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Prosaic   /proʊzˈeɪɪk/   Listen
Prosaic

adjective
1.
Not fanciful or imaginative.  Synonym: matter-of-fact.  "A prosaic and unimaginative essay"
2.
Lacking wit or imagination.  Synonyms: earthbound, pedestrian, prosy.
3.
Not challenging; dull and lacking excitement.  Synonyms: commonplace, humdrum, unglamorous, unglamourous.



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"Prosaic" Quotes from Famous Books



... fresh and fragrant, the country charming, with here a forest, there a valley, farther off the tiled, colored roofs of some little town. Our road, like a white ribbon, wound itself out endlessly between stone walls or brown fields. In my content I forgot food and such prosaic details till I noticed that ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... more desperate because the Chafis were professional freighters with little experience of emergency. Hauling a Zid from Canthorian jungles to a Ciriimian zoo was a prosaic enough assignment so long as the cage held, but with the raging brute swiftly smelling them out, they were helpless to ...
— Traders Risk • Roger Dee

... struck me as an experiment worth attempting, to try whether a judicious allusion to the subject of the Moonstone would keep him awake, and, if it did, to see what HE thought of the last new complication in the Indian conspiracy, as revealed in the prosaic precincts of ...
— The Moonstone • Wilkie Collins

... tradition hath not deigned to inform me. Possibly you lived there when a child. And if the spirit renew itself once in seven years, as the body is said to do, the soul of those younger hours may have remained, may have shared with us our more ethereal pleasures, while it frowned on our prosaic sports. At least, to some such fancy as this, united with the idea of second childhood before alluded to, must be referred the folly of which I have been guilty in addressing a person, who, so far as bodily presence is concerned, is to me an entire stranger, and to ...
— Memories of Hawthorne • Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

... prairie, yellow corn-fields and sandy desert; or of many other classes and conditions which are by no means void of material for the artist in pen or brush. All these lend hues that are anything but prosaic to my kaleidoscopic recollections of the United States; but more than all these, the characteristically picturesque feature of American life, stands out the omnipresent negro. It was a thrill to have one's boots blackened by a coloured "professor" in an alley-way of ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... like a dozen pailfuls to do the business. What effect do you think the tender dews of memory would have on a good drumhead cabbage?" But she had turned her head and was looking over the daisy-dappled fields, and she placed her fingers in her ears, while the prosaic butcher, who had just arrived, was talking about ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 1, January 1886 • Various

... And you know, of course, or you have guessed, that there are no mysteries to be revealed to you, no profound religious truths to be communicated, no dogmas to be accepted. I am afraid we are very degenerate descendants of the Mystics, and the Illuminati, and all the rest of them; we have become prosaic; our wants are sadly material. And yet we have our dreams and aspirations, too; and the virtues that we exact—obedience, temperance, faith, self-sacrifice—are not ignoble. Meanwhile, to begin. I think you may ...
— Sunrise • William Black

... that all through human history war has been a greater incentive to shipbuilding progress than peaceful commerce. For those early navigators the prizes to be won by fighting and raiding were greater than any that the more prosaic paths of trade could offer. The fleets that issued from the Delta of the Nile were piratical squadrons, that were the terrors of the Mediterranean coasts. The Greek, too, like the Norseman, began his career on the sea with piracy. The Athenian ...
— Famous Sea Fights - From Salamis to Tsu-Shima • John Richard Hale

... cheerfully, "What have I done wrong?"(22) Gideon Welles was a pugnacious man, and at that moment an angry man. There can be little doubt that his lips were tightly shut, that a stern frown darkened his brows. Grimly conscientious was Gideon Welles, likewise prosaic; a masterpiece of literalness, the very opposite in almost every respect of the Secretary of State whom he cordially detested. That he had already found occasion to protest against the President's careless mode of conducting business ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... is this: the chapters shall be their own defence. If I had wished to present my readers with nothing but a dry chronicle of facts I should have toned this down to something more prosaic. But every one who has had any experience of life will know that her surprises are sometimes very bewildering; that fiction is nothing but uncommon experience made ordinary, or heaped inartistically ...
— Memoirs of Arthur Hamilton, B. A. Of Trinity College, Cambridge • Arthur Christopher Benson

... appalling to those who have not yet adventured into the holy state, to see how soon the flame of romantic love burns out, or rather is quenched in matrimony; and how deplorably the passionate, poetic lover declines into the phlegmatic, prosaic husband. I am inclined to attribute this very much to the defect just mentioned in the plays and novels, which form so important a branch of study of our young ladies; and which teach them how to be heroines, but leave them totally at a loss when they come to be wives. ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... their hearts, and their self responds. Something within them demands instant expression, and they forget their slums in dancing their merry measure, till the music stops and the Italian passes on to raise Fairyland in the next slum. Music has given them a glimpse of something outside their dull and prosaic surroundings, it has touched their hearts with a glamour which is a glint of spiritual sunshine in ...
— Spirit and Music • H. Ernest Hunt

... incident occurred in my apartment, where John Bartine was passing an evening. We had dined together at the club, had come home in a cab and—in short, everything had been done in the most prosaic way; and why John Bartine should break in upon the natural and established order of things to make himself spectacular with a display of emotion, apparently for his own entertainment, I could nowise understand. The more I thought of it, while his brilliant ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... of good tidings. And all night long, within its lighted corridors, the bubbling champagne whispered to the listening rubber trees of the new salvation of the city. So the night waxed and waned till the slow day broke, dimming with its cheap prosaic glare the shaded beauty of the artificial light, and the people of the city—the best of them—drove home to their well-earned sleep; and the others—in the lower parts of the city—rose ...
— Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich • Stephen Leacock

... the expedition quite as much in the spirit of revolt against a prosaic life of society at home as for gain. It had appealed strongly to Asta. She had insisted that nothing so much as a treasure hunt would be appropriate for their wedding- trip and they had agreed on the unconventional. Accordingly, she and her sister had joined Everson and his party, Norma, ...
— The Treasure-Train • Arthur B. Reeve

... enter into the spirit of the designer, ought to feel just what natural accessories lend themselves most harmoniously to this or that particular type. If the architecture be quaint and picturesque it must not have prosaic surroundings. If, on the other hand, it be formal or monumental, the character and scale of the accessories should be accordingly serious and dignified. The rendering ought also to vary with the subject,—a free picturesque manner for the one, a more studied and responsible handling for the ...
— Pen Drawing - An Illustrated Treatise • Charles Maginnis

... and I cut off legs and arms and heads of no end of diseased folks and operated for compound cataract and every known and unknown disease, and the Lord was with us. We didn't lose a case, and you never saw or heard such sights in prosaic money-loving America. Why, those people are born again! That whole district is simply awake out of several centuries' sleep. I have the consent of the high powers in that district to negotiate over here for a lot of machinery ...
— The High Calling • Charles M. Sheldon

