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Spectacle   Listen
noun
Spectacle  n.  
1.
Something exhibited to view; usually, something presented to view as extraordinary, or as unusual and worthy of special notice; a remarkable or noteworthy sight; a show; a pageant; a gazingstock. "O, piteous spectacle? O, bloody times!"
2.
A spy-glass; a looking-glass. (Obs.) "Poverty a spectacle is, as thinketh me, Through which he may his very friends see."
3.
pl. An optical instrument consisting of two lenses set in a light frame, and worn to assist sight, to obviate some defect in the organs of vision, or to shield the eyes from bright light.
4.
pl. Fig.: An aid to the intellectual sight. "Shakespeare... needed not the spectacles of books to read nature."
Synonyms: Show; sight; exhibition; representation; pageant.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Spectacle" Quotes from Famous Books



... were stiff and weary after their first disturbed night on the floe. Just at daybreak I went over to the 'Endurance' with Wild and Hurley, in order to retrieve some tins of petrol that could be used to boil up milk for the rest of the men. The ship presented a painful spectacle of chaos and wreck. The jib-boom and bowsprit had snapped off during the night and now lay at right angles to the ship, with the chains, martingale, and bob-stay dragging them as the vessel quivered and moved ...
— South! • Sir Ernest Shackleton

... to their encampment on Long Island. Meanwhile the ships continued their firing upon the fort, which was responded to with equal vigour by the Americans. The roar of cannon ceased not till long after night-fall, and then the British fleet exhibited a sad and desolating spectacle; for while the fire of the ships made but comparatively little impression upon the fort, the fire from the fort did fearful execution upon the fleet. The following description of this day of carnage is from the pen of Burke. He says:—"Whilst the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... what you deserve. If you tell her, at least the humiliation is secret, locked there between you two, and no one else in the world can ever know what happens; but if you send some one else, and no matter who,—any one else but you is an outsider,—you ask her to make a spectacle of her humiliation, to let a third in as witness to the relations and emotions between you two! It's insulting her again! Don't ...
— The Girl with the Green Eyes - A Play in Four Acts • Clyde Fitch

... senses—I feel as if my mind also partook of the inexpressible loveliness of surrounding nature—What shall I do? Shall I disturb this calm by mingling in the world?—shall I with an aching heart seek the spectacle of misery to discover its cause or shall I hopless leave the search of knowledge & devote myself to the pleasures they say this world affords?—Oh! no—I will become wise! I will study my own heart—and ...
— Mathilda • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

... to write. Had been on shore exactly nine hours, was delighted with the country, and had already written the first chapter of a book about it. Was, nevertheless, surprised to see none of the native Red Men upon the wharf when the Canada arrived. Should have thought the spectacle would have been both novel and imposing to them. After dinner, would, with permission, go into the forests about Foxden, and visit this singular people ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... too? Great as the world! No twisted, poor convex-concave mirror, reflecting all objects with its own convexities and concavities; a perfectly level mirror;—that is to say withal, if we will understand it, a man justly related to all things and men, a good man. It is truly a lordly spectacle how this great soul takes in all kinds of men and objects, a Falstaff, an Othello, a Juliet, a Coriolanus; sets them all forth to us in their round completeness; loving, just, the equal brother of all. Novum Organum, and all the intellect you will find in Bacon, is of a quite ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... him in the sight before me. I had reached the open place with the lights and the music; but how shall I describe the spectacle that ...
— The Brownies and Other Tales • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... the idolaters round them. We shall be wondered at, just as a heathen stared with astonishment at this strange, new sect, which would have nothing to do with feasts and garlands and wine-cups and lust disguised as worship. The spectacle, when repeated to-day, of Christians steadfastly refusing to share in that lower life which is the only life of so many, is, perhaps, less wondered at now, because it is, thank God! more familiar; but it is not less disliked and 'blasphemed.' A total abstainer from intoxicants will ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... strong current of popular sentiment to uphold him as he carried out his arbitrary purposes; no engines of cruelty to fortify his authority; no "Star Chamber" to enforce his order. Men were not being nailed by the ears to the pillory, nor mutilated and branded, for resisting his will. But the spectacle was for that reason all the more astonishing: a great nation, full of rage, hate and bitterness, but silent and submissive under the spell of one ...
— The Evolution of an Empire • Mary Parmele

... The Discovery and The Dupe, and two novels, The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Biddulph, which was a great success and was translated by the Abbe Prevost into French, and The History of Nourjahad, an Oriental tale. In 1775 the singular spectacle was presented of the son's play running at Covent Garden while the mother's was being acted at ...
— The Glories of Ireland • Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox

... spectacle of mountain magnificence, it seemed to-day almost terrible in its cold, strong grandeur. The narrowing pass was choked for a moment between two gigantic buttresses of granite, approaching each other so closely at their towering summits that trees growing in opposite ...
— Snow-Bound at Eagle's • Bret Harte

