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Smattering   Listen
noun
Smattering  n.  A slight, superficial knowledge of something; sciolism. "I had a great desire, not able to attain to a superficial skill in any, to have some smattering in all."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Smattering" Quotes from Famous Books



... the furniture in comparison with that of Mrs. Over-the-Road. She struck the lyre and awoke a louder and loftier strain on the splendour of its proportions and symmetry—"heaps of room here to swing a cat"—and her rapture and inspiration swelled as she turned herself to the smattering price charged for it. On this theme she chanted long and lovingly and a hundred coloured, senescent imageries ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... the hands of a careless, happy-go-lucky father, who had always religiously applied the text of Scripture, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," what were they to do for themselves? Desmond could draw and paint; he had the usual smattering of knowledge to be obtained in an ordinary school. Beyond these accomplishments and his father's gift for writing, the big, handsome, curly-haired fellow, half man and half boy, had nothing wherewith ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... rule of life is an hourly reference to "mamma." She is without even the charm of variety; she has been hot-pressed in the most approved finishing establishments, and is turned out the exact double of her sister or her cousin or her friend, with the same stereotyped manner, the same smattering of accomplishments, the same contribution to society of her little sum of superficial information. We wonder how it is that any one can take an interest in a creature of this sort, just as we wonder how any one can take an interest in the Court Circular. And ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... action. Rather was it a dream, remote, something to be gained to-morrow, but never to-day, like the mediaeval Christian's idea of heaven. His interest was in the search. For that one could see in him a real enthusiasm. He had his smattering of theory, his very real empirical knowledge, and his superstitions, like all prospectors. So long as he could keep in grub, own a little train of burros, and lead the life he loved, ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... and Greiner, when the master thought I was home, ill, and my mother, that I was at school, deeply immersed in study. However, with these and other delinquencies not uncommon among boys, I learned at McNanly's school, and a little later, under a pedagogue named Thorn, a smattering of geography and history, and explored the mysteries of Pike's Arithmetic and Bullions' English Grammar, about as far as I could be carried up to the age of fourteen. This was all the education then bestowed upon me, and this—with the exception of progressing in some of these branches ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... and shallow treatises concerning the Renaissance; they came with preconceived notions which were often strongly dashed with old-fashioned prejudice, but which did not lack originality: they come now in the smattering mood, imbued with no genuine beliefs, but covered with exceeding thick varnish. Old gentlemen then visited the sights in the morning, and quoted Horace to each other, and in the evening endeavoured ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... people should go on, and at once they left him with us, and Owen bade me do reverence to Aldhelm, the abbot of Malmesbury, before whom we stood. And after that they talked long in Welsh, and that I could not follow, though indeed I knew a fair smattering of it by this time, seeing that Owen would have me learn from him, and we had used it a good deal in these few days as ...
— A Prince of Cornwall - A Story of Glastonbury and the West in the Days of Ina of Wessex • Charles W. Whistler

... I propose to give you a smattering of the French and Italian, I know not but I may take you on a little tour into France and Italy; at least, to Bath, Tunbridge, Oxford, York, and the principal places of England. Wherefore, as I love to look upon you as the companion of my pleasures, I advise you, my dearest love, not to weaken, ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... controversy which, he says, consolidated his powers of verbal expression. Leigh Hunt he describes as a fine specimen of a London editor, with his bushy hair, black eyes, pale face, and 'nose of taste.' He was assuming yet moderate, sarcastic yet genial, with a smattering of everything and mastery of nothing; affecting the dictator, the poet, the politician, the critic, and the sceptic, whichever would, at the moment, give him the air, to inferior minds, of a very superior man.' Although Haydon disliked Hunt's 'Cockney peculiarities,' and disapproved ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... eleventh day we were marched out to what would be the Germans' orderly room. A Canadian who had picked up a smattering of German acted as interpreter. He did what he could for us, which ...
— The Escape of a Princess Pat • George Pearson

... at Goettingen, he had made a few journeys, one to Italy, another to the island of Heligoland, on a shooting trip; had crossed the English Channel, and had brought back with him a smattering of Shakespeare, which he afterwards improved by considerable study; and by the way throughout the crises in his career, Bismarck often found ...
— Blood and Iron - Origin of German Empire As Revealed by Character of Its - Founder, Bismarck • John Hubert Greusel

... of the world, and that the work of other powers in that direction only tends to the stagnation of Eastern peoples. One might affirm with more truth that our intercourse with the civilisation of the East tends to our own stagnation. We do impart to the natives, it is true, some smattering of the semi-barbaric, obsolete ways we possess ourselves, but standing aside and trying to look upon matters with the eye of a rational man, it is really difficult to say whether what we teach and how we teach it does really improve the Eastern people or not. Personally, with ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... energies in hunting, gambling, and cockfighting. He would almost certainly make the grand tour of Europe, and, if he had little Latin and less Greek, he was pretty certain to have some familiarity with Paris and a smattering of French. The eighteenth century was a period of magnificent living in England. The great landowner, then, as now, the magnate of his neighborhood, was likely to rear, if he did not inherit, one of those vast palaces which are today burdens so costly to the heirs of their builders. ...
— Washington and his Comrades in Arms - A Chronicle of the War of Independence • George Wrong

... blunders within. Olshausen was a brilliant commentator, and the slightest tinge of chemistry should have kept him from suggesting that the conversion of water into wine at Cana was but the acceleration of a natural process. A smattering of optics would have prevented Dr. Williams from repeating the old cavil of Voltaire, that light could not have been made before the sun. A moderate reflection upon the laws of speech and the method of Genesis would have restrained Huxley from sneering at the ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... deal to say about these agents of humanity presently. I will only say here that no prisoner who cares whether he lives or dies, or who possesses common sense or the smallest smattering of experience of prison affairs, ever is so reckless as to impart any facts to the persons in question. If he accuses any guard or other official of cruelty, the entire force of prison keepers can and will be at need marshaled to deny point-blank that any such thing ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... door, I drew out the check that seemed most willing to come, and exchanged with Scrymgeour. In his detestation of argument Scrymgeour resembled myself, but otherwise we differed as much as men may differ who smoke the Arcadia. He read little, yet surprised us by a smattering of knowledge about all important books that had been out for a few months, until we discovered that he got his information from a friend in India. He had also, I remember, a romantic notion that Africa might be civilized by the Arcadia Mixture. ...
— My Lady Nicotine - A Study in Smoke • J. M. Barrie

