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Listlessness

noun
1.
A feeling of lack of interest or energy.  Synonyms: languor, lassitude.
2.
Inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy.  Synonyms: torpidity, torpidness, torpor.






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"Listlessness" Quotes from Famous Books



... attention. Long-indulged sorrow had preyed on his mental and corporeal functions, and rendered him ill able to support that severe blow. Williams sincerely repented the circumstantial disclosure he had made. A feverish listlessness seized on the unhappy Evellin, which yielded only to the visitation of a more dreadful calamity. It was not decided insanity, but it dispelled the hopes which had been formed of his being able to reclaim ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... let the situation of such persons be changed; bring them, for instance, from the listlessness of retirement to the business and bustle of the city; give them a variety of imperative employments, and so place them in society as to supply to their cerebral organs that extent of exercise which gives health and vivacity of action, ...
— A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (Revised Edition) • Calvin Cutter

... A deadly listlessness would come over most men's imagination of the future if they could seriously be brought to believe that never again in soecula soeculorum would a war trouble human history. In such a stagnant summer afternoon of a world, where would be the ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... la Bunthorne in Gilbert and Sullivan's opera, "Patience," was well calculated to deceive all who were not in the secret. Field's talent as a farceur and a mimic enabled him to assume and carry out the expression of bored listlessness which was the popular idea of the leader of aesthetes. Nobody in the curious, whooping, yelling crowd assembled along the well-advertised route suspected the delusion, and after an hour's parade Field succeeded in making his exit from public gaze ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... his grasp, and retreated until the table was between them. Her listlessness was a thing forgotten. She was panting with the quick ...
— Lonesome Land • B. M. Bower

... new joy in rushing thus through the increasingly-beautiful districts which bordered the track. It was only when Gaga became expostulatory that she abandoned this pleasure and yielded to his tumultuous affection, with a listlessness and a sense of criticism which was new to her. Silly fool; why couldn't he sit still and be quiet! She belonged to herself, not to him. Almost, she thrust him away ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... compressed as to prevent the free play of the lungs, the whole system of respiration and circulation is deranged. The consequences are, shortness of breath, faintness, impeded circulation, producing listlessness and languor; and inclination of the blood to the head, producing headache and distressing dizziness. And, if this course is long persisted in, destruction of health is the inevitable conscience; and often the poor deluded victim of a barbarous fashion pays the forfeit of her life. ...
— A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females - Being a Series of Letters from a Brother to a Younger Sister • Harvey Newcomb

... nor in any other situation where he deemed himself liable to notice. Here it was wofully visible, in this intense seclusion of the forest, which of itself would have been a heavy trial to the spirits. There was a listlessness in his gait; as if he saw no reason for taking one step farther, nor felt any desire to do so, but would have been glad, could he be glad of anything, to fling himself down at the root of the nearest tree, and lie there ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... it is now understood, is not exactly conducive to love. In this I do not think that I am stating an anomaly. Love in marriage is, as a rule, too much at his ease; he stretches himself with too great listlessness in armchairs too well cushioned. He assumes the unconstrained habits of dressing-gown and slippers; his digestion goes wrong, his appetite fails and of an evening, in the too-relaxing warmth of a nest, made for him, he yawns ...
— Monsieur, Madame and Bebe, Complete • Gustave Droz

... agree; as it is I must keep to my old opinion, and I dare say you will say that I am an obstinate old blockhead. (477/3. The raising of the hands in surprise is explained ("Expression of Emotions," Edition I., page 287) on the doctrine of antithesis as being the opposite of listlessness. Mr. Wallace's view (given in the 2nd edition of "Expression of the Emotions," page 300) is that the gesture is appropriate to sudden defence or to the giving of aid to ...
— More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II - Volume II (of II) • Charles Darwin

... swift wits and decision of the girl, I hastened through the corridor, down the stairs, and into the hall. The Count and the long-nosed man were so buried in their game that neither looked up. A pair of varlets in attendance were yawning on a bench. Yawning in imitation, I passed with feigned listlessness to the terrace, went noiselessly along by the house-wall, and followed the wing to the end of the balustrade. I did not venture even to look toward the steps, but I could hear the maid talking and laughing coquettishly. I crossed the balustrade by sitting ...
— The Bright Face of Danger • Robert Neilson Stephens

... sat down. A listlessness was upon him that the ozone of the prairies had never let him feel. He felt cramped for room, as though, should he draw as full a breath as he wished, it would exhaust the supply. A big freshly-shaven policeman strolled by, eying him suspiciously. It gave the young man ...
— Ben Blair - The Story of a Plainsman • Will Lillibridge

... eyes and thoughts fasten upon the crowd of melancholy, fever-eaten filibusters, who walk with heavy pace up and down the corridors, and along the paths which cross the grass-grown plaza. There was a morbid, yellowish glaze, almost universal, on their faces, and an unnatural listlessness and utter lack of animation in all their movements and conversation, which contrasted painfully with the boisterous hilarity and rugged healthiness of our late Californian fellow-travellers. Their appearance ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... Our listlessness was broken on January 6th, when the thunder of the guns around Ladysmith was so distinct that it seemed as if Chieveley must be attacked. Everybody soon learned that the Boers were making a desperate attempt to capture the town, and there was ...
— The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War - With a Description of the Operations in the Aden Hinterland • Cecil Francis Romer and Arthur Edward Mainwaring

... The listlessness of that man whom he had always seen acting under the stress of a secret passion seemed perfectly appalling to Carter's youthful and deliberate energy. Ever since he had found himself again face to face with Lingard he had ...
— The Rescue • Joseph Conrad

... thoughts he had been thinking; but his physical languor at times, especially in the mornings, was very painful to see. He did not get up till very late, and complained to me more than once of a terrible listlessness and dejection to which he was liable during the earlier part of the day. But he spoke little of his own sufferings, or rather malaise, which I gathered was very great, only saying once or twice, "It is fortunate how habituated one gets ...
— Memoirs of Arthur Hamilton, B. A. Of Trinity College, Cambridge • Arthur Christopher Benson

... the swaggering sort which used to enter the army in those days, left the balcony hurriedly. I saw him at the window, speaking earnestly to her, pointing to the square, in which, already, the darkness hid us. I saw the listlessness fall from her. She seemed to waken up into intense life in an instant. She walked with a swift decision peculiar to her away from the window, leaving the hulking fellow, an elderly, dissolute-looking man, with the wild puffy eyes of the drinker, to pick ...
— Martin Hyde, The Duke's Messenger • John Masefield

