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Sprightliness   Listen
noun
Sprightliness  n.  The quality or state of being sprightly; liveliness; life; briskness; vigor; activity; gayety; vivacity. "In dreams, observe with what a sprightliness and alacrity does she (the soul) exert herself!"






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Sprightliness" Quotes from Famous Books



... destined to end in a pickle jar. He called it "Mice Will Play." He had kept it quiet and hidden away ever since he wrote it, waiting to find a partner who fitted his conception of "Helen Grimes." And here was "Helen" herself, with all the innocent abandon, the youth, the sprightliness, and the flawless stage art that ...
— Strictly Business • O. Henry

... at least flawlessly consistent: there is scarce a trait in his character that is not reflected somewhere in his music, and hardly a characteristic of his music that one does not find quaintly echoed in some recorded saying or doing of the man. His placid and even vivacity, his sprightliness, his broad jocularity, his economy and shrewd business perception of what could be done with the material to hand, his fertility of device, even his commonplaceness, may all be seen in the symphonies. At rare moments he moves you strongly, ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... immediately came to the ship. His joy at seeing me again was very great; but he regretted much that his friend Timaro, with whom he had exchanged names, was not of our company. The spirits of Labugar had lost during eight years none of their sprightliness; but his face looked much older, and his hair had ...
— A New Voyage Round the World in the Years 1823, 24, 25, and 26. Vol. 1 • Otto von Kotzebue

... all the sprightliness of the boy, by a gloomy restraint of his mental faculties, was the only method of securing to themselves the highest approbation of his royal parents. The whole of our prince's childhood wore a dark and gloomy aspect; mirth was banished even from his amusements. ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... I have said, we may conclude, men and women were made as counterparts to one another, that the pains and anxieties of the husband might be relieved by the sprightliness and good-humour of the wife. When these are rightly tempered, care and chearfulness go hand in hand; and the family, like a ship that is duly trimmed, wants ...
— The Coverley Papers • Various

... are believers in the Pythagorean hypothesis; I wonder that there are any to embrace it. Nor can I sufficiently admire the super-eminence of those men's wits that have received and held it to be true, and with the sprightliness of their judgments have offered such violence to their senses that they have been able to prefer that which their reason asserted to that which sensible experience manifested. I cannot find any bounds for my admiration how that reason was able, in Aristarchus ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... is curiously alike in one feature. There is an almost sprightliness in their conviction that what they can write in these circumstances would exactly suit any paper, daily or weekly, morning or evening. All they have to do is to give up their odd savings of time to the work; all you—their ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... him five days ago," said D'Artagnan, and he portrayed with Gascon wit and sprightliness the magnificence of Porthos in his Chateau of Pierrefonds; nor did he neglect to launch a few arrows of wit at the excellent ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... brought up and educated in the palace under the care of the king and queen of Persia, who both saw him grow and increase in beauty to their great satisfaction. He gave them yet greater pleasure as he advanced in years, by his continual sprightliness, his agreeable manners, and the justness and vivacity of his wit; and this satisfaction was the more sensible, because King Saleh his uncle, the queen his grandmother, and the princesses his relations, came from time to time to partake ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... connect with it. Accordingly, a faultless taste in dress, a perfect ease and gayety of manner, a constant flow of kindly feeling, seemed in her case to produce all the effect of beauty. Her manners had just dignity enough to repel impertinence without destroying the careless freedom and sprightliness in which she commonly indulged. No person had a merrier run of stories, songs, and village traditions, and all those odds and ends of character which form the materials for animated conversation. She had read, too, every thing she could find: Rollin's History, and Scott's Family ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... dabbles in letters. The pretentiousness of his style is partly due to the declining taste of the period, partly to an idea of his own that he could write in the manner of Sallust. It alternates between a sort of laboured sprightliness and a careless conversational manner full of endless parentheses. Yet Velleius had two real merits; the eye of the trained soldier for character, and an unaffected, if not a very intelligent, interest in literature. Where he approaches his own times, his servile attitude towards ...
— Latin Literature • J. W. Mackail

... at the neat gate. The house stood well back from the street, in the trimmest and primmest little garden that ever was seen. Most of the shrubs were as old as their owner, and had something of her wrinkled sprightliness; and the annuals felt their responsibilities, and tried to live up to the York and Lancaster rose ...
— Geoffrey Strong • Laura E. Richards

... more than a hundred years old, he was very gay and light-hearted. The chief people of the town met in his hut, and spent whole days in conversation. This company of greybeards, for they are all old, laugh so heartily at the sprightliness of their own wit, that it is an invariable practice, when any one passes by, to stop and listen outside, and they add to their noisy merriment so much good-will, that we hear nothing from the hut in which the aged ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... frequently take the place of life. His best work after all is to be found in the books that are almost wholly farcical, Le nez d'un notaire (1862); Le roi des montagnes (1856); L'homme a l'oreille cassee (1862); Trente et quarante (1858); Le cas de M. Guerin (1862). Here his most genuine wit, his sprightliness, his vivacity, the fancy that was in him, have free play. "You will never be more than a little Voltaire,'' said one of his masters when he was a lad at school. It was a true prophecy. ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... into the dimly lighted stairway, and another rushed to the study and bedroom of the master of the mansion to increase quickly the light of the lamps there. Darvid went up the stairs quickly and with sprightliness; he threw into the hands of the servant his fur, which was costly and original, since it was brought from the distant North, and began at once to read at the round table, through an eyeglass, that which he had jotted ...
— The Argonauts • Eliza Orzeszko (AKA Orzeszkowa)

