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Desultory   Listen
adjective
Desultory  adj.  
1.
Leaping or skipping about. (Obs.) "I shot at it (a bird), but it was so desultory that I missed my aim."
2.
Jumping, or passing, from one thing or subject to another, without order or rational connection; without logical sequence; disconnected; immethodical; aimless; as, desultory minds. "He (Goldsmith) knew nothing accurately; his reading had been desultory."
3.
Out of course; by the way; as a digression; not connected with the subject; as, a desultory remark.
Synonyms: Rambling; roving; immethodical; discursive; inconstant; unsettled; cursory; slight; hasty; loose.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Desultory" Quotes from Famous Books



... the prosperity of the East and West India Companies in which so many merchants and investors were deeply interested. Any admission of a Spanish monopoly or right of exclusion would have spelt ruin to thousands. The diplomatic discussions, however, went on for many months in a desultory and somewhat futile manner; and meanwhile though hostilities did not actually cease, the campaign of 1633 was conducted in a half-hearted fashion. The death of Isabel on November 29, 1633, shattered finally any hopes that the peace ...
— History of Holland • George Edmundson

... suits this random verse The high enigmas to rehearse, And touch with desultory tongue Secrets no man from Night hath wrung. We ponder, question, doubt—and pray The Deep to answer Yea or Nay; And what does the engirdling wave, The undivulging, yield us, save Aspersion of bewildering spray? We do but dally on the beach, Writing our little thoughts full large, While Ocean ...
— The Poems of William Watson • William Watson

... to keep the enemy at a distance from the main object in debate. Strong provisions covered the flanks of his assertions. His very queries were in casements. No impression, therefore, was to be made on this fortress of sophistry by desultory observations; and it was necessary to sit down before it, and assail it by regular approaches. It was fortunate, however, to observe, that notwithstanding all the skill employed by the noble and literary engineer, his mode of ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... did not leave Ryde until the 23d, it is possible that Fielding received a reply. During the remainder of this desultory voyage he continued to beguile his solitary hours—hours of which we are left to imagine the physical torture and monotony, for he says but little of himself—by jottings and notes of the, for the most ...
— Fielding - (English Men of Letters Series) • Austin Dobson

... conjuror, nine years after his departure from home. He has not discovered the magical secret which he came to seek; and his tone, as he reviews his position, is full of a bitter and almost despairing sense of failure. His desultory course has borne scanty and confused results. His powers have been at once overstrained and frittered away. He is beset by the dread of madness; and by the fear, scarcely less intolerable, of a moral ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... into a small breakfast-room, I found myself in the presence of an elderly gentleman—very grave, business-like, and respectable-looking. I presented Mr. Hunsden's letter; he received me very civilly. After a little desultory conversation he asked me if there was anything in which his advice or experience could be of use. I said, "Yes," and then proceeded to tell him that I was not a gentleman of fortune, travelling for pleasure, but an ex-counting-house clerk, who wanted employment of some ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... arrival of the Spaniards in 1566, a kind of desultory war was waged by them upon the various islands, in the hope of conquering them and extending their religion. In these wars they succeeded in gaining temporary possession of a part of Sulu, and destroyed the tomb of Sayed Alli. The Spaniards ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... a manner; and when I called for three cheers for the King, the Germans in their front line trenches,—which were certainly within earshot,—must have imagined an attack in force was about to take place. Such desultory gatherings go far to cheer a padre's heart as he proceeds on the ...
— With The Immortal Seventh Division • E. J. Kennedy and the Lord Bishop of Winchester

... nature revolted at the religious formalism of priestcraft; his mind turned in disgust from the scholastic husks of its superficial knowledge. What he had learned came from inborn capacity, from desultory reading, and from the untutored imaginings of his garden at Brienne, his cave at Ajaccio, or his barrack chambers. What more plausible than that he should first turn to the land of his birth with some hope of happiness, ...
— The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte - Vol. I. (of IV.) • William Milligan Sloane

... asked why Mr. Mill, with all his width of knowledge and sympathy, has achieved so little of a reputation as a miscellaneous writer, part of the reason no doubt is, that he sternly repressed his desultory tendencies, and devoted his powers to special branches of knowledge, attaining in them a distinction that obscured his other writings. Another reason is, that, although his style is extremely clear, he was for popular purposes dangerously familiar with terms belonging more or less to the schools. ...
— John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works • Herbert Spencer, Henry Fawcett, Frederic Harrison and Other

... to assign given terms and relations to any prior medium, such as absolute time or space, which cannot be given with them. Observable spaces and times, like the facts observed in them, are given separately and in a desultory fashion. Initially, then, there are as many spaces and times as there are observers, or rather observations; these are the specious times and spaces of dreams, of sensuous life, and of romantic biography. Each is centred here and now, and stretched outwards, forward, ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... because they reflect honour on itself." [41] An English education might have brought Burton more wealth, but for the wild and adventurous life before him no possible training could have been better than the varied and desultory one he had. Nor could there have been a more suitable preparation for the great linguist and anthropologist. From babyhood he mixed with ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... our selections, which have now grown quite desultory and miscellaneous, by the brief obituary of a 'remarkable' man, from the Chronicle of July 26, 1766: 'Thursday, died at his house near Hampstead, the Rev. Mr Southcote, remarkable for having a leg of mutton every night for supper during a course of forty years, ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New Series, February 14, 1852 • Various

... I conclude this rather desultory article with Lord Lyttleton's splendid eulogy on him, which in a few words expresses more than the finest Philippic to his memory—"If all human things were to perish except the works of Shakspeare, it might still be known from them what sort of a ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 19, - Issue 552, June 16, 1832 • Various

... reconsidered and afterwards put together in an orderly way, in a manner which would give a regular and satisfactory record of the proceedings; that it appeared almost certain to him that the discussions would be desultory in their nature, but that ultimately a revision would be had after the rough-hewing of the blocks out of which the edifice was to be formed; that he had no wish, at the present stage of the discussion, to ...
— International Conference Held at Washington for the Purpose of Fixing a Prime Meridian and a Universal Day. October, 1884. • Various

