Phrases with "barren"

George Gissing And then, if his theology is barren to me, possibly his philosophy may stand me in better stead. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Finding that Holmes was too absorbed for conversation, I had tossed aside the barren paper, and, leaning back in my chair I fell into a brown study. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1894]

Theodore Dreiser To think that all his fine state should be so barren for want of her; that he needed to make such an appeal when she herself was lonely and without anchor. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Wilkie Collins That fondness told me that your barren wife would never make your heart all her own until she had borne you a child; and your lips proved it true. The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins [1857]

Charles Stur The horses having travelled for the last 10 miles over barren stony plains, had lost their shoes, and were suffering greatly. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

The second outrage was equally as mysterious as the first, and investigation proved equally as barren in results. Cloud the Smiter by Arthur Gask [1926]

D. H. Lawrence My God! this was a barren tragedy, barren, barren. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

The barren expenditure of force that began and ended in itself, and produced nothing, we should — if you will excuse my saying so — look upon as childish, if not insane or immoral. A Traveler from Altruria by William Dean Howells

G. K. Chesterton None of them could remember the exact words he had used; but all could state in general terms that it referred to some sort of negative nuisance or barren responsibility. Tales of the Long Bow by G. K. Chesterton [1925]

John Lewis Burckhard The view from hence over the Houle and a part of its lake, the Djebel Safad, and the barren Heish, is magnificent. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land by John Lewis Burckhard

Robert Louis Stevenson For ten miles of length, and from a depth varying from three miles to half a mile, this belt of barren country lay along the sea. The Pavilion on the Links by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jules Verne Here began the barren part of the island. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [1874]

The next floor, however, was as barren as its predecessor, and now only the top remained to us. ’Long Live the King!’ by Guy Boothby [1900]

Walter Scott Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,     And put a barren sceptre in my gripe, Thence to be wrench’d by an unlineal hand,     No son of mine succeeding. The Heart of Mid-Lothian by Walter Scott [1818]

John Lewis Burckhard On the 6th of June we continued our road in barren valleys, among steep rocks, mostly of granite, till we halted, about noon, under a projecting rock that afforded us some shade. Travels in Arabia by John Lewis Burckhard

The filets and fibrils of dust are exposed to sight in the flanks, and near the base of the great quartz-vein: we should never have been able to remove the barren upper capping. The Land of Midian by Richard F. Burton [1879]

The bleak and barren aspect of the painting-room did not promise much for the accommodation or comfort of Mr. Lovel’s domicile. The Lovels of Arden by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

Arthur Machen So the land is blasted and barren and songless, and those who dwell in it are in misery. The Secret Glory by Arthur Machen

Intersected at right angles by two ranges of barren hills and cut off to a large extent from the main lines of railway, itunited about every inconvenience that a district could possess. Was it an illusion? by Amelia B. Edwards

Tobias Smolle Who pants for fleeting Beauty, vain pursuit! Shall barren Leaves obtain, or bitter fruit. Travels through France and Italy by Tobias Smolle

Olaf Stapledon Yet this life of ours was not all sheer and barren fantasy. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

Robert Green Ingersoll Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. Lectures by Robert Green Ingersoll

Olaf Stapledon The appalling desert of darkness and barren fire, the huge emptiness so sparsely pricked with scintillations, the colossal futility of the whole universe, hideously oppressed me. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

William Dampier The next island of the Galapagos that we came to is but two leagues from this: it is rocky and barren like this; it is about five or six leagues long and four broad. A New Voyage Round the World by William Dampier [1697]

Wilkie Collins Hideous coloured diagrams of the ravages of hideous diseases decorated the barren buff-coloured walls. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins [1868]

Anthony Trollope It’s a barren sort of hill after all, is it not?” And then George tried very much in vain to make his father understand why he wished to go into the church. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

We now left the village behind, and rode out across a wide plain, barren and hillocky in some parts; overgrown in others with coarse halfeh grass; and dotted here and there with clumps of palms. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

Ralph Waldo Emerson Chat Moss and the fens of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire are unhealthy and too barren to pay rent. English Traits by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1856]

Robert Louis Stevenson I’ll be wishing you good evening, Mr. Weir.” And she made him a stately curtsey, shaking as she did so from head to foot, with the barren ecstasy of temper. The Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson

John Lewis Burckhard In its neighbourhood are several springs, and wherever these are met with, vegetation readily takes place, even among barren sand-­rocks. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land by John Lewis Burckhard

