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Silliness   Listen
noun
Silliness  n.  The quality or state of being silly.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Silliness" Quotes from Famous Books



... conducted by experience. And besides, Mr. Fenwick, is not love a warfare? has it not rules? have not our fair antagonists their tactics, their weapons, their place of arms? and is there not a touch of - pardon me the word! of silliness in one who, having fought, and having vanquished, sounds a parley, and capitulates to his own prisoner? Had the lady chosen, had the fortune of war been other, 'tis like she had been Mrs. Austin. Now I . . . You ...
— The Plays of W. E. Henley and R. L. Stevenson

... Novelists are a genus with many species, determined by the particular quality of silliness that predominates in them—the frothy, the prosy, the pious, or the pedantic. But it is a mixture of all these—a composite order of feminine fatuity—that produces the largest class of such novels, which we shall distinguish as ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... I was—afraid—to ride. Doesn't it seem ridiculous, now I'm over that silliness? But oh, how I did wish I could get over being afraid! That was about the only wish you couldn't grant, ...
— Blue Bonnet's Ranch Party • C. E. Jacobs

... not as unreal; their hope is to build a wall of prayer between a sinful world and the wrath of God. Such silliness passes out of perception." ...
— Sister Teresa • George Moore

... what has befallen the wretched inhabitants of this island, and what will befall you too. The power of fairies is great,' she added, when she had finished her story, 'but they cannot destroy the work of another fairy. Very shortly you will pass into the weakness and silliness of extreme old age, and all I can do for you is to make it as easy to you as possible, and to preserve you from the death that others have suffered, from having no one to look after them. But the charm is working already! Cornichon is taller and more manly than he was an hour ago, and Toupette ...
— The Grey Fairy Book • Various

... death; yet neither the interest of the first, nor the romance of the second, nor the solemnity of the last, could check for more than a few hours the steady development of the family characteristics of love, modesty, hate, frivolity, wisdom, and silliness. ...
— Post Haste • R.M. Ballantyne

... associates itself very happily with music? If only they would try to root up this great fiction, which has bothered us for the last three centuries; if only they would open their eyes and see—what great men like Rousseau and Tolstoy saw so clearly—the silliness of opera; if only they would see the anomalies of the Bayreuth show. In the second act of Tristan there is a celebrated passage, where Ysolde, burning with desire, is waiting for Tristan; she sees him ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... three days beforehand, to get up earlier, and to walk to Fleet Street by way of Great Queen Street and Lincoln's Inn Fields, and upon this he would subsist till the day came. He could make no longer excursions because of his lameness. All this may sound very much like simple silliness to most people, but those who have not been bound to a wheel do not know what thoughts come into the head of the strongest man who is extended on it. Clark sat side by side in his gallery with other young men of rather a degraded type, and the confinement ...
— Mark Rutherford's Deliverance • Mark Rutherford

... solemn colours of the dying day. And all this talk we have got only through letting our minds go wandering away on the subject of going a-walking. I have always said that the sweetest pleasures are almost costless. The placid "look of the bay mare" took all the silliness out of Walt Whitman; and there is more in his queer phrase than meets the eye. One word. When you go a-walking, do not try to be obtrusively merry. Meet a group of tramping gentlemen who have been beer-drinking ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... from Dominick was a hypocritical refinement of sensitiveness. To draw myself up haughtily, to turn on my heel and walk away,—that was the silliness of a boy. Still, I am glad I did both those absurd things. When I told my mother how I had ruined myself in politics she began to cry,—and tears were not her habit. Then she got my father's picture and kissed it and talked to it about me, just as if he were there with us; and for a ...
— The Plum Tree • David Graham Phillips

... state of blind indifference to its high vocation, the cultivation of the power of Thought will go on steadily and surely, and the mind will become constantly more and more clarified from all folly and silliness. ...
— The Elements of Character • Mary G. Chandler

... Scott has his Jeanie Deans. But though Thackeray has given us over and over again living pictures of women of power, intellect, wit, charm, they are all marred by atrocious selfishness, cruelty, ambition, like Becky Sharp, Beatrix Esmond, and Lady Kew; or else they have some weakness, silliness, or narrowness which prevents us from at once loving and respecting them. Amelia is rather a poor thing and decidedly silly; we do not really admire Laura Pendennis; the Little Sister is somewhat colourless; Ethel Newcome runs great risk of being a spoilt beauty; and about ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... your pardon, my lady. Indeed, it's only my silliness! Mother was saying yesterday that she had never seen a lady so well and in as good spirits. I have no right to be here if I make such mistakes. Please, my lady—oh! might mother be allowed to step in a minute ...
— Emily Fox-Seton - Being The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... that motion pictures are not an art and that it makes little difference what happens to them. We cannot share that indifference. Enough has been done in pictures to convince us that very beautiful things might be achieved if only the censors could be put out of the way. Not all the silliness of the modern American picture is the fault of the producers. Much of the blame must rest with the various boards of censorship. It is difficult to think up many stories in which there is no passion, crime, or birth. As a matter of fact, we are of the opinion that the entire theory of motion ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... after their effects and not from their causes, term the action of this imponderable love at first sight; the wise define it to be a phenomenon of ambericity. As regards my own opinion about the matter, I have long ago told it to you, O Vikram! Silliness—" ...
— Vikram and the Vampire • Sir Richard F. Burton

... with a feeling of curiosity not unmixed with pleasure. It was the only incident that had occurred during her captivity. She recognised the hand-writing of Nicaeus, and threw it down with; vexation at her silliness in supposing, for a moment, that the matron could have been the emissary of ...
— The Rise of Iskander • Benjamin Disraeli

... equality than by professing my contempt for the language, and my resolution not to learn it. A youth who died early, himself an excellent Greek scholar, saw my negligence and folly with pain, instead of contempt. He came to call on me in George's Square, and pointed out in the strongest terms the silliness of the conduct I had adopted, told me I was distinguished by the name of the Greek Blockhead, and exhorted me to redeem my reputation while it was called to-day. My stubborn pride received this advice with sulky ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... full of spite and jealousy as a yeast jug is full of pop. She pretends that the idea of anything serious between Cordelia and Phillips is just silliness. Might as well talk about King Solomon in all his glory marryin' the woman that done his washin'—that's what she pretends to believe. It's all Cordelia and not Eg at all, that's what she says. But she knows better, just the same. She's got somethin' else to think ...
— Fair Harbor • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... that you should set so sweet, so tender an air, as "Deil tak the wars," to the foolish old verses. You talk of the silliness of "Saw ye my father?"—By heavens! the odds is gold to brass! Besides, the old song, though now pretty well modernized into the Scottish language, is originally, and in the early editions, a bungling low imitation of the Scottish ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... young Duke may be conceived by those who have wasted their time, and are compensated for that silliness by being called men of the world. He gamed a little at Paris; he ate a good deal at Vienna; and he studied the fine arts in Italy. In all places his homage to the fair sex was renowned. The Parisian duchess, the Austrian princess, and the Italian countess spoke ...
— The Young Duke • Benjamin Disraeli