... to write moral tales!—of Lacroix, and of many others—that these same reasons, I say, reconcile me with the elegies of the Roman Propertius and of the German Propertius, and even with some of the decried productions of Diderot. This is because the former of those works are only witty, prosaic, and voluptuous, while the others are ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... modern face apart from a modern setting; I am not sure what he thinks of its complications and refinements of expression, but he has certainly little relish for its banal, vulgar mustache, its prosaic, mercantile whisker, surmounting the last new thing in shirt-collars. Dear to him is the physiognomy of clean-shaven periods, when cheek and lip and chin, abounding in line and surface, had the air of soliciting the pencil. Impeccable as he is in drawing, ...
— Picture and Text - 1893 • Henry James

... and prosaic north can indulge in gay coaching parades at Franconia, Newport, or Lenox, where costumes of gorgeous hues assist the natural beauty of the flowers. But it is only a coaching parade, at the wind-up of a gay season. We cannot catch ...
— A Truthful Woman in Southern California • Kate Sanborn

... effectiveness of the picture the invalid presented as she lay back in her rocking-chair, bright-colored pillows heaped about her, a slender figure in black, the wide blue eyes matched by the blue veins in the temples, and with violet shadows below. In the bright, prosaic little sitting-room she looked as out of place as a Raphael's cherub in a kindergarten, a creature unmistakably belonging to ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... distinctly material; yet the young man confronting her white grace, the strange look in her blue eyes, had a dreamlike feeling, almost as though he had met a dryad or an Undine between two of the prosaic, substantial doors of Ipswich House. And as in a dream the most extraordinary things seem familiar and expected, so the apparition of the Undine and her confidence in him seemed familiar, in fact just what he had been expecting during those hours ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... exclaimed Barrie suddenly, in the manner of her old self. Nevertheless, she descended and advertised her return to the prosaic world by closing the door loudly in less than ten minutes after Mrs. MacDonald ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... papers, and window hangings, all 'brand-new, and intensely old;' which feeds its fancy on old pictures and old poetry, its faith on old legend and ceremonial, and would fain dress itself in the garb of the 15th century—the natural reaction in a certain class of minds against the mean and prosaic aspects ...
— Normandy Picturesque • Henry Blackburn

... thing, and moreover, when one visits it, he observes that the family burn great logs in their fireplaces, have luxurious bouquets of flowers on their dining-table, and use wax candles instead of the more prosaic oil-lamps, or ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 4 (of 10) • Various

... to Sylvia that she had never been so hungry and that food had never tasted so delicious. She remarked upon it somewhat apologetically, and Edna laughed at her. "My dear girl, it's the way of the place," she said. "Of course we eat nothing prosaic here. These potatoes grew at the Mill Farm, these lobsters were swimming this morning. This lamb, I'm afraid, was skipping around only a few days ago on Beacon Island. This salad grew just over the fence from that daisy field we passed through this ...
— The Opened Shutters • Clara Louise Burnham

... perpetrated the atrocity (or generosity) at the merest sign of weakening on my part. By that time, however, I was more discontented, disgusted, and dogged than ever. The past eighteen months, so full of new and varied experience, appeared a dreary, prosaic waste of days. I felt—how shall I express it?—that there was no truth to be got out ...
— The Shadow-Line - A Confession • Joseph Conrad

... apparent musical talent, but whose nature has not been developed to appreciate the beautiful and romantic in this wonderful world of ours, he will find it quite impossible to alter the pupil's individuality in this respect by work at the keyboard alone. The mundane, prosaic individual who believes that the sole aim of musical study is the acquisition of technic, or the magic of digital speed, must be brought to realize that this is a fault of individuality which will mar his entire career ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... was only a symbol, like the figure in a mathematical proposition, representing by the first passable physical phenomenon which came to hand, that ideal reality underlying all change, which is at once the beginning, the middle, and the end of all. That he did not mean Water, in the ordinary prosaic sense, to be identical with this, is suggested by some [10] other sayings of his. "Thales," says Aristotle elsewhere, "thought the whole universe was full of gods." "All things," he is recorded as saying, "have a soul in them, in virtue ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... blossomed in her talk were not so much perversions, as sympathetic exaggerations, of fact. And Rowland felt that whatever she said of herself might have been, under the imagined circumstances; impulse was there, audacity, the restless, questioning temperament. "I am afraid I am sadly prosaic," he said, "for in these many months now that I have been in Rome, I have never ceased for a moment to look at Catholicism simply from the outside. I don't see an opening as big as your finger-nail where I could ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... up the tree?" she pressed, looking him through with eyes that then and always wrenched the prosaic truth ...
— Gilian The Dreamer - His Fancy, His Love and Adventure • Neil Munro

... soon constitute a habit, its exile a new home. The old ambition, now proved to be unrealisable, begins to seem capricious and extravagant; the circle of possible satisfactions becomes the field of conventional happiness. Experience, which brings about this humbler and more prosaic state of mind, has its own imaginative fruits. Among those forces which compelled each particular impulse to abate its pretensions, the most conspicuous were other impulses, other interests active in oneself and in one's neighbours. When the power of these alien demands is recognised ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... me but little. Believing in heredity in moderation I knew well how sea-life fashions a man outwardly and stamps his soul with the mark of a certain prosaic fitness—because a sailor is not an adventurer. I expressed no regret at missing Captain Anthony and we proceeded in silence till, on approaching the holiday cottage, Fyne suddenly and unexpectedly ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... about it—anything that "intends greatly" and glows, as has been said, with a black splendour, in Marlowesque or Websterian fashion. Nor, again, is it a "Fleur du Mal" of the Baudelairian kind, but only an ugly as well as noxious weed. It is prosaic and suburban. There is neither tragedy nor comedy, neither passion nor humour, nor even wit, except a little horse-play. Congreve and Crebillon are as far off as Marlowe and Webster; in fact, the descent ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 - From the Beginning to 1800 • George Saintsbury

... spoke as out of a depth; he spoke with some of that weariness at being called back to life which Rembrandt depicts on the face of Lazarus rising from the tomb. It was delicious to sink away from the prosaic and the boresome, to be so fully awake that he could follow the movement in the street and the hopping of the sparrows in the trees, and yet be, as it were, removed, enchanted, seeing and hearing and thinking and even drinking through the medium of ...
— The Side Of The Angels - A Novel • Basil King

... mature Zoe," as Gibbon calls her, falls in love with him, and her husband, Constantine Monomachus, puts him in prison; but Saint Olaf still protects his mauvais sujet of a brother, and inspires "a lady of distinction" with the successful idea of helping Harald out of his inaccessible tower by the prosaic expedient of a ladder of ropes. A boom, however, across the harbour's mouth still prevents the escape of his vessel. The Sea-king is not to be so easily baffled. Moving all his ballast, arms, and ...
— Letters From High Latitudes • The Marquess of Dufferin (Lord Dufferin)

