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Act   /ækt/   Listen
Act

verb
(past & past part. acted; pres. part. acting)
1.
Perform an action, or work out or perform (an action).  Synonym: move.  "We must move quickly" , "The governor should act on the new energy bill" , "The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel"
2.
Behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself.  Synonyms: behave, do.  "Don't behave like a fool" , "What makes her do this way?" , "The dog acts ferocious, but he is really afraid of people"
3.
Play a role or part.  Synonyms: play, represent.  "She wants to act Lady Macbeth, but she is too young for the role" , "She played the servant to her husband's master"
4.
Discharge one's duties.  "In what capacity are you acting?"
5.
Pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind.  Synonyms: act as, play.  "She plays deaf when the news are bad"
6.
Be suitable for theatrical performance.
7.
Have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected.  Synonym: work.  "How does your idea work in practice?" , "This method doesn't work" , "The breaks of my new car act quickly" , "The medicine works only if you take it with a lot of water"
8.
Be engaged in an activity, often for no particular purpose other than pleasure.
9.
Behave unnaturally or affectedly.  Synonyms: dissemble, pretend.
10.
Perform on a stage or theater.  Synonyms: play, playact, roleplay.  "He acted in 'Julius Caesar'" , "I played in 'A Christmas Carol'"



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"Act" Quotes from Famous Books



... occurred, that the latter had a presentation to Christ's Hospital: he was applied to on behalf of a person who had a large family; but the father not being a freeman, he could not present it to the son. He immediately bought the freedom for the father, and gave the son the presentation! This is a rare act. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 231, April 1, 1854 • Various

... but may really come into being when there shall arise philosopher-kings, one or more, who will despise earthly vanities, and will be the servants of justice only. 'And how will they begin their work?' Their first act will be to send away into the country all those who are more than ten years of age, and to proceed with those who ...
— The Republic • Plato

... "We must act the part of invaders and drive out any previous occupants," observed Stanley as he stepped on shore. "Kate and Bella and the two boys, with the wounded black and his sons, must remain in the canoes till we can find a safe place ...
— In the Wilds of Africa • W.H.G. Kingston

... was the emotions that counted. As a mere spectator, he could never hope to know the Mississippi, to describe and write it truly; the river had forced him into the activities of the river life, and had done him by that act its finest service. ...
— The River Prophet • Raymond S. Spears

... committee decided that the chief obstacle to a Turkish expedition was the Franco-Burgundian quarrel. This point was also raised by Charles in his first conference with Frederic. No campaign was feasible until the European powers were ready to act in concert. Louis XI. was aiding and abetting the heathen by being a disturbing element which rendered this desired unity impossible. So Frederic appointed a fresh commission to discuss European peace. And this insolvable ...
— Charles the Bold - Last Duke Of Burgundy, 1433-1477 • Ruth Putnam

... should Philip Crawford kill Joseph just at the moment he is about to make a new will in Philip's favor? Either the destruction of the old will or the drawing of the new would result in Philip's falling heir to the fortune. So he would hardly precipitate matters by a criminal act. And, too, if he had been keen about the money, he could have urged his brother to disinherit Florence Lloyd, and Joseph would have willingly done so. He was on the very point of ...
— The Gold Bag • Carolyn Wells

... so; only there was left A second daughter, and to her you came Veiling one sin to act another. ...
— Becket and other plays • Alfred Lord Tennyson

... interesting. In novels it's treated, not only as if it were the chief interest of life, but the sole interest of the lives of two ridiculous young persons; and it is taught that love is perpetual, that the glow of a true passion lasts for ever; and that it is sacrilege to think or act otherwise." "Well, but isn't that true, Mr. Sewell?" ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... of our Sweet Celery are carminative, and act on the kidneys. An admirable tincture is made from these seeds, when bruised, with spirit of wine; of which a teaspoonful may be taken three times a day, with a spoonful or two of water. The root of the Wild Celery, Smallage, or Marsh Parsley, ...
— Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure • William Thomas Fernie

... quietly, "there has not been one word or act of yours to cause you regret, or me. You have put no secret on me that I must keep. That was like a man! I trust you will find it easy to ...
— The Magnificent Adventure - Being the Story of the World's Greatest Exploration and - the Romance of a Very Gallant Gentleman • Emerson Hough

... commanded, glancing up and catching him in the act. "Stop that, and read these for ...
— True Tilda • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... was for the Franco-Prussian War to bring out the full strength and the true perspicuity of Punch's judgment. There was little fooling here. His warning was serious and solemn; he followed every act of the great drama with breathless interest and with unsurpassed power of apprehension and pictorial demonstration; and his sympathy for the misfortunes of "la grande nation," and his horror at the terrors of the Commune, did not prevent his pity going forth to the broken leader who ...
— The History of "Punch" • M. H. Spielmann

... bears to-day. Both of these papers are weeklies. The Journal is of later date, and is issued daily. Joseph E. See is editor. In mentioning the educational facilities of a community it would be an act of thoughtlessness to omit its bookstores. There is but one in Pittsfield. It contains a large supply of books, selected with judgment, and is well managed ...
— Bay State Monthly, Volume II. No. 4, January, 1885 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... Mr Simple, how one thing leads to another. I declare to you, that my first idea of making use of his lordship's name, was to procure a passage to Gibraltar. I then was undecided how to act; but, as I had charge of his papers and letters to his mother and guardian, I think—indeed I am almost sure—that I should have laid aside my dignity and midshipman's dress, and applied for a passage home to the commissioner of the yard. But it was fated ...
— Peter Simple and The Three Cutters, Vol. 1-2 • Frederick Marryat