Still it was and is remarkable to see what a clean bill of health in this particular respect our barren soil inherited with its sterility. Medical Essays by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Was it of its own will that it was barren of fruit? Neither is the soul barren of good of its own accord. Mother by Maksim Gorky

The islands are what we thought them — barren for the most part, with a small fishing population, and a scanty accession of summer visitors for bathing. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers [1903]

Robert Louis Stevenson He was not without some tincture of patriotism; but it was resolvable into two parts: a preference for life among his fellow-countrymen, and a barren point of honour. Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson

Arthur Conan Doyle During this time we traversed a barren and forbidding country, which alternated between stony desert and desolate marshes full of many wild-fowl, upon the north and east of the cliffs. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle [1912]

Henry Adams His social education was more barren still, and more trying to his vanity. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

He had only a moment before returned from a barren visit to the Brass Castle, and was in no mood to be trifled with. The House by the Church-Yard by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Arthur Conan Doyle On the little plateau which crowned the barren hill there stood a single giant boulder, and against this boulder there lay a tall man, long-bearded and hard-featured, but of an excessive thinness. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle [1887]

Richard Burton Not a house was in sight-it was as barren and desolate a spot as the sun ever “viewed in his wide career. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah by Richard Burton

H.P. Lovecraft They showed the visitor the grave, barren and devoid of markers. The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft [1922]

Henry Kingsley Now, immediately you shall see how we pass from the richly-grassed volcanic plains, into the barren sandstone heaths; from a productive pasture land into a useless flower-garden. The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley [1859]

Ivan Turgenev Before the house a barren plain; gradually sloping downwards, it stretches into the distance; a grey monotonous sky hangs over it, like the canopy of a bed. Dream tales and prose poems by Ivan Turgenev

Thomas Carlyle It has no natural advantage for a town; stands in a sandy hollow amid bare barren hills, at a distance from the sea; its provisions, its very bread, have to be imported. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

Nathaniel Hawthorne His description of Ticonderoga would be as accurate as a geometrical theorem, and as barren of the poetry that has clustered round its decay. The Snow Image and other stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne [1851]

George Meredith She could rejoice To know with wakeful eyeballs Violence Her crowned possessor, and, on every sense Incumbent, Fact, Imperial Fact, her choice, In scorn of barren visions, aims at a glassy void. Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History by George Meredith [1898]

You can’t imagine a mode of life more barren of consolation, less capable of being invested with a spark of glamourunless it be the business of an insurance canvasser. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

George Gissing She began to know once more that she was young, and that existence stretched before her a limitless tract of barren endurance. A Life's Morning by George Gissing [1885]

In Liverpool on an occasion he had gone with a woman and, after a brief moment of physical excitement, had known that such encounters were for ever barren for him. Rogue Herries by Hugh Walpole [1930]

F. Scott Fitzgerald On the day that Amory started on his walk to Princeton the sky was a colorless vault, cool, high and barren of the threat of rain. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Washington Irving Following on in the route of the melancholy band of royal exiles, I arrived at the foot of a chain of barren and dreary heights, forming the skirt of the Alpuxarra mountains. The Alhambra by Washington Irving

D. H. Lawrence He had gone out of her imagination, and even when she looked at his doll she saw nothing but a barren puppet. The Captain’s Doll by D. H. Lawrence

William Dampier The land in the country seems to be full of high, steep, rugged and barren rocks. A New Voyage Round the World by William Dampier [1697]

Anthony Trollope A belt of bald-looking firs ran round the demesne inside the dilapidated wall; but this was hardly sufficient to relieve the barren aspect of the locality. The Kellys and the O’Kellys by Anthony Trollope

Thomas Carlyle There is no sadder symptom of a generation than such general blindness to the spiritual lightning, with faith only in the heap of barren dead fuel. On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History by Thomas Carlyle

Sarah Orne Jewett It was thick and foggy, and at last I lost my ship; she drove on a rock, and we managed to get ashore on what I took to be a barren island, the few of us that were left alive. The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett [1896]

George Meredith She should have, for she would call out, his thousand flitting ideas now dropped on barren ground for want of her fair bosom to inspire, to vivify, to receive. The Tragic Comedians by George Meredith [1880]

John Lewis Burckhard For the first three days we steered along a sandy shore, here entirely barren and uninhabited, the mountains continuing at a distance inland. Travels in Arabia by John Lewis Burckhard

