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Superfluity

noun
(pl. superfluities)
1.
Extreme excess.  Synonyms: embarrassment, overplus, plethora.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Superfluity" Quotes from Famous Books



... constituted in harmony with that order, it is carried onward by the force of its own internal constitution in a catholic direction, and a church establishment, or what is called a state religion, would be an anomaly, or a superfluity. The true religion is in the heart of the state, as its informing principle and real interior life. The external establishment, by legal enactment of the church, would afford her no additional protection, add nothing ...
— The American Republic: Its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny • A. O. Brownson

... the continent, and is even more active in France than in Britain. In Britain, the spirit of improvement is chiefly evinced in public works, and in the useful arts and manufactures, and its efforts are characterized much more by superfluity of wealth than by science or refinement: in Germany this spirit is evinced in public buildings, in a superior taste, in ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 13, No. 359, Saturday, March 7, 1829. • Various

... woods, composed chiefly of one family of trees, would make an interesting study; but it would be tiresome to enter minutely into their details. Some are distinguished by a superfluity, others by a deficiency of undergrowth. In general, Pine and Fir woods are of the latter description, differing in this respect from deciduous woods. These differences are most apparent in large assemblages of wood, which have a flora as well as a fauna of their ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 46, August, 1861 • Various

... would die for her. You know I would," said Miss Laura, kindling up; "and you call this paltry money an obligation? Oh, Pen, it's cruel—it's unworthy of you to take it so! If my brother may not share with me my superfluity, who may?—Mine?—I tell you it was not mine; it was all mamma's to do with as she chose, and so is everything I have," said Laura; "my life is hers." And the enthusiastic girl looked towards the windows of the widow's room, and blessed ...
— The History of Pendennis • William Makepeace Thackeray

... in the rich accoutrement, and robe of purple, empaled with gold, is Eupathes; who entertains his mind with an harmless, but not incurious variety; all the objects of his senses are sumptuous, himself a gallant, that, without excess, can make use of superfluity, go richly in embroideries, jewels, and what not, without vanity, and fare delicately without gluttony; and therefore (not without cause) is universally thought to be of fine humour. His symbol is, "divae optimae"; an attribute to express ...
— Cynthia's Revels • Ben Jonson

... Nature is a better guide than civilisation, because nature comes from God, and His works are good; culture from man, whose works are bad in proportion as he is remoter from natural innocence, as his desires increase upon him, as he seeks more refined pleasures, and stores up more superfluity. It promotes inequality, selfishness, and the ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... the cross, and said to him, "If you are sent by God, speak." He spoke, and said: "I am that wretched chancellor, and have been condemned to eternal punishment." The bishop having asked him the cause, he replied, "I am condemned, first, for not having distributed the superfluity of my benefices; secondly, for having maintained that it was allowable to hold several at once; thirdly, for having remained for several days in the ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... him sharply back to the present reality. He looked up and saw that a table had been pulled out on to the verandah, and that four officers sat round it, playing cards by the light of a lamp. At Marut there was always a heavy superfluity of men, and these four, doubtless weary of standing uselessly about, had made good their escape to enjoy themselves in their own way. Nehal Singh hesitated. He felt a strong desire to go up and join them, to learn to know them outside the enervating, leveling atmosphere of social intercourse ...
— The Native Born - or, The Rajah's People • I. A. R. Wylie

... honourable compact they conceived to be that if, in the future disposition of the revenues of the Irish church, something superfluous for its legitimate and becoming uses should arise, they should, after the satisfaction of all existing interests, apply that superfluity to the religious and moral education of the people. He felt that he might consider the principle as established and conceded, that parliament had a right to deal with the revenues of the church, if it should think them superfluous for ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... never to be called a street, this most magnificent of terraces, and the world has cause to bless that interdict of the Court of Sessions in 1774, which prevented the Gradgrinds of the day from erecting buildings along its south side,—a sordid scheme that would have been the very superfluity of naughtiness. ...
— Penelope's Progress - Being Such Extracts from the Commonplace Book of Penelope Hamilton As Relate to Her Experiences in Scotland • Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

... voice, of the vanished monarchy, which had been so strong, so splendid, but to-day had become a vision almost as fantastic as the cupolas and chimneys that rose before me. I thought, while I lingered there, of all the fine things it takes to make up such a monarchy; and how one of them is a superfluity of mouldering, empty palaces. Chambord is touching—that is the best word for it; and if the hopes of another restoration are in the follies of the Republic, a little reflection on that eloquence of ruin ought to put the Republic ...
— A Little Tour in France • Henry James

... a very convenient meal, as it permits of an irregular number, of a superfluity of ladies or gentlemen; it is chatty and easy, and is ...
— Manners and Social Usages • Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood

... is that it should be the expression of Christian charity or love: and love means the willingness to serve others, at cost to self. Gifts and subscriptions which represent merely the largess of a man's superfluity and cost nothing in the way of personal self-denial are not really in this sense almsgiving. The Gospel prefers the widow's mite to the rich man's large but not really generous contribution, in cases where the larger sum ...
— Religious Reality • A.E.J. Rawlinson

