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Impromptu   /ɪmprˈɑmptu/   Listen
Impromptu

adjective
1.
With little or no preparation or forethought.  Synonyms: ad-lib, extemporaneous, extemporary, extempore, off-the-cuff, offhand, offhanded, unrehearsed.  "An extemporaneous piano recital" , "An extemporary lecture" , "An extempore skit" , "An impromptu speech" , "Offhand excuses" , "Trying to sound offhanded and reassuring" , "An off-the-cuff toast" , "A few unrehearsed comments"






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"Impromptu" Quotes from Famous Books



... French reasons for detesting it. Nor have the French ever enjoyed the savage forms of sport which stimulate the blood of more apathetic or more brutal races. Neither prize-fighting nor bull-fighting is of the soil in France, and Frenchmen do not settle their private differences impromptu with their fists: they do it, logically and with deliberation, on the duelling-ground. But when a national danger threatens, they instantly become what they proudly and justly call themselves—"a warlike nation"—and apply to the business in hand ...
— Fighting France - From Dunkerque to Belport • Edith Wharton

... enraged the new regime that by the new year of 1815 it was seen by all except those in authority that the return of the exile, Corporal Violet, as he was now called, was inevitable. So it came about that on the 20th of February, his pockets stuffed with impromptu addresses to the people and the army, Bonaparte, eluding those whose duty it was to watch him, set sail, and on the 1st of March he reached Cannes, whence he immediately marched, gaining recruits ...
— Mr. Bonaparte of Corsica • John Kendrick Bangs

... World. Almost all the master's works were published in England by Wessel. On March 8, 1838, Messrs. Wessel advertised Op. 1-32 with the exception of Op. 4, 11, and 29. This last figure has, no doubt, to be read as 28, as the Preludes could hardly be in print at that time, and the Impromptu, Op. 29, was advertised on October 20, 1837, as OP. 28. With regard to Op. 12 it has to be noted that it represents not the Variations brillantes sur le Rondo favori "Je vends des Scapulaires," but the Grand Duo concertant for piano and violoncello, ...
— Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician - Volume 1-2, Complete • Frederick Niecks

... consider what to say or do, her refuge was always in the impromptu, and she was far more bent on forcing Mr. Prendergast to smile, and distracting herself from her one aching desire that the Irish journey had never been, than of forming any plan of action. In walking to the cabstand they met Robert, and exchanged greetings; a sick faintness came ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... kinds—the latter the work of the indefatigable son of Esculapius, and of these the host and his guests partook freely, in commemoration of the day. At the opposite end of the room had been raised a sort of tribune for the orator of the day, but as it was intended the address should be impromptu, no name had been mentioned, nor could any one know, until the moment when the majority of voices should select him on whom the office was to devolve. In the fear entertained by each that he should be the party ...
— Hardscrabble - The Fall of Chicago: A Tale of Indian Warfare • John Richardson

... in the cabin. Villona played a waltz for Farley and Riviere, Farley acting as cavalier and Riviere as lady. Then an impromptu square dance, the men devising original figures. What merriment! Jimmy took his part with a will; this was seeing life, at least. Then Farley got out of breath and cried "Stop!" A man brought in a ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... to relish the story of the three black crows, which they considered as an impromptu of Cadwallader's own invention; but, granting it to be true, they unanimously declared that it could have no weight in invalidating the testimony of divers persons of honour, who had been witnesses of the magician's ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... assume, as they do, a transcendental connection between a symbol C and a signification A, as if the Unconscious Mind disposed of ready-made symbols of its own. Barring words used in their proper sense, and similar borrowings from waking habit, the so-called symbols in dreams are essentially impromptu fabrications, in which the association is not a direct causal connection between A and C, but a mediate association involving a third element, which psycho-analysts usually leave ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... the case. Mrs. Cardew would welcome any girl introduced to her daughters through her dear friend Mr. Tristram. She sent a further invitation for the three young people to remain to an impromptu supper, which was pleasanter than late dinner in such hot weather, and asked if Mr. and Mrs. Tristram would join ...
— The School Queens • L. T. Meade

... sat beside the maid, their backs to the logs, and watched the shifting groups of warriors. He told her of the arrival of the Big Throat, and of the confusion that resulted. Then for a time they were silent, waiting for the impromptu council to reach a conclusion. The warriors finally began to drift away, though the younger and more curious ones still hung about. A group of braves ...
— The Road to Frontenac • Samuel Merwin

... Richard, glancing in the direction of his impromptu Webster's Unabridged. "Mr. Slocum does not propose to split the difference. The wages in every department are to be just what they are,—neither more nor less. If anybody wishes to make a remark," ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... bent again over the map he had been studying. So far as these two were concerned, Jack had evidently ceased to exist. He went, therefore, to the room where the supervisor was at work filling in a blank of some kind; and because his impromptu speech had seemed to fill perfectly his requirements, he repeated it to Ross in exactly the same tone of careless good nature, except that this time he really meant part of it; because, when he came to ...
— The Lookout Man • B. M. Bower

