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Matter-of-fact   /mˈætər-əv-fækt/   Listen
Matter-of-fact

adjective
1.
Not fanciful or imaginative.  Synonym: prosaic.  "A prosaic and unimaginative essay"
2.
Concerned with practical matters.  Synonyms: pragmatic, pragmatical.  "A matter-of-fact account of the trip"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Matter-of-fact" Quotes from Famous Books



... in a plain, simple, matter-of-fact way. You want to find a person whose name you don't know, whose face you can't recognize, and whose voice even is equally unknown. You can't give any clew to her at all. You don't know whether she lives in Quebec or in New York. You only know ...
— The Lady of the Ice - A Novel • James De Mille

... be pointed out now, is often pointed out; but no emotion arises at sight of it. It is so plain, so matter-of-fact an edifice that emotion only comes afterward in thinking about it, and then in the reflection that such an edifice could be, then as now, ...
— Balcony Stories • Grace E. King

... Angelus, and I was still seated at the dinner-table, absorbed in deep thought. My imagination had been so racked that it passed from the domain of the real, and reveled in the most fantastic regions of the ideal, and it required a strong effort of the will to bring back my mind to the dull matter-of-fact aspects ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... never right themselves: You may see their trunks arching in the woods Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair Before them over their heads to dry in the sun. But I was going to say when Truth broke in With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm (Now am I free to be poetical?) I should prefer to have some boy bend them As he went out and in to fetch the cows — Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, Whose only play was what he found ...
— The Second Book of Modern Verse • Jessie B. Rittenhouse

... answered, somewhat taken aback by the irrelevant and very matter-of-fact nature of this remark; "yes, Ludwig ...
— An Idyl Of The East Side - 1891 • Thomas A. Janvier

... death if he chose. Though too free an exercise of so extreme an authority was no longer recognised, it was still quite legal to make away with an infant which was badly deformed. Says Seneca, in the most matter-of-fact way, "We drown our monstrosities." It was quite legal also to expose a child, and leave it either to perish or to be taken up by whosoever chose. In most such instances doubtless the child became the slave ...
— Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul • T. G. Tucker

... highly imaginative he is apt to be the most matter-of-fact of mortals. He is rarely imaginative, and seldom has an alert sense of humor. Yet England has produced the finest of humorists and the greatest of poets. The humor and imagination which are diffused through other peoples ...
— Ponkapog Papers • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... gesture of contempt. "We argue from different standpoints," he said. "I am a plain, matter-of-fact, cold-blooded business man. There is ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... expressions as social duties and keeping up one's position? Why such fortitude under boredom, weariness, constraint; such heroism sometimes in taking blows and snubs, in dancing on with broken heart-strings like the Princess in Ford's play? All this means an ideal, nay, a religion. Yes; people, quite matter-of-fact, worldly people, are perpetually sacrificing to ideals. And what is more, quite superior, virtuous people, religious in the best sense of the word, are apt to have, besides the ostensible and perhaps rather obsolete one of churches ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... Dolly was as matter-of-fact as possible when she came out from under her veil again; and declared she should not go to a hotel in ...
— The End of a Coil • Susan Warner

... think of it? Ambrose felt a little bit doubtful. Not that David wanted either courage or enterprise for such an undertaking, and if once started upon it he would be sure to carry it through with undaunted perseverance, but—he was so matter-of-fact. He would certainly say at once that it would be against rules, for he had a tiresome way of looking things straight in the face, instead of turning his eyes a little to one side when it was more convenient or ...
— Penelope and the Others - Story of Five Country Children • Amy Walton

... like "The Cloister and the Hearth," is a matter-of-fact Romance—that is, a fiction built on truths; and these truths have been gathered by long, severe, systematic labour, from a multitude of volumes, pamphlets, journals, reports, blue-books, manuscript narratives, letters, and living people, whom I have sought ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... and looked into mine seriously—half amused, half frightened. At last she nodded in a matter-of-fact way; it was only because I could see her hands pressed against the arm of the couch until they were white and little blue veins had begun to show that I knew she was capable of the stoicism of an Indian, and that her nod was ...
— The Blue Wall - A Story of Strangeness and Struggle • Richard Washburn Child

... been banished. And the Demon in question is the Private Ownership of the Means of Production. His name is less romantic than those of the wonted demons of legend and folklore. But it is at least suitable for the matter-of-fact age of machinery which he is supposed to haunt and on which he casts his evil spell. Let him be once exorcised and the ills of humanity are gone. And the exorcism, it appears, is of the simplest. Let this demon once feel the contact ...
— The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice • Stephen Leacock

... The matter-of-fact question was like a hand laid across Lucilla's mouth. "I don't want to be dead," she admitted finally. "Neither do I want to go on like this, hearing words that aren't spoken and bells that don't ring. When it gets to the ...
— The Sound of Silence • Barbara Constant

... recollections of the fearful name by which the stream, was known on the chart and among men, no one confessed. They dribbled aboard the three boats, and went about making up their beds for the night in the most matter-of-fact way possible. ...
— Motor Boat Boys Down the Coast - or Through Storm and Stress to Florida • Louis Arundel