... defended by a pair of gauntlets that reach his elbows; and on his head he wears a cap richly ornamented with bear's and eagle's claws. His long thick hair, however, renders the head-gear an article of superfluity,—but it is the fashion. The dress of the women consists of a square piece of dressed deer-skin, girt round them by a cloth or worsted belt, and fastened over their shoulders by leather straps; a jacket of leather, ...
— Notes of a Twenty-Five Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory - Volume II. (of 2) • John M'lean

... mistress of the said femme de chambre. This was an event beyond my hopes, and I determined to profit by it. I found the Duchesse suffering under a malady—if malady it could be called—to which I have since discovered grand ladies are peculiarly subject; namely, a superfluity of embonpoint, occasioned by luxurious habits and the ...
— The Idler in France • Marguerite Gardiner

... look at the city which is within him, and take heed that no disorder occur in it, such as might arise either from superfluity or from want; and upon this principle he will regulate his property and gain or ...
— The Republic • Plato

... this c into s conceals the origin and history of the word. For this reason the c is retained, although, as far as the mere expression of sounds (the primary object in orthography) is concerned, the letter is a superfluity. In cases like the one adduced the orthography is bent to a secondary end, and is traversed by ...
— A Handbook of the English Language • Robert Gordon Latham

... Name, yet Nature has not refus'd them the Advantage to make use of their Genital Parts, and to Engender as others. The Male Hermaphrodite may get Children, and the Female conceive; so that neither the one nor the other differ from Men or Women, but only by a superfluity or a deficiency of Parts, and such as does not disturb the ...
— Tractus de Hermaphrodites • Giles Jacob

... the most beautiful examples of mid-14th-cent. domestic architecture in the country. It was enlarged subsequently by Rich. Pomeroy (temp. Hen. VIII.), and Bishop Beckington's executors are said to have built the chapel at the other end of the Close. Regarded now-a-days as a devotional superfluity by the singers, it has been turned over to the Theological College. The chapel and muniment room above should be inspected, but admission cannot now be obtained to the hall. Before leaving the Cathedral precincts note on the same side of the road as the Vicars' Close (in order, westwards): ...
— Somerset • G.W. Wade and J.H. Wade

... starting from the cushion near the tripod, on which he sat, speaking with great animation and using, as was his custom, a superfluity of expression, both of voice and hands and eyes, 'intrigue! It is life! It is the only thing! How do you think Guizot and Aberdeen got to be ministers without intrigue? Or Riza Pasha himself? How do you think Mehemet Ali got on? ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... promise of a remarkable general capacity, made her a most taking, provoking creature. Mrs. Thornburgh—much recovered in mind since Dr. Baker had praised the pancakes by which Sarah had sought to prove to her mistress the superfluity of naughtiness involved in her recourse to foreign cooks—watched the young man and maiden with a face which grew more and more radiant. The conversation in the garden had not pleased her. Why should people always talk of Catherine; ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... days, vocal music is beginning to assert in this country the place it has long held abroad as a great moral educator; no longer regarded as a superfluity of the rich, it is now established as a branch of instruction in almost every school, and is gradually finding its way into many nooks and corners, where it will act as an antidote to grosser pleasures, by supplying the means of an ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New Series, February 14, 1852 • Various

... of the choir. Standing before this Giorgione, as before the Tintorettos here and over the way, one again wishes, as so often in Venice, that some American millionaire, in love with this lovely city and in doubt as to how to apply his superfluity of cash, would offer to clean the pictures in the churches. What glorious hues would then ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... attention grew more frequent and visible, till at last one morning he appeared in person, and without remark began to assist his master with his arms. Nothing passed between them, and for weeks relations were very strained, but before the end Grimond knew that he had been forgiven for his superfluity of loyalty, and Dundee was thankful that, as the shadows settled upon his life blacker and deeper every day, one honest man was his companion, and would remain true when every fair-weather friend and false schemer had fled. One can make excuses for jealousy ...
— Graham of Claverhouse • Ian Maclaren

... he says: "In vocal composition, the art of producing beautiful melody may now almost be considered as lost; and when a composer is so fortunate as to throw forth a passage that is really melodious, he is sure, if he be not sensible of its excellence, to overwhelm and destroy it by the fullness and superfluity of his instrumental parts." [Compare Mozart's words as addressed to Michael Kelly: "Melody is the essence of music. I should liken one who invents melodies to a noble racehorse, and a mere contrapuntist ...
— Haydn • J. Cuthbert Hadden

... neighbourhood, went thither every evening and enjoyed his pipe and can; being very well satisfied with the behaviour of the landlord, whose communicative temper was a great comfort to his own taciturnity; for he shunned all superfluity of speech, as much as he avoided any other ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... Then where is justice? Why dost thou honor so unboundedly that prosperous injustice, royalty, and think so highly of her? Is the being conspicuous honorable? At least, it is empty honor. Or dost thou desire to labor much, possessing much in thy house? but what is superfluity? It possesses but a name; since a sufficiency indeed to the temperate is abundance. Neither do men enjoy riches as their own, but having the property of the Gods do we cherish them. And when they list, ...
— The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I. • Euripides

... her florid superfluity of build that he had approached in the attitude of criticism; he was conscious also of the wide differences between her mind and his own. He felt no thankfulness that up to a certain point their natures had ever run companionably ...
— Widdershins • Oliver Onions

