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Look back   /lʊk bæk/   Listen
Look back

verb
1.
Look towards one's back.  Synonym: look backward.
2.
Look back upon (a period of time, sequence of events); remember.  Synonyms: retrospect, review.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Look back" Quotes from Famous Books



... of the earth, but conceived in the romantic mind of some extravagant novelist, and brought into the world by his magic pen. No indeed, she had certainly a beautiful face, almost a faultless face, but how many have cursed the day when first they knew their own beauty! How many look back over pages and pages of awful crimes and shameful deeds, and the index page, the starting point, is their beautiful face. So do not be too hasty in envying the physical perfection or loveliness of others. Rejoice that you have it not; the want of it must ...
— Honor Edgeworth • Vera

... "Don't be above committing follies, Ned! Old age will be but a dreary thing if we have not the follies of youth to look back upon. Happiness and folly go hand in hand sometimes. Don't miss one in avoiding the other, boy! Besides, why do you call your love for her folly? By the Lord Harry," he burst out, "why shouldn't she love you in return? 'Tis true you are not one of the dukes or marquises ...
— Calvert of Strathore • Carter Goodloe

... to every one of us, I don't know why, but every mother's son or daughter of us can look back to the time when we habitually referred to some acquaintance or friend as "poor So-and-So"; and the curious part of it is that if one pauses to consider the why or wherefore of such naming, one is almost sure to find that, financially at least, "poor So-and-So" is better off ...
— Stage Confidences • Clara Morris

... cold breath behind him, and that something huge, invisible, and terrible was overtaking him. Frightened, he almost ran to meet the cab, which appeared noisily from the darkness, and when he seated himself in the cab, he dared not look back, though he ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... better was Mr. Copperhead pleased. She had everything that heart could desire. Poor little woman! What a change from the governess-chrysalis who was snubbed by her pupil and neglected by everybody! and yet I am not sure that she did not—so inconsistent is human nature—look back to those melancholy days with ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... into the bay. Susan's feet hardly touched the slope that seemed to run down with her. At the bottom she stumbled, shot forward, throwing her arms out, and fell heavily. She jumped up at once and turned swiftly to look back, her clenched hands full of sand she had clutched in her fall. The face was there, keeping its distance, visible in its own sheen that made a pale stain in the night. She shouted, "Go away!"—she shouted at it with pain, with fear, with all the rage of that useless stab that could not keep him quiet, ...
— Tales of Unrest • Joseph Conrad

... educators. It is experience leading man to higher things; it is the revelation of a way, a path hitherto unknown to us. The best men in the world, those who have made the greatest real successes look back with serene happiness on their failures. The turning of the face of Time shows all things in a wondrously illuminated and ...
— The Majesty of Calmness • William George Jordan

... As I look back on those times I often wonder that we were not all killed. A short time before, Major Ormsby of Carson City, in command of seventy-five or eighty men, went to Pyramid Lake to give battle to the Pi-Utes, who had been killing emigrants and prospectors by the wholesale. Nearly all of the ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... and tortuous path to reach the main road on the breast of the opposite escarpment. Here is a short-cut which is long and weary. It lures me as the stream; it cheats me with a name. And when I am again on the open road, I look back with a sigh of relief on the dangers I had passed. I can forgive the luring rill, which still smiles to me innocently from afar, but not the deluding, ensnaring ravine. The muleteer who saw me struggling through the tangled bushes up the pathless, hopeless ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... you, that when I look back on this period of my life—life! death, rather I should say, for it was a moral death—I am quite unable to comprehend the motives that led me to take such a course. My eyes were not blinded. I must have seen that each stride placed me further and further away from my darling, ...
— She and I, Volume 2 - A Love Story. A Life History. • John Conroy Hutcheson

... you, Kelly, to look back with me over our brief and happy companionship—over the hours together, over all you have done ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... remember our opening day as a pleasant one. Miss Marvin especially wishes to look back on it with pleasure; and I think we all ought to help her. Now if I say no more about this foolish young man—whom I could punish very severely—will you promise me to go back to your books? To-day, as you know, is a half-holiday; but there remains an hour for work before you disperse. ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... pursuit, the only pursuit in fact of the man who engages in it, proving that the intermission of a day may often render nugatory the labor of a month. No man in fact having put his hand to the plough ought to look back, till the last process of all dependent upon ploughing has been brought to the best possible issue. In the next place, the want of capital was touched on, and spoken of as a very serious draw-back, though not an insurmountable objection to the pursuit of agriculture. In a country like ...
— Speeches of His Majesty Kamehameha IV. To the Hawaiian Legislature • Kamehameha IV

... garden, and by the back of the lodge. You follow me, and, whatever you do, don't look back, as if you were ...
— Burr Junior • G. Manville Fenn

... Mrs. Polly, with a wise shake of her head, "when you come to look back upon life from as long a pilgrimage, you will see that the busier you are, and the more good you do, there will be less inclination to be discontented. And with such a beautiful world around you, and so much ...
— The Cockatoo's Story • Mrs. George Cupples

... no doubt be said that it is a pity to suggest ideas of sex to an innocent child, but surely those who look back on their own youth will remember that there came a time when the problem of their own ...
— Papers on Health • John Kirk