... about Bowfort, to whom Amherst was attracted by the fact that he was one of the few men of Bessy's circle who knew what was going on in the outer world. Throughout an existence which one divined to have been both dependent and desultory, he had preserved a sense of wider relations and acquired a smattering of information to which he applied his only independent faculty, that of clear thought. He could talk intelligently and not too inaccurately of the larger questions which Lynbrook ignored, and a gay indifference to the importance of money seemed the crowning grace of his nature, till ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... speaking: "The whole labor trouble, it seems to me, lies in this whistle trade. A smattering of education has made labor dissatisfied. The laboring people are trying to get out of their place, and as a result we have strikes and lawlessness and disrespect for courts, and men going around and making trouble in industry by 'doing ...
— In the Heart of a Fool • William Allen White

... NOTRE DAME DE PARIS. Villon tells us himself that he was among the truants, but we hardly needed his avowal. The burlesque erudition in which he sometimes indulged implies no more than the merest smattering of knowledge; whereas his acquaintance with blackguard haunts and industries could only have been acquired by early and consistent impiety and idleness. He passed his degrees, it is true; but some of us who have been to modern universities will make their own reflections ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... imagined than these two who sallied forth that afternoon. They send very fine boys nowadays to our great high schools in the United States, and to Rugby and Eaton and Harrow in England, but never went forth a finer pair to learn things. No smattering of letters or lore of any printed sort had these rugged youths, but their eyes were piercing as those of the eagle, the grip of their hands was strong, their pace was swift when they ran upon the ground and their course almost as rapid when they swung along ...
— The Story of Ab - A Tale of the Time of the Cave Man • Stanley Waterloo

... building consists of a rectangular wall, cloistered on two sides of the interior and surrounding a small temple approached by a dilapidated flight of stone steps. I regret to be obliged to own that I know but a mere smattering of architecture. I do not feel competent therefore to discuss this, the first Kashmiri temple I have seen, upon its architectural merits. I only know that it struck me as being extremely small, and principally interesting from its magnificent background of shaggy forest ...
— A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil • T. R. Swinburne

... omit the particular Whim of an Impudent Libertine, that had a little Smattering of Heraldry; and observing how the Genealogies of great Families were often drawn up in the Shape of Trees, had taken a Fancy to dispose of his own illegitimate Issue in a ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... our brethren across the Tweed, that though "every man may have a mouthful, no one has a belly full;" but it still marks a degree of national refinement, that any attention whatever is bestowed upon such subjects. This smattering of knowledge, accompanied with the constant readiness to communicate it, is also agreeable to a stranger. Except in a few instances at Rouen, I never failed to find civility and attention among the French. ...
— Account of a Tour in Normandy, Vol. II. (of 2) • Dawson Turner

... and found quite a little deputation inspecting the canoes. There was a stout gentleman with a knowledge of the river, which he seemed eager to impart. There was a very elegant young gentleman in a black coat, with a smattering of English, who led the talk at once to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. And then there were three handsome girls from fifteen to twenty; and an old gentleman in a blouse, with no teeth to speak of, and a strong country accent. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 1 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... spoke often to me, and I returned answers, but neither of us could understand a syllable. There were several of his priests and lawyers present (as I conjectured by their habits), who were commanded to address themselves to me; and I spoke to them in as many languages as I had the least smattering of, which were, High and Low Dutch, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Lingua Franca;[15] ...
— Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World • Jonathan Swift

... of an eastern language, knock an Asiatic down because he thought the man was a fool, whereas he himself was ignorant of what was going on. The message the coolie was bringing was misunderstood by the conceited assistant, and as a result of having just this smattering of the vernacular, he ran his firm in for a loss of fifty ...
— Across China on Foot • Edwin Dingle

... boy? I would, too. What lies before you? Well, you are behind in your studies. Other boys of your age know more. We will speak of that again, however; for that is something to be attended to later, and does not come under the head of immediate duty. That smattering of Latin, for which you envy William, you can acquire in a few months, when once you've learned how to use your will. The enemies you have to fight now are quite different from the knights of your romances. Do not underestimate the difficulties ...
— Walter Pieterse - A Story of Holland • Multatuli

... hitherto been the plague of the present generation. We have become more practical and knowing than our forefathers, but not so wise. We are now a "fast people;" but we miss the true goal of life—that is, sober happiness. Fast to smattering; fast to outward, isolated show; fast to bankruptcy; fast to suicide; fast to some finale of enormous and dreadful infamy. Bah! rather the plain, honest, homely ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume V. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... sure way of rising is to fear God and keep his commandments; and so has really done more to civilize and refine them—to make them truly civilized men and gentlemen, and not vulgar savages—than if they had known a smattering of a dozen sciences. I say that the Bible is the book which civilizes and refines, and ennobles rich and poor, high and low, and has been doing so for fifteen hundred years; and that any man who tries to shake our faith in the Bible, is doing what ...
— The Gospel of the Pentateuch • Charles Kingsley

... Alexandrian patterer of Ionic lays. How should you hope to rank with the minister of Love's pleasures, with the stealthy conveyer of billets-doux? You cower shamefaced in your corner, and bewail your hard lot, as well you may; cursing your luck that you have never a smattering of such graceful accomplishments yourself. I believe you wish that you could turn love-songs, or sing other men's with a good grace; perceiving as you do what a thing it is to be in request. Nay, you could find it in you to play the wizard's, the fortune-teller's ...
— Works, V2 • Lucian of Samosata

