Free translatorFree translator
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Fool's errand   /fulz ˈɛrənd/   Listen
Fool's errand

noun
1.
A fruitless mission.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Fool's errand" Quotes from Famous Books



... matter," replied the spy. "I informed the camp commander—he was a simple sort of leutnant—that I was going to overtake the column, the column, by the bye, having been sent by me on a fool's errand to capture an imaginary laager on Gwelba kopje. According to previous arrangements I fell in with Hauptmann Schmidt's company, and he obligingly set a squad of his Askaris to work to stage the last stand of Scout MacGregor. We trampled the grass, left a few cartridge cases lying about and ...
— Wilmshurst of the Frontier Force • Percy F. Westerman

... fool's errand after all. No—I'm still sure we're right! But it seems that we don't ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, August 1930 • Various

... laughter, the apotheosis of the flesh to the spirit of comedy. The enchanter turns harlequin; and what the lovers ask is not the annihilation of time and space but only that the father be at his prayers, or the husband gone on a fool's errand, while they have leave to kiss each other's mouths, 'as a pigeon feedeth her young,' to touch the lute, strip language naked, and 'repeat the following verses' to a ring of laughing girls and amid all such comfits and delicates as a hungry audience may rejoice to hear enumerated. And the intrigue ...
— Views and Reviews - Essays in appreciation • William Ernest Henley

... hailed, and at length somebody awoke. "Can you give two travellers a bed?" she asked. "No," was the comfortable reply, followed by the yell of an aroused baby and the noises of the older children. We retreated at once, and opened a battery of reproaches on the old woman for having brought us on a fool's errand. "There is Ohlsen's," she replied, very quietly, "I think I can get you a bed there." Whereupon we entered another house in the same unceremonious manner, but with a better result. A plump, good-natured housewife jumped out of bed, went to an opposite door, and thumped upon it. "Lars!" she cried, ...
— Northern Travel - Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland • Bayard Taylor

... women, and good women; but in times of danger, no! Besides, where would be the good of sweeping away the old abuses if patriots bring them back again? Look at the First Consul, there's a man! no women for him; always about his business. I'd bet my left mustache that he doesn't know the fool's errand ...
— The Chouans • Honore de Balzac

... "On fool's errand dost thou come, Captain Newport," Quoth John Smith with rising ire as he read Quaintly worded mandate from across the sea. "What is this that we must vainly search for next? 'Gold mines, South Sea Islands, and lost colonists!' ...
— Pocahontas. - A Poem • Virginia Carter Castleman

... shield me from their sight, and my good friend, the skipper of the wood-schooner, did not volunteer much information as they stood upon his forecastle only a few feet above my head. He told them they were on a fool's errand, if they came there to ask questions about a man who was minding his own business. The sailors all backed him, and the cook grew so bold as to consign the whole crowd, without mercy, to a place too hot ...
— Four Months in a Sneak-Box • Nathaniel H. Bishop

... remembered in his father's factory at Limoges. All that beauty and luxury belonged to him by right; they might still have been his, if only he had not listened for years to the Voice. And now the Voice had led him on this fool's errand. Here he was, preaching to nobody, and looking at a cracked mug. Was his whole life a mistake? a delusion? 'Am I a fool after all?' he ...
— A Book of Quaker Saints • Lucy Violet Hodgkin

... town in charge of the little party, while the others went on to hatch up some deviltry. Lone Wolf knowed enough to do that, and he had therefore kept the laddy with the big company, meaning that his old friend, the scout, should go on a fool's errand. ...
— In the Pecos Country • Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne)

... not find him. The house is empty and deserted. What do you mean by sending me on such a fool's errand?" ...
— Mr. Fortescue • William Westall

... as many more may be relied on for the defense of the city; so we shall have not less than 22,000 men for the defense of Richmond. The enemy have perhaps 35,000; but it would require 75,000 to storm our batteries. Let this be remembered hereafter, if the 35,000 sent here on a fool's errand might have saved Washington or Baltimore, or have served to protect Pennsylvania—and then let the press of the North bag the administration at Washington! Gen. Lee's course is "right onward," and cannot be affected by ...
— A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital • John Beauchamp Jones

... does not matter after all. If the duke should come on this fool's errand, I shall be far enough out of his reach," thought Cora; but she ...
— For Woman's Love • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... winds, the captain caused an exact survey to be made of the entrance of the river, as well as of the navigable channel between Baker's bay and Fort George. The officers visited the fort, turn about, and seemed to me in general very much dissatisfied with their fool's errand, as they called it: they had expected to find a number of American vessels loaded with rich furs, and had calculated in advance their share in the booty of Astoria. They had not met a vessel, and their astonishment was at its ...
— Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific • Gabriel Franchere

... should admire," broke in Bickley, attempting to lighten matters with a joke. "But come on and let us be rid of this fool's errand. Certainly the world is a lovely place after all, and for my part I hope that we haven't seen the last of it," he added with ...
— When the World Shook - Being an Account of the Great Adventure of Bastin, Bickley and Arbuthnot • H. Rider Haggard

