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Black sheep   /blæk ʃip/   Listen
Black sheep

noun
1.
A reckless and unprincipled reprobate.  Synonym: scapegrace.
2.
Sheep with a black coat.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Black sheep" Quotes from Famous Books



... Colonel of the Household Troops could not do less. That distinguished corps is immaculate; and no breath of wind must come between it and its propriety. There is but one black sheep in the 2nd Life Guards, and that, in the eyes of the coal black colonel (him of the collieries), is the soft, enchanted, and enchained Mr. Heald. Poor Heald! Indignant Londonderry! How subservient, in truth, must be the lean subaltern ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... Lottie who had a scheming mind. In the family of three brothers there was one—not black sheep, but white. There was one who was climbing out, to be a gentleman. This was Albert, the second brother. He had been a school-teacher in Woodhouse: had gone out to South Africa and occupied a post in a sort of Grammar School in ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... I know. She married Grandmother Marshall's son, and Grandmother Marshall was as shy as she was economical. Mother triumphed over heredity with Jen and Sue and Alice, but it came off best with me. The other girls are noted for their grace and tact. But I'm the black sheep and always will be. It wouldn't worry me so much if they'd leave me alone and stop nagging me. "Oh, for a lodge in some vast wilderness," where there were no men, no parties, no dinners ... just quantities of dogs and horses and skating ponds and woods! I need never put on long dresses ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... soot, from head to foot, looked like a big black sheep, Newstyle was thrown upon his own experimental heap; "That weather-glass," said Oldstyle, "canna be in proper fettle, Or it might as well a tow'd us there was ...
— Grain and Chaff from an English Manor • Arthur H. Savory

... themselves of those rights and privileges by storming the practically defenceless Bastille. The Bastille interfered no more with the liberty of Paris in 1789 than the Tower with the liberty of London. The only people in any particular peril of it were the 'black sheep' of the noblesse, as to whom even Jefferson, in the sketch of a charter of French Rights which he drew up in June 1789 and sent to Lafayette and the bookseller St.-Etienne, proposed that their personal liberty should be subject to a special kind of imprisonment at the prayer of their relations, ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... on a few paces, and turned up a lane to the left, whose finger-post directed the road 'to Tollarton.' He seemed less disconcerted than Sponge, who kept inwardly anathematizing, not only 'Obin and Ichard,' but 'Diddle, diddle, doubt'—'Bah, bah, black sheep'—the whole tribe of nursery ballads, ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... originality, mannerism. aberration; irregularity; variety; singularity; exemption; salvo &c. (qualification) 469. nonconformist; nondescript, character, original, nonesuch, nonsuch[obs3], monster, prodigy, wonder, miracle, curiosity, flying fish, black sheep, black swan, lusus naturae[Lat], rara avis[Lat], queer fish; mongrel, random breed; half-caste, half-blood, half-breed; metis[Lat], crossbreed, hybrid, mule, hinny, mulatto; tertium quid[Lat], hermaphrodite. [mythical animal] phoenix, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... person!" exclaimed Elizabeth. "Oh yes, she is excessively rich, has not a relative in the world, gives half her income away, and, as dear Mrs. Godfrey expresses it, spends a good deal of her time in trying to wash her black sheep white, and weeping ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... of the American depots. "It aint possible that this can be all sheer bad luck. It aint no one in our company, I'll be bound. We aint had any new recruits lately, and there aint a man among us whom I could not answer for. There must be a black sheep in Gregory's or Vincent's corps. The enemy seem up to every move, and, between us, we have lost more than thirty men in the last few weeks. There aint no doubt about it—there's a traitor somewhere and he must be a clever one, and he must have pals with ...
— True to the Old Flag - A Tale of the American War of Independence • G. A. Henty

... understanding as to how these animals should be cared for. No forethought is exercised to separate the rams so that the lambs will be born at a favorable season. The flocks consist of sheep and goats which are allowed to run together at all tunes. Black sheep and some with a grayish color of wool are often seen among them. No attempt is made to eliminate these dark-fleeced members of the flock, since the black and gray wool is utilized in its natural ...
— A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola • Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff

... into thinking that the name was a coincidence. It was unpardonable! And now, to add insult to injury, after she had made herself conspicuous in Darjeeling by flirting openly with her late patient, the Station of Muktiarbad was expected to forget and forgive, and take the black sheep to its ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... money, bread-cake, butter, cheese, eggs, etc., etc., for the feast, repeating verses in honour of the solemnity, demanding preparations for the festival, in the name of St. Columb Kill, desiring them to lay aside the fatted calf, and to bring forth the black sheep. The good women are employed in making the griddle cake and candles; these last are sent from house to house in the vicinity, and are lighted up on the (Saman) next day, before which they pray, or are supposed to pray, for the departed souls of the donor. Every ...
— Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. • Sir James George Frazer

... said Mr. Pyecroft, with an air of pious remorse. "Matilda has been ashamed to speak of me. To be utterly frank—and it is meet that one who has been what I have been should be humble and ready to confess—for many years I was the black sheep of the family, my name unmentioned. But sometime since I was snatched a brand from the burning; I have remained silent about myself until I could give to my family, which had properly disowned me, a long record to prove my reformation. I am now striving by my devotion to make some amends ...
— No. 13 Washington Square • Leroy Scott

... victuals to give away, but I daresn't. You see I read the Bible sometimes, and it's the most awfully oncomfortable book that ever was written. You know what the Lord says in it—or you ought to—about what we do for the least of these his brethren; that means such as you, only you're a sort of black sheep in the family; and if words have any sense at all, the Lord takes my givin' you a dinner the same as if I gave it to him. Now s'pose the Lord came to my house, as he did to Mary and Martha's, and I should git him up a slimpsy dinner of second-hand victuals, and stand ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... being, think you," he murmured in Beric's ear, "or a wild creature they have tamed? He has not hair, but his head is covered with wool like a black sheep." ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... David, struggling to keep the wrath from his words and voice. "I know, Phares, you can't understand why everybody should not be as good as you. I wish I were—mother should have had a son like you. I'm the black sheep of the Eby ...
— Patchwork - A Story of 'The Plain People' • Anna Balmer Myers

... you ought to know the Isbels, considerin' you're from Texas. Maybe you've got reasons for throwin' taunts at my claims for my son Jean. Yes, he's got Indian in him an' that 'll be the worse for the men who will have to meet him. I'm tellin' you, Greaves, Jean Isbel is the black sheep of the family. If you ride down his record you'll find he's shore in line to be another Poggin, or Reddy Kingfisher, or Hardin', or any of the Texas gunmen you ought to remember.... Greaves, there are men rubbin' elbows with you ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... and the best, the simplest way to correct it is for me to go with this gentleman; and I doubt not I'll be back in time for dinner. Why, Cleena, woman, take care! It's delightful to find you so loyal to your 'black sheep,' but fisticuffs won't answer, ...
— Reels and Spindles - A Story of Mill Life • Evelyn Raymond

