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Distract   /dɪstrˈækt/   Listen
Distract

verb
(past & past part. distracted, old past part. distraught; pres. part. distracting)
1.
Draw someone's attention away from something.  Synonym: deflect.  "He deflected his competitors"
2.
Disturb in mind or make uneasy or cause to be worried or alarmed.  Synonyms: cark, disorder, disquiet, perturb, trouble, unhinge.



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"Distract" Quotes from Famous Books



... Impatient of my absence, And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony Have made themselves so strong: for with her death That tidings came; with this she fell distract, And, ...
— The Rising of the Court • Henry Lawson

... You will laugh at me, but I do long to feel a real, keen temptation. Those agonizing struggles of holy men that one reads of, what can they be like? I can hardly imagine. There have been ascetics who have wept, and dashed themselves down on the ground, and injured, wounded their bodies to distract their thoughts from vice. To me they seem as madmen. You know the story of the monk who rescued a great courtesan from her life of shame. He placed her in a convent and went into the desert. But her image haunted ...
— Flames • Robert Smythe Hichens

... animal out of harness. This failing, spread clean litter beneath the belly or turn the patient out on the dung heap. Some seek to establish sympathetic action by pouring water from one vessel into another with dribbling noise. Others soothe and distract the attention by slow whistling. Friction of the abdomen with wisps of straw may succeed, or it may be rubbed with ammonia and oil. These failing, an injection of 2 ounces of laudanum or of an infusion of 1 ounce of tobacco in water may be tried. In the mare ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... perhaps too frequently, to the desire to make the reader live among the men and things of the fifteenth century. And in order not to distract him suddenly from them, I have avoided suggesting any comparison with other periods, although many such ...
— The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2) • Anatole France

... came in very much heated. I withdrew to my post, where I listened. "What is the matter?" said Madame de Pompadour. "The long robes and the clergy," replied he, "are always at drawn daggers, they distract me by their quarrels. But I detest the long robes the most. My clergy, on the whole, is attached and faithful to me; the others want to keep me in a state of tutelage." "Firmness," said Madame de Pompadour, ...
— Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe - Marguerite de Valois, Madame de Pompadour, and Catherine de Medici • Various

... he entered, an empty one, some passenger had left a weekly periodical; Piers seized upon it gladly, and read to distract his thoughts. One article interested him; it was on the subject of national characteristics: cleverly written, what is called "smart" journalism, with grip and epigram, with hint of universal knowledge and the true air of British superiority. Having scanned the writer's comment on the Slavonic ...
— The Crown of Life • George Gissing

... affected by Men of small Intellects. These Men need not be concerned with you for the whole Sentence; but if they can say a quaint thing, or bring in a Word which sounds like any one Word you have spoken to them they can turn the Discourse, or distract you so that you cannot go on, and by consequence if they cannot be as witty as you are, they can hinder your being any wittier than they are. Thus if you talk of a Candle, he can deal with you; and if you ask him to help you to some ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... listening to what had been said with glowing cheeks, meaning to become a Camp Fire girl even though it was entirely impossible for her to join the summer camp. She was holding her small brother tight in her arms, trying to distract his attention with objects to be seen out the front window, and so entirely oblivious of the fact that the hastily adjusted hairpins had been slipping out of her hair, until one yellow braid now dangled ...
— The Camp Fire Girls at Sunrise Hill • Margaret Vandercook

... else for Smythe or P. T. to "discover." Readers must have been strangely disappointed on finding not a single word to throw light upon this subject, and merely a long account of the negotiations between Curll and P. T. The narrative might serve to distract attention from the main point, which it clearly did nothing to elucidate. But Curll now stated his own case. He reprinted the narrative with some pungent notes; he gave in full some letters omitted by P. T., and he added a story which was most unpleasantly significant. ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... with your "Nibelungen"? It will be a great joy to me to grasp your creation through your immediate aid. For heaven's sake, let nothing distract you from this, and continue to weld ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 1 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... half so impressed with the falls as I ought to have been. They don't seem so high as in the pictures, and the terrible buildings on one side distract one so it seems as if even the water can't be natural, and must be just arranged by machinery. But it was fun going under them, and those oilskin coats and caps are most becoming. You go down in a lift and then walk ...
— Elizabeth Visits America • Elinor Glyn

... of his day held fast to the idea that the enslavement of the African was socially, morally, and politically wrong. The new school was founded exactly upon the opposite idea; and they resolved, first, to distract the democratic party, for which the Supreme Court had now furnished the means, and then to establish a new government, with negro slavery for its corner-stone, as socially, morally, and ...
— Memorial Address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln - Delivered at the request of both Houses of Congress of America • George Bancroft

... hovering near the poor old woman. The fact that Ted was contentedly munching a red apple told that he had already made his hawk-like descent on the stand of the market woman, and was now seeking to distract her attention so that his companion might also swoop down to seize a prize, when they would go off, laughing uproarously, as though they ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts - Or, The Struggle for Leadership • George A. Warren

... "you're the best pedaller I ever had. You've got music in you. We'll practise up and give a concert. I'll ask some nobs in. We'll turn the piano so that seeing how the pedalling is done won't distract their attention from the music. But they won't hear our music, Rose. It will be better than that. They shall roll in it, bathe in it, ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... feathers made no wounds, and that a Roman spear would pierce a painted shield;" and to lessen the effect which the oath taken by the Samnites had upon the minds of the Romans, he said that such an oath must rather distract than strengthen those bound by it, since they had to fear, at once, their enemies, their comrades, and their Gods. In the battle which ensued, the Samnites were routed, any firmness lent them by religion or by the oath they ...
— Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius • Niccolo Machiavelli

... the very substance of my flesh were so many eyes looking out at will upon a world new created every day. The silence and darkness which are said to shut me in, open my door most hospitably to countless sensations that distract, inform, admonish, and amuse. With my three trusty guides, touch, smell, and taste, I make many excursions into the borderland of experience which is in sight of the city of Light. Nature accommodates itself to every man's necessity. If the eye is maimed, so that it does ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... The fellow is distract, and so am I; And here we wander in illusions: Some blessed power ...
— The Comedy of Errors - The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.] • William Shakespeare

... books, and comments on European society; speaking with ease and remarkable knowledge of his subjects, and so pleasantly that Madame Patoff never perceived that he wished to amuse her, and was trying to distract her thoughts from the one subject which too easily beset them. Indeed, the professor in the society of a woman of the world was a very different man from the earnest, plain-speaking person who had dined with Paul ...
— Paul Patoff • F. Marion Crawford

... or even real lamb chops, but no power of special dishes served to distract the students from ...
— Jane Allen: Junior • Edith Bancroft