... The desultory fire, which in the darkness and the pouring rain did very little harm, had the effect of further ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... mountain road, from which, on either hand, the pasturelands fell away in long, irregular knolls and hollows. The tops were quite barren, but in the little vales, despite the stones, a short grass grew very thick and tenderly green, and groups of kine tinkled their soft bells in a sweet, desultory assonance as they cropped the herbage. Below, the bay filled the oval of the hills with its sunny expanse, and the white steamer, where she lay beside the busy wharf, and the black lumber-ships, gave their variety to the pretty scene, which was completed by the picturesque ...
— A Chance Acquaintance • W. D. Howells

... man. Nothing of an extraordinary sort was still to be done, yet the remaining work could not safely be left to the King's idiots; for it would require wise statesmanship and long and patient though desultory hammering of the enemy. Now and then, for a quarter of a century yet, there would be a little fighting to do, and a handy man could carry that on with small disturbance to the rest of the country; and little ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... perhaps fortunate for English literature that his health was no better; for the boy craved an active life, and would doubtless have become an engineer. He made a brave attempt to pursue this calling, but it was soon evident that his constitution made it impossible. After desultory schooling, and an immense amount of general reading, he entered the University of Edinburgh, and then tried the study of law. Although the thought of this profession became more and more repugnant, and finally intolerable, he ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... sees, I don't know nothin' speshul or much touchin' Injuns, an' if I'm to dodge the disgrace of ramblin' along in this desultory way, I might better shift to a tale I hears Sioux Sam relate to Doc Peets one time in the Red Light. This Sam is a Sioux, an a mighty decent buck, considerin' he's Injun; Sam is servin' the Great Father as a scout with the diag'nal-coat, ...
— Wolfville Nights • Alfred Lewis

... the Pilgrim's Progress. That wonderful book, while it obtains admiration from the most fastidious critics, is loved by those who are too simple to admire it. Dr. Johnson, all whose studies were desultory, and who hated, as he said, to read books through, made an exception in favour of the Pilgrim's Progress. That work was one of the two or three works which he wished longer. It was by no common merit that the illiterate ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... This plan was adopted, and so well carried out that the intended meeting took place apparently by chance. The officer did not hesitate to engage in conversation with the hunters, some of whom he already knew; and after some desultory remarks the conversation turned on the Carbonari, those new votaries of secret liberty. The magic word liberty had not lost its power to stir to its depths the heart of this officer, and consequently produced upon him the exact effect they desired, by awaking enthusiastic memories of his youth, and ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... degree: enlightened and accurate. As her parts had been happily thrown together by nature, they were no less happy in the circumstances which attended their progress and development. They were refined, not by a course of solitary study, but by desultory reading, and chiefly by living intercourse with the brightest geniuses of her age. Thus trained, they acquired a pliability of movement, which gave to all their exertions a bewitching air of freedom and negligence. and made even their last efforts seem only the ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... poet and prose writer, was born on the farm of Affrusk, parish of Banchory-Ternan, Kincardineshire, on the 26th of May 1805. He was instructed in the ordinary branches at the parish school, and employed as a youth in desultory labour about his father's farm. From boyhood he cherished a passionate love for reading, and was no less ardent in his admiration of the picturesque and beautiful in nature. So early as his fourteenth year he composed verses ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume IV. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... After some desultory wanderings for a year or two along the shores of Lake Erie, among the prosperous towns then springing up, the family, with its Canadian home forfeited, and in quest of another resting-place, came to Milan, Ohio, ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... is necessarily somewhat desultory as there is no record in any State of the women in office. This is true even of those pertaining to the schools, and in very few cases does the State Superintendent of Public Instruction know how many women are serving as county superintendents and members of school boards. The information ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... in a private dining-room at the "Ritz," and Olivia found the dinner delightful. The three men, after some desultory talk about common friends and the ordinary London subjects, fell to talking about their work and their fighting in France. She was most pleased by the evident respect and admiration with which the other two regarded her husband. It was a new experience ...
— The Loudwater Mystery • Edgar Jepson

... of this unripe time of half-awakened manhood is, however, unsatisfactory enough. There is much reminiscence of early Edinburgh days, with their law studies, and tutoring, and translating, in Teufelsdroeckh's desultory period. The climax of it is in those scornful sentences about Aesthetic Teas, to which the hungry lion was invited, that he might feed on chickweed—well for all concerned if it did not end in his feeding on the chickens instead! It is an unwholesome ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... had been set in order, and Sylvia was at one front window in the cool sitting-room, with a basket of mending, and Henry at another with a library book. Henry was very restless in these days. He pottered about the place and was planning to get in a good hay crop, but this desultory sort of employment did not take the place of his regular routine of toil. He missed it horribly, almost as a man is said to miss a pain of long standing. He knew that he was better off without it, that he ought to be happier, but he knew that ...
— The Shoulders of Atlas - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... head close to his white one as they arranged their specimens or consulted books of reference. The professor, who had looked in on his way home from the lecture to borrow a review, was browsing contentedly among the books on the table with the comfortable sense that he might justifiably read in a desultory holiday fashion. ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... high character and cultivated tastes. His father having died, he, when nine, became an office boy and later a clerk. In 1854 he came to California to join his mother who had married again, arriving in Oakland in March of that year. His employment for two years was desultory. He worked in a drug store and also wrote for Eastern magazines. Then he went to Alamo in the San Ramon Valley as tutor—a valued experience. Later in 1856 he went to Tuolumne County where, among other things, he taught school, and ...
— A Tramp Through the Bret Harte Country • Thomas Dykes Beasley

