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Speck   /spɛk/   Listen
Speck

noun
1.
A very small spot.  Synonym: pinpoint.
2.
(nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything.  Synonyms: atom, corpuscle, molecule, mote, particle.
3.
A slight but appreciable amount.  Synonyms: hint, jot, mite, pinch, soupcon, tinge, touch.



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"Speck" Quotes from Famous Books



... a distance above it of from ten to twelve feet. Huge rocks would be covered six or eight inches deep with them. Occasionally they would light upon a tree, and in a few moments the tree or bush would be absolutely covered, every speck of foliage hidden. It was difficult to breathe without inhaling them, and we were kept busy brushing them from our faces and clothes. They were all traveling in one direction—down stream. I believe that they had been into the canyons laying their eggs, and were returning to the valleys. All afternoon ...
— Out of Doors—California and Oregon • J. A. Graves

... up, and, making our way to a clear space on the very summit of the hill, looked abroad at the scene. Seaward, the ocean stretched away, a vast plain of delicate blue, to the horizon, and some twenty miles in the offing we made out a speck of white, gleaming in the brilliant morning sun, which we decided must be the schooner. Then, turning our backs upon the sea, we had the hilly foreground of the island before us, sloping away to right and left and in front of us down to the smooth, placid waters of the ...
— The Log of a Privateersman • Harry Collingwood

... said Nathanael. "See what numbers of them—numbers, yet how few they seem!—are moving up and down on this highway of all nations. Look, Agatha, at that one, a mere speck, dipping in ...
— Agatha's Husband - A Novel • Dinah Maria Craik (AKA: Dinah Maria Mulock)

... of me! I've hed too much. I ain't a speck thankful! I'm mightily t'other thing, whatever 'tis. Write to her yourself, if you're a mind tu. You can make a better fist at it, anyways. Comes as nateral to women to lie as sap to run. I'll be etarnally blessed ef I touch paper for to do it." And he flung out of ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... again at the water in bewilderment, as if her senses were the victim of some sleight of hand. Not a speck or spot resembling a man's head or face showed anywhere. By this time she was alarmed, and her alarm intensified when she perceived a little beyond the scene of her husband's bathing a small area of water, the quality of whose surface differed ...
— Victorian Short Stories, - Stories Of Successful Marriages • Elizabeth Gaskell, et al.

... could see, way up in the middle of the sky, and right on a line with his eye, Ole Robber Hawk himself, or else one of his relatives or friends. He was brown, of course, but against the blue of the sky he looked like a little black speck with a couple of ...
— Half-Past Seven Stories • Robert Gordon Anderson

... resting on its edge. The night was dark throughout the forest, and overhead; the little circle of light within which I stood, seemed like a magician's ring, sacred and safe from evil spirits that filled the air around. It was as the speck of Time amid the ocean of Eternity — as Hope, bright and solitary in the midst of unfathomable darkness. There I felt safe and secure — but without — who might tell what spirits roamed abroad, melancholy and malignant? Peering into that dark boundary of forest, the eye vainly endeavoured to pierce ...
— The Bushman - Life in a New Country • Edward Wilson Landor

... along, Borrow's eyes, which were as long-sighted as a gypsy's, perceived a white speck in a twisted old hawthorn bush some distance off. He stopped and said: "At first I thought that white speck in the bush was a piece of paper, but it's a magpie," next to the water- wagtail the gypsies' most famous bird. On going up to the bush they discovered a magpie crouched among the leaves. As ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... solitary progress, watching the small boat as it glided towards the open ocean, nor did he remember to order the head-sheets of the Alacrity drawn, in order to put the vessel again in motion, until the dark speck was lost in the strong glare that fell obliquely across the ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... down again close to him, her face brimming with a humorous enthusiasm. Humour in Riseholme was apt to be a little unkind; if you mentioned the absurdities of your friends, there was just a speck of malice in your wit. But with her there was none of that, she gave an imitation of Mrs Weston with the most ruthless fidelity, and yet it was kindly to the bottom. She liked her for talking in that emphatic voice and being so particular ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... first time Wilhelm heard the boy's lips utter his father's exclamation. Some great emotion must have stirred his heart, and in truth he was not mistaken; the speck piercing the air, which his keen eye had discovered, was no longer a mere spot, but an oblong something—a ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... boat flotilla that accompanied us during the last two days was made up mostly of American and British destroyers, though there were two French boats among them. They made a lively scene, and surely gave us great protection. If a speck would appear on the horizon, two boats would be off to investigate it, and would return later to join the fleet. We were also accompanied on the last day of the voyage by two airplanes as a further ...
— In the Flash Ranging Service - Observations of an American Soldier During His Service - With the A.E.F. in France • Edward Alva Trueblood

... orphans sank to sleep All on the freezing deck; Close huddled side to side—each arm Clasp'd round the other's neck. With heads bent down, they dream'd the earth Was fading to a speck. ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... arms upwards and his hands were immediately filled with the fruit. At another time this magician left his overcoat by mistake in a railway carriage, and only remembered it when the train was a mere speck upon the horizon; but, on the utterance of certain words, the coat immediately flew through the air back ...
— The Treasury of Ancient Egypt - Miscellaneous Chapters on Ancient Egyptian History and Archaeology • Arthur E. P. B. Weigall