... mother was sighing and whimpering in turns. Her wrinkled face, no longer rigid, was a distressing spectacle. When Rotha came close to her ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... spectacle shocked and disgusted the European spectators. Ida nearly fainted, and Mrs. Rice turned green. Noreen shuddered at Chunerbutty's fiendish and bestial expression, as he leaned forward in the howdah, his face working convulsively, ...
— The Elephant God • Gordon Casserly

... which were called out in the counties to fight against her crossed over to her side; in Northumberland's camp the same opinion gained the upper hand: the duke felt himself incapable of withstanding it: he allowed himself to be carried along by it like the rest. Men saw the extraordinary spectacle of the man who had marched out to destroy Mary now ordering her accession to be proclaimed in his encampment, he accompanied the herald and himself cried out Mary's name.[160] These English nobles have ...
— A History of England Principally in the Seventeenth Century, Volume I (of 6) • Leopold von Ranke

... motioning Tars Tarkas to follow me in that direction when the sun passed the cliff's zenith, and as the bright rays touched the dull surface it burst out into a million scintillant lights of burnished gold, of flaming red, of soft greens, and gleaming whites—a more gorgeous and inspiring spectacle human eye has never ...
— The Gods of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... the Court commenced. There have been spectacles more dazzling to the eye, more gorgeous with jewelry and cloth of gold, more attractive to grown-up children, than that which was then exhibited at Westminster; but, perhaps, there never was a spectacle so well calculated to strike a highly cultivated, a reflecting, an imaginative mind. All the various kinds of interest which belong to the near and to the distant, to the present and to the past, were collected on one spot and in one hour. All the talents and all the accomplishments which ...
— The Ontario High School Reader • A.E. Marty

... Voltemar and the Ambassadors from England. [I4] enter Fortenbrasse with his traine. Fort. Where is this bloudy fight? Hor. If aught of woe or wonder you'ld behold, Then looke vpon this tragicke spectacle. Fort. O imperious death! how many Princes Hast thou at one draft bloudily shot to death? (land, Ambass. Our ambassie that we haue brought from Eng- Where be these Princes that should heare vs speake? O most most vnlooked for time! vnhappy country. Hor. Content ...
— The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke - The First ('Bad') Quarto • William Shakespeare

... applicable to Pope. We have much allowance to make for the influence exerted on his mind by his singularly crooked frame and sickly habit of body, by his position as belonging to a proscribed faith, and by his want of training in a public school; but after all these deductions, we cannot but deplore the spectacle of one of the finest, clearest, and sharpest minds that England ever produced, so frequently reminding you of a bright sting set in the body, and steeped in the venom, of a wasp. And yet, withal, he possessed many virtues, which endeared him to a multitude of friends. He was a kind son. ...
— The Poetical Works Of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1 • Alexander Pope et al

... vulgaris. Douze savans improvises, portans des besicles, et qui ne connaissent rien des insectes, si ce n'est les morsures du culex, se precipitent sur l'instrument, et voient—une grande bulle d'air, dont ils s'emerveillent avec effusion. Ce qui est un spectacle plein d'instruction—pour ceux qui ne sont pas de ladite Societe. Tous les membres regardent les chimistes en particulier avec un air d'intelligence parfaite pendant qu'ils prouvent dans un discours d'une ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 6, April, 1858 • Various

... flowing curtain of rosy light, which wavered and moved incessantly as if agitated by a gentle breeze, though a perfect stillness reigned through the air. The child's young heart was awed by this sublime spectacle; it seemed to her as if it were indeed the throne of the Great Creator of the world that she was gazing upon; and she veiled her face in her nurse's arms, and trembled exceedingly, even as the children of Israel when the fire of Mount ...
— Lady Mary and her Nurse • Catharine Parr Traill

... be heard the clamorous shouts of a frantic mob, who climbed on the gates, tried to scale them, and pressed against them with such force that at last they bent in several places so far that it was feared they would be thrown down. This multitude of people presented a frightful spectacle, and seemed as if determined to pillage ...
— The Private Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Constant

... his opera and would have left Paris had not Marie Antoinette come to the rescue. But Vestris got his chaconne. In all likelihood Boito put the obertass into "Mefistofele" because he knew that musically and as a spectacle the Polish dance would be particularly effective in the joyous hurly-burly of the scene. A secondary meaning of the Polish word is said to be "confusion," and Boito doubtless had this in mind when he made his peasants sing with an orderly ...
— A Book of Operas - Their Histories, Their Plots, and Their Music • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... broadly hinted that he looks upon Colin Camber as an enemy. Judging from your reception at the Guest House to-day, such an enmity, and a deadly enmity, actually exists. But whereas Camber has resided here for three years, the Colonel is a newcomer. We are, therefore, offered the spectacle of a trembling victim seeking the ...
— Bat Wing • Sax Rohmer

... northwest coast of Ireland shows many remarkable geological formations, but, excepting the Giant's Causeway, no more striking spectacle is presented than that to the south of Galway Bay. From the sea, the mountains rise in terraces like gigantic stairs, the layers of stone being apparently harder and denser on the upper surfaces than beneath, so the lower portion of each ...
— Irish Wonders • D. R. McAnally, Jr.

