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Second-rate   Listen
adjective
Second-rate  adj.  Of the second size, rank, quality, or value; as, a second-rate ship; second-rate cloth; a second-rate champion.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Second-rate" Quotes from Famous Books



... injuriously circulated in the provinces by our transatlantic descendants. I cannot better conclude these observations than by quoting the opinion of so intelligent a nobleman as Lord Durham, who asserts most positively that, "England, if she loses her North American colonies, must sink into a second-rate power." ...
— Diary in America, Series Two • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... was Rosalie's portrait and thought of her in long after years. Dear thing! The drawing-room of her crowded triumphs is now the shabby drawing-room of a second-rate boarding house; the jolly horse bus she used so commandingly to stop in the Holland Park Avenue and so regally to enter (whip-waving driver, cap-touching conductor) long has given place to a thundering ...
— This Freedom • A. S. M. Hutchinson

... actually came to a war, might make the issue of it doubtful. But, unfortunately, private interests dissolved the band of union which should have held together the Protestant members of the empire. This critical conjuncture found none but second-rate actors on the political stage, and the decisive moment was neglected because the courageous were deficient in power, and the powerful in sagacity, courage, ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... was passing, yet nothing had been done, second-rate Powers awaiting the Great, while the Great, appalled by the bigness of the demand, fussed and intrigued, consulted, fermented and proposed: ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... nothing at first hand. They experience described emotion, and think prepared thoughts. They live not in life, but in printed reports of life. They gather the odour of odours, not the odour itself: they do not hear, they overhear. A poor, sad, second-rate existence! ...
— Adventures In Contentment • David Grayson

... of more note was one Hugh Kelly, a second-rate author, who, as he became a kind of competitor of Goldsmith's, deserves particular mention. He was an Irishman, about twenty-eight years of age, originally apprenticed to a staymaker in Dublin; then writer to a London attorney; then a Grub ...
— Oliver Goldsmith • Washington Irving

... American journalism, to which no parallel can be found anywhere, and the ballad in sham Scotch dialect, which one of our most industrious writers has recently proposed should be made the basis for a final and unanimous effort on the part of our second-rate poets to make themselves really romantic. Each new school, as it appears, cries out against criticism, but it is to the critical faculty in man that it owes its origin. The mere creative instinct does ...
— Intentions • Oscar Wilde

... or pain of body is constantly driven in upon himself. In his own eyes, he seems the one serious creature moving in a world of horrible unreality; voluble people issuing from a cafe, the queue at theatre-doors, Sunday cabfuls of second-rate pleasure-seekers, the bedizened ladies of the pavement, the show in the jewellers' windows—all the familiar sights contributing to flout his own unhappiness, want, and isolation. At the same time, if he be at all after my pattern, he ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... to "Rees's Cyclopaedia," that after the arrival of John Christian Bach in London, A.D. 1759, a few grand pianofortes were attempted, by the second-rate harpsichord makers, but with no particular success. If the workshop tradition can be relied upon that several of Silbermann's workmen had come to London about that time, the so-called "twelve apostles," ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 385, May 19, 1883 • Various

... Orators and writers there are a many who never fail to find a word, and a good word, for the rounding of their sentences. But Shakespeare's words are not merely good words; they are the best words. Even the bare vocabulary of Burke or Macaulay would seem second-rate beside the vocabulary of Shakespeare. It is a commonplace to dilate upon the fact that Shakespeare has used 15,000 words, while Milton, our poet of widest reading and erudition, has but 8,000. I do not attach so much importance to that enumeration. The subjects, the ...
— Platform Monologues • T. G. Tucker

... sake—more than for yours. What I advise you to do is not to bother so much about love. You couldn't stick to Gerald because you weren't loved enough; and you're doubting your feeling for Franklin, now, because you can't love him enough. Give it all up. Follow my second-rate example. Be glad that you're marrying an angel and that he has all that money. And do remember that though you're not getting what you want, you are getting a good deal and he is getting nothing, so try to play the game and ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... Amongst the anecdotes which circulated about him, it was also said at the time, that Mr. Williams employed the first of dentists, and also the first of chiropodists. On no account would he patronize any second-rate skill. And beyond a doubt, in that perilous little branch of business which was practised by himself, he might be regarded as the most aristocratic ...
— The Notebook of an English Opium-Eater • Thomas de Quincey

... concentrated attention. We lose half the pleasure we might have in Life, by not really attending. Take any instance you like: it doesn't matter how trivial the pleasure may be—the principle is the same. Suppose A and B are reading the same second-rate circulating-library novel. A never troubles himself to master the relationships of the characters, on which perhaps all the interest of the story depends: he 'skips' over all the descriptions of scenery, and every passage that looks ...
— Sylvie and Bruno • Lewis Carroll

... was that she screamed,' said her ladyship. 'But the new Rosinas generally do scream. Why do we have a new Rosina every year, whom nobody ever hears of afterwards? What becomes of them? Do they die, or do they set up as singing mistresses in second-rate watering-places?' hazarded her ladyship, with her eye ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... II., became scarcer; gradually it came to bear an antiquarian value: basins lost their grim appearance, and looked as clean as in gentlemen's houses. And at length the whole system was so thoroughly ventilated and purified, that all good inns, nay, generally speaking, even second-rate inns, at this day, reflect the best features, as to cleanliness and ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... Small titles and orders For Mayors and Recorders I get - and they're highly delighted. M.P.s baronetted, Sham Colonels gazetted, And second-rate Aldermen knighted. Foundation-stone laying I find very paying, It adds a large sum to my makings. At charity dinners The best of speech-spinners, I get ten per cent ...
— Songs of a Savoyard • W. S. Gilbert

... character which he thus obtained, although at times purchased at great cost, eventually justified the soundness of his views. As the eminent Mr. Penn, the head of the great engineering firm, is accustomed to say, "I cannot afford to turn out second-rate work," so Mr. Maudslay found both character and profit in striving after the highest excellence in his productions. He was particular even in the minutest details. Thus one of the points on which he insisted—apparently a trivial matter, ...
— Industrial Biography - Iron Workers and Tool Makers • Samuel Smiles

... Germany to Wuerttemberg. Both Bavaria and Wuerttemberg were converted into kingdoms. By the humiliating treaty of Pressburg, Austria thus lost 3,000,000 subjects and large revenues; was cut off from Italy, Switzerland, and the Rhine; and was reduced to the rank of a second-rate power. ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... Abraham, and Jerusalem with Solomon. On entering it, I was astonished at the mean and tawdry appearance of a place so venerated in the Moslem world. There is no simple grandeur about it, as there is about the Kaabah at Meccah; rather does it suggest a museum of second-rate art, decorated with but pauper splendour. The mosque is a parallelogram about 420 feet in length by 340 broad, and the main colonnade in the south of the building, called El Rawzah (the garden), contains all that is venerable. Shaykh Hamid and I fought our ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... and he imparted the information that he was almost an orphan like myself; his father, who was a clergyman, having died early and left his widowed mother with a large number of children to support on a scanty income; whence the fact of his being at such a poor second-rate school as Dr Hellyer's, about which Tom then proceeded to unfold ...
— On Board the Esmeralda - Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story • John Conroy Hutcheson

