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Optimist   /ˈɑptəmɪst/   Listen
Optimist

noun
1.
A person disposed to take a favorable view of things.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Optimist" Quotes from Famous Books



... he discovered the confirmation and reinforcing of his own speculations by the Christian theology. The point at which this came concerned his feelings about the men of his youth who labelled themselves Optimist and Pessimist. Both, he felt, were wrong. It must be possible at once to love and to hate the world, to love it more than enough to get on with it, to hate it enough to get it on. And the Church solved this difficulty ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... the book business. The book market is fickle to the utmost degree. The books that should sell sometimes do not "move" at all, and those that apparently have but little to recommend them turn out to be the best of the bunch so far as sales are concerned. A jobber has to be something of an optimist; he must keep his ear to the ground, and, like certain types of politicians, must be prepared to give the people what they want when they want it. He can of course help along the demand for good books and check that for poor literature, and, to his credit, he usually does this, but the book-buying ...
— The Building of a Book • Various

... papers in her lap. She was more frightened at her mother's news than she would show. They were mere girls, she and Mollie, and their little mother had no knowledge of business. She shook herself impatiently. Barbara was an optimist—things would turn ...
— The Automobile Girls in the Berkshires - The Ghost of Lost Man's Trail • Laura Dent Crane

... and more serious age. The only reality to him in heaven and on earth was force: his one idea in philosophy was coercion. Human nature to him was an embodiment of brute violence ever in need of violent restraint. Rousseau, an optimist, saw nothing but good in man's original nature: to the pessimist mind of Hobbes all was evil there. Neither of them saw any natural adaptation to social life in the human constitution. To live in society was, in both their views, ...
— Moral Philosophy • Joseph Rickaby, S. J.

... upon the convictions of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist with his scarecrow hope and his ...
— The Devil's Dictionary • Ambrose Bierce

... this time, he only once referred to his infirmity and then perforce as an excuse for some trouble he put me to, and so slightly worded that I paid no heed. This is a good measure of his courage under sufferings of which none but the untried will think lightly. And I think it worth noting how this optimist was acquainted with pain. It will seem strange only to the superficial. The disease of pessimism springs never from real troubles, which it braces men to bear, which it delights men to bear well. Nor does it readily ...
— Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin • Robert Louis Stevenson

... To fill the pockets of knavish ministers and thieving officials—to make an arsenal that will never be finished, for a fleet that will never be built." My companion, it is needless to say, was no optimist; but the strange point was, that while he was unsparing of his censure on Cavour and the "Piedmontese party," he was no apologist for the old state of things in Italy. So far from it, that he launched out freely in attack of Papal bigotry, ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... who is no optimist as to the state of the universe hitherto, but is confident that at some future period within the duration of the solar system, ours will be the best of all possible worlds—a hope which I always honour as a sign of beneficent ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... bigoted and unreasonable, but he must be an optimist whilst pursuing his object. He must believe in life and in the inherent goodness of the earth. He must be a stranger to the dyspeptic melancholy through which Carlyle saw the world as a "noisy inanity" and life as ...
— Mountain Meditations - and some subjects of the day and the war • L. Lind-af-Hageby

... that I am!" could only be exceeded by the veracity of the assertion. Mrs Brandon only joined in the prayer-meetings that he held at our house, when Ford himself was perfectly sober—thus she did not often attend—Brandon never. Whilst he wore the top-boots, he was an optimist, and perfectly epicurean in his philosophy—I use the term in the modern sense. When he had eighty pounds odd a year, with no family of his own, no man was more jovial or happy. He had the most perfect reliance on Providence. ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... Pangloss in Candide: only a Pedant Optimist, I think, which became the soubriquet of Maupertuis' Akakia Optimism; but I have not the book, and do not want ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883) • Edward FitzGerald

... a cheerful disposition that naturally inclined to seek out the good in every situation. He was a genuine optimist. Thus, after tramping the three miles from home to begin the day's work on the ditch, he discovered that he had been careless, and ...
— Jokes For All Occasions - Selected and Edited by One of America's Foremost Public Speakers • Anonymous

... step commonly taken by Protestant mysticism is an endeavour to mitigate the gloom which hangs over the future state.'[563] This is very strongly marked in all the later productions of Law's mind. He was very far from taking anything like an optimist view of the world around him. There is no writer of his age who shows himself more impressed with an abhorrence of sin, and with the sense of its widespread and deeply rooted influences. He is austere even to excess in his views of what godliness requires. His whole soul is oppressed ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... The optimist is right. The pessimist is right. The one differs from the other as the light from the dark. Yet both are right. Each is right from his own particular point of view, and this point of view is the determining factor in the life of each. It ...
— In Tune with the Infinite - or, Fullness of Peace, Power, and Plenty • Ralph Waldo Trine

... remarkable and an unfailing quality of his works. It pervades entire chapters, colors complete incidents, and displays the temper of the optimist through the darkest pictures ...
— Halleck's New English Literature • Reuben P. Halleck

... mountain comes the river which fertilises the land. But, if he deprecated the pursuit of what he deemed the impossible, he condemned as criminal the neglect of the attainable. The charge of cynicism was unjust; Cavour was at heart an optimist; he never doubted that life was immensely worth living, that the fields open to human energy were splendid and beneficent. He hated shams, and he hated all forms of caste-feeling. He was one of the few continental statesmen who never exaggerated the power for good of government; ...
— Cavour • Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco

... documents, but are rhetorical and self-complacent. The ordinary revenues of the country are said to exceed the expenditures by ten million livres. As a matter of fact, no such surplus existed, but Necker was an optimist by temperament, and was moreover anxious to bolster credit. The nation was delighted, but Maurepas and the court were shocked. The cupidity of the courtiers was painted in the account in glowing language. Such a publication ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... regard them as the sophistries of a philosophical Don Juan, powerful enough, under the stress of self-defence, to confuse the distinctions of right and wrong. But, as we shall try to show in the next chapter, such an apparent justification of evil cannot be avoided by a reflective optimist; and it is implicitly contained even in those religious utterances of Rabbi Ben Ezra, Christmas Eve, and A Death in the Desert, with which we not only identify the poet but ourselves, in so far as we share ...
— Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher • Henry Jones

