Justice - Told in the Rockies • A. Maynard Barbour

... could not make their personages talk character; they all spoke {190} alike. The author of the Rambler[426] is ridiculed, because his young ladies talk Johnsonese; but the satirists forget that all the presentable novel-writers were equally incompetent; even the author of Zeluco (1789)[427] is the strongest possible case ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... housekeepers, and slatternly in their persons, so also are many who neither know how to read nor write; just as there are many impracticable, inefficient, and slovenly men who are highly educated, and ignorant men who are also incompetent and inefficient. Education has nothing to do with making either men or women inefficient; the inefficient would be inefficient to the end of time, though their minds were ...
— Woman: Man's Equal • Thomas Webster

... frequently outran performance. Peter was undersized, unmuscular, and extraordinarily clumsy. For a long time Bobby Little thought that Peter, like one or two of his comrades, was left-handed, so made allowances. Ultimately he discovered that his indulgence was misplaced: Peter was equally incompetent with either hand. He took longer in learning to fix bayonets or present arms than any other man in the platoon. To be fair, Nature had done little to help him. He was thirty-three inches round the chest, five feet four in height, and weighed possibly nine stone. His complexion was pasty, and, ...
— The First Hundred Thousand • Ian Hay

... gratified with thee. Blessed be thou, thy desire is known to me. Make thy soul pure. Thou wilt then have all that thou desirest. I will give thee all weapons when thou wilt become pure. Those weapons, O son, of Bhrigu, burn a person that is incompetent and that is not deserving of them.' Thus addressed by that god of gods, that deity bearing the trident, the son of Jamadagni, bending his head unto that puissant high-souled one, said, 'O god of gods, it behoveth thee to give those weapons unto me that am always devoted to thy service, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... them, who still continued in the same employment with her faculties unimpaired, a recent edition of his Triumphs of Temper. His first instructor in the learned languages was a master in the same city, who appeared to be so incompetent to the task he had undertaken, that Mrs. Hayley removed her son to the school of a Mr. Woodeson, at Kingston. He had not been long here, when he was seized with a violent fit of illness, which obliged ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... inefficiency of this or that branch of the public service. The Government in power wait to see if the agitation dies a natural death; and if it is successfully kept up, a sort of pretence at reform takes place. There is a re-shuffle. Fresh names are given to old abuses; incompetent officials exchange posts; and a new building is erected at the public expense. Then ...
— The Curse of Education • Harold E. Gorst

... insisted on quitting the land; a great loss was incurred in an attempt to compel it to remain; then open rebellion broke out in the weakened state; and the reign, which had commenced under such fair auspices, terminated in calamity and confusion. Menephthah was quite incompetent to deal with the difficulties and complications wherewith he found himself surrounded; he hesitated, temporized, made concessions, retracted them, and finally conducted Egypt to a catastrophe from which she did not ...
— Ancient Egypt • George Rawlinson

... "Incompetent people, I should think, from what you can see of the garden. Annoying to think that that used to be ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... present the exceptionally prepossessing maiden to whom this person has already referred. So varied and ornate were her attractions that it would be incompetent in one of my less than average ability to attempt an adequate portrayal. She had a light-coloured name with the letters so harmoniously convoluted as to be quite beyond my inferior power of pronunciation, so that if I wished to refer to her in ...
— The Mirror of Kong Ho • Ernest Bramah

... the secrecy attending the celebration of marriages in that Territory makes the proof of polygamy very difficult, and the propriety is suggested of modifying the law of evidence which now makes a wife incompetent to ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 2 (of 2) of Volume 8: Chester A. Arthur • James D. Richardson

... of the lay baronage. The chief business was to provide for the government during the minority. Gualo withstood the temptation to adopt the method by which Innocent III. had ruled Sicily in the name of Frederick II. The king's mother was too unpopular and incompetent to anticipate the part played by Blanche of Castile during the minority of St. Louis. After the precedents set by the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, the barons took the matter into their own hands. Their work of selection was not an easy one. Randolph of Chester was by ...
— The History of England - From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377) • T.F. Tout

... permission which this latter had granted (or, with an affectation of arrogance, had seemed to grant) had not itself made him pause. There are some things which a man never wants any permission to do; and one of those is—to love a woman. All the permissions—whether of competent authority or of incompetent—only retard him. It is an affair in which he must find his own permit, by his own power; and without it there can be ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866 • Various

... she endeavored to get order out of the chaos that reigned in the kitchen. Josie had determined to clean up in the kitchen and pantry first and then proceed to the other corners of the house. The succession of incompetent servants that had been employed by the present master of the old Waller house had left layers of dirt and grease, each according to to her lights. Josie was bent upon getting to the bottom of dirt as well as the mystery of what Chester ...
— Mary Louise and Josie O'Gorman • Emma Speed Sampson

... should be arranged. Prometheus had more experience, but Zeus had the power. Rivalry, combined with dislike,—that is the great force I speak of. Zeus didn't wish men to have fire. That was enough for Prometheus. He told himself how incompetent Zeus was to manage the world, how selfish he was, how indifferent to men's need of fire. And that was what braced him, at last, to escape from his wife, and bring down an ember from heaven, ...
— The Crow's Nest • Clarence Day, Jr.