... passed unmolested through the village of Popotla. There the Spanish commander dismounted from his weary steed, and sitting down on the steps of an Indian temple, looked mournfully on while the broken files dragged slowly past. It was a piteous spectacle. The cavalry, many of them dismounted, were mingled with the infantry, their shattered mail dripping with the salt ooze, and showing through its rents many a ghastly wound; their firearms, banners, baggage, artillery, everything was gone. Cortes, as he looked sadly on their thin, disordered ranks, ...
— The True Story Book • Andrew Lang

... they operate upon us? Here we cannot remain long in suspense, but must pronounce the impression arising from virtue, to be agreeable, and that proceding from vice to be uneasy. Every moments experience must convince us of this. There is no spectacle so fair and beautiful as a noble and generous action; nor any which gives us more abhorrence than one that is cruel and treacherous. No enjoyment equals the satisfaction we receive from the company of those we love and esteem; as the greatest of all punishments is ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... of Priuli; and he was shaken in his faith to the conspiracy, not by the tears of a woman, but partly by nis detestation of the sanguinary speech of Renault (in which Otway follows the history), and partly from being struck with compunction during the spectacle of the Doge's wedding the Adriatic, when his imagination contrasted the public rejoicings with the desolation which was to follow. After disclosing the plot, and experiencing the perfidy of the Senate, who had promised him the lives of his friends, he was made ...
— Venice Preserved - A Tragedy in Five Acts • Thomas Otway

... to witness the singular spectacle of the Oegir of Fundy; but, not receiving answer to our application for accommodations at Moncton, proceeded on our way, consoling ourselves with the thought that we could see a bore any day, without taking any special pains or going ...
— Over the Border: Acadia • Eliza Chase

... to people the room, and trying to push them aside with a restless motion of his hands; 'don't you see them, the lares and lemures? Look, there is Cleopatra with the asp at her breast! That bosom was once beautiful, and see now what a loathsome spectacle death has made it—the very worms recoil from that corruption. See, there is Canidia, the sorceress, who buried the boy alive! Look at her hair flying loose about her head! hair, no, those locks are living ...
— The Golden Calf • M. E. Braddon

... New York City saw with wonder the spectacle of a few fearless radicals, organised into a vigilance committee of fifty, closing the doors of a custom-house, guarding the gates of an arsenal, embargoing vessels ladened with supplies for British troops, and removing cannon from the Battery, ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... filled the invaders with surprise and whetted their gross avariciousness. There was much that was strange and startling in their mythology, and even their idol worship and sacrificial rites bore evidence of sincerity. Altogether, this western empire presented a strange and fascinating spectacle to the eyes of the invaders, who flattered themselves that they would be doing God service by subjugating these idolaters, and substituting their own religion for that of the natives. At the time when the Spaniards arrived in the country, Montezuma II. was on the throne, ...
— Aztec Land • Maturin M. Ballou

... land above. Father MacDonald was for forty-one years the light of a manufacturing town. And when I think of its looms and spindles and fire-engines, and forests of tall, red chimneys, and tens of thousands of operatives, Father MacDonald is the figure which illumines for me the weird and grimy spectacle, and casts over it a halo of the supernatural. Little cared he for the sparkling rivers, or bewitching lakes, or romantic mountains of the Granite State; his whole interest was ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 2, February 1886 • Various

... boys—playing a game quite up to the average of a good English club. The growing athleticism and independence, indeed, of the foreign girl, struck, for Winnington, the note of change in this mid-European spectacle more clearly than anything else. It was some ten years since he had been abroad in August, a month he had been always accustomed to spend in Scotch visits; and these young girls, with whom the Tyrol seemed ...
— Delia Blanchflower • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... or bent poniard with which he was armed from between his teeth, and held it aloft in his right hand as he came warily crawling on a foot at a time followed by the others, each with his weapon raised as though already about to plunge it into our throats. It was not a very cheering spectacle, but we held our weapons ready and watched their advance through thy grass, determined ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 28, April 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... to be entranced not only by the fair spectacle of her youth but by her delicious little air of shame and self-reproach. Evidently she had caught herself out in some small naughtiness—was both penitent and defiant, at once admitting her fault and pleading ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... preventing the wolves from digging them up. The high-colored novels, referred to heretofore, which have, during the past few years, had for their theme the Indian race, love to dwell on the imposing and affecting spectacle of an Indian burial. When stripped of fancy, the truth is, that beyond the lamenting of a few hysterical squaws and the crackling of the flames of the funeral pile, there is little ...
— The Life and Adventures of Kit Carson, the Nestor of the Rocky Mountains, from Facts Narrated by Himself • De Witt C. Peters

