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Dabble   Listen
verb
Dabble  v. t.  (past & past part. dabbled; pres. part. dabbling)  To wet by little dips or strokes; to spatter; to sprinkle; to moisten; to wet. "Bright hair dabbled in blood."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Dabble" Quotes from Famous Books



... my depth, at any rate," quoth he. "I am but ill read in ancient controversies, though I know you dabble in them." ...
— Joyce Morrell's Harvest - The Annals of Selwick Hall • Emily Sarah Holt

... saw, and understood, and realized. The cryptic entry in Kitely's pocket-book became plain as the plainest print. M. & C. v. S. B. cir. 81:—Brereton could amplify that now. Kitely, like all men who dabble in antiquarian pursuits, knew a bit of Latin, and naturally made an occasional airing of his knowledge. The full entry, of course, meant M. &. C. vide (see) Scrap-Book circa ...
— The Borough Treasurer • Joseph Smith Fletcher

... our list," he said. "Let us have no students of occult; no men who dabble in laboratory spiritualism; just nice, live, healthy people who never heard of such things—if ...
— Told in a French Garden - August, 1914 • Mildred Aldrich

... perhaps Don Marquis will induce an editor to print the exercises in unorthodoxy which he has been writing and which, in extract, he repeated to us with such unction; but I doubt it. They are too searching. But that so busy a man should turn aside from his work to dabble in religious satire seemed to me a very interesting thing; for nothing is so unprofitable—except to the honest soul of him ...
— Roving East and Roving West • E.V. Lucas

... forces more threatening still. The rowdier section of the people never fails to hoot the man out on every possible occasion and even the women of his family may be subjected to indignities. The vakils are a very powerful class in the Deccan. Many of them do not openly dabble in politics; but you can hardly find many among them who do not sympathize with extremist politics. The landholders, traders and agriculturists in general are always in need of the services or, as they think, of the favour of the ...
— Indian Unrest • Valentine Chirol

... children down there!' said the queen, sobbing and pointing to them. 'Did you ever see anybody so happy? Why can't I have mud to dabble in too, and why can't I take off my shoes and stockings, and amuse myself like the children do, instead of being so dull and stuck-up ...
— Milly and Olly • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... return from an investment in oil, and came out about even on the race-track. Up to this time, however, he had never indulged in the luxury of a theatrical venture, notwithstanding the hankering he had at times to dabble in that direction. As soon as he saw Handy he called him aside and began a little preliminary skirmishing, and in a roundabout way started in to lay bare the strenuous thoughts that were agitating his mind. He opened up the subject by inquiring when the ...
— A Pirate of Parts • Richard Neville

... you see; but not for this must you accuse us of the levity of culture. We might patronize; we did not dabble.—One seems to hear from those early ages, echoes of tones familiar now. Ours is the good old roast beef and common sense of—I mean, the grand old gravitas of Rome. What! you must have a Jupiter to worship, mustn't you? No sound as by Parliament-Established-Religion of Numa Pompilius, Sir, ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... one of God's rivers in the open air seems to me a sort of cheerful solemnity or semi-pagan act of worship. To dabble among dishes in a bedroom may perhaps make clean the body; but the imagination takes no ...
— The Pocket R.L.S. - Being Favourite Passages from the Works of Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... adventure charm the dabblers, as industry absorbs the engineers. The sands are of all earthly spots the most delightful; but a greater delight than any earthly spot can afford awaits the dabbler in the sea. It is mostly the girls who dabble; the gaiety and frolic suit them better than the serious industry of castles and canals. Deliverance from shoes and stockings, the first thrill of pleasure and surprise at the cool touch of the water, the wild rush along the brim, the dainty advance till the sea covers the little ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... reason because they ignore proposals for change, which have long ago been threshed out and found wanting, or are obviously unpractical, he is merely showing that he has not studied the question. A fair analogy would be the case of a chemist or engineer who had recently begun to dabble in Greek in his spare moments, and who should undertake to emend the text of Sophocles. His suggestions would show that he knew no Greek, that he had never heard of Sir Richard Jebb, and that he was ignorant of all the results of scientific textual ...
— International Language - Past, Present and Future: With Specimens of Esperanto and Grammar • Walter J. Clark

... yes. If Henry, there, will translate it And put it in verse and print as he promised To do when it happened. Will he do it? I doubt. He dislikes to dabble with rhyme and with measure. Says that good honest prose is the best and the sweetest If the words be well chosen, short, Saxon, and pithy. And that making of verse is the business of women, Of green boys at school, and of lovers when spooning. But try him. It ...
— The Busted Ex-Texan and Other Stories • W. H. H. Murray