... king are you, sir Lucifer," said she, "to keep such unmannerly blockheads; it is a sin that so large a kingdom should be under one so incompetent to govern them. O that I were made deputy over it!" At this moment behold the Coxcomb, nodding his head in the dark, "Your servant, sir," he would say to one over his shoulder.—"I hope you are quite well," said he to another.—"Is there any service which I can render you," to a third, smiling ...
— The Sleeping Bard - or, Visions of the World, Death, and Hell • Ellis Wynne

... of polite society, there are books published for persons of every class in life; and although of late years one sees the same sort of writings advertised in England, they have certainly not as yet produced any apparent effect upon us—perhaps from being written by incompetent people, or perhaps from the author dwelling too exclusively upon usages which change with the fashion of the day, instead of being based upon right and kind feelings, or, at anyrate, the appearance ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 462 - Volume 18, New Series, November 6, 1852 • Various

... London bureau are incompetent to establish guilty connivance of either Lanier in any crime except those assaults ...
— Oswald Langdon - or, Pierre and Paul Lanier. A Romance of 1894-1898 • Carson Jay Lee

... big city where Sam got a chance to travel for a grocery store, and Jane Olive opened a inteligence office, where for an ample consideration she furnished incompetent help to distracted housekeepers, receivin' pay from both victims, and they laid up money fast. Then he went into pork and first we knew Sam wuz a very rich man, lived in great style, kep' his carriage, but wuz awful mean, so we heard, hadn't no morals at all to speak on so fur ...
— Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition • Marietta Holley

... sort of wages from me," interrupted Timothy Robinson decidedly. "I tell you plainly that I won't hire you. You're the wrong man's son for that. Your father was lazy and incompetent and, worst of all, untrustworthy. I did try to help him once, and all I got was loss and ingratitude. I want none of his kind around my place. I don't believe in you, so you may as well take yourself off, Ellis. I've no ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... believe that he should be able to get beyond the messengers. He was one of a class, not very small in numbers, who, from cultivating within their bosom a certain tendency towards suspicion, have come to think that all Government servants are idle, dilatory, supercilious and incompetent. That some of these faults may have existed among those who took wages from the Crown in the time of George III. is perhaps true. And the memory of those times has kept alive the accusation. The vitality of these prejudices calls to mind the story ...
— John Caldigate • Anthony Trollope

... hand, as MAIRE DU PALAIS to the incompetent Otto, and using the love-sick Princess for a tool and mouthpiece, he pursues a policy of arbitrary power and territorial aggrandisement. He has called out the whole capable male population of the state to military service; he has bought cannon; he has tempted ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... that way, myself; and I think,' said poor Milly, making an effort, and growing very red; she quite lost her head at that point, and was incompetent to finish ...
— Uncle Silas - A Tale of Bartram-Haugh • J.S. Le Fanu

... the Abbe Terrai, notoriously as corrupt as he was incompetent. One of his measures, reducing the interest on the Debt by one-half, was tantamount to an act of bankruptcy; but the national levity comforted itself by jests, and one evening, when the pit at the theatre was crowded to suffocation, one of the sufferers carried the company ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole - Volume II • Horace Walpole

... which enclosed my knee—it was a live dog which he had cut open.' I recognised a cure used sometimes in mediaeval medicine. She had two masters, and their portraits, ideal Indian heads, painted by some most incompetent artist, stood upon either side of the folding doors. One night, when talk was impersonal and general, I sat gazing through the folding doors into the dimly lighted dining-room beyond. I noticed a curious red light shining upon a picture and got up to see where the red light came from. ...
— Four Years • William Butler Yeats

... unfortunately. She was libelled in San Francisco, had her cheques protested as fraudulent in Hawaii, and was fined for breach of quarantine in the Solomons. To save themselves, the newspapers could not tell the truth about her. When I discharged an incompetent captain, they said I had beaten him to a pulp. When one young man returned home to continue at college, it was reported that I was a regular Wolf Larsen, and that my whole crew had deserted because I had beaten it to a pulp. In fact the only blow struck on the Snark was when ...
— The Cruise of the Snark • Jack London

