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Motley   /mˈɑtli/   Listen
Motley

noun
1.
A collection containing a variety of sorts of things.  Synonyms: assortment, miscellanea, miscellany, mixed bag, mixture, potpourri, salmagundi, smorgasbord, variety.  "He had a variety of disorders" , "A veritable smorgasbord of religions"
2.
A garment made of motley (especially a court jester's costume).
3.
A multicolored woolen fabric woven of mixed threads in 14th to 17th century England.



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"Motley" Quotes from Famous Books



... pedestrians jostled each other—men with hands in their pockets and arms tight to their sides, women with piqued noses and hurrying steps; while sulky lamps offered half-hearted resistance to the conquering fog that settled over palaces, parks, and motley streets until it hugged the very ...
— The Parts Men Play • Arthur Beverley Baxter

... sake she concealed her distrust and did her best to get on with the new head of the family. Only one thing she did, and that against Motley's and her father's protest. She withdrew her own little fortune, left her by her mother, from Captain Barnabas's care and deposited it in the Ostable savings bank and in equally secure places. Of course she told the Captain ...
— Kent Knowles: Quahaug • Joseph C. Lincoln

... confined himself, as they drove along, to remarks about the people they passed, the doings of the Newport summer, concerning which he had heard all the gossip during the last few hours, the prospect of Madame Patti in opera during the coming season, horses, dogs, and mutual friends—all the motley array of subjects permissible, desultory, and amusing. Suddenly, as they bowled out on an open road by ...
— Doctor Claudius, A True Story • F. Marion Crawford

... historians, Bancroft, Motley, Prescott, Sparks, Palfrey, Parkman, and John Fiske, are Unitarians. Educators, like Horace Mann, like the last seven presidents of Harvard University, Unitarians. Great scientists, like Agassiz, Peirce, Bowditch, Professor Draper, ...
— Our Unitarian Gospel • Minot Savage

... vizors, the angels are to come to Katherine in Kimbolton. Bottom is in homespun, Lysander is distinguished from Oberon by his wearing an Athenian dress, and Launce has holes in his boots. The Duchess of Gloucester stands in a white sheet with her husband in mourning beside her. The motley of the Fool, the scarlet of the Cardinal, and the French lilies broidered on the English coats, are all made occasion for jest or taunt in the dialogue. We know the patterns on the Dauphin's armour and the Pucelle's sword, the crest on Warwick's helmet and the colour of Bardolph's ...
— Intentions • Oscar Wilde

... was then, as now, a favorite resort for juvenile fishermen. Flounders, tom-cod, and eels, to say nothing of an occasional sculpin, which boys still persist in calling "crahpies," or "crahooners," used to furnish abundant sport to a motley group of youngsters wherein the sons of merchants mingled democratically with the dirty, ragged children of the "Ten-footers" in the vicinity. The pier was neutral ground, and Frederic Augustus made a friend ...
— Poor and Proud - or The Fortunes of Katy Redburn • Oliver Optic

... short time in her motley history, an old-clothesman, one Domenico— he and his "Compagnia del Bruco," his Company of the Worm[1]— reigned over Siena and gave to her people a taste for blood. It was bloodshed on easy terms they had; for ...
— Earthwork Out Of Tuscany • Maurice Hewlett

... out with me? Although so alarmed—I had yet to laugh! Never did mine eye see anything so motley-coloured! ...
— Thus Spake Zarathustra - A Book for All and None • Friedrich Nietzsche

... Americans, as Motley says, and Philadelphia bade fair to join New York and other cities held by the British. The English van could be seen from the Colonial rear column. The American troops were almost barefooted, and left their blood-stained tracks ...
— Comic History of the United States • Bill Nye

... What a motley crew they were! Swedes and Germans, cockneys and niggers, they passed on till the two watches had answered to their names, and the last man was a Russian Finn, black-haired and swarthy, with a flat face and ...
— The Moving Finger • Mary Gaunt

... attracted by the Giant City's motley activities. On the street, as in the salon, his magnetic power compelled recognition, and he stepped through the midst of the crowd as a Circassian blade ...
— The House of the Vampire • George Sylvester Viereck

... family) that as Dr. Lindhorst was returning home after his second long absence, he entered a small village near Turin, just as a detachment of 'The Army of Italy' were leaving it. The rear presented the usual motley collection of baggage-wagons, disabled soldiers, sutlers, camp-women, and hangers-on of all sorts, who attend in the steps of a victorious troop. As Paul Lindhorst stopped to view the spectacle, and while the wild strains of music could be heard echoing and re-echoing as ...
— The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852 • Various

... he had noted so many times before, the motley appearance of the army, but with involuntary motion he began to straighten and smooth his own shabby uniform. He was about to enter the presence of a woman and he was young and so ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... castanets;—here you find one or more couples exhibiting their skill in Cuban dances, with a great deal of applause and chattering from the crowd around. Beside those of the populace, many aristocratic groups parade the Plaza, in full dress, crowned with flowers and jewels;—a more motley scene can hardly be imagined. Looking up, one sees in curious contrast the tall palms with which the Plaza is planted, and the quiet, wondering stars set in the deep ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... motley crew, we passed along the streets, amidst shouts and congratulations, until we gained the government ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... early dawn upon our door I heard the bladder of some motley fool Bouncing, and all the dusk of London shook With bells! I leapt from bed,—had I forgotten?—I flung my casement wide and craned my neck Over the painted Mermaid. There he stood, His right leg yellow and his left ...
— Collected Poems - Volume Two (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... the most wonderful luxuriance of black curls I have ever seen falling in dense masses to her knees. After a conversation of amorous banter, he gives her a golden chain, which she assumes, well pleased, and gives him her name, La Magdalena. A motley crowd of street loafers here rushed upon the scene, and I am sure there was no one of Northern blood in the theatre that did not shudder for an instant at the startling apparition that formed the central figure of the group. The world has long ago agreed upon ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... my investigations revealed great deficiency in properly looking after applicants for aid. The greatest sufferers were often too diffident to ask for help. The soup-houses were generally well managed. I called as one whom curiosity had drawn into the motley crowd, and was treated to a taste of fine soup, even at the "Savage Soup-house," where I saw two caldrons of soup. The one from which I was served might well tempt the palate of an epicure, but the other looked too forbidding for a human stomach. I soon found the ...
— A Woman's Life-Work - Labors and Experiences • Laura S. Haviland