... his likes as well as thou—and it likes him not to let this poor boy starve, I'll warrant. Go, fetch the pasty and the cake that are in the buttery, with a glass of cordial,—the Certosa cordial,—and that in the shaking of a black sheep's tail, or I will tell my father what thou wottest of." And she looked the very picture of ...
— Master Skylark • John Bennett

... the other day of a certain "black sheep" who had run into difficulty; how his family after a great deal of trouble managed to raise L200 between them, and sent him off to America with the money to start afresh in a new country. In a month's time he was back again, penniless as ever, and cursing his luck and bad fortune. It ...
— Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Girl - Sister of that "Idle Fellow." • Jenny Wren

... where to strike with the most damage to the town. When all the factories which gave wealth to Albert, and the best houses, had been methodically destroyed, the spy silently stole away: and the Virgin of the Shepherds then bent over, face down, to search for this black sheep of the fold. Ever since she with the sacred Child in her arms has hung thus suspended in pity and blessing over mountainous piles of wreckage which once composed the market-place. She will not crash to earth, Albert believes, till the war is over. But so loved is she in ...
— Everyman's Land • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... outcry and the bang-bang of a gun sounded just ahead. Dashing round a wooded bend, we came upon a man with a smoking gun, a boy up to his middle in the river, trying to get across, and, on the other side, a black sheep running about ...
— Wilderness Ways • William J Long

... mistress, the Law. One word more though: undoubting of thine amiability, friend that hast walked with me hitherto in peace, I will be tame as a purring cat, and sheathe my talons; therefore are you still unteased by divers sly speeches and sarcastic hints, of and concerning innumerable black sheep that crowd about a woolsack; especially of certain "highly respectables," whom the omnipotence of parliament (no less power presumably being competent) commands to be accounted "gentlemen." Should then my meagre sketches seem but little spiteful, accord me credit for tolerance ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... and being for years the black sheep of the ancient family, that he should come into possession of Osbaldistone Tower and Manor touched ...
— Border Ghost Stories • Howard Pease

... Tallente said reminiscently. "This morning she told me she was going to ride out to inspect for herself the farm of the one black sheep amongst her tenants. I looked out towards Woolhanger as I came up in the train. It seemed like a miasma ...
— Nobody's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... weepin' fur them black sheep o' his congregation an' fur Lee-yander's short-comin's, fur ez fur ez I kin hear he air about ez black a sheep ez most pastors want ter wrestle with fur the turnin' away from thar sins. Yes'm, Sister Sudley, that's jes what p'inted out my jewty plain afore my eyes, an' I riz up an' kem ter ...
— The Moonshiners At Hoho-Hebee Falls - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... without a doubt, filled his cup of hope to overflowing. But the doubt persisted. It was like a spark that refused to go out. Who was Peter God? What was Peter God, the half-wild fox-hunter, to Josephine McCloud? Yes—he could be but that one thing! A brother. A black sheep. A wanderer. A son who had disappeared—and was now found. But if he was that, only that, why would they not tell him? ...
— Back to God's Country and Other Stories • James Oliver Curwood

... was agreed that Sister Roberga should be transferred to Shuldham where, as is reported, the Prioress is very strict, and knows how to hold her curb. This is practically a sentence of expulsion. We four all agreed that she was the black sheep in the Abbey, and that several of the younger Sisters—in especial Sister Philippa—would conduct themselves far better if she were removed. Sister Ismania was sent to tell her the sentence. She tossed her head and pretended not to care; but I cannot ...
— In Convent Walls - The Story of the Despensers • Emily Sarah Holt

... chapter we saw the Pazzi family as very black sheep, although there are plenty of students of Florentine history who hold that any attempt to rid Florence of the Medici was laudable. In this chapter we see them in a kindlier situation as benefactors to the city. For it happened that when Pazzo ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... way to Deerham Court, absorbed in thought. His own strong impression had been, that Mr. Fred Massingbird was the black sheep ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... carrying an inner light. "We hold them in the hollow of our hand," said he, and both his wife and himself took pains on our own thoroughfare to cut the Honourable George dead, though I dare say the poor chap never at all noticed it. They spoke of him as "a remittance man"—the black sheep of a noble family. They mentioned sympathetically the trouble his vicious ways had been to his brother, the Earl. Indeed, so mysteriously important were they in allusions of this sort that I was obliged to caution ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... sheep says, "Oh, what's de use To shun de mire an' de muddy sluice? For whether I walks for praise or blame, Dey'll call me 'black sheep,' jes de same!" An' he ain't by 'isself in dat, in dat— An' he ain't ...
— Daddy Do-Funny's Wisdom Jingles • Ruth McEnery Stuart

... they say, Rather a bad stick anyway, Splintered all over with dodges and tricks, Known as "the worst of the Deacon's six"; I, the truant, saucy and bold, The one black sheep in my father's fold, "Once on a time," as the stories say, Went over the hill on a winter's day— Over the hill ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For, Book Two • Various

... or two courtesy lords of high descent, but burdened with numerous offspring; together with a riding-master who wrote novels, and an elderly clergyman appointed by the Bishop of Gibraltar. I dare say there may have been a few black sheep in the colony; but the picture which Mrs. Annie Edwardes gave of it in her novel, "Susan Fielding," was exaggerated, though there was truth in the incidents which she introduced into another of her ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... her power to attract were only thrown into greater relief by a marked exception. Women seem to have eyes in their ribbons for such matters as these. Bathsheba, without looking within a right angle of him, was conscious of a black sheep among ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy

... purple cows. Billy doesn't care for it, but I do. And I adore the brilliant red of the roads. Billy says he'll take good brown earth and white flocks. He might be reconciled to black sheep but ...
— The Gay Cockade • Temple Bailey

... Aunt Flo and Uncle Ranny. He's a dear, only he's the black sheep of the family. He says I am a promising gray lamb, which makes grandmother furious. They all let her twist them round her finger but me. I won't twist. I ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... ready the ship for sailing, and put the black sheep on board, and so departed; and Circe sent a wind from behind that filled the sails; and all the day through our ship ...
— The Story Of The Odyssey • The Rev. Alfred J. Church

... beauty, and he would be only a poor sapless man who could not take delight in the thought that a good girl was happy. Her fellow-nurses, too, are noble and devoted women, doing true woman's work, and if there are some black sheep among them, that is no more than might be expected of the purest profession in ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... the passage appears, slowly feeling his may, the veterinarian GRUNERT. He is a small man in a coat of black sheep's fur, cap and tall boots. He taps with the handle of his whip against the door post in order to call ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II • Gerhart Hauptmann

... strange to say, the aristocracy largely, though not entirely, leaned toward revolt; for what reason I never knew, unless it was that many of them, descended from younger sons of good English stock who had been exiled as black sheep or ne'er-do-wells, inherited feelings similar to Mr. Faringfield's. Or perhaps 'twas indeed a pride, which made them resentful of the superiority assumed by native Englishmen over them as colonists. Or they may have felt that they should actually become ...
— Philip Winwood • Robert Neilson Stephens

... looked upon Jeremiah as the black sheep of the family. Now, in addition to their poverty, he had cast ridicule upon them by his actions, and contempt by his punishment in the stocks. So they decided to put him out of the way and be rid of him, once ...
— Stories of the Prophets - (Before the Exile) • Isaac Landman