... Virginia continued, still speaking loudly, "that you might be a little more careful before you send me on a fool's errand like this. Here have I been waiting for half an hour for a man who you declared was certain to come here before eleven o'clock. Now you tell me that he is not returning to-night at all, gone into the country, or some rubbish. Why can't you make sure of your facts? ...
— The Governors • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... blood Froz'n with a frown, and molten with a smile; Make ebb and flood under a lady Luna, Liker the moon in changing than in chasteness. 'Tis not to be a courier, posting up To the seventh heav'n, or down to the gloomy centre, On the fool's errand of a wanton—pshaw! Women! they're made of whimsies and caprice, So variant and so wild, that, ty'd to a God, They'd dally with the devil for a change.— Rather than wed a European dame, I'd take a squaw o' the ...
— The Indian Princess - La Belle Sauvage • James Nelson Barker

... had made him confess to a criminal act in order to be allowed to come on this fool's errand? Fool, indeed, had he been to suppose that he could walk upon a frozen cloud without falling ...
— A Dozen Ways Of Love • Lily Dougall

... despotism; and there was something childish in the old man's satisfaction at having cheated all their expectations. It struck him at once that Philip had been sent for, and he was amused that he had been brought on a fool's errand. If he could only avoid another of his heart attacks he would get well enough in a week or two; and he had had the attacks several times before; he always felt as if he were going to die, but he never did. They all talked ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... arquebusiers to aid him on a new raid among the villages of Potanou,—again alluring his greedy allies by the assurance, that, thus reinforced, he would conquer for them a free access to the phantom gold mines of Appalache. Ottigny set forth on this fool's errand with thrice the force demanded. Three hundred Thirnagoas and thirty Frenchmen took up their march through the pine barrens. Outina's conjurer was of the number, and had wellnigh ruined the enterprise. Kneeling on Ottigny's shield, that he ...
— Pioneers Of France In The New World • Francis Parkman, Jr.

... Portuguese will be much good, and as there are forty or fifty thousand Frenchmen in Portugal, we shall have all our work to do, unless they send out a much bigger force than is collecting at Cork. It is a pity that the 10,000 men who have been sent out to Sweden on what my father says is a fool's errand are not going with us instead. We might make a good stand-up fight of it then, whereas I don't see that with only 6,000 or 7,000 we can do much ...
— With Moore At Corunna • G. A. Henty

... French soldiers headed by a gendarme. These patrols had been sent by General Goyon to keep the crowd in order; but, unfortunately, there was no crowd to keep in order; so that the soldiers looked and seemed to feel as if they were sent on a fool's errand. At St Agnese there were some 150 carriages collected, almost all hired ones, of the poorer sort. The private vehicles were very few indeed; not a quarter of the muster at most. The church itself was gaily filled, but not crowded in any part. Priests, monks, ...
— Rome in 1860 • Edward Dicey

... wife complains to me last night that young loafer takes her uptown yesterday on a wild fool's errand, understand me, and together they get pretty near kicked ...
— Elkan Lubliner, American • Montague Glass

... Wamba, "fool as I am, I will not do your fool's errand. Cedric hath another javelin stuck into his girdle, and thou knowest he doth not ...
— The Literary World Seventh Reader • Various

... not be found.... Into what a dismal fiasco the play would turn. All his interest would have been thrown away. His solicitors would have been investigating a lost cause. Forest would have been sent packing back to Rome upon a fool's errand.... ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... him that I was going to visit you to obtain the contracts for your great bridges over the Ohio River. Mr. Scott said it was not often that I went on a fool's errand, but that I was certainly on one now; that Mr. Garrett would never think for a moment of giving me his contracts, for every one knew that I was, as a former employee, always friendly to the Pennsylvania Railroad. Well, I said, we ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie • Andrew Carnegie

... "I am not at all sure that I have not brought you up on rather a fool's errand, but you seemed rather mystified yourself about these Deloras. Here's the cable from Dicky. What do you make of it? Must have cost him something, ...
— The Lost Ambassador - The Search For The Missing Delora • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... the king, and all who saw Neoncapos, cried out, What a fool's errand is this! So that the saying remains even ...
— Bricks Without Straw • Albion W. Tourgee

... may see the glitter of the Mediterranean. These are the occasions perhaps to remember most fondly, for they lead you to enchanting nooks, and the landscape has details of the highest refinement. Indeed when my sense reverts to the lingering impressions of so blest a time, it seems a fool's errand to have attempted to express them, and a waste of words to do more than recommend the reader to go citywards at twilight of the end of March, making for Porta Cavalleggieri, and note what he sees. At this hour the Campagna is to the last point its melancholy self, ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... Broadmead, of this fool's errand to the savages?" inquired one of these, resting upon his oars for a moment that he might the better listen to the tumult on the shore. "Wot ye not that if water had been the only boon he craves the captain had fared much better on the mainland? ...
— Their Mariposa Legend • Charlotte Herr