... his coat, stripped his arm, and while I went in search of an impromptu lancet, Adele prepared the ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... Pope's presentation, too, was beautifully done. He told Sam how his friends all loved him, and that this pipe, purchased at so great an expense, was but a small token of their affection. But Sam's reply, which was supposed to be impromptu, actually brought the tears to the eyes of some of us, and he was interrupted every other minute with applause. I never felt so sorry ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... by a sheet of verses which have been sold and resold, doubtless in perfect good faith, as being those to which the writer alludes. But Miss Browning has recognized them as her father's own impromptu epigrams, well remembered in the family, together with the occasion on which they were written. The substitution may, from the first, ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... is placed over the fire so that it can heat, the person who would invoke the spirit that can bestow upon him the property of metamorphosing into a wolf kneels within the circle, and prays a preliminary impromptu prayer. He then resorts to an incantation, which runs, so I ...
— Werwolves • Elliott O'Donnell

... gotten back his composure he did a wise thing; for he followed Joan's advice: he made no more attempts at sham impromptu oratory, but read his speech straight from his "book." In the speech he compressed the Twelve Articles into six, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... uncontrollable exasperation of the temper obliged me at length to draw the charge from the pistol, through fear of yielding to some sudden impulse of despair. I had also put out of reach my razors, a hammer, and whatever else might serve as an impromptu means of violence. I remember the grim satisfaction with which I looked upon the brass ornaments of the bedroom fire-place, and reflected that, if worse came to worst, I was not wholly without a resource with ...
— The Opium Habit • Horace B. Day

... than a closet and was not even furnished. A cot had been put in that very afternoon, but only to meet a special emergency. A long-impending conference was going to be held between him and his employers subsequent to closing up time, and he had planned this impromptu refuge to save himself a late walk to the stable. At his offer to pass the same over to the Demarests, the difficulty of the moment vanished. Miss Demarest was shown to the one empty room in front, and the mother—as being the one less likely to ...
— Room Number 3 - and Other Detective Stories • Anna Katharine Green

... will repay study are the following: the Allegretto of Beethoven's Sixth Sonata; the Schubert Impromptu, op. 90, No. 4; Brahms's Intermezzo, op. 117, No. 1 and the Ballade in G minor, op. 118, No. 3, and for orchestra—in extended treatment—Debussy's Prelude ...
— Music: An Art and a Language • Walter Raymond Spalding

... began to rage with determined fury, and the entire force of cavalry was engaged in an obstinate fight with the advancing enemy. It was a bitter and savage affair. The men charged; dismounted and fought behind impromptu breastworks of rails; fell back only when they were pushed by the weight of the great column rolling forward; and for hours the whole field was a hurly-burly of dust, smoke, blood, uproar, carbine shots, musket shots, and the long ...
— Mohun, or, The Last Days of Lee • John Esten Cooke

... general cry of "The race!—the race!—the race!" rose among them. It was echoed by others, both ladies and gentlemen, and all the ponies, and horses, and, we may say, four-legged animals the party could muster, were brought forth. As the race was entirely impromptu, no arrangements had before been made. It was first settled that everything was to run. The larger riding-horses were to have a longer distance to run, and were not to start so soon as the others; the carriage-horses came next, ...
— Ernest Bracebridge - School Days • William H. G. Kingston

... stage-setting. These can well be made in the school as a part of the manual training and sewing work. In giving the play, it will generally be better not to have pupils memorize the exact words of the book, but to depend upon the impromptu rendering of their parts. This method will contribute more largely ...
— Children's Classics in Dramatic Form - Book Two • Augusta Stevenson

... artificer in jewels and costly metals was one of the gifts transmitted to Robert Herrick. Much of his work is as exquisite and precise as the chasing on a dagger-hilt by Cellini; the line has nearly always that vine-like fluency which seems impromptu, and is never the result of anything but austere labor. The critic who, borrowing Milton's words, described these carefully wrought poems as "wood-notes wild" showed a singular lapse of penetration. ...
— Ponkapog Papers • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... The impromptu "show" that followed was a repetition of the "stunts" for which the various members of the little circle were famous and which were always performed for Mrs. Gray's pleasure. "Oakdale's Great Mystery," of which Hippy calmly admitted the authorship, proved to be a ridiculous ...
— Grace Harlowe's Second Year at Overton College • Jessie Graham Flower

... had great fun!" he replied, laughing. "We had an impromptu Arabian Night's entertainment with all the men and women about the place disguised as slaves; and they all entered into the spirit of the thing heartily. I assure you, I never enjoyed anything more in my life. But I must go. I am on my way to town to-night to read a paper ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... was still blushin' from answerin' questions. I had that paper with the city seal on it in my inside pocket, though. My next job is on the Reverend Percey, the one who did the job for Mr. Robert the time I stage-managed his impromptu knot-tyin'. Course, I couldn't sign him up for anything definite, but I got a schedule of his spare time from six o'clock on, and where he ...
— Wilt Thou Torchy • Sewell Ford