... falsehoods. It is true that Bernick's evident uneasiness and embarrassment at the mere idea of the reappearance of Lona and Johan may lead us to suspect that all is not as it seems; but simple annoyance at the inopportune arrival of the black sheep of the family might be sufficient to account for this. To all intents and purposes, we are completely in the dark as to the course the drama is about to take; and when, at the end of the first act, Lona Hessel marches in and flutters the social dovecote, we do not know ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... general tendency on the part of the other guests to agree with their hostess, but one black sheep in the flock objected. He quite agreed, of course, with the general principle that liberality with small means was beautiful to behold as well as desirable to possess—the liberality, not the small means—and that, on the other hand, riches with a narrow niggardly spirit was abominable, but then—and ...
— Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished - A Tale of City Arab Life and Adventure • R.M. Ballantyne

... so quick as usual, then. I'd been accused of the murder at the Santa Anna Hotel. I hooked it, and got over to Mexico, so to Spain and France. I'd always been a black sheep, you know, but that was the first really serious trouble I'd got into. However, as I said, five years later, when Wildred and I met, I was in Canada; I'd turned actor (I'd always a little talent that way), and was doing pretty well. He pointed out to ...
— The House by the Lock • C. N. Williamson

... political salvation of his party and its leader comes before Ireland. He means well by her: but he doesn't mean it so much as all that. Still he's the only one of them who doesn't pretend to look on me as a black sheep. He too has to work with his material. That's politics. The Nonconformist conscience means votes—so it decides him: just as the priests decide me.... They would decide him in any case, I mean. And so-so it goes on.... "Look here upon this picture, ...
— Angels & Ministers • Laurence Housman

... the service through the regular channels and who had failed, either by lack of ability or bad conduct, to keep up with the pace set by classmates at the Academy; there were others who were known as failures in civil life and as the "black sheep" of eminent families; and there were some who must have been utterly unknown before the war, as they will ...
— The Gatlings at Santiago • John H. Parker

... could not do otherwise. Third, the shock of transplanting will be much less than when they are shipped from a distance—they will have made an additional growth of dense, short roots and they will have become acclimated. Fourth, you will not have wasted space and time with any backward black sheep among the lot, as these should be discarded at the second planting. And then there is one further reason, psychological perhaps, but none the less important; you will watch these little trees, which are largely the result of your own labor and care, ...
— Home Vegetable Gardening • F. F. Rockwell

... the poor black sheep Will soften when they see a woman weep. There was a mother there who strove in vain, With sobs, to hush a starving ...
— Robert F. Murray - his poems with a memoir by Andrew Lang • Robert F. Murray

... Rodney Walter, Henry's agent, is making love to Judy, and she prefers him to the young and unsophisticated Bobbie Forrester, who also loves her. It is Judy's eighteenth birthday, and her relations feel that it is time to tell her about Aunt Catherine, the black sheep of the family, who is supposed to have run off with another woman's husband. It is the day of the village bazaar, and amid a lot of hustle and bustle Catherine enters—the prodigal daughter most inopportunely returned! As the day progresses Old Mrs. Deveral becomes ...
— Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act • Elizabeth Apthorp McFadden

... to change horses, told me these hanks of yarn were first spun and then dyed by the good wives, preparatory to being sent to the loom. She showed me some of this home- spun cloth, which really looked very well. It was a dullish dark brown, the wool being the produce of a breed of black sheep. This cloth is made up in different ways ...
— The Backwoods of Canada • Catharine Parr Traill

... opinion! Where is it? I see a press more mean, and paltry, and silly, and disgraceful than any country I ever knew. If that is its standard, here it is. But I speak of Bancroft, and am advised to be silent on that subject, for he is "a black sheep—a Democrat." I speak of Bryant, and am entreated to be more careful, for the same reason. I speak of international copyright, and am implored not to ruin myself outright. I speak of Miss Martineau, and all parties—Slave Upholders and Abolitionists, Whigs, Tyler Whigs, ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... lakes, bogs, rocks, in endless succession, with the long mountain reek beside us, and a still higher range in the purple distance. Now and then a green patch sternly walled in, a few cows grazing, a lonely donkey, a few long-tailed black sheep, or a couple of goats. Here and there acres of white blossom, looking like a snowfall. This was the bog bean, growing on a stem a foot high, a silvery tuft of silky bloom hanging downward, two inches long and the bigness of a finger. Sometimes we dashed past walled enclosures ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... men would have much sooner given in, would indeed never have embarked on the strike, but the influence of the union being over them, they feared to be called "black sheep," and to be taunted with deserting the general cause, and so ...
— Facing Death - The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of the Coal Mines • G. A. Henty

... wear high caps of black sheep-skin, while the Women wear high white turbans. The tents are adorned with beautiful carpets, not only the floors, but the sides, and it is the chief employment of the women to weave them. As for the men, they spend most of their time in sauntering about among the tents; for the ...
— Far Off • Favell Lee Mortimer

... had been a "sport" in the Barthop family; a black sheep, but clever, and a well known collector. Accidental circumstances had greatly enriched him, and as he detested his brother and successor, he had left his pictures to the nation and all of his fortune which he could dispose of—which happened ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... name was probably Abu Said, was the emir of the Kara-koyunla dynasty, or black sheep tribe of the Turkmans, who had risen to independence after the death of Timor, and who had long contended with the prince of the white sheep tribe for ascendancy. These two tribes derived their distinctive appellations of the black and white weathers, from some peculiarity ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... it," answered Scrogie, a little discountenanced—"a mere accident—no one can guard every point.—Egad, but I had like to have been baffled again, for Bulmer sent the lad Jekyl, who is not such a black sheep neither but what there are some white hairs about him, upon a treaty with Tyrrel, that my secret agent was not admitted to. Gad, but I discovered the ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... the more probable explanation to be that it is distasteful to them, while the white pigs, being deficient in smell and taste, eat it, and are killed. Analogous facts occur in several distinct families. White sheep are killed in the Tarentino by eating hypericum criscum, while black sheep escape; white rhinoceros are said to perish from eating euphorbia candelabrum; and white horses are said to suffer from poisonous food where colored ones escape. Now it is very improbable that a constitutional immunity from poisoning by so many distinct ...
— Scientific American, Volume XXXVI., No. 8, February 24, 1877 • Various

... word was brought to Jones County that Jesse Bunkley was dead. The rumor, for it seems to have been nothing more, was regarded by the family as true. At any rate, no attempt was made to investigate it. Jesse was the black sheep of the family; he had been away from home a good deal; his conduct when at home had not been such as to commend him to the affections of his people; and his mother had married a third husband, a man named Lowther: consequently the vague news of the young man's death ...
— Stories Of Georgia - 1896 • Joel Chandler Harris

... be made. Few novels are written in which there is nothing more than a story. Nearly all contain some teaching; and it is a safe conclusion that the authors have taught "on purpose." In "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," Kipling has shown the imperative necessity of a "real, live, lovely mamma;" in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Irving has placed before us a charming picture of rural life in a dreamy Dutch village on the Hudson; and in ...
— English: Composition and Literature • W. F. (William Franklin) Webster