... glimpse of Hamlet's character here given: he had been something of an optimist; at least had known villainy only from books; at thirty years of age it is to him a discovery that a man may smile and be a villain! Then think of the shock of such discoveries as are here forced upon him! ...
— The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A Study with the Text of the Folio of 1623 • George MacDonald

... optimist might have seen much to admire. Individual merits were developed around me; I saw shop-keepers and mechanics in the ranks, and they looked to be better men. Here were triumphs of engineering; there perfections of applied ingenuity. I saw how the weakest natures girt themselves for great ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... lame enough. We are asked to set aside the data of experience and act on an off-chance. But the determination of the optimist to escape from the logic of his own argument is significant. He has no conception of an increasing purpose or underlying unity in the history of man, but he thinks that Providence—the old Providence ...
— The Idea of Progress - An Inquiry Into Its Origin And Growth • J. B. Bury

... It was also Hall's affair to keep Mark Twain cheerful, to look pleasant himself, and to show how they were steadily getting rich because orders were pouring in, though a cloud that resembled bankruptcy loomed always a little higher upon the horizon. If Hall had not been young and an optimist, he would have been frightened out of his boots early in the game. As it was, he made a brave steady fight, kept as cheerful and stiff an upper lip as possible, always hoping that something would happen—some grand sale of his other books, some unexpected inflow from the type-setter interests—anything ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the expressions of a comfortable optimist. They are true to the facts of our current progress. There are vast portions of this country today in which the enterprising business man who can succeed in selling to the farmers an honest and effective ...
— The business career in its public relations • Albert Shaw

... whole journey by boat and train they were highly convivial, but they instinctively kept together. Dr. Bull, who had always been the optimist of the party, endeavoured to persuade the other four that the whole company could take the same hansom cab from Victoria; but this was over-ruled, and they went in a four-wheeler, with Dr. Bull on the box, singing. They finished their journey at an hotel in Piccadilly Circus, so as to ...
— The Man Who Was Thursday - A Nightmare • G. K. Chesterton

... rubrication, and could see the cover through the wrapper of my sealed copy. The dark green morocco, I said, in summing up, typified the author's serious view of life, as a thing to be endured as patiently as might be. The cap-and-bells border was significant of the shams by which the optimist sought to delude himself into the view that life was a desirable thing. The intricate blind-tooling of the doublure shadowed forth the blind fate which left us in ignorance of our future and our past, or of even what the day itself might bring forth. The black-letter type, with ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... felt more like laughing or crying. He was fairly close to home, anyhow. They did have space traffic here. And being pretty much of an optimist, he also decided that it was a time-track where he had been known. Only being so long overdue, he had probably been ...
— Next Door, Next World • Robert Donald Locke

... should step in with a liberal bonus to bridge over the difference between what the tenants could afford to give and the landlords afford to take. When this proposal was first mooted it was regarded as a counsel of perfection, and Mr O'Brien was looked upon as a genial visionary or a well-meaning optimist. But nobody thought it was a demand that the Government or Parliament would agree to. Happily, however, for the foresight of Mr O'Brien, it was his much-derided bonus scheme which became the very pivot ...
— Ireland Since Parnell • Daniel Desmond Sheehan

... uncompromising high churchman. His exclusive views on the "priestly authority, and the catholic and apostolic character of the Church of England," were those of a church optimist, but they were not based upon any profound study of the subject, as his own statement ...
— The Story of My Life - Being Reminiscences of Sixty Years' Public Service in Canada • Egerton Ryerson

... At finding you, beneath your lion's skin, So sweet an optimist—whose faith can find All's for the best; and the best, this great year ...
— Mr. Faust • Arthur Davison Ficke

... but with a mild change of tone. "Damn people! I can pull myself to pieces so much better than they can. You see, darling, you're such an optimist. Now, if you'd only just believe, as I do, that the world is a radically bad place, you wouldn't be so surprised when things of this sort happen. Eh, little person, has it been a radically bad ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. I • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... surface, and is nothing but the vividness of his dialogues. It is a great deal more; it lies in the truth of his characters, subtly drawn, but irresistible, and, now and again, tenderly pathetic. Thus may you see the optimist and pessimist, and the link between them, in the following scene in ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... of the house party, and had produced a succession of dishes, which in happier days Mr. Peters would have devoured eagerly. To be compelled by considerations of health to pass these by was enough to damp the liveliest optimist. Mr. Peters had suffered terribly. Occasions of feasting and revelry like the present were for him so many battlefields, on which greed ...
— Something New • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... optimist, was busy scratching up the more or less kindly fruits of the earth for her family and didn't make the slightest sign of ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914 • Various

... swift perception of an artist. An experience of three years on the staff had made him an expert on ceremonies, and, captious as he could be when the occasion merited his scorn, his predilection was for praise, as he was an optimist by instinct. This time he could praise unreservedly, and he was impatient to transfer to the pages of his note-book his seething impressions of the solemn beauty and simplicity of the last rites in the painful tragedy. In the rustic church ...
— The Law-Breakers and Other Stories • Robert Grant

... given most attention to the advances of psychology during the past two decades are confident that by the proper application of psychology the efficiency of men is to be increased beyond the idle dream of the optimist of the past. Since by a study of habits the efficiency of men in fundamental occupations has been increased from forty to four hundred per cent, it is hard to prophesy what results are to be ...
— Increasing Efficiency In Business • Walter Dill Scott

