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Frivolity   /frəvˈɑləti/   Listen
Frivolity

noun
(pl. frivolities)
1.
The trait of being frivolous; not serious or sensible.  Synonym: frivolousness.
2.
Something of little value or significance.  Synonyms: bagatelle, fluff, frippery.
3.
Acting like a clown or buffoon.  Synonyms: buffoonery, clowning, harlequinade, japery, prank.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Frivolity" Quotes from Famous Books



... for you!" Lanrivain had said; and I was overcome by the almost blasphemous frivolity of suggesting to any living being that Kerfol was the place for him. "Is it possible that any one could NOT see—?" I wondered. I did not finish the thought: what I meant was undefinable. I stood up and wandered toward the gate. I was beginning ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 1 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... like the epigrams of Martial. This uncompromising poet, not pliant and easy like Horace, animadverted like an incorruptible censor on the vices which were undermining the moral health and preparing the way for violence; on the hypocrisy of philosophers and the cruelty of tyrants; on the frivolity of women and the debauchery of men. He discoursed on the vanity of human wishes with the moral wisdom of Dr. Johnson, and urged ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume I • John Lord

... opposed the doctrine of justification by love and its good works, he was in danger of being misunderstood by strangers, as though he held the bare knowledge and assent to be sufficient for justification, and such preaching would indeed have led to frivolity and disorderly conduct. But even apart from the question whether or not the brother of the Elector was disturbed by such scruples, Luther must have welcomed the opportunity, when the summons came to him, to dedicate his book Of Good Works ...
— A Treatise on Good Works • Dr. Martin Luther

... of being singular, and the folly of adopting a mode of life that makes you a laughing-stock. But this eighteen-year-old girl stood firm. She had resolved to live the Christ-life and devote her energies to lessening the pains of earth. Life was too short for frivolity; no one could afford to compromise with evil. She became the friend of children; the champion of the unfortunate; she sided with the weak; she was their friend and comforter. Her life became a cry in favor of the oppressed, a defense of the downtrodden, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 2 of 14 - Little Journeys To the Homes of Famous Women • Elbert Hubbard

... thus emphasizing the immense energies devoted to artistic enterprises is to lead us to consider what is the end of all this labor. He points out scathingly the ugliness, frivolity, and crudity of much that passes for drama in the theater, for music in the concert hall, and for literature between covers. He pleads for a simple art that shall express with sincerity the genuine emotions of ...
— Human Traits and their Social Significance • Irwin Edman

... Lincoln came home, disappointed, disillusioned. He had not succeeded in establishing the slightest claim, either upon the country or his party. Without such claim he had no ground for attempting reelection. The frivolity of the Whig machine in the Sangamon region was evinced by their rotation agreement. Out of such grossly personal politics Lincoln had gone to Washington; into this essentially corrupt system he relapsed. He faced, politically, a blank wall. And he had within him as yet, ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... and a young girl slowly forced a passage through the conflicting currents of boisterous people. The man was anywhere between twenty-five and thirty, of supple figure, serious face, and sombre eyes that lighted up reluctantly at all of this frivolity. It was only when they were turned upon the sweet young face of the girl at his side that they took on a ...
— Mlle. Fouchette - A Novel of French Life • Charles Theodore Murray

... its tone to the lightest details of his converse with the world about him. His temper, quick as it might naturally be, was kept under strict control. In his discourse he was on his guard against talkativeness and frivolity, striving to be deliberate in speech, and "ranking the words beforehand." His life was orderly and methodical, sparing of diet and self-indulgence; he rose early; "he never was at any time idle, and hated ...
— History of the English People, Volume V (of 8) - Puritan England, 1603-1660 • John Richard Green

... disgrace which you have, by reason of the aforesaid actions and conduct, brought upon his name, and because of various and sundry acts of disobedience, as well as your life of frivolity and dissipation,—our client has instructed us to inform you, that he has cut you off from him absolutely; that he has drawn a new will wherein the amount of your legacy is fixed at the sum of one ($1.00) dollar; that he will no longer make you an allowance in any sum whatever; that he ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... saw Juliette before her with unruffled features, like one who has had a good night's rest, and with her mind sufficiently at ease to discuss Madame Berthier's by-play, without troubling herself in the least degree about what she would do in the afternoon. This indifference and frivolity chilled Helene, who had come to the house with ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... display of childishness amused us greatly, creating a general laugh. This frivolity in the face of a court-martial was more than Wolfe could stand, so after one withering glance in our direction he turned his back on us and stalked majestically from the room. Luckily I had in my possession a ...
— 'Brother Bosch', an Airman's Escape from Germany • Gerald Featherstone Knight