... was necessary for them. He acknowledged that they had a large share of physical suffering to endure, but asserted that Nature, to preserve her balance, must have arranged their minds so as to render them incapable of suffering in any other way. Sentimentality, hysteria, and silliness, he said, were at the bottom of all their mental troubles, which did not, ...
— Ideala • Sarah Grand

... This silliness dates back at least as far as 1959 at Stanford University and had already gone international by the early 1960s, when it was reported at London University's ATLAS computing site. There are several variants of it in circulation, ...
— The Jargon File, Version 4.0.0

... the capacity of producing everything, may actually do so without using instrumental aids. The 'for' in the Stra is meant to point out the fact that the proving instances are generally known, and thus to indicate the silliness of the objection. Whey and similar ingredients are indeed sometimes mixed with milk, but not to the end of making the milk turn sour, but merely in order to accelerate the process and give to the sour milk a ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... not. Every man believes himself superior to every form of silliness, but I never saw a lover yet who did not lapse sooner or later ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... "You ain't so unprofessional as to remember all that silliness against me, are you? I was only a girl, and you couldn't expect me to love you—either of you. I'm a poor widow now," she sighed, "and I need work. And here you have been laying up grudges against me—the two of you—all these years! What would ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... use of the word "hospitality" will be drowned in its pink tea, choked with cheese-wafers, rescued from the nervous clutch of the managing mama, and the machinations of the chaperone. A society built on the sands of silliness must give way to the universal university, and the strong, healthful, helpful, honest companionship and comradeship ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... sagacious as these rascals were? Why should pious people be so stupid?" Jesus looks on to the needs that must occur in his religion for sagacity, prudence, discretion, and the perils that will come to it from sentimentalism, mysticism, silliness, and he asks: "Why is it that the children of this world are so much shrewder than the ...
— Mornings in the College Chapel - Short Addresses to Young Men on Personal Religion • Francis Greenwood Peabody

... in years, he's a child in learning—'cept evil. So Fra proposes to oust the evil if he can—I wager he'll find he's got a job—and put in good. He'll make Antonio earn his keep a-writin' up the books and accounts, for, with all his silliness, he's a master hand at figurin'—for himself. So that settles them, and don't you dast say no to the arrangement when it's perposed to you, Gabriella Trent, or I'll never let you hear the last of it. It's the Lord's own way of disposing ...
— Jessica, the Heiress • Evelyn Raymond

... representing a meadow by two minutely accurate blades of grass. But two minutely accurate blades of grass are just as irrelevant as two million; it is the formal significance of a blade of grass or of a meadow with which the artist is concerned. The Pre-Raffaelite method is at best symbolism, at worst pure silliness. Had the Pre-Raffaelites been blessed with profoundly imaginative minds they might have recaptured the spirit of the Middle Ages instead of imitating its least significant manifestations. But had ...
— Art • Clive Bell

... with low and paltry spirits, who possess no sense of honor, no regard for decency and no reverence or respect for beings of a higher moral or religious nature than themselves. The man who habitually uses profane language, lowers his moral tone with every oath he utters. Moreover, the silliness of the practice, if no other reason, should prevent its use by every man ...
— Our Deportment - Or the Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society • John H. Young

... Besides, it was not as if the red-faced customer had been rude. Write down on paper what he had said to her, and nobody could object to it. Write down on paper what she had said to him, and you couldn't object to that either. It was just Arthur's silliness. ...
— The Man Upstairs and Other Stories • P. G. Wodehouse

... certainty that they had forgotten all about him. Nan had settled herself by the fire and his uncle was bringing her a footstool, an elderly attention, Dick floutingly thought, very well suited to Aunt Anne, but pure silliness for a girl who flung herself about all over the place. At any rate, he wasn't wanted, and he did go to Cambridge and hunted up some of the fellows likely to talk sense; but no sooner had he settled within their circle of geniality than he found himself glooming over ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... heartily regret having changed their quarters. Of course it was her doing that they did so. She is a curious mixture of cleverness and silliness. Her weak point is her ambition to be in county society, and to drop the town altogether. She has always been hankering for that. No doubt it is partly for the sake of the girls—at least she always lays it to that. But when I used to attend them as babies, she was always complaining to me that ...
— A Girl of the Commune • George Alfred Henty

... limp, badly-starched shirt-collar almost obscured his eyes. We shall never be able to claim any credit as a physiognomist again, for, after a careful scrutiny of this gentleman's countenance, we had come to the conclusion that it bespoke nothing but conceit and silliness, when our friend with the silver staff whispered in our ear that he was no other than a doctor of civil law, and heaven knows what besides. So of course we were mistaken, and he must be a very talented man. He conceals it ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... Sigismund? Thou fibbest; It was you yourselves that thus Sigismundized me and princed me: All the silliness and the boldness Have been by ...
— Life Is A Dream • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... laughing secretly at father and mother. If there had been that fear about the dressmaker's model on top of the rest of her anxieties she would have broken down with nervous prostration. But, thanks to her for saving him (without his knowledge), Peter seemed to have got over his silliness and was able to stand by her like ...
— Winnie Childs - The Shop Girl • C. N. Williamson

... most of us is, sheer folly—not want of cunning and cleverness, but want of heart—want of feeling—what Solomon calls folly (Prov. i. 22-27), stupidity of soul, when he calls on the simple souls, How long ye simple ones will you love simplicity or silliness, and the scorners delight in their scorning (delight in laughing at what is good), and fools hate knowledge—hate to think earnestly or steadily about anything—the stupidity of the ass, who is too stubborn and thick-skinned ...
— True Words for Brave Men • Charles Kingsley

... he was in Somerset, and I was reading them over and thinking of William, silly fashion, as a young girl will, and wishing it had been me was a Roman Catholic and him a Protestant, because then I could have gone into a convent like the wicked people in father's story-books. I was in that state of silliness, you see, that I would have liked to do something for William, even if it was only going into a convent—to be bricked up alive, perhaps. And then I hears a scratch, scratch, scratching, and 'Drat the mice,' says I; but I didn't take any notice, ...
— In Homespun • Edith Nesbit

... you spoke en berger—nay, my complaisance has been so great, as to answer you en bergere—for I do not think any thing except ridicule can come of dialogues between Lindor and Jeanneton; and the principal fault of the style is its extreme and tiresome silliness and affectation. But when you begin to kneel, offer to take my hand, and speak with a more serious tone, I must remind you of our real characters. I am the daughter of Sir Henry Lee, sir; you are, or profess to be, Master Louis Kerneguy, ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... or not eating, he was doomed to die) are amongst the lowest rubbish of jest-books—having done duty for the Christian and the Pagan worlds through a course of eighteen centuries. Not to linger upon the nursery silliness that could swallow the legend of epicureanism surviving up to the very brink of the grave, and when even the hypocrisy of medical hope had ceased to flatter, what a cruel memento of the infirmity charged ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v2 • Thomas de Quincey

... believed we weren't drowned? And Aunt Juliet, with her principles, would be bound to believe we weren't, even if we were. We've only got to put it to her that way and she won't have a ghost of a grievance left. It's the simplest form of Christian Science. But in any case, whatever silliness Aunt Juliet may indulge in, we were simply bound to have the Tortoise today. It's a matter of duty. I don't see how you can get around that, Cousin Frank, no matter ...
— Priscilla's Spies 1912 • George A. Birmingham