... world, in the dark gropings of her social philosophy, amidst the difficulties of her solitude, she had not known whether she could do better with herself and her future years, than give herself, and them, and her money to Mr Samuel Rubb, I tremble as I look back upon her danger. It has been said of women that they have an insane desire for matrimony. I believe that the desire, even if it be as general as is here described, is no insanity. But when I see such a woman as Margaret ...
— Miss Mackenzie • Anthony Trollope

... the cabin at this forlorn place. He collected them in silence while I saddled my own animal, and in silence we packed the two packhorses, and threw the diamond hitch, and hauled tight the slack, damp ropes. Soon we had mounted, and as we turned into the trail I gave a look back at ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... the effect of a conjuring-trick. It was not only the alteration in his appearance that startled her: it was the amazing change in his personality. Wally Mason had been the bete noire of her childhood. She had never failed to look back at the episode of the garden-hose with the feeling that she had acted well, that—however she might have strayed in those early days from the straight and narrow path—in that one particular crisis she had done the right thing. And now she had taken ...
— The Little Warrior - (U.K. Title: Jill the Reckless) • P. G. Wodehouse

... unsatisfied spirit realizes that the words, so loved, so fondly dwelt upon, were but words, empty, vain words. But, to have believed them, was a fleeting blindness. They served for food to the yearning heart, when they were given, and shall the traveller through the desolate wilderness look back with scorn upon the bread and water that once satisfied his hunger and thirst, even though it is now withheld? No—let him be thankful for the past; otherwise, the keen biting hunger, the thirsty anguish of the soul, will have a bitterness and a gall in it, that will corrode his whole being. ...
— Words of Cheer for the Tempted, the Toiling, and the Sorrowing • T. S. Arthur

... variety of sweet, elegiac, melodies. According to the author of a little collection of their popular songs, published first in a German translation, "these are the after-pains of whole generations; these are the sorrows of whole centuries, which are blended in one everlasting sigh!" [31] If we look back to the history of these regions, we cannot doubt that it is the spirit of their past, that breathes out of these mournful strains. The cradle of the Kozak stood in blood; he was rocked to the music of the clashing of swords. For centuries the ...
— Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations • Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson

... Bill, although he was only Paymaster of the Forces and had not a seat in the Cabinet, thus too had Edmund Burke been selected to introduce the East India Bill, although he, like Lord John Russell, was only Paymaster of the Forces and had not a seat in the Cabinet. Indeed, to us, who now look back on the events from a long distance of time, the impression would rather be that Lord Grey had little or no choice in the matter. He was not himself a member of the House of Commons, and therefore could not introduce ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume IV (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... ridiculous ways love and quarrel and make up after the approved fashion of lovers. You loved little girls in pigtails and pinafores. We all did. And in our lives there is nothing fairer and more joyful to look back upon than those same little pigtails and pinafores. But I shall pass the child loves by, and instance first ...
— The Kempton-Wace Letters • Jack London

... look back on it to-day Through our tears, nor dare to boast,— "Better to have loved and lost!" Broken hearts are hard to mend, Tom ...
— The Complete Works • James Whitcomb Riley

... I answered, going downstairs. I happened to look back on the way. His arm was round Verry, but he was looking after me. He withdrew it as our eyes met, and came down; but she remained, looking from the window. We went into the parlor, and I ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... their age, and therefore the harmful will pass them by. I was never shut from the library shelves, or mysteries made about the plain-spoken literature of other days, in spite of Aunt Lot's fuming. I did not understand it, so it did not tempt, and as I look back, I realize that the book of life was spread before me wisely and gradually, father turning page after page, then passing the task to Evan, so that I never ...
— People of the Whirlpool • Mabel Osgood Wright

... Monasticism had been the birth-hour of the {5} individual in religious life. The birth, however, was a feeble one, and in this respect, and for the social and domestic drawbacks of a trying time, it is interesting to look back and see how our fathers carried what to them were often felt to be heavy burdens, and how bravely and even blithely they travelled along what to us now seems like a weary pilgrimage towards the light we now enjoy. Carrying the tools of the pioneer which have ever become the hands of ...
— Fragments of Two Centuries - Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King • Alfred Kingston

... Adrian Borlsover. I played on the floor with a black spaniel while my father appealed for a subscription. Just before we left my father said, "Mr. Borlsover, may my son here shake hands with you? It will be a thing to look back upon with pride when he grows ...
— Famous Modern Ghost Stories • Various

... friends," he said, "are dropping off so often that it becomes more and more pleasing to know that some still survive whom we esteem and by whom we are not forgotten.... Certainly we can look back on each other now for forty years, and I can do so as to you with great pleasure and satisfaction, when, besides the grounds of private satisfaction and esteem, I think of the many works of great benefit to society which you have been ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... neat little feet were encased in high-heeled boots, that clicked on the gravel path as she hurried toward the Mall. She looked her best, and she knew it. She wanted Dick to take away an impression vivid and favorable, something to look back upon and remember with pleasure. She was no puling, sentimental girl to hang about his neck, and crush roses into his hand. The tears were in her heart; the roses in her cheeks. Warm kisses from her ruddy lips would linger longer than the perfume of the ...
— The Scarlet Feather • Houghton Townley