... minister, the laws were enforced, robbery and vagrancy were nearly stopped, and agriculture received a great impulse. But economy was the order of the day. The king himself set an illustrious example, and even dressed in gray cloth, with a doublet of taffeta, without embroidery, dispensed with all superfluity at his table, and ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... pretensions. A light groining sprang from six stout columns, and hung down in two rich pendants from the centre of the vault. The place terminated behind the altar in a round end, embossed and honeycombed with a superfluity of ornament in relief, and pierced by many little windows shaped like stars, trefoils, or wheels. These windows were imperfectly glazed, so that the night air circulated freely in the chapel. The tapers, of which there must have been ...
— New Arabian Nights • Robert Louis Stevenson

... a few examples falling, all but one, within the second half of the fifteenth century. Nearly all these attempts upon the lives of princes were made in church during the celebration of sacred offices. There was no superfluity of naughtiness, no wilful sacrilege, in this choice of an occasion. It only testified to the continual suspicion and guarded watchfulness maintained by tyrants. To strike at them except in church was almost impossible. Meanwhile the fate of the tyrannicides was ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series • John Addington Symonds

... expose the unreasonableness of both sides. In the case of the Cevennois insurgents, one party had used the argument that it was unlawful to encourage rebellion even among the subjects of a prince with whom we were at war. With this Defoe dealt in one article, proving with quite a superfluity of illustration that we were justified by all the precedents of recent history in sending support to the rebellious subjects of Louis XIV. It was the general custom of Europe to "assist the malcontents of our neighbours." Then in another article he considered whether, being ...
— Daniel Defoe • William Minto

... remarks with very boisterous mirth, whilst Mr. O'Connor simply shook his head and looked sadly upon his limbs, now shrouded in a superfluity of garments, somewhat resembling a slender thread of water in a shallow summer stream nearly wasted away and surrounded by an ...
— Stories by English Authors: Ireland • Various

... plenty, and it needed an effort for her to keep them down, while Carrington's spirits were nearly exhausted after twenty years of strain, and he required a greater effort to hold himself up. There was every reason why he should be grateful to Sybil for lending to him from her superfluity. He enjoyed being laughed at by her. Suppose Madeleine Lee did refuse to marry him! ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... power of government to prevent much evil; it can do very little positive good in this, or perhaps in anything else. It is not only so of the state and statesman, but of all the classes and descriptions of the rich: they are the pensioners of the poor, and are maintained by their superfluity. They are under an absolute, hereditary, and indefeasible dependence on those who labor and ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. V. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... I think, that Mr. Darwin has satisfactorily proved that what he terms selection, or selective modification, must occur, and does occur, in nature; and he has also proved to superfluity that such selection is competent to produce forms as distinct, structurally, as some genera even are. If the animated world presented us with none but structural differences, I should have no hesitation in ...
— On the Relations of Man to the Lower Animals • Thomas H. Huxley

... soon as we were mounted, "that I call 'HUMAN NATUR'!' Now that clock is sold for forty dollars—it cost me just six dollars and fifty cents. Mrs. Flint will never let Mrs. Steel have the refusal—nor will the deacon learn until I call for the clock, that having once indulged in the use of a superfluity, how difficult it is to give it up. We can do without any article of luxury we have never had, but when once obtained, it is not in 'HUMAN NATUR'' to surrender it voluntarily. Of fifteen thousand sold by myself and partners ...
— The Clockmaker • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... Italians had never understood or practised chivalry, save in such select and exotic schools as the Casa Gioiosa under Vittorino da Feltre at Mantua. The oath of Arthur's knights would have seemed to them mere superfluity of silliness. Onore connoted credit, reputation, and prowess. Virtu, which may be roughly translated as mental ability combined with personal daring, set the standard and ruled opinion. 'Honour in the North was subjective: Onore in Italy objective.' Individual liberty, ...
— Machiavelli, Volume I - The Art of War; and The Prince • Niccolo Machiavelli

... sough o' cholera Or typhus, wha sae gleg as she! She buys up baths, an' drugs, an' a', In siccan superfluity! She doesna need—she's fever proof— The pest walked o'er her very roof; She tauld me sae, and then her loof Held ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... modest and retiring virtues. If among her many attractions she is possessed of a distinguishing trait, it lies in the power of her eyes. So much language do their depths contain, that to me, at least, any other is in a great measure a superfluity. I should be afraid to count up the consecutive hours we have spent in this silent converse, reading each other's hearts, as some pleasant poet has styled it, "through the windows of the soul." I would not have you suppose them almond-shaped or piercing. No! Malinda Jane's ...
— Trifles for the Christmas Holidays • H. S. Armstrong

... have any record. All savages take to alcoholic fluids as if they were to the manner born. Our Vedic forefathers intoxicated themselves with the juice of the "soma"; Noah, by a not unnatural reaction against a superfluity of water, appears to have taken the earliest practicable opportunity of qualifying that which he was obliged to drink; and the ghosts of the ancient Egyptians were solaced by pictures of banquets in which the wine-cup ...
— Discourses - Biological and Geological Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... the domain of art the word 'Hellenic' implies absolute truth of form, absolute truth of taste, grace and elegance. It means the selecting and simplifying of essentials into an ideal shape; and therefore it implies the absence of all superfluity, incongruousness, bombast, extravagance or purposelessness. The Parthenon and the statue of the grey-eyed goddess standing up in faultless symmetry against the clear blue sky of Attica; Plato's Apology of Socrates breathing serene and lucid thought in language lucid and serene—these are the ...
— Platform Monologues • T. G. Tucker