... the other half of the paper to try and distract her mind from the noises over the hedge. But every head-line seemed to dart at her sore consciousness as if it were a snake's head with a sting in it. Murder. Unrest. Strikes. Dissatisfactions. Change. The whole outlook was indescribably comfortless and depressing to her. She felt something akin ...
— The Privet Hedge • J. E. Buckrose

... society around me," said she, "and will never be alone; the people about me shall always laugh and jest, to cheer me and distract my thoughts. Hasten, hasten—call my court; the most jovial men shall be most welcome! And, do you hear, above all things, bring me wine, the best and strongest wine. When I drink plenty of it, I shall again become gay and happy; it drives away all cares, and renders ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach

... bulletins both to his sister-in-law and to her mother at Ferrara. "There is no fresh news to give you here," he wrote on the 6th of October. "My whole days are spent at the bedside of my dear wife, endeavouring to distract her thoughts and amuse her mind as best ...
— Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan, 1475-1497 • Julia Mary Cartwright

... help I want, it is removing hindrances. I don't want to see anything to draw off my attention. I don't want a cornice, or an angle, or anything but a containing curve. I want diffused light and no single luminous centre to fix my eye, and so distract my mind from its one object of contemplation. The metaphysics of attention have hardly been sounded to their depths. The mere fixing the look on any single object for a long time may produce very strange effects. Gibbon's well-known story ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... this threat in execution, nothing could give me greater uneasiness: for her violence and volubility would almost distract you. ...
— Evelina • Fanny Burney

... chain of men handing up buckets of water through the back garden," said someone else, as though trying to distract her thoughts. "They'll soon get the fiercest ...
— The Making of Mona • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... Robert's breast these emotions obtained yet more powerful dominion; again did remorse distract him, and there were moments of darkness, when his spirit questioned the justice of the Creator. Why was not his crime visited on his own head? Why did the guiltless and unstained fall thus around him, and he remain unharmed? and it needed all the eloquence ...
— The Days of Bruce Vol 1 - A Story from Scottish History • Grace Aguilar

... should bring the family high up in the dominant hierarchy of the South. She listened silently to the young girl's pleading prattle of the boy's bravery, his wit, his manliness. She did not say no, but she hoped to find a way to distract her daughter from a mesalliance, which would not only diminish her child's rank, but compromise the family politically. Such a sacrifice could not be. Fortunately, both were mere children, and the knot would unravel itself without perplexities that maturer ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... to the many and powerful impressions to which the mind is exposed, and in the uncertainty of all knowledge and of all science, more things occur to distract a man from the road he has entered upon, to make him doubt himself and others, than in any ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... hoping that thou wilt behave like a resigned Christian, who, art not so depressed by a sense of thy own grief, as to be incapable of ministering to the woes of others. Allow me to think of thee as one whose views are not bounded by the grave, and then I shall have no overwhelming terrors to distract my attention, or unfit me for improving every fair opportunity for my deliverance. But, should the worst happen, remember, Constantia, I shall continue to exist. Putting on the garment of immortality ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... every year all fall. Ding-dong, bing-bang, give and take, no quarter and pretty nearly everything fair. As I said, it wasn't considered exactly proper to burn a rival frat house in order to distract the attention of the occupants while they were entertaining a Freshman, but otherwise we did pretty nearly what we pleased to each other—only being careful to do it first. Of course a lot of things are fair in ...
— At Good Old Siwash • George Fitch

... forget—energetically, systematically. I tried to take an interest in somebody else. I tell you this because I want you to know I did my duty. I didn't succeed. It was for the same purpose I went abroad—as far away as possible. They say travelling distracts the mind, but it didn't distract mine. I've thought of you perpetually, ever since I last saw you. I'm exactly the same. I love you just as much, and everything I said to you then is just as true. This instant at which I speak to you ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1 (of 2) • Henry James

... had had "a fit." When the doctor came, he gave no hope of her life. She had had heart disease for many years, he said. In the midst of this confusion, a letter came for the gentleman, which seemed absolutely to distract him. He bade Sal get the little Jan ready, and put his clothes together, and they started that evening for the mill. Sal believed it was the doctor who recommended Mrs. Lake as a foster- mother for the baby, having attended her child. The storm came on after they started. The ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... seems to me well-nigh perfect, whether he has pen, pencil, or stump of charcoal in his hand. It is the great merit of his work, as it appears to me, that it depends for the achievement of its intention solely on its own intrinsic qualities. It has no tricks, no mannerisms, no "fakements" to distract the attention and conceal weaknesses. It is straightforward, direct in its appeal, self-reliant ...
— Frank Reynolds, R.I. • A.E. Johnson

... temptations of the idle and the dissolute to seduce him from the quiet scenes of his youth (scenes so congenial to his taste) to the hollow and heartless society of cities, to the haunts of men who would court and flatter him while his name was new, and who, when they had contributed to distract his attention and impair his health, would cast him off unceremoniously to seek some other novelty. Of his again encountering the difficulties and privations he lately experienced there is no danger. Report speaks of honourable and noble friends already secured: ...
— Life and Remains of John Clare - "The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet" • J. L. Cherry

... a poor complexion and beautiful brown eyes, who had cherished a rather hopeless inclination for Henry; now that he had lost that bold girl, she tremulously assured herself, perhaps it was not quite so hopeless. Laura, too, had an idea that such might possibly be the case, and hoping at least to distract her brother, about whom she was becoming quite anxious, she had Ida over to tea once or twice, and, by various other devices which with a clever woman are matters of course, managed to throw her ...
— Dr. Heidenhoff's Process • Edward Bellamy

... ever omit his conclusion. If there is only one contestant on each side, a conclusion is certainly necessary both for the sake of clearness and emphasis, and because an unfinished argument is not a unit. If there are several contestants on each side, the fact that the opposing speakers intervene and distract the attention of the audience makes it even more necessary that each debater end his argument with a formal conclusion, and by means of it bind his work to that ...
— Practical Argumentation • George K. Pattee

... the succession of objects distract her. See the bridge of the Val surrounded by its lovely landscape: on the right, Paris with its grand monuments, which rise through the fog, or sparkle in the sun; on the left, Meudon, with its villas, its woods, its vines, and its royal castle! The two work-women look from ...
— An "Attic" Philosopher, Complete • Emile Souvestre

... before seen a tinge of color in her face, nor any of the ordinary feelings of life glancing in her eyes. Now she seemed actually pretty. He had made a discovery—perhaps he had now another means to distract her from herself. Then the squirming trout drew his attention and he took ...
— The U.P. Trail • Zane Grey

... delirium, the same mournful desolation. What a life! oh, what a life! Better I had chosen death, than to be interred alive in this abyss, which incessantly racks my thoughts! Blind, solitary, and a prisoner! what can distract ...
— The Mysteries of Paris V2 • Eugene Sue

... had nothing to distract his attention, he might have thought too much about his handsome partner, and then gone home and dreamed about her, which is always dangerous, and waked up thinking of her still, and then begun to be deeply interested ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... I prevail with you then," I demanded,, interrupting him, "to leave off these long speeches, that tend to nothing but to distract my head, and detain me from my business? Shave me, I say, or begone:" with that I started up in anger, stamping my foot ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 2 • Anon.