... and Riviere was in good humour because he was to be appointed manager of the establishment; these two young men (who were cousins) were also in good humour because of the success of the French cars. Villona was in good humour because he had had a very satisfactory luncheon; and besides he was an optimist by nature. The fourth member of the party, however, was too ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... singular in so young a man,—for he was only thirty; he preferred to believe in their goodness, in spite of any amount of demonstration to the contrary; it vexed him to be reminded of the shortcomings of his friends; by nature he was an optimist, and had a large amount of faith in people's good intentions. 'He meant well, poor fellow, in spite of his failures,' was a speech I have heard more than once from his lips. He was always ready to condone a fault or heal a breach; indeed, his sweet ...
— Uncle Max • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... optimist, and an incorrigible old fool, if you like, but I am certain that the spirit which won the War is not going to fail us at this second call. Perhaps we have only been waiting for the actual consummation of Peace to settle down to our ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, June 25, 1919 • Various

... matter of that," returned Patty the optimist, "before we know it we'll be walking up one side of the platform for our diplomas and coming down the ...
— When Patty Went to College • Jean Webster

... lovely, and Officers and men had spent it mostly in sleeping and smoking upon the deck. Spirits had risen as the day grew older. For at dawn the cheeriest optimist is a pessimist, while at midday pessimists become optimists. In the early morning the German Army had been invincible. At lunch the Battalion was going to Berlin, on the biggest holiday ...
— "Contemptible" • "Casualty"

... odd ways, his conversation, and his extreme solicitude for his clothes amused her. She found his outlook on life refreshing. Smith was an optimist. Whatever cataclysm might occur, he never doubted for a moment that he would be comfortably on the summit of the debris when all was over. He amazed Betty with his stories of his reportorial adventures. He told them for the most part as ...
— The Prince and Betty - (American edition) • P. G. Wodehouse

... Raffle. "You wouldn't be here unless you knew where a good thing is to be picked up. But I must be off. I'm on the Rocky Mountain Canal Company Directory. I'm not above taking my two guineas a day. Good-by, my boy. Remember me to old Optimist." And so Sir Raffle passed on, leaving Crosbie still standing at the corner of ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... had no gratitude. The more you gave these people, it seemed, the worse they behaved—a condition not to be remedied by simply giving them less, because you couldn't even get the worst unless you paid her what she demanded. Nevertheless, Mrs. Adams remained fitfully an optimist in the matter. Brought up by her mother to speak of a female cook as "the girl," she had been instructed by Alice to drop that definition in favour of one not an improvement in accuracy: "the maid." Almost always, during the first day or so after every ...
— Alice Adams • Booth Tarkington

... the triumph of American Independence; and in a yet greater degree to the vast material prosperity and growth of population in England and her colonies and in America. It is also to be ascribed in a measure to the greater study of the philosophy of history. The optimist temperament of some great writers has assisted the creation of it, while the opposite character has led a few to regard the future of the world as dark. The 'spectator of all time and of all existence' sees more of 'the increasing purpose which through the ages ran' than formerly: but to ...
— The Republic • Plato

... religious essays, binds them up in a book, and calls it Seven Stormy Sundays. Mr. H. T. Tuckerman makes a book of essays on various subjects, and calls it The Optimist; and then devotes several pages of preface to an argument, lexicon in hand, proving that the applicability of the term optimist is 'obvious.' An editor, at intervals of leisure, indulges his true poetic taste for the pleasure of his friends, or the entertainment of an occasional audience. Then his book appears, entitled not Miscellaneous ...
— Literary Blunders • Henry B. Wheatley

... man our combination decided on, but the trouble is that our combination is going to fall through. Sam's an optimist, but you'll see I'm right. There are too many conflicting elements of us in one boat. We can't lose three votes and win, and it's a safe bet we lose them. The Consolidated must know by this time what we have been about all night. They're ...
— Ridgway of Montana - (Story of To-Day, in Which the Hero Is Also the Villain) • William MacLeod Raine

... was following them into the hall. 'Oh, I hate pessimists! What's the latest definition of them? Ah, I know; an optimist is a person who doesn't care what happens as long as ...
— Love at Second Sight • Ada Leverson

... objects—to seize upon things, opportunities, persons, ideas, and facts tending to promote the objects thought of. The man who is looking for facts to prove certain theories, invariably finds them, and is also quite likely to overlook facts tending to disprove his theory. The Optimist and the Pessimist passing along the same streets, each sees thousands of examples tending to fit in with his idea. As Kay says: "When one is engaged in seeking for a thing, if he keep the image of it clearly before the mind, he will be very ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... that his spirit is one with the Universal Spirit cannot but be an optimist if he believe that Spirit is the Spirit of Good, and that a Platonist must believe. Yet "A.E." so longs to be rapt into everlasting union with the Universal Spirit that he tires of the earth, where that union is interrupted ...
— Irish Plays and Playwrights • Cornelius Weygandt

... optimist could not have deluded himself into the belief that the words were spoken in a friendly and genial spirit. Lord Wisbeach's fingers tightened on the door-handle, and he grew a little flushed about ...
— Piccadilly Jim • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... the disappointment struck Johnnie silent. Pros Passmore was an optimist, one who never used a strong word to express sorrow or dismay, but he came out of a brown study in which he had muttered, "Blaylock. No, Harp wouldn't do. Culp's. Sally Ann's not to be trusted. What about the Venable ...
— The Power and the Glory • Grace MacGowan Cooke

... sacrifice his career. To be sure, his career was not of much value at present, and didn't seem a large thing to sacrifice; but then, when it comes to giving anything away, even the most thorough-paced pessimist is capable of turning optimist about its worth. ...
— Murder Point - A Tale of Keewatin • Coningsby Dawson

... use, and, like most embryo reformers, she had a poor taste in dress. She wore her tail at an aimless angle, without chic; her markings were all lopsided. But her soul was ardent, and her life was always directed by some rather inscrutable theory or other. As a puppy she had been an inspired optimist, with legs like strips of elastic clumsily attached to a winged spirit. Later she had adopted a vigorous anarchist policy, and had inaugurated what was probably known in her set as the "Bite at Sight Campaign." Cured of this, she had become ...
— This Is the End • Stella Benson