... written out afterwards by this student of divinity, it appears that the account he gave to the astonished group omitted sundry vital and important details. He declares that, with his uncle's wholesome, matter-of-fact countenance staring him in the face, he simply had not the courage to mention them. Thus, all the search party gathered, it would seem, was that Defago had suffered in the night an acute and inexplicable attack of mania, ...
— The Wendigo • Algernon Blackwood

... she would, and that all these things would come some day. He sighed inwardly and wondered, not for the first time, where the link could possibly lie between the matter-of-fact mother and the strange child of fancy. There was nothing to do but attribute the phenomenon to Mister, the whimsical knight of the open road. The boarder asked what he should bring Kern from the party: he feared they wouldn't have writing-desks, it not being at all a literary ...
— V. V.'s Eyes • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... dear?" indifferently enough, just in mechanical response to the matter-of-fact inflection of Rosalind's voice. Then she laid down her pen, smiled in a puzzled way up into her daughter's face, and added, "My ears must have played me a funny ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... I know exactly what you will do, you are so shockingly matter-of-fact. First you will prove to a demonstration that it is utterly impossible for such an inferior being as a woman to set the Thames on fire at all. Then—when I've done it and London is illuminated—you will write to the papers ...
— The Farringdons • Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

... situation on the face of it, nevertheless it was extremely matter-of-fact in the handling; which is the way sometimes with incredible situations; as if, since we know instinctively that we cannot rise unprepared to the bigness of its possibilities, we keep our feet planted steadfastly on the ground and refuse to rise at all. And afterward, perhaps, we look ...
— Flying U Ranch • B. M. Bower

... abuse enough to enter into competition with him, so went back a first and second time to Maury when the man would not let him come aboard, whereupon Maury brought the ship to with two or three shots and Jimmy made a third attempt, and forced the Frenchman to show his papers. He tells it in such a matter-of-fact way! No extravagance, no idea of having been in a dangerous situation, he a boy of eighteen, on a French ship in spite of the Captain's rage. What a jolly life it must be! Now dashing in storms and danger, now floating in sunshine and fun! Wish I was a midshipman! ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... some one was going round the room rubbing paper along the wall, while she often had the feeling that a person was standing beside her bed. A cousin, who was a nurse, once slept with her, and also noticed these strange noises. On one occasion this room was given up to a very matter-of-fact young man to sleep in, and next morning he said that the room was very strange, with queer ...
— True Irish Ghost Stories • St John D Seymour

... life are, no doubt, too deeply charged with the rich lights shed from his own personality entirely to satisfy a more matter-of-fact observer, and I am not going to say that he is anything like so photographic as F. H. Groome, for instance, or so trustworthy. But then it should never be forgotten that Borrow was, before everything else, a poet. If this statement should be challenged ...
— Old Familiar Faces • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... to your father, tell him what we have found, and ask him to send the money right on," said Bob, in a matter-of-fact tone. ...
— Ralph Gurney's Oil Speculation • James Otis

... George spoke in a matter-of-fact tone, with no hint whatever that he bore ill-will against Samuel Peel for having robbed him of two hundred a year. And Samuel felt as though he had robbed George of ...
— The Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories • Arnold Bennett

... his face for a moment and then her eyes filled with tears. She reached out both hands and took him by the shoulders. "Well, you're going to hear them this time, my dear," she said. As she moved away, she added in a more matter-of-fact tone, "Just as soon as we can work them up, in a few days perhaps. I'll ...
— Mary Wollaston • Henry Kitchell Webster

... written in his countenance, "Give me money!" I recollect that I one day alluded to this expression in the anxious face of Sieyes to the First Consul. "You are right," observed he to me, smiling; "when money is in question, Sieyes is quite a matter-of-fact man. He sends his ideology to the right about and thus becomes easily manageable. He readily abandons his constitutional dreams for a good round sum, and that is ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, v3 • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... in a business-like shape, Deerfoot called to Hay-uta to keep his gun at a level, while he disarmed the prisoner. The Sauk obeyed, and Deerfoot walked quietly forward, and in the most matter-of-fact manner drew the knife of the Pawnee from its sheath at his girdle, extracted his tomahawk, and then gently removed the rifle from his nerveless grasp. Distributing the first two weapons about his person, the Shawanoe stepped back several paces, holding ...
— Footprints in the Forest • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... me," Mrs. Moore went on, in a low, matter-of-fact tone. "She was almost in hysterics, and I could not understand her fully. I thought the operation was to be done there, and so I dressed and went in a cab. Then I found that Mr. Mitchell wanted to come, and ...
— The Desired Woman • Will N. Harben

... way she said, with matter-of-fact calmness, at the same time setting my blood thrilling through my veins: "I want you to talk with the doctor. I just seen him going to see Mrs. Larkum, and that's what made me hurry you off so soon from ...
— Medoline Selwyn's Work • Mrs. J. J. Colter

... Dakmar's face became a picture of suppressed emotion. I pocketed the wallet with the same matter-of-fact air with which I have accepted a servant's money to keep safe for him scores of times. He believed me to be a drunkard, who had been thoroughly doped that day and would probably drink hard that night to drown the after-taste. It ought to be easy to rob me while ...
— Affair in Araby • Talbot Mundy