... enclose the problem. For by this time, what with Herbert's subaltern, Carey's pawn, and a cistern left me by an uncle who was dining with us that night, I had more than enough to distract me. ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 8, 1914 • Various

... in progress was caused by the immense crowd blocking the court, only pushed aside by archers on horseback, who separated the people. The marquise now went out, and the doctor, lest the sight of the people should completely distract her, put a crucifix in her hand, bidding her fix her gaze upon it. This advice she followed till they gained the gate into the street where the tumbril was waiting; then she lifted her eyes to see the shameful object. It was one ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... crowd drives hither and thither, now furiously commanding this thing to be done, now that. What is he that he should resist their will, and think or act for himself? Every moment new changes and new showers of deceptions to baffle and distract him. And when, by and by, for an instant, the air clears and the cloud lifts a little, there are the gods still sitting around him on their thrones,—they alone with ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... might be found—everything is possible; but such are devoted more or less to a variety of plants, and the departments are not all gathered beneath one roof. I confess, for my own part, a hatred of references. They interrupt the writer, and they distract the reader. At the place I have chosen to illustrate our theme, one has but to cross a corridor from any of the working quarters to reach the showroom. We may start upon our critical survey from the very dwelling-house. Pundits of agricultural ...
— About Orchids - A Chat • Frederick Boyle

... and bonds of sleep; Without whose power and sweet dominion Our life were hell, and pleasure painfulness. The sting of envy and the dart of love, Avarice' talons, and the fire of hate, Would poison, wound, distract, and soon consume The heart, the liver, life, and mind of man. The sturdy mower, that with brawny arms Wieldeth the crooked scythe, in many a swath Cutting the flowery pride on velvet plain, Lies ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... It was only requisite that there should be no delay, no procrastination; for success depended chiefly on securing beforehand commodious posts and proper allies: besides, Hannibal ought to be sent immediately into Africa, in order to distract ...
— History of Rome, Vol III • Titus Livius

... of the human mind, when set at liberty from ancient prejudices, and permitted to range in search of expected good, to become extreme in its calculations and projects of improvement, and to distract itself amidst the variety of its experiments. And more especially when its enterprises are favored by the encouragement of wealth, and sustained by the indiscriminate approval of the multitude. It is then, that overlooking the maxims of sound philosophy, and disregarding the safe ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... Countess Georges, from dying of grief." He writes to the Mniszechs on February 27th, 1847[*]: "Our dear adored Atala is in a charming and magnificent apartment (and not too dear). She has a garden; she goes a great deal to the convent" (to see Mlle. Henriette Borel). "I try to distract her and to be as much as possible Anna to her; but the name of her dear daughter is so daily and continually on her lips, that the day before yesterday, when she was enjoying herself immensely at the Varietes—in fits of laughter at the 'Filleul de ...
— Honore de Balzac, His Life and Writings • Mary F. Sandars

... whisperingly a verse from the Women's Marseillaise. "There's many singing that song to-day in prison that would be glad to sit and breathe fresh air and look at a fine view as you're doing, so you ought to be thankful!" And indeed the view of the Castle did just for that moment distract her from the business of weeping, for there had been a certain violent alteration of the weather. The autumn sunshine, which had never been more than a sarcasm on the part of a thoroughly unpleasant day, had failed ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... to be persuaded; he was taken to the hospital, and Esther remained at home waiting for the fateful afternoon. Now that the dying man was taken from her she had no work to distract her thought. The unanswerable question—would Chasuble win?—was always before her. She saw the slender greyhound creatures as she had seen them at Epsom, through a sea of heads and hats, and she asked herself if Chasuble was the brown horse that had ...
— Esther Waters • George Moore

... that on that account alone his making my acquaintance gave him greater satisfaction. He then proceeded to tell Lord Blomfield and me how your father's name had become familiar to him, and so much valued in his eyes. He said that at one time Napoleon had arranged to distract the affairs of Britain by attacking her in her Canadian possessions—not by a direct descent upon them, but by a route which men expected would take England quite by surprise and ...
— The Pioneers • R.M. Ballantyne

... last days had been so full of excitement, she had been so hurried from one new sensation to another, that she had not had time to occupy herself exclusively with this great sorrow that had fallen upon her; but there was nothing to distract her now. Her father's death, which she had found so hard to understand in the midst of everyday life and familiar associations, she realized all too bitterly when such realization was aided by the blank convent walls and the dull convent routine; the sorrow that had been ...
— My Little Lady • Eleanor Frances Poynter

... time, reports of the near completion of Ouroboros II were monopolizing the newscasts, to distract public attention from what was happening at Force Command. Cargo was being collected for her; instead of washing their feet in brandy, next year people would be drinking water. Lorenzo Menardes had emptied his warehouses of everything over a year old; so had ...
— The Cosmic Computer • Henry Beam Piper

... might put off the sitting in view of the fact that the picture might have been painted any time these last six years," Herman said. "But Olga has been nervous about the ball we are going to have to-night, and I thought it best to bring her to-day to distract her. You know this is really a ...
— The Devil - A Tragedy of the Heart and Conscience • Joseph O'Brien

... city—so far could hatred stimulate a man consistent only in his ruling passion of revenge. But the mighty power of Persia now lowering over Lacedaemon, the Spartan citizens resolved to sacrifice even justice to discretion: it was not a time to distract their forces by new foes, and they invited Cleomenes back to Sparta, with the offer of his former station. He returned, but his violent career, happily for all, was now closed; his constitutional madness, no longer ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... cause of religion and liberty? This religion proclaims to him its own preponderance, and the weakness of its rival, — two-thirds of the power of Austria are now in arms against Austria itself, while a formidable confederacy, already formed in Transylvania, would, by a hostile attack, further distract even the weak remnant of its power. Could inducements such as these fail to awaken his ambition, or such hopes to ...
— The History of the Thirty Years' War • Friedrich Schiller, Translated by Rev. A. J. W. Morrison, M.A.