... flood tide. V. be watery &c adj.; reek. add water, water, wet; moisten &c 339; dilute, dip, immerse; merge; immerge, submerge; plunge, souse, duck, drown; soak, steep, macerate, pickle, wash, sprinkle, lave, bathe, affuse^, splash, swash, douse, drench; dabble, slop, slobber, irrigate, inundate, deluge; syringe, inject, gargle. Adj. watery, aqueous, aquatic, hydrous, lymphatic; balneal^, diluent; drenching &c v.; diluted &c v.; weak; wet &c (moist) 339. Phr. the ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... all excellent well as far as it went; but still there was something wanted of more reality than the improvisations of a romancist. Ainsworth might dip his pen in the grossest epithets; Boz might dabble in the mysterious dens of Hebrew iniquity; even Bulwer might hash up to us his recollections of St. Giles's dialogue; and yet it was evident that they were all the while only "shamming"—only cooking up some dainty dish according to a recipe, or, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, October 30, 1841 • Various

... a fine girl," said Jasper; "a fine, generous girl. I like her, even though she does dabble in literature; and I like Hinton too. When are they ...
— How It All Came Round • L. T. Meade

... republican, with a great enthusiasm for the United States and for the story of Abraham Lincoln. But you were never faddist or doctrinaire, and your practical bent showed itself in the keen interest you took in the noticing of political economy in which I used to dabble, and which we used to discuss by the hour. You seemed, without having studied text-books, to have an intuitive grasp of economic and fiscal truths which astonished me and others much better qualified to judge than I was. The real truth is that, though there were, no doubt, gaps in your ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... the former," he adds, "was so violent, that my physician despaired of my revival; but, by the mercy of Heaven, I am so far revived, that I can again enjoy a social and literary intercourse with my friends; and even dabble again in rhyme; but, as I suspect, that my rhymes, like the Homilies of Gil Blas' Archbishop, may savour of apoplexy, I think it right to keep them in ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... all along the line? You never did anything at all. It wasn't luck on the stock exchange—it was Mark Constantine back of you. Gad, to have made what you did in the time you did you'd have had to do worse than dabble your hands in the mud. You'd have had to roll in it—like I did." He gave a coarse laugh. "That was what I figured out when you said you wanted Beatrice and what you were going to do to try to get her. I liked you, I wanted you for her husband. I hated the other puppies. So I wasn't going ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... official or unofficial quality, numerous Americans amorously dabble in International questions and laws. How much the rights of war, etc., have been discussed; how many letters, signed, anonymous, official and unofficial, have been published—and very little, if any light thrown on these questions. What a cruel fate of a future historian, ...
— Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863 • Adam Gurowski

... away as his grandmother had told him to do, and the men continued to pursue him. Whenever he rose to the surface to breathe, he took care to come up behind the kayaks, where he would splash and dabble in order to lure them on. As soon as he had attracted their attention and they had turned to pursue him, he would dive and come up farther out in the sea. The men were so interested in catching him that they did not observe how they were being led far out into the ocean and ...
— A Treasury of Eskimo Tales • Clara Kern Bayliss

... thrifty scheme. Of the beauty of his dissimulated anxiety and tenderness on these and various other suchlike heads, however, other examples will arise; for I see him now as fairly afraid to recognise certain anxieties, fairly declining to dabble in the harshness of practical precautions or impositions. The effect of his attitude, so little thought out as shrewd or as vulgarly providential, but in spite of this so socially and affectionally founded, could only be to make life interesting to us at the worst, in default of making it extraordinarily ...
— A Small Boy and Others • Henry James

... I am afraid I have been over-rated; I make my living tilling the soil and dabble in my nut grove only when I can find a few moments to spare—in fact all I know about nuts and nut-grafting, I owe to my good friend, Edgar Huen. I shall always remember that balmy May morning 25 years ago ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 43rd Annual Meeting - Rockport, Indiana, August 25, 26 and 27, 1952 • Various

... Cresswell, "I am free to confess that I have no personal desire to dabble in philanthropy, or conduct schools of any kind; my hands ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... I take it," she said, "I shall do harm instead of good—I shall be accused of interfering. Give it to one of the servants. Not yet! When Mrs. Gallilee is angry, she doesn't get over it so soon as you seem to think. Leave her to dabble in science first," said the governess in tones of immeasurable contempt. "When she has half stifled herself with some filthy smell, or dissected some wretched insect or flower, she may be ...
— Heart and Science - A Story of the Present Time • Wilkie Collins