... shot in her magazine than mere brilliant "society" nothings; whereupon she had at once entered upon a tireless and elaborate course of reading, and had never since ceased to devote every unoccupied moment to this sort of preparation. Having now acquired a happy smattering of various information, she used it with good effect—she passed for a singularly well informed woman in Washington. The quality of her literary tastes had necessarily undergone constant improvement under this regimen, and as necessarily, also; the duality of her language had improved, though ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 4. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... (I did not mention men, since they have a smattering of the science), will still seem an untruth. The writer has taken care here to give the mute reasons for this strange antipathy; I mean the distastes of Bertha, because I love the ladies above all things, knowing that for want of the pleasure of love, ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... thoroughly enmeshed in the social consciousness. If we can cause people to think toward thoroughness rather than toward arithmetic or other school studies, we shall win the feeling that we are making progress. Thoroughness must be distinguished, of course, from a smattering knowledge of details that have no value. In the right sense thoroughness must be interpreted as the habit of mastery. We may well indulge the hope that the time will come when parents will invoke the aid of the schools to assist ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... muscular, with a not unkindly face, which, however, showed but too plainly the marks of habitual dissipation. A rigger by occupation, a sailor and pilot at need, a skilful fisherman, and ready shot, with a roving experience, which had given him a smattering of half a score of the more common handicrafts, Hughie was an invaluable comrade on such a quest, and as such had been hired by his young employer. It may be added, that a more plausible liar never mixed the really interesting facts of a ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... appear to be so apt a pupil. He managed, after many trials, to acquire "buenos dias" and "buenos tardes," and "senorita" and "gracias," and a few other short terms. Dick was indeed eager to get a little smattering of Spanish, and perhaps he was not really quite so stupid as he pretended to be. It was delightful to be taught by a beautiful Spaniard who was so gracious and intense and magnetic of personality, and by a sweet American girl who moment by ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... a smattering of English, rushes into the verandah, wringing her hands. Her black lips tremble, her eyes start ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... and ceremonies of their religion. Physic and philosophy are cultivated among the Indians, and the Chinese have some skill in medicine; but that almost entirely consists in the art of applying hot irons or cauteries. They have some smattering of astronomy; but in this likewise the Indians surpass the Chinese. I know not that even so much as one man of either nation has embraced Mahomedism, or has learned to speak the Arabic language. The Indians have few horses, and there are more in China; but the Chinese have ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 1 • Robert Kerr

... the working of the rest; incongruous ones inserted to conciliate some private interest, or some crotchety member who threatens to delay the bill; articles foisted in on the motion of some sciolist with a mere smattering of the subject, leading to consequences which the member who introduced or those who supported the bill did not at the moment foresee, and which need an amending act in the next session to correct ...
— Considerations on Representative Government • John Stuart Mill

... the Christians look upon as a ridiculous smattering of utterances of a spurious prophet, sets a superior example ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... and his exploits had been continually rung in my hears by some hill-people with whom I had made great acquaintance in the market-place. Week by week they brought me fuel, eggs, and fruit, and in my dealings with them I had picked up a smattering of their beautiful Slavonic language, and was eager to display this new accomplishment to your uncle. However, I soon saw that was not the time for pressing the subject upon him; on scanning his sunburnt features there was a look of care upon them that was not usual. When the bright look my little ...
— The Grateful Indian - And other Stories • W.H.G. Kingston

... their productions. Every man jack of them was trying to unload his stock-in-trade. The most thriving of them were naturally the nostrum-mongers, the philosophical lecturers who ladled out general ideas, leavened with a few facts, a scientific smattering, ...
— Jean Christophe: In Paris - The Market-Place, Antoinette, The House • Romain Rolland

... well versed in his subject, his role, as usual, was that of the flatteringly eager enquirer. Needless to say, his learning had been acquired by diligent application within the last week, and that it had a very definite object behind it. The laird had but a smattering of the subject, but being an intelligent, well-read man, he was quite able to discuss Mr. Hobhouse's favourite pursuit, so that when his daughter entered the room she found herself in an atmosphere as little reminiscent of the mysterious stranger ...
— The Man From the Clouds • J. Storer Clouston

... sub-poena," he replied, turning the parchment over with the air of a connoisseur; for Job loved hard words, and lawyer-like forms, and even esteemed himself slightly qualified for a lawyer, from the smattering of knowledge he had picked up from an odd volume of Blackstone that he had once ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... charcoal-burners, and sennerins, and carpenters, and cobblers, to study the exact sciences or draw casts from the antique. She was of opinion, with Pope, that "a little learning is a dangerous thing," and that a smattering of it will easily make a man morose and discontented, whilst it takes a very deep and lifelong devotion to it to teach a man content with his lot. Genius, she thought, is too rare a thing to make it necessary to construct village schools for it, and whenever ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... learnt to read French with fluency, as he certainly made himself familiar with the great works of the eighteenth century; but he spoke it with so little ease or accuracy that the fact was always a stumbling-block to his meeting Frenchmen abroad. Of German he had a mere smattering. Italian was the only language, besides his own, of which he was ever a master. But the extent and variety of his general reading was remarkable. His list of books, drawn up in 1807, includes more history and biography than most men of education read during a long life; a ...
— Byron • John Nichol

... imagine the whole youth of the United States condemned to become proficient in French or Spanish or German. Say we take the easiest of them, Spanish: does anyone dream the thing possible? Only an infinitesimal fraction of our young people could attain even a smattering, and that at the cost of from two to three years' study; and even then it is quite unlikely that other nations would adopt the same language. But if they all did this impossible thing the Spanish speaking peoples would still have the pull on ...
— Esperanto: Hearings before the Committee on Education • Richard Bartholdt and A. Christen

... four solid years of law; three years of electronics and jet and air-drive engine mechanics and engineering; pre-med, psychology, math, English, Spanish and a smattering of Portuguese, to say nothing of dozens of other subjects. You graduated in the upper tenth of your class with a B.S. in both Transportation and Criminology which is why you're riding patrol and not punching a computer or tinkering with an engine. You'd think with all that education that ...
— Code Three • Rick Raphael

... sub-prior reprimanded him publicly as a liar. Upon this, the superior had a fresh attack of convulsions, and as all present knew that these attacks usually indicated that the performance was about to end, they withdrew, making very merry over a devil who knew neither Hebrew nor Gaelic, and whose smattering of Latin was ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Aristotle, Lucretius, Epictetus, Seneca, Antoninus. Then I must master other things: the Fathers thoroughly; Bede and ecclesiastical history generally; a smattering of Hebrew—I only know the ...
— Jude the Obscure • Thomas Hardy

