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Clown   Listen
noun
Clown  n.  
1.
A man of coarse nature and manners; an awkward fellow; an ill-bred person; a boor.
2.
One who works upon the soil; a rustic; a churl. "The clown, the child of nature, without guile."
3.
The fool or buffoon in a play, circus, etc. "The clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o'the sere."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Clown" Quotes from Famous Books



... far as I could understand his gabble, took the larger portion for read, after muttering the first words of the rubric. A little carven image of an acolyte—a weird boy who seemed to move by springs, whose hair had all the semblance of painted wood, and whose complexion was white and red like a clown's—did not make matters more ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... sparer than the spared No runner can outstrip his fate Nought credit but what outward orbs reveal Persist, if thou wouldst truly reach thine ends Ripe with oft telling and old is the tale The curse of sorrow is comparison! The king without his crown hath a forehead like the clown The overwise themselves hoodwink 'Tis the first step that makes a path Too often hangs the house on one loose stone Vanity maketh the strongest most weak When to loquacious fools with patience rare I listen Where fools are the ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... tries to be off-hand, waggish, and brisk—a cross between a street peddler and a circus clown, with a hint of the forced mirth of the after-dinner speaker. Occasionally the jokes are good and the answers from the audience ...
— Adopting An Abandoned Farm • Kate Sanborn

... Shadwell's play is the introduction of the Lancashire dialect, which he makes his clown Clod speak. The subjoined extract may perhaps amuse my readers. Collier would ...
— Discovery of Witches - The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster • Thomas Potts

... Then I wanted to travel with a circus, and dangle my legs before admiring thousands over the back seat of a Golden Chariot. In a dearth of comic songs for the banjo and guitar, I had written two or three myself, and the idea took possession of me that I might be a clown, introduced as a character-song-man and the composer of my ...
— The Complete Works • James Whitcomb Riley

... as in the school, I'd say how fate may change and shift,— The prize be sometimes with the fool, The race not always to the swift: The strong may yield, the good may fall, The great man be a vulgar clown, The knave be lifted over all, The ...
— The World's Best Poetry Volume IV. • Bliss Carman

... I have been taxing my invention to produce the most terrible illusion that was ever witnessed? Will you let a clown like Spavinger—a well-born stable-boy—baulk us of our triumph? I am sending to Paris for a powder to burn in a corner of the room, which will throw the ghastliest pallor upon your countenance. When I devise a ghost, it shall be no impromptu ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... over and over; next a birch one would flash across the sight, as if a topaz had acquired wings; and then a shred of the oak's imperial mantle, flushed like a sardonyx, would cut a few convulsive capers in the air, like a clown in a circus, and dash itself headlong upon the earth. Altogether it was an exciting time, this fall of the leaf. Ah! a voice also was constantly whispering in my ear, "we all do fade ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 3 September 1848 • Various

... said Colonel Laporte, "although I am old and gouty, my legs as stiff as two pieces of wood, yet if a pretty woman were to tell me to go through the eye of a needle, I believe I should take a jump at it, like a clown through a hoop. I shall die like that; it is in the blood. I am an old beau, one of the old school, and the sight of a woman, a pretty woman, stirs me to the ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... supplied us with the long-stalked, scanty-leaved, ill-smelling wilding, as found, according to the botanists, on the ocean cliffs. He had need of a rare inspiration who first showed faith in this rustic clown and proposed to improve it ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... right; most natural mistake in the world. I've got a clown rig and I'm going down there myself after a while." He turned to Butterfield. "Better change your mind and come ...
— Tales of the Jazz Age • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... to avenge the banished brother of the king of Thrace. After much fighting it is resolved to decide the issue by single combat, in the course of which explanations ensue which lead to a general recognition and reconciliation. The pastoral element is represented by old Antimon an antic shepherd, a clown his son, his daughter a careless shepherdess and her despised lover, ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... what makes him funny, I suppose—his curious infatuation. I set him off—what do you call it?—show him off: by his going round and round me as the acrobat on the horse in the circus goes round the clown. He has said a great deal to me of your mother," ...
— The Awkward Age • Henry James

... Morris, "until, had the very roof blown off the theater at night, I should not have missed one." And so it was that the youngest member of the ballet corps came to be looked on as a general-utility person, who could be called on at a moment's notice to play the part of queen or clown, boy or ...
— Ten American Girls From History • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... was springing it from his hand against the wall. He seemed to have a fair appreciation of the character of his associates for the evening; and though himself perfectly competent to behave well in the best society, chose to act the clown in this. ...
— The Lights and Shadows of Real Life • T.S. Arthur