... are reported of him. He is first mentioned in connection with the fortune of Vortigern, who is represented by Geoffrey of Monmouth as at that time king of England. The Romans having withdrawn their legions from this island, the unwarlike Britons found themselves incompetent to repel the invasions of the uncivilised Scots and Picts, and Vortigern perceived no remedy but in inviting the Saxons from the northern continent to his aid. The Saxons successfully repelled the invader; but, having done this, they refused to return home. They determined to settle here, ...
— Lives of the Necromancers • William Godwin

... law, it was always easy for those who understood the science of rigging the stock market, and that of strategic undermining, to wrest the control away from weak, or (treating the word in a commercial sense) incompetent, holders. This has been long shown by ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... lion and the scorpion are his danger, in the cave lurks the dragon, among flowers the poisonous serpent. In the sunshine a greedy neighbor is thinking how to decrease his land, in the night the active thief is breaking through the door to his granary. In childhood he is incompetent, in old age stripped of strength. When full of power, he is surrounded by perils, as a whale is surrounded by ...
— The Pharaoh and the Priest - An Historical Novel of Ancient Egypt • Boleslaw Prus

... going to the War Office? They're all corrupt and incompetent there. If I had my way, I'd make a clean sweep of them. Talking of red-tape, I'll just give you an instance. Now, this is a fact. It was told me by the brother-in-law of the uncle of the man ...
— The Hero • William Somerset Maugham

... infancy, that person could do nothing more than keep the moral law perfectly. But supposing that the Creator allows a person to be born with an hereditary or ingrafted organic tendency, and then puts this person into the hands of teachers incompetent or positively bad, is not what is called sin or transgression of the law necessarily involved in the premises? Is not a Creator bound to guard his children against the ruin which inherited ignorance might entail on them? Would it be fair for a parent to put into a child's hands the title-deeds ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... American affairs. In this his first diplomatic undertaking, there appeared, however, one of the weaknesses of execution which constantly interfered with the success of his plans. He did not know how to sacrifice politics to statesmanship, and he appointed as his agents men so incompetent that they aggravated rather than settled the difficulty. Later he saw his mistake and made a new and admirable appointment in the case of Mr. William H. Trescot of South Carolina. Blaine himself, however, lost office before new results could be obtained; and Frelinghuysen recalled ...
— The Path of Empire - A Chronicle of the United States as a World Power, Volume - 46 in The Chronicles of America Series • Carl Russell Fish

... indeed impossible, except by an inefficiency of the enemy which was not to be presumed. These battles therefore are important, militarily, in a sense not at all dependent upon their consequences, which were ephemeral. They are significant as extreme illustrations of incompetent action, deriving from faulty traditions; and they have the further value of showing the starting point, the zero of the scale, from which the progress of the century is to be measured. In describing them, therefore, attention will be given chiefly ...
— Types of Naval Officers - Drawn from the History of the British Navy • A. T. Mahan

... merely the obscure passages in the text, but also the subsequent experience of the United States and other countries where they relate to the views expressed by the authors. The most authentic text has been used; the antiquated and often absurd punctuation—largely due to incompetent early printers—has been rationalized; and an introduction, abundant cross-references, and a full index materially increase the value of this edition for both students and lawyers. Matter of obsolete or minor interest has been put in distinctive type. An appendix ...
— The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens • Georg Jellinek

... Madame Remisatu's, in company with Duroc. The question turned upon literary productions and the comparative merit of the compositions of modern French and foreign authors. "As to the merits or the quality," said Duroc, "I will not take upon me to judge, as I profess myself totally incompetent; but as to their size and quantity I have tolerably good information, and it will not, therefore, be very improper in me to deliver my opinion. I am convinced that the German and Italian authors are more ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... court,—save in open war; and there was almost war then. He well-knew nothing would so force them to desperation,—the desperation of unlicensed barbarism or the immovable determination of truth and justice driven to the wall. He knew, or if he did not, was so ignorant that he was incompetent, that in such a contest on such fundamental principles, such a decision must end in revolution and civil war. If he dreamed of peace, then he was ready to seal the doom of four million, and at the end of this century of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 88, February, 1865 • Various