... as he had left the affairs he was there to discuss he returned to them. His mind seemed to have freed itself of all irrelevancy and superfluity, as a stream often runs from a faucet with much spluttering and rather muddy at first, then steadies and clears. Norman gave him the attention one can get only from a good mind that is interested in the subject ...
— The Grain Of Dust - A Novel • David Graham Phillips

... a Glesca accent like skirling pipes played by a drunken piper." They watched her while she set the table with tea and scones and strawberry jam and cheese, and smiled rather vacantly at her stream of gossip, their natural liking for the woman struggling against their sense of the superfluity of everybody on earth except each other. When she left them they ate and drank almost without speech, soberly delighted by the mellowing of the world that followed the dwindling of the sunset fires. All things seemed to become more modest ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... some part of their necessary livelyhood, for assisting so good a work. It is far from our thoughts, that the pinching of some, should make others superfluously to abound: It is rather to bee expected of the richer sort, that they will spare and defalk, not onely the pride and superfluity, both of apparel and diet, but also a part of their lawful allowance in these things, to contribute the same as a free will offering, beside what they are obliged to, by Law or publick Order, after the example of godly Nehemiah, who for ...
— The Acts Of The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland

... think that when a husband is present at his wife's dinner party he repeats the mortifying superfluity of ...
— The Elevator • William D. Howells

... flooded. In some places the crops are spoiled with too much sun, and in others with too little. Some people sigh for the sight of a cloud, and others people see nothing else. Occasionally a famine occurs in India which might have been averted by half our superfluity of water. Even at home the weather is always more or less of a plague. Its variation is so great that it is always a safe topic of conversation. You may go out in the morning with a light heart, tempted ...
— Flowers of Freethought - (First Series) • George W. Foote

... he said with an impulse that surprised him, and he handed her one dollar. "Now, go home and dry yourself and go to bed," he continued. He did not stop to consider that she might not have a home and a bed, but continued on his way with his superfluity of matches. His home was bright, and warm, and cheery when he arrived there, and his wife welcomed him. "I have brought you a Christmas present," he said, and he handed her the matches. When she opened the package he ...
— Skookum Chuck Fables - Bits of History, Through the Microscope • Skookum Chuck (pseud for R.D. Cumming)

... vibrant shelter of the pines, pushing back her hair; she was bareheaded; a hat had been an impossible superfluity when she started out. ...
— The Good Comrade • Una L. Silberrad

... authenticall, And things we haue like Noblemen that be In little time, which I haue hope to see Vpon their foot-clothes, as the streets they ride To haue their hornebookes at their girdles ti'd. But all their superfluity of spite On vertues hand-maid Poesy doth light, 80 And to extirpe her all their plots they lay, But to her ruine they shall misse the way, For his alone the Monuments of wit, Aboue the rage of Tyrants that doe sit, And from their strength, not ...
— Minor Poems of Michael Drayton • Michael Drayton

... hearty dining on flesh, coarse food and alcoholic drinks. An unhealthy short lived individual. Even if we accept a high proportion of proteid, it is possible to combine purely vegetable foods so as to give the required quantity of the various constituents, without a superfluity of the carbo-hydrates. In "Food Grains of India," Professor A.H. Church shows by elaborate analyses and dietary tables, how this can be accomplished by various combinations of cereals, pulses, etc. He takes Forster and Voit's standard ...
— The Chemistry of Food and Nutrition • A. W. Duncan

... thirty of the chief companies in London at their Halls, desiring either generally or particularly (them that would) to imbrace it and by the use of a stock of five thousand pounds to ease them of the superfluity of most of their companies that had but strength and health to labor; near a year I spent to understand their resolutions, which was to me a greater toil and torment, than to have been in New England about ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... accountants puzzle me. I have no skill in figuring. But thy great dead tomes, which scarce three degenerate clerks of the present day could lift from their enshrining shelves—with their old fantastic flourishes, and decorative rubric interlacings—their sums in triple columniations, set down with formal superfluity of cyphers—with pious sentences at the beginning, without which our religious ancestors never ventured to open a book of business, or bill of lading—the costly vellum covers of some of them almost persuading us that we are ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Volume 2 • Charles Lamb

... "Hanoverian Rats," to the final ousting of the rightful King over the water; there was the Rising of 1715, and, finally, there was the gallant attempt by Bonnie Prince Charlie to regain his father's crown in 1745. Thus they had, indeed, a superfluity of subjects over which men might legitimately quarrel. And when it is remembered that gentlemen in those days universally carried swords, and as a rule possessed some knowledge of how to use them, and that the man who did not habitually drink too much at ...
— Stories of the Border Marches • John Lang and Jean Lang