... was resolved on, for the purpose of sketching the minor characters of the contending factions. Dryden probably conceiving that he had already done his part, only revised this additional book, and contributed about two hundred lines. The body of the poem was written by Nahum Tate, one of those second-rate bards, who, by dint of pleonasm and expletive can find smooth lines if any one will supply them with ideas. The Second Part of "Absalom and Achitophel" is, however, much beyond his usual pitch, and exhibits considerable marks of a careful ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... we were alone again, I reiterated my explanation. At every stage of my knowledge I was held in the bond of secrecy. Lackaday's sensitive soul dreaded, more than all the concentrated high-explosive bombardment of the whole of the late German Army, the possibility of Lady Auriol knowing him as the second-rate music-hall artist. ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... called 'first run,'" he went on to explain. "That is, it is a reel of film of a new play, never before shown in a certain city. The best moving picture theaters take the first run, and pay good prices for it. Then, later on, second-rate theaters may get it at a ...
— The Moving Picture Girls - First Appearances in Photo Dramas • Laura Lee Hope

... are inevitable in ancient tale and modern novel, and it need hardly be said that upon the nice conduct of them depends all the interest of the work. How careful the second-rate author is to spoil his plot by giving a needless "pregustation" of his purpose, ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... enamored of every form of beauty; and, like the lover, not of all equally, but with a general allowance of those least to his liking. He will do well to be not without a touch of intolerance: that intolerance which, in the lover of the best, is an act of justice against the second-rate. The second-rate may perhaps have some reason for existence: that is doubtful; but the danger of the second-rate, if it is accepted "on its own merits," as people say, is that it may come to be taken for the thing it resembles, as a wavering image in water resembles ...
— The Building of a Book • Various

... sweetness, strength, and accurate expressiveness, while a few approach so close to Handel's and Mozart's that affection for the composer presses one hard to put them on the same level. But, compared with those high standards, Schubert, even at his best, is unmistakably felt to be second-rate, while his average—always comparing it with the highest—cannot truly be said to be more than fourth-rate. That he stands far above Mendelssohn and Schumann, and perhaps a little above Weber, almost goes without saying; for those composers have no more of the great ...
— Old Scores and New Readings • John F. Runciman

... scene of the accident, considered it judicious to inform her of Geoffrey's condition, and so it happened that one evening Helen accompanied her hostess to witness the performance of a Western dramatic company. Despite second-rate acting the play was a pretty one, and each time the curtain went down Helen found the combination of bright light, pretty dresses, laughter and merry voices strangely pleasant after her isolation. At times her thoughts would wander back to the ice-bound canyon ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... ages after the rise of literature, the very want of that multitude of second-rate books we now possess, had the effect of compelling those who learned any thing to betake themselves to studies of a solid nature; and there was consequently less difference then, between the education of the two sexes, than ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 335, September 1843 • Various

... bidentalia were small shrines of second-rate divinities, to whom bidentes, lambs two years old, were sacrificed. For this reason the priests of Semo were called sacerdotes bidentales. They were organized, like a lay corporation, in a decuria under the presidency of a magister quinquennalis. ...
— Pagan and Christian Rome • Rodolfo Lanciani

... high contracting powers. Mrs. Vosburgh had impressed him as the chief potentate of her family, and not at all averse to his purpose. He had seen Mr. Vosburgh but once, and the quiet, reticent man had appeared to be a second-rate power. He had also learned that the property of the family was chiefly vested in the wife. Of course, if Mr. Vosburgh had been in the city, Merwyn would have addressed him first, but he was absent and the time ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... St. Stephen. The spire has been long distinguished for its elegance and height. Probably these are the most appropriate, if not the only, epithets of commendation which can be applied to it. After Strasbourg and Ulm, it appears a second-rate edifice. Not but what the spire may even vie with that of the former, and the nave may be yet larger than that of the latter: but, as a whole, it is much inferior to either—even allowing for the palpable falling off in the nave of Strasbourg cathedral. The spire, or tower—for ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... incidental verse in some of his other works, notably in the Flower of Fidelity, a romance published in 1650, is distinctly on a more respectable level than his prose. The ascription, however, to John Reynolds has not very much to support it. Phillips' authority is second-rate at best, and is not likely to be at its best in the present case. It is indeed surprising that he should have been acquainted with this early translation rather than with that by John Dancer, which ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... loftily moral verdicts. We fell into generalising about humanity, made stern reflections on the future of Europe and mankind in general, authoritatively predicted that after Caesarism France would at once sink into the position of a second-rate power, and were firmly convinced that this might terribly easily and quickly come to pass. We had long ago predicted that the Pope would play the part of a simple archbishop in a united Italy, and were ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... 'Eumolpus is a good second-rate swordsman, my Lepidus. Nepimus, the lesser man, I have never seen before: but he is the son of one of the imperial fiscales, and brought up in a proper school; doubtless they will show sport, but I have no heart for the game; I cannot win back my money—I am undone. Curses on that Lydon! who could ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... heard, was writing a series of prejudiced articles for Fraser, which he signed "A White Republican." I thought him a very dirty white. One or two English travellers at the same time were making amusingly stupid notices of America in some of the second-rate monthlies; and Maxwell, a bustling Irishman, who owns Temple Bar, the Saint James, and Sixpenny Magazine, and some half dozen other serials, was employing a man to invent all varieties of rubbish upon a country which he had never beheld ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... is no need to follow the unhappy details of the unended dinner. Mr. Fyshe's one idea was to be gone: he was too true an artist to think that finance could be carried on over the table-cloth of a second-rate restaurant, or on an empty stomach in a deserted club. The thing must be done over again; he must wait his ...
— Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich • Stephen Leacock

... cities. I'll tell you, though, if you want to know it, what is the real offence of Boston. It drains a large water-shed of its intellect, and will not itself be drained. If it would only send away its first-rate men, instead of its second-rate ones, (no offence to the well-known exceptions, of which we are always proud,) we should be spared such epigrammatic remarks as that which the gentleman has quoted. There can never be a real metropolis in this country, until the biggest centre can drain ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 6, April, 1858 • Various

... I'll have to visit that second-rate musician in his studio again and give him a piece of my mind. In the meantime be calm, my child, be calm," said he, stroking her brown hair, "Old Carovius is ...
— The Goose Man • Jacob Wassermann

... adequately surrounded than this. What was Mrs. Leyburn—what were the Elsmeres about? He rebelled against the thought of her living perpetually among her inferiors, the centre of a vulgar publicity, queen of the second-rate. ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... to make her feel that she would be justified in being angry. It was natural enough that he shouldn't want her. She knew herself to be a poor, thin, vapid, tawdry creature, with nothing to recommend her to any man except a sort of second-rate, provincial-town fashion which,—infatuated as she was,—she attributed in a great degree to the thing she carried on her head. She knew nothing. She could do nothing. She possessed nothing. She was not angry with him ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... And they are mean contests; struggles which leave you disenchanted, and wearied, and depraved, and all in pure waste; for it often happens that you put forth all your strength to win laurels for a man whom you despise, and maintain, in spite of yourself, that some second-rate writer is a genius. ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... accompanying excesses, is still regarded as the divine right of soldiery unless the provost-marshal's gallows stand ready. In the fourth place, those who still believe that the representatives assigned to Eastern countries need only be second-rate men—reserving for Europe the master-minds—may begin to ask themselves seriously whether the time has not come when only the most capable and brilliant diplomatic officials—men whose intelligence will help to shape events and not be led by them, and who ...
— Indiscreet Letters From Peking • B. L. Putman Weale