... glad that she had not caught his last words. He felt that they were unwise, and he turned his back to distract his attention and ...
— The Devil's Pool • George Sand

... said Jackson, offering his canteen, after having drank himself, and with a view to distract attention from his companion. "You seem to have no liquor in the house, and I take it you require something hot as h-ll, and strong as d—n——n, after that ogre like repast ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... with her; but Dr. Barnett, who had fought eagerly and desperately with the dread disease, told them that it would do no good. The excitement might only hasten the end, and better to leave her quiet, and so contentedly happy as she seemed, than to bring new faces and new scenes to worry and distract the last feeble remnant of her strength. So they submitted themselves to his word, as one of authority, and took upon themselves the sad duty of watching a loved life drift peacefully out, and trying to say, as the end drew near: ...
— Six Girls - A Home Story • Fannie Belle Irving

... bleak darkness. It seemed more terrible now that he was with his friends than when he was outside and alone. He kept on saying to himself that there were plenty more who would be spending the night out of doors. He strove to distract his mind by talking, but in the middle of his words a spatter of rain against the window ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... was merely digressing, which I admit is wrong, as you're apt to distract the attention of your hearer from the real subject. We'll return to Mademoiselle Julie. Do you think she's going ...
— The Forest of Swords - A Story of Paris and the Marne • Joseph A. Altsheler

... be a wonderful new process of evolving gas from dirt and city refuse. He had been explaining it gently to a woman in the chair, from pure intellectual interest, to distract the patient's mind. He was not tinkering with teeth this time, however. The woman was sitting in the chair because it was the only unoccupied space. She had removed her hat and was looking steadily into the ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... piety of the islanders was edifying, the costumes worn by these strange converts were such as somewhat to distract the attention of the visitors. A black coat or the waistcoat of an English uniform was the only garment worn by some, whilst others contented themselves with a jacket, a shirt, or a pair of trousers. The most fortunate were wrapped in cloth mantles, ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... moment When nothing can distract a Christian's thoughts I'll softly ope the door. For one brief second Your Highnesses will see his golden head; Then I shall close the door, and thus he'll rise, Not knowing he received, before the Court, As usage ...
— L'Aiglon • Edmond Rostand

... the maddening gale, Starts reddens foams and screams and mutters loud, Like a fell fiend, her oracles of God. The dark enigma, by the pontiff scroll'd In broken phrase, and close in parchment roll'd, From his proud pulpit to the suppliant hurl'd, Shall rive an empire and distract the world. ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... said Merton sternly. 'Misplaced affections she might distract, but then, after she had distracted them, she might reciprocate them. As a conscientious manager I cannot recommend her ...
— The Disentanglers • Andrew Lang

... their efforts, who are working with the energy of the American character "for the cause." Alas, already the word was coming of a relaxation in the generosities, the devotions, the enthusiasms of these Americans. Other interests were coming into our rapid activities to distract us from last ...
— The World Decision • Robert Herrick

... On Monday, I am going with John in the yacht for a cruise amongst the Danish islands," said Mrs. Hardy, "do you think he would like to go with us? It would allow of his being better acquainted with us, and would distract his thoughts from dwelling on your ...
— A Danish Parsonage • John Fulford Vicary

... to her. For the first time she denied Kells admittance and she only vaguely sensed his solicitations. She had no ear for the murmur of voices in Kells's room. Even the loud and angry notes of a quarrel between Kells and his men did not distract her. ...
— The Border Legion • Zane Grey

... to distract Sylvia's thoughts from Anna Wolsky. She now began each morning with a two hours' ride with Paul de Virieu. She had a graceful seat, and had been well taught; only a little practice, so the Count assured her, was needed to make her into a really good horsewoman, ...
— The Chink in the Armour • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... external features of stupor in all akinetic catatonics, in marked depressive retardation, when there is a lack of interest, affect or will, in autism, with twilight states, as a result of negativism or, finally, when numerous hallucinations distract the patient's attention into a world of fancy. He notes that in all stupors (with the exception, perhaps, of "Benommenheit") the symptoms may disappear with appropriate psychic stimulation or that some reaction, no matter how larval, may be observed. He speaks, for ...
— Benign Stupors - A Study of a New Manic-Depressive Reaction Type • August Hoch

... him. M. le Cure is not the man to flinch; and as he passed, walking as usual very quickly and straight, his soutane brushed against the blouse of Jacques. He gave one quick glance from beneath his eyebrows at the profane interruption, but he would not distract himself from his sacred errand at such a moment. It is a sacred errand when any one, be he priest or layman, carries the best he can give to the bedside of the dying. I said this to Jacques when M. le Cure had passed and the bell went tinkling on along the street. 'Jacques,' ...
— A Beleaguered City • Mrs. Oliphant

... very glad to go to Peking from time to time, for he liked the excitement of the barbaric capital, and besides, he thought it would be good for Li to be quite on his own in charge of the godowns, and might distract his thoughts from that obsession which was preying ...
— Civilization - Tales of the Orient • Ellen Newbold La Motte

... I ever recite my experience to you if I did not enter upon these miserable details, which sorely distract the stranger upon his first arrival? Had I been a Government official, I had but wagged my finger and my quota of pagazis had been furnished me within a week; but as an individual arriving without the graces of official recognition, armed with no Government influence, I had to be ...
— How I Found Livingstone • Sir Henry M. Stanley

... read many books, some of which seemed beyond a boy's ken, but he got something from each of them. His power of concentration already surprised his family. If he was absorbed in a chapter, nothing which went on outside of him, either noise or interruption, could distract his attention. His passion for natural his tory increased. At the age of ten, he opened in one of the rooms of his home "The Roosevelt Museum of Natural History." Later, he devoted himself more particularly to birds, and learned from a taxidermist ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... endowment of research, as they style themselves, raised some time ago against the simple proposal of the Oxford University Commission, that well-endowed professors should deliver some lectures on their own special subjects? Such a practice, they maintained, would utterly distract the mind from all original investigation of the sources. Such certainly was not the case with the Bollandists, who yet could make time carefully—far more carefully than most modern historians—to investigate the sources of ...
— The Contemporary Review, January 1883 - Vol 43, No. 1 • Various

... out in a broad line, chase them at the utmost speed of horse towards that quarter of the park where the nets are spread. Some two hundred yards in front of the nets two deerhounds are held, and slipped as the stag gallops past—not to injure or distress him, but to hurry him up and distract his attention from the long ...
— The Naturalist on the Thames • C. J. Cornish

