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Mediocre   Listen
adjective
mediocre  adj.  Of a middle quality; of but a moderate or low degree of excellence; indifferent; ordinary. " A very mediocre poet."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Mediocre" Quotes from Famous Books



... substance he chose in the crucible, heat it, throw in a grain or two of some mysterious powder, pronounce a few equally mysterious phrases to impress his audience, and, behold, a lump of precious metal would be found in the bottom of his pot. This was the favorite method of mediocre performers, but was, of course, ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... But facts are facts, Watson, and, after all, you are only a general practitioner with very limited experience and mediocre qualifications. It is painful to have to say these things, but you ...
— The Adventure of the Dying Detective • Arthur Conan Doyle

... young man, dressed in the extreme of the English fashion. He was probably excessively thin, to judge by his face and neck and hands, but he was made up admirably. He removed his hat and showed a forehead of mediocre proportions, over which his dark hair was conscientiously parted in the middle. Though not in appearance robust, he wore a moustache that would not have disgraced a Cossack, his eyes were small, gray, and near together, and his complexion was ...
— Doctor Claudius, A True Story • F. Marion Crawford

... country obtained the feeble and irresolute Directory, composed for the moment of the voluptuous Barres, the intriguing Sieyes, the brave Moulins, the insignificant Roger Ducos, and the honest but somewhat too ingenuous Gohier. The result was a mediocre dignity before the world at large and a very questionable tranquillity ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas, pere

... noble, others mediocre, others again may be sensual and degrading, but they have one quality in common—for good or bad, they ...
— Seen and Unseen • E. Katharine Bates

... teach boys to write Latin prose, because it is a tough subject, and it initiates them into the process of disentangling the real sense of the English copy. But I would abolish all Latin verse composition, and all Greek composition of every kind for mediocre boys. Not only would they learn the languages much faster, but there would be a great deal of time saved as well. Then I would abolish the absurd little lessons, with the parsing, and I would at all hazards push on till they could ...
— The Upton Letters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... manipulate (with accompanying lecture) a marvellous bivouac-tin containing a compound called beef a la mode, which came provided with its own spirits of wine and wick, both of which proved ineffectual to raise the temperature of the beef above a mediocre tepidity. Parker, having heard that the remains of this toothsome dish were intended for his breakfast, wisely hid it with such care that the dog stole it and consumed it, with results which ...
— Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories • Henry Seton Merriman

... phases of it: To be a mediocre Englishman with no special talent; to die in horrible despair; and to leave behind a glorious legend. And for all these three things to contradict one another in the same life is unequaled in the ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... hawked about the streets by the boy. "The Light-House Tragedy" at least sold prodigiously, and the boy's vanity was correspondingly flattered; but the father stepped in and discouraged such work, warning Benjamin that "verse-makers were generally beggars." So, perhaps, we were spared a mediocre poet and given a first-rate prose writer, for the stuff of poetry was ...
— Benjamin Franklin • Paul Elmer More

... of the mind bringing itself to the things, how little in the novelty of the things! The demand for strangeness in the things themselves is the demand of the sophisticated mind: the mind which has lost its simplicity in the process of continuing unenlightened. It is this demand which betrays the mediocre mind of the Anglo-Saxon race, the sophistication of the English mind, and the obfuscation (which is sophistication at second-hand) of the American mind. The non-imaginative person is nowhere so much at home as in a voluntary ...
— Imaginary Interviews • W. D. Howells

... before the time of his leaving us to return to Oxford for the autumn term, he walked into the drawing-room where I was sitting, and proposed that we should play some music together. To this I readily agreed. Though but a mediocre performer, I have always taken much pleasure in the use of the pianoforte, and esteemed it an honour whenever he asked me to play with him, since my powers as a musician were so very much inferior to his. After we had ...
— The Lost Stradivarius • John Meade Falkner

... nowhere before nor since has pure legality been made such a fetish. It was a game played by lawyers, not an attempt to get justice done. Since, in all criminal cases at least, the prosecution was carried on by one man and his associates, poorly paid and hence of mediocre ability, and the defence conducted by the keenest brains in the profession, it followed that convictions were rare. Homicide in various forms was little frowned upon. Duels were of frequent occurrence, and, in several instances, regular excursions, with ...
— The Gray Dawn • Stewart Edward White

... assessment: the domestic system is mediocre, but improving; service is adequate for government and business use, in part because major businesses have established their own private systems; since 1988, the government has promoted investment in the national telecommunications ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... was simply the final decomposition of impoverished, tainted, bourgeois blood, the sudden disappearance of a poor, mediocre being who, despite a facade of seeming health, had been ailing since childhood. But what an overwhelming blow it was both for the mother and for the father, all whose dreams and calculations it swept away! The only ...
— Fruitfulness - Fecondite • Emile Zola

... of this timid hope. He was now in his element, knew all about it, rushed into details, and sawed away all doubt from their minds. The sum was this. Dodd's general performance was mediocre, but passable; he was plucked for his Logic. Hardie said he was very sorry for it. "What does it matter?" answered Kennet; "he ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... voices up, and out of their legitimate tessitura, has become a very grave evil, the consequences of which, in many instances, have been most disastrous. Tolerable baritones have been transformed into very mediocre tenors, capable mezzo-soprani into very indifferent dramatic soprani, and so on. That this process may have answered in a few isolated cases, where the vocal organs were of such exceptional strength and resistance as to bear the strain, is by no means a guarantee ...
— Style in Singing • W. E. Haslam

... interests of the multitude and admired no one man, being excessively devoted to the common weal; suspicious of sovereignty, he hated everything that had grown above its fellows, but loved everything mediocre through pity for its weakness. He showed himself a passionate adherent of the populace as did no one else, and indulged in outspokenness beyond the limits of propriety, even when it involved danger. All this he did not with a view to power or glory ...
— Dio's Rome • Cassius Dio

... independence and solitude. Thus you will come in contact with larger conceptions, fuller ideas, deeper sympathies, higher aspirations than is possible where you follow the ordinary routine of the ordinary, mediocre, self-contented man. Thank God for the spark of discontent, of ambition, of aspiration, of desire to see beyond, to know more, to climb higher, to solve the ...
— The Lake of the Sky • George Wharton James

... most shew the spirit and life of the person." From this point of view the historian of literature learns to value what to the critic would seem unmeaning and tedious, and he is loath to miss the works even of mediocre poets, where they throw light on the times in which they lived, and serve to connect the otherwise disjointed productions of men of the highest genius, separated, as these necessarily are, by long intervals in ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... very few sonnets—Browning fewer than Tennyson—and neither ever wrote a great one. Longfellow, so inferior in most respects to his two great English contemporaries, was an incomparably superior sonnetteer. Tennyson's sonnets are all mediocre: Browning did not publish a single sonnet in the final complete edition of his works. He did however print a very few on special occasions, and when he was twenty-two years old, between the composition of Pauline and Paracelsus, there ...
— Robert Browning: How To Know Him • William Lyon Phelps