Tobias Smolle As I said before, Ville Franche is built on the face of a barren rock, washed by the sea; and there is not an acre of plain ground within a mile of it. Travels through France and Italy by Tobias Smolle

But I recoiled as I saw that I was standing on a barren common, covered with furze. The Miraculous Revenge by George Bernard Shaw

The ninth sun of their freedom, rising upon sandy and barren hillocks, bristling thick with cruel scrub, sees the six famine-stricken wretches cursing their God, and yet afraid to die. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

Henry Adams The period was poor in purpose and barren in results. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

It is barren and covered with spinifex from turret to basement, wherever sufficient soil can be found among the stones to admit of its growth. Australia Twice Traversed by Ernest Giles

D.H. Lawrence The face is barren with a dead expression of weariness, and brutalized with pain and bitterness. Twilight in Italy by D.H. Lawrence [1916]

Upon this spot nothing would ever afterwards grow, as the hot feet of the demons and witches burnt the principle of fecundity from the earth, and rendered it barren for ever. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay [1852]

D. H. Lawrence She went on, with the discord jarring and jolting through her, in the most barren of misery. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

E. F. Benson And the streams are joining, and rushing in spate together over what was a dry and barren hillside. The House of Defence by E. F. Benson [1906]

First it was an old pit-frame on a barren moor, gaunt, against the yellow west. The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown [1901]

Arthur Conan Doyle With its dull tints, its gnarled, viprous bushes, its arid, barren soil, and this death streak trailed across it, it was indeed a nightmare country. The Green Flag by Arthur Conan Doyle [1900]

The King’s Daughter. O barren sea, thou bitter bird, And a barren tale my ears have heard. Poems by the Way by William Morris [1891]

D. H. Lawrence And he longed to crush the barren blossom. The Princess by D. H. Lawrence [1925]

They are without exception all so barren that to sincere inquirers they appear as little more than names masquerading — Wo die begriffe fehlen da stellt ein wort zur rechten zeit sich ein. A Pluralistic Universe by William James [1909]

Ralph Waldo Emerson Here are oracles sometimes profusely given, to which the memory goes back in barren hours. The Conduct of Life by Ralph Waldo Emerson [1860]

It would indeed have been strange if with such barren data as they possessed, those men could have read the handwriting on the river’s bank. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade

Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue — and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft [1792]

Robert Burns Some, lucky, find a flow’ry spot, For which they never toil’d nor swat; They drink the sweet and eat the fat, But care or pain; And, haply, eye the barren hut With high disdain. The Poetical Works of Robert Burns by Robert Burns

Once again the grey sea spread around him, barren of succour. For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke [1874]

George Gissing Put me in a London street this chill, damp night, and I should be lost in barren discomfort. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing [1902]

The cries of the caravane, the “knock-kneed” plover of Egypt, yellow-beaked and black-eyed, resounded in the more barren belts. The Land of Midian by Richard F. Burton [1879]

G. K. Chesterton The pessimists of my boyhood, when confronted with the dandelion, said with Swinburne: I am weary of all hours Blown buds and barren flowers Desires and dreams and powers And everything but sleep. Autobiography by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

Wilkie Collins My silent companion led me through a bleak and barren kitchen, and along a stone passage. The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins [1875]

H.P. Lovecraft Some were above our reach, whilst others led only into ice-choked ruins as unroofed and barren as the rampart on the hill. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft [1931]

Arthur Conan Doyle Finding that Holmes was too absorbed for conversation I had tossed aside the barren paper, and leaning back in my chair I fell into a brown study. His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle [1917]

Jules Verne At this time of the warm season all these trees were covered with verdure, and were an unexpected and refreshing sight to eyes so long accustomed to the rugged, barren polar landscape. The Fur Country by Jules Verne [1873]

And now I had chanced upon the gentleman in his dotage, travelling with a barren effort at mystery, attended by a sad-faced daughter and two ancient domestics. The Company of the Marjolaine by John Buchan

Katherine Mansfield It was a simple shepherd-child who pastured her flocks upon the barren fields. In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield [1911]

Arthur Conan Doyle The supply of adult women was running short, and polygamy without a female population on which to draw was a barren doctrine indeed. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle [1887]

Mark Twain The only lines he ever wrote, so far as we know, are substantially barren of them — barren of all of them. Is Shakespeare Dead? by Mark Twain