... sides Russia now suffered from its enemies. Moscow, with several hundred thousand Muscovites, was burned by the Tartars in 1571. Disaster followed disaster, which Ivan was too cowardly and weak to avert. Trusting to incompetent generals abroad, he surrounded himself at home with a guard of six thousand chosen men, who were hired to play the part of spies and assassins. They carried as emblems of office a dog's head and a broom, the first to indicate that they worried the enemies of the czar, the second that they swept ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... foreigner and a worshipper of another God, and therefore was all the more unpopular, as a Brahmin would be in England if he were a Cabinet Minister. He was capable and honest, and therefore all the incompetent and all the knavish officials would recognise in him their natural enemy. So, hostile intrigues, which grow quickly in courts, especially in Eastern courts, sprung up round him, and his subordinates laid their heads together in order to ruin him. They say, in the words of my text, ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... in real quarrels, and following in the footsteps of the little Russians was becoming irksome—(especially to Fatima, whose predecessor—Peter—had been of a military turn, and had begun fortifications near the kitchen garden which she was incompetent to carry out) a new idea struck me. I announced that letters properly written and addressed to the little Russians, 'Reka Dom, Russia,' and posted in the old rhubarb-pot by the tool-house, would be duly answered. ...
— Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... improve the time by making their arrangements and canvassing their supporters so as to control the votes of the College at that future Conclave. Therefore Francesco Piccolomini, Cardinal of Siena (nephew of Pius II), a feeble octogenarian, tormented by an ulcer, which, in conjunction with an incompetent physician, was to cut his life even shorter than they hoped, was placed upon the throne of St. Peter, and assumed with the Pontificate ...
— The Life of Cesare Borgia • Raphael Sabatini

... revolutions at the palace, the elevation of incompetent generals, and the general security in which the people indulged, resolved to march to a renewed attack. Again he crossed the Alps, with a still greater army, and invaded Italy, destroying everything in his path. Without obstruction he crossed the Apennines, ravaged ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV • John Lord

... incompetent to carry out a liberating expedition, he had wonderful success in talking it up. For twenty years he had carried this project about with him in America and in Europe. It was elaborated to perfection in every part, and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 31, May, 1860 • Various

... set to work with a will, and it was not long before the benefits of his administration became manifest. He had been informed that the force was almost as incompetent and inefficient as its old time predecessor, and he resolved to stop this. He caused the creation of the grade of inspector, and the appointment of energetic and reliable men. These inspectors are required to keep a constant ...
— The Secrets Of The Great City • Edward Winslow Martin

... representative of Messrs. Jardine, Matheson and Co. of Shanghai from whom the cars were purchased. He discovered immediately that the difficulties which the Chinese had encountered were largely the result of incompetent chauffeurs. ...
— Across Mongolian Plains - A Naturalist's Account of China's 'Great Northwest' • Roy Chapman Andrews

... vulgar mind. The reader will of course understand the precise amount of seasoning which must be added to it before he adopts it as one of the axioms of his life. The speaker disclaims all responsibility for its abuse in incompetent hands.] ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... the latter monarchy; but for the present, the wish to retain the supremacy which it had had while the king was one of the tribe, made it the nucleus of a feeble and lingering opposition to David, headed by Saul's cousin Abner, and rallying round his incompetent son Ishbosheth.[Q] The chronology of this period is obscure. David reigned in Hebron seven years and a half, and as Ishbosheth's phantom sovereignty only occupied two of these years, and those evidently the last, it would appear almost as if the Philistines had held the country, ...
— The Life of David - As Reflected in His Psalms • Alexander Maclaren

... appointing or nominating officer shall object to an eligible named in the certificate, stating that because of some physical defect, mental unsoundness, or moral disqualification, particularly specified, said eligible would be incompetent or unfit for the performance of the duties of the vacant position, and if said officer shall sustain such objection with evidence satisfactory to the Commission, the Commission may certify the eligible on the register who is in average percentage next below ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... all, is merely the last resource of the hopelessly incompetent! Anyhow it must be very uncomfortable, I'm sure," said the Duchess, nodding her head. Yet she was quick to notice the distress in his voice, and the gleam of moisture among the curls at his temple, hence her tone was more encouraging as she continued. "Still, sir, speak ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... of his subject. It would be well if students in eastern colleges would sometimes put on a similar boldness; they would help heads of colleges out of very trying difficulties with well-meaning but incompetent or indolent professors. Undergraduate popularity is often illusive and unstable, but undergraduate perception of incompetency is often ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... naughty child not listen to me at all? Take him away, Praxinoa, and understand distinctly that I am much dissatisfied with you. You estrange my own child from me to curry favor with the future king. That is base, or else it proves that you have no tact, and are incompetent for the office entrusted to you. The office of wet-nurse you duly fulfilled, but I shall now look out for another attendant for the boy. Do not answer me! no tears! I have had enough of that with the child's screaming." ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... sketch to Reed whom he found in the Curator's room, with some of the finest Rafael drawings in existence, hanging on the walls. "Yes!" said Mr Reed; "I noticed this at the sale; but it's not Rafael!" Adams, feeling himself incompetent to discuss this subject, reported the result to Palgrave, who said that Reed knew nothing about it. Also this point lay beyond Adams's competence; but he noted that Reed was in the employ of the British Museum as Curator of the best — or nearly ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... them being men of very indifferent character, and far too much in the habit of consorting with thieves and the like, they never lost a public occasion of jobbing and trading in mystery and making the most of themselves. Continually puffed besides by incompetent magistrates anxious to conceal their own deficiencies, and hand-in-glove with the penny-a-liners of that time, they became a sort of superstition. Although as a Preventive Police they were utterly ineffective, and as a Detective Police were very loose and ...
— Reprinted Pieces • Charles Dickens