... strength in mutual contention. Against these hopeless alliances, and against the idolatry and the formalism which debased the people, the prophets contended with intense earnestness and unflinching courage. Amos, called from feeding his flocks, inveighed against frivolity and vice, misgovernment and fraud, in Israel. Hosea warned Menahem (743-737 B.C.) against invoking the help of Assyria against Damascus, but in vain. He was terribly punished by what he suffered from the Assyrians; but Jotham (740-736 B.C.) and Ahaz ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... be those who make various statements concerning her idle talk, her frivolity, her guile, now is the time to quote the saying of Cato: "Common report is not our judge." According to the words of the Apostle, it doth not become us to call in question the servant of God. Much better is it to abstain from judgment, as is permitted, or to submit doubtful points ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... hurriedly, in fear that his indignation at such frivolity should overcome his gratitude, and he regretted as he walked briskly along that the diffidence peculiar to young men in his circumstances had prevented him from acquainting his father with the state of his ...
— At Sunwich Port, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... dragged her from pleasure to pleasure, and from one spectacle to another, for it gratified him to show himself in public with his beautiful young wife. She certainly was not free from frivolity, but she had learnt early from her strict father, as being the guide of her younger sisters, to distinguish clearly right from wrong, and the pure from the unclean; and she soon discovered that the joys of the capital, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... among persons whom I should have fancied careless of its subject, and even ignorant of its existence, but to whom I was personally bound to give some answer as to the book and its worth. It was making many unsettled and unhappy; it was (even worse) pandering to the cynicism and frivolity of many who were already too cynical and frivolous; and, much as I shrank from descending into the arena of religious controversy, I felt bound to say a few plain words on it, at ...
— The Gospel of the Pentateuch • Charles Kingsley

... of any sort in it; nor can it be considered the most profitable use of school time, thus to 'like folly show' to unknit juvenile brains the abstract and high thought of mature and great minds, who uttered them with no foolishness or frivolity in their intentions! We see reasons to expect substantial advantages from Mr. Willson's books; and we believe teachers will appreciate and use them. We could wish they had not gone so far to mechanicalize the pupil's enunciation; by too ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. VI, June, 1862 - Devoted To Literature and National Policy • Various

... friend, he said; and, though he might be criticised for frivolity in certain respects, no one could justly accuse him or even suspect him of any really unworthy action. Musadieu, surprised and embarrassed, defended himself, tried to explain and to ...
— Strong as Death • Guy de Maupassant

... to lead us almost inevitably to the inference that the reports which had excited such dissatisfaction at Vienna were not without foundation, but that the French gayety, even if often descending to frivolity, was more to her taste than the German solidity which her mother so highly esteemed, and that she had been at no great pains to hide a preference which must naturally he acceptable to those among whom her future life was ...
— The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France • Charles Duke Yonge

... down to chess and then Fyne's everlasting gravity became faintly tinged by an attenuated gleam of something inward which resembled sly satisfaction. Of the divine frivolity of laughter he was only capable over a chessboard. Certain positions of the game struck him as humorous, which nothing else on earth ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... kindness,—of minute attention to his various duties,—of correct mental discipline,—and active direction of his thoughts to all those objects of attention which ought to engage a well regulated mind:—Another sinks into habits of listless vacuity or frivolity of mind,—of vicious indulgence and contracted selfishness,—of neglect of important duties, disregard to the feelings of others, and total indifference to all those considerations and pursuits which claim the highest regard of every responsible being; and the striking fact is, that, after ...
— The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings • John Abercrombie

... with which you are personally concerned is your own frivolity; though essentially this is not your fault, but that of the system of your early training. But the fact remains the same, that here, in Oxford, you, a chosen body of English youth, in no wise care ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... glance at the past. Can we bear to do so, or will day after day, and hour after hour, rise up in judgment against us? Can we bear to bring them into debtor and creditor account,—what offsets can we make against those devoted to sin and frivolity? ...
— A Book For The Young • Sarah French

... opportunity for the snap-shotter when, LORD BOB lamenting the "ingrained frivolity of the Radicals in this grave crisis," ARTHUR MARKHAM interposed ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, June 24, 1914 • Various

... lass," said her father, proudly. "But what would the minister be saying at such frivolity?" he added, ...
— Glengarry Schooldays • Ralph Connor

... he felt sure that Mrs. Hilmer was the last woman in the world that Helen would have found bearable, much less attractive... He concluded that Helen was enjoying the novelty of watching Mrs. Hilmer nibble at a discreet feminine frivolity to which she was unaccustomed. After a while he looked for outward changes in Mrs. Hilmer's make-up. He figured that the shopping tours with Helen might be reflected in a sprightlier bonnet or a narrower skirt or a higher heel on her shoe. But no such transformation took place. ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... friends might render me essential service. In other respects he was a desirable acquaintance, being a man of wit and letters, of agreeable conversation, one who possessed talents and loved them in others. After this discourse (mingling the most serious concerns with the most trifling frivolity) he showed me a pretty couplet, which came from Paris, on an air in one of Mouret's operas, which was then playing. Monsieur Simon (the judge major) was so pleased with this couplet, that he determined to make another in answer to it, on the same ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... comedy itself, and that concept is inextricably mingled with memories of foul ambuscades and mortifying hurts. And so it is not often that he is willing to admit any wisdom in a humorist, or to condone frivolity in ...
— Damn! - A Book of Calumny • Henry Louis Mencken

... the public mind, and affords a pretext for calumnies against you. The moment is serious, the demonstrations of patriotism should be serious as the times. It is the enemies of the Revolution who urge it to these frivolities in order that they may have the right to accuse it of frivolity and thoughtlessness. They thus give patriotism the appearance of faction, and these emblems divide those they should rally. However great the vogue that counsels them to-day, they will never be universally adopted, for every man really devoted to the ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... thing to take a servant—Alfy was really that, of course—to a Maitland party. Yet the child had just as good blood in her veins as many others who would attend, even if her lot in life were less fortunate. Besides, was it right to disturb her quiet habits by such frivolity? While the matter was pending, Alfaretta could only calm her perturbed mind by gathering every belated daisy she could find and testing her fortune upon its white petals. "Shall I be let to go? Shall I not?" Mostly, the daisies said: "I shall!" Yet it was old Whitey who, after all, ...
— The Brass Bound Box • Evelyn Raymond