... actor. Undoubtedly the editor even in these respects retained what was successful in the originals rather than furnished contributions of his own. Those portions of the pieces which can with certainty be traced to the translator are, to say the least, mediocre; but they enable us to understand why Plautus became and remained the true popular poet of Rome and the true centre of the Roman stage, and why even after the passing away of the Roman world the theatre has repeatedly reverted ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... off youth's "proud livery" for the sombre garment of age. The years have turned the rebel of yesterday into the Royal Academician of to-day. The inspired young prophet who protested week by week against mediocrity in paint, settled down to keeping the mediocre paintings against which his protests were loudest. He who thundered against the degeneracy of journalism accepted the patronage of the titled promoter of the half-penny press. Architects carried their respectability to ...
— Nights - Rome, Venice, in the Aesthetic Eighties; London, Paris, in the Fighting Nineties • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... your smoker Boast your "shag," or even "twist," Every man were mediocre Save the blest tobacconist! He will point immortal morals, Make all common praises mute, Who shall win our grateful laurels With a ...
— Pipe and Pouch - The Smoker's Own Book of Poetry • Various

... Giottesque treadmill, painting was released by the intervention of another art. The painters were hopelessly mediocre; their art was snatched from them by the sculptors. Orcagna himself, perhaps the only Giottesque who gave painting an onward push, had modelled and cast one of the bronze gates of the Florence baptistery; the generation ...
— The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879 • Various

... continued while they voted in vain to elect a Speaker. The new party was determined to have John Sherman. The opposition was divided but finally chose Mr. Pennington, a moderate of mediocre ability. ...
— The Man in Gray • Thomas Dixon

... wishes that individuals in the exercise of special aptitudes should gain in depth what they are permitted to lose in extension. We are aware, no doubt, that a powerful genius does not shut up its activity within the limits of its functions; but mediocre talents consume in the craft fallen to their lot the whole of their feeble energy; and if some of their energy is reserved for matters of preference, without prejudice to its functions, such a state of things at once bespeaks a spirit soaring ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... They lived habitually in an atmosphere of peril which taxed all their energies. Their activity was extreme, and their passions corresponded to their vehement vitality. About such men there could be nothing on a small or mediocre scale. When a weakling was born in a despotic family, his brothers murdered him, or he was deposed by a watchful rival. Thus only gladiators of tried capacity and iron nerve, superior to religious ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) • John Addington Symonds

... these critical gentlemen of the Army were less satisfied than ever. There had been three "first appearances," of poor quality, and they accused the management of having filled the hall with civilians in order to secure a good reception for these mediocre performers. Hussars and cuirassiers joined forces ...
— A Nest of Spies • Pierre Souvestre

... the sound of his name pronounced. The fond mother, in the course of discreet conversation, had proceeded from the state of the weather to the state of her boy's soul, taking, with the ease of the mediocre, the one step between the sublime and the ridiculous. She had told the master the state of the weather—which, for once, was sublime; she wanted him, in return, to tell her the state of her ...
— The Folly Of Eustace - 1896 • Robert S. Hichens

... first sight one should think his ritual was. All you hear, and that pronounced with nonchalance, is, that Monsieur un tel has had Madame un telle. The Duc de Nivernois has parts, and writes at the top of the mediocre, but, as Madame Geoffrin says, is manqu'e par tout; guerrier manqu'e, ambassadeur manqu'e, homme d'affaires manqu'e and auteur manqu'e—no, he is not homme de naissance manqu'e. He would think freely, but has some ambition of being ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... Hundred Days and after Waterloo, remained in his dungeon, forgotten of earth and heaven. Danglars comprehended the full extent of the wretched fate that overwhelmed Dantes; and, when Napoleon returned to France, he, after the manner of mediocre minds, termed the coincidence, "a decree of Providence." But when Napoleon returned to Paris, Danglars' heart failed him, and he lived in constant fear of Dantes' return on a mission of vengeance. He therefore informed ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Almanack seems to me very successful. But the historical Calendar might gain in interest by omissions and additions. Mediocre local celebrities such as "H.S. in E., T.D. in B., L.A. in L.," etc., etc., do not need to figure as historical. As little do a couple of first performances that were given in Weimar under my conductorship. See to it, dear friend, that more important data are collected in good time, ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 2: "From Rome to the End" • Franz Liszt; letters collected by La Mara and translated

... right to judge a Gainsborough by his landscapes any more than it would be to judge a modern landscape painter by his portraits. But no matter how uninteresting these old landscapes are, their brown tonality insures them a certain dignity of inoffensiveness which a mediocre modern work of art never possesses, I would rather any time have a bad old picture than a bad one of the very recent schools. Modesty is not one of the chief attributes of modern art, and the silent protest of a gallery such as the ...
— The Galleries of the Exposition • Eugen Neuhaus

... you just such a conventionalized history as you—yourself a man of conventionality and a vulgarian—will digest easiest of all. Because by itself life is either exceedingly humdrum and tedious to you, or else as exceedingly improbable as only life can be improbable. And so you have the eternal mediocre history about an officer, about a shop clerk, about a baby and a superannuated father, who there, in the provinces, bewails his strayed daughter and implores her to return home. But mark you, Lichonin, all that I'm saying doesn't apply to you; in you, upon my word ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... western Mediterranean and at the seaward base of the Ligurian Apennines, just where this range opens two passes of only 1,800 feet elevation to the upper Po Valley, made an active maritime town of Genoa from Strabo's day to the present. In its incipiency it relied upon one mediocre harbor on an otherwise harborless coast, a local supply of timber for its ships, and a road northward across the mountains.[523] The maritime ascendency in the Middle Ages of Genoa, Pisa, Venice, and Barcelona proves that no ...
— Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography • Ellen Churchill Semple

... accepted. The Rothschilds' box is one of the largest in the opera-house. The Princess Metternich created a sensation when we entered—she always does—but Herr Wagner passed unnoticed. He sat behind and pretended to go to sleep. He thought everything most mediocre. The opera was "Faust," which I thought was beautifully put on the stage, with Madame Miolan Carvalho as Marguerite and Faure as Mephistopheles. They both sang and acted to perfection; but Wagner pooh-poohed at them and everything ...
— In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. • L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone

... appeared. He was very friendly to the abb and invited him to dinner. The priest was well versed in the art of being pleasant, thanks to the unconscious astuteness which the guiding of souls gives to the most mediocre of men who are called by the chance of events to exercise a power over their fellows. Toward dessert he became quite merry, with the gaiety that follows a pleasant meal, and as if struck by an idea he said: ...
— Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... plugged tightly. Many looked askance when Larry Gardner, supposedly a second baseman, was assigned to third, but the results more than justified the move, and it made room at second for Yerkes, a player who had proved only mediocre on the other side of the diamond. This switch and the return of Stahl, who is a grand mark to throw at on first base, gave the infield the same dash and confidence as the outfield possessed, and the addition of some pitching strength in Bedient and O'Brien did the rest. It is the ability to ...
— Spalding's Official Baseball Guide - 1913 • John B. Foster

... been expended on Alice's musical education, yet she could do no more than rattle through some mediocre composition, with neither ...
— An Ambitious Man • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... appeared as a stick, or, rather, a too pliant sapling—her inane "yes's" and lisping "no's" having an opportunity of being "weighed in the balance," and consequently, in my opinion, "found wanting." All were mediocre beside her. Perhaps I was prejudiced; but, now, the remarks of the other girls seemed ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... there in the lofty air, counting her breaths, counting the winkfuls of light, counting the final wrestles of her breaking heart, had been the belle of her section, and many good men had courted her hand. She had led a pleasant life, and children had been born to her—who shared her mediocre ambition and the invincibility of her will. If the charge of her guilt were proven, she was the Lady ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... she warned him as a gaunt girl went towards the piano; and sinking on to a convenient and sheltered couch, they resigned themselves to listen—or to endure. From that corner Rose had a view of the long room, mediocre in its decoration, mediocre in its occupants. She could see her host standing before the fire, swinging his eyeglasses on a cord and gazing at the cornice as the song proceeded. She could see Christabel's ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... not look at Maxine when he answered. He looked at Johnny and said, "I'll be frank, kiddo. You have the talent, but you don't have the salesmanship to promote it. Do you want a mediocre job while the weather boys exploit you for the rest of your life or—do you want greatness, ...
— Summer Snow Storm • Adam Chase

... course my bourgeois conscience which makes me see in all artistry, in all unusualness and all genius something deeply ambiguous, deeply dubious, deeply disreputable, and which fills me with this lovelorn weakness for the simple, candid, and agreeably normal, for the decent and mediocre. ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... wasted in these pursuits, attended by a mediocre progress in the ordinary course of study and what the French call lecons d'agrement, and we accomplishments, a critical moment came for Aurore. She was weary of frolic and mischief,—she had tormented the nuns to her heart's content. She knew not what new comedy to invent. ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 49, November, 1861 • Various

... he discharged the duties of the trying position of Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. The ablest lawyers of both political parties constituted this great committee, and its chairman, if possessing only mediocre talents or attainments, would have been ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... made his debut, as has been said, with le Pere prudent in 1706. This was followed a few years later by three mediocre novels. The first of these, written in 1712, though not published" until 1737, appeared under the several titles of Pharsamon, les Folies romanesques, and le Don Quichotte moderne, and was, as one of the titles discloses, an attack upon the romantic novel, as exemplified ...
— A Selection from the Comedies of Marivaux • Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux

... higher order of importance, or a strong point in another class. It may be more beneficial, for instance, to drill an ineffective turret crew than to try to reduce friction in a training gear already nearly frictionless; or it may be more beneficial to overcome the faults of a mediocre gun-pointer than to develop still more highly the skill already great of another gun-pointer; but, on the other hand, it may be less beneficial to drill boat crews at boat-sailing, even if they need it, than to drill them at landing as armed ...
— The Navy as a Fighting Machine • Bradley A. Fiske

... controversy which presently arose out of Cibber's well-known letter to Pope. In August 1742, the month following its publication, among the pamphlets to which it gave rise, was announced The Cudgel; or, a Crab-tree Lecture, To the Author of the Dunciad. "By Hercules Vinegar, Esq." This very mediocre satire in verse is still to be found at the British Museum; but even if it were not included in Fielding's general disclaimer as to unsigned work, it would be difficult to connect it with him. To give but one reason, it would make him the ally and ...
— Fielding - (English Men of Letters Series) • Austin Dobson

... art in the one and the facades of the other she fired off a rocket-like shower of original remarks, paradoxes, and brilliant criticism. She knew exactly where to scoff and where to be enthusiastic, jeered with all the ruthless slang of the Paris gamins at the pompously mediocre sights recommended to the tourists' admiration by Baedeker, and gave evidence of deep and true comprehension of all that ...
— The Malady of the Century • Max Nordau

... elected a member of the Commune by the 6th arrondissement of Paris, and forthwith appointed Director of the Beaux Arts. Until this time his life had been purely professional, and consequently of mediocre interest for the general public. He was born at Ornans, department of the Doubs, in 1819, and received his primary instructions from the Abbe Gousset, afterwards Archbishop of Rheims. He first applied ...
— Paris under the Commune • John Leighton

... speaking in their name, on the spur of the moment, through the newspapers. I do not assert that anything better is compatible, as a general rule, with the present low state of the human mind. But that does not hinder the government of mediocrity from being mediocre government. No government by a democracy or a numerous aristocracy, either in its political acts, or in the opinions, qualities, and tone of mind which it fosters, ever did or could rise above mediocrity, except in so far as the sovereign many may ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol III, Issue VI, June, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... rate, more regardful of us than they are here, duke. The greater the world the uglier the farce; no obscenities and fooleries of the buffoon are more disgusting than the characters of the great, mediocre and insignificant, all mingled together. I prayed this morning for courage to hold out to the end, and to hasten the consummation. I am grateful for the benefit of the journey—but I pray the gods not to conduct themselves toward us as their image-man, for I should swear ...
— Old Fritz and the New Era • Louise Muhlbach

... supernatural, the legends of wandering spirits, of fairies, of gnomes, of ghosts, I might even say the conception of God, for our ideas of the Workman-Creator, from whatever religion they may have come down to us, are certainly the most mediocre, the stupidest, and the most unacceptable inventions that ever sprang from the frightened brain of any human creature. Nothing is truer than what Voltaire says: 'If God made man in His own image, man has certainly paid Him ...
— Selected Writings of Guy de Maupassant • Guy de Maupassant

... in words for the less he gave them in affection. Besides this, he was resolved not to be disturbed in his own vanities, and for this he knew there was one only way, which was to foster the vanities of everybody else. Never did eulogium take such varied forms to laud and exalt the most mediocre things. Nowhere were so many geniuses whom the public never guessed at raised to the rank of divinities as in the salons ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various