... seek to make myself clear as to the proper life and work of an educator, my notes of that time rise fresh and fair to meet me. I look back from now into that childhood of my teacher's life, and learn from it; just as I look back into the childhood of my man's life, and survey that, and learn from that, too. Why is all childhood and youth so full of wealth and so unconscious of it, and why does ...
— Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel • Friedrich Froebel

... the hoof-beats quickened. The lane was steep, and she realized in a moment that if the rider turned up in her wake, she must very speedily be overtaken. She slackened her pace therefore, and walked on more quietly, straining her ears to listen, not venturing to look back. ...
— The Bars of Iron • Ethel May Dell

... morning, ere daylight, he took leave of the town of Carlisle, promising to himself never again to enter its walls. He dared hardly look back towards the Gothic battlements of the fortified gate under which he passed (for the place is surrounded with an old wall). 'They're no there,' said Alick Polwarth, who guessed the cause of the dubious look which Waverley cast backward, and who, with the vulgar appetite for the horrible, ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... handkerchief, as yet folded and fresh from its ironing, and handed it to Georgiana. "Will you tear that into strips an inch wide, please, while I take a look back here for a bit of wood?" and he disappeared down the road, while Georgiana with the aid of her strong white teeth tore the fine linen as he had bidden, and spoke comfortingly to the little fellow, who seemed glad enough to have fallen ...
— Under the Country Sky • Grace S. Richmond

... gives way and the angel-wings bud, and all along through infancy and childhood the beast gives way and gives way and the angel-wings bud and bud; and yet we entertain our angel so unawares that we look back regretfully to the time when the angel was in abeyance and the ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... to raise blisters, like a cupping-glass. I have an intense recollection of that disused instrument of torture, and the malignancy, in proportion to the apparent mildness, with which its strokes were applied. The idea of a rod is accompanied with something ludicrous; but by no process can I look back upon this blister-raiser with anything but unmingled horror. To make him look more formidable,—if a pedagogue had need of these heightenings,—Bird wore one of those flowered Indian gowns formerly in use with schoolmasters, the strange figures upon which we used to interpret into hieroglyphics ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... that I see when I look back into the past, is the one where I, a sullen, egotistic person nine years old, stood quite alone in the world. To be sure, there were father and mother in the house, and there were the other children, and not one among them knew I was alone. The world ...
— Painted Windows • Elia W. Peattie

... our fondness for solid food and strong drink. The industrial revolution came upon us suddenly; it changed the whole face of the country and the apparent character of the people. In the far future our descendants may look back upon the period in which we are living as a strange episode which disturbed the natural habits of our race. The first impetus was given by the plunder of Bengal, which, after the victories of Clive, flowed into the country ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... much with that shifting variety of so-called Friends, in whose withered, vain and too-hungry souls Friendship was but an incredible tradition? In such cases, your resource is to talk little, and that little mostly from the Newspapers. Now when I look back, it was a strange isolation I then lived in. The men and women around me, even speaking with me, were but Figures; I had, practically, forgotten that they were alive, that they were not merely automatic. ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... him. One knows his economics, his religion, his accent, and what he thought of the Third Napoleon and what of Garibaldi. I have called draughtsmanship of this quality an inheritance—I might have called it perhaps with better propriety a monument. It is possible that England in the near future will look back with great envy, as she will certainly look back with great pride, to the generation preceding our own: they were a solid and a happy community of men. How much they owed to fortune, how much to themselves, ...
— First and Last • H. Belloc

... day with those bonds. While I couldn't seem to lay hands on no man I was wild to have one—now 't I know I c'n have any man 't I fancy, I don't want no man a tall. It'll always be a pleasure to look back on my love-makin', 'n' I wouldn't be no woman 'f down in the bottom of my heart I wasn't some pleased over havin' 's good 's had four offers inside o' the same week. But I might o' married, Mrs. Lathrop, 'n' Heaven might o' seen fit to give me such a son ...
— Susan Clegg and Her Friend Mrs. Lathrop • Anne Warner

... never make you think of other days than those—of the happier days to come? Or, if you must think of the time that is passed, can you not look back to the time ...
— The Haunted Hotel - A Mystery of Modern Venice • Wilkie Collins

... We must not look back to ourselves, and consult the dictates of a narrow and self-interested prudence. The whole essence of communication is adulterated, if, instead of attending to the direct effects of what suggests itself to our tongue, ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... Sodom and Gomorrah took place, because not ten righteous persons could be found therein. But Lot was rescued by angels, and afterward dwelt in a cave, for fear, his wife being turned into a pillar of salt for daring to look back on the burning cities. He lived with his two daughters, who became the guilty mothers of the Moabites and the Ammonites, who settled on the hills to the east of Jordan ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... "Then we look back through our eighteen centuries, and we see that before the age of three-and-thirty he had fashioned sayings, had compacted thoughts, had expressed principles about duty, about the relative worth of things, about life, about ...
— Flowers of Freethought - (First Series) • George W. Foote

... morning the camp was all astir for an early move. We had no time to look back: we were starting for a long day's march, across the "divide," and ...
— Vanished Arizona - Recollections of the Army Life by a New England Woman • Martha Summerhayes