... such silliness as this pleases my daughter, it makes no difference to me. For, after all, you would be the one they'd poke fun at, my ...
— The Stepmother, A Drama in Five Acts • Honore De Balzac

... simple, brutal and magnificent cry of life renders useless the efforts they make to galvanize and erect doctrines which cannot stand alone. The disapproval which attaches in our time to the word "internationalism" proves together the silliness and meanness of public opinion. Humanity is the living name of truth. Men are like each other as trees! They who rule well, rule by force and deceit; but by ...
— Light • Henri Barbusse

... half bad! You caught that on time. Yes, I'll help you in your joke, to punish their silliness, but only for a ...
— Stanford Stories - Tales of a Young University • Charles K. Field

... education, except in music, has not been very carefully attended to; and she knows about as much of the world as the Bishop of Autun (better known as Prince Talleyrand) knows of the Bible. If she were not so simple, she would be silly; but silliness is never simple,—always cunning; however, there is some cunning in her keeping her past Cameronian Chronicles so close. Perhaps I may know more about her in a short time, for I intend going to C——-, where my uncle once lived, in order to see if I can revive under the rose—since ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book V • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... have a chance of living, prospering, and propagating their race. In the civilized state, on the contrary, the weakliest and the silliest, protected by law, religion, and humanity, have chance likewise, and transmit to their offspring their own weakliness or silliness. In these islands, for instance, at the time of the Norman Conquest, the average of man was doubtless superior, both in body and mind, to the average of man now, simply because the weaklings could not have lived at all; and the ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... and the pretty white dress and put them on. The millpond was dark with shadows now, and she went down the stairs and out to the gate just as Dave again pulled up in front of it. He stared at the vision wonderingly and long, and then he began to laugh with the scorn of soberness and the silliness of drink. ...
— The Trail of the Lonesome Pine • John Fox, Jr.

... how we have no courage now-a-days, but let our ships be taken out of our harbour. Here Creed did tell us the story of the duell last night, in Covent-garden, between Sir H. Bellasses and Tom Porter. It is worth remembering the silliness of the quarrel, and is a kind of emblem of the general complexion of this whole kingdom at present. They two dined yesterday at Sir Robert Carr's [M.P. Knight and Baronet, of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, and one of the proposed knights of the Royal Oak for that county.] where it seems people do drink ...
— The Diary of Samuel Pepys • Samuel Pepys

... of the country in which the sheep is straying; and also the nature of the sheep that is straying there. He knows the roughness of the mountain passes, and the silliness of the solitary truant sheep; he divines accordingly what track it will take. He conjectures beforehand, with a considerable measure of accuracy, the pit in which it will be found lying, or the thicket in which it will be seen struggling. He follows and finds the fugitive. ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... a word just what we put into it, plus the individuality of the man who uses it. Some men read into noble words only their own silliness, vulgarity, prejudice, or preconceived ideas. Another man reads with his heart open for new impressions, new insight, new fancies ...
— The Warriors • Lindsay, Anna Robertson Brown

... with us, therefore, a remembrance of this repulsive habit, which argues a silliness so constitutional, and noting also the obstinate (almost it might be called the brutal) folly with which, during the last seventeen days of her life, she persisted in criminating herself, volunteering a continued rehearsal of conversations the most profligate, under a mere instinct of gossiping, ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... have to do with mathematical operations, that, though I was very fond of them in my college days, I have long ceased to occupy myself with these processes. I would add, by way of redeeming my dream-intelligence from a deserved charge of silliness, that I once performed a respectable intellectual feat when asleep. I put together the riddle, "What might a wooden ship say when her side was stove in? Tremendous!" (Tree-mend-us). I was aware of having tried to improve ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... should be rated largely for things that don't count—looks, cheerfulness, silliness, sympathy, softness of hand, willingness to ...
— The Letters of Franklin K. Lane • Franklin K. Lane

... whispered, clasping her hands tight against her breast. "I'll have a chance to show them that I'm really sorry for my silliness. I'll do something, I'll have something ready for them when they come back that will prove I'm done with sentimental ...
— Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge • Pemberton Ginther

... the good to shape itself in freedom. Suffering is the instant and obvious sign of some outrage done to human nature; without this natural recoil, actual or imminent, no morality would have any sanction, and no precept could be imperative. What silliness to command me to pursue pleasure or to avoid it, if in any case everything would be well! Save for some shadow of dire repentance looming in the distance, I am deeply free to walk as I will. The ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... which there was no sense. Think of reading one or two morning and evening papers every day. To be sure we said there was nothing in them, but we used up our eyesight over them, and let a stream of silliness and scandal dribble through our minds. As ...
— The Master-Knot of Human Fate • Ellis Meredith

... stenographers before, who refused their employers, and who invariably quit their positions immediately afterward. But Dede had not even hinted at such a thing. No matter how baffling she was, there was no nonsensical silliness about her. She was level headed. But, also, he had been level-headed and was partly responsible for this. He hadn't taken advantage of her in the office. True, he had twice overstepped the bounds, but he had not followed it up and made a practice of it. She knew she could trust him. But ...
— Burning Daylight • Jack London

... practise and double-dealing among the people find an outcrop in public affairs. Rogues in a community will have no trouble in finding rogue lawyers to do their bidding. In fact, rogue clients evolve rogue attorneys. Foolish patients evolve fool doctors. And superstition and silliness in the pew find a fitting expression in ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen • Elbert Hubbard

... since she was celebrated and George Tanqueray was not. It was Tanqueray's belief in her that had kept her up. It consoled her with the thought that her celebrity was, after all, only a disgusting accident. For, through it all, in spite of the silliness of it, he did believe. He swore by her. He staked his own genius upon hers. As long as he believed in it she could not really doubt. But now for the first time since she was celebrated she believed ...
— The Creators - A Comedy • May Sinclair

... "There is no silliness about it at all—only the profoundest respect," said Aglaya, very seriously. She had quite recovered her temper; in fact, from certain signs, it was fair to conclude that she was delighted to see this joke going so far; and a careful observer might ...
— The Idiot • (AKA Feodor Dostoevsky) Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... dislike for a fuss, was even more anxious than she not to dwell on that, and dismissed the subject quickly. He began to wipe the bottom of the basket, from which soup was dripping, talking the while of the carelessness of continental drivers and the silliness of children of all nations, perhaps to give her ...
— The Good Comrade • Una L. Silberrad

... said these words to comfort him. Sakuni said, O son of the Kuru race, you have just heard what Kama hath said. His words are, indeed fraught with wisdom. Why wouldst thou abandoning from foolishness the high prosperity that I won for thee, cast off thy life today, O king, yielding to silliness? It seemeth to me to-day that thou hast never waited upon the old. He that cannot control sudden accession of joy or grief, is lost even though he may have obtained prosperity, like an unburnt earthen vessel in water. That king who is entirely destitute ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... pure whirlwind of folly, without saying a word about the feelings that were in all hearts, including his own, just then. But I was delighted to find that marriage had not taken away an inch of his incurable silliness. ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... upon this that its evident silliness would prevent any speaker from using such a form in serious argument. But recall that in the discussion of any idea a term may get its meaning slightly changed. In that slight change of meaning lurks the error illustrated here, ready to lead ...
— Public Speaking • Clarence Stratton