... that, without the ephemeral friendship of that evening, Messina of to-day might have represented to my mind a mere spectacle, the hecatomb of its inhabitants extorting little more than a conventional sigh. So it is. The human heart has been constructed on somewhat ungenerous lines. Moralists, if any still exist on earth, may generalize with eloquence from ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... soon afterwards she was ringing the bell at the chief entrance of Fareham House. She returned far more depressed in spirits than she went out, for all the horror of the plague-stricken city was upon her; and, fresh from the spectacle of death, she felt less ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... his feet to hurry down the rest of the stairs, but at the door his worst fears were confirmed, for there stood the great electric car, and the familiar face of the Endicott chauffeur assured him that some one of the family had just gone to the ghastly spectacle upstairs. ...
— Lo, Michael! • Grace Livingston Hill

... sayings, in her own voice, but reconstructed her features as he did so. All good mimicry astonishes and entertains me, and this was especially good, for it triumphed over the disabilities of a captain's uniform. Something very curious and pretty, and, through all our laughter, affecting, in the spectacle of this tall, commanding soldier painting with little loving comic touches the portrait of the old Malapropian lady with her heart of gold. That was a few short months ago, and to-day E. B. ...
— A Boswell of Baghdad - With Diversions • E. V. Lucas

... Campbell Airds, Campbell Saddell, and others of the race of Diarmid. I went for an hour to the ball, where there were many gay and some grotesque figures. A dressed ball is, for the first half-hour, a splendid spectacle; you see youth and beauty dressed in their gayest attire, unlimited, save by their own taste, and enjoying the conscious power of charming, which gives such life and alacrity to the features. But the charm ceases in this like everything else. The want of masks takes away the audacity with which the ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... courtesies. Then the miracle came to pass. Rage straightway shook Chad's soul—shook it as a terrier shakes a rat—and the look on his face and in his eyes went back a thousand years. And Richard Hunt, looking up, saw the strange spectacle, understood, and did not even smile. On the contrary, he went at once after the dance to speak to the boy and got for his answer fierce, white, staring silence and a clinched fist, that was almost ready to strike. Something else that was strange happened then to Chad. ...
— The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come • John Fox

... had said, "Adam, thou seest how the devil hath overcome thee; how he, by thy consenting to his temptation, hath made thee a subject of death and hell: but though he hath by this means made thee a spectacle of misery, even an heir of death and damnation: yet I am God, and thy sins have been against me. Now because I have grace and mercy, I will therefore design thy recovery. But how shall I bring it to pass? Why I will give my ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... early spring freshets, and at mid-level entirely disappears. The rapid is at its worst during the months of February and March, when it certainly merits the appellation of "Glorious Dragon Rapid," presenting a fine spectacle, though perhaps a somewhat fearsome one to the traveler, who is about to tackle it with his frail barque. A hundred or more wretched-looking trackers, mostly women and children, are tailed on to the three stout bamboo hawsers, ...
— Across China on Foot • Edwin Dingle

... by one Johnson who put in for a Publick-school in Shropshire,[406] but was disappointed. He has an infirmity of the convulsive kind, that attacks him sometimes, so as to make him a sad Spectacle. Mr. P. from the Merit of this Work which was all the knowledge he had of him endeavour'd to serve him without his own application; & wrote to my Ld gore, but he did not succeed. Mr. Johnson published afterwds another Poem in Latin with ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... the sad spectacle was the stream of proclamations poured forth by the Communist authorities. They comprised not only decrees, but sensational stories of victories over the Versailles troops, denunciations of the Versailles government, and even elaborate legal ...
— The Reminiscences of an Astronomer • Simon Newcomb

... themselves. Meanwhile I will have this one scourged." Then speaking to his servants, he said, "The soldiers will lead him hence and scourge him according to the Roman law." Then turning to his courtiers, he said, "Whatever he has done amiss will be sufficiently atoned for and perhaps the spectacle of the scourging may soften the blind wrath ...
— King of the Jews - A story of Christ's last days on Earth • William T. Stead

... raw poult of a chap,' replied Jack; 'just ready for anything—in a small way, at least—a chap that's always offering two to one in half-crowns. He'll have money, though, and can't be far off age. His father was a great spectacle-maker. You have heard of ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... the quarryman comes to tend his fire, and starts to see on the now redhot and glowing stones, sunk below the rim, the presentment of a skeleton formed of the purest white ashes—a ghastly spectacle in the grey of the dawn, as the mist rises and the peewit plaintively whistles over ...
— The Amateur Poacher • Richard Jefferies

... received his brother in the most surly manner, howling as though he were come to devour him, and treating him with every mark of disrespect. At length, rage and disappointment inflamed his blood, he pined away by degrees, and at last died a miserable spectacle. ...
— The Looking-Glass for the Mind - or Intellectual Mirror • M. Berquin

... I look at the frightful canvasful of terrors which he is serenely aggravating in fierceness and intensity with every successive touch, I find it difficult to realize the connection between my brother and his work, though I see them before me not six inches apart. Will this quaint spectacle possess any humorous attractions for Miss Jessie? Perhaps it may. There is some slight chance that Owen's employment will be ...
— The Queen of Hearts • Wilkie Collins