... blow on the arm and gave ground. Charles pressed him. Then he hit with his right and with the violence of despair. It was a hit of his own devising,—an impromptu,—but it chanced to coincide with the regulation hook hit at the head. He perceived with a leap of exultation that the thing his fist had met was the jawbone of Charles. It was the sole gleam of pleasure he experienced during the fight, and it was quite momentary. ...
— The Wheels of Chance - A Bicycling Idyll • H. G. Wells

... del arte." In Italy the commedia del arte was the continuation or revival of the mimus. The speeches were impromptu; the characters and roles were stereotyped. The action and speeches must have grown by the contributions of talented men who played the parts from generation to generation. The characters have become traditional and universal.[2135] ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... you have been more so than I have been this day; but it's fit to take your advice, MacRath." This was a play on the minstrel's name - MacRath literally meaning "Son of Fortune" - and the harper being, like most of his kind, smart and sagacious, made the following impromptu ...
— History Of The Mackenzies • Alexander Mackenzie

... shuddered when he heard it, hoping that each time would be the last. No one but an imbecile, he muttered to himself, could enjoy playing a piece over and over in that aimless fashion. When at last the impromptu concert had ceased, and the silence about him was once more unbroken, he found himself puzzling in vain over the matter, as though it had become of vast importance ...
— The Ivory Snuff Box • Arnold Fredericks

... in his march, "that we give an impromptu vaudeville show for the benefit of Miss Grace Harlowe, once an active member of this happy band, but now laid on the shelf—couch, ...
— Grace Harlowe's Sophomore Year at High School • Jessie Graham Flower

... a day stand up, in the privacy of your room, and make an impromptu speech of two or three minutes. Select any subject which interests you. Aim at fluency of style ...
— Model Speeches for Practise • Grenville Kleiser

... disposed to give him a good reception; but Asker who well knew his majesty's passion for poetry, and particularly of that kind which sings the royal praises, had long since foreseen the event, and had provided himself with an impromptu, which he had composed even when he was living an exile among the Turcomans. This he repeated at the proper moment; and thus the tide of the king's favour, which was running full against him, he entirely turned, and made it flow to his advantage. ...
— The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan • James Morier

... Next to the young girl sat the Count de Propriac, his breast covered with a double row of medals. Of the toasts drunk to Constance, the manager, poets Straws and Phazma, etc., unfortunately no record remains. Of the recollections of the wiry old lady; the impromptu verse of the rhymsters; the roaring speech of Mr. Barnes; the song and dainty flower dance by Susan and Kate—only the bare facts have descended to ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... fetched them, he sat himself sideways in a straight-backed chair and cheerfully endured the little man's impromptu essays in ...
— The Day of Days - An Extravaganza • Louis Joseph Vance

... her. Was this an impromptu tale, or was it a fact that this child had been coldly treated and unhappy? "You have a ...
— Jewel - A Chapter In Her Life • Clara Louise Burnham

... little godsend. She was commanded and officered by high-class sailors and educated gentlemen. An entertainment that was gotten up on her, impromptu, at the Notch would be hard to beat anywhere. One of her midshipmen sang popular songs in French, German, and Spanish, and one (so he said) in Russian. If the audience did not know the lingo of one song from another, it was no drawback to ...
— Sailing Alone Around The World • Joshua Slocum

... favourite opinion of the worthy Sir Roger de Coverley, that "much could be said on both sides of the question," might now fairly be urged; for, according to the march of events, it is but too probable that the melodrama now enacting before our eyes has not been an impromptu; and it is quite clear that the ordonnances have furnished the occasion, and the excuse (if such were required), for ...
— The Idler in France • Marguerite Gardiner

... heartily hoped they might all oversleep themselves that morning. Alas! no such luck. Jonathan and a weasel are two animals that are very rarely caught napping. Passengers kept coming in until we were six, and "comfortable enough" became a misnomer. A furious blast of the tin tube, with a few spicy impromptu variations, portended something important, and, as we pulled up, we saw it was the post-office; but, murder of murders! we saw four more passengers! One got up outside; another was following; Jarvey stopped ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... by, my second tale was done, and I was now entrancing Messer Ramiro with some impromptu verses upon the divorce of Giovanni Sforza, a theme set me by himself, when I was interrupted by the arrival of ...
— The Shame of Motley • Raphael Sabatini

... first written as an impromptu for a lady's album, and afterwards amended into its ...
— Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography • Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

... "bestowed all the tediousness" of his erudition on the company. Salvator answered him in his own style, and having overturned all his arguments in favor of antiquity with more learning than they had been supported, ended with an impromptu epigram, in his usual way, which brought ...
— Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects, and Curiosities of Art, (Vol. 2 of 3) • Shearjashub Spooner