... rarely sent in pictures for the Academy or other exhibitions. His larger and more highly finished landscapes were unequal in technical perfection,—sometimes harsh or cold in color, or stiff in composition; sometimes full of imagination, at others literal and prosaic,—but always impressive reproductions of interesting or peculiar scenery. In later years he used in conversation to qualify himself as a "topographical artist;" and the definition was true, though not exhaustive. He had an intuitive and a perfectly trained eye for ...
— Nonsense Books • Edward Lear

... changes from this lethargic one to a fireside on a winter evening. She drops the book in her lap, the yells of the savages are fainter. She shakes the salt spray from her chair and tries to adjust herself once more to the prosaic ...
— The 1926 Tatler • Various

... introduced us, yet already I scented a romance behind the ordinarily prosaic conduct of a campaign press bureau. It is far from my intention to minimise the work or the ability of the head of the press bureau, but it struck me, both then and later, that the candidate had an extraordinary interest in the newspaper ...
— The Poisoned Pen • Arthur B. Reeve

... a piece of furniture which, in the struggles of my nightmare, I have just broken. This very prosaic avalanche recalls me to the reality. I laugh at my terrors, a contrary current of thought gets the upper hand, and with it ambitious ideas. I need only use a little effort to reach this summit, so seldom attained. It is a victory, as ...
— A Winter Amid the Ice - and Other Thrilling Stories • Jules Verne

... incredulously when he spoke of the exquisite perfume of those folded corn-sheaves in the air. She told him he imagined it. He saw again the pretty woman's smile of incomprehension; he saw the puzzled expression in the eyes of the man; he heard him murmur something prosaic about the soul, about birds, too, and the prospects of killing hundreds later—sport! He even saw the woman picking her way with caution as though the touch of earth could stain or injure her. He ...
— The Centaur • Algernon Blackwood

... colonel at the dock, whither Shag had already made his way, coming in a more prosaic trolley car from The Haven, and soon they were ready to row down the inlet ...
— The Golf Course Mystery • Chester K. Steele

... Poet Laureate. When we find that soon afterwards the grant was commuted for a money payment of twenty marks per annum, we need not conclude that Chaucer's circumstances were poor; for it may be easily supposed that the daily "perception" of such an article of income was attended with considerable prosaic inconvenience. A permanent provision for Chaucer was made on the 8th of June 1374, when he was appointed Controller of the Customs in the Port of London, for the lucrative imports of wools, skins or "wool-fells," and tanned hides — on condition that he should ...
— The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems • Geoffrey Chaucer

... the years. The secret that I learned that day has acted like a talisman, and has turned every spot that I have visited into an enchanted ground. Even my study table is not immune from its magic spell. A more prosaic spectacle never met the eye. The desk, the pigeon-holes, the drawers, and the piles of papers might have to do with a foundry or a fish-market, so very unromantic do they appear. And yet, what times I have whenever I manage to lose something! It is almost worth ...
— Mushrooms on the Moor • Frank Boreham

... point: The world might be prosaic without sin, but it is right positive that women would suffer less. And if it could be pounded into every woman's head that she was a fool to think twice about any man she could not marry, and that she threatened the whole social structure every time she brought a fatherless ...
— The Californians • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... snake fences of Armytage's farm, he said he would go down to the post at the 'Corner' for letters, and call in an hour for Linda on his return. She found Edith and Jay working hard as usual. Their employment to-day was the very prosaic one of digging potatoes. 'What horrid occupation for a lady!' exclaims somebody. Yes; Miss Armytage would have much preferred an afternoon spent in painting flowers, for which she had a talent. But there was no help for such manual labour in this case. Don't you imagine ...
— Cedar Creek - From the Shanty to the Settlement • Elizabeth Hely Walshe

... When I find myself in the still early hours, while all the world sleeps, hunting through column after column for those missing figures which will turn a respected alderman into a felon, I understand that it is not such a prosaic ...
— The Last Galley Impressions and Tales - Impressions and Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... of religious miracles in this country, although French Canada and old Mexico boast of more. So late as the prosaic year of 1889 the Virgin was seen to descend into the streets of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to save her image on the Catholic church in that place, when it was swept by a deluge in which hundreds of persons perished. It was the wrath of the Madonna ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... there is sometimes nothing but the fresh and courageous spelling to make his stories go. "He," however, is hardly the pronoun. The girls are the more active authors, and the more prosaic. What they would write had they never read things written for them by the dull, it is not possible to know. What they do write is this—to take a passage: "Poor Mrs. Bald (that was her name) thought she would never get to the wood where her aunt lived, she got down and pulled ...
— The Children • Alice Meynell

... Defoe, be made subservient to that display of character in which Addison had shown himself a master, and let them become steps in the development of a love-plot, and the novel—the novel of the last century, at any rate—is fully formed. As was the self-contented, and therefore uncreative and prosaic, thought of the age, which produced the novel, such the novel itself continued to be. Man, comfortable and acquiescent, wished to amuse himself by a reflex of the life which he no longer aspired to transcend. He wanted to enjoy himself ...
— An Estimate of the Value and Influence of Works of Fiction in Modern Times • Thomas Hill Green

... cruel." Show the soldier, an arm swept away by a bursting shell, lying on the battlefield pleading for water; show the children with tear-stained faces pressed against the window pane praying for their dead father to return. Avoid general and prosaic terms. Paint pictures. Evolve images for the imagination of your audience to construct ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... had 'arrived' as far as you ever will arrive; and you had realised as much of your early dream as you ever will realise, and the realisation was utterly unlike the dream; the marriage was excessively prosaic and eternal, not at all what you expected it to be; and your illusions were dissipated; and games and hobbies had an unpleasant core of tedium and futility; and the ideal tobacco-mixture did not exist; and one literary masterpiece resembled another; ...
— The Human Machine • E. Arnold Bennett

... thinking of getting some dinner," said Winterborne, changing to the prosaic, as they walked. "And you, too, must require something. Do let me take you ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... for your feet to tread. Let us go out together to our own house, this evening, without concealment and without shame. Remember! we owe something to your husband. We are his guests here: he is an honorable man: he has been kind to us: he has perhaps loved you as well as his prosaic nature and his sordid commercial environment permitted. We owe it to him in all honor not to let him learn the truth from the lips of a scandalmonger. Let us go to him now quietly, hand in hand; bid him farewell; and walk out of the house without concealment ...
— How He Lied to Her Husband • George Bernard Shaw

... find two very ordinary and prosaic tradesmen thus in the front of popular literature in the beginning of the eighteenth century. There is no comparison between Allan Ramsay and Samuel Richardson in respect to genius. That humdrum old bookseller evoked by some miraculous art the most delicate and lovely of creations out of ...
— Royal Edinburgh - Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets • Margaret Oliphant