... name of an arch-impostor, his real name being Giuseppe Balsamo, born in Palermo, of poor parents; early acquired a smattering of chemistry and medicine, by means of which he perpetrated the most audacious frauds, which, when detected in one place were repeated with even more brazen effrontery in another; married a pretty woman named Lorenza Feliciani, who became an accomplice; professed supernatural powers, and wrung ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... later times. It was work that appealed to persons of varying ranks and of varying degrees of learning. In the early part of the century, according to Nash, "every private scholar, William Turner and who not, began to vaunt their smattering of Latin in English impressions."[250] Thomas Nicholls, the goldsmith, translated Thucydides; Queen Elizabeth translated Boethius. The mention of women in this connection suggests how widely the impulse was diffused. Richard Hyrde says of the translation of Erasmus's ...
— Early Theories of Translation • Flora Ross Amos

... when the news spread of Flodden's Field. None of these things would let such an one as he was rest content to apprehend them as a yokel. From either the honest dominie of the Signboard or some other, we may be sure he sought the means to read and digest them for himself. And if he learnt some smattering of the geography of the earth and the heavens after the crude notions of an older day, he could have done no other, at that time, in the most enlightened Universities. Ptolemy's Geographia was still the text-book, and the so-called "Ptolemaic Theory" still the astronomical creed ...
— Holbein • Beatrice Fortescue

... admirable scholar, but was always deeply interested in the progress of his students. But here lay the villainy. Almost {p.034} all my companions who had left the High School at the same time with myself had acquired a smattering of Greek before they came to College. I, alas, had none; and finding myself far inferior to all my fellow-students, I could hit upon no better mode of vindicating my equality than by professing my contempt for the language, ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... excellences of it too, or he will only prove a blind admirer, not a critic. From hence it comes that so many satires on poets, and censures of their writings, fly abroad. Men of pleasant conversation (at least esteemed so), and endued with a trifling kind of fancy, perhaps helped out with some smattering of Latin, are ambitious to distinguish themselves from the herd of gentlemen, ...
— All for Love • John Dryden

... exerted myself in various ways. I was out of spirits at the thought of leaving all my family and friends for so long a time, and the weather seemed to me inexpressibly gloomy. I was also troubled with palpitation and pain about the heart, and like many a young ignorant man, especially one with a smattering of medical knowledge, was convinced that I had heart disease. I did not consult any doctor, as I fully expected to hear the verdict that I was not fit for the voyage, and I was resolved to ...
— The Autobiography of Charles Darwin - From The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin • Charles Darwin

... did not approve of slang. Ford found himself carefully eliminating from his speech certain grammatical inaccuracies in her presence, and would not so much as split an infinitive if he remembered in time. It was trying, to be sure. Ford thanked God that he still retained a smattering of the rules he had reluctantly memorized in school, and that he was not married (at least, not uncomfortably so), and that he was not compelled to do more than eat his meals in the house. Mrs. Kate was a nice woman; Ford would tell any man so in perfect sincerity. He even considered ...
— The Uphill Climb • B. M. Bower

... sweetness, increased light, increased life." The other common charge of dilettanteism, brought by such opponents as Professor Huxley and Mr. Frederic Harrison, deserves hardly more consideration. Arnold has made it sufficiently clear that he does not mean by culture "a smattering of Greek and Latin," but a deepening and strengthening of our whole spiritual nature by all the means at our command. No other ideal of the century is so satisfactory as this of Arnold's. The ideal of social democracy, as commonly followed, ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... the confidence and added belief in himself that the recognition and encouragement of those kind women brought him, Columbus's mind and imagination expanded; and I think it was probably now that he began to wonder if all his knowledge and seamanship, his quite useful smattering of cartography and cosmography, his real love of adventure, and all his dreams and speculations concerning the unknown and uncharted seas, could not be turned to some practical account. His wife's step-sister Iseult and her husband had, moreover, only lately ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... picked up at the assizes a smattering of the law of evidence; so he coolly tore the letter in pieces. "There now," said he to himself, "if Hardies do laa me for publishing of this here letter, why they pours their water into a sieve. Ugh!" And with this exclamation he started, and then put his heavy ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... at least one language beside their own. Very often I found a person conversant with two foreign languages, and it was no unusual thing to find one speaking three. I knew a young officer at Irkutsk who spoke German, French, English, and Swedish, and had a very fair smattering of Chinese, Manjour, and Japanese. A young lady there conversed well and charmingly in English, French, and German and knew something of Italian. It was more the exception than the rule that I met an officer with whom I could not converse in French. French is the ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... Souls" might never have been written if "Don Quixote" had not existed, so there is every reason to believe that "Taras Bulba" could not have been written without the "Odyssey." Once more ancient fire gave life to new beauty. And yet at the time Gogol could not have had more than a smattering of the "Odyssey." The magnificent translation made by his friend Zhukovsky had not yet appeared and Gogol, in spite of his ambition to become a historian, was not equipped as a scholar. But it is evident from his dithyrambic letter on ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... in all else he will belong to it. If we add to this that neglect of the ancient languages, which is now-a-days on the increase and is doing away with all general education in the humanities—for a mere smattering of Latin and Greek is of no use—we shall come to have men of learning who outside their own subject display an ignorance ...
— The Art of Literature • Arthur Schopenhauer

... it was outside. Neat, compact, and efficient. The control room—if such it could be called—was like no control room I'd ever seen before. Just an acceleration couch and observation instruments. Midguard explained that it wasn't necessary to be a pilot to run the ship; any person who knew a smattering of astronavigation could get to his destination by simply telling the ship what ...
— A Spaceship Named McGuire • Gordon Randall Garrett

... Lieutenant a grunt of approbation, as Tom intended that it should do; shrewdly arguing that the old martinet was no friend to the modern superstition, that all which is required to cast out the devil is a smattering of ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume I • Charles Kingsley