... to come into being. What will they be? Whither will they tend? We can assume nothing in a life that is but beginning; and is it not just this that encourages us to seek and to help? Each of us has only to look back in order to know that, in the shifting soil of characters, we can fix or establish nothing. I found her acquiescing in a shameful servitude; and yet I have faith in the nobility of her soul. She was untruthful; there was no relation between her wishes ...
— The Choice of Life • Georgette Leblanc

... Me, not my darkling wraith, my changeling foe, My thief of love, our traitress. This I bid thee, Forget thy fear and shame to have wronged me: night Breeds treacherous dreams that can but poison day If thought be found so base a fool as dares Fear. Did I doubt thy love of me, I durst not Live or look back ...
— Rosamund, Queen of the Lombards • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... thankful, as we look back to the beginnings of this country, that we have come so far along the road to a better life for all. It should make us humble to think, as we look ahead, how much farther we have to go to accomplish, at home and abroad, the objectives that were set ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Harry S. Truman • Harry S. Truman

... was at arm's length from her, and had even extended himself as far forward as he could, and stretched out his hand to catch her, when his foot slipped, and down he came at full length in the dust. At the same instant Maggy made a hop, and turned to look back at Henry from the very lowest edge of the thatch of the barn, or rather of a place where the roof of the barn was extended downwards over a ...
— The Fairchild Family • Mary Martha Sherwood

... walking rapidly after me, but still a good way off. I hastened my steps, for the day was muddy, and I did not want him to see me in a bedraggled state. But he seemed to come on so fast as to be soon close behind me, and I wondered he did not pass me, so on we went, I never turning to look back. About a quarter of a mile farther on I met A. B. on 'Dick's Brae,' on her way to church or Sunday school, and stopped to speak to her. I wanted to ask who the man was, but he seemed to be so close that I did not like to do so, and expected he had passed. When ...
— True Irish Ghost Stories • St John D Seymour

... his footsteps, love God and obey His commandments, love our fellowman, and embrace every opportunity of administering to his necessities.' In short, 'the one thing needful' is to live a life that we can always look back upon with satisfaction, and be enabled ever to contemplate its termination with trust in Him who has so kindly vouchsafed it to us, surrounding us with innumerable blessings, if we have but the heart and wisdom to receive ...
— A Unique Story of a Marvellous Career. Life of Hon. Phineas T. • Joel Benton

... the prize, the man who had gone for it, casually looking up at a cliff several hundred feet high, saw what he thought were a couple of wolves looking down upon him. Paying no attention to them, he walked on toward camp, when happening to look back, he still saw the watchful eyes peering over the edge of the precipice. It now flashed upon him that they might not be wolves ...
— The Great Salt Lake Trail • Colonel Henry Inman

... the spurs to my horse and resumed the chase, soon passing the cubs, who were making the most plaintive cries of distress. They were heard by the dam, but she gave no other heed to them than occasionally to halt for an instant, turn around, sit up on her posteriors, and give a hasty look back; but, as soon as she saw me following her, she invariably turned again and redoubled her speed. I pursued about four miles and fired four balls into her before I succeeded in bringing her to the ground, and from the time I first saw ...
— The Prairie Traveler - A Hand-book for Overland Expeditions • Randolph Marcy

... the relations of England to European affairs bring him to British ground, he is arrived at the very moment when modern history takes new proportions. He can look back for the legends and mythology to the "Younger Edda" and the "Heimrskringla" of Snorro Sturleson, to Mallet's "Northern Antiquities," to Ellis's "Metrical Romances," to Asser's "Life of Alfred," and Venerable Bede, and to the researches of Sharon Turner and Palgrave. Hume will serve him ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I., No. 3, January 1858 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... to come the great centre of interest shifts north, as now it seems to shift, one may prophesy with some hope, certainly without dread of such a result, that a more energetic Dutch race, and a less energetic English one, will fuse together, and look back upon their childish quarrels with mere historic interest. Perhaps the Dutch in those times will become the aristocrats, as they have done in New York; they may even see their chance of going for ever out of politics. For they never yet sat down to ...
— A Tramp's Notebook • Morley Roberts

... off like that by themselves, and with no possible excuse that he could see. For some time he was not uneasy; he expected to overtake them within the next five or ten minutes. They would stop to feed, surely, or to look back and listen—in a strange country like this it was against horse-nature that they should wander far away at night unless they were thirsty and on the scent of water. These horses had drunk their fill at the little ...
— The Heritage of the Sioux • B.M. Bower

... Look back now, for a moment, on your own brief experience of life; and although you lived it feelingly in your own person, and had every step of conduct burned in by pains and joys upon your memory, tell me what definite lesson does experience hand on from youth to manhood, or from both ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... look back upon old times, and con- template our forefathers. Great examples grow thin, and to be fetched from the passed world. Simplicity flies away, and iniquity comes at long strides upon us. We have enough to do to make ...
— Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend • Sir Thomas Browne

... division of our Anglo-Saxon wreckage. Beowulf itself consists of one first-rate story and one second-rate but not despicable tale, hitched together more or less anyhow. The second, with good points, is, for us, negligible: the first is a "yarn" of the primest character. One may look back to the Odyssey itself without finding anything so good, except the adventures of the Golden Ass which had all the story-work of two mightiest literatures behind them. As literature on the other hand, Beowulf may be overpraised: it has been so frequently. But let ...
— The English Novel • George Saintsbury