... is, even for this life, to act according to the word of God! This perfect revelation of His mind gives us directions for every thing, even the most minute affairs of this life. It commands us, "Be thou not one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts." Prov. ...
— A Narrative of some of the Lord's Dealings with George Mueller - Written by Himself, Third Part • George Mueller

... false; but they were dangerous. In the second century, an imperial decree forbade the reading of the Sibylline Oracles, because they contained prophecies of Christ and doctrines of Christianity. By an act of the English Parliament, in the middle of the seventeenth century, every copy of the Racovian Catechism (an exposition of the Socinian doctrine) that could be obtained was burned ...
— The Destiny of the Soul - A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life • William Rounseville Alger

... it did any violence to the supreme illusion. He was happy. I think he liked writing his dreadful books. (There must have been something soothing in the act with its level, facile fluency.) I know he enjoyed bringing them out. He gloated over the announcements. He drew a voluptuous pleasure from his proofs. He lived from one day of publication to the other; there wasn't a detail of ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair

... mere idle inquisitiveness? Or is it that we may store up in our minds what these great ones said and did upon occasions that may occur to us some day? This is, perhaps the more likely; for women dislike biographies, and women, we are told, care not a fig for examples, but act upon their native intuition. Be the reason what it may, the fact remains that for one man who looks to the future there are fifty who look to the past. Moreover the sages of all times encourage us to seek examples in the lives of other men, and examples are ...
— The Book-Hunter at Home • P. B. M. Allan

... are in the land shall have morsels of the traitor's carcass, who dare counsel such horrors to the heir of Scotland. Well hope I, indeed, that the fever of thy wound, and the intoxicating influence of the cordials which act on thy infirm brain, have this night operated on thee, rather than ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... can comprehend and act upon the lessons which God has given it in the past events of its history, is secure in the most imminent ...
— Speeches on Questions of Public Policy, Volume 1 • John Bright

... The unseen mantle of authority covered all; and these masses of discontented men submitted as we bow to what is believed to be the fiat of fate. The deep-seated and unresisting habit of discipline suppressed complaint, but there was a general conviction that some act was about to be committed that it were better for humanity and justice should not be done; or, if done at all, that it needed more of form, greater deliberation and a fairer trial, to be so done as to obtain the commendation of men. The Turks alone showed apathy; though all showed submission. ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... (March 20, 1705) were the keys of the church of Muthill finally laid upon the table of the Presbytery. The new members of the Presbytery were very different from the old. They were now strongly Presbyterian in feeling, and ultra-evangelical in theology. In 1711, when threatened with the Queen Anne Act restoring Patronage, we find them instructing their commissioners to the Assembly "to take all care that Patronages be not again restored," and in the following year "to give a testimony against the encroachments made on this church by the tolleration and patronages." They were earnest in ...
— Chronicles of Strathearn • Various

... and unconcernedly, in the presence of the whole line, and before the Americans, (kept in check by a hot and incessant musketry), could succeed in even crossing their defences, had seized the gun by the drag rope, and withdrawn it under cover of the English fire. But this gallant act of self-devotedness was not without its terrible price. Pierced by many balls, which the American rifleman had immediately directed at him, he fell dying within ten feet of the British line, brandishing ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... diet, salt seems to act simply as a stimulus, not containing any nourishment, and is the only fossil substance which the caprice of mankind has yet taken into their stomachs along with their food; and, like all other unnatural stimuli, ...
— The Botanic Garden. Part II. - Containing The Loves of the Plants. A Poem. - With Philosophical Notes. • Erasmus Darwin

... more immune to this danger than is a plain concrete arch. However, with a few days of hardening, although the damage may be serious, the danger of actual collapse is less. A point to be guarded against, especially in reinforced construction, is any foolish act on the part of contractor or workman, due to his overconfidence in the strength of the structure because it ...
— Concrete Construction - Methods and Costs • Halbert P. Gillette

... open it alone and so could not seal any business agreement without their consent. And he ordered her to keep accounts and present them every year (there are bundles of her accounts still preserved in the Record Office). Finally he deputed a neighbouring rector to act as custodian of the business affairs of the house so that she should always have his help. Things went ...
— Medieval People • Eileen Edna Power

... saluting-point where the General inspecting sits, they straighten themselves up and dress their ranks, and pull themselves together as they pass beneath his critical eye. A master's eye makes diligent servants. If we, in the strength of God, would only realise, day by day and act by act of our lives, that we are before Him, what a revolution could be effected on our characters and what a transformation ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers • Alexander Maclaren

... rank, Manlius and Fulvius,[363] intervened as peacemakers. They threw themselves at the feet of Tiberius, they clasped his hands, they besought him with tears to pause before he committed himself to an act of violence. Tiberius was not insensible to the appeal. The immediate future was dark enough, and the entreaties of these revered men had saved an awkward situation. He asked them what they held that he should do. ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... that stone from out your tie that easy!" And his voice held no assurance that he would not act upon his words. "Just as easy! Yes, and I could beat you over the head with my gun—oh, sure I've got one!—just like he beat that roan horse, and strip your pockets and be clean away before one of those"—he nodded over his shoulder at the train—"could ...
— Winner Take All • Larry Evans