... correct judgment of the unaffected goodness of his heart; the easy affability, and pliant condescension, with which he can divest 298every one around him of any feeling of restraint—the uncommon sprightliness and vivacity he displays in conversation—the life and soul of all that is elegant and classical, and the willing participator and promoter of a good joke. Suffice it to say, the reception was flattering in the extreme, the entertainment conversational and highly intellectual. ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... go on alone to the place she was bound for, he had moments of dreadful sinking, as it occurred to him to wonder if he hadn't made a mistake in the nature of his own destination. Suppose, after all, he should find himself castaway in some oasis of determined sprightliness with Wally Whitaker in whose pocket pretenses of tips and margins he began to discern a poorer sort of substitute for the House. He was as much bored by the permanently young shoe-salesman after this discovery as before it, but obliged ...
— The Lovely Lady • Mary Austin

... gentleness and sweetness of her manners encouraged him to talk, and she felt relieved when a young lady of the party, who spoke incessantly, obtruded herself on his notice. This lady, who possessed all the sprightliness of a Frenchwoman, with all her coquetry, affected to understand every subject, or rather there was no affectation in the case; for, never looking beyond the limits of her own ignorance, she believed she had nothing to learn. She attracted notice from all; amused some, disgusted ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... with youthful ardour, and cut the air like arrows, and twist themselves in freakish arabesques. In the adagio depicting night, there is, though in very bad taste, much seriousness and reverie and stirring emotion. The fugue at the end is of astonishing sprightliness; and is a mixture of colossal jesting and heroic pastoral poetry worthy of Beethoven, whose style it recalls in the breadth of its development. The final apotheosis is filled with life; its joy makes the heart beat. The most extravagant harmonic ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... beautifully. Every girl did her part wonderfully well, but Patty surpassed them all. Buoyed up by excitement, she played her part with a dash and sprightliness that surprised even the girls who had seen her at rehearsal. She was roguish, merry and tragic by turns, and she sang her solos with a dramatic effect that brought down the house. She looked unusually pretty, which was partly the effect of her intense ...
— Patty's Summer Days • Carolyn Wells

... had rather over-reached himself in presenting this picture of marital joys to my horizon, Captain Pharo resumed the subject with sprightliness. ...
— Vesty of the Basins • Sarah P. McLean Greene

... without delay. They threw the youth down, stamped on his face, pounded his abdomen, pulled his hair out in handfuls, and otherwise treated him exactly as if the thing were happening in Russia. This spectacle was too much for the tobacconist's sense of honour. With unwonted sprightliness he vaulted over the writhing cluster and summoned a municipal policeman. The officer was on the spot in a twinkling, sword and trumpet in hand. And there, in all conscience, the matter ought to have rested—with ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... was put at my ease at once, and from that moment onward felt the wonderful fascination of a manner so peculiarly her own; it was a frank, whole-souled, sincere manner, with a certain indescribable piquancy and sprightliness blending with the earnestness which made her very individual ...
— The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss • George L. Prentiss

... separated a few inches from his race; dumb, erect, and made to be enveloped in clouds and snows, like the pines on shore. In these wild scenes, men stand about in the scenery, or move deliberately and heavily, having sacrificed the sprightliness and vivacity of towns to the dumb sobriety of nature. He does not make the scenery less wild, more than the jays and musk-rats, but stands there as a part of it, as the natives are represented in the voyages of early navigators, at Nootka Sound, ...
— Excursions • Henry D. Thoreau

... any fervour he may have had, any learning, any gaiety. How can he, the jaded interpreter, hold any opinion, feel any enthusiasm?—without leisure, keep his mind in cultivation?—be sprightly to order, at unearthly hours in a whir-r-ring office? To order! Yes, sprightliness is compulsory there; so are weightiness, and fervour, and erudition. He must seem to abound in these advantages, or another man will take his place. He must disguise himself at all costs. But disguises are not easy to make; they ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... some of your own sweet adjectives were returned on you before a gaping audience? Enthusiasm about art is become a function of the average female being, which she performs with precision and a sort of haunting sprightliness, like an ingenious and well- regulated machine. Sometimes, alas! the calmest man is carried away in the torrent, bandies adjectives with the best, and out-Herods Herod for some shameful moments. When you remember that, you will be tempted to put things ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... to me she is fair, tall, and shapely. Each of these qualities I grant. But that all these make loveliness I deny: for nothing of beauty nor scintilla of sprightliness is in her body so massive. Lesbia is lovely, for whilst the whole of her is most beautiful, she has stolen for herself every love-charm ...
— The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus • Caius Valerius Catullus