... little of affairs of moment but by hearsay and by what he had learned in the cabal of "The Importants," of whose jargon he had retained some smattering, which, together with some expressions he had perfectly acquired from Madame de Vendome, formed a language that would have puzzled a Cato. His speech was short and stupidly dull, and the more so because he obscured it by affectation. He thought himself very ...
— The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, Complete • Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

... to their lands sooner than to their wits, adventure themselves to see the fashion of other countries; whence they see the world, as Adam had knowledge of good and evil, with the loss or lessening of their estate in this English Paradise; and bring home a few smattering terms, flattering garbs, apish carriages, foppish fancies, foolish guises and disguises, the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume XII., No. 324, July 26, 1828 • Various

... use of his opportunity, and, by a diligent perusal of Miss Sarah's eyes, and an attentive study of Miss Nasarah's dimple, managed to acquire a smattering of Arabic in a far shorter time than would have been required in the most assiduous turning over of dictionaries and grammars. But our school-boy days can't last for ever—and, ere a fortnight elapsed, an order arrived from England for the hopeful scholar to be placed on the returns ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV. • Various

... find employment in a community where there were two men to one job was not easy, but happily—or unhappily—Bill had a smattering of many trades, and eventually there came an opening as handy-man at a mine. It was a lowly position, and Bill had little pride in it, for he was put to helping the cook, waiting on table, washing dishes, ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... way along the crowded sidewalks, the boys took in all the sights that were so new to their American eyes. Only Rob had a small smattering of French, while his companions could not speak a word of the language. All of them were utterly ignorant of Flemish, current in ...
— The Boy Scouts on Belgian Battlefields • Lieut. Howard Payson

... settled down into the law. Such a compound of shrewdness, impudence, common-sense, pretension, humility, cleverness, vulgarity, kind-heartedness, duplicity, selfishness, law- honesty, moral fraud and mother wit, mixed up with a smattering of learning and much penetration in practical things, can hardly be described, as any one of his prominent qualities is certain to be met by another quite as obvious that is almost its converse. Mr. Bragg, ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... Better a reasonable number of carefully selected interests well developed and resulting in efficiency than a multitude of interests which lead us into so many fields that we can at best get but a smattering of each, and that by neglecting the things which should mean the most to us. Our interests should lead us to live what Wagner calls a "simple life," but ...
— The Mind and Its Education • George Herbert Betts

... was accordingly so arranged; and he spent the intervening time in looking round the port, arsenal, and dockyard of Wei-hai-wei, picking up all the information he could with regard to Chinese Naval matters, and also managing incidentally to acquire a small—very small— smattering of the Chinese language, which was afterwards of considerable ...
— A Chinese Command - A Story of Adventure in Eastern Seas • Harry Collingwood

... of priests of Celtic day, Ancient Druids, holding sway By smattering of Occult law And man's eternal sense of awe. Stonehenge They used Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain Reputed Prehistoric Fane; Note each megalithic boulder; ...
— A Humorous History of England • C. Harrison

... require a man of education, I require a man superior to considerations of morality. The three requisites all centre in Tentaillon's boarders. They are painters, therefore they are continually lounging in the forest. They are painters, therefore they are not unlikely to have some smattering of education. Lastly, because they are painters, they are probably immoral. And this I prove in two ways. First, painting is an art which merely addresses the eye; it does not in any particular exercise the moral sense. And second, painting, in common with ...
— The Merry Men - and Other Tales and Fables • Robert Louis Stevenson

... She was of finer clay. She took a lodging in Pimlico, and, to fit herself for employment, went to school. The commercial course which she chose was the shortest possible, but all that she felt she could afford. "My dear young lady, we can only promise you a smattering—really no more for the money." "It must start me," said Sanchia, and began. There was a month more to run when Ingram found her, and, glad as she was of him, doting and doted upon, in the first flood of youth and love, she persisted in it, finished ...
— Rest Harrow - A Comedy of Resolution • Maurice Hewlett

... for the Public School-girls, they return from their 'polishing schools'—these demoiselles—cursed with a superficial smattering of everything but what they ought to have learned—physical and moral wrecks, whom we physicians are expected to wind up in the morning for the husband-hunting excitements of the evening. And these creatures are intended for wives! But wives only, for it is fast going out of fashion to intend ...
— Public School Education • Michael Mueller

... constant visits to this coast I had picked up a smattering of Greek, so I spoke to the little maiden, and asked her where she lived, and without hesitation she told me. With a strange feeling in my heart I took her in my arms, and carried her in the direction of her home. ...
— Roger Trewinion • Joseph Hocking

... inquire all over Helstonleigh to-morrow, whether any one wants a governess; a well-trained young lady of twenty-one, who can play, sing, and paint, speak really good English, and decent French, and has a smattering of German," rattled on Constance, as if to cover her blushes. "I shall ask forty guineas a year. Do you think I ...
— The Channings • Mrs. Henry Wood

... in physic and astrology; he had formerly been a merchant in Yarmouth, and Mayor of the town, but failing in estate, went into the Low-Countries, and at Franecker took the degree, of doctor in Physick; he had some little smattering in astrology; could resolve a question of theft, or love-question, something of sickness; a very grave person, laborious and honest, of tall stature and comely feature; he died of late years, almost in the very ...
— William Lilly's History of His Life and Times - From the Year 1602 to 1681 • William Lilly

... she comment upon these Belgians, who nearly all possess a smattering of English, under their very noses!" continued Paul, angrily. "'Quite nice and respectable,' indeed! As she and her mother were in a fix I was bound, as a man, to offer my services; ...
— The Village by the River • H. Louisa Bedford

... civil engineers in the country in 1845 than now. It was a period when engineers were wanted—when the demand was greater than the supply, and anyone who had a smattering of engineering could find employment. Mr. Coffin accepted a position in the engineering corps of the Northern Railroad, and was subsequently employed on the Concord and Portsmouth, ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1 • Various

... "No, only the smattering we pick up at the Point and what 'broncho' Spanish I have added to it out here. Where did you learn it, sergeant? They tell me you ...
— Foes in Ambush • Charles King