... there was nothing more to be regretted than in all his blameless life. I suppose there never was an illness that had more of dignity, and sweetness and resignation in it. It came on gradually, in a kind of listlessness and want of appetite. An alarming symptom was his preference for the warmth of a furnace-register to the lively sparkle of the open woodfire. Whatever pain he suffered, he bore it in silence, and seemed only anxious not to obtrude his malady. We tempted ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... mass lay torpid and helpless, and could be insulted or despoiled with impunity. The whole administration, military and naval, financial and colonial, was utterly disorganized. Charles was a fit representative of his kingdom, impotent physically, intellectually and morally, sunk in ignorance, listlessness and superstition, yet swollen with a notion of his own dignity, and quick to imagine and to resent affronts. So wretched had his education been that, when he was told of the fall of Mons, the most ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... spring came, and Hobert crept out into the sunshine; but his cheek was pale, and his chest hollow, and there was more than the old listlessness upon him. As a tree that is dying will sometimes put forth sickly leaves and blossoms, and still be dying all the while, so it was with him. His hand was often on his breast, and his look often said, "This will be the death of me." The bees hummed in the flowers about his feet, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... said they, "we will initiate you into the eternal glorification of God in that most magnificent and spacious temple which is in heaven, and so will introduce you to the enjoyment of eternal happiness." These words, however, made but little impression upon them, on account of the listlessness of their minds, arising from the long elevation of their thoughts above their ordinary labors and employments. But when they attempted to disengage themselves from them, the priests caught hold of their hands and garments, in order to force them back again ...
— The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love • Emanuel Swedenborg

... Recovering from the first shock, she sank into a state of dreamy listlessness, which, however, was at times interrupted by some wild hopes which would intrude in spite of herself. These hopes were that Hilda, after all, might not be lost. She might have been found by some one and carried off somewhere. Wild enough were these hopes, and Zillah ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... is the listlessness with which during all the centuries that have elapsed since the first names were given to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, men have passed by what was much ...
— Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language • Max Muller

... I'm sure, Molly," said Cissy apologetically; and seeing that her room was preferred to her company, she went out into the kitchen-garden to seek solace for her listlessness there. ...
— Teddy - The Story of a Little Pickle • J. C. Hutcheson

... sisters. Nay, I had taken up a work of the kind now and then, when I knew my sisters were observing me, looked into it for a moment, and then laid it down, with a slight supercilious smile. On the present occasion, out of mere listlessness, I took up the volume and turned over a few of the first pages. I thought I heard some one coming, and laid it down. I was mistaken; no one was near, and what I had read tempted my curiosity to read a little further. I leaned against a window-frame, and in ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... Revolution had passed rapidly. Joy gave place to cares and alarms. Autocracy had bequeathed to the country an unwieldy heritage: the army and the whole mechanism of the state were disorganized. Taking advantage of the listlessness of the army, the Bolshevist propaganda developed and at the same time increased the desire of the soldiers to fight no more. The disorganization was felt more and more at the front; at the same time anarchy ...
— Bolshevism - The Enemy of Political and Industrial Democracy • John Spargo

... simulated more joy than the moment brought, for such a day, dreamed of through years, was sure in its realisation to prove something of an anti-climax after the cruel nature of all such events. Despite Chris and her ceaseless efforts to keep joy at the flood, a listlessness stole over the little party as the day wore on. Phoebe found her voice not to be relied upon and felt herself drifting into that state between laughter and tears which craves solitude for its exhibition. The cows came home to be milked, and there seemed but few of them after the great ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... shiftless lassitude of a gambler can never be mistaken for the lounge of a gentleman. Even the brokers who loiter upon Montgomery Street at high noon are not loungers. Look at them closely and you will see a feverishness and anxiety under the mask of listlessness. They do not lounge—they lie in wait. No surer sign, I imagine, of our peculiar civilization can be found than this lack of repose in its constituent elements. You cannot keep Californians quiet even in their ...
— Urban Sketches • Bret Harte

... over to leeward, and were jammed and broken under the boxes and coils of rigging. To crown all, we were allowed no light to find anything with, and I was just beginning to feel strong symptoms of sea-sickness, and that listlessness and inactivity which accompany it. Giving up all attempts to collect my things together, I lay down on the sails, expecting every moment to hear the cry, "All hands ahoy!'' which the approaching storm would make necessary. I shortly heard the raindrops ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... during which he perceived her weak side, and being enamoured of her person, flattered her out of all her caution. The privilege of his character furnished him with opportunities to lay snares for her virtue, and, taking advantage of that listlessness, languor, and indolence of the spirits, by which all the vigilance of the soul is relaxed, he, after a long course of attention and perseverance, found means to make shipwreck of ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... Bert, blackened with dust and perspiration and weary to the point of listlessness, sat with elbows on knees, talking in low, slow tones on the never-failing topic, crops and profits. Their voices chimed with the ...
— A Little Norsk; Or, Ol' Pap's Flaxen • Hamlin Garland

... doubts, oh! would that you would light the lamp of knowledge." Buddha knowing that this twice-born sage was heartily desirous of finding the best mode of escape, with soft and pliant voice, he bade him come and welcome. Hearing his bidding and his heart complying, losing all listlessness of body or spirit, his soul embraced the terms of this most excellent salvation. Quiet and calm, putting away defilement, the great merciful, as he alone knew how, briefly explained the mode of this deliverance, exhibiting ...
— Sacred Books of the East • Various

... at once what a change had taken place amongst the men. All listlessness had gone, and they were watching the King's ship, for such Captain Chubb had declared her to be at once, and were talking in excited whispers together, their manner showing that whatever the captain's opinion might be, theirs was, as sailors, ...
— The Ocean Cat's Paw - The Story of a Strange Cruise • George Manville Fenn

... flagged in the least, the sermon was done. There was no looking at watches, no stifled yawning, no uneasy change of position, no watching the clock; strangers visiting the chapel listened, at first, from real interest, with a feeling that by-and-by they would relapse into their usual listlessness, but before they had time to relapse, behold the sermon was done. This afternoon there was the accustomed attention, and then after the closing hymn, the congregation streamed out into the late afternoon again to enjoy the ...
— The Old Stone House • Anne March

... Powers; and the mingled charm and authority of his presence did much to thwart the petty prejudices and intrigues prevalent at that capital. He took Brussels and Frankfurt on his way to Berlin, and his diary shows the listlessness or discontent which had infected the officers of the British army. Many of them openly brought against the Duke of York the most outrageous and unfounded charges, and it seems that about fifty of them went on furlough to England, where they spread ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... a few weeks after his arrival in town we find frequent allusions to the dinners at their house (where he kept his best gown and periwig), sometimes with the explanation that he went there "out of mere listlessness," or because it was wet, or because another engagement had broken down. Only thrice does he mention the "eldest daughter": once on her birthday; once on the occasion of a trick played him, when he received a message that she was suddenly very ill ...
— The Journal to Stella • Jonathan Swift