... the poet. Voltaire had promised the Princess Amelia to improvise upon any subject she should select, and he relied upon his cunning to incline her choice in such a direction as to make the poem he was now writing appropriate and seem impromptu. ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... the crowd. (The Doctor, I should explain, was a married man of but five years' standing, and his wife and he doted on one another and on little Miss Sophronia, their only child.) This item of the programme, carefully rehearsed beforehand, and executed pat on the moment with the prettiest air of impromptu, took Colonel Taubmann so fairly aback that he found himself stammering thanks before he well knew what had happened: and from that moment he was at the town's mercy. Before he could drop back in the chaise, and almost before the Mayor, casting off his robe and throwing it upon the ...
— Merry-Garden and Other Stories • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... a fair chance of success, it must be almost impromptu: projected at twelve o'clock at night at the earliest, executed at twelve o'clock on the following day at the latest; and even then the odds are fearfully against it. The climate of England is not remarkable for knowing its own mind; nor is the weather "so fixed in its resolve" but that a ...
— Stories of Comedy • Various

... fiddler or piper plays to the heaving of the anchor, or for hoisting in cargo. Everyone was in romping spirits, and notwithstanding the cheery Captain's signs of fatigue and worn looks, which he evidently strove to conceal, the evening had all the freshness and spirit of an impromptu pleasure. ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... come down, Denise has a cup of tea, some delicious bread and butter, cream cheese that she can make to perfection, and a dish of peaches. Violet is as surprised as they, and rejoices to play hostess. They are in the midst of this impromptu picnic when Grandon looks in the doorway, and laughs with the light heart ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... had been transformed into an impromptu ball-room by taking up the rugs and moving the piano to one end of it, introductions followed in ...
— Marjorie Dean - High School Sophomore • Pauline Lester

... it was tracts! An' yet some'ow I didn't." Mr. Pyecroft nodded his head wonderingly. "Our old man was quite right—so was 'Op—so was I. 'Ere, Glass!" He kicked the Marine. "Here's our Antonio 'as written a impromptu book! He was a spy ...
— Traffics and Discoveries • Rudyard Kipling

... scurried up to her room, not even waiting to hear the voice of temptation, and began hunting her belongings through for something. It was foolish, but she was more excited over the thought of this rough, impromptu backwoods dance than she ever had been in the city by real dances, or out with Cousin Anna at the carefully planned subscription dances where you knew just who was coming and just what ...
— I've Married Marjorie • Margaret Widdemer

... the rebellion of 1837 in Lower Canada as no less a fiasco than its counterpart in Upper Canada. There is no doubt that it was hopeless from the outset. {102} It was an impromptu movement, based upon a sudden resolution rather than on a well-reasoned plan of action. Most of the leaders—Wolfred Nelson, Thomas Storrow Brown, Robert Bouchette, and Amury Girod—were strangers to the men under ...
— The 'Patriotes' of '37 - A Chronicle of the Lower Canada Rebellion • Alfred D. Decelles

... followed by four pages bearing lights, leading the way to that end of the terrace which abuts on the linden avenue. Here, a score of grooms holding torches aloft had been arranged in a circle so that the impromptu theater thus formed, which Maignan had ordered with much taste, was as light as in the day. On a sloping bank at one end seats had been placed for those who had supped at my table, while the rest of the company found such places of vantage ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... ladies formed a sort of impromptu dancing-school in the drawing-room of an hotel in France. One of the ladies led the ring, and I can recall her as a model of accomplished, cultured movement. Two little girls, about eight years old, were the pupils; that is an age of great interest in girls, when natural grace comes ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of our population living in a furnace, it happens now that when you rebel on being forced to take an impromptu Turkish bath at a theatre, the usher answers your complaint with “It can’t be as warm as you think, for a lady over there has just told me she felt chilly and asked ...
— The Ways of Men • Eliot Gregory

... was resumed in regard to negroes, it took the form of a slave code much like that of Connecticut but with an added act, borrowed perhaps from a Southern colony, providing that slaves charged with theft be tried by impromptu courts consisting of two or more justices of the peace or town officers, and that appeal might be taken to a court of regular session only at the master's request and upon his giving bond for its ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... that are sent, cooking utensils should arrive. Fifty stoves arrived from Pittsburgh this morning, and it is said more are coming. At both the depots where the supplies are received and stored a big rope line encloses them in an impromptu yard so as to give room to those having the supplies in charge to walk around and see what they have got. On the inside of this line, too, stalk back and forth the soldiers with their rifles on their shoulders, and by the side of the lines pressing against the ropes there ...
— The Johnstown Horror • James Herbert Walker

... started the four Rover boys were up in their adjoining bedrooms partly undressed and in the midst of a couple of impromptu boxing matches, one taking place between Andy and Jack and the other between Randy ...
— The Rover Boys at Colby Hall - or The Struggles of the Young Cadets • Arthur M. Winfield

... to get all the people from the other houses over and the girls"—this term Beverly-Jones uses to mean his wife and her friends—"are going to get up a sort of entertainment with charades and things, all impromptu, more ...
— Frenzied Fiction • Stephen Leacock

... Andy gasped at length, in a whisper. "Best I ever saw in m'life, impromptu on the spot, like that. I saw you had the makings in you, soon as I caught your eye. And the whole, blame bunch fell for it—woo-oof!" He laid his face down again upon his folded arms and shook in all the ...
— Flying U Ranch • B. M. Bower