... the door of the bank together Dick could see that every eye became focussed upon them; and as for Mr. Winslow, there was an expression of actual distress upon his face, as though he realized that he was about to lose the greatest spectacle of the whole affair in being debarred from that room when Archibald Graylock was ...
— Dick the Bank Boy - Or, A Missing Fortune • Frank V. Webster

... these little people are my benefactors, and add another ray of sunshine to the May day. I shall not soon forget the spectacle of that rare little warbler peeping around the corner of the porch, like a little fairy, and ...
— Under the Maples • John Burroughs

... policemen and scowling murderers; and the crowd around her, the hundreds of hot sallow candy-munching faces, young, old, middle-aged, but all kindled with the same contagious excitement, became part of the spectacle, and danced on the screen ...
— Summer • Edith Wharton

... the whole, the Maori of to-day is difficult to reach. He has seen too much to be easily moved to wonder. When Marsden rode his horse along the beach at Oihi, the natives were struck with admiration at the novel spectacle. To-day the missionary, mounted perhaps on a humble bicycle, may meet his Maori parishioner driving the most expensive kind of motor car. Kendall acquired great influence over the native mind by exhibiting a barrel ...
— A History of the English Church in New Zealand • Henry Thomas Purchas

... interpretation. In the most influential circles of the theatrical profession it has become a commonplace to assert that Shakespearean drama cannot be successfully produced, cannot be rendered tolerable to any substantial section of the playgoing public, without a plethora of scenic spectacle and gorgeous costume, much of which the student regards as superfluous and inappropriate. An accepted tradition of the modern stage ordains that every revival of a Shakespearean play at a leading theatre shall ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... eleven o'clock. The descent was a winding and difficult one, and took them an hour and a half, during the whole of which they were spectators of an extraordinary scene below, the last and most fiendish spectacle in eight months of almost ...
— Historic Tales, Vol. 8 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... and walked away, thinking to himself, 'Twould take an all-fired while to scrape them tar and feathers off of me, I'm so big, and I b'lieve the feller meant it. Them high bucks wouldn't like no better fun than to make a spectacle of me; so I guess I'll dry up ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... thoughts to our own hemisphere, where I imagined that I discerned something analogous to the spectacle which the New World presented to me. I observed that the equality of conditions is daily progressing towards those extreme limits which it seems to have reached in the United States, and that the democracy which governs the American communities appears to be rapidly rising into power ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 1 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... Roses had left the crown powerful to enforce order, and protect industry and trade. The nation was beginning to grow rich. When the day's work was done, men's leisure was not disturbed by the events of neighbouring war. They had time to open their imaginations to the great spectacle which had been unrolled before them, to reflect upon it, to put into shape their thoughts about it. The intellectual movement of the time had reached England, and its strong impulse to mental efforts in ...
— Spenser - (English Men of Letters Series) • R. W. Church

... different times. It would seem from certain papers, now in the library of the University of Leyden, and included in Huygens's papers, that Lippershey was probably the first to invent a telescope and to describe his invention. The story is told that Lippershey, who was a spectacle-maker, stumbled by accident upon the discovery that when two lenses are held at a certain distance apart, objects at a distance appear nearer and larger. Having made this discovery, he fitted two lenses with a tube so as to maintain them at the proper distance, ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... of the occasion being enhanced according to the rank and wealth of the parties. But earth has never witnessed such an event as this special marriage of the Lamb. Well may the inhabitants of heaven and earth, in view of this sublime spectacle, swell the song of praise—"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." The special preparations that the bride is making represents the glorious holiness reformation that is now ...
— The Revelation Explained • F. Smith

... calling, from side to side of the twisting street; the bargaining of the sellers at the stalls—all this, with the rattle of their own horses' feet and the jingling of the bits, combined only to make a noisy and brilliant spectacle without ...
— Come Rack! Come Rope! • Robert Hugh Benson

... the East End on a Saturday night, and the spectacle afforded by these busy marts, lighted by naphtha flames, in whose smoky glare Jews and Jewesses, Poles, Swedes, Easterns, dagoes, and halfcastes moved feverishly, was a fascinating one. She thought how utterly alien they were, the men and women of a world unknown to that society upon whose ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... the city blazed with a crown of lighted lamps around its upper gallery, while the long shafts below, and the tapering cones above, topped with brazen crescents, shone fair in the moonlight. It was a strange, brilliant spectacle. In the square before the principal mosque we found a crowd of persons frolicking around the fountain, in the light of a number of torches on poles planted in the ground. Mats were spread on the stones, ...
— The Lands of the Saracen - Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain • Bayard Taylor

... were never weary of gazing on this magnificent and novel spectacle, of the grandeur of which, it is hardly necessary to say, no description can give an adequate idea. What profound reflections it suggested to their understandings! What vivid emotions it enkindled in their imaginations! Barbican, desirous ...
— All Around the Moon • Jules Verne