... she said, "you know not to whom or of what you speak. They to whom Heaven declares its purpose must merit its communication by mortifying the senses; they have that within which requires not the superfluity of earthly nutriment, which is necessary to those who are without the sphere of the Vision. To them the watch spent in prayer is a refreshing slumber, and the sense of doing the will of Heaven is a richer banquet than the tables ...
— The Abbot • Sir Walter Scott

... to Excellency Hanbury; his masterpiece found suddenly a superfluity, an incommodity! The Orthodox English course now is, "No foreign soldiers at all to be allowed in Germany;" and there are the 55,000 tramping on with such alacrity. "We cannot ratify that Treaty, Excellency Hanbury," writes the ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Seven-Years War: First Campaign—1756-1757. • Thomas Carlyle

... kind of capstan-head court-martials, at which captains will sometimes administer reefers' law, "Woe to the weakest!" A defence was quite a work of superfluity; so, consoling myself with the vast responsibility with which, all at once, I found myself invested, I went and turned in, anathematising every created thing above an inch high and a foot below the same dimensions. However, in a very sound sleep I soon forgot ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... when he writes to a friend: "Two parents are the rule; no parents the exception; a mother but no father is not uncommon; but I had a father and never had a mother. I was nursed by a man, and educated by monks, all of which shows that women are more or less of a superfluity in creation. God Himself is a man. He had one son, but no daughters. The cherubim are boys. All of the angels are masculine, and so far as Holy Writ informs us, there are ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... poor girl. I looked after her a little, but it was mistaken kindness, for now she's got me on her mind. And as the two hundred and eighty million benighted souls of India are her continual concern, I seem a superfluity. To think of being the two hundred and eighty millionth and ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... Child" in S. Lorenzo, the "Head of Brutus," the "Bound Captives," and the "Pieta" in the Duomo of Florence, are instances of masterpieces in the rough. He loved to fancy that the form dwelt within the stone, and that the chisel disencumbered it of superfluity. Therefore, to his eye, foreseeing what the shape would be when the rude envelope was chipped away, the marble mask may have taken the appearance of a veil or mantle. He may have found some fascination in the incompleteness that argued want of will but not of ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... their friends. They meet early; the beef and pudding are noble; the mince-pies—peculiar; the nuts half play-things and half-eatables; the oranges as cold and acid as they ought to be, furnishing us with a superfluity which we can afford to laugh at; the cakes indestructible; the wassail bowls generous, old English, huge, demanding ladles, threatening overflow as they come in, solid with roasted apples when set down. Towards ...
— Christmas: Its Origin and Associations - Together with Its Historical Events and Festive Celebrations During Nineteen Centuries • William Francis Dawson

... than to furnish all I desired. One thing I was sorry for; when I bade him have the horns of the oxen gilded, he told me there would not be time, as it would require three days to do that; so you see we must do without this little superfluity." ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... focus, entirely made by himself. This success tempts him to undertake still more difficult enterprises. Other telescopes of seven, of eight, of ten, and even of twenty feet focal distance, crown his efforts. As if to answer in advance those critics who would have accused him of a superfluity of apparatus, of unnecessary luxury, in the large size of the new instruments, and his extreme minutiae in their execution, Nature granted to the astronomical musician, on the 13th of March 1781, the unheard-of honour of commencing his career of observation ...
— Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men • Francois Arago

... the all in all," said brother Michael, "gentle as a ring-dove, yet high-soaring as a falcon: humble below her deserving, yet deserving beyond the estimate of panegyric: an exact economist in all superfluity, yet a most bountiful dispenser in all liberality: the chief regulator of her household, the fairest pillar of her hall, and the sweetest blossom of her bower: having, in all opposite proposings, sense to understand, judgment ...
— Maid Marian • Thomas Love Peacock

... all the comforts of life with a moderate fortune, which it will always be in your own power to improve, or tied for life to a monied man whom she detests, cursing her hard fate, and despising that superfluity of wealth, in spite of which she finds herself ...
— The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom, Complete • Tobias Smollett

... successors,—an end so seldom achieved by more ambitious efforts. But the old minister, before reaching his patriarchal age of ninety, ate the apples from this orchard during many years, and added silver and gold to his annual stipend by disposing of the superfluity. It is pleasant to think of him walking among the trees in the quiet afternoons of early autumn and picking up here and there a windfall, while he observes how heavily the branches are weighed down, and computes the number of empty flour-barrels that will be filled by their burden. He loved ...
— The Old Manse (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... Footprint of Buddha on the sacred hill at Prabat. They are then presented to the priests, who are supposed to make them into brushes with which they sweep the Footprint; but in fact so much hair is thus offered every year that the priests cannot use it all, so they quietly burn the superfluity as soon as the pilgrims' backs are turned. The cut hair and nails of the Flamen Dialis were buried under a lucky tree. The shorn tresses of the Vestal Virgins were hung ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... had a house in New York and a villa in Belfield; she had running accounts with tradesmen; and not only gave dinner-parties, balls and receptions, but out-dressed her circle with a sort of gorgeous superfluity which made her intimates experience the ignominy of their inferiority. Mr. Lenox resigned himself to the irresistible current of his wife's will, and if he felt inward doubts silenced them as suggestions of morbid distrust in the discretion of a woman whom ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878. • Various