... class for women, in which fifteen matriculated. Mrs. Lockwood had been denied admission the previous year to the law class of Columbia College for the reason, as given by the trustees, "that it would distract the attention of the young men." About this time a young colored woman, Charlotte Ray of New York, was graduated from the law class of Howard University and admitted to the bar with the class. Of the fifteen women who entered the National University only two completed ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... good; and this is the foundation of all."[76] The senses and the memory, which collect and store up facts, must be assisted; there must be a ministration of the senses and another of the memory. For not only are instances required, but these must be arranged in such a manner as not to distract or confuse the mind, i.e. tables and arrangements of instances must be constructed. In the preliminary collection the greatest care must be taken that the mind be absolutely free from preconceived ideas; nature is only to be conquered ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon" • Various

... much to leave London. She feared lest, during her absence, something should occur to break off the wonted course of things, and that Waymark might not resume his visits on their return. After the feverish interval of those first weeks, she tried sometimes to distract her thoughts by reading, and got from a library a book which Waymark had recommended to her at their last meeting—Rossetti's poems. These gave her much help in restoring her mind to quietness. Their perfect beauty entranced her, and the rapturous purity of ideal ...
— The Unclassed • George Gissing

... What can delay her? I have counted every moment. I have waited whole ages. I see, I see, that every thing conspires to cheat, and to distract me. Damon has not one friend left to whisper in his ear—to whisper what? That Delia is no more? That all her beauties are defaced, by some sacrilegious hand? That all her heaven of charms have been rifled? Oh, no. I must not think of that. But hark! I thought I heard a sound, ...
— Damon and Delia - A Tale • William Godwin

... thoughts were never idle for a moment. So busy were they that the delicious calm of the night, the wonders of the following dawn, the glory of a magnificent sunrise over a green world of mountain, valley and plain, were quite lost to his unpoetic soul. The only things which seemed able to distract his concentrated thoughts were the fiercely buzzing mosquitoes, and these he cursed with whole-hearted enthusiasm which embraced a perfect vocabulary ...
— The Twins of Suffering Creek • Ridgwell Cullum

... naturally dispose them to reflection and study: and particular caution ought to be used, lest any interruption be suffered to dissipate their attention, or distract their meditations: for this reason, all visits and letters from ladies are strictly to be prohibited; and if any of the members shall be detected with a lapdog, pack of cards, box of dice, draught-table, snuffbox, or looking-glass, he shall, for the first offence, be confined for three months ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... is a mercy the fiddle is gone!' said Alda. 'I used to hear him playing it somewhere among the out-houses in the spring, and it was enough to distract ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... saw that it was not information about religion and customs that the emperor desired to hear, but talk about simple matters that would distract his thoughts from the cares of state. He talked, then, of his native village, of his mother with her maids at work around her, of hunting expeditions as a boy with Boduoc, and how both had had a narrow escape of being devoured ...
— Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion • G. A. Henty

... the greatest military position on the Atlantic coast of the United States; and although the two could not communicate by land, they did support each other as naval stations in a war essentially dependent upon maritime power. Philadelphia served no purpose but to divide and distract British enterprise. Absolutely dependent for maintenance upon the sea, the forces in it and in New York could not cooeperate; they could not even unite except by sea. When Clinton relieved Howe as commander-in-chief, though less than ...
— The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence • A. T. Mahan

... this to herself some days, not knowing what to do; for she loves you, and admires you of all women. At last she revealed it, but in confidence, to Miss Biddulph, by letter. Miss Biddulph, in like confidence, being afraid it would distract me, were I to know it, communi- cated it to Miss Lloyd; and so, like a whispered scandal, it passed through several canals, and then it came to me; which was not till ...
— Clarissa, Volume 5 (of 9) • Samuel Richardson

... course, there will be the biggest kind of an excitement, and you'll hear the shooting. The moment it begins give a yell; fire your guns; go whooping up the stream with the horses as though the whole crowd were trying to cut out that way, but get right back. The excitement will distract them and help me. Now, good-by, and good luck ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... his dramatic instinct was at play; recognizing the significance of Wylie's offer and its possible bearing upon Hanford's fortunes, he waved the waiter away, knowing better than to permit the rattle of dishes to distract his host's attention. ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... possessed of an independence that never would have been his had his life run on in the same easy, trusting, happy-go-lucky style in which he had spent the first two years of his army career. But in his isolation he had allowed himself no thought of anything that could for a moment distract him from the stern purpose to which he had devoted every energy. He would win back, command, compel, the respect of his comrades,—would bring to confusion those who had sought to pull him down; and until that stood accomplished ...
— The Deserter • Charles King

... humanity, to advocate the interests of the weather-beaten sufferer, as the noble lord could be. There were, however, other times and other places for men to engage in discussion of party politics, and he therefore implored the noble lord not to distract the attention of the meeting by the introduction of these; and to keep solely in view that they had met as the friends of benevolence, not as the advocates of a party. His Royal Highness then proposed to alter the ...
— The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc. • Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

... up a book, and tried to shut his ears and distract his thoughts. As he stared unseeingly at the printed pages, there suddenly flashed into his brain the name of Count Vladimir, the owner of "The Witch." Here was the very man to whom he could confidently apply for help in the present difficulties, for the Russian had made it his business in ...
— The Hippodrome • Rachel Hayward

... take his phials out; they watched him measure the particles of white powder; they watched him add drops of one precious liquid, and drops of another; they lost not the slightest movement; their eyes were riveted upon him with a fascination that nothing could distract. I believe they thought he was gifted like a god. When each individual got his portion of medicine, his eyes were radiant with joy —notwithstanding by nature they are a thankless and impassive race—and upon his face was written the unquestioning faith that nothing ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... to me of going away from places which constantly brought it back to my mind. Another sky, other customs, another language, grave responsibilities, a novel and difficult undertaking of uncertain outcome—I was willing to risk all simply to distract my attention and to forget. I have never in my life been a gambler, but that time I staked my artistic reputation upon a single card. Failure would have been a new emotion, severe and grievous, it is true, but still different from that which filled ...
— [19th Century Actor] Autobiographies • George Iles

... A love from me to thee Is firm, what ere thou dost: It troubles me That I have call'd the blood out of thy cheeks, That did so well become thee: but good boy Let me not see thee more; something is done, That will distract me, that will make me mad, If I behold thee: if thou tender'st me, Let ...
— Philaster - Love Lies a Bleeding • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... thought over every possible evil which could happen, the princess tried to distract her mind by playing with the little dog. She spent the whole day near the fountain, but as night drew on she wondered what she should do, when she noticed that the little dog was ...
— The Grey Fairy Book • Various

... listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself. The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than any ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... means—reason and argument, and appeals to patriotism on the present vexed question? And who can say that by 1875 or 1890, Massachusetts may not vote with South Carolina and Georgia upon all those questions that now distract the Country and threaten its ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... spelled slowly. "It is a savage creature with no manners, no morals, no clothes even. It lives in a hut or a tree, and eats roots and nuts, and nearly raw meat," Miss Wilder remarked, none too accurately, but slowly, in order to distract Isabelle's attention from the late subject of unpleasantness. The little girl considered her ...
— The Cricket • Marjorie Cooke