... Jack Baxter is really in love with Polly! I watched him all that time, after he was formally introduced by Mr. Dalken, and he just hung on her every word and act." ...
— Polly's Business Venture • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... the king to the presidents of the three orders, that he should meet them on Monday; and, under pretence of preparing the hall for the occasion, the French guards were placed with bayonets to prevent any of the deputies entering the room. The circumstances of doing this ill-judged act of violence have been as ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... the generous hospitality of the British governor in Sydney—extended at a time when the French crews were sorely stricken—and should have been moved by gratitude, to say nothing of justice, to help in undoing an act of wrong to a fellow-navigator, does not seem to have taken the slightest step in this direction, nor does he in any of his writings express any regret concerning the unhappy fate that ...
— Terre Napoleon - A history of French explorations and projects in Australia • Ernest Scott

... the young girl a look which plunged into the depths of her heart. He read there her resolve that she would act loyally, but that at the same time she would never forget him who had so irresistibly gained her heart. He made ...
— Serge Panine, Complete • Georges Ohnet

... comes by a vital original process. It is in some measure a creative act, and those works that rest upon it make demands—perhaps extraordinary ones—upon the reader or the beholder. We regard mere surface glitter, or mere verbal sweetness, in a mood entirely passive, and with a pleasure entirely profitless. The beauty of excellent ...
— Birds and Poets • John Burroughs

... peerless act shines forth and is maintained complete, unfaltering; and the path of heroism is straight and clearly defined and splendid as that ...
— The Wrack of the Storm • Maurice Maeterlinck

... for the act. He could now let the barrel of his heavy piece rest upon his left arm, as he held it pistol-wise, and at last, when well abreast, he levelled it as well as he could, aiming at ...
— Diamond Dyke - The Lone Farm on the Veldt - Story of South African Adventure • George Manville Fenn

... good-natured man. He had endeavoured to make it clear to Robert from the beginning, by means of sundry winks and smiles, that he understood the whole situation, which was one in which any gentleman might find himself, and that he meant to act like a friend. But Robert had only scowled at him. And even now, frightened as he was, he disdained all parley. The bailiff was an enemy, and when it came to a fight the Stonehouse family stood shoulder to ...
— The Dark House • I. A. R. Wylie

... own hands. Charlotte's third fact, though the most absolutely personal of the whole, scarcely tortured her as the other two did to-night. It lay so clearly and so directly in her path, that there was no pausing how best to act. The way for action was too clear to be even for an instant disobeyed. Into this fire she must walk without hesitation or pause. Her wedding-day could not be on the twentieth; her engagement must be broken off; her marriage at an end. What! she, the ...
— How It All Came Round • L. T. Meade

... the munificent Khan gave them rich presents of jewels, and made them promise to return to him after they had visited their families. He authorized them to act as his ambassadors to the principal courts of Europe, and, as on a former occasion, furnished them with tablets of gold, to serve, not merely as passports, but as orders upon all commanders in his territories for accommodations ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... consideration when she reflected that the latter could not, under any circumstances, require her assistance very long; and to spare her the shame of public exposure was another consideration. The evils of the act to herself were reduced with equal readiness to the transition from one state to another by a small process, which, whether by the name of stab or shot, was productive only of a momentary spasm; for, though as fully persuaded of the soul's ...
— Charlemont • W. Gilmore Simms

... in which some of the older naturalists speak of the operations of Nature, though they are better qualified to appreciate than to discriminate the facts. Their assertions are not without value when disproved. If they are not facts, they are suggestions for Nature herself to act upon. "The Greeks," says Gesner, "had a common proverb () a sleeping hare, for a dissembler or counterfeit; because the hare sees when she sleeps; for this is an admirable and rare work of Nature, that all the residue ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... would be apt to take it off before committing herself to a fate that proclaimed me a traitor to this symbol. I should see that ring again. I should find it in a letter filled with bitter words. I would not think of it or of them now. I would try to learn how she had committed this act, whether by poison or— ...
— The House of the Whispering Pines • Anna Katharine Green

... could only surprise them. We are so weak in numbers, I hardly dare leave my guns; otherwise, with a troop of our lads to act as cavalry, I could pretty well cut them up, and scatter the rest, so that they would not do much more ...
— Gil the Gunner - The Youngest Officer in the East • George Manville Fenn

... savour, and highly prejudicial to the purity of the sea, and the health of the neighbouring herrings. Happy Squinado! He needed not to discover the limits of his authority, to consult any lengthy Nuisances' Removal Act, with its clauses, and counter- clauses, and explanations of interpretations, and interpretations of explanations. Nature, who can afford to be arbitrary, because she is perfect, and to give her servants irresponsible ...
— Glaucus; or The Wonders of the Shore • Charles Kingsley