... going somewhere else; why kaisers affect to review troops here, that they may be able to talk statecraft there; how princely compacts and contracts of marriage are made at sulphur springs; all these and such like leaked out as small-talk with a young and pretty woman, whose frivolity of manner went bail for the safety of the confidence, and went far to persuade Walpole, that though bank-stock might be a surer investment, there were paying qualities in certain women that in the end promised larger returns than mere money and higher rewards than mere wealth. 'Yes,' cried he to ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... whole the scheme, as time went on, promised to be not unsuccessful. Endymion, though not rapidly, advanced surely, and made some amends for the years that had been wasted in fashionable private schools and the then frivolity of Eton. Myra, who, notwithstanding her early days of indulgence, had enjoyed the advantage of admirable governesses, was well grounded in more than one modern language, and she soon mastered them. And in due time, though much after the period on which we are now touching, she announced her ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... he couldn't sing, but this encouraging invitation of the master's was echoed all round the table. It was a conversational opportunity: everybody could say, "Come, Tim," except Alick, who never relaxed into the frivolity of unnecessary speech. At last, Tim's next neighbour, Ben Tholoway, began to give emphasis to his speech by nudges, at which Tim, growing rather savage, said, "Let me alooan, will ye? Else I'll ma' ye sing a toon ye wonna like." A good-tempered waggoner's ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... as in her old days of dependence, wherever she went she seemed to take sunshine and gladness with her. In spite of Miss Alicia's undisguised contempt for her step-mother's childishness and frivolity, Lucy was better loved and more admired than the baronet's daughter. That very childishness had a charm which few could resist. The innocence and candor of an infant beamed in Lady Audley's fair face, ...
— Lady Audley's Secret • Mary Elizabeth Braddon

... militaire!" sighed the old French song, no doubt with a touch of frivolity; but the sentiment moves us all. Sages have thought the army worth preserving for a dash of scarlet and a roll of the kettledrum; in every State procession it is the implements of death and the men ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... fictitious law concerning the increase of population disproportionate to the means of subsistence. This fictitious law, this writer encompasses with mathematical formulae founded on nothing whatever; and then he launches it on the world. From the frivolity and the stupidity of this hypothesis, one would suppose that it would not attract the attention of any one, and that it would sink into oblivion, like all the works of the same author which followed it; but it turned out quite otherwise. The hack-writer who penned this treatise ...
— What To Do? - thoughts evoked by the census of Moscow • Count Lyof N. Tolstoi

... into tears once more, but they were no longer tears of despair. Pulling myself together, I set about writing out a fresh set of rules, in the assured conviction that never again would I do a wrong action, waste a single moment on frivolity, or alter the rules which ...
— Youth • Leo Tolstoy

... friendship had been my one comfort and hope; of our early days in London, when it seemed as if, with one another for company, nothing could come amiss, and no hardship could be quite intolerable; of his illness and absence, and my gradual yielding to frivolity and extravagance; then of his return and confidence in me. Would that he had never told me that wretched secret! If he had only known to whom he was telling it, to what a pitiful, weak, vain nature he was confiding it, he would have bitten his tongue off before he did it, and I should ...
— My Friend Smith - A Story of School and City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... the manner in which it is obscured and perverted: cursed effects of fashionable education! of which both sexes are the advocates, and yours eminently the victims. If I could foresee that Theo. would become a mere fashionable woman, with all the attendant frivolity and vacuity of mind, adorned with whatever grace and allurement, I would earnestly pray God to take her forthwith hence. But I yet hope, by her, to convince the world what neither sex appear to ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... deeply. Freedom and courtesy were so well balanced in this society, that little restraint was put upon conversation. A risque word, the stray touch of a too daring hand or foot, or a whisper behind a fan, which was in truth a furtive kiss, with a hundred other trifling liberties, were permitted. Frivolity enveloped the company as with a silken veil, and yet everything moved as politely and as sedately ...
— Skipper Worse • Alexander Lange Kielland

... The capacity for frivolity is always there. You are reconciled just now to other things; that man is a beast all right. Oh, yes; this is reaction, Dolly. The idea is to hang on to this conservatism when it becomes stupid and irksome; when you're tired and discouraged, and when you want to be amused and ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... Into the language of arch and aisle and colonnade, of cupola and facade and pediment, of spire and vault, the architect translates emotion, vague perhaps but deep, mute but unmistakable. When we say that a building is sublime or graceful, frivolous or stern, we mean that sublimity or grace, frivolity or sternness, is inherent in it. The emotions connected with these qualities are inspired in us when we contemplate it, and are presented to us by its form. Whether the architect deliberately aimed at the sublime or graceful—whether ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... have challenged man's soul to answer for its life. Dark spiritual forces shriek their battle-cries over the din of matter. The swiftness of progress, crushing and enriching, the mad greed for gold, the worship of success—a success that sneers at duty, honour, love and patriotism—the filth and frivolity of our upper strata, the growth of hate and envy below, the restlessness of the masses, the waning of faith, the growth of despair, the triumph of brute force, the reign of the liar and huckster—all these are more real and threatening here, as beasts and reptiles increase ...
— The One Woman • Thomas Dixon