... the liberty of telephoning to you. It was well that I did it early in the evening. The wires are down now, I fear." He hesitated for a moment, staring at her as if trying to penetrate the thick, wet veil. "I may have brought you on a fool's errand. You see, I—I have seen Mr. Wrandall but once, in town somewhere, and I may be wrong. Still, the coroner,—and the sheriff,—seemed to think you should be notified,—I might say questioned. That is why I called you up. I trust, madam, that I ...
— The Hollow of Her Hand • George Barr McCutcheon

... cheap novels that had found their way to Carcajou. In spite of the mild and timid tone of the letters she had prepared to see some sort of termagant, or at least a woman enterprising, perhaps bold, one who would make it terribly hot for the man she would believe had deceived her and brought her on a fool's errand. This little thin-faced girl who looked with big, frightened eyes was something utterly unexpected, she ...
— The Peace of Roaring River • George van Schaick

... its drawbacks," he lamented. "As a brother I am a nonentity, Lady Huntingford; it's not altogether relishable, you know. It's a sort of pantomime, for me, by Jove. I'm the fool, and this seems to be the fool's errand." ...
— Nedra • George Barr McCutcheon

... of fish! There's a two-horse sleigh outside, with a man driving, and a gentleman in the back seat who I am sure is Dr. Morris, and he has come all the way on this bitter cold morning to see the patient I sent for him to come to. Now, who is going to tell him he has come on a fool's errand?" ...
— The Magic Egg and Other Stories • Frank Stockton

... sure enough," rejoined the beldame. "He has come on a fool's errand, but he shall never return from it. Does Mistress Nutter think I will give up my prize the moment I have obtained it, for the mere asking? Does she imagine she can frighten me as she frightens others? Does she know whom she has to deal with? If not, I will tell her. I am the oldest, the boldest, ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... choose to consider this yielding to what is only in part whimsical curiosity a triumph or no. I will not write to you any cut-and-dried platitudes about good and evil, but I frankly assure you that one of the strongest reasons which induces me to go with you on this fool's errand is a belief that I can discover the absurdity and imposture, and cure you of a hallucination which ...
— The Galaxy, Volume 23, No. 2, February, 1877 • Various

... retorted the Duchesse, "but my wise counsels would benefit no one now, seeing that you have been sent on a fool's errand." ...
— The Bronze Eagle - A Story of the Hundred Days • Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

... had perforce to open the gates for ourselves. They creaked on their rusty hinges, as if they had not been unclosed for many a day, and when I noted the neglected drive, where the overhanging trees swept our faces as we passed, I began to fear that I had come on a fool's errand, and that I should find the house shut up ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... cigarette with a certain unexpected sense of downright satisfaction. So there was something in it after all. It had seemed such a fool's errand in the train. ...
— No Hero • E.W. Hornung

... of the county, and also the officer in charge at the Gridley police station, giving the officials a hint of the joke at the second lake, so they wouldn't rush away on a fool's errand in case the wild story reached ...
— The High School Boys' Fishing Trip • H. Irving Hancock

... one-eyed Spaniard deceived my father, and sent him on a fool's errand from St. Jago down to the Isle of Pines, and afterward how the 'Scourge' chased the piratical schooner in a hurricane for ever so long, clear away to the coast of Darien, where they blew her out of water, and killed ...
— Captain Brand of the "Centipede" • H. A. (Henry Augustus) Wise

... weak spots. Of course we can't stop it. If these two young idiots have a mind to marry and keep that mind, they WILL marry and we can't prevent it any more than we could prevent the tide coming in to-morrow morning. I realized that this was a sort of fool's errand, my coming down here. I know that this isn't the age when parents can forbid marriages and get away with it, as they used to on the stage in the old plays. Boys and girls nowadays have a way of going their own gait in such matters. But my wife doesn't see it in exactly that way, and she was ...
— The Portygee • Joseph Crosby Lincoln

... like we were and on a night like last night. If they thought we were alive and suffering, the whole male population would take a search party and come to our aid. Instead they know—or rather, they think they know—that we're dead. There won't be any horses, it will be a fool's errand, and mushing through those feet of soft snow is a job they ...
— The Snowshoe Trail • Edison Marshall

... much, even for us, sanguine and confiding as we were. We shared a common suspicion that the Cura had changed his tactics, and resolved to play a practical joke upon our credulity—to send us on a fool's errand and laugh at us for our pains. That he had been tampering with the two guides for this purpose, struck us forcibly; for while he professed never to have known any man who had seen the distant city, he recommended these Meztitzos, as brothers, whom he had known from their boyhood, they ...
— Memoir of an Eventful Expedition in Central America • Pedro Velasquez