Ford Madox Ford The barren harlots mated to faithless eunuchs . Some Do Not . . . by Ford Madox Ford [1924]

D. H. Lawrence The firs softened their touch to me, and the larches woke from the barren winter sleep, and put out velvet fingers to caress me as I passed. The White Peacock by D. H. Lawrence

Abraham Merri And suddenly I had a desperate longing for the Gobi. I don’t know why, but its barren and burning, wind-swept and sand-swept body was more desirable than any woman’s. Dwellers in the Mirage by Abraham Merri

It led me across a barren slope divided by stone fences, with here and there a group of shattered sheds, a tall chimney, and a blackened cinder-mound, marking the site of a deserted mine. Was it an illusion? by Amelia B. Edwards

Charles Stur Keeping a little to the eastward to avoid the gullies connected with some barren stony hills to our left, we descended to the ground Mr. Poole had fixed upon as our next temporary resting place. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

Charles Stur Had these hills been as barren as the wastes over which we had just passed, so as they had been of stone we should have hailed them with joy. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

George Meredith They were not barren crags, and her shape was Nature’s ripeness, it was acknowledged: She stood like a lance in air-rather like an Amazon schooled by Athene, one might imagine. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

Rudyard Kipling The Fountain of Power is a gutter which all may defile; and the voices of the men are overborne by the squealings of mules and the whinnying of barren mares. Many Inventions by Rudyard Kipling [1893]

Henry Lawson The country looks just as bad for a hundred miles round Hungerford, and beyond that it gets worse — a blasted, barren wilderness that doesn’t even howl. While the Billy Boils by Henry Lawson

Andrew Lang All that day they walked, and when night fell they were in a barren plain, with only rocks for shelter. The Orange Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

The mountain is barren and lonely, but the view from its summit is beautiful, commanding the whole plain. Life in Mexico by Frances Calderon de la Barca [1843]

Anthony Trollope Phineas was, therefore, driven to depend exclusively on Madame Max Goesler for conversation, and he found that he was not called upon to cast his seed into barren ground. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope

But at last their barren quest was ended, and they came up the narrow staircase on much more cordial and kindly terms with one another than either would have thought possible some hours before. From Out the Vasty Deep by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1920]

Flights of rooks hung over the barren ground, and wheeled in the air with discordant clamor as we passed—the only living moving things in the utter desolation of the scene. The Danvers Jewels by Mary Cholmondeley [1886]

The little churches rang their bells regularly over the barren solitary country, like soldiers firing over a forsaken field. Signa by Ouida

The tiffin was laid on one end only of the long table, and the punkah was stirring the hot air lazily — mostly above a barren waste of polished wood. The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad [1917]

William Dampier The land in the country is full of small peaked barren hills, making as many little valleys, which appear flourishing and green. A New Voyage Round the World by William Dampier [1697]

John Lewis Burckhard Issuing from the hills which surround the wells, and diverging from the straight road that leads to Berber, we took our route over a barren plain covered with moving sands, in a S.S.W. direction. Travels in Nubia by John Lewis Burckhard

William Cowper Proud of his well-spread walls, he views his trees That meet, no barren interval between, With pleasure more than even their fruits afford, Which, save himself who trains them, none can feel. The Task by William Cowper [1785]

Right ahead of me lay a barren waste of sand extending to the right and left as far as I could see. The Mirage by Ambrose Bierce

H. G. Wells To young eyes to-day this world of our fathers, as they see it in picture book and panorama, has not merely a regimented but a barren look, and its cultivation seems laborious and poor. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

Sinclair Lewis A town in California which had changed itself from the barren brick fronts and slatternly frame sheds of a Main Street to a way which led the eye down a vista of arcades and gardens. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

Old Major Jackson kept the young ladies in practice between whiles, with his barren gallantries and graces, and was, just so far, better than nothing. Wylder’s Hand by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

For the old man, his long struggle with scanty means, barren soil, and bad seasons, was now near its close. Robert Burns by John Campbell Shairp [1879]

M. P. Shiel The coffin is not too strait for lawless nuptial bed; and the sweet clods of the valley will prove no barren bridegroom of a writhing progeny. Prince Zaleski by M. P. Shiel [1895]

Where the plump barley-grain so oft we sowed, There but wild oats and barren darnel spring; For tender violet and narcissus bright Thistle and prickly thorn uprear their heads. The Eclogues of Virgil by translated by J. B. Greenough