... publishers and newspaper knaves. He could now write at his leisure, and be handsomely rewarded for his labor. Positions from which much emolument might be derived were offered him, but he answered them with a polite refusal. Contributions were solicited to no purpose. The desultory articles written under pressure of hunger in the confinement of the garret near St. Paul's were hunted for by publishers, who were too happy to pay a handsome premium for any thing printed over the name of the now popular author. To those ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 1, January 1886 • Various

... he arrived. Much to her chagrin, she was obliged to receive him in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Esthwaite; no private talk was possible. Mr. Esthwaite engaged him immediately in an earnest but desultory conversation, about Sydney, Eleanor, and the mission, and the prospect of their getting to their destination; which Mr. Esthwaite prophesied would not be within any moderate limits of time. Mr. Amos owned that he had heard of no opportunity, near or far. The talk lasted a good while and ...
— The Old Helmet, Volume II • Susan Warner

... interrupting one of her desultory remarks, "for a year I have loved you, and, for many reasons, I have not dared to tell you. I must tell you now. I have no reason to think you care more for me than for a dozen other men, but if you will marry me, senorita, I will build ...
— The Splendid Idle Forties - Stories of Old California • Gertrude Atherton

... learnt from the memoirs of the chief actor, or from his intimate friends; and in such things of this kind are often treated of in a very desultory manner, or purposely misrepresented. Criticism must, therefore, always forego much which was present in the minds of those ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... find it difficult to reconcile them with either the tone or the substance of the preceding reply. I trust that I have already relieved him from the apprehension that I should confine myself to 'desultory efforts.' I had hoped that some of the topics in my first article might have been laid aside for ever, but his reply has compelled me to revert to them. He does me no more than justice when he credits me with earnestness. I am indeed in earnest, as I believe ...
— Essays on "Supernatural Religion" • Joseph B. Lightfoot

... he had been inveigled, rather from indolence than from any freak of his inclination, afforded him, now that it was undertaken, a certain desultory pleasure to which he had long been a stranger. Into the little shrug, comic and valedictory, of Mrs. Dollond's shoulders, as they passed the Octroi, a gesture discreetly mocking of the conditions they had left, he could enter with some humour, the appreciation of a ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... on desultory excavations some years at Kouyunjik, without finding any traces of buildings. I set my workmen commencing operations by the proper method of digging deep trenches. One morning, as I was at Mosul, two Arab women came ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... indomitable perseverance, practical good sense, and devotion to established principles; as largely Irish his spontaneous enthusiasm, ardent emotion, and disinterested idealism. Always brilliant, in his earlier years he was also desultory and somewhat lawless. From Trinity College in Dublin he crossed over to London and studied law, which he soon abandoned. In 1756 he began his career as an author with 'A Vindication of Natural Society,' a skilful satire on the ...
— A History of English Literature • Robert Huntington Fletcher

... William Reyle, William Barrett, and Roger Burke signed to a petition to the General Court of Massachusetts on August 17, 1664. Such names as Maccarty, Gleason, Coggan, Lawler, Kelly, Hurley, MackQuade, and McCleary also appear on the Cambridge Church records down to 1690. These are but desultory instances of the first comers among the Irish to Massachusetts, selected from a great mass ...
— The Glories of Ireland • Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox

... year 1782, the settlements only suffered from the accustomed desultory warfare of the savages. No numerous collection of Indians had crossed their border,—no powerful army of warriors, threatening destruction to the forts, those asylums of their safety, had appeared among them.—But the scene ...
— Chronicles of Border Warfare • Alexander Scott Withers

... remarkable country shown in the relief map opposite page 41, till the relationships and distances of the various features were established and reduced to black and white. That autumn, while we were engaged in these labours, Wheeler, with an elaborate outfit, entered the region, pursuing his desultory operations; and, drifting along the north side of the Grand Canyon for a little distance, he proceeded to the neighbourhood of St. George. The following year, for some unknown purpose, he crossed the Colorado at the Paria, though he knew that Powell's parties had ...
— The Romance of the Colorado River • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... the Lutheran princes formed a league at Schmalkald for mutual protection (1531); and from 1546 to 1555 a desultory civil war was waged. The Protestants received some assistance from the French king, who, for political reasons, was bent on humiliating the emperor. The end of the religious conflict appeared to have been reached by the peace of ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... Books and Reading is in the air at the present time; Lord Iddlesleigh raised the question last November, by his admirable discourse on Desultory Reading, delivered at Edinburgh. Sir John Lubbock was not slow to follow the lead, in his lecture at the Working Men's College; and lastly, we have Mr. Goschen's more abstract and despondent remarks on Hearing, Reading, and Thinking. The discussion has been carried forward from Newspaper to Journal, ...
— The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886 • Various

... have been very ill employed, if I could not leave its merits and demerits as a whole, to express themselves on its being read as a whole. But, as it is not unreasonable to suppose that I may have held its threads with a more continuous attention than anyone else can have given them during its desultory publication, it is not unreasonable to ask that the weaving may be looked at in its completed state, and with ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... time didn't count, did it," he went on, in speech vague and desultory yet, at the same time, intent and bright in look. "I was so bothered; I behaved like a selfish brute; I'm sure you felt it. And you were so particularly kind and good—and ...
— Amabel Channice • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... have been made to this celebrated work,—one, that the author defers in it, too little, to principle, too much, to authority;—another, that the work is written in a very desultory manner, with small attention to order, or classification;—a third, that his authorities are often feeble, and sometimes whimsical. "Grotius," says Condillac, "was able to think for himself; but he constantly labours to support his conclusions by the authority of others. Upon many occasions; ...
— The Life of Hugo Grotius • Charles Butler

... his school-fellows had never been his associates or confidants, it mattered little to him whether they feared or respected him, or were hypocritically obsequious, after the fashion of the weaker. His studies, at all events, profited by this lack of distraction. Already his two years of desultory and omnivorous reading had given him a facile familiarity with many things, which left him utterly free of the timidity, awkwardness, or non-interest of a beginner. His usually reserved manner, which had been lack of expression rather than of conviction, had deceived ...
— A Waif of the Plains • Bret Harte