... Curzon. Lovelace Curzon, as he had learnt later, was Reuben Fleckring, Rachel's father. Or, more accurately, Lovelace Curzon was Reuben Fleckring, junior, Rachel's brother, a young man in a million. Reuben, senior, had been for many years an entirely mediocre and ambitionless clerk in a large works where Julian Maldon had learnt potting, when Reuben, junior (whom he blindly adored), had dragged him out of clerkship, and set him up as the nominal registered head of a money-lending firm. An amazing occurrence! At ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... the trade-mark of superior minds. Mediocre natures take no interest in it and, as we have seen, the timid are incapable of it, except in so far as ...
— Poise: How to Attain It • D. Starke

... most emphatically," the young man continued "All our plan of life in England, you see, is founded on the assumption that only people of mediocre and diluted passion will hold the stage. We allow our girls to go about freely with young ...
— Too Old for Dolls - A Novel • Anthony Mario Ludovici

... the highest military authorities were adequate enough till they were confronted with General Bonaparte and the new order of things. If a great man struggling with the storms of fate be the sublimest spectacle, a mediocre man in the same position is surely the most pitiful. Deserted by his presence of mind, which, indeed, had never been anything but an absence of danger,—baffled by the inapplicability of his habitual principles of conduct, (if that may ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 39, January, 1861 • Various

... figure at the barristers' table was Samuel Peters Jarvis, his hands yet red with the blood of young John Ridout, ruthlessly shed by him in a duel two years before, and never to be effaced from the tablets of his memory. There, too, sat Henry John Boulton, a young man of much pretension but mediocre intellect, who had been appointed acting Solicitor-General during the previous year, and who united in his own person all the bigotry and narrow selfishness of the faction to which he belonged. He, also, had ...
— The Story of the Upper Canada Rebellion, Volume 1 • John Charles Dent

... had too much vulgar and sordid common sense; besides, did she not seem to prefer Jean? Without confessing it to himself too bluntly, this preference had a great deal to do with his low opinion of the widow's intellect; for, though he loved his brother, he could not help thinking him somewhat mediocre and believing himself the superior. However, he was not going to sit there till nightfall; and as he had done on the previous evening, he anxiously asked himself: "What ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume VIII. • Guy de Maupassant

... foremost French critic of the nineteenth century, and, in the view of many, the greatest literary critic of the world, was born at Boulogne-sur-Mer, December 23, 1804. He studied medicine, but soon abandoned it for literature; and before he gave himself up to criticism he made some mediocre attempts in poetry and fiction. He became professor at the College de France and the Ecole Normale and was appointed Senator in 1865. A course of lectures given at Lausanne in 1837 resulted in his great "Histoire de Port-Royal" and another given at Liege in ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... a mediocre thing he is unnoticed; if his work is a masterpiece, jealousy wags its tongue ...
— Evening Round Up - More Good Stuff Like Pep • William Crosbie Hunter

... that I had so soon found a job. Mika and Nannette, brunette Canadians, with voices sweet and carrying, talked in good English and mediocre French. ...
— The Woman Who Toils - Being the Experiences of Two Gentlewomen as Factory Girls • Mrs. John Van Vorst and Marie Van Vorst

... often most strongly exhibited by the uncultivated—that is, the unspoiled—public, and often is worth more than any cultivation. The cultivated public should be willing to accept only the best; it should ruthlessly condemn the bad and the mediocre. ...
— How to Sing - [Meine Gesangskunst] • Lilli Lehmann

... Germans deigned to be pleased with them; for all these works appeared indeed at a happy and favorable time. They were all written in the spirit which we have developed above. Frequently the fortunate poet undertook the artistic task of giving a high value to very mediocre materials by revising them; and though it cannot be denied that he sometimes permits reason to triumph over the higher powers, and at other times allows sensuality to prevail over the moral qualities, yet we must also grant that, ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... loosely, for a few days. He was one of those men whom it is a life-long pleasure to remember. I can record his existence the more easily that there is not the slightest chance of his ever reading these lines. He was a fat, large man of forty-five, obviously in business, and probably of a mediocre success. His eyes were light-coloured, very small, always watery, and perpetually roving. The lower part of his face was clean-shaven and very broad; his mouth wide, with thin, moist, colourless lips; his nose fat and Hebraic. He was rather bald. He had respect for Montreal, because, though closed ...
— Letters from America • Rupert Brooke

... rigidity to allow measurements to be made. It must be allowed that, unfortunately, no physicist or chemist has been as lucky as these two botanists; and the attempts to reproduce semi-permeable walls completely answering to the definition, have never given but mediocre results. If, however, the experimental difficulty has not been overcome in an entirely satisfactory manner, it at least appears very probable that such walls ...
— The New Physics and Its Evolution • Lucien Poincare

... feuilleton some day," Lousteau answered coolly. "In short, my dear fellow, in literature you will not make money by hard work, that is not the secret of success; the point is to exploit the work of somebody else. A newspaper proprietor is a contractor, we are the bricklayers. The more mediocre the man, the better his chance of getting on among mediocrities; he can play the toad-eater, put up with any treatment, and flatter all the little base passions of the sultans of literature. There is Hector ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... must call forth anew, and for finer uses, the pioneer's love of creative individualism and provide for it a spiritual atmosphere friendly to the development of personality in all uplifting ways. It must check the tendency to act in mediocre social masses with undue emphasis upon the ideals of prosperity and politics. In short, it must summon ability of all kinds to joyous and earnest effort for the welfare and the spiritual enrichment of society. It must awaken new tastes and ...
— The Frontier in American History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... only a few lyric actors more versatile and gifted than he, or who have achieved their rank in the teeth of so many difficulties and disadvantages. His voice was limited in compass, inferior in quality, and habitually out of tune, his power of musical execution mediocre, his physical appearance entirely without grace, picturesqueness, or dignity. Yet Ronconi, by sheer force of a versatile dramatic genius, delighted audiences in characters which had been made familiar to the public through the splendid personalities of Tamburini and Lablache, personalities ...
— Great Singers, Second Series - Malibran To Titiens • George T. Ferris

... the drawing room needs all that to be filled. Being the source of all preferment and of every favor, it is natural that it should overflow[2129]. It is the same in our leveling society (in 1875), where the drawing room of an insignificant deputy, a mediocre journalist, or a fashionable woman, is full of courtiers under the name of friends and visitors. Moreover, here, to be present is an obligation; it might be called a continuation of ancient feudal homage; the staff of nobles is maintained as the retinue of its ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... golden mediocre: a stronger proof, by the hyperbolic praise it receives, of the decline of the drama than even the abundance of trash from which it gleams. Anything at all decent from a new dramatic author will obtain success far more easily ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 578 - Vol. XX, No. 578. Saturday, December 1, 1832 • Various