... fate. Cecil Brown stood erect, and plucked nervously at the upturned points of his little prim moustache. Monsieur Fardet groaned over his wounded wrist. Mr. Stephens, in sombre impotence, shook his head slowly, the living embodiment of prosaic law and order. Mr. Stuart stood, his umbrella still over him, with no expression upon his heavy face or in his staring brown eyes. Headingly lay with that china-white cheek resting motionless upon the stones. His sun-hat had fallen off, and he looked quite boyish with his ruffled ...
— A Desert Drama - Being The Tragedy Of The "Korosko" • A. Conan Doyle

... she rebuffed his confidences about his work, nevertheless showed so deep an interest in him generally, that he was temporarily blinded by it and excused her lack of real interest on the world-old ground that pretty women are not supposed to bother about prosaic affairs of the male ...
— Amanda - A Daughter of the Mennonites • Anna Balmer Myers

... one had dared to touch it; the dread vengeance of Hassan of Aleppo would visit any unbeliever who ventured to lay hand upon the holy, bloody thing. Well we knew it, and as though it had been a venomous scorpion we, a company of up-to-date, prosaic men of affairs, stood around that dilapidated markoob, and kept a ...
— The Quest of the Sacred Slipper • Sax Rohmer

... the question. The hero puts on his clothes, or refreshes himself with food and wine, or he yokes his steed, takes a journey, and in the evening preparation is made for his repose. To give relief to subjects prosaic as these without seeming unreasonably tumid is extremely difficult. Mr. Pope much abridges some of them, and others he omits; but neither of these liberties was compatible with the nature of my undertaking. These, therefore, and many similar ...
— The Iliad of Homer - Translated into English Blank Verse • Homer

... score or two of dingy volumes which had struggled for existence among the boots and medicine bottles of his dressing-room shelves. There was in Lily a vein of sentiment, perhaps transmitted from this source, which gave an idealizing touch to her most prosaic purposes. She liked to think of her beauty as a power for good, as giving her the opportunity to attain a position where she should make her influence felt in the vague diffusion of refinement and good taste. She was ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... more closely maintained throughout his career the national, or, at any rate, the racial standpoint. The other is that while Tolstoy and Ibsen presently became, the one indifferent to artistic expression, and the other baldly prosaic where he was once deeply poetical, Bjoernson preserved the poetic impulse of his youth, and continued to give it play even in his envisagement of the most practical modern problems. Let us enlarge a little upon these two themes. Ernest Renan, speaking at the funeral ...
— Bjoernstjerne Bjoernson • William Morton Payne

... was done he would spend his evenings holding an informal durbar outside his tent, chatting with all and sundry of the natives who happened to be there. The peoples of India are familiar with pomp and outward show such as we do not see in the more prosaic west; but they also know a man when they see one. And this young man with the strongly-marked features, curt speech, and masterful manner, sitting there alone in shirt-sleeves and old trousers as he listened to their tales, was an embodiment of the British ...
— Victorian Worthies - Sixteen Biographies • George Henry Blore

... Mortmartre, our Himalaya is Mount Valerien, our Great Desert is the plain of Grenelle, where they are now boring an artesian well to water the caravans. We have plenty of thieves, though not so many as is said; but these thieves stand in far more dread of a policeman than a lord. France is so prosaic, and Paris so civilized a city, that you will not find in its eighty-five departments—I say eighty-five, because I do not include Corsica—you will not find, then, in these eighty-five departments a single hill on which there is not a telegraph, or ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... not say, speaking conscientiously and without reserve, that he regarded jollity as an essential element in true womanhood. In his estimation it sank the peculiar grace and sacred dignity of the sex too nearly to a level with ordinary prosaic humanity. Mr. Perrowne concurred in a measure, but thought it was awfully nice for men of serious occupations, like the dominie and himself, to have somebody to liven them up a little; not too much, down't you know, but just enough to dispel the blues. The lawyer interrogated ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... said slowly, "that it must have been very delightful in Eden. But we are not really there, you know—we are only playing that we are. And it is time for me to go back. I must get the breakfast—that sounds too prosaic for paradise." ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1905 to 1906 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... and dark, came and went silently. To the people of her race a wedding means a fiesta, a village hubbub, a dance, and varying degrees of drunkenness. She was not herself in this house of a wedding supper for two, and a prosaic attitude toward the one event in life when money ought to be spent freely, even in ...
— Children of the Desert • Louis Dodge

... fact exists. It is as clear as noonday. We owe this to the writers who have given such beautiful pictures of our native land and military renown, and to the schoolmasters, who have instilled their words into the souls of the people. Marvellous power of language, which can incite a prosaic peasant lad to sacrifice life joyfully for an abstract ...
— How Women Love - (Soul Analysis) • Max Simon Nordau

... tritest of truisms that human intelligences of a simple order are very literal. They are slaves of habit, doing what they have been taught without variation; dry, prosaic, and matter-of-fact in their remarks; devoid of humor, except of the coarse physical kind which rejoices in a practical joke; taking the world for granted; and possessing in their faithfulness and honesty ...
— The Will to Believe - and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy • William James

... least ambitious, and on the whole, I think, the most successful. The part of the story which concerns her is much the most forcible; and there is something infinitely tragic in the reader's sense of the contrast between the sternly prosaic life of the good people about her, their wholesome decency and their noonday probity, and the dusky sylvan path along which poor Hetty is tripping, light-footed, to her ruin. Hetty's conduct throughout seems to me to be thoroughly ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866 • Various

... met Joel Chandler Harris, who had done so much to portray the negro's inner kindliness, as well as his singularly poetic outlook. Harris was one of the editors of the Atlanta Constitution, and there I found him in a bare, prosaic office, a short, shy, red-haired man whom I liked at once. Two nights later I was dining with James A. Herne and William Dean Howells in New York City, and the day following I read some of my verses for the ...
— A Daughter of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... the great Epic of the North, we lay no claim to special critical insight, nor do we care to deal at all with vexed questions, but are content to abide by existing authorities, doing our utmost to make our rendering close and accurate, and, if it might be so, at the same time, not over prosaic: it is to the lover of poetry and nature, rather than to the student, that we appeal to enjoy and wonder at this great work, now for the first time, strange to say, translated into English: this must be our excuse for speaking ...
— The Story of the Volsungs, (Volsunga Saga) - With Excerpts from the Poetic Edda • Anonymous