... should have started triumphantly: but to lie here, two hours and more in the damp fog, neither staying at home nor going abroad, is letting one gradually down into the very depths of dulness and low spirits. A speck in the mist, at last! That's something. It is the boat we wait for! That's more to the purpose. The captain appears on the paddle-box with his speaking trumpet; the officers take their stations; all hands are on the alert; the flagging hopes of the passengers revive; the ...
— American Notes for General Circulation • Charles Dickens

... size of vessels and their swifter trips under steam, have had the effect of depopulating the ocean, even in established trade routes. In the old days of ocean travel the meeting of a ship at sea was an event long to be remembered. The faint speck on the horizon, discernible only through the captain's glass, was hours in taking on the form of a ship. If a full-rigged ship, no handiwork of man could equal her impressiveness as she bore down before the wind, sail ...
— American Merchant Ships and Sailors • Willis J. Abbot

... the newly-blossomed flowers with the same message retold and the same assurance renewed that death eternally dies, that the waves of turmoil are on the surface, and that the sea of tranquillity is fathomless. The curtain of night is drawn aside and truth emerges without a speck of dust on its garment, without a furrow of age on ...
— Sadhana - The Realisation of Life • Rabindranath Tagore

... threateningly out as if to grasp the land and drag it back into the lurid sea of blood; altogether a cruel, weird-looking scene, fantastic, unreal, and bizarre as one of Dore's marvellous conceptions. Suddenly on the red waters there appeared a black speck, rising and falling with the restless waves, and ever drawing nearer and nearer to the gloomy cliffs and sandy beach. When within a quarter of a mile of the shore, the speck resolved itself into a boat, a mere shallop, painted a dingy white, and much battered by the waves as it tossed ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... that support it; for he only knows the secret of their machinery. He has left the place for the night. He lives three miles and a half away, at a little village yonder, which looks only a black speck in the distance, and he will not return till some time ...
— Run to Earth - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... fail to find in Shakspeare some allusion to these connected images in the old tongue; no speck of beauty could exist and escape ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 193, July 9, 1853 • Various

... was a satisfaction to know that thus far the gloomy forebodings of the Seer had not been fulfilled. On looking out through a six-inch rose-window, I saw joyous daylight dancing over the boundless, placid waters,—not a speck of land in sight. We must have started long since; but my eyes, fast sealed under the opiate rays of the Luminary, had hitherto refused to ope their lids to the garish beams of his rival. Soon I heard beneath a rustling snap, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... yet left us, a sail had been discerned from the fore-top-mast-head, at a great distance, probably three leagues or more. At first it was a mere speck, altogether out of sight from the deck. By the force of attraction, or something else equally inscrutable, two ships in a calm, and equally affected by the currents, will always approximate, more or less. Though there was not a breath of wind, it was ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... you, had been saved from the heat of the season by a breeze which blew from the water and once or twice even reached the velocity of a storm wind. A hundred times I had looked out my office window and a hundred times I had seen that not one speck of cloud showed in the sky. Yet all day long, while I tried to work, only to find myself all on edge with expectancy, I could hear the flap and rustle of the American flag on the Custom-House roof, which was straining at its cords and lashing ...
— The Blue Wall - A Story of Strangeness and Struggle • Richard Washburn Child

... that dot, that speck of land— It goes not from your portion. If you win The game, what matters it to you ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... laugh. "You talk sometimes like one's grandfather. I suppose that is because you became a student of philosophy at a tender age. Yes, your master has found me again; but after all, what is a woman? Just a speck of dust on top of ...
— The Beloved Vagabond • William J. Locke

... baseness, I have long deferred what I am now shameless enough to do,—moved thereto most of all by the duty of fidelity which I acknowledge that I owe to your most Reverend Fatherhood in Christ. Meanwhile, therefore, may your Highness deign to cast an eye upon one speck of dust, and for the sake of your pontifical ...
— Works of Martin Luther - With Introductions and Notes (Volume I) • Martin Luther

... cliff; I hear the sound Of dashing waves; I gaze intent around; I mark the gray cope, and the hollowness Of heaven, and the great sun, that comes to bless The isles again; but my long-straining eye, No speck, no shadow can, far off, descry, That I might weep tears of delight, and say, It is the bark that bore my child away! Sun, that returnest bright, beneath whose eye The worlds unknown, and out-stretched waters lie, 10 Dost thou behold him now! On some rude shore, Around whose crags the cheerless ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... west, though unseen to those upon the raft, the far-piercing gaze of the albatross detects another unusual object upon the surface of the sea. At this distance it appears only a speck not larger than the bird itself, though in reality it is a small boat,—a ship's gig,—in which six men are seated. There has been no attempt to hoist a sail; there is none in the gig. There are oars, but ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... far." Helen still concentrated her attention upon the dusky speck against the blue. "I have no reason for disliking Mr. Thurston; indeed, I do not dislike him and my feeling may be mere jealousy. You give—him—most of your confidences now, and I should hate anybody who divided you ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... ruthless, towards its agents, and yet commonly some discontent had been shown as excuse; but, in this case, no cause was guessed for Holleben's disgrace except the Kaiser's wish to have a personal representative at Washington. Breaking down all precedent, he sent Speck von Sternburg ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... "I speck I better be gittin' 'long. Nex' time I see Lucindy, I'm gwine tell 'er w'at Miss Becky say 'bout de queen er spades—dat I is. Ef dat don't tickle 'er, dey ain't no nigger ...
— Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches • Joel Chandler Harris