... his tragedy of Menalippus, uses an admirable expression to designate women of the proper degree of matrimonial comeliness, such as a philosopher would select. He calls this degree stata forma—a rational, mediocre sort of beauty, which is not liable to be either koine or poine. And Favorinus, who was a remarkably sensible man, and came from Provence—the male inhabitants of which district have always valued themselves on their knowledge of ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1, April, 1851 • Various

... travesty of rusticity. All is reasoned out, full of purpose, and leading to an end. There is in every stroke what the litterateurs call ideas when they talk about painting. Thus Diderot has celebrated Greuze in the most lyric strain. Greuze, however, is not a mediocre artist: he invented a genre unknown before his time, and he possesses veritable qualities of a painter. He has colour, he has touch, and his heads, modelled by square plans and, so to speak, by facets, have ...
— Great Pictures, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Esther Singleton

... the fact would have amazed a public whom long experience had taught to put no more faith in the promises of impresarios than in those of princes. As a matter of fact, barring the extravagant attributes alleged to be due to the singers, the majority of whom were worse than mediocre, more than half were kept, and the deficiency more than counterbalanced by new elements which were introduced from time to time, as happy emergencies called for them. Chief of these was the engagement of Luisa Tetrazzini; of which more in its proper place. The official announcement was of ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... Pons. There were a "Chevalier de Malte en Priere," by Sebastian del Piombo; a "Holy Family," by Fra Bartolommeo; a "Landscape," by Hobbema; and a "Portrait of a Woman," by Albert Durer. Apparently they were in reality mediocre as works of art, but they were a source of the utmost pride and delight to their owner, who said enthusiastically of one of them—the Sebastian del Piombo—that "human art can go no further." When we know that in the ...
— Honore de Balzac, His Life and Writings • Mary F. Sandars

... in Tours known as the Leguay Institution. He had a taste for reading, indeed it was more than a taste, it was a sort of mental starvation which made him throw himself hungrily upon every book he encountered. Otherwise, Honore was frankly a mediocre and negligent. But concentrated in himself and deprived of the caresses which would have meant so much to him, he created a whole world out of his readings and sometimes gave glimpses of it to Laure by acting out before her dramas and comedies of his own manufacture ...
— Honor de Balzac • Albert Keim and Louis Lumet

... with the officers of the army. They have no confidence either in his character or in his ability; not that they think his character bad or deny his ability, but only that they regard him as a shallow, vacillating, and mediocre person who made himself valuable to the Republican politicians by going into alliances with them to which other officers of strong character and high ability would not stoop. As for the quarrel between Boulanger and these politicians, ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... double burden, a sestina, that is what it is like, a sestina or chant royal. The Mona Liza, being literature in intention rather than painting, has drawn round her many poets. We must forgive her many mediocre verses for the sake of one incomparable prose passage. She has passed out of that mysterious misuse of oil paint, that arid glazing of terre verte, and has come into her possession of eternal life, into the immortality of Pater's prose. Degas is wilting already; year after year ...
— Memoirs of My Dead Life • George Moore

... domestic system is mediocre, but adequate for government and business use, in part because major businesses have established their own private systems; since 1988, the government has promoted investment in the national telecommunications system on a priority basis; despite major improvements in trunk and urban systems, ...
— The 1998 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... consciousness that this is the condition of things, every mediocre writer tries to mask his own natural style. This instantly necessitates his giving up all idea of being naive, a privilege which belongs to superior minds sensible of their superiority, and therefore sure of themselves. For instance, it is absolutely impossible for men of ordinary intelligence ...
— Essays of Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... I played Gabrielle, by this same Augier, and I had incessant quarrels with him. I found the verses of this play execrable. Coquelin, who took the part of my husband, made a great success. As for me, I was as mediocre as the play itself, which is saying ...
— My Double Life - The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt • Sarah Bernhardt

... and following a lackey, crossed a large mosaic-paved hall, divided by columns of rare marbles into panels filled with mediocre frescoes on a very large scale. At the end of this hall was the Countess's room, which formed a striking contrast, being small, panelled with wood, and filled with devotional knick-knacks that gave it the look of ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... his most careful student, Viscount Spelboerch de Lovenjoul—whose name is veritably Balzac-ian—tells us some different stories; even Gustave Flaubert, the ascetic giant of Rouen, had a romance with Madame Louise Colet, a mediocre writer and imitator of Sand,—as was Countess d'Agoult, the Frankfort Jewess better known as "Daniel Stern,"—that lasted from 1846 to 1854, according to Emile Faguet. Here then was a medium which was the other side of good and evil, a new ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... highest power is simply the uniting of the outer agencies of expression with the Power that works from within. Are you a painter? Then in the degree that you open yourself to the power of the forces within will you become great instead of mediocre. You can never put into permanent form inspirations higher than those that come through your own soul. In order for the higher inspirations to come through it, you must open your soul, you must open ...
— In Tune with the Infinite - or, Fullness of Peace, Power, and Plenty • Ralph Waldo Trine

... occasionally make a brief stay in her schools, in the course of their progress to something better,—as Pilgrim rested for a while in the half-way recess hollowed in the side of the Hill Difficulty; but only very mediocre men, devoid of energy enough of body or mind to make good masons or carpenters, will stick fast in them. We have learned that, in one northern locality, no fewer than eight Free Church teachers have since Martinmas last either tendered their resignations, or are on the eve of doing so. ...
— Leading Articles on Various Subjects • Hugh Miller

... beyond doubt, there is grave degeneracy. It is impossible to suppose that the old travellers by coach were contented with entertainment such as one gets nowadays at the table of a country hotel. The cooking is wont to be wretched; the quality of the meat and vegetables worse than mediocre. What! Shall one ask in vain at an English inn for an honest chop or steak? Again and again has my appetite been frustrated with an offer of mere sinew and scrag. At a hotel where the charge for lunch was five shillings, I ...
— The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft • George Gissing

... grammatical rule that abstract nouns had no plural. Now all this development in the field of religion throws light upon the character of the Roman mind and its instinctive methods of thought, and we see why it is that the Romans were very great lawyers and very mediocre philosophers. Both law and philosophy require the ability for abstract thought; in both cases the essential qualities of a thing must be separated from the thing itself. But in the case of philosophic thought this abstraction, these qualities, do not immediately seek reincarnation. They ...
— The Religion of Numa - And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome • Jesse Benedict Carter

... the cheaper, coarser kind, and although some attempt was made at the close of the last century, when the industry was revived, to bring it to a higher artistic level of colour and glaze, it still, to my mind, continues mediocre, and has neither the highly finished beauty of such work as the Ruskin pottery, nor the genuinely simple lines or colouring of "peasant pottery," such as that from Quimperle in Brittany. The Barum ware has a sort of bourgeois mediocrity between these two different types, and there is room ...
— Lynton and Lynmouth - A Pageant of Cliff & Moorland • John Presland