... clover or linden honey for the "grand seignior and the ladies of his seraglio," but plenty of the rank and wholesome poor man's nectar, the sun-tanned product of the plebeian buckwheat. Buckwheat honey is the black sheep in this white flock, but there is spirit and character in it. It lays hold of the taste in no equivocal manner, especially when at a winter breakfast it meets its fellow, the russet buckwheat cake. Bread with honey to cover it from the same stalk is double good fortune. It is not ...
— Locusts and Wild Honey • John Burroughs

... to myself that I was not such a black sheep as some persons declared me to be, that I made up my mind to follow you and bring you back," said Percival, with his old liveliness of tone. "You see I had been more selfish than anybody knew. Shall I tell ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... little that there was an Europe as well as an England? In sum, Euge." Such praise from such a man was balm to Froude's wounds and tonic to his nerves. Practically expelled from his college, regarded by his own family as almost a black sheep, he found himself taken up, and treated as an equal, by a writer of European fame, whom of all his contemporaries he most admired. In deference to Carlyle he rewrote his opening paragraphs, and added useful dates. European history ...
— The Life of Froude • Herbert Paul

... who to an abnormal passion for foreign titles join surpassing ignorance of foreign society. Thus she is ready to the hand of the Continental fortune seeker masquerading as a nobleman—occasionally but not often the black sheep of some noble family—carrying not a bona fide but a courtesy title—the count and the no-account, the lord and the Lord knows who! The Yankee girl with a dot had become before the world war a regular quarry for impecunious aristocrats and clever crooks, the matrimonial ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... attributed. On certain rodentia belladonna exercises no influence; morphine for a horse is a violent stimulant; a snail remains insensible to digitalis; goats eat tobacco with impunity; and in the Tarentin the inhabitants rear only black sheep, because a plant abounds which ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 303 - October 22, 1881 • Various

... probably not the same. After twenty miles of this landscape the brown pig with pigs of other complexions, as much guarded as possible, multiplied among the patches of vineyard. He had there the company of tall black goats and rather unhappy-looking black sheep, all of whom he excelled in the art of foraging among the vines and the stubble of the surrounding wheat-lands. After the vineyards these opened and stretched themselves wearily, from low dull sky to low dull sky, nowise cheered in aspect by ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... question of the guilt of the accused turns upon the evidence of some one person who, either from mercenary motives or because of "blood and affection," is unwilling to come to the fore and tell the truth. A striking case of this sort occurred some ten years ago. The "black sheep" of a prominent New York family forged the name of his sister to a draft for thirty thousand dollars. This sister, who was an elderly woman of the highest character and refinement, did not care to pocket the loss herself and declined ...
— Courts and Criminals • Arthur Train

... kinsman whom we have been able to trace was Rodger Baskerville, the youngest of three brothers of whom poor Sir Charles was the elder. The second brother, who died young, is the father of this lad Henry. The third, Rodger, was the black sheep of the family. He came of the old masterful Baskerville strain and was the very image, they tell me, of the family picture of old Hugo. He made England too hot to hold him, fled to Central America, and died there in 1876 of yellow fever. Henry is the last of the Baskervilles. In one ...
— The Hound of the Baskervilles • A. Conan Doyle

... temper was a thing not to be trifled with when a "protracted meeting" was in session. For years she had been the black sheep in the spiritual fold. Her earnest desire to get religion and the untiring efforts of the exhorters had alike proved futile. Year after year she sat on the mourners' bench, seeking the light and failing each time to ...
— Sandy • Alice Hegan Rice

... society they were tabooed; in business shunned. By the rabble they were hooted and pelted. Clowns in the circus made them the subjects of their jokes. Newspaper scribblers lampooned and libelled them. Politicians denounced them. By the Church they were regarded as very black sheep, and sometimes excluded from the fold. And this state of things lasted for years, during which they kept up a steady agitation with the help of platform lecturers, and regularly threw away their votes—so it was charged—in a "third party" movement that seemed ...
— The Abolitionists - Together With Personal Memories Of The Struggle For Human Rights • John F. Hume

... extraordinary story of this kind is that of a flamen of Jupiter,—a story which many years ago I told in detail in the Classical Review. Here I may just be allowed to reproduce it in outline. In the year 209 a young C. Valerius Flaccus, the black sheep of a great family, was inaugurated against his will as Flamen Dialis by the pontifex maximus P. Licinius.[724] It was within the power of the head of the Roman religion to use such compulsion, but it must have been difficult and unusual to do so without the ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... Berg comes of a family that has been aristocratic for several generations, and one that has been singularly free from black sheep. She appears to strangers somewhat reserved and stately, but when you become better acquainted you find she has a warm, kind heart. But she has a perfect horror of vulgarity. If she had seen this Sibley take more wine than he ought and make a spectacle of himself at a public table, she would no more ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... black sheep, Have you any wool? Yes, marry, have I, Three bags full; One for my master, And one for my dame, And one for the little boy Who lives in ...
— Denslow's Mother Goose • Anonymous

... supernatural, which had always been characteristic of the Italian peoples, so far from losing power, was actually gaining it, and that not only among the lower classes. As Lucretius mockingly said, even those who think and speak with contempt of the gods will in moments of trouble slay black sheep and sacrifice them to the Manes. This feeling of fear or nervousness, which lies at the root of the meaning of the word religio,[571] had been quieted in the old days by the prescriptions of the pontifices and their jus divinum, but it was always ready to break ...
— Social life at Rome in the Age of Cicero • W. Warde Fowler

... could tell me. My father had refused to pain them by going into particulars, not only at the time of his brother's disappearance, but afterward, whenever the subject was mentioned. George had always been the black sheep of the flock, and he must have been conscious of his own baseness, or he would certainly have written to explain ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... stretch. He chose to work hard in the typical American fashion; I was obliged to. And I knew his attitude toward the sort of liaison we both despised. He had laboured enough and disgustedly enough at dragging a weak-kneed cousin of his (the black sheep that few large families dispense with) out of a connection of that kind. And anyhow, I knew that people who wore when they were together the look I had seen on those two visions of the mist could never be ...
— Margarita's Soul - The Romantic Recollections of a Man of Fifty • Ingraham Lovell

... to the children. She was honest and faithful, but like all of her class, she liked routine and order, and she could make no allowances for the restlessness of her bright-minded charge. Rosa was her especial torment; the black sheep of the brood. Household tasks she despised, and study, as it was pursued in the successive schools to which her despairing father sent her, had no charms for her. Her best playmates were animals; the horses and dogs she saw in ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 8 (of 8) • Various

... Estelle, the "black sheep" ever since she began to support them by engaging in trade, drew aloof now, was at home as little as she could contrive, often ate a cold supper in the back of her shop. She said nothing to Lorry of the family shame; she simply drew nearer to him. And ...
— The Second Generation • David Graham Phillips