... armor of a pagan knight, represents justice in the person of Solyman the Magnificent, making war against Philip of Spain. In the ninth canto of the sixth book, the court of Elizabeth is portrayed; in the tenth and eleventh, the war in Flanders—so brilliantly described in Mr. Motley's history. The Lady Belge is the United Netherlands; Gerioneo, the oppressor, is the Duke of Alva; the Inquisition appears as a horrid but nameless monster, and minor personages occur to complete the ...
— English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History - Designed as a Manual of Instruction • Henry Coppee

... outer ward, a strange scene presented itself to the view. Motley groups were scattered about—most of the persons composing them being clad in threadbare doublets and tattered cloaks, and wearing caps, from which the feathers and ornaments had long since disappeared; but there were a few—probably new coiners—in somewhat ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 2 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... loved the motley. In fact, the individual who is incapable of viewing the world from a jocular basis is unsafe, and can be trusted only when the opposition is strong enough ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Good Men and Great • Elbert Hubbard

... the Mermaid Inn, One dark May night, Fiddling a tune that quelled our motley din, With quaint delight, It haunts me yet, as old lost airs will do, A phantom strain: Look for me once, lest I should look for you, And ...
— The New Morning - Poems • Alfred Noyes

... so motley could hardly be called an army; and the daring of the Government, who, with this levee en masse as their only bulwark against invasion, had defied a great power, seems at first sight strongly allied to ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... the long summer months—well, I should say not!—with eight small brothers and sisters at home, and a rather incompetent father, and sixteen dollars a month rent! The experiences of a score of shops, and the motley crew of people she had worked with in these busy years, Bessie in her careless, simple narrative had the power to ...
— The Long Day - The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself • Dorothy Richardson

... unused room in the village hotel there began to accumulate a motley collection—a clock, a marble-topped table, a cradle, a patchwork quilt, a bureau, a hair wreath, a chair worn with age and use. And as this collection grew in size and fame, only that family which could not add to it counted itself abused and unfortunate, so great was the spell that the ...
— Across the Years • Eleanor H. Porter

... extreme discomfort and danger, for these people would give you no rest, would observe no rules of war, and were desperately earnest in their desire by hook or by crook to do you an injury. I began to realise how odious was our task as I looked upon the motley but ferocious groups who were gathered round the watch-fires in the garden of the Convent of the Madonna. It was not for us soldiers to think about politics, but from the beginning there always seemed to be a curse ...
— The Adventures of Gerard • Arthur Conan Doyle

... not convince himself that they were; yet his sympathies, somehow, went out toward this motley crowd. It appeared to him very foolish that he should sympathize, but he could not help it. "And, after all," was the next thought that came to him, "are we to give pity to people, or withhold it, simply because they are better or worse than ourselves? ...
— Short Story Classics (American) Vol. 2 • Various

... said Holmes, gazing about him at the motley company of guests. "It is the gathering place of the noted and the notorious. That handsome six-footer, who has just left the room, is the Reverend Dr. Harkaway, possibly the most eloquent preacher they have in Boston. At the table over in the corner, talking to that gold-haired lady ...
— R. Holmes & Co. • John Kendrick Bangs

... charge 'em in a herd, bein' angered by the loss of their mates. In this way they pretty well cleared out the cave—all but one great beauty that old Leggo had sworn to take alive. For, instead of bein' yellow or motley-brown like the rest, this fellow was white as milk all over, besides bein' powerful as any other two. He seemed to know from the first that the three men didn't mean to shoot him. The lanterns and the firing never hurried him a bit, and he never ...
— Major Vigoureux • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... Wales. It is a small full-length figure of a girl, balancing an empty pitcher upon her head, at the time of moonrise. Anticipating the Eastern subjects which future years produced, we may note a picture of Old Damascus, showing the Jews' quarter in that fabled city, in all its motley picturesqueness, and the delightful Moorish Garden,—A Dream of Granada, which were exhibited in 1874. A powerful picture, shown in 1875, of the Egyptian Slinger,[4] is illustrated later in this volume, but no reproduction can quite suggest the striking colouring of the original, and the ...
— Frederic Lord Leighton - An Illustrated Record of His Life and Work • Ernest Rhys

... grass, and by far the most interesting portion of the exercises had been concealed from view. The butterflies, while naturally the most conspicuous element, were now seen to be in a small minority among the insect gathering, the bramble leaves being peopled with a most motley and democratic assemblage of insects. Class distinctions were apparently forgotten in the common enthusiasm; the plebeian bluebottle and blowfly now consorted with Aphrodite and sipped at the same drop. Many a ...
— My Studio Neighbors • William Hamilton Gibson

... and eyes) and he would carry him around on his shoulder, it was a mighty pretty sight! the gray cat sound asleep against papa's gray coat and hair. The names that he has given our different cats, are realy remarkably funny, they are namely Stray Kit, Abner, Motley, Fraeulein, Lazy, Bufalo Bill, Cleveland, Sour Mash, and ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... motley drama!—oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased forever more, By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot, And much of Madness and more of Sin And Horror ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 3 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... thee, Muse, review the scene Where thou with me from peep of dawn hast been: We did not promise that this motley throng Should every one supply a votive song; Nor every tenant:—yet thou hast been kind, For untold tales must still remain behind, Which might o'er listening patience still prevail. Did fancy waver not, nor daylight fail. "The Soldier's Wife," her toils, his battles o'er, ...
— May Day With The Muses • Robert Bloomfield