... minutes spent in trying to make my voice heard in the noise, the lights were turned out. The word "Johnnys" ran round the place, and there was a big rush for the door leading into Piccadilly Circus. Fortunately I got out at once, and I found myself marching clown Piccadilly in the second row of a procession. Foster was next to me, though how he got there I cannot conceive, and Ward and Dennison were in the front row. We sang as we walked, and people cleared out of our way. I heard one man who met us say "Poor fools!" and the ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... the period make frequent references to this belief, but nearly always by way of ridicule. It is hardly to be expected that they would share in the grosser opinions held by the common people in those times—common, whether king or clown. In "The Virgin Martyr," ...
— Elizabethan Demonology • Thomas Alfred Spalding

... voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown; Perhaps the selfsame song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home, She stood in tears amid the ...
— The Art of Lecturing - Revised Edition • Arthur M. (Arthur Morrow) Lewis

... will be groom, cook, guide, interpreter and, whether you wish it or not, your chum. Moreover, he will do it all with the face of a clown and the manner of a tricksy monkey. As a panacea for the blues, ...
— On the Firing Line • Anna Chapin Ray and Hamilton Brock Fuller

... to make a simultaneous advance, we and the French on our right," he wrote in one place. "Our sector will bear the brunt of it. The thing has been kept wonderfully quiet, and so far the enemy knows nothing. All their attention is turned on the 'Clown' Prince's insane operations against Verdun, and the German General Staff seem to have forgotten the Somme region altogether, and to underrate the British as usual. But there will be a big surprise ...
— With Haig on the Somme • D. H. Parry

... capitally danced by Miss NITA COLE as Nance, with Mr. DENNY as The McCrankie, may be considered as the real hit of the evening, having in itself about as much to do with whatever there is of the plot as would have the entrance of Mr. JOEY GRIMALDI, in full Clown's costume, with "Here we are again!" Of the music, as there was very little to catch and take away, one had to leave it. Of course this seriously comic or comically serious Opera is drawing—["Music," observes Mr. WAGG, parenthetically, "cannot be drawing"]—and ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, October 15, 1892 • Various

... the palace as if he were flying, and going up the stairs he found the King, who was still paying compliments to the country clown. When the man saw the dog with the letter in his mouth, he ordered it to be taken from him; but the dog would not give it to any one, and bounding up to Menechella he placed it in her hand. Then Menechella rose from her seat, and, making a curtsey to the King, she gave him the letter to ...
— Stories from Pentamerone • Giambattista Basile

... playing the clown, there was magistrates playing the fool; There wos jugginses teaching the trombone to kids at a bloomin' Board School. "This is Free Hedgercation in Shindy," sez I. "They're as mad as March hares, All these Limboites, dear Miss DIANNER. We do it ...
— Punch Among the Planets • Various

... contemptible chevalier d'industrie. Of this we have an example in "Le Gendre," in some respects one of the most objectionable of De Bernard's novels, certainly not well suited for a birth-day present to misses in their teens. A seemingly tame, insipid clown of a husband counteracts the base manoeuvres of a dashing Paris roue; and finally, after refusing to fight the would-be seducer, whom he has ascertained to be an arrant swindler, takes truncheon in hand, and belabours ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847 • Various

... somewhat as he regarded it, and Donato seeing this, entreated him by the friendship existing between them, to say what he thought of it. Whereupon Filippo, who was exceedingly frank, replied that Donatello appeared to him to have placed a clown on the cross, and not a figure resembling that of Jesus Christ, whose person was delicately beautiful, and in all parts the most perfect form of man that had ever been born. Donato hearing himself censured where he had expected praise, and more hurt than he was perhaps willing to admit, ...
— Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3) • S. Spooner

... The show-booths were the first on entering the fair, being situated on the north side of the high road. Here were three companies of players, viz. the Norwich company, a very large booth; Mrs. Baker's, whose clown, Lewy Owen, was "a fellow of infinite jest and merriment;" and Bailey's. The latter had formerly been a merchant, and was the compiler of a Directory which bore his name, and was a work of some ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 333 - Vol. 12, Issue 333, September 27, 1828 • Various

... see. That makes three men; and the clown and policeman will make five. Thats why you wanted five ...
— Fanny's First Play • George Bernard Shaw

... called 'Pierrot the Clown.' He succeeds in tricking the world in every station of life. I am just finishing his deathbed. All his friends are weeping about him: the doctor feels his pulse and gives some learned name to the disease—doctors know so much—while hidden everywhere around the room are empty ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - February, 1876, Vol. XVII, No. 98. • Various