... her frivolity by sharing it. Kind beyond her utmost merit. She did not say so, but she thought it, sitting dumb, in sudden tears, and burning with shame for her blindness to the hour's fearful realities. While Ned stepped to ...
— Gideon's Band - A Tale of the Mississippi • George W. Cable

... very fine, but things must be settled," said Prince Vasili to himself, with a sorrowful sigh, one morning, feeling that Pierre who was under such obligations to him ("But never mind that") was not behaving very well in this matter. "Youth, frivolity... well, God be with him," thought he, relishing his own goodness of heart, "but it must be brought to a head. The day after tomorrow will be Lelya's name day. I will invite two or three people, and if he does not understand what he ought to do then it will be my affair—yes, my ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... instant the above dialogue—from the frivolity of which the universally-learned readers of modern times will, we fear, recoil with contempt—was interrupted by a movement on the part of its hero which showed that his occupation was at an end. With the elaborate deliberation of a man who disdains to exhibit himself as liable to be hurried ...
— Antonina • Wilkie Collins

... superficial: "True knowledge and solid learning cannot but make woman as well as man more humble; ... and it must be owned that if a little superficial knowledge has rendered some of our sex vain, it equally renders some of theirs insupportable." With all the sex's frivolity, she adds, women have not been found to spend their lives on mere entia rationis splitting hairs and weighing motes like the Schoolmen. She concludes that men deprive women of education lest they should oust them "from those public offices which they ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... tooth-brush attached to one and a comb to the other; while the letters "I. H. S." on the priest's chasuble were paraphrased into the words, "I hate Siwashes." It must not be thought, however, that Derby's life was wholly devoted to fun and frivolity, for he has been pronounced by an accomplished military writer and critic to have been "an able and accomplished engineer." He was the author of "The Squibob Papers" and of "Phoenixiana; or Sketches and ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... Dr. Arnold, whose counsel, assistance, or sympathy she felt any inclination to claim. In fine, W—— was not in any respect peculiar, or, as a community, specially afflicted with heartlessness, frivolity, brainlessness, or mammonism; the average was fair, reputable, in all respects. But, incontrovertibly, the girl who came to spend her life among these people was totally dissimilar in criteria of action, thought, and feeling. ...
— Macaria • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... wasn't nearly as big as the hole. But how could you expect me to help noticing the general lightness and frivolity of your visitors, shown up so plainly against the ...
— The Window-Gazer • Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

... had not altered Master Ratty's propensities in the least, the case was far different with Gustavus. In that one night of suffering which he had passed, the gulf was leaped that divides the boy from the man; and the extra frivolity and carelessness which clung from boyhood up to the age of fifteen was at once, by the sudden disrupture produced by events, thrown off, and as singular ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... the present, which I cited on a former occasion, and known as a PUN. After breakfast, one of the boarders handed me a small roll of paper containing some of the questions and their answers. I subjoin two or three of them, to show what a tendency there is to frivolity and meaningless talk in young persons of a certain sort, when not restrained by the presence of more reflective natures.—It was asked, "Why tertian and quartan fevers were like certain short-lived insects." Some interesting physiological relation would be naturally suggested. The inquirer ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... some accusation Lord Cloverton has made against me. I tremble lest I may be unable to do so. Of what frivolity do I stand accused?" and she smiled at the Ambassador with an innocent expression on her ...
— Princess Maritza • Percy Brebner

... frivolity, but his smile was friendly. He lifted the round rubber cap of the distributor. Then Claire's faith tumbled in the dust. Twice had the wires been tested. Milt tested them again. She was too tired of botching to tell him he ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... trickery, greed, and avarice of peddlers and merchants are exhibited in incident after incident of the "Thousand and One Nights." War is despised or feared, courage less to be relied upon than astute knavery, and one of the facts that strikes us is the general frivolity, dishonesty, and cruelty which prevail through the tales of Bagdad. The opposite is the case with Antar. Natural passion has full play, but nobility of character is taken seriously, and generosity and sensibility of heart are portrayed with truthfulness ...
— Oriental Literature - The Literature of Arabia • Anonymous

... character (largely resulting from the position) he was uncommonly like those semi-independent rajahs in India, who are allowed to keep up a kind of shadow of authority on condition of doing what Calcutta bids them. Of course frivolity and debauchery become the business of such men. What sort of a man this was may be sufficiently inferred from the fact that ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... foreign sheets and the coarseness of their type is any proof of frivolity and ignorance, there is no doubt that English people scarce consider news read there as news, any more than a programme bought from a man in the street inspires confidence in what it says. A very respectable elderly pair, having inspected the long tables of newspapers, did not think ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... published a little volume describing the whole affair, in which, with the irresponsible frivolity of a true Capuchin, he poked fun at those who could not swallow the ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - URBAIN GRANDIER—1634 • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... effusions poured forth; and there is so great a destitution of solid, original, and striking thought, that, in my unpretending, yet honest estimation, the majority of albums are worth comparatively nothing. A good album should contain pieces of genuine talent; should be marked by no frivolity or childishness; should be concise, pointed, and powerful in its contributions; and should embody valuable moral principle; and, to secure these excellencies, the possessor of an elegant album should not place it in the hand of any, accompanied with the request that a contribution ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, - Issue 491, May 28, 1831 • Various