... up to her, whinnying softly and looking at her with large expressive eyes. "I haven't anything to give you, poor old boy," she said regretfully, kissing his muzzle and then pushing him away from her. She looked up again into the sky, a dark speck sailed overhead, the slow heavy flight of a vulture. In a few hours he might be picking her bones! Merciful Heavens! Why did such thoughts come into her head? Had she nothing left of the courage that had once been second nature? If she let her nerves get the upper hand she might as well make ...
— The Sheik - A Novel • E. M. Hull

... Ida[32], there was a white Bull, which was the Glory of the Farmer to whom he belonged. This Bull had a beautiful black Speck between his Horns, all the rest of his Body being as white as Milk. With him the Gnossian and Cydonian Heifers were all in love, and eagerly longed to be embraced by him in the tenderest manner in which Bulls embrace the Fair Sex of Cows. Pasiphae, I am very sorry to say it, conceived ...
— The Lovers Assistant, or, New Art of Love • Henry Fielding

... threat of vengeance he brought his stick down on the floor with so vigorous a thump that it had a certain profane effect; then having from under his bushy gray eyebrows gazed at the diminishing group till it was but a dim speck in the distance, he went in muttering, banging the door as if to shut out and reject the sight. His objection might have been intensified had he known that the days were at hand when legislative wisdom would still further reduce this engine of the law, making ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... with high cheek bones, which were covered with rouge, and her black hair, which was always covered with pomatum, curled onto her forehead. Her eyes would have been handsome, if the right one had not had a speck in it. Her Roman nose came down over a square jaw, where two false upper teeth contrasted strangely with the bad color ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... sorry,—be sure of that; for he wants his dear 'Whitewash' restored again to the bosom of society, lest the walls of his reputation should by chance suffer from fly-speck." ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... of a moment of truce in the midst of war; and this, a spot of beauty in the midst of a sterile desert, was scarce less dear to the imagination. It was a scene which, perhaps, would elsewhere have deserved little notice; but as the single speck, in a boundless horizon, which promised the refreshment of shade and living water, these blessings, held cheap where they are common, rendered the fountain and its neighbourhood a little paradise. Some generous or charitable hand, ere yet ...
— The Talisman • Sir Walter Scott

... "for I was just about stepping down to call you. See that lugger, yonder?" He jerked his thumb over his shoulder at a speck in the grey from which the Van der Werf was now running at something ...
— The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... nearing the submarine-zone and it was time for the convoying destroyers to arrive. Everybody was peering out ahead, and at last a cry ran along the decks: "There they are!" Jimmie made out a speck of smoke upon the horizon, and saw it turn into a group of swiftly-flying vessels. He marvelled at the skill whereby they had been able to find the transports on this vast and trackless sea; he marvelled ...
— Jimmie Higgins • Upton Sinclair

... and her mother listened with great attention. Then Sarah jumped up, saying she must not let the grass grow under her feet, for she had plenty to do. The whole house was to be got ready; and she would not have a thing out of its place, nor a speck of dust to be found, ...
— The Doll and Her Friends - or Memoirs of the Lady Seraphina • Unknown

... like some one hitting a board with a mallet. Ran outside. One found the aeroplane from the little clouds of shrapnel, for it was flying very high, and was like a speck. Clouds of smoke were rolling from one quarter of the town, and we thought that a big fire was beginning, but it was extinguished. Another aeroplane came later. The guns began long before it could be seen. It dropped ...
— The Luck of Thirteen - Wanderings and Flight through Montenegro and Serbia • Jan Gordon

... would take several trips to transfer us and our baggage. I supposed of course that this would include me, and stood leaning on the rail, watching the first boat with Mr. Shaw, Captain Magnus and the cook, fade to a dark speck on the water, when Mr. Vane ...
— Spanish Doubloons • Camilla Kenyon

... over the railing, a small quiet speck in the moonlight. Marion kept turning her head in her direction. "Our poor little Flossy would not understand much about this experience, I suppose," she said at last; "she is such a child, and yet, I don't know—sometimes I have fancied that she thinks more than we give ...
— Four Girls at Chautauqua • Pansy

... was outer darkness; and whatsoever we do know or shall know of Egyptian Thebes will now be recovered as if from the unswathing of a mummy. Not until a flight of three thousand years has left Thebes the Hekatompylos a dusky speck in the far distance, have we even begun to read her annals, or to understand ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348 • Various

... and his comrades arrived at the mouth of the Greygoose River and beheld the aspect of the sea, a cry of mingled surprise and disappointment escaped them, but when they had landed and discovered the canoe of the fugitives far away like a speck among the ice-floes, the cry was transmuted into a howl ...
— The Walrus Hunters - A Romance of the Realms of Ice • R.M. Ballantyne

... decay," is in the eye of God and reason, a purer essence than the brightest sun that lights the depths of heaven. The organized human eye, instinct with life and soul, which, gazing through the telescope, travels up to the cloudy speck in the handle of Orion's sword, and bids it blaze forth into a galaxy as vast as ours, stands higher in the order of being than all that host of luminaries. The intellect of Newton which discovered the law ...
— The Uses of Astronomy - An Oration Delivered at Albany on the 28th of July, 1856 • Edward Everett