... these were precisely what Jimmy had hoped for, his preference really being for the general management of an automobile manufactory or possibly something in the airplane line. Sash, door and blind sounded extremely prosaic and uninteresting to Mr. Torrance. The mail-order proposition, while possibly more interesting, struck him as being too trifling ...
— The Efficiency Expert • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... the bookish atmosphere of the verse, in its vocabulary, its elegance of structure, its precise phrase and its curious allusions (involving footnotes), and in fact, throughout all its form and structure. So self-conscious is it that it becomes frankly prosaic at inconvenient times, and is more often on the level of eloquent and graceful rhetoric than of poetry. It is frequently liquid and melodious, but there is no burst of native song in it anywhere. It is the work of a ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2 • Charles Dudley Warner

... woods had any charm for him. In vain did the fields display their golden treasures of ripening corn; in vain did the pale barley and the silvery oats wave their luxuriant growth against the dark background of the woods; all these fairylike effects of summer suggested only prosaic and misanthropic reflections in Julien's mind. He thought of the tricks, the envy and hatred that the possession of these little squares of ground brought forth among their rapacious owners. The prolific exuberance of forest vegetation was ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... they are made the subject of conversation, though with a Friend, are commonly the most prosaic and trivial of facts. The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the character of individuals. Our discourse all runs to slander, and our limits grow narrower as we advance. How is it that we are impelled to treat our old Friends ...
— A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers • Henry David Thoreau

... Shakespearean world, compare him with Hamlet, and you perceive how miserably close is his intellectual horizon; that such a thing as a thought beyond the reaches of his soul has never come near him; that he is prosaic through and through, deaf and blind to all but a tiny fragment of the meaning of things. Is it not quite absurd, then, to call him a man ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... however, from a somewhat fancy sketch to a more prosaic examination of what the telescope does actually reveal. Plate IX. represents the large crater Plato, so well known to everyone who uses a telescope. The floor of this remarkable object is nearly flat, and the central mountain, so often seen in other craters, is ...
— The Story of the Heavens • Robert Stawell Ball

... for the use of their master, and every thing else, except my genius: and, as you are wont, be present as my chief guardian. Wherefore, when I have removed myself from the city to the mountains and my castle, (what can I polish, preferably to my satires and prosaic muse?) neither evil ambition destroys me, nor the heavy south wind, nor the sickly autumn, ...
— The Works of Horace • Horace

... himself to a clam. "The charm of elopements passed with the post-chaise. Then they had the dignity of danger and pistol shots through the windows. Nowadays you go off in a Pullman and return as prosaic as you started." ...
— The Paliser case • Edgar Saltus

... a woman. Affection had to find some outlet. Not on the practical and very prosaic mother; not on the absorbed and crabbed father; but on Densuke, on the samurai's attendant or chu[u]gen, it fell. All manner of little services were rendered to him; even such as would appropriately fall ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... poetry—a higher and more intense way of thinking of the things that go to make up nature, a higher and more ideal key of words in which to speak of them. Ramsay and Fergusson excelled at making a popular—or shall we say vulgar?—sort of society verses, comical and prosaic, written, you would say, in taverns while a supper-party waited for its laureate's word; but on the appearance of Burns, this coarse and laughing literature was touched to finer issues, and learned gravity ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 3 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... accents of the words as they are spoken; which [coincidence] diminishes the musical character of our verse. In Greek hexameters and Latin hexameters, on the contrary, this coincidence is avoided, as tending to monotony and a prosaic character."—Ibid. ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... toward his work. The cynic tells us that ideals are illusions of youth, and yet, the other day I saw expressed in a middle-aged working-man a type of idealism that is not at all uncommon in this world. He was a house painter; his task was simply the prosaic job of painting a door; and yet, from the pains which he took with that work, an observer would have concluded that it was, to the painter, the most important task in the world. And that, after all, is the true ...
— Craftsmanship in Teaching • William Chandler Bagley

... seldom followed his heroics to their ultimate prosaic conclusions, regretted he had spoken, although still unconvinced. Happily for his temper, he did not hear the ...
— Trent's Trust and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... consistent truth of the costume, and the exquisite gradations of relief with which the most opposite hues are approximated, blend all into harmony. Romeo and Juliet are not poetical beings placed on a prosaic background; nor are they, like Thekla and Max in the Wallenstein, two angels of light amid the darkest and harshest, the most debased and revolting aspects of humanity; but every circumstance, and every personage, and every ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... other accompaniment of a professed pedestrian's turn-out, and away we went on a pilgrimage to the churchyard of Llanvair Kilgiden. Through rich fields of grass we sauntered—over stiles we leapt—through hedges we dashed—and occasionally became prosaic enough to walk on for half a mile or so in a country lane, but generally we preferred trespassing through a corn-field, and losing our way in searching for a short cut across a plantation; and at last, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845 • Various

... not really worse than in prose translation, but every metre (or almost every) deprives you at once of a sensible fraction of the already scanty vocabulary. One learns also how essentially clumsy and prosaic the language is in its vocabulary, though so ...
— Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman • Giberne Sieveking

... Let me be outside with you!" She wanted to feel "at sea" with him, to bathe herself, under the shelter of his protection, in the magnificent, tempestuous, inspiring night. To her, cooped up all her life in streets and prosaic circumstances, there was something in the present situation too poetical for words. No bride who had married money, and was setting out by P. & O. upon her luxurious European tour, could have been ...
— Sisters • Ada Cambridge

... of leave-taking to his home, that he should dream away the entrusted hours "while his unnumbered brethren toiled and bled"? The propaganda of Liberty was to be pushed forward; the principles of Unitarianism, to which Coleridge had become a convert at Cambridge, were to be preached. Is it too prosaic to add that what poor Henri Murger calls the "chasse aux piece de cent sous" was in all probability demanding peremptorily ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... a boarding-house in the world where the seemingly prosaic table had not a living fresco for its background, where you could see, if you had eyes, the smoke and fire of some upheaving sentiment, or the dreary craters of smouldering or burnt-out passions? You look on the black bombazine and high-necked ...
— The Professor at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

... established tone and phraseology of these minor judgment-seats of criticism. If Mr. Wordsworth ever chanced to cast his eye over this article, how little could he have expected that under that dull prosaic mask lurked one who, in five short years from thence, would ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... to do so; though the tendency of 'Easter Day' is as different from that of its precursor as their common Christianity admits. The balance of argument in 'Christmas Eve' is in favour of direct revelation of religious truth and prosaic certainty regarding it; while the 'Easter Day' vision makes a tentative and unresting attitude the first condition of the religious life; and if Mr. Browning has meant to say—as he so often did say—that religious certainties are required for the undeveloped mind, ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... really need them, Margery?" It was prosaic pathos, but pathos nevertheless. "There's coal to be bought, you know, and my life insurance comes due next month. I don't want to seem to be stingy, you know ...
— The Dominant Dollar • Will Lillibridge