... chanced that the American, while devoted to his chosen profession of wandering through countries where the foot of a white man had never before trod, had other traits of character, and like most fellows, liked to dabble in a bit of a mystery, especially when he thought he could see a chance to improve the conditions surrounding a friend of his, and accordingly he puckered up his lips as though about to whistle, though no sound escaped ...
— Canoe Mates in Canada - Three Boys Afloat on the Saskatchewan • St. George Rathborne

... and almost every stone and bird's nest about your own home in the country; you will never get to know any other place so well again in your life, for when one is grown up one can't climb trees and dabble in streams and build huts and root about in the earth. Jesus was just a natural boy; He grew to know all the byways between the little gardens, all the trees which bore figs or pomegranates or olives or oranges, and He climbed the hills ...
— Round the Wonderful World • G. E. Mitton

... he exclaimed earnestly, "what do you suppose the first people to dabble in electrically driven vehicles were aiming at? The motor-car? The motor boat? Trolley cars? All those single motor sort of things? Not ...
— Tom Swift and his Electric Locomotive - or, Two Miles a Minute on the Rails • Victor Appleton

... kind. You're all upset, and you deserve a heap more than scolding.... But I like you." Hilda was always direct. "You're more or less of a little idiot, with your insane notions and your Joan of Arc silliness, but I like you. You're not fit to be left alone. I'm in charge.... So go and dabble cold water on your eyes, so you don't look like Nazimova in the last act, and come along with. me. We'll take a drive, and then I'm coming back to stay all night with you.... Yes, I am," she said, with decision, as Ruth started to object. "You do ...
— Youth Challenges • Clarence B Kelland

... who certainly cannot be suspected of "anti-Semitism," goes so far as to suggest that the gift of ceremonial magic was "the answer of Jewry to Christendom as a counter-blast" to "centuries of persecution."[838] It would be well if every Gentile who has been tempted to dabble in occultism were to ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... against his horrible presence it finally began to sap their courage. Besides, the lake fascinated Alpha, now but three years old but large and strong. He loved to wander by its shore and dabble in the water, but so long as the beast remained, an ever present danger was in this play. Besides there was the fear that he might escape the watchfulness of his parents and come in contact with one of ...
— Omega, the Man • Lowell Howard Morrow

... place, he wishes to dispose of certain individuals who call themselves men of wit and fashion—about town—who he is told have abused his book "vaustly"—their own word. These people paint their cheeks, wear white kid gloves, and dabble in literature, or what they conceive to be literature. For abuse from such people, the writer was prepared. Does any one imagine that the writer was not well aware, before he published his book, that, whenever he gave it to the world, he should be attacked by every literary coxcomb ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... horror. "I am a creature of vague enthusiasms and I have the sense to know it. Sometimes I fancy I am a woman of business, and then I take up half a dozen things till Jack has to interfere to prevent financial ruin. I dabble in politics and I dabble in philanthropy; I write review articles which nobody reads, and I make speeches which are a horror to myself and a misery to my hearers. Only by the possession of a sense of humour am ...
— The Half-Hearted • John Buchan

... him with the sense of power. In that warmth certain of his prejudices and inhibitions began to melt away; the display of feelings and sensibilities could not be wicked or even undesirable if it prepared the way for the gospel by softening the heart. He began to dabble in emotion himself, and that was a dangerous matter, for he knew nothing whatever about it save that, if he felt strongly, he could arouse strong feeling in others. Day by day he unwittingly became less sure of the moral beauty of restraint, and ardours which he had never dreamed of began ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... wandered to his shirt, which he began to unfasten. Stripped, and adopting an athletic posture like the tiger-skin man in the advertisement, he regarded himself with some satisfaction in the mirror, breaking off to dabble a tentative foot in the tub. Readjusting a faucet and indulging in a few preliminary grunts, ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... like to go to see you; apparently you have COOL WEATHER in Croisset since you want to sleep ON A WARM BEACH. Come here, you will not have a beach, but 36 degrees in the shade and a stream cold as ice, is not to be despised. I go there to dabble in it every day after my work; for I must work, Buloz advances me too much money. Here I am DOING MY BUSINESS, as Aurore says, and not being able to budge till autumn. I was too lazy after my fatigues as sick-nurse. Little ...
— The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters • George Sand, Gustave Flaubert

... with a hare. Elsie Venner is not a hare; she is a wonderful creation; but she is a winter-snake. I confess that I have no patience, however, with those who pretend to show us summer-snakes, and would fain dabble with vice; who are amateurs in the diabolical, and drawing-room dilettanti in damnation. Such, as I have said before, are the aesthetic adorers of Villon, whom the old roue himself would have most despised, and the admirers of "Faustine," whom Faustina would have picked up between ...
— The Gypsies • Charles G. Leland