... on the high hill and did not look away when the bowstrings twanged a third time. As before, he heard the arrows whistle by him, and the shiver came into his blood, but his will did not let it extend to his body. He kept his eyes fixed upon the hill, and suddenly a speck appeared before them. No, it was not a speck, and, incredible as it seemed, Dick was sure that he saw a horseman come around the base of the hill and stop there, gazing into the valley upon the great village and the people thronging about ...
— The Last of the Chiefs - A Story of the Great Sioux War • Joseph Altsheler

... here, and let him graze, while I go over to that camp"—indicating a white speck between the trees—"and then I may inquire if any one has seen a girl like Tavia ...
— Dorothy Dale's Camping Days • Margaret Penrose

... me, who was on my first voyage. What most amazed me was the sight of the great ocean itself, for we were out of sight of land. All round us, on both sides of the ship, ahead and astern, nothing was to be seen but water-water—water; not a single glimpse of green shore, not the smallest island, or speck of moss any where. Never did I realize till now what the ocean was: how grand and majestic, how solitary, and boundless, and beautiful and blue; for that day it gave no tokens of squalls or hurricanes, such ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... nations with Adam Smith and Stuart Mill; with the naturalists, to sound the depths of the argument as to the origin of species and the genesis of man; with the astronomers, to leave the narrow bounds of earth, and explore the illimitable spaces of the universe, in which our solar system is but a speck; with the mathematicians, to quit the uncertain realm of speculation and assumption, and plant our feet firmly on the rock of exact science:—to come back anon to lighter themes, and to revel in the grotesque humor of Dickens, the philosophic ...
— A Book for All Readers • Ainsworth Rand Spofford

... they know a great deal," said the doctor, shortly, as he busied himself pressing the sides of a little speck of a wound which pierced the boy's skin, now with one nail, now with both at the same time, and making ...
— Dead Man's Land - Being the Voyage to Zimbambangwe of certain and uncertain • George Manville Fenn

... onward into the black shadow of the hills, within which the town and pier lay invisible, save where a twinkling light gave token of some lonely fisher's wife, watching the weary night through for the boat which would return with dawn. Here and there upon the sea, a black speck marked a herring-boat, drifting with its line of nets; and right off the mouth of the glen, Amyas saw, with a beating heart, a large two-masted vessel lying-to—that must be the "Portugal"! Eagerly he looked up the glen, and ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... the doctor again bid her good-bye and started on his way, while Heidi remained looking after him and waving her hand as long as a speck of him could be seen. As the doctor turned for the last time and looked back at the waving Heidi and the sunny mountain, he said to himself, "It is good to be up there, good for body and soul, and a man might learn how to be happy ...
— Heidi • Johanna Spyri

... speed, it took us two days, Earth time, to come close enough to Hydrot so that we could locate the unfortunate Kabit. She had landed on a level plain near the shore of the new continent, where she lay, just a tiny bright speck, even under the maximum ...
— The Terror from the Depths • Sewell Peaslee Wright

... and git so hungry I could stan it no longer. Den I goes out to find someting to eat. Den somebody sees me, and dey follow me wid de dogs. I done kill two of dem dogs, and I kill de rest, but I hear de men coming, and I run for de lake. I speck, when I git in de water, to frow de dogs off de scent, but dey git so near dey see and hear me. Dem's mighty fine nigger dogs, or dey never follor me into de water. I done gib it all up when I hear dem ...
— Watch and Wait - or The Young Fugitives • Oliver Optic

... fugitive it was his intention, as an earnest or token of his displeasure, to eat that Injun's liver raw. Some versions say he mentioned liver rare, but the commonly accepted legend has it that the word used was raw. With this he put the spur to his steed's flank and was soon but a mere moving speck ...
— One Third Off • Irvin S. Cobb

... never been to but two or three real dancing-parties in my life. Why, I've only just outgrown children's parties. I may get tired of it all, after two or three seasons, but as yet it's such a novelty to me that I enjoy every speck ...
— Patty's Summer Days • Carolyn Wells

... Then there was a speck of white cloudiness in the late afternoon sky. It grew swiftly in size, and a winking blue-white light appeared in its center. That light grew brighter—and the noise managed somehow to increase—and presently the ruddy sunlight ...
— The Pirates of Ersatz • Murray Leinster

... and floated in tangled wreaths upon the face of the sea. Only that line of sand seemed still clear-cut and distinct, and as she glanced along it her eyes were held by something approaching, something which seemed at first nothing but a black, moving speck, then gradually resolved itself into the semblance of a man on horseback, galloping furiously. She watched him as he drew nearer and nearer, the sand flying from his horse's hoofs, his figure motionless, his eyes apparently fixed upon some distant spot. It was not until he had come within fifty ...
— The Zeppelin's Passenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... see, Marcia—" he bit his lip, reddened and came to a full stop, searching my face with a quick glance, but he found me elaborately removing a speck of ...
— Paradise Garden - The Satirical Narrative of a Great Experiment • George Gibbs