Sinclair Lewis I believe that later he served in some of the most barren parts of Alaska, and refused a bishopric. Gideon Planish by Sinclair Lewis

F. Scott Fitzgerald Then, late in the afternoon of the second day, as he moved vaguely from room to room looking out of different windows into a barren lifeless street, Minnie called him on the phone. Taps at Reveille by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1935]

Sinclair Lewis In a barren freedom of icy Northern wind he sighed, “Thank God that’s over! Poor Tanis, poor darling decent Tanis! But it is over. Babbit by Sinclair Lewis

George Eliot It’s a bleak and barren country there, not like this land of Goshen you’ve been used to. Adam Bede by George Eliot [1859]

Olaf Stapledon Like seedlings in barren ground their roots were starved; yet many put forth poor gallant starveling blooms of love. Death into Life by Olaf Stapledon

Olaf Stapledon Barren, barren and trivial are these words. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

You must not try to crush this one little floweret that has grown up in a barren waste, Diana. It is my prison-flower. Birds of Prey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1867]

W. H. Hudson They, Rough men, spent no ignoble lives In barren offices; but broke The steeds they rode, and pastured herds Of half-wild cattle, wide around The ostrich and the puma hunted. El Ombú by W. H. Hudson [1902]

Charles Stur From the grassy woodland we had been riding through, we debouched upon a barren plain without any vegetation, and after crossing a small channel, intersected a second much larger, a little beyond it. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

Walter Scott Wherefore, it was our purpose to have prayed you heartily to come to this our barren Highland country to kill a stag, and to treat of the matters which we are now more painfully inditing to you anent. The Bride of Lammermoor by Walter Scott [1819]

Herman Melville Through blackberry brakes that tried to pluck me back, though I but strained towards fruitless growths of mountain-laurel; up slippery steeps to barren heights, where stood none to welcome. The Piazza by Herman Melville

George Gissing She said, in going away: “Please to consider that this was in confidence, Eleanor.” Confidence of a barren kind. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

Then midst my pity for their lost delight, Yet more with barren longing I grew weak, Yet more I mourned that I had none to seek. Poems by the Way by William Morris [1891]

George Gissing It behoved me, though I knew that a barren and solitary track would be my only treading to the end, to keep courageously onward. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Rudyard Kipling He advised me if ever I felt like it not to commit a — a barren felo de se, but to let the Sheshaheli do it. Actions and Reactions by Rudyard Kipling [1909]

Edith Wharton Mrs. Jaspar’s twisted hand rose again, this time to her denuded shoulders, which were as stark and barren as the rock from which the hand might have been broken. Certain People by Edith Wharton [1930]

Nobody has rendered better, perhaps, the tenacity of temper, or known how to drape the robe of spiritual honour about the drooping form of a victor in a barren strife. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

Vixen shivered as she surveyed the big barren room. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

John Lewis Burckhard From the Kubbe, the road passes along the left side of the valley in which the Barrada runs, over uneven ground, which for the greater part is barren rock. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land by John Lewis Burckhard

E. Phillips Oppenheim There was no building to be seen, not a house anywhere in sight, nothing but a bare, barren plain. The Ostrekoff Jewels by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1932]

H. Rider Haggard For two hours they rowed down a gulf, as it were, and on either side of them were barren hills. Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard

Charles Stur The country to the west and north-west was dark with scrub, and the whole region barren and desolate. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

Daniel Defoe So now the bleating flock exchange in vain, For barren clifts, their dewy fertile plain: In vain, their fatal destiny to shun, From Severn’s banks to higher grounds they run. The Storm by Daniel Defoe [1704]

George Eliot I saw into her pitiless soul — saw its barren worldliness, its scorching hate — and felt it clothe me round like an air I was obliged to breathe. The Lifted Veil by George Eliot [1859]

Charles Dickens All within the man bereft of what you have resigned, is the same barren wilderness. The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain by Charles Dickens [1848]

It was beginning life again; it was leaving barren sands for an abode of fertile beauty; it was a harbour after a tempest, an opiate after sleepless nights, a happy waking from a terrible dream. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Thomas Hardy He explained to the rector and other of his acquaintance that all the inquiries he had made at his wife’s old lodgings and his own had been totally barren of results. Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy [1871]