... not quite be sure, and she tried to shut her eyes when the little pieces fell off, to remind herself that she must make allowances for the severity of his disappointment. Spring was here, the spring to which he had so eagerly looked forward, and yet the listlessness with which he went about his work was apparent. Sometimes he did not appear at breakfast, although Honora clung with desperation to the hour they had originally fixed: sometimes Mr. Manning waited for him until nearly ten o'clock, only ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... so different, proves to us that the true scholar is always a scholar of truth. No matter what element of the public sentiment he met—the listlessness of pampered wealth; the brutal prejudice of some voting savage; the refined sneer of lettered dilettanteism; the purposed aversion of trade or pulpit fearing disturbed markets or pews;—he beat lustily ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... knowledge, or knowing of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, there is begot in Christians a greater desire to press forwards to that which is before them (Phil 3:12-21). What is the reason of all that sloth, carnal contentedness, and listlessness of spirit in Christians, more than the ignorance of this. For he that thinks he knows what can be known, is beyond all reason that should induce him to seek yet after more. Now the love of Christ may be said, not to be knowable, upon a threefold account: [namely]. For ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... said Davenport, with a listlessness that silenced Larcher, who fell into conjecture of its cause. Was it the effect of many failures? Or had it some particular source? What part in its origin had been played by the woman to whose fickleness the man had briefly alluded? And, finally, had the story behind it anything to do with ...
— The Mystery of Murray Davenport - A Story of New York at the Present Day • Robert Neilson Stephens

... matter of fact the pace was beginning to tell on Brewster. Work and worry were plainly having an effect on his health. His color was bad, his eyes were losing their lustre, and there was a listlessness in his actions that even determined effort could not conceal from his friends. Little fits of fever annoyed him occasionally and he admitted that he did not feel ...
— Brewster's Millions • George Barr McCutcheon

... presently heard in the outer passage, and soon afterward American soldiers filled the adjoining apartment to that in which the General himself was, but his disguise proved his preservation. Captain Bouchette, with peculiar self-possession and affected listlessness, walked up to the Governor, and with the greatest familiarity beckoned him away, at the same time apprising him of the threatened danger. Passing through the midst of the heedless guards, and hastening to the beach, they moved oft ...
— Famous Firesides of French Canada • Mary Wilson Alloway

... Chief among these are habitual costiveness, heartburn and nausea, disinclination to eat, listlessness and weakness, accompanied with fatigue after walking, &c., restlessness and disturbed sleep at night, bad taste in the mouth, with white tongue, especially in the morning, accompanied at times with fulness in the ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... over an unread book. Hugh, after observing me for a little, advised me to work quite deliberately, and to divide up my time among various occupations. It would have been useless to attempt it, for Nature was at work recuperating in her own way by an enforced listlessness and dreariness. But I have often since then thought how impossible it would have been for him to have endured such a condition. He had nothing passive about him; and I feel that he had every right to live his life on his own lines, to neglect warnings, ...
— Hugh - Memoirs of a Brother • Arthur Christopher Benson

... the gate she grew apprehensive. She had not been within the house often and then only for a moment to wait for Mavis. She had always been half-fearful and ill at ease with the sombre-faced woman who always searched her with big dark eyes whose listlessness seemed but to veil mysteries and hidden fires. As she was getting out of her carriage she saw Martha Hawn's pale face at the window. She expected the door to be opened, as she climbed the steps, but it was not, and when ...
— The Heart Of The Hills • John Fox, Jr.

... tenderness of love beyond all expression. The child of Pierce Armitage, lawfully or unlawfully begotten, was now to her the one joy of existence,—the link that fastened her more closely to life,—and she worried herself secretly over the evident listlessness, fatigue and depression of the girl who had so lately been the very embodiment of happiness. But she did not like to ask questions,—she knew that Innocent had a very resolute mind of her own, and that if she elected to remain silent on any subject whatsoever, nothing, not even the ...
— Innocent - Her Fancy and His Fact • Marie Corelli

... glimmer of an oil-lamp, and how she and Valentine had beguiled the tedious hours with wild purposeless talk while Captain Paget slept. She remembered the strange cities which she and her father's protege had looked at side by side; he with a calm listlessness of manner, which might either be real or assumed, but which never varied; she with an inward tremor of excitement and surprise. They had been very happy together, this lonely unprotected girl and the reckless adventurer. If his manner to her had been fitful, ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... from that insuperable listlessness by which I was oppressed. I became interested—I became agitated; in short, I found a new kind of stimulus, and I indulged in it most intemperately. I grew immoderately fond of that which supplied me with ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. IV • Maria Edgeworth

... be such a character have succeeded so admirably. I have had such a struggle to obtain mamma's promise to go with me to-night, that I really feel exhausted," and the young lady threw herself in a most graceful attitude of listlessness on a sofa that stood invitingly ...
— The Mother's Recompense, Volume I. - A Sequel to Home Influence in Two Volumes. • Grace Aguilar

... his was a lawful right; Noisy he was, and gamesome as a boy; His limbs would toss about him with delight Like branches when strong winds the trees annoy. Nor lacked his calmer hours device or toy 50 To banish listlessness and irksome care; He would have taught you how you might employ Yourself; and many did to him repair,— And certes not in vain; ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... wound up for the third ball, the listlessness vanished from the Chinaman. A glint came into his eyes and every ...
— Baseball Joe Around the World - Pitching on a Grand Tour • Lester Chadwick

... to envy: the soul of the needy man, always in action, never ceases to form desires which his activity places within his reach; whilst the rich, the powerful, are frequently in the afflicting embarrassment, of either not knowing what to wish for, or else of desiring those objects which their listlessness renders it impossible for them to obtain. The poor man's body, habituated to labour, knows the sweets of repose; this repose of the body, is the most troublesome fatigue to him who is wearied with his idleness; exercise, and frugality, procure for the one ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... broken rest, Henry lay down after dinner. But finding sleep denied him, he rose, pensive and gloomy, and wandered aimlessly down, and out into the courtyard. There an exempt of the guard, of whom he casually asked the time, observing the King's pallor and listlessness, took the liberty of suggesting that his Majesty might benefit if he took ...
— The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series • Rafael Sabatini

... the state of a notary's office or a counting-room under a system of this sort! The master of it winds up his business as soon as he can, no matter how, makes no new engagements and does as little as possible. Still more inactive than he, his colleagues, condemned to an indefinite listlessness, under lock and key in the common prison, no longer attend to their business.—There is a general, total paralysis of those natural organs which, in economic life, produce, elaborate, receive, store, preserve, exchange ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... wished her to stay, had used the means they believed she could not resist. In a dreary way this amused her. As if she cared whether or not life was kept in this worthless body of hers, in her tired heart, in her disgusted mind! Then she dropped back into listlessness. When she was aroused again it was by Gideon, completely filling the small doorway. "Hello, my dear!" cried he ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... slightly enviable. But so far was she from being, in the words of Robert South, "in love with her own ruin," that the illusion was transient as lightning; cold reason came back to mock her spasmodic weakness; the ghastliness of her momentary pride would convict her, and recall her to reserved listlessness again. ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... up the river, the day so bright, the view so glorious, the breeze so balmy and delicious, and the motion so gentle and pleasant, that lying on my bed I devote myself to lazy listlessness, to a perfect sense of the "dolce far niente" and can hardly prevail on myself to disturb my tranquillity by writing these few notes. The contrast to my thirteen heavy marches is so great that I am content to remain for the present without thought or action, enjoying absolute rest. ...
— Three Months of My Life • J. F. Foster