... expressing anger, incredulity, &c., may be obtained from the same words. It is to be noticed that for these two series a different intonation, a different musical (pitch) accent appears from that which is found in the same words when employed to make a matter-of-fact ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... Debacle, Zola shows in a vivid and intelligible manner the downfall of Napoleon III. and his army, and paints in his usual matter-of-fact tints the actual condition of the great host led forth to destruction. He makes us read in the soul of the common French soldier and in that of his commanding officer. The keen analysis of the characters he portrays enables us humanly to understand the catastrophe ...
— A Little Garrison - A Realistic Novel of German Army Life of To-day • Fritz von der Kyrburg

... and Italy, it is not thought to be necessary to discuss at this stage of the proceedings the tonnage allowance of these nations, but the United States proposes that this subject be reserved for the later consideration of the Conference." This somewhat blunt, matter-of-fact way of stating the case gave unexpected offense to the French delegation. During the next four or five weeks, while Great Britain, the United States, and Japan were discussing the case of the Mutsu and the question of fortifications in the Pacific, the French delegates were cherishing their ...
— From Isolation to Leadership, Revised - A Review of American Foreign Policy • John Holladay Latane

... master's face betray any expression of the kind. Perhaps the epithet was chosen to conceal the vague uneasiness which it produced in his mind. We are all of us more affected by these coincidences than we care to confess to one another. If the most matter-of-fact reader of these pages were to find a hearse standing in front of his door for three consecutive mornings, although the circumstance might be satisfactorily explained,—shall I go further and say, because ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... the ashes out of it against the arm of his chair, while he seemed to be considering the question. Then, as if he had formed a definite determination, he leaned forward and addressed his wife in a forcedly matter-of-fact tone. ...
— Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land • Rosa Praed

... said the more matter-of-fact Sagastao; "folks sometimes get into trouble by taking up everything that comes along. Remember that ...
— Algonquin Indian Tales • Egerton R. Young

... Paris after Nantes," he finished, supremely matter-of-fact, "just as we will definitely decide ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... it until they reached the house, huddled lonesomely against the barren bluff, its windows staring black into the dusk. Jean did not seem to expect Lite to dismount, but he did not wait to see what she expected him to do. In his most matter-of-fact manner he dismounted and turned his horse, still saddled, into the stable with Pard. He preceded Jean up the path, and went into the kitchen ahead of her; lighted a match and found the lamp, and set its flame to brightening the ...
— Jean of the Lazy A • B. M. Bower

... We arrived and dined. The hour between tea and bedtime was sufficiently tedious, as both of us were naturally much preoccupied. My husband wrote a letter to mamma, telling her of our safe arrival, and of his intense happiness. After which he asked me if I would go to bed, in the most matter-of-fact way imaginable. I murmured an affirmative, scarcely knowing what to say. He rang for a candle, and told me he would follow shortly. It seemed like a dream to me. The maid showed me to a room containing a large four-post ...
— The Romance of Lust - A classic Victorian erotic novel • Anonymous

... the colonel, though always ready to doubt the information received and the possibility of the black spies' surmises being correct, felt that he was warranted in making every preparation; and this was set about in a calm, matter-of-fact way. ...
— The Kopje Garrison - A Story of the Boer War • George Manville Fenn

... theories as to the origin of language, which, for shortness, may be defined as the poetic and the matter-of-fact. The former (of which M. Ernest Renan is one of the most eloquent advocates) supposes a primitive race or races endowed with faculties of cognition and expression so perfect and so intimately responsive one ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 6, No. 34, August, 1860 • Various

... out in the Sirius, and now I've got so I really like it. Here, we'd better keep in touch." He found her hand and tucked it under his arm. "Stabilize our positions more, besides keeping us from getting too lonesome, here in the dark," he concluded, in a matter-of-fact voice. ...
— Spacehounds of IPC • Edward Elmer Smith

... lest some such fate as Ustani's might punish me for my temerity, but for reasons which doubtless seemed sufficient to himself the wizard merely looked at me through his veil, shook himself a little in his swathings, and said in a matter-of-fact voice, 'Well, well, perhaps we have had enough of such talk as this. Let's get ahead with the business before us. That business is to reach the Siege Perilous, or Magic Chair. Thither will I guide ye, and there ye shall see what ye shall see. But first it is needful, as ...
— HE • Andrew Lang

... write my life, as those who know me know that it has been an eventful one. At last I have acceded to the importunities of my friends, and have hastily sketched some of the striking incidents that go to make up my history. My life, so full of romance, may sound like a dream to the matter-of-fact reader, nevertheless everything I have written is strictly true; much has been omitted, but nothing has been exaggerated. In writing as I have done, I am well aware that I have invited criticism; but before the critic judges harshly, let my explanation be carefully read ...
— Behind the Scenes - or, Thirty years a slave, and Four Years in the White House • Elizabeth Keckley

... made no sign that she was any more interested in this little romance regarding Ray Palmer's love, than she would have been in that of any stranger. She even forced herself to ignore him altogether, and ask, in a matter-of-fact way: ...
— Mona • Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