... hocus, escamoter^, practice on one's credulity; hum, humbug; gammon, stuff up [Slang], sell; play a trick upon one, play a practical joke upon one, put something over on one, put one over on; balk, trip up, throw a tub to a whale; fool to the top of one's bent, send on a fool's errand; make game, make a fool of, make an April fool of^, make an ass of; trifle with, cajole, flatter; come over &c (influence) 615; gild the pill, make things pleasant, divert, put a good face upon; dissemble &c 544. cog, cog the dice, load the dice, stack the deck; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... public- house, and the very money in his hands, seemed to prove beyond denial the existence of some serious danger; and if that were so, could he desert her? There was a choice of risks: the risk of behaving with extraordinary incivility and unhandsomeness to a lady, and the risk of going on a fool's errand. The story seemed false; but then the money was undeniable. The whole circumstances were questionable and obscure; but the lady was charming, and had the speech and manners of society. While he still hung in the wind, a recollection returned upon his mind with some of the dignity of prophecy. Had ...
— The Dynamiter • Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny van de Grift Stevenson

... carriage from Tracy Park drew up before the station, awaiting the arrival of the train and Gretchen, but though the former came, the latter did not, and John returned alone, mentally avowing to himself that he would not be sent on a fool's errand a third time; but five o'clock found him there again with the same result. Gretchen did not come, and Arthur's face wore a sad, troubled expression, and looked pale and worn, notwithstanding the many times he bathed it in the coldest water ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... the black and yellow fan was waving slowly to and fro, as though the hand that wielded it was no hand at all, but rather some untiring machine. Still the owner remained invisible. I hesitated, reflected a moment, and decided that even a fool's errand was better than enduring the agony of Tom's rapture. ...
— Dead Man's Rock • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... ledge, and you can't miss her. One moment. If the men seem all right and honest as to what they are going to do, see if you can get any information, but be on your guard, as they'll send you, perhaps, on some fool's errand." ...
— Cutlass and Cudgel • George Manville Fenn

... could at once tell me, with the most explicit directions, where I could find it; but when I returned, as I almost invariably did, without success, the only explanation he would give was, that I had not found the place. Many a fool's errand of this kind he sent me upon, from which I came back as wise as I went. But one thing he told me which turned out exactly as he said, and it may prove so with others which are a puzzle ...
— The Magician's Show Box and Other Stories • Lydia Maria Child

... he said, with a sudden access of viciousness against her, "if you have brought us here on a fool's errand, it will go ill with you, remember. Do not leave the house until our return. I may have some questions to put ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... it was blazing furiously but he dashed around the lower end of it, seeking the door. It was open and already aflame. The hut was empty. He ran out again, blinded by the smoke and the glare. Was it a fool's errand? And had he and Shad only entrapped themselves to no good end? To the right of him the fire roared and with his back to the glare his eyes eagerly sought the shadows down the wind. Vague shapes of gnarled branches and pallid ...
— The Vagrant Duke • George Gibbs

... my worthy friend, what have you got to say about the business?" asked Kitwater, as he wiped the perspiration from his brow. "You pretended to doubt my story. Was there anything in the old Frenchman's yarn after all. Were we wasting our time upon a fool's errand when we set off to ...
— My Strangest Case • Guy Boothby

... what had chanced, and how I had sent Ramiro on a fool's errand, adding the particulars of the flight of her grooms, and of how I had rid myself of the litter and the second mule. She heard me, her eyes sparkling, and at times she clapped her hands with a glee that was almost childish, vowing that this was splendid, that was brave. I allayed what little ...
— The Shame of Motley • Raphael Sabatini

... throbbed with a dull pain, but these physical discomforts, which he attributed to his long and wearisome stage ride, caused him less annoyance than did the fact that he had lost several days' time, besides subjecting himself to numerous inconveniences and hardships, on what he now denominated a "fool's errand." ...
— At the Time Appointed • A. Maynard Barbour

... fool's errand altogether," one of them said in a grumbling tone. "We don't know that they have headed this way; and if they have, we might search these woods for a ...
— With Lee in Virginia - A Story of the American Civil War • G. A. Henty

... if that business cometh to naught then shalt thou fare to the Uplands, & good feeling again cause with Ivar Hakonson & so bring it about that he goeth not to war against me.' Fin answered: 'What will be my reward an I go on this fool's errand, for alike Throndhjem folk and Upland folk are so hostile to thee that no messenger of thine could fare to them ...
— The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald The Tyrant (Harald Haardraade) • Snorri Sturluson

... this case. Joe not only secured small sums on the promise of discovering lost articles, but he raised money to enable him to dig for larger treasure which he was to locate by means of the stone. A Palmyra man, for instance, paid seventy-five cents to be sent by him on a fool's errand to look for ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... himself together from the dreary absence into which he fell at first. "Young man," he began, "maybe I've come here on a fool's errand," and Beaton ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... fool's errand," said Mrs. Masters. "It's not done with my consent, Mr. Twentyman. I don't think she ought to stir from home till ...
— The American Senator • Anthony Trollope