... simply as a machine which makes it inherently unspiritual is based upon the experience of the world; but it is, after all, a rather amateur and juvenile world with machines as yet. Its ideas are in their first stages, and are based for the most part upon the world's experience with second-rate men, working in second-rate factories—men who have been bullied, and could be bullied, by the machines they worked with into being machines themselves. No one would think of denying that men who let machines get the better of them, ...
— Crowds - A Moving-Picture of Democracy • Gerald Stanley Lee

... fetes, the members of which devote themselves for two months every summer to devising amusements, sports, and competitions of various kinds, instead of leaving people to amuse themselves in their own way, so that hardly a day passes on which the strains of a second-rate band are not heard in the local Kursaal, or a night which is not made hideous by a barrel-organ, to which the crowd is dancing on the digue. At the smaller places, however, though these also have their comite des fetes, one escapes to a great ...
— Bruges and West Flanders • George W. T. Omond

... the dignity, and the white hands, and the deep rolling voice of the Rev. Henry Fitzackerley Chamberlaine. Indeed, his voice was very fine when it would be heard from the far-off end of the choir during the communion service, altogether trumping the exertion of the other second-rate clergyman who would be associated with him at the altar. And he had, too, great gifts of preaching, which he would exercise once a week during thirteen weeks of the year. He never exceeded twenty-five minutes; every word was audible throughout the whole choir, and there was a grace about ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... with lumber-rooms full of rather tawdry antiquities giving off its corridors, and other antiquities (as we see them in Italian inns) crammed against walls and into corners. Donatello and Mino bas-reliefs become sham by their surroundings, apocryphal Byzantine mosaics, second-rate pictures. Even empty sarcophagi and desecrated tombs just as at Riettis or Della Torres at Venice, and with seventeenth-century gilding and painting obbligato overhead. And then into wider corridors, whitewashed, always ...
— The Spirit of Rome • Vernon Lee

... American costumes and faces in the crowd, but it was essentially Quebecian. The young girls walking in pairs, or with their lovers, had the true touch of provincial unstylishness, the young men the ineffectual excess of the second-rate Latin dandy, their elders the rich inelegance of a bourgeoisie in their best. A few, better-figured avocats or notaires (their profession was as unmistakable as if they had carried their well- polished brass doorplates upon their breasts) ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... brilliance of point, bombastic description, gorgeous colour were preferred to quiet power. Alexandrian learning, already too much in evidence in the Augustan age, becomes more prominent and more oppressive. For men of second-rate talent it served to give their work a spurious air of depth and originality to which it was not entitled. The necessity of patronage engendered a fulsome flattery, while the false tone of the schools ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... natural element. I need to be called out, and never think alone, without imagining some companion. Whether this be nature or the force of circumstances, I know not; it is my habit, and bespeaks a second-rate mind.' ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... sonnet; read another; found I could understand them perfectly; and that hour the poetry of the sixteenth century, hitherto a sealed fountain, became an open well of refreshment, and the strength that comes from sympathy. What if its second-rate writers were full of conceits and vagaries, the feelings are very indifferent to the mere intellectual forms around which the same feelings in others have gathered, if only by their means they hint at, and sometimes express themselves. Now I understood this old fantastic verse, ...
— The Portent & Other Stories • George MacDonald

... honoured with a volume to themselves. I read about a half of them myself; then handed over the task to one of stauncher resolution, with orders to communicate any fact that should be found to illuminate these pages. Not one was found; it was her only art to communicate by post second-rate sermons at second-hand; and such, I take it, was the correspondence in which my grandmother delighted. If I am right, that of Robert Stevenson, with his quaint smack of the contemporary 'Sandford and Merton,' his interest ...
— Records of a Family of Engineers • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and number which he gave made the two well-to-do men stare. But they said nothing, though the looks they cast back at the second-rate quarters they were leaving, so far below the elegant apartment house they had visited first, were sufficiently expressive. The scale of descent from luxury to positive discomfort was proving a rapid one and prepared them for the dismal, ill-cared-for, altogether ...
— Room Number 3 - and Other Detective Stories • Anna Katharine Green

... Bloomsbury Square had their reasons for not liking Mrs. Pennycherry. Indeed it might have been difficult to discover any human being with reasons for liking that sharp-featured lady. Maybe the keeping of second-rate boarding houses in the neighbourhood of Bloomsbury does not tend to develop the ...
— Passing of the Third Floor Back • Jerome K. Jerome

... a phrase as ever was coined. It has led small statesmanship into innumerable blunders, and made second-rate politicians fancy that whenever they folded their arms they were dignified. To obtain the credit for a masterly inactivity, it is first of all essential you should show that you could do something very great if you would. ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... and its rich suggestions, may be more attractive than the classic manner, with its composed and measured preciseness of statement. . . But on the other hand the romantic manner lends itself, as the true classical does not, to inferior work. Second-rate conceptions excitedly and approximately put into words derive from it an illusive attraction which may make them for a time, and with all but the coolest judges, pass as first-rate. Whereas about true classical writing there can ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... at the present day, an ungrateful task for an intelligent reader or a conscientious reviewer, it is to be obliged to deal with a work whose whole compass is merely that of a second-rate romance inspired by rococo sentimentalism. We regret to speak thus of a book by so eminent a writer as Mrs. Stowe; but when any one at this time undertakes to build up a novel out of such material as cloisters, monks, and nuns, Beato Angelico and frankincense, cavaliers ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... most remarkable. One, however, a champion of orthodoxy, was distinguished, not in himself, but for the see which he occupied—once the highest in Christendom, in a few years about to claim something of its former grandeur, but at the time of the council known only as a second-rate Syro-Roman city—Macarius, bishop of AElia Capitolina, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 03 • Various

... we can talk a thousand miles, but we ignore the greater question, whether when we thus out-do Stentor, we have anything worth saying. We have now made the serene spaces of the upper Heavens our media to transmit market reports and sporting news, second-rate music and worse oratory and in the meantime the great masters of thought, Homer and Shakespeare, Bach and Beethoven remain unbidden on our library shelves. What a sordid Vanity Fair is ...
— The Constitution of the United States - A Brief Study of the Genesis, Formulation and Political Philosophy of the Constitution • James M. Beck

... commonplace, second-rate story, quite trivial and middle-class, and how tragic! He had gambled, played cards, lost, then fallen back on the resource of the ill-judged and independent-minded—gone to the professional lenders. Mr Clay was ...
— Love at Second Sight • Ada Leverson

... Whyte had spent nearly all his money in England, and, consequently, Musette and her lover arrived in Sydney with comparatively very little cash. However, with an Epicurean-like philosophy, they enjoyed themselves on what little they had, and then came to Melbourne, where they stayed at a second-rate hotel. Musette, I may tell you, had one special vice, a common one—drink. She loved champagne, and drank a good deal of it. Consequently, on arriving at Melbourne, and finding that a new generation had arisen, which knew not Joseph—I mean Musette—she drowned her sorrows in the flowing ...
— The Mystery of a Hansom Cab • Fergus Hume

