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Pessimist   /pˈɛsəməst/   Listen
Pessimist

noun
1.
A person who expects the worst.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Pessimist" Quotes from Famous Books



... world's history and manners; they have wandered far and wide and observed life for themselves. They have thought much. The great change has come about; the work has been done, whether poorly or otherwise, and, upon the whole, the good will prevail. The pessimist may complain that nothing has come of all the effort made in behalf of the Indian. I say that it is not too late for the original American to regain and reestablish his former physical excellency. Why should he not? Much depends upon his own mental attitude, and this is becoming more normal ...
— The Indian Today - The Past and Future of the First American • Charles A. Eastman

... at times, as I understood, the doctor was not a pessimist, and in many ways, both by practical jokes and the humoring of odd characters, sought relief from the intense emotional strain which the large practice of his profession put upon him. One of his greatest reliefs ...
— Twelve Men • Theodore Dreiser

... Governments cannot really divest themselves of religion, or even of dogma. When Jesus said that people should not only live but live more abundantly, he was dogmatizing; and many Pessimist sages, including Shakespear, whose hero begged his friend to refrain from suicide in the words "Absent thee from felicity awhile," would say dogmatizing very perniciously. Indeed many preachers and saints declare, some of them in the ...
— Preface to Androcles and the Lion - On the Prospects of Christianity • George Bernard Shaw

... knew him, and the gentle remembrance of our friendship doubles the pleasure I have in reading his poems. I love Mark Twain—who does not? The gods, too, loved him and put into his heart all manner of wisdom; then, fearing lest he should become a pessimist, they spanned his mind with a rainbow of love and faith. I like Scott for his freshness, dash and large honesty. I love all writers whose minds, like Lowell's, bubble up in the sunshine of optimism—fountains of joy and good will, with occasionally a splash of anger and here and there a healing ...
— Story of My Life • Helen Keller

... personally detect them—and an equally passionate hater of evil. Read "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg" and "The Mysterious Stranger." In his last years, torn by private sorrows, he turned as black a philosophical pessimist as we have bred. He died at his new country seat in Connecticut in 1910. Mr. Paine has written his life in three great volumes, and there is a twenty-five volume ...
— The American Spirit in Literature, - A Chronicle of Great Interpreters, Volume 34 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Bliss Perry

... was an optimist, having a cogent answer to all gloomy predictions; from 1895 to 1902 he was a pessimist; yet reasons just as strong may be adduced for considering the future of the country secure in the later as were urged in the earlier period. But as Godkin grew older, he became a moral censor, and it is characteristic of censors to exaggerate ...
— Historical Essays • James Ford Rhodes

... most decided convictions would have suited a thorough-going pessimist. Neither Swift nor Carlyle could have gone much beyond him in condemning the actual state of the political or religious condition of the world. Things, on the whole, were in many directions going from bad to worse. The ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... of their reception of him, that indexed their true feelings. Teddy Jinks refused to serve out the supper hash until Tresler had all he required. Lew Cawley washed out a plate for him, as a special favor; and Raw Harris, pessimist as he was, and who had a way of displaying the fact in all the little every-day matters of life, cleaned and sharpened a knife for him by prodding it up to the hilt in the hard-beaten earth, and cleaned the prongs of a fork with the edge of his buckskin shirt. But he could not thus outrage ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... good, and blaming them when they didn't do it. Like all great moral teachers he acted on the assumption that there is more freedom of will than seemed theoretically possible. It was the same way with his views of national affairs. Jeremiah's reputation is that of a pessimist. Still, when the country was in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and he was in prison for predicting it, he bought a piece of real estate which was in the hands of the enemy. He considered it a good investment. "I subscribed the deed and ...
— Humanly Speaking • Samuel McChord Crothers

... birds, cats, albino mice, goldfish, and other collaborateurs in his profession. He was obliged to bribe the janitor, too, because the laws of the house permitted neither animals nor babies within its precincts. This extra honorarium deprived him of tobacco, and he became a pessimist. ...
— The Green Mouse • Robert W. Chambers

... a hopeless pessimist as to French affairs. They certainly are not going on smoothly, but where is the new Boulanger? Bourbons and Bonapartes are played out; and France might advertise for a dictator without finding one. If that be so, what threatens the republic? A socialist outbreak would ...
— Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L. - In Two Volumes. VOL. II. • John Knox Laughton

... 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 ...
— Hepsey Burke • Frank Noyes Westcott

... to give a reason for the faith that is in them, and hence it is necessary, in opening any discussion such as he had provoked, that he should assign some ground of opposition or support—Christian, Pagan, utilitarian, constitutional, optimist, or pessimist. ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... reserve a good room for him," said John, "but although I don't want to appear a pessimist, Miss Julie, I don't think he'll come just now, at least not in the Arrow. All aeroplane, balloon and Zeppelin trains have stopped running during the blizzard. Blizzard is an American word of ours meaning a driving storm. It's expressive, and it can be used with advantage in Europe. What accommodations ...
— The Hosts of the Air • Joseph A. Altsheler

... have it, Hump," he said, closing the book upon his finger and looking up at me. "The Preacher who was king over Israel in Jerusalem thought as I think. You call me a pessimist. Is not this pessimism of the blackest?—'All is vanity and vexation of spirit,' 'There is no profit under the sun,' 'There is one event unto all,' to the fool and the wise, the clean and the unclean, the sinner and the saint, and that event is death, and an evil thing, he says. For ...
— The Sea-Wolf • Jack London

... two hundred pounds for the wheat he saw nothing but success and happiness ahead. His faith in the farm and farming swelled. Dad was not a pessimist—when he ...
— On Our Selection • Steele Rudd

... the age which listened to it dear. "Causes that operate sociologically" are the opportunity of the political and every other kind of scamp who trades upon the depravity and helplessness of the slum, and the refuge of the pessimist who is useless in the fight against them. We have not done yet paying the bills he ran up for us. Some time since we turned to, to pull the drowning man out, and it was time. A little while longer, and we should hardly have escaped being ...
— The Battle with the Slum • Jacob A. Riis

... Then taking her despairing silence as an indorsement of his position in giving her a confidence, he went on: "Henry de Spain is dead," he said quietly. She eyed him without so much as winking. "I wouldn't tell it if he wasn't. Some of the boys don't believe he is. I'm not a pessimist—not a bit—but I'm telling you it's a physical impossibility for a man to take the fire of four revolvers in the hands of four men like those four men, at arm's length, and live. Henry de Spain is the cleverest man with a gun that ever rode the Spanish Sinks, but limits is limits; the boy's dead. ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... occur for the best, for a wise and beneficent end? It is the most utter falsehood, and a crime against the human race.... Human suffering is so great, so endless, so awful, that I can hardly write of it.... The whole and the worst, the worst pessimist can say is far beneath the least particle of the truth.... Anyone who will consider the affairs of the world at large ... will see that they do not proceed in the manner they would do for our happiness if a man of ...
— Communism and Christianism - Analyzed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View • William Montgomery Brown

... he broods over the sorrows and sufferings of mankind, and views with an unutterable grief the dismemberment of Christendom, he refuses to style himself a pessimist. There is much good in the world; he is continually being astonished by the goodness of individuals; he cannot bring himself to despair of mankind. Ah, if he had only kept himself in that atmosphere! But "it is very hard to be a ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... she could not away with them. Their cassocks, their pretensions, their stupidities, roused the Irish-woman's sense of humour at every turn. The individuals came and went, but the type it seemed to her was always the same; and she made their peculiarities the basis of a pessimist theory as to the future of the English Church, which was a source of constant amusement to the very broad-minded young men who filled up the school staff. She, so ready in general to see all the ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Happy as he gazed contentedly into the coals over which the hog had been roasted in sections, "that those who look hard generally discover, that is, 'seek and ye shall find.' It's the optimists who arrive. Your pessimist quits before he comes to the apple trees, or before he reaches the thicket that conceals the fine fat pig. As for me, I'm always an optimist, twenty-four carats fine, and therefore I'm the superior of ...
— The Tree of Appomattox • Joseph A. Altsheler

... rather troubled by the possibility of a war between France and Germany. The French papers take the thing coolly, but the English ones, especially the 'Daily News,' are extremely pessimist. If there is war I mean to come to England, having had enough anxiety and interrupted communications during the last war. My sons would probably both volunteer into the French army in defence of their mother's country, as it would be a duel of life and death between ...
— Philip Gilbert Hamerton • Philip Gilbert Hamerton et al

... spectacle was to see him in the drawing-room, 'dancing,' as Danjou said, 'before the Ark.' He stretched and bent his unwieldy person in all directions. He would challenge to a philosophic duel the young critic, a confirmed pessimist of three-and-twenty, and overwhelm him with his own imperturbable optimism. Laniboire the philosopher had one particular reason for this good opinion of the world; his wife had died of diphtheria caught from nursing their children; both his children had died with their mother; and ...
— The Immortal - Or, One Of The "Forty." (L'immortel) - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... pessimist. He looked upon every abuse which he attacked, with a somewhat severe, if not a jaundiced, eye. Every evil which he discovered was, in his estimation, truly an evil; and all evils were about of equal magnitude. Besides, in attacking an evil or an abuse, he did not ...
— The Story of My Life - Being Reminiscences of Sixty Years' Public Service in Canada • Egerton Ryerson

... why I am a little slow to trust my judgment on my own. I have always found that, whenever I thought a heap of anything I owned, there was nothing like getting the other fellow's views expressed in figures; and the other fellow is usually a pessimist when he's buying. The lady on the dollar is the only woman who hasn't any sentiment in her make-up. And if you really want a look at the solid facts of a thing you must ...
— Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son • George Horace Lorimer

... would not hold. If it broke loose they would drop fifteen feet or more to the ground. A broken leg, an arm, or even worse,—But her hair was brushing his ear and neck, her arms were about him, her heart beat against his straining back, and—Why be a pessimist? ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... ever been deemed by the close students of life as a most essential element in the achievement of the highest and fullest success. The optimist sees open paths leading to pleasant and prosperous fields of endeavor where the pessimist can see no way out of the hopeless surroundings amid which he has been thrust by an unkind fate. The disposition to seize upon the opportunities lying close at hand and to believe that the here and now is full of sunshine and golden possibilities has carried many a one to success, where others, lacking ...
— The Girl Wanted • Nixon Waterman

... 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 who asked such searching questions as Emerson frequently did, and Emerson could scarcely have ...
— Sketches from Concord and Appledore • Frank Preston Stearns

... jaded, world-worn man, who is no longer interested in women . . . and girls! The poor, tired pessimist who has lost all faith in ...
— The Human Drift • Jack London

... he ceased from wood-chopping, and began to make more than a mere living. Nor was he downhearted when the scurvy broke out on his own body. Ever he ran his trap-lines and sang his ancient chant. Nor could the pessimist shake his surety of the three hundred thousand of Alaskan gold he as going to shake ...
— The Red One • Jack London

... poem is a pure freak in poetry. Perhaps it might be asserted of James Thompson, without too much casuistry, that he was, poetically speaking, not a materialist but a pessimist, and that the strength of his poetic gift lay in the thirst of his imagination for an ideal world in which his reason would not permit him to believe. One cannot say of him, as of Coleridge, that "his unbelief never touched his heart." It would be ...
— The Poet's Poet • Elizabeth Atkins

... dampened. But after leaving her I remembered how certain types of people always look for the dark side of things. It costs no more to be an optimist than a pessimist; it is sunshine grows flowers, not clouds; and if Miss Francis chose to think the grass might live a thousand years, I was equally free to think it might die next week. Thus heartened by this bit of homely philosophy, just as valid as any ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... unaccountable reason, whether from discontent or dyspepsia or disappointment, or disgust with this world, Carlyle gradually became a pessimist, and attacked all forms of philanthropy, thus alienating those who had been his warmest supporters. He grew more bitter and morose, until at last he howled almost like a madman, and was steeped in cynicism and gloom. He put forth the doctrine that might was right, and that thrones ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XIII • John Lord

... said that although the war has had for my country the most cruel consequences, there is one consolation to it. It has shown that humility is better than the pessimist had said it was, and that money is not the only god before which the nations bow. It has revealed that all over the world, and especially in America, there is a respect for right and for duty; it has proved that the moral beauty of an action is fully ...
— Defenders of Democracy • The Militia of Mercy

... the pessimist may croak, but even they must take hope at the picture presented in the simple and touching incident of eight Grand Army veterans, with their silvery heads bowed in sympathy, escorting the lifeless body of the Daughter of the Confederacy from Narragansett to ...
— America First - Patriotic Readings • Various

... day being rebuked by a pessimist replied, "How can you who revile me consent to speak by my machinery? Permit me to reduce you to nothingness and then we will discuss the matter." Moral. You should not look a gift universe in ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... pessimist," she answered firmly, "to believe that true in anything beyond appearances. We are all apt, no matter how conceited we may be, to underestimate at times the extent of our own usefulness—or, rather, we are unconscious of the direction in which it is most productive. If what you say is so, ...
— The Lieutenant-Governor • Guy Wetmore Carryl

... pessimist was Louis McGregor Abraham, proprietor of the Imperial Hotel—Syrian by birth, Jew by creed, Englishman by nationality, and admirer first, last and all the time of all things prosperous and promising, except his rival, the ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... to this conclusion. Writing on his novels, Mr. W. E. Henley called him "the great optimist." The Kreutzer Sonata is the work of a profound pessimist. Concluding What To Do, Tolstoi wrote a noble passage on the sacredness of motherhood. Now all that is changed. Motherhood must go too. It will take time, for the old Adam is strong in us. But go it must, and when we have all brought our bodies under, no more children will ...
— Flowers of Freethought - (Second Series) • George W. Foote

... the weeks that followed her reunion with Ginger Kemp that a sort of golden age had set in. On all the frontiers of her little kingdom there was peace and prosperity, and she woke each morning in a world so neatly smoothed and ironed out that the most captious pessimist could hardly have found anything in it ...
— The Adventures of Sally • P. G. Wodehouse

... Zeerust: "When the English have reached Pretoria their difficulties will only begin." In the heyday of our Relief, and with news of English victories constantly coming to hand, I thought this gentleman a pessimist; but the subsequent history of the war, and the many weary months following the conclusion of peace, proved there was much truth in ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... we're to carry those delicious little tin boxes strapped over our shoulders to hold specimens. Her son and daughter are both, in their way, striking. He isn't handsome; rather the contrary; but so serene and collected—so intensely bitter—his mother tells me he's a pessimist. And the daughter really puts me to shame, child as she is, with the amount of her knowledge. She labels all her mother's specimens in Latin. Oh, I feel there's so much to be learned. Mrs. Griesmann thinks I ought to wear glasses during the trip. Says we often require them without knowing ...
— At Fault • Kate Chopin

... modern society of Vienna. His heroes are mostly men engaged in a quest for the joys of life, but never attaining whole-hearted enjoyment, because of their innate streak of world-weariness. When the hero of his Anatol (1893) calls himself "light-hearted pessimist," Schnitzler creates a term which fits as well his Fedor in Maerchen (1894), his Fritz in Liebelei (1895), and other specimens of a type related to the heroes of Musset and other Frenchmen. His women, too, have a streak of French blood, both his "sweet girls" and his married heroines; but ...
— The German Classics, v. 20 - Masterpieces of German Literature • Various

... come in the years preceding. Indeed, when we look back over that little stretch of time and observe the mighty changes which have come within our movement; when we hear the reports of the awakening of men and women to the justice of our cause all the way around the world, I am sure that there is no pessimist among us who does not realize that at last the tide of ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI • Various

... morning. Put your head into this 10-cent lodging house if you want to get some new ideas regarding the "trend of humanity." Glance into this low groggery—but one of several thousand in this great city—and "size up the gang" before being too sure that a "pessimist" is simply a person troubled with a superabundance of black bile. Of the million people who make up this great city, probably six hundred thousand are already plunged deep in the abyss where lurk Want and Crime, or trembling on its verge, and the number who thus "live from hand to mouth," who ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... (in the widest sense) of 'barbarities', that the charitable hypothesis that here and there man has lost his way and just stopped thinking hardly seems adequate to account for things, and writers like Levy-Bruhl are provoked to the pessimist guess that there can be a savage logic which is different from ours and yet is 'logical' in some coherent sense; which stets verneint the conclusions, and even the axioms, which are clear as day to us; ...
— The Unity of Civilization • Various

... with Elijah? He was not a natural and deliberate pessimist. There are some folks that are, you know. There are some people who study to be pessimistic. They are the "self-appointed inspectors of warts and carbuncles, the self-elected supervisors of sewers and street gutters." They pride themselves on being guides to the Slough of Despond ...
— Sermons on Biblical Characters • Clovis G. Chappell

... that of the rank and file of recent minor poets in being impassioned rather than ingenious, luxuriant rather than finished. Neither symboliste nor decadent, he was a pessimist in so far as that character applies to a man who looks at the worst contingencies as well as the best in the human condition. Being little attracted by excellences of form and rhythm apart from content, he sometimes, when feeling outran his ...
— Wessex Tales • Thomas Hardy

... story of the pessimist whom nothing ever pleased, and the optimist whom nothing ever displeased, being congratulated by the angels upon their having obtained entrance to heaven. The ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie • Andrew Carnegie

... "always been struck by its piety. I am now struck equally or even more by its profound wisdom. It seems to be a complete reflexion of Scripture." And to turn to a critic of very different character, Dean Swift: "I have been better entertained and more improved," writes that cynical pessimist, "by a few pages of this book than by a long discourse on the will and intellect." The favourite of our childhood, as "the most perfect and complex of fairy tales, so human and intelligible," read, as Hallam says, "at an age when the spiritual meaning is either little perceived ...
— The Life of John Bunyan • Edmund Venables

... 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 likely to find it, and that too, probably, where it would otherwise have escaped ...
— A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... evening I was walking the floor wrapped in deepest gloom. No deep-dyed pessimist ever felt as I did at that moment, for I had just discovered that I had an incurable heart disease. I had often feared as much, but now I had it from a scientific source that my heart was going wrong. I could tell by the ...
— Confessions of a Neurasthenic • William Taylor Marrs

... is very well said. It is the true answer to the pessimist, and the standing miracle of mankind. So you still love me? and so you can forgive your wife? Why, then, we may bid conscience "Down, dog," like an ill-trained puppy ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... brains, nor numbers, nor money—save ammunition. Does any pessimist intend to argue that we shall not get all the ammunition we need? It is inconceivable that we should not get it. When we have got it the end can be foretold like the answer to ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... struggle for subsistence now keen to a degree which could not have been foretold by the gloomiest pessimist a few years ago; with Parliaments, hitherto safely democratic, threatened with Socialism by the increasing practice of electing artisans and labourers to do the legislative work of their respective classes; the ...
— Australian Writers • Desmond Byrne

... been a pessimist or a scaremonger, but without some of these men I don't believe we women would have won the War ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Jan. 1, 1919 • Various

... discovered and elaborated many a detail. None the less the air of all the eighteenth century was full of scientific inquiry and mechanical invention, full of philosophical discussion, full of religious and moral scepticism. If ever there was an age when it looked to the pessimist as if science and philosophy would change the aspect of nature and the heart of man, it was that eighteenth century. Now note that, if some holder of Macaulay's view had risen up in the year 1770 ...
— Platform Monologues • T. G. Tucker

... Meliorist, contemptuous of the reasoning faculty, which he typified in the shifty, unreal, delusive Loki, and full of faith in the life-giving Will, which he typified in the glorious Siegfried. Not until he read Schopenhaur did he become bent on proving that he had always been a Pessimist at heart, and that Loki was the most sensible and worthy adviser of Wotan in ...
— The Perfect Wagnerite - A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring • George Bernard Shaw

... crises of 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 ...
— The Trade Union Woman • Alice Henry

... old pessimist! But it wasn't! Here you are, Ressaldar Sahib! Never have I seen a horse so set on killing himself. But it was needful to disappoint him on ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... even greater pessimist than I myself," Norgate observed. "Do you really believe that ...
— The Double Traitor • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... the pessimist has for his boding views when in cities like New York, Quaker Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco, the City Halls, those centres of municipal life, hold and are ruled by the worst and most dangerous gangs of criminals sheltered by any ...
— Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison - Fifteen Years in Solitude • Austin Biron Bidwell

... conclusions on this subject to one of those leaders, the answer given ran thus: "Your intentions are patriotic and your accuracy of observation is probably scientific. But your conclusions are wholly erroneous. You must admit that you are a pessimist. Nor can you deny that we members of the Cabinet dispose of fuller and more decisive data for a judgment than you, with all your opportunities, can muster. After all, we do know something of the temper of the ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... destroy the force of our assertion that social order is derived from and is based upon the order of nature. Although savage passions, excited by an imperfect understanding of the truth, do from time to time cause the overthrow of given societies, and arouse the horror and alarm of pessimist votaries of myth, nature is not thereby overcome; she still triumphs, and restores the order which has been interrupted, so far as the instinct of conservatism and the hereditary impulse to that special form of association to which ...
— Myth and Science - An Essay • Tito Vignoli

... world the elements of which are thus mixed with pity and terror, goodness and beauty, he held himself, like the majority of men, as neither optimist nor pessimist. "The world is neither so good, nor so bad, as it conceivably might be; and as most of us have reason, now and again, to discover ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley - A Character Sketch • Leonard Huxley

... hundred years since Shelley proclaimed this birth of a new race throughout Europe. Would he have turned pessimist if he had lived to see the world infected with Prussianism as it has been in our time? I do not think he would. He would have been the singer of the new race to-day as he was then. To him the resurrection of the old despotism, ...
— The Art of Letters • Robert Lynd

... very much alone. It was as if he had buried the friend of half a century. Yet even to bring Janoah back he could not retract the words he had uttered or exchange the light he followed for Janoah's sinister beckonings. In spite of a certain reasonableness in the pessimist's logic; in spite of circumstances he was incapable of explaining; in spite, even, of Cynthia Galbraith, a latent belief in Robert Morton's integrity crystallized into certainty, and he rose to his feet freed of the doubts that ...
— Flood Tide • Sara Ware Bassett

... a black pessimist as regards the present and to-morrow; convinced that things are not, and cannot be, what they were; but as regards the further future, the day after to-morrow, he is a resolute optimist. "Never mind how bad things du look, summut or other'll sure to turn up. It always du. I've a-proved it. I've ...
— A Poor Man's House • Stephen Sydney Reynolds

... success—the class of sheer high merit. I am not a pessimist, nor am I an optimist. I try to arrive at the truth, and I should say that in putting success C at ten per cent. of the sum total of all successes, I am being generous to class C. Not that I believe that ...
— Mental Efficiency - And Other Hints to Men and Women • Arnold Bennett

... the finest living English novelist, but there is very little comparison between himself and Meredith. Professor William Lyon Phelps, who is one of the best and sanest of American critics, says they are both pagans, but Meredith was an optimist, while Hardy is a pessimist. Then he adds this illuminating comment: "Mr. Hardy is a great novelist; whereas, to adapt a phrase that Arnold applied to Emerson, I should say that Mr. Meredith was not a great novelist; he was a great man ...
— Modern English Books of Power • George Hamlin Fitch

... variance and I fear that we shall never be able to reconcile them. I may be wrong, and it is more than likely that I am. At times I feel that there is nothing in the entire scheme of life. If a man is too serious we call him a pessimist; if he is too happy we know ...
— The Colossus - A Novel • Opie Read

... inner life more than health and long life. At least, no one can be blind to the fact that good and evil have an equal share in forming the character and working out the destiny of man. Even such a great pessimist as Schopenhauer says: "As our bodily frame would burst asunder if the pressure of atmosphere were removed, so if the lives of men were relieved of all need, hardship, and adversity, if everything they took in hand ...
— The Religion of the Samurai • Kaiten Nukariya

... are a pessimist about things as they are, like any good revolutionist. You believe that you are going to improve life at Castro. You alone?" ...
— Caesar or Nothing • Pio Baroja Baroja

... could discern in him already the first hints of middle age. His lifeless, brown hair was receding above his temples. His small mustaches, which ought to have made him debonair, seemed on his sallow face like the worthless disguise of a pessimist at ...
— Sacrifice • Stephen French Whitman

... always were a pessimist, Giulio," Benton laughed. "I do not fear any enemies—I assure you. The Sparrow takes good care that we are prevented from falling into any traps the police may set," he added after a ...
— Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo • William Le Queux

... February, 1862.—One thing surprises me. It is to find New York, to say the least of it, as brilliant as when I took my departure for the Antilles in 1857. In general, the press abroad relates the events of our war with such a predetermined pessimist spirit, that at a distance it is impossible to form a correct estimate of the state of the country. For the last year I have read in the papers statements to this effect:—"The theatres are closed; ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 91, May, 1865 • Various

... more often than not in absurd and painful situations; but he was weak and illogical enough to believe that the Revolutionaries were more wicked and more foolish than other men, thereby falling into the error of the metaphysician. At the same time he was no Pessimist and did not hold that life was altogether bad. He admired Nature in several of her departments, especially the celestial mechanism and physical love, and accommodated himself to the labours of life, pending the arrival of the day, which could not ...
— The Gods are Athirst • Anatole France

... he flashes light into the darkest penetralia of the human soul. At times, too, there is in him a mystic fervor worthy of St. Augustine. If his dominant tone is melancholy, he is not to be called a pessimist. He believed in the Good at the central core of things. Hence is he a fascinating personality, a stimulative force. And these outpourings of an acute intellect, and a nature sensitive to the Ideal, are conveyed in a diction full of literary feeling and flavor. Subtlety, depth, tenderness, poetry, ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... indicated, and the quality of style which had already disengaged itself, to the commonest—the greatest—theme of poetry, but to one which this poet had not yet tried—to Love. Let it be remembered that the thought has the cast of a strictly pessimist quietism—that the style aims, if it aims at any single thing, at the reproduction of the simpler side of classicalism, at an almost prim and quakerish elegance, a sort of childlike grace. There is, however, by no means any great austerity in the ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... appeals of the employment bureaus, backed by the stern facts of life, the colleges are yielding. On examination I found that curricula are already being modified. None but the sorriest pessimist could doubt the nature of the final outcome, on realizing the pooling of brains which is going on in such associations as the Intercollegiate Bureau of Occupations and the League for Business Opportunities. They work to the end of having young women ...
— Mobilizing Woman-Power • Harriot Stanton Blatch

... really great man I ever knew,' said Ernest enthusiastically, 'and I consider that his friendship's the one thing in my life that has been really and truly worth living for. If a pessimist were to ask me what was the use of human existence, I should give him a card of introduction to ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... That he is a pessimist in the colloquial sense admits of little question. Nor is it surprising; it is rather difficult not to be. Not a few persons are pessimists and won't tell. They preserve a fair exterior, but secretly hold that all flesh is ...
— The Bibliotaph - and Other People • Leon H. Vincent

... Mademoiselle Idiale, her incomprehensible connection with this tragedy across which he had stumbled, and her apparent knowledge of his share in it,—these things were sufficient, indeed, to give him food for thought. Laverick was not by nature a pessimist. Other things being equal, he would have made, without doubt, a magnificent soldier, for he had courage of a rare and high order. It never occurred to him to sit and brood upon his own danger. He rather welcomed the opportunity of occupying his mind with other thoughts. ...
— Havoc • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... that great heart of eternal rest where we are each members one of another essentially united in the great ocean of Being, in which, and by which, we alone live." Goethe gives a similar solution in his "Wilhelm Meister"; is usually characterised as a pessimist, and so discarded, but such were all the wise men who have contributed anything to the emancipation of the world, which they never would have attempted but for a like sense of the evil at the root of the world's misery; and as for his philosophy, it is a protest against treating it as a science instead ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... see danger until it's time to die. I'm not a pessimist, but I was happier in jail. Scores of my old friends have given up in despair and died. Delicate and cultured women are living on cowpeas, corn bread, and molasses—and of such quality they would not have fed it to a slave. Children go ...
— The Clansman - An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan • Thomas Dixon

... and Byronism were something immeasurably greater than anything that is represented by such a view as this: their real value and meaning are indeed little understood. The first of the mistakes about Byron lies in the fact that he is treated as a pessimist. True, he treated himself as such, but a critic can hardly have even a slight knowledge of Byron without knowing that he had the smallest amount of knowledge of himself that ever fell to the lot of an intelligent man. The real character of what is known as Byron's pessimism is better worth study ...
— Twelve Types • G.K. Chesterton

... Gilbert Jones was a pessimist. And yet he wasn't one of those damnable Pollyanna optimists he so abominated—the kind who went about saying continually that God was in His heaven and all was right with the world. No, indeed! He was just a normal, regular ...
— The Bad Man • Charles Hanson Towne

... is here; I would not dream of giving a party without him. He tells me I have a pure psychic hand, and that if my thumb had been the least little bit shorter, I should have been a confirmed pessimist, and ...
— Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories • Oscar Wilde

... Abbott delivered an address on "Illusions," in which, without, of course, mentioning names, he drew an unmistakable picture of Huxley as a thorough pessimist. A very brief report appeared in the "Times" of October 9, together with a leading article upon the subject. Huxley thereupon wrote to the "Times" a letter which throws light both upon his early days and ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 3 • Leonard Huxley

... the point of view of the ideal, humanity is triste and ugly. But if we compare it with its probable origins, we see that the human race has not altogether wasted its time. Hence there are three possible views of history: the view of the pessimist, who starts from the ideal; the view of the optimist, who compares the past with the present; and the view of the hero-worshiper, who sees that all progress whatever has cost ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... anticipations no doubt are prophecies of future blessings; but whoever foretells the future is equally a prophet, whether he announces the end of the world or foretells the dawn of a millennium. And history affords no presumption in favour of the prophet who prophesies smooth things. The prognostics of a pessimist may be as much belied by the event as the hopes of an optimist. But for one prophet to decry the predictions of another simply as prophecies is a downright absurdity. Even among rival soothsayers some regard must be had to fairness and common sense; when Zedekiah, the son ...
— A Leap in the Dark - A Criticism of the Principles of Home Rule as Illustrated by the - Bill of 1893 • A.V. Dicey

... thinking and acting, and it is always and altogether pertinent to make an inventory to discover if this laudable purpose is being accomplished. Such an inventory can be made only by an analyst; the work cannot be delegated either to a pessimist or to an optimist. In his efforts to determine whether society is advancing or receding, the analyst often ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... women,—some amiable, and some detestable, but every one of them very interesting. And now I miss the wonder of it all. You will presently discover, my dear, that youth is only an ingenious prologue to whet one's appetite for a rather dull play. Eh, I am no pessimist,—one may still find satisfaction in the exercise of mind and body, in the pleasures of thought and taste and in other titillations of one's faculties. Dinner is good and sleep, too, is excellent. ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... it assumed, or even asserted, that greatness means quantity, so that to look forward to the replacement of the present teeming insignificant human myriads by a rarer and more truly greater race is to be a pessimist! Oh, these "optimists"! To revel in a world which more and more closely resembles all that the poets ever imagined of Hell, is to be an "optimist"! One wonders how it is that in no brief moment of lucidity it occurs to these people that the lower we descend in the ...
— Little Essays of Love and Virtue • Havelock Ellis

... as the great pessimist; Hegel, with his doctrine of the supremacy of the State as the representative of the Idea on earth; Kant, as the discoverer of the subjective moral principle; English utilitarianism as the doctrine of the main chance; empiricism, ...
— The Psychology of Nations - A Contribution to the Philosophy of History • G.E. Partridge

... meals a day, and sometimes expanding his chest to its utmost and extending his arms to the zenith, yawned prodigiously. Born a true pessimist, often was bored to the extreme by existence. In addition to the fortnightly symphony concerts and their necessary rehearsals, he did nothing but compose and dream of new spaces to conquer. He was a Czar over his orchestra, and though a fat, good-humored ...
— Melomaniacs • James Huneker



Words linked to "Pessimist" :   defeatist, sceptic, skeptic, pessimism, doubter, optimist, negativist



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