... journey of over a hundred and sixty miles; with the slow means of locomotion then available, it would occupy at least six days; and a considerable portion of it lay across a desert, where there was nothing to distract the mind from its own reflections. In this enforced leisure doubts arose. What else can be meant by the word with which the Lord saluted him: "It is hard for thee to kick against the goad!" The figure of speech is borrowed from a custom of Eastern countries: the ox-driver wields ...
— The Life of St. Paul • James Stalker

... expresses the opinion of the meeting that arbitrary arrests will have the effect to divide and distract those who should be united in suppressing the rebellion, and I am specifically called on to discharge Mr. Vallandigham. I regard this as, at least, a fair appeal to me on the expediency of exercising a constitutional power which I think exists. In response ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... himself with his son in a little cell, and living on alms, passed his days in fasting and prayer, being careful above all things to say nothing to the boy of any temporal matters, nor to let him see aught of the kind, lest they should distract his mind from his religious exercises, but discoursing with him continually of the glory of the life eternal and of God and the saints, and teaching him nought else but holy orisons: in which way of life he kept him not a few years, never suffering him ...
— The Decameron, Volume I • Giovanni Boccaccio

... peaceful that Edward could embark on a crusade. At Acre he very nearly fell a victim to a fanatic belonging to a body which counted assassination a religious duty. His wife, Eleanor of Castile, who was tenderly attached to him, had to be led out of his tent, lest her bitter grief should distract him during an operation which the surgeons held to be necessary. In 1272 Henry III. died, and his son, though in a distant land, was ...
— A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3) - From the earliest times to the Death of King Edward VII • Samuel Rawson Gardiner

... nation. How unimportant are all our differences of opinion upon minor questions of public policy compared with its preservation, and how scrupulously should we avoid all agitating topics which may tend to distract and divide us into contending parties, separated by geographical lines, whereby it may be ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... breeze dreamily stirred the foliage which hid from Lynde's view the gray facade of the gutted palace, still standing there, calcined and cracked by the fires of the Commune. Presently all this began to distract him, and when he returned to the hotel he was in a humor that would have been comparatively tranquil if so many tedious miles had not stretched between Paris ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... priesthood, with no family ties to distract attention, are organizing and employing devoted, self-denying women, all over the land, to perform the distinctive work that Protestant women, if wisely trained and organized by their clergy, could carry out in thousands of scattered ...
— The American Woman's Home • Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe

... I seem to be quite away even from my villa, and I find it delightful to sit there, especially during the Saturnalia, when all the rest of the house rings with the merry riot and shouts of the festival-makers; for then I do not interfere with their amusements, and they do not distract ...
— The Letters of the Younger Pliny - Title: The Letters of Pliny the Younger - - Series 1, Volume 1 • Pliny the Younger

... touched the surface of the rolling ground, where, in the hollows, on the heights, on the sloping sides of the dingles, knots of trees of yet more luxuriant and picturesque growth, planted or left by the cultivator's hand long ago, and trained by no hand but nature's, stood so as to distract a painter's eye; and just now, in the fresh gilding of the morning, and with all the witchery of the long shadows upon the uneven ground, certainly charmed Fleda's eye and mind both. Fancy was dancing again, albeit with one hand upon gravity's shoulder, ...
— Queechy, Volume II • Elizabeth Wetherell

... Ypsilante, meantime, to approach the harbour; and when we reach the causeway, we will throw up a rocket, and she must commence a feigned attack on the mouth of the harbour, blazing away as hard as she can. This will distract the attention of the pirates, and make them fancy that they have most to fear from their enemies on that side. As soon as she opens her fire, we will rush on; and as the Greeks will have hurried to the defences of the fort towards the harbour, ...
— The Pirate of the Mediterranean - A Tale of the Sea • W.H.G. Kingston

... might have something to distract my mind he gave me a stick that I might fashion it to support my steps as I walked along. When I had cut it to the required length I sprang up, saying I would go on some little way, at all events, begging his son to follow me; when we saw the young man approaching the cottage ...
— Will Weatherhelm - The Yarn of an Old Sailor • W.H.G. Kingston

... me a grain of comfort, for she could not draw very much nearer, though, to be sure, she was near enough already if her gunners' eyes were but straight enough to hit us; my great hope was that her heavy rolling would distract their aim, and so cause their shot either to fall short of or to fly over us. But I had no time to meditate at length upon these chances; the two boats were drawing dangerously near, and I must stop them by hook or by crook before they actually got alongside. ...
— The First Mate - The Story of a Strange Cruise • Harry Collingwood

... and excited me for a time, and when things slackened, I whirled westward to Chicago—eating and drinking, I remember, in the train from shoals of little dishes, with a sort of desperate voracity. I did the queerest things to distract myself—no novelist would dare to invent my mental and emotional muddle. Chicago also held me at first, amazing lapse from civilisation that the place is! and then abruptly, with hosts expecting me, and everything settled for some days in Denver, ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... where man is," he replied, "and screeching owls in every brain. You can't get quit." Then, lowering his voice, "I am haunted, and yet live here in this Moated Grange! The difference is this: in the town the gaslight and eternal clatter distract a man like me who is plagued from within; here I find some concord between the inside and the out, only the owls in the inside are more ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... expatiates eloquently upon his merits, which are evident. The shady road, the fragrant air, the glimpses of the broad river glittering in the morning sun, and the purple cliff opposite, are indeed a dream of beauty. He more than half wishes there was no business to distract ...
— Floyd Grandon's Honor • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... is a gallant man and a courteous. He was so full of pretty ways and dainty devices for to distract my mind, I never thought of counting. Nor yet did he keep score. Needs therefore must I hold him quit ...
— The Merrie Tales Of Jacques Tournebroche - 1909 • Anatole France

... wills which are good. For I ask them, is it good to take pleasure in reading the Apostle? or good to take pleasure in a sober Psalm? or good to discourse on the Gospel? They will answer to each, "it is good." What then if all give equal pleasure, and all at once? Do not divers wills distract the mind, while he deliberates which he should rather choose? yet are they all good, and are at variance till one be chosen, whither the one entire will may be borne, which before was divided into many. Thus also, when, above, eternity ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... her coffee, turned to it half-heartedly, hoping to find some odd bit of news that might serve to distract her thoughts. ...
— The Splendid Folly • Margaret Pedler