... a horribly prosy, matter-of-fact affair life would be in any other view! I believe poetry itself would ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... not," began Frank in matter-of-fact tone. "Them's tarantuler holes all right. An' scorpions, centipedes an' rattlers always rustle with tarantulers. But we never mind them—not us fellers! We're used to sleepin' with them. Why, I often wake up in ...
— The Last of the Plainsmen • Zane Grey

... period of unrestrained misconduct. Intoxicated by the novelty of yielding to Satan, I gave him a free hand and the result was months of debauchery and self-disgust. The underworld women I met, the humdrum filth of their life, and their matter-of-fact, business-like attitude toward it never ceased to shock and repel me. I never left a creature of this kind without abominating her and myself, yet I would soon, sometimes during the very same evening, call on her again or on some ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... occasion that calls it forth, upon the person writing it and upon the person for whom it is intended. Whether it should be easy or formal in style, plain or ornate, light or serious, gay or grave, sentimental or matter-of-fact depend upon these ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... possibly tell you how sinister, how ominous the whole thing suddenly was. It swooped down upon all of us like a black cloud. Credit me, if you will, with a highly—strung bundle of nerves (not so solid matter-of-fact as I seem, you know well enough) but it seemed to me, at that moment, that Peter was defying, consciously, with his heart in his mouth, a world of devils and that he was cognisant of all of them. The thing was conscious—that ...
— Fortitude • Hugh Walpole

... ladies) would suppose, throw it away on a heap of what would appear to them rubbishy dust in one corner of the snuff-room. Of course the ladies would consider the proper place for it to be on the cambric handkerchief, but this idea would be about the last to occur to your matter-of-fact snuff-maker. ...
— Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce • E. R. Billings

... Evelyn liked her plain, matter-of-fact face, a short face undistinguished by any special characteristic, yet once seen it could not be forgotten, so implicit was it of her practical mind and a desire to ...
— Evelyn Innes • George Moore

... good, if unappreciated, work. Meanwhile the old man was alone in the chamber of death. He had no nerves, no fine sensibilities, and little natural affection to make the moment trying to him. He entered the room in a perfectly matter-of-fact manner, set the lamp on the washhand-stand, and approached the bed. As he stood there, looking on the face, calm, restful, beautiful in its last sleep, a wave of memory, unbidden and unwelcome, swept over his selfish and hardened heart. The years rolled back, and he saw two boys kneeling together ...
— The Guinea Stamp - A Tale of Modern Glasgow • Annie S. Swan

... matter-of-fact cousin, you shall not tell him anything. Why should I care what he thinks? Already in fancy I see his face elongate, and his eyes dilate, in holy horror at my wickedness. If there is one thing I love to do more than another, it is to shock your eminently good ...
— From Jest to Earnest • E. P. Roe

... scientific observations; and—what was the question that broke the silence—the exact time or the day of the month? anyhow, it was spoken without the least awkwardness; in the most matter-of-fact way in the world; and then Jacob began to unbutton his clothes and sat naked, save for his shirt, intending, ...
— Jacob's Room • Virginia Woolf

... style of the day. I urged, how could any one expect that the admiring readers of such works could consider my simply-told biographical legend of Poland anything better than a dull union between real history and a matter-of-fact imagination? ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... the other, the better world?" he asked, with a matter-of-fact surprise. "You must evoke for that task those who have already ...
— Tales Of Hearsay • Joseph Conrad

... founded also by a bishop, as far back as the fifteenth century. It has an exquisitely carved roof, and carved oaken seats. We went through the library, the hall, and the museum. Certainly, the old, dark architecture of these universities must tend to form a different style of mind from our plain matter-of-fact ...
— Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands, Volume 1 (of 2) • Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe

... and impressive. As time went on, these stories spread all over China, modified in harmony with the spirit of the people and adapted to the Chinese environment. Only the fables failed to strike root in China: the matter-of-fact Chinese was not interested in animals that talked and behaved to each other like human beings. In addition, however, to these early fairy-tales, there was another group of stories that did not spread throughout China, but were found only in the south-eastern ...
— A history of China., [3d ed. rev. and enl.] • Wolfram Eberhard

... be in a sentimental mood this evening," suggested Farquaharson at last, bringing himself with something of a wrench out of his abstraction and speaking in a matter-of-fact voice. He remembered belatedly that his cigar had gone out and as he relighted it there was a ...
— The Tyranny of Weakness • Charles Neville Buck

... had come to him when climbing up the cliff in search of sea-birds' eggs. He had reached this shelf and found the forgotten mine, and to him it had seemed like the entrance to a matter-of-fact, everyday-life Aladdin's cave, where, after a little search, he was going to hit upon a vein of copper and become an independent man. And now that he was making his first bold venture into the region ...
— Menhardoc • George Manville Fenn