... yet. Over how many is it more? They fought after a fashion; they fought valiantly. But how would it have been possible not steadily to yield ground against such a pitiless, powerful foe as poverty? The man had taken to drink, to blunt outraged self-respect and to numb his despair before the spectacle of his family's downfall. Mrs. Cassatt was as poor a manager as the average woman in whatever walk of life, thanks to the habit of educating woman in the most slipshod fashion, if at all, in any other part of the business but sex-trickery. Thus she was helpless before the tenement ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... says Henry Cabot Lodge, in his interesting life of Washington, "the enemy, the bleak winters, raw soldiers, and all the difficulties of impecunious government, with a cheerful courage that never failed. But the spectacle of wide-spread popular demoralization, of selfish scramble for plunder, and of feeble administration at the centre of government, weighed upon him heavily." And all this at the period of the French alliance, which it was thought would soon end the war. Indeed, ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XI • John Lord

... This spectacle I have seen, such as described, beneath the wall of the Seraglio at Constantinople, in the little cavities worn by the Bosphorus in the rock, a narrow terrace of which projects between the wall and the water. I think the fact is also mentioned in Hobhouse's ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 7) • Lord Byron

... in tradition, the half-obscured names of the sites celebrated in classic story, and the spectacle of the white oxen drawing the rustic carts of Virgil's time—these things roused in him such an echo as Chevy Chase roused in the noble Sidney, and made him shout with joy. A pensive vein of contemporary reflection enriches the book with passages ...
— The House of Cobwebs and Other Stories • George Gissing

... were decisive as to the fate of France, to wit, Crecy, on the 26th of August, 1346; Poictiers, on the 19th of September, 1356; and Azincourt, on the 25th of October, 1415, considered as historical events, were all alike, offering a spectacle of the same faults and the same reverses, brought about by the same causes. In all three, no matter what was the difference in date, place, and persons engaged, it was a case of undisciplined forces, without co-operation or order, and ill-directed by their commanders, advancing, bravely and one ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume II. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... a spectacle?" said Eunice, surveying its mud-splashed sides. "Won't the boys give you a blessing, ...
— Cricket at the Seashore • Elizabeth Westyn Timlow

... his mill, and the mill door shut, as he came downstairs from putting corn into the hopper, he saw a woman standing in the middle of the floor, with her hair all bloody, hanging about her ears, and five large wounds in her head. Graham, though he was a bold man, was exceedingly shocked at this spectacle. At last after calling upon God to protect him, he, in a low voice, demanded who she was, and what she wanted of him. To which the woman made answer, I am the spirit of Anne Walker, who lived with Walker at Chester-in-the-Street, ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... Blake, or {436} some other philanthropic individual; if such there be, let them repair to our Metropolitan Cathedral on the day of the annual assemblage of the London charity children: and if, on contemplating the spectacle which will there meet their eye, they do not think it an object of interest to discover who, as Dr. Kennett says, "first cast in the salt at the fountain-head to heal the waters, and broke the ground that was ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 210, November 5, 1853 • Various

... indeed, though a depraved religion, has had something to do, as we shall see, with the civilization of the Turks; but the circumstances have been altogether different from those which we trace in the history of England, Rome, or Greece. The Turks present the spectacle of a race poured out, as it were, upon a foreign material, interpenetrating all its parts, yet preserving its individuality, and at length making its way through it, and reappearing, in substance the same as before, but charged with the qualities of the material through which it has been passed, ...
— Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) • John Henry Newman

... all read of men who were petrified by terror. Of the few persons who have really witnessed that spectacle, I am one. The utter stillness of him was really terrible to see. Cristel wrote in his book an excuse, no doubt prepared beforehand: "That fall in the next room frightened me, and I felt faint. I went to get ...
— The Guilty River • Wilkie Collins

... when the door opened and Alexander stepped in, dropping her pack to the floor and standing speechless for a moment or two as her amazed eyes took in the composition of the picture. Alexander had never seen such a spectacle before, and as she looked about for someone who appeared to have authority here, her fine eyes and lips ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... affords so big a part of the hourly spectacle of warfare, and makes so great a difference in the obvious conditions of the fight, that he deserves a letter to himself. But of all the differences, by far the greatest is that our troops here have a ...
— Letters from France • C. E. W. Bean

... games. Play is necessary for the growing boy and play that engages many participants has the most value. America today is suffering from highly specialized, semi-professional athletics and games. "When athletics degenerate into a mere spectacle, then is the stability of the nation weakened. Greece led the world, while the youth of that great country deemed it an honor to struggle for the laurel leaf, and gymnasiums were everywhere and universally used and the people saw little good in an education that ...
— Camping For Boys • H.W. Gibson

... glitter of brocade, pearls, and ivory. It seemed that the very rays of the sun were dissolving in that abyss of brilliancy. And though wretched people were not lacking in that throng, people with sunken stomachs, and with hunger in their eyes, that spectacle inflamed not only their desire of enjoyment and their envy, but filled them with delight and pride, because it gave a feeling of the might and invincibility of Rome, to which the world contributed, and before ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... gun-fire is heard from the direction of Westende, and Belgium is still bathing. But it must have been only just before the War, for the emancipation which the female sex here enjoys is marked by an extreme modernity. A decade or two ago we might have been shocked at the spectacle of a young lady turning up at a bachelor's flat at 9 A.M. on a Sunday in a ball-frock, after a night out at a dancing-club. Lately we have learnt to bear such escapades without flinching. But it was not so with Emily's guardian, Sir Samuel Lethbridge, very ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 150, February 2, 1916 • Various