... in everything. If, at dinner, her husband were worried with thoughts of the black sheep in his battery, and would keep introducing such topics at their comfortable board, then she would snub him quite severely. But when he came to her with his real doubts and anxieties she was ever ready to comfort and advise him. She knew all about his plan of ...
— 'Jena' or 'Sedan'? • Franz Beyerlein

... better yourself, and that's not saying much. She's a nice girl, really she is, but she is the black sheep of the family. ...
— The Human Drift • Jack London

... "misdemeanors" in the Hopkins household were slight compared with the records against "the black sheep" of the colony, the family of Billingtons from London. The mother, Helen or Ellen, did not seem to redeem the reputation of husband and sons; traditionally she was called "the scold." After her husband had been executed in 1630, for the first murder in the ...
— The Women Who Came in the Mayflower • Annie Russell Marble

... plenty of money, for he was a cousin of Raphael Leon on the mother's side, and the remotest twigs of the Leon genealogical tree bear apples of gold. His real name was Abrahams, which is a shade too Semitic. Sidney was the black sheep of the family; good-natured to the core and artistic to the finger-tips, he was an avowed infidel in a world where avowal is the unpardonable sin. He did not even pretend to fast on the Day of Atonement. Still Sidney Graham was a good deal talked of in artistic circles, ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... 'the road-hog is the curse of decent motor-drivers. One black sheep can cover the whole flock with discredit. Well, now, boys, jump in, and I'll run you ...
— The Wolf Patrol - A Tale of Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts • John Finnemore

... uninteresting and familiar to talk about. There is no one to explain fully to the English people that while in England educated society keeps pretty well to itself, there are in America no hurdles—or none that a lively animal may not easily leap—to keep the black sheep away from the white, or the white from straying off anywhere among the black, so that a large part of the English people has imbibed the notion that there are really no refined or cultured circles in the ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... weighty responsibilities, which he could not away with as easily as he had cast aside his country. There were few ties to bind him to England. He had become that unenviable member of a family—the black sheep. He had run deeply into debt; a fact that had grievously told against him when he had to face the accusations which had ruined his career. In withdrawing from England he had probably left only two friends, ...
— Princess Maritza • Percy Brebner

... but the Lord Bishop of Hereford! The good Bishop was in a fine stew, I wot. Up and down he walked beneath the tree like a fox caught in a hencoop. Behind him were three Black Friars standing close together in a frightened group, like three black sheep in a tempest. Hitched to the branches of the trees close at hand were six horses, one of them a barb with gay trappings upon which the Bishop was wont to ride, and the others laden with packs of divers shapes and kinds, one of which made Robin's eyes glisten, ...
— The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood • Howard Pyle

... righteous anger, helplessness and grief combined, the look of a man to whom obstacles had been nothing, at last confronted with crowning defeat. Hare realized that this son was Naab's first-born, best-loved, a thorn in his side, a black sheep. ...
— The Heritage of the Desert • Zane Grey

... Hesden, his mother, and Cousin Hetty still led their accustomed life at Red Wing. Detraction had worn itself out upon the former, for want of a new occasion. He was still made to feel, in the little society which he saw, that he was a black sheep in an otherwise spotless fold. He did not complain. He did not account himself "ostracized," nor wonder at this treatment. He saw how natural it was, how consistent with the training and development his neighbors had received. He simply ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... line placing his hands on the shoulders of the one next in front. This is continued until all the players are taken by Jacky Lingo, who then runs off around the ground with them. The owner goes after them, faces Jacky Lingo, and says, "Have you seen anything of my black sheep?" ...
— Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium • Jessie H. Bancroft

... never been found out, and that I had been let blindly go on to the end. Well, I got over the fit—with a struggle. It was not reasonable, after all. Surely one's belief in the future of the Society ought to be all the firmer that these black sheep have been thrust out? As for myself, at all events, I ought to have more hope, not less. I never did trust Lind, as you know; I believed in his work, in the usefulness of it, and the prospects of its success; but I never was at ease in his presence; I was glad to get away ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... the value of domestic animals does not as a whole appear to be influenced by their colour: thus, whereas the fleece of white sheep commands a higher price in the South African wool market than the fleece of black sheep, their mutton has about the same flavour. Again of horned cattle, which give the same quality of beef, irrespective of colour; farmers will tell you of them that coloured cattle are among the best for farming and other purposes, while white bullocks are subject to sore eyes, and white ...
— Native Life in South Africa, Before and Since • Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje

... the year, the boy educated himself at the fountain head of wisdom and knowledge the other half. His mother, who owned him for a duckling hatched from a hen's egg, and was never quite sure he would not turn out a black sheep and a crooked stick to boot, was obliged to confess that Tony had more useless information than any boy in the village. He knew just where to find the first Mayflowers, and would bring home the waxen beauties when other people had scarcely begun to think about the ...
— A Village Stradivarius • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... hundreds of years of freedom from invasion, that you have had time, which no other country has had, to perfect your social system. Let the Radicals and the uninformed of other lands rail as they will, your English aristocracy is the finest body of thinkers and livers in the world. One hears ever of the black sheep, the few luridly glaring failures, but never of the hundreds of great and noble lives which are ...
— The Reason Why • Elinor Glyn

... had breakfasted with his mother, he tried in vain to recall a minute of the time between midnight and eight a.m. in which he did not think of the young woman who had flown away with his tranquillity. All night long he tossed and thought. He counted ten thousand black sheep jumping over a pasture fence, but, after the task was done and the sheep had scattered, he was as far from sleep as ever. Her face was everywhere. Her voice filled his ear with music never-ceasing, but it was not the lulling music that invites drowsiness. He heard the clock ...
— Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... had broken loose from the unyielding rigidity of his family, solidly rooted, if I remember rightly, in a well-to-do London suburb. On their respectable authority he introduced himself meekly to strangers as a "black sheep." I have never seen a more guileless specimen of ...
— The Mirror of the Sea • Joseph Conrad

... on him as reformed; and when he uttered worldliness, she persuaded herself he was but jesting. But alas! she had no adequate notion—not a shadow of one—of the selfishness of the man-child she had given to the world. This matter of the black sheep in the white flock is one of the most mysterious of ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... principle that the true kernel of the Moravian Church consisted, not of all the communicant members, but only of a "Faithful Few." We can hardly call this encouraging. It tempted the "Faithful Few" to be Pharisees, and banned the rest as black sheep. And the Pastoral Letter, drawn up by the Synod, and addressed to all the congregations, was still more disheartening. "It will be better," ran one fatal sentence, "for us to decrease in numbers and increase in piety than to be a large multitude, like a body without a spirit." ...
— History of the Moravian Church • J. E. Hutton