... and clouds thoughts, and so causes a feeling of carelessness and silliness that may ruin some military plan, or give the whole thing away to the enemy and with it the lives ...
— Manual of Military Training - Second, Revised Edition • James A. Moss

... was just our silliness. I do like good-looking people, I must say. But what does it matter whether a brown person is handsome or homely, when you come to think of it? Besides, we can have another dragoman, too, for ornament, if we run across ...
— It Happened in Egypt • C. N. Williamson & A. M. Williamson

... great sorrow has not availed to save me from my fate. I see it; everyone sees it: I grow more "theatrical" every day. And no one could be more painfully aware of the pungent silliness of theatrical ways. The quiet, nervous, but pleasing E.C. Cummins vanishes. I cannot save him. I am driven like a dead leaf before the winds of March. My tailor even enters into the spirit of my disorder. He has a peculiar sense of what is fitting. I ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... was appointed, with Brander Matthews for managing director and spokesman. It issued a list of three hundred words, of average silliness as to spelling, and proposed new and sane spellings for these words. The President of the United States, unsolicited, adopted these simplified three hundred officially, and ordered that they be used in the official documents ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... in the possession of that artist whom Madame Sontag proclaimed as "the greatest known singer." None could express as did Delsarte, contemplation, serenity, tenderness—the dreams of a sweet and simple soul, and even the divine silliness of innocent beings. Wit and malice were equally easy for him ...
— Delsarte System of Oratory • Various

... be there till I had made a resolution to tell her all about it, though I should like it not to be till you are come home, and can tell her that I am not really like Dolores, as she will be sure to think me, for I really did it, not out of silliness and opposition, but because I knew how good they were, and I did tell you. Honestly, perhaps there was some opposition in the spirit of it; but I mean to make a fresh start when I come back, and you will be near at hand then, and that ...
— Beechcroft at Rockstone • Charlotte M. Yonge

... familiarity, which is akin to fondness, as we are told by the poets that pity is akin to love, was much the foolish fashion of the day. Men of the highest rank, and doubtless of the haughtiest arrogance, were called Tom, and Dick, and Harry; and this silliness was the language of high life, until the French Revolution and the democratic war at home taught them, that if they adopted the phraseology of their own footmen, their footmen would probably take possession of their title-deeds. The hollowness of public life ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... have responded in some way to all these hints he had been given. . . . Such insensibility was almost mysterious. Massy's state of exasperation seemed to Sterne to have made him stupid beyond the ordinary silliness of shipowners. ...
— End of the Tether • Joseph Conrad

... his own part he studied Courbet and then Delacroix, and, assuredly, from these picked up useful hints for converting sensibility into significant form. Sensibility he never lacked. Renoir's painting gift may, without unpardonable silliness, be compared with the singing gift of Mozart. His conspicuous characteristics are loveliness and ease. No painter, I suppose, gives more delight, or gives it more frankly. That is why his name provokes an odd, personal enthusiasm ...
— Since Cezanne • Clive Bell

... Greifenstein was not in reality so foolish as might have been thought. Her silliness was superficial. One part of her life had been full of strange circumstances, and if the whole truth were told it would appear that she had known how to extract a large amount of personal advantage from situations which to many persons would have seemed hopeless. She and her ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... who was a personable if somewhat heavy creature of twenty-eight, because she kept company with a young man. He had caught them arm-in-arm and practically hugging each other, one Sunday afternoon in the street. He could see naught but silliness in that kind ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... troubles. Which was the greatest of these? Was it not the chain? What melancholy hours Tylo had spent fastened to an iron ring! And what humiliation he endured when the woodcutter used to take him to the village and, with unspeakable silliness, keep him on the lead in front of everybody, thus depriving him of the pleasure of greeting his friends and sniffing the smells provided for his benefit at every ...
— The Blue Bird for Children - The Wonderful Adventures of Tyltyl and Mytyl in Search of Happiness • Georgette Leblanc

... however, did not seem to Mrs. Caldwell to be a matter of much importance. It is customary to sacrifice the girls of a family to the boys; to give them no educational advantages, and then to jeer at them for their ignorance and silliness. Mrs. Caldwell's own education had been of the most desultory character, but such as it was, she was content with it. "The method has answered in my case," she complacently maintained, without the slightest suspicion that the assertion ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... deluded young. She was quite different from other women. She was misunderstood by the cynical and gross-minded world. A heart of virgin purity beat beneath her mercenary bosom. Her lurid past had been the reiterated martyrdom of a noble nature. O Golden Age! O unutterable silliness of Boyhood! ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... during the night. Peter, upon receiving this surprising intelligence, turned pale as ashes, and alighting, conversed for some time anxiously with the messenger. Entering his carriage again, he drove with the utmost speed to Peterhof, and with characteristic silliness began to search the cupboards, closets, and under the bed for the empress. Those of greater penetration foresaw what had happened, but were silent, that they might ...
— The Empire of Russia • John S. C. Abbott

... old gentleman, who had been an intriguer in his youth and knew (as he flattered himself) all the wiles of womankind, endeavors to avoid what he considers as the usual fate of husbands, by marrying his ward, a beautiful girl, simple almost to silliness, but to whom nature has given as much of old mother Eve's talent for persuasion and imposition as enables her to baffle all the schemes of her aged admirer and unite herself to a young gallant more suited to ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8 • Charles F. (Charles Francis) Horne

... life became increasingly agitated. Miss Fleet was an excellent hand at subduing, or, if that were impossible, at getting neatness into agitation. She knew well how to help fashionable women to be absurd with method. She made their silliness almost business-like, and assisted them to arrange their various fads in apple-pie order. Amid their often hysterical lives she moved with a coolness that was refreshing even to them. She never criticized their actions except sometimes by tacitly declining to ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... oppressed; and we always tried to make our progress more a pleasure than a toil. To hurry over the ground, abuse, and look ferocious at one's native companions, merely for the foolish vanity of boasting how quickly a distance was accomplished, is a combination of silliness with absurdity quite odious; while kindly consideration for the feelings of even blacks, the pleasure of observing scenery and everything new as one moves on at an ordinary pace, and the participation in the most delicious rest ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... a most wonderfully strong and valiant spirit: she was once timid; now she tramples on all the evil spirits. She has put far away from herself all the littleness and silliness of women; she is singularly free from scruples, ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... filthiest subjects are discussed in the vilest language; to see all that is foolish or lascivious in your own sex exaggerated with a malignant licence, which makes a young and beautiful woman an epitome of all the vices, uniting the extreme of masculine profligacy with the extreme of feminine silliness. Will you encourage by your presence the wretches who libel your sex? Will you sit smiling to see your sisters in ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... combine to effect a little masterpiece of Louis Quinze art. It is simple and natural, and entirely free from the besetting sins of so slight a picture triviality, affectation, empty prettiness, or simply silliness. In its way it is perfect, and for that perfection is for ever reserved the popularity which we find temporarily accorded to pictures like Frith's Dolly ...
— Six Centuries of Painting • Randall Davies