... the Anglo- Indian. It will be difficult to carry reform against the advice of The only class which seems competent to advise, viz., such Englishmen as have had experience of India. I hold such to be Totally incompetent as a class to take proper views of Indian problems—such men as Sir Richard Temple are the exception. His articles upon India seem to me most salutary and to denote a statesmanlike grasp of a subject of paramount importance to England. The reason why the Englishman in India is likely to ...
— Round the World • Andrew Carnegie

... easily do, according to their fancy. But when one remembers that almost all the documents in these books have been written with a view to their later publication; and when one remembers also that, however incompetent diplomatists as a class may be, no one supposes them to be such fools as to entrust their most important ententes and understandings with each other to printed records—why, one comes to the conclusion ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... narrowed his lids when the Colonel pensioned Mr. Hood. But the Colonel had a will before which, when roused, even Mr. Hopper trembled. So that Eliphalet was always polite to Ephum, and careful never to say anything in the darkey's presence against incompetent clerks or favorite customers, who, by the charity of the Colonel, remained ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... the real master of the State he was just as incompetent as before. All his application was directed towards his master, and it had for sole aim that that master should not escape him. He wearied himself in watching all the movements of the prince, what he did, whom he ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... was crazy," agreed the seamen. It was as though the gaiety, the spring of gladness, within the little man had been dried up; there was left only the incompetent and despised Dago. He faced the routine of his toil now with no smile of preoccupation for a sweeter vision; he shuffled about decks, futile as ever, with the dreariness of a man ...
— Those Who Smiled - And Eleven Other Stories • Perceval Gibbon

... point of complete exhaustion and sudden death, should win for these willing servants a deeper consideration of their welfare. Too frequently are their manifestations of discomfort allowed to pass unheeded by careless, incompetent drivers lacking in a sense of compassion. Symptoms of malaise should never be ignored in any case; the humane and economic features should be realized ...
— Lameness of the Horse - Veterinary Practitioners' Series, No. 1 • John Victor Lacroix

... most senseless peasant in the Galtchinskoy district, was taking his old woman to the hospital. He had to drive over twenty miles, and it was an awful road. A government post driver could hardly have coped with it, much less an incompetent sluggard like Grigory. A cutting cold wind was blowing straight in his face. Clouds of snowflakes were whirling round and round in all directions, so that one could not tell whether the snow was falling from the sky or rising from the earth. The ...
— The Schoolmistress and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... obstinacy, folly, and error, and tending to inevitable ruin; that new men and new measures must be adopted before we could hope for success in war, or honour and security in peace; that as ministers had shown themselves incompetent to the management of the war when they only had the Americans to contend with, it was not to be expected that they would be able to contend with the united arms of France and America; and that they would be still less able if Spain joined the contest. Ministers and their ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... out into the highways and hedges and bring in anything we can find, any old thing, so long as we can patronize it. I have often thought of starting a League (I believe it would be immensely popular) for The Suppression of Social Service. The fussy, incompetent men and women who thrust themselves forward for that work are usually the last people who should rightly meddle with it. They either perform it from a sense of duty, or what they themselves call The Social Conscience ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... of you as I have found you. [I told him you were a disreputable hound, and that Moore had crossed a fight.] I told him you were a drunken ass, and Moore an incompetent and dishonest boxer. ...
— The Plays of W. E. Henley and R. L. Stevenson

... been most strenuously urged against the Constitution, and which were most formidable in their first appearance, are not only destitute of substance, but if they had operated in the formation of the plan, would have rendered it incompetent to the great ends of public happiness and national prosperity. I equally flatter myself that a further and more critical investigation of the system will serve to recommend it still more to every sincere and disinterested advocate for good government and will leave no doubt with ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... and an English butler, and as many strapping indoor men—some of them much better fitted for manual labor—as he liked, and find it a social glory; while a family of moderate means were obliged to pay high wages to crude incompetent women from the darkest backwaters of European life, just ...
— The Dust Flower • Basil King