... style and taste than in life and passion. The Conservatoire concerts have also a relative superiority over other concerts in Paris in the performance of choral works, which up to the present have been very second-rate. But these concerts are not easy of access for the general public, as the number of seats for sale is very limited. And so the society is representative of a little public whose taste is, broadly speaking, conservative and official; and the noise of the strife outside ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... easy for the hunters to ride up beside them and throw the lariat over their heads. The prime horses of most speed and courage, however, are apt to break through and escape, so that in general it is the second-rate horses that ...
— The Elson Readers, Book 5 • William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck

... heroine and a saint. There is still a marked element of conventionality in her description of her life with Hector; but one feels, as she speaks, that she is already past it. Her character is built up of "Sophrosyne," of self-restraint and the love of goodness—qualities which often seem second-rate or even tiresome until they have a sufficiently great field in which to act. Very characteristic is her resolution to make the best, and not the worst, of her life in Pyrrhus' house, with all its horror of suffering and apparent degradation. So is the self-conquest by which she deliberately ...
— The Trojan women of Euripides • Euripides

... The lives of second-rate literary men furnish equally remarkable illustrations of the power of perseverance. The late John Britton, author of 'The Beauties of England and Wales,' and of many valuable architectural works, was born in a miserable cot in Kingston, Wiltshire. ...
— Self Help • Samuel Smiles

... things do rhyme and repeat their little Frenchy tags of endings!) put you in mind of lace and feathers, and a general float and flutter of gay millinery; her step and expression, as she came airily into this second-rate old car, put on for the "journeymen" train, brought up a notion, almost, of some ball-room advent, flushed and conscious and glad with the turning of all admiring eyes upon it; her face, even, without being absolutely ...
— The Other Girls • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... order may, indeed, escape the charge of neglecting her family and her household by contending that it is not her vocation to become a wife and a mother! Why, then, we ask, is she constituted a woman at all? Merely that she may become a sort of second-rate man?" ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... found, and where the English congregate. There in the "Corso," and in one or two streets leading out of it, there are foot-pavements, lamps at night, and windows to the shops. A fair sprinkling of second-rate equipages roll by you, bearing the Roman ladies, with their gaudy dresses, ill-assorted colours, and their heavy, handsome, sensual features. The young Italian nobles, with their English-cut attire, saunter past you listlessly. The peasants are ...
— Rome in 1860 • Edward Dicey

... all gone, and I pacified Helen by assuring her that I would tell her such long stories about these things that she could almost see them in her mind's eye. But I think, by the way she smiled, that she had only a second-rate degree of belief in my power of description. She was a smart little thing, and she believed that Corny was the ...
— A Jolly Fellowship • Frank R. Stockton

... understand second-rate actors, Dr. Socrates," said Pradel. "He killed himself to cause a sensation, and for no ...
— A Mummer's Tale • Anatole France

... some from her own heart, as to her deficiency—but none were equal to counteract the persuasion of its being very disagreeable,—a waste of time—tiresome women—and all the horror of being in danger of falling in with the second-rate and third-rate of Highbury, who were calling on them for ever, and therefore she seldom went near them. But now she made the sudden resolution of not passing their door without going in—observing, ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... of the Soviet complex, the West will have lost the cold war. Every neutral in the world will jump on the bandwagon. International trade, sources of raw materials, will be a thing of the past. Without a shot being fired, we'd become second-rate powers overnight." ...
— Combat • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... for the furious charge of the Wild Boar and driving his hunting-knife into him behind his shoulder? Besides, if the actual assault is without danger, the approach is attended with a difficulty that increases the merit of these second-rate poachers. The coveted game is invisible. It is confined in the stronghold of a cell and moreover protected by the surrounding wall of a cocoon. Of what prowess must not the mother be capable to determine the exact spot at which it lies and to lay her egg on its side or at least close by? ...
— The Mason-bees • J. Henri Fabre

... misinformation; women either smiled or remained indifferent. The impression became general and fixed that women were gallinaceous, that a hen-like philosophy characterised the sex; that they were, at best, second-rate humans, tagging rather gratefully at the heels of the Lords of Creation, unconcerned with the greater and vital questions ...
— The Gay Rebellion • Robert W. Chambers

... powerful Southerners who had been its chief leaders were mainly in the Confederacy. Such Northerners as Douglas and Stanton, and many more, had gone over to the Republicans. Suddenly the control of the party organization had fallen into the hands of second-rate men. As by the stroke of an enchanter's wand, men of small caliber who, had the old conditions remained, would have lived and died of little consequence saw opening before them the role of leadership. It was too much for their mental poise. ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... fifty pounds necessary for this purpose. For though she spent her month in London among her noble friends, it must not be supposed that her noble friends gave her bed or board. They sometimes gave her tea, such as it was, and once or twice in the month they gave the old lady a second-rate dinner. On these occasions she hired a little parlour and bedroom behind it in King Street, Saint James's, and lived a hot, uncomfortable life, going about at nights to gatherings of fashionable people of which she in her heart disapproved, seeking for smiles which ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... Chapter of Canterbury, in the oldest division, relating to the affairs of the Priory of Christ Church, were found by the Historical Commission two songs, scribbled on scraps of paper. One was a love-song of the common type, such as, allowing for difference of diction, might be had in any second-rate music-shop of the present day. But the other was of a very different and far higher order. It was the cry of the immured bird which has been forced from its nest in the greenwood, and for which life has no other ...
— For the Master's Sake - A Story of the Days of Queen Mary • Emily Sarah Holt

... A great battle is even now being fought just outside the gates!—a battle on the issue of which hangs the fate of France—and much more than France. If the thin line which stands between Paris and her enemies does not hold, this day sees France reduced to a second-rate Power and Paris will again hear the tramp of German armies marching down the Champs-Elysees!" My feet walked the familiar streets, but every pulse-beat, every conscious thought was with the Allied armies of defense with which I had so recently been in touch. ...
— The Note-Book of an Attache - Seven Months in the War Zone • Eric Fisher Wood

... few cases of looseness, either of thought or of expression, to be met with in these pages; a point of style to be particularly looked to when the occurrence or the absence of such forms one very sensible difference between the first-rate and the second-rate poets of the ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... your hat and come over to have a look—and what do you find? A one-horse church full of statues! And every statue crying for sapolio! You expect to see something magnificent, something enormous, something to knock your eye out and send you down for the count. What you do see is a second-rate graveyard under roof. And when you examine into it, you find that two-thirds of the graves haven't even got a dead man in them. Whenever a prominent Englishman dies, they put up a statue to him ...
— Europe After 8:15 • H. L. Mencken, George Jean Nathan and Willard Huntington Wright

... and would exhibit a pained and completely ludicrous surprise on finding that he had hurt the feelings of these unhappy inferiors—a kind of indignant wonder that Providence should have given them any feelings to hurt. At length, encouraged by popular applause, this very second-rate man attacked a very first-rate man. He attacked with every advantage and with utter unscrupulousness; and the first-rate man handled him; handled him gently, scrupulously, decisively; returned him to his parish; and left him there, a ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... Indian scarf trailing from his hat. There were some fair American costumes and faces in the crowd, but it was essentially Quebecian. The young girls, walking in pairs, or with their lovers, had the true touch of provincial unstylishness, the young men had the ineffectual excess of the second-rate Latin dandy, the elder the rude inelegance of a bourgeoisie in them; but a few better-figured avocats or notaires (their profession was as unmistakable as if they carried their well-polished door-plates upon their ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... inquire after the health of her mistress. But, being an astute creature, she only wondered this for an instant, the next she realised that, for one reason or another, it was clear that he was not of the tribe of second-rate persons who pursue an accidental acquaintance with their superiors in fortune, through sociable interchange with their ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... and was delighted to find that his wardrobe competitor, with the temptation to save a few dollars, had ordered a second-rate type of glass wardrobe, with pull-out rods that swing inside the case, without a locking device to prevent them ...
— Sam Lambert and the New Way Store - A Book for Clothiers and Their Clerks • Unknown