... to be surrounded with boats. In about an hour she weighed and stood to sea. Captain Maxwell had received another visit from the old Chief, whose appearance was described as being quite altered; his sprightliness and curiosity all gone, and his easy unceremonious manner exchanged for cold and stately civility: he looked embarrassed and unhappy, as it appeared, from an apprehension of having offended Captain Maxwell. When this was discovered, ...
— Account of a Voyage of Discovery - to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-Choo Island • Captain Basil Hall

... between getting a meal for myself or a feed for the pony; but the young man, on hearing of my sore poverty, trusted me "till next time." His house, for order and neatness, and a sort of sprightliness of cleanliness—the comfort of cleanliness without its severity—is a pattern to all women, while the clear eyes and manly self-respect which the habit of total abstinence gives in this country are a pattern ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... his smile; though naturally his countenance, as well as his air and voice, had much of roughness in it: yet he could at any time deposit this, and appear all gentleness and good-humour. He was not ungenteel, nor entirely devoid of wit, and in his youth had abounded in sprightliness, which, though he had lately put on a more serious character, he could, ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... myself with such aptness or with such fluency. In those days conversation was still cultivated as an art; a neat repartee was more highly valued than the crackling of thorns under a pot; and the epigram, not yet a mechanical appliance by which the dull may achieve a semblance of wit, gave sprightliness to the small talk of the urbane. It is sad that I can remember nothing of all this scintillation. But I think the conversation never settled down so comfortably as when it turned to the details of the trade which was the other side of the art we practised. ...
— The Moon and Sixpence • W. Somerset Maugham

... a daughter of the Duke of Derwent, now came into the room, and afforded her some relief by the sprightliness of her conversation. This young lady, who was a relation of the Delviles, and of a character the most airy and unthinking, ran on during her whole visit in a vein of fashionable scandal, with a levity that the censures of Mrs Delvile, though by no means spared, had ...
— Cecilia vol. 2 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... to describe some of his humorous adventures, and continued in this vein till they arrived once more at the chateau. Sometimes the countess laughed, but he could see that her sprightliness was gone. When they came under the porte cochere he sprang from his horse and assisted her to dismount; and he did not relinquish her hand till he had given it a friendly pressure. She stood motionless on the steps, centered a look on him which he failed ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... marry a daughter of Hobbs," said R. Schmidt, getting up from his chair with restored sprightliness. "If ...
— The Prince of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... too, hanging upon the smiles of merry, saucy, blue-eyed May Allison; while her brother Richard seemed equally enamored with the brunette beauty and sprightliness of Lottie King. ...
— Elsie's Womanhood • Martha Finley

... presentiment of her early death. I remember hearing Miss Sedgwick say that she should always think the better of Verplanck for having been the husband of Eliza Fenno. Several of her letters written to him before their marriage are preserved, which, amidst the sprightliness natural to her age, show a more than usual thoughtfulness. She rallies him on being adopted by the mob, and making harangues at ward meetings. She playfully chides him for wandering from the Apostolic Church ...
— A Discourse on the Life, Character and Writings of Gulian Crommelin - Verplanck • William Cullen Bryant

... great feeling of dissatisfaction. Her opinion on any subject was not startling. They did not talk enough together to come to the argument of any one point. In the accepted and popular phrase, she had her ideas and he had his. Once in a while he would meet a woman whose youth, sprightliness, and humour would make his wife seem rather deficient by contrast, but the temporary dissatisfaction which such an encounter might arouse would be counterbalanced by his social position and a certain matter ...
— Sister Carrie • Theodore Dreiser

... in The Taming of the Shrew, is an uncommon piece of humour. The conversation of Benedick and Beatrice, in Much Ado about Nothing, and of Rosalind in As you like it, have much wit and sprightliness all along. His clowns, without which character there was hardly any play writ in that time, are all very entertaining: And, I believe, Thersites in Troilus and Cressida, and Apemantus in Timon, will be allow'd to be master-pieces of ill nature and satyrical snarling. To these I might ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... Bertheroy put in an appearance. Although he was sixty-eight, he showed as much briskness and sprightliness as any young sawbones calling in a friendly way to perform a little operation. He had brought an instrument case, some linen bands and some lint. However, he became angry on finding the injured man nervous, flushed and hot ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... when Tom sighted his chum. Jack's face was gloomy, and he lacked his customary sprightliness ...
— Air Service Boys Over the Atlantic • Charles Amory Beach

... along, very happy, laughing and talking together, viewed with envy, contempt or sympathy by the girls and women who read and worked round the band-stand. A thin stream of music drifted out with a sort of melancholy sprightliness to join the deep sound of waves breaking and drawing back from the gravel on the sands. In the distance Caroline looked out from her little window at Wilson's broad back and hated them both, in spite of Laura's kindness. They'd everything—everything. What right had one girl to have so much more ...
— The Privet Hedge • J. E. Buckrose