... the painful tension just described. To this may be added that, after the conflict has begun, there is very little relief by way of the ridiculous. Henceforward at any rate Iago's humour never raises a smile. The clown is a poor one; we hardly attend to him and quickly forget him; I believe most readers of Shakespeare, if asked whether there is a clown ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... to remain with her over Christmas. I longed to see the pantomime, having heard much from my cousins and from Leo of its delights—and of the harlequin, columbine, and clown. But my father wanted to be at home again, and he took me and Rubens and Nurse Bundle with him ...
— A Flat Iron for a Farthing - or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... critical imbecility which pursued Mark in his own country down to his last years. The favourite national critics of that era (and it extended to 1895, at the least) were wholly blind to the fact that he was a great artist. They admitted him, somewhat grudgingly, a certain low dexterity as a clown, but that he was an imaginative writer of the first rank, or even of the fifth rank, was something that, in their insanest moments, never so much as occurred to them. Phelps cites, in particular, an ass named Professor Richardson, whose ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... act iv. sc. 2, Shakespeare makes the Clown use bibble-babble in a similar sense; but afterwards in the same drama, act v. sc.1, brabble is put ...
— Shakespeare Jest-Books; - Reprints of the Early and Very Rare Jest-Books Supposed - to Have Been Used by Shakespeare • Unknown

... Clown, who had lost his Mare, To his Neighbour, a Wit, did repair, And begg'd him with him to go To the famous Doctor Foreknow, A Conjurer powerful and strong, Who would tell who had done the Wrong. So when to the Door ...
— The Merry-Thought: or the Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany - Parts 2, 3 and 4 • Hurlo Thrumbo (pseudonym)

... pages before him—young, emotional, without a doubt intellectual. But for his awful clothes he was well enough to look upon, he had no affectations, his instincts were apparently correct. His manners were hoydenish, but there was nothing of the clown about him. She asked him a ...
— The Survivor • E.Phillips Oppenheim

... make or mar China issue from, or converge towards, the capital. There, on the dragon throne, beside, or rather above, the powerless and unhappy Emperor, the father of his people and their god, sits the astute and ever-watchful lady whose word is law to Emperor, minister and clown alike. There dwell the heads of the government boards, the leaders of the Manchu aristocracy, and the great political parties, the drafters of new constitutions and imperial decrees, and the keen-witted diplomatists ...
— Court Life in China • Isaac Taylor Headland

... The clown, who had overheard this fair discourse, now left the castle; and retiring to a secluded spot, where—a willow drooped sadly o'er the brook, he ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 3, April 16, 1870 • Various

... circus paid its annual visit, to the joy of the rural Congressmen and the negroes, who congregated around its sawdust ring, applauding each successive act of horsemanship and laughing at the repetition of the clown's old jokes; a daring rope-dancer, named Herr Cline, performed his wonderful feats on the tight rope and on the slack wire; Finn gave annual exhibitions of fancy glass- blowing; and every one went to ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... me, since to be frank, when I was younger than I am to-day and given to the follies of youth, it chanced that in England I met his mother, a beautiful Spanish lady who by ill fortune was wedded to an Englishman, this man's father and a clown of clowns, who maltreated her. I will be short; the lady learned to love me and I worsted her husband in a duel. Hence this ...
— Montezuma's Daughter • H. Rider Haggard

... sleeping, and Oberon, seeing a clown near her who had lost his way in the wood and was likewise asleep, "This fellow," said he, "shall be my Titania's true love"; and clapping an ass's head over the clown's, it seemed to fit him as well ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles and Mary Lamb

... however, that is over now. As to Sophie [young Sister just betrothed to the eldest Margraf whom you know], she also is no longer the same; for she approves all that the Queen says or does; and she is charmed with her big clown (GROS NIGAUD) of ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... fellow, and now his family rather surprised him; he seemed to think it a joke that all these children should belong to him. As the younger ones slipped up to him in his retreat, he kept taking things out of his pockets; penny dolls, a wooden clown, a balloon pig that was inflated by a whistle. He beckoned to the little boy they called Jan, whispered to him, and presented him with a paper snake, gently, so as not to startle him. Looking over the ...
— My Antonia • Willa Sibert Cather

... Bumpkin, "I can teach ee summat, can't I, though thee comes from town, and I be only a country clown farmer?" ...
— The Humourous Story of Farmer Bumpkin's Lawsuit • Richard Harris

... punctuated by slaps in the face, began between the mountebank and his clown, and the entire audience applauded these souvenirs of the classic farce, fallen from the theatre to the stage of the mountebank, and whose humor, coarse but pungent, seemed a drunken echo of the laughter of Moliere. The ...
— Ten Tales • Francois Coppee

... and all his Muses ridiculous, the painter with his art contemptible, and the physician with all his slip-slops go a-begging. Lastly, you will be taken for an ugly fellow instead of youthful, and a beast instead of a wise man, a child instead of eloquent, and instead of a well-bred man, a clown. So necessary a thing it is that everyone flatter himself and commend himself to himself before he can ...
— The Praise of Folly • Desiderius Erasmus