... bust,—all would have charmed equally the artist and the sensualist. Fortunately, the sole defect of her form was not apparent at a distance: that defect was in the hand; it had not the usual faults of female youthfulness,—the superfluity of flesh, the too rosy healthfulness of colour,—on the contrary, it was small and thin; but it was, nevertheless, more the hand of a man than a woman: the shape had a man's nervous distinctness, the veins swelled like sinews, the joints of the ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... a sense of her own superfluity she thought he probably scorned her; and quite broken in spirit sat down on a bench. She fell into painful thought on her position, which ended with her saying quite loud, "O, I wish I was dead with ...
— The Mayor of Casterbridge • Thomas Hardy

... looks. Good looks in a man are a superfluity. But his manners—I never saw anything so underbred. Those Tempest ...
— Vixen, Volume I. • M. E. Braddon

... "You talk as if Ella had a political salon and distributed lettres de cachet! I'm glad she approves of Ashford; but if you think my wife makes my appointments for me—" He broke off with a laugh at the superfluity ...
— The Hermit and the Wild Woman and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... excused these disgraceful details, in order better to make him known).... On shaving days he used the same vessel to lather his chin in. This, according to him, was a simplicity of manner worthy of the ancient Romans, and which condemned the splendour and superfluity of the others. When all was over, he dressed; then played high at piquet or hombre; or rode out, if it was absolutely necessary. All was now over for the day. He supped copiously with his familiars: was a great eater, of wonderful gluttony; a connoisseur ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... it had never occurred to him, for instance, that civilisation demands the breaking of bread, that, in the absence of silver, a fork must suffice for the dissection of fish, that a napkin is a graceful auxiliary in the process of a meal and not rather an embarrassing superfluity of furtive application. Like a wise man, he did not talk much during dinner, devoting his mind to observation. Of one thing he speedily became aware, namely, that Mr. Alfred Waltham was so very much in his own house that it was not wholly safe to regard his demeanour ...
— Demos • George Gissing

... superfluity, such show, such ostentation, such extraordinary luxurious kind of life as is now come upon us? If Adam were to return to earth, and see our mode of living, our food, drink, and dress, how would he marvel. He would say: "Surely this is not the world I was in?" For Adam drank water, ate fruit ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol X • Various

... Cranford as Mary, but this was a state occasion), "I have conversed in private with these ladies on the misfortune which has happened to our friend, and one and all have agreed that while we have a superfluity, it is not only a duty but a pleasure—a true pleasure, Mary!"—her voice was rather choked just here, and she had to wipe her spectacles before she could go on—"to give what we can to assist her—Miss Matilda Jenkyns. Only in consideration of the feelings of delicate ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV. • Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... and that in the other expression, the holy name of God was too lightly and unthankfully used, and therefore taken in vain. Besides, they were words and wishes of course, and are usually as little meant, as are love and service in the custom of cap and knee; and superfluity in those, as well as in other things, was burthensome to them; and therefore, they did not only decline to use them, but found themselves often pressed ...
— A Brief Account of the Rise and Progress of the People Called Quakers • William Penn

... post-marks and renewed addresses. "They keep it up right along, don't they? I can't make them feel that initials on an envelope are not the best form. I can't bring them to see that 'Esq.' on foreign letters is worse than a superfluity." He referred once more to the mountains of Savoy; they seemed to offer no loophole of escape. "Well, I've got to do it, ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... hieratic Dorian architecture, to speak precisely, the Dorian manner everywhere, in possession of the whole of life. Compare it, for further vividness of effect, to Gothic building, to the Cistercian Gothic, if you will, when Saint Bernard had purged it of a still barbaric superfluity of ornament. It seems a long way from the Parthenon to Saint Ouen "of the aisles and arches," or Notre-Dame de Bourges; yet they illustrate almost equally the direction of the Platonic aesthetics. Those churches of the Middle Age have, as we all feel, their loveliness, ...
— Plato and Platonism • Walter Horatio Pater

... or memory. How often, too, have I seen the reverse of the picture I have just drawn; when the pale unconscious corse has lain abandoned in its loveliness, and grudging hands have scantily dealt out a portion of their superfluity, to obtain the last rites for one who so lately moved, spoke, smiled, and walked amongst them! And I have felt, even then, that there were those to whom that neglected being had been far more precious ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. XIX. No. 540, Saturday, March 31, 1832 • Various

... Princes the Titles which are appropriated to them, but to the Tzarskoy Majesties of Russia his Royal Ancestors, and to his present Tzarskoy Majesty his Royal Majesty himself, have usually and do gladly pay Titles even to superfluity out of meer kindness. And upon that reason He added the word most Illustrious, and so did I use it in the Latin of my speech. Yet, that You may find I did not out of any criticisme of honor, but for distinction sake use it as I did, You may see in one place of the ...
— Andrew Marvell • Augustine Birrell

... being by some degrees more drunk than any of his people. A more finished picture of a savage cannot be conceived. He was a tall, broad shouldered man; with a prodigiously large head, and a square-shaped bloated face, from which peeped out two very small eyes, partly hid by an immense superfluity of black, coarse, oily, straight hair, covering his cheeks, hanging over his shoulders, and rendering his head somewhat the shape and size of a bee-hive. Over his shoulders was thrown a poncho of coarse blanket stuff. He received them very gruffly, and appeared ...
— The Pirates Own Book • Charles Ellms