... to bring the wages of skilled manual labor. Organized labor insists on making a class and then having that class receive the same wages, and it does nothing to encourage individual effort by consenting to the payment of higher wages to the man of experience, industry and skill than to the mediocre and lazy. It will in some way have to obviate that difficulty which works against the cause of labor and the interest of society. Moreover, its leaders do not discourage, as they should, lawlessness as a means of achieving ...
— Ethics in Service • William Howard Taft

... of great enterprises, to economies achieved, or to the operation of new and more efficient labour-saving appliances. Through either cause, a World State may find itself doing well except for an excess of citizens of mediocre and lower quality. ...
— A Modern Utopia • H. G. Wells

... acquitted himself gloriously of the obligations imposed by his flowery title. It happened to him, as to many a mediocre actor, that the day when the public granted him their full attention he became, one may almost say, superior. Feeling at his ease, he displayed the fine qualities which accompanied his defects. His wit had ...
— The Marriage Contract • Honore de Balzac

... know it is not the first song to bear that title, nor is it entirely original with Robert Burns. It is said that the second and third stanzas were written by him, but that the others were merely revised. In a letter to a friend, written in 1793, Burns says, "The air (of Auld Lang Syne) is but mediocre; but the following song, the old song of the olden time, which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript, until I took it down from an old man's singing, is enough to recommend any air." This refers to the song as we know it, but the ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6 • Charles H. Sylvester

... at all, except Shakespeare, whom am going through from beginning to end. That tones you up and puts new air into your lungs, just as if you were on a high mountain. Everything appears mediocre beside ...
— The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters • George Sand, Gustave Flaubert

... castra collocutus est.... Quem cum Scato salutasset, 'quem te appellem?' inquit: 'voluntate hospitem, necessitate hostem.' Erat in colloquio aequitas: {15} nullus timor, nulla suberat suspicio; mediocre etiam odium. Non enim, ut eriperent nobis socii civitatem, sed ut ...
— Helps to Latin Translation at Sight • Edmund Luce

... pure willpower more than 50 of Euclid's propositions. That makes 18 more than Blaise Pascal, who, after having figured out 32 while screwing around, according to his sister's reports, later became a fairly mediocre geometer[5] and a very bad metaphysician. Towards his 450th year, near the end of his infancy, he dissected many small insects no more than 100 feet in diameter, which would evade ordinary microscopes. He wrote a very curious book about this, ...
— Romans — Volume 3: Micromegas • Voltaire

... recognized and rewarded, they make their works therein; and striving to become very excellent in order to put to shame, in some sort, those by whom they have been outraged, they become very often great men, whereas, by staying quietly in their country, they would peradventure have had little more than a mediocre success in their arts. Antonio Viniziano, who betook himself to Florence in the wake of Agnolo Gaddi in order to learn painting, grasped the good method of working so well that he was not only esteemed and loved ...
— Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol 2, Berna to Michelozzo Michelozzi • Giorgio Vasari

... by sending to Denmark an envoy with a 48-hour ultimatum, and along with him 20 ships-of-the-line, which according to Nelson were "the best negotiators in Europe." The commander in chief of this squadron was Sir Hyde Parker, a hesitant and mediocre leader who could be trusted to do nothing (if that were necessary), and Nelson was made second in command. Influence, seniority, a clean record, and what-not, often lead to such choices, bad enough at any time but indefensible in time of war. Fortunately for England, when the reply of the Danish ...
— A History of Sea Power • William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott

... audience during the recitation of Alfieri's tragedies, if they are not sustained by some theatrical celebrity? You will certainly say, to the mediocrity of the actors. But I hold that the tragic effect can be produced even by mediocre actors, if this effect truly abounds in the plot of the tragedy.... I know that these opinions of mine will not be shared by the great majority of the Italian public, and so be it. The contrary will always be favorable to one who greatly loved his country, always desired to serve her, and succeeded ...
— Modern Italian Poets • W. D. Howells

... birth, more Potterism than they actually possessed. A certain amount, said Juke, is part of the make-up of very nearly every human being; it has to be fought down, like the notorious ape and tiger. But he thought that Gideon and Katherine Varick had less of it than any one else he knew; the mediocre was repellent to them; cant and sentiment made them sick; they made a fetish of hard truth, and so much despised most of their neighbours that they would not experience the temptation to grab at popularity. In fact, they would ...
— Potterism - A Tragi-Farcical Tract • Rose Macaulay

... illustrations of men of excellent mentality being cast aside and ones of mediocre or in some cases, little, if any, ability chosen to fill important places. The former are unable to impress their personality; they have great thoughts, great ideas, but these thoughts and ideas are locked up in ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... glamour about England yet which appeals strongly to the callow author: it lends that rosy haze of romance and unreality which is popularly associated with fiction; but it was long ago done to death by mediocre writers and laughed out of good literary society, and to-day America will not suffer ...
— Short Story Writing - A Practical Treatise on the Art of The Short Story • Charles Raymond Barrett

... The novel, mediocre, banal, merely sensational, and worthless for any purpose of intellectual stimulus or elevation of the ideal, is thus encouraged in this age as it never was before. The making of novels has become a process of manufacture. Usually, after the fashion of the silk-weavers of Lyons, they are ...
— Quotes and Images From The Works of Charles Dudley Warner • Charles Dudley Warner

... the faun took one day a livelier and more assured turn, the joyousness became more real, and the worst of the vicissitudes seemed suddenly over. A musical friend, gifted with mediocre but marketable abilities, supplied Tony with a song, for which he obtained a trial performance at an East End hall. Dressed as a jockey, for no particular reason except that the costume suited him, he sang, "They quaff the gay bubbly in Eccleston Square" to an appreciative audience, which included ...
— When William Came • Saki

... subjection to ridicule. A one-man exhibition of his work was the least testimony they could pay to one they had loved; and on preparation for this they spent many hours together. Jon came to have a curiously increased respect for his father. The quiet tenacity with which he had converted a mediocre talent into something really individual was disclosed by these researches. There was a great mass of work with a rare continuity of growth in depth and reach of vision. Nothing certainly went very deep, or reached very high—but such ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... married couple. matrona matron. maxima maxim. mayo May. mayor greater, larger, older. mayoral head-shepherd. mecer to stir, to agitate. medallon m. medallion. media noche midnight. mediano middling, mediocre. mediante by means of. mediar to be at the middle, to share, to drink to the middle of a glass. medida measure. medio half; m. middle, way, mean. mediodia m. midday, south. medir to measure. meditar to meditate. Mediterraneo ...
— Novelas Cortas • Pedro Antonio de Alarcon