... for this is that, in studying a character, no one is content with the plain and easy way of reaching an understanding of it—the way of looking only at its ACTS. We all love to dabble in the metaphysical, to examine and weigh motives and intentions, to compare ourselves and make wildly erroneous judgment inevitable by listening to the man's WORDS—his professions, always more or less dishonest, though perhaps ...
— The Conflict • David Graham Phillips

... then I got the horror of my life, for Tom Bond was dead. He lay flat on his face with his hands stretched afore him, and a revolver, the daps of mine, had fallen from his hand and dropped a foot away from it. And, looking close, I saw a big dabble of blood about him, that had come from his body and ...
— The Torch and Other Tales • Eden Phillpotts

... plenty of his brethren at every street-corner!" continued she. "Well; I didn't mean to dabble in witchcraft to-day, further than the lighting of my pipe; but a witch I am, and a witch I'm likely to be, and there's no use trying to shirk it. I'll make a man of my scarecrow, were it only for ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... mouths of stone men To spread at ease under the sky In granite-lipped basins, Where iris dabble their feet And rustle to a passing wind, The water fills the garden with its rushing, In the midst of the quiet of ...
— Sword Blades and Poppy Seed • Amy Lowell

... and the cattle we maimed; Our dirks stabbed at guess through the leaves o' the bower, And crimes we committed that needna be named: Moonlight or dawning grey, Lammas or Lady-day, Donald maun dabble his plaid in the gore; He maun hough and maun harry, or should he miscarry, The Hielan's, the Hielan's will ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... romance from Catherine's imaginative mind, but the dark suspicions she harbours about General Tilney are not altogether inexplicable. He is so much less natural and so much more stagey than the other characters that he might reasonably be expected to dabble in the sinister. This time Catherine is misled by memories of the Sicilian Romance into weaving a mystery around the fate of Mrs. Tilney, whom she pictures receiving from the hands of her husband a nightly supply of coarse food. She watches ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... did not know. How does it happen that a man with such responsibilities can take time to dabble in oil-wells?" ...
— Mr. Opp • Alice Hegan Rice

... was not caught up and instantly plunged fathoms down beyond her depth into that great cold ocean of knowledge; on the contrary, Miss Churton merely took her for a not unpleasant ramble along the margin—that old familiar margin where she had been accustomed to stray and dabble and paddle in the safe shallows. Miss Churton was only making herself acquainted with her pupil's mind, finding out what roots of knowledge already existed there on which to graft new branches; and we know that the time Fan had spent in the Board School ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

... of such a thing!" cried the widow. "Donkeys dance on ropes, school-boys dabble in doctor's business! Show me the thing at once! We want ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... twenty times a day, To bustle to the town with speed, To dabble in what dirt he may,— Le Frere Lubin's the man you need! But any sober life to lead Upon an exemplary plan, Requires a Christian indeed,— Le Frere ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 4 (of 4) • Various

... first failure. It is the index of his life, the measure of his success-power. The mere fact of his failure has interest; but how did he take his defeat? What did he do next? Was he discouraged? Did he slink out of sight? Did he conclude that he had made a mistake in his calling, and dabble in something else? Or was he up and at it again with a ...
— The True Citizen, How To Become One • W. F. Markwick, D. D. and W. A. Smith, A. B.

... proves you are not a 'fly-cop,' only a measly busy-body sticking your nose into some one else's business. Well, we know how to take care of your kind, and this is likely to prove the last case you'll dabble in for a while, ...
— The Case and The Girl • Randall Parrish

... I could not make out one word of his paraphernally. It minded me, by all the world, of a wheen cats fuffing and fighting through ither, and whiles something that sounded like "Sugar, sugar, measure the cord," and "dabble dabble." It was worse than the most outrageous Gaelic ever spoken in the height of passion by a ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir

... Governor, composed apparently by the hapless wizard himself, who seemed to be no mean penman, and signed by a dozen or more of the coloured inhabitants: setting forth how he was known by all to be far too virtuous a personage to dabble in that unlawful practice of Obeah, of which both he and his friends testified the deepest abhorrence. But there was the bottle, safe under lock and key; and as for the testimonial, those who read ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... through being an onlooker," the Prince reflected. "There go the spirit of Russia and the spirit of Germany. You dabble in these things, my friend Dorminster. Can you guess what they are met ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... sumptuous residence in Brooklyn. But in process of time Hiero (or, as he was then called, Henry) took it into his head to return to the original family mansion and live there. No objection was made; in truth, Henry's oddities, awkwardnesses, and propensity to dabble in queer branches of research and experiment may have allayed the parting pangs. Back he blundered, therefore, to the banks of the Hudson, and established himself in his birthplace. What he did there during the next few years will never be known. Grisly stories about the man in the ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... only yesterday, while I had letters of the 8th from London. Doth the post dabble into our letters? Whatever agreement you make with Murray, if satisfactory to you, must be so to me. There need be no scruple, because, though I used sometimes to buffoon to myself, loving a quibble as well as the barbarian himself (Shakspeare, to wit)—'that, like a Spartan, I would ...
— Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) • (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

... old nurse, she, honest woman, was so just to me as to lay it all out again for me, and gave me head-dresses, and linen, and gloves, and ribbons, and I went very neat, and always clean; for that I would do, and if I had rags on, I would always be clean, or else I would dabble them in water myself; but, I say, my good nurse, when I had money given me, very honestly laid it out for me, and would always tell the ladies this or that was bought with their money; and this made them oftentimes give me more, till at last I ...
— The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c. • Daniel Defoe

... of the Duc de Reichstadt in July, 1832, caused Louis Napoleon to consider himself the head of the Napoleonic family. According to M. Claude, the French Minister of Police, he came on this occasion into Paris, and remained there long enough to dabble in conspiracy. ...
— France in the Nineteenth Century • Elizabeth Latimer

... between the painter and my brother that they should depart the next day but one; they then began to talk of art. "I'll stick to the heroic," said the painter; "I now and then dabble in the comic, but what I do gives me no pleasure, the comic is so low; there is nothing like the heroic. I am engaged here on a heroic picture," said he, pointing to the canvas; "the subject is 'Pharaoh dismissing Moses from Egypt,' after the last plague—the death of the first-born; it ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... playing at being newspaper-woman she was, and taking notes for London newspaper articles all the time. Had laid out to be a little tin imitation of Dora Corr, or, say, nickel-plated, with cast chasings. Was burning for an opening in the diplomatic go-betweening line; wanted to dabble in War Correspondence, and so on. But Van Busch gathered that the biggest egg in the little lady's nest of ambitions was the desire to do a flutter on the ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... too," Burke nodded. "I have had my men out shadowing them and their friends. They tell me that the Annenbergs hold salons—I suppose you would call them that—attended by numbers of men and women of high social and intellectual position who dabble in radicalism and all sorts of things." "Who are the other leaders?" asked ...
— The War Terror • Arthur B. Reeve

... one young staff officer observed; 'it is taking a liberty with a man. Burnett always seems as though he is trying to turn a fellow inside out, to get at the other side of him'—not a very eloquent description of a would-be philosopher who loved to dabble a ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... is Mr. Collins's explanation? "Perhaps the simplest solution of the problem is to accept the hypothesis that in early life he was in an attorney's office (!), that he there contracted a love for the law which never left him, that as a young man in London he continued to study or dabble in it for his amusement, to stroll in leisure hours into the Courts, and to frequent the society of lawyers. On no other supposition is it possible to explain the attraction which the law evidently had for him, and his minute and undeviating accuracy in a subject where no layman who has indulged ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... smoothly covered and embossed with mosses, against which the white water shines out in showy relief, like a silver instrument in a velvet case. Hither come the San Gabriel lads and lassies, to gather ferns and dabble away their hot holidays in the cool water, glad to escape from their commonplace palm-gardens and orange-groves. The delicate maidenhair grows on fissured rocks within reach of the spray, while broad-leaved maples and sycamores cast ...
— The Mountains of California • John Muir

... expect you to look after me and as far as possible prevent such accidents: however, I shall not, of course, expect you to have more than one pair of eyes. My tastes are simple—I read a little, sketch a little, botanise, dabble in chemistry, am fond of carpentering—boat-building especially. My very absence of mind makes me indifferent to surroundings. In short, ...
— The Astonishing History of Troy Town • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... destroy them; women, too, seem disposed to prove that they have something else to attend to, besides setting off and conserving their beauty. We have with us a youth sent for sale to Tripoli by the Bashaw of Fezzan, who it seems must dabble in slave-dealing, notwithstanding his imprecations against the merchants of Ghadames for the same crime. He is from Mandara, and was kidnapped by the Tibboos. This is the captain of all the sham-fighters, and the leader and prompter ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... the hand, I led her right aft to the wheel grating, which we both mounted; and then I peered over the stern at the black water. Merciful Heaven, how near it was! it looked as though one could lean over the rail and dabble one's hand in it. But it was clear; there was no wreckage or anything else—so far as I could see—to hurt us, should we leap. A lifebuoy was hanging over the taffrail, suspended by a stout lanyard; and this buoy I hurriedly cut adrift, passing it over Miss Onslow's shoulders and up under her ...
— The Castaways • Harry Collingwood