... utterly discouraged, but Alec was only strengthened in his determination. He personified in a way that deadly climate and would not allow himself to be beaten by it. His short experience had shown him what he needed, and as soon as he was back in England he proceeded to acquire a smattering of medical knowledge, and some acquaintance with the sciences which were wanted by a traveller. He had immense powers of concentration, and in a year of tremendous labour acquired a working knowledge of botany and geology, and the elements ...
— The Explorer • W. Somerset Maugham

... one Abdy Abokr, also of the Habr Gerhajis, a personage whom, from, his smattering of learning and his prodigious rascality, we call the Mulla "End of Time." [10] He is a man about forty, very old-looking for his age, with small, deep-set cunning eyes, placed close together, a hook nose, a thin beard, ...
— First footsteps in East Africa • Richard F. Burton

... not staying in the house, but was in the habit of visiting him, every day, in the forenoon. That was as much as I wanted to know from others. The rest depended on myself, on luck, time, human credulity, and a smattering of chemical knowledge which I had acquired in the days of my medical studies. I left the conclave at the picture-dealer's forthwith, and purchased at the nearest druggist's a bottle containing a certain powerful liquid, which I decline to particularize ...
— A Rogue's Life • Wilkie Collins

... conversation, and treated me with excellent remedies, which I accepted with security. Himself commented on the circumstance. "You see," says he, "you begin to know me better. A very little while ago, upon this lonely ship, where no one but myself has any smattering of science, you would have made sure I had designs upon your life. And, observe, it is since I found you had designs upon my own that I have shown you most respect. You will tell me if this speaks of a small mind." I found little ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the daughters of the first families ever entered. What or how they were taught, her aunt never inquired. She felt quite sure that the lady principal would resent, as indeed she ought, any such inquiry. Hence Maimie came to have a smattering of the English poets, could talk in conversation-book French, and could dash off most of the notes of a few waltzes and marches from the best composers, her piece de resistance, however, being "La Priere d'une Vierge." ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... why a study of the classics may be better than that of modern foreign languages, is that in studying the latter the object is more often considered—by the student at least—to become able to read professional books in a modern language, or to get a smattering which will be of use in travel or in business; while in the study of the classics these objects are entirely absent, and the attention is more apt to be concentrated on studying delicate shades of meaning. ...
— How to Study • George Fillmore Swain

... navigation, commerce, and husbandry are very imperfect, compared to the same things in Europe; also, in their knowledge, their learning, and in their skill in the sciences, they are either very awkward or defective, though they have globes or spheres, and a smattering of the mathematics, and think they know more than all the world besides. But they know little of the motions of the heavenly bodies; and so grossly and absurdly ignorant are their common people, that when the sun is eclipsed, they think ...
— The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe • Daniel Defoe

... part well. He strolled out from his "panthry," and sauntered along to where the chief of the guard stood gazing at him sternly; and trusting to the pretty good smattering of Malay he had picked up, he said quietly: "Going to be on guard all ...
— The Rajah of Dah • George Manville Fenn

... found, lying on the ground, in the centre of the crowd, a man who, but for the tattered remnants of what had apparently once been a cloak, would have been stark naked. He was covered with dust, and dirt, and blood,—a dreadful sight. As you know, I have had my smattering of instruction in First Aid to the Injured, and that kind of thing, so, as no one else seemed to have any sense, and the man seemed as good as dead, I thought I would try my hand. Directly I knelt down beside him, what ...
— The Beetle - A Mystery • Richard Marsh

... the numerous strangers who visited that fine and interesting part of the coast, he had scraped together a few pounds. By persevering study at nights he had acquired a fair knowledge of figures and a smattering of navigation. Thus equipped in mind and purse he went ...
— The Lifeboat • R.M. Ballantyne

... not teach anything so old-fashioned as writing, I see. Now look at this memorandum Aunt Plenty gave me, and see what a handsome plain hand that is. She went to a dame-school and learnt a few useful things well; that is better than a smattering of half a dozen so-called higher branches, I take the ...
— Eight Cousins • Louisa M. Alcott

... as Webster and his provincials spell it,—or Molossa's, as dear old smattering, chattering, would-be-College-President, Cotton Mather, has it in the "Magnalia"? Ponder thereon, ye small antiquaries, who make barn-door-fowl flights of learning in "Notes and Queries"!—ye Historical Societies, in one of whose venerable triremes I, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I., No. 3, January 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... establishment is not so universal. If, in those little schools, the books by which the children are taught to read, were a little more instructive than they commonly are; and if, instead of a little smattering in Latin, which the children of the common people are sometimes taught there, and which can scarce ever be of any use to them, they were instructed in the elementary parts of geometry and mechanics; the literary education of this rank of people would, perhaps, be as complete as can be. There is ...
— An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations • Adam Smith

... rendezvous of the Virginia army, presented a peculiar if animated scene. With few exceptions, every man capable of serving in the field belonged either to the militia or the volunteers. Some of the companies had a smattering of drill, but the majority were absolutely untaught, and the whole were without the slightest conception of what was meant by discipline. And it was difficult to teach them. The non-commissioned officers and men of the United States army were either Irish or Germans, without State ties, ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... imperfectly I have carried it out: Try to know enough of a wide range of subjects to profit by the conversation of intelligent persons of different callings and various intellectual gifts and acquisitions. The cynic will paraphrase this into a shorter formula: Get a smattering in every sort of knowledge. I must therefore add a second piece of advice: Learn to hold as of small account the comments of the cynic. He is often amusing, sometimes really witty, occasionally, without meaning it, instructive; but his talk is to profitable conversation what ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... six) should be exceedingly rare, or that the human race is not of all possible heights from three inches to thirty feet? Can it be doubted that in this case, as in the last, the wrong answer would be given? He would defend himself, probably, if he had a smattering of science, by saying that experience teaches us that Nature works by 'invariable laws'; by which he would mean, usually unbroken customs; and that he has, therefore, a right to be astonished if they are broken. But he would be wrong. The just cause of astonishment is, that the laws ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... moment the Kaffir becomes efficient and picks up a smattering of education he begins to think about his position and unrest is fomented. It makes him unstable as an employee, as the constant desertions from work show. The only way that the gold and diamond mines keep their ...
— An African Adventure • Isaac F. Marcosson