... his race he had taken passage unknown to his father on a frigate bound for the Chinchas Islands for a cargo of guano, manned by a crew of many races—deserters from the English navy, bargemen from Valparaiso, Peruvian Indians, black sheep of every family, all under command of a Catalonian, a niggardly ruffian, more prodigal with blows than with the mess. The outbound trip was uneventful, but on the return voyage, after passing the Straits of Magellan, they ran into the calms, and the frigate lay motionless in the Atlantic ...
— The Dead Command - From the Spanish Los Muertos Mandan • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... wrote to England, and found out that it was the crest of a noble and highly esteemed family, and some earl was at the head of it. They were all honorable people in this family except one man, a nephew, not a son, of the late earl. He was the black sheep of them all. As a young man, he had led a wild and wicked life, and had ended by forging the name of one of his friends, so that he was obliged to leave England and take refuge in America. By the description of this man, Mr. Wood knew that he must be Mr. Barron, so he wrote to these ...
— Beautiful Joe - An Autobiography of a Dog • by Marshall Saunders

... draw nearer to it, seemed to change in character, and I found at length that it came from some one leading flocks afield to the note of a rural horn. The narrow street of Lestampes stood full of sheep, from wall to wall—black sheep and white, bleating with one accord like the birds in spring, and each one accompanying himself upon the sheep-bell round his neck. It made a pathetic concert, all in treble. A little higher, and I passed a pair of men in a tree ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 1 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... like a very big, wicked, black sheep with a pointed nose, making his way down the shore. He shambled along lazily and unconcernedly, as if his bones were loosely tied together in a bag of fur. It was the most indifferent and disconnected gait that I ever saw. Nearer and nearer he sauntered, while ...
— The Ruling Passion • Henry van Dyke

... dirty ole thing, all dust and bits of black hair come off it on me. I don't think it looks like a wolf. Well, if I've gotter be a wolf folks might just as well know what I am. This looks like as if it came off a black sheep or sumthin'. You don't want folks to think I'm a sheep 'stead of a wolf, do you? You don't want me to be made look ridiclus before ...
— More William • Richmal Crompton

... his sister Polly a warm cape, Lizzie a petticoat, little Judy a doll, but on the very last Sunday, Jem, always a black sheep, had been detected in kicking Jenny Morris at church over a screw of peppermint drops which they had clubbed together to purchase from Goody Spurrell. The scent and Jenny's sobs had betrayed them in the thick of the combat, and in the face of so recent and so flagrant a misdemeanour, neither ...
— The Carbonels • Charlotte M. Yonge

... daughter of some black sheep who has gone down a peg, and our Father has sent her here for you to help her back again," said her husband with an adorable look at his helper. "If anyone can ...
— Exit Betty • Grace Livingston Hill

... be friendlier. Indeed Temple now urged me forcibly to prevent my father from spending money and wearing his heart out in vain, by stopping the case in Dettermain and Newson's hands. They were respectable lawyers, he said, in a lawyer's ordinary tone when including such of his species as are not black sheep. He thought it possible that my father's personal influence overbore their judgment. In fact, nothing bound them to refuse to work for him, and he believed that they had submitted their views ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... might have been Jake's brother. He was older and grayer, but the same expression lay on his face. He must have been the family black sheep, since his father had been president of Space Lobby. Instead of inheriting the position, Wilson had remained on Mars, safely out of ...
— Badge of Infamy • Lester del Rey

... and that the world has been favoured with revelations of its doings which have made it the object of more amusement than reverence. In fact, through failure of proper use of the black ball, it got possession of a black sheep, in the person of a certain Joseph Hazlewood. He had achieved a sort of reputation in the book-hunting community by discovering the hidden author of Drunken Barnaby's Journal. In reality, however, he was a sort of literary Jack Brag. ...
— The Book-Hunter - A New Edition, with a Memoir of the Author • John Hill Burton

... drink or to pledge, far less one that is in point of office a servant of the public, I understand that he lost the music bells in Edinburgh, for playing "Ower the Water to Charlie," upon the tenth of June. He is a black sheep, ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... black sheep of the family, for she hasn't the vim and color for absolute wickedness, but a sort of burr that pricks and sticks where you least desire it. Now, Laura will make an extremely stylish woman of fashion, and tall, fair Gertrude, with ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... was to Milly's credit that he was not made too much of. He was casually touched upon as a very rich uncle, who lived in Dakota, and had actually lived there since his youth, letting his few relations know nothing of him. He had been rather a black sheep as a boy, but Milly's mother had liked him, and, when he had run away from New York, he had told her what he was going to do, and had kissed her when she cried, and had taken her daguerreotype with him. Now he had written, and it turned ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... "Humph! Pretty black sheep I should call them," snorted Peachy. "They're siding with one another now to break rules. I don't mean candy parties or just fun of that kind, but sneaking things: they're cheating abominably over their exercises, and cribbing each other's ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... once been stormed by the Arabs, and the luckless fathers within put to death. Hard by was Rebecca's Well: a dead body was lying there, and crowds of male and female mourners dancing and howling round it. Now and then a little troop of savage scowling horsemen—a shepherd driving his black sheep, his gun over his shoulder—a troop of camels—or of women, with long blue robes and white veils, bearing pitchers, and staring at the strangers with their great solemn eyes—or a company of labourers, with their donkeys, bearing grain or grapes to ...
— Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo • William Makepeace Thackeray

... dona like goats, Gorge down black sheep, and strain at motes, Array their backs in fine black coats, Then seize their negroes by their throats, And choke, for ...
— The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - An American Slave • Frederick Douglass

... of spending my life moping. I am going to have a pleasant time and I am going to have it in my own way. You have two other daughters, mother—Violet and Lucy. Unless they change, they are exactly what you would have them. Be satisfied. Devote your energies to them and count me a black sheep. You can make me a little allowance, if you like—a hundred a year or so—but whether I have it or not, I am either going to make bows in Mademoiselle Rignaut's workshop, or I am going to be secretary to a very delightful ...
— The Mischief Maker • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... sheep. They had seen in my flock of sheep a large, fat, black wether. Old Joseph and one of the boys came to me one day, and said, that Joseph, junior, had discovered some very remarkable and valuable treasures, which could be procured only in one way. That way was as follows:—that a black sheep should be taken on the ground where the treasures were concealed; that, after cutting its throat, it should be led around a circle while bleeding; this being done, the wrath of the evil spirit would be appeased, ...
— Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet • Captain Marryat

... guess, were taught Never to venture on the like again; To the last farthing would he rack and strain. For stinted tithes, or stinted offering, He made the people piteously to sing. He left no leg for the good bishop's crook; Down went the black sheep in his own black book; For when the name gat there, such dereliction Came, you must know, sirs, in ...
— Playful Poems • Henry Morley

... scholarly college professor. There was a fixed sentiment in Appleboro that I knew very much more about Mr. Flint's past than I would tell—which was perfectly true, and went undenied by me; that he had seen better days; that he had been the black sheep of a good family, gotten into a scrape of some sort, and had then taken to traveling a rough road into a far country, eating husks with the swine, like many another prodigal; and that aware of this I had kept him with me until he found ...
— Slippy McGee, Sometimes Known as the Butterfly Man • Marie Conway Oemler

... very first. Hardly two years ago Peter Schermerhorn died at the age of ninety-eight. He was the black sheep of an otherwise respectable family, went off and spent his portion in riotous living, afterward bought a tract of ground above Harlem, turned hermit, raised geese and ducks and pigs, married and had three daughters and they in turn married, glad, I suppose, to get away from ...
— A Modern Cinderella • Amanda M. Douglas