... have the naivete and simplicity of a confession. Others interpret abnormal, psychopathic characters whose feelings and thoughts are expressed by the actors with a fine and vivid realism. There is the exultation of life, and the despair, the aggression and apathy, the frivolity and the revolt. The action is taken slowly. There are no stars. You look at the screen as though you were looking at life itself. And the films don't always have happy endings, because life isn't always kind. It often seems ...
— Trapped in 'Black Russia' - Letters June-November 1915 • Ruth Pierce

... were buoyed up to the highest point of practical vigour. Never did the masculine spirit of England display itself with more energy, nor ever did its genius soar with a prouder pre-eminence over France, than at the time when frivolity and effeminacy had been at least tacitly acknowledged as their national character by the good ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... only made to seem a little lower, and her eyes deepened in their blue by its shadow. My sweet-briar blossoms were not more delicate in their pink shadings than was the bloom on her rounded cheek, and the white, firm chin denoted an absence of weakness and frivolity. The upper lip, from where I sat, seemed one half of Cupid's bow. I could but barely catch a glimpse of a ripple of hair that, perhaps, had not been smoothed with sufficient pains, and thus seemed in league with the slightly worldly bonnet. In brief, to my kindled ...
— A Day Of Fate • E. P. Roe

... receptivity; Stoicism at Rome; its influence on the lawyers; Sulpicius Rufus, his life and work; Epicureanism, its general effect on society; case of Calpurnius Piso; pursuit of pleasure and neglect of duty; senatorial duties neglected; frivolity of the younger public men; example of M. Caelius Rufus; sketch of his life and character; life of the Forum as seen in ...
— Social life at Rome in the Age of Cicero • W. Warde Fowler

... the police official was spending his evenings at the theatre, the worthy actor generally filled his place in the family circle, and it seems had frequently to appease my mother, who, rightly or wrongly, complained of the frivolity ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... elasticity, the concreteness, of your temperament fertilised the too-brooding introspectiveness of my own. It lightened the reverence which I experience in the contemplation of my own nature. It induced in me the hint of frivolity which is necessary to procure action. Our union was as that of high-noon and impenetrable ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... rolled by and eighteenth century frivolity and worldliness took the place of Puritan sobriety and religion, New England children shared with their elders in that growing love of amusement, which found but few and inadequate methods of expression in the lives of either ...
— Customs and Fashions in Old New England • Alice Morse Earle

... nom de guerre (St. Remy), he depended upon the servility of the Parisian press to carry through. He was not a deep thinker, nor was his intellectual horizon a broad one; but his views were liberal, his shallow mind was brilliant and versatile, and to the graceful frivolity of a man of the world he united a taste for the serious financial and political problems of his time. He belonged to that set of bright young politicians who, toward the end of the reign of Louis-Philippe, passed, as was cleverly ...
— Maximilian in Mexico - A Woman's Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867 • Sara Yorke Stevenson

... Jochanan. Jochanan had been a member of the peace party in the years 66 to 70; Akiba was a patriot, and took a personal part in the later struggle against Rome, which was organized by the heroic Bar Cochba in the years 131 to 135. Akiba set his face against frivolity, and pronounced silence a fence about wisdom. But his disposition was resolute rather than severe. Of him the most romantic of love stories is told. He was a herdsman, and fell in love with his ...
— Chapters on Jewish Literature • Israel Abrahams

... claironet, foretells that you will indulge in frivolity beneath your usual dignity. {I}f it is broken, you will incur the ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... "Stand back, Frivolity and Show. It is a day of Spring; I want to see my roses blow, And hear the blackbird sing. I wish to prune my apple-trees, And nail my peaches straight; Keep to the causeway, if you please— ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 1, August 1850 - of Literature, Science and Art. • Various

... anarchy French popular music has a wonderful range: it is gallant, mocking, elegant, or full of absolute nonsense and frivolity. In fact, French music has always been so intensely national that it would have been impossible for England to have long borrowed it; and in the days of the Tudors we find English character beginning to explain itself in those admirable tunes and ballads ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... play with no vast interest. The actors moved and spoke stiffly. Just as its cynicism was beginning to rouse her village-dulled frivolity, it was over. ...
— Main Street • Sinclair Lewis

... lands. Its aim is to produce a change not only in the opinions, feelings, and principles of these vast populations, but to alter the whole course of their lives, so that instead of spending their time in frivolity and pleasure-seeking, if not in the grossest forms of vice, they shall spend it in the service of their generation and in the worship of God. So far it has mainly operated in professedly Christian countries, where the overwhelming majority ...
— "In Darkest England and The Way Out" • General William Booth

... III. was full of all manner of fantastic sentiments. Faith, hope, and love, which make others strong, had in him degenerated into superstition, frivolity, and voluptuousness—already he ...
— Halil the Pedlar - A Tale of Old Stambul • Mr Jkai

... in that work I want your assistance. I want you to bring them to me. I called you here to-night because to-morrow night folly and fashion will rule all in this city, and I must be there with the rest. Let me tell you, my boy, that when the men of this legislature awake, after that night of frivolity, it will be to open their eyes on some serious business. Not one word about what I intend to do until then. The session has been a very sweet cake till now—let the ball sugar-coat it! There'll be bitter eating ...
— The Ramrodders - A Novel • Holman Day