... and—what was worse—she said it awkwardly, with a sprightliness, gracious yet affected, that did not become her at all. She meant, of course, to annoy her husband, and his face showed that she had succeeded. He turned away to the fire with a sulky frown, while she stood smiling, holding out a ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... and run with the longest strides he could take; and, after repeating this process, brought him a cup of boiling coffee. Having been revived and strengthened in this way, the lad quite recovered his sprightliness, and soon asked when we were going ...
— Adventures of a Young Naturalist • Lucien Biart

... letters of Grotius, are written in the finest latinity, and contain much valuable information; but the point, the sprightliness, the genius, the vivid descriptions of men and things, which are so profusely scattered over the letters of Erasmus, are seldom discoverable in those of Grotius. A man of learning would have been gratified beyond measure, by the ...
— The Life of Hugo Grotius • Charles Butler

... have not exhausted my ammunition! You wish to imitate the sparrow? But the sparrow does not, slyly and meanly mischievous, make a cult of sprightliness is not funny with authority, is not the pedant of flippancy! You percher among low bushes, who never care to fly, you wish to imitate—[Turning to one of the exotic COCKS cackling behind him.] Silence, Cock of Japan! or I ...
— Chantecler - Play in Four Acts • Edmond Rostand

... As time rolled on this Good Queen Bess Elizabeth Lost somewhat of her sprightliness; (continued) She got into a nervous state Was mopish and disconsolate. Now, as everyone will own, Had 'Iron Jelloids' been but known In Bess's time; why, it's conceded 'Twas just the Tonic that she needed. ...
— A Humorous History of England • C. Harrison

... oyster absolute, without a qualifying adjective, is the pickled oyster. Mrs. Trecothick, who knew very well that an oyster long out of his shell (as is apt to be the case with the rural bivalve) gets homesick and loses his sprightliness, replied, with the pleasantest smile in the world, that the chicken she had been helped to was too delicate to be given up even for the greater rarity. But the word "shell-oysters" had been overheard; and there was a perceptible crowding movement towards ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... the American Theatre. Authorities have taken little or no trouble to unearth his association with the plays and players of his time—the mid-period of the nineteenth century. Yet they all agree that, as illustration of "parlour comedy," his "Love in '76" is a satisfactory example of sprightliness and fresh inventiveness. For this reason, the small comedietta is included in the present collection. It challenges comparison with Royall Tyler's "The Contrast" for manner, and its volatile spirit involved in the acting the good services of such estimable ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76 - An Incident of the Revolution • Oliver Bell Bunce

... to the frank and charming disposition of the grisette, and her neighbors were proud on Sunday to have on their arm a pretty girl who did them honor (Rigolette cared little for appearances), and who only cost the partaking of their modest pleasures, which her presence and sprightliness enhanced. Besides, the dear girl was so easily contented; in the days of penury she dined so well and so gayly on a piece of hot cake, nipped with all the force of her little white teeth; after which she amused herself so much with a walk on the ...
— The Mysteries of Paris V2 • Eugene Sue

... couplets, and saw Montgomery's arm swing peacefully to and fro over the bent profiles of the musicians that she fairly recovered her presence of mind. Then came the little scene in which she runs away from her uncle Gaspard and hides behind the Baillie. And she dodged the old man with such sprightliness from one side of the stage to the other that a murmur of admiration floated over the pit, and, arising in echoes, was prolonged almost until she stepped down to the footlights to sing the legend ...
— A Mummer's Wife • George Moore

... day was consumed by Tippy—her real name was Xantippe—in plucking out Aunt Kizzie's grey hairs, and in fixing her up to appear to the best advantage for youth and sprightliness. She was only sixty, but hard labor and severe usage ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... speech affected poor Hope so that he could not speak for a moment. Then he fought for manly dignity, and said, with a lamentable mixture of sham sprightliness and real anguish, "Thank you, sir; I only trust that you will always find servants as devoted to your interest as my gratitude would have made me. Good-morning, sir." He clapped his hat on with a sprightly, ghastly air, ...
— A Perilous Secret • Charles Reade

... radiant, carelessly light-hearted, and happy. Mavriky Nikolaevitch was there too, of course. In the crowd of young ladies and rather vulgar young men who made up Yulia Mihailovna's usual retinue, and among whom this vulgarity was taken for sprightliness, and cheap cynicism for wit, I noticed two or three new faces: a very obsequious Pole who was on a visit in the town; a German doctor, a sturdy old fellow who kept loudly laughing with great zest at his own wit; and lastly, a very young princeling from Petersburg like an automaton ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... of the most agreeable memories connected with Button's," says Leigh Hunt, "is that of Garth, a man whom, for the sprightliness and generosity of his nature, it is a pleasure to name. He was one of the most amiable and intelligent of a most amiable and intelligent class ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... forth to more adventures and new glories in the transportation department, the line of his activities being between Paris and the coast, and Tom had seen him no more. He had given the compass to Tom as a "souvenir," and Tom, whose sober nature had found much entertainment in Archer's sprightliness, had cherished it as such. It was useful sometimes, too, though he had to be careful always to remember that it was the "wrong ...
— Tom Slade Motorcycle Dispatch Bearer • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... of scornful wit,—of wit which, in his own words, "stings, blisters, galls off the skin, with the acrimony of its sharp quickness." The baser its objects, the brighter its gleam. It is stimulated by the desire to give pain, rather than the wish to communicate pleasure. Marston is not without sprightliness, but his sprightliness is never the sprightliness of the kid, though it is sometimes that of the hyena, and sometimes that of the polecat. In his Malcontent he probably drew a nattering likeness of his inner self: yet the most compassionate reader of the play would experience little ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 122, December, 1867 • Various