... wildest convulsions of fury at the intelligence. Young Lord Thomas—he was only at the time twenty-one—hot-tempered, undisciplined, and brimful of the pride of his race—at once flew to arms. His first act was to renounce his allegiance to England. Galloping up to the Council with a hundred and fifty Geraldines at his heels, he seized the Sword of State, marched into the council-room, and addressing the Council in his ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... matter worse. Nat "laughed behind his ears" to see how the thing worked, and many a knowing glance was exchanged with Charlie in the course of the evening. Before sun-down, on the following day, the facts in the case were known by many of the villagers. The aristocratic ones sneered at the act, while others commended it as the fruit of a generous spirit. On the whole, it did much good in the community, because it caused many persons to see the unkindness and even cruelty of slighting the worthy, on account of ...
— The Bobbin Boy - or, How Nat Got His learning • William M. Thayer

... walked up and down the floor and ran to the window, and howled without having to look at Ned. Mrs. Morris peered over her glasses at me in utter surprise. "Boys," she said, "did you ever see Joe act in ...
— Beautiful Joe - An Autobiography of a Dog • by Marshall Saunders

... He began to act as if he was even now a father. He entreated Rosa not to trouble or vex herself; he would look into their finances, and set ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... Ithacus, still 'gainst the coward brave, "As would pursue thee. Now, though all thou fly'st, "Thy suitors scorning, thousands seek thy hand, "Both demi-gods and gods, whoever dwell "Of deities on Alba's lofty hills. "Yet wisely would'st thou act, and happy wed, "Attend my aged counsel (thee I love "More than all these, and more than thou'dst believe) "Reject such vulgar offers, and select "Vertumnus for the consort of thy bed: "And for his worth accept of me as pledge. "For to himself not better is he ...
— The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II • Ovid

... between this happy, peaceful, prosperous country and our own desolated, war-distracted land, struck a chill to our saddened hearts. The last act in the bloody drama was about to close on that very day at Appomattox Court House, and before that sun had set, the Confederate Government had become a thing of the past. We, who were abroad, were not unprepared for the final catastrophe; for we had learned on our arrival at ...
— The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner • John Wilkinson

... looks and behaviour. They are so perfectly docile and obedient, so ready to help their parents, so good to the little ones, and, in the many hours which I have spent in watching them at play, I have never heard an angry word or seen a sour look or act. But they are little men and women rather than children, and their old-fashioned appearance is greatly aided by their dress, which, as I have remarked before, is the same ...
— Unbeaten Tracks in Japan • Isabella L. Bird

... crow-bar, in the hands of the third, after describing an arc within an inch or two of my own head, descended with a horrible dull sound (I hear it now) upon that of poor Chesterton, who fell heavily, whilst in the act of springing forwards, across his prostrate antagonist. Again the murderous weapon was uplifted—I vainly endeavoured to fling my opponent and myself against the striker—I heard a scream, and saw the poor servant girl rush forward with ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... there would never be any Release. Or else, consciousness of ajnana constituting the nature of Brahman, which is admittedly pure consciousness, in the same way as the consciousness of false silver is terminated by that cognition which sublates the silver, so some terminating act of cognition would eventually put an end to Brahman's essential nature itself.—On the second alternative we ask what that something else should be. If you reply 'another ajnana,' we are led into a regressus in infinitum.—Let it then be ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Ramanuja - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 48 • Trans. George Thibaut

... "critical complaints" which often set in at the period of life when this function ceases. "The complaint for which nine-tenths of the English visitors drink these springs is gout; but it should be distinctly understood that Vichy water is not a specific for gout; it can only act on the gouty diathesis by improving the tone of the digestive organs, augmenting the secretions, and correcting the abnormally acid condition of the blood." —Madden's Health Resorts. "The Vichy waters do not cure gout. They have, ...
— The South of France—East Half • Charles Bertram Black

... and a most bully sight to look at next morning when the sun come a-streaming across the desert and flung the long shadders of the camels on the gold sand like a thousand grand-daddy-long-legses marching in procession. We never went very near it, because we knowed better now than to act like that and scare people's camels and break up their caravans. It was the gayest outfit you ever see, for rich clothes and nobby style. Some of the chiefs rode on dromedaries, the first we ever ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... wanted to use the Master to further his own plans and advantage. And the vision slowly blurred and dimmed, as the under nature was given the upper hand. The Master's clear insight recognized the demon spirit that Judas had allowed to come in, though Judas did not.[101] Then came the dastardly act of betrayal. And Judas has been held up to ...
— Quiet Talks on Following the Christ • S. D. Gordon

... said he, "that it is necessary not to mention the knife-grinder's wheel, as it would make a difference in my reception. All gentlemen do not gain their livelihood as honestly as I do; but, still prejudices are not to be overcome. You did me a kind act, and I wished to return it; I could not do so without letting you into this little secret, but I have seen enough of you to think you can ...
— The Poacher - Joseph Rushbrook • Frederick Marryat

... it," said Gilian. "I knew your feelings and your acts as well as if it had been myself that had been there. I wish my comprehension of the act to be done was as ready as ...
— Gilian The Dreamer - His Fancy, His Love and Adventure • Neil Munro

... go on horseback, Zaki, I shall want someone with me who will act as a guide; and who will look after his horse and mine at some place near the river, where he can find a hiding place while I am away in the ...
— With Kitchener in the Soudan - A Story of Atbara and Omdurman • G. A. Henty