... France, while giving the needed chastisement to England. A retired officer of cavalry, said to be disgruntled through failure of promotion, a tall, spare, serious, prosy figure, a writer without inspiration, a speaker without force. Germany has never taken him seriously; for he lacks even the clown-charm of his rival Keim, but the mediaeval absurdities and serious extravagances in his defense of war are well tempered to stir the eager watchdogs in the rival lands. In spite of his pleas, "historical, biological and philosophical," for war, he is a man of peace, for which, in the words of ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... begin! he who defers the hour of living well is like the clown, waiting till the river shall have flowed out: but the river still flows, and will run on, with constant course, to ages without end."—Horace, Ep., ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... that country clown is trying on, right here in New York, the same primitive methods that real estate boomers use in the soggy South and the woolly West. Would you believe ...
— Shorty McCabe on the Job • Sewell Ford

... together in protest. "Ay, by the gods, much better. She is far too fair for the first sweetness of her youth to be wasted on a clumsy clown. We are ourselves indifferent good at this taming and the rest, and, like a loyal subject, I will gladly serve the King in this." He advanced towards Perpetua, but Robert ...
— The Proud Prince • Justin Huntly McCarthy

... the other; "I can't think how a decent fellow like Robb Chillingwood can chum up with him. He's a surly clown—only fit for such countries as the Yukon, where he comes from. He's not particularly clever either. Yes," turning to the waitress, "the usual. How would you like ...
— The Hound From The North • Ridgwell Cullum

... "fell that night upon heads which they were never coined for," his domestics reaping the benefit of that hoard of injurious language which he could not in decency bestow on his royal guest, even in his absence, and which was yet become too great to be altogether suppressed. The jests of the clown had some effect in tranquillizing the Duke's angry mood—he laughed loudly, threw the jester a piece of gold, caused himself to be disrobed in tranquillity, swallowed a deep cup of wine and spices, went to bed, and ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... frequency, as his means became rapidly more ample. He was also fond of the theatres, taking special delight in comedies and farces, however broad, and even pantomimes. With what solemn drollery he would afterwards dwell on the feats of Clown and Pantaloon! I am here, however, speaking of several years ago; for latterly he said, "It was a very hard thing to find any thing to laugh at in a pantomime, however much ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... I can. 'How is it,' she said, 'that Madame, who used to have that perfect gentleman, Monsieur le Comte, at her beck and call'—for between you and me, it seems you drove him silly—'how is it that Madame lets herself be made into mincemeat by that clown of a fellow?' I remarked at the time that you might put up with the beatings but that I would never have allowed him to be lacking in proper respect. In fact, there isn't a word to be said for him. I wouldn't have his portrait ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... top exclaimed that there was a rent in the main-top-sail. And instantly we heard a re-port like two or three muskets discharged together; the vast sail was rent up and clown like the Vail of the Temple. This saved the main-mast; for the yard was now clewed down with comparative ease, and the top-men laid out to stow the shattered canvas. Soon, the two remaining top-sails were also clewed ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... stark white with flour, driven by a powdery clown, passed in front of them behind a white ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... master in that art, if he stumble across no stolid peasant at a corner; for on such an occasion, I scarcely know which is the more troubled, or whether it is worse to suffer the confusion of your troubadour, or the unfeigned alarm of your clown. A sedentary population, accustomed, besides, to the strange mechanical bearing of the common tramp, can in no wise explain to itself the gaiety of these passers-by. I knew one man who was arrested as a runaway lunatic, because, although a full-grown person with a red beard, ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... courtly Clarendon, or the juster modern estimates of Forster, it seems like a procession of born sovereigns; while the more pungent epithets of contemporary wit only familiarize, but do not mar, the fame of Cromwell, (Cleaveland's "Caesar in a Clown,")—"William the Conqueror" Waller,—"young Harry" Vane,—"fiery Tom" Fairfax,—and "King Pym." But among all these there is no peer of Hampden, of him who came not from courts or camps, but from the tranquil study of his Davila, from ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... they pound with sticks with all their might, making a most unearthly racket. The whole being a fit emblem of what is going on in the other world of unclean spirits. Those forming the circle, kept going around shouting and kicking, with all the actions and paraphernalia of a clown in a pantomine, ...
— Two months in the camp of Big Bear • Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney

... wretch!" replied Anastasia, showing her teeth. "You are a low-bred fellow. Alfred, your boot-tree, till I take the length of his muzzle, to teach him to come and play the Joe Miller at his age, old clown!" ...
— The Mysteries of Paris V2 • Eugene Sue

... near by; and John, together with a number of his associates, attended some of the exhibitions. John's interest was at once captivated, and he felt that it would be great to join the company and to act the part of the clown; and he soon began to plan to secretly join them the following season. His visions of great wealth enlarged day by day, and in fancy he pictured ...
— How John Became a Man • Isabel C. Byrum