... aroused, as well as the lack of labor in Santo Domingo, caused the mines of the island to be completely neglected. Finally, in 1543, mining work ceased and by a royal decree all mines were ordered closed. Prospecting and desultory mining, especially placer mining, have been kept up, however, until the ...
— Santo Domingo - A Country With A Future • Otto Schoenrich

... (what my limits must have rendered absurdly inadequate, and in which, also, both my time and knowledge must have failed me) an analysis of the landscape in the range of contemporary literature. All that I can do, is to state the general impression, which has been made upon me by my desultory reading, and to mark accurately the grounds for this impression in the works of the greatest men. Now it is quite true that in others of the Greeks, especially in AEschylus and Aristophanes, there is infinitely more of modern feeling, ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... 'life' the words 'organised society,' and you get a peep into Burke's mind. There was a catholicity about his gaze. He knew how the whole world lived. Everything contributed to this: his vast desultory reading; his education, neither wholly academical nor entirely professional; his long years of apprenticeship in the service of knowledge; his wanderings up and down the country; his vast conversational powers; his enormous correspondence with all sorts of people; his unfailing ...
— Obiter Dicta - Second Series • Augustine Birrell

... method of imparting instruction, and that she therefore begged to resign the position of Miss Pomeroy's instructress. Now, as each new teacher had begun a system of her own which she had not had time to develop, it may be easily seen that the little knowledge which Zillah possessed was of the most desultory character. Yet after all she had something in her favor. She had a taste for reading, and this led her to a familiarity with the best authors. More than this, her father had instilled into her mind a chivalrous ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... was a good place to do work in, for all its quiescence. I was soon beyond the small requirements of the Pharmaceutical Society's examination, and as they do not permit candidates to sit for that until one and twenty, I was presently filling up my time and preventing my studies becoming too desultory by making an attack upon the London University degree of Bachelor of Science, which impressed me then as a very splendid but almost impossible achievement. The degree in mathematics and chemistry appealed to me as particularly congenial—albeit giddily inaccessible. I set to work. ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... silent acknowledgment of the late government, that they declined to contest the question, was given by their retirement from office, and their choosing a less responsible position from which to carry on a more desultory warfare against the policy which they had in the previous session unsuccessfully attempted to resist. Another blow will soon be struck in the same good cause, and I will not intercept ...
— The Grand Old Man • Richard B. Cook

... After some more desultory talk they separated and Steve went back to join Nancy on the porch where he thought he would ...
— The Boy from Hollow Hut - A Story of the Kentucky Mountains • Isla May Mullins

... time we had one man killed and two wounded, the firing died away into a continuous but desultory rifle-fire, with an occasional dropping shell from the guns. Under cover of dark, I tried to guard the drift and dead ground to the south of it, by men standing up and firing at that level, but towards midnight ...
— The Defence of Duffer's Drift • Ernest Dunlop Swinton

... will proceed without regard to any systematic order, taking up, exactly as chance or preponderant interest may offer them, any urgent questions of the hour, before the progress of events may antiquate them, or time may exhale their flavour. This desultory and moody want of order has its attractions for many a state of nervous distraction. Every tenth reader may happen to share in the distraction, so far as it has an Indian origin. The same deadly anxiety on behalf of female relatives, separated from their male protectors ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... in question were the fruit of inquiries begun indeed as a relief from weightier cares; but as it was not in their author's nature to rest satisfied with desultory and superficial results in his treatment of any subject, so his archaeological papers more resemble the exhaustive treatises of a leisurely student, than the occasional efforts of one overwhelmed in ...
— Archaeological Essays, Vol. 1 • James Y. Simpson

... song arises, thoughts of the battle fields of the past cross our minds—we recall the incidents of fierce conflicts—we say, there and there fell——, no nobler fellows ever lived! A blunt and hasty epitaph, but the desultory vicissitudes of a soldier's life permit no other—we expect no other for ourselves when our turn to follow you shall come. So we break out ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol. 5, No. 6, June, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... I never have got so far as to read it with any comfort in the original; and I suppose a practical educationalist would say that such fitful, desultory instruction as I did receive from my father in our cuddy living-room on board the Livorno was quite valueless. But I fancy the expert would be wrong in this, as experts sometimes are. In the schoolman's sense I learned little or nothing. But natheless I believe these ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... of the important facts of natural science. I need not further describe the amount of my knowledge. I could not have attained half I have mentioned had I not read on steadily, and carefully eschewed anything like desultory reading—that is to say, as far as the limited library to which I had access would allow. I did not always read the books I might have desired, but I diligently read the best I could obtain. If I, therefore, did so much in a short ...
— Old Jack • W.H.G. Kingston

... year was the least happy she had ever spent. She repeatedly alarmed her mother by broaching projects of becoming a hospital nurse, a public singer, or an actress. These projects led to some desultory studies. In order to qualify herself as a nurse she read a handbook of physiology, which Mrs. Wylie thought so improper a subject for a young lady that she went in tears to beg Mrs. Jansenius to remonstrate with her unruly girl. Mrs. Jansenius, better advised, was of opinion that ...
— An Unsocial Socialist • George Bernard Shaw

... 'The Fugitive' I found in an odd little book by a Miss Pearson called A Few Weeks at Clairmont Castle, 1828; while 'The Butcher's Tournament' is from Peter Parley. I read this story when I was quite a child, and it always remained in my memory, and for several years of late I have kept up a desultory search for it. I could not, therefore, having chanced upon it in Peter Parley's Annual for 1843, omit it from this volume. The author's name is not given, but I suppose that William Martin wrote it—under the influence of Douglas ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... like a dream; and long before we could find our tools and get to work we heard the desultory reports of his pistols exploding in his holsters, as his pony measured off the darkness ...
— Cobwebs From an Empty Skull • Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)