... assure citizens and peasantry that it was all true, that the Emperor would be in Paris again very shortly and that once more there would be an end to tyranny and oppression, to the rule of the aristocrats and a number of incompetent and ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... been invited by Philip to make ready to take in hand the affairs of Flanders, sadly disorganized under the incompetent rule of Alva. It occurred to him that if he were to issue victoriously from that enterprise—and so far victory had waited upon his every venture—if he were to succeed in restoring peace and Spanish order in rebellious Flanders, he would then be able to move against England with the ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... affairs of state, and when also great and eloquent men were not used to concern themselves about private causes; but, while the most important transactions were managed by the most eminent and able men, I think that there were others also, and those not very incompetent, who attended to the trifling disputes of private individuals; and as in these disputes it often happened that men had recourse to lies, and tried by such means to oppose the truth, constant practice in speaking encouraged audacity, so that it became unavoidable that those other ...
— The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 • Cicero

... character. The compass of the voice remains exactly the same. He has merely exchanged several excellent tones below for some very poor ones above. I repeat, one who aspires to be a lyric artist requires the best possible teacher to guide his first steps; he may consult an inferior or incompetent professor, when so firmly established in the right path that he ...
— Style in Singing • W. E. Haslam

... association was content; or at least it gave no sign to the contrary. Now and then it captured a pilot who was 'out of luck,' and added him to its list; and these later additions were very valuable, for they were good pilots; the incompetent ones had all been absorbed before. As business freshened, wages climbed gradually up to two hundred and fifty dollars—the association figure—and became firmly fixed there; and still without benefiting a member of that body, for no member was hired. The hilarity ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... unimportant to do, too tiresome or laborious to undergo. Work well and conscientiously done must attract attention; there is a great deal of lolling and idleness among the many thoughtless and indifferent persons who drift on to the stage as the last refuge of the negligent or incompetent. ...
— [19th Century Actor] Autobiographies • George Iles

... into Imperial Parliament. Never do men talk together of their experiences of bodily suffering, as sometimes even the least morbid of us will, but some one is found to recall afflictions at the hands of the physician of little wit. The "incompetent" is everywhere and if, sometimes, he finds his way into the pulpit, those who jeer at the Church on his account have ...
— The Message and the Man: - Some Essentials of Effective Preaching • J. Dodd Jackson

... master such more complex arts as spinning, baking and brewing. Her expertness, perhaps, never reached a high level, but at all events she made a gallant effort. But that was long, long ago, before the new enlightenment rescued her. Today, in her average incarnation, she is not only incompetent (alack, as I have argued, rather beyond her control); she is also filled with the notion that a conscientious discharge of her few remaining duties is, in some vague way, discreditable and degrading. To call her a good cook, I daresay, was never anything but flattery; the early American ...
— In Defense of Women • H. L. Mencken

... which he charged in 1185 suits, and in the preparation of many legal papers out of court, and still have been seriously addicted to laziness. Indeed, if so much legal business could have been transacted within three years and a half, by a lawyer who, besides being young and incompetent, was also extremely lazy, and greatly preferred to go off to the woods and hunt for deer while his clients were left to hunt in vain for him, it becomes an interesting question just how much legal business we ought to expect to be done by a young lawyer who ...
— Patrick Henry • Moses Coit Tyler

... not a musical instrument—in practice," said the Reb, with evasive facetiousness. And, indeed, the performers were nearly always incompetent, marring the solemnity of great moments by asthmatic wheezings and thin ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... present Legislature will go down in history as the most incompetent body of lawmakers that ever sat in the ...
— The Hindered Hand - or, The Reign of the Repressionist • Sutton E. Griggs

... been authorized by them, or any of them. This doubt has gained strength by the circumstances which have unfolded themselves in the prosecution of the enterprise, which have marked it as a mere private, unauthorized adventure. Projected and commenced with an incompetent force, reliance seems to have been placed on what might be drawn, in defiance of our laws, from within our limits; and of late, as their resources have failed, it has assumed a more marked character of unfriendliness to us, the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of James Monroe • James Monroe

... aspect presented by Literature. It has become a profession; to many a serious and elevating profession; to many more a mere trade, having miserable trade-aims and trade-tricks. As in every other profession, the ranks are thronged with incompetent aspirants, without seriousness of aim, without the faculties demanded by their work. They are led to waste powers which in other directions might have done honest service, because they have failed ...
— The Principles of Success in Literature • George Henry Lewes

... the General said When we met him last week on our way to the Line, Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead, And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine. "He's a cheery old card," grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack. * * * * * But he did for them both by his plan ...
— The Art of Letters • Robert Lynd

... a picture of what passes every day at Florence—in Pisa, on the contrary, all is stagnation and repose—even the presence of the sovereign, who usually passes a part of the winter here, is incompetent to give a momentary liveliness to the place. The city is nearly as large as Florence, with not a third of its population; the number of strangers is few; most of them are invalids, and the rest are the quietest people ...
— Letters of a Traveller - Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America • William Cullen Bryant