... papa seemed to be enjoying himself so. Boaler has given warning, but we can't think why. We have been out nearly every evening—once to Hengler's and once to the Christy Minstrels, and last night to the Pantomime, where papa was so pleased with the clown that he sent round afterwards and asked him to dine here on Sunday, when Sir Benjamin and Lady Bangle and Alderman Fishwick are coming. Won't it be jolly to see a clown close to? Should you think he'd come in his evening dress? Miss Mangnall has ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... good old days a Clown in the East, on a visit to a city kinsman, while at dinner, pointed to a burning candle and asked what it was. The City Man said, in jest, it was a sunling, or one of the ...
— Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17) - Folk-Lore, Fables, And Fairy Tales • Various

... not only seriously excusable, but even comically excusable. Who were all these pompous preposterous people with their footmen and their foot-scrapers, their chimney-pots and their chimney-pot hats, that they should prevent a poor clown from getting sausages if he wanted them? One would suppose that property was a serious thing. I had reached, as it were, a higher level of that mountainous and vapourous visions, the heaven ...
— Manalive • G. K. Chesterton

... a tragedy in which clown is wholly absent? As he steps over the graves, up comes a man as drunk as a goat, and cries out, "Ah! Mr. Gladstone will you take the duty off the whiskey?" Upon which he of Hawarden Castle turns him round and ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 1, January 1886 • Various

... iron-gray spinach growing down like this; and he beckoned me over to him and said, 'Young man, you're playing the clown'; and I said, 'You play you're the elephant, and we'll ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... and notions, and beggaring themselves into the bargain. He never set foot on the d—d, beggarly, frog-eating Continent—not he! It was thought enough to live at home, and eat good roast beef, and sing "God save the King," in his time; but now a man is looked upon as a mere clown who has not run so far round the world that he can seldom ever find his way back again to his estate, but stops short in London, where all the extravagance and nonsense in creation are concentrated, to help our mad gentry out of their wits and their money together. The old squire ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... be thought severe when you reflect that that which once was a bird has probably been stretched, stuffed, stiffened and wired by the hand of a common clown. Consider, likewise, how the plumage must have been disordered by too much stretching or drying, and perhaps sullied, or at least deranged, by the pressure of a coarse and heavy hand—plumage which, ere life had fled from within it, was accustomed to be touched by nothing rougher than the dew ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... a field met with a clownish fellow, to whom he spake in this manner. "Friend," quoth he, "what is a clock?" "A thing," answered the clown, "that shows the time of the day." "Why then," said Robin Good-fellow, "be thou a clock, and tell me what time of the day it is." "I owe thee not so much service," answered he again, "but because thou shalt think thyself beholden to me, ...
— The Sources and Analogues of 'A Midsummer-night's Dream' • Compiled by Frank Sidgwick

... he whispered to Lockwood, and smiled. "The face of a malignant Pierrette. A diabolic clown. Look at it. I saw it in the lightning outside. She wears a mask. Do you get her?" He paused mockingly. Lockwood shifted away from the woman. Erik was drunk. Or crazy. But the woman, thank God, had eyes only for him. She remained, as he talked, with her sulphurous eyes unwaveringly ...
— Erik Dorn • Ben Hecht

... to be part of such a procession. The boys tried to make them out by the pictures and names on the bills: which was Rivers, the bare-back rider, and which was O'Dale, the champion tumbler; which was the India-rubber man, which the ring-master, which the clown. Covered with dust, gasping with the fatigue of a three hours' run beside the procession, but fresh at heart as in the beginning, they arrived with it on the Commons, where the tent-wagons were already drawn up, and the ring was made, and mighty men were driving ...
— A Boy's Town • W. D. Howells

... plays. This nimble, freckled jackanapes is Harlequin; not your spangled Harlequin into which modern degeneracy has debased that first-born of Momus, but the genuine original zany of the Commedia, ragged and patched, an impudent, cowardly, blackguardly clown." ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... interrup' two gen'lemen in dey conve'sition, you Yankee clown? Do you igno' dad you 'ave insult ...
— The Grandissimes • George Washington Cable

... see, we find lava blocks and ashes, and instead of the clash of elemental forces, we see a dark mass, that glows dully. We can hardly believe that here is the origin of the explosions that shake the island, and are inclined to consider the demon of the volcano rather as a mischievous clown than a ...
— Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific • Felix Speiser

... in Oliver a sense of repugnance which he could not shake off. It was as if the head of some jolly clown of the night before had been suddenly thrust through the canvas of the tent in broad daylight, showing the paint, the wrinkles beneath, the yellow teeth, ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... blithesome goddess soothes my care, I feel the deity inspire, And thus she models my desire. Two hundred pounds half-yearly paid, Annuity securely made, A farm some twenty miles from town, Small, tight, salubrious, and my own; Two maids, that never saw the town, A serving-man not quite a clown, A boy to help to tread the mow, And drive, while t'other holds the plough; A chief, of temper formed to please, Fit to converse, and keep the keys; And better to preserve the peace, Commissioned by the name of niece; With understandings of ...
— English Poets of the Eighteenth Century • Selected and Edited with an Introduction by Ernest Bernbaum