... simply material enjoyment, but moral elevation, the questions it discusses become indeed more complex, but the answer, when found, is more prolific in results. Wealth, then, is treated only as one of the forces of civilization. Other interests than purely material ones occupy the first place. This matter-of-fact philosophy which, according to Bacon's precept, seeks to improve the conditions of life, bears in mind, that the most fruitful source of material development lies in intellectual development. It humbly recognizes that it is not ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... orphan, the mistress of a very large estate. No doubt she had been sought often in marriage, but never until lately had Lorania seriously thought of marrying. Sibyl said that she was too unsentimental to marry. Really she was too romantic. She had a longing to be loved, not in the quiet, matter-of-fact manner of her suitors, but with the passion of the poets. Therefore the presence of another skeleton in Mrs. Ellis's closet, because she knew about a certain handsome Italian marquis who at this ...
— Different Girls • Various

... She had much ado to maintain an indifferent and matter-of-fact manner. Iglesias drew up a chair and sat down beside her. She put out her hand, taking his and holding ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... clear insight there is none like him." A man of very little education, whom I met a day or two after in the stage-coach, observed to me: "Bright is far the more eloquent of the two, but Cobden is more felt, just because his speeches are so plain, so merely matter-of-fact ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... of sharp, bustling matter-of-fact, as well as a morn of high, noble aspiration, and an eve of hushed and solemn reverie. It is in the noon, too, that our active life takes place; why not enjoy ourselves then, as only it is possible? So why not allow certain lower faculties of ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2 No 4, October, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... upon marriage. All arts and vocations allotted to the one sex are open to the other, and the Gy-ei arrogate to themselves a superiority in all those abstruse and mystical branches of reasoning, for which they say the Ana are unfitted by a duller sobriety of understanding, or the routine of their matter-of-fact occupations, just as young ladies in our own world constitute themselves authorities in the subtlest points of theological doctrine, for which few men, actively engaged in worldly business have sufficient ...
— The Coming Race • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... half-an-hour gone, and here I am sending this letter after you, like a handkerchief you had forgotten. I have one or two things to say, quite matter-of-fact and simple things, but I cannot think of them sensibly for joy of the certainty that you love me. Of course I knew it all the time, but I couldn't be at ease until I had heard it from your own lips; and now I feel almost afraid of my great happiness. How wonderful it seems! ...
— The Eternal City • Hall Caine

... minds, to see strange lands, and to visit scenes famous in history or fable, was expressed by some of the partners and clerks, with respect to some of the storied coasts and islands that lay within their route. The captain, however, who regarded every coast and island with a matter-of-fact eye, and had no more associations connected with them than those laid down in his sea-chart, considered all this curiosity as exceedingly idle and childish. "In the first part of the voyage," says he in his letter, "they were determined ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... smiled. Romantic was about the last word anyone would think of in connection with frankly practical Ellen Ranger. She would have died without hesitation, or lived in torment, for those she loved; but she would have done it in the finest, most matter-of-fact way in the world, and without a gleam of self-conscious heroics, whether of boasting or of martyr-meekness or of any other device for signaling attention to oneself. Indeed, it would not have occurred to her that she was doing anything out of the ordinary. Nor, for ...
— The Second Generation • David Graham Phillips

... stout as Lydia was slender, she would rather have borne her to her bed in her vigorous arms than to have abandoned her in the troubled state in which she had surprised her. Not less practical and, as her compatriots say, as matter-of-fact as she was charitable, she began to question her friend on the symptoms which had preceded that attack, when with astonishment she saw that altered face contract, tears gushing from the closed eyes, and the fragile ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... as he swung into the road down the long sloping hill. He had given his fourth grade pupils their own choice of subjects in the composition class that morning, and John Reid, a sober, matter-of-fact little urchin, with not the slightest embryonic development of a sense of humour, had, acting upon the whispered suggestion of a roguish desk-mate, elected to write upon "Courting." His opening sentence made Eric's face twitch mutinously whenever he recalled it during the day. "Courting is a very ...
— Kilmeny of the Orchard • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... naturally earnest, matter-of-fact man, but knew little or nothing of the Christian religion, except what he had heard of it from the lips of men who, having neither knowledge of it nor regard for it themselves, gave a false report both of its blessed truths and its workings. He glanced inquiringly at our ...
— Over the Rocky Mountains - Wandering Will in the Land of the Redskin • R.M. Ballantyne

... physical forces, theory must present to the mind at the same time the share which the moral powers will have in it, if it would not be led to categorical propositions, at one time too timid and contracted, at another too dogmatical and wide. Even the most matter-of-fact theories have, without knowing it, strayed over into this moral kingdom; for, as an example, the effects of a victory cannot in any way be explained without taking into consideration the moral impressions. And therefore the most of the subjects ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... boy, in a matter-of-fact tone. "They can't play it every night; sometimes their aunt won't ...
— The Madigans • Miriam Michelson

... paid no attention to the discussion concerning their fitness, of which indeed they did not know a great deal, but came together in a matter-of-fact way, precisely as they would have assembled to transact any ...
— The Philistines • Arlo Bates

... moment the office door opened, and a gentleman of perhaps forty entered. He was a man with a kindly face, and looked far less important than the bookkeeper. Mr. Mullins, on seeing him, laid aside his unpleasant manner, and said, in a matter-of-fact tone: ...
— Chester Rand - or The New Path to Fortune • Horatio Alger, Jr