George Meredith I did a ludicrous and a shameful thing, knowing it in advance to be a barren farce. The Tragic Comedians by George Meredith [1880]

G. K. Chesterton The word “chaff” was, I suppose, originally applied to badinage to express its barren and unsustaining character; but to the English poor chaff is as sustaining as grain. Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton [1911]

Charles Stur At four miles this brush terminated, and we had again to traverse open barren plains. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

F. Scott Fitzgerald He rejoiced to see general and field-officers riding desolately about the barren camp deprived of their commands. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1922]

In all lands else must such an egg lie barren and sterile, save in this land of Zimiamvia which is sacred to the lordly races of the dead. The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison [1922]

David Hume The social virtues are never regarded without their beneficial tendencies, nor viewed as barren and unfruitful. An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals by David Hume

A. E. W. Mason At the end of seven days they came to Shof-el-Ain, a tiny well set in a barren valley between featureless ridges, and by the side of that well they camped. The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason [1902]

Robert Burns What signifies his barren shine, Of moral pow’rs and reason? His English style, an’ gestures fine, Are a’ clean out o’ season. The Poetical Works of Robert Burns by Robert Burns

For you, my child, shall be the joys of home and love, and a mind that does not sicken at the past, and strain, through mere forgetfulness, towards a solitary and barren distinction for the future. Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1830]

Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch I am speaking of reasonably fertile land, and hardly need to point out that in offering any such price for mere barren foreshore I invite you to believe me half-witted. D’Arfet’s Vengeance by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

Washington Irving The royal pageant passed through silent streets, and the barren homage of a court in the halls of the Alhambra ill supplied the want of sincere and popular devotion. The Alhambra by Washington Irving

George Borrow It is wrong to suppose Gibraltar a mere naked barren rock; it is not without its beautiful spots — spots such as these, looking cool and refreshing, with bright green foliage. The Bible in Spain by George Borrow

Caroline Lamb But not so cold, nor so barren is thy bosom, as is that of the widow who is bereft of every joy . Glenarvon by Caroline Lamb [1816]

John Lewis Burckhard The mountain which we had passed was a barren rock of flint and chalk. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land by John Lewis Burckhard

G. K. Chesterton They make him barren instead of creative, because he is never allowed to do anything except prefer one existing policy to another. A Miscellany of Men by G. K. Chesterton [1912]

John Morley So far as it goes, however, it is a sign of mental health that a man should be able to cast behind him the barren memories of bygone squalor. Burke by John Morley [1879]

D. H. Lawrence The large room had the barren air of a cell. The White Peacock by D. H. Lawrence

Sinclair Lewis It wouldn’t be like these barren settlements. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

Oh, that I had never known what a Court was! Dear Pope, what a barren soil (to me so) have I been striving to produce something out of. The Life and Letters of John Gay by Lewis Melville

D. H. Lawrence Tomorrow was Monday. Monday, the beginning of another school-week! Another shameful, barren school-week, mere routine and mechanical activity. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

For their sake, that even now haply behold us out of the undiscovered barren lands, beyond the dismal lake, do not this. The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison [1922]

John Lewis Burckhard Our road lay partly through barren sands, and partly through thin woods of acacia trees. Travels in Nubia by John Lewis Burckhard

The victories are not, perhaps, so barren as it may appear from a purely strategical, utilitarian point of view. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

Anthony Trollope A seat in Parliament would be but a barren honour, and he could not afford to offer his services for barren honour. Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope

John Lewis Burckhard The brilliant verdure of the date-trees and plantations form a singular contrast with the barren mountains on each side. Travels in Arabia by John Lewis Burckhard

The whole of this part of Thrace had been so long a scene of contest, that it had remained uncultivated, and presented a dreary, barren appearance. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Ann Radcliffe These hills became at length, in a situation so barren of real comforts, a source of ideal pleasure to him. The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne by Ann Radcliffe [1789]

The yellow desert, barren and undulating, with a line of purple peaks on the horizon, reaches away into the far distance. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

His determinism, barren of praise, blame and consolation, has all the merit of his conscientious art. Notes on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad [1921]

Arthur Conan Doyle The barren scene, the sense of loneliness, and the mystery and urgency of my task all struck a chill into my heart. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle [1902]

Richard Hakluy The Countrie along the sea coast is barren and poore: and the people more warlike. Virginia Richly Valued by Richard Hakluy