... the Cabinet, ought never to have left it; what have been the motives consciously or unconsciously affecting Mr. Gladstone's course of action—these and a hundred other enquiries of the like sort, which engage the attention and distract the judgment of the public, possess, in the eyes of any serious thinker occupied in estimating the strength of the arguments for and against Home Rule, no material importance whatever. His concern is the merit or demerit of a legislative enactment. He is not concerned at all with the conduct ...
— England's Case Against Home Rule • Albert Venn Dicey

... been known to come. Slowly the sun swept across the huge arch of the heavens, and as the shadows shifted from the black rocks which jutted upward from above his cell, so did the hermit regulate his terms of prayer and meditation. There was nothing on earth to draw his eye, or to distract his mind, for the grassy plain below was as void from month to month as the heaven above. So the long hours passed, until the red rim slipped down on the further side, and the day ended in the same pearl-grey shimmer with ...
— The Last Galley Impressions and Tales - Impressions and Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... way. I went to two or three different mediums so as to test them all. I found they had no objections to bringing your own slates and writing your own questions, but while they held the slate under the table they kept you talking to distract your attention, and from time to time they got convulsive jerks and movements by which it was quite possible for them to see what was written. Then you heard a scratching (the medium probably had a little bit of pencil in his finger-nail), and your answer was given ...
— The Mystery of a Turkish Bath • E.M. Gollan (AKA Rita)

... difficulties on religious matters, and should make herself ill over these unsubstantial troubles. Surely it was a woman's business to attend to her husband's comforts and to see after her children, and not to break her heart over misery here and hell hereafter, and distract her brain with questions that had puzzled the greatest thinkers and still remained unsolved! And, truly, women or men who get themselves concerned about the universe at large, would do well not to plunge hastily into marriage, for they do not run smoothly ...
— Annie Besant - An Autobiography • Annie Besant

... all to see their young mistress, usually so gracious and responsive, wholly absorbed in her troubled revery; but to-day her maidens played their sweetest strains upon their silvery lutes, without her answering smile; the gentlemen of her court sought in vain for some diversion to distract her; even the Lady Margherita could do nothing for her pleasure, while she watched in unobtrusive tenderness, feeling that quiet, however unsatisfying, ...
— The Royal Pawn of Venice - A Romance of Cyprus • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... weather that anyone can remember," but the procrastination over the arrangement and transfer of the lease as ample justification for the delay in fulfilling the engagement. Moreover, other matters were arising which tended to distract the attention of the directors from any passing squabble as to dates. The "overbearing leviathians" might have been quelled some years earlier, but they had not been killed, and at the beginning of 1861, movements were again afoot in North-Western circles to secure an ...
— The Story of the Cambrian - A Biography of a Railway • C. P. Gasquoine

... there were not many matters immediately without the doors of Cheeryble Brothers, to engage the attention or distract the thoughts of the young clerk, there were not a few within, to interest and amuse him. There was scarcely an object in the place, animate or inanimate, which did not partake in some degree of the scrupulous method and punctuality of Mr Timothy Linkinwater. ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... doctrines really are, and on what sort of basis they rest. And I do this the more willingly, as I observe that already the hastier sort of critics have begun, not to review my friend's book, but to howl over it in a manner which must tend greatly to distract ...
— Lectures and Essays • T.H. Huxley

... of the impracticability of approaching Quebec on the side of the Montmorency, Wolfe again turned his whole attention to the St. Lawrence. To destroy some ships of war lying in the river, and at the same time to distract the attention of Montcalm by descents at different places, twelve hundred men were embarked in transports under the command of general Murray, who made two vigorous, but unsuccessful attempts, to land on the northern ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 1 (of 5) • John Marshall

... unconscious of the adoration she excited. If a swarm of school-boys can not enter a country church without turning all their eyes toward one pew, is it not possible that, when a girl comes in and seats herself in that pew, the very focus of those burning glances, even Dr. Peewee may not entirely distract her mind, however he may rivet her eyes? As she takes her last glance at the Sunday toilet in her sunny dressing-room at home, and half turns to be sure that the collar is smooth, and that the golden curl nestles precisely as it should under ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis

... taught Mrs. Barton nothing; she knew but one set of tricks—if they failed she repeated them: she was guided by the indubitableness of instinct rather than by the more wandering light that is reason. Mr. Barton, who it was feared might talk of painting, and so distract the attention from more serious matters, was left in Galway, and amid eight or nine men collected here, there, and everywhere out of the hotels and barrack-rooms, the three ladies sat ...
— Muslin • George Moore

... my idiosyncrasies. I prefer a square, non-illegal style of business such as we are carrying on now. When I take money I want to leave some tangible object in the other fellow's hands for him to gaze at and to distract his attention from my spoor, even if it's only a Komical Kuss Trick Finger Ring for Squirting Perfume in a Friend's Eye. But if you've got a fresh idea, Andy,' says I, 'let's have a look at it. I'm not so wedded to petty graft that I would refuse something better ...
— The Gentle Grafter • O. Henry

... to distract the country's attention from internal dissensions and the Eastern frontier," [Footnote: Life of Lord Granville, vol. ii., p. 313.] M. Ferry developed that "Colonial policy" of which Sir ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... think, dear Anthony, that I am jealous of you and Juliet; oh, no, I love you too well for that. I know that I can never be as dear to you as Juliet; that she is more worthy of your love—Good Heavens! you are weeping. What have I said to cause these tears? Anthony, dear Anthony, speak to me. You distract me. Oh, tell me that I have ...
— Mark Hurdlestone - Or, The Two Brothers • Susanna Moodie

... senior, "there will be nothing to distract you from your studies, and in spite of yourself every minute you will be imbibing history and ...
— The Red Cross Girl • Richard Harding Davis

... compositions are as overfilled as the sheets of an illustrated newspaper—witness the "Massacre of the Innocents," a scene of such magnificent artistic possibilities. Finally, irrelevant episodes and irrelevant groups of portraits do what they can to distract our attention from all higher significance. Look at the "Birth of John"; Ginevra dei Benci stands there, in the very foreground, staring out at you as stiff as if she had a photographer's iron behind her head. An even larger group of Florentine housewives in all their finery disfigures ...
— The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance - With An Index To Their Works • Bernhard Berenson

... owing to the fact that the carnal vices are further removed from the mind, that they distract the mind's attention to more remote things, so that they hinder the mind's contemplation all the ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... already instructed in the amenities of wedded life—if they be like the pleasures of betrothal—though I cared not a whit what happened to Walter Butler, it is true, yet fell sick o' worry when you and Rosamund Barry went a-sailing—not that I feared you'd drown, either. O Carus, Carus, you distract me, you worry me; you tell me nothing, nothing, and I never knew what you were about there in New York when you were not with me!—doubtless a-courting every petticoat on Hanover ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... jealousies of families with their various alliances—all the animosities which agitate social life—all the intestine broils, ambitious emulations, endless contentions, and opposing interests that distract a state—all the melancholy wars that convulse nations and desolate empires, the record of which has stained the page of history in all ages—with every particular, form, and mode of evil, discoverable in ...
— Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I • Francis Augustus Cox