... from the North of the Tweed. They were both brave, determined fellows, but Sandy's spirit was troubled, not so much, apparently, by the fearful position in which we were placed, as by what he called Pat Brady's recklessness and frivolity. Even when thus clinging to our frail raft, now tossed high up on a foaming sea, now sent gliding down into the bottom of the trough with darkness around us, almost starved, and our throats parched by thirst, Brady's love of a joke would still break ...
— Ben Burton - Born and Bred at Sea • W. H. G. Kingston

... trees, and the farm of Nether Crae set on the hillside high above it. He counted the sheep on the green field over the loch, numbering the lambs twice because they frisked irresponsibly about, being full of frivolity and having no opinions upon ...
— The Lilac Sunbonnet • S.R. Crockett

... mumbo-jumbo to keep it in order," said Arkwright. "She's ours.... I'm dead tired. You've done enough for one night. It's a bad idea to stay too long; it creates an impression of frivolity. Come along!" ...
— The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig • David Graham Phillips

... how this precariousness discouraged woman from austere and rigorous virtues, the very foundation of the family; how it was a continuous incitement to frivolity of character, to dissipation, to infidelity. Consequently, the liberty the Romans allowed her must have been much more dangerous than the greater freedom she enjoys today, since it lacked its modern checks ...
— The Women of the Caesars • Guglielmo Ferrero

... Paul's solemn and pointed interrogatory. "Almost," said he, "thou persuadest me to be a Christian." [140:4] It has been thought by some that these words were uttered with a sneer; but whatever may have been the frivolity of the Jewish King, they elicited from the apostle one of the noblest rejoinders that ever issued from human lips, "And Paul said, I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... with superficial differences, historical or actually social: even learned writers treating of great subjects often show an attitude of mind not greatly superior in its logic to that of the frivolous fine lady who is indignant at the frivolity ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... country, for the service of Christ and His Church, she is bound to uphold this standard at a high point—a point entirely above suspicion. This task is of importance incalculable. But, owing to the frivolity of some women, and the very loose ideas of many men, it is no easy task. Undoubtedly, the very great majority of women are born modest at heart. Their nature is by many degrees less coarse than that of man. And their conscience ...
— Female Suffrage • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... any further? Can I tell how the miserable man, cringing at the feet of that pure woman, narrated his dreary history of folly, extravagance, and dishonor? Need it be said that, through all his dissipation, frivolity, and crime, his gentle sister clung to him, and, smiling through her tears, bade him go and sin no more? She stole upon him like a shadow in the night, and, her labor of love ended, faded away. No entreaty of the generous diamond-dealer dissuaded ...
— Trifles for the Christmas Holidays • H. S. Armstrong

... Protestant Christianity in this and other lands. For a long period now, we have heard from the various churches an annually repeated story of decreases in membership, in congregations, in Sunday School scholars. We have been told, also, of a general decay of reverence for sacred things, of a growth of frivolity, a surrender of high ideals and of old faiths to the spirit of materialism which more and more, so it is said, dominates the age. That Sabbath of our youth; that attachment by families to the sanctuary which was so marked a feature of our national life; that fine old English home life ...
— The Message and the Man: - Some Essentials of Effective Preaching • J. Dodd Jackson

... gifts had been entirely in the form of clothes—the donors doubtless surmising that the wife of a rich man's son would have other gifts in abundance—there remained only the trinkets George and George's parents had given her. All through luncheon, while Mrs. Fowler, with an assumed frivolity which Gabriella found more than usually depressing, rippled on over the warmed-over salmon, the girl mentally arranged and sorted in their cases a diamond brooch, an amethyst necklace, a bracelet set with pearls, and a topaz heart ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

... be idler? And yet haven't we seen grave people and gay listening very contentedly at times to that wild and awful sort of frivolity; and I think there is in most men's minds, sages or zanies, a secret misgiving that dreams may have an office and a meaning, and are perhaps more than a fortuitous concourse of symbols, in fact, the language which good or evil spirits whisper ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... if not more scientific. There are usually three lectures daily; the first on sciences, and the other two on belles lettres. The lecture on science is considered as very able, but those on the belles lettres were merely suited, as I understood, to French frivolity. The rooms were so full as to render our stay unpleasant, and we thereby lost an anatomy lecture, which was about to commence. I should not forget to mention, that all the Parisian journals and magazines, ...
— Travels through the South of France and the Interior of Provinces of Provence and Languedoc in the Years 1807 and 1808 • Lt-Col. Pinkney

... MSS. knows what myriads of fiction are written without one single new situation, original character, or fresh thought. The most out-worn ideas: sudden loss of fortune; struggles; faithlessness of First Lover; noble conduct of Second Lover: frivolity of younger sister; excellence of mother: naughtiness of one son, virtue of another, these are habitually served up again and again. On the sprained ankles, the mad bulls, the fires, and other simple devices for doing without an introduction between hero ...
— How to Fail in Literature • Andrew Lang

... on very sorrowfully toward the fort. It grieved them to see this frivolity in those to whom they had been ...
— Junior Classics, V6 • Various