The woman and a little child know the truth of this spot so barren in the midst of luxurious growth, so sinister in its look and implication. The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction by Dorothy Scarborough

Jules Verne Its depth remained invariable, still four, or at most five, fathoms; and although its bottom was assiduously dredged, it was only to prove it barren of marine production of any type. Off on a Comet by Jules Verne [1877]

John Lewis Burckhard Half its length is a narrow promontory of sand, and its main body to the south consists of a barren mountain. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land by John Lewis Burckhard

Anne Bronte It seemed like as all were barren an’ dark to me. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte [1847]

D. H. Lawrence She knew she was antagonistic to the government people: in her soul she hated the fixed society with its barrenness and its barren laws. Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence

E. F. Benson An unsupported sense of duty alone is a barren road to tread, but her genuine kindliness, her real interest in those who were in need, made it break out for her into flowers. The House of Defence by E. F. Benson [1906]

Rudyard Kipling The most wise people worship themselves and such things as they have made with their mouths and their hands, and this is to be found notably among the barren women, of whom there are many. Many Inventions by Rudyard Kipling [1893]

D. H. Lawrence Now I can be alone, and leave all things to themselves, and the fig tree may be barren if it will, and the rich may be rich. The Man Who Died by D. H. Lawrence

William Shakespeare Who lets so fair a house fall to decay, Which husbandry in honour might uphold, Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day And barren rage of death’s eternal cold? O! none but unthrifts. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

D. H. Lawrence And soon like a barren sea-shell on the strand, I shall be crushed underfoot to dust. The Overtone by D. H. Lawrence [1933]

Sir Walter Scott He who woos her must love the barren rock more than the fertile valley, and the solitude of the desert better than the festivity of the hall. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott [1829]

A. E. W. Mason When Harry Feversham had set out from Obak six days before to traverse the fifty-eight miles of barren desert to the Nile, this grey donkey had carried his water-skins and food. The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason [1902]

It sends out its gushes of warmth and brightness, its gay little arrowy flames that appear and disappear like elves dancing their midnight waltzes on a barren moor. Vixen by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

Charles Dickens All within this desolate creature is barren wilderness. The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain by Charles Dickens [1848]

G. K. Chesterton This sensibility is barren because it is universal. George Bernard Shaw by G. K. Chesterton [1909]

Olaf Stapledon A certain star, barren of planets, was used as a reservoir of energy, both normal and sub-atomic. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

Sir Walter Scott At length — I am almost ashamed to say it — but I even brought my mind to give acre for acre of my good corn-land for this barren spot. The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott [1816]

My investigations were a barren business. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

M. P. Shiel A simile of Milton had for years, she said, inflamed the lust of her Eye: ‘The barren plains of Sericana, where Chineses drive with sails and wind their cany wagons light. Shapes in the Fire by M. P. Shiel [1896]

E. Phillips Oppenheim When at last it is broken, although her voice is barren of all sympathy, of expression of any sort, I draw a long breath of relief. The Postmaster of Market Deignton by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1897]

It was with her usual light step that she approached the front of the house and for the first time in her life perceived how barren and sombre it looked when Réal was not about. The Rover by Joseph Conrad [1923]

D. H. Lawrence Yet once he felt any man or woman was cold, mean, barren of this warmth which was in him, then he became at once utterly unscrupulous in defeating the creature. Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence

Charles Stur Crossing the Ana-branch at this point, we struck across barren sandy plains, on a N.N.E. course. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

There had been no rain for some time, so that the parched and barren pastures near the town might, with great truth, be called Rosinante’s own. Wanderings in South America by Charles Waterton [1825]

It was a place where few men came, for it was cut off from the distant townships by long, barren wastes of rock-strewn land. The Lonely House by Arthur Gask [1929]

G. K. Chesterton For indeed the ransacking of the house had proved even more barren than the ransacking of the room; and they were considerably surprised to find that there was so little of the house to ransack. Four Faultless Felons by G. K. Chesterton [1930]

Andrew Lang A writer so fertile, so rapid, so masterly in the ease with which he worked, could not escape the reproaches of barren envy. Letters to Dead Authors by Andrew Lang

Charles Stur We had now approached it within five miles, and could discover its barren character. Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia by Charles Stur

Andrew Lang Trembling with terror, the fairy stood rooted to the spot; and when day broke, island, torrent, and dragons had vanished, and in their stead was a barren rock. The Olive Fairy Book by Andrew Lang