... wait about for the little one, and suit her steps or her play to his, and Duncan did whatever she did. Perhaps their mother did not care to trust the little fellow with Elsie, knowing too well that she was thoughtless, and unable in her own robust strength to understand the fatigue and listlessness of her little brother. Elsie told him he would run well enough without shoes and stockings, but their mother had most particularly charged him that he was never to take them off without special permission, for ...
— Little Folks (July 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... I certainly wrought diligently, but as certainly not cheerfully. There was an absence of spirit that quickly gave rise to listlessness and fatigue, and that left the physical energies weak and languid, in the latter case, it was far otherwise. Toil as I might, I felt no diminution of strength. I went from task to task, some of them far harder than any ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... with a certain listlessness, which they had never noted in his manner before, but when Julia begged him not to stir if he were in the slightest degree tired, he replied honestly enough that he would do anything rather than be ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... rock and gravel in the dry water-courses burned through thick sole-leather; burning particles of sand got into boots and irritated the skin; humans and horses toiled on, hour after hour, from early listlessness to weariness and, before noon, to parched misery. Even Howard, who confessed that he was little used to walking, admitted that this sort of thing made no great hit with him. During the forenoon he again offered his mount ...
— The Desert Valley • Jackson Gregory

... New York, and the result is, not that the ladies "wear their hearts on their sleeves for daws to peck at," but that they are unaffected, lively, and agreeable. The repose so studiously cultivated in England, and which is considered perfect when it has become listlessness, apathy, and indifference, finds no favour with our lively Transatlantic neighbours; consequently the ladies are very nave and lively, and their manners have the vivacity without the frivolity of the French. They say themselves that they are not so highly educated as the ladies ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... France, down to South America. Half a dozen times in the last two months he had been about to stop work, but a fear of attracting attention to his being in funds prevented him. So he worked on, no longer in listlessness, but with ...
— Flappers and Philosophers • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... their movements were brisk; but the best evidence of health was in the clearness of their eyes. Fever shows its touch in the "gooseberry" eye, dull and clouded; in the moist pallor of the skin, and in a general listlessness. Even if they are free from fever, white men in Central Africa often grow listless because of insufficient nutriment. Their flesh-diet is chiefly the white meat of birds, and their blood-cells are really starved by the small amount ...
— In Search of the Okapi - A Story of Adventure in Central Africa • Ernest Glanville

... the fourth or slave caste: his study has ceased to be an occupation, it is a necessity; he looks neither to the right nor to the left, but rushes through all things—even through the serious matters which life bears in its train—with that semi-listlessness and repulsive need of rest so characteristic of the exhausted labourer. This is also his attitude towards culture. He behaves as if life to him were not only otium but sine dignitate: even in his sleep he does not throw off the yoke, but like an emancipated slave still ...
— Thoughts out of Season (Part One) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... Harkless's strength began to come back, in a knock-about cart of Tom's, a light trail of blue smoke floating back wherever the two friends passed. And though the country editor grew stronger in the pleasant, open city, Meredith felt that his apathy and listlessness only deepened, and he suspected that, in Harkless's own room, where the photograph reigned, the languor departed for the time, making way for a destructive fire. Judge Briscoe, paying a second visit to Rouen, told Tom, in an aside, that their friend did not seem to be the ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... accustomed to the fiery enthusiasm and antique diction of his discourse, that they no longer excited their surprise, but as he proceeded with his tale, the attention of both seemed arrested by a strange fascination. Even the figure of Mrs. Pownal lost its listlessness. Her black eyes became riveted on the speaker. She bent forward, with parted lips, as if unwilling to lose a word, while from time to time glances of intelligence passed between the husband and wife, which neither Pownal nor Holden ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... the apostles, so in this period of increased light, the preaching of the cross is esteemed foolishness. The message of redeeming mercy is often received with utter listlessness—often with an evident disgust—and sometimes with an openly avowed hostility. In the apostolic age, it might be supposed that the resistance, with which the Gospel had to contend, arose from the prejudices of a Heathen or Jewish education, ...
— The National Preacher, Vol. 2 No. 7 Dec. 1827 • Aaron W. Leland and Elihu W. Baldwin

... may save his life, perhaps he may one day save his country.' This is a generous and inspiring thought—one to which the roughest-handed man or woman in Birmingham may respond as honestly and heartily as the philosopher who wrote it. It ought to shame the listlessness with which so many of us see the great phantasmagoria of life pass ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3) - Essay 1: On Popular Culture • John Morley

... shut stable to the frozen stream And back again disconsolate, and miss The bawling shepherds and the noisy team; And overhead in circling listlessness The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack, Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen ...
— Poems • Oscar Wilde

... very swiftly with Richard. For he, with instinct worthy of a woman, turned their lessons upon her own country and Frank. This cost him something, but it had its reward. There was no more listlessness. Previously Frank's name had scarcely been spoken to her. Mrs. Armour would have hours of hesitation and impotent regret before she brought herself to speak of her son to his Indian wife. Marion tried to do it a few times ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... whether from a sense of disappointment, or from the silent dulness of this drudgery, his health appears to have been in a feeble state. In a letter to his father, he apologises for listlessness and stupidity by illness, and says, "that he does not come up to the definition of man as a risible animal." Yet the man who could live to eighty-seven, and retain his health in a retirement of nearly a quarter of a century, could ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... they were seated upon a green bank picking the flowers that blossomed round them, and tossing them away in pure listlessness, Amine took the opportunity that she had often waited for, to enter ...
— The Phantom Ship • Captain Frederick Marryat

... of a more agreeable nature; insomuch that I may say I was for two months continually agitated either in mind or body, and very often in both at the same time. As my disorder at first arose from a sedentary life, producing a relaxation of the fibres, which naturally brought on a listlessness, indolence, and dejection of the spirits, I am convinced that this hard exercise of mind and body, co-operated with the change of air and objects, to brace up the relaxed constitution, and promote a more vigorous circulation of the juices, which had long languished even almost ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... now you see that I'm not really brave. (Relapsing into petulant listlessness.) But what right have you to despise me if you only win your battles for others? for your country! through patriotism! That is what I call womanish: it ...
— The Man of Destiny • George Bernard Shaw

... themselves to dramatic description. Their recital should be made the occasion of the student's best efforts in this direction. Let the pupils be taught to use adjectives and adverbs. Break down the barrier of listlessness or fear or self-consciousness which keeps the student from rendering a graphic and thrilling ...
— The Teaching of History • Ernest C. Hartwell

... on us, how could I have imagined such a thing? The dogs knew better: THEY knew what the house would tolerate and what it would not. I even fancied that they knew what was passing through my mind, and pitied me for my frivolity. But even that feeling probably reached them through a thick fog of listlessness. I had an idea that their distance from me was as nothing to my remoteness from them. In the last analysis, the impression they produced was that of having in common one memory so deep and dark that nothing that had happened since was worth either ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 1 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... certain persons there is a state of mind distinguished by a concurrence of the following circumstances: a languor, a listlessness, or want of resolution and activity with respect to all undertakings; a disposition to seriousness, sadness and timidity as to all future events; an apprehension of the worst or most unhappy state of them; and therefore, often upon slight grounds, an apprehension of great evil. ...
— Intestinal Ills • Alcinous Burton Jamison