... indignant and sorrowful over the whole affair. He and Helen were still young enough to regret the breaking of a tie which bound them to a life whose romance cast something like a glamour over the prosaic one of more modern times. Both would, in the unreasonableness of youthful sympathy, have willingly shared land and gold with their poor kinsmen; but in this respect ...
— Scottish sketches • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... surface. I wrote to them—it matters not what I said. My fury has burnt itself out. I have reached the stage of craving general sympathy. So I have sat down to write, in the shadow of a tower which stands bleak, bare, prosaic, all the ivy of its years stripped from it; in the shadow of an urn ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... a romantic ceremonial: the unusual hours of its celebration, the mystery of night in close groves lit by the stars temporarily unsettled life from its prosaic, arduous journey toward the inevitable, blind termination. It moved the thoughts into unwonted fantasy, the heart to new, unguessed possibilities. For that night established values, life-long habits, negations, prudence, were ...
— Mountain Blood - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... and her eleven thousand mythical virgins. Unfortunately, English buccaneers have since then given to most of them less poetic names. The Dutchman's Cap, Broken Jerusalem, The Dead Man's Chest, Rum Island, and so forth, mark a time and a race more prosaic, but still more terrible, though not one whit more wicked and brutal, than the Spanish Conquistadores, whose descendants, in the seventeenth century, they smote hip and ...
— At Last • Charles Kingsley

... came of a hardy agricultural stock,[1] improved by a graft from that highly-cultured tree, Rose of Kilravock.[2] Through his mother, a somewhat prosaic person herself, he inherited strains from Huguenot and Highland ancestry. There were recognisable traces of all these elements in Henry Yule, and as was well said by one of his oldest friends: "He was one of those curious ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... This is prosaic account of incident given in this morning's papers. Refer to Hansard and see how ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, May 20, 1914 • Various

... best. The people do not interest me; I avoid them, and must appear in their eyes even more deluded than I am to come to this secluded spot at this unseasonable moment and be satisfied with my own society—no, not my own society, but that of these kind brotherly mountains. From a prosaic pedant I can almost feel myself becoming an ecstatical hermit, and my soul getting ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... else is there to live for? Stand at the window here. Was ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-colored houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them? Crime is commonplace, existence is commonplace, and no qualities save those which are commonplace have ...
— The Sign of the Four • Arthur Conan Doyle

... own instantaneous success he tried to persuade Jane to go on the stage; but Jane had no artistic ambitions, to say nothing of her disinclination to paint her face. She preferred the prosaic reality of stenography and typewriting. No sphere could be too dazzling for Paul; he was born to great things, the consciousness of his high destiny being at once her glory and her despair; but, as regards herself, her outlook on life was cool and ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... incident, made very realistic in the copper-plate frontispiece. The children's question, "Did Sir Walter Raleigh find out the virtues of tobacco?" affords an excellent opportunity for a discourse upon smoking and snuff-taking. These remarks conclude with this prosaic statement: "Hundreds of sensible people have fell into these customs from example; and, when they would have left them off, found it a very great difficulty." Next comes a lesson upon the growth of tobacco ...
— Forgotten Books of the American Nursery - A History of the Development of the American Story-Book • Rosalie V. Halsey

... other day, and the things that happened in that story on these lines were most remarkable. They do not happen here. Practical missionary life is an unexciting thing. It is not sparkling all over with incident. It is very prosaic at times. ...
— Things as They Are - Mission Work in Southern India • Amy Wilson-Carmichael

... terms are applied to a state beyond Death—a state which to him is misty and unreal in his own religion, and which, as he sadly feels, is lacking in all the substantial comforts dear to the family man—then he accepts the words in their most literal and prosaic meaning, and speaks of Devachan as a delusion in his own sense of the word. It may be well, therefore, on the threshold of Devachan to put this question of "illusion" ...
— Death—and After? • Annie Besant

... utilitarian friend some white lambs frolicking in a meadow. "Aye," said, the other, "only think of a quarter of one of them with asparagus and mint sauce!" The story is by some supposed to have had a Scottish origin, and a prosaic North Briton is made to say that the pretty little lambs, sporting amidst the daisies and buttercups, ...
— Flowers and Flower-Gardens • David Lester Richardson

... I knew no more than I had at first, I derived some satisfaction from the mere fact that for the second time Virginia had confirmed the extraordinary belief or fancy which had possessed prosaic MacMechem, the unimaginative Miss Peters, and, finally, myself. It seemed to justify positive steps in an investigation; after a further examination of the little body on the bed which offered still better ...
— The Blue Wall - A Story of Strangeness and Struggle • Richard Washburn Child

... very naturally, lovely lady! They were not a fairy gift; they became mine by the very prosaic transaction of purchase." ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... is rational. The "trouble" with Newman, as with his brother Francis (in some ways also a remarkable man), was simply that, as the London Truth banteringly said, neither was able to swallow the Athanasian creed in a comfortable and prosaic way, as good Britons should; or, as the Saturday Review in all seriousness urged, that he did not hold as his supreme principle pride in the Church of England as such, determination to stand shoulder to shoulder with others "in resisting the foreigner, whether he came from Rome or ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891 • Various

... answer that answers. The very character of her replies, however, convinced Gard that there was more than a passing interest in her preference. There was something sweetly ingenuous in her evasions, a softness in her violet eyes at the mention of Teddy's prosaic name that was not to be misunderstood. Gard sighed. Still the sense of impending danger oppressed him. He found himself neglectful of his many and vital interests. He took himself severely in hand, and set himself to unrelenting ...
— Out of the Ashes • Ethel Watts Mumford

... descend to a prosaic life! how few to meet one as rich and full beside them! The tone grew ever lower; he looked up slowly, fastening ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860 • Various

... of wheels arose in the distance, and then a cart was seen approaching, well filled with parcels, driven by a good-natured looking man on a double bench, and displaying on a board the legend, 'I Chandler, carrier'. In the infamously prosaic mind of Mr Finsbury, certain streaks of poetry survived and were still efficient; they had carried him to Asia Minor as a giddy youth of forty, and now, in the first hours of his recovered freedom, they suggested to him the idea of continuing his flight ...
— The Wrong Box • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... suited for fancy balls. The power of the chiefs and the substance of the clan system were finally swept away, though the sentiment lingers, even in the Transatlantic abodes of the clansmen, and is prized, like the dress, as a remnant of social picturesqueness in a prosaic and levelling age. The hills and lakes—at the thought of which even Gibbon shuddered—are the favourite retreats of the luxury which seeks in wildness refreshment from civilization. After Culloden, Presbyterianism effectually made its way into the Highlands, of which a great ...
— Lectures and Essays • Goldwin Smith

... character, he might have been guided by a judicious parent through all the perils of his calf-love for Fanny French; thrown upon his own feeble resources, he regarded himself as a victim of the traditional struggle between prosaic age and nobly passionate youth, and resolved at all hazards to follow the heroic course—which meant, first of all, a cold taciturnity towards his father, and, as to his future conduct, a total disregard of the domestic restraints which he had hitherto accepted. In a day ...
— In the Year of Jubilee • George Gissing