... there, reduced once more to the uttermost extremity of suspense, they saw a sight which sent a thrill of rapture through their aching hearts. They saw the stranger come slowly above the precipice, and then stop, and stoop, and look back. Then they saw—oh, Heavens! who was that? Was not that her red hood—and that figure who thus slowly emerged from behind the edge of the precipice which had so long concealed her—that figure! Was it possible? Not dead—not ...
— The American Baron • James De Mille

... of your affairs most essentially depends, to provide expedients for future advantages, and guard against probable evils, are all that your administration can faithfully promise to perform for your service, with their united labors most diligently exerted. They cannot look back without sacrificing the objects of their immediate duty, which are those of your interest, to endless researches, which can produce no real good, and may expose your affairs to all the ruinous consequences of personal malevolence, both ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XII. (of XII.) • Edmund Burke

... is Edgware Road, with its clamorous by-streets, alluring at all times, but strangely so at twilight. To dash down the great road on a motor-'bus is to take a joy-ride through a fairyland of common things newly revealed, and to look back from Dollis Hill is to look back, not on Kilburn or Paddington or Marylebone, but on the Field of the ...
— Nights in London • Thomas Burke

... 1. Object and Character of this Book. 2. Progress requires that we should look back as well as forward. 3. Orthodoxy as Right Belief. 4. Orthodoxy as the Doctrine of the Majority. Objections. 5. Orthodoxy as the Oldest Doctrine. Objections. 6. Orthodoxy as the Doctrine held by all. 7. Orthodoxy, as ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... me his bird's nest. Everything else in the garden seemed to him worthless by comparison. This awakened new thoughts, and now here is the little house which the children have built with their own hands. All these things forced me by some mysterious power to look back along the course of my life to the distant days in your father's house—I—These children! Upon what different foundations our lives have been built! I made them begin at the point I had gained when youth lay behind me. My ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... indulgence, long walks through the solitary and romantic environs of Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags, Braid Hills, and similar places in the vicinity of Edinburgh, and the recollection of those holydays still forms an oasis in the pilgrimage which I have to look back upon."[4] ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 571 - Volume 20, No. 571—Supplementary Number • Various

... on, now clambering over wild rocks, now proceeding along a narrow valley, now climbing its steep sides till we reached a height whence we could look back upon our settlement. "Hark!" said Lisele, "what cries are those?" We listened; the Indian girl's quick ear had detected sounds which neither Maud nor I had ...
— Mary Liddiard - The Missionary's Daughter • W.H.G. Kingston

... as an independent science and showed its intimate causal connection with ontogeny; thirty years have passed since I gave in my gastraea-theory the proof of the justice of this, and completed it with the theory of germinal layers. When we look back on this period we may ask, What has been accomplished during it by the fundamental law of biogeny? If we are impartial, we must reply that it has proved its fertility in hundreds of sound results, and that by its aid we have acquired a vast fund of knowledge which we should never ...
— The Evolution of Man, V.1. • Ernst Haeckel

... done; I left nothing of value in it. Look back there, Ben, and see if there is room for a paper to get worked over the top of the drawer. I felt quite a crack, but I don't believe it is possible for things to slip out; the place was never full enough to overflow in ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, July 1878, No. 9 • Various

... importunity meant, then! She had been paying blackmail all this time.... Somewhere, from the first, in an obscure fold of consciousness, she had felt the stir of an unnamed, unacknowledged fear; and now the fear raised its head and looked at her. Well! She would look back at it, then: look it straight in the malignant eye. What was it, after all, but a "bugbear to scare children"—the ghost of the opinion of the many? She had suspected from the first that Wyant knew of her ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... did not take note of all this, or give the poor pawns thus parading for his purpose more than a cursory glance. When he did think, which was when he was halfway up the staircase, it was to look back upon a changed scene. For with his going, interest had flagged and the tableau lost its pointedness. No one had ventured as yet to leave his place, but all had turned their faces his way, and on many of these faces could ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... It is too late to look back, or to retract anything I have promised. I have consented to become General Harrington's wife—to fill the place of one who took me to her heart as if I had been her own child, bestowing upon me the fondness which I could have no right to claim, ...
— Mabel's Mistake • Ann S. Stephens

... rather see them on the streets." The old gentleman stopped, and compressed his lips into a sort of smile. "I can see," he said, "that you are dissenting from every word I say; but I am not disheartened. I feel sure that the scales will fall from your eyes some day, and then you will look back, and see clearly for yourself the way in which all moral progress has been checked for ages by the criminal repression ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... life, was long enough to evince to her children the genuineness of her faith, and the power of the Gospel in making the "proud in spirit" meek and lowly at the feet of Jesus. She united with the Presbyterian church a few years before her death; and now, as I look back at the days of my childhood and youth, and call to mind all the pleasant and sweet things which memory cherishes, there is nothing so refreshing as the piety of my mother, and that of the dear sister, who, like a pioneer, went ...
— A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Character of Joseph Charless - In a Series of Letters to his Grandchildren • Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless

... suits me fine. And when me and Will are richer than the lot of you together, it'll be a grand satisfaction to look back and think about how we were when ...
— Hobson's Choice • Harold Brighouse