... Enderley. Muriel brightened up before she had been there many days. She began to throw off her listlessness, and go about with me everywhere. It was the season she enjoyed most—the time of the singing of birds, and the springing of delicate-scented flowers. I myself never loved the beech-wood better than did our Muriel. She used continually to tell us ...
— John Halifax, Gentleman • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... the Charlotte of some months ago with the Charlotte of the present that she perceived how real a change it was. The buoyancy and freshness, the girlish vivacity of Miss Halliday's manner, were rapidly giving place to habitual listlessness. "Are you tired, dear?" she repeated, anxiously; and Mrs. Sheldon looked round from her ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... understood, my dear Marquis, to speak of consequences which may be produced in the revolution of ages, by corruption of morals, profligacy of manners, and listlessness in the preservation of the natural and unalienable rights of mankind, nor of the successful usurpations that may be established at such an unpropitious juncture upon the ruins of liberty, however providentially guarded and secured, as these are ...
— Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 • John Frederick Schroeder and Benson John Lossing

... broken off in a somewhat extraordinary manner. She was leaning a little forward in her chair, all her listlessness and pallor seemed to have been swept away by a sudden rush of emotion. The colour had flooded her cheeks, her tired eyes were suddenly bright; was it with fear or only surprise? The Baroness wasted no time in asking questions. She raised her lorgnettes and turned round, facing the ...
— The Avenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... cheer him a little—to wind him up, as Harry said, and set the pendulum swinging again. But it was not long before the listlessness and low spirits returned; Menzel showed a sad tendency to shirk his duty; and before noon ...
— Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature • Various

... that made sleep heavy, and in the morning we assembled at a late breakfast, rubbing our eyes and yawning. The cool north wind had given way to the warm southern air that sometimes came up with haze and moisture across the Baltic, bringing with it the relaxing sensations that produced enervation and listlessness. ...
— Three More John Silence Stories • Algernon Blackwood

... sighs to think how sadly they need refreshment. In the thatched huts and tall palms, Eleanor pictures Copthorne—it rises as a mirage—till Major Short dispels it by some casual remark. He notices her listlessness, for ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... He could not, Himself, make a second self To be His mate: as well have made Himself: He would not make what He mislikes or slights, An eyesore to Him, or not worth His pains; 60 But did, in envy, listlessness, or sport, Make what Himself would fain, in a manner, be— Weaker in most points, stronger in a few, Worthy, and yet mere playthings all the while, Things He admires and mocks too,—that is it! Because, so brave, so better tho' they be, ...
— Browning's Shorter Poems • Robert Browning

... together had dripped from beeswax. Their images with the forms of gods which the Athenians had placed on their Acropolis were hurled down by thunderbolts into the Theatre. This and the consequent dejection and listlessness of the army began to alarm Cleopatra and she filled Antony with fears. They did not wish, however, to sail out either secretly or openly as fugitives, for fear they should strike terror to the hearts of their allies, ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. III • Cassius Dio

... would hardly say that they were devoid of expression, any more than that a perfectly drilled soldier is incapable of activity; but you got puzzled in making out what their natural expression was: it was not sternness, far less ferocity—the face was much too impassible for either; and yet its listlessness could never be mistaken for languor. The thin short lips might be very pitiless when compressed, very contemptuous and provocative when curling; but the enormous mustache, sweeping over them like a wave, and ending in a clean stiff upward curve, made even ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... the look of Jacqueline. He saw things her mother failed to notice—a faint shadow beneath her eyes which made them look oddly dark, a little hollowing of the cheeks, rosy as they were; above all a certain listlessness, a sort of abstraction that she covered by forced gaiety. She appeared to have lost interest in many of the things that used to be her joy; sang often, it is true, but without enthusiasm; rarely rode the fine saddle horse that had come from Storm stables ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... feminine beauty. The delicacy of his features was enhanced by the extreme pallor of his complexion, and it was apparent that close application to his profession had made sad inroads on a constitution never very robust. A certain listlessness of manner, a sort of lazy-grace seemed characteristic; but when his pupil came in and laid aside her bonnet, the expression of ennui vanished, and he threw himself on a sofa looking infinitely relieved. She drew near, and without hesitation acquainted him with the discovery of her relatives ...
— Macaria • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... forefend! his was a lawful right: Noisy he was, and gamesome as a boy; His limbs would toss about him with delight, Like branches when strong winds the trees annoy. Nor lacked his calmer hours device or toy To banish listlessness and irksome care; He would have taught you how you might employ Yourself; and many did to him repair,— And certes not in vain; he ...
— Biographia Epistolaris, Volume 1. • Coleridge, ed. Turnbull

... no inducement, you offer no relief from listlessness, you provide nothing to amuse his mind, you afford him no means of exercising his body. Unwashed and unshaven, he saunters moodily about, weary and dejected. In lieu of the wholesome stimulus he might derive from nature, you drive him to the pernicious ...
— Sunday Under Three Heads • Charles Dickens

... which have in them, besides, something Pagan and Persic. To say truth, we never anticipated our usual hour, or got up with the sun (as 'tis called), to go a journey, or upon a foolish whole day's pleasuring, but we suffered for it all the long hours after in listlessness and headachs; Nature herself sufficiently declaring her sense of our presumption, in aspiring to regulate our frail waking courses by the measures of that celestial and sleepless traveller. We deny ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... place," continued the coach, "I'm glad to see you fellows light-hearted and care free. That is usually a good sign before a game. But too much of this sort of business will have a disastrous effect. Such mental attitudes breed self confidence. Self confidence breeds listlessness; and listlessness spells defeat. Now don't misunderstand me. I want you to have a certain amount of confidence, in yourselves, in the team. But beware of over-confidence! Over-confidence will do more than misplays or anything else to bring defeat. Just because we have ...
— Over the Line • Harold M. Sherman

... idle plutocrats. It promises a world where all men and women shall be kept sane by work, and where all work shall be of value to the community, not only to a few wealthy vampires. It is to sweep away listlessness and pessimism and weariness and all the complicated miseries of those whose circumstances allow idleness and whose energies are not sufficient to force activity. In place of palaces and hovels, futile ...
— The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism • Bertrand Russell

... harpooneer to one of these lads, we've been cruising now hard upon three years, and thou hast not raised a whale yet. Whales are scarce as hen's teeth whenever thou art up here. Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic .. ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... surrounding him took their tone from the monarch, and followed his example the more because he "did shew no countenance to any that belong to the queen." Her majesty, on the contrary, took her misery to heart, and showed dejection by the sadness of her face and listlessness of her gait. There was universal diversion in all company but hers; sounds of laughter rang all day and far into the night in every apartment of the palace but those appropriated to her use. Charles steadily avoided her, and the attendants who replaced her countrywomen ...
— Royalty Restored - or, London under Charles II. • J. Fitzgerald Molloy