... week after week. Kathlyn had no especial adventures. Nothing in particular happened to Mary. The million dollar mystery was: why did the millionaires who owned such a magnificent instrument descend to such silliness and impose it on the people? Why cannot our weekly story be henceforth some great plan that is being worked out, whose history will delight us? For instance, every stage of the building of the Panama Canal was followed with the greatest interest in the films. But there was not enough of it ...
— The Art Of The Moving Picture • Vachel Lindsay

... went off to his club. There seemed to be no way in which he could drown his anger, disappointment, and sense of loss, except by a debauch, and he was brought home by his faithful Phipps at the stage of confidential silliness. ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... American newspapers, American discussions, American social affairs are pervaded by a din that in England we do not hear and do not want to hear. The real and steady development of American scientific men is masked to the European observer, and it must be greatly hampered by the copious silliness of the amateur discoverer, and the American crop of new religions and new enthusiasms is a horror and a warning to the common British intelligence. Many people whose judgments are not absolutely despicable hold a theory that unhampered personal freedom for a hundred years has made out of ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... bottom of one sooty, the other clean!—There we sat, face to face, alternately rubbing the bottoms of the plates, and stroking our physiognomies, in mockery of each other—Mr. Lark getting his face blacked like a sweep,—the youngsters laughing at his silliness!—Oh, that a little smut should produce ...
— Christmas Comes but Once A Year - Showing What Mr. Brown Did, Thought, and Intended to Do, - during that Festive Season. • Luke Limner

... take thy boasting and bragging," said his housewife, "and thou shouldst not utter such stuff and silliness to any one than thyself. As for me, I will willingly give Kari meat and other good things, which I know will be useful to him; but on Bjorn's hardihood, Kari, thou shalt not trust, for I am afraid that thou wilt find it ...
— The story of Burnt Njal - From the Icelandic of the Njals Saga • Anonymous

... are you and me. We was both of us out of sorts this mornin', I guess—I know I was—and then you come along and we talked and—and, well, we both went into this foolish, ridiculous, awful piece of silliness without stoppin' to figger out whether we really wanted to, or whether we was liable to get along together, or anything else. Caleb, I've been wantin' to say this for the last hour or more—now I'm goin' to say it: You turn that horse's head around ...
— Thankful's Inheritance • Joseph C. Lincoln

... Don't, like Sam, get it into your heads that you are destined to get into scrapes, and that therefore it is no use trying to keep out of them. That would be a proof of nothing but your silliness. I can't tell you how it was Sam's stone always broke the window, or why the master's eye always fell on him when there was a row going on; but I can tell you this, that if Sam hadn't thrown the stone, the window would not have been broken; and that if he had behaved well when ...
— Parkhurst Boys - And Other Stories of School Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... in the revue des Deux Mondes (the "Grenzboten" only gives a faint impression of it), to our views of Art, and to those men whom we honor and back up. (I can tell you more about this by word of mouth.) If Panofka calls that "persuasion and design," I give him my compliments...on his silliness.— ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome: - Years of Travel as a Virtuoso" • Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

... is. I'd like to shake her, mischief-making thing. Father liked Nelson well enough before that, but he came home from that seance as bitter against him as if the poor boy had committed murder. Marietta told him that a small dark man was trying to take away his daughter, or some such silliness. Nelson isn't very small nor VERY dark, but he was the only male in sight that came near answering the description. ...
— Galusha the Magnificent • Joseph C. Lincoln

... and the profession credit make it a rule never to answer a letter from a girl like that, unless to give her a word of advice. Come, my boy, don't disgrace yourself and profession. Don't spoil the life of a pretty but foolish girl who, if you do the right thing, will soon repent her silliness, and make some square young ...
— Tales From Bohemia • Robert Neilson Stephens

... not. It is silly. I love you, but I will not be silly. I want only what will last. The love will last, but the silliness won't. We are going to be married, but I shall not want to sit on your knee all the time, and what is more, you will not want me to. Suppose we should live to be very old. Who ever saw a very old woman sitting on her very old husband's ...
— 'Doc.' Gordon • Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman

... amused criticisms were passed on the loose formation, the lack of keeping step, and the straggling lines of the French. The criticisms, curiously enough, came in a great many cases from the very men in the Towers' ranks who had often "groused" most at the silliness of themselves being kept up to the mark in these matters. The marching Frenchmen were singing—but singing in a fashion quite novel to the British. Throughout their column there were anything up to a dozen songs in progress, ...
— Action Front • Boyd Cable (Ernest Andrew Ewart)

... and a gay smile of springtide abode upon his lips. His iron-gray hair, falling naturally like that of the Christ in art, added to his ecstatic air a certain solemnity which was absolutely deceptive as to his real nature; for he was capable of committing any silliness with the most exemplary gravity. His clothes were a necessary envelope, to which he paid not the slightest attention, for his eyes looked too high among the clouds to concern themselves with such materialities. This great unknown artist belonged to the kindly class of the self-forgetting, ...
— A Daughter of Eve • Honore de Balzac

... cried. 'It might be the last bottle of some rotten vintage or other. The master of this house may be quite proud of it. Don't you see there's something sacred in the silliness of ...
— Manalive • G. K. Chesterton

... money, the citizens will, of course, depend upon themselves; but may we pray them to beware of the silliness of local pride—(we imagine that upon reading this paper the cities and towns named will at once move in the business of monuments, and we would not leave them unadvised in any particular)—in choosing their sculptors ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866 • Various

... I speak of the inhuman sophism that, because it is silly in my neighbour to break his egg at the broad end when the Squire and the Vicar have declared their predilection for the narrow end, therefore it is right for the Squire and the Vicar to hang and quarter him for his silliness:—for ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... voice.) I think I can guess your secret, my dear, even if you're too stubborn to tell. This setback is your own fault. You've let other notions become more important to you than the idea of getting well. And you've no excuse for it. After I had to warn you a month ago, I expected that silliness to ...
— The Straw • Eugene O'Neill

... this minute. Leslie Goldthwaite and Dakie Thayne and the Josselyns half way up above there, in the Minster. Mr. Wharne and Miss Craydocke at the top. And I down here, where I belong. Impertinence! To think of the things I've said in my silliness to that woman, whose greatness I can no more measure! Why didn't somebody stop me? I don't answer for you, Frank, and I won't keep you; but I think I'll just stay where I am, ...
— A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite's Life. • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... he seemed to want, what he had feebly longed for. She was more than this. Her nature was the complement of his. A lack of shrewdness, of mental grasp, a certain silliness were absolutely essential to the maintenance of a lifelong devotion to him. Wentworth had found the right woman to give him what he wanted. Fay ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... go. I had told them I meant to change it at Sharbot Lake. So they were aware that no one on earth but themselves had any idea where I had gone. And I had further divulged to them the important fact that I had plenty of ready money in Bank of England notes! I stood aghast at my own silliness. But still, I ...
— Recalled to Life • Grant Allen