... become active. He desires to dabble in science. One day he studies the Arab mystics, Oriental legends, and the next, he studies the marine fauna, etc. His perceptions have never been so clear. His brain is in continual activity. "It is strange," he acknowledges, "what a different ...
— Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... meantime frowned most ominously on Richie, who went on undauntedly to inform the king, "that his deceased father-in-law, a good careful man in the main, had a' touch of worldly wisdom about him, that at times marred the uprightness of his walk; he liked to dabble among his neighbour's gear, and some of it would at times stick to his fingers in ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... an uncommon type,—a type not strong enough to live life healthily, just strong enough to dabble in life, to trifle with emotions, to experiment with other people's lives. Indeed, I am not angry, dear; I am only—sorry; for you have played with me very nicely indeed, and very boyishly, and the summer has ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... one corner and slid it off from the rest. One would have said she was afraid of it, or had some undefined antipathy which made it hateful to her. Such odd fancies are common enough in young persons in her nervous state. Many of these young people will jump up twenty times a day and run to dabble the tips of their fingers in water, after ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... blue-stocking,[18] ready to force herself on anybody just to gratify her vanity by claiming admiration for her musical proficiency, which nobody would acknowledge unless she were a queen. Out on these queens, that dabble in matters that they do not understand, and meddle in other people's business! But now I will steal a march on her by making my escape betimes, and I will go this very moment and order my horse to be got ready, to give her the slip, in case she may be meditating anything ...
— The Substance of a Dream • F. W. Bain

... dabble in politics. And my views of political subjects were as much out of the ordinary way as my views on matters pertaining to religion. I was a republican. I would have no King, no Queen, no House of Lords, and no State Church. I would abolish the ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... round Miss Austin, he tasted, perhaps for the only time in his life, the pangs of diffidence. There was indeed opening before him a wide door of hope. He had changed into the service of Messrs. Liddell and Gordon; these gentlemen had begun to dabble in the new field of marine telegraphy; and Fleeming was already face to face with his life's work. That impotent sense of his own value, as of a ship aground, which makes one of the agonies of youth, began ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... more or less interest in matters pertaining to surgery, at least as far as it is desirable that a boy should dabble in such things. He had borrowed many books from Dr. Temple, and on two occasions had set a broken arm in a fashion that won him words of ...
— Fred Fenton Marathon Runner - The Great Race at Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... little troubled myself. I began to see more clearly that it doesn't do for a man of scruples to dabble in politics. I had a great regard for poor Johnny, and I felt no confidence in the colonel treating him with any consideration. In fact, I would not have insured Johnny's life for the next week at any conceivable premium. ...
— A Man of Mark • Anthony Hope

... our English Newman Street apostles, and of M. de la M—, the mad priest, and his congregation of mad converts, should be a warning to such of us as are inclined to dabble in religious speculations; for, in them, as in all others, our flighty brains soon lose themselves, and we find our reason speedily lying prostrated at the mercy of our passions; and I think that Madame Sand's novel of Spiridion may do a vast deal of good, and bears a good moral ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... died in her bed, warning her daughter not to dabble in the forbidden arts which she had taught her, but to cling to her husband and live an honest life as the only means of dying a more hopeful death than ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... I'll go and look for mine," said Grizzel. "I hid it in a tree near here. I am tired of gold-digging, and my feet are hot. I shall dabble them in the ...
— The Happy Adventurers • Lydia Miller Middleton