... midst of whom they live, and around whose homes they rot and die? No doubt, in every large mass of human beings there will be some incurably diseased in morals and in body, some for whom nothing can be done, some of whom even the optimist must despair, and for whom he can prescribe nothing but the beneficently stern restraints of an ...
— "In Darkest England and The Way Out" • General William Booth

... blonde hair, and a clear, pink, and white complexion. His head, somewhat narrow just above the ears, indicated a mild, easy-going, gentle disposition. The large, rounded dome just above temples was typical of the irrepressible optimist. His forehead, very full and bulging just below the hair line, showed him to be of the thoughtful, meditative, drearily type, while flatness and narrowness at the brows told as plainly as print of the utter impracticability ...
— Analyzing Character • Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

... effects of our ignorance, laziness and viciousness by wonders, signs and metaphysics, or to deny the existence of sickness, sin and suffering, must lead inevitably to intellectual and moral stagnation and degeneration. I am a thorough and consistent optimist and New Thought enthusiast, but I do not overlook the fact that in this, as in everything else, there lurks always the danger of overdoing and ...
— Nature Cure • Henry Lindlahr

... The obstinate optimist stares a moment, turns pale, and then, with an oath, strikes his more clear-headed neighbor in the face! And the excited crowd behind, with the blind instinctive feeling that, somehow, he has robbed them of the hope which was but now as the breath of life to them, strike him and curse ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... these rodents were slung by the tail in the face of anyone who believed in "Long Cecil" (the gun had been so named out of compliment to Mr. Rhodes) was conclusive. Where was the necessary material to come from? Oh, De Beers had the material, the optimist would reply. But optimists, once so ubiquitous, were now as rare as radium. Our prophets had for their reputations' sake altered their tactics. Experience had taught them that the roseate view of things was the least likely to be sound, and they ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... almost invariably cheerful, and she showed by the completion of Persuasion that she was capable of first-rate literary work during the summer of 1816. The fact is that, as to health, she was an incurable optimist; her natural good spirits made her see the best side, and her unselfishness prompted the suppression of anything that might distress those around her. Nothing, for instance, could be more lively ...
— Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters - A Family Record • William Austen-Leigh and Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh

... "You're an optimist, Ling," he said. "No, I don't think they'll call me in for a murder. They don't call in private detectives ...
— The Daffodil Mystery • Edgar Wallace

... identity of "might and right" never leads, with him, to its worst consequence, a fatalistic or indolent repose; the withdrawal from the world's affairs of the soul "holding no form of creed but contemplating all." That he was neither a consistent optimist nor a consistent pessimist is apparent from his faith in man's partial ability to mould his fate. Not "belief, belief," but "action, action," is his working motto. On the title-page of the Latter-Day Pamphlets he quotes from Rushworth on a colloquy of Sir David Ramsay ...
— Thomas Carlyle - Biography • John Nichol

... is heeded now— (Ah! optimist-cheer disheartened flown)— A child may read the moody brow Of yon black mountain lone. With shouts the torrents down the gorges go, And storms are formed behind the storm we feel: The hemlock shakes in the rafter, the ...
— Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War • Herman Melville

... as they drove along they talked of the improvement on the farm and the profit they ought to be able to earn with the new equipment. Bob was the optimist and his uncle the pessimist in these discussions, but optimistic Bob was not without his pencil and memorandum book and usually had the better of the argument because of his uncle's disinclination to take the time to figure out the advantages and ...
— Hidden Treasure • John Thomas Simpson

... felt it as a dividing line between them. He probably felt so at college; and this brings us back to an old subject. Hawthorne's superiority to Longfellow as an artist consisted essentially in this, that he was never an optimist. Puritanism looked upon human nature with a hostile eye, and was inclined to see evil in it where none existed; and Doctor Channing, who inaugurated the great moral movement which swept Puritanism away in this country, tended, as all ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns

... load had been lifted and now he was happy and rejoicing that he was a free man again. When I informed him of the drifts in our favour from other parts of the country and said that it was too early to concede anything, he said: "Tumulty, you are an optimist. It begins to look as if the defeat might be overwhelming. The only thing I am sorry for, and that cuts me to the quick, is that the people apparently misunderstood us. But I have no regrets. We ...
— Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him • Joseph P. Tumulty

... Barrett Browning to me; "he was not very fond of meat, but liked all kinds of Italian dishes, especially with rich sauces. He always ate freely of rich and delicate things. He could make a whole meal off mayonnaise." It is pleasant to remember that Emerson, the other great optimist of the century, used to eat pie for breakfast. Unlike Carlyle and Tennyson, who smoked constantly, Browning never used tobacco; he drank wine with his meals, but sparingly, and never more than one kind of wine at a dinner. While physically robust, ...
— Robert Browning: How To Know Him • William Lyon Phelps

... we might term the optimist's philosophy is—If you can mend a situation mend it; if you can't mend it ...
— More Toasts • Marion Dix Mosher

... I met you, any way, young fellow," he remarked. "You're always such an optimist. You cheer one up. Sorry I can't ask you to lunch," he went on, consulting his book, "but I find I am motoring down for a round ...
— The Double Traitor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... we of this great empire shall have the consolation of saying that we have contributed to the happiness of the world."[37] It is possible to {264} argue that because Russell admitted that the time for separation was not yet approaching he was therefore an optimist. But the evidence leans rather to the less glorious side. It was this speech which kindled Elgin into a passion and made him bid Grey renounce for himself and his leader the habit of telling the colonies that the colonial is a provisional existence. The same speech, ...
— British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government - 1839-1854 • J. L. Morison