... just have chosen it as the most rational one conceivable. But the absolute is represented as a being without environment, upon which nothing alien can be forced, and which has spontaneously chosen from within to give itself the spectacle of all that evil rather than a spectacle with less evil in it.[9] Its perfection is represented as the source of things, and yet the first effect of that perfection is the tremendous imperfection of all ...
— A Pluralistic Universe - Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the - Present Situation in Philosophy • William James

... in the Barotse country, Livingstone saw heathenism in its most unadulterated form. It was a painful, loathsome, and horrible spectacle. His views of the Fall and of the corruption of human nature were certainly not lightened by the sight. In his Journal he is constantly letting fall expressions of weariness at the noise, the excitement, the wild savage dancing, ...
— The Personal Life Of David Livingstone • William Garden Blaikie

... was so embarrassingly complete, the German commander asked permission to march it off in whatever direction desired by his captors. The request was granted, and there followed the somewhat amusing spectacle of an entire German regiment, without arms, marching off the battlefield under their own officers. The captured regiment was escorted to the rear by mounted American guards, who smilingly and leisurely rode their horses cowboy fashion as they ...
— "And they thought we wouldn't fight" • Floyd Gibbons

... slaves, and no whit beseeming the calling of a gentleman, as Frenchmen and Germans commonly do, neglect therefore all human learning, what have they to do with it? Let mariners learn astronomy; merchants, factors study arithmetic; surveyors get them geometry; spectacle-makers optics; land-leapers geography; town-clerks rhetoric, what should he do with a spade, that hath no ground to dig; or they with learning, that have no use of it? thus they reason, and are not ashamed to let mariners, apprentices, and the basest servants, ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... firmness, and seemed made almost for perpetuity; I say it is hard to conceive of faculties so strong and richly matured, reduced now even to imbecility! The image of death I could withstand, for it is the lot of mortals, but the spectacle of such a mind associated with living extinction, appears incongruous, and to exceed the power of possible combination. Those who witnessed the progressive advances of this mournful condition were prepared for the event by successive ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... gorgeous silk handkerchief over her raven hair, a purple scarf about her throat, brass ear-rings and finger-rings, and a whole pint of pinchbeck jewellery, including a Waterbury watch. Snettishane could scarce contain himself at the spectacle, but watching his chance drew her aside ...
— The Faith of Men • Jack London

... "Well"—and he paused. Then very haltingly at first, but afterwards more easily, he began to tell of the thing that was hidden in his life, the haunting memory of a beauty and a happiness that filled his heart with insatiable longings that made all the interests and spectacle of worldly life seem dull and ...
— The Door in the Wall And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... council of war, in which it was resolved, that as the troops were sickly, the rainy season begun, and several transports not yet arrived, the intended expedition was become impracticable. In pursuance of this determination, the armament immediately returned to Jamaica, exhibiting a ridiculous spectacle of folly ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... and La Fontaine's Fables, by French and Spanish soldiers marching through his native city, and by listening to the wonderful folk tales of his country. On a toy stage and with toy actors, these vivid impressions took actual form. The world continued a dramatic spectacle to him throughout his existence. His consuming ambition was for the stage, but he had none of the personal graces so necessary for success. He was ungainly and awkward, like his "ugly duckling." But when at last he began to write, he had the power to transfer to the ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... temple, which is cloven beneath his feet; two armed virgins, Minerva and Diana, accompany him. We have heard the whistling of their bows, and the clang of their lances. Hasten, O Greeks! upon the steps of your gods, if you wish to partake of their victory!' That spectacle, those exhortations pronounced amidst the rolling of the thunder, and by the glare of the lightning, filled the Hellenes with a supernatural enthusiasm; they reformed in battle array, and precipitated ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348 • Various

... of Junnoo was just scattering the mists from its snowy shoulders, and standing forth to view, the most magnificent spectacle I ever beheld. It was quite close to me, bearing north-east by east, and subtending an angle of 12 degrees 23, and is much the steepest and most conical of all the peaks of these regions. From whichever side ...
— Himalayan Journals (Complete) • J. D. Hooker

... the queen of the earth; and from her hands came the crown of the emperor of the north, and the keys of the father of the church. Her situation was precisely that which presented a vase and glittering triumph to bold ambition,—an inspiring, if mournful, spectacle to determined patriotism,—and a fitting stage for that more august tragedy which seeks its incidents, selects its actors, and shapes its moral, amidst the vicissitudes ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... As the plain rises into the hill-side, the Ash-trees may be distinguished by their peculiar shades of salmon, mulberry, and purple, and the Hickories by their invariable yellows. The Elm, the Lime, and the Buttonwood are always blemished and rusty: they add no brilliancy to the spectacle, serving only to sober and relieve ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 46, August, 1861 • Various