... the clouds—then read a little, if perchance you have books with you—lean over the gunwale, watching the waves and the motion of the vessel; but the eternal water, clouds, and sky—sky, clouds, and water, produce a listlessness that nothing can overcome. In the Atlantic, a ship in sight is an object which arouses the attention of all on board—to speak one is an aera, and furnishes to the captain and mates a subject for the day's conversation. Thus situated, an occasional spell ...
— A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America • S. A. Ferrall

... know its hazards faro is a funereal game. The dealer slides one card and then a second from the box. The case-keeper moves a button or two on his rack. The dealer in the meantime is paying winners and collecting chips from losers, all with the utmost listlessness. In his high chair above them, all the lookout leans back with every external sign of world-weary indifference. And the players settle a little lower on their stools. There was about as much animation in the Oriental that afternoon ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... fully and meritoriously earned, and to which he is so justly entitled. Many men retire from an arduous profession or office, and when they are relieved from the duties which they have for many years been called upon to discharge, sink into a state of ennui and listlessness which are not conducive either to a long life or to health or happiness. But their Lordships feel sure that that will not be the case with Mr. Henry Reeve. His literary and other congenial tastes and pursuits, and his industrious habits, will no doubt supply him with full employment ...
— Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L. - In Two Volumes. VOL. II. • John Knox Laughton

... sleeps!" she murmured anxiously, "I don't like this listlessness that has come over him lately; he dozes now all the time." Then springing quietly up, she stole over to the low couch, and stooped down beside the sleeping figure, she rested her chin thoughtfully in her hand ...
— Honor Edgeworth • Vera

... had known that argument and pleas for justice or mercy would be of no avail. He had sat motionless, apparently indifferent to his fate. By his listlessness he had thrown his captors off their guard. When the sentence was passed he acted like a flash. Flinging his left arm around the neck of Saltese, he whipped out his revolver and held it close to the chief's temple. "Revoke that sentence, or I shall ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... in a mood of careless gaiety; his companion appeared to struggle against listlessness, and her cheek had ...
— In the Year of Jubilee • George Gissing

... Homeville, but her own and Sairy's culinary resources (no mean ones, by the way) to tempt the appetite which would not respond. One week followed another without any improvement in his condition; and indeed as time went on he fell into a condition of irritable listlessness which filled his ...
— David Harum - A Story of American Life • Edward Noyes Westcott

... of all the angry surge of feelings within me crept, perhaps, into my tone. She did not answer, but began to cry again, not passionately this time, but in a weak, enervated listlessness. ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... owed its introduction perhaps to accident, the best introduction in the world for a subject of ingenuity, which, though it could not have been formally proposed without pedantry, may be continued with ease and good humour; but which will be frequently and effectually stopped by the listlessness, inattention, or whispering of silly girls, whose weariness betrays their ignorance, and whose impatience exposes their ill-breeding. A polite man, however deeply interested in the subject on which he is conversing, catches at the slightest ...
— Essays on Various Subjects - Principally Designed for Young Ladies • Hannah More

... a little whey-faced black-bearded Turk, coiled up in the usual conglomerate posture upon a calico-covered divan, at the end of a long bare large-windowed room. Without deigning even to nod the head which hung over his shoulder with transcendent listlessness and affectation of pride, in answer to my salams and benedictions, he eyed me with wicked eyes and faintly ejaculated "Minent?" Then hearing that I was a Dervish and doctor,—he must be an Osmanli Voltairian, that little ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7 • Various

... took months to say, during which period Marie went on with her work in melancholy listlessness. One comfort she had. Adolphe, before he went, had promised to her, holding in his hand as he did so a little cross which she had given him, that no earthly consideration should sever them;—that sooner or later he would certainly be her husband. Marie felt that her limbs could ...
— La Mere Bauche from Tales of All Countries • Anthony Trollope

... those who no longer triumphed in war; they would listen to nothing; and, as fatalistic when condemned to a state of peace as when they marched forth conquering and to conquer, they cowered down in magnificent listlessness, leaving the whole burden of their support on conquered peoples. Like ignorant farmers, who exhaust fertile fields by forcing crops; they rapidly ruined their vast and rich empire by exorbitant exactions. Inexorable conquerors and ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... fullest allowances for imported disease, for brandy drinking, and other assignable causes, there is always a large residuum of effect not clearly accounted for. It is certainly not wholly due to misery, but rather to listlessness, due to discouragement, and acting adversely in ...
— Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development • Francis Galton

... shadowy recollections, Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day, Are yet a master light of all our seeing; Uphold us, cherish us, and make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, To perish never; Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour, 160 Nor Man nor Boy, Nor all that is at enmity with joy, Can utterly abolish or destroy! Hence, in a season of calm weather, Though inland far we be, Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea Which brought us hither, Can in a moment travel ...
— Poems In Two Volumes, Vol. 2 • William Wordsworth

... we find it to-day. Are they, I would ask, satisfied with that character? I cannot think so. The impartial observer will, I fear, find amongst a majority of our people a striking absence of self-reliance and moral courage; an entire lack of serious thought on public questions; a listlessness and apathy in regard to economic improvement which amount to a form of fatalism; and, in backward districts, a survival of superstition, which saps all strength of will and purpose—and all this, too, amongst a ...
— Ireland In The New Century • Horace Plunkett

... Armenian, enlivening the instruction with the one mild double entendre, of "I decline a mistress." At times they seem on terms of as perfect good fellowship as ever was, with a touch of post-matrimonial indifference; but Isopel had fits of weeping and Borrow of listlessness. Borrow was uncommonly fond of prophetic tragic irony. As he made Thurtell unconsciously suggest to the reader his own execution, so he makes Isopel say one day when she is going a journey: "I shall return once more." Lavengro starts but thinks no ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... lived with Mark I must not here tell; but before he grew to full manhood he had learned his art well. Mark was a strict master, but not impatient. The only thing that angered him was carelessness or listlessness; and Paul was an apt and untiring pupil, and learnt so easily and deftly that Mark was often astonished. "How did you learn that?" he said one day suddenly to Paul when the boy was practising on the lute, and ...
— Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories - Reprinted from The Hill of Trouble and The Isles of Sunset • Arthur Christopher Benson

... the manner that surprised him. The trooper had uniformly exhibited, on the eve of battle, an animation, and an eagerness to engage, that was directly at variance with the admirable coolness of his manner at other times. But now there was a despondency in the tones of his voice, and a listlessness in his air, that was entirely different. The operator hesitated a moment, to reflect in what manner he could render this change of service in furthering his favorite system, and ...
— The Spy • James Fenimore Cooper

... Nice, it was with a listlessness foreign to him. In the first place, he missed Edhart, the old maitre d'hotel who for a decade had catered to his primitive American tastes in the matter of foodstuffs with as much enthusiasm as if he had been ...
— The Triflers • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... disdainful listlessness of my cloaked adversary tended rather to enrage than calm me; so, with my revolver in full view, and my arm stretched ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... exclamation in his own way, but looking at the girl was surprised by a look which had come into her face. Her listlessness had fallen from her. There was a look of absorption about her which puzzled him, and he wondered what she was thinking of. He did not know what her captor had revealed to her, and so never dreamed the truth, which was that Helen was thinking that for the second time he had fallen from the truth ...
— A Mating in the Wilds • Ottwell Binns