... possesses in the "Mir" a patriarchal communism against which the forces of the West will beat in vain. Looking on the Greek Church as a necessary part of the national life, they sought to wield its powers for nationalising all the races of that motley Empire. "Russia for the Russians," cried the Slavophils. "Let us be one people, with one creed. Let us reverence the Czar as head of the Church and of the State. In this unity lies our strength." However defective the argument logically, yet in the realm of sentiment, in which ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... Kitchener's Army on the march Through Marylebone and Marble Arch, Men in motley, so to speak, Been in training about a week, Swinging easy, toe and heel, Game and gay, and keen ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... so-called Empire were, however, a multitude of independent States; and the chief of these States, Austria, combined with its German provinces a large territory which did not even in name form part of the Germanic body. The motley of the Empire was made up by governments of every degree of strength and weakness. Austria and Prussia possessed both political traditions and resources raising them to the rank of great European Powers; but the sovereignties of the second order, such as ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... Our fellow-captives are a motley collection of the victims of nature, of justice, and of tyranny—of lunatics who are insensible of their situation, of thieves who deserve it, and of political criminals whose guilt is the accident of birth, the imputation of wealth, or the profession of a clergyman. Among the latter ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... a motley group; for, irrespective of French, Dutch, Americans, and Canadians, we had on board eight or ten families of the Mormon sect, following in the wake of their leaders, Smith and Rigdon, to their new settlement in the far west. These people were very reserved, ...
— An Englishman's Travels in America - His Observations Of Life And Manners In The Free And Slave States • John Benwell

... the Brocken the witches hie, The stubble is yellow, the corn is green; Thither the gathering legions fly, And sitting aloft is Sir Urial seen: O'er stick and o'er stone they go whirling along, Witches and he-goats, a motley throng. ...
— Faust Part 1 • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... totally unknown lands of the Snake Indians. It consisted of about sixty men, thirty women, and as many children of various ages—about a hundred and twenty souls in all. Many of the boys were capable of using the gun and setting a beaver-trap. The men were a most motley set. There were Canadians, half-breeds, Iroquois, and Scotchmen. Most of the women had Indian blood in their veins, and ...
— The Dog Crusoe and His Master - A Story of Adventure in the Western Prairies • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... of character; and he seemed not to be altogether unacquainted with Manuel, the boatman. The boat ran into the public landing-place, and he stepped on shore with an independent and fearless air, where he mingled among the busy and motley throng who crowded the quay. The boatman, Manuel, sat in his boat a little distance from the shore, watching him, and ready, apparently, to obey his orders when he ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... Inverary. Argyle, amazed by the thunder of their coming, had escaped in a fishing-boat and made his way to his other seat of Roseneath on the Clyde; but Inverary and all Argyleshire round it lay at Montrose's mercy. And, from the middle of December 1644 to about the 18th of the January following, his motley Highland and Irish host ranged through the doomed domain in three brigades, dancing diabolic reels in their glee, and wreaking the most horrible vengeance. No one knows what they did. One sees Inverary in flames, the smoke of burning huts and villages for miles and miles, butcheries ...
— The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 • David Masson

... etc. They receive into membership, as we shall afterward see, almost all sorts of men except atheists. Being composed of Jews, Turks, Mohammedans, Mormons, and infidels, as well as of believers in Christianity, they endeavor to establish such forms as will be acceptable to their mongrel and motley membership. Hence their prayers and other forms of worship are such as may be consistently used by the irreligious and by infidels, and only by them. We do not say that no Christian prayers are offered up in Masonic lodges. No doubt some godly men, as chaplains, offer up extempore prayers in the ...
— Secret Societies • David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher

... grass His thought must follow where they pass; The penitent with anguish bow'd 155 His thought must follow through the crowd. Yes! all this eddying, motley throng That sparkles in the sun along, Girl, statesman, merchant, soldier bold, Master and servant, young and old, 160 Grave, gay, child, parent, husband, wife, He follows home, and lives ...
— Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum and Other Poems • Matthew Arnold

... as 'twere, his private mind, Unhindered by repression, To make his motley life a kind, Of ...
— De Libris: Prose and Verse • Austin Dobson

... every mast. On the dark green, which is the dominant shade around, stand out these thousand scraps of bunting, emblems of the different nationalities, all displayed, all flying in honor of far-distant France. The colors most prevailing in this motley assemblage are the white flag with a red ball, emblem of the Empire of the Rising Sun, where ...
— Madame Chrysantheme • Pierre Loti

... her progress was stopped, and a rocking vibration was felt everywhere. The quarter- deck was filled with blasts of steam, which obscured everything. Sick people came rushing up out of their berths in strange undress; the steerage passengers—a motley and picturesque set of people, in many varieties of gay costume—took refuge on the quarter-deck, speaking loudly in all varieties of French and Italian patois. Ellinor stood up in silent, wondering dismay. Was the Santa Lucia going down on the great deep, and Dixon unaided in ...
— A Dark Night's Work • Elizabeth Gaskell

... as his eyes looked over the motley gathering of men that crowded every available spot on the boat, "but this is a queer-looking lot of men to see in the wilds of California! Looks like every nation in the world was represented right here in this one boat load and sounds ...
— The Cave of Gold - A Tale of California in '49 • Everett McNeil

... crowns, and American silver, made up the currency in use, circulating sometimes by weight and sometimes by tale, at rates that were constantly shifting. The position of the colonies as a link between Great Britain and the United States, was curiously illustrated in the currency system. The motley jumble of coins in use were rated in Halifax currency, a mere money of account or bookkeeping standard, with no actual coins to correspond, adapted to both English and United States currency systems. ...
— The Canadian Dominion - A Chronicle of our Northern Neighbor • Oscar D. Skelton

... thick as white asters in Autumn, are found The tents all bestrewing the carpeted ground; The din of a camp, with its stir and its strife, Its motley and strange, multitudinous life, Floats upward along the brown slopes, till it fills The echoing ...
— Beechenbrook - A Rhyme of the War • Margaret J. Preston