... and clever a girl born in any department of France may be on entering life, if, like Dinah Piedefer, she marries in the country and remains there, she inevitably becomes the provincial woman. In spite of every determination, the commonplace of second-rate ideas, indifference to dress, the culture of vulgar people, swamp the sublimer essence hidden in the youthful plant; all is over, it falls into decay. How should it be otherwise? From their earliest years girls bred in the country see none but provincials; they cannot imagine ...
— The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... possibilities for producers and writers of thoroughly good photoplay serials. Whereas in the past many serials were to be seen only in the second-rate houses, on account of the fact that their impossibly thrilling situations and weird plots appealed only to the juvenile and less intelligent spectators, now with the improvement in the stories of serial pictures has come an increase in the spectators who follow ...
— Writing the Photoplay • J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds

... whether entire severance from American or European control would last a year, because some other Power, Asiatic or European, would seize the Colony. Sovereign independence would be but a fleeting vision without a navy superior in all respects to that of any second-rate naval Power, for if all the fighting-men of the Islands were armed to the teeth they could not effectively resist a simultaneous bombardment of their ports; nor could they, as inhabitants of an archipelago, become united in action or opinion, ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... much in them of an ancient laughter even to endure to discuss the difference between the hats of two men who were both born of a woman, or between the subtly varied cultures of two men who have both to die. The first-rate great man is equal with other men, like Shakespeare. The second-rate great man is on his knees to other men, like Whitman. The third-rate great man is superior to other men, ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... kilometres to Orleans, one of the most historic and, at the same time, one of the most uninteresting cities in France, a place wholly without local dignity and distinction. Its hotels, cafes, and shops are only second-rate for a place of its rank, and the manners and customs of its people but weak imitations of those of Paris. You can get anything you may need in the automobile line most capably attended to, and you can be housed and fed comfortably enough in either ...
— The Automobilist Abroad • M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield

... is another late variety, which is enormously productive of medium-sized berries. It is a great favorite in Missouri and some other regions. The berries carry well to market, but their flavor is second-rate. ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... quite different: it is a kind of Tod als Freund idea; we are called out of life by an irresistible force or god, which god must be love, else he would not want us. The inverted torch is the sign that shows whither he calls us. It had a mighty fascination for many fine minds of the second-rate sort last century; and judging from the phraseology of Tristan it seems to have captured Wagner. He was everlastingly bewildering himself with cheap catch-phrases which happened, through suggestion or otherwise, to stir his emotions. He took up one philosophical ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... share of favor upon the stage; but she was always much esteemed by those who knew her in private. She sung and sometimes danced, as did her husband, who was an actor of inferior merit. There is something very pathetic in the story of the little second-rate actress who was so conscientious and so persevering, and one cannot but hope that she received her due share of the applause which lends such a fascination to the life of the actor that he rarely abandons it for any ...
— Home Life of Great Authors • Hattie Tyng Griswold

... may be; but why yell them down as knavish blasphemers? Our reverence, after all, is given not to an Elizabethan named William Shakespeare, who was born at Stratford, and married, and migrated to London, and became a second-rate actor, and afterwards returned to Stratford, and made a will, and composed a few lines of doggerel for the tombstone under which he was buried. Our reverence is given to the writer of certain plays and sonnets. To that second-rate actor, because we believe he wrote those plays ...
— Yet Again • Max Beerbohm

... You evidently believe what you say, but you do not seem to understand that the very reason why you will make a successful salesman is this nervous dread of failure. When you meet a man who doesn't care a copper cent whether trade is good or not you have met a second-rate man. Trade can only be secured by persistent and hard work. A man of your disposition will be pulling wires and ingratiating himself into the good will of his customers, while your contented man is playing billiards or making acquaintance of a sport of the town. Taking into consideration ...
— A Man of Samples • Wm. H. Maher

... garments, the original texture and tint of which have long been superseded by predominant grease. Hand and elbow with the professional city-rowdy the steamboat-runner is ever to be found: at the cribs, where the second-rate men of the "fancy" hold their secret meetings; clinging about the doors of the Court of Sessions, where, as eavesdroppers,—for they are known to the door-keeper, and rejected from the friendship of that stern officer,—they strive, with ear at keyhole, to catch a word ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 40, February, 1861 • Various

... Spanish squadron of Carthagena, nor the vessels which he had formerly imprudently detached under the orders of Captain Allemand, Villeneuve left Cadiz in company with Admiral Gravina and some Spanish vessels. The latter were large and heavy, difficult to manoeuvre, and fitted with very second-rate crews. The squadron of battle, commanded by Admiral Villeneuve and the Spanish Vice- Admiral Alava, numbered twenty-one vessels. The squadron of reserve, composed of twelve vessels, had been placed under ...
— Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 • M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

... Lady Kynaston, angrily, to herself, as she had sat down to her writing-table to fulfil her son's mandate. "It is not likely that I can be very loving to her—some wretched, second-rate girl, evidently—for not even Caroline Miller who, goodness knows, rakes up all the odds and ends of ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... you feel the chill of moral suffering. Did the Lippis suffer, father or son? Did Raphael suffer? Did Titian? Did Rubens suffer? Perish the thought—it wouldn't be fair to us that they should have had everything. And I note in our poor second-rate Andrea an element of interest lacking to a number of ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... to tell you what that town was like where he slept and ate, but I have not. You can read for yourself, some day, what Atlantis was like. Plato tells us a good deal, and the Colonies of Atlantis must have had at least a reasonable second-rate copy of the cities of that ...
— The Magic World • Edith Nesbit

... one direction to the source of this veiling gloom, for on all sides it was the same. Even the sky overhead lacked its blue; it appeared painted with a muddy brush, and the sun shewed the same faint tinge of red. Yes, it was like that, he said wearily to himself—like a second-rate sketch; there was no sense of mystery as of a veiled city, but rather unreality. The shadows seemed lacking in definiteness, the outlines and grouping in coherence. A storm was wanted, he reflected; or ...
— Lord of the World • Robert Hugh Benson

... climbed the stairs to the Vondeplosshe residence. At Trudy's request Gay had discreetly consented to be absent. He had pretty well picked up the threads of his various enterprises and what with his club duties, his second-rate concerts, his gambling, and commissions from antique dealers, he managed to put in what he termed a full day. So he swung out of the house early in the afternoon to buy himself a new winter outfit, wondering if Trudy would row ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... Meissonier. The "academic" Rodin has appeared in contemporary sculpture; the great Frenchman found for himself his formula, and the lesser men have appropriated it to their own uses. This is considered legitimate, though not a high order of art; however, the second-rate rules in the market-place, let the genius rage as he will. He must be tamed. He must be softened; his divine fire shaded by the friendly screens of more prudent, more conventional talent. Even among men of genius up on ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... upon the lines he himself indicated. He often said, however, that an allegory should never be pressed too far.” Are all the lovely passages of human passion and human pathos in these ‘Idylls’ allegorical—that is to say—make-believe? The reason why allegorical poetry is always second-rate, even at its best, is that it flatters the reader’s intellect at the expense of his heart. Fancy “the allegorical intent” behind the parting of Hector and Andromache, and behind the death of Desdemona! ...
— Old Familiar Faces • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... remorse or bitterness. He was not a libertine. Few great artists have ever been that; for in every great painter, or sculptor, or musician there is a poet, and true poetry is the refutation of vulgar materialism. In all the nobler arts the second-rate men have invariably been the sensualists; but the masters, even in their love affairs, have always hankered after an ideal, ...
— Stradella • F(rancis) Marion Crawford