... and juvenile compositions, I was thenceforward better employed in attempting to store my own head with the wisdom of others. I made the best use of my time and means; and there is therefore no period of my life on which I can look back with such unmingled satisfaction. After acquiring a tolerable sufficiency in the German language [38] at Ratzeburg, which with my voyage and journey thither I have described in The Friend, I proceeded ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... comfort me,—made me look back upon my past life, and brought to my recollection our mutual adventures while prisoners among ...
— The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan • James Morier

... regard for the opposite sex has been merely a light fancy, barely skin deep; but now it takes hold of the heart strings and plays upon them with an agony that is truly heart rending. Who is there with red blood in his veins that does not look back upon his first heart conflict with almost pathetic reverence? Parents should be more concerned than they usually are over the conquest of the heart of youth. Such affairs may carry with them consequences which are more ...
— Parent and Child Vol. III., Child Study and Training • Mosiah Hall

... Every willing man has the Master's promise of power. But every man does not possess the promised power. And many, it is to be feared, never will. Many a man's life to-day is utterly lacking in power. Some of us will look back at the close of life with a sense of keen disappointment and of bitter defeat. And the reason is not far to seek, nor hard to see through. If we do not have power it is because we are not ...
— Quiet Talks on Power • S.D. Gordon

... that the missionary could look back with deepest gratitude upon that mercy which had first brought him to a knowledge of the Saviour. "Him and Him alone," he adds, "I found to be a refuge, a rock in the storm of contending feelings, on which my soul could cast the anchor of its hope for pardon and ...
— The Ocean and its Wonders • R.M. Ballantyne

... destined for? I was intended to be "Jim Sherry, the trader,"—and I should ask "Niabon, of Danger Island," to be "Jim Sherry's" wife. Why not. I had never cared for any woman before except in a fleeting, and yet degrading manner—in a way which had left no memories with me that I could look back upon with tender regrets. She and I together might do great things in the South Seas, and found a colony of our own. She had white blood in her veins—of that I felt certain—and where Ben Boyd, of the old colonial days, failed to achieve, I, with a woman like Niabon for my wife, ...
— The Strange Adventure Of James Shervinton - 1902 • Louis Becke

... historian many centuries ago wrote it down that the first thing conquered in battle are the eyes: the soldier flees from what he sees before him. But so often in the world's fight we are defeated by what we look back upon; we are whipped in the end by the things we saw in the beginning of life. The time arrived for Gabriella when the gorgeous fairy tale of her childhood was all that she had to sustain her: when it meant ...
— The Reign of Law - A Tale of the Kentucky Hemp Fields • James Lane Allen

... gratification. I have had opportunities of forming friendships with the members of the Corporation, and of cementing a friendship of long standing with my excellent colleague—friendships which I am sure, as regards my own wishes, will still remain, and cause me to look back on the past year as one of the happiest of ...
— Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore, Volume I • Sir Moses Montefiore

... and, for the last time you will ever see your poor friend, share my concern for him; and, in him, see what, in a little time, will be your fate and mine, and that of Mowbray, Tourville, and the rest of us—For what are ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty years, to look back to; in the longest of which periods forward we shall all perhaps be mingled with the dust ...
— Clarissa, Or The History Of A Young Lady, Volume 8 • Samuel Richardson

... to go, and Gwladys, putting on a broad-brimmed straw hat, passed out before him through the window—Mrs. Power detaining them with endless directions as to where to stop, where to turn to look at the sun through the fir trees, where to look back for a view of the house, ...
— By Berwen Banks • Allen Raine

... holes in others." Some of Anselme's conversation is also given, and after beginning by describing in glowing terms the bygone days which he and his contemporaries had seen, and which he stated to be very different to the present, he goes on to say, "I must own, my good old friends, that I look back with pleasure on our young days; at all events the mode of doing things in those days was very superior and better in every way to that of the present.... O happy days! O fortunate times when our fathers and grandfathers, whom may God absolve, were still among us!" As he said this, he would raise ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... of approaching hoof-beats could be plainly heard, and Drysdale turned his head to look back in the direction whence they came. On looking for the ghost again, it was nowhere to ...
— The Somnambulist and the Detective - The Murderer and the Fortune Teller • Allan Pinkerton

... thickest glooms look back, immortal shade, On that confusion which thy death has made: Or from Olympus' height look down, and see A Town involv'd in grief bereft of thee. Thy Lucy sees thee mingle with the dead, And rends the graceful tresses from her head, Wild in her ...
— Religious and Moral Poems • Phillis Wheatley

... The easier to batter it down, Which he had proved must be the case (If it hadn't already taken place): He called on his readers to fear and dread it, Whilst he wrote it,—whilst they read it!" "How simple! How beautifully simple," said he, "And obvious was the remedy! Look back a century or so— And there was the ancient Norman bow, A weapon (he gave them leave to laugh) Efficient, better, cheaper by half: (He knew quite well the age abused it Because, forsooth, the Normans used it) These, planted in the citadel, ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... asked by a doctor of divinity, who was also the overseer of a college, whether I ever knew any one to look back with pleasure upon his early studies in Latin and Greek. It was like being asked if one looked back with pleasure on summer mornings and evenings. No doubt those languages, like all others, have fared hard at the hands of pedants; and there are active boys who hate all study, and ...
— A Handbook for Latin Clubs • Various