... quivering hearts, with unknown dread, As that accuser pointed to the shape Before his feet. "Dogs, will ye lap his blood Before ye die? Make haste; for it grows cold! Ye will not, will not even dabble your hands In that red puddle of flesh, what? Are ye Spaniards? Come, come, I'll look at you, perchance there's one That's but a demi-devil and holds you back." And with the word Drake stepped among their ranks And read each face among the swarthy crew— The ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... substitute, or perhaps cannot substitute other occupations for the work to which they have been accustomed, change in a singular manner; some die outright; others take to fishing, the vacancy of that amusement resembling that of their late employment under government; others, who are smarter men, dabble in stocks, lose their savings, and are thankful to obtain a place in some enterprise that is likely to succeed, after a first disaster and liquidation, in the hands of an abler management. The late clerk then rubs his hands, ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... tell you that. I never myself trust him with a case, for I will not employ barristers who dabble in politics. But you can get his address from the 'Gazette des Tribuneaux'; he is one of ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... roasting and roystering; and it is a fine sight to behold them walk, poddling one after other, with their toes out, like soldiers drilling, and their little eyes cocked all ways at once, and the way that they dib with their bills, and dabble, and throw up their heads and enjoy something, and then tell the others about it. Therefore I knew at once, by the way they were carrying on, that there must be something or other gone wholly amiss in the duck-world. Sister Annie perceived it too, but ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... born of only ordinary capacity, but of extraordinary persistency," and herein is the secret of a great life. She did not dabble in French or music or painting and give it up; she went steadily on to success. Did she neglect home duties? Never. She knit stockings a yard long for her aged father till his death, usually studying while she knit. To those who learn to be ...
— Lives of Girls Who Became Famous • Sarah Knowles Bolton

... I'm not up to that kind of thing," Geof answered; "you know I don't pretend to paint. My business is with bricks and mortar. It's only when I'm loafing that I dabble in colours." ...
— A Venetian June • Anna Fuller

... love for the excitement of gambling- -take him away from the betting ring and he goes straight to the share market to dabble in gold and silver shares. The Great Humbug Gold Mining Company is floated on the Melbourne market—a perfect fortune in itself, which influential men are floating in a kind of semi-philanthropic manner to benefit mankind ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... what is a vital lie but a lie?" the White Logic challenges. "Come. Fill your glass and let us examine these vital liars who crowd your bookshelves. Let us dabble ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... people and entered civilization. In London I worked as a clerk, and being clever I soon made money. I got hold of a man who invented penny toys, and saw the possibilities of making a fortune. I really didn't, but I collected enough money to dabble in stocks and shares. The South African boom was on, and I made a thousand. Other speculations created more than a million out of my thousand, and now I have over ...
— Red Money • Fergus Hume

... "I dabble very little in merchandise," returned the brigadier; "but, as a general principle, I should say that no article of Leaphigh manufacture would command so certain a ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... to make an' when to make it. If Molly is one thing she is game. We've got a good deal out of the mine an' it's all come so far from the sale of gold to the mint, I take it. We don't dabble in stocks. We're ahead. If the mine's gone bu'st she's done nicely ...
— Rimrock Trail • J. Allan Dunn

... it were feasible. I should be very glad to see him settled. But if he will marry no one but Florence Mountjoy he must remain unmarried. Augustus has had his hand in that business, and don't let us dabble in it." Then the squire gave the lawyer full instructions as to the will which was to be made. Mr. Grey and Mr. Bullfist were to be named as trustees, with instructions to sell everything which it would be in the ...
— Mr. Scarborough's Family • Anthony Trollope

... to carry on trade. Arenas considered this tribute paid by the alcaldes as a fine imposed upon them for an infringement of the law; "for several ordinances were in existence, strenuously forbidding them to dabble in any kind of commerce, until it pleased his Catholic Majesty to grant them a dispensation." The latter sources of mischief were, however, abolished by royal decree in September ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... Dublin en route for the Newmarket spring meeting. He told me that he made some L700 a year by the turf. "I've a cousin, you see, who is a great sporting man, and thus I'm 'in with a stable,' and get put up to tips," he said. "But for this the turf would be a very poor thing to dabble in." And this led to a talk about officers' lives and their money-affairs. "Oh," he said, "you've no notion of the number who go to utter grief. Why now, I'll tell you what happened to me last season in London. I was asked to go down and dine with some fellows at Richmond; ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Volume 11, No. 26, May, 1873 • Various

... it to themselves, to reign by it, and even with it, should that be necessary. Socialism, therein lies the future, the new instrument of government; and the kings tottering on their thrones, the middle-class presidents of anxious republics, the ambitious plotters who dream of power, all dabble in socialism! They all agree that the capitalist organisation of the State is a return to pagan times, to the olden slave-market; and they all talk of breaking for ever the iron law by which the labour of human beings ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... and sat down on the floor. "I went tired this morning, since I came in here and started talking to you—as tired as if I had been pouring my life-blood here on these planks for you to dabble your ...
— Victory • Joseph Conrad

... got into magnificent company, and modern taste finds that he deserved it; and certainly, me judice, nothing can be more purely artistic than a fine Scarabaeus, and the fascination that comes over whoever has ventured to dabble in that kind of wares is as dangerous as the chances of play. Be content with a single one! If you once get into comparison, you have abandoned yourself to the witchery of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866 • Various