... back as if to prevent himself from pitching forward on his face. The three walked slowly along, sometimes sitting down by the wayside to rest, and all the while straining their eyes to catch the first glimpse of the rider. As soon as he appeared, looking like a black speck on the white road, they waved their handkerchiefs, and he at once put his horse at a gallop, and came up like a whirlwind, frightening his mother and Aunt Lison, and making his grandfather exclaim, "Bravo!" in the admiration of impotent ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... Don't let's pretend about that even.... Let's go on watching him. (I don't see why her writing shouldn't be better. Indeed I don't.) See! There he goes down along the Embankment to Westminster just like a real man, for all that he's smaller than a grain of dust. What is running round inside that speck of a head of his? Look at him going past the Policemen, specks too—selected large ones from the country. I think he's going to dinner with the Speaker—some old thing like that. Is his face harder or commoner or stronger?—I can't quite see.... And now ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... trifles, and would have been unworthy of notice had they not resembled the small cloudy speck, which, though scarcely visible in the distant horizon, approaches, and swells, and bursts over the head in a storm. The beginning contest between the Earl and the Mowbray family, the interest which the worthy Mr. Glibly had thought proper to take in me and my affairs, ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... they arrived at the little Highland station. As he stepped out of the carriage with jingling spurs he was greeted by Grey Bob, who stood impatiently pawing the platform. Flicking a speck of dust from his favourite's glossy neck, Ralph leaped lightly into the saddle and cantered out of ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914 • Various

... mass of long-winded ceremonial nothingnesses, and intricate Belleisle cobwebberies, we seize this one poor speck of human foolery in the native state, as almost the memorablest in that stupendous business. Stupendous indeed; with which all Germany has been in travail these sixteen months, on such terms! And in verity has got the thing called "German ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIII. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... as Mont Blanc knows that he is going to be climbed by a party below. He sees a speck or two in ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... and dimmer, and, one by one, disappeared. Finally, a yellow rind, haloed in mist, was thrust above the level of the prairie. As Dallas greeted it, the distant ridge of a snow-drift, rose-tinged like the sky, hid the crawling speck that was ...
— The Plow-Woman • Eleanor Gates

... long as the wind's blowin' as 'tis now, an' I guess it allers does blow that way, round this speck of an island. It must be all o' five mile to that land either side, an' in their rickety canoes the Feweegins never venture fur out in anythin' o' a rough sea. I calculate, Captain, we needn't trouble ourselves much about 'em—leastways, ...
— The Land of Fire - A Tale of Adventure • Mayne Reid

... chemical atom is so infinitesimally small that it requires a group of not less than a billion to make the group barely visible under the most powerful microscope, and a thousand such groups would have to be put together in order to make it just visible to the naked eye as a mere speck ...
— Communism and Christianism - Analyzed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View • William Montgomery Brown

... heat, Fell burning where the waves had beat With restless motion, against the shore, And music like unto that of yore, When a tiny speck in the clouds she saw, Moving and nearing the pleasant land Quietly, swiftly, as by a law. Screening her brown eyes with her hand, She saw it strike the pebbled sand, And heard a glad shout cleave the air, And saw a noble, manly form, With ...
— The Poets and Poetry of Cecil County, Maryland • Various

... again, how his father saw him a long way off. Well, she was just like that when she'd heard that he was landed in England; she did nought but sit over the bent of the hill yonder, peering along the road to Botfield; and one evening at sundown she saw something, little more than a speck upon the turf, and she'd a feeling come over her that it was he, and she fainted for real joy. After all, we weren't much happier when we were settled down like. Grandfather had learned to tend sheep out yonder, and I worked at Botfield; but we never laid by money to ...
— Fern's Hollow • Hesba Stretton

... the onlookers to see the distance increase between the giant ship and that bobbing, lonely speck far out in the ...
— Baseball Joe Around the World - Pitching on a Grand Tour • Lester Chadwick

... one in the face with a cold, steady gaze amounting to a positive prohibition—no, the thing was impossible! I saw plainly that a good, old-fashioned squirt of tobacco-juice would ruin such a country as this, where every room in every house was inimical to the habit, and every speck of ground throughout the length and breadth of the land adapted to some useful or ornamental purpose. Why, sir, I assure you that in the little duchy of Nassau—where it is said the grand-duke is ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... a Mediterranean steamer, looking at a town in Algeria or Tunis. And beyond, under the low-hanging stars, was the Mexican desert—a blank page, with only here and there the obscurity of a garden, or a hacienda, or a mere speck which would be a lonely casa ...
— Children of the Desert • Louis Dodge

... after they pass. Often they disappear from view, not because they have passed a horizon line, but simply because they have passed out of the range of my vision-? becoming smaller and smaller, until they seem no bigger than a tiny bird, so small that if I take my eyes off the speck in the sky I cannot find it again. It is awe-compelling to remember how these cars in the air change all military tactics. It will be almost impossible to make any big movement that may not ...
— A Hilltop on the Marne • Mildred Aldrich