... it be possible that he had been led on a fool's errand after all, and that Madge Scarlet, with her prize, had been concealed on the train, and continued on to New York? The thought ...
— Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective - Or, The Crime of the Midnight Express • Frank Pinkerton

... be no doubt that the whole Prussian army, which we thought we had destroyed at Ligny, was about to throw itself upon our right wing while Marshal Grouchy had been coaxed away upon some fool's errand. ...
— The Adventures of Gerard • Arthur Conan Doyle

... shutters up, but the public appetite insisted upon excepting the means to carnival. An air of ceremonial festivity those fastened shutters gave; the sunny little town sat round them, important and significant, and nobody was ever known to forget that they were up, and go on a fool's errand. No doubt they had an impressiveness for the young countryfolk that strolled up and down Main Street in their honest best, turning into Snow's for ice-cream when a youth was disposed to treat. (Gallantry exacted ten-cent dishes, but for young ladies ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... uncertain. When French's aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Milbanke, now Sir John Milbanke, V.C., asked the station-master whether a special train could get through to Pietermaritzburg, that worthy indignantly scorned the idea. With the Boers at Colenso it would certainly be madness—a fool's errand. Milbanke, however, used persuasions which resulted in an effort being made to run the gauntlet. That evening an engine and a few carriages duly drew up at the station. Very soon French's staff was aboard. As the train was about to start a short and agile elderly officer might have ...
— Sir John French - An Authentic Biography • Cecil Chisholm

... it was that sent us to Durnover granary on a fool's errand that day," said Donald, in his undulating tones. "Did ye ever know yourself, ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... disappointment to Sweetwater, if not to Mr. Grey. He had expected to detect signs of life in this quarter, and this additional proof of Wellgood's absence from home made it look as if they had come out on a fool's errand and might much better have ...
— The Woman in the Alcove • Anna Katharine Green

... another two miles for the windings of the road (which, by the way, was a pestilently bad one). To ride sixteen miles by night, chafing all the while under the orders of a civilian, and to return another sixteen, smarting, from a fool's errand, is (one must admit) excusably trying to the military temper. Smellie, to be sure, and Smellie alone, had been discomfited. Smellie's discomfiture had been so signally personal as to divert all ridicule from the Dragoons. Smellie, moreover, had ...
— The Mayor of Troy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... whom my master, De Decker, made one, and we realized how disappointed they would be if we returned empty-handed. Our crew, also, began to show signs of discontent, and to murmur at having been brought so far on a fool's errand. It was only Dirk Hartog's indomitable personality ...
— Adventures in Southern Seas - A Tale of the Sixteenth Century • George Forbes

... fool's errand.... To undertake to go to the German school and teach... to be going there... with nothing to give. The moment would come when there would be a class sitting round a table waiting for her to speak. She ...
— Pointed Roofs - Pilgrimage, Volume 1 • Dorothy Richardson

... hand? I know that neither of you saw me change the boxes, for I did it when I was nearest buying the bee-brooch at the end, and you were too puzzled, and the other Johnny too keen. It was the cheapest shot in the game; the dear ones were sending old Theobald to Southampton on a fool's errand yesterday afternoon, and showing one's own nose down Regent Street in broad daylight while he was gone; but some things are worth paying for, and certain risks one must always take. Nice boxes, aren't they? I only wished they contained a better cigarette; but a notorious brand ...
— Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman • E. W. Hornung

... keenest pang of sorrow that I suffered through all that sorrowful time was when I thus learned that the archaeological search that I had entered upon so hopefully, and that I had so laboriously prosecuted, had been but a fool's errand from first ...
— The Aztec Treasure-House • Thomas Allibone Janvier

... Buckhurst's men hold the semaphore? If they do, they sent that cruiser on a fool's errand," ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... her. He kens weel they will be sure to marry, but he'll say now that his daughter disobeyed him; sae he'll get off giving her a bawbee o' her fortune, and he'll save a' the plenishing and the wedding expenses. Deacon, I'm ashamed o' you. Sending a love-sick lad on sic a fool's errand. And mair, I'm not going to hae Isabel Strang, or Isabel Callendar here. A young woman wi' bridish ways dawdling about the house, I canna, and I willna stand. You'll hae to choose atween Deacon Strang's daughter and ...
— Scottish sketches • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... up his hat with a dismal sense of having got foolishly through a fool's errand. 'As I said to you before, what Rose's feeling is at this moment I cannot even guess. Very likely she would be the first to repudiate half of what I have been saying. And I see that you will not talk to me—you will not take me into ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... wished ourselves back in Nova Scotia. The sandy road was bordered with discouraged evergreens, through which we had glimpses of sand-drifted farms. If Baddeck was to be like this, we had come on a fool's errand. There were some savage, low hills, and the Judique Mountain showed itself as we got away from the town. In this first stage, the heat of the sun, the monotony of the road, and the scarcity of sleep during ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... fool's errand! For, whatever their purpose had been, they abandoned it, and half-an-hour later we spied them striking westward once more, as in haste to overtake their fellows. So near upon them were we by this time, ...
— Sir Ludar - A Story of the Days of the Great Queen Bess • Talbot Baines Reed