... Scriptural subjects by De Witt, the seventeenth-century Dutch artist, and admirable stained glass. The Castle, too, is full of interesting historical relics. It boasts the only remaining Fool's dress of motley in the kingdom; Prince Charlie's watch and clothes are still preserved there, for the Prince, surprised by the Hanoverian troops at Glamis, had only time to jump on a horse and escape, leaving all his belongings behind ...
— The Days Before Yesterday • Lord Frederick Hamilton

... time, instead of anchoring we were at once secured alongside the jetty, thus offering a fine opportunity for sight-seers, who speedily throng the wharf. A most motley gathering that same crowd, a few were undoubtedly British, therefore nothing need be said of them—a few more, half-blooded Spaniards; and as we shall become better acquainted on our visiting the town, we will pass them without comment also; but one remarkable race, which has its representatives ...
— In Eastern Seas - The Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83 • J. J. Smith

... sea-shaft to its base, as a telescope conducts the mortal gaze to revel in the stars. Merman and mermaid, nereid and triton, were there, rejoicing in the sunbeams thus poured upon them through this subtle conduit of ocean, as do the motes of summer in her rays; but soon these disappeared, a motley crowd, confused and joyous, leaving the vision free to pierce the depths, glowing with golden light, in search ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... motley crowd, ragged, swaggering, jolly. There were husky, big-limbed youths, and bold-faced, loud-tongued girls. To-morrow they would start up-country to some backwoods barony in the kingdom of cotton, and work till Christmas time. Today was the last in town; there was craftily advanced money in ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... was hung with flags and cedar boughs, and the benches down the long uncovered tables were crowded. The men's attire was motley—broadcloth and duck; white shirts, starched or limp, and blue ones; shoes with the creeper-spikes filed down, and long boots to the knees. There were women present also, and they wore anything from light print, put together for the occasion, to treasured garments made in Montreal ...
— The Greater Power • Harold Bindloss

... the excellent work by Mr. Clement Markham entitled the Fighting Veres. In this full justice is done to the great English general and his followers, and it is conclusively shown that some statements to the disparagement of Sir Francis Vere by Mr. Motley are founded upon a misconception of the facts. Sir Francis Vere was, in the general opinion of the time, one of the greatest commanders of the age, and more, perhaps, than any other man—with the exception of the Prince ...
— By England's Aid • G. A. Henty

... discussion. The audience of Plautus was not of a high class. Terence, even in later times, when education had materially progressed, often failed to reach them by over-finesse. Plautus with his bold brush pleased them. Surely a turbulent and motley throng they were, with the native violence of the sun-warmed Italic temperament and the abundant animal spirits of a crude civilization, tumbling into the theatre in the full enjoyment of holiday, scrambling for vantage points on the ...
— The Dramatic Values in Plautus • Wilton Wallace Blancke

... for at the moment the entire chorus rushed out in a gallop: a throng of women, chiefly young women, but with painted faces, faded and blighted by their feverish life. There were blondes and brunettes, small and tall, thin and stout a motley gathering from all spheres of life. There were among them the faces of madonnas with defiant glances, and the smooth, round faces, expressionless and unintelligent, of peasant girls. And all were boredly cynical, or, at least, ...
— The Comedienne • Wladyslaw Reymont

... (1909) is a philosophizing journeyman who from every capital of Europe pours forth his lyrico-cosmic effusions, and the hero of his historical novel The Messenger of God (1911) is a Swiss dominic who at the conclusion of the Thirty Years' War collects a motley rabble about him for new works of peace and single-handed makes of himself the restorer of a devastated community. But with all the scope of the theme there is a lack of genuine historical color; and compared with the great historical novel of Ricarda Huch, this anachronistic picture of ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... few of the expressions that came from a motley assemblage of persons as they stood in a train shed in Hoboken, one June morning. Motley indeed was the gathering, and more than one traveler paused to give a second look at the little group. Perhaps a brief list of them may not ...
— The Moving Picture Girls at Oak Farm - or, Queer Happenings While Taking Rural Plays • Laura Lee Hope

... country when communication was slow and difficult, and social and political conditions had not gained the stability that is needed before contracts can be entered into extending over many years. International moneylending took place, of course, in the middle ages, and everybody knows Motley's great description of the consternation that shook Europe when Philip the Second repudiated his debts "to put an end to such financiering and unhallowed practices with bills of exchange."[3] But though there ...
— International Finance • Hartley Withers

... meditations hardly represent Diderot's habitual vein; they are rather a reaction and a relief from the busy intensity with which he watches the scene, and is constantly putting interrogatories to human life, as day by day its motley circumstance passes before his eyes. We should scarcely suspect from his frequent repetitions of the mournful eternal chorus of the nullity of man and the vanity of all the things that are under the sun, how alert a watch he kept on incident and character, with ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... with him a few confidential followers, and departed in secret for the camp of the Arabian Emir, Muza ben Nozier. The camp was spread out in one of those pastoral vallies which lie at the feet of the Barbary hills, with the great range of the Atlas mountains towering in the distance. In the motley army here assembled were warriors of every tribe and nation, that had been united by pact or conquest in the cause of Islem. There were those who had followed Muza from the fertile regions of Egypt, across the deserts of Barca, ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... hour. Romantin did not return. Then, suddenly, there was a dreadful noise on the stairs, a song shouted out in chorus by twenty mouths and a regular march like that of a Prussian regiment. The whole house was shaken by the steady tramp of feet. The door flew open, and a motley throng appeared—men and women in a row, holding one another arm in arm, in pairs, and kicking their heels on the ground, in proper time, advanced into the studio like a snake uncoiling ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume VIII. • Guy de Maupassant