... modified by no authority. They would therefore take the place of the nation, and exercise as absolute a sway over society as the inherent weakness of judicial power would allow them to do. Undoubtedly, as the French judges are incompetent to declare a law to be unconstitutional, the power of changing the constitution is indirectly given to the legislative body, since no legal barrier would oppose the alterations which it might prescribe. But it is better to grant the power of changing ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 1 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... chill dismay, of a doom as yet imperfectly apprehended deepens as Barnet's record passes on to tell of the approach of winter. It was too much for the great mass of those unwilling and incompetent nomads to realise that an age had ended, that the old help and guidance existed no longer, that times would not mend again, however patiently they held out. They were still in many cases looking to Paris when the first snowflakes of that pitiless ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... moved a step nearer; and his words came, now, in answer to the unfinished threat with cutting force. "What would you do, you big, hulking swine? You can bully a weakling not half your size; you can beat a helpless incompetent like a dog; you can bluster, and threaten a tenderfoot when you think he fears you; you can attack a man with a loaded quirt when you think him unable to defend himself;—show me what you can ...
— When A Man's A Man • Harold Bell Wright

... the character of the newspaper man in The Doctor's Dilemma is machine-made, the much more important character of B.B., the soothing and incompetent doctor, is a creation ...
— Old and New Masters • Robert Lynd

... high and mighty soldier was so unwilling to submit to the orders of incompetent people, he never liked to be under the direct command of Washington, and, if it were possible to do so, he managed to be concerned in operations not under the immediate eye of the commander in chief. In fact, he was very jealous indeed of Washington, and ...
— Stories of New Jersey • Frank Richard Stockton

... if the result be regarded, utterly in vain: a thousand artists, and never one work of art. But the vast mass of mankind are incapable of doing anything reasonably well, art among the rest. The worthless artist would not improbably have been a quite incompetent baker. And the artist, even if he does not amuse the public, amuses himself; so that there will always be one man the happier for his vigils. This is the practical side of art: its inexpugnable fortress for the true practitioner. The direct returns - the wages of the trade are small, but the indirect ...
— Across The Plains • Robert Louis Stevenson

... in turn. Mabel, rouged and befrilled, still made an attractive foil for Wallace as the hero. Martie liked them all; their chatter of the fairyland of the stage, their trunks plastered with labels, their fine voices, their general air of being incompetent children adrift in a puzzling world. Deep laughter stirred within her when they spoke ...
— Martie the Unconquered • Kathleen Norris

... Fenger had made it a slogan in the Haynes-Cooper plant long before the German nation forced it into our everyday vocabulary. Michael Fenger was System. He could take a muddle of orders, a jungle of unfilled contracts, a horde of incompetent workers, and of them make a smooth-running and effective unit. Untangling snarls was his pastime. Esprit de corps was his shibboleth. Order and management his idols. ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... remain to us of the Ancients, and this appears somewhat remarkable, are, with the exception of those by incompetent artists, universally admitted to be 'High Art.' Now do we afford them this high title, because all remnants of the antique world, by tempting a comparison between what was, and is, will set the mental faculties at work, and thus address the highest attributes ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... collection of prodigious wasps' nests. The huts are squat and brown and chimneyless, facing east, and the inhabitants have the faculty of quail for making themselves scarce in the underbrush at the approach of strangers. But they are really not often at home during midday, only the blind and incompetent left to keep the camp. These are working hours, and all across the mesa one sees the women whisking seeds of chia into their spoon-shaped baskets, these emptied again into the huge conical carriers, supported on the shoulders by a leather ...
— The Land Of Little Rain • Mary Hunter Austin

... however excellent, could the benefits be extended, were individuals either ignorant of its nature or opposed to its precepts engaged in its administration. While an irreligious or immoral governor would pervert the course of justice in the administration of laws truly excellent, he would be utterly incompetent to the improvement of those that might be defective. The acts of the best of civil governments—even those founded upon the statutes of Divine truth—from the very nature of society, require frequently to be modified. And, since the modelling and increase of laws, as well as their dispensation, ...
— The Ordinance of Covenanting • John Cunningham

... had just suffered a surprising defeat at home. It became evident to Democratic leaders in the early Fall of 1918 that they were likely to lose the Congressional elections. Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives had been so notoriously incompetent that most of the war measures had had to be carried through under the leadership of Republicans, and there was grave dissatisfaction with some of the members of the Cabinet. The appeals of Democrats in danger were heard sympathetically at the ...
— Woodrow Wilson's Administration and Achievements • Frank B. Lord and James William Bryan