... also an Elizabethan judge who aimed at sprightliness on the Bench, a clever mot is attributed. The case before him was one concerning the limits of certain land. The counsel having remarked with emphasis, 'We lie on this side, my lord,' and the opposing counsel with equal vehemence having ...
— Law and Laughter • George Alexander Morton

... and mother of Lady Jane, anticipating that she might one day become a queen, watched and guarded her incessantly, subjected her to a thousand unwelcome restraints, and repressed all the spontaneous and natural gayety and sprightliness which belongs properly to ...
— Queen Elizabeth - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... have said. "Look at Crasweller; he would have ruined Little Christchurch had he stayed there much longer." But everything he did seemed to prosper; and it occurred to me at last that he forced himself into abnormal sprightliness, with a view of bringing disgrace upon the law of the Fixed Period. If there were any such feeling, I regard it as ...
— The Fixed Period • Anthony Trollope

... the age of fifteen, Frederic was taught at home, in his father's school. He now entered the Warsaw Lyceum, and proved a good student, twice carrying off a prize. With this studiousness was joined a gaiety and sprightliness that manifested itself in all sorts of fun and mischief. He loved to play pranks on his sisters, comrades and others, and had a fondness for caricature, taking off the peculiarities of those about him with pose and pen. Indeed it was the opinion of a clever member of the profession, ...
— The World's Great Men of Music - Story-Lives of Master Musicians • Harriette Brower

... audacity, sprightliness and grandeur all creative? We must beware of always looking for this quality in that which is perfectly pure and moral. All greatness is creative the moment we realise it." This should be ...
— The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms. • Friedrich Nietzsche.

... as aunt. Nothing to us can ever be quite so delightfully charming as were the 'Dotty Dimple' and the 'Little Prudy' books to our youthful imagination, but we have no doubt the little folks of to-day will find the story of 'Flaxie Frizzle' and her young friends just as fascinating. There is a sprightliness about all of Miss CLARKE'S books that attracts the young, and their purity, their absolute cleanliness, renders them invaluable in the eyes of parents and all who are interested in ...
— Prudy Keeping House • Sophie May

... manners of Mrs. Judson at this time, were, according to the testimony of some who well recollect her, engaging and attractive in no common degree. Her sweet and ready smile, her dark expressive eye, the animation and sprightliness of her conversation, and her refined taste and manners, made her a favorite in all circles. Her dress, for which she was indebted to the liberality of British friends, was more rich and showy than she would have chosen ...
— Lives of the Three Mrs. Judsons • Arabella W. Stuart

... cries, For hours together she would fret Because their toys she could not get. Ah, then! how changed this pretty child, No longer amiable and mild. That fairy form and smiling face Lost all their sprightliness and grace. Her tender mother often sighed, And to reform her daughter tried. "Oh! Minnie, Minnie," she would say, "Quite yellow you will turn ...
— Slovenly Betsy • Heinrich Hoffman

... cover their absence of matter by an unwholesome vitality of delivery. They look triumphantly round the room, as if courting applause, after a torrent of diluted truism. They talk in a circle, harping on the same dull round of argument, and returning again and again to the same remark with the same sprightliness, the ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... can wear as well as woman. They are most becoming to you, my dear girls,—even brighter and richer and dearer than any jewels with which you may adorn yourselves. They consist mostly of pleasant, well-chosen words, sympathetic, hearty tones, sprightliness, and certain ...
— Hold Up Your Heads, Girls! • Annie H. Ryder

... mobility, of disposition to anger, sadness, or gaiety; such a meat, because it lies heavy on the stomach, engenders moroseness and melancholy; such another, because it facilitates digestion, creates sprightliness, and an inclination to oblige and to love. The use of vegetables, because they have little nourishment, enfeebles the body, and gives a disposition to repose, indolence, and ease; the use of meat, because it ...
— The Ruins • C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney

... incomprehensible heart—gave a leap that sent the blood rushing to my face. He advanced, not with his usual imposing tread but with a sprightliness that pleased me vastly. I took the little pearl grey envelope from the salver, and carelessly glanced at the superscription. There was a curious ringing in ...
— A Fool and His Money • George Barr McCutcheon