... and orderly nature, if sharing in these opinions, becomes temperate and wise, as far as this may be in a State, but if not, deservedly obtains the ignominious name of silliness. ...
— Statesman • Plato

... speech, then, and rightness of harmony and form and rhythm minister to goodness of nature; not that good-nature which we so call with a soft name, being really silliness, but the frame of mind which in very truth is rightly and fairly ordered in regard to the moral habit.—Most certainly he said.—Must not these qualities, then, be everywhere pursued by the young men if they are to do each his own business?—Pursued, ...
— Plato and Platonism • Walter Horatio Pater

... ignorance, too often also with silliness—which is not the case with you," I added, with a smile. "Real, that is to say, conscious simplicity is not even recognised; and, when it becomes active, it appears to vulgar minds a danger that must be averted. The better to attack it, they disfigure ...
— The Choice of Life • Georgette Leblanc

... mere custom and fashion. Because one person does a thing right or wrong, everybody round fancies himself bound to do likewise. Because one man thinks a thing, hundreds and thousands begin to think the same from mere hearsay, without examining and judging for themselves. There is no silliness, no cruelty, no crime into which people have not fallen, and may still fall, for mere fashion's sake, from blindly following the example of those round him. 'Everybody does so; and I must. Why should I be singular?' Or, 'Everybody does so; what ...
— Town and Country Sermons • Charles Kingsley

... ain't anything else in all this big world that anywhere near comes up to it for silliness. Why, don't you think," and here her voice took a lower and more solemn tone, and the wide cap frill trembled with earnestness. "Don't you think, there's men and women who believe that every word in that Bible over there is true, and they know ...
— Three People • Pansy

... evidenced by the fact that Welse's mining interests involved alone mounted to several millions. Corliss was primarily a worker and doer, and on discovering that his thorough theoretical knowledge lacked practical experience, he felt put upon his mettle and worked the harder. He even marvelled at the silliness of the men who had burdened him with such responsibilities, simply because of his pull, and he told Trethaway as much. But the colonel, while recognizing his shortcomings, liked him for his candor, and admired him for his effort ...
— A Daughter of the Snows • Jack London

... existence like his, always solitary, reduced to the satisfaction of mere needs, deprived of money and all pleasures in youth, may explain to physiologists and thinkers the clownish expression of the face, the feebleness of mind, the vacant silliness of the man. His sister had steadily prevented him from marrying, afraid perhaps to lose her power over him, and seeing only a source of expense and injury in some woman who would certainly be younger and undoubtedly less ugly ...
— Pierrette • Honore de Balzac

... door and is harrying out when she is intercepted by Lady Utterword, who bursts in much flustered. Lady Utterword, a blonde, is very handsome, very well dressed, and so precipitate in speech and action that the first impression (erroneous) is one of comic silliness. ...
— Heartbreak House • George Bernard Shaw

... exhort and admonish, furniture, and meals; but out there blessings crowd round me at every step—it is there that I am sorry for the unkindness in me, for those selfish thoughts that are so much worse than they feel; it is there that all my sins and silliness are forgiven, there that I feel protected and at home, and every flower and weed is a friend and every tree a lover. When I have been vexed I run out to them for comfort, and when I have been angry without just cause, it is there that I find absolution. Did ever a woman have ...
— Elizabeth and her German Garden • "Elizabeth", AKA Marie Annette Beauchamp

... the silliness of a weak woman "caught." She looked at Adelaide slyly. Adelaide turned her quiet face, unflushed, unruffled, and neither ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - February, 1876, Vol. XVII, No. 98. • Various

... couple; she is as pretty as peaches; he is as proud of her as if she were a splendid race horse; he glories in knowing she is lovely and accepts the admiration offered to her as a tribute to his own judgment, his own taste and even his merit, which obtained her. There is a certain amount of silliness in her which he soon detects, a touch of helplessness, and unsophistication in knowledge of worldly things that he yet feels is mysteriously guarded against intrusion upon and which makes companionship with ...
— The Delicious Vice • Young E. Allison

... the company of ladies, beware of silliness. It is true they will sooner forgive foolishness than ill manners, but you will, of course, avoid both. I know one young gentleman of great promise, who adopted the opinion that in order to qualify himself for female ...
— Golden Steps to Respectability, Usefulness and Happiness • John Mather Austin

... gravely, "d'Esgrignon's simplicity was really only a sort of provincial silliness, which I perceived rather too late—or, if you ...
— The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan • Honore de Balzac

... So, evil falls, and a fool foretells the truth." "Well," quoth Lord Raoul, with languid utterance, "'Tis very well — and thou'rt a foolish fool, Nay, thou art Folly's perfect witless man, Stupidity doth madly dote on thee, And Idiocy doth fight her for thy love, Yet Silliness doth love thee best of all, And while they quarrel, snatcheth thee to her And saith 'Ah! 'tis my sweetest No-brains: mine!' — And 'tis my mood to-day some ill shall fall." And there right suddenly Lord Raoul gave rein And galloped straightway to the crowded ...
— The Poems of Sidney Lanier • Sidney Lanier

... can't consider me as a child, a little girl, after that silly joke! I beg your pardon for that silliness, but you must bring me the letter, if you really haven't got it—bring it to-day, ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... as a text-book for the "newly engaged" girl. And he hoped and prayed with all his heart that every individual letter would be printed with crimson ink on a violet-scented page and would fairly reek from date to signature with all the joyous, ecstatic silliness that graces either an old-fashioned novel ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... identity,' he wrote, 'is supposed to be accepted by the consciousness of every one. But the language which such a law demands, "a planet is a planet, magnetism is magnetism, mind is mind," deserves to be called silliness. No mind either speaks or thinks or forms conceptions in accordance with this law, and no existence of any kind whatever conforms to it. We must never view identity as abstract identity, to the exclusion of all difference. That is the ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... Other Island represents a realism somewhat more tinged with the later transcendentalism of its author. In one sense, of course, it is a satire on the conventional Englishman, who is never so silly or sentimental as when he sees silliness and sentiment in the Irishman. Broadbent, whose mind is all fog and his morals all gush, is firmly persuaded that he is bringing reason and order among the Irish, whereas in truth they are all smiling at his illusions with the critical detachment of so many devils. There have been many plays depicting ...
— George Bernard Shaw • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... "Such silliness! Our good times will all be spoiled if people begin to imagine such nonsense about us. How shall I be able to meet him in the morning? But there! it is only Elsie's foolish mistake; I will not think of ...
— Miss Dexie - A Romance of the Provinces • Stanford Eveleth

... of the numerous homes of the suddenly and vastly rich of humble origin. She was used to—and regarded as proper and elegant—the ordinary ostentations and crudities of the rich of conventional society. No more than you or I was she moved to ridicule or disdain by the silliness and the tawdry vulgarity of the life of palace and liveried lackey and empty ceremonial, by the tedious entertainments, by the displays of costly and poisonous food. But General Siddall's establishment presented a new phase to her—and she thought ...
— The Price She Paid • David Graham Phillips