... devoted himself unflinchingly to his business since his return to England, and had so planned and organized his affairs as to be able now to absent himself for some little time from the City. He was going upon what most men would have called a fool's errand—his quest of Marian's husband; but he was going with a steady purpose in his breast—a determination never to abandon the search till it should result in success. He might have to suspend it from time to ...
— Fenton's Quest • M. E. Braddon

... to him on a fool's errand," he said. Then, scowling upon daughter and wife, he gulped down a cup of tea, pushed his chair noisily back and went from ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... came to get my old servant, Caesar. It seems to have been a fool's errand. He has slipped away. I suppose that Grey as usual talked too freely. But how the deuce does it concern you? I ...
— Westways • S. Weir Mitchell

... there was the gallant sounding-boat booming away, the unprincipled Tom presiding at the tiller, and my chief sitting by him with the sounding-pole which I had been sent on a fool's errand to fetch. Then that young girl ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... we do? Follow him to Parida? No; that would be a journey for nothing. I knew that he would not be fool enough to go that way. Even if he did, it would have been a fool's errand to seek for justice there, so I determined on leaving it over until the return of the traders would enable me to find the thief, and demand his punishment from ...
— The Scalp Hunters • Mayne Reid

... can send you through, young man, but you are going on a fool's errand. I have had a good deal to do with those Knights of the Golden Circle, as they call themselves. They are all right in giving away everything they know; but when it comes to fighting, bah! one of my companies would ...
— Raiding with Morgan • Byron A. Dunn

... somewhat snappishly. "Chief among them, why your tomfool brother—you call him your brother, I suppose?—brought me over here on a fool's errand." ...
— The Knave of Diamonds • Ethel May Dell

... the correspondence between the two Generals Douay as being mixed up in these discreditable transactions; and he was afterwards, as General Boyer, concerned, it may be remembered, in the Regnier affair at Metz, when General Bourbaki was sent out under a pass from the Prussians on a fool's errand to the Empress Eugenie, there being some treasonable plot behind. This is now (1908) confirmed by the letter of the King of Prussia to the Empress Eugenie ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... on the misfortunes of our predecessors, lent me a pair of woollen socks to put on over my gloves, told me privately that if anyone could succeed in getting a guide it would be Mr. Green, and dispatched us at eight this morning with a lurking smile at our "fool's errand," thinly veiled by warm wishes for our success. Mr. Reid has two ranches on the mountain, seven miles distant from each other, and was expected every hour at the crater- house on his way to Hilo, but it was not known from which he was coming, and as it appeared that our last hope of getting a guide ...
— The Hawaiian Archipelago • Isabella L. Bird

... fool's errand after all? Shall I ever accomplish my object? Methinks if I had but a trusty comrade at hand somewhat might be done; but I fear my poor Jacques never reached the land alive, and I had trusted to him to be my guide and counsellor in my quest. Alone ...
— In the Wars of the Roses - A Story for the Young • Evelyn Everett-Green

... that fool's errand, bwoy, surely? I thought I'd made my mind clear enough to Phoebe ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... fool's errand," said the woman, who liked the dog herself, and, moreover, saw that there was money in his nimble feet. "I will give you as many coppers as you can carry in your cap if you will leave him here and go your way and say nothing about ...
— Jewel's Story Book • Clara Louise Burnham

... Associated Press to Washington on a fool's errand—that is, to get an act of Congress extending copyright to the news of the association—and, remaining the entire session, my business to meet the official great and to make myself acceptable, I came into a certain intimacy with the Administration circle, ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... Find out for yourself, my dear Mr. Garfield," laughed the rich man. "I have no time to discuss this silly affair further. I'm sorry you have troubled to come out from London to see me. But really yours has been a fool's errand," and ...
— The Stretton Street Affair • William Le Queux

... the very evening they came," answered he; and then told of his dealings with Vigi, saying that Cormac would find it easier to whistle on Steingerd's tracks and go on a fool's errand than to ...
— The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald • Unknown

... pleased, and look where I pleased. His manner, rather than his words, indicated a doubt of my courage, and I turned from him, mounted my horse, and started for the front, determined to obey the order to the best of my ability, but to risk the lives of no others on what was evidently a fool's errand. After proceeding some distance, I found that the wagon-master was at my heels, and, together, we traced every cow-path and mountain road we could find, and passed half a mile beyond the enemy's outposts, and over ground visited by ...
— The Citizen-Soldier - or, Memoirs of a Volunteer • John Beatty

... do with Venus? he asked himself. This was the world he knew. It was real; space was impenetrable; there were no men or beings of any sort that could travel through space. Blake was right: he was on a fool's errand. They couldn't tell him anything up here at the observatory; they would laugh ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930 • Various