... of Waterloo. She had both a piano and a harmonium, and took great pleasure in playing some of the hymns in our Canadian hymn book. I was so comfortable that I hoped our residence at Ypres might be of long duration. At night, however, desultory shells fell into the city. We could hear them ripping along with a sound like a trolley on a track, and then there would be a fearful crash. One night when returning from Brigade Headquarters near Wieltje, I saw a magnificent display of fireworks to the ...
— The Great War As I Saw It • Frederick George Scott

... not bring her. The hours wore on—Mr. Ingelow at his easel, Mollie with her book, Susan Sharpe with her needle, conversation desultory and lagging. ...
— The Unseen Bridgegroom - or, Wedded For a Week • May Agnes Fleming

... a Scotch merchant, was born in New York, April 3, 1783. As his health was delicate his education was desultory, and at sixteen he began to study law but without much seriousness. He spent most of the time in reading, being in this way really self-educated. His health continuing a matter of concern, he took many excursions up the state to the woods, with much physical benefit. In many of the up-state towns ...
— The Short-story • William Patterson Atkinson

... with her. We have walked together or sat down together, and our intimacy grows with the seasons. What I have learned about her ways I have learned easily, almost unconsciously, while fishing or camping or idling about. My desultory habits have their disadvantages, no doubt, but they have their advantages also. A too strenuous pursuit defeats itself. In the fields and woods more than anywhere else all things come to those who wait, because all things are on the ...
— Time and Change • John Burroughs

... if you cannot find something new this summer along the coast to which you are going. There is no reason why you should not be so successful as a friend of mine who, with a very slight smattering of science, and very desultory research, obtained in one winter from the Torbay shores three entirely new species, beside several rare animals which had escaped all naturalists since the lynx-eye of Colonel Montagu discerned them ...
— Glaucus; or The Wonders of the Shore • Charles Kingsley

... desultory, pursued under several more or less incompetent masters, and was over at the age of sixteen. The teaching does not seem to have had much discipline or solidity; he studied Latin a few months, but made no other incursion into the classics. The handsome, tender-hearted, truthful, susceptible boy ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... alone, as did the rest. She went her ways, saw to the garden and made the butter in the cool springhouse, and sat in the window seat in the twilights. She liked to have the men come in as usual, but the talk these times was desultory, failing and brightening with forced topics, to fail again and drop into silence while the dim red lights of the ...
— Tharon of Lost Valley • Vingie E. Roe

... not join in the desultory talk that engaged the others until supper-time. There was a broken string in her heart, that jangled painfully when ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... was accomplished after a fashion more or less desultory that day; I had many absent moments, was restless, and walked more than I painted. Oliver Saffron did not join me in the late afternoon; nor did the echo of distant yodelling bespeak any effort on his part to find me. So I gave ...
— The Guest of Quesnay • Booth Tarkington

... or Paresis. There is still one more point to consider in dealing with a syphilitic patient. In patients who did not receive energetic treatment from the very beginning of the disease as also in patients whose treatment was only desultory and irregular, we never can guarantee, in spite of lack of external symptoms, in spite of a negative Wassermann reaction, that some trouble may not ...
— Woman - Her Sex and Love Life • William J. Robinson

... the wandering insect to the spider's web—that brought the impression to her mind, was the brief report of a cross-examination in the divorce courts, conducted by J.H. Traill. She knew that in the last two years he had, in a desultory way, been gleaning briefs from the great field where others reaped. That had stood for little in her mind; for though she had always realized that in temperament and intellect he would make an excellent barrister, ...
— Sally Bishop - A Romance • E. Temple Thurston

... had been striving in vain to force its way up the right bank of the river, the situation on the left bank had remained unchanged. The infantry lay prone on the ground, engaged in a desultory fire-fight with an unseen enemy, while the artillery continued to shell the buildings and the river-banks near the railway bridge. During the course of the afternoon Colonel Hall, commanding the artillery, had received a welcome reinforcement of four ...
— History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902 v. 1 (of 4) - Compiled by Direction of His Majesty's Government • Frederick Maurice

... light a breeze lisped never so faintly in the tree-tops; here and there bird-notes fell, liquid, desultory, like drops of rain after a shower; and constantly one heard the cool music of the river. The sun, filtering through worlds and worlds of leaves, shed upon everything a green-gold penumbra. The air, warm and still, ...
— The Cardinal's Snuff-Box • Henry Harland

... herself equally upon her adherence to religious principle and the Acts of Congress. For the law, merely as law, she had the profoundest veneration, viewing the heterogeneous statutes passed from time to time by desultory legislators much as if they had in some mysterious way been handed down from Mount Sinai along with ...
— By Advice of Counsel • Arthur Train

... a desultory conversation about nothing in particular, though Mr. Octavius Quirk was doing his best to say clever things and show off his boisterous humor. Indeed, it was not until that gentleman's very substantial supper was being brought in that Lionel got an opportunity ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... perhaps in the middle, and I would have greatly preferred a much smaller number to have secured more effectually their uniform efficiency. I would much rather have had 200,000 on the footing of Lord Hobart's first letter in June than double that number selected and formed in the loose and desultory manner they have more recently been under the variety of contradictory orders they have since received and by which Government have annoyed every corner of the country." Melville adds that they would be useful if thoroughly ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... communion with Christ that alone will give the persistency that makes systematic, continuous efforts for Him possible, and yet will keep systematic work from degenerating, as it ever tends to do, into mechanical work. There is no greater virtue in irregular desultory service than in systematised labour. The one is not freer from besetting temptations than the other, only the temptations are of different sorts. Machinery saves manual toil, and multiplies force. But we may have too heavy machinery for ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Mark • Alexander Maclaren