... were more interested in Jonson than in Shakespeare, and have told us much more about the younger than the greater master; just as Spaniards of the same age were more interested in Lope de Vega than in Cervantes, and have left a better picture of the second-rate playwright than of the world-poet. Attempting to solve this problem Emerson coolly assumed that the men of the Elizabethan age were so great that Shakespeare himself walked about among them unnoticed as a giant among giants. This reading of the riddle ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... view," said Father Payne, "which is that you do more for the human race by having a few fine people, than by having an infinite number of second-rate people. What the first-rate man thinks to-day, the second-rate people think to-morrow—that is how we make progress; and I would like to take infinite pains with the best material, if I could find it, and leave discipline for the second-rate. The Jews and the Greeks, both ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... for your inspection, as regards the teats, &c. (from which the fur has been cut by machinery,) with a small sample of the belly fur, prepared for the covering of a hat; the wholesale price of the latter is now three guineas per lb.: it is used as a substitute for beaver-wool on second-rate hats. Our French ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19. No. 575 - 10 Nov 1832 • Various

... which many of them would have gladly abandoned have connected their office with a smile. The nature of it has for the most part filled the Sees with men of second-rate abilities. The latest and most singular theory about them is that of the modern English Neo-Catholic, who disregards his bishop's advice, and despises his censures; but looks on him nevertheless as some high-bred, worn-out animal, useless in himself, but infinitely valuable for some ...
— Brother Copas • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... military lion, and, for that matter, even the living, is a fair mark for the heels of a baser animal. The greatest captains have not escaped the critics. The genius of Napoleon has been belittled on the ground that each one of his opponents, except Wellington, was only second-rate. French historians have attributed Wellington's victories to the mutual jealousy of the French marshals; and it has been asserted that Moltke triumphed only because his adversaries blundered. Judged by this ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... "I make three assortments in fortune—first-rate, second-rate, and third-rate fortunes. I call those first-rate which are composed of treasures one possesses under one's hand, such as mines, lands, and funded property, in such states as France, Austria, and England, provided these treasures and property ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Barry enjoyed discussing the plays with her, listening to her clear little silver voice pronouncing judgment. Gerda might be forever mediocre in any form of artistic expression, but she was an artist, with the artist's love of merit and scorn of the second-rate. ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... hardship, despite the fact that he was so cramped in his crate that he could not stand up and that the jolting and handling of the crate sent countless twinges of pain shooting through his shoulder. The journey was only to Brooklyn, where he was duly delivered to a second-rate theatre, Wilton Davis being so indifferent a second-rate animal man that he could never succeed in getting ...
— Michael, Brother of Jerry • Jack London

... somewhat prim peeress by Hoppner; a landscape that smacked of Gainsborough was the companion of a dauby moonlight, that must have figured in the last exhibition; and insipid Roman matrons by Hamilton, and stiff English heroes by Northcote, contrasted with a vast quantity of second-rate delineations of the orgies of Dutch boors and portraits of favourite racers and fancy dogs. The room was crowded with ugly furniture of all kinds, very solid, and chiefly of mahogany; among which were not less than three ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... thinks we ain't cut our eye-teeth!" And he would instantly begin speculating as to whether this was a new scheme for selling him second-rate nursery stock, or the smooth ...
— The Friendly Road - New Adventures in Contentment • (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker

... you, because I believe you have it in you to make a novel that would be as interesting as half the biographies that are written. But you must learn a trick from the successful biographers, and not invest in second-rate realities. The best is none too good. You have to exercise ...
— Humanly Speaking • Samuel McChord Crothers

... right in his feelings in this respect. Harcourt had formed a very false idea of Miss Waddington;—had led himself to imagine that she was second-rate and unattractive. In the first place, he had his own ideas about Littlebath, and conceived that it was not the place in which the highest beauty of England should be looked for; and in the next place, he knew George Bertram, and regarded him as ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... soon think of endowing restaurants to enable young men to appreciate caviar, or old Gorgonzola, or game of a peculiarly "high'' character, as of establishing courses dealing with Villon, Baudelaire, Swinburne, and the like; and when I hear of second-rate critics summoned across the ocean to present to universities which have heard Emerson, Longfellow, Henry Reed, Lowell, Whipple, and Curtis the coagulated nastiness of Verlaine, Mallarm, and their compeers, I expect next to hear of courses introducing young men to the beauties ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... drive you crazy. I do not think that it was ever my good fortune to hear a resident speak well of another resident, this being owing, I dare say, to their seeing too much of one another. If by chance you come across a man occupying only a second-rate official position, you may depend upon it you will see airs! One hardly ventures to address any such personage, for so grand is he that, he will hardly condescend to say "How do you do?" to you, for fear of lowering himself. There are only about four cats in the ...
— Corea or Cho-sen • A (Arnold) Henry Savage-Landor

... and they know it—I'll do them that justice—and they wonder why we should care for them. When we are polite to them, they think the less of us; there are plenty of people like that. Mamma thinks so much of them simply because they are foreigners. If I could tell you all the dull, stupid, second-rate people I have had to talk to, for no better reason than that they were de leur pays!— Germans, French, Italians, Turks, everything. When I complain, mamma always says that at any rate it's practice in the language. And she makes so much of ...
— The Pension Beaurepas • Henry James

... cruising till the second day of September, when he was overtaken by a violent tempest, which drove him into the channel, and obliged him to make for the port of Plymouth. The weather being hazy, he reached the Sound with great difficulty: the Coronation, a second-rate, foundered at anchor off the Ram-head; the Harwich, a third-rate, bulged upon the rocks and perished; two others ran ashore, but were got off with little damage; but the whole fleet was scattered and distressed. The nation murmured ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... valuable qualities, prefer to reserve them for an important affair like the Omnium, on which they can bet heavily and to advantage, especially if they have a "dark horse," or one that is as yet unknown. Otherwise, to what use could these second-rate horses be put? If one should run them in the spring they might get one or two of the smaller stakes, after which everybody would have their measure. Their owners, therefore, show wisdom in keeping them out of ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... the little great have recourse, to show their second-rate abilities. Intrigues of gallantry upon the continent frequently lead to political intrigue: amongst us the attempts to introduce this improvement of our manners have not yet been successful; but there are, however, some, who, in every thing they say or do, show a predilection ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. IV • Maria Edgeworth

... have been considered the worst taste, but nobody was disgusted, and many were delighted. They had begun to fear that Eustace was getting humdrum. This harlequinade after the pantomime at the church—for what is a modern smart wedding but a second-rate pantomime?—put them into a good humour, and made them feel that, after all, they had got something for their presents. And so the happy pair passed through a dreary rain of rice to the mysteries of that Bluebeard's Chamber, ...
— The Folly Of Eustace - 1896 • Robert S. Hichens