... forward which brought him perilously near the edge of the steep rock. His lips moved though no sound could be heard for the tumult of the falls which was rending the air. What connection had such a man with his surroundings? No boor or clown was he, for the simple dignity of face and manner marked him as ...
— Under Sealed Orders • H. A. Cody

... never can bestow, We to this useful Passion owe. Love wakes the dull from sluggish Ease, And learns a Clown the Art to please: Humbles the Vain, kindles the Cold, Makes Misers free, and Cowards bold. 'Tis he reforms the Sot from Drink, And teaches ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. III • Aphra Behn

... There is, indeed, nothing in the history of Foscari which would lead us to expect anything particularly noble in his face; but I trust, nevertheless, it has been misrepresented by this despicable carver; for no words are strong enough to express the baseness of the portraiture. A huge, gross, bony clown's face, with the peculiar sodden and sensual cunning in it which is seen so often in the countenances of the worst Romanist priest; a face part of iron and part of clay, with the immobility of the one, ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3) • John Ruskin

... penetrating intuitions—in a word, consistent with that central thing which I have called the kernel of his personality. An artist is in this sense insincere whenever, for example, he inserts anything in his work which exists solely for the sake of convention—some of Shakespeare's clown scenes were often put in solely because an Elizabethan audience demanded them, and they were to that extent a truckling to convention, an insincerity. They do not express the real Shakespeare. Any artist not capable of entirely direct and spontaneous ...
— Personality in Literature • Rolfe Arnold Scott-James

... allee, a crowd of recruits whom the conscription had recently called under the colours, stood gazing in open-mouthed astonishment and infinite delight at some rudely constructed booths and shows, outside of which, clown and paillasse were rivalling each other in the broad humour of their lazzi. Parties of students, easily recognizable by their eccentric and exaggerated style of dress, and the loud tone of their conversation, were seated outside the cafes and ice-rooms, or circulating under the trees, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. - June, 1843.,Vol. LIII. • Various

... just now in a place not calculated to develope or cultivate the finer part of a man's nature. My associates, without an exception, are boors and donkeys, not unfrequently combining the agreeable properties of both in one anomalous animal yclept a clown. With them my days, for the greater part, are spent; and my nights in a series of calculations almost equally extinguishing to any brightness of mind or spirit. The consequence is I feel my light put out! ...
— Hills of the Shatemuc • Susan Warner

... manifested their intense amusement, cheered frantically when the trussed wretch gave an abnormally wild and ear-piercing shriek of pain. At his moans, groans, and desperate abortive attempts to release himself, the girls would laugh as gaily as if witnessing the antics of a clown at a circus, and were quite unrestrained in their jubilant applause. This was the feature of the punishment which grated upon the nerves of the prisoners who were unable to lift a finger or voice a word in protest. That a fellow-prisoner ...
— Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons - Wesel, Sennelager, Klingelputz, Ruhleben • Henry Charles Mahoney

... M.A., who had an interview with the prophet at Nauvoo, in 1842, thus describes him: "He is a coarse, plebeian, sensual person in aspect, and his countenance exhibits a curious mixture of the knave and the clown. His hands are large and fat, and on one of his fingers he wears a massive gold ring, upon which I saw an inscription. His eyes appear deficient in that open and straightforward expression which often characterizes an ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... fencer would disarm his adversary in the twinkling of an eye, unless he were a professor like himself. A stroke of wit will sometimes produce this effect, but there is no such power or superiority in sense or reas hardly know the professor from the impudent pretender or the mere clown.(1) ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... ought to be said here that he was a boy who had always had a leaning to the kind of practical fun which he saw carried out by the clown to a pitch of perfection which at once enchanted and humbled him. Till that harlequinade, he had thought himself a funny boy in his way, and it had surprised him that his family had not found him more amusing than they did; but now he felt all ...
— The Talking Horse - And Other Tales • F. Anstey

... of Russia, with whom I desire to live in friendly relations, has sent to me a clown. I can not consequently allow any of my people to accompany him back to Russia, lest they should find him offensive. Respected as I am from the east to the west, I blush in being exposed to such an affront. It is in consequence my wish that my son, the sultan ...
— The Empire of Russia • John S. C. Abbott

... Prodigal Sons, To-day is a prodigious coxcomb, but To-morrow is a very poltroon, taking fright at the big words of his predecessor. To-day is the truculent captain of old world comedy, To-morrow the clown of ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... I was a reveryin'—right there, when we wuz a floatin' clown the still waters, their voices riz up in one of their inspired songs. They sung about their "Hard Trials," and how the "Sweet Chariot swung low," and how they ...
— Sweet Cicely - Or Josiah Allen as a Politician • Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