... the current of their prose? I confess to a certain shame for my not employing frankly that shade of indication, a finer shade still than the dash.... But what on earth are we talking about?" And the Chairman of the Corps Committee pulled himself up in deprecation of our frivolity, which I recognized by acknowledging that we might indeed hear more about the work done and doing at the front by Richard Norton and his energetic and devoted co-workers. Then I plunged recklessly to draw ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... both fancied at this time to make a pet of me. I had been ill in their house, and I must get well in their house. They would warrant to make the time pleasant. So the Tyrrells were bidden to come and stay a month. Grace Tyrrell arrived with her high spirits, her frivolity, her odour of the world, took me in her hands, and placed herself at once between me and Rachel. She found me weak, irritable, wobegone. She questioned, petted, coaxed. Partly through curiosity, and partly through good-nature, she tried to win my confidence, and in an evil hour ...
— The Late Miss Hollingford • Rosa Mulholland

... Lincoln's stories served a special purpose as a sort of safety valve. To a Congressman, who had remonstrated with him for his apparent frivolity in combining funny stories with serious discussion, he said: "If it were not for these stories I should die." The addresses of the presidential period, however, with the exception of a few responses to serenades, are entirely without humorous anecdotes. Although Lincoln never ...
— Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections) • Abraham Lincoln

... silver porridge-dish, with other dishes besides; and, as if there were no shifts to be had in Brussels, there had to be a complete outfit in this line for herself and her children.[2324]—A fervent devotion, even humanness, the frivolity of the small literary spirit, graceful urbanity, profound ignorance,[2325] the lack or rigidity of the comprehension and determination are still greater with the princes than with the nobles.—All are impotent against the wild and roaring outbreak. They have not the physical superiority ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... began to talk of the life in the capital, the condition of the army and the Confederate States, furnishing a continual surprise to Prescott, who now saw that beneath the man's occasional frivolity and epicurean tastes lay a mind of wonderful penetration, possessing that precious quality generally known as insight. He revealed a minute knowledge of the Confederacy and its chieftains, both civil ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... home, the accession of a popular sovereign was like the sunrise after a long night, and, in Milton's words, we suddenly see England, "a noble and puissant nation, rousing herself, like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks." With the queen's character, a strange mingling of frivolity and strength which reminds one of that iron image with feet of clay, we have nothing whatever to do. It is the national life that concerns the literary student, since even a beginner must notice that any great development of the national ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... sufficient to arouse my suspicion. Desmarais bared his breast gracefully to the magistrate. "Would a man, Sir," he said, "a man of my youth, suffer such a scar as that, if he could help it?" The magistrate laughed: frivolity is often a rogue's best policy, if he did but know it. One finds it very difficult to think a coxcomb can commit robbery and murder. Howbeit Desmarais came off triumphantly; and immediately after this examination, which had been his second one, and instigated solely at my desire, ...
— Devereux, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... expressed and deliberate judgment should be given effect by the courts, save in the extreme and exceptional cases where there has been a clear violation of a constitutional provision. Anything like frivolity or wantonness in upsetting such clearly taken governmental action is a grave offense against the Republic. To protest against tyranny, to protect minorities from oppression, to nullify an act committed in a spasm ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Theodore Roosevelt • Theodore Roosevelt

... that they had gained a master instead of a servant. Frivolity was not the idea of war held by Pyrrhus. He at once shut up the theatre, the gymnasia, and the public walks, stopped all feasting and revelry throughout the city, closed the clubs or brotherhoods, and kept the citizens under arms all day. Some of them, in disgust at this stern discipline, left ...
— Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... of some one else's aesthetic plan. As a matter of fact many of our millionaires would be more at home in an atmosphere concocted from the ingredients of plain pine tables and blanket-covered mattresses than they are surrounded by the frippery of China and the frivolity of France. If these gentlemen were fortunate enough to enjoy sufficient confidence in their own taste to give it a thorough test it is not safe to think of the extreme burden that would be put on the working capacity of the factories of the Grand Rapids furniture ...
— The Merry-Go-Round • Carl Van Vechten

... frivolity, Private Smith rose and followed the youth on deck. The air struck him as chill as he stood there; but, for all that, it was with a sense of relief that he saw Her Majesty's uniform go over the side and sink into the ...
— Many Cargoes • W.W. Jacobs

... narrative by observations very much at random; I will, therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by a the elaborate frivolity of chess. In this latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound. The attention is here called ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... wife of Marcus Aurelius severely tried her husband's temper at times, but these tales seem to have arisen through a confusion of the two Faustinas. The elder Faustina was the one who set the merry pace in frivolity, and once said that any woman with a husband twenty years her senior must be allowed a lover ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... very learned young woman, aren't you?" said Lady Manorwater, after a short silence. "I have heard wonderful stories about your learning. Then I hope you will talk to Mr. Stocks, for I am afraid he is shocked at Bertha's frivolity. He asked her if she was in favour of the Prisons Regulation Bill, ...
— The Half-Hearted • John Buchan

... of analytical reasoning was new to MacRae, and it kept him from entering whole-heartedly into the joyous frivolity which functioned in the Abbott home that evening. He had never found himself in that critical mood before. He did not want to prattle nonsense. He did not want to think, and he could not help thinking. He had a curious sense of detachment from ...
— Poor Man's Rock • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... something was nigh, which he called the Kingdom of God. If he told us, with a solemn asseveration, that this generation should not pass away till all had happened. If he went on to warn us against profligacy, frivolity, worldliness, lest that day should come upon us unaware. If he bade us keep awake always, that we might be found worthy to escape all that was coming, and to stand before Him, The Son of Man. If he used throughout his address the second person, speaking to us, ...
— Westminster Sermons - with a Preface • Charles Kingsley