... stalwart good sense and the canons of decorum did not collapse easily, and the cultivation of the ballads had, as we have suggested, a certain aspect of silliness. It is well known that Addison's essays elicited the immediate objections of Dennis. The Spectator's "Design is to see how far he can lead his Reader by the Nose." He wants "to put Impotence and Imbecility upon ...
— Parodies of Ballad Criticism (1711-1787) • William Wagstaffe

... from his couch, but was cut down while deprived of his own sword, and as he strove in vain to draw the strange one. O valiant Amleth, and worthy of immortal fame, who being shrewdly armed with a feint of folly, covered a wisdom too high for human wit under a marvellous disguise of silliness! And not only found in his subtlety means to protect his own safety, but also by its guidance found opportunity to avenge his father. By this skilful defence of himself, and strenuous revenge for his parent, he has left it doubtful whether we are to ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... I launch whale-boat from sheer-plank of ship at sea, I shall take good heed, that my comrade be a sprightly fellow, with a rattle-box head. Be he never so silly, his very silliness, so long as he be lively at it, shall be its ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... and if I were I'd go ahead and defeat his intentions as I'm doubtless doing this minute. Let's make up now, so you'd as well stop talking silliness." ...
— The Miller Of Old Church • Ellen Glasgow

... of winter, the confusion of the times, the dread of war, the stern rule of parents, the anxious care of our children, the weariness of domestic life, the ill carriage of servants, lawsuits, and, what is worst of all, the state of the public mind which holds probity as silliness; which practises deceit and calls it prudence. Craftsmen are counted excellent, not by their skill in their art, but by reason of their garish work and of the valueless approbation of the mob. Wherefore one must needs either incur God's displeasure or live in misery, despised ...
— Jerome Cardan - A Biographical Study • William George Waters

... vexed that he should like it, and now spent the greater part of an hour trying to show him how very bad in parts, even senseless it was. Profusion of epithets without applicability, want of continuity, purposelessness, silliness, heartlessness—were but a few of his denunciations. Alister argued it was but a bit of fun, and that anybody that knew Ian, knew perfectly he would never amuse himself with a fellow without giving him ...
— What's Mine's Mine • George MacDonald

... understanding of which helps, on the one hand, to clear much in his writing that seems strange and difficult; and, on the other, reveals a deep meaning in remarks apparently simple to the point of silliness. These are his view of the solidarity of mental and spiritual as compared with physical things, and his habit of concentrating a universal truth into ...
— Mysticism in English Literature • Caroline F. E. Spurgeon

... "magnificently"—told Maurice she had "nervous prostration,"—a cloaking phrase which kindly doctors often give to perplexed husbands, so that the egotism of sickly wives may be covered up! So Maurice, repeating to himself these useful words, saw only ill health, not silliness, in Eleanor's occasional tears. It was a week after the shingling of the henhouse, that, leaving her to recuperate still further at Green Hill, he started in on his job of "office boy"—his jocose title for his position in the real-estate office in Mercer. ...
— The Vehement Flame • Margaret Wade Campbell Deland

... reply to this counsel was: "Tametomo's method of fighting is rustic. There are here two Emperors competing for the throne, and the combat must be conducted in a fair and dignified manner." To such silliness the Minamoto hero made apt answer. "War," he said, "is not an affair of official ceremony and decorum. Its management were better left to the bushi whose business it is. My brother Yoshitomo has eyes ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... her idol, Lord Byron, and the only composition of hers with which I am acquainted is the pretty song of "Waters of Elle," of which I think she also wrote the air. She was undoubtedly very clever, in spite of her silliness, and possessed that sort of attraction, often as powerful as unaccountable, which belongs sometimes to women so little distinguished by great personal beauty, that they have suggested the French observation that "ce sont les femmes laides qui font les grandes ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... Paradise," he at last decided. "And there he found a disengaged angel, who very imprudently lowered herself to the point of marrying him. And so he lived happily ever afterward. And so, till the day of his death, he preached the doctrine that silliness ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... I said, "I have made a dignified yet subtle protest. You wouldn't move in the matter so I had to do something. I flatter myself that a sense of her past silliness will rush over Jane like a flood when she ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 19th, 1914 • Various

... arranged that she should remain there from the night of the sermon until after she was graduated. If Mrs. Comstock decided to attend she was to drive in with the Sintons. When Elnora begged her to come she said she cared nothing about such silliness. ...
— A Girl Of The Limberlost • Gene Stratton Porter

... state the principal causes of this unhappiness, and to give some definite directions in the way of remedy. Absence of love, absence of reason, absence of justice, absence of taste, in other words, harshness and neglect, silliness and frivolity, vice and crime, vulgarity and slovenliness, are the leading and inevitable creators of alienation, dislike, and misery in marriage. Whatever tends to increase these tends to multiply ...
— The Friendships of Women • William Rounseville Alger

... putting her arm round the sinner who had brought this degrading blight upon our family tree, but such is girls' undetermined and affectionate silliness. "Tell sister all about it, H.O. dear. Why couldn't it be ...
— New Treasure Seekers - or, The Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune • E. (Edith) Nesbit

... there repeatedly crop up in Erasmus's writings. Those concerning the teaching he got inspired him with little gratitude; the school was still barbaric, then, he said; ancient medieval text-books were used there of whose silliness and cumbrousness we can hardly conceive. Some of the masters were of the brotherhood of the Common Life. One of them, Johannes Synthen, brought to his task a certain degree of understanding of classic antiquity in its purer ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... these performers most delicately handled. They are a very young, inexperienced (almost childish), and quarrelsome couple. Frivolity so extreme as they were required to represent demands the utmost nicety of colouring to rescue it from silliness and inanity. But the actors kept their portraits well up to a pleasing standard, and made them both quite spirituels (more French—that Morning Post will be the ruin of us), as well as in a ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, November 27, 1841 • Various

... manner, the curtness of her laugh, her way of speaking, puzzled Stane, and moved him to press for an answer. "Never mind the silliness," ...
— A Mating in the Wilds • Ottwell Binns

... spite of all," said the woman, "and by my own silliness. But I seed my little Nan alive fust, and that was all I wanted. And I don't know who she was, nor what she was. She tole me she was a outcast and a tramp and a good-for-nothing. But there's never been anybody yet, be they who they may, as ...
— The Lowest Rung - Together with The Hand on the Latch, St. Luke's Summer and The Understudy • Mary Cholmondeley

... an angry ring in her voice as she spoke, her little saucy mouth looked almost grand. After a moment's pause, she added, more quietly, but with all the force of the true woman's heart which lay hidden beneath her silliness and frivolity, "Besides, mamma, is ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... in their eyes, and when their mother told them to take him with them anywhere they were angry, because then they had to take care of him, and on account of his silliness could not play so many tricks. Paul felt that very well, and in order to escape their angry faces and still more angry blows, he generally said he wanted to stay at home, however sore his heart might feel. Then he seated himself on the pump-handle, and, ...
— Dame Care • Hermann Sudermann