... pardon me, Prince Lermontoff. I act, as the isvoshtchik has acted, under compulsion. My identity is not in question. I ask you for the second time to ...
— A Rock in the Baltic • Robert Barr

... Oskar Hedin paused in the act of returning some fox pieces to their place, and greeted the girl who had halted before the tall pier glass to readjust her hat and push a refractory strand of hair into place. "Back again?" he smiled. "And now ...
— The Challenge of the North • James Hendryx

... moved to and fro without considering their steps. Yet the agitated pool of life is stonily indifferent, the thought is absent or preoccupied, for it is evident that the mass are unconscious of the scene in which they act. ...
— The Story of My Heart • Richard Jefferies

... a conclusion which—whatever may be its material and treatment—has an appeal to the feelings, to the emotions. It strives to move the audience to act, to arouse them to an expression of their wills, to stir them to deeds. It usually comes at the end of a speech of persuasion. It appeals to sentiments of right, justice, humanity, religion. It seldom merely concludes a speech; it looks forward to some such definite action as casting a ...
— Public Speaking • Clarence Stratton

... discuss his proposition with the engineer, the last thing Bruce anticipated was to be engaged before daylight in the humane and neighborly act of warming Wilbur Dill's back, but so it is that Chance, that humorous old lady, thrusts Opportunity in the way of those in whom she ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... several exquisite songs between whiles. "Landgraf Ludwig's Brautfahrt" ["Landgrave Ludwig's Bridal Journey," an unpublished opera of Lassen's.] will again be given next Sunday, and from New Year (1858) Lassen will act as Grand Ducal Music Conductor of Weymar. Gotze is retiring from work, and your friend Stor undertakes his post as First Music Conductor. Damrosch, your successor, has composed a quite remarkable ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome: - Years of Travel as a Virtuoso" • Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

... environment when we are interlocked in so many ways with inorganic nature? Our very substance with its energies has been wrested from the environment; and as we, like all other living things, must replenish our tissues as we wear out in the very act of living, we cannot cease to maintain the closest possible relations with the environment without surrendering our existence ...
— The Doctrine of Evolution - Its Basis and Its Scope • Henry Edward Crampton

... a little sorry, the next moment, that I'd harped still again on an act which must have become painful for him to remember, since I could see his face work and his eye betray a tendency to evade mine. But he thanked me, and explained that he was entirely in ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... recalled to Indra's heaven, she had to act before Indra the part of the goddess of beauty, who selects Vishnu for her husband. One of the ...
— Tales from the Hindu Dramatists • R. N. Dutta

... occurred? But because the brother had happened to put his bad temper on paper, the law, being rashly invoked, seizes him, takes five years out of his life, and brands him with the shame of the jail bird. Upon what plea can such an act be construed as justice? But the district attorney shows the court that the statute has been violated; the judge charges the jury, the jury finds its verdict in accordance with the legal evidence, and the thing is done. It is a mechanical ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... thinking confusedly of Lord Romfrey; trying to think he had made his amends tardily, and that Beauchamp prized him too highly for the act. She had no longer anything to resent: she was obliged to weep. In truth, as the earl had noticed, she was physically depressed by the strain of her protracted watch over Beauchamp, as well as ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... was on board the Adventure at the time, and thus known that Captain Cook could no longer have been ignorant of what had occurred. He, however, did his best to make them understand that he was not come to punish them for that act, and that he wished to be friends with them as before. In consequence of this the natives very soon laid aside restraint and distrust. After the fearful experience he had had of their treachery, however, the captain took ...
— Captain Cook - His Life, Voyages, and Discoveries • W.H.G. Kingston

... and he rode off to take a look at Reid, and put what caution into his ear he had a mind to give. Mackenzie saw him blend into the gloom of early morning with a feeling of self-felicitation on his act of yesterday. He was inspired yesterday when he took Joan under his protection and laid claim to ...
— The Flockmaster of Poison Creek • George W. Ogden

... Lord Darby was to put me down," she said, and giving De Lacy a dazzling smile—"but if you care to act as his substitute, I suppose you may. . . Good-bye, Selim." She gathered up her skirt and moved toward the steps. On the bottom one she turned. "Do you not think, Sir Aymer, it is about time for you to be presented?" ...
— Beatrix of Clare • John Reed Scott

... consequence is, I forget both, and feel red all over, and know that I'm acting like a very silly little fool. I sit down, and both pairs of those eyes are on me; and both pairs of those ears are wide open, and I'm as ungraceful as a giraffe; when I know, if left to act naturally, and wasn't watched all the time, I could appear very well. Then a young man here, no matter of how high family he is, or how good or how worthy, if he happens to be ever so poor, and feels as if he'd like to ...
— The Brother Clerks - A Tale of New-Orleans • Xariffa

... interesting diary contains one or two important passages illustrating the relation between conquerors and conquered. Like many other German writers, he saw no hostile act on the part of the civilian population, but they came to him as rumours. "That night we slept in a barn. Here we heard that a village near Dahlem had been burned down because the inhabitants had cut the throat of a sleeping ...
— What Germany Thinks - The War as Germans see it • Thomas F. A. Smith

... hands, set her teeth, and looked about her as if ready for any desperate act that should set her free from the dark and dreadful future ...
— Work: A Story of Experience • Louisa May Alcott