... in number, but afterward seven, were matriculated and registered professional students of medicine, and passed six delightful months we now look back upon as if it ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... think, or no woman, that this was the end of troubles. As I look back on that winter, and on the spring of 1865 (I do not mean the steel spring), it seems to me only the beginning. I got out on crutches at last; I had the office transferred to my house, so that Lafarge ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VII. (of X.) • Various

... left school, having attained the great age of seventeen and therefore able to look back over a past incredibly long and full, she still reckoned time not by years, ...
— New Chronicles of Rebecca • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... the wall with an ejaculation, and his sword rang loudly on the stones. Two or three voices demanded who went there—some in French, some in English; but Denis made no reply, and ran the faster down the lane. Once upon the terrace, he paused to look back. They still kept calling after him, and just then began to double the pace in pursuit, with a considerable clank of armor, and great tossing of the torchlight to and fro in the narrow jaws of ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... true idea of education, of its nature and supreme importance, is silently working and gains ground. Those of us who look back on half a century, see a real, great improvement in schools and in the standard of instruction. What should encourage this movement in this country is, that nothing is wanting here to the intellectual elevation of the ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... turned into house accommodation for one or two of the staff, and the great fair is worked with no more ado than a hundred other fairs on the line. Not many complaints are made now, for delays and disappointments are things of the past. Yet, I dare say there are some who, still attending the fair, look back with regret on the disappearance ...
— Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland • Joseph Tatlow

... clouds has come the sunbeam. Our feet have not wandered for want of light. Look back for a moment. How dark all seemed when the question of leaving Jasper's service came up for decision. And yet how clear a light shone when the time for action came. Have you ever regretted what was then ...
— True Riches - Or, Wealth Without Wings • T.S. Arthur

... long as the struggle lasted our discipline was always far from perfect. I do not intend to imply that the burghers were unwilling or unruly; it was only that they were quite unaccustomed to being under orders. When I look back upon the campaign I realize how gigantic a task I performed in regulating everything in accordance ...
— Three Years' War • Christiaan Rudolf de Wet

... child! Far remote in time, in thought, from that period, I look back on these glooms and terrors, wherein I was enveloped, and perceive that I had no ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... frequently. The clank of metal chains, the beat of hoofs upon the good road-bed, sounded smartly on the ear. The houses became larger, newer, more flamboyant; richly dressed, handsome women were coming and going between them and their broughams. When Sommers turned to look back, the boulevard disappeared in the vague, murky region of mephitic cloud, beneath which the husbands of those women were toiling, striving, creating. He walked on and on, enjoying his leisure, speculating idly ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... to Life, to Nature. In the simplicity and impulse of this movement, so spontaneous, so touching, so full of a sense of beauty, which sometimes, though not often, becomes prettiness, the art of sculpture, awakened at last from the mysticism of the Middle Age, seems to look back with longing to the antique world, which it would fain claim as its brother, and after a little moment in the sun falls again into a sort of mysticism, a new kingdom of the spirit with Michelangelo, and of the senses merely with Sansovino ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... Greek government, the democracy with all of its great promises and glorious prospects, declined certainly from the height which was great in contrast to the Oriental despotisms. It declined at a time when, as we look back from the present, it ought apparently to have gone on to the completion of the modern representative government. Probably, had the Greeks adopted the representative principle and enlarged their citizenship, ...
— History of Human Society • Frank W. Blackmar

... to look back, the king and queen took their way home to their desolate palace, and Psyche leaned against the rock trembling with fear lest every moment the monster should appear in sight. She was very tired, for the road to the mountain had been ...
— The Red Romance Book • Various

... meet people. A few labouring men came past me, one of them carrying a pitchfork. I noticed that they looked at me curiously. One of them spoke, and said, "You have been in the wars, master!" So I said, "Yes," and passed on, wondering what he meant. After I had passed, the man stopped to look back at me. I even heard him take a few steps towards me, before he thought better of it, and went on upon his way. This set me wondering if there were anything strange about my appearance; so, when I came to the little brook or river, which crossed the road a little further ...
— Jim Davis • John Masefield

... to those of us who can look back to life in India forty or fifty years ago, there will surely arise visions of many genial old colonels and doctors, full of good stories and much sympathy in health or sickness for those just ...
— Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series • George Robert Aberigh-Mackay

... you, and I give you my word on it, that from that moment I was not my own master, and it is all like a dim dream when I look back on it. I had been drinking hard of late, and the two things together fairly turned my brain. There's something throbbing in my head now, like a docker's hammer, but that morning I seemed to have all Niagara whizzing and buzzing in ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... but the condition of living—the slave is not so likely to complain of the want of property as the proprietor of the want of privilege. The human mind is progressive—the child does not look back to the parent that gave him being, nor the proprietor to the people that gave him the power of acquisition, but both look forward—the one to provide for the comforts of life, and the other to obtain all the ...
— Thomas Davis, Selections from his Prose and Poetry • Thomas Davis