... Mademoiselle de Longueville's guitar. Surrounding were the younger courtiers and ladies, who also were enjoying the affair. There are few things which amuse young people as much as the sight of an elderly, dignified man making a clown of himself. ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... curse o' class distinctions from our shoulders shall be hurled, An' the influence of woman revolutionize the world; There'll be higher education for the toilin' starvin' clown, An' the rich an' educated shall be educated down; An' we all will meet amidships on this stout old earthly craft, An' there won't be any friction 'twixt the classes fore-'n'-aft. We'll be brothers, fore-'n'-aft! Yes, an' sisters, fore-'n'-aft! ...
— In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses • Henry Lawson

... very small boy back before the war, a circus came to town. I remember the clown, whose name was Gullins. My father, John Mappin, was so much like the clown in his ways and sayings, that afterwards everyone started calling him Gullins. This soon became a sort of nickname. Some years after when slaves ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... sea-water, the clock to point to all hours of the day at once, the candle to burn green or crimson, the door to open upon a lake or a potato-field instead of a London street. Upon any one who feels this nameless anarchism there rests for the time being the spirit of pantomime. Of the clown who cuts the policeman in two it may be said (with no darker meaning) that he realises one ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... "The clown costumes on all you men," I told him, for now I'd noticed that the others were in rainbow hues, Bruce a real eye-buster in yellow tights and violet doublet as he furiously bushed out and clipped crosswise sections of beard and slapped them on his chin gleaming brown ...
— No Great Magic • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... appears on the stage with head shaved close. "Why is the clown mourning?" "Because oil is so dear." "Why is oil dear?" "On account of the Jews. On the Sabbath day they consume everything they earn during the week. Not a stick of wood is left to make fire whereby to cook their meals. They are forced to burn their beds for fuel, and sleep on the floor at night. ...
— Jewish Literature and Other Essays • Gustav Karpeles

... him] By crosses he means money. So in As you like it, the Clown says to Celia, if I should bear you, ...
— Johnson's Notes to Shakespeare Vol. I Comedies • Samuel Johnson

... through the world, marries, makes children men, men to conquer kingdoms, murder monsters, and bringeth gods from Heaven, and fetcheth devils from Hell. And, that which is worst, many times, to make mirth, they make a clown companion with a king; in their grave counsels they allow the advice of Fools; yea, they use one order of speech for all persons,—a gross indecorum."—In 1581, Stephen Gosson published a tract in which he says: "Sometimes you shall see nothing but the adventures of ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... and idolises a quibble. His whole object is to turn the meanest or rudest objects to a pleasurable account. The relish which he has of a pun, or of the quaint humour of a low character, does not interfere with the delight with which he describes a beautiful image, or the most refined love. The Clown's forced jests do not spoil the sweetness of the character of Viola; the same house is big enough to hold Malvolio, the Countess, Maria, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew Ague-cheek. For instance, nothing can fall much lower than this last character in intellect or morals: yet how are ...
— Hazlitt on English Literature - An Introduction to the Appreciation of Literature • Jacob Zeitlin

... pen the ebon coloured Inke, which heere thou viewest, beholdest: suruayest, or seest. But to the place Where? It standeth North North-east and by East from the West corner of thy curious knotted garden; There did I see that low spirited Swaine, that base Minow of thy myrth, Clown. Mee? Ferd. that vnletered small knowing soule, Clow Me? Ferd. that shallow vassall Clow. Still mee?) Ferd. which as I remember, hight Costard, Clow. O me) Ferd. sorted and consorted contrary to thy ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... courts and romances, condemned to suffer in silence the humor and contempt of all about him, though he felt himself better than they in body and in the understanding of things, which he could not make them know. This repression made him often like a wild beast, though mostly he was half-clown and half-infant in his conduct. He had a gift of mimicry incomparably finer than any professional's I knew of. This, with his gestures, stood him instead of speech. A certain haughty English woman whose ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... other end has no advantage. Indeed, the odds are in favor of Oxeomadiddlee. His singular name is self-imposed, and is an Inuit expression of greeting, or rather when one unexpectedly arrives, as the clown says, "Here we are again," and occurred in this way. Several years ago he was hunting walrus in the pack-ice, when the wind changed and blew the ice away from shore. This is a contingency to which ...
— Schwatka's Search • William H. Gilder

... huge floating veil and showed her powerful face of a clown covered with white pigment. Her lips made a scarlet bar ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... said Lady Mary, speaking still with resentment in her voice, "that the papers you held are the key to the situation. Have you no more sense than to trust them to the care of a red-headed clown from whom they can be taken as easy as if they were picked up ...
— The O'Ruddy - A Romance • Stephen Crane

... bowing like a clown but looking with the eye of a prince at the queenly girl, "we ...
— Hans Brinker - or The Silver Skates • Mary Mapes Dodge

... as sharp then as at any future time, it was a pitying, pleasant Fate that let her have her happiness as long as might be. For Louie's love was a different thing from the selfish passion that any clown may feel: she had been happy enough in her little round of commonplace satisfactions and tasks before Andrew came and shed over her this great cloud of delight—happy then just in the enjoyment of that secret love of hers that went out and sought him every night sailing ...
— Not Pretty, But Precious • John Hay, et al.