... was, thus adding the final restoring touches to John's complacency. Then they staged an impromptu Punch and Judy show and played with the other toys until Mrs. Fletcher, beaming in spite of ...
— A Son of the City - A Story of Boy Life • Herman Gastrell Seely

... later, as gaily as if she had known them both all her life, she introduced them to Pa. Pa, whose youngest daughter was just now in high favour, was mildly pleased with the invasion. This impromptu hospitality smacked of prosperity, of worldliness. He went stiffly into the study with John, to bore the poet with an old volume about California: "From the Padres to ...
— Martie the Unconquered • Kathleen Norris

... agents, when he himself set fire to one of the largest of the vessels. It was now day, and the people were warned by a deserter from his force, but Jones managed to hold the whole town at bay till he made good his retreat. This daring affair was an impromptu of Jones's genius, justified in his view by similar depredations of the British on the American coast; but it had an ugly look of ingratitude to the place which had sheltered his youth, and first given him promotion ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 2 of 8 • Various

... morning we were up with the first streak of dawn. It was with some curiosity that I looked round at our impromptu dwelling and its surroundings, upon which we had descended in total obscurity the night before. The position of our camping-place was not badly chosen; we were just within the girdle of forest above which rises the grassy Alpen. About forty yards to the left or north-east of us was a small ...
— Round About the Carpathians • Andrew F. Crosse

... street, but to sing a genteel song.... Ah, yes,... What are we to sing? You keep putting me out, but we... you see, we are standing here, Rodion Romanovitch, to find something to sing and get money, something Kolya can dance to.... For, as you can fancy, our performance is all impromptu.... We must talk it over and rehearse it all thoroughly, and then we shall go to Nevsky, where there are far more people of good society, and we shall be noticed at once. Lida knows 'My Village' only, ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... see," said Tom, easily. But, though he showed much confidence he asked Mr. Sharp in private, just before the impromptu contest: "Do you think we ...
— Tom Swift and his Airship • Victor Appleton

... his impromptu platform and closed the ponderous doors. Then he hurried to the main office, where he notified the clerks what had happened. He returned to his private office. He arranged his papers methodically, closed the desk, and sat down. His gaze wandered ...
— Half a Rogue • Harold MacGrath

... "took it into his head to have an impromptu dinner party. He brought home a few waverers to talk to them where they had no chance ...
— Anna the Adventuress • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... iv. verses 6-11 Horace, Lib. iv. Ode vii. Translated On Seeing a Bust of Mrs Montague Anacreon, Ode Ninth Lines Written in Ridicule of certain Poems published in 1777 Parody of a Translation from the 'Medea' of Euripides Burlesque on the Modern Versification of Ancient Legendary Tales: an Impromptu Epitaph for Mr Hogarth Translation of the Two First Stanzas of the Song 'Rio Verde, Rio Verde', printed in Bishop Percy's 'Reliques of Ancient English Poetry': an Impromptu To Mrs Thrale, on her Completing her Thirty-Fifth ...
— Poetical Works of Johnson, Parnell, Gray, and Smollett - With Memoirs, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Samuel Johnson, Thomas Parnell, Thomas Gray, and Tobias Smollett

... grateful to Mr. Meighen for the cordiality with which he greeted me, as the inventive Canadian press had added impromptu reflections of their own to what I had said of him. I sat next to Mr. MacKenzie King, but as we had no opportunity of private conversation, he invited me to go to his house for supper ...
— My Impresssions of America • Margot Asquith

... good nature, coached her so well and so vigorously that before long she was a capital player; and when once Toni realized that Owen wished her to be as hospitable as she could possibly desire to be, she rejoiced in giving little impromptu tea-parties on the lawn, under the shade of one of the noble elms which were ...
— The Making of a Soul • Kathlyn Rhodes

... Donna Susanna Torrebianca?" She tried the name on her tongue. "Yes, for an impromptu, Torrebianca is n't bad. It's picturesque, and high-sounding, and yet not—not invraisemblable. You don't think it invraisemblable? So here 's luck to that bold adventuress, that knightess-errant, the ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... put my bag in and I'll come to the theatre with you." The thought was impromptu, an evening with a bed-ridden woman was not exhilarating at such ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill

... hour Andy's skate had turned to an ice yacht. He was outwardly decent and managed to preserve his aquarium, but inside he was impromptu and full of unexpectedness. ...
— The Gentle Grafter • O. Henry

... excursion was an impromptu run in lovely weather to Guernsey, which had not been visited by an English sovereign since the days of King John. The rocky bays, the neighbouring islands, the half-foreign town of St. Pierre, with "very high, bright-coloured houses," illuminated ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, (Victoria) Vol II • Sarah Tytler

... "white-fellow nardoo," and explained that they understood that these things were given to them for having fed King. Some old clothes were then put on some of the men and women, and the affair ended in several of our party and several of the black fellows having an impromptu "corroboree," to the intense delight of the natives, and I must say, very much to our amusement. They left, making signs expressive of friendship, carrying their presents with them. The men all wore a net girdle; and of the women some wore ...
— Successful Exploration Through the Interior of Australia • William John Wills