... objections. They will find their best refutation in the sentiments of national honour, which, after the whole nation had joined the Emperor, could not but fight with him and for him; and could not separate from him, till some act, such as that of an abdication, dissolved the ties between the nation and its sovereign. It will be easy to them to demonstrate, that, if this sacred duty of honour compelled the French nation, to make war for its own defence, as well as that of the head, ...
— Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. II • Pierre Antoine Edouard Fleury de Chaboulon

... morning the firing of cannon announced the annual "Fete du Travail," or workmen's holiday, not accorded by Act of Parliament, but claimed by the people ...
— In the Heart of the Vosges - And Other Sketches by a "Devious Traveller" • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... laughed. Hatchett took no offense, but the grimness of his long, sombre countenance remained unbroken. A day or two later he discovered Hatchett in the act of giving an old, white-haired, half-breed cripple a bag of supplies. Hatchett shook himself, as if caught in an act ...
— The Courage of Marge O'Doone • James Oliver Curwood

... your hands, and the cross upon your breast, it was something else you promised, sire, than to eat flesh-meat on a Friday. If a meaner man were to do so, he would merit a heavy punishment. This royal hall is not so beset as it should be, when it falls upon me, a mean man, to challenge such an act." ...
— Heimskringla - The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway • Snorri Sturluson

... ACT II.—The interior of the Red Barn. WILLIAM discovered digging MARIA's grave in his shirt-sleeves, and thereby revealing that his shirt-front is as false as his heart. He announces that "Nothing can shake him, now, from his pre-determined purpose," ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 103, October 22, 1892 • Various

... efficacy. That ignorance and perverseness should always obtain what they like, was never considered as the end of government; of which it is the great and standing benefit, that the wise see for the simple, and the regular act for the capricious. But that this argument supposes the people capable of judging, and resolute to act according to their best judgments, though this be sufficiently absurd, it is not all its absurdity. It supposes not only wisdom, but unanimity ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... and closer behind me crept that noiseless foot till I could feel the glaring of the assassin's eyes across the narrow threshold separating me from death and hear the click of his teeth as he set his lips for the final act. Ah!" and the secretary's livid face showed the touch of awful horror, "what words can describe such an experience as that? In one moment, all the agonies of hell in the heart and brain, the next a blank through which I seemed to ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... we can do, at any rate," decided Dick. "We will probably never get a better chance than this. Come on, boys! We'll see how our hydroplanes act!" he called. ...
— Dick Hamilton's Airship - or, A Young Millionaire in the Clouds • Howard R. Garis

... walked slowly, weighing in the balance all there was to lose or gain. When she reached the head of the main staircase, she had not yet altogether decided how to act, and lest she should meet some one she returned, and walked up and down the lonely corridor nearly a quarter of an hour, in deep thought. Suddenly a plan of action flashed upon her, and she went quickly on her way, ...
— In The Palace Of The King - A Love Story Of Old Madrid • F. Marion Crawford

... a happy man. Every thing was "en train" now to make him one day a "gentleman by Act of Parliament"—as attorneys are facetiously termed. It would certainly require something more than even the omnipotence of an Act of Parliament to confer the character on ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... man possessed no sufficiently presentable garments, these may be supplied by friends. This last act of respect and friendship has not infrequently been permitted to ...
— The Pagan Tribes of Borneo • Charles Hose and William McDougall

... the other with jealousy and dislike, and often with bitter hatred. Each often unwisely scorned the other. Each kept green in mind the wrongs suffered at the other's hands, and remembered every discreditable fact in the other's recent history—every failure, every act of cruelty or stupidity, every deed that could be held as the consequence of the worst moral and mental shortcomings. Neither could appreciate the other's many and real virtues. The policies for which they warred were hostile and irreconcilable; the interests of the nations they represented ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Three - The Founding of the Trans-Alleghany Commonwealths, 1784-1790 • Theodore Roosevelt

... Moderates do not want to comprehend that the war has been declared, and that it is war to the knife. They do not agree amongst themselves; they want to gain time, they hesitate and take refuge in constitutional forms—they do not act. The strong measures which the eighty decided and clear-sighted deputies propose, are weakened or suspended by the precautions of the three hundred others, short-sighted, unreliable or timid.[5163] They dare not even avail themselves of ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... to hurl himself between that brute and his prospective victim surged over Frank. With but a knife, or even a revolver to back him up, such a rash act would have been little short of madness. Fortunately it was ...
— The Saddle Boys of the Rockies - Lost on Thunder Mountain • James Carson

... the spirit of Lutheran scholasticism, narrow and ignorant, dogmatic and jealous; and they cannot help it, because they are pledged by their creeds and foundations to Tradition-worship; they have to believe certain things because their ancestors believed them, they have to act in certain ways, because of certain facts which existed in the world three thousand years ago, but which now are known only ...
— The Profits of Religion, Fifth Edition • Upton Sinclair

... hard on a man. See you not, all the fellows think you a coward if you dare not spend freely and act boldly? Ay, and ...
— Joyce Morrell's Harvest - The Annals of Selwick Hall • Emily Sarah Holt