... the incident in his pocket-book and was about to resume his beat when he was joined by his inspector. The latter agreed that the conclusion arrived at by the constable was probably the right one and they were about to pass on when the inspector noticed a small speck of light shining through the lower part of the painted window, where a small piece of the paint had either been scratched or had shelled off the glass. He knelt down and found that it was possible to get a view of the interior of the office, and as he peered through he gave a low exclamation. ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... in that age regarded, even by grave men, as the most venial of all peccadilloes, and was so far from being a mark of ill-breeding that it was almost essential to the character of a fine gentleman. But the smallest speck is seen on a white ground; and almost all the biographers of Addison have said something about this failing. Of any other statesman or writer of Queen Anne's reign, we should no more think of saying that he sometimes took too much wine, than that he wore a long wig ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... life. The first plantation I visited was about five or six miles from Eufaula, and I should think that the improvement in some of the cabins was not very much in advance of what it was in Slavery. The cabins are made with doors, but not, to my recollection, a single window pane or speck of plastering; and yet even in some of those lowly homes I met with hospitality. A room to myself is a luxury that I do not always enjoy. Still I live through it, and find life rather interesting. The people have much to learn. The condition of the women is not very enviable in some cases. They ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... for a long time, but saw nothing else come in sight; and finally he got angry and thought that what had been told him was a lie, and he got up to mount his horse and ride back. Just then he saw, away down, far off on the prairie, a small black speck, but he did not think it was moving, it was so far off,—barely to be seen. He thought maybe it was a rock. He lay down again and took sight on the speck by a straw of grass in front of him, and looked ...
— Blackfoot Lodge Tales • George Bird Grinnell

... this my father's town of Clonbrony?" thought Lord Colambre. "Is this Ireland? No, it is not Ireland. Let me not, like most of those who forsake their native country, traduce it. Let me not, even to my own mind, commit the injustice of taking a speck for the whole. What I have just seen is the picture only of that to which an Irish estate and Irish tenantry may be degraded in the absence of those whose duty and interest it is to reside in Ireland, ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... D'Arcy," he exclaimed at length, in an animated tone, pointing to a white speck just seen above the horizon, which I made out to be a ship's royal. "I knew that Captain Poynder would be up to his time. Now we can depend on help from without, if we can but ...
— Salt Water - The Sea Life and Adventures of Neil D'Arcy the Midshipman • W. H. G. Kingston

... the face and stooped over to flick an imaginary particle of dust from his trousers' leg. There was but one object in their going and he had not dreamed of being asked what it was. He could not be employed forever in brushing away that speck, and yet he could not, to save his life, construct an answer to Veath's question. In the midst of his despair a sudden resolution came, and he looked up, his lips ...
— Nedra • George Barr McCutcheon

... transcending the bounds of the visible and tangible universe, in the desires and cravings of this same human heart; this little human heart beating blindly beneath a waistcoat or a blouse. Its owner is little bigger than a beetle or an ant, and the habitat of that owner is a speck in space; a pygmy in comparison with Sirius or Arcturus, and invisible from ...
— Hints for Lovers • Arnold Haultain

... in a dry gulch near the river bank. We made our camp at this spot and had plenty of wood, water and grass. We found there was something to be learned in the art of gold mining. We had no tools nor money, and had never seen a speck of native gold and did not know how to separate it from the dirt nor where to search for it. We were poor, ignorant emigrants. There were two or three men camped here. One of them was more social than the rest and we soon ...
— Death Valley in '49 • William Lewis Manly

... odorless, rubber-tired battle. So far as we were concerned it consisted of rings of shrapnel smoke floating over a mountain pass many miles distant. So many miles distant that when, with a glass, you could see a speck of fire twinkle in the sun like a heliograph, you could not tell whether it was the flash from the gun or the flame from the shell. Neither could you tell whether the cigarette rings issued from the lips of the Japanese guns or from those of the Russians. The only thing ...
— Notes of a War Correspondent • Richard Harding Davis

... that stretches blue to the eastward there appears a distant canoe, a mere speck, no bigger than a bird far ...
— Indian Child Life • Charles A. Eastman

... and the chill that had begun during the past days to creep about her heart tightened and grew cold, as if it were changing to an icy band, which would freeze her pulses in its tightening clasp. She looked out through the sunshine, watching the light boat till it became a mere speck in the distance, and finally disappeared among the windings of the long curve of land which stretched out ...
— A Noble Woman • Ann S. Stephens

... Senses. In man certain special organs are set apart the particular duty of which is to give information of the nature of the relations which he sustains to the great world of things, and of which he is but a mere speck. The special senses are the avenues by which we obtain this information as to our bodily condition, the world around us, and the manner in ...
— A Practical Physiology • Albert F. Blaisdell

... deep and soundless Came a faint metallic humming; In the sunshine clear and heavy Came a speck, a speck of shadow— Shepherd lift your head and listen, ...
— Georgian Poetry 1916-17 • Various

... captain said, bending over the table and pointing to a black speck in the midst of the white blankness of the chart. "And here, in between, is another island. Why ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... enjoyed hers immensely, and it acted as if it knew who owned it, for it came tumbling down head first when least expected, caught on trees, nearly pitched into the river, and finally darted away to such a height that it looked a mere speck ...
— Little Men - Life at Plumfield With Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... or curl. COLOUR—Should be "whole-coloured," the most preferable being bright red, red, wheaten, or yellow red. White sometimes appears on chest and feet; it is more objectionable on the latter than on the chest, as a speck of white on chest is frequently to be seen in all self-coloured breeds. SIZE AND SYMMETRY—The most desirable weight in show condition is, for a dog 24 lb., and for a bitch 22 lb. The dog must present an active, lively, lithe, and wiry appearance; ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God' (2 Cor 4:2). All these sentences are chiefly to be applied to doctrine, and so are, as it were, an offer to any, if they can, to find a speck, or a spot, or a wrinkle, or any such thing in this river of water ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... standing up and looking, 'and that little black speck seems to be Carlo; but surely those can't be Reggie and ...
— The Adventure League • Hilda T. Skae