... as far as Peter got with his impromptu conspiracy. Suddenly he heard a voice behind him: "What does this mean?" It was a male voice, fierce and trembling with anger; and Peter started from his silken cushions, and glanced around, thrusting up one arm with ...
— 100%: The Story of a Patriot • Upton Sinclair

... the result of such an experiment would be. I, to whom nature had denied the impromptu faculty; who, in public, was by nature a cypher; whose time of mental activity, even when alone, was not under the meridian sun; who needed the fresh silence of morning, or the recluse peace of evening, to win from the Creative Impulse one evidence of his presence, one proof ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... pleasure of the many winter tramps were in no small measure due to the bright and cheerful manner you always displayed in encouraging and enlivening the journey, and thus your impromptu songs at our place of meeting, on the route, were inimitable, and were, we assure you, thoroughly enjoyed. These pleasant and invigorating snow-shoe rambles and entertainments will ever remain a green spot in ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... blows with the islanders of the Louisiades, and on one occasion a portly member of the gun-room, being cut off by these black gentry, only saved his life by parting with all his clothes as presents to them, and keeping them amused by an impromptu dance in a state of nature under the broiling sun, until a party came to his relief. At Cape York also, a white woman was rescued who had been made prisoner by the blacks from a wreck, and had lived among them for several years. Here, too, Huxley ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... from a diagram of fieldmatrics he's been using to lay out a football play. "She's lending moral support to Holden. He's sweating out his scholar's impromptu ...
— The Fourth R • George Oliver Smith

... of the policeman of the quarter, if that worthy had not at the moment been comfortably ensconced in the neighboring "Rainbow" bar-room, listening to the improvisations of that talented vocalist, Mr. Harrison, who was making impromptu verses on every possible subject, to the accompaniment of a cithern which was played by a sad little Italian in a large cloak, to whom the host of the "Rainbow" gave so many toddies and a dollar for ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... In this amazing, impromptu, new, and hurried machine civilization which we have been piling up around us for a hundred years we have made machines out of everything, and our one consummate and glaring failure in the machines we have made is the machine we have made out ...
— Crowds - A Moving-Picture of Democracy • Gerald Stanley Lee

... enjoyable Bohemian affairs we know of have been full dress gatherings, carefully planned and delightfully carried out; others have been impromptu, neither the hour, the place, nor the dress being ...
— Bohemian San Francisco - Its restaurants and their most famous recipes—The elegant art of dining. • Clarence E. Edwords

... mountains; and Guy began to feel still more acutely than ever that South Africa was by no means an earthly paradise. As he drove on and on this feeling deepened upon him. Huge blocks of stone obstructed the rough road, intersected as it was by deep cart-wheel ruts, down which the rain-water now flowed in impromptu torrents. The Dutch driver, too, anxious to show the mettle of his coarse-limbed steeds, persisted in dashing over the hummocky ground at a break-neck pace, while Guy balanced himself with difficulty on the narrow seat, hanging on to his portmanteau for dear life ...
— What's Bred In the Bone • Grant Allen

... walked off to Wellington Street, on a Tuesday morning, and went up to Mr. Hutton's room, where on that day the two editors used to spend the greater part of the morning discussing the coming issue of the paper. I had prepared a nice little impromptu speech, which was to convey in unmistakable terms that I had not come to ask for more books; "I fully realise and fully acquiesce in your inability to use my work." When I went in I was most cordially received, and almost immediately Mr. Hutton asked ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... the rest of his meal with military dispatch, proceeded doorward, smote the grinning army of Remate de Males a buffet on the shoulder, and vanished into the night. A moment later his stentorian voice rolled back through the nocturnal racket in an impromptu paraphrase of an old and highly improper ...
— The Pathless Trail • Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel

... can scarce be quoted with their full effect beyond the circle of common friends. To have their proper weight they should appear in a biography, and with the portrait of the speaker. Good talk is dramatic; it is like an impromptu piece of acting where each should represent himself to the greatest advantage; and that is the best kind of talk where each speaker is most fully and candidly himself, and where, if you were to shift the speeches round from one ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... already asserted that the Italians are not a laughing nation: were ridicule to step in among them, many innocent pleasures would soon be lost; and this among the first. For who would risque the making impromptu poems at Paris? pour s'attirer persiflage in every Coterie comme il faut[Footnote: To draw upon one's self the ridicule of every polite assembly.]? Or in London, at the hazard of being taken off, and held up for a laughing-stock ...
— Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany, Vol. I • Hester Lynch Piozzi

... little taken aback in the morning, and not ready with an impromptu reply to the Colonel and his cane, could not allow the occurrence to pass without a protest; and indited a letter which Thomas Newcome kept along with some others previously quoted by the compiler ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... those unsophisticated Italian workmen. With him, as with them, and with the writer of the Letter to a Friend upon the occasion of the death of his intimate Friend,—so strangely! the visible function of death is but to refine, to detach from aught that is vulgar. And this elfin letter, really an impromptu epistle to a friend, affords the best possible light on the general temper of the man [154] who could be moved by the accidental discovery of those old urns at Walsingham—funeral relics of "Romans, or Britons Romanised which ...
— Appreciations, with an Essay on Style • Walter Horatio Pater