... the intensely material hour into a feast of reason. There was no motive for her asking him to come to see her but that she liked him, which it was the more agreeable to him to perceive as he perceived at the same time that she was exquisite. She was enviably free to act upon her likings, and it made Wayworth feel less unsuccessful to infer that for the moment he happened to be one of them. He kept the revelation to himself, and indeed there was nothing to turn ...
— Nona Vincent • Henry James

... could, under the circumstances, he again became silent. His look and brace of revolvers were not reassuring, to say the least. He soon came out of his trance and did not keep us long in suspense, for his next act was to pull out both of his life-takers, and, not in very choice language, introduce himself as Commanche Bill from Arkansas, emphasizing the Arkansas by letting the contents of both of his instruments of death pierce the ceiling of his ...
— Dangers of the Trail in 1865 - A Narrative of Actual Events • Charles E Young

... one of the most valuable of our green crops. Its root is more nutritious than the turnip, occupying a position in the scale of food equivalents midway between that bulb and the parsnip. Mangels, when fresh, possess a somewhat acrid taste, and act as a laxative when given to stock; but after a few months' storing they become sweet and palatable, and their scouring ...
— The Stock-Feeder's Manual - the chemistry of food in relation to the breeding and - feeding of live stock • Charles Alexander Cameron

... plant the church securely in Westchester on the border of Connecticut; and secondly, from that point to act upon Connecticut, which was wholly Puritan and withal not ...
— The Development of Religious Liberty in Connecticut • M. Louise Greene, Ph. D.

... animal would at once ascend further up into the tapang; and, hidden behind the leaves and branches, might defy them. He would there remain till hunger should force him down; and, since he was just in the act of having his meal, and had, no doubt, been eating from the time he was first espied— or longer, perhaps—he would be in a condition to stay in the tree, until their patience should be more ...
— Bruin - The Grand Bear Hunt • Mayne Reid

... black mask in a skirt pocket of his coat. He is so engrossed in his thoughts that he does not notice the boy at his side offering a glass of liquor on a tray. The scene well depicts the low estate to which White's had fallen. It recalls a bit of dialogue from Farquhar's Beaux' Stratagem (act III, scene 2), where Aimwell says to Gibbet, who is a highwayman: "Pray, sir, ha'nt I seen your face at Will's Coffee House?" "Yes sir, and at White's, ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... acted in an offensive and hostile manner against his majesty's allies; and that he had wilfully burned and destroyed a town belonging to the king of Spain. He might have been tried either by common law, for this act of violence and piracy; or by martial law, for breach of orders: but it was an established principle among lawyers,[*] that, as he lay under an actual attainder for high treason, he could not be brought to a new trial for any other crime. To satisfy, therefore the court of Spain, which ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me; now no more The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip. Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear Antony call; I see him rouse himself To praise my noble act; I hear him mock The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men To excuse their after wrath; husband, I come: Now to that name my courage prove my title! I am fire and air; my other elements I give to baser life. So; have you done? ...
— The Lyric - An Essay • John Drinkwater

... be well to remember, that the Deity is not bound to act according to our notions of fitness; and that though it may not always be easiest, yet it is certainly most modest to form our theories from a survey of his works, rather than the nursery of our own prejudices. The following observations may be of utility to some readers. The motion ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 • Robert Kerr

... the Suffrage movement or not it is difficult to say, but women are undoubtedly coming into their rights by degrees. By the provisions of the new Bankruptcy Act it is now possible for any married woman, whether trading apart from her husband or not, to ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 8, 1914 • Various

... that this work was projected, in 1747 the first volume appeared. One single act of indiscretion, an unlucky accident rather than a premeditated design, overturned in a moment this monument of history;—for it proved that our Carte, however enlarged were his views of what history ought to consist, ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... chieftains were recruiting their exhausted strength, Stephen sat at the table to satisfy the anxiety of Murray to know how the detachment from Bothwell had come to Craignacoheilg, and by what fortunate occurrence, or signal act of bravery, Wallace could have escaped with his whole train from ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... it raised the greatest surprise. Everybody wondered how the stalwart man they saw yesterday could be brought low so soon. Where was his youth, that it came not to the rescue? The reader can answer the question. Of a truth, the last act of the drama we have sketched in these pages moved rapidly to the catastrophe. He awoke in the middle of one night with a violent pain in the thigh, which ached as if a red-hot ball had passed through it. The pain momentarily increased in violence, and became ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... I endured calmly, Herr Professor," interrupted Lienhard Groland, "for I myself was that 'rebellious youth.' Besides, it was by no means the teachings of humanism which led me to an act that you, learned sir, doubtless regard with sterner eyes than the Christian charity which your clerical garb made me expect ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... effort it cost her to make such a harsh suggestion not even Van could know. A terrible fear possessed her that he might really act upon her word. To have him stay was bad enough, but to have him go would ...
— The Furnace of Gold • Philip Verrill Mighels

... a bite or drink, as the case might be, constantly kept, in his right, one palm of the Marchioness tight locked; and to shake, or even to kiss this imprisoned hand, he would stop every now and then, in the very act of swallowing, with perfect seriousness of intention, and the utmost gravity. As often as he put anything into his mouth, whether for eating or drinking, the face of the Marchioness lighted up beyond all description; but whenever he gave her one or other of these tokens of recognition, ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular ...
— The 2003 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... towering above them at the entrance of what seemed a sort of cave, and two more arrows followed it, whizzing by his ear so quickly that they were all three sticking in deep before Tommy took in that the object was a great white polar bear, with his head turned from them, in the act of going in the cave. As the arrows struck him, he twisted himself and bit savagely at them, breaking off all but one, which was lodged back of his shoulder. As he reared up on his hind legs and tried to get at this arrow, he seemed to ...
— Tommy Trots Visit to Santa Claus • Thomas Nelson Page