... men in word and deed, faded, vanished, and died away, and he appeared to himself but a useless servant of the world. His friends he answered immediately; and as his inward melancholy vanished, and the philanthropy, nay, the sprightliness of his soul beamed forth, when he was among men and looked in a living face, so was it also with his letters. When he bethought him of the friends to whom he was writing, he not only acquired tranquillity, that virtue for which his ...
— Christian Gellert's Last Christmas - From "German Tales" Published by the American Publishers' Corporation • Berthold Auerbach

... thousands of just such children under the yoke and scourge, in utter heathenism, the victims of tyrannic law or of more tyrannic public opinion—caused the heart to swell with emotions unutterable. There were as many intelligent countenances, and as much activity and sprightliness, as we ever saw among an equal number of children anywhere. The correctness of their reading, the pertinence of their replies, the general proofs of talent which they showed through all the exercises, ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... the verses in question form part of a collection of nursery songs and rhymes by Charles Lamb, published many years ago, but now quite out of print. This, however, is a mere surmise on my part, and has no better foundation than the vein of humour, sprightliness, and originality, obvious enough in the above extract, which we find running through and adorning all he wrote. "Nihil ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 46, Saturday, September 14, 1850 • Various

... all the grace, loveliness, and generosity of the many Southern women I have known and loved; when I recall the admirable qualities which distinguished them, the grace of manner, the social tact and address, the intellectual sprightliness, the openness and hospitality of soul, the kindliness and sympathy of heart, the Christian gentleness and charity; I can but say to my Northern sisters, These deluded women of the South would, in ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, October, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... as interesting to her as he has made himself to us," said Mrs. Stornaway, with heavy sprightliness, as he left them. "He never ...
— In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... mother. She was looking at her two kinsmen with such sweet sprightliness that he had trouble to make her see his uplifted cigar. She met his parting smile with a gleam of terror and distrust, but he shook his head and reddened as Hamlet winked ...
— John March, Southerner • George W. Cable

... Juliet. Now that she was found, she was in the best of spirits, all sprightliness and wheedle. "I'm not lost. I'm ...
— Autumn • Robert Nathan

... for singing-birds, turning her dying eyes southward where her Philip was, moaning, "On my heart, when I am dead, you will find Philip's name written!"—Mary Tudor was an echo of the pain and cry of Joanna, Philip's grandmother, a princess lacking in beauty of person and in sprightliness and culture of mind. Indeed, her intellect was weak to the verge of insanity; her love for her husband, the Archduke of Austria, doting, and its exhibition extravagant; and her jealousy, for whose exercise there was ample ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... It did arbitrate upon the several reports of sense, and all the varieties of imagination; not like a drowsy judge, only hearing, but also directing their verdict. In sum, it was vegete quick and lively; open as the day, untainted as the morning, full of the innocence and sprightliness of youth; it gave the soul a bright and a ...
— Sir John Constantine • Prosper Paleologus Constantine

... to the contagion. She had had no such dreams as Miss Tilly's, but she was quite as thrilled by the novelty of her surroundings, the informality of the feast, and the sprightliness of these undaunted spirits. She sat on Miss Thackeray's trunk, her back against the wall, her bandaged foot resting on a decrepit suit-case. Her eyes were sparkling, her lips ever ready to part in the joy of laughter, the colour leaping into her cheeks in ...
— Green Fancy • George Barr McCutcheon

... her liveliness, and said to him, 'Know that the city thou seest is the city of Shagpat, the clothier, and there's no one living on the face of earth, nor a soul that requireth thy craft more than he. Go therefore thou, bold of heart, brisk, full of the sprightliness of the barber, and enter to him. Lo, thou'lt see him lolling in his shop-front to be admired of this people—marvelled at. Oh! no mistaking of Shagpat, and the mole might discern Shagpat among myriads of our kind; ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... of the loveliest children in the world can bestow. May your days be clear sunshine; and may a gentle rain give balm to your nights, that the flowers and birch-trees may salute you in the morning with all their fragrance! May the kids frisk and play tricks before you with unusual sprightliness; and may the song of birds, the hum of bees, and the distant waterfall, with now and then the shepherd's horn resounding from the mountains, entertain you with a full chorus of Highland music! My imagination ...
— Beaux and Belles of England • Mary Robinson

... a grating sprightliness about her that drove him nearly mad. He determined to silence ...
— Where Angels Fear to Tread • E. M. Forster

... morbidness born of the sights we saw. Children forget even more quickly than their elders forget, and we knew, from our own experience, how quickly the populace of a French or Flemish community could rally back to a colorable counterfeit of their old sprightliness, once the immediate burdens of affliction and captivity had been ...
— Paths of Glory - Impressions of War Written At and Near the Front • Irvin S. Cobb

... assistance of Belinda's portfolio and her harp, and the good-humour and sprightliness of Lady Delacour's wit, his lordship got through the evening much to his own satisfaction. He played on the flute, he told the story of Studley's original Titian, and he detected a fault that had escaped Mr. Percival in the perspective of Miss Portman's sketch of Fountain's Abbey. ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. III - Belinda • Maria Edgeworth