... weeks we would be alone. I lived once for eight months without seeing a lady; and then, some fine evening, half a dozen acquaintances would "turn up,"—there really is no other word for it. Well, on these occasions, when, instead of departing next morning, our impromptu guests have sometimes been forced to wait until such time as the rain or the wind should cease; their pent-up animal spirits became often too much for them, and they would feel an irresistible ...
— Station Amusements • Lady Barker

... came forward, and with a gay little impromptu speech, put a floral crown on Patty's head, and Ferris presented her with ...
— Patty's Suitors • Carolyn Wells

... several times adverted to the subject of epigrams. A clever impromptu of this class has been recorded as given by a judge's lady in reply to one made by the witty Henry Erskine at a dinner party at Lord Armadale's. When a bottle of claret was called for, port was brought in by mistake. A second time ...
— Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character • Edward Bannerman Ramsay

... wasn't ladling out impromptu sonnets, Alice was reading one of his epics or throwing a fit over a "perfectly ...
— Skiddoo! • Hugh McHugh

... was a very ancient and conventional ceremony. These dancers gave way to a chorus of singers. For interminable hours, so it seemed, they chanted a high, shrill recitative, carried in fugue by deeper voices. The burden of the song was evidently an impromptu. Occasionally some peculiarly apt or pleasing phrase was caught up for endless repetition. And in the background, against the farther background of the undistinguished masses, those who had formerly carried on their performances in the full glare ...
— The Leopard Woman • Stewart Edward White et al

... to sleep, rejoicing in his security and trusting it would last. Her face did not appear in his dreams. He had not retained a strong or accurate impression of that face. His mind had been too full of other things, even while enacting his impromptu love-scene, to make note of her beauty. He had been sensible, of course, that she was beautiful, but there had not been time or circumstance for flirtation. He had not for an instant viewed her as a possible object of conquest ...
— The Continental Dragoon - A Love Story of Philipse Manor-House in 1778 • Robert Neilson Stephens

... showing through our Benton dust, and that spells of other 'dust' in your pockets. Get another hat, a flannel shirt, some coarser trousers, a pair of boots, don a gun and a swagger, say little, make few impromptu friends, win and lose without a smile or frown, if you play (but upon playing I will advise you later), pass as a surveyor, as a railroad clerk, as a Mormon—anything they choose to apply to you; and I shall hope to ...
— Desert Dust • Edwin L. Sabin

... meditatively, "if I hadn't better rig up something evening-like for the dance to-night. If you could let me borrow a white muslin curtain, I could easily rig it up into an impromptu ...
— Penny of Top Hill Trail • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... Whitehead's decease came near leaving a royal birthday unsung,—an omission scarcely pardonable with one of George the Third's methodical habits. An impromptu appointment had to be made. It was made before the Laureate was buried. Thomas Warton, the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, received the patent on the 30th of April, and his ode, married to fitting music, was duly forthcoming on the 24th of May. The selection of Warton was faultless. His lyrical ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... together until he had guessed her out. Sternly in his eyes she perceived contumely withholding itself, yet even while she felt the done-for cry heave through her bosom, and the floor fail like a sinking deck, she clung to her stage part, babbled impromptu lines. ...
— Kincaid's Battery • George W. Cable

... physiognomical outlines of sneaks' noses on a slate; and silence prevailed till the church clock struck the half-hour, when Clement got up, and taking the slate, where he had been solacing himself with imitating Edgar's caricatures, he was about to make it an impromptu dust-pan, and went down on his knees to sweep up Fulbert's malicious litter, but was rewarded with a vicious kick on the cheek. It was under the table, out of sight; and Clement, like a true son of his mother, made no sign, but went off to ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... she could not have stirred; and he was off like a shot to some spring of water that he knew of in the wood, and in a minute or two he returned with careful steps, bringing a little in a broad green leaf, turned into an impromptu cup. Little as it was, it did ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... call upon Mother two days after our impromptu picnic at Seabury's Pond. I heard all about it when I came home that afternoon. It appeared that she had brought more flowers and a fresh supply of books. She had remained even longer than on her first visit and she and Mother had talked about almost everything under ...
— The Rise of Roscoe Paine • Joseph C. Lincoln

... said Mrs. Gibson, laughingly, "this impromptu reception is liable to last all night unless it is checked by a stern hand. It is almost five o'clock, and we haven't even seen our rooms yet. Besides, Anne will have to leave before long for the theatre. Let us hurry with our dressing, order an early ...
— Grace Harlowe's Senior Year at High School - or The Parting of the Ways • Jessie Graham Flower