... you descend upon us from the heights of Lenox,—from the schools of wisdom, from fiction and fine writing, from tragedy and comedy, from mountain mirrors reflecting all-surrounding beauty, down to plain, prosaic still-life in Sheffield? I look with anxiety and terror for the time; and, to keep you within the sphere of familiarity as much as possible, I think it best to write sometimes; and, to adopt the converse of the Western man's ...
— Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. - Edited by his Daughter • Orville Dewey

... the legends relating to a hero who undoubtedly exercised considerable influence over his country and his time, because in those legends we trace, better than we could do by dull interpretations equally unsatisfactory though more prosaic, the effigy of the heroic age—not unillustrative of the poetry and the romance which at once formed and indicated important features in the character of the Athenians. Much of the national spirit of every people, even in its most civilized epochs, is to be traced to the influence ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... father of the girl and that of the young man, or some one who represents them, commence the more prosaic part of the business, that is: they decide upon the sort of presents that the bridegroom must give the parents and sisters of his spouse on the wedding-day, to compensate them for the girl ...
— My Friends the Savages - Notes and Observations of a Perak settler (Malay Peninsula) • Giovanni Battista Cerruti

... imbued them with deepest poetic meanings. One of the most striking features of the book is the adequacy and composure, even joyousness and elation, of the poet in the presence of the huge materialism and prosaic conditions of our democratic era. He spreads himself over it all, he accepts and absorbs it all, he rejects no part; and his quality, his individuality, shines through it all, as the sun through vapors. The least line, or fragment of a line, is redolent of Walt ...
— Whitman - A Study • John Burroughs

... Miss"— I have not caught your name— "you really are too deliciously prosaic. Stay here for a month, and then tell me if you think Dorothea— I mean Miss Heath— plain. No, I won't say any more. You must find out for yourself. But now, about the rules. I don't mean the printed rules. ...
— A Sweet Girl Graduate • Mrs. L.T. Meade

... of those absolute masters. The little county town of Ennis, situated on the river Fergus, about 110 miles south-west of Dublin, was the centre of attraction or of apprehension, and the hills that rise on either side of the little prosaic river soon swarmed with an unwonted population, who had resolved, subsist how they might, to see the election out. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the eyes of the empire were turned, during those ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... become a little more prosaic than it once was? As the clearing away of the woods scants the streams, may not our civilization have dried up some feeders that helped to swell the current of individual and personal force? We have sometimes thought that the stricter definition and consequent seclusion ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... poetry surely are or may be practically one. We know that in rhythmic flow they sometimes come very close together, and nowhere closer than in the heightened prose and the poetry of Rossetti. Poetic prose may not be the best prose, just as (to use a false antithesis) dull poetry is called prosaic; but there is no natural antagonism between prose and verse as literary mediums, provided always that the spirit that animates them be akin. Rossetti himself constantly urged that in prose the first necessity was that it should be direct, and he knew no reproach of poetry more damning than ...
— Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1883 • T. Hall Caine

... sound, and full of practical sense: few men have seen more clearly into the motives, the interests, the whole walk and conversation of the living busy world as it lay before him; but farther than this busy, and to most of us, rather prosaic world, he seldom looked: his instruction is for men of business, and in regard to matters of business alone. Prudence is the highest Virtue he can inculcate; and for that finer portion of our nature, that portion of it which belongs essentially ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... a wild, harum-scarum fellow who had risked his life many times during his hunting trips, came to his death in a prosaic street accident. For fifteen years his widow, then twenty-five, lived in the country with his parents and his little daughter. She was at their mercy, because Christopher had left no money. He had been ...
— Who Cares? • Cosmo Hamilton

... must be mindful of the common defect of most auto-biographical statements, viz., that they are influenced by the almost irresistible tendency to write about one's self in a literary way and so touch plain facts as to make them less prosaic. The observations help us in eliminating this element of error. The data concerning the love that children have for adults of the opposite sex throw valuable light upon the nature of jealousy in children as it is much accentuated ...
— A Preliminary Study of the Emotion of Love between the Sexes • Sanford Bell

... to know that the discussion of the fish salad that he was then engaged upon, accompanied by the prattle of a pretty woman and irreproachable champagne, was about as near Elysium as a man of his years and prosaic temperament could expect to arrive at. He had had some conversation with his hostess on the way home. They had both arrived at the conclusion, from what they had seen in the theatre, that, even if everything was not yet settled, ...
— Belles and Ringers • Hawley Smart

... nature, whose first volume appeared in 1781, though usually conventional in expression, is always sincere and sometimes exquisite. Crabbe, a story-teller and preacher, wrote some true poetry, along with much that is prosaic: rarely moved by an inspiration drawn from nature to desert the conventional couplet, he nevertheless had something of the spirit of the new movement. In 1783 the artist-poet Blake began to write verse which is absolutely untrammelled by convention, mystical, strange, and unequal. Three years ...
— The Political History of England - Vol. X. • William Hunt

... household, a more prosaic life than this of Kew or Windsor, cannot be imagined. Rain or shine, the king rode every day for hours; poked his red face into hundreds of cottages round about, and showed that shovel hat and Windsor uniform ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Henry VII., whether from the exhaustion which was the fruit of the civil wars, or from more general European influences, had made a sudden transition from the powerful confusion of the middle age, to the regular tameness of modern times. Henry the Eighth has, therefore, somewhat of a prosaic appearance; for Shakspeare, artist-like, adapted himself always to the quality of his materials. If others of his works, both in elevation of fancy and in energy of pathos and character, tower far above this, we have here ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... it, certainly Croce does belong to the poets, though not to the formal category of those who write in verse. Croce is at any rate a born philosopher, and as every trade tends to make its object prosaic, so does every vocation tend to make it poetic. Yet no one has toiled more earnestly than Croce. "Thorough" might well be his motto, and if to-day he is admitted to be a classic without the stiffness one connects with that term, ...
— Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic • Benedetto Croce

... time to conclude our desultory rambles. It would be pleasant to me to recall many another of my old haunts, spots which, perhaps, were never called beautiful before now, and may not be again for many a day. For they all lie in a very tame and prosaic country, nearly level, the utmost elevation getting hardly a couple of hundred feet above tidewater mark; a country with less natural beauty than belongs to most New England towns,—bare, bleak, rocky, with stunted vegetation and ungenial soil. Yet within ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 27, January, 1860 • Various

... for. It denied the doctrine of the freedom of the will, upon which the elaborate theology of the church rested. No wonder, then, that it brought much bitter denunciation upon the heads of its promulgators. A poet of the period, in a poem dedicated to Owen, aptly expresses the doctrine in somewhat prosaic verse:— ...
— Socialism - A Summary and Interpretation of Socialist Principles • John Spargo