... reading of poetry is of vast service to the orator. Many, and with good reason, are of the same opinion, as from the poets may be derived sprightliness in thought, sublimity in expression, force and variety in sentiment, propriety and decorum in character, together with that diversion for cheering and freshening minds which have been for any time harassed by ...
— The Training of a Public Speaker • Grenville Kleiser

... looks and sprightliness, the position of her father in the community, and the fact that this 1st of May was one and the same with her sixteenth birthday, young Mistress Jaquelin was May Queen in Jamestown. And because her father was a worthy gentleman ...
— Audrey • Mary Johnston

... her. He did not trust himself to do that. He stood still again, staring. Leo bent protectively over the American. She smiled at him demurely beneath lowered eyelids. The little old lady shook out her rusty black dress and assumed an absurd air of social sprightliness, making a mouth bunched up like an old-fashioned purse sharply drawn ...
— The Woman With The Fan • Robert Hichens

... at the last Commencement was Much Ado about Nothing. It was selected six months before, and studied with the material in mind, the students in the literature class, available for the different parts. What is there, thought I, in Beatrice—sprightliness covering intense womanly feeling—that our vivacious, healthful Ruth Brown cannot master; and what in Benedick, her masculine counterpart, beyond the power of Moore to conceive and render? It is chiefly girlish beauty and simple sweetness that Hero requires, ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... advanced calmly and with a sprightliness that seemed strange for men used to the grim work of war. There was something in their carriage that told their officers that they would give a good account ...
— The Boy Allies with Haig in Flanders • Clair W. Hayes

... seven young ladies habited sadly in keeping with the season. All were connected either by blood or at least as friends or neighbours and fair and of good understanding were they all, as also of noble birth, gentle manners, and a modest sprightliness. In age none exceeded twenty-eight, or fell short of eighteen years. Their names I would set down in due form, had I not good reason to with hold them, being solicitous lest the matters which here ensue, as told and heard ...
— The Decameron, Volume I • Giovanni Boccaccio

... have lain in very pleasant places, the intelligent Englishman in enjoying his first experience of transatlantic society will assuredly be struck by the sprightliness, the variety, the fearless individuality of the American girl, by her power of repartee, by the quaint appositeness of her expressions, by the variety of her interests, by the absence of undue deference to his masculine dignity. If in his newly landed innocence he ventures to compliment ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... bishop, although taking a cordial interest in him for some months, was less accommodating than he had expected. And so we shortly find Erasmus once more in anything but a cheerful frame of mind. 'The hardest fate,' he calls his own, which robs him of all his old sprightliness. Opportunities to study he has none. He now envies his friend William, who at Steyn in the little cell can write beautiful poetry, favoured by his 'lucky stars'. It befits him, Erasmus, only to weep and sigh; it has already ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... dance. Miss Regan danced with amazing sprightliness, performing wonderful steps. Her ostrich plumes seemed to whirl round and round him, he had a painful feeling that every one was grinning, and a mad desire to rush out of the house and make straight ...
— One of the 28th • G. A. Henty

... marked it play in golden waves over the long grass; or the relief we felt at being able to gaze ahead once more and see something of the country that we were traversing. 'Twas like a sudden release from prison. Our jaded horses felt with us the exhilaration of the change, and moved with greater sprightliness than they had shown for days. As the sun began its circle downward, vast rolling hills of white and yellow sand arose upon the right of our line of march,—huge mounds, many of them, glistening in the sunshine, ...
— When Wilderness Was King - A Tale of the Illinois Country • Randall Parrish

... who can tell me what that was all about?" she asked, with feigned sprightliness. "I think you can, the little girl with the red dress. What's your name? ...
— The Wide Awake Girls in Winsted • Katharine Ellis Barrett

... News.—"Mr. Dewar ... has collected a series of essays on bird life which for sprightliness and charm are equal to anything written since that classic 'The Tribes on my Frontier' ...
— A Bird Calendar for Northern India • Douglas Dewar

... most novelists, devices that the experienced reader sees through at once. No more sprightly novel than "Theo" could be desired, and a sweeter or more beautiful romance than "Kathleen" does not exist in print, while "Pretty Polly Pemberton" possesses besides its sprightliness a special interest peculiar to itself, and "Miss Crespigny" would do honor to the pen of any novelist, no matter how celebrated. "Lindsay's Luck," "A Quiet Life," "The Tide on the Moaning Bar" and "Jarl's Daughter" ...
— Theo - A Sprightly Love Story • Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett

... the part of so famous and powerful a statesman induced many of the most aristocratic ladies and nobles to seek her, and many who had been attracted solely by curiosity were charmed with the entertaining sprightliness of the beautiful woman, and admitted her ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... people who first fixed the stigma of melancholy upon our bird—the Greeks, or at least the Athenians, and it is of them we speak—were perhaps the very gayest people that ever danced upon the earth—absolute Frenchmen. The very sprightliness of their temper, however, by the universally prevailing law of contrast, may have induced in them a fondness for sad and doleful legends; and we confess, for our own part, that while we from our hearts admire ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 442 - Volume 17, New Series, June 19, 1852 • Various