... arrival of the French, Napoleon had sent a financier, M. Budin, to put order into the country's resources. M. Budin was a commonplace, middle-aged little man, of mediocre ability, whose personality was not calculated to impress one with an idea of intellectual force. I was told, by those who were in a position to judge of his ability as a specialist, that, although a first-class administrative officer, he was lacking in initiative, and was in no way qualified ...
— Maximilian in Mexico - A Woman's Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867 • Sara Yorke Stevenson

... say, Alixe—" the familiarity brought with it no condescending reverberations—"has bothered me more than once. I shall be just as frank on my side. No, your husband has but little talent; original talent, none. He is mediocre—wait!" She started, her cheeks red with the blood that fled her heart when she heard this doleful news. "Wait! There are qualifications. In the first place, what do you ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... has given Mark Twain a sort of professional veneer, but it could not give him fine instincts or nice discriminations or elevated tastes. His works are pure and suitable for children, just as the work of most shallow and mediocre fellows. House dogs and donkeys make the most harmless and chaste companions for young innocence in the world. Mark Twain's humor is of the kind that teamsters use in bantering with each other, and his ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... suspected, was not the woman to suffer greatly in her false position; she had very temperate blood, and a thoroughly English devotion to the proprieties; none the less he had done her wrong, for she belonged to a gentle family in mediocre circumstances, and his prospective "M.P.," his solid wealth, were sore temptations to put before such a girl. He had known—yes, he assuredly knew—that it was nothing but a socially sanctioned purchase. ...
— The Crown of Life • George Gissing

... monuments throw no light, and on which we must therefore be content to be ignorant. All that we can see is, that either personal merit or official rank and position must have enabled him to establish himself; for he certainly did not derive any assistance from his birth, which must have been mediocre, if not actually obscure. It is the custom of the Babylonian and Assyrian kings to glory in their ancestry, and when the father has occupied a decently high position, the son declares his sire's name and rank at the commencement of each inscription, but Sargon never, in any ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria • George Rawlinson

... when most available. When I am at work I like my tools around me; if they are not handy, my work is interrupted, and an interruption often breaks the train of thought and renders impotent or at least mediocre an endeavor which elsewise would be excellent. In their ambition to "put things in shape," and to give me an object lesson in order and method, Alice and her vandal hired girl hide my tools of trade, disposing of my books, papers, ...
— The House - An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife, Alice • Eugene Field

... little too far. Children should respect their parents' wishes as far as possible; but when it is a question of their own future, they have a right to present their side of the case. If my uncle Darbois's father had had his way, my uncle Darbois would probably now be a mediocre engineer, instead of the brilliant philosopher who is admired and recognized by ...
— The Idol of Paris • Sarah Bernhardt

... worst and most hopelessly stupid boys in the whole school—I've caned him frequently this term, and that keeps a boy green in one's memory; but Blenkinsopp minor, Cyril Anastasius Guy Thingumbob Whatyoumaycallit,—I don't remember HIM a bit. I suppose he's one of those inoffensive, mildly mediocre sort of boys who fail to impress their individuality upon one in any way. My experience is that you can always bear in mind the three cleverest boys at the top of each form, and the three stupidest or most mischievous ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... elder held that the secret of success consisted in being master of your subject, such mastery being attainable only through continuous application and study. Hence it happens that the men who have most moved the world, have not been so much men of genius, strictly so called, as men of intense mediocre abilities, and untiring perseverance; not so often the gifted, of naturally bright and shining qualities, as those who have applied themselves diligently to their work, in whatsoever line that might lie. "Alas!" said a widow, speaking of her brilliant but careless son, "he ...
— Self Help • Samuel Smiles

... has been attempted in the Philippines, but with very mediocre results. Cebu seems to be the island most suitable for vine culture, but the specimens of fruit produced can bear no comparison with the European. In Naga (Cebu Is.) I have eaten green Figs grown in the orchard of a ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... that he might be present at a ball that she was giving. These despatches, as we have said, contained the wish that Mary Stuart should espouse Leicester; but this proposal could not be taken seriously. Leicester, whose personal worth was besides sufficiently mediocre, was of birth too inferior to aspire to the hand of the daughter of so many kings; thus Mary replied that such an alliance would not become her. Meanwhile, something strange and tragic ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... be mentioned Morton and Wade, both bluff, coarse, and ungenerous, and thoroughly convinced that the Republican party had a monopoly of loyalty, wisdom, and virtues, and that by any means it must gain and keep control; Boutwell, fanatical and mediocre; and Benjamin Butler, a charlatan and demagogue. As a class the Western radicals were less troubled by humanitarian ideals than were those of the East and ...
— The Sequel of Appomattox - A Chronicle of the Reunion of the States, Volume 32 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Walter Lynwood Fleming

... especially fitting that all ruined buildings should be repaired in Rome. In Rome, praised beyond all other cities by the world's mouth, there should be nothing sordid or mediocre[296].' ...
— The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator • Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

... this exercise, he said (still according to Valery) to the custodian: "I thank thee, good man! The thoughts of Tasso are now all in my mind and heart." "A short time after his departure from Ferrara," adds the Frenchman, maliciously, "he composed his 'Lament of Tasso,' a mediocre result from such inspiration." No doubt all this is colored, for the same author adds another tint to heighten the absurdity of the spectacle: he declares that Byron spent part of his time in the cell ...
— Italian Journeys • William Dean Howells

... tendencies. As regards cooerdination, the fact was illustrated just above that this method would not always work; but sometimes it works immensely well. Here is a young person (either sex), in the twenties, with insistent sex impulses, tempted to yield to the fascination of some mediocre representative of the other sex. Such a low-level attachment, however, militates against self-respect, work, ambition, social sense. Where is the "cooerdination"? It has to be found; some worthy mate will harness all these tendencies, stimulating and gratifying sex attraction, self-respect, ...
— Psychology - A Study Of Mental Life • Robert S. Woodworth

... and Senator Wigfall, of Texas, denounced the President yesterday as mediocre and malicious—and that his blunders ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... relict of John Merrick's only brother, was endowed with a mediocre mind and a towering ambition. When left a widow with an only daughter she had schemed and contrived in endless ways to maintain an appearance of competency on a meager income. Finally she divided her capital, derived from her husband's life insurance, into three equal parts, which she determined ...
— Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society • Edith Van Dyne

... signallers. The handy are absorbed into the transport, or become machine-gunners. The sedentary take post as cooks, or tailors, or officers' servants. The waster hews wood and draws water and empties swill-tubs. The great, mediocre, undistinguished majority merely go to stiffen the rank and file, and right nobly they do ...
— The First Hundred Thousand • Ian Hay