... "I did see a speck of red through the crack," he confessed after a minute, as if he were unburdening his ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... one else will take us in." Margaret helped him anchor, furl the sails, and then they went ashore, pulling the tender far up on the shingle beech beside the lobster-pots. They crossed the field—it was nearly dark and the Swallow was a speck on the dark water beneath—and knocked at ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... conscious that he would probably go to heaven if he granted it, and yet not quite able to grant it. Far away though he stands to the left of the good host, he has yet something in common with that third person discernible on the right—that speck yonder, which I believe to be Lucullus. Nothing that we know of Lucullus suggests that he was less inhuman than the churl of Arden. It does not appear that he had a single friend, nor that he wished for one. His lavishness ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... A speck of dust far to the northwest suddenly attracted his attention. Stallings halted his pony, and, sitting in his saddle almost motionless, gazed intently at the tiny point that had come within range of ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Texas - Or, The Veiled Riddle of the Plains • Frank Gee Patchin

... into the habit of taking him of a morning, walking him about in her arms, crooning sweet nothings over him in her soothing voice. He was old enough to miss her, and to-day was not satisfied at being put off with only nurse. He had, besides, a new tooth coming—a tiny pearly thing, peeping like a speck of ivory from a bed of coral. Very pretty to look at, certainly, but doubtless extremely painful; at least Master Baby felt it so, for he fretted and cried in a way which set poor Perry's nerves all on edge, and made her think ...
— Two Little Travellers - A Story for Girls • Frances Browne Arthur

... the great ships come with their strange men from other ports of the world. I saw them unfurl their snowy sails and speed over the blue waters bound for the shores of other climes. I watched them until they were but a speck of white down on the blue horizon, and I longed to be on board—to feel the ship roll upon the billows and hear the wind whistling through the rigging, to climb aloft and view the limitless expanse of ocean and feel that I was a part of these ...
— Where Strongest Tide Winds Blew • Robert McReynolds

... hours, and though I knew we were getting into dangerous parts again, I hoped we might work through all right. Of course I thought first about my errand, and my mind was on every turn of the road and every speck in the landscape, but all the same there was one corner of it—or of something—that didn't forget that red-headed girl—not an instant. I kept wondering if I'd ever see her again, and I was mighty clear that I would, if there was enough left of me by the time I could get off duty ...
— The Militants - Stories of Some Parsons, Soldiers, and Other Fighters in the World • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... him? sure the happy Amelia would not be so selfish to envy me that pleasure. No; not if she was as much the fondest as she is the happiest of women." "Good heavens! madam," said he, "do you call my poor Amelia the happiest of women?" "Indeed I do," answered she briskly. "O Mr. Booth! there is a speck of white in her fortune, which, when it falls to the lot of a sensible woman, makes her full amends for all the crosses which can attend her. Perhaps she may not be sensible of it; but if it had been my blest fate—O Mr. Booth! could I have thought, when we ...
— Amelia (Complete) • Henry Fielding

... kissed the pages of his book and looked up. Far over the flat lay the kopje, a mere speck; the sheep wandered quietly from bush to bush; the stillness of the early Sunday rested everywhere, and ...
— The Story of an African Farm • (AKA Ralph Iron) Olive Schreiner

... more than two years at the farm. I, the pale city lad, had grown brown under the sun's warm kisses. I fancy I was not rosy, but the bright eyes and the clear complexion, free from speck or blemish, gave the certain indications of health. I had tasted of the actual farm work. I had planted beans, potatoes and melons. I had hoed corn, and on my knees weeded, in the broiling sun, ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... this solitary point paid little attention to the rain that ran off the peak of his sailor's cap or to the gusts of wind that blew about his bushy gray beard. He was still following, with an eye accustomed to pick out objects far at sea, one speck of purple that was now fading into the gray mist of the rain; and the longer he looked the less it became, until the mingled sea and sky showed only the smoke that the great steamer left in its wake. As ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 11, No. 24, March, 1873 • Various

... a little speck, And then it seemed a mist; 150 It moved and moved, and took at last ...
— Coleridge's Ancient Mariner and Select Poems • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... right side of the heart, flow through into the upper chamber, then through another door or valve into the lower, where it is pumped out into the lungs. If these lungs are, as they should be, full of pure air, each corpuscle is so charged with oxygen, that the last speck of impurity is burned up, and it goes dancing and bounding on its way. That is what health means: perfect food made into perfect blood, and giving that sense of strength and exhilaration that we none of us know half as much ...
— The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking - Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes • Helen Campbell