... not erroneous, only somehow its success is poor. You bear me witness that it fails. And it fails generally for very matter-of-fact reasons—most likely because one day ...
— Addresses • Henry Drummond

... with vehemence and intensity. In Victorian times the average citizen thought of poetry as a somewhat weak-minded, effeminate pursuit—as very often it was. The poet who might be persuaded of the sublimity of his calling had necessarily to steel himself against the abuse of the matter-of-fact persons who have no traffic in poetry; and in so doing he lost the advantage of that bracing though insufficient criticism by which the sane, practical man influences many of the arts; that is to say, ...
— Personality in Literature • Rolfe Arnold Scott-James

... answered the auctioneer, in a matter-of-fact voice. "We'll try to crowd in. But don't anyone what don't want to bid on kitchen stuff, come and use the ...
— Polly's Business Venture • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... Umbrian school and the Florentine, a reciprocal influence was exerted. If the latter taught the former many secrets of composition and technical execution, the Umbrians in turn imparted something of their mysticism to their more matter-of-fact neighbors. While the Umbrian school of the fifteenth century was occupied with the Madre Pia, Florence also was devoted to the same subject. Sculpture led the race, and in the front ranks was Luca della Robbia, founder of the school ...
— The Madonna in Art • Estelle M. Hurll

... enough doubtless, and had been rich and handsome and finely educated. So there was a sailor lover after all, and perhaps he had been lost at sea and she faithfully kept the secret, never mourning outwardly. "And I always thought her the most matter-of-fact old lady," said Kate; "yet here's her romance, after all." We put the letters outside on a chair to read, but afterwards carefully replaced them, without untying them. I'm glad we did. There were other letters which we did read, and which interested us very much,—letters ...
— Deephaven and Selected Stories & Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... Joanne had disappeared into the house with Peggy Blackton did Aldous feel that he had descended firmly upon his feet once more into a matter-of-fact world. MacDonald was waiting with the horses, and Blackton was pointing over toward the steel workers, and was saying something about ten thousand pounds of black powder and dynamite and a mountain that had stood a million years and was going to be ...
— The Hunted Woman • James Oliver Curwood

... matter-of-fact woman, was the first person to be questioned. She explained to us how she had given her patient his last dose of medicine at half-past eleven, just after Miss Mivart had wished her good-night and retired to her room. Previously she had been down in the drawing-room ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... amidst the bustle outside and around her ... and yet nothing, nothing! Meanwhile she had raised her head to breathe ... and the people were leaving and she had to go with them: it was finished! It had all been so matter-of-fact, just like the communion-practice of yesterday, when she had merely swallowed a morsel of bread. Her heart beat in perplexity and she feared that she had made an ...
— The Path of Life • Stijn Streuvels

... certain quarters of the Church a great deal about the virtue of moderation. But it seems to me that, if you take into account what Christianity tells us, the 'sober' feeling is fervent feeling, and tepid feeling is imperfect feeling. I cannot understand any man believing as plain matter-of-fact the truths on which the whole New Testament insists, and keeping himself 'cool,' or, as our friends call it, 'moderate.' Brethren, enthusiasm—which properly means the condition of being dwelt in by a god—is the wise, the reasonable ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren

... snowdrop, or something equally drooping or pale. Queeker never by any chance addressed the sun, or the red-rose, or anything else suggestive of health and vigour. Yet his melancholy soul could not resist Katie,—which was this angel's name,—because, although she was energetic, and vigorous, and matter-of-fact, not to say slightly mischievous, she was intensely sympathetic and tender in her feelings, and romantic too. But her romance puzzled him. There was something too intense about it for his taste. If he had only once come upon her unawares, and caught her sitting ...
— The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands • R.M. Ballantyne

... D'Avenant, the chief dramatists of Pepys's day, were rapid writers. To a large extent they carried on, with exaggeration of its defects and diminution of its merits, the old Elizabethan tradition of heroic romance, tragedy, and farce. The more matter-of-fact and lower-principled comedy of manners, which is commonly reckoned the chief characteristic of the new era in theatrical history, was only just beginning when Pepys was reaching the end of his diary. The virtual leaders of the new movement—Wycherley, ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... there was no longer any doubt. He faced it with the most matter-of-fact self-possession of which he was capable. Some-thing was waiting for his surrender. He figured it, sitting quietly back in the reading-room, listening to the Debate, watching the faces around him, as the tracing of some ...
— The Prelude to Adventure • Hugh Walpole

... matter-of-fact you are," answered Fanny. "I tell you I do not like matter-of-fact people. If you had been a soldier or sailor, and had fought the battles of your country, and got wounded, and obtained a number of medals for your ...
— The Ferryman of Brill - and other stories • William H. G. Kingston

... any longer," she urged in a matter-of-fact voice, lifting her lips to his and kissing him. "You know I love you, Walter; therefore you should also know that it I avoid you in public I have some good reason ...
— The House of Whispers • William Le Queux