... had been with their master for seven years, felt their responsibility. They spoke with the men whom Stanley had sent from the coast and asked their opinion. They answered, "You are old men in travelling and hardships; you must act as our chiefs, and we will promise to obey whatever you order us to do." Susi and Chuma accordingly took the command, and carried out an exploit which is unique in all the ...
— From Pole to Pole - A Book for Young People • Sven Anders Hedin

... CROESUS, waxing angry, "I advise you to be careful of the provisions of the Libel and Slander Act. You accuse me of bringing you to poverty! Why, I have never seen any of you in my life—never ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, April 29, 1893 • Various

... of providing a substitute for his own personal survival. Here, the prospect seemed hopeless. The requirements were a continuance of understanding, together with both the will and the ability to act as necessary. Theoretically, he could have forcefully taken possession of the body and mind of any suitable subject, but the mere thought of such a violation was impossibly abhorrent. Respect for the right of the individual to self-will was ...
— The Short Life • Francis Donovan

... circumstances, I want you to promise you will investigate those circumstances; and, if anything should strike you as suspicious in connection with what I have told you, you will be able to interpret my cipher letter, find the document I have referred to, and act on the information it contains. Will you undertake to do this ...
— The Ashiel mystery - A Detective Story • Mrs. Charles Bryce

... sanctioned all proper principles, and infused them into my laws and acts; I have not omitted a single one. Unfortunately, however, the circumstances in which I was placed were arduous, and I was obliged to act with severity, and to postpone the execution of my plans. Our reverses occurred; I could not unbend the bow; and France has been deprived of the liberal institutions I intended to give her. She judges me with indulgence; she feels grateful ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... trunk curled up in search of more sugar, but a stern command from the trainer caused the beast to lower it quickly. The time for play had passed. The moment had arrived for Emperor to do his work and he was not the animal to shirk his act. In fact, he seemed to delight in it. All elephants work better when they have with them some human being or animal on which they have centered their affections. Sometimes it is a little black and tan dog, sometimes a full-grown man. In this ...
— The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings • Edgar B. P. Darlington

... would not give way. All that afternoon they wrangled, while I held my tongue, declaring that I was willing to abide by the decision of the majority. In the end, as I foresaw they would, they appealed to me to act as umpire between them. ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... to the personal appearance and to the moral qualities of the Baron de Willading's daughter, but we now conceive it necessary to make the reader more intimately acquainted with one who is destined to act no mean part in the incidents of our tale. It has been said that she was pleasing to the eye, but her beauty was of a kind that depended more on expression, on a union of character with feminine grace, than on the vulgar lines of regularity and symmetry. While ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... that some most learned and enormous man, whose name was six feet long, had promised him an appendix; which appendix treated of the Red Sea and Solomon's signet-ring; with forms of mittimus for ghosts that might be mutinous; and probably a riot act, for any emeute among ghosts inclined to raise barricades; since he often thrilled our young hearts by supposing the case (not at all unlikely, he affirmed), that a federation, a solemn league and conspiracy, might take ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851 • Various

... no expense in tracking—Retief—down." She laughed silently. "Lablache is to pay. They are going over the old ground again, I guess. The tracks of the cattle. Horrocks is not to be feared. We must watch Lablache. He will act. Horrocks will ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... to an understanding of the application of those principles to particular cases, when made by individual students,—officers or others. The remark is sometimes heard, "When military or naval officers agree, Congress—or the people—may be expected to act." The same idea applied to other professions—waiting for universal agreement—would bring the world to a standstill. Better must be accepted without waiting for best. Better is more worth having to-day than best is the day after the need has come and gone. Hesitation ...
— Lessons of the war with Spain and other articles • Alfred T. Mahan

... faults and vices of an individual. Thus a congregation may dote upon power and money, just as a miser loves them for their own sake. But it is chiefly with regard to estates that congregations act like a single man. They dream of landed property; it is their fixed idea, their fruitful monomania. They pursue it with their most sincere, and warm, and ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... crises love to come, without warning. The question had been simple enough, and the tone as gentle as possible: "You have just stated, Mrs. Coburn, that your son spoke to you in his apartment the day he is alleged to have committed this act, but I find that at the first and second trials you testified that you did not see him in his apartment at all. Which, ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... Verg., Aen., IV, 512: "In templo Isidis aqua sparsa de Nilo esse dicebatur"; cf. II, 116. When, by pouring water taken from the river, reality took the place of this fiction, the act was much more effective; see Juv. ...
— The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism • Franz Cumont

... little whether I am taken away a year or two sooner, but I do not like to see blossoms cut off in early spring: I may be of use if I remain, for I've an old head upon my shoulders, and I could not leave you all to perish when you might be saved if you only knew how to act. But here the seamen come - the boat is all ready, and they will now take poor ...
— Masterman Ready • Captain Marryat



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