... Porto da Lenha, and other natives had assured me that the Cataracts were taller than the tallest trees. On the other hand, the plain and unadorned narrative of the "Expedition" had prepared me for a second-rate stream bubbling over a strong bed. The river here sweeps round from the north-west, and bends with a sharp elbow first to the south-west and then to the south- east, the length of the latter reach being ...
— Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... to his. Yet, prompted by the "Dunciad," it is the fashion of literature to regard Theobald with compassion, as a block-head and empiric. Cibber escapes but little better, and yet he was a man of respectable talent, and played no second-rate part in the literary history of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... home-keeping duties of women, or have been too much offended to accept any service from the Curtis family; and he could have done without them, for he had a wide middle-class popularity; his manners with the second-rate society, in which he had been bred, were just sufficiently superior and flattering to recommend all his best points, and he obtained plenty of subscriptions from visitors, and of co-operation from inhabitants. Many a young lady was in a flutter at the approach of the spruce little figure in ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... the past for to-day a more enlightened generation is growing up—that the very leaders of the woman's movement have often betrayed the cause of women. They have adopted the ideals of men, they have urged women to become second-rate men, they have declared that the healthy natural woman disregards the presence of her menstrual functions. This is the very reverse of the truth. "They claim," remarks Engelmann, "that woman in her natural state is the physical equal of man, ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... tell you I don't think things have been going extra well with the lady. She's spent most of what she got from the Gardner family, and she doesn't seem to have had the best of luck with it, either. I came across her by accident. She is staying at a flashy hotel, but it's in the wrong quarter—second-rate—quite second-rate." ...
— The Tempting of Tavernake • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... abortions!" cried Roderick with ire. "Preach that to others. Production with me must be either pleasure or nothing. As I said just now, I must either stay in the saddle or not go at all. I won't do second-rate work; I can't if I would. I have no cleverness, apart from inspiration. I am not a Gloriani! You are right," he added after a while; "this is unprofitable talk, and it makes my head ache. I shall take a nap and see if I can dream of a ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... caliphate, and was now so with the western. During the life of Alhakem's successor, the empire of the Omeyades was broken up into a hundred petty principalities; and their magnificent capital of Cordova, dwindling into a second-rate city, retained no other distinction than that of being the Mecca of Spain. These little states soon became a prey to all the evils arising out of a vicious constitution of government and religion. Almost every accession to the throne was ...
— History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella V1 • William H. Prescott

... courageous willingness to bear obloquy, to his unwearied industry—in short, to that rare union of qualities which impart such grandeur to his memory. Even the jealousies and schemes of the living were restrained, as the second-rate heroes of ancient days postponed their contest for the armor of Achilles until last honors had been paid to the memory of the illustrious departed. In Doric Hall in the State House at Boston his remains finally lay in state ...
— Perley's Reminiscences, Vol. 1-2 - of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis • Benjamin Perley Poore

... either!" cried the other, twirling a small gilt ring round on a brown finger, and revealing a gem made, apparently, of second-rate sealing-wax, and about the color of a lobster's claw. "No, it isn't cheating, not one bit; 'cause sometimes the wing gets turned round all by itself, and then people can see that it isn't plain gold. And Nelly's 'gaged, too, just as ...
— Eyebright - A Story • Susan Coolidge

... many visits as Sophy Leigh; she was fond of Sophy, and frequently turned up at "Heidelberg" to tiffin or to tea, although she did not care about the set of people that she met there—stout German ladies with somewhat aggressive manners, or second-rate women from the fringe of Society. Everyone of these was, in the eyes of the little American democrat, an "Outsider." Fuchsia was fastidious, an aristocrat to her finger-tips, and it was no drawback to Pat FitzGerald that his maternal uncle was ...
— The Road to Mandalay - A Tale of Burma • B. M. Croker

... one of Shakespeare's second-rate plays. Yet by quoting passages, like this, from his second-rate plays alone, we might make a volume 'rich ...
— Characters of Shakespeare's Plays • William Hazlitt

... petty scale of a country vestry. The vestryman intelligence has now overrun the land; and if the London County Council ever succeeds at last in making the congeries of villages into—I do not say a city, for that is almost past praying for, but something analogous to a second-rate Continental town, it will only be after long lapse of time and violent struggles with the vestryman level of ...
— Post-Prandial Philosophy • Grant Allen

... table—breakfast, luncheon, or dinner—she was to him always a charming object to see. He had produced Aileen—he congratulated himself. He had furnished her the money to be so fine. He would continue to do so. No second-rate upstart of a man should be allowed to ruin her life. He proposed to take care of her always—to leave her so much money in a legally involved way that a failure of a husband could not possibly affect her. "You're the charming lady this evenin', I'm thinkin'," was one of ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... Cambridge is just what everyone else is doing, and if I don't do it, there will be half a dozen men capable of doing it and glad to do it. The great men of the world don't talk about the importance of their work: they just do whatever comes to hand—it's only the second-rate men who say that their talents haven't full scope. Do you remember poor Chambers, who was at lunch the other day? He told me that he had migrated from a town parish to a country parish, and that he missed the organisation so much. ...
— Watersprings • Arthur Christopher Benson

... in the large cities and capitals of Europe, greater extent of locality requires evidently a different method of arrangement: it might be awkward for the inhabitants of Hyde Park were no hatters to be found nearer than the Tower. But what is Berezdah compared even with a second-rate European city? However, in a crowd, it yields to none: the streets at this time of the day are thronged to choking, and, to make matters worse, a huge splay-footed camel every now and then, heaving from side to side like a lubber-rowed ...
— MacMillan's Reading Books - Book V • Anonymous

... he retraced the very course along which earlier in the day Rebecca had proceeded in the opposite direction, thinking she saw him ahead of her. By dint of making numerous inquiries, he found himself at length in a region of squalid residences and second-rate shops and ale-houses, in the midst of which he finally ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... "Yes, every thing second-rate—poor goods, scamped work. But that pleases, and he pleases, and he is well content with that. Well, then, bravo!—But I am not angry. I and that cantata, we are both old fools! I feel a little ashamed, but ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... as its most renowned benefactor. He is generally a pillar (or a buttress) of the Church, and oftentimes a mayor; with his ill-gotten wealth he promotes charities, and endows schools; his portrait is painted by a second-rate Academician, and hangs, until disaster overtakes him, in the ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... impression of the times, as the reader will perhaps find in the few specimens I propose to show him. As touching the literary value of what is thus restored, there are some who will say, and get applause for doing so, that there are too many bad or second-rate books in existence already; that every work of great genius finds its way to the world at once; and that the very fact of its long obscurity proves a piece of literature to be of little value. For all this, and ...
— The Book-Hunter - A New Edition, with a Memoir of the Author • John Hill Burton

... windows, long before we reached Aix-la-Chapelle, at which ancient town we arrived about six. Unlike Spa, where we had the choice among a hundred furnished houses, Aix was so crowded that we got narrow lodgings, with great difficulty, in a second-rate hotel. ...
— A Residence in France - With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland • J. Fenimore Cooper