... often walked up that towing-path on a beautiful sunny morning, when all was quiet except the nightingales in the Palace hedge, on purpose to admire them. I dare say they are all gone now for evermore; still, it is a pleasure to look back on anything beautiful. What colour is this dandelion? It is not yellow, nor orange, nor gold; put a sovereign on it and see the difference. They say the gipsies call it the Queen's great hairy dog-flower—a ...
— Field and Hedgerow • Richard Jefferies

... poverty and wealth, the thirst of fame, The fear of infamy, disease and woe, 255 War with its million horrors, and fierce hell Shall live but in the memory of Time, Who, like a penitent libertine, shall start, Look back, and shudder at ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... Laurence to the Missisippi, was colonized by the French and English, (I make no account of the Dutch establishment on the Hudson nor of the Swedish on the Delaware; they being of little importance, and early absorbed in the English settlements.) If we look back only one hundred years from the present time, we find the French and English dominions here about equally important in point of extent and population. The French Canada, Acadia, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Florida and Louisiana were then as far advanced in improvement as the English ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... own many of them assuredly appeared with besides, faults especially likely to strike such an observer as Marcus Aurelius, and to confirm him in the prejudices of his race, station, and rearing. We look back upon Christianity after it has proved what a future it bore within it, and for us the sole representatives of its early struggles are the pure and devoted spirits through whom it proved this; Marcus Aurelius saw it with its ...
— Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... men of science in every department, if they attain eminence, work hard, and that both early and late. That is just what we did. Some of us have left the cotton-spinning, but I think that all of us who have been engaged in that occupation look back on it with feelings of complacency, and feel an interest in the course of our companions. There is one thing in cotton-spinning that I always felt to be a privilege. We were confined through the whole day, but when we got out to the green ...
— The Personal Life Of David Livingstone • William Garden Blaikie

... army crossed the San, Wilhelm II, then German Emperor, was present. It is interesting to look back on the scene. Here is a paragraph from the account of the Wolff Telegraphic Bureau: "The Emperor had hurried forward to his troops by automobile. On the way he was greeted with loud hurrahs by the wounded, riding back in wagons. On the heights of Jaroslav the ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... foot of the stone steps leading from the Peacock Terrace to the Sunken Rosary, something made me pause and look back at the magnificent palace which we had built in this strange, far-off land where no white men but ourselves had ever come. Somehow I felt it in my bones that we were leaving it to-night never to return again. And I wondered what other kings and ministers would dwell in its splendid ...
— The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle • Hugh Lofting

... Rousseau, but I have on more than one occasion turned toward a hedge and pretended to make water, when a girl had just passed me on the road, showing a turgens cauda if she should chance out of curiosity to look back, as once, at any ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw Ignorance come up to the river side; but he soon got over, and that without half that difficulty which the other two men met with.[330] For it happened that there was then in that place, one Vain-hope,[331] a ferryman, that with his boat helped him over; so he, as the ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... us take another branch of his genealogy; for he is a professor of a great and many-sided art; and if we look back at what has preceded we see that he presents another aspect, besides that ...
— Sophist • Plato

... I look back to-day to a time before the middle of the century, when I was reading at Edinburgh, and fervently wishing to come to this University. At three colleges I applied for admission, and, as things then were, I was refused by all. Here, from the first, ...
— A Lecture on the Study of History • Lord Acton

... remember, by a celebrated French Author, that no Man ever pushed his Capacity as far as it was able to extend. I shall not enquire whether this Assertion be strictly true. It may suffice to say, that Men of the greatest Application and Acquirements can look back upon many vacant Spaces, and neglected Parts of Time, which have slipped away from them unemployed; and there is hardly any one considering Person in the World, but is apt to fancy with himself, at some time or other, that ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... with a facility common to human nature, into the habitudes of savage life. Though no longer bound by engagements to continue in the interior, they have become so accustomed to the freedom of the forest and the prairie, that they look back with repugnance upon the restraints of civilization. Most of them intermarry with the natives, and, like the latter, have often a plurality of wives. Wanderers of the wilderness, according to the vicissitudes of the seasons, the migrations of animals, and the ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... As we look back upon the history of Art, assisted by the numerous examples in our Museums, one is struck by the want of novelty in the imagination of mankind. The glorious antique has always been our classic standard, and it seems only to have been a question of time as to when and how a return ...
— Illustrated History of Furniture - From the Earliest to the Present Time • Frederick Litchfield

... it seemed to her now, San Giorgio stood like a dark prophet of her present abasement and chastisement, sprang tears of a different character, and weak as she was with her soul's fever and for want of food, she was piteously shaken. She said with some calmness: 'It is useless to look back. I have no reproaches but for myself. Explain nothing to me. Things that are not comprehended by one like me are riddles I must put aside. I know where I am: I scarcely ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... another period, which Miss Willis could look back upon as one of temporary inability to find words. She started to leave, furious with herself for her inaptness, and instead of going she paused and ...
— A Breath of Prairie and other stories • Will Lillibridge

... 'Let the dishes go,' he cried. 'I don't care whether they are ever washed or not.' And picking up the lunch which his mother had packed so nicely for him, he started toward the creek. He did not even look back to say ...
— A Hive of Busy Bees • Effie M. Williams



Words linked to "Look back" :   think back, review, remember, look, retrospect



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