... advance our knowledge, ever willing to own to a mistake and give up even his most cherished ideas if truth required them at his hands. No conception can be more wantonly inexact. I grant that if a writer was sufficiently at once incompetent and obsequious Mr. Darwin was "ever ready," &c. So the Emperors of Austria wash a few poor people's feet on some one of the festivals of the Church, but it would not be safe to generalise from this yearly ceremony, and conclude that the Emperors of Austria are ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... one after consultation with the Belize Advisory Council (this council serves as an independent body to advise the governor general with respect to difficult decisions such as granting pardons, commutations, stays of execution, the removal of justices of appeal who appear to be incompetent, etc.) National Assembly: elections last held 30 June 1993 (next to be held NA June 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (28 ...
— The 1996 CIA Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... If there be a vortex around the sun, it is of finite extent; for if the ether be co-extensive with space, and the stars likewise suns with surrounding vortices, the solar vortex cannot be infinite. That there is an activity in the heavens which the mere law of attraction is incompetent to account for, is an admitted fact. The proper motions of the fixed stars have occupied the attention of the greatest names in astronomy, and motions have been detected, which according to the theory of gravity, requires the admission of invisible masses of matter ...
— Outlines of a Mechanical Theory of Storms - Containing the True Law of Lunar Influence • T. Bassnett

... really wants even for himself. In a matter-of-fact civilization like ours, he cannot hope to keep up. If a man can be cheated, even by himself—of course other people can cheat him and everybody can take advantage of him. He naturally grows more incompetent every day he lives. The men who are slow or inefficient in finding out what they really want and slow in dealing with themselves are necessarily inefficient and behind hand in dealing with other people. They cannot be men who determine ...
— Crowds - A Moving-Picture of Democracy • Gerald Stanley Lee

... all. There is some malformation or defect of the vocal organs, which either prevents our uttering it at all, or gives it so thick a pronunciation as to be unintelligible. A mouth filled with the national pudding, or watering in expectation thereof, is wholly incompetent to this refractory monosyllable. An abject and herpetic Public Opinion is the Pope, the Anti-Christ, for us to protest against e corde cordium. And by what College of Cardinals is this our God's-vicar, our binder and looser, elected? Very like, by the sacred conclave of Tag, Rag, and ...
— The Biglow Papers • James Russell Lowell

... it be nevertheless pretended that my information and knowledge of mankind, however extensive, and however painfully acquired, by constant domestic enquiry, and by foreign travel, is, natheless, incompetent to the task of recording the pleasant narratives of my Landlord, I will let these critics know, to their own eternal shame and confusion, as well as to the abashment and discomfiture of all who shall rashly take up a song against me, that I am NOT the writer, redacter, or compiler, of the ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... hopelessly shattered the fair fabric of impressions of him that Lady Harman had been building up, that image of a wise humane capable man to whom a woman would gladly turn; he had been flurried, he had been incompetent, he had been ridiculously incompetent, and it seemed to him that life was a string of desolating inadequacies and that he would never ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... formed, not as a result of observation, or logic and reasoning, but as a result of an emotion, a mere feeling that this or that proposition is true. In every adverse decision of the court he sees a deep-laid conspiracy to deprive him of his rights. His lawyers are incompetent and in collusion with his persecutors; the judge is corrupt or ignorant of the law, and the legislators negligent in their duties in not writing into the statutes laws which would take care of his grievance. He constantly harps upon what he ...
— Studies in Forensic Psychiatry • Bernard Glueck

... system in many of such patients—I mean in ever-weary, thin and thin-blooded persons—is doing its work with constant difficulty. As a result, fatigue comes early, is extreme, and lasts long. The demand for nutritive aid is ahead of the supply, or else the supply is incompetent as to quality, and before the tissues are rebuilded a new demand is made, so that the materials of disintegration accumulate, and do this the more easily because the eliminative organs share in the general defects. ...
— Fat and Blood - An Essay on the Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria • S. Weir Mitchell

... She never heard the drum of an airplane without getting a sick, gone feeling at the pit of her stomach. She knew, now, that there was more to the air service than a becoming uniform. She was doing some war work herself in an incompetent, frenzied sort of way. With Giddy soaring high and her foreign stocks and bonds falling low she might well be excused for the panic that shook her from the time she opened her eyes in the morning until she tardily closed them ...
— Gigolo • Edna Ferber

... business enterprise can be put aside by sufficiently heroic measures. And they are also showing that they are all aware, and have always been aware, that the conduct of industry on business principles is incompetent to bring the largest practicable output of goods and services; incompetent to such a degree, indeed, as not to be tolerable in a season of desperate need, when the nation requires the full use of its productive forces, equipment ...
— An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation • Thorstein Veblen



Words linked to "Incompetent" :   bad, fumbling, incompetency, fuckup, stumbler, inept, inadequate, botcher, butcher, unequal, incompetent cervix, bumbler, unqualified, jurisprudence, unequal to, inefficient, unworkmanlike, sad sack, fumbler, unskilled person, law, blunderer, bungler, slouch, feckless, incompetence, ineffective, incapable, competent



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