... Shame had added its bitter sting to the agony of her sorrow. Of a truth it was a terrible epilogue of misery, following on a life-story of frivolity and of heartlessness which Mistress de Chavasse had almost unconsciously related to the poor ignorant country attorney. Desirous at all costs of retaining her freedom, she had parted from her children with a light heart, glad enough that their grandmother was willing to relieve her of all ...
— The Nest of the Sparrowhawk • Baroness Orczy

... personal friendship. In spite of her passion for the society of the great, she wrote and worked throughout her whole career for the cause of liberty, and she was ever on the side of the oppressed. An incorrigible flirt before marriage, she developed into an irreproachable matron, while her natural frivolity and feather-headedness never tempted her to neglect her work, nor interfered with her faculty for making most advantageous business arrangements. 'With all her frank vanity,' we are told, 'she had shrewd good sense, and she valued herself much more ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... irony was unnoticed, and once more she laughed. To tell the truth, if anybody could associate such a frivolity with Miss ...
— A Breath of Prairie and other stories • Will Lillibridge

... submission and obedience to his will, which this letter breathes, descended from the grandmother to the mother, and were even instilled, in some degree, into the heart of the son. They remained, however, latent and dormant through the long years of the monarch's life of frivolity and sin, but they revived and reasserted their dominion ...
— History of King Charles II of England • Jacob Abbott

... as a society pastime and accompanied by all the frivolity of the age, paved the way for Weishaupt's two classes of women members, who, although never initiated into the secrets of the Order, were to act as useful tools "directed by men without knowing it." For this purpose they were to be divided into two ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... a background, the political and diplomatic frivolity of the Secretary of State is not so inexplicable as it would otherwise be. This background, as well as the intrigue of the Secretary, helps us to understand Lincoln's great task inside his Cabinet. At first the Cabinet was a group of jealous politicians new to this sort of office, ...
— Abraham Lincoln and the Union - A Chronicle of the Embattled North, Volume 29 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... boat did seem conscious of inconstancy, and anon with feminine frivolity she would coyly swing round to flirt with the islets close at hand. She would have her own way until the free breezes came, and somehow the wind still blows whereso'er it listeth, and will not be untimely wooed, though ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... polished dandy delighting in his clothes, unhappy if he were deprived of his bottle and his game. Haggart, on the other hand, was before all things sealed to his profession. He would have deserted the gayest masquerade, had he ever strayed into so light a frivolity, for the chance of lightening a pocket. He tasted but few amusements without the limits of his craft, and he preserved unto the end a touch of that dour character which is the heritage of his race. But, withal, he was an amiable decent body, who would have ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... favor a quieter tone pervaded Versailles. Madame was a woman of great intelligence and wit, and made all feel the gracious influence of her fine companionship. There was nothing ascetic in her piety, but, on the other hand, frivolity, immorality, and unworthy intrigue had no place in her circle. And all those that attended her held her in esteem and profound respect. With all her incomparable grace, she was in mind and spirit more truly the queen than mistress. She was older than the King and her influence was stronger on ...
— The Story of Versailles • Francis Loring Payne

... while the London streets were darkened by the cloud of sin that seems to rise as the sun sets; while the crowded ballrooms were one scene of gayety and frivolity; while tired souls went from earth to Heaven; while poverty, sickness, sorrow and death reigned over the whole city, Lady Marion, with her golden head bent and her white hands clasped, knelt praying. There was peace on her face and holy, ...
— A Mad Love • Bertha M. Clay

... years, and included, to greater or less extent, every form of psychological and physical phenomenon which was offered by spiritism. My experience with the professional mediums was such that I soon ceased to pay any attention to them, finding that, what with the frivolity of their utterances and the evident imposture which, in the case of some of them, invariably marked the display of their powers, the sittings were simply farcical; nor did I ever find, in the doings of the mediums, or in the revelations of the regular ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... Tip, so the crafty Maiden put it down in her little Note-Book that she who would make a Hit must convince the Men that her Tastes were simple and inexpensive. Another one gave her a learned Talk on the frivolity and Two-by-Fourness ...
— People You Know • George Ade

... excited so troublesome a curiosity as to their lining and comparative merits, together with a determination to test them by trying on, as to make her post a very conspicuous one. The ladies who had commodities of their own to sell, and did not want dressing-gowns, saw at once the frivolity and bad taste of this masculine preference for goods which any tailor could furnish; and it is possible that the emphatic notice of various kinds which was drawn toward Miss Tulliver on this public occasion, threw a very strong ...
— The Mill on the Floss • George Eliot

... implanted in their daughters' lives one growing interest beyond flirtation and gossip, whether it be work at the easel, music, literature, the structure of the human body and the laws of health, any solid interest that will occupy their thoughts and their hearts. Idleness, frivolity and ignorance can only be put down by education and employment. In the last resort, the spirit of ...
— Our Deportment - Or the Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society • John H. Young

... not like this remark, so he muttered a peevish pshaw, and took a pinch of honeysuckle dust to console himself for being forced to put up with so much frivolity. ...
— The Pilgrims Of The Rhine • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... assert that, from this point of view, they are much better than their adversaries. It must be admitted that they share to the full the fatal weakness of a priori philosophising, no less than the moral frivolity common to their age; while a singular want of appreciation of history, as the record of the moral and social evolution of the human race, permitted them to resort to preposterous theories of imposture, in order to account ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley



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