... signature of the general. Miss Moncrieffe was, at this time, in her fourteenth year. She had travelled, and, for one of her age, had mingled much in the world. She was accomplished, and was considered handsome. Major Burr was attracted by her sprightliness and vivacity, and she, according to her own confessions, penned nearly twenty years afterward, had not only become violently in love with, but had acknowledged the fact to him. Whether the foundation of her future misfortunes was now laid, it is not ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... bagatelle we had puzzles, conundrums, and conjuring tricks. One of these "neighbours" was a young married lady, the prettiest person I had seen in America. She was a French Canadian, and added to the graces of person and manner for which they are famed a cleverness and sprightliness peculiarly her own. I was very much pleased with the friendly, agreeable society of the neighbourhood. There are a great many gentlemen residing there, with fixed incomes, who have adopted Canada as their home because of the comforts which they can enjoy in an untaxed ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... who would have cared, so far as he knew, to go with him. For he was not a lady's man, and but for his distant relationship would probably never have gone to the Treadwells'. He was looked upon by young women as slow, and he knew that Graciella had often been impatient at his lack of sprightliness. He could pay his subscription, which was really a sort of gentility tax, the failure to meet which would merely forfeit future invitations, and remain at home. He did not own a dress suit, nor had he the money to spare for one. He, or they, for he and his uncle were one ...
— The Colonel's Dream • Charles W. Chesnutt

... the table of the Count de la Galissoniere was not a dull affair of mere eating and drinking. The conversation and sprightliness of the host fed the minds of his guests as generously as his bread strengthened their hearts, or his wine, in the Psalmist's words, made their faces to shine. Men were they, every one of them possessed of a sound mind ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... archly disdainful. "La! Sir Rowland, your modesty will be the death of you." Archness became this lady of the sunny hair, tip-tilted nose, and complexion that outvied the apple-blossoms. She was shorter by a half-head than her darker cousin, and made up in sprightliness what she lacked of Ruth's gentle dignity. The pair were foils, each setting off the graces ...
— Mistress Wilding • Rafael Sabatini

... noble, monsieur," said the directress, affecting to suppress a yawn; her sprightliness was now extinct, her temporary candour shut up; the little, red-coloured, piratical-looking pennon of audacity she had allowed to float a minute in the air, was furled, and the broad, sober-hued flag of dissimulation again hung low over the citadel. ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... their chairs to the true distance, and then throw themselves back against the nearest prop. The women exhibit a great similarity of tall, relaxed forms, with consistent dress and demeanour; and are not remarkable for sprightliness of manners. Intellectual culture has not yet made much progress among the generality of either sex; but the men, from their habit of travelling, and their consequent intercourse with strangers, have greatly the advantage, in the means of acquiring ...
— Travels in North America, From Modern Writers • William Bingley

... The unwonted sprightliness of Donjalolo surprised us. But he was in one of those relapses of desperate gayety in-variably following his failures in efforts to amend his life. And the bootless issue of his late mission to outer Mardi had thrown him into a mood for revelry. ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... leather-bound brass-nailed muzzle. But beneath, this muzzle is a patent sham. The frame does not even pretend to close on Athos' jaw, and the wise dog wears it like a decoration. A little farther we meet that ancient grey cat, who has no discoverable name, but is famous for the sprightliness and grace with which she bears her eighteen years. Not far from the cat one is sure to find Carlo—the bird-like, bright-faced, close-cropped Venetian urchin, whose duty it is to trot backwards and forwards between the ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... pre-eminently a United Brethren Hymn-Book, providing as it does for every phase of our characteristic church life. It combines the solidity and stateliness of the standard hymns of the ages, with the life and sprightliness of the modern gospel song. The most recent songs are here for the young people, while the older members of the Church will hail with delight the reappearance of old songs dear to the hearts of many of us, because they are precious and good, and because our mothers sang them. ...
— The Otterbein Hymnal - For Use in Public and Social Worship • Edmund S. Lorenz

... style of Rubens was Johnsonese all his life, and he made his meaning plain only by repetitions and many rhetorical flounderings. Like the average sixteen-year-old boy who sits himself down and takes his pen in hand, all his sprightliness of imagination vanished at sight of an ink-bottle. With a brush his feelings were fluid, and in a company grace dwelt upon his lips; but when asked to write it out he gripped the pen as though it were a ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 4 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Painters • Elbert Hubbard



Words linked to "Sprightliness" :   liveliness, muscularity, pertness, elan, enthusiasm, exuberance, brio, animation, esprit, airiness, spiritedness, smartness, vigor, energy, life, alacrity, buoyancy, breeziness, spirit, briskness, delicacy, vigour, vivification, ebullience, pep, vim, lively, high-spiritedness, ginger, peppiness, invigoration, jauntiness, sprightly, irrepressibility



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