... up for everything. Italy, all the same, had spoiled a great many people; he was even fatuous enough to believe at times that he himself might have been a better man if he had spent less of his life there. It made one idle and dilettantish and second-rate; it had no discipline for the character, didn't cultivate in you, otherwise expressed, the successful social and other "cheek" that flourished in Paris and London. "We're sweetly provincial," said Mr. Osmond, "and ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1 (of 2) • Henry James

... regard for the manner, aself-conscious tone appealing rather to an audience than to a reader, venting itself in apostrophes, digressions, hyperbole (over-drawn description), episodes and epigrams, an unhappy laboriousness that strains itself to be first-rate for a moment, but leaves the poem second-rate for ...
— Helps to Latin Translation at Sight • Edmund Luce

... left at the door. It was a second-rate theatrical journal, still damp from the press. The handwriting on the wrapper was that of Josephs, and there was a paragraph marked in blue pencil. It pretended to be a record of her short career, and everything was in it—the programme selling, the dressing, the foreign clubs—all the refuse of ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... six years, he paid off 60,000l. "by his genius alone; but he crushed his spirit in the gigantic struggle, or, in plain words, sacrificed himself in the attempt to repair his broken fortunes." He sold his house and furniture in Edinburgh, and, says Chambers, "retreated into a humble lodging in a second-rate street (St. David-street, where David Hume had formerly lived.)" He reduced his establishment at Abbotsford, and retired, as far as his official duties would permit, from public life, accompanied only by his younger daughter. In this domestic retreat, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 571 - Volume 20, No. 571—Supplementary Number • Various

... course, the English season has just finished, and the French people haven't begun to come yet, and Aix is hot, and dull, and empty! Really, isn't it trying? There are even only second-rate cocottes about, none of the smart ones yet! I am dying of the blues. Besides I have to take the baths, although I don't want them, because the only way I managed to persuade John to come here was by pretending I needed ...
— The Smart Set - Correspondence & Conversations • Clyde Fitch

... Only second-rate hearts and minds are melancholy. When we become like little children, our very playfulness tells that we are seeing deep, when we see that God is love in His works as well as in Himself, and we look at Nature as a baby does, as a beautiful mystery which we ...
— Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife • Charles Kingsley

... will, at one time or another, have risen from the position of one who chronicles second-rate shows in remote corners of his paper, to be the recognised dramatic critic of a powerful organ. He thus acquires an extraordinary influence which he consolidates amongst outsiders by occasional lapses into a fury of critical honesty and abuse. It ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, July 12, 1890 • Various

... he had done when he was brought to Moroni was to hire a second-rate lawyer but, after getting his money, the gentleman had spent his time in preparing some windy brief. What Denver needed was some witnesses, to swear to his good character, and Diffenderfer to swear to the facts; and no points of law ...
— Silver and Gold - A Story of Luck and Love in a Western Mining Camp • Dane Coolidge

... possessed of every virtue; but a pattern peasant or an immaculate manufacturing hero may talk as much twaddle as one of Mrs Ratcliffe's heroines, and still be listened to. Perhaps, however, Mr Sentiment's great attraction is in his second-rate characters. If his heroes and heroines walk upon stilts, as heroes and heroines, I fear, ever must, their attendant satellites are as natural as though one met them in the street: they walk and talk like men and women, and live among our friends a rattling, lively life; yes, ...
— The Warden • Anthony Trollope

... had among many fortified towns, trusting that each would do something toward delaying the French. Louis, however, under the advice of Turenne, simply observed the more important places, while the second-rate towns surrendered nearly as fast as they were summoned; the army of the Provinces, as well as their territory, thus passing rapidly, by fractions, into the power of the enemy. Within a month the French were in the ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... into the stadholder's carriage, Spinola being placed on Maurice's right hand. Their conversation during their brief drive to the capital, followed by their long retinue, and by the enthusiastic and vociferating crowd, has not been chronicled. It is also highly probable that the second-rate theatrical dialogue which the Jesuit historian, writing from Spinola's private papers, has preserved for posterity, was rather what seemed to his imagination appropriate for the occasion than a faithful shorthand report ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... to the second-rate hotel where he had taken refuge, depressed beyond words, afraid of himself, afraid of the life which lay in fragments behind him and spread away before him in terrifying drabness. Yet he must go on living. To live was the dominant ...
— The Hidden Places • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... definition of true love always, and they fearfully mistake its essence, and take the lower and spurious forms of it for the higher and nobler, who think of love as being what, alas! it often is, in our imperfect lives, a fierce desire to have for our very own the thing or person beloved. But that is a second-rate kind of love. God's love is an infinite desire to give Himself. If only we open our hearts—and nothing opens them so wide as longing—He will pour in, as surely as the atmosphere streams in through every chink and cranny, as surely as if some great black rock that stands on the margin ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... Lord-Mayor's chair. People nowadays say that the real dignity and importance have perished out of the office, as they do, sooner or later, out of all earthly institutions, leaving only a painted and gilded shell like that of an Easter egg, and that it is only second-rate and third-rate men who now condescend to be ambitious of the Mayoralty. I felt a little grieved at this; for the original emigrants of New England had strong sympathies with the people of London, who were mostly Puritans ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... Beauregard, and Jeff. Davis with troops from Richmond likewise was on the spot. McDowell planned his plan very skilfully; no European general would have done better, and I am sure that such will be the verdict hereafter. Some second-rate mistakes in the execution did not virtually endanger its success; but, to say the truth, McDowell and his army were defeated by the imbecility of the supreme military authority. Imbecility stabbed ...
— Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862 • Adam Gurowski

... of second-rate importance there are many examples to be found of such retaliatory battles; but great battles have generally too many other determining causes to be brought on by ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... the present the Sala di Niobe, we come to the Sala di Giovanni di San Giovanni, which is given to a second-rate painter who was born in 1599 and died in 1636. His best work is a fresco at the Badia of Fiesole. Here he has some theatrical things, including one picture which sends English ladies out blushing. Here also are some Lelys, including "Nelly Gwynn". ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... his works, his greatness in composition remains altogether unappreciated. Many modern works exhibit greater pretense at arrangement, and a more palpable system; masses of well-concentrated light or points of sudden and dextrous color are expedients in the works of our second-rate artists as attractive as they are commonplace. But the moving and natural crowd, the decomposing composition, the frank and unforced, but marvelously intricate grouping, the breadth of inartificial and unexaggerated shadow, these are merits of an ...
— On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... could no longer be apparent. If the aim of European art had ever in serious examples been to deceive the eye, our painting would rank with legerdemain and Maskelyne's famous box trick; for it is to be doubted if it could ever so well have attained its end as even a second-rate conjurer can. I have cited a passage in which Reynolds confronts the work of great artists with the illusions of the camera obscura (see p. 237). The adept musical performer who reproduces the noises ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... was the habit of obedience, so profound his respect even for his father's signature, that the Prince promised. Besides, he had no wish to spend a year or more in some second-rate fortress; and he resolved to watch himself most warily, until this annoying business was at an end and he was ...
— The Destroyer - A Tale of International Intrigue • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... goloshes as he passes. It is impossible to get up a revolution or a new religion, or a national awakening of any sort, without his turning up, putting himself at the head of it and collaring all the gate-receipts for himself. Even after his death he leaves a long trail of second-rate relations spattered over the front seats of fifty years ...
— Literary Lapses • Stephen Leacock



Words linked to "Second-rate" :   mediocre



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