... worked so hard with me toward building up our fortune, that, at the moment when we are about to reap the fruits of our labours, it would be a ridiculous piece of silliness in you to allow yourself to be controlled by Aramis, whose cunning you know—a cunning which, we may say between ourselves, is not always without egotism; or by Athos, a noble and disinterested man, but blase, who, desiring nothing further for himself, doesn't sympathize with ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... feelings to a sense of the dignity or meanness, the innocence or corruption, the goodness or baseness of the acting personages; but to show us whether they act stupidly or wisely, adroitly or clumsily, with silliness ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... so pleasant, if it weren't for this silliness. We have seen Elgin, which has the most exquisite ruined Cathedral that ever lived or died; and sweet Pluscarden Abbey not far off; and Forres, full of memories of Macbeth; and a mysterious carved shaft ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... a knife; a little later he stood on his head and yelled like a Congo chief. When Nietzsche tearfully interposed, Wagner told him to go and get married—marry the first woman who was fool enough to have him—she would relieve him of some of his silliness. ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... Bowen at nineteen adored by a dozen men and engaged to one. No, Laura, if I had ten sisters, and a fairy godmother for each, I should request that ancient dame to endow them all with beauty and silliness, sure that then they would achieve a woman's best ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 62, December, 1862 • Various

... persuading it thereby. What were more ridiculous than to swear the truth of a demonstrable theorem? What more vain than so to assert a disputable problem: oaths (like wagers) are in such cases no arguments, except silliness ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... terrible time? As for love, and engagements, and marriage,—that was all over. In her difficulty she never for a moment thought of Sir Felix Carbury. Though she had been silly enough to love the man because he was pleasant to look at, she had never been so far gone in silliness as to suppose that he was a staff upon which any one might lean. Had that marriage taken place, she would have been the staff. But it might be possible that Lord Nidderdale would help her. He was good-natured and manly, and ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... Joscelyn: Silliness in stories is more or less excusable, since they are not even supposed to be believed. And is there still a Wishing-Pool on Rewell and a ferry ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... June, 1908, from continuing its activities among us now and henceforth; and we can prevent our school textbooks from playing into Germany's hand by teaching hate of England to our boys and girls. Beside the sickening silliness which still asks, "What has England done in the war?" is a silliness still more sickening which says, "Germany is beaten. Let us forgive and forget." That is not Christianity. There is nothing Christian about it. It is merely sentimental slush, sloppy shirking ...
— A Straight Deal - or The Ancient Grudge • Owen Wister

... expected to do, foolish things continually. They cannot be persuaded to subject themselves to lawyers in all their doings, and, of course, go wrong when they do not do so. The infinite simplicity and silliness of mankind and womankind at large were too well known to the Serjeant to cause him dismay, let them be shown in ever so egregious a fashion. But in this case the fault came from another lawyer, who had tampered with his clients, and who seemed to be himself as ignorant as though he ...
— Lady Anna • Anthony Trollope

... might think, and for the sake of doing what I'd been told not to do. I—I felt as though I must be out in the air, and in motion. I didn't sleep last night, and I didn't eat any breakfast this morning, which may partly account for this silliness of mine, perhaps. I thought I should feel better out of doors, but it seems that nothing in the world can do me any good. Everything I attempt must always end in disaster, and—oh, Mr. Stanton, I am so ...
— The House by the Lock • C. N. Williamson

... may see the picture at Hampton Court. She must have been difficult to please, for she insisted upon being painted without shadow. "Glorious Gloriana" was to be the sun of female beauty. She is quite as well as some in "The Book." For modern "beauty" manufacturers make beauty to consist in silliness or sentimentality. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... scientific handling of jurisprudence. The highly educated and efficient officers' mess will rise mechanically and drink to the Monarch, and sit down to go on discussing the New Republic's growth. I do not see, indeed, why an intelligent monarch himself, in these days, should not waive any silliness about Divine Right, and all the ill-bred pretensions that sit so heavily on a gentlemanly King, and come into the movement with these others. When the growing conception touches, as in America it has already touched, the legacy-leaving class, there will ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... might be the last, foreseeing the possibility of one of my fits of movement coming on me before sunset. My very pulses throbbed 'away!' Transferring the sense of overwhelming heat to my moral condition, I thought it the despair of silliness to stay baking in that stagnant place, where the sky did nothing but shine, gave nothing forth. The sky was bronze, a vast furnace dome. The folds of light and shadow everywhere were satin-rich; shadows perforce of blackness had ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... for the brilliancy of his wit and repartee: he was never afraid to speak the truth. Once when the poet in one of his fits of petulance exclaimed, intending to produce a terrible impression, "I shall go mad!" Davies calmly and cuttingly observed, "It is much more like silliness than madness!" He was the only man who ever laid Byron under any serious pecuniary obligation, having lent him 4800l. in some time of strait. This was repaid on March 27, 1814, when the pair sat up over champagne and claret from ...
— Byron • John Nichol

... It seems that someone in the shape of a man had made an affidavit that Bishop Kavanaugh had come to the Pacific Coast as a secret agent of the Southern Confederacy, to intrigue and recruit in its interest! Five minutes' inquiry would have satisfied General McDowell of the silliness of such a charge—but it was in war times, and he did not stop to make the inquiry. In Kentucky the good old Bishop had the freedom of the whole land, coming and going without hinderance; but the fact was, ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... of the enfranchisement of the sex have loudly protested against the hackneyed truisms, formerly so rife, which impute to women every imaginable form of silliness and frivolity; that they, like Alphonse Karr's typical woman, have nothing to do but "s'habiller, babiller et se deshabiller." But it will be well to remember the existence of another class of maxims of even greater weight, which dwell on the subtle influence of women, and of its illimitable ...
— Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... give a dance on peace night. I'd settled to give a big affair with some perfectly new departures, and all the nicest people I wanted have said, "Sorry, dearest, but I'm giving one myself that night." I've no patience with the silliness ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, May 28, 1919. • Various

... heart, she had resolutely determined to put the sweet illusion out of her mind. "I was very foolish to let him see that I cared," she thought, "for it can never be, and by and by he will forget me, or if he does think of me, it will be to recall me as one of his summer girls who had a fit of silliness." ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... if she thought that she could do the crediting, at forty dollars a month. Susan assented gravely, and entered that day upon her new work, and upon a new era. She worked hard and silently, now, with only occasional flashes of her old silliness. She printed upon a card, and hung above ...
— Saturday's Child • Kathleen Norris

... perfect of Steele's comedies. The characters are strongly marked, the wit genial, and not indecent. Steele was among the first who set about reforming the licentiousness of the old comedy. His satire in the "Funeral" is not against virtue, but vice and silliness.—DR. DORAN.] ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... first one is: don't disappear with young men. There may be a time when it's valuable, but at present I want you on the dance-floor where I can find you. There are certain men I want to have you meet and I don't like finding you in some corner of the conservatory exchanging silliness with any one—or listening ...
— This Side of Paradise • F. Scott Fitzgerald



Words linked to "Silliness" :   silly, lightness, folly, absurdity, foolishness, lightsomeness, giddiness, frivolousness, fatuousness, frivolity, unwiseness, fatuity



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