... modest rooms—they must furnish a flat. I rather wonder he didn't start a carriage for her. Well, his next book brought only another hundred, and now, even if he finishes this one, it's very doubtful if he'll get as much. "The Optimist" ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... launched a thousand quips) now all stern in his unbattled struggle with Prohibition, dourly surveying this "land of the spree and home of the grave."... "My children," says Towne, "as they sip their light wine and beer..." He is, at least, an optimist! But then, we are reminded ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... little I was joined by two young Irish soldiers. I don't know who or what they took me for; certainly not for the Generalissimo. They came along with me and discussed identical adventures from diametrically different standpoints. One, in fact, was an optimist; the other a pessimist. One found fault with the war for not giving him enough hardship and adventure; the other was entirely fed up with adventures and hardships. This seems a trivial incident to jot down amidst issues so tremendous, but life is life, and my chat ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2 • Ian Hamilton

... the new Mudie and Smith lists and found 'Lynwood's Heritage' no longer down. I had been trying to cheer him up about the book and quoting all the favourable remarks I had heard about it. But unluckily this was damning evidence against my optimist view. ...
— Derrick Vaughan—Novelist • Edna Lyall

... had been earned by his ferries and railways the day before. This was for the weakest spot in the financial dike. And with one bank president after another similar scenes were enacted. They were paralyzed with fear, and first of all he played his role of the big vital optimist. Times ...
— Burning Daylight • Jack London

... saw men, instead of covering the thin surface with the concrete, digging in it for abstractions, and asking fundamental questions about the origin of society, and why one man should be born rich and another poor. Burke was no prating optimist: it was his very knowledge how much could be said against society that quickened his fears for it. There is no shallower criticism than that which accuses Burke in his later years of apostasy from so-called Liberal opinions. Burke was all his life through a passionate maintainer ...
— Obiter Dicta - Second Series • Augustine Birrell

... in a sailing-ship, had his doubts of the voyage. So had the steward, who had spent most of a life-time in sailing- ships. So far as Captain West was concerned, crews did not exist. And as for Miss West, she was so abominably robust that she could not be anything else than an optimist in such matters. She had always lived; her red blood sang to her only that she would always live and that nothing evil would ever ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... expect them." He laughed a little harshly. He had winced at her description of him as sensitive, high-strung. "Dear incurable optimist, I don't in the least expect them. It's not because there will be compensation that I hold it the decentest thing to put up with the mechancetes of fate, fate's ingenious stabs in the tender, as they come, without giving the ...
— Aurora the Magnificent • Gertrude Hall

... "New Thought" Bootstrap-lifters; the mystic and transcendentalist, Swedenborgian and Jacob Boehme Bootstrap-lifters; the Elbert Hubbard high-art Bootstrap-lifters with half a million magazinelets at two bits apiece; the "uplift" and "optimist," the Ralph Waldo Trine and Orison Swett Marden Bootstrap-lifters with a hundred thousand volumes at one dollar per volume. There are the Platonist and Hegelian and Kantian professors of collegiate metaphysical ...
— The Profits of Religion, Fifth Edition • Upton Sinclair

... same magazine, in an article reprinted in the same booklet, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, that excellent weaver of mystery stories and sister of Hilaire Belloc, said: "Before all things Hugh Walpole is an optimist, with a great love for and a great belief in human nature. His outlook is essentially sane, essentially normal. He has had his reverses and difficulties, living in lodgings in remote Chelsea, depending entirely upon his own efforts. ...
— When Winter Comes to Main Street • Grant Martin Overton

... portly and handsome. There were lines in her face that age had not put there. Guiding this man of hers over the troubled sea of life had engraved these lines. He was the true optimist; and that he should proceed, serenely unconscious of reefs and storms, she ...
— The Ragged Edge • Harold MacGrath

... was optimist. He expected good in men, was not suspicious. "Interpreting others by his own pure heart," you interject, "He was duped." The harlot Vivien called him fool, and despised him; but she was fallen, shameful, treacherous, and, what was worse, so fallen as not to see the beauty in untarnished ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... trampled upon by thoughtless mechanics, aimless mockers and babbling reformers. The humorist may be—and very often is—a sceptic, a pessimist, a nihilist; the satirist is invariably a believer, an optimist, an idealist. For let this dangerous man only come face to face, not with his enemies, but with his ideals, and you will see—as in "Atta Troll"—what a generous friend, what an ardent lover, what a great poet he is. Thus no one will be in the least disturbed by ...
— Atta Troll • Heinrich Heine

... strained already by the expenditure in Afghanistan; and it was not easy in a period of turmoil and rebellion to carry out the amendment of a fiscal system. That, since the surrender of the Dost, there had been no serious rising in Northern or Eastern Afghanistan, sufficed to make Macnaghten an optimist of the moment. He had come by this time to a reluctant admission of the fact against which he had set his face so long, that Shah Soojah was unpopular. 'He has incurred,' he wrote, 'the odium that attaches to him from his alliance with us'; but the Envoy would not admit ...
— The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80 • Archibald Forbes

... optimist ventured to question a particularly lugubrious statement, he was challenged to explain the betting, which had crept up to six to one on Jefferson ...
— Malcolm Sage, Detective • Herbert George Jenkins

... had been a man worthy the steel of Mr. Darrow. Not that Prof. Foster was an unscrupulous optimist. He was merely an intellectual whose congenital tendencies were idealistic, just as Mr. Darrow's psychic and subconscious tendencies were anti-idealistic. And apart from this divergence of congenital tendencies Mr. Darrow ...
— A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago • Ben Hecht

... the last ten years—its climate, its situation, its scenery, its water power, its lake-shore lands as prospective sites for mansion summer cottages, and the treasures of its unopened quarries. So incorrigible an optimist was Milton Caukins that any slight degree of success, which might attend the promotion of any one of his numerous schemes, caused an elation that amounted to hilarity. On the other hand, the deadly blight of non-fulfilment, that annually attacked ...
— Flamsted quarries • Mary E. Waller