... he calls "an elegant finish," and suggests that a slight indication of a young and lovely heiress in connection with himself would give pleasure to the thoughtful reader. But I do not mean at the last moment to depart from the exact truth, and dabble in fiction just to make a suitable conclusion. If I must write something more, I must beg that it will be kept in mind that if further details concerning the robbery are now added against my own judgment, they will rest on Charles's ...
— The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers • Mary Cholmondeley

... dabble her feet in the creek presented itself to her. Always she had liked to play in the water. What a delight now to take off her shoes and stockings and wade out into the shallows near the bank! She had worn low shoes ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... curiosity to know what the flower is made of. Is its colour any prettier, or its scent any sweeter, when you DO know? But there! the poor souls must get through the time, you see—they must get through the time. You dabbled in nasty mud, and made pies, when you were a child; and you dabble in nasty science, and dissect spiders, and spoil flowers, when you grow up. In the one case and in the other, the secret of it is, that you have got nothing to think of in your poor empty head, and nothing to do with your poor idle hands. And so it ends in your spoiling canvas with paints, and ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... drinking, used to get constantly drunk, and rolled from public-house to public-house, and bar to bar, and as the worst glass of vitrol still cost a penny, he became reduced to undertaking the part which you have seen, to dabble in the water, to blacken himself, and to allow ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... the first suggestion to Pope that he should translate Homer; and he exhorted his young friend to preserve his health by flying from tavern company—tanquam ex incendio. Another early patron was William Walsh, a Worcestershire country gentleman of fortune and fashion, who condescended to dabble in poetry after the manner of Waller, and to write remonstrances upon Celia's cruelty, verses to his mistress against marriage, epigrams, and pastoral eclogues. He was better known, however, as a critic, and had been declared ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... strange, its effect upon the young man was at least equally unforeseen. Greif had always despised persons who professed to dabble in the supernatural, and had laughed to scorn all the so-called manifestations of spiritualism, mesmerism, and super- rational force. When he had heard that the great astronomer Zollner had written a book to explain the performances of Slade, the medium, by means of a mathematical ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... in his way. That would explain it all right.... He must be runnin' for pretty big stakes, for that kind of lad don't dabble in crime for six-and-eightpence.... Now for the layout. You've got three men shut up in Dalquharter House, who by this time have probably escaped. One of you—what's his name?—Heritage?—is in the old Tower, and you think that they think the Princess is still there ...
— Huntingtower • John Buchan

... are going away again tomorrow?" Marjorie was saying as she continued to dabble in ...
— The Loyalist - A Story of the American Revolution • James Francis Barrett

... "I am the most miserable of men, a 'mute inglorious Milton' is nothing to me. Nature has created me a lover of the picturesque. In heart and soul I am an artist, I dabble in colours, I dream of lights and shades and glorious effects; but the power of working out my ideas is denied me. If I try to paint a tree my friends gibe at me. I am a poor literary hack; but I give you my word, my dear old Philistine, that I would willingly change places with you." Anna smiled, ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... at one time, the article had fallen in value, and left the speculating Chevalier so great a loser as to cause his bankruptcy. Whether such is the real cause or not, it is difficult to ascertain what could induce the Chevalier to descend from his dealings with the head to dabble with lower commodities. ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... the plainest of plain prose, I am not a theorist on these subjects, nor do I dabble in small fruits as a rich and fanciful amateur, to whom it is a matter of indifference whether his strawberries cost five cents or a dollar a quart. As a farmer, milk must be less expensive than champagne. I could not afford a fruit farm at all ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... still, Of which you, you alone, possess the key, A sullen nobleness to you disclosed E'en then with shame: and by no other guessed. This you well know: betray not that at least; For even the lightest woman here is scared, And dreads to dabble deeper in the ...
— Nero • Stephen Phillips

... delightful species of rhythmic work, and deserves a denomination of its own. It has the tone, less of society and of the Court, than of the familiar intercourse of every day—of the intercourse, that is, which goes on between people of ordinary breeding and education. It does not dabble in the phrase of drawing-rooms, nor does it rise to the height of sentiment or sink to the depths of low comedy. It is 'familiar, but by no means vulgar.' Its first quality is ease—absence of effort, ...
— By-ways in Book-land - Short Essays on Literary Subjects • William Davenport Adams



Words linked to "Dabble" :   dabbler, play, smatter, dunk, busy, bob, dip, paddle, souse, plunge, play around, occupy, splash around



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