... everything. The soul of goodness in things evil was visible to him. He had thought, felt, and suffered so much, that, as Leigh Hunt says, he literally had intolerance for nothing. Though he could see but little religion in many professing Christians, he nevertheless saw that the motley players, "made up of mimic laughter and tears, passing from the extremes of joy or woe at the prompter's call," were not so godless and impious as the world believed ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... counted on an easy victory that evening. She had furnished for the occasion her keenest wit, her sweetest laughter, her finest derision, her most sparkling sarcasm; and as she and her escort joined the motley throng who were patiently making their way into the packed doorway she ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... permitted by the Almighty, it would surely be for some definite end. These phenomena belong to neither class; my persuasion is, that they originate in some brain now far distant; that that brain had no distinct volition in anything that occurred; that what does occur reflects but its devious, motley, ever-shifting, half-formed thoughts; in short, that, it has been but the dreams of such a brain put into action and invested with a semi-substance. That this brain is of immense power, that it can set matter into movement, that it is malignant and destructive, ...
— Pausanias, the Spartan - The Haunted and the Haunters, An Unfinished Historical Romance • Lord Lytton

... A motley throng it was—in brown or gray homespun, with trousers in cowhide boots, and slouched hats with brims curved according to temperament, but with striking figures in it; the patriarch with long, white hair, shorn even with the base of the neck, and bearded only at the throat-a justice ...
— A Cumberland Vendetta • John Fox, Jr.

... and living in squalid dignity with large seraglios of native women. Captain Woodes Rogers, who touched at Madagascar for slaves, sixteen years after Every's time, described those he met as having been on the islands above twenty-five years, with a motley ...
— The Pirates of Malabar, and An Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago • John Biddulph

... orange boxes, the moving farms, and the wig-makers of Covent Garden, he had come upon a sculptor's shop, oddly crowded in among Cockney carters and decaying vegetables. Faces of Greece and Rome gazed at him suddenly from a broad window, and for a few moments he forsook the motley beauty of modern London for the ordered loveliness ...
— The Worshipper of the Image • Richard Le Gallienne

... country to the village of San Antonio del Norte, finely situated on a grassy plain, of considerable extent, a dependency of the valley of the Goascoran. We had intended stopping here for the night; but the cabildo was already filled with a motley crowd of arrieros and others on their way to San Miguel. A tall mestizo, covered with ulcers, sat in the doorway, and two or three culprits extended their claw-like hands towards us through the bars of their ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... jugglers and showmen, of every description, traversing in joyous bands the paths which led to the Palace of Princely Pleasure; for so the travelling minstrels had termed Kenilworth in the songs which already had come forth in anticipation of the revels which were there expected. In the midst of this motley show, mendicants were exhibiting their real or pretended miseries, forming a strange though common contrast betwixt the vanities and the sorrows of human existence. All these floated along with the immense tide of population whom mere curiosity had drawn together; and where the ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... Negro. Mackenzie's history of the life of Commodore Perry states that at the famed battle of Lake Erie, fully ten percent of the American crews were blacks. Perry spoke highly of their bravery and good conduct. He said they seemed to be absolutely insensible to danger. His fighters were a motley collection of blacks, soldiers and boys. Nearly all had been afflicted with sickness. Mackenzie says that when the defeated British commander was brought aboard the "Niagara" and beheld the sickly and parti-colored beings around him, an expression of chagrin escaped him at having been ...
— History of the American Negro in the Great World War • W. Allison Sweeney

... up to Clinch's with Eve Strayer lying in his arms, Mike Clinch strode out of the motley crowd around the tavern, laid his rifle against a tree, and stretched forth his powerful hands to ...
— The Flaming Jewel • Robert Chambers

... how about practice? I am exasperated! there is the simple fact. And is it not enough? What a scene I have just witnessed! A motley crew of thousands of low people of all colors parading the streets with flags, torches, music, and all other accompaniments, shouting, screaming, exulting over the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg. The "Era" will call it an enthusiastic demonstration ...
— A Confederate Girl's Diary • Sarah Morgan Dawson

... regular County Court day in the village. The public square was crowded with vehicles, live stock, and countrymen whose chief pleasure was to mix in motley crowds, and to whose fancy an uproar of some kind was ever welcome. On such occasions, in the somewhat lax administering of justice of those early times, the killing of a fellow creature seemed indeed ...
— Idle Hour Stories • Eugenia Dunlap Potts

... Matthew Arnold, Macaulay, De Quincey, Thackeray, Bagehot, John Morley, James Martineau, Cardinal Newman, J. R. Green, and Lecky in England; and Hawthorne, Curtis, Prof. W. D. Whitney, George P. Marsh, Prescott, Emerson, Motley, Prof. Austin Phelps, Holmes, Edward Everett, Irving, and Lowell in America. When in the pages following we anywhere quote usage, it is to the authority of such men that ...
— Higher Lessons in English • Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg

... sweat-streaked, motley-dressed homeseekers would straggle up to this end of the long trail. Their thoughts went back to their old homes, or to the loved ones that they had laid away tenderly in the shifting sands of the Plains. Most of them faced the future with fortitude; the difficulties ...
— Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail • Ezra Meeker

... of accidents, and a volume of motley incidents in various climes, and upon far seas. Being a very strong, active man, with gift of versatile hand and brain, and early acquaintance with handicrafts, Christopher Bert could earn his keep, and make in a year almost as much as he used to give away, or lend without redemption, ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... of a New England country road) danced the blind child, a figure of perfect grace. Who taught Melody to dance? Surely it was the wind, the swaying birch-tree, the slender grasses that nod and wave by the brookside. Light as air she floated in and out among the motley groups, never jostling or touching any one. Her slender arms waved in time to the music; her beautiful hair floated over her shoulders. Her whole face glowed with light and joy, while only her eyes, steadfast ...
— Melody - The Story of a Child • Laura E. Richards

... several herds of the brown-haired goats driven by milkmen through the streets; and, assembled near the dock around a group of English Salvation Army lads and lasses who were singing familiar hymns accompanied by cornet and drum, we saw a motley crowd of men, many of whom from their diverse and peculiar costumes were evidently sailors from various ports of the world. Then, having completed our hurried tramp through the city in the time allotted for that purpose, we descended the steps ...
— A Trip to the Orient - The Story of a Mediterranean Cruise • Robert Urie Jacob