... writer. The verses are constructed with considerable regard for technique. Now and then there is a false quantity, an unpleasant sequence, or a heavy effect, but such blemishes are comparatively infrequent. There is much that is trivial, commonplace, and prosaic in these productions of the common people, but now and then one comes upon a phrase, a verse, or a whole poem which shows strength or grace or pathos. An orator of the late period, not without vigor, writes upon his tombstone:[56] ...
— The Common People of Ancient Rome - Studies of Roman Life and Literature • Frank Frost Abbott

... iron, appearing exactly as one in the cart, but covering a notable expanse of ground when spread out singly. These were for a roof in the place of the saloon skylight. My father had pished and tushed and pressed for a bark roof; but Ted, in his bush wisdom, had insisted on the prosaic 'tin,' as a catchment area for rain-water to be stored in the two ship's tanks. There were brooms, scrubbing-brushes, kettles, pots, pans, crockery, fishing-lines, ammunition for Ted's highly lethal old gun, and there were stores. I marvelled that stores so numerous and varied could ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... perhaps, that there is a severe sense of duty mixed with these peacocky motives? And in the best of you, there is; but do not think that it is principal. If you cared to do your duty to your country in a prosaic and unsentimental way, depend upon it, there is now truer duty to be done in raising harvests than in burning them; more in building houses, than in shelling them—more in winning money by your own work, wherewith to help men, than in taxing other people's work, for money wherewith to slay men; ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... after all, is much more rational than the more recent contention of sundry modern Orators of the Human Race that 'the mines belong to the miners'! But after it had talked itself hoarse, the Assembly had to descend to the prosaic business of legislation, and in dealing with the mines, as in dealing with other matters, it made a muddle of the laws which existed before it met, and left this muddle to be resolved into a new order of things legal, under the ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... were yet to come, though the cold autumn winds and falling leaves heralded their sure approach; and this evening Winnie and Dick were engaged—not in wandering hand in hand into wonderland, but in the prosaic occupation of making toffy. ...
— Aunt Judith - The Story of a Loving Life • Grace Beaumont

... in the world! I wonder how many women have said that of themselves in their time,—but I am. Paul has told me that he loves me. How long I have made inward confession of my love for him, I should be ashamed to say. It sounds prosaic, but I believe it is a fact that the first stirring of my pulses was caused by the report of a speech of his which I read in the Times. It was on the Eight Hours' Bill. Papa was most unflattering. He said ...
— The Beetle - A Mystery • Richard Marsh

... presently her seat on a right royal throne of fragrant hay, and gave herself up to the full delight of the summer morning, and of the "Field of the Cloth of Gold," as she had instantly named the shining yellow plain, which more prosaic souls knew as "the ten-acre lot." The hay rustled pleasantly as she nestled down in it, and made a little penthouse over her head, to keep off the keen, hot sun-arrows. There was a great oak-tree too, which partly shaded this favored haycock, and on one of its branches a squirrel came ...
— Queen Hildegarde • Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards

... of the Finnish tribes, if we may judge from the fragments which still remain, had, like the people themselves, a thoroughly practical, prosaic character. Their theology consisted not of abstract dogmas, but merely of simple prescriptions for the ensuring of material welfare. Even at the present day, in the districts not completely Russified, their prayers are plain, unadorned ...
— Russia • Donald Mackenzie Wallace

... band-master was moved to Woolwich, he hoped that the effect of such prosaic surroundings would put an end to Ted's mooning, and that he would settle down to a career more likely to reward him in this world rather than in that ambiguous world beyond to which his dreams aspired. Edward, who was by this time seventeen and who had so far submitted to his ...
— The Altar Steps • Compton MacKenzie

... calls 'An Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland.' It appeared about the year 1420. It is much inferior to the work of Barbour in poetry, but is full of historical information, anecdote, and legend. The language is often sufficiently prosaic. Thus the poet begins to describe the return of King David II. from his captivity, referred ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... to laud these men, who win their colours at the dull, prosaic work of path-finding, as it is to laud those who encounter shot and shell in the lurid atmosphere of battle, and one feels they do not ask it. Yet now and then they must surely be glad to know that ...
— The Rhodesian • Gertrude Page

... "if in prosaic Europe in our days the inhabitants of our villages believe these flames to be some wild sorcery, then surely in the land of mystery they must be at least the evidences of war between the ...
— Beasts, Men and Gods • Ferdinand Ossendowski

... romantic; but there was a prosaic corner to shock those who fancy that fiction is the spontaneous overflow of a poetic fountain fed by nature only; between the fireplace and the window, and within a foot or two of the wall, stood a gigantic writing-table, with the signs of hard labor on it, ...
— A Terrible Temptation - A Story of To-Day • Charles Reade

... rose-colored ribbons and diamond buckles. To have around him every essential for poetry,—a charming woman named in memory of Goethe's heroine, a Henri II. chair in which to write, a small white goat to follow him from place to place, and an antique clock to mark the hours and to connect the prosaic Present with the romance of the Past! All these were very imposing, but the brain was as sterile as when D'Argenton had given lessons all day and retired to his garret at night, worn out in ...
— Jack - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... the European Anemone that is extolled by the poets. Nevertheless our more slender, fragile, paler-leaved, and smaller-flowered species, known, strange to say, by the same scientific name, possesses the greater charm. Doctors, with more prosaic eyes than the poets, find acrid and dangerous juices in the anemone and its kin. Certain European peasants will run past a colony of these pure, innocent blossoms in the belief that the very air is tainted by them. Yet the Romans ceremonially picked the first anemone of the year, ...
— Wild Flowers Worth Knowing • Neltje Blanchan et al

... she had lived in this tumult of 'Lias's fancies year after year, till the solid world often turned about her. And she, all the while, so simple, so sane—the ordinary good woman, with the ordinary woman's hunger for the common blessings of life—a little love, a little chat, a little prosaic well-being! She had had two sons—they were gone. She had been the proud wife 'o' t' cliverest mon atwixt Sheffield an Manchester,' as Frimley and the adjacent villages had once expressed it, when every mother that respected herself sent her children to 'Lias Dawson's school. And the mysterious ...
— The History of David Grieve • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... Bombarnac! Nothing will happen either to you or me. Wait a bit, I promise you a journey, the most prosaic, the most homely, the flattest—flat as the steppes of Kara Koum, which the Grand Transasiatic traverses in Turkestan, and the plains of the desert of Gobi ...
— The Adventures of a Special Correspondent • Jules Verne

... the heart; the heart exaggerates everything; the heart weighs the fall of a fourteen-year-old Empire and the dropping of a woman's glove in the same scales, and the glove is nearly always the heavier of the two. So here are the facts in all their prosaic simplicity. The facts first, the ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac



Words linked to "Prosaic" :   prose, unrhetorical, unexciting, uninteresting



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