... instinct and experience, normally temperate, only what was abnormal and inherited might work a mischief in this man. His listlessness, his easy acquiescence, were but consequent upon the self-knowledge of self-control. But mastery of the master-vice required something different; he was sick of a sickness; and because, in this sickness, will, mind, and body are tainted too, ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... feet with the soft, graceful speed which had made her so much admired before her present listlessness had set in. ...
— The Evil Shepherd • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... House again with Isabel. He found her extraordinarily bright and vivacious, and was delighted at the change, for he had been troubled the last time he had seen her a few months before, at her silence and listlessness; but her face was radiant now, as she threw herself into his arms at the door, and told him that they were all to go to supper that night at the Hall; and that Hubert had been keeping his best stories on purpose ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... Tiboulen a little on the left; by turning to the left, therefore, he would find it. But, as we have said, it was at least a league from the Chateau d'If to this island. Often in prison Faria had said to him, when he saw him idle and inactive, "Dantes, you must not give way to this listlessness; you will be drowned if you seek to escape, and your strength has not been properly exercised and prepared for exertion." These words rang in Dantes' ears, even beneath the waves; he hastened to cleave his way through them to see if he had not lost his strength. He found with ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... laws of ventilation, and in the school-room likewise, from simple ignorance of the laws of physiology? from an ignorance of which I shall mention no other case here save one—that too often from ignorance of signs of approaching disease, a child is punished for what is called idleness, listlessness, wilfulness, sulkiness; and punished, too, in the unwisest way—by an increase of tasks and confinement to the house, thus overtasking still more a brain already overtasked, and depressing still more, by ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... of listlessness—the listlessness of great fatigue. "Well, well," observed the other. "I'm right sorry to hear ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... made Joan open her heart to Anice. She saw that something was wrong, and noted a new influence at work even after the girl began to go out again and resume her visits to her acquaintances. Then, alternating with fretful listlessness, were tremulous high spirits and ...
— That Lass O' Lowrie's - 1877 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... and they moved on inward. When she had shown her visitor different articles in cabinets that she deemed likely to interest her, some tapestries, wood-carvings, ivories, miniatures, and so on—always with a mien of listlessness which might either have been constitutional, or partly owing to the situation of the place—they sat down to an early cup ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... wretched listlessness of mind, alternated now by vehement resentment against Louise, now by the reproach of my own sense of honour in leaving that honour in so questionable a point of view, I was aroused by a letter from the distant kinsman by whom hitherto ...
— The Parisians, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Ireland would be for ever absolved. The prospects of Irish Agriculture under Home Rule include the return, after a brief chapter of "hope, and energy the child of hope," to the old cycle of bitterness and listlessness ...
— Against Home Rule (1912) - The Case for the Union • Various

... particular; for, hearing of her approaching marriage with M. La Touche, we were afraid she might not come. We all noticed a change in her—her manner different from what it used to be—a languor, an apathy to all things—a general listlessness that nothing could arouse her from. She, who used to be so full of life and spirits, was now the quietest in the house, and seemed to like nothing so well as being by herself and dreaming the hours away. On the evening of the third day this lassitude left her. She grew restless and nervous—almost ...
— Kate Danton, or, Captain Danton's Daughters - A Novel • May Agnes Fleming

... is still in the doldrums. He is uncommunicative and moody and goes about his work with a listlessness which is more and more disturbing to me. He surprised his wife the other day by addressing her as "Lady Selkirk," for the simple reason, he later explained, that I propose to be monarch of all I survey, with none ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... affections of people for each other so severely as a journey together?" said Vane. "That perpetual companionship from which there is no escaping; that confinement, in all our moments of ill-humour and listlessness, with persons who want us to look amused—ah, it is a severe ordeal for friendship to pass through! A post-chaise must have jolted many ...
— The Pilgrims Of The Rhine • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... attempt. The fashionables were thus left almost without resource. The young men went off to dine somewhere in the vicinity, not unfrequently taking with them some of Mr. Monson's dancing-girls; the wearied men, and the women generally, were in a sad state of listlessness. Some of them literally went to bed and slept for the rest of the week; others, in very despair of something to do, went to church and fell asleep there. Ashburner took advantage of the lull to fill ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... they are back in the courtyard wherefrom, at their appearance, listlessness vanishes, and all the faces become alert and interested once more. Lakamba approaches his guest, but looks at Babalatchi, who reassures him by a confident nod. Lakamba clumsily attempts a smile, and looking, with natural and ineradicable ...
— An Outcast of the Islands • Joseph Conrad

... the doctor himself arrived. "Go to lunch," he ordered Ruth. He wanted to talk with the patient, test him variously; and he wanted to be alone with him while he put these tests. His idea was to get behind this sustained listlessness. "How goes it?" he began, heartily. "A bit up in the world ...
— The Ragged Edge • Harold MacGrath

... freeze, thaw, impatience, listlessness, rabid conjecture, apathetic acquiescence, quarrels, makeups, discomfort, ennui, a deal of swearing (carefully suppressed around headquarters), drill whenever practicable, two Sunday services and one prayer ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... the chancellor passed in. The princess's eyes were like dim stars, but her fine nostrils palpitated, and her mouth was rigid in disdain. The chancellor looked haggard and dispirited, and he eyed all with the listlessness of a man who has given up hope. The prelate's face was as finely drawn as an ancient cameo, and as immobile. He gazed at Madame with one of those looks which penetrate like acid; and, brave as she was, she found it insupportable. There was ...
— The Puppet Crown • Harold MacGrath

... What was this strange mingling of energy and listlessness? Why this soliloquy and internal debate, when the moment called for the most intense activity? The general being still silent, his friends did not venture to disturb him. But Antiochus passed in and out of the study, gathering up writing materials, ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... a while, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever—read the symptoms—discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it—wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus's Dance—found, ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... happened, that it was hard to credit the fear had passed in fulfilment. He had been forced back to face the past, and, behold, the terror of it was gone. He could only measure the full value of the effort he had made by the languor and listlessness that now wrapped him round, as a child who had overtaxed his strength and must needs rest. A hazy doubt crept into his mind as to what it was he had so dreaded—the resuscitation of the past, or Christopher's reception of it. In either case the fear ...
— Christopher Hibbault, Roadmaker • Marguerite Bryant

... Had she known how passionate and real was this attachment, she would never have interfered. The boy was broken-hearted. He accused me of having stolen her from him—his own words. He took little interest in his electioneering campaign, spoke badly, unconvincingly; spent hours in alternate fits of listlessness and anger. She feared for her darling's health and reason. She made an appeal to me who professed to love him—if it were honourably possible, would I bring Madame Brandt back to him? She was willing now to accept Dale's estimate of her worth. Could I, at the ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... of listlessness now took hold of Missy. That afternoon she didn't want to study, didn't want to go over to Kitty Allen's when her friend telephoned, didn't even want to work on hats; this last was a curious turn, indeed, and to a wise observer might have been significant. She had only a desire ...
— Missy • Dana Gatlin