... was formally sold for cash to a provincial slave- dealer, named Olynthides. In a slave-barrack which he had hired for the month only I found myself with a motley crew, but kept apart from them and comfortably lodged, well fed and considerately treated, ...
— Andivius Hedulio • Edward Lucas White

... stamp as any other whatever), if he had listened and laid his ear close to himself and he did so no doubt—would have heard some jarring note of human mixture, but faint and only perceptible to himself. Man is wholly and throughout but patch and motley. Even the laws of justice themselves cannot subsist without mixture of injustice; insomuch that Plato says, they undertake to cut off the hydra's head, who pretend to clear ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... outlawed, yet loyal at the heart, sent his aged parents to the land of Moab for refuge, and himself took up his abode in the caves of the wild limestone hills that had become familiar to him when he was a shepherd. Brave captain and Heaven-destined king as he was, his name attracted around him a motley group of those that were in distress, or in debt, or discontented, and among them were the 'mighty men' whose brave deeds won them the foremost parts in that army with which David was to fulfill the ancient promises ...
— A Book of Golden Deeds • Charlotte M. Yonge

... corpses, piled up like hills, covered the plain for more than ten miles. When the Goths saw this, they rejoiced with joy unspeakable, 279 because by this great slaughter of their foes they had avenged the blood of Valamir their king and the injury done themselves. But those of the innumerable and motley throng of the foe who were able to escape, though they got away, nevertheless came to their own land ...
— The Origin and Deeds of the Goths • Jordanes

... and placed under my command with a crew of sixty, all told; of whom, however, Jack Keene, midshipman, and Tasker, the gunner's mate—who in his new ship held the rank of gunner—were the only individuals with whom I had already been shipmate; the rest were a motley crowd indeed, collected out of the gutters and slums of Freetown. The Dolphin, it was arranged, was to act in the first instance as tender to the Eros; but, later, might perhaps be detached for certain special work which was just then beginning ...
— A Middy of the Slave Squadron - A West African Story • Harry Collingwood

... prompt decision, resource, and confidence, will take the command, whatever his position. Hope, as well as timidity and fear, is infectious, and one cheery voice will revive the drooping spirits of a multitude. Paul had already established his personal ascendency in that motley company of Roman soldiers, prisoners, sailors, and disciples. Now he stands forward with calm confidence, and infuses new hope into them all. What a miraculous change passes on externals when faith looks at them! The circumstances ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... went up to the gate and rattled the latch. Within arose the barking of dogs; but the motley-haired pack ran back, wagging their tails when they saw the well-known face. Ivan Ivanovitch traversed the courtyard, in which were collected Indian doves, fed by Ivan Nikiforovitch's own hand, melon-rinds, ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... guards, and the motley crowd that followed them, found no one on any road round about the court save Johan, the player's boy, riding in most ungainly fashion on Mistress Judith's nag in the direction of the Ogilvie woods. He had seen naught, he had ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... Grotta-Ferrata. Opposite us is a penthouse, (where nobody peaks and pines,) whose jutting fraschi-covered eaves and posts are adorned with gay draperies; and under the shadow of this is seated a motley set of peasants at their lunch and dinner. Smoking plates come in and out of the dark hole of a door that opens into kitchen and cellar, and the camerieri cry constantly, "Vengo subito" "Eccomi qu"—whether they come or not. Big-bellied flasks of rich Grotta-Ferrata ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 24, Oct. 1859 • Various

... what he thought he had some chance of getting, and for the barest equipment that would carry him across the water. Another man would at least have had a bodyguard; but Columbus relied upon himself, and alone held his motley crew in the bonds of discipline. A Pinzon could have navigated the fleet from Palos to Guanahani; but only a Columbus, only a man burning with belief is himself and in his quest, could have kept that ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... of the throng outside the gate covers the road leading off to Joppa. Turning from the Pharisee, we are attracted by some parties who, as subjects of study, opportunely separate themselves from the motley crowd. First among them a man of very noble appearance—clear, healthful complexion; bright black eyes; beard long and flowing, and rich with unguents; apparel well-fitting, costly, and suitable for the season. ...
— Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ • Lew Wallace

... years I had spent in India I had seen a good deal of both sides of that motley, amazing fabric which we call life. I had felt the throbbing of its great loom. I had touched with my own shrinking hand the closeness of the texture, had marked the interweaving of the alien strands, had ...
— The Lowest Rung - Together with The Hand on the Latch, St. Luke's Summer and The Understudy • Mary Cholmondeley

... which Monmouth knew nothing. The check brought confusion, and some man in his excitement fired a pistol. The battle had begun, and although the camp was taken by surprise, and drink made many heavy sleepers, the drums beat quickly to arms and the peasant warriors had little advantage. Grey's motley cavalry was scattered in a moment, and Lord Rosmore, who was amongst those who charged upon them, laughed aloud. This was a rabble, not ...
— The Brown Mask • Percy J. Brebner

... invited me to mount. If their habiliments consisted of costumes run mad, their chariots were not less varied, and afforded an historical study in locomotion. Distant capitals and a portion of the last century must have contributed their representatives to the motley assemblage. The tall Arab drove a superb fiacre of the days of hoops, a vehicle for six insides; phaetons, chariots, droschkies, and britskas, Strong's omnibus, and Rudhart's stuhlwagen, gigs, cars, tilburies, cabriolets, and dogcarts, were all there, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 344, June, 1844 • Various

... Causerie, there's an aim Which many know and some might even name; But see yon motley muster, Like shades in Eblis wandering up and down! Types there of every 'Show Class' in the Town Elbow and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, January 25th, 1890 • Various

... who seemed always on the spot would precipitate themselves, tumbling over each other to pick up what fell, and there would be protestations and explanations in every language under the sun. It was a motley, picturesque crowd—the costumes and uniforms making so much colour in the midst of the very ordinary dark clothes the civilised Western world affects. I felt sorry for the Orientals and people from milder climes—they looked so miserably cold and wretched ...
— My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 • Mary King Waddington