... the tyrant, with an oath. "But how the devil did he get wind of our expedition to the Chateau de Pommereuil? or can it be possible that it was all a plot from the beginning, and we are bound on a fool's errand? I really begin to think it must be so. If it is true, I never saw a better actor in my life than that respectable old major-domo, confound him! But let us make haste and search this grove thoroughly; we may find some trace of poor Isabelle; ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... Francois, and take with you this villain whose carelessness has ruined our fortunes. And stay. I will be generous. You are possessed by a mad idea that by going north you will find a way to China and the Indies. Go, then, and when you have finished your fool's errand return to Charlesbourg Royal, and prepare to obey ...
— Marguerite De Roberval - A Romance of the Days of Jacques Cartier • T. G. Marquis

... that the Fort boat was huntin' MEN—deserters, I reckon," said Jim aggrievedly. "Wanted me to believe that he SAW one on the Marsh hidin'. On'y an Injin lie, I reckon, to git a little extra fire-water, for toting me out to the bresh on a fool's errand." ...
— The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... back in his seat in a much easier frame of mind; it was annoying, of course, to have been turned out of his warm dining-room, and sent all the way down to Market Rodwell on a fool's errand like this; but still, if nothing worse came of it, he could put up with the temporary inconvenience, and it was a great relief to be spared the necessity ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... though we had come upon a fool's errand," said Mr. Day, coming back to the car and his daughter. "Mrs. Johnson says that girl was not named Cedarstrom, and that she has ...
— Janice Day, The Young Homemaker • Helen Beecher Long

... these letters she told exactly what she had found: neither Lord Harry nor his wife at the cottage, the place vacated, and the doctor on the point of going away. In both letters she told how she had been sent all the way into Switzerland on a fool's errand, and now found herself planted there without the means of getting home. In the letter to Mrs. Vimpany she added the remarkable detail that the man whom she had seen on the Thursday morning apparently dead, whose actual poisoning she thought she had witnessed, was ...
— Blind Love • Wilkie Collins

... now convinced we had come on a fool's errand that was like to end evilly for us, but, being a fool, I held my peace and said nothing to Ajax, who confessed later that if I had spoken he would have seconded a motion to retreat. We advanced, sensible that we were being trapped: a ...
— Bunch Grass - A Chronicle of Life on a Cattle Ranch • Horace Annesley Vachell

... single-handed!" Lord Farquhart had cried. "If you must stay, if you must go on your fool's errand, at least take one or more of the men ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... now it was too late. They were under attack; Johnny was off on a fool's errand, gone too long for comfort, and Tom ... Greg glanced at his watch. It had been ten minutes since Tom's call. What had he meant by it? A plan, he said. ...
— Gold in the Sky • Alan Edward Nourse

... gold, which surround you. Do you see that ship on the high sea? How favourable the wind is! You are on board; you land in a beautiful country, of which you become the Queen. Ah! what do I see? Look there—look at that hideous, crooked, lame man, who is pursuing you—but he is going on a fool's errand. I see a very great man, who supports you in his arms. Here, look! he is a kind of giant. There is a great deal of gold and silver—a few clouds here and there. But you have nothing to fear. The vessel will be ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 2 • Madame du Hausset, and of an Unknown English Girl and the Princess Lamballe

... they had been deceived—that they were seeking for something which had no existence? Could Bucholz have imposed upon the credulity of Sommers and sent him upon this fool's errand? Or could the detective have made a mistake in the location designated? One or the other seemed to be the case. But hark! the spade strikes a hard substance; it must be the stone mentioned by Bucholz. With redoubled energy the detective wields his implement, and, at last, ...
— Bucholz and the Detectives • Allan Pinkerton

... grumbled for greeting, "it was on a fool's errand you sent me, after all. That knave, your messenger, found me in London at last when I had outworn my welcome at Whitehall. But, 'swounds, man," he cried, remarking the pallor, of his ...
— The Tavern Knight • Rafael Sabatini

... her John again entered the little cottage; but the father welcomed him with a melancholy smile. John himself, though with a little mortified vanity, felt rather pleased than otherwise. His good sense told him that this journey to Wisbeach had been but a fool's errand, and that, in order to rise in the world, he had to look into other directions than to a lawyer's office. He therefore fell back with a strong feeling of contentment into his old occupation, holding the plough, carting ...
— The Life of John Clare • Frederick Martin

... do anything of the kind!" exclaimed Mrs. Tolbridge, her eyes sparkling. "How many times by night and by day has that woman called you away on a fool's errand? It is likely as not that there is nothing more the matter with her than there is with me. She has no right to worry the life out of you in this way. She ought to have gone to heaven ...
— The Girl at Cobhurst • Frank Richard Stockton

... was the Governor's brother, who had just come from the Mississippi River across the glorious prairies of Illinois to the Ohio. The information was a great relief. He was sure now that he had left his native land on no fool's errand, the victim of a traveler's lying tale. Being thus satisfied that there were prairies which could be found whenever they were ...
— Captains of Industry - or, Men of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money • James Parton