... jaundice, imprisonment, and habitual indigestion. I hate everybody, and, with the exception of gin-and-water, everything. I know every language, both in the known and unknown worlds; I am profoundly ignorant of history, or indeed of any other useful science, but have a smattering of all. I am excellently qualified to judge and lash the vices of the age, having experienced, I may almost say, every one of them in my own person. The immortal and immoral Goethe, that celebrated sage of Germany, has made exactly ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari. Vol. 1, July 31, 1841 • Various

... tried, found guilty, and fined fifty dollars or a month in jail. Many arguments arose between magistrate and constable, as the latter, having served in the United States, and there learned a smattering of Yankee law, was resolved to make his voice heard in the case. The inability of the prisoner to pay the fine of course made it necessary to fall back upon the alternative—thirty days in jail, which jail was a hundred and odd miles off. There was no conveyance to take him thither; ...
— A Trip to Manitoba • Mary FitzGibbon

... offer in sufficient number, the militia might be drafted to supply the deficiencies, but only to serve until December, and not to be marched out of the province. In this case, said he, before they have entered upon service, or got the least smattering of duty, they will claim a discharge; if they are pursuing an enemy who has committed the most unheard-of cruelties, he has only to step across the Potomac, and he is safe. Then as to the limits of service, they might just as easily have been enlisted for seventeen months, as seven. They ...
— The Life of George Washington, Volume I • Washington Irving

... mercenaries: the scum of their countries, careless of Italian sights and deeds, thinking only of torturing for hidden treasure, or swilling southern wines; and they returned to Spain and to Germany, to persecutions of Moriscos and plundering of abbeys, as savage and as dull as they had arrived. A smattering of Italian literature, art, and manners was carried back to Spain and Germany by Spanish and German princes and governors, to be transmitted to a few courtiers and humanists; but the imagination of the lower classes ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. I • Vernon Lee

... got some little smattering of Emmanuel's things by the end, being bold, he ventures himself into the company of the townsmen, any attempts also to chat among them. Now he knew that the power and strength of the town of Mansoul was great, and that it could not but be pleasing ...
— The Holy War • John Bunyan

... while the picked force under Simon Kenton himself was to storm the fort. Should he gain it by surprise and without battle, three shots were to be fired in quick succession, the other detachments were to start the war-whoop, while Duff and some with a smattering of French were to run up and down the streets proclaiming that every habitan who left his house would be shot. No provision being made for the drummer boy (I had left my drum on the heights above), I chose the favored ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... holding forth, to the handful of men who had been dining with me, on Malay beliefs and superstitions, while they manfully stifled their yawns. When a man has a smattering knowledge of anything, which is not usually known to his neighbours, it is a temptation to lecture on the subject, and, looking back, I fear that I had been on the rostrum during the best part of that ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... a gale of wind, or what fell little short of a real gale, was not to be undertaken with twenty men, the extent of Daly's command; and he had recourse to the assistance of his enemies. A good natured, facetious Irishman, himself, with a smattering of French, he soon got forty or fifty of the prisoners in a sufficient humour to lend their aid, and the sail was set, though not without great risk of its splitting. From this moment, la Victoire was better off, as respected the gale and keeping a weatherly ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... question on whose solution man's eternal destiny is largely suspended. Our age prides itself on being an age of culture; but do we know in what true culture really consists? As a whole, I think not. A smattering of sentimental literature, a superficial refinement of manners, a few borrowed phrases and appropriated customs of "society," the rendering of a few pieces by rote, and fashionable dress, constitute with, alas! too many the standard of culture. How unworthy of their race are those who ...
— Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel - and Selections from his Writings • Frank G. Allen

... their sermons, and made his words the subject of their instruction; and Rashi was taught even to the children. The mass of readers assimilated the Halakic and Haggadic elements. Those who were not students, through Rashi got a smattering of a literature that would otherwise have been inaccessible to them; and the commentaries threw into circulation a large number of legends, which became the common property of the Jews. Rashi's expressions and phrases entered into current speech, especially those happy formulas which ...
— Rashi • Maurice Liber

... caught the first cry of the telephone. But he was already a man of some note on his own account. He had been educated in Edinburgh, the city of his birth, and in London; and had in one way and another picked up a smattering of anatomy, music, electricity, and telegraphy. Until he was sixteen years of age, he had read nothing but novels and poetry and romantic tales of Scottish heroes. Then he left home to become a ...
— The History of the Telephone • Herbert N. Casson

... wheel, looked at us intently for a few seconds, and then, observing that we were all ready to give him our starboard broadside, answered in the affirmative; whereupon our people, several of whom had a smattering of French, gave three hearty cheers as they dropped the lanyards of their locks to the deck, and laid down ...
— The Log of a Privateersman • Harry Collingwood

... B.A.; and Miss Roots did her work so well that when Sir Frederick assumed his rightful guardianship of his daughter he pronounced her the worst educated young woman in Europe. Of all that Miss Roots had so laboriously imparted to her she retained, not a smattering, but a masterly selection. And now at four and twenty she had what is called a beautiful view of life; with that exciting book which her father kept so sedulously out of her reach she was acquainted as it were through anthologies and translations. ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... that reply," said Hazel. "As for me, I have got a smattering of so many subjects, all full of incredible truths, that my faith in the impossibility of anything is gone. Ah! if James Watt was only here instead of John Hazel—James Watt from the Abbey with a head ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... Philip Sidney and his sister Mary. They studied and worked together in great sympathy, broken into only by the tragic fate of Sir Philip. Although the education of women in those days was chiefly domestic, with a smattering of accomplishments, yet there were exceptional girls who aspired to learning and who became brilliant women. Mildred under her brother's tutelage bid fare to be one of ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... my smattering of culture was neither deep nor broad. I acquired no definite knowledge of underlying principles, of general history, of economics, of languages, of mathematics, of physics or of chemistry. To biology and its allies I paid scarcely any attention at all, except to take a few ...
— The "Goldfish" • Arthur Train

... from the city editor's desk his ambition turns to Washington. He succeeds there. He now comes into the presence of distinguished ambassadors, ministers and diplomatists. He acquires a polish and a smattering of the languages. His work becomes a feature of his paper. The president chooses him for a friend; he comes and goes as he wills. Presently his eye furtively wanders to Europe. The highest ambition of a journalist, next to being a war ...
— Arms and the Woman • Harold MacGrath