... pleasure is capital. Staid people generally neglect it as a frivolity; utilitarians, as a costly superfluity. Those whom we designate as pleasure-seekers forage in this delicate domain like wild boars in a garden. No one seems to doubt the immense human interest attached to joy. It is a sacred flame that must be fed, and that throws a splendid radiance over life. He who takes pains to foster ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... stupidly surprised that the poor deformed creature should have found a mate—as though there were not a superfluity of mates in the world—"I ...
— Elizabeth and her German Garden • "Elizabeth", AKA Marie Annette Beauchamp

... Ireland. If the Bishops can secure the continuance of English government for the next half-century Ireland will have become the Church's property. Her money will go to propagating the faith. Her children will supply the English-speaking world with a superfluity of ...
— Hyacinth - 1906 • George A. Birmingham

... good leader in a frolic. 'You follow me and do as I tell you, and I don't believe old "Tushy" will follow us far.' By general consent he led them to the dry, sandy shore, and such as had them filled their handkerchiefs, and such as could not boast of that superfluity filled their caps, with sand. 'Now,' says Phil, 'when he comes back, and it won't be long, we'll form a line and wait till he gets his skates on, when he'll put chase for some of us. If he gets near any ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... fallen into decay, from their look of having outlived their original use. Their extraordinary largeness and massiveness are a satire on their present fate. They weren't built with such a thickness of wall and depth of embrasure, such a solidity of staircase and superfluity of stone, simply to afford an economical winter residence to English and American families. I don't know whether it was the appearance of these stony old villas, which seemed so dumbly conscious of a change of manners, that threw a tinge of melancholy over the general prospect; ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James

... we further divide into those which can be directly enjoyed and those which are of use only indirectly, by facilitating production. (Natural means of enjoyment,—means of acquisition.)(220) An extreme superfluity of the former is as disastrous to civilization as a too great scarcity of them. How simple the economy of a tropical country! A banana field will support twenty-five times as many men as a wheat field (K. ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... of something amazingly taut and ready—like a ship cleared for action. The body with its clothing seemed to have been simplified as much as possible, so as to become the mere instrument of the will which governed it. No superfluity whatever, whether of flesh on her small bones, or of a single unnecessary button, fold, or trimming on her dress, had Gertrude Marvell ever allowed herself for many years. The general effect was in some way formidable; though why the neat precision of the ...
— Delia Blanchflower • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... spoken those words, for I recognize, as far as a limited observation and a small experience allow me, the ruin of a heart full of sentiment, under the new structure that you present to the world to-day, and I also think that at that time you must have felt a superfluity of emotion. Your craving was for trust, for confidence and love, and the cynicism of your words now means something like sour grapes. Don't be offended, dear Madame d'Alberg, the thoughts suggest themselves. If you ...
— Honor Edgeworth • Vera

... books up in a drygoods box and left them in care of Professor Langworth's housekeeper, the former having gone away to Colorado for the summer. As for clothes, tramp-life had taught me the superfluity of more than a change ...
— Tramping on Life - An Autobiographical Narrative • Harry Kemp

... chattered enough, and tramped on in silence. Pelle stepped forward carelessly, drinking in the fresh air. He was conscious of a superfluity of strength and well-being; otherwise he thought of nothing, but merely rejoiced unconsciously over his visit to his home. At every moment he had to moderate his steps, so that Sort should not be ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... I think, unquestionably accurate: first, that for many months of the year the residents need not take into consideration for a moment the possibility of rain; second, that on account of this drought there must inevitably be during that period a superfluity of dust; and, third, that every day there will be felt "a cool refreshing breeze," which frequently increases to a strong wind. My memory of California will always retain a vivid impression of this wind, and the effect of it upon the trees is evident from the ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... I shall have money enough for two. What I want is that you should kindly relieve me of my superfluity and make it over to Isabel. Divide my inheritance into two equal halves and give her ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1 (of 2) • Henry James

... diametrically opposite opinion. "We are poor because we have no notion of making money by modern methods. We have always lived on the land, selling our superfluity to pay the rent, and now that our arrangements are disturbed, we don't know which way to turn. The blame rests with America, whose competition has so lowered the price of produce that the farmer's superfluity, that is, what he does not ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... working from below, whilst the first one is external and works from above; from now on, both are to work together and in accord.—But, in reality, the second (the council-general) remains subordinate; moreover, it does not suit the machine[4204] and the machine does not suit it; it is only a superfluity, an inconvenient and cumbersome intruder, nearly always useless, and often mischievous. Its influence is feeble and of little effect; too many brakes are attached to it; its force diminishes through the complexity of its numerous wheels; ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... distant reaches of the stream were still tinged redly with the fierce jungle fire that grew and spread back to the flat lands. There was some unfathomable influence that persuaded the skipper of the superfluity of keeping watch now Vandersee was there, but the influence could not tranquilize minds so utterly awakened as were those of the destroyed ship's company. Gordon was restless and edged ever nearer to the recumbent Vandersee; Little had fallen asleep ...
— Gold Out of Celebes • Aylward Edward Dingle