... hand, Alvan Stewart of Cherry Valley was the clown of the court room, and to such good purpose that the ablest lawyers of Cooperstown dreaded him as an opponent. He was a master of absurd wit and ridicule. In Proctor's Bench and Bar he is referred to as "one ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... and fish," Flossy seemed to say as she sprang three times her length in the air, and turned head over heels like the clown in ...
— Crusoes of the Frozen North • Gordon Stables

... your pardon again and again, and I really mean no offence: clown as I am, I hope I know better than to say anything to hurt my own guest ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... claim to notice here; and we are surprised to find many writers looking upon this "Cogito, ergo sum" as constituting the great idea in his system. Surely it is only a statement of universal experience—an epigrammatic form given to the common-sense view of the matter. Any clown would have told him that the assurance of his existence was his consciousness of it; but the clown would not have stated it so well. He would have said, "I know I exist, because ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11 • Various

... of the cave bear—he dug graves on the smallest provocations, in which he never buried anything. He was not a "clever" dog; and guiltless of all tricks. Nor was he ever "shown." We did not even dream of subjecting him to this indignity. Was our dog a clown, a hobby, a fad, a fashion, a feather in our caps that we should subject him to periodic pennings in stuffy halls, that we should harry his faithful soul with such tomfoolery? He never even heard us talk about his lineage, deplore the length of his nose, or call him "clever-looking." ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... character was to fit these pieces of the moral type together again in a different way, and to breathe the spirit of genius into the new creation. We can see Lyly feeling towards this solution of the problem in his portrayal of Gunophilus, the clown of The Woman in the Moon. This character, which anticipates the immortal clowns of Shakespeare, is formed by an amalgamation of the pages in the previous plays into one comic figure. But Lyly also attempts to create single figures, in addition to these group characters which for the most ...
— John Lyly • John Dover Wilson

... smith, "played his part so bravely that the clowns and clown-like squires in the company held his art to be little less than magical; but there was one maiden of fifteen, or thereby, with the fairest face I ever looked upon, whose rosy cheek grew pale, and her bright eyes dim, at the sight of the ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... the sum at their joint expense. If any of the associates who happens to be poor kill a man, the society are to contribute, by a certain proportion, to pay his fine: a mark a-piece if the fine be seven hundred shillings; less if the person killed be a clown or ceorle; the half of that sum, again, if he be a Welshman. But where any of the associates kills a man, wilfully and without provocation, he must himself pay the fine. If any of the associates kill ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... not occur until the sun was blazing through the curtains of our banqueting room, I had made up my mind, once for all, that neither character nor cunning can be concealed in this world; that the craftiest impostor is but a clumsier kind of clown; and that the most dexterous disguise is but a waste ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. - June, 1843.,Vol. LIII. • Various

... in a very few hours to take a review, they were all torn down and fresh ones in their places. I inquired after them among readers and booksellers, but I inquired in vain; the memorial of them was lost among men, their place was no more to be found; and I was laughed to scorn for a clown and a pedant, devoid of all taste and refinement, little versed in the course of present affairs, and that knew nothing of what had passed in the best companies of court and town. So that I can only avow in general to your Highness that we do abound in learning ...
— A Tale of a Tub • Jonathan Swift

... formality of passing through the recruiting station, thanks to the favor of the colonel; it was true that he had condescended to carry a musket, but from the very start he had been conscious of a feeling of aversion and rebellion toward that ignorant clown under whose command ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... his blood was from another source. Besides, how could the boy be expected to feel as he did? Would he even understand if his father should explain it to him? . . . It was useless to expect anything from this lady-killing, dancing clown, from this fellow of senseless bravado, who was constantly exposing his life in duels in order to satisfy a silly ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... an augmented gayety. There were no more telephone messages, nor was there any definite foundation for the rumor that was presently stealthily circulating. Women, powdering their noses as they waited for their wraps, murmured it in the dressing-rooms; a clown, smoking in the hall, confided it to a Mephistopheles; a pastry cook, after his effusive good-nights, confirmed it as he climbed into the motorcar that held the Pierrette who was his wife: "Dead, ...
— The Heart of Rachael • Kathleen Norris



Words linked to "Clown" :   jester, muggins, Weary Willie, buffoon, clown anemone fish, clown around, clowning, motley fool, goof, goofball, antic, comic, whiteface, comedian, Emmett Kelly, zany, pantaloon, fool, saphead



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