... to you? We have spent the whole day together. Now I don't think it's at all nice of you to reproach me with having brought you on a fool's errand." ...
— Memoirs of My Dead Life • George Moore

... a fool's errand, I guess it is, and that's the very reason I'm going with you, Ned. You know I'm going, that I wouldn't miss going with you for the world and you haven't any right to ask me to be a sneak and crawl out of the trouble, for it is trouble ...
— Dick in the Everglades • A. W. Dimock

... your own. It is best that her origin be kept a secret. Care for her, cherish her as your own, and at the end of each year the sum of a thousand dollars will be paid to you as long as she lives in your household as a member thereof. Do not seek to find her parents. It would be a fool's errand. May God bless you and yours, and may God care for and protect Rosalie—the ...
— The Daughter of Anderson Crow • George Barr McCutcheon

... not gage, could not yet give an explicit and sufficient reason for? Those old-time Teuton liberals, masters of prose and verse—how would they feel at home in this modern Rhineland of hysterical spleen and arms provocative? Was it possible he had really come on a sort of fool's errand? ...
— Villa Elsa - A Story of German Family Life • Stuart Henry

... the middle of August, and Lord and Lady Saxondale promised faithfully to come to that city at a moment's notice. He went blithely away with the firm conviction in his heart that it was not to be a fool's errand. But he was reckoning without the ...
— Castle Craneycrow • George Barr McCutcheon

... apparel of the assistants, might presage a similar solution of continuity in your matrimonial happiness—and to say truth, my lord, you yourself must partly have the blame of this disappointment, in respect you sent me upon a fool's errand to get a buff-coat out of the booty taken by the Camerons, whereas you might as well have sent me to fetch a pound of fresh butter out of a black dog's throat. I had no answer, my lord, but brandished dirks ...
— A Legend of Montrose • Sir Walter Scott

... extremely interesting and clever book, called "A Fool's Errand," embodies under the form of a novel, an accurate picture of the social condition of the Southern States after the war—a condition so replete with elements of danger and difficulty, that the highest virtue and the deepest wisdom could hardly have coped successfully with ...
— Records of Later Life • Frances Anne Kemble

... captain, "I advise you to make sure that the game is worth bagging. As it is, you have led us on a fool's errand." ...
— In A New World - or, Among The Gold Fields Of Australia • Horatio Alger

... change of dynasty and a disputed succession. While he was pleasing himself with thoughts so agreeable to his temper, he learned that he had been deceived, and had been used as an instrument for deceiving the nation. His mission to Hungerford had been a fool's errand. The King had never meant to abide by the terms which he had instructed his Commissioners to propose. He had charged them to declare that he was willing to submit all the questions in dispute to the Parliament ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... ways. I offered him a position in the bank, but no—he must go to Scotland first to make the acquaintance of our aunts. If he had been satisfied with that! But no, again, he must go to Ireland on a fool's errand to learn something of his father." The Elder paused and bit his lip, and a vein stood out on his forehead. "He's never seen fit ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... to admire the discretion of all menfolk," she replied. "But if you will not eat, off with you at once; you will be back the sooner, for you go on a fool's errand. Off with you, Mr. David," she ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 11 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... not come here on a fool's errand, Major Pierson," replied the captain. "We are alone now, and we may call things ...
— Within The Enemy's Lines - SERIES: The Blue and the Gray—Afloat • Oliver Optic

... himself every kind of idiot for venturing on such a fool's errand at such a time. But that did not warm his shivering limbs or infuse patience into his almost despairing heart. The cold was intense. He was obliged at last to move away from his shelter—such as it was—and in spite ...
— Up in Ardmuirland • Michael Barrett

... going on a "Tom Fool's errand," for my folks could take care of themselves, and he tried to dissuade me from proceeding on my journey. But I would not be turned back. The following morning I cut loose from the settlements and plunged into the ...
— Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail • Ezra Meeker

... sitting-room in the Hotel de Rome, at Vallanza, Anthony and Adrian were waiting for their breakfast. It is evident, therefore, that Susanna's will had prevailed, and a fool's errand was in process of accomplishment. The fool, no doubt, to the last moment, had renewed his protests, his pleadings, his refusals; but, at each fresh outburst, coldly, firmly, the lady had reiterated her ultimatum, "Then all is over between you and me." And in the end, very conscious ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... living, and we celebrated our new treaty of friendship with noble libations—but I must not talk about that to you. However, I got rid of them; quoted all the geographical lies I had ever heard, and a great many more; quickened their appetite for their fool's errand notably, and started them off again. So now the star of Venus is set, and that of Pallas in the ascendant. Wherefore tell me—what am I to do with ...
— Hypatia - or, New Foes with an Old Face • Charles Kingsley



Words linked to "Fool's errand" :   mission, charge, commission



Copyright © 2019 Free Translator.org