... into invalid habits, and made no effort to rally. If his father urged him to go out—nay, once or twice he gulped down his pride, and asked Osborne to accompany him—Osborne would go to the window and find out some flaw or speck in the wind or weather, and make that an excuse for stopping in the house over his books. He would saunter out on the sunny side of the house in a manner that the squire considered as both indolent and unmanly. Yet ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... on the bridge. Captain Wilson told her that she might safely go to bed again till seven or eight. But she stayed where she was. Mr. Phillips fetched a cup of tea for her at six and another at seven. She drank both and ate a good deal of bread and butter. When at last the island appeared, a dim speck on a clear horizon line, she danced with excitement, and sent Mr. Phillips below to fetch her father. Mr. Donovan was at breakfast, attended by Smith, and flatly refused to stir. Captain Wilson, satisfied that the island lay just where he expected it, left the bridge and joined Mr. Donovan. ...
— The Island Mystery • George A. Birmingham

... their lives, the happiness, expressed in songs or merry gambols or mazy dances, which He has poured into their hearts. The whole earth is full of the glory of God's infinite benignity and good will. Insignificant as I—a speck on earth, and earth itself but a speck in creation—seem to myself when, standing below the starry vault, I look up into the heavens, yet, apart from the thought that I am a sinner, I cannot say, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? How can I, when I see Him mindful of the brood that ...
— The Angels' Song • Thomas Guthrie

... with you! There is no God upon the eternal throne Of stars begemming the bewildering blue Unless one has the eyes to see him. Think How we two stand upon the brink Of nothing! Here's a globe, whereto we trust, No larger than the smallest speck of dust Or mote in the sunbeam is to that sun's self, And we are like dead leaves in autumn's whil ...
— Household Gods • Aleister Crowley

... under the nose of the raccoon. Quick as a flash a little black, hand-like paw was thrust into the water and the big frog was flipped out upon the bank. Having secured it, Ringtail returned to the tip of his log where he proceeded to dip the body of the frog into the water again and again until every speck of leaf mold and dirt was washed away. Then he dispatched it ...
— Followers of the Trail • Zoe Meyer

... sun is sinking; All grows dim, and dies; See, the waves are drinking Glories of the skies. Day's last lustre playeth On that current dark; Yet no speck betrayeth His long looked-for bark. 'Tis the hour of meeting! Nay, the hour is past; Swift the time is fleeting! Fleeteth hope as fast. Still the Gitanilla By the stream doth linger, In the hope that night Will ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... road in the gloom moved a dark speck. It couldn't be Father, for he had gone in the machine—the nice, comfortable little car that Stephen had made them get before he went away to college, because he said that Father needed to have things easier ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... sea and islands shining in the early sunlight, Mr. White and his daughter were down by the shore, walking along the white sands, and chatting idly as they went. From time to time they looked across the fair summer seas to the distant cliffs of Bourg; and each time they looked a certain small white speck seemed coming nearer. That was the Umpire; and Keith Macleod was on board of her. He had started at an unknown hour of the night to bring the yacht over from her anchorage. He would not have his beautiful Fionaghal, who had come as a stranger to these far lands, go back to Dare in a common ...
— Macleod of Dare • William Black

... Just then a tiny speck appears far away on the plain. It is a man travelling towards the water at a swinging trot. Going into the hut, Owen returns with a pair of field-glasses, and through them scrutinises the figure ...
— The Wizard • H. Rider Haggard

... known by our acquired habits or catenated trains of ideas and muscular motions; and perhaps, when we compare infancy with old age, in those alone can our identity be supposed to exist. For what else is there of similitude between the first speck of living entity and the mature man?—every deduction of reasoning, every sentiment or passion, with every fibre of the corporeal part of our system, has been subject almost to annual mutation; while some catenations alone ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. I - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... Mlle. Fanny in the Rue Montmartre, climbed a very steep, narrow staircase, and reached a two-roomed dwelling on the fifth floor. Everything was as neat as a new ducat. I did not see a speck of dust on the furniture in the first room, where Mlle. Fanny was sitting. Mlle. Fanny herself was a young Parisian girl, quietly dressed, with a delicate fresh face, and a winning look. The arrangement of her neatly brushed chestnut hair in a double curve on her forehead lent a refined ...
— Gobseck • Honore de Balzac

... personally, so that we can avoid quibbles about Oliver's legal position, he being a rebel confessed, and the day after he is inlawed I will in my turn convey the property in both kinds to him. When the restitution has been fully and legally made, without speck or flaw in title, and passed as such by my lawyers, the letter will be returned to you sealed as now, and of course I shall be rigidly silent on the matter. Your lordships," he ended coldly, "may start for London at once to see to ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... far as the crest of the hill with Marget, and watched her on the way to the post office till she was only a speck upon the road. ...
— Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush • Ian Maclaren

... speckled mirrors. These had delighted her at first, but in her heart she preferred the battered, makeshift furniture of Cardigan Street. A few licks with the duster and her work was done; but here the least speck of dust showed on the polished surface. Jonah, too, had got into a nasty habit of writing insulting words on the ...
— Jonah • Louis Stone

... of blue above me I perceived a speck, no larger than a mote of dust. The aasvogel on watch up there far out of the range of man's vision had seen the deed, and, by sinking downwards, signalled it to his companions that were quartering the sky for fifty miles round; for these birds prey by sight, not by smell. Down he came and down, ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard



Words linked to "Speck" :   small indefinite quantity, identification particle, grinding, snuff, spot, small indefinite amount, chylomicron, material, maculation, stuff, patch, fleck, dapple, grain, mark



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