... tradesman is an old story, which has evoked comments sharp enough, it would seem, to arouse the commercial community to a lively sense of its danger and duty. And yet there are, unhappily, cogent grounds for believing that the malady of listlessness is as malignant to-day ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... intelligence and character of these would of course show itself in their personal habits and in their methods of employing the time, which hung heavy on their hands. In all such situations the energy and hopefulness of the individual are the best guaranty for continued good health, whilst ennui, listlessness, and idleness are the pretty sure forerunners of melancholy and homesickness, which lead to serious maladies. It would be hard to find a more salubrious site for a camp than Johnson's Island. Naturally well drained, diversified ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V2 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... ill pleased. "It is curious," said Harlay, a man of wit and sense, "that, while the Ambassadors are making war, the generals should be making peace." [810] But Spain preserved the same air of arrogant listlessness; and the ministers of the Emperor, forgetting apparently that their master had, a few months before, concluded a treaty of neutrality for Italy without consulting William, seemed to think it most extraordinary that William should presume to negotiate without consulting their master. ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... curiosity—were all fastened upon the action of Congress with respect to Kansas,—for therein, it was believed, were contained the germs of the political combinations for the Presidential election of 1860. The same listlessness with regard to affairs in Utah pervaded the Cabinet. All its prestige was staked on the result of the impending struggle in the House of Representatives over the Lecompton Constitution, and its energies were abstracted from every other subject, to ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859 - [Date last updated: August 7, 2005] • Various

... eyes steadily on Morelos, who was seated among the lawyers in the centre of the room. Morelos returned the gaze calmly for a time; then he frowned and turned the pages of a law-book. After a little he moistened his lips with his tongue, took a studied attitude of listlessness, and showed signs of weariness and boredom. He did not look at the prisoner again until the ...
— Myths & Legends of our New Possessions & Protectorate • Charles M. Skinner

... bread of both, while he combats the invaders of their common country in pass and plain, or practises his athletic games in the peaceful valley, or even sits idle by the house-door, interrupting his listlessness only to burnish a weapon or caress his steed. And in the higher and more barren mountains, if the reports of travellers are to be credited, his better half, as modest and still more industrious than the first mother, may be seen picking the flinty soil during the heats of the day decked out with ...
— Life of Schamyl - And Narrative of the Circassian War of Independence Against Russia • John Milton Mackie

... us now," said Grace, with a deep sob: then turned away with sullen listlessness, and ...
— Put Yourself in His Place • Charles Reade

... judging of my success. He sat conspicuously in front of a pillar: I had him constantly under my eye. If he leant forward to listen all was right, and I knew that I had the ear of my class; but if he leant back in an attitude of listlessness I felt at once that all was wrong, and that I must change either the subject or the style of ...
— Life of Adam Smith • John Rae

... time forging alongside, and they were able at last to see what manner of man they had to do with. He was a huge fellow, six feet four in height, and of a build proportionately strong, but his sinews seemed to be dissolved in a listlessness that was more than languor. It was only the eye that corrected this impression; an eye of an unusual mingled brilliancy and softness, sombre as coal and with lights that outshone the topaz; an eye of unimpaired health and virility; an eye that bid you beware of the man's devastating ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XIX (of 25) - The Ebb-Tide; Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... her mind constantly recurring, in spite of her oft-repeated conviction that it was no concern of hers,—where Mr Enderby was,—what he was doing,—and when he would come. Day by day, as she spread her books before her, or began to write, she wondered at her own listlessness about employments to which she had looked forward with so much eagerness; and when she detected herself gazing into the fire by the half-hour together, or allowing the ink to dry in her suspended pen, she found that she was as far as ever ...
— Deerbrook • Harriet Martineau

... Savina; "they are rather rare except at carnival." She shuddered. It was evident that the distressing effect on her of the music lingered through the day; her energy gave way to a passive contentment hardly removed from listlessness. ...
— Cytherea • Joseph Hergesheimer

... at the headlines listlessly enough. The editor could offer nothing better on his front page that night than Ireland and the industrial situation. Charles opened the sheet and looked inside. His listlessness vanished as his eye fell upon his own name. In the guise of fat black capitals it headed a half-column article about his uncle's death. Charles read it through, slowly and deliberately, to the end. He learnt that there had been what the writer called ...
— The Moon Rock • Arthur J. Rees

... had been at home nearly a week, her father, to rouse her out of her listlessness, said one morning: "We have recently received quite a remarkable painting from Europe. You will find it in the upper show-room, and had better come down to-day to see it, for it may be sold soon. I think you would like to copy one or two ...
— Barriers Burned Away • E. P. Roe

... was not altogether proof against the appearance of listlessness and idleness which Margaret's behaviour sometimes wore to her eyes; nor could she quite understand or excuse her long lonely walks; so that now and then she could not help addressing ...
— David Elginbrod • George MacDonald

... marked in her memory the day she had first given herself to him. She wanted him to come to her. She was holding out to him her white arms. He trembled with a passion which no longer filtered through shyness. The listlessness of his body was gone. His house was not a prison and the Palatine was near. Valerius would never come back from Asia, but Lesbia stood within ...
— Roads from Rome • Anne C. E. Allinson

... who show chronic listlessness, Locke advises that we should use every sort of stimulus; praise, amusement, fine clothes, eating; any thing that will make them bestir themselves. He argues, that as there appears a deficiency of vigour, we have no reason to fear ...
— Practical Education, Volume I • Maria Edgeworth

... old boots. A nervous fever seized me; I looked with wild eyes at the furniture when I had ransacked it all. Will you understand, I wonder, the excitement that possessed me when, plunged deep in the listlessness of despair, I opened my writing-table drawer, and found a fair and splendid ten-franc piece that shone like a rising star, new and sparkling, and slily hiding in a cranny between two boards? I did not try ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... novelties of foreign towns, palaces, cathedrals, temples, pictures, castles, tombs, fantastic streets—the old abiding places of History and Fancy—as a dreamer might; bearing my painful load through all, and hardly conscious of the objects as they fade before me. Listlessness to everything, but brooding sorrow, was the night that fell on my undisciplined heart. Let me look up from it—as at last I did, thank Heaven!—and from its long, sad, wretched dream, ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... Cassian, from his own experience, describes the acedia, or listlessness of mind and body, to which a monk was exposed, when he sighed to find himself alone. Saepiusque egreditur et ingreditur cellam, et Solem velut ad occasum tardius properantem crebrius ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... not, though I feel them less Here, far away, than when I tarried near; I even smile old smiles—with listlessness - Yet smiles they ...
— Wessex Poems and Other Verses • Thomas Hardy

... narrowness of the place they were in, their quarters being very confined, and the whole place but two furlongs in compass; so that both they and their horses fed without exercise. Accordingly, not only to prevent the listlessness of such inactive living, but to have them in condition to fly if occasion required, he assigned a room one and twenty feet long, the largest in all the fort, for the men to walk in, directing them to ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough



Words linked to "Listlessness" :   passivity, listless, apathy, passiveness



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