... superfluous to add that Mr. Browning's dramatic sympathies and metaphysical or religious ideas constitute him an optimist. He believes that no experience is wasted, and that all life is good in its way. We also see that his optimism takes the individual and not the race for its test and starting point; and that he places the tendency to good in a conscious creative power which is outside both, and which deals directly ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... say things calculated to make his chums feel more satisfied. It is a mighty good thing to have a real optimist in camp, especially when the weather gets bad, and everything else seems to go wrong. Even Bandy-legs took on a more cheerful air, and brightened up after hearing Max say this. They had more or less ...
— At Whispering Pine Lodge • Lawrence J. Leslie

... leading men of that time, the eccentricities of the man whom the world called unpractical and visionary must be forgotten, so as to get a glimpse of the Alcott who was the intimate friend of Emerson—a genius, a philosopher, an optimist, in spite of failure and in spite of opposition. Therefore it seems best to give some extracts from his own writings first that will reveal the tenor of his mind and the largeness of his heart and intellect, in order that the poems of the daughter may be ...
— Three Unpublished Poems • Louisa M. Alcott

... the mountains seemed to make a mystic answering. He was a romantic—some would have said a sentimental person, with a poet always in his pocket, and a hunger for all that might shield him from the worst uglinesses of life, and the worst despairs of thought; an optimist, and, in his own sense, Christian. He had come abroad to wander alone for a time, because as one of the busiest, most important and most popular men in a wide country-side, he had had a year of unceasing and strenuous work, with no time to himself; and it had suddenly been borne in upon him, in ...
— Delia Blanchflower • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... be adopted by one who sees political and social evils, and desires to abolish them. The natural conservative dreams of a benevolent despotism as the surest path to improvement. This attitude Galds never held, for he was born an optimist, and believed in the regenerative power of human nature. The natural liberal believes in a reform obtainable through radical propaganda in writing and at the polls. Such a man was the Galds of the early novels and of some of the ...
— Heath's Modern Language Series: Mariucha • Benito Perez Galdos

... itself. To study human nature as Hawthorne and Shakespeare did, and to make models of their acquaintances for works of fiction, Emerson would have considered a sin; while the evolution of sin and its effect on character was the principal study of Hawthorne's life. One was an optimist, and the other what is sometimes unjustly called a pessimist: that is, one who looks facts in the face and sees people as they are. Hawthorne could not have felt quite comfortable in the presence of a man ...
— Sketches from Concord and Appledore • Frank Preston Stearns

... life to her as one of our optimist conquerors!) still keeps her preference for the creation of charming people and her rare talent for making them alive. But I wonder if she is not refining her brilliant technique to the point of occasional obscurity of intention. At least I know I had to re-read a good ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, January 3, 1917 • Various

... The optimist historians who say so much about fixed rents, charters, buying of immunities, forget how slightly all this was guaranteed. So much you were bound to pay the lord, but all the rest he could take if he chose; and ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... the world loves an optimist," replied Percy laughingly. "Soils do not wear out; there is no poor land; the farms are better and the crops larger than ever before; and we are the people of the world's greatest nation, with an assured future ...
— The Story of the Soil • Cyril G. Hopkins

... life"—that is our ultimate comment. An appreciation of tragedy involves, therefore, a sure discernment of the essential disharmony of existence, yet at the same time, a feeling for the moral values which it may create; neither the optimist nor the utilitarian can ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... respect than had been the desperate young heroine of a scandal; lawyers to be seen, land-agents, cattle-dealers, for in resigning her stewardship of the estate, a certain amount of liquidation was necessary. Optimist that she was, however, for years she had been preparing for this contingency. Her affairs were in such order that at any moment she could turn them over to others. Nothing that had any claim upon her was overlooked. The servants, the horses in her stable, ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... romantic views of flood or fire slightly lacking in reality. But really this romantic view of such inconveniences is quite as practical as the other. The true optimist who sees in such things an opportunity for enjoyment is quite as logical and much more sensible than the ordinary "Indignant Ratepayer" who sees in them an opportunity for grumbling. Real pain, as in the case of being burnt at ...
— All Things Considered • G. K. Chesterton

... a fatuous optimist, Marcella," he said impatiently. "Lord, I wish I'd never started on this business! Everything's against us—I knew it would be! We'll give it up. You go off into the back blocks where you will at least be sure of food ...
— Captivity • M. Leonora Eyles

... be found than the young intellectuals of Japan to-day. I have said that I regard this intellectual enthusiasm as one of the most pleasing features of modern Japan. That it is destined to have great results I am firmly convinced. I believe, and I am not naturally an optimist, that in the Japan of the future, the not far-distant future, the world is destined to see a nation not only morally but mentally great, a nation which will develop in conjunction those high moral qualities which will give it what I may term a pronounced, a well-defined ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... patient be an optimist and persuades himself he is improving, he does improve. This is the explanation of "Faith moving mountains", for the curative power of prayer, Christian Science, laying-on of hands, suggestion treatment and patent medicine, ...
— Epilepsy, Hysteria, and Neurasthenia • Isaac G. Briggs

... Yet strangely fearful of a comrade's laugh; Reckless and timid, hard and sensitive; In talk a rebel, full of mocking chaff, At heart devout conservative; In love with love, yet hating to be kissed; Inveterate optimist, And judge severe, In reason cloudy but in feeling clear; Keen critic, ardent hero-worshipper, Impatient of restraint in little ways, Yet ever ready to confer On chosen leaders boundless power and praise; Adventurous spirit burning to explore Untrodden ...
— The Poems of Henry Van Dyke • Henry Van Dyke

... England and France, at all events, were this year represented at the great fair of Nijni-Novgorod by two of the most distinguished products of modern civilization, Messrs. Harry Blount and Alcide Jolivet. Jolivet, an optimist by nature, found everything agreeable, and as by chance both lodging and food were to his taste, he jotted down in his book some memoranda particularly favorable to the town of Nijni-Novgorod. Blount, on the contrary, having in vain hunted ...
— Michael Strogoff - or, The Courier of the Czar • Jules Verne