... into the timber, cheerfully leaving the women and children to be fed and cared for at the school. As the days shortened and the nights grew longer, the girl realized, with bitterness in her heart, that almost the only thing she had accomplished along educational lines was the imperfect smattering of the Indian tongue that she ...
— The Gun-Brand • James B. Hendryx

... example," said Paresi. "Happily married, no children. Physically inferior all his life. Repressed desire for pure science which produced more than a smattering of a great many sciences and made him a hell of an engineer. High idealistic quotient; self sacrifice. Look at him playing chess, making of this very real situation a theoretical abstraction ... like leaving a marriage ...
— Breaking Point • James E. Gunn

... Bulgarians; but the motive was not exalted. Their proverb said, 'Read book, and learn to be rogue as well as white man.' Hence useless, fanciful subjects were in vogue;—algebra, as it were, before arithmetic;—and the poor made every sacrifice to give their sons a smattering of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. The desire of entering the 'professions' naturally affected the standard of education. What is still wanted at Sa Leone is to raise the mass by giving to their teaching a more practical ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... the little summer-house you may have observed at the further corner of the lawn. This study of his, if study such desultory snatches at science may be called, led him, in his examination of vegetable bodies, to a smattering acquaintance with botany, a science of which Ellen Armitage is an enthusiastic student. They were foolishly permitted to botanize together, and the result was, that Alfred Bourdon, acting upon the principle that genius—whether sham or real—levels ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... for some publick Building, where they would perform their Exercises; and intended to erect a Library suitable to it. And they had the more reason to believe they could obtain such a Grant, that the Queen, not contented with a superficial Smattering of Learning, back'd with Conceit and Talkativeness, (which is the highest pitch Persons of the first Rank do commonly arrive to) was truly and solidly learned, and a real Encourager of Letters : wherein ...
— The Survey of Cornwall • Richard Carew

... be that as it may, I had picked up a good deal of pleasure and a good deal of knowledge. I had been to a German school and a German university, and spoke German as readily and perfectly as English; I was thoroughly at home in French; I had a smattering of Italian and enough Spanish to swear by. I was, I believe, a strong, though hardly fine swordsman and a good shot. I could ride anything that had a back to sit on; and my head was as cool a one as you could find, for all its flaming cover. If ...
— The Prisoner of Zenda • Anthony Hope

... Parracombe; and by that scapegrace hangs a tale. He was an old schoolfellow of his at Bideford, and son of a merchant in that town—one of those unlucky members who are "nobody's enemy but their own"—a handsome, idle, clever fellow, who used his scholarship, of which he had picked up some smattering, chiefly to justify his own escapades, and to string songs together. Having drunk all that he was worth at home, he had in a penitent fit forsworn liquor, and tormented Amyas into taking him to sea, where he afterwards ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... as SORTIES and surprises I'm more wary at, And when I know precisely what is meant by Commissariat, When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery, When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery, In short, when I've a smattering of elementary strategy, You'll say a better Major-GenerAL has never SAT a gee - For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury, Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century. But still ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... standard not higher than the average, some rhetorical affluence and great glibness of speech, what is the career in which, without the aid of birth or money, he may most easily attain power and reputation in English society? Where is that Goshen of mediocrity in which a smattering of science and learning will pass for profound instruction, where platitudes will be accepted as wisdom, bigoted narrowness as holy zeal, unctuous egoism as God-given piety? Let such a man become an evangelical preacher; he will ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... necessary to describe the personality of Smerdyakov, "who had cut short his life in a fit of insanity." He depicted him as a man of weak intellect, with a smattering of education, who had been thrown off his balance by philosophical ideas above his level and certain modern theories of duty, which he learnt in practice from the reckless life of his master, who was also perhaps his ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... acceptable, and, as she really wished to go abroad again, she easily induced Mrs. Morton and Ida to think it a great boon that she should join forces with them, and as she was an experienced traveller with a convenient smattering of various tongues, she really smoothed their way considerably and lived much more at her ease than she could have done upon her own resources, always ...
— That Stick • Charlotte M. Yonge

... be adopted among the Caughnawagas, who dwelt on the St. Lawrence, not far from Montreal. With these Indians he lived for several years, and having a natural taste for languages, acquired, during this time, a fair knowledge of the tongues of most of the Northern tribes, as well as a smattering of French. He also became well versed in woodcraft, and so thoroughly Indian in appearance and habit that when he was again captured by a marauding party of Maquas, or Mohawks, it was not detected that he was of white blood until he was stripped ...
— At War with Pontiac - The Totem of the Bear • Kirk Munroe and J. Finnemore

... have had a merry two months of it. At least, I could understand now why he had been more anxious to get back my cloak than his truant pupil. Nor could I blame him if he sighed with relief when Ludar, having fallen foul of every one and everything at Oxford, and learned nothing save a smattering of Spanish from a Jesuit priest, took up his cap and gown and shook the dust of the University from ...
— Sir Ludar - A Story of the Days of the Great Queen Bess • Talbot Baines Reed

... by his guards, to a small building on the outskirts of the village; where, after receiving food and water, and having his clothes restored to him, he was informed by one of the Indians—who could speak a smattering of English—that he might be bound and remain, or accompany them to see the Big Knife tortured. He chose the former without hesitation; and was immediately secured in a manner similar to what he had been the night previously, ...
— Ella Barnwell - A Historical Romance of Border Life • Emerson Bennett

... across North America. She had no tried standard by which to measure life's values for she had lived her twenty-two years wholly shielded from the human maelstrom, fed, clothed, taught, an untried product of home and schools. Her head was full of university lore, things she had read, a smattering of the arts and philosophy, liberal portions of academic knowledge, all tagged and sorted like parcels on a shelf to be reached when called for. Buried under these externalities the ego of her ...
— Big Timber - A Story of the Northwest • Bertrand W. Sinclair



Words linked to "Smattering" :   discernment, small indefinite quantity, smatter, small indefinite amount, understanding



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