... spontaneity. From the brain of the writer to the sheet before him flows an unbroken Pactolian stream. Lamb, at his best, ranges with Shakspearian facility the gamut of human emotion, exclaiming, as it were at one moment, with Jaques, "Motley's the only wear!"—in the next probing the source of tears. He is as ejaculatory with his pen as other men are with their tongues. Puns, quotations, conceits, critical estimates of the rarest insight and suggestiveness, chase each other over his pages like clouds over a summer ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... of home life in that far-away corner of the world. It was a peaceful home life, all the more attractive in that its background was rough-and-ready Skaguay—a plain town enough to look at, but one full of thrilling human interest, of tragedy and comedy. Through its streets had passed a motley procession of men—some on their way to fortune, some to disappointment, but all battling with the realities of life. The doctor was struck by the simple and straightforward outlook of these people, their sincerity, and the pleasure they found in their ...
— Hunter's Marjory - A Story for Girls • Margaret Bruce Clarke

... Sunday morning, July 21st, the English ships commenced their attacks upon their unwieldy antagonists. "The Spanish ships," says Motley, "seemed arrayed for a pageant in honor of a victory won. Arranged in the form of a crescent whose horns were seven miles asunder, those gilded towers and floating castles, with their brilliant standards and martial music, bore slowly up the Channel. The admiral, the 'Golden Duke,' stood ...
— Ten Great Events in History • James Johonnot

... unselfish, part in the varied field of administrative work from the days of Strafford downwards, there was none more industrious, none more loyal, and none less selfish than he. It was all to his credit that he was unlikely to consort on easy terms with the motley crew that now ...
— The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon V2 • Henry Craik

... justice, to summon to any committee or assembly of the privy council any of the judges of his majesty's courts of common law," in allusion to the recent appointment of Baron Ellenborough; but beyond this the present motley ministry could only command majorities of the narrowest kind; and sometimes during this session they were even left in a minority. Wearying and worrying debates, and all to little or no purpose, became the order of the day. Sheridan ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... audience that they, like his own Recording Angel, might have blotted out his faults with a tear. But that was not Thackeray's way. Charlotte Bronte found "a finished taste and ease" in the Lectures, a "something high bred." Motley describes their style as "hovering," and their method as "the perfection of lecturing to high-bred audiences." Mr. Marzials quotes this expression "hovering" as admirably descriptive. It is. By judicious selection, by innuendo, here a pitying aposiopesis, there an indignant outburst, the charges ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... she should be, or that you either should be sorry. I don't blame you, or her," and in his turn Feversham was silent and looked towards the river. The air was shrill with cries, the shore was thronged with a motley of Arabs and negroes, dressed in their long robes of blue and yellow and dirty brown; the work of unloading the dhows went busily on; across the river and beyond its fork the palm trees of Khartum stood up against the ...
— The Four Feathers • A. E. W. Mason

... rifles and knapsacks as the Indians did? They were hunters, and Tom could not resist the temptation to turn his eyes away from the fore-castle back to the main-deck to take a second survey of the motley group of men he had seen there. They were cowboys all of them, and their clothing, especially their hats and boots, were as nearly perfect as money could buy. They were all young fellows, from twenty to twenty-five ...
— Elam Storm, The Wolfer - The Lost Nugget • Harry Castlemon

... to her.—But when he set to calling out tame snakes from a covered basket by whistling on a small flute,—when, wiggling their fangs, their dark, flat heads made their appearance from beneath the motley stuff, Valeria became frightened and begged Muzio to hide away those ...
— A Reckless Character - And Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... loving well Its forms and dyes, and all the motley play Of lives that win their colour from the day, Are fain some wonder of it all to tell To you that in that elder kingdom dwell Of Ancient Night, and thus we make assay Day to translate to Darkness, so to say, To talk ...
— English Poems • Richard Le Gallienne

... it would be difficult to find a more motley and diversified company than sat down to the ungarnished fare which Katty laid before them. There were first Fathers Philemy, Con, and the Auxiliary from the far part of the diocese; next followed Captain Wilson, Peter Malone, and Father Philemy's two nephews; ...
— The Station; The Party Fight And Funeral; The Lough Derg Pilgrim • William Carleton

... dash, tinge, tincture, season, sprinkle, besprinkle, attemper^, medicate, blend, cross; alloy, amalgamate, compound, adulterate, sophisticate, infect. Adj. mixed &c v.; implex^, composite, half-and-half, linsey-woolsey, chowchow, hybrid, mongrel, heterogeneous; motley &c (variegated) 440; miscellaneous, promiscuous, indiscriminate; miscible. Adv. among, amongst, amid, amidst; with; in the midst of, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... What a motley crowd of human beings throng the board walk! How like the vast interminable deep is this thronging, surging mass of humanity, where they, like restless waves, pause awhile on the margin of the boundless sea until the ebb tide moves out in the vast sea of ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... Officers and men alike lose all self-control. They run to escape the fearful storm. They leave arms, ammunition, tents, blankets, trunks, clothes, books, letters, papers, pictures,—everything. They pour out of the intrenchments into the road leading to Dover, a motley rabble. A small steamboat lies in the creek above the fort. Some rush on board and steam up river with the utmost speed. Others, in their haste and fear, plunge into the creek and sink to rise no more. All fly except a brave little band ...
— My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field • Charles Carleton Coffin

... pleasure to state that, contrary to what I have often heard of the bearing of our countrymen in Europe, a large majority of these, so far as I may judge from meeting a good many and learning the sentiments of more, are warmly and openly on the side of the Republic and opposed to the machinations of the motley host ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... the night the King had taken the precaution to have the enormous tapestry screens which surrounded her Majesty's bed secured with cords; but for this they certainly would have been thrown down upon her. It was impossible to move about the chamber, which was filled with so motley a crowd that one might have fancied himself in some place of public amusement. Two Savoyards got upon the furniture for a better sight of the Queen, who was placed opposite ...
— Memoirs Of The Court Of Marie Antoinette, Queen Of France, Complete • Madame Campan