... on this fairy spectacle, a strange noise came to his ear from a distance. At first it seemed like a human voice. After following the sound he reached the shore of a lake. Floating at a distance upon its waters sat a most beautiful ...
— The Indian Fairy Book - From the Original Legends • Cornelius Mathews

... There was a woman's resolution in it. With the sudden rending of the clouds which had obscured her intellect, strange powers had awakened in this young girl, giving her a force of expression which, in connection with her inextinguishable beauty, formed a spectacle before which this older woman, in spite of her long experience, hesitated ...
— The House of the Whispering Pines • Anna Katharine Green

... He reached the bush a full length ahead of the others, who were laughing so hard they could hardly stay on their horses. The spectacle of the gaunt, elderly man sitting straight up in the saddle, teeth clenched and bowed legs wrapped around his pony, was too much for them. They leaned on their pommels weakly and roared ...
— The Boy Ranchers on Roaring River - or Diamond X and the Chinese Smugglers • Willard F. Baker

... and instructive sight—an upper middle-class family in full plumage. But whosoever of these favoured persons has possessed the gift of psychological analysis (a talent without monetary value and properly ignored by the Forsytes), has witnessed a spectacle, not only delightful in itself, but illustrative of an obscure human problem. In plainer words, he has gleaned from a gathering of this family—no branch of which had a liking for the other, between no three members of ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... lost upon Lucien; the all-absorbing spectacle of the boxes prevented him from thinking of anything else. He guessed that he himself was an object of no small curiosity. Louise, on the other hand, was exceedingly mortified by the evident slight esteem in which the Marquise held ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... all feeling of exhaustion and fatigue, and we now went round the ever-smoking cone, as it threw out its stones and ashes. Wherever the space allowed of our viewing it at a sufficient distance, it appeared a grand and elevating spectacle. In the first place, a violent thundering toned forth from its deepest abyss, then stones of larger and smaller sizes were showered into the air by thousands, and enveloped by clouds of ashes. The greatest part fell again into the gorge; the rest of the fragments, receiving a lateral inclination, ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Vol VIII - Italy and Greece, Part Two • Various

... advance further, as Isaiah: "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs. The earth also shall cast out her dead." This, taken with the sublime spectacle of Hades in the fourteenth chapter, seems a forecast of the future, but Jesus instructed Mary and her sister and Lazarus; and Martha without hesitation spoke of the resurrection at the last day as a familiar ...
— The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume II (of 2), 1869-1873 • David Livingstone

... he had seen a man whip a dog. The dog had writhed rather comically on the ground, and his cries had filled the air. He himself had stood on the store porch and watched the performance in a detached, judicial frame of mind. It had been a spectacle, and nothing more; but this was vastly different. That had been an old hound, and this ...
— Frank of Freedom Hill • Samuel A. Derieux

... forward to his cave, and behold! what a spectacle awaited him after that concert! For there did they all sit together whom he had passed during the day: the king on the right and the king on the left, the old magician, the pope, the voluntary beggar, the shadow, the intellectually conscientious one, the sorrowful ...
— Thus Spake Zarathustra - A Book for All and None • Friedrich Nietzsche

... us leave these disgusting animals, and return to the upland woods and prairies, where nature seems ever smiling, and where the flowers, the birds, and harmless quadrupeds present to the eye a lively and diversified spectacle. One of the prettiest coups-d'oeil in the world is to witness the gambols and amusements of a herd of horses, or a flock of antelopes. No kitten is more playful than these beautiful animals, when grazing undisturbed in the prairies; ...
— Monsieur Violet • Frederick Marryat

... greater part of those inferior persons were, in one rank or other, connected with the Order, and were accordingly distinguished by their black dresses. But peasants from the neighbouring country were not refused admittance; for it was the pride of Beaumanoir to render the edifying spectacle of the justice which he administered as public as possible. His large blue eyes seemed to expand as he gazed around the assembly, and his countenance appeared elated by the conscious dignity, and imaginary merit, of the part which he ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... dispassionately he looks upon the personages of the drama, as they advance, retreat, and countermarch, little by little yielding up their secret, disclosing all the subtle interplay of human motives. From the heights of his knowledge the critic surveys the spectacle; with an insight born of his learning, he penetrates the mysteries of the playwright's craft. He knows what thought and skill have gone into this result; he knows the weary hours of toil, the difficulties ...
— The Gate of Appreciation - Studies in the Relation of Art to Life • Carleton Noyes

... spectacle of my humiliation and of her triumph. The sudden silence that had fallen upon me seemed to frighten her. "I spared you, at the time," she said. "I would have spared you now, if you had not forced me to speak." She moved away as if to leave the room—and hesitated before she got to the door. "Why ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins



Words linked to "Spectacle" :   bloomer, blooper, spectacular, blunder, botch, flub, sight, boner, foul-up, pratfall, boo-boo, naumachia



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