... shall so will, you may obtain from her liberality a shirt for this worthless tabernacle, and also a pair of hose; for I am unsavory to myself and to others, and of such luxuries none here has superfluity; for all live in holy poverty, except the fleas, who have that consolation in this world for which this unhappy nation, and those who labor among them, must wait ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... charged with the superfluity of commending to scholars the writings of Mr. Spencer. They have long ago found them out. It is to the mass of working men and women who make time for a solid book or two in the course of the year that we submit their ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... mouths water. The inn bore the name of some woodland animal, stag, or hart, or hind, I forget which. But I shall never forget how spacious and how eminently habitable it looked as we drew near. The carriage entry was lighted up, not by intention, but from the mere superfluity of fire and candle in the house. A rattle of many dishes came to our ears; we sighted a great field of table-cloth; the kitchen glowed like a forge and smelt like a garden of things ...
— An Inland Voyage • Robert Louis Stevenson

... combined publishing with second-hand bookselling, one of the more interesting is William Newton, who resided there during the earlier years of the last century. In 1712 he published Quincy's 'Medicina Statica,' at the end of which is this curious 'Advertisement' (minus the superfluity of capitals): 'Those persons who have any Librarys (sic) or small parcels of old books to dispose of, either in town or countrey, may have ready money for them of Will. Newton, Bookseller in Little Britain, London. Also ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... a most notorious Christian. Renown, however, with him could never be a superfluity, or even a sufficiency, and he grudged the fame that these strange spiritual utterances were acquiring. He had long enjoyed the distinction of being considered a miraculous convert; his rescue from the wily enticements of Satan had been celebrated with much shaking and clapping of ...
— The Riddle Of The Rocks - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... curious note in the register of Tunstall, Kent. There seems to have been a superfluity of members of the family of Pottman in this parish, and the clergyman appears to have been tired of recording their names in his books, ...
— Vanishing England • P. H. Ditchfield

... with my Greatnesse. What a disgrace is it to me, to remember thy name? Or to know thy face to morrow? Or to take note how many paire of Silk stockings y hast? (Viz. these, and those that were thy peach-colour'd ones:) Or to beare the Inuentorie of thy shirts, as one for superfluity, and one other, for vse. But that the Tennis-Court-keeper knowes better then I, for it is a low ebbe of Linnen with thee, when thou kept'st not Racket there, as thou hast not done a great while, because the rest of ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... the money's, and enjoyed a popularity which can not be purchased, and which yet is impossible to be won by one who has nothing to give. He had the reputation among these simple folks, who knew how to be frugal themselves, of having a superfluity of wealth; his air and manner showed he had been always used to be lavish (as indeed he had), and nourished this delusion, which extended, though upon other grounds, to the tenants of the ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... Cavanagh! favours us with the following practical account of his system; by which he intends, through the means of enthusiasm, to render breakfasts a superfluity—luncheons, inutilities—dinners, dreadful ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, September 25, 1841 • Various

... odd, bare place to eyes used to the superfluity of hangings and stuffings that prevailed at Estcourt? These bare boards, these shabby little mats by the side of the beds, the worn foxes' skins before the writing-tables, the cane or wooden chairs, the white calico curtains with ...
— The Benefactress • Elizabeth Beauchamp

... durable; and we have as little sympathy with the stereotyped cry of there being too many, as with the fashionable unbelief in modern pigments. Certainly, the artist who seeks for permanence among the whites, reds, or blues, will not be troubled with a superfluity. Certainly, too, colours are as good as ever they were, and better—better made, better ground, better prepared for use. But, fast and fugitive, pigments are more numerous, and for that reason ...
— Field's Chromatography - or Treatise on Colours and Pigments as Used by Artists • George Field

... built to shelter a family of boys, and steps being a superfluity scorned by their agile legs, there was a sheer drop of three feet to the ground upon that side. Evadna made it in a jump, just as the boys did, and landed ...
— Good Indian • B. M. Bower

... finger itching to throw it in. But he sat down again after a moment and went on with his work. It was imperative he should make progress with it; he could not afford to waste his time—which was money—because another person—Mary Ann to wit—had come into a superfluity of both. In spite of which the comic opera refused to advance; somehow he did not feel in the mood for gaiety; he threw down his pen in despair and disgust. But the idea of not being able to work rankled in him. Every hour seemed suddenly precious—now that he had resolved to make money ...
— The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes • Israel Zangwill

... hands of the guests—an office which suggests an obvious rhyme for poets writing of water-jugs. Another epitaph is a shining example of the proper manner of attributing to the dead an almost crushing superfluity of virtues. Sara Holney, first in Latin, and then in English, thus is lamented ...
— Highways and Byways in Surrey • Eric Parker

... that box as the great reservoir of Roman liberty, Spartan fame, and Grecian polytheism. You are to swing the great flail of justice and electricity over this immense community, in hydraulic majesty, and conjugal superfluity. You are the great triumphal arch on which evaporates the even scales of justice and numerical computation. You are to ascend the deep arcana of nature, and dispose of my client with equiponderating concatenation, in reference to ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick



Words linked to "Superfluity" :   excessiveness, redundancy, superfluous, redundance, excess, inordinateness



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