... organ which arose out of this ghastly display sat a personage in cap and bells with face elaborately decorated in every color of the rainbow. He was distributing printed announcements to the gaping citizens of Everdoze. Not so much as a frankfurter or a glass of lemonade did the people of this motley caravan buy. ...
— Pee-wee Harris • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... camp were gathered a motley crew, mostly hard, reckless men, who drank and bet their gold dust away as fast as they found it. But everywhere they were finding gold, and all the time came new reports and rumors of more farther on. The headquarters of Hoover's employers were in Coolgardie when he arrived, but were ...
— Herbert Hoover - The Man and His Work • Vernon Kellogg

... instruments as a cod line and a halibut hook. He remained comparatively passive for a time, and allowed himself to be hauled, by the united efforts of the crew, some three or four fathoms towards the brig, when, annoyed by the restraint imposed upon him, or disliking the wild and motley appearance of the ship's company, he took a broad sheer to starboard, the hook snapped like a pipestem, and the hated monster swam off in another direction, wagging his tail in the happy consciousness that he was ...
— Jack in the Forecastle • John Sherburne Sleeper

... themselves are kings. At times glad, beautiful images, airy forms, move by you, graceful, harmonious;—at times the glaring, wild-looking fancies, chained together by hyphens, brackets, and dashes, brave and base, high and low, all in their motley dresses, go sweeping down the dusty page, like the galley-slaves, that sweep the streets of Rome, where you may chance to see the nobleman and the ...
— Hyperion • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... Rutherford Garretse; his nearsighted eyes squinting as he sought to take in the motley details ...
— Further Adventures of Lad • Albert Payson Terhune

... valor of French troops; had he been wheeled triumphantly to London over the trampled bodies and trampled standards of England's bravest sons; had a French general dictated to the English capital, and a French army been quartered in Hyde Park; had Paris poured forth its motley population, and the wealthy bourgeoise of every French trading town swarmed to London; crowding its squares; filling its streets with their equipages; thronging its fashionable hotels, and places of amusements; elbowing its impoverished nobility out of their palaces ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... names. Still, it is a privilege to have known such men as John Lawrence, Guizot, Thiers, Landseer, Merimee, Comte de Flahault, Doyle, Lords Elgin and Dalhousie, Duc de Broglie, Pelissier, Panizzi, Motley, Delane, Dufferin; and of gifted women, the three Sheridans, Lady Seymour - the Queen of Beauty, afterwards Duchess of Somerset - Mrs. Norton, and Lady Dufferin. Amongst those who have a retrospective interest were Mr. and Lady Blanche Balfour, ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... wilderness of creek and island that extends along the Illyrian and Dalmatian shores, fishermen and coasting sailors, many of them so lately joined that instead of uniform they still wore their picturesque native costume. The crew looked a motley lot, but, to use Farragut's phrase, "there was iron ...
— Famous Sea Fights - From Salamis to Tsu-Shima • John Richard Hale

... well-dressed mob have thronged the sight to greet, And motley figures throng the spacious street; Majestical and calm through all they stride, Wearing the blanket with a monarch's pride; The gazers stare and shrug, but can't deny Their noble forms and blameless symmetry. If the Great Spirit their morale has slighted, ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... big-hearted man took it into his head to celebrate his successful trading ventures with a moonlight dance given without reserve to all the inhabitants of Vincennes. It was certainly a democratic function that he contemplated, and motley to a most ...
— Alice of Old Vincennes • Maurice Thompson

... entire front of the Palace, on the face of which is emblazoned the Sun of Mewar, the emblem of the Sesodias. This terrace was evidently the happy home of a great number of cows, peacocks, geese, and pigeons, which stalked calmly enough, among the motley crowd of natives, and gave one the impression of a glorified farmyard. The building itself, like most Indian palaces, is composed of a heterogeneous agglomeration in all sorts of sizes and styles. Each successive Maharana having apparently ...
— A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil • T. R. Swinburne

... Manuel glowering beside him, that fenced area was lined four deep with horsemen all around; and so had they segregated themselves instinctively, friend with friend, that the northern side was a mass of bright colors to show that there stood the Spanish caballeros; and opposite them, a more motley showing and yet a more sinister one, stood the Americanos, with Bill Wilson pressed against the rope half-way down the line, and beside him big Jerry Simpson, lounging upon ...
— The Gringos • B. M. Bower

... The motley company had increased to ten. One or two knew each other and conversed. Others stood off a few feet, not wishing to be in the crowd and yet not counted out. They were peevish, crusty, silent, eying nothing in particular ...
— Sister Carrie • Theodore Dreiser

... man the chief actor, and the source from which the dramatist must cull his choicest beauties, painting up to nature the varied scenes which mark the changeful courses of her motley groups. Here she opes her volume to the view of contemplative minds, and spreads her treasures forth, decked in all the variegated tints that Flora, goddess of the flowery mead and silvery dell, with many coloured ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... comfortable. After the fatigue of his journey, Ben enjoyed a good supper and a comfortable bed. The evening, however, he spent in the public room of the inn, where he had a chance to listen to the conversation of a motley crowd, some of them native and residents, others strangers who had been drawn to Centerville ...
— The Store Boy • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... Off. Isn't this a rabble? Motley's the only wear in Maximilian's court. He might succeed in running this country if so many people hadn't come along to help him do it. You ask a French question and you get a Dutch answer. You give an order in Prussian and it's obeyed ...
— Semiramis and Other Plays - Semiramis, Carlotta And The Poet • Olive Tilford Dargan

... to come out of the ground beneath his feet, as they ranged themselves on the front porch, and he rapped sharply on the door with the stick he carried. It opened, and there stood Lady Harriet, gazing out with horror-stricken eyes upon the motley gang. "Your money or your life!" demanded he of the gun, at the same time pointing the weapon ...
— Harper's Young People, March 30, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... warrior had taken his seat on his cross-legged, round-backed chair, and a boy of some twelve years old stood before him, in a sullen attitude, one foot over the other, and his shoulder held fast by a squire, while the motley ...
— Grisly Grisell • Charlotte M. Yonge



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