... improving. That day he gets guns brought to bear on General Loudon's own quarter; blazes into Loudon's sitting-room, so that Loudon has to shift else-whither. No bombardment ensues that night; nor next day anything but desultory cannonading, and much noise and motion;—and at night, SUNDAY, 3d, everything falls quiet, and, to the glad amazement of everybody, Loudon has vanished." [Tempelhof, iv. 90-100; Archenholtz, ii. 89-94; HOFBERICHT ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... reconnoitring parties and our outposts during the latter part of January, the main attack was not developed until Feb. 2, when the enemy began to move toward the Ismailia Ferry. They met a reconnoitring party of Indian troops of all arms, and a desultory engagement ensued, to which a violent sand storm put a sudden end about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The main attacking force pushed forward toward its destination after nightfall. From twenty-five to thirty galvanized iron pontoon boats, seven and a half meters in length, which had ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... beat time to vague desultory thoughts; he stared out, perhaps, in fancy, at southern seas, looked up at stars more lustrous than those that hung over him now. Then the divers clusters of points, glowing, insistent, swam around, and he fell into a half doze, from which he was awakened ...
— Half A Chance • Frederic S. Isham

... was chiefly spent in the hay-field under a willow-tree; Mr. Clare tried to leave the young people to themselves, but they would not consent; and, after a good deal of desultory talk and description of the minnows and water-spiders, in whom Mr. Clare seemed to take a deep interest, they went on with their book till the horses came, and Alick took Rachel for a ride in Earlsworthy Park, a private gate ...
— The Clever Woman of the Family • Charlotte M. Yonge

... trapper, trader, and hunter from the Yellowstone to the Gila, was one of the most famous and eccentric men of the early days. In 1826, as a boy, he ran away from St. Louis with a party of Santa Fe traders, and so fascinated was he with the desultory and exciting life, that he chose to sit cross-legged, smoking the long Indian pipe, in the comfortable buffalo-skin teepee, rather than cross legs on the broad table of his master, a tailor to whom he had been apprenticed when he took French leave ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... folly—some momentary willingness to be maimed or crippled all my days if I might pass them in such a place. In fact half the pleasure of inhabiting this spacious saloon would be that of using one's legs, of strolling up and down past the windows, one by one, and making desultory journeys from station to station and corner to corner. Near by is a colossal ball-room, domed and pilastered like a Renaissance cathedral, and super-abundantly decorated with marble effigies, all yellow and ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... a very careless and desultory attendant, sometimes upon the Catholic chapel, sometimes upon the Protestant church, now became a very regular frequenter of the latter place of worship; the object of his worship being not the Creator, but the creature, whom, if he missed from her accustomed seat, the singing, and praying, and ...
— The Missing Bride • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... errands, stained with the smoke of cabins, and the night rains and rust of weapons, and the mountain mist, and the droppings of the wild woods of Clare. He united in one mighty and resistless mass the broken and discordant factions, whose desultory struggles against tyranny had hitherto only added strength to its fetters, and infused into that mass his own lofty principles of action, until the solemn tones of expostulation and entreaty, bursting at once from the full heart of Ireland, were caught up by England and echoed back from Scotland, ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... cover of the woods in time. If the Tehuas were informed of his approach they would either prepare for his coming at the Puye—and the result of an open attack would be to say the least extremely doubtful,—or they would come out in force, and desultory fighting would ensue. In this those who were nearest water and supplies always had the advantage. His idea of striking a sudden blow appeared very much endangered by the presence of Tehuas in the forest. He thought ...
— The Delight Makers • Adolf Bandelier

... conscious for the first time in his life that the hours hung heavy on his hands. It was with a blank surprise that he realised that such a misfortune, which he had always thought vaguely could befall only the idlers and desultory of this world, should attack himself. Life is always laying these snares for us, putting in our way suddenly and unexpectedly some form of unpleasantness by which we may have seen others attacked, but from which ...
— The Arbiter - A Novel • Lady F. E. E. Bell

... Greek lamps and Etruscan urns. And she piled wedges of ambrosial plum-cake with yellow frosting on sprigged china, and set out wine in her great-grandfather's long-necked decanter, and, with what she considered a gracious tact, overlooked the flippancy of her guest's desultory conversation, and sincerely tried to discover the humorous quality in her conversation that forced a subdued chuckle now and then from ...
— A Philanthropist • Josephine Daskam

... public school children and students in all the higher institutions were profoundly interested. The press and the pulpit broke their silence and from all over the state came the echo. It was the firing of the signal guns. The response came desultory, as the rattle of musketry in a skirmish, then heavier from the bigger guns, as is the case in all reformatory work. The criticisms and comments were varied, often amusing, reflecting the agitation from ...
— The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation • Carry A. Nation

... really means nothing, that it never occurred to either of them to attach any especial significance to what unfortunately had proved to be an exceptional case. A great deal more was said upon the matter before it was dropped; but the remarks were mostly of a desultory character, and as they have no particular bearing upon the thread of this story it ...
— Turned Adrift • Harry Collingwood

... president rejoined the army, which was very much reduced by sickness. On the 27th, he defeated the vanguard of the Spaniards. Adopting a desultory system of warfare, he obliged them to recross the Apure, having lost half ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 366 - Vol. XIII, No. 366., Saturday, April 18, 1829 • Various

... amused Elsa. Their nods were abrupt, and they spoke in the most formal manner. She was under grave suspicion; in the first place, she was traveling alone, in the second place, she was an American. At table there was generally a desultory conversation, and many a barb of malice Elsa shot from her bow. Figuratively, the colonel walked about like a porcupine, bristling with arrows instead of quills. Elsa could have shouted at times, for the old war-dog was perfectly oblivious. There was, besides, the inevitable German tourist, who ...
— Parrot & Co. • Harold MacGrath

... down into Packard's Grab from the foot-hills the men working for Ranch Number Ten, having eaten their supper, were celebrating the end of a hard day's work with tobacco smoke and desultory talk. ...
— Man to Man • Jackson Gregory