... If this is so, the teaching was not altogether good policy. The giants, it is true, were an awesome folk and flung immense rocks about in a reckless manner and did many other mad things; and there were some that were wholly bad, just as there are rogue elephants and as there are black sheep in the human flock, but they were not really bad as a rule, and certainly not too intelligent. Even little men with their cunning little brains could get the better of them. The result of such teaching could only be that the Devil would be regarded ...
— A Traveller in Little Things • W. H. Hudson

... we shall not be following their example," said I. "We have a good number of black sheep on board, but still, I think, there are enough honest men to ...
— Old Jack • W.H.G. Kingston

... are black sheep in the Romish fold as elsewhere; perhaps even the simplicity, learning and devotion to duty of the individual I here write of, are rare. Yet one cannot help feeling how much more money the Government would have at command with ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... endeavored not only to examine the new-comers, but to hear what they said. It was a detachment from Omsk, composed of Usbeck horsemen, a race of the Mongolian type. These men, well built, above the medium height, rough, and wild-featured, wore on their heads the "talpak," or black sheep-skin cap, and on their feet yellow high-heeled boots with turned-up toes, like the shoes of the Middle Ages. Their tunics were close-fitting, and confined at the waist by a leathern belt braided ...
— Michael Strogoff - or, The Courier of the Czar • Jules Verne

... maudlin gossip of the empty of this empty generation. "What was it to me if the grown children of our idle community, the male babblers, and the female cutters-up of character, voted me, in their commonplace souls, the blackest of black sheep? I was still strong in the solid respect of a few worth ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 12, - Issue 348, December 27, 1828 • Various

... was one of Sister Andre's "black sheep" or dilatory pupils that morning. When our Algebra class was called I felt humbled and fallen. It was the first time for many years that Amey Hampden had been backward in her lessons, and what was worse, there ...
— The Doctor's Daughter • "Vera"

... all about my family and its success in the world, and its fame in all to do with sport, and he said that 'twas a crying sin and shame that such as me should break away and be a black sheep and get into ...
— The Torch and Other Tales • Eden Phillpotts

... Grows here, but what is fed with magick juice; All full of human souls, that cleave their barks To dance at midnight by the moon's pale beams: At least two hundred years these reverend shades Have known no blood, but of black sheep and oxen, Shed by the ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... an' it made me mad. So yistidday an' to-day I watched, an' finally I plugged this black thief. Yes, he's got a glossy coat; but he's a bad un fer all his fine looks. These black foxes are bigger, stronger an' cunniner than red ones. In every litter you'll find a dark one, the black sheep of the family. Because he grows so much faster, an' steals all the food from the others, the mother jest takes him by the nape of the neck an' chucks him out in the world to shift fer hisself. An' it's a ...
— The Spirit of the Border - A Romance of the Early Settlers in the Ohio Valley • Zane Grey

... this over with the rest, and Shack was invited to join them, much to the secret satisfaction of the "black sheep" of Carson, Max found that they were all opposed to his being the one to go forth. They claimed that he would be needed right along in order to continue the management ...
— Afloat on the Flood • Lawrence J. Leslie

... at the whole thing and said 'e didn't believe there was a tiger; but nobody minded wot 'e said, Bob Pretty being, as I've often told people, the black sheep o' Claybury, wot with poaching and, wot was worse, ...
— Lady of the Barge and Others, Entire Collection • W.W. Jacobs

... of sheep, and those on one side of the wall were white, while the others were black. A large man was dividing and arranging the sheep, and threw them easily over the wall. When he threw a white sheep among the black ones it became black, and when he threw a black sheep among the white ones, it became white instantly. The voyagers thought of landing, but when Maelduin saw this, he said, "Let us throw something on shore to see if it will change color. If it does, we will avoid the island." ...
— Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... head. "She hadn't seen the black sheep since she was a kid of about seven. How would she know what he looked like? And Struve was primed with all the facts he had heard Kinney blat out time and again. She wasn't suspecting any imposition and he worked her to ...
— A Texas Ranger • William MacLeod Raine

... lady. I proceed with the inventory of Sergeant Beresford's equipment as a future husband. Fond, but, alas! fickle. A family black sheep, or if not black, at least striped. Likely not to plague you long, if he's sent on many more jobs like the last. Said to be good-tempered, but not docile. Kind, as men go, but a ne'er-do-well, a prodigal, a waster. ...
— Man Size • William MacLeod Raine

... boy!' exclaimed Miss Wren, attracted by the sound of his chattering teeth, 'I wish they'd all drop down your throat and play at dice in your stomach! Boh, wicked child! Bee-baa, black sheep!' ...
— Our Mutual Friend • Charles Dickens

... to us. He has returned laden with fresh merits, of which we reap the benefit. For the virtues of the father are the wealth of the children, and the sanctity of the Abbot illuminates every cell. Paphnutius, our father, has given a new spouse to Jesus Christ. By his wondrous art, he has changed a black sheep into a white sheep. And now, behold, he has returned to us, laden with fresh merits. Like unto the bee of the Arsinoetid, heavy with the nectar of flowers. Even as the ram of Nubia, which could hardly bear the weight of its abundant wool. Let us celebrate ...
— Thais • Anatole France

... overlooked by his ambitious successor. The whole course of the Tigris and Euphrates, from the mouth to the sources of those rivers, was reduced to his obedience; he entered Edessa; and the Turcomans of the black sheep were chastised for the sacrilegious pillage of a caravan of Mecca. In the mountains of Georgia the native Christians still braved the law and the sword of Mahomet; by three expeditions he obtained the merit of ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... "is an excellent thing in the abstract. It has its black sheep, of course; but I think no more than any ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... A blue-and-black sheep-dog, shaggy as a bear, and as big, leashed to the wheel of the buggy, began to whimper and to whine with furious ecstasy. The big dog's big soul seemed to burst within him as the Angel of the Keys drew near. He ...
— Boy Woodburn - A Story of the Sussex Downs • Alfred Ollivant

... as I do that she has always looked upon me as a black sheep. But she is going to change her mind about me, and I'll bet you a fiver that before I leave Marumbah, I'm going to be 'Tommy' to her, as I was in ...
— Tom Gerrard - 1904 • Louis Becke

... stay for a few days at a friend's house. There was to be a dance, and the hostess, being Lottie's godmother, pointedly included her in the invitation; so Mrs. Blake and Addie did what they could to improve their black sheep's appearance. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, October, 1877, Vol. XX. No. 118 • Various

... their lot been cast in a higher rank of life. But, at the same time, the labourer is not always so innocent and free from guile—so lamblike as it suits the purpose of some to proclaim, in order that his rural simplicity may secure sympathy. There are very queer black sheep in the flock, and it rather unfortunately happens that these, in more ways than one, force themselves, sometimes most unpleasantly, upon the notice of the tenant-farmer ...
— Hodge and His Masters • Richard Jefferies