... so that the philosophy of the Persian and the Roman might be reduced to something like a common denominator. Lucretius is so far a pessimist that, under existing conditions, human life is for him no more than a hideous nightmare; but he is so far an optimist that he looks upon all this misery as due to one removable cause, this cause being the prevalence of one mistaken belief, which a true scientific philosophy will altogether eradicate. The belief in question is ...
— Memoirs of Life and Literature • W. H. Mallock

... be deceived just the same," said Athos, who was an optimist when things were concerned, and a pessimist when men were in question. "They will promise everything for the sake of the money, and on the road fear will prevent them from acting. Once taken, they will be pressed; when pressed, they will confess everything. What the ...
— The Three Musketeers • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... be permanent or temporary. By permanent we mean the strong tendencies that are built up by continued thought in a certain direction. One becomes a Methodist, a Democrat, a conservative, a radical, a pessimist, an optimist, etc., by continuity of similar experiences and similar reactions to these experiences. Germans, French, Irish, Italians, Chinese, have characteristic sets or ways of reacting to typical situations ...
— The Science of Human Nature - A Psychology for Beginners • William Henry Pyle

... aspect as well as its personal; like faith it is one of the mighty levers of society. Men of hope are the saviours of the world. In days of persecution and doubt it is their courage which rallies the wavering hosts and gives others {198} heart for the struggle. Every Christian is an optimist not with the reckless assurance that calls evil good, but with the rational faith, begotten of experience, that good is yet to be the final goal of ill. 'Thy kingdom come' is the prayer of faith and hope, and the ...
— Christianity and Ethics - A Handbook of Christian Ethics • Archibald B. C. Alexander

... so gentle in his speech; Simeon, with his diplomatic face; Florian, the student of medicine; and my friend, colossal-breasted Christian. Palmy came a little later, worried with many cares, but happy to his heart's core. No optimist was ever more convinced of his philosophy than Palmy. After them, below the salt, were ranged the knechts and porters, the marmiton from the kitchen, and innumerable maids. The board was tesselated with plates of birnen-brod and eier-brod, kuechli ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... of the Law of Causation to Morals 9. The Retribution in the Past, the Present, and the Future Life 10. The Eternal Life as taught by Professor M?nsterberg 11. Life in the Concrete 12. Difficulties are no Match for an Optimist 13. Do Thy Best and ...
— The Religion of the Samurai • Kaiten Nukariya

... Bella had not yet determined on the exact course she would adopt. Then Carew called from the camp and she went back, while Millicent sat still with grave doubts in her heart. Bella's faith in her husband was warranted, and Millicent was enough of an optimist to believe that such men were not uncommon—there was Lisle, for example, and Nasmyth. With them one would undoubtedly have something to build a happy and profitable life upon—but what could be done with one in whom there was no ...
— The Long Portage • Harold Bindloss

... comfort to Bob during the lonely days at the Hat Ranch. At night she sang to him, or sat contentedly at his side while he told her whimsical tales of his wanderings. He was an easy, natural conversationalist, the kind of a man who "listens" well—an optimist, a dreamer. He was, seemingly, possessed of a fund of unfailing good-nature, and despite the fact that the past seven years of his life had been spent far from that civilization in which he had grown to manhood, ...
— The Long Chance • Peter B. Kyne

... the fact that Cuthbert stuck it without a cry. But the strain was terrible and I am inclined to think that he must have cracked, had it not been for the daily reports in the papers of the internecine strife which was proceeding so briskly in Russia. Cuthbert was an optimist at heart, and it seemed to him that, at the rate at which the inhabitants of that interesting country were murdering one another, the supply of Russian novelists ...
— The Clicking of Cuthbert • P. G. Wodehouse

... affair, lets escape into consciousness some hint of a fortunate thing ordained. Who does not know what it is to feel at times a wave of unaccountable persuasion that it is about to go well with him?—not the feverish confidence of men in danger of a blow from fate, not the persistent illusion of the optimist, but an unsought conviction, springing up like a bird from the heather, that success is at hand in some great or fine thing. The general suddenly knows at dawn that the day will bring him victory; ...
— Trent's Last Case - The Woman in Black • E.C. (Edmund Clerihew) Bentley

... hardly more than five feet high, with small but honest-looking eyes, and close-cut hair, was standing behind the arm-chair, rubbing his hands together, and longing for the departure of Sir Raffle, in order that he might sit down. This was Mr Optimist, the new chairman, in praise of whose appointment the Daily Jupiter had been so loud, declaring that the present Minister was showing himself superior to all Ministers who had ever gone before him, in giving promotion solely on the score of merit. The Daily Jupiter, a fortnight ...
— The Small House at Allington • Anthony Trollope

... me he seems the most cheerful and constant companion in nature. He is a bringer of good tidings—a philosopher who insists that we are masters of our fate and that winter is just the time when there is some sense in being an optimist. Anybody, he seems to say, can be an optimist when the days are long and the air is warm and worms are plentiful; but it is just when things are looking a little black and the other fellows begin to grouse that I put on my brightest waistcoat, tune up my best whistle, and come ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... where we stand on our national energy effort today reminds me of the old argument about whether the tank is half full or half empty. The pessimist will say we have half failed to achieve our 10-year energy goals; the optimist will say that we have half succeeded. I am always an optimist, but we must ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... all things, he was most interested in any display of human passions or affections; he loved to see the true colours of the heart, where they are most transparent—in the uneducated and poor—for he was something of an optimist, and had a hearty faith in the loveliness of our nature. Perhaps, indeed, he owed much of the insight into and mastery over character that he was afterwards considered to display, to his disbelief that there is any wickedness so dark as not to be susceptible of the light in some place or ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... most of all is spiritual inspiration. Religious forms are cold and dead until there is put into them the warmth of enthusiasm. Get your soul filled with this glowing warmth. It will lighten your tasks. It will bring success instead of failure. It will be a well-spring of joy. It will make an optimist of you. It will help you break down barriers. It will enable you to surmount obstacles. It will put the shout of victory in your soul in the very face of your foes. An enthusiastic man is a victorious man. An enthusiastic church ...
— Heart Talks • Charles Wesley Naylor

... the first characters in the renowned medical school of this city, and he could not therefore be much in want of society. With so many supposed comforts around him—with so many visions of wealth and splendour—one thing alone disturbed the peace of the poor optimist, and would indeed have confounded most bons vivants. "He was curious," he said, "in his table, choice in his selection of cooks, had every day a dinner of three regular courses and a dessert; and yet, somehow or other, everything he eat tasted of porridge." ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... optimist, said, "Of course I might have waited till he was on the train to give him the money; but don't worry, he'll be ready enough to go when ...
— The Boss of Little Arcady • Harry Leon Wilson

... Services were often held under difficulties, but one has heard of no sadder case than that of the Padre who went off to hold a parade for some transport men stationed near the railway line. He had no hymn books but, being an optimist, chose well-known hymns and one of the officers present sang them with him. During the second hymn a train load of natives came up, and, the signal being against it, came to a halt in close proximity. The Egyptian is a kindly soul, and judging ...
— The Fifth Battalion Highland Light Infantry in the War 1914-1918 • F.L. Morrison

... in after it, I hope," said Number Seven, who is in some points as much of an optimist as any one among us, in spite of the squint in his brain,—or in virtue of it, if you choose to ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... up two and turn them into flounces to fuss out the others!" cried Claire, the optimist, and gave another caper from sheer lightness of heart. "How do ...
— The Independence of Claire • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... more optimists For places in our fighting lists, The kind of hopeful men who make Real sacrifice for freedom's sake; The optimist, with purpose strong, Who stands to battle every wrong, Takes off his coat, and buckles in The better joys of earth to win! The optimist who worries lest The vile should overthrow ...
— Over Here • Edgar A. Guest

... French fluently and he was familiar with the foreign trade field. With the outbreak of war he did not lose his head and try to get business indiscriminately. Instead, he made a careful survey of the field; he did not listen to the optimist who said it would be a short war: his instinct told him, on the contrary, that it would be a long one. "What will France need more than ...
— The War After the War • Isaac Frederick Marcosson

... the world come, and he has for the time to step aside; to be a mere onlooker; to wait in awe-struck patience until the pessimist beholds the realization of his worst fears; until the optimist can take heart again, and reviving his crushed and withered hopes once more set their fulfillment ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... become a target at which any one might try a shot. Schoolboys gravely debated the question as to whether or not the negro should exercise the franchise. The pessimist gave him up in despair; while the optimist, smilingly confident that everything would come out all right in the end, also turned aside and went his buoyant way to more ...
— The Marrow of Tradition • Charles W. Chesnutt

... label of an idea. When I say that your position is that of the pessimist, it is not more of an accusation than if I said it was that of the optimist. The thing to concern oneself with is the question, "which of these makes the nearer approach to the truth?" You have been asking me, "What is love worth?" And you have answered your question often enough and to your satisfaction, "In itself ...
— The Kempton-Wace Letters • Jack London

... hope is not heard as the ground-tone of these chapters, let it ring through all else at the end. I am an optimist because I am an evolutionist, and because I believe, as every one of those whom I call Eugenists must, that the best is yet to be. The dawn is breaking for womanhood, and therefore for all mankind. If we are asked to express in one phrase ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... at Lisbon. This frightful disaster became an immense interrogation. The optimist was compelled to ask, "What was my God doing? Why did the Universal Father crush to shapelessness thousands of his poor children, even at the moment when they were upon their knees returning thanks ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll - Latest • Robert Green Ingersoll

... day when he was to arrive seemed to her to be odiously long. She was at the station before the train arrived. A delay had been signalled. It weighed heavily upon her. Optimist in her projects, and placing by force, like her father, faith on the side of her will, that delay which she had not foreseen seemed to her to be treason. The gray light, which the three-quarters of an hour filtered through the window-panes of the station, ...
— The Red Lily, Complete • Anatole France

... retorted hotly. "A pessimist's a man that sees nothin' but the bad, and says there's no help for it and won't raise a hand: he's a proper sour-belly. An optimist's a man that sees nothin' but the good, and says everything's all right; let's have a good time. Poor fool! The practical man—anyway, the practical woman—sees both the bad and the good, and says we can make things a whole lot better if we try; let's ...
— Hepsey Burke • Frank Noyes Westcott

... Eskimo Bay some years ago whilst hunting food for his family. Although David is always boasting of his strength and the superior wisdom of his years, yet he is really very tiny for his age. He is a delightful little optimist, who announces cheerfully after each failure to do right that he is "going to be good all the time now," to which we add the mental reservation, "until next time." He is the proud possessor of a Teddy ...
— Le Petit Nord - or, Annals of a Labrador Harbour • Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding

... vital division of the religious part of our Protestant communities is into Christian optimists and Christian pessimists. The Christian optimist in his fullest development is characterized by a cheerful countenance, a voice in the major key, an undisguised enjoyment of earthly comforts, and a short confession of faith. His theory of the universe is progress; his idea of God is that he is a Father with all the true paternal attributes, ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... How long it has taken, and how much blood has been spilt before this or that most obvious folly has been abolished! With what absurd tenacity have men flown in the face of reason and flouted common sense! So our Optimist, looking into the conditions which made Civil Service Reform imperative, will shed tears either ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer



Words linked to "Optimist" :   millenarist, millenarian, someone, chiliast, individual, person, somebody, mortal, soul, pessimist, optimism



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