... description of a precipice, and later, when we had engaged in a desultory discussion on politics, I was delighted when Joseph spoke solemnly of the "Great Mights." He had formed opinions of Lord Beaconsfield and Gladstone, but had not yet had time to do so of Mr. Chamberlain, for, said he, "these things take a long time to ...
— The Princess Passes • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... it—if you're all as ignorant as that, you simply ain't worth arguing with," and stalk out. When general topics failed, the disturber would catechize the library-woman about Louisa M. Alcott, or the failure about his desultory inquiries into Christian Science, or Mrs. Gray about the pictures plastering the dining-room—a dozen spiritual revelations of apples and oranges, which she had ...
— The Job - An American Novel • Sinclair Lewis

... room, and an opening directly above cut through the roof. At each of these stations one exile at a time took charge of the fire, whilst the other three of the party in charge scoured the neighborhood for persons that might in the first desultory search have been overlooked. Then, when all seemed provided for, the exiles, protecting their bodies with such additional clothing as those now cared for could spare, went forth in search of food, to the deserted houses, and to such depots of supply ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... talked about thinning out the lower woods and Dick played up beautifully, taking it with the greatest attention and answering at length. Mother was to be shunted imperceptibly from cafard. And when they had finished and returned again to the library fire, Nan, after perhaps half an hour of desultory talk, yawned rudely and asked if she might go to her bed. Raven suspected her. He noted how she half closed the library door behind her; so he took the chair she had lately left, commanding the crack ...
— Old Crow • Alice Brown

... of law and order in the lava beds of California extinguished the final fires of enlightened patriotism and quenched in blood the monarchical revival. Thenceforth armed opposition to anarchy was confined to desultory and insignificant warfare waged by small gangs of mercenaries in the service of wealthy individuals and equally feeble bands of prescripts fighting for their lives. In that year, too, "the Three Presidents" were driven from their ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce • Ambrose Bierce

... Jemima announced a name which might or might not bear some relation to the visitor's. The lady entered. Her name might perhaps be Mrs. Baker. Maude had no means of knowing who Mrs. Baker might be. The visitor seldom descended to an explanation. Ten minutes of desultory and forced conversation about pinewoods and golf and cremation. A cup of tea and a departure. Then Maude would rush to the card-tray to try to find out whom it was that she had been talking to, and ...
— A Duet • A. Conan Doyle

... to submit them to the public attention. In so doing, he has preferred giving them in their original state, with all their defects, to moulding them into a connected narrative; his object being not to "make a book," but to offer his desultory remarks as they arose; to present the faint outline he sketched upon the spot, rather than attempt to work them into ...
— Journal of a Visit to Constantinople and Some of the Greek Islands in the Spring and Summer of 1833 • John Auldjo

... now came from the front. There were shoutings and confusion, hoof-beats and desultory cheers. Away to the rear, in the sleeping camp, were a singing of bugles and grumble of drums. Pushing through the thickets on either side the roads came the Federal pickets, in full retreat, firing backward at random as they ran. A straggling group that had followed ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... primarily naval, and would be won by the nation that secured control of the sea. The paper strength of the two navies left little to choose, and led even competent critics like Admiral Colomb in England to prophesy a stalemate—a "desultory war." Against five new American battleships, the Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oregon and Texas, the first four of 10,000 tons, and the armored cruisers Brooklyn and New York of 9000 and 8000 tans, Spain could oppose the battleship ...
— A History of Sea Power • William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott

... of a teak-wood chair, Anthony let his eyes ramble luxuriously over the prospect. In a chaise longue by his side Valerie was engaged in the desultory composition of a letter to her uncle in Rome. Stretched blinking upon the warm flags, Patch watched the two vigilantly for any sign ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... unserviceable and expensive force. The measure was, doubtless desirable, but the docility of the troops had been overrated. Some of them resisted vehemently, and many became the nucleus of an insurrection which lasted in a desultory manner for nearly two years; cost the lives of 21,000 insurgents and 1300 Japanese, and entailed upon Japan an outlay of nearly a million sterling. Altogether, what with building 642 miles of railway, making ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... manner he passed some time, struggling incessantly against the authority of his father, privately abetted by his mother, and constantly aided and admired by his sisters: till, sick of so desultory a way of life, he entered himself a ...
— Cecilia Volume 1 • Frances Burney

... science: he who can talk only on one subject, or act only in one department, is seldom wanted, and, perhaps, never wished for; while the man of general knowledge can often benefit, and always please." This advice Johnson seems to have pursued with a good inclination. His reading was always desultory, seldom resting on any particular author, but rambling from one book to another, and, by hasty snatches, hoarding up a variety of knowledge. It may be proper, in this place, to mention another general rule laid down by Ford for Johnson's future conduct: "You will make your way ...
— Dr. Johnson's Works: Life, Poems, and Tales, Volume 1 - The Works Of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D., In Nine Volumes • Samuel Johnson

... terrible man. His head was stuffed full of all sorts of Utopian ideas, of impracticable theories, and notions absolutely without method. His studies had been too desultory to amount to anything. He had mastered a few Latin phrases, and covered his real ignorance by a smattering of the science of medicine as practised among the Indians and the Chinese. He even had a strong leaning toward the magic arts, and when a human life was intrusted to ...
— Jack - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... order of the table was now broken up. The men pulled their chairs into informal groups, and sat together puffing at cigarettes, sipping tea, and talking, in a desultory fashion, while the underlying tension increased, and more than one man wondered a little at the weakness of his knees and the slight unsteadiness of the hand upholding glass or match. Vladimir de Windt, Ivan's acknowledged ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... mark the star of eve Serenely brilliant, like thy polish'd Sense, Shine opposite! What snatches of perfume The noiseless gale from yonder bean-field wafts! 10 The stilly murmur of the far-off Sea Tells us of Silence! and behold, my love! In the half-closed window we will place the Harp, Which by the desultory Breeze caress'd, Like some coy maid half willing to be woo'd, 15 Utters such sweet upbraidings as, perforce, Tempt to ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... always so ready to appreciate what others do, and especially to overestimate my desultory efforts, that I cannot be surprised at your very kind and flattering remarks on my papers. I am glad, however, that you have made a few critical observations, and am only sorry you were not well enough to make more, as that enables me to say a ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Marchant