... age. In such attempts to exalt the grander phases of human existence, the poets were, however, owing to their fear of enthusiasm, never quite successful. It is significant that though most critics consider Pope's Homer no better than a mediocre performance, none denies that his Rape of the Lock ...
— English Poets of the Eighteenth Century • Selected and Edited with an Introduction by Ernest Bernbaum

... of the Binnenhof, the Hague has no important monuments ancient or modern. There are several mediocre statues of the Princes of Orange, a vast, naked cathedral, and a royal palace of modest proportions. On many of the public buildings storks are carved, the stork being the heraldic animal of the city. Many of these birds walk about ...
— Holland, v. 1 (of 2) • Edmondo de Amicis

... unhappy victim of a fate which in spiteful mood gifted me beyond my fellow-men. I might have had my share of enjoyment in the world, as mediocre people have, but my perfections are in my way at every turn, continually marring my prospects. A superficial observer might think that these advantages would have the contrary effect—that I should be more fortunate than others—but my story will prove my assertion. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 86, February, 1875 • Various

... perspective; from my music mistress, my kind aunt, to recognise the notes and keys, and to play, first short pieces, then sonatas, alone, then as duets. But alas! Neither in the arts of sight nor hearing did I ever prove myself more than mediocre. I never attained, either in drawing or piano-playing, to more than a soulless accuracy. And I hardly showed much greater aptitude when, on bright Sunday mornings, which invited not at all to the delights of ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... unhampered by the restrictions of truth, many fantastic accusations were invented against Las Casas, and diligently circulated. The most frugal and abstemious of men was accused of gluttony and intemperance; his learning, which was certainly varied if not vast and was by no means mediocre, was declared to be superficial and insufficient to enable him to properly weigh nice questions of theology and law, and finally it was insinuated that some of his opinions were heretical and that his refusal to allow the sacraments of ...
— Bartholomew de Las Casas; his life, apostolate, and writings • Francis Augustus MacNutt

... the world. You will never love her as you will love Pisa or Siena or Rome or Florence, or almost any other city of Italy. We do not love the living as we love the dead. They press upon us and contend with us, and are beautiful and again ugly and mediocre and heroic, all between two heart beats; but the dead ask only our love. Genoa has never asked it, and never will. She is one of us, her future is hidden from her, and into her mystery none has dared to look. She is ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton

... Bosworth would wash his hands of the entire business, and the sly swindlers must look elsewhere, in order to unload their property. The extravagant claims they had made for its richness could not be justified, because it was after all a very mediocre discovery, which would never pay for the working, so far away from ...
— Boy Scouts on Hudson Bay - The Disappearing Fleet • G. Harvey Ralphson

... sought and found a mediocre sunset on an easel. Brian went in for sunsets. He said so himself with an inexplicable air of weariness and disgust. He ...
— Kenny • Leona Dalrymple

... portrait in a half dozen mediocre replicas representing a man of twenty-five or thirty years which some archaeologists are inclined to consider a possible representation of Vergil.[8] It is the so-called "Brutus." The argument for its ...
— Vergil - A Biography • Tenney Frank

... captivate a fantastic and voluptuous bigot. However, they would never have gained more than an antechamber or alcove influence, they would never have risen to political influence, had they not known how to pervert the noblest inclinations of the King, whilst flattering the lowest. Mediocre and secondary as was his place in the line of the Hohenzollerns, Frederick William was not devoid of all royal qualities. He was brave, he was kind-hearted, or rather he was a man of "sensibility"; he desired the public weal; he had ...
— German Problems and Personalities • Charles Sarolea

... could understand, ever," she said at last in an unaltered voice, a voice, to her own consciousness, like the wrapping of a shroud about her. "It's only I who could feel it, so deeply as to go so far. All that I can say to you is this; my husband was a mediocre man, and a pretentious one. I once loved him. I was always sorry for him. I must guard him now. I cannot have him exposed. I cannot have his mediocrity and pretentiousness displayed to the people there are in the world who would see him as he was, ...
— A Fountain Sealed • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... other hand, I am bound to urge in the Pope's behalf that the colleges are numerous, well endowed, and provided with ample means for turning out mediocre priests. The monasteries devote themselves to the education of little monks. They are taught from an early age to hold a wax taper, wear a frock, cast down their eyes, and chant in Latin. If you wish to admire the foresight of the Church, ...
— The Roman Question • Edmond About

... instances—Kant, Darwin, Michel Angelo, Mozart—how very little which is absolutely new, how slight a variation, how inevitable a combination, marks, after all, the greatest strokes of genius in all things, it seems quite laughable to expect the mediocre person, mere looker-on or listener, far from creative, to reach at once, without a similar sequence of initiation, a corresponding state of understanding and enjoyment. But, as a rule, this thought does not occur to ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... considered almost more than a match for his cousin on account of his superior erudition and more practised delivery; but now his voluble gift of words deserted him. "He was much obliged to them," he said; "though perhaps, on the whole, it was better that men who placed themselves in a mediocre condition should be left to their mediocrity. He had no doubt himself of the justness of the lists. It would be useless for him to say that he had not aspired; all the world"—it was all the world to him—"knew too well that he had aspired. But he had received a lesson which might probably ...
— The Bertrams • Anthony Trollope

... Point lent a charm to the most unattractive candidate for a commission. Any Governor felt a certain relief in intrusting a regiment to any man who had ever eaten clandestine oysters at Benny Haven's, or had once heard the whiz of an Indian arrow on the frontier, however mediocre might have been all his other claims to confidence. If he failed, the regular army might bear the shame; if he succeeded, to the State-House ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... not a bit of difference. History is to record those three Presidentiads, and especially the administrations of Fillmore and Buchanan, as so far our topmost warning and shame. Never were publicly display'd more deform'd, mediocre, snivelling, unreliable, false-hearted men. Never were these States so insulted, and attempted to be betray'd. All the main purposes for which the government was establish'd were openly denied. The perfect ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... of affront, 'you thought me serious? Don't you know I'm the ninth, instead of the nineteenth-century man, under your wing? I'd promise you to be a bishop, only, you see, I'm afraid I couldn't be mediocre enough.' ...
— Hopes and Fears - scenes from the life of a spinster • Charlotte M. Yonge

... terre, trouva les tentes brisees en pieces, et l'on ne decouvrit pas un seul homme dans tout le pais. La surprise ne fut pas mediocre. On regarda partout si l'on ne verroit point de traces qui marquassent qu'on eut construit quelque petit batiment: mais il n'y avoit ni tarriere, ni hache, ni couteaux, ni cloux, etc. Il n'y avoit ni ecrit ni indication par ou l'on put conjecturer ce qu'etoient ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia - Performed between the years 1818 and 1822 • Phillip Parker King



Words linked to "Mediocre" :   average, middling, ordinary, fair, bad



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