... worked up in a random sort of way the careless sequence of incidents in a popular traditional tale. Just as the tellers of the stories in Campbell's Highland Tales, and other authentic collections, make no scruple about proportion where their memory happens to fail them or their irrelevant fancy to distract them, but go on easily, dropping out a symmetrical adventure here and there, and repeating a favourite "machine" if necessary or unnecessary; so the story of Constance forgets and repeats itself. The voice is the voice of Chaucer, and so are the thoughts, but the order or disorder ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... not distract your attention with the palaces of the Caesars, the Cenci, St. Angelo, and the remains of antiquity still to be seen here, but trust that when we meet again every wish that you formerly expressed regarding our stay in Rome will be realized ...
— Lady Rosamond's Secret - A Romance of Fredericton • Rebecca Agatha Armour

... I beheld her as if raised from the dead to me; for an absence of eight-and-twenty years, in the short space of our duration, is almost equivalent to death. She arrived among us, still in great affliction for the loss she had had of the King; and I tried to distract her sad thoughts by all the dissipations possible. It is only by dint of such that one compels the mind to shift away from the fatal idea where grief has fixed it: this is not the work of a day, but of time, which in the end succeeds in everything. ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XXI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... it,' said one. 'Selina, it WAS a gang. I was certain of it from the first. The children were not mad. They were sent to distract our attention while ...
— The Phoenix and the Carpet • E. Nesbit

... Most worthy Sir, you therein throw away The absolute Soldiership you haue by Land, Distract your Armie, which doth most consist Of Warre-markt-footmen, leaue vnexecuted Your owne renowned knowledge, quite forgoe The way which promises assurance, and Giue vp your selfe meerly to chance and hazard, From ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... imitative in origin. Whether any of them are of value, as Lindley thinks, in arousing the brain to activity, or as Mueller suggests, in drawing off sensations or venting efferent impulses that would otherwise distract, we need not here discuss. If so, this is, of course, a secondary and late function—nature's way of making the best of things and ...
— Youth: Its Education, Regimen, and Hygiene • G. Stanley Hall

... place for her," exclaimed the Governor-General. "No pleasures to distract her, an atmosphere of plodding commercialism, an abundance of health-giving nourishment! Perhaps the mere change of climate will have the desired effect. We will make the experiment. She is doomed if she remains here, and America seems to be our only hope. I suppose our beloved Monarch sends ...
— The Slim Princess • George Ade

... picked up a pair of scissors, and proceeded to curl the feathers. The hat was already in so deplorable a condition that this belated home treatment was not likely to help it, but the diversion served its purpose, which was to distract the agent's attention away from ...
— The Easiest Way - A Story of Metropolitan Life • Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow

... fluttering heart. Apply the lock which tallies with thy hair To this my head from which it was cut off. Look on this robe, the work of thine own hand, And trace the figures which thy shuttle wrought. But calm thee, let not joy distract thy soul, For near of kin we know is ...
— Specimens of Greek Tragedy - Aeschylus and Sophocles • Goldwin Smith

... disasters and recover in the most amazing manner. Their mental recuperation is on a par with their bodily powers of recovery. Nature is on their side. Let me urge you to go down and take food. If you can even lunch with your party I should. It will distract ...
— The Grey Room • Eden Phillpotts

... thumped with joy o'er the cheering prospect. She kissed and fondled Louise and even teased her. Reading or chatting to the blind girl, sewing her frocks or performing a thousand and one kindly services, her sole thought was to distract and enliven the prisoned soul behind ...
— Orphans of the Storm • Henry MacMahon

... all right, but the system all wrong; and that the proper thing was to adopt SULTAN OMAR'S plan, and give the supreme control of the War to a Cabinet of not more than four members, who with no administrative details to distract them might be able to "teach the doubtful battle ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, February 23, 1916 • Various

... Ah, I was not wise enough! I was full of doubts and imagined evils—and why? Because of voices behind a wall! Surely a foolish cause for sorrow! I tried to extricate my mind from the darkness of despondency into which it had fallen, and to distract my attention from my own unhappy thoughts I glanced at the book which lay open before me. As I looked, its title, printed in letters of gold, flashed on my eyes like a gleam of the sun—'The Secret of Life.' A sudden keen expectancy stirred in me—I folded ...
— The Life Everlasting: A Reality of Romance • Marie Corelli

... the monarch into the vassal. She would try to memorize the page before her, and resolutely set herself to the task, but the wing of a snow-bird fluttering by the window, or the buzzing of a fly round the warm stove, would distract her attention and call up trains of thought as wild as irrelevant. Sometimes she would bend down her head, and press both hands upon it, to keep it in an obedient position; but all in vain!—her vagrant imagination would ...
— Helen and Arthur - or, Miss Thusa's Spinning Wheel • Caroline Lee Hentz

... there was a whole service of the same material, even to the handles of the knives and forks; and the choice variety of glass attracted Ferdinand's notice. The room was lofty and spacious; it was simply and soberly furnished; not an object which could distract the taste or disturb the digestion. But the sideboard, which filled a recess at the end of the apartment, presented a crowded group of gold plate that might have become a palace; magnificent shields, tall vases, ancient tankards, ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... quieter phase set in, Maudie had sent into Dawson for Potts, O'Flynn and Mac, that they might distract the Colonel's mind from the pardner she knew could not return. But O'Flynn, having married the girl at the Moosehorn Cafe, had excuse of ancient validity for not coming; Potts was busy breaking the faro bank, and Mac was waiting ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... still shrieking and scurrying, and passing to and fro like a stage-procession with the vain paraphernalia of a tea that never came. Our host still smiled from his cushions, resigned to Oriental delays. To distract the impatient westerners, a servant unhooked from the wall the cage of a gently-cooing dove. It was brought to us, still cooing, and looked at me with the same resigned and vacant eyes as the ladies I had just left. As it was being restored to its hook ...
— In Morocco • Edith Wharton

... cheerful." She whirled out of the room and back in a series of those swift, nervous movements peculiar to her. "There! that will amuse you, I know." She put the book down on the table before Lemuel, who silently submitted to have it left there. "It will distract your thoughts, if anything will. And I shall ask you to let me sit just here in the reception-room, so that I can call you ...
— The Minister's Charge • William D. Howells



Words linked to "Distract" :   put off, confuse, flurry, unhinge, disconcert, upset, worry, disturb, vex



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