... for his health, but he put it aside with something about feeling very well now, and he looked so healthy, only perhaps a little more hearty and burly, that she did not think any more of the matter, and only talked in happy desultory scraps, now dwelling on her little Owen's charms, now joyfully recognizing familiar objects, or commenting upon the slight changes that had taken place. One thing, however, she observed; Humfrey did not stop the horse at the foot of the steep hill where walking had been ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... secure the picket, the regiments went forward, just as a desultory firing from the front showed that the alarm had been given by Sullivan's attack. Pushing on, a sight of the enemy was gained,—a confused mass of men some three hundred yards away, but in front of them two guns were ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... came out and testified to the remarkable ability and zeal he had found in his pupil, and likewise to the spirit of industry which had prevented the desultory life of travelling and ill-health from having made him nearly so much behindhand as might have been expected. If he only had health to work steadily for the next two years, he would be quite as well prepared to ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Desultory fighting between Bulgar bands and Turkish troops had been going on in Macedonia throughout the year and many Bulgar peasants had fled from Macedonia into Bulgaria where fresh bands were prepared. A bad fight had taken place near Uskub, the Slav peasants of which were then recognized as Bulgars. But ...
— Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle • Durham M. Edith

... no reply, the marquis began a desultory tramp up and down the smoking-room. He was very pale, his brows were knit; he looked like a man who was meditating a decisive step, and who was calculating the consequences. But having no time to waste in hesitation, he soon paused ...
— Baron Trigault's Vengeance - Volume 2 (of 2) • Emile Gaboriau

... fortifications, leaving the frontiers of one state open to another, would facilitate inroads. The populous States would, with little difficulty, overrun their less populous neighbors. Conquests would be as easy to be made as difficult to be retained. War, therefore, would be desultory and predatory. PLUNDER and devastation ever march in the train of irregulars. The calamities of individuals would make the principal figure in the events which would characterize our military exploits. This picture is not too highly wrought; ...
— The Federalist Papers

... dining-room door, and found the bagatelle-board on the table. Fritz and Minna were playing a game of the desultory sort—with the inevitable ...
— Jezebel • Wilkie Collins

... Virginia; but Burnside, who had succeeded McClellan, was preparing another great army, which was to march to Richmond and crush out the rebellion. Lee was standing on the defensive. Along the whole line of the frontier, from New Orleans to Tennessee, desultory fighting was going on, and in these conflicts the Confederates had generally the worse of things, having there no generals such as Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet, who had made the ...
— With Lee in Virginia - A Story of the American Civil War • G. A. Henty

... first measures, upon his landing, are not very accurately recorded by historians, nor do the accounts impress us with an opinion that they had arisen out of any digested plan of operation. But a comparison of the desultory information which is furnished relative to them, with what may fairly be supposed to be most advisable on his part, will, perhaps, show that they were the result of good calculation. The following is offered as the outline of the scheme. To secure to Henry a chance of success, it was ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... away upon the good- humored but immovable indifference of their pupil; and though there exist among Mr. Sheridan's papers some curious proofs of an industry in study for which few have ever given him credit, they are probably but the desultory efforts of a later period of his life, to recover the loss of that first precious time, whose susceptibility of instruction, as well as of pleasure, never ...
— Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan V1 • Thomas Moore

... but at the same time, firm, enduring, and fall of energy, she combined the characteristic qualities of both her parents, and added to them an originality all her own. Her education, in the common acceptation of the term, had necessarily been both desultory and imperfect; and yet, under its influence, the mind and character of Edith had strengthened and matured in no common degree. The very circumstances by which she was surrounded had educated her; and sorrow—deep, abiding sorrow, for ...
— The Pilgrims of New England - A Tale Of The Early American Settlers • Mrs. J. B. Webb

... the papal Power will in a very short space be considerably lessen'd if not in a great measure disregarded in that Kingdom, by the intestine Jarrs and Discords of their Parties for Religion, and the Desultory Judgments ...
— A Vindication of the Press • Daniel Defoe

... leader of the first Franks who reach irrevocably beyond the Rhine, fights his way through desultory Roman cohorts as far as Amiens, ...
— Our Fathers Have Told Us - Part I. The Bible of Amiens • John Ruskin

... employed in the preservation of his own history, that clearness of narration and elegance of language in which he has embalmed so many eminent persons, the world would probably have had the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited. But although he at different times, in a desultory manner, committed to writing many particulars of the progress of his mind and fortunes, he never had persevering diligence enough to form them into a regular composition[86]. Of these memorials a few have been preserved; but the greater part was consigned ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... illustrators of the notable "Music Master," come into our list of children's artists. At this point the attempt to weave a chronicle of children's books somewhat in the date of their publication must give way to a desultory notice of the most prominent illustrators. For we have come to the beginning of to-day rather than the end of yesterday, and can regard the "sixties" onwards as part of ...
— Children's Books and Their Illustrators • Gleeson White

... desultory firing continued. The occasional shots that rang out showed, however, that the Americans were ...
— Dave Darrin at Vera Cruz • H. Irving Hancock

... not at once reduced to a state of tranquility. A number of French soldiers, who had deserted previous to the surrender of the island, took refuge in the woods, whence they carried on a desultory and ferocious war against the British posts. The 1st West India Regiment, being composed of men better able to support the hardships of a guerilla war, carried on in a country naturally difficult, during the ...
— The History of the First West India Regiment • A. B. Ellis

... worthy of the name, and a stimulating vindication of the success of woman's revolt from her own weakness and subserviency. When at the conclusion of their game they sat down on a bank overlooking the last hole and connected conversation took the place of desultory dialogue between shots, he was struck by her common sense, her enthusiasm, and her friendliness. He gathered that she was eager to support herself by some form of intellectual occupation, preferably teaching or writing, and that she had come to Rock Ledge with Mrs. ...
— The Law-Breakers and Other Stories • Robert Grant



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