... than polite. From Evelyn's revelation it appears that the family of the pretended Cigala were at one time well-to-do, and ranked high in the esteem of Prince Mathias of Moldavia, but that this youth was a black sheep in the flock from the very beginning. After the death of his father he had a fair chance of distinguishing himself, for the Moldavian prince took him into his service, and sent him to join his minister at Constantinople. ...
— Celebrated Claimants from Perkin Warbeck to Arthur Orton • Anonymous

... the quintain;—ah! ah!" she cried out again, as the quintain was missed and swung round with a hard buffet on the man's back as he tore past. "Going to market, Chris? You've got a sturdy shepherd behind you. Baa, baa, black sheep." ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... "and if he knew it, I should like half a year's penance in the black sash" [as the black sheep or scapegoat of her Nursery] "better than my next half-hour alone with him. When I was silly enough to tie the veil over her mouth" [take the lead in sending her to Coventry] "the day after we came here, I expected to pay ...
— Across the Zodiac • Percy Greg

... Ponto looked at Miss Wirt. After their eyes had met and they had wagged their heads at each other. They looked up to the ceiling. So did the young ladies. They thrilled. It was evident I had said something terrible. Another black sheep in the Church? thought I with a little sorrow; for I don't care to own that I have a respect for the ...
— The Book of Snobs • William Makepeace Thackeray

... as letters come from Ireland. I have written, but it is not in the nature of things that Mr. Castleford should not accept such proofs as have been sent him. I have no hope, and shall be glad when it is over. The part of black sheep is not a pleasant one. Say not a word, and do not let my father come up. He could do no good, and to see him believing it all would be the last drop in ...
— Chantry House • Charlotte M. Yonge

... replied: "Why, certainly, Mr. Axtell, that dog is Dashwood, he is a perfect gentleman," and this is what all Boston terriers should be. Of course, I am speaking of the well bred, properly trained, blue blooded dog, not the mongrel that so often masquerades under his name. Still, as there are black sheep in every family, a dog showing an ugly, snapping, quarrelsome disposition will occasionally be met with which, to the shame of the owner, is not mercifully put out of the way and buried so deep that he can not be scratched up, but is allowed to perpetuate his or her own ...
— The Boston Terrier and All About It - A Practical, Scientific, and Up to Date Guide to the Breeding of the American Dog • Edward Axtell

... Bible doan' say how much, but hit mus' ter been a pile, fer de Bible doan' fool wid little things. De boy wen' 'roun' to tell 'em all good-bye, an' his mammy jes' fell on his neck an' wep'. He wuz de black sheep, an' hit seem dat de mammies allus love dese black sheep de best. When he cum to tell his brother good-bye, de brother kiner put hi' han' to hi' mouf en say, 'Doan' yo' write back to me when yo' git busted,' en de Prodegale Son he say, 'Pooh, ...
— Shawn of Skarrow • James Tandy Ellis

... without any assignable cause make their appearance in families, may perhaps be reversions to a savage state, from which we are not removed by very many generations. This view seems indeed recognised in the common expression that such men are the black sheep of ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... inexplicable; for, indeed, the crucial difficulty is the absolute unaccountableness of boys' actions and words. A schoolmaster gets to learn that nothing is impossible; a boy of apparently unblemished character will behave suddenly in a manner that makes one despair of human nature, a black sheep will act and speak like an angel of light. The interest is the mystery and the impenetrability of it all; it is so impossible to foresee contingencies or to predict conduct. This impulsiveness, as a rule, diminishes in later life under the influence of maturity and material conditions. ...
— The Upton Letters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... his head from his rigid vertebrae, and then bends to kiss the lady's hand; and where every civilian of any standing does the same? I am not writing of the nobility and of the corps of officers in this connection. No doubt there are black sheep among them, though I have not met them. Of the many scores of them whom I have met, whom I have ridden with, dined with, romped with, drunk with, travelled with, I have only to say that they are as courteous, ...
— Germany and the Germans - From an American Point of View (1913) • Price Collier

... and would believe no good of him. He was quite honest in his desire to do the best that was possible for the child, and in the feeling that it would be better to keep all knowledge of her father from her. He looked upon Hugh Davidson as a black sheep. A black sheep could do no good to any one; therefore, he argued, he should not come near ...
— Hunter's Marjory - A Story for Girls • Margaret Bruce Clarke

... tender spirit went with them into the morning and evening devotions, Faculty meetings became cheerful. This seemed to Miss Ashton one of the most prosperous and successful fall terms she had ever known; she congratulated herself constantly on its benign influences, and often said, "I have fewer black sheep in my flock than I have ...
— Miss Ashton's New Pupil - A School Girl's Story • Mrs. S. S. Robbins

... with them. I am told that if we, who represent the national sentiment do not seek election, the Moderates who do not represent that sentiment will. I do not agree. I do not know what the Moderates represent and I do not know what the Nationalists represent. I know that there are good sheep and black sheep amongst the Moderates. I know that there are good sheep and black sheep amongst the Nationalists. I know that many Moderates hold honestly the view that it is a sin to resort to non-co-operation. I respectfully agree to differ from them. I do say to them also that they ...
— Freedom's Battle - Being a Comprehensive Collection of Writings and Speeches on the Present Situation • Mahatma Gandhi

... of standing in their respective communities. If among them there were a few black sheep, the responsibility rested with the local Y which made the investigation, or on those respectable local citizens who indorsed them, and not on the International Y. The Government, when applications for passports were filed, made an investigation by special agent of ...
— Chit-Chat; Nirvana; The Searchlight • Mathew Joseph Holt

... child to him in Biggar, and seemingly deserted her; she was hanged on the Castle Hill for infanticide, June 1614; and Martin, elder in Dalkeith, eternally disgraced the name by signing witness in a witch trial, 1661. These are two of our black sheep. {3a} Under the Restoration, one Stevenson was a bailie in Edinburgh, and another the lessee of the Canonmills. There were at the same period two physicians of the name in Edinburgh, one of whom, Dr. Archibald, appears to have been ...
— Records of a Family of Engineers • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the white pigs, being deficient in smell and taste, eat it, and are killed. Analogous facts occur in several distinct families. White sheep are killed in the Tarentino by eating Hypericum Criscum, while black sheep escape: white rhinoceroses are said to perish from eating Euphorbia Candelabrum; and white horses are said to suffer from poisonous food, where colored ones escape. Now it is very improbable that a constitutional immunity ...
— The Galaxy - Vol. 23, No. 1 • Various

... interested him so much that he took a close and personal interest in it, and he was rewarded one day by discovering this enemy of Sir Richard's sitting, toward five o'clock in the afternoon, in a cafe in Regent Street, engrossed in conversation with a person whom Peter Ruff knew to be a very black sheep indeed—a man who had been tried for murder, and concerning whom there were still many unpleasant rumors. From behind his paper in a corner of the cafe, Peter Ruff watched these two men. Teddy Jones—or Major Edward Jones, as it seemed he was now called—was a person whose appearance no longer ...
— Peter Ruff and the Double Four • E. Phillips Oppenheim



Words linked to "Black sheep" :   reprobate, miscreant, scapegrace, sheep



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