... sailor whose capture is narrated in the foregoing chapter, defended himself with a red-hot poker. In what may be termed domestic as opposed to public pressing, the use of this homely utensil as an impromptu liberty-preserver was not at all uncommon. Hot or cold, it proved a formidable weapon in the hands of a determined man, more especially when, as was at that time very commonly the case, it belonged to the ponderous ...
— The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore • John R. Hutchinson

... he insisted upon the unprecedented merit of the lady. Nevertheless I got the better of him; for he was struck absolutely dumb, when (waving her present perverseness, which yet was a sufficient answer to all his pleas) I asserted, and offered to prove it, by a thousand instances impromptu, that love was not governed by merit, nor could be under the dominion of prudence, or any other reasoning power: and if the lady were capable of love, it was of such a sort as he had nothing to do with, and which never before reigned ...
— Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9) - The History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... design in hand, and terror and cowardice prevailed in his bosom alternately, like the hot and the cold fit of an ague. Courage was uppermost during the singing, which he accompanied through all its length with this impromptu strain: ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... way, hardly knowing whether she was a Catholic or a Methodist; and she was much the last to close her eyes. But the various postures were taken without a jar and the modest Vicksburger prayed. His words were neither impromptu nor printed, but, as every one quickly perceived and Ramsey had known beforehand, were memorized and were fresh from the pen of the actor. Diffidence warped the first phrase or two, but soon each word came clear, warm from the heart, ...
— Gideon's Band - A Tale of the Mississippi • George W. Cable

... this Bill shone as an entertainer, a mental uplift that was really welcome, so spontaneous and keen were his talks and comments on people and things. Gus, though having little practice, held his own at tennis and golf; in swimming races and other impromptu sports he greatly excelled; and when a young fellow who bore the reputation of an all-round athlete came for the week-end from the city, Gus put on the gloves with him and punched the newcomer all over an imaginary ring on the lawn to the delight ...
— Radio Boys Cronies • Wayne Whipple and S. F. Aaron

... into nineteen exactly even portions, while Katherine waited with the penknife ready. Even the hitherto irreproachable Maudie Heywood and Cynthia Greene were occupied with scissors, making plates out of sheets of exercise paper. Beds drawn up alongside the impromptu table served for seats, and the girls crowded together as closely as they could. Raymonde and Morvyth, by virtue of their expedition to the shops, were voted mistresses of the ceremonies, and dispensed the provisions. Sardines on biscuits were the ...
— The Madcap of the School • Angela Brazil

... An impromptu circus, fox and geese, and an amicable game of croquet finished the afternoon. At sunset the tent was struck, hampers packed, wickets pulled up, boats loaded, and the whole party floated down the river, singing at the ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... well defended. The more ill-humored Mrs. Fotheringham grew, the more Lady Niton enjoyed the evening and her own "Nitonisms." It was she who after dinner suggested the clearing of the hall and an impromptu dance—on the ground that "girls must waltz for their living." And when Diana proved to be one of those in whom dancing is a natural and shining gift, so that even the gilded youths of the party, who were perhaps inclined to fight shy of Miss Mallory as "a girl who talked ...
— The Testing of Diana Mallory • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Madame Mozart seated at the table, where she had already begun the meal, talking with the inn-keeper's daughter. She was too well used to Mozart's habits of forming acquaintances and accepting impromptu invitations to be greatly surprised at the appearance and message of the young officer. With undisguised pleasure she prepared to accompany him, and thoughtfully and quickly gave all necessary orders. Satchels were ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... of this auspicious moment, Mr. Guppy presents his friend under the impromptu name of Mr. Weevle and states the object of their visit. Krook, with his bottle under his arm (he never gets beyond a certain point of either drunkenness or sobriety), takes time to survey his proposed ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... possibility of being understood by any of them, to endure stifling heat and provoking uncertainty, much aggravated by the want of food, for another three hours. At last, when very nearly famished, and when my doubts as to the wisdom of this novel and impromptu expedition had become very serious indeed, a European boat appeared, moving with the long steady stroke of a man-of-war's boat, rowed by six native policemen, with a frank-looking bearded countryman steering, ...
— The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

... radiance of the moon slowly climbing the warm heights of heaven. It was so quiet that the sound of waves and insects seemed like the softest whispers of nature. Rose and Edward had rowed down the bay for Helene, who usually accompanied them on their impromptu excursions by lake and wood. Seen in the pale brilliance of sky and water her loveliness had an almost unearthly quality, perfectly akin to the night, but giving her a strange effect of soft remoteness from her friends. ...
— An Algonquin Maiden - A Romance of the Early Days of Upper Canada • G. Mercer Adam

... is on the sofa beside you, make her give you an account of Francis's play, Catiline, which he and Fanny, and Harriet and Sophy, and James Moilliet and Pakenham got up without our being in the secret, and acted the night before last, as it were impromptu, to our inexpressible surprise and pleasure. Francis, during his holidays with us in London, used to be often scribbling something; but I never inquired or guessed what it was. Fanny and Harriet, in the midst of the hurry of London dissipation, ...
— The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, Vol. 2 • Maria Edgeworth



Words linked to "Impromptu" :   passage, unprepared, speech, musical passage, ad libitum, address



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