... run dry.—In ancient Grecce, it was no such far cry back from the essential modernity of Pericles' or of Plato's time to the antiquity of Homer's. In India, the faery light of an immemorial dawn mingles so with the facts of history that there is no disentangling myth from matter-of-fact; if you should prove almost any king to have reigned quite recently, his throne would still be somehow set in the mellow past and near the fountains of time. Augustan Rome, modern in all its phases, stands not so far in ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... having an amazing effect upon the conditions of factory industry in the trades where they work. So also, supporting and supported by the men of their own race, these Russian Jewish girls, many of them extremely young, are inspiring their fellow-workers and interpenetrating the somewhat matter-of-fact atmosphere of American trade unionism with their own militant determination and enthusiasm. With most, the strike has been their initiation into trade unionism, often the general strike in their own trade, the strike on a scale hitherto unparalleled in trades where either the whole or a very ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... there was nothing in those years that had made a particular impression on him. Perhaps when he went to Paris he was too old to fall a victim to the glamour of his environment. Strange as it may seem, he always appeared to me not only practical, but immensely matter-of-fact. I suppose his life during this period was romantic, but he certainly saw no romance in it. It may be that in order to realise the romance of life you must have something of the actor in you; and, capable of standing outside yourself, you must be able to watch your ...
— The Moon and Sixpence • W. Somerset Maugham

... she said—"flowery names, I mean. I don't myself. I like names like Jane, and Anne, and Nancy. I like names like Phyllis and Sarah. I've always felt that my first name didn't fit my last one. Thompson," she was warming to her subject, "is such a matter-of-fact name. There's no ...
— The Island of Faith • Margaret E. Sangster

... Sir Charles said, humming lightly to himself. "I suppose, compared with us matter-of-fact people, he must seem to your sex ...
— The Illustrious Prince • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... lying at his feet—resting on a famous battlement, that had withstood the ravages of love and war—he evolved his magic verse. Truly no scene could be more inspiring, no motive more sublime, for even we humble humdrum matter-of-fact Englishwomen felt almost inspired to tempt the poet's muse. But happily no—our friends are spared—the ...
— Through Finland in Carts • Ethel Brilliana Alec-Tweedie

... salad, her hot muffin and tart without much heart to appreciate these delicacies, "How much time I have spent in my life, going through imaginary conversations with maids! Why couldn't I just step to the pantry door and say, in a matter-of-fact tone, 'I'm afraid I must ask you to put the sitting-room in order, Justine. Miss Sandy has apparently forgotten all about it. I'll see that it doesn't occur again.' And I could add—now that I think of it—'I will pay you for your extra time, if you like, and if you will remind ...
— The Treasure • Kathleen Norris

... and commonplace mind being capable of comprehending the Duchess's great qualities. It was impossible less to resemble each other. The one adored grandeur even to the romantic and the chimerical, the other was entirely positive and matter-of-fact, and absorbed with her own interest, especially in those relating to her property. Alienated from the Fronde through the jealous hatred she bore towards her stepmother, who in turn liked her almost as little, and probably also did not take pains enough to ...
— Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... writing this late in the afternoon. The sun is casting long black shadows on the garden lawn, and the whole world is so bright and matter-of-fact I have to argue with myself to be convinced that the events of that tragic night through which ...
— The Agony Column • Earl Derr Biggers

... expenditure of vital energy; nothing is wasted in expression, style, spread-eagleism; everything is instinctively kept as near to the practical heart of the matter as possible. He is—to the eye of an artist—distressingly matter-of-fact, a tempting mark for satire. And yet he is in truth an idealist, though it is his nature to snub, disguise, and mock his own inherent optimism. To admit enthusiasms is "bad form" if he is a "gentleman"; "swank" ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 3, June, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... a moment in astonishment, and then a twinkle crept into his eyes. Her matter-of-fact brusqueness, which made it perfectly plain that his views in the matter did not count, might have roused a sense of opposition in some men, but he had acquired a wide ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... voice, the strain and breathlessness of him, the agitation with which he appeared to be laboring, and especially the simple, matter-of-fact detail of his story, carried absolute conviction to Ellen Jorth. Her vague doubt of him had been created by his attitude toward her. Emotion dominated her intelligence. The images, the scenes called up by Colter's words, ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... evil—we may be brought low that our faith may not be in the wisdom of men, but in the protecting providence of God."[40] Among the Dutch of New York religion, like eating, drinking and other common things of life, was taken in a rather matter-of-fact way. Seldom indeed did these citizens of New Amsterdam become so excited about doctrine as to quarrel over it; they were too well contented with life as it was to contend over the life to be. Mrs. Grant in Memoirs of an American Lady has left us many intimate pictures of the life in ...
— Woman's Life in Colonial Days • Carl Holliday

... rhythm. What more delightful than to yield yourself entirely to the present mood and wander off somewhere, aimless except to see and feel? The trim soberness of the dusty road with its gray windings and vistas of sand-ruts becomes less matter-of-fact at length, and so you leave it to itself, and seek a path that leads to the heart of Nature and far from ways of men. Down grassy slopes and over little hillocks that pique your curiosity by shutting out the view of what is coming next; now skirting the edge of a furrowed ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... watched him. The stories were all of that dark winter in the Crimea, and a fresh story was always in the telling before its predecessor was ended. They were stories of death, of hazardous exploits, of the pinch of famine, and the chill of snow. But they were told in clipped words and with a matter-of-fact tone, as though the men who related them were only conscious of them as far-off things; and there was seldom a comment more pronounced than a mere "That's curious," or an exclamation more significant ...
— The Four Feathers • A. E. W. Mason

... shelves at one side of the room, take down a labelled bottle, remove the stopper, and pour some of its contents into a graduated glass. To this she added a portion of the contents of another bottle, taking them down, replacing stoppers, and proceeding in the most matter-of-fact, businesslike way, as if accustomed to the task, and returning to try and trickle a little fluid between the patient's lip, supplementing it by ...
— The Bag of Diamonds • George Manville Fenn

... women during that period; but he was not a fool, and he recognized that this was no occasion for an attempt at gallantry. There was nothing coquettish in Evelyn's words, nor was there any irony. She had answered in the tranquil, matter-of-fact manner which, as ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... she thought; she might have flung herself on the mercy of people who would have been suspicious and frigid, or of others who would have treated her with familiarity and curious questioning. These people were pleasantly matter-of-fact; glad to help, but plainly anxious to show her that they considered her affairs none of their business. There was a little catch in her throat ...
— Back To Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... to a sort of tense composure he found to his discomfort that woman-like she intended to abase herself thoroughly and completely. She implored his forgiveness for his long exile, gazing at him humbly, and when he said in a matter-of-fact tone that he had been happy, giving him a look which showed that she thought he was lying ...
— The Breaking Point • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... suspected something like this. It's difficult to imagine Dick Blake's going into anything so sober and matter-of-fact as the paint business. Have you ...
— The Intriguers • Harold Bindloss

... extent. It, and some other things together, have knocked all the romance out of it. For instance, the peril from snags is not now what it once was. The government's snag-boats go patrolling up and down, in these matter-of-fact days, pulling the river's teeth; they have rooted out all the old clusters which made many localities so formidable; and they allow no new ones to collect. Formerly, if your boat got away from you, on a black night, and broke for the woods, it was an anxious time with you; so was it also, when ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... in the most matter-of-fact way, as if bringing meals to my door had been a fixed habit with him, man and boy, for years. "Hope I haven't spilt anything! There's such a crush in our feeding place that I thought you'd be safer up here. So I made friends with a dear old waiter chap, ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... said Noel McAllister. "The ideas you English people have about our country are refreshing. One young lady, whom I supposed to have been fairly well educated, asked me, in the most matter-of-fact tone, whether we went down the rapids in toboggans. I can assure you it required a strong effort of will on my part to refrain ...
— Marie Gourdon - A Romance of the Lower St. Lawrence • Maud Ogilvy

... love—an exquisitely refined intercourse, but much better adapted to the ideal inhabitants of his imaginary island of Atlantis than to the sturdy race, composed of rebellious flesh and blood, which populates the little matter-of-fact island we inhabit. ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... social system. The same may not appear to hold good at first sight with the other classes of literary men; yet it would be easy to discover the link connecting them all, and which was always traditional or matter-of-fact, if we may use ...
— Irish Race in the Past and the Present • Aug. J. Thebaud

... pursuit, in comparison with which the painter's art is but a faint glimmering. 'The Landscape of other worlds' you alone have sketched for us, and enlightened us on that with which the ancient world but gazed upon and worshipped in the symbol of Astarte, Isis, and Diana. We are matter-of-fact now, and have outlived childhood. What say you to a photograph of those wonderful drawings? It may come to that."* [footnote... It did indeed "come to that," for I shortly after learned the art of photography, chiefly for ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... sister mine," said the matter-of-fact Kate, going to a small cupboard and producing an ample work-box that served for both, "whatever mysteries may surround us, it is our business to fulfil our engagements, so we will at once begin our knitting of cuffs and comforters for the ...
— The Young Trawler • R.M. Ballantyne

... Miss Eyre's expense. Molly looked up with the utmost gravity, as if requesting the explanation of an unintelligible speech; and there is nothing so quenching to a wag as to be asked to translate his jest into plain matter-of-fact English, and to show wherein the point lies. Occasionally Betty lost her temper entirely, and spoke impertinently to Miss Eyre; but when this had been done in Molly's presence, the girl flew out into such a violent passion of words ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... stage went rumbling and swaying into the little village of West Falls, which it is hoped that no matter-of-fact reader will attempt to find on the map of Oneida, albeit it has a veritable existence there under another name. It was a cozy little spot, nestled down into the valley of a small stream, half creek and half river, ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... did before its head was cut off—it tries to get at the place with its right foot. You now cut off its right foot: the headless body deliberates, and after a while tries to do with its left foot what it can no longer do with its right. Plain matter-of-fact people will draw their own inference. They will not be seduced from the superficial view of the matter. They will say that the headless body can still, to some extent, feel, think, and act, and if so, that it must have ...
— Life and Habit • Samuel Butler



Words linked to "Matter-of-fact" :   prosaic, unrhetorical, pragmatic, practical, pragmatical



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