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Simpleton

noun
1.
A person lacking intelligence or common sense.  Synonym: simple.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Simpleton" Quotes from Famous Books



... let a little too much amazement escape through my surprise, for he answered with a deprecating laugh: "Yes—she's an awful simpleton, you know, Mrs. Stroud. Her only idea was to have him done by a fashionable painter—ah, poor Stroud! She thought it the surest way of proclaiming his greatness—of forcing it on a purblind public. And at the moment I was THE ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 2 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... too funny; you little simpleton, to believe such a thing. Why, if he was celebrated, he would be rich enough to send you to school, and he wouldn't let you sew and dust the way you do, just like any village girl. I never dust; ...
— Hunter's Marjory - A Story for Girls • Margaret Bruce Clarke

... She would force herself to forget him, if forgetting lies in the absence of all thought. It was no more than Mr Whittlestaff had a right to demand, and no more than she ought to be able to accomplish. Was she such a weak simpleton as to be unable to keep her mind from running back to the words and to the visage, and to every little personal trick of one who could never be anything to her? "He has gone for ever!" she exclaimed, ...
— An Old Man's Love • Anthony Trollope

... "Peace, simpleton!" said the Princess. "Though he said he was unhappy, it does not follow that he must be in love. Think of all that has happened to-day, and tell me if there are no misfortunes but what love causes.—Stranger," resumed the Princess, "if thy misfortunes have not been occasioned by thy own fault, ...
— The Castle of Otranto • Horace Walpole

... hear, and the lads, all in chorus, imitated the simpleton's laugh with a "hee, hee, hee!" which sounded very ...
— Oscar the Detective - Or, Dudie Dunne, The Exquisite Detective • Harlan Page Halsey

... I hear, that helped her back to earth and started her in the simpleton life. Since then she has been going just as fast, but in the opposite direction, and we're still tryin' to keep up with her. Now I found a man who was going to buy my property, but suddenly his wife decided that they would get ...
— Keeping up with Lizzie • Irving Bacheller

... chair and stretching out his legs, "and it will only remain for Michael Phelan to turn up or to fail to turn up and the mystery of the escape is explained. Poor Phelan, he must be a terrific simpleton, and I suppose I am ...
— Officer 666 • Barton W. Currie

... a mere simpleton. His blunders would not come in amiss among the stories of Hierocles. But these men attained literary eminence in spite of their weaknesses. Boswell attained it by reason of his weaknesses. If he had not been a great fool, he would never have been a great writer. Without all ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... an apron which his carriage lacked, he persuaded me that one horse was enough—at the price of two. To save time I yielded, deducting twenty-five cents only from the sum agreed on, lest I should appear too easily cheated. That sense of being ridiculed as an inexperienced simpleton, when I had merely paid my interlocutor the compliment of trusting him, never ceased to be a pain ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... confidently, as one who could not be deceived. "Pooh!" she said. "That was only a try-on. That was only so that he could begin his palaver! Don't tell me! I may be a simpleton, but I'm not such a simpleton as he thinks for, nor as some other folks think for, either!" (At this point Hilda had to admit that in truth her mother was not completely a simpleton. In her mother was a vein of perceptive ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... the washing Eugenia was too indignant to reply, but when it came to the mopping, she lifted up her hands in astonishment, calling him "a fool and a simpleton." ...
— Dora Deane • Mary J. Holmes

... our xixth and xxth Articles on the Church. The Irish Roman Catholic Bishops, methinks, must have read this with delight. What an over hasty simpleton that James II. was! Had he waited and caressed the Bishops, they would have taken the work off ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... simpleton! She is not a married woman, she is a widow; and she is left extremely well off and with everything in her hands,—that is to say, she would be very well off if there was any money. A widow is in the best position of any woman. She can do what she likes, and ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... Sterna solida, a dark web-footed sea-bird, common about the West Indies. Also, a simpleton; so used by Shakspeare in the Two Gentlemen ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... rather to the class of simpleton-stories; and in the following, from the Rev. J. Hinton Knowles' Folk Tales of Kashmir (Truebner: 1888), we have a variant of the well-known tale of the twelve men of Gotham who went one day to fish, and, before returning home, miscounted their number, of which several analogues are ...
— Flowers from a Persian Garden and Other Papers • W. A. Clouston

... Ch.—Well, simpleton, if I am at first so simple as to be a little taken with myself, I know it a fault, and ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... little simpleton, and fancy now that you really heard what dull sleep alone was thrumming about your ears. All has been quiet and peaceful here, and no evil spirits were ...
— The Youth of the Great Elector • L. Muhlbach

... mood is near to tears; at a touch of kindness the tears come, and momentous questions are decided. What was perhaps uppermost in the girl's heart was a detestation of the man to whom she had seemed a simpleton; her thoughts pursued him, and divined the contempt with which he must be thinking of her and her pretensions. She heard steps on the sand, and Libby came round the corner of the house from ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... "Simpleton!" many of my readers will exclaim. Perhaps he was; but even if you laugh at him, I think you will hardly despise him for his simple- mindedness, for who would not rather be such a one ...
— The Adventures of a Three-Guinea Watch • Talbot Baines Reed

... "Simpleton! that is not what you were intended to say. You should have asked the cause of so singular a wish, and then I had a pretty little speech all ready for ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... chimney on the land-side and establish a nest. There was a broken cart-wheel in the warehouse, which Nanking procured and drew to the roof, and when daylight broke upon the town the earliest loungers and fishermen saw the happy simpleton working like a chimney-sweep, as they thought, except that instead of brushing he was piling brush around the chimney on the cart-wheel. His mother came out and looked joy to see him back; the soldiers strolled down from the fort and the boys and women from the town. Uncle Van Swearingen ...
— Tales of the Chesapeake • George Alfred Townsend

... that we need more than the ability merely to distinguish a genius from a simpleton, just as a physician needs something more than the ability to distinguish an athlete from a man dying of consumption. It is necessary to have a definite and accurate diagnosis, one which will differentiate ...
— The Measurement of Intelligence • Lewis Madison Terman

... story, the simpleton went to Troyes as he had said, and, as he desired, he was taken prisoner. The report soon spread through the town, and there was no one who did not say he ought to be hanged; even the Bailli, as soon as he saw ...
— One Hundred Merrie And Delightsome Stories - Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles • Various

... Agnes called me to my mistress's room; and there I found Mr. Brympton. He was standing on the hearth; a big fair bull-necked man, with a red face and little bad-tempered blue eyes: the kind of man a young simpleton might have thought handsome, and would have been like to pay dear ...
— The Descent of Man and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... to be Todworths. For her sake, personally, I should never have thought of committing the folly; and still less, I assure you, for that piece of perfumed and yellow-complexioned politeness, her husband. It was pride, sir, pride that ruined me. They went to Cox's Hotel, in Jermyn Street; and I, simpleton as I was, went with them,—for that was before I ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... speaking to a monkey, then, instead of a man? The use, I ask you, of addressing intelligent remarks to such a corporosity? My mistress and I, simpleton. This General of yours drives us from his quarters; he begrudges the morsel we eat, the rude hut that shelters us. Enough! we go; even now I make preparation. Pull this strap for me, Pepe; at least you have strength. Ah! If I were ...
— Rita • Laura E. Richards

... Miss Tracey, Lady Geraldine said, "Poor simpleton! she cannot help imitating all she sees us do; yet, would you believe it, she really has starts of common sense, and some tolerable ideas of her own. Spoiled by bad company! In the language of the bird-fanciers, she has a few notes nightingale, ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. IV • Maria Edgeworth

... feel very strange at going into such a house. To you I may say how much nicer it would be to go to some place that Walter and I could have to ourselves,—as you did when you married. But I am not such a simpleton as to repine at that. So much has gone as I would have it that I only feel myself to be happier than I deserve. What I shall chiefly look forward to will be your first ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... succeeded the exclamation could not have been more piteously expressive had the loss been the Egyptian's own. Next moment her laugh might have been heard in the street below; and she said "Oh, oh, my pretty simpleton! The half-fledged birds nested in the ear of the great bust out on the Memphian sands know nearly as much ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... now we are running a good deal to murder, but he who can gravely attribute that phenomenon, or any part of it, to infliction of the death penalty, instead of virtual immunity from any penalty at all, is justly entitled to the innocent satisfaction that comes of being a simpleton. ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... quoth he, with good-natured, placid, simple, and tearful stubbornness, "if you could but enter into my feelings and see the matter from beginning to end as I see it!" To confess the truth, I have since felt that I was hard-hearted to the poor simpleton, and that there was more weight in his remonstrance than I chose to be sensible of, at the time; for, like many men who have been in the habit of making playthings or tools of their imagination and sensibility, I was too rigidly tenacious of what was reasonable in the affairs of real ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... of the Lovers of Syria 3. History of Al-Hajjaj Bin Yusuf and the Young Sayyid 4. Night Adventure of Harun Al-Rashid and the Youth Manjab a. Story of the Darwaysh and the Barber's Boy and the Greedy Sultan b. Tale of the Simpleton Husband Note Concerning the "Tirrea Bede," Night 655 5. The Loves of Al-Hayfa and Yusuf 6. The Three Princes of China 7. The Righteous Wazir Wrongfully Gaoled 8. The Cairene Youth, the Barber and the Captain 9. The Goodwife of Cairo and Her Four Gallants ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... rate, this Karl is a poor fellow, a mealy-mouthed simpleton who the minute I say anything opens his jaws like a fly-catcher. He insists that he comes of a great family, but who knows anything about these gringoes? . . . All of us, dead with hunger when we reach America, claim ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... of the Plot. The ancient story of the merciless Jew is told in the Gesta Romanorum, and re-told, with delicate grace, by Giovanni Fiorentino, a fourteenth-century Italian writer, in his Il Pecorone (the simpleton), a collection of novels, or, as we should call them, short stories. The story of the three caskets is also told in the Gesta Romanorum. Other incidents in the play are taken from other sources, possibly from other plays. It is thought by some that ...
— William Shakespeare • John Masefield

... man, in fact, but just a half-taught random-looking kind of boy. I asked what he could do. To my unspeakable astonishment he told me that the place he wanted was that of foreman. I smiled, and looked on the poor creature as a simpleton. But though he seemed a little disconcerted, he was not to be abashed. He told me, that if I would give him a trial, he would let me see whether he could manage the office or not. "But how can you manage ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... a purty name to call me!—amazin' perlite, tew! Want Melissy, hey! Tribble-ation! gracious sakes alive! Well, I'll give it up now! I always knowed you was a simpleton, Tim Crane, but, I must confess, I didn't think you was quite so big a fool. Want Melissy, dew ye? If that don't beat all! What an everlastin' old calf you must be, to s'pose she'd look at you! Why, you're old enough to be her father, and more, tew; Melissy ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume IX (of X) • Various

... there were six. Six little slackers only half alive, One got married and then there were five. Five little slackers were such a bore The fool killer got one, then there were four. Four little slackers out on a spree, Auto turned turtle, and then there were three. Three little slackers in a canoe, Simpleton rocked the boat, then there were two. Two little slackers, one was a Hun, He got imprisoned, then there was one. One little slacker, war nearly won, He got conscripted, then there were none. One little, ...
— War Rhymes • Abner Cosens

... the string! You don't get quite so wet; that's all. Where's the "danger," where's the "glory," of merely stepping under a little spirt from one end of the Falls, with plenty of room to stand, and no darkness, no mystery, no nothing. Nothing but an overwhelming sense of being a cussed fool, and a simpleton, and a stupid, ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 24, September 10, 1870 • Various

... morning, because they were seen running away in the morning. They were put out of caste by the other Rajputs, and fled to the Central Provinces. The name may also be a variant of that of the Bhagore Rajputs. And another derivation is from bhora, a simpleton or timid person. Their claim to be immigrants from Central India is borne out by the fact that they still speak a corrupt form of the Malwi dialect of Rajputana, which is called after them Bhoyari, and their Bhats or genealogists come from Malwa. But they have now entirely lost their ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume II • R. V. Russell

... ordinary mercantile transactions, a debt incurred by any branch of the establishment involves the responsibility of the whole, and can be levied for in London or Hokitika. This is the true state of the case, and any individual who would advance a doctrine contrary to it, is either a simpleton or ...
— Ridgeway - An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada • Scian Dubh

... a time there was a simpleton of simpletons, and a great booby to boot, and his name ...
— Twilight Land • Howard Pyle

... layer of bees on him, and not a rag of that funeral left but the corpse; and finally the bull broke for the river and jumped in, and when they fished Uncle Laxart out he was nearly drowned, and his face looked like a pudding with raisins in it. And then he turned around, this old simpleton, and looked a long time in a dazed way at Joan where she had her face in a ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... Croustillac, recovering his lost vivacity. "Are we in the land of dreams? Do you take the Chevalier de Croustillac for a simpleton? Do you think I am one of those weak-minded creatures who believe in the devil? I am not a goose, and I also ask twenty-four hours in which to demolish all ...
— A Romance of the West Indies • Eugene Sue

... one condition which gave any value to these arrangements seemed like to fail. This obscure youth—this poor fool, who had been on the point of marrying a simpleton to whom he had made a boyish promise—was coming between him and the object of his long pursuit,—the woman who had every attraction to draw him to herself. It had been a matter of pride with Murray Bradshaw that he never lost ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... "Simpleton! simpleton! but thou valuest them justly. Now attend. If ever thou shouldst hear, at Oxford or London, the verses I am about to repeat, prithee do not communicate them to that fiery spirit Mat Atterend. It might not be the battle of two ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

... positively bleeds for you. What is the matter with your hand, that you talk of being a life-long prisoner to your room? Pray send for Paget or Erichsen, and have yourself put right at once. No doubt that local simpleton is making a mess of your case. Perhaps while he is dabbing with lint and lotions the real remedy is the knife. I am sure amputation would be less melancholy than the despondent state of feeling which you are now suffering. If any limb of mine went wrong, I should say to the surgeon, ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... one loved nobody. At the same time it is very necessary to curb all one's feelings. Phyllis, for instance, would not respect me if she thought me what she would call sentimental. And even Nell would perhaps smile at me as a simpleton if she saw me looking for particular affection. Even you, Hetty—you who think so much about love!—could I manage you at all if I did not know how ...
— Hetty Gray - Nobody's Bairn • Rosa Mulholland

... was that pretty young simpleton at the corner store, who giggled all the time, and made it dangerous for Wallace even to go for the mail. Then there was that family at Browns up on the hill with girls of all ages. And there were those Lindsays, for though the most dangerous one ...
— In Orchard Glen • Marian Keith

... to make me believe," she said, "that you are not wise about that. It isn't clever, you know, to treat me as a simpleton." ...
— The Box with Broken Seals • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... impressed with the idea that that soldier could have been put to better use; that, in fact, he is entirely out of the line of duty. The position assigned him is unnatural, and the modern soldier-boy will be apt to conclude that nobody but a simpleton would be likely to wander about in solitary places, extemporizing in measured sentences; besides it is hard work, as I know from experience. I tried my hand at it the other day until my head ached, and this is the best I ...
— The Citizen-Soldier - or, Memoirs of a Volunteer • John Beatty

... now that it was too late, she saw that she had quite overshot the mark, and given her brother-in-law a complete advantage over her designs. "And that hateful, designing cat!" as she stigmatized Mrs. Harold "had completed her defeat." She had gauged her brother-in-law as "a perfect simpleton where a woman was concerned," and never had she so miscalculated. He was easygoing when at home on leave, or off on one of his outings, as he had been when she met him in New London. Why not? When he worked he worked with every particle ...
— Peggy Stewart at School • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... had been a sister to the Earl of Derby, who lived at the time of which I am now writing. The earl had a son, James, who was heir to the title and to the estates of his father. The son was a dissipated, rustic clown—almost a simpleton. He had the vulgarity of a stable boy and the vices of a courtier. His associates were chosen from the ranks of gamesters, ruffians, and tavern maids. Still, he was a scion of one of the greatest families of ...
— Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall • Charles Major

... laughed at the man's ingenuousness. He contradicted his own story so unconsciously, that I began to think he was more of a simpleton ...
— The Gold Bag • Carolyn Wells

... turning upon him). And you ought to have kept me from making such a simpleton of ...
— The Sleeping Car - A Farce • William D. Howells

... Third, seeing his wife barren, consulted the physicians upon the case; who told him, that if the empress would drink wine she might be fruitful. But he told them, like a simpleton as he was, That he had rather his wife should be barren and sober, than be fruitful and drink wine. And the empress, being informed of the wise answer of the imperial ninny-hammer, her husband, said full as wisely, That if ...
— Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness • Boniface Oinophilus

... to his lodgings, in order to decide the contest. Sir Stentor complied with this request; the dispute was renewed with various success, till, towards daylight, Ferdinand saw this noisy, raw, inexperienced simpleton, carry off all his ready cash, together with his jewels, and almost everything that was valuable about his person; and, to crown the whole, the victor at parting told him with a most intolerable sneer, that as soon as the Count should receive another remittance from Poland, he would give ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... take arter Tangle-foot? W-w—" his great loose lips trembled with unformed words as he gazed his eager inquiry from one to another. Under normal circumstances it would have remained contemptuously unanswered, but in these days in Tanglefoot Cove a man, though a simpleton, was yet a man, and ...
— The Raid Of The Guerilla - 1911 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... next door to a simpleton: he is not half-baked," retorted Mr. Hamlyn, his own temper getting up: "if I may judge by what I've seen ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 3, March, 1891 • Various

... retreated, while Rachel returned to find Bessie sitting upright, anxiously watching, and she was at once drawn down to sit beside her on the bench, to listen to the excited whisper. "The miserable simpleton! Rachel, Alick was right. I thought, I little thought he would forget how things stand now, but he got back to the old strain, as if—I shall make Lord Keith go to Scotland any way now. I was so thankful to see you and Alick." She ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... that so many goodies were stuffed into thy already crowded valise! It wasn't for nothing that her communications have been so frequent, and contained such tender inquiries after thy health, and such pathetic injunctions to be careful of thyself!" You must be a simpleton, man, to imagine that a benevolent disposition prompted so many manifestations all of a sudden, when the past was so different. "But why not?" thought he, as his charitable heart sought for a better ...
— The Elm Tree Tales • F. Irene Burge Smith

... stood still and threw a morsel on the ground. "Hansel, why dost thou stop and look round?" said the father, "go on." "I am looking back at my little pigeon which is sitting on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me," answered Hansel. "Simpleton!" said the woman, "that is not thy little pigeon, that is the morning sun that is shining on the chimney." Hansel, however, little by little, threw all the crumbs ...
— Household Tales by Brothers Grimm • Grimm Brothers

... thought the young man was a simpleton, and that he, himself, was most wise and fortunate; but the former, nothing daunted by this opinion, which he was not unconscious that the latter entertained of him, immediately hired a set of laborers, and set them to work in the field trenching, as earnestly as it was well possible for men to ...
— Draining for Profit, and Draining for Health • George E. Waring

... simpleton, and expected one of such answers as inconvenient questions in natural history receive ...
— A Rough Shaking • George MacDonald

... building, in the Swiss fashion. Rodolphe had loudly praised the elegance of this arrangement, and talked of the view from that balcony, but all in vain. When he had taken leave of the Bergmanns it struck him that he was a simpleton, like any man of spirit and imagination disappointed of the results of a plan which ...
— Albert Savarus • Honore de Balzac

... that I was chagrined. "As easy made up as a lovers' quarrel," said Aunt Tabitha. Silly old woman! No, silly young fellow! Flora has revenged herself on me as she meant to do, for defying her power. She has turned my head; made me act like a simpleton. But "Richard's himself again," and ...
— Autumn Leaves - Original Pieces in Prose and Verse • Various

... as in most others, I was an unpractised simpleton. In the countenance of Welbeck, there was somewhat else than sympathy with the astonishment and distress of the lady; but I could not interpret these additional tokens. When her attention was engrossed by Welbeck, her eyes were frequently vagrant or downcast; her cheeks contracted ...
— Arthur Mervyn - Or, Memoirs of the Year 1793 • Charles Brockden Brown

... thinking over that question of yours, "What did I think?"[13] But, my dear Susie, you might as well ask Gibbie Gellatly what he thought. What does it matter what any of us think? We are but simpletons, the best of us, and I am a very inconsistent and wayward simpleton. I know how to roast eggs, in the ashes, perhaps—but for the next world! Why don't you ask your squirrel what he thinks too? The great point—the one for all of us—is, not to take false words in our mouths, and to crack our nuts innocently ...
— Hortus Inclusus - Messages from the Wood to the Garden, Sent in Happy Days - to the Sister Ladies of the Thwaite, Coniston • John Ruskin

... already told you that you are a simpleton, and I am quite of his opinion. D'Artagnan, you are a great man; and when you occupy Monsieur de Treville's place, I will come and ask your influence ...
— The Three Musketeers • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... better land. The recluse is ever the true prophet and seer, in this as in still higher matters. Your modest-eyed student, stealing glances of unfeigned admiration at ordinary maidens, is not such a simpleton as some suppose. His seclusion has cleared his vision. He sees on through the eons—sees things as they will or may be—regards the objects of his adoration as he will in the angelhood. Why will so many decry this admiration?—when they see that, not till ...
— Continental Monthly, Volume 5, Issue 4 • Various

... out loud. "Oh, you simpleton!" she said. "And you call yourself a statesman! Do you not see that if I do not tell it, you are disgraced yourself and powerless, and can do me no harm? Tell it you? When I have you all on the hip—you, the King, the queen! Not for a ...
— From the Memoirs of a Minister of France • Stanley Weyman

... rouged, were naturally red; her eyebrows, though not pencilled, were yet blue black; her face resembled a silver basin, and her eyes, juicy plums. She was sparing in her words, chary in her talk, so much so that people said that she posed as a simpleton. She was quiet in the acquittal of her duties and scrupulous as to the proper season for everything. "I practise simplicity," she would ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... him,' he says. 'We'll have another session with him before you leave. Perhaps we can get him into the house here this evenin'. My wife is pretty good at that, she jollies him along. Oh, he swallows it all; the poor simpleton don't know ...
— Shavings • Joseph C. Lincoln

... desirable for her intelligence as for her physical and her strange spiritual charm: he could have wished her not to be providing yet another specimen of the phenomena of woman repeating herself so monotonously in the various worlds of London. The simpleton of fifty made in his soul an effort to be superior, and failed. "What is it that binds me to her?" he reflected, imagining himself to be on the edge of a divine mystery, and never expecting that he and Christine were the huge contrivances ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... off a gun at him. I was out on them like a hawk, crying if they wanted to murder a poor woman's innocent bairn! Whereupon they swore down my throat that they had seen 'the auld rebel himself,' as they called the Baron. But my Davie, that some folk take for a simpleton, being in the wood, caught up the old grey cloak that his Honour had dropped to run the quicker, and came out from among the trees as we were speaking, majoring and play-acting so like his Honour that the soldier-men ...
— Red Cap Tales - Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the North • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... simpleton really think that everybody has read all he has written? Does he really believe that everybody remembers all of his, writer's, words he may happen to have read? At one of those famous dinners of the Phi Beta Kappa Society; where no reporter was ever admitted, and which nothing ...
— Over the Teacups • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... are a simpleton! D'you think he'd have you back after this? The first time it was my fault, he thinks; but the second! It ...
— Gone to Earth • Mary Webb

... of it," said Annie, casting her bright eyes downwards: "love is as simple as milking, when people know how to do it. But you must not let her alone too long; that is my advice to you. What a simpleton you must have been not to tell me long ago. I would have made Lorna wild about you, long before this time, Johnny. But now you go into the parlour, dear, while I do your collop. Faith Snowe is not come, but Polly and Sally. Sally has made up her mind to conquer ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... that when we become sorry for ourselves we make our misfortunes harder to bear, because we lose courage and can't think without bias; so I cast about me for something to be glad about, and the comfort that at least we were safer with a simpleton than near a drunken Mexican came to me; so I began to view the situation ...
— Letters of a Woman Homesteader • Elinore Pruitt Stewart

... became ashamed of himself; he lifted his eyes and smiled like a simpleton; he cast a glance of almost dog-like tenderness at Eleanore. And then, without saying a word, without even saying good-bye to her, he hastened across the street to hide as soon as he might ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... the matter with that simpleton Dalny?" muttered the arch-plotter. "Did he, at the last moment, fail in the courage necessary to lead the Americans into the trap that I had ...
— Dave Darrin on Mediterranean Service - or, With Dan Dalzell on European Duty • H. Irving Hancock

... girls—well, one would have supposed they had never been given feet of their own to walk with, from the trouble they were to poor Jacques. The worst of it was, that when all these good people were well over their troubles they called Jacques a simpleton for his pains, and refused to have any intercourse with him, giving him the worst side of the road and laughing at his old-fashioned staff and scrip, and even at his little dog, to which they gave many ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - February, 1876, Vol. XVII, No. 98. • Various

... Davis, 'do not be a simpleton. Take the money, and do not pretend to more honesty than ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... Cynthia, confuse the Boob with the Poor Fish. The Poor Fish, as an Emersonian thinker has observed, is the Boob gone wrong. The Poor Fish is the cynical, sneering simpleton who, if he did see an angel, would think it was only some one dressed up for the movies. The Poor Fish is Why ...
— Mince Pie • Christopher Darlington Morley

... and took out all their fine clothes, and dressed themselves at the glass, and skipped about as if they were eager to begin dancing. But the youngest said, 'I don't know how it is, while you are so happy I feel very uneasy; I am sure some mischance will befall us.' 'You simpleton,' said the eldest, 'you are always afraid; have you forgotten how many kings' sons have already watched in vain? And as for this soldier, even if I had not given him his sleeping draught, he ...
— Grimms' Fairy Tales • The Brothers Grimm

... said he, fiercely, "you are a young vagabond, and deserve to starve. Your mother should be put in the pillory for ever marrying. That's what the world says,—and what I would think, if I wasn't a consummate ass. Were you ever blessed with a view of the most unmitigated simpleton the sun ever shone upon? Look at me! Look good: I am worthy of a close inspection. Now come along, and see to what extent my folly ...
— Trifles for the Christmas Holidays • H. S. Armstrong

... be dumb; Isoult, at least, never got speech of her. Vincent, who was treated by Maulfry as if he had been a mechanism, was a very simple machine. If Maulfry had been less summary with him she might have prevented the inevitable; but like all people with brains she thought a simpleton was an ass, and kicks your only speech with such. Vincent and Isoult, therefore, became friends as the days went on. Maulfry's cagebirds drew their heads together, and in Vincent's case, at any rate, it was not long before the blood began ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... head. "I know you are laughing at me," she said, "but I always told you I was just a silly simpleton. And—it isn't the bugs altogether. I—I like it better to be ...
— Prudence of the Parsonage • Ethel Hueston

... was held by powerful European States which it would be madness to offend, and as the country south of that line was held by feeble States which it would be easy to conquer, no Northern or Western statesman could vote for such a measure without proving himself a rogue or a simpleton. Hence all measures of "compromise" necessarily failed during the last days of the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... only kindness! I sowed good seed, and reap thistles and brambles! My charity-cake turns out miserable dough! But how could I possibly foresee that the child would be such a simpleton? What right has she to be so unnecessarily interested in my brother, who is old enough to have been her father? It is unnatural, absurd, and altogether unpardonable in Salome to be guilty of such presumptuous nonsense; and, of course, it is not in the least my fault, for the ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... then an unhandy dandy mutilates the fish by cutting it in a wrong direction; here, an officious ignoramus tears asunder the members of a fowl as coarsely as the four horses dragged Ravillac, limb from limb; there, another simpleton notching a tongue into dissimilar slices, while a purblind coxcomb confounds the different sauces, pouring anchovy on pigeon-pie, and parsley and butter on roast-beef. All these barbarisms ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... Cilla? I inquired at the station, but she had not been there, and on the Monday I went to London and saw the mother, who was in great distress, for she had had a letter much like mine, only more unsatisfactory, throwing out absurd hints about grandeur and prosperity—poor deluded simpleton!' ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... simpleton; do you think in wars like that every man is to rush just where he pleases; you'll soon be taught the difference. M. d'Elbee was a general, and might go where he liked; but I was a corporal under M. Henri, ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... She was an orderly, busy, competent woman, the counterpart of endless millions of her sex, who liked to understand what she saw or felt, and who had no happiness in reading riddles. To her he was at times an enigma, and at times again a simpleton. In both aspects he displeased and embarrassed her. One has one's sense of property, and in him she could not put her finger on anything that was hers. We demand continuity, logic in other words, but between her son and herself there was a gulf fixed, ...
— Here are Ladies • James Stephens

... send her own brother to college, knows vastly more of those things than he does. The same exposure awaits him wherever he goes, and whenever he has the audacity to open his mouth. At sea he is a landlubber; in the country a cockney; in town a greenhorn; in science an ignoramus; in business a simpleton; in pleasure a milksop—everywhere out of his element, everywhere at sea, in the clouds, adrift, or by whatever word utter ignorance and incapacity are to be described. In society and in the work of life, he finds himself beaten by the youth whom at college he despised ...
— The Philosophy of Teaching - The Teacher, The Pupil, The School • Nathaniel Sands

... trifle with which he had been toying and eyed it intently for a moment, as though his whole mind were absorbed in it. Then he put it down, turned, and walked slowly away. I sat staring after him like a little simpleton, puzzled, bewildered, stunned. That had been ...
— Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed • Edna Ferber

... narcotics, rendered independent of all such things by a little skilful rubbing alone. Perhaps you object that these remedies are "very simple." Well, that would be no great harm; but if they are so simple, you are surely a simpleton if you let your poor nerves be killed with morphia, while such obvious remedies are at hand. ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... motion. He was sure he could do it, and he set to work with a resolution worthy of a nobler enterprise. When one attempt failed, he tried again, and yet again, until his friends and neighbors called him a "simpleton," and openly rebuked him for his folly. His mother began to think he never would learn any craft by which he could gain a livelihood, and she was really discouraged. He was not vicious nor indolent. He had energy ...
— The Bobbin Boy - or, How Nat Got His learning • William M. Thayer

... me to assure you, mademoiselle"—Lady Henry rose from her seat, leaning on her stick; surely no old face was ever more formidable, more withering—"that whatever ambitions you may cherish, Jacob Delafield is not altogether the simpleton you imagine. I know him better than you. He will take some time before he really makes up his mind to marry a woman of ...
— Lady Rose's Daughter • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... 'Master Jordan shook his head at this passage, and cried out, deeply moved, yet as though vexed, while a tear of motherly tenderness stole down Martha's cheek: "No! no! by no means! What is the fool thinking of? He'll want the money himself—a simpleton. Let him wait till he comes to the master-piece. What pleases me most in the story, is his contentment and his humility. He is not ashamed of his old silver watch yet. It is not everybody that could act so. There must be strong legs to support such extraordinary ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 436 - Volume 17, New Series, May 8, 1852 • Various

... one picture, a girl, to become a belle, a handsome creature, with a mysterious money grace, with a real beauty of hair, mouth and eyes. The envious said that circumstances served to make an imperious simpleton of her. ...
— Old Ebenezer • Opie Read

... "Poor simpleton that you are!" was the reply. "Look fairly at the facts. There is every appearance that we shall gain his money. The Piedmontese, such as he is, are honest enough, but are by nature absurdly suspicious. He commands the cavalry. Well, you are a man who cannot rule your ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... Sir Anthony, there sits the deliberate simpleton who wants to disgrace her family, and lavish herself on a fellow ...
— The Rivals - A Comedy • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... they want, you little simpleton!" replied Mademoiselle Reine; "they probably want to concoct some of their ...
— Gerfaut, Complete • Charles de Bernard

... said Mrs Merton, "does your father eat and drink out of silver?" "I don't know, madam, what you call this; but we drink at home out of long things made of horn, just such as the cows wear upon their heads." "The child is a simpleton, I think," said Mrs Merton: "and why is that better than silver ones?" "Because," said Harry, "they never make us uneasy." "Make you uneasy, my child!" said Mrs Merton, "what do you mean?" "Why, madam, when the man threw that great thing down, which looks just like ...
— The History of Sandford and Merton • Thomas Day

... course, every body would take care of themselves," interrupted Lady Cecilia, "excepting such a simpleton as Helen, who would take care of you first, mamma, of me next and ...
— Helen • Maria Edgeworth

... like? Did you ever hear the clang of a celldoor as the turnkey slammed it behind him and left you to think and stew and weep in a silence accented and made more wretched by a yellow electricbulb and the stink of corrosivesublimate? Back to the cityroom, you dabbling booby, you precious simpleton, addlepated dunce, and be thankful my boundless generosity permits you to draw a weekly paycheck at all and doesnt condemn you to labor forever unrewarded in the subterranean vaults where the old files ...
— Greener Than You Think • Ward Moore

... sergeant, who repeated it to his next neighbor, who in his turn transmitted it to the next man, and so on from ear to ear until it reached the last man. He cashiered an officer for not standing bareheaded to receive the watchword from the sergeant. You may imagine how he succeeded. This simpleton could not understand that peasants have to be led peasant fashion, and that it is impossible to transform rustics into soldiers. Yes, I have ...
— Great Sea Stories • Various

... them; the Athenians made preparations to join their forces with them; Demosthenes ruled supreme in the popular assembly, and wrote letters to the Persian officers who commanded under the king in Asia, inciting them to make war upon the Macedonian, calling him child and simpleton. But as soon as Alexander had settled matters in his own country, and came in person with his army into Boeotia, down fell the courage of the Athenians, and Demosthenes was hushed; the Thebans, deserted by them, fought by themselves, and lost their ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... Congress! Go—go, simpleton, and learn how many these troopers muster, and what halt they make; but stay, place my clothes near me. Now, do as I bid you, and if the dragoon officer enquire for me, make my respects, and tell him I shall be with him soon. Go, ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper



Words linked to "Simpleton" :   simple, poop, changeling, dolt, retard, fool, nincompoop, pudden-head, idiot, dingbat, twirp, shnook, shlemiel, poor fish, schnook, dimwit, moron, sap, pinhead, someone, schlemiel, imbecile, soul, dummy, airhead, ninny, somebody, booby, dope, stupe, twit, nitwit, pillock, lame, mortal, individual, space cadet, subnormal, pudding head, forgetful person, tomfool, shlepper, sheep, person, dumbbell, idiot savant, shlep, nebbish, scatterbrain, nebbech, schlep, saphead, schlepper, cretin, square, stupid person, half-wit